ICT IN THE PRIMARY
The first chapter begins by asking questions about the nature of young children's experiences and expectations with information and communication technology (ICT) and the mismatch, perceived by many of them, between their experiences at home, their experiences at school and the understanding of their parents, carers and teachers. These issues are related to descriptions of the 'information age' or 'knowledge society', the demands of preparing people to participate in such a society and the links with current understandings of learning. It is then suggested that there are characteristics of ICT which make a distinctive contribution to the kinds of higher-order, critical, creative and collaborative thinking that underpins the requirements of the knowledge society. It will also be argued that, despite a current focus on the use of ICT to raise standards in literacy and numeracy, as recognized in national, standardized tests, the National Curriculum for ICT in England provides a useful framework for 'ICT capability' or 'information literacy'. Such capability enables children to demonstrate the development of their knowledge, understanding and skill in making 'informed judgements about when and where to use ICT to best effect, and to consider its implications for home and work both now and in the future' (DfEE 1999: 96).