Today I accompanied my year one class to their ICT lesson and I must say I was more then shocked at the the expectation placed on these 6 year old children and they way they were basically ‘left to their own devices’ to search something about Australia. I have completed my cyber smart training and agree with Kahla that children must know that if something happens online they need to let an adult know straight away. But I personally think cyber safety has more to do with cyber bullying.
My personal concern was they why the teacher was at 1 end of the tech lab with one child, she had no idea what another child was doing at the other end of the room and more importantly what was appearing on the screen of ‘google’ especially when the children weren’t given specific words to search, all they had to do was think about something to do with Australia and then research it. When one of the children said she couldn’t read the information, the class was told to add ‘for kids’ at the end of the search.
Now Im sorry, but I do not think this was an appropriate use of ICT at all and not one child got anything out of the lesson bar having a great chat with their neighbours. I think this lesson was aimed at teaching them how to use google to find information, but when you have a class of 26 children with differing ability levels and some that are not confident readers, the children are not going to participate effectively and of course are going to become restless and talkative. I think this class was a perfect example of trying to make young children engage with ICT and technology that is too complex for their understanding and ability levels, I don’t necessarily think these is always a positive in engaging with ICT throughout the classroom.