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How Essential Are Basic Computer Skills For Individuals Education Essay

Technology is all around and growing rapidly every day. New technology equipment has been launched into this ever - advancing computer driven society and bringing about a new words and approach to communication. (Price needed) One simply must look around, to start to see the high level of equipment that has now been computerised. For example, personal street maps has been moved into an individual Satellite Navigation System, making journeys to unfamiliar destinations less of any concern and places of pursuits easier to find by using 3D realistic colored images. The installation of Interactive Pay-As-You-Go train solution machines now empowered holidaymakers to pre-ordered, purchase and acquire train seat tickets more conveniently reducing unnecessary ready time. Furthermore, Mobile phones have become smarter, with cordless technology it is currently common to see great amount of people checking their email or looking for information on the move.

In this digital culture it is difficult to imaging the earth without the use of ICT. All of the technology equipment has already established a major impact along the way individual's converse, gain knowledge and work. One thing the technology depends on is individual knowing and also have some type of basic computer skill to access and retrieve the information required

These changes have doubtlessly added to the government's decision to declare ICT a new Skill for Life alongside literacy, numeracy and British for audio speakers of other languages.

The computer is now reported to be an essential tool that all workers must know about to be able to complete their daily tasks. (Quotation needed) Whatever the work; teacher, lawyer, or salesperson; computer skills are required in order for them to succeed. One also needs to have certain computer skills in order to complete basic every day skills in the current society day. Classes have now launched interior websites called Intranets where they place important day-to- day material associated with issues which have to be accessed everyday by all people of personnel.

It is extremely important a person be skilful and competent in the area of computer systems and technology. (Offer needed). It is very difficult to be successful in the current job market and high tech lifestyle if you don't have these skills.

Research question

This study examines the key question: "How essential are basic computer skills for individuals today?"

The research concentrates teaching assistants (TA) working in Secondary and Further Education establishments and their Information Communication Technology (ICT) skills during and away from their place of work.

Aims of the study

The main reason for this review is to:

Determine how essential basic computer skills are for individuals today.

Evaluate Teaching Assistants (TAs) use of Information Communication Technology (ICT).

Objectives of the study

To achieve the entire aims the research seeks to address the following objectives:

To uncover what is meant by the conditions 'Basic computer skills' for people in this digital world.

To find out if basic computer skills are as important as basic Maths and English skills for adult learners.

To strategy TAs' basic knowledge and knowledge of the different software program within academic institutions or home.

To identify if TAs can succeed in supporting students in an educational environment with no basic knowledge and knowledge of the program applications used in ICT lessons.

To examine the amount of ICT training TAs have or not received and see how the amount of training affects to their attitudes towards ICT.

To identify if gender and/or age impacts TAs' computer use.

Find out what is expected of TAs from the Head of Section in ICT and Special Educational Needs Co-ordinator (SENCO).

Five educational institutions, three extra and two further educational universities, participated in the study. A blend of questions and interviews with TAs, teachers of ICT and a Special Educational Needs Planner (SENCO) enabled an in depth examination of the ICT skills required and used within these institutions that understandings about the possible individuals' ICT skills in a learning environment could be obtained.


Information Communication Technology

The terms Information Communication Technology (ICT) is seen as an item for utilization that store, get, manipulate, transmit or obtain information electronically in an electronic form. Over the years there have been many studies relating to the increasing use of ICT and how this has modified people live learn and work today. (Quote needed). ICT can often be taken for granted.

Thousands of people set up their own international holidays using the World Wide Web and take care of their finances online. You can even choose to study through technology when, where and how you like.

In addition to these visible changes, technology has penetrated many familiar aspects of daily life.

Digital television set and radio, for example, has taken technology directly into the living room. These changes have doubtlessly added to the government's decision to declare ICT a fresh Skill for Life alongside literacy, numeracy and British for sound system of other languages.

Many careers today require so kind of computer skill, from getting into text on a full page to retrieving electronic mails. ICT can be seen as the essential building block of modern society and looked at as part of the primary of education, alongside reading, writing and Maths for both men and women and young people. It is difficult and perhaps even impossible to imagine future learning surroundings that are not supported, in a single way or another, by ICT.

Information and communication technology (ICT) is becoming, within an extremely small amount of time, one of the basic blocks of modern society. Many countries now consider understanding ICT and mastering the essential skills and ideas of ICT within the primary of education. This is look alongside reading, writing and numeracy.

provided individual participation

With a rise on

It is difficult to imagine

It has already established a major effect on the way we live, work and find out. Already Relating to 60% of existing and 90% of new jobs require some ICT skills.

In addition to these obvious changes, technology has penetrated many familiar areas of lifestyle.

Digital tv set and radio, for example, has taken technology straight into the living room. These changes have unquestionably contributed to the government's decision to declare ICT a new Skill forever alongside literacy, numeracy and English for speakers of other languages.

Furthermore, ICT is also participating in a growing important role in universities, with teacher expected to have the comparative ICT skills to use computers more in their coaching and students are expected to leave college with a GCSE class in ICT.

Teaching Assistants

Different geographical areas and various educational professionals give a variety of titles to a Coaching Assistant such as Learning Support Assistant (LSA), Classroom Assistant (CA), Support Personnel (SS) and Special Needs Assistant (SNA). Mainly these titles make reference to the same or similar job roles and the term Teaching Assistant is currently used for a range of adults providing support in universities.

The modern day role of TAs is definitely associated as "extra help" (Offer) in the class, from helping teachers to get ready materials to helping students with the Maths and English. In pervious years TAs got into their occupation with little or no formal qualification to support students in their curriculum things, their past connection with bring-up children was seen as adequate.

The idea for the dissertation title was encouraged from the author's different job positions kept within circumstances run Secondary University in the East Midlands. It really is a smaller than average dual - specialism (Dialects and Applied learning) 11-19 complete with currently 929 on spin March 2010. The work positions held, at present are, a part-time experienced TA and part-time unqualified ICT instructor working towards learning to be a full-time ICT professor.

However, using TAs is a popular means of dealing with pupils' needs and for days gone by 15 years there's been rapid growth in the numbers of teaching assistants working in mainstream schools in the UK. Howes A, Farrell P, Kaplan I, Moss S (2003). (Look for the number to price) Initially lots of

Over days gone by 15 years there appears to be a rise in the

Since??? There were number reasons for choosing these TAs Some have went to universites and colleges to attain a recognised certification (Talk about these) for working with students and have also gained experience of using ICT to complete their studies and is able to transfer the abilities they have learned in a variety of complicated studies.

Now the coaching associate (TA) has a organized career path, if they wish to take it, incorporating a variety of different jobs with increasing degrees of responsibility. This being to support students with a

Very little has been written about TAs and their use of ICT

Employing coaching assistants is a favorite means of addressing pupils' needs and statistics have increased. TAs might cover for absent co-workers and higher level coaching assistants (HLTAs) take on many of the duties of the teacher. The spread of treatment programmes and the additional requirements of labor force reform have raised the TA from the periphery of the school room to a central position

The understanding of ICT grew after five years of computer night time classes and numerous computer skills completed, from basic computer skills to advanced levels in computer systems directed the proceed to a combined profession which allowed for both skills to be bested used. This understanding of ICT has allowed for a career excelled and was used as a coaching assistant to aid students with Special Educational Needs (SENs) in a verity of lessons, ICT being the primary supported subject matter.

The writer has witnessed and the professors working in the ICT office have become alert to that in this secondary school a huge variety of TAs shy away from ICT lessons and choose to support lessons in their preferred subject. For instance at the start associated with an ICT lesson one TA promoting a student quoted to the instructor "I have no idea why I'm here, I'm bad at computers". Others have mentioned "They are really unproductive at ICT and will not be worthwhile in this lessons" and also have known to repeat this statement to the students these are supporting, even saying "They don't want to aid the subject". (Quotation here)

Introduction to the problem

With the fast adoption of ICT during the last ten or twenty years, the Team for Education and Skills (DfES) has regarded ICT as an important skill for students to build up and has included it in the set of compulsory subjects within the National Curriculum Platform NCFfor Keystage 4. The term Keystage 4 identifies students legal is the legal term for both years of college education which incorporate GCSEs,

The new extra curriculum has a crucial role to learn in enabling colleges to raise criteria and help almost all their learners meet the difficulties of life inside our fast-changing world. The aim is to develop a coherent 11-19 curriculum that creates on young people's experience in the principal phase and that helps all young people to become successful learners, self-confident individuals and in charge citizens.

Furthermore, students with Special Educational Needs (SENs) provision are frequently allocated TA support. The DfES (2004) identifies SENs as a "child that has learning problems who demands special educational provision to be produced". Each goes on to point out "the word provision can be environmental or a human resource". TAs provides support in Maths, British, Knowledge and ICT lessons to help students can perform the lesson purpose(s) and help raise the student's concentrate on level in the topic.

The ICT division and the writer have seen the effects of the problems some TAs have exhibited. For example, very little interaction in a few of the ICT lessons to and feel this bad attitude needs to be addressed at the earliest opportunity. If kept it can prevent the student's improvement, make ICT teachers feel they are simply teaching the course as well as TAs and stop TAs from progressing in this every changing ICT world.

Summary of the argument

Literature review


Computer literacy

Computer literacy can be explained as the means or the capability of the person to make use of computer applications. For example, a person who knows to make use of the device to complete any task is actually a computer literate. (Estimate needed) Computer literate often implies little more than the capability to use lots of specific applications. They are usually Word, Internet Explorer and an Emailing program for several very well-defined simple jobs, basically by rote.

ICT in Education

ICT for adults

Basic computer skills for adults

Policies that brought about basic computer skills for adults

Teaching Assistant Professional Learning

Adult learners' Maths, English and basic ICT skills

Understanding different software application

The delivery of ICT to men and women - educators, friends and children

Methods found in the delivery of basic computer skills to individuals - Classes, catalogs, Disc and YouTube videos

Percentage rate of individuals up taking computer courses

How are teaching adult's computer skills



Research types

The research consisted of both quantitative and qualitative methods to gather specific data relating to TAs and ICT based around secondary classes. (Offer needed)The primary kind of quantitative method chosen was a self-completion questionnaire. The reason why for this were:

Firstly, a more substantial test of TAs could be easily targeted through the colleges.

Secondly, it allowed the TAs to openly answer a series of clear, organized questions independently and within a relevant time frame. This prevented the writer wasting time requesting the same questions again and again.

Thirdly, this set up methodology also allowed for the data to be easily gathered, analyzed and quantified. Therefore, once numerical and scientific research was applied the conclusion of the results could be weighed against other information and thoughts that had recently been done.

Although questionnaires are one of the very most popular options for collecting relevant data, from a far more realistic sample of people, they certainly have components of dangers. Questionnaires provide limited depth and validity (Estimate needed) credited to people's busy standards of living. Respondents may bring about ticking any bins just to get the questionnaire done and this could prevent convincing data. With this in mind a qualitative method needed to also be included.

Rejected methods

The Data Cover Act 1998 prevented the institutions from disclosing TAs personal email addresses. As a result it was not possible to utilize an online questionnaire creator. This would have been the best and quickest way for collecting quantitative data since it creates it easy to carry out, manage and analyse research material. With this thought the classes and anyone taking part in the research had to be personally approached because of their consent.

Structured interviews using the questionnaire sheet would not have been feasible. The writer (interviewer) could have had to ask the same questions very much the same to the interviewees which would take up a lot of time as a sizable amount of respondent would have to be asked. Furthermore, structured observations may give an in-depth overview of the issues that needs addressing by watching behaviour but it would not have been easy for the researcher be released for work to provide a affordable amount of data.

Primary college TAs could not be used in this research. The reasons because of this are, lessons within Key-stage 1-2 schools are usually teacher-lead and TAs are used to give support to the complete school rather that a specific pupil pointless they are used to provide one-to-one support to a pupil that has SENs. Furthermore, TAs in main schools may well not touch ICT lessons or equipment throughout the day of work unless it is to set-up the computer systems for the pupils use in the beginning of the day.

Quantitative instrument - Questionnaire

A self created questionnaire titled Computer usage of TAs was one of the tools used to collect hard facts and the viewpoints for this study. The questionnaire contained fifteen (15) clear closed questions that desired to examine TAs' computer usage based on the next factors.

Access to a Personal computers at home and work

Number of days spent utilizing a PC over a week

Time spent each day using on the PC

Confidence in using the M/S Office computer application's package

How easy the computer applications are to use

Computer software most used

Availability of computer applications at home and work

Computer program first learnt

ICT ability

Formal ICT training

Gender of TAs

Change to possess free ICT training

These questions were selected because the writer wished to discover if there have been patterns of behaviour relating to their ICT use, ICT capability and their preferred software applications within the various schools, age groups and gender.

Five (5) secondary classes were targeted in this research and eighty (80) imprinted questionnaires were delivered. However, there have been only seventy questionnaires completed. These institutions were selected because they're all run by Derbyshire's Local Education Expert (LEA) plus they got both male and female TAs working in the establishment. Also the researcher worked well in another of the institution and wished to see if there is a correlation between your TAs frame of mind and use of ICT.

Qualitative instrument - Interviews


Questionnaire results

Interview findings

Data analysis

Questionnaire analysis

Presentation of questionnaire results

Interview findings - TAs and teachers

Description of interview findings

Summary of interview


Relating to data examination, aims and goals and literature review

Limitations of methodology




Limitation of the study

The creator found many weaknesses when starting the research. First of all, the number of research material associated with TAs use of ICT was very limited. A lot of the books available was related to TAs supporting Maths and English lessons.


Derby City Council Education Service, (2004) SEN Plan (Extra), [Online], Available:https://www. derby. gov. uk/NR/rdonlyres/4307B123-F50D-49F5-B361 11659F635E95/0/SecondarySEN_Insurance plan. pdf [Accessed 6th May 2010. p1]

Howes A, Farrell P, Kaplan I, Moss S (2003) The impact of paid adult support on the involvement and learning of pupils in mainstream schools. In: Research Research in Education Collection. London: EPPI-Centre, Friendly Science Research Device, Institute of Education, College or university of London. [Seen 23rd August 2010. p1]

Wilson, Valerie; Schlapp, Ursula and Davidson, Julia.

Educational Management and Supervision, Vol 31, No 2 (2003)

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