Optimum implementation of information technology in elementary education

SUDAREVIC, Ana and MILICKI, Jasna (2019) Optimum implementation of information technology in elementary education. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2019 - Athens, Greece - Libraries: dialogue for change in Session S05 - Continuing Professional Development and Workplace Learning. In: Librarians and information professionals as (pro)motors of change: immersing, including and initiating digital transformation for smart societies, 20-21 August 2019, Zagreb, Croatia.

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Language: English (Original)
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Abstract

Optimum implementation of information technology in elementary education

It is well known that reading and writing techniques are learned throughout childhood and that they have a great significance for further development of each individual and the society in general. However, in this day and age children make their first contact with language and script using the widespread digital media. Later in life this will have a negative effect on their ability to recognize letters and start reading. Nowadays Croatian schools are experiencing intensive informatization of educational process. It is expected that modern technology will be used daily, for several hours. On the other hand, we have been witnessing everyday (mis)use of technology by the young people in their free time. The questions then arise: how much time will the students be exposed to the influence of the media on a daily basis, either for educational purposes or for fun? What consequences will this exposure have for them? Numerous researches have shown that overexposure to technology affects cognitive abilities of young people. It is true that young people possess technological skills which they use much more efficiently than the older population, but at the same time they have difficulties assessing or evaluating the sources of information. One of the possible problems is their lack of knowledge about how information is organized or the lack of previous knowledge of a certain field. As far as texts are concerned, most young people will choose printed ones because they think that learning through electronic media is tiresome. The (in)efficiency of learning from e-books is related to excessive use of hyperlinks and other links that divert attention. At the beginning of the school year 2019/2020, Croatian schools will introduce curricular reform which will be accompanied by an emphasized use of tablets and digital content. As educational experts, we advocate optimum implementation of media as technology that makes communication easier, but does not condition it. Communication in educational institutions should be mostly oriented towards quality, content of information and critical approach and to a lesser extent towards the possibilities offered by the media as a means of communication. As to the use of multimedia technology for educational purposes, the e-book and e-reading will be related to specific tasks, research, projects and tasks in popular science area. On the other hand, printed books will still be read in free time, for pleasure and for literary needs. The above are the results of our research done on reading e-books in elementary schools in the Republic of Croatia. With this research we have shown that the so-called Google generation still does not like reading online, including the assigned reading at schools. As it turns out, the assumption that the young people who have been surrounded by the new technology since their birth, will likewise be more interested in reading texts in the new media, is in fact wrong, despite favourable technical conditions. They use the internet and the technology for communication and for fun, but rarely for studying. Therefore, a pilot survey among eighth grade students is about to be conducted. It will show their attitudes and reflections about using more media at the same time (multitasking) and how it affects their studying. It will also show whether the students’ attitude toward e-books and reading has changed.

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