The UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education (IITE) launched a new project in 2011 which aimed to research the role of ICTs in primary education all over the world. This long term study looked at how ICT is reshaping and changing the teaching and learning processes of children in primary education.
The first report from this project has been released which explores the origins, settings and initiatives of effective integration of up-to-date innovative technologies in primary school, and showcases the best ICT practices gathered from sample primary schools across the globe. The research ‘collected, analyzed and documented local idiosyncrasies and shared approaches to the complex process of integrating ICT in primary children’s learning experiences.’
There are some very interesting case studies on how ICT is being used in different countries in primary education. It gives detailed examples of the use of ICT in primary schools in Hungary, Jordan, Mexico, Russia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, UK, and the USA and how the pupils’ are expressing themselves with digital technologies.
‘Each of these nine schools represents an exciting, unique and enlightening story. They cover a range of contrasting contexts: there are urban schools and rural schools, one very small school and some rather large, a school with only primary level classes, a school with excellent cooperation with a kindergarten, schools which prioritize excellent relations with parents, with academia or with a private partner, and a school that concentrates on activities for children with special educational needs.’
The case studies also give photographs documenting how pupils are exploiting these technologies – inside their classrooms and outside, using computers, robots, digital cameras, etc. The children were also asked to visually express their relations to ICT by creating words and images on the theme of ‘Computers and Me’ .
The book contains a research literature review, a brief overview of the nine sample primary schools, an international review of ICTs in primary strategies, as well as the international collection of inspiring projects and initiatives. The publication is designed for teachers, educators, headmasters, school policy decision-makers, parents and everybody who cares about modern education for primary stage children.
Silvia Gallagher is the Head of Content for AvatarGeneration. Her background is in online learning, virtual worlds, and educational games. In her spare time she likes riding bikes over mountains and playing around with new technology.