ICT in Classrooms: Problem or Opportunity?

03/11/14
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The UIC's Faculty of Education hosted a roundtable discussion on "The Screen Effect and School in the 21st Century", which was organized by the Parents' Union and attended by approximately 150 people. Arancha Ruiz, a professional in the field of executive search, Guillermo Cánovas, the President of PROTÉGELES, and Dolors Reig, a psychologist and the editor of El Caparazón, were the speakers at the debate, which was moderated by the Dean of the UIC's Faculty of Education, Enric Vidal.

The auditorium of the UIC’s Faculty of Education was the setting for a debate attended by around 150 people on the role that should be played by ICT in schools. “This roundtable discussion does not aim to present a Yes/No dichotomy: rather, the objective is to discuss the advantages and/or disadvantages, both actual and potential, of installing new communications technologies in classrooms”, said Faculty Dean Enric Vidal upon introducing the roundtable discussion, which was titled “The Screen Effect and School in the 21st Century: Innovation, Modernization, Passing Fad or Distraction?”. “ICT is part of the everyday lives of the younger generations and is gradually becoming more important in schools. We are looking at a revolution of similar dimensions to the one introduced by the printing press”, he went on.

The guest speakers then proceeded to present their own views on the subject, with one of the main topics being the necessity of teaching our children and/or students to be discerning. “They’re always going to know more about ICT than us, but at school we have to make them wise”, argued Dolors Reig. “We’re talking about educating people for the new market, which requires anthropologists, people who are capable of understanding rapidly changing trends”, continued Arancha Ruiz.

It was clear from the various opinions expressed that there is a need to teach children – and their teachers – how to discern. “Regardless of whether we use ICT in education, it is necessary to know how it works; we cannot enter into conflict with it”, stated Guillermo Cánovas.

“It is necessary to incorporate a module on Digital Culture into the curriculum, in order to teach students how to manage their ‘digital footprint’ ”, affirmed Vidal. “It is a joint effort: technology can contribute many positive things, but teachers must undergo training in order to compensate for the potential side effects such as impatience and immediacy. In the future, we will also need to teach young people how to switch off”, he concluded.