School IT Blog

Computer Technology In Primary Schools – Recent Studies

Wed 18 May, 2016

It seems that computer technology is developing at the speed of light, with amazing new hardware and apps being produced all the time. With all of these developments it’s sometimes hard to know what is best to use, and how these technologies can revolutionise the classroom. That’s why we’ve looked into the latest research, to let you know what the experts are saying about computer technology in primary education. Taking advantage of the most up-to-date developments to enhance your teaching can bring your classroom buzzing into life and engage your students as they grow in their learning.

Using computer technology across the curriculum, rather than confining it to ICT lessons, has been championed by education experts in recent years. For example, a study published in March 2016 [1] recommended that a Visual Programming Language be implemented across the curriculum for Year 6 students. Applications that introduce a programming element allow students to create and develop programs, including animations, games, interfaces, and presentations, which makes the learning process highly interactive and visualised, therefore increasing student levels of engagement and ability to learn.

A further study [2] has also shown how computer technology can help language-minority students to participate fully in their education and overcome language associated difficulties. For schools in large, multicultural areas this use of technology will be imperative to allow all students to access education fully. Using technology that is accessible in a number of languages in the classroom lets your students learn the language of instruction by context and reference.

It’s not just group learning in the classroom that can be revolutionised by using computer technology. Research published in February of this year shows that the use of specific programmes can vastly improve reading skills amongst primary school children, particularly for those students who prefer to read silently [3]. Apps such as these use smart games to engage readers and track progress, making distracted or shy readers more likely to participate in the task. You can also think about using apps such as these to track progress outside of the classroom. If you ask your students to do reading practice using a fun and engaging app such as this, they’ll forget they’re even doing homework!


References

[1] López, José Manuel Sáez, Marcos Román González, and Esteban Vázquez Cano. "Visual Programming Languages Integrated across the Curriculum in Elementary School: A Two Year Case Study Using “scratch” in Five Schools." Computers & Education (2016): n. pag.ScienceDirect. Web. 15 Mar. 2016.

[2] Laere, Evelien Van, Orhan Agirdag, and Johan Van Braak. "Supporting Science Learning in Linguistically Diverse Classrooms: Factors Related to the Use of Bilingual Content in a Computer-based Learning Environment." Computers in Human Behavior 57 (2016): 428-41. Science Direct. Web. 15 Mar. 2016.

[3] Dina, Di Giacomo, Cofini Vincenza, Di Mascio Tania, Cecilia Maria Rosita, Fiorenzi Daniela, Gennari Rosella, and Vittorini Pierpaolo. "The Silent Reading Supported by Adaptive Learning Technology: Influence in the Children Outcomes." Computers in Human Behavior55 (2016): 1125-130. ACM Digital Library. Web. 15 Mar. 2016.