Columns

Teachers must embrace technology

(Part II)

By LYSSETTE HAWTHORNE-WILSON

Saturday, February 23, 2013    

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THERE are many schools in Jamaica that are well equipped with computer labs. However, they are locked away by some administrators for safe keeping in fear of their teachers and students "mashing them up!"

My question is, what is the purpose of having a computer lab when it is completely underutilised? The response is lack of funding to repair them when they are damaged.

In response to that, here are ways in which schools can maintain their computers and other gadgets:

(1) Train a member of staff to do computer maintenance and teach others how to handle them.

(2) Arrange to send the selected individual(s) to institutions that conduct workshops addressing the use and maintaining of existing gadgets and how to integrate them into subject lessons.

(3) Upgrade software and units that are outdated in order to remain current in this ever changing virtual classroom.

(4) Engage in fundraising activities that would help in paying for the replacement and upgrading of computer hardware.

(5) Liaise with private sector groups who can assist in donating newer computers, laptops and smart projector screens.

(6) Monitor usage by networking, time tabling and monitoring students/teachers' activities.

This might come as a surprise, but there are in fact some schools with teachers who are willing to use the resources made available to them. They just simply cannot get through to their administrators that the labs were built and given to them for a purpose and it helps no one when the equipment is locked away to gather dust.

The E-Learning unit has been doing its best to assist teachers in becoming computer literate. However, many trained users have chosen not to extend themselves to create memorable learning experiences for their students. Teachers, administrators and donors, please embrace technology by actually having students utilise the instructional resources available to them. Be true innovators by drawing our students' minds into a world of exciting learning so that they can apply what they have learnt not only to other subjects but to the wider world.

lysdave@yahoo.com

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