Recently, I sent out a survey to my subscribers asking them what they would like to know about using ICT in their classroom. Being able to enhance your classroom with hands on stuff to do with ICT was an important question to answer. Here is what I said....
As a teacher, your aim should be to ensure that students do understand the ICT potential of situations. They need to know not only of and how to use the ICT technique of evaluating websites and searching for information, but also they need to be aware of this fact and thus be able to decide when it is appropriate to use this technique for the desired ICT solution. The end result should be a student who can use this ICT technique throughout any context in the curriculum – an ICT capable student!
Ensure that the student is able to find, and overcome, difficulties in their ability to evaluate websites and search effectively on the Internet for information using search engine techniques.
Maintain an appropriate balance between the factors according the objectives of the activity.
Leave a learning gap to bridge between the student’s abilities and the requirements of the problem situation. Reduce this gap by adding the affordances of the environment e.g. provide an information sheet to assist in the use of Internet, or providing a clear demonstration on a big screen of the actions to be followed, by asking a series of structured leading questions, or by organising a class discussion of results.
Manipulate the contexts and affordances in relation to the student’s existing abilities to facilitate learning. A manageable gap between affordances and abilities in areas of techniques and processes is likely to enhance learning. This manipulation of affordances is central to your role as a teacher.
Question the whole class or group prior to the activity using ICT to clarify your expectations, focus students on what they are going to do and generate ideas on how they might go about it.
Help students to understand why it would be better for them to plan their search terms and questions on paper so that they would have a clear view of what they need to find the answers to.
Provide a workshop environment for extended tasks once students are familiar with the ICT technique to search for information on the web and evaluate websites for trustworthiness.
Build on student’s knowledge of computers by making the activity interesting and structured in a way as to engender understanding that may be difficult for them to achieve unaided. When planning these activities, ensure that you appreciate the extent and the nature of student’s computer work at home.
Information literacy is very important so begin your lesson on it by explaining to the students what it is, question their knowledge and then conclude by further questioning and a clear summary of what has been learned.
Group students in pairs for this activity. To do this, ensure to account for the following factors: differences in ICT capability, personalities, sex, and nature of task.