In a world where technology is a second nature to most teenagers, some parents and pupils are beginning to question the relevance of ICT. Many students find themselves being taught things they’ve either known for years or can pick up within fifteen minutes, meaning that some can become bored and disillusioned with the subject. However, the fact that we live in a world of technology only makes it more crucial that all students are given the skills they need to keep up with this rapidly developing world. Not all children have access to a computer at home and ICT teaches some of the most transferrable skills that will be useful if not crucial to a number of jobs. So, why exactly is ICT so useful? Let’s take a look at some specific reasons:
- ICT allows students to develop their ability to learn new software quickly and efficiently. This is an extremely useful and desirable skill which will make young people more adaptable and versatile students.
- It helps students work well in many other subjects. ICT is used in a variety of other subjects from Mathematics to Art, so being able to navigate computers and programs confidently will be useful to pupils in nearly any subject they decide to pursue. They will be able to concentrate on the task in question, without struggling with the software they are expected to use for it.
- ICT involves a lot of independent problem solving. Students will encounter many problems within their ICT work and the longer they study it and continue to solve more issues, the better they will become at it. Problem solving is a transferrable skill which will prevent the younger generations from being daunted by technical problems in various areas of their lives. In ICT pupils are provided with a safe environment to make their own errors and to learn how to overcome them.
- A variety of job opportunities rely on a candidate’s ICT abilities. So to put their students in with a good chance of a career, schools must be teaching ICT or risk them getting left behind. In a world where most teenagers are extremely confident on computers, it is crucial that all schools make a conscious effort to teach their pupils how to navigate a computer and basic programs and search engines.
- ICT teaches young people how to be safe on the internet. Now that so many online communities are blossoming and more and more children and teenagers are becoming active on the internet, it is vital that students are informed about the risks associated with the internet. ICT teaches them how to be sensible, safe and responsible when using the internet.
- ICT is an amazing resource for tackling underachievement. When I was younger my parents made me play a maths space game to improve my lack of knowledge of the timetables and, although it wasn’t my favourite thing to do, it was a lot more engaging than maths lessons and my timetables improved a lot. Similarly, ICT has been used effectively to tackle boys’ underachievement in writing and poetry classes.
So, while many students may find themselves re-learning skills in ICT they have already been taught and perhaps GCSE ICT is too basic for those more able students, ICT guarantees that all students have a sound knowledge of how computers and related technologies work. It is crucial that all young people are given an equal opportunity to know how to use technology, after all they will come to rely on it when they start work.