Electronic, multimedia, publishing offers great potential benefits to schools: but will these benefits actually materialise?
I want to clearly state that this technology will not automatically deliver any benefit at all!
Benefits will flow only if teachers are given the opportunity, and appropriate assistance, to become familiar with the potential of the system, and the available electronic materials. Only then will teachers be motivated to actively integrate the use of these materials into their conventional classroom teaching. Now I should add that these systems are now surprisingly easy to set up and use; in particular they require no particular knowledge or experience of using "computers" as such, but are rather more comparable to familiar consumer electronic products such as video recorders etc. Furthermore, and quite unlike many "computer" products foisted on schools, they are generally very robust and reliable. Nonetheless, it must be recognised that, as with any new technology, MPC materials will only have a significant beneficial effect in teaching if there is a high commitment to providing teachers with the basic training required to exploit the technology creatively and effectively.
In this respect, it is particularly important that schools consider the issues of training and technical assistance as an integral part of the process of sourcing and purchasing this kind of equipment. I would particularly draw attention to the Schools' Technology Programme recently launched by Expert Associates Limited,. explicit in its committment in this area.