Monday, September 29, 2008

BPN 1235 ICT in education

ICT has penetrated in education in several countries. But in most cases it only means that there are computer labs in the schools where people can work on to prepare their assignments. But experiments with portable ICT in education are scarce.
The Ostrea Lyceum in Goes (The Netherlands) has selected the laptop to research the effects of digital education for pupils and teachers. Especially the use of laptops for home assignments is a topic of the research. The experiment should indicate whether the pupils deliver better quality assignments.

In the trial 55 first years will start with digital learning. A year long they will use a mini laptop to be taught, make assignments digitally and deliver this in a digital learning environment. Also the tests will be done digitally. In the classroom the smartboard, an interactive school board, will be used, while the pupil scan also chat with their teacher.

This way of learning should motivate the pupils to learn better. Whether this is so will be researched by the University of Twente. The method and the results of the two classes will be compared to two classes which will work in the traditional way with books.

Not yet all books will be digitally available as not all books have been digitized. Annotations and home work are done on the computer. In this way the results can be compared with the test class. In the experiment teachers have been invited who are not computer savvy. In this way the researchers will know what the average teacher experiences. The school will be supported by ICT specialists of Knowledge Net and Surfnet. It is expected that the Dutch high schools will be digital in five years time.

Pupils are not allowed to be diverted by chat programmes and online games. Downloading music and photographs is allowed. A fine of 125 euro will be imposed on downloading games.

This project is one of the projects in the program to have all teaching material digitally available within five years. Schools recently started a large ICT project together with ICT companies, the ministry of education and publishing companies. Computers will not replace the teachers, but improve their position as teachers can compose their own lessons. The Dutch Education Council favours ICT in the class room, so that teachers will have digital material available for their lessons copyright-free.

e-reader in the class
Pupils at Caritas College in Ballyfermot will get closer to the paperless age as they will start using the e-reader iLiad. The publisher Gill & Macmillan launched a pilot scheme that will take some weight off the shoulders of the first-year pupils.

St Brendan’s class, a group of 18 first year students at the all-girl school will say goodbye to heavy schoolbags this year. They will become the first class of students worldwide to replace their academic load with the iLiad, an electronic book device.

The main difference for the girls will be a dramatic reduction in the weight of their schoolbags as they replace more than six kilograms (almost 13 and a half pounds) of textbooks, workbooks, an English dictionary and a novel with this 400 gram (less then a pound) e-book. The students will be able to make notes and even doodle on the pages as in a regular textbook and then decide whether they wish to erase or save their notes. In addition, each iLiad reader is pre-loaded with 50 classic novels in the public domain which will be available free of charge to each student.

Blog Post Number: 1235

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