Using the power of research to inform ICT integration in education

Ching, G. S. (2009). Implications of an experimental information technology curriculum for elementary students. Computers & Education53(2), 419-428.

The information technology (IT) of today forms an integral part of everyday living, thus the nurture of children’s IT awareness early in life is crucial. Young children have an innate curiosity for IT which suggests that in the school environment it can easily be integrated with other subjects in thematic and interdisciplinary curriculum. This quasi-experimental study used the Technology Foundation Standards for Students of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) project on National Educational Technology Standards (NETS) as the basis to design a thematic and interdisciplinary IT curriculum for elementary students. A total of 1273 elementary students and 12 computer teachers were separated into either a control or experimental group. After one academic year, students’ final scores in English, mathematics, science, social studies, and art were gathered and compared. Statistical analysis indicated that there were significant differences in the experimental group’s academic scores. Findings also suggested that an interdisciplinary curriculum design opened opportunity for collaborative work and cohesiveness among faculty. Further longitudinal studies are recommended to examine the long-term implications of a thematic and interdisciplinary IT curriculum design.

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