The situation in our partnership countries
In Slovakia, the government supports delivering of computers to schools, mainly within the government project INFOVEK. The computers are equipped with software necessary for office – use and also with pedagogical software. Computers are connected to the Internet. Teachers are invited to summer and weekend schools to gain basic skills in using the computers. The introducing of the MBL hardware into schools is still weak. Even if all new teachers have basic skills in using ICT from their teacher training, they only seldomincorporate it into their lessons.
In Spain there is not full research studies about the didactic and pedagogic interest of ICT applications in the field of science education and it’s not sure that all the secondary teachers use these kind of resources. More or less the same situation is for the simulation software.Recently some digital video assisted experiments have been used and there are some teachers who use them with students in the secondary school. In year 2003/2004 Spain iniciated general distribution of what we call “equipment for use of new thechnologies in science education” which includes computers, console (multilog) sensors, software (multilab), digital camera and microscope and a simulation software (interactive physics).
In Finland, one in five teachers uses ICT in teaching to a significant degree, while two thirds considered their pedagogic and technical information and communication technology skills inadequate (SETRIS, 2000). The versatile use of computers in learning is limited. Moreover, schools have had access to the Internet, but the active use of this media for learning science has been and is still low. ICT does not create active science learning by itself. There are also problems with a shortage of facilitators or trainers and the ability of the educational establishments to provide effective in-service training and collaboration between teachers or professional development projects of science teachers.
In the UK all teachers have had New Opportunities Fund training in ICT . However much of this training focused on basic ICT skills. Government targets have placed computers in all schools and many schools have data projectors and ‘smart’ boards. All schools are linked to the Internet. However it is clear that children rarely make good use of ICT to support their learning in science. The use of the Internet for information retrieval is the limit of experience for many learners. ICT is not often integrated into teaching plans.
In the year 1998 the Polish educational system was reformed and the use of ICT for science education was introduced into the core curricula. As the result in the years 1999-2001 all lower secondary schools in Poland EU-ISE 20 SOCRATES PROGRAMME Application form for Full Proposal were equipped with computers (1 computer with access to the Internet per 25 students), but unfortunately, they are used mostly for learning only the basic ICT skills. The lack of good quality educational software and laboratory equipment as well as the low level of teachers' competencies in the effective use of ICT has resulted in no improvement the quality of science education in Poland.
Questions and comments: Krzysztof Sluzewski
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