By Michael Hilkemeijer
As a teacher, your goal when integrating technology in the primary classroom should always be to develop student ICT capability.
The use of technology in the classroom will always inspire and engage students but it must always be used in a transparent way that the children become so focused on using it as a tool to achieve other outcomes that they hardly notice that they are using technology itself.
Graphics software has applications across the range of primary curriculum and consequently may provide opportunities to make explicit links in knowledge, skills and understanding.
Teacher knowledge of ICT Resources
While there may be many options to choose from it may sometimes be overwhelming to cope with the idea of integrating technology in the primary classroom. However, if you select one program that the students are familiar with will help. Being familiar with it will enable you to sharpen your interventions and identify when the students are ready to move onto a new feature or ICT technique for a more demanding purpose.
It is important to remember that this familiarity means more than just knowing how to use the program for a variety of tasks. You need to reflect on the processes it helps the student carry out and the ICT techniques with which effects can be achieved.
So, consider how you would introduce the students to the program chosen and what ideas need to be clear before they start and where they might find difficulties.
Graphics software and Primary Mathematics
In this instance, I will show you how drawing programs can be used to support mathematical modelling activities.
An example of such an activity would include the following:
Prepare an electronic file containing a plan view of the classroom and the outlines of a range of furniture to be included.
Students can explore possible arrangements.
As an extension to this activity, you might like to include conditions. For example, the computer cannot be located in a particular spot due to the sun glaring on the screen through the window. Or perhaps there might be two new children are joining the class on Monday and so where should the extra table and chairs be located?
Additionally, you might also set the students a task to do floor plan of their homes
The resources available for this activity would include the program Microsoft Paint or its predecessor, Paint 3D for PCs or their equivalent in Macs.
This type of technology in the primary classroom is generic and very easy for students and teachers to use.
Location and transformation concepts are featured in the Australian Curriculum. If this is not what you teach then you may find similar concepts in your own curriculum.
For the Australian Primary Curriculum, the link can be found here:
- Interpret simple maps of familiar locations and identify the relative positions of key features (ACMMG044).
Another activity that you might like to try when planning on integrating technology in the primary classroom is the use of graphics software in the learning of shapes.
Most programs come with grids that can be switch on and off. They can help students use graphics software to develop their mathematical understanding of shape.
You will need to prepare graphics files incorporating a grid, lines of symmetry and shapes in one quadrant.
Students can make use of the grid to help them draw the shape reflected or rotated.
As a teacher, you can use a similar shape to demonstrate rapidly and effectively the effort of increasing perimeter on area.
With the use of the Interactive whiteboard, you can demonstrate a new ICT technique such as altering the size of painting tools or intervening to assist a child to delete copies of a saved image to save memory space.
In the Australian Curriculum, two dimensional shapes can be described and drawn with Microsoft Paint or Paint 3D (ACMMG042) in year 2 lessons.
Links can also be found for Year 3 students to make 3 dimensional objects and describe their key features (ACMMG063).
If you have similar drawing and painting to what I have already mentioned they would work very well here too.
As a final idea for you to integrate technology in the primary classroom, you could use painting and drawing programs to produce repeating patterns for wallpaper wrapping paper.
In most programs, there would be a stamping facility that would enable a design to be rapidly duplicated and arranged. The suitability of various shapes for geometric sequences can be explored.
If you want to learn more about how to integrate ICT in teaching maths including the best ICT teaching strategies for mathematics in the Philippines, visit my online professional development for technology in the classroom.
There are over 30 online pd for teachers to help you achieve technology integration in the classroom.