Learning and ICT Environments
As teachers we need to ensure that the learning environment is compliant with safety, security and other environmental conditions. With ICT integrated into our lesson design this might also include:
- making sure that electrical wiring does not restrict mobility,
- the chances of misadventure are minimized (dropped devices, electrical shocks, etc.)
- that vandalism/theft is prevented,
- cyber threats are minimized through the setting up of firewalls or the installation of a virus scanner.
But in addition we also need to consider: is the ICT set up in such a way that it supports the lesson objectives? For example these types of questions need to be asked:
- Can students work collaboratively with the chosen technology or are they forced to work independently?
- Do all the students need access to ICTs, or should just a few of the class use them?
- Do we need to use ICTs for the entire duration of the lesson or are they required for just a segment?
Balancing these concerns means that we have a number of options on how to deploy ICTs at school. The following are common school ICT deployment models.
- All computers are set up in a computer laboratory where they can easily be secured and maintained.
- Clusters of computers (say 10 networked PCs) are set up in a smaller venue where small groups of students can be sent to do assignments or class tasks.
- Mobile devices like laptops or tablets can be sent to class to be used during the lesson. Occasionally these are stored in a mobile trolley equipped with power outlets to charge the laptops when not in use and that can be locked for added security.
- Sometime one or two PCs are located in the classroom and used for both teacher administration and/or class use to locate reference materials.
- Privately owned mobile devices like tablets or smartphones, are incorporated into lesson designs and used to collect information about the community or local environment (video, photo or audio clips are recorded).
But what is best? Let us investigate further.