Importance of ICT in Schools & Benefits for Education

The consensus is that improving the quality of education cannot be done without implementing digital solutions to make ICT and teaching more inclusive and engaging in a school’s curriculum. ICT in schools is a broad canvas and will include the following:

  • Classroom based ICT equipment, such as Chromebooks, tablets and interactive whiteboards.
  • Software from school MIS systems for recording attendance to educational programs and collaborative teaching software like Lumio from SMART Technologies.
  • ICT teaching techniques incorporating technology into teaching and learning practices.

ICT in schools simplifies the administrative and technical aspects of teaching, allowing teachers to focus on lesson planning and helping students.

importance of ict in schools

Here, we have summarised the extensive benefits of ICT in schools and highlighted the best practices for maximising the simple and larger-scale integration of ICT in the classroom.

What Is ICT in Schools?

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in schools is the integration of technology with preexisting learning practices. This can be anything from interactive whiteboards, iPads and online teaching resources to the school’s computer network infrastructure.

Nowadays, most schools rely on ICT in all educational aspects of school operations, from administrative tasks to teaching and remote learning.

ICT tools for teaching and learning aren’t just for reducing the workload on school staff – they are integral to students’ education and offer the following benefits for schools:

ict for teaching and learning

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Facilitating ICT and Teaching

ICT doesn’t replace teachers. Instead, it reinforces their central role in education by removing the burden of otherwise mundane tasks.

Accordingly, teachers will shift their time and energy toward their students, as ICT will help with the following:

  • Accessing students’ information, such as attendance records and taking the register, with school management software.
  • Assigning personalised tasks through learning platforms like Moodle or sharing assignments with collaborative software such as LYNX or the SMART Learning Suite. These packages can be free, like with LYNX, or with a paid subscription, purchased with a SMART whiteboard from suppliers like Classroom365. Other brands of interactive whiteboards use their own bespoke software based on Android OS.
  • Obtaining the latest educational resources and remaining up-to-date on teaching practices.
  • Easily integrating remote learning with tools like Google Workspace into the existing curriculum.
  • Presenting teaching resources engagingly with any kind of electronic whiteboard. A wide variety of brands and sizes are available to suit every budget and learning space. Classroom365 recommends a 75” electronic whiteboard for average classroom sizes and a 65” for smaller rooms.
how to use ict in the classroom

Importance of ICT in Education for Accessible Learning

According to the International Dyslexia Association, about 14% of students require special education. So, inclusion is essential for a healthy learning environment.

ICT is the key to accessible education. The wide variety of digital education resources ensures that students receive information in a method that perfectly fits their needs.

Moreover, assistive technology makes for accessible learning, as students can toggle different features, which helps them fully participate in the class. The accessibility features available range from text-to-speech functionality to the benefits of visual and audio representation with an interactive whiteboard in the classroom.

benefits of ict in schools

Teachers can also personalise tasks and closely monitor online activity for important safeguarding issues from any device connected to the school’s network.

Efficient Communication

ICT is the solution to communication barriers in schools. Technology connects teachers and students seamlessly, making this collaborative learning environment possible.

For example, schools can set up a comprehensive and inclusive learning environment with Google Workspace for Education or Microsoft 365 for Education. Both are excellent ICT tools where students can engage and collaborate with their teachers.

The beauty of these is their remote learning aspect, as they work over the Internet and have cross-platform functionality. Students can use a Chromebook to access Microsoft Teams – we all know Windows devices run the Chrome browser. Chromebooks have the added benefit of being considerably cheaper than Windows laptops, particularly when purchased in bulk from a supplier like Classroom365, which specialises in Chromebooks and Google integration.

These communication tools and learning environments promote self-learning. Since students have access to all the data and help they need, they’ll find the learning style that’s most suitable for them. Moreover, pupils are more likely to be innovative with projects and collaborate with their peers. They can even send their homework and assignments back electronically.

information and communication technology in schools

Skill Development

Regardless of the career path students choose after graduating, they will likely need digital skills. ICT helps with that as students and teachers become familiar with different digital platforms and tools. TikTok doesn’t teach you everything!

ICT enhances students’ education, preparing them for higher education and our technology-mad world.

Cost Reduction

In addition to creating a fluid learning experience, ICT in schools is a practical solution that drastically cuts costs, achieving savings of up to 31%. Here’s how:

  • Less reliance on physical copies and lower printing costs with print management software.
  • Scalability of many ICT solutions and services, adapting to the changing educational landscape and the rising number of students.
  • Administrative automation equates to a decrease in manual labour costs.
  • Remote learning decreases in-person training costs, such as in-school amenities and travel expenses.

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what is ict in teaching and learning

Integrating ICT in the Classroom

Numerous steps are required for efficient ICT integration in schools, as many ICT tools are relatively expensive. For this reason, it’s essential to understand their significance and how to make the most of them. Schools need a forward looking plan for successful ICT implementation. This would take into account all the aspects described below, along with the ICT budgeting requirements.

Staff Training and Support

School staff and teachers alike must understand how to use ICT. This must be gradual, so teachers learn to integrate ICT into their teaching style. They will start learning more functional aspects of the technology, and in turn, the lesson plans will evolve into teaching a more engaging curriculum.

This shouldn’t be a one-time occurrence, either. Instead, staff training must be continuous. This way, schools can rationalise the role of ICT, choose the best systems, and allocate the budget required to make the magic happen.

Even the best ICT systems need support – from hardware to software – and schools need to choose recommended and qualified ICT support that understands the education sector’s specific requirements. Supporting technology in a bank is very different from working in a school or across a multi-academy trust.

With ICT becoming more integrated with safeguarding in schools, the designated safeguarding leader (DSL) is now responsible for monitoring students online and Keeping Children Safe in Education (KCSIE). This requires technical training and support for the ICT software, whichever monitoring software is used. Classroom365 recommends the following monitoring software to schools:

  • Classroom Cloud by NetSupport.
  • Smoothwall Monitor.
  • Impero Software (recently rebranded to Ativion).

Each has its merits and can be included in a school’s broadband package or purchased separately. For example, if Classroom365 supplies your broadband with the Smoothwall Firewall and Filter, it can make sense to add the Smoothwall Monitor.

importance of ict in education

Choosing Digital Resources

The simplest form of ICT can make a world of difference in a capable teacher’s hands. This includes educational videos, e-books, and interactive whiteboard software. Everyone knows the resources YouTube has – it’s free and so simple to use. A lot of software for interactive whiteboards is free and can be used across devices. LYNX from Clevertouch is an excellent example of free interactive software, and you don’t even need a Clevertouch Screen to use it! Learn all about Clevertouch screens and Classroom365. As an accredited partner, we can provide up-to-date pricing for their interactive screens for the education sector.

Then, there are more advanced tools, such as screen mirroring software, which allows teachers to show what is on students’ screens on the teacher’s classroom screen.

These are software examples, but hardware ICT procurement choices must also be made. Many schools are choosing to become “Google Schools,” replacing Windows laptops with classroom Chromebooks and embracing Google Workspace for Education.

An iPad makes a fantastic complementary learning tool for classrooms. However, Classroom365 don’t recommend iPads or tablets as an all-in-one teaching solution for schools. Still, their simplicity of use, reliability, and long battery life mean they offer a great addition to the classroom. With a wide range of educational apps, they are particularly useful for early years and KS1.

In fact, we recommend a hybrid approach to teaching the ICT curriculum, which gives students multiple devices to experience different technologies in the classroom.

the importance of ict in the classroom

Using ICT for Teaching and Learning

ICT provides many different opportunities for learning and digesting information. The vast majority of students learn more with visual representation than written text. Many studies on this have been conducted over the years. This study reported that over 60% of information was retained compared with just oral or written presentations. So, how can ICT improve teaching?

  • Creating visually engaging diagrams, pictures and annotations using interactive whiteboards.
  • Collaboration and screen sharing with students’ laptops, tablets or Chromebooks.
  • The vast amount of information available online enables students to research topics at their fingertips in the classroom and through remote learning.

Using ICT in the classroom isn’t enough to guarantee an enhanced learning experience. Teachers need to understand the tools and adapt them to fit their students’ needs and goals.

what is the meaning of ict in education

Strategic Planning for Procurement

Schools should consider a long-term plan for ICT procurement. A 5 to 7-year ICT strategy encompassing procurement, rollout, and support is something Classroom365 recommends for all schools, whether a multi-academy trust or an individual school.

In a nutshell, a successful strategy is built from the ground up. Get the basics right with the ICT infrastructure and build from there. There is no point in purchasing laptops and iPads if the school WiFi is flaky or non-existent. Classroom365 has 15 years of experience and plenty of recommendations regarding best practices for WiFi in education settings.

A significant outlay on the wrong type of hardware can be a waste of money and hinder ICT development. Not only will money be wasted on the ICT hardware, but installation costs will be duplicated if the hardware requires replacing after only 1 or 2 years.

An example is a school purchasing a bundle of refurbished iPads from an online reseller, thinking they are getting good value. The iPad Gen 10 64GB WiFi price for education has dropped considerably since its release in 2022, and we have seen schools pay more for old refurbished kit than if they purchased new ones.

The situation with refurbished laptops is worse. Sometimes, it is difficult to tell the age of a computer without knowing what to look for. Don’t buy a 6-year-old laptop by mistake! Research what you are buying and who you are purchasing from. Not every reputable supplier is on an educational framework like the CCS, but it can give a helpful guide to a company’s integrity.

If funds are unavailable and budgets strained, it is much better to consider leasing for large ICT projects or equipment refurbishments, as spending can be budgeted for over 3 to 5 years. You cannot lease refurbished hardware; you can only lease brand-new equipment. Obviously, there is a cost involved in leasing iPads or laptops, but you may be surprised when the leasing figures are calculated!

what is ict in education

Summary of the Importance of ICT in Education

The importance of ICT in education cannot be stressed enough in 2024. In the hands of well-trained teachers and administrative staff, students will reap the benefits not just in the short term but over the long term. The investment made now will last throughout their education.

As an education IT specialist, Classroom365 is a support partner for schools, working to improve all elements of ICT in education.

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