September 25, 2008
Technology Proves to Be a Classroom Winner
By Katie Bodinger
RESEARCH has shown the use of technology in the classroom encourages pupil participation and is liked by both teachers and pupils.
The study, published this week by Swansea Metropolitan University, also shows that teachers and pupils agree that active participation and talking about their ideas in the classroom helps children learn more effectively.
The research, led by Dr Steve Kennewell and funded by the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC), found that interactive whiteboards, which can be used for animated diagrams, video clips and presentations, were liked by teachers because they encourage pupils to get involved in lessons.
Dr Kennewell, leader of the specialist ICT PGCE course at Swansea Met's School of Education, said: "The children feel they are doing something together because the images are so clear and everybody can see the same thing. It's not always that they are interacting with technology, but the ICT gives them something to interact about. They are more engaged.
"Our research suggests that good teachers do not inevitably see better results when they adopt ICT because they are already using non-ICT-based interactive techniques. However, by the end of the project, many teachers had found ways of using new technologies to enable children to try things out for themselves, as well as presenting information to them."
The findings are based on a two-stage study which looked at interactive teaching and ICT in 21 primary and secondary schools in Wales. The researchers analysed data from interviews and observation of 41 teachers who worked in pairs to plan lessons.
Data was collected from teacher and pupil interviews, initial assessment tasks, video-recordings of classroom activity and group discussions.
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