Having read the article by Hilary Wilce on children who use laptops across the curriculum (Friday, December 1), I want to defend the use of other computer hardware and those of us in primary education who are developing the skills of children from the ages of three to 11.
over the past two years, we have introduced two suites of computers (totalling 25 machines). The children throughout the school, including those with special needs, can manipulate a range of software. We have children in year 6 who prepare Powerpoint presentations that are the envy of our school advisers. Our children can also input digital pictures and present them in a range of formats. All our computers are networke and internet-friendly. Files prepared by staff are easily shared across the network, which is not possible using laptops.
Computers are in classrooms and the library so that children can access dictionaries, encyclopedias and the internet. Our staff give their time after school to run an ICT club that is phased through years 3,4,5 and 6 because the demand is so great we have to limit numbers.
When a headteacher sees an art lesson with year 2 children using a suite of computers to create work in the style of Mondrian, then he knows the value of the fully timetabled, integrated computer.
Peter Cunningham, Headteacher, Sacred Heart RC primary school, Colne, Lancashire