Review: ICTs in the Primary School

ICTs in the Primary School is a book published by the Dublin West Education Centre and written by Robbie O’Leary and John O’Mahoney, two very well known primary school teachers in Tallaght, Dublin.  With a huge buzz around technology in the classroom, this book is well timed in its publication.

The book itself comes in two parts.  The first is written by O’Leary and O’Mahoney themselves, where they provide practical advice and strategies for integrating ICT into their school plans.  As many teachers would know, Sacred Heart Senior National School, where both teachers are based, (O’Leary is the principal of the school), is one of the leading schools in Ireland for using technology simply but effectively with primary school children.  Having started my own teaching career in this school, I can absolutely vouch for the fact that this school uses technology in the best possible way without making it daunting for even the least techy of teachers.

The authors explore ideas such as how teachers can make their own digital activities or help children create digital stories; they look at the areas of Special Needs and ICT and Whole School approaches to ICT.  They also decipher how best to use different applications in the classroom.

The second part of the book is a series of articles written by other educators who have a keen interest in ICT at primary level.  There is a great mix of authors who discuss items such as Web publishing for schools and Internet resources for Primary Maths.  I’ve slipped in a chapter about using technology in a multigrade setting too.

The main thing I really like about the book is that it focuses on children’s learning rather than the technology itself.  The technology is there in the background while the learning comes to the forefront.  There is nothing in this book that would frighten a typical teacher.  In fact, the opposite will occur.  It will inspire any teacher and keep their head buzzing with fantastic ideas for many years to come.

One copy of ICTs in the Primary School has been sent to every primary school in the country and further copies are available from the Dublin West Education Centre.  A second book will be published later this year, which will focus on simple ways that ICTs can help children learn about literacy and numeracy.

Last Update: August 22, 2017  

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