9 of the Best ICT Tools for the Secondary Classroom

Accredited online professional development for teachers

By Michael Hilkemeijer

 

The range of ICT ICT tools used in classroom teaching has increased quite rapidly over the years. However, I like to stick to one simple rule - the simple things are often the best!

Why?

It is because I don't have to spend time learning about new technologies and this is something which you as a teacher can relate to. Time. It doesn't come in great quantities as a teacher.

 

New ICT tools used in classroom teaching take time to know about it, learn about it, integrate it, reflect on it, evaluate it, and so on and so on!

Who has time for that?

 

 

The best ICT tools to use are the ones that content-free and which challenge student intellectually. Students must be full control of software such as:

 

Secondary teaching with ICT tools used in classroom teaching

Word processing – used throughout the curriculum in key learning areas, it would be easy to develop a student’s ICT capability through teaching skills in editing content, drafting text and correcting language. It is for this reason why WP are directly linked to literacy and language development.

 

Why is it effective?

  • Aids collaborative work both between teacher/student and between students.
  • Students can obtain guidance in their spelling through spellcheck facilities.
  • Students need to check names and non-English words themselves.
  • Electronic and online worksheets can be produced for the advantage of good presentation.
  • Develops student ICT capability and ICT literacy.

 

 

Desktop Publishers – great for students to produce effective publications from school or home. They need to decide on the format such as a single page, bookfold or poster which is then followed by the page layout. Equally as good for literacy and language development as they are similar in many ways to a WP.

 

Why is it effective?

  • Students can design and structure high-quality content.
  • Easy to incorporate text and images from various sources.
  • Supports collaborative work.
  • Develops student ICT capability and ICT literacy.

 

 

 

Multimedia presentation software – today you can encourage students to use PowerPoint or Prezi. Both involve placing text, images, video and audio objects onto an animated sequence of screen shaped slides for display. You can plan a presentation using a storyboard which describes the content of each slide.

 

Why is it effective?

  • Good value in supplementing and supporting an oral presentation.
  • Slide and bullet point structure can aid the student’s identification.
  • Very useful for presenting ideas.
  • Develops student ICT capability and ICT literacy.

 

 

Spreadsheets – enable students to represent relationships between numerical variables. This means that they ideal for mathematical processes although it can also be applied to other Key Learning Areas such as science and geography for example. They can be used to investigate unknown relationships. Students should be taught to do this systematically.

 

Why is it effective?

  • Educational potential in quantitative subjects is considerable.
  • Enhance the display and analysis of data.
  • Students gain rapid and accurate summaries of graphs from raw figures.
  • Enable simulations of situations to be carried out.
  • Develops student ICT capability and ICT literacy.

 

 

Databases – carries two main processes in education: creation and interrogation. It involves deciding on the purpose of sorting the data. Students need to devise a structure for the information to be stored.

 

Why is it effective?

Requires students to analyse information due to the structure of databases. This brings about a greater understanding than just reading the information. Interrogating and analysing data helps students to understand the information they are generating due to the fact that they have to formulate suitable questions and interpret the results they obtain.

 

 

Email – sending and receiving messages is quite simple.

 

Why is it effective?

  • They are asynchronous which means you do not have to be present to receive it.
  • Interactive as you can respond immediately if you are present.
  • No cost.
  • Used to send large amounts of data.

 

 

Using the WWW – a lot of information is online so browsing and searching is important.

 

Why is it effective?

  • Huge amount of information found online makes the WWW very valuable.
  • There are a number of websites that been developed especially to provide particular groups of learners with appropriate curriculum content.

 

 

Web page creation – very similar to multimedia presentations but with the use of hyperlinks rather than slide transitions.

 

Why is it effective?

  • Value of the process of producing web pages.
  • The ability to publish online and hence the ability to reach a wider audience.
  • For teachers, it has the power to combine text, images, videos and audio in a non-linear sequence under the control of the user.

 

 

Virtual learning environments – these are web based systems that provides tools for teachers and students to help manage learning. It assists teachers to structure the curriculum over a period of time. It can also provide email tools such as bulletin boards and conferences which support directing, guiding, facilitating and responding to students both individually and in groups.

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