There is no question that ICT hardware such as interactive whiteboards, mobile technology or software such as educational games can help improve pupils’ learning if used creatively and intelligently.
The aim of any 2015 ICT teaching is surely to produce pupils who are confident, safe, healthy & ethical learners who can access and use ICT as an essential life skill which enhances their ability to communicate, create and collaborate.
There also needs to be an understanding that technology is everywhere and has the potential to positively change children’s lives. However, we should also recognise the amount of time children spend in front of screens and the potential harm this could cause them. We have a commitment to ensure children leave school with the skills to adapt and use technology successfully & should ensure this through both traditional ICT lessons and the promotion of ‘unplugged computing’.
Unplugged computing allows children to learn all about the ICT curriculum through offline games & problem solving activities which behave as computers would traditionally. Children will carry out true ICT learning without needing to use computers.
In terms of mindfulness & Buddhist principles, ICT lessons provide children with opportunities to understand globalisation and the interconnected nature of our modern world through positive & contextualised use of the internet.
Through learning about e-safety and through our topics on social networking for children children are provided a real context in which to practice our child friendly 5 precepts and see how they should still apply to the online world.
The Five Precepts
- I will try not to harm anyone or anything in our school.
- I will try to be caring towards the people I share the school with.
- I will try to keep healthy and keep my mind calm.
- I will ask when I want to borrow something and share.
- I will try to be truthful and use mindful speech.
This includes looking after our equipment and sharing it, caring for the online community and being mindful in the way we speak online, thinking about copyright issues and plagiarism and thinking about how we can healthily and constructively use technology for good. Through programming, algorithms and instructional writing children can see the relationships between computational thinking and the act of Right Mindfulness – Concentrating on what is at the forefront of your mind, the present moment, and acknowledging its relationship to loving kindness & compassion.