Don't forget the bugs;News;News amp; Opinion

12th November 1999 at 00:00
Neil Munro and David Henderson report from the annual Edinburgh conference, run by the TESS and the city council

THERE is a lot more to introducing technology into the classroom than simply having the equipment there, according to Tony Finn, headteacher of St Andrew's High in Kirkcaldy.

The school is involved in a project aimed at applying information and communication technology (ICT) to pupils' learning. It had taken staff some time to feel comfortable with it, Mr Finn said. "Teachers need time to make mistakes and to try things out."

He stressed the importance of finding "an appropriate balance" between learning and technology. "We have found this varies from department to department within the school. In some departments, ICT fits naturally with the curriculum; in others, less so.

"We don't want to use the technology artificially. There is a temptation to use it because it's there. But if you use it only because it's there, it may not be to the pupils' best advantage."

Mr Finn said there was "a big job" to be done in Scotland drawing together all the material available through the Internet which might, say, meet the needs of the 5-14 curriculum.

He hoped the Scottish Virtual Teachers' Centre, which was "a bit disappointing at present", would eventually develop sites that would help teachers and pupils to search for relevant material.

He said he did not know whether ICT had raised attainment in his school. "I don't much care either. I care whether attainment is raised or not, of course, but is it because of technology or the various other means we use or because of good teaching?

"I suspect it's a combination of all these things."

Subscribe

To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers
Already have a TES Digital Subscription
Add subscription number

Comments

Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
 
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today