Design and Information Technology in the
BY SHEILA RHODES
It is our obligation as educators to prepare our students with the skills and attitudes they will need to be responsible and productive citizens. Curriculum needs to be modified and made more appropriate for today, when the integration of technology into society is far more visible than in the past. In this ever changing world, students must learn about new technology, how it will affect their lives and how to use it to their best advantage.
In the Board of Education for the City of York, we are actively pursuing approaches that address the need for technologically aware pupils. Students from Kindergarten to the Ontario Academic Credit (previously grade 13) level are involved in programs that are both relevant and participatory and involve using and learning about technologies. Two major strands that have emerged are Design Technology and Information Technology.
Design Technology can be viewed as creative problem solving. The
components of design education lend themselves to an infinite number of
solutions to the same problem and produce concrete results by which the student
draws on previously gained knowledge to develop new ideas. Students come to
view difficulties as new opportunities, not disappointments.
Information Technology allows students to grasp a working familiarity with technologies that handle data and information. It focuses on using microprocessor-based equipment; on using text, graphics, and video or audio equipment. Skills for using simple information technologies are developed in the lower grades and the program becomes fully integrated into curriculum with greater sophistication (1).
The introduction of these programs and new technologies, such as the widespread use of computers, has had a major impact on the classroom learning environment. Teachers have been "expected to integrate these technologies into their curriculum and to develop diverse teaching strategies appropriate for today's world.