The development of information technology (IT) in the process of modern primary education poses new challenges for participants in this process. Despite the fact that the development of IT enhances teaching/learning, and makes it modern and attractive, the unrestricted and irresponsible use of IT can have negative consequences for both the physical and the mental health of younger school-age children. The article analyses problems related to features of creating a healthy child-friendly teaching/learning environment in the context of the development of IT in primary education. A total of 237 primary school teachers in western Lithuania were interviewed by means of a written (questionnaire) survey research method.The research results show that a computer is the main IT tool in the primary education environment. Almost all the interviewed teachers had them in their classrooms. Teachers lack in particular interactive boards and tablets. Only a very small number of teachers had them in their classrooms. The teachers interviewed lack more diverse means of IT in their classrooms, which limits the possibilities for using IT in the education process. The results of the research reveal that although primary school students know about safe use and health-care when working with IT, they are not able to apply the available knowledge in practice. Children lack the acquisition of practical actions and skills in applying them in life situations. Only a third, and even fewer teachers, agreed that while using IT children are able to sit correctly at a desk, protect their eyesight, do eye exercises, coordinate eye and hand movements, etc. Therefore, not only are modern means of IT and their safe installation important for the creation of a healthy child-friendly primary teaching/learning environment in the context of IT, but so is the development of safe and healthy child-friendly behaviour with IT: the regulation and distribution of work time with IT at school and at home, the responsible use of IT; not only the provision of knowledge about the use of IT to students, but also the formation of practical skills and their application in life situations.
Volume 81, Issue 3 (2018), pp. 25–40
The researches justify the importance of using IT in the process. However, the use of IT in the teaching environment is a new challenge in protecting and enhancing the health of primary students. The natural tendency of children, the need of the use of IT in the process of teaching (learning) necessitates the management of this process. Research aim – to examine expanse’s tendencies of IT in primary education and to reveal the features of creating a healthy teaching (learning) environment for pupils. 237 teachers of primary school from the west of Lithuania have been surveyed. The study showed that primary school teachers and students are not yet appointed with a variety of IT tools. Although almost all of the teachers had computers in their classrooms and almost half of the respondents had a digital projector, only a very small part of the teachers had interactive whiteboards and tablets in their classrooms. Primary schools have purchased different IT tools for co-use, but only few of the teachers have those tools in their classrooms. The lack of IT tools in the classroom limits the possibilities of their use in the education process. The study revealed that the knowledge of the primary students about the safe use of IT tools, healthcare while working with IT is not related to their skills. Children lack the ability to learn practical activities, their application in life situations and healthy behaviours. Although a lot of teachers think that primary students are aware of the safe use of IT and the effect of misuse of IT, only one third or less of primary school teachers agreed that primary students are able to properly sit at the desk using IT, to do eye exercises, to protect their eyesight, to adjust eye and hand movements, etc.
Some of the Russian-speaking teachers in minority schools in Latvia have to teach bilingually. That is, they are required to use both Latvian and Russian within the scope of one lesson. However, due to insufficient knowledge of Latvian they often cannot do that properly. In this study I describe the strategies they use to solve this problem. Problem-oriented interviews with teachers, participant observation and personal experience were used to collect information. I have discovered five strategies for the teaching. Each strategy involves different ratio of Russian and Latvian within a lesson. Three of them also imply a significant amount of cheating and pretence. Four strategies used for document handling in Latvian were discovered as well.