An investigation into the use of CD-Rom technology by pupils in mainstream primary schools

McDevitt, Ann (1998) An investigation into the use of CD-Rom technology by pupils in mainstream primary schools. Masters thesis, Middlesex University. [Thesis]

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The 1994 CD-ROM in Primary schools government initiative increased by over two thousand, the number of primary schools who were using CD-ROM technology with their pupils. The investigation focuses of the way that this technology was being introduced, and later used, in four schools in two English shire counties. The findings are compared and contrasted with the results from a postal survey of primary schools, with postal addresses in the same two counties, who received a complete CD-ROM system under that 1994 government initiative as well as the findings of
other researchers of the same initiative.

The investigation focuses on the organisation and management of the CD-ROM system within the school. The advantages and disadvantages of siting decisions are examined along with the resulting effects upon pupils' use of the system. As the government initiative provided schools with both a system and a package of CD-ROM software, the investigation looks at the titles that proved most (and least) popular with schools. Since very few CD-ROMs were developed for education, teachers' criteria for choosing commercial CD-ROMs to use within the National Curriculum are examined as are the purchasing policies and the decision making processes of the four schools.

Having observed the way in which the technology was introduced to pupils in the four schools, the investigation was continued to observe the pattern of use that developed and the way in which that use changed through the primary age range. Although the use by young pupils continued to include multimedia reading books, once pupils had learnt simple ordering skills, they were introduced to the use of CD-ROMs for information collection; eventually using CD-ROMs almost exclusively to supplement, rather than supplant, traditional information sources. Teachers recognised that CDROMs
contained vast sources of information but that pupils required search skills in order to access that information. The ways in which teachers attempted to teach these skills using the CD-ROMs that were available to them were investigated.
Although standard referencing methods enabled pupils to find information in books using, the task was different, and often more difficult with CD-ROMs, due to the nonstandard
organisations of the titles that were designed for the home market and leisured browsing. The investigation looked at the ways in which pupils in the four schools were guided to find information and the ways in which that information was recorded and used within the curriculum. This was compared with the use of traditional source.

When CD-ROM technology was introduced into education, it had been expected to make changes both to the delivery of the curriculum and the ways in which pupils both collected and recorded information. The investigation looked for these
anticipated changes within the four schools. As two of the schools had units for hearing impaired pupils, the investigation included observation of the ways in which the technology was used by those pupils both within the units and the mainstream classes seeking to discover possible advantages and disadvantages that the use of the technology made for pupils who could not access all of the available media. However, unlike secondary pupils, it would appear from this research that the use of CD-ROM technology brought an additional option of information source for primary
pupils, but made little change to the structure of the curriculum.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Research Areas: B. > Theses
Item ID: 13608
Depositing User: Adam Miller
Date Deposited: 22 Jan 2015 09:51
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2021 16:46

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