Download article (.pdf) | By OECD/CERI Secretariat | Published in Learning to Change: ICT in Schools, OECD/CERI, 2001
ICT encourages – and ultimately requires – a rapprochement between formal education and the learning that takes place outside school. It brings impressive channels of communication between students, teachers, parents and the wider community, that must be purposefully developed and actively sustained. The most effective learning environment is one based on a dynamic partnership between home and school, formal and informal, teacher and taught. This underscores the seriousness of the situation for students who have inadequate home facilities, who are on the wrong side of the “digital divide”.
In large measure it is teachers who mediate to students the wealth of learning opportunities afforded by ICT. To be effective in fulfilling this role, they need opportunities for professional development on a continuing basis, first to establish sufficient technical competence and familiarity, but then to know how to weave the new techniques into their teaching and learning strategies. None of this, however, is sufficient in itself. The whole ethos of the school must be conducive to the new approaches. The equipment must be available on a suitable scale and fully maintained, with technical and pedagogical support in place.
It is, moreover, in the nature of ICT to facilitate learning beyond the bounds of the school. Self-directed learning with ICT at home or in the community becomes an integral and important aspect of the total learning experience. More than hitherto, there is a dynamic complementarity between learning in school and learning at home. This article looks at school organisation and leadership, the support needed and how it may be attained. It considers how ICT-enabled learning at home extends the work in school, and how ICT enhances the relationship between home and school.