Caught up in the everyday use of information and communications technology (ICT) - the nitty-gritty of hardware upgrades or the pressing need for better network integration - it's easy for teachers working with computers to become bogged down by purely technical details and lose sight of the bigger picture of technology in education.
Which is where Information and Communications Technology and Education comes in. This short book, part of the Institute of Education's Perspectives on Education Policy series, provides an overview of current use and future prospects for ICT in schools.
Author David Guile tackles his subject from four perspectives - economic, equity, democratic, and development - and his approach provides a framework for schools to relate their ICT plans to internal factors, such as the need for changes in pedagogy, and external factors, such as the potential for new social division.
He also provides a helpful classification of ICTs as multimedia, computer mediated access, and computer mediated communication, before defining the purpose of each and relating it to pedagogy.
Guile also includes some discussion of the nature of learning and the place of ICT that compares didactic approaches to inquiry-based learning and links these approaches to the ICT types used in the book. Successful use of ICT in schools is highlighted by case studies from around the world.
He concludes with some key messages and outlines the challenges for schools in developing a future learning environment that makes effective use of the opportunities offered by ICT.
Information and Communication Technology and Education is wide-ranging and provides a well-structured, thought-provoking overview of the use of ICT in schools today.
For those teachers who are already convinced of the powerful role that ICT can have in education, this book will be provide a concise summary of current developments. But those teachers looking to align the use of ICT with their own educational perspective could do far worse than start here for a sound introduction.