Press Release
Knowledge Network will be trading in Australia under the trademark KnowNet.
Release date 09 May 2000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Structured approach to integration of Information Technology in the classroom

Technology partnership with Knowledge Network provides Pridwin Preparatory School with a winning formula for educators and learners. The best news for the school is that there is no waiting time for learners or educators in the integration of technology in all learning areas.

"Pridwin Preparatory School seeks to provide an excellent educational foundation which equips its children with the values, flexibility and the skills to play a meaningful role in our continuously changing society. Part of our vision is to provide learners with a learning environment which is modern, where technology is used to enhance the learning process, to provide a learning experience which increases the rate of learning and develops learners laterally, says Mr Simon Weaver, Principal of Pridwin Preparatory School

For a long time the integration of technology into the curriculum has been an issue that has been discussed amongst the staff. They have grappled with the concept of using the content of a particular subject merely as a vehicle to teach various skills. They strive to teach the boys how and where to find relevant information and how to use it correctly.

In July 1999, Pridwin elected to become a Partner School of Knowledge Network because they realised the importance of having an outcomes based computer curriculum that is structured and relevant. Knowledge Network appealed to the school because of their expertise in both the school and corporate markets. In this way Pridwin felt that they could ensure that their pupils were adequately prepared for their college and university careers while at the same time meeting the immediate needs of the pupils.

The accelerated development of the boys' computer skills through the Knowledge Network curriculum has added a third dimension to integration - that of including technology - and the teachers have become increasingly aware of the trap of simply using computers for the sake of technology and not using the computer as a tool to develop the learners.

Managing Director of Knowledge Network, Jil Hrdliczka met with the Headmaster, Mr Simon Weaver and provided the ultimate solution for Pridwin - a strategy whereby each staff member becomes actively involved in integrating technology into his/her area of specialisation.

The strategy included the Knowledge Network Seminar in Integration of IT in the classroom for all teachers, which was held on 08 May.

During the seminar it became clear that, if integration is approached in the correct way from the outset, success is inevitable for both the educator and the learner. The importance of the computer centres having two functions became apparent during the seminar.

On the one hand, it is a computer centre where new IT and life skills are learned using the Knowledge Network curriculum and where fun, lateral thinking and a steady progression of new skills is ensured. On the other hand, the computer centre becomes a resource centre where pupils are able to apply the IT skills they have gained in the curriculum to a project or class exercise for any subject. This ensures that all learners develop the IT skills they need to produce work faster, more accurately and with less focus on the skills and a greater focus on the use of the computer as a tool for learning in particular subject areas.

Mrs Ann Clark, Director of Operations at Knowledge Network who was appointed by Knowledge Network to present the seminar says that initially some of the teachers were apprehensive, as are many teachers when approached on the subject of integration of IT in their learning areas.

"During the seminar the teachers were reassured of the fact that the standard of their subject would not drop in any way, as the assessment of the computer-related tasks still remains subject-driven. If integration is implemented in a structured way, teachers should see quite the opposite. Over a period, there should be a marked difference in the standard of their subject. The standard will be higher, the learning easier and faster for the learners and a marked difference in language skills and overall general knowledge."

The key to the IT integration formula provided by Knowledge Network is keeping the learners and educators "in tune". Educators need to know what the learners can do using technology and the learners need to have the IT skills in order to produce the work.

Principal Mr Simon Weaver, says that the staff are feeling happier and more confident about IT in the learning environment. The staff were also relieved to hear that it is not necessary for them to have all the required skills for each computer task. Effective and meaningful integration of technology in the classroom can take place immediately and educators who are not involved in IT can develop skills they wish to have in their own time, at their own pace. 

"Computers are a vehicle for the reinforcement of new information that has been taught in the classroom. The main emphasis remains the particular subject at all times. The concept of first learning and then applying the new knowledge in a practical and meaningful way using computers becomes the focus. In this way all tasks become relevant to real-life situations," says Weaver.

The ultimate benefit of Pridwin's approach will be for the boys at the School, who on leaving the school, will have had the opportunity to excel in subjects they previously found difficult, will be ahead of other learners of their age, and will have developed talents they never thought they had. 

 

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Date of update: 18 February 2009