We are likely in a defining moment for the future of technology in education. With the imposed national lockdown, schools, teachers and pupils have been cornered into finding innovative ways to continue pupils’ learning. This may exist in the form of video classes, online games or even using YouTube to give lessons.
This poses an interesting question: if technology can allow schools, companies and even countries to continue to function during a global pandemic, why isn’t there a heavier focus on technology within the school curriculum?
How is IT currently utilised?
Technology within a secondary school setting is vastly different to that in a primary school setting.
Thankfully, technology has been taught in primary school – even at a basic level – so at the KS3 and KS4 level, the idea is to build on that grounding of knowledge and, with any luck, spark a skill or passion.
So, let’s consider at what technology secondary schools currently use and how it’s utilised:
ICT lessons: IT lessons are now more in-depth and technical, with a more intense focus on software and even projects set exclusively using applications such as databases and spreadsheets.
Interactive Tables: Last time, we discussed the use of interactive whiteboards in primary schools (yes, they’re still used in secondary schools). Some secondary schools are now even implementing interactive tables – you guessed it, an interactive whiteboard that isn’t on the wall – though probably better suited to the younger side of secondary school.
Increased use in lessons: It’s 2020, and by this point technology is used in some form in pretty much every subject. Whether that be in the form of devices (computers, whiteboards), applications (maths software) or simply for research purposes, it’s always there.
Technology-based subjects: KS3 represents the introduction of brand-new subjects into a pupil’s education: Graphic Design, Resistant Materials, Foreign Languages, to name a few. Many of these new subjects contain a need for technology in some capacity and can teach pupils new ways of using said technology.
Now we’ve explored what and how technology is currently utilised within a secondary school setting, it’s time we look at how this can be improved and what other aspects of technology could be introduced.
What more can be done?
ICT remains a mandatory subject in the national curriculum all the way through to KS4, or Year 10, where student have the option to continue studying further. A compelling case could be made for ICT joining English, Maths, Science (and a couple of others) as a compulsory lesson all the way through the Key Stages of education.
Either way, here are some of our ideas that could be integrated:
Troubleshooting and fixing technology (rather than just theory)
Potential careers within technology and the skills that accompany them (including YouTuber, gamer, television/movie editing, graphic design, camerawork)
Put even more theory into practice – create and edit a video from scratch, build or fix a PC.
Encourage use of mobile phones and laptops in class with network games, quizzes etc.
If you’ve enjoyed this blog, why not go back and have read of our exploration of technology in primary schools? If you have any ideas on how we can improve or increase the use of technology within secondary schools, please let us know on our social media channels!
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