Advantages and disadvantages of using IT in teaching CME

The Hong Kong SAR Government initiated Information Technology (IT) education in Hong Kong in 1997 Policy Address. It was announced that each secondary school would have an average of 82 computers for teaching various subjects. By mid 2000, the library, staff room, computer-assisted learning room or computer rooms would be linked up by a LAN (Local Area Network).IT skills have become vital. This trend has brought far-reaching impact to our community. It has affected almost everyone -from primary school students to company directors. Teachers should familiarize themselves with using IT in teaching. They are also expected to provide IT assisted lessons to their students.The most obvious advantage is using the Internet to enrich one’s knowledge and most people enjoy browsing web sites. It is easy for teachers as well as students to collect information. They can browse through web sites to find useful information. Basically, Internet is a main source of information in the 21st century. In Hong Kong the number of Internet users has multiplied rapidly over the past few years.Secondary, power-point can add colour to the lesson. Students can read the messages more easily. Important messages can be highlighted easily. Also a picture does not have a “cramped look”. It is easier for the teacher. He does not have to bother with writing on the blackboard. Also the files can be stored easily in the hard disk and it is equally easy to be retrieved. It is convenient and environmentally friendly. In addition to that, the said files can be shared by all members of the panel. Further more, songs, videotape programmes, slides, radio-play cassettes and topic related films can be played. This can be done efficiently and effortlessly. Students enjoy watching and listening better because they do not have to share the screen with their classmates. Enough time can be allocated to hold discussions so that students have more opportunities to learn.

However, on the Internet, students can come across obscene and indecent information. Students should be guided how to deal with issues as protecting intellectual laws, cyberspace crime, obscene and indecent information while on line. Who can help them? Their parents may put forward many excuses. Hence, we teachers have to shoulder this responsibility whether we like it or not. Thus, it is very important that teachers should be familiar with IT. There is another danger- teacher and students may become Internet addicts.To sum up, the teaching of CME must be student centered. Effectiveness of teaching is measured not by how much of the intended materials the students learn. The promotion of students’ interest in the subject is very helpful to activate students’ learning process and IT is certainly a very useful means.