*What are digital technologies?
Digital technologies enable our students to access a wealth of up-to-date digital resources,
collaborate locally and globally, enhance existing material and create new material. They
include electronic devices and tools that manage and manipulate information and data.
*Why use digital technologies in the classroom?
When used successfully, digital technologies have the potential to transform teaching and
learning. The effective use of technology in the classroom encourages active learning,
knowledge construction, inquiry and exploration among students. It should enhance an existing
task or provide opportunities to do things that could not be done without it. It can also enhance
the role of assessment, providing new ways of students to demonstrate evidence of learning.
New technologies are redefining relationships and enabling new opportunities. But there are
also risks, so we should encourage our students to be knowledgeable about and responsible in
their use of technology. Integrating technology into our teaching helps prepare students for a
future rooted in an increasingly digitized world.
*What are the challenges of using digital technologies?
The key to ensuring the technology is used effectively is to remember that it is simply a
resource, and not an end in itself. As with the use of all resources, the key is not to start with the
resource itself, but to start with what you want the student to learn. We need to think carefully
about why and how to use technologies as well as evaluating their efficiency and effectiveness.
If students are asked to use digital technologies as part of their homework, it is important that all
students are able to access the relevant technology outside school. GISU thinks about a
response to any ‘digital challenges’, because if technology is ‘adding value’, then all students
need to benefit. GISU chooses to make resources available to students in various ways.
Safety for students and teachers is a key challenge for GISU and it is important to consider
issues such as the prevention of cyber-bullying, the hacking of personal information, access to
illegal or banned materials and distractions from learning. As technology changes, teachers
need to adapt and implement policies and rules.
One of the greatest pitfalls is for the teacher to feel that they are not skilled technologists, and
therefore not to try. Creative things can be done with simple technology, and a highly effective
teacher who knows very little about technology can often achieve much more than a less effective teacher who is a technology expert. Knowing how to use technology is not the same as
knowing how to teach with it.