ICT current trends.


…he used to feel this way about his T.V!

Hello fellow Notre Dame-ian’s (if that’s what you’d call us) and welcome to my very own blog! The 6 next posts from me will give you an insight into the wonderful world of Information Technology and how it assists with teaching and learning in the classroom.

Being born in 1990, I went through my first few years of primary school minus the use of computers or interactive whiteboards. Then, in Year 4, I was thrust onto a chair in front of a computer screen and spent half an hour each day, as allocated “computer time”, to learn how to type with all my fingers on the keyboard. The program could even tell when I was doing it wrong. I hated it! Eventually I got the hang of typing but had to learn other things so foreign to a 9-year-old. I discovered that I couldn’t replace an “a” with a “@” symbol simply because it looked cooler and that I shouldn’t turn off a computer at the switch. Time went on and my parents decided that they would do the best thing for their childrens’ education and buy us a computer. A short time later, we got the internet. I remember being so foreign to what it was and how it worked but was mesmerised by the fun I could have with information popping up before me at the click of a button. My siblings and I had to teach ourselves how to search for things and how to create our own email addresses as my parents didn’t even know where to start. But that’s another story. And here we are, a decade later, and children are using computers the moment they can reach the mouse.

The development of Information and Communication Technologies, or ICTs, has dramatically changed the way teaching and learning occurs in the classroom. As discussed in the lecture, computers and online technologies can improve typing skills (it definitely did with mine), allow for fast access to information, teaches children to be critical of texts, stimulates the senses via the use of visual/written/auditory information and allows students to present their work creatively. As presented on slide 10, ICTs can promote higher order thinking by allowing students to manipulate the content through sorting, ordering, labelling and puzzle/game/simulation games. The Australian Government’s Learning Federation have copious amounts of learning objects that are a fun way of helping students learn whilst engaging them in an online experience. Here is a link to a Year 1-2 Science game assisting students with discovering what animals are mammals…

http://econtent.thelearningfederation.edu.au/ec/viewing/L1134/index.html

Today, it is the interactive whiteboard (IWB) that is one of the most significant current trends in ICT. In chapters 1 and 4, Kent (2008) discusses the differences between IWBs and PCs. Although PC’s can be difficult to teach with, they focus on the learning side of the teaching process as they promote individual learning. On the other hand, IWBs strongly promote group interaction as a class and have become a highly reliable and useful teaching tool. Kent (2008) also explains how IWBs and PCs should complement each other as teaching tools in the classroom. They both enhance student learning and promote different aspects for learning. Kent (2008) discusses that teachers should become familiar with IWBs and learn how to use them successfully, which can be achieved through obtaining good pedagogical framework. This will have a positive influence on students’ learning.

In chapter 4, Kent (2008) describes what is needed for good teachers to make their lessons meaningful and important through the use of an IWB. He gives six steps that allow students to think about their learning and gain a sense of independence in the classroom. These include:
– Students are able to create the content of their lesson
– Capture and share students’ ideas and comments
– Students are the subject of the lesson
– Using live data in lessons
– Scaffolding lessons from students’ prior knowledge and interests
– Making connections to the larger social context

Kent uses these steps to explain how students can use new technologies to make a leaning situation interactive meaningful and enjoyable.
Here is a good example of some of the wonderful things one can use on IWBs. This video is a 2nd Grade Maths lesson.

From the readings and prior research of Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences theory, IWBs support a group learning environment where students may be first introduced to an idea or are working as a team to further understand a concept. The use of images, words, sound and size of the content allow all types of learners to understand and make meaning in their own ways about what is being presented to them. It is a hands on approach to learning for students that will enhance their understanding of the given content whilst still allowing the teacher to give instructions and talk to the class during the activities.

I am quite proud of my efforts to create my first “flipchart” on the subject area of Celebrations. I’m looking forward to making some more…I need all the experience I can get!

References

Computer Clip Art (2008). Retrieved March 3, 2011 from http://www.wilsoninfo.com/computerclipart.shtml

Curriculum Corporation (2005). Animal Search. Retrieved March 14, 2011, from
http://econtent.thelearningfederation.edu.au/ec/viewing/L1134/index.html

K12Math4u (2009). 2nd Grade Math- Shapes and Space . Retrieved March 12, 2011 from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fY-G7yJO7vM

Kent, P (2008). Interactive whiteboards: A practical guide for primary teachers. Melbourne: Macmillan Teacher Resources.

The Age (2007). Schools to install digital whiteboards. Retrieved March 3, 2011 from http://www.theage.com.au/news/technology/schools-to-install-digital-whiteboards/2007/06/18/1182019011079.html

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