Welcome to my page about technology teaching strategies to apply in your classroom learning environment from early childhood education through to Primary education and beyond.
As our society becomes more integrated with digital technologies more pressure is placed upon you as teachers to prepare children for their digital future in the workforce. The ICT teaching strategies that you will learn today are evidence-based and are there to help you to successfully integrate digital technology and ICTs in across the curriculum in meaningful ways.
That is why we need these strategies so that the technology remains transparent in the background of learning and supports the subject learning. It also opens up the door to you as the teacher, to develop student ICT capabilities.
An essential 21st century skill.
Start applying these ICT teaching strategies today and begin to make an impact on student learning.
The best ways to use tech for Learning
For students, being ICT capable is about not only knowing the ICT skills but also knowing that they know it and be able to decide if it is appropriate to use for a solution to a problem.
The same concept can be applied helpfully to your own understanding of how to use ICT in your teaching profession.
For you as a teacher, it is not just about acquiring ICT skills but developing an understanding and judgement about how to use those skills appropriately. Let’s look at a classic example of this.
One of the common uses of ICT in the classroom is with presentation software like MS PowerPoint.
As a teacher, you decide whether such a presentation will be effective with technology. Will it be an effective teaching technique for students in the class? You have to make a decision as to why this would be better than other teaching techniques.
When teaching with technology in the classroom you are given a multitude of options to choose from in terms of what to use. There are many different types of Information and Communication Technology in classrooms, but it is important to facilitate the use of those that develop ICT capability.
The use of technology in the classroom should always be something that is planned effectively beforehand. As a teacher, it is important that you decide in your planning whether you are going to use ICT to develop student capabilities, to support subject learning or both.
It is entirely possible to achieve both when integrating ICT as the development of ICT capability is best accomplished in meaningful and purpose-driven context. In fact, you can do this by simply giving them meaningful activities with ICT tools used in classroom teaching in subject-related contexts in any key learning area of the curriculum.
So why not do both? It makes perfect sense….doesn’t it?
If you are looking for ideas as to how to use technology in the classroom, some examples include:
- Word processors
- Databases and Spreadsheets
- Desktop publishers
- Web design and creation programs
- Animation software
- Presentation software
- Web searching skills in Search Engines
- Video and Movie making programs
- Blogging and Podcasting
In my opinion, these are the best ICT in the classroom examples as they truly represent what integrating ICT in the classroom is all about today. Here are a few ideas to what you can do.
Can be used throughout any curriculum and in all key learning areas. It is important not just to use it just so the students can present their work neatly as a final piece of work. Like most software, you need to select the most opportunities in which word processing software can facilitate, enhance or extend children’s learning. WP can help make explicit links between knowledge, understanding skills as they are closely associated with literacy and language development at all levels. This makes it ideal to integrate it into English lessons and whenever you choose to also develop literacy in other key learning areas.
Databases and Spreadsheets
A key strategy that you will need to ensure occurs is when using spreadsheets that you make explicit the role of the equal sign formulae. To develop ICT capability, embed meaningful activities in purposeful subject-related contexts by providing them with the knowledge of the principles and processes required to enter and manipulate data. This will help them learn something about the subject being taught.
Generic and affordable programs are readily available to enable children to develop capabilities in drawing and painting programs. Images can be used in literacy lessons and when they create their own using their programs it adds a whole new level of engagement in it.
Incorporate a multimedia element in your activities by using presentation programs that uses video, images, sound and animation. They can develop slideshows and digital presentations with sound and music.
Other use of technology in the classroom includes:
- Gamified learning.
- Digital field trips
- Integrate social media
- Gather student feedback
- Creating digital content
Why students benefit from using technology in the classroom?
Previously in another blog, I outlined a number of reasons why schools should invest in ICT. Besides making communication more effective between students and teachers, student and student, and teacher and parent, the use of technology in the classroom is vital to not only enhance learning, but to broaden a child’s technological literacy and to develop their ICT capability. Using technology in classrooms also creates space for students to have a voice in their learning. They become empowered to take responsibility of their learning and they begin to learn how to use ICT as a tool that is designed for a specific purpose and to use it creatively, effectively and safely.
So what are strategies for teaching with technology that accompany the above ICT tools?
Firstly, it is important that you always have high expectations at the beginning. This is significant as children will always enter your classroom with various levels of capabilities in ICT. They don’t call them the ‘digital natives’ for no reason.
Before, any ICT activity is implemented in subjects it is essential that you gain an appreciation of the children’s ICT capability so that you can effectively plan for progression. This is typically done through observing their use of ICT techniques and determining their conceptual understanding of them.
Continue this formative assessment strategy throughout the year to keep track of student progress in ICT capability in key learning areas.
Throughout this time, set clear expectations and intervene at the appropriate times.
These are the fundamental strategies you will need when teaching with technology in the classroom that will develop ICT capability alongside subject learning. This should be your ultimate aim as a primary teacher.
More About ICT Literacy:
It is important to understand that the level of capability a student can gain is directly connected to that of the teacher’s knowledge and capability of using ICT in the subject.
Research conducted on the most ICT capable schools (Kennewell et al., 2000) has concluded that where a teacher’s level of ICT capability was grounded in confidence and a high level of competence, students were given the freedom to explore and develop more ‘capabilities’.
I will use this term more than I will use the term ‘skill’ because it is more important to be able to make the correct decisions about which technology to use and when and where to use it.
Despite this, there is still a presence of fear about technology use in the classroom amongst teachers. These include factors such as time, loss of control, cost, lack of PD opportunities, and lack of ownership over the technology they are meant to integrate into their teaching practices.
Yet if schools are to help students develop their ICT capability than it is through the work of teachers and other staff who support learning that it will be achieved.
Technology literacy, ICT literacy or ICT capability of teachers – no matter how you define it – is vital in schools today. You need to be prepared to provide technology-supported learning for your students. Thus, what needs to embedded in your professional repertoire is the knowledge and preparedness to use ICT techniques in different contexts of the Learning Areas. In other words being able to use ICT across the curriculum to support the subject context whilst remaining transparent and still be teaching students ICT capability.
What can you do?
It is virtually impossible for you or for anyone to know all there is to know about ICT. We really are never going to achieve it as ICT continues to develop and emerge. My advice is to walk into your classroom as a learner alongside your students and never try to give the impression that you do know everything. By doing this, you will start to feel more comfortable in your use of ICT in the classroom.
Secondly, exploiting technology is all about understanding the potential of the available technology in your classroom. Don’t wait for the next big technological development to come along to be able to prove your ability to use it in the classroom. Exploiting technology is to do with the here and now of available technology.
My next advice stems directly from this point. It is far more beneficial for you to be intimate and know in-depth particular software that your students use in the classroom than it is to be acquainted with a large number of software. Know the educational potential of what you have available by spending time getting to know it intimately so that you are able to exploit its features effectively. In addition, being familiar with a program will help you to identify the circumstances when students are ready to move onto another feature or be able to use it for a more demanding purpose.
The best way of achieving this is by reflecting on the processes that aides the user to carry out and the techniques with particular effects can be achieved (Kennewell et al., 2000). You need to consider how you will introduce your students to the program and clearly define your objectives and ideas to students before they start.
What software can you start with?
Yes, there is a lot of educational software out there including subject-specific software. Despite this, there is only one type of software that you should encourage students to use if you aiming to develop their ICT capability. Content-free software is the software that should be encouraged the most as it gives students full control of the technology and the level of decision-making is high promoting the use of higher order thinking skills. They need to be able to have a clean slate in terms of what’s in front of them and assess and decide what ICT technique to use and for what reason and purpose.
The problem with subject-specific software is that the program maintains some form of control and direction over what students can and can’t do. Therefore, it will only partially develop their ICT capability. It is for this reason that you need to carefully plan and consider what you want the aim of ICT to be in your lesson – to teach ICT capability, to support subject learning, or both?
What you need to know is that the software that I am talking about here is readily available in your classrooms and most of you have at home too. I am talking about generic software such as word processors, databases, drawing and painting, even specific coding programs these days. To take one example, word processors, is something that everyone is familiar is and is widely used throughout the curriculum. For you, it means plenty of opportunities to teach ICT capability.
Furthermore, as it is something that you know fairly well, it saves you both time and money as you don’t have to attend a PD to learn about it, how to use it, to evaluate and test it out in your classroom. The same goes for any other program that you and your students are familiar with. In a time where school budgets are not big enough for everyone, you can demonstrate to your colleagues how to effectively exploit ICT in your classroom this way.
What I have just discussed will help you to overcome the fear of using technology in the classroom. It will give you the start you need to confident and competent in the use of ICT. Being an ICT capable teacher is what is required of you today to teach students knowledge and understanding they need to participate in a technology-dominated knowledge society. Teachers who fail to learn new knowledge and understandings in this type of pedagogy will be left behind.
What is ICT Literacy?
ICT literacy in education is the ability of a person to define, access, integrate, evaluate, manage, create, and communicate with ICT tools and resources. Someone who does possess these attributes is known to be an ICT literate person. The development of ICT literacy in education is significant as schools are preparing young adults to meet the challenges of the future.
Today, technology and ICT have transformed society in many ways and ICT literacy skills are needed for everyone if there is to be an ICT proficient society. Those students who lack ICT literacy skills will encounter obstacles in full civic participation and will not be able to communicate their ideas effectively using technology and will be very ineffective and inefficient at researching information.
This as a result of having a lack of knowledge to do with effective search strategies using the Internet. Their ability to analyze and interpret this information may also falter. That is why teachers in primary and secondary schools need to develop ICT literacy skills with students and good ICT literacy assessments need to be conducted in order to determine if more training is needed. By following these steps, the process of integrating technology in the classroom should become easier for you.
Teacher ICT Skills for an Online and Digital World
When using ICT in the classroom, there are a number of ICT skills for teachers to master. This is important as the level of ICT capability of a teacher will have a direct impact on the development of student ICT capability. For example, studies have shown that in literacy lessons the extent to which ICT is used effectively will depend to a large extent that of the teacher’s ICT capability.
Teacher ICT capability is not about being an expert on everything ICT and knowing everything about it. Let’s face it, the level of development in ICT is ever-increasing there is no way this can be done. Instead, teacher ICT capability is about developing an understanding and judgement about the most appropriate ways to use ICT classroom teaching.
The ICT in classrooms most also be suitable for the development of student ICT capability. This means that it must:
- Challenge students intellectually;
- Promote a high level of decision-making by the students and not the technology;
- Be generic and content-free software and;
- Enable a student full control.
The following ICT skills for teachers will, therefore, be important for teachers using technology in the classroom that want to develop student ICT capability.
The word processor has ICT techniques for students that is transferrable across all key learning areas. For you as a teacher, you will apply your knowledge, skills and understanding of word processors in two different ways. The first, therefore, will be about teaching and learning with ICT not just to support subject learning, but also to develop student ICT capability. The other one, of course, is to do with your own professional use. However, the widespread use of word processors makes it one of the best ways to capitalise on its generic use in subject learning such as in English/literacy learning and develop student ICT capability. You need to be competent and confident users of it. This does not mean that you need to know the answer to every question, but to have a working knowledge of it so that you can plan, support and assess its use in activities along with being able to predict any arising difficulties.
Spreadsheets is one of the top 21st century ICT skills for teachers. The modelling of spreadsheets in the classroom is important because it may appear very mathematical business-orientated, the educational potential in quantitative subjects is considerable. They enhance the display and analysis of data, enabling students to gain rapid and accurate summaries and graphs from raw figures. The knowledge, skills, and understanding of spreadsheets, therefore, have relevance across the primary curriculum. As a teacher, you might use them for compiling grades of your students. An example of modelling this ICT in the classroom is perhaps by showing how the formula can be replicated using the ‘fill down function’. You may also want to demonstrate the effect of changing the prices of sausages in a spreadsheet budget.
Using ICT in the classroom in the primary classroom should not necessarily require a high level of ICT skills for teachers. There are many graphics programs that is generic and very easy to use. Examples of such include drawing and paint programs like MS Paint or even the latest version, Paint 3D. Such software has considerable implications for students use towards the development of visual literacy. Having a working knowledge of this type of program is essential. ICT skills for teachers of these programs will enable you to prepare resources such as a mathematics worksheet. You may have to model such things as cropping an image from a digital camera and transferring it to a word processing program.
Like spreadsheets, the use of this ICT in the classroom can be just as widespread. They are useful in education as they enable students to analyse the information they are recording. This, in turn, brings about a greater understanding than merely reading the information. It will be important for you to show students how to understand the information they are generating as they generate suitable questions and interpret the results they obtain. Remember that data-handling software in schools are designed to facilitate learning about the processes and possibilities of data-handling as well as the retrieval and manipulation of information. You would need to model, for example, how producing a branching tree database in electronic format enables modifications to be made quickly and easily.
Presentation software skills
When developing student ICT capability, an important part of your teaching needs to involve enabling students to have conceptual understanding behind every ICT technique they use. For presentation software, the concepts of transition and animation, are therefore important in designing a presentation and do not have equivalents in the printed form. Also, for you as a teacher, presentations have tremendous value in supplementing and supporting an oral presentation by showing visually the structuring of ideas in a more effective way. The key elements in the program can help with the emphasis of points and the focusing of students’ attention on key issues and relationships.
Information Literacy skills
Web searching skills are an important skill to have for not only the 21st century teacher but also for students. You will need to model the correct way how to search for the information on the World Wide Web on a daily basis at times depending on the activity that you set for students. Honestly, any activity that involves students researching information for their work will need you to demonstrate these ICT techniques. Information literacy skills have widespread implications across all key learning areas as you learn to become more of a facilitator of knowledge than a provider of knowledge and information in your classroom.
Emails, as you know, are interactive as well as asynchronous. You can also send large amounts of information world wide at no extra costs. However, did you know that it also has applications for the development of literacy? The language that people use to write emails is different at times. Modelling email etiquette will be very important for you to include in your planning.
The Best Strategies when Integrating ICT in Primary Ed Today
As a primary teacher, the ICT teaching and learning strategies that you employ in your lessons should help you to develop ICT capability. This should be your ultimate aim and it is when the use of ICT in the learning activities becomes ‘transparent’ to the students when they are achieving the learning outcomes which you have set for them.
The Issue at Hand
One of the most important ICT teaching strategies that I bestow on my online students, is the fact that this does not necessarily just mean the teaching of ICT techniques/skills. ICT capability is so much more than this and is what makes this capacity building workshop for teachers so important today. It is gaining the understanding, knowledge and expertise that teaching strategies using ICT is NOT about ICT skills teaching and also NOT about simply exposing students to ICT in the classroom. Neither will it develop ICT capability.
The use of ICT in primary education, particularly in Australia, is very important as the ICT Capability Learning Continuum sets the path for teachers to ensure that learning progression. Yet there is a demand for knowledge on evidence based teaching strategies when integrating ICT in the classroom.
The development of ICT capability in learning activities still remains a key issue for many teachers.
Another issue emerging as a result of the ever-increasing pressure on teachers who plan on integrating ICT in the classroom is the rapid rate of technological development. It is a common misconception that the use of any kind of technology in the classroom will add to the development of ICT capability.
This is incorrect.
The application of ICT capability is achieved when teaching and learning with ICT throughout the key learning areas to enhance student learning. However, technology such literacy and numeracy software requires minimal capability on behalf the students and the computer stays in control. The ICT tools used in classroom teaching that we encourage further use of in this workshop allows the students full control and contains the following attributes:
- Recognised as a tool software;
- Can be used in many different applications;
- Intellectually challenges students;
- Content-free or generic;
- The demands and possibilities will depend on whether the main objectives are to learn ICT techniques;
- The level of control and decision-making by students is high.
Gaining further expertise in ICT teaching and learning strategies will boost your own capabilities and you will be able to foster the following ICT teaching strategies that emphasise higher order thinking skills and provide an effective foundation for the challenges of a disjointed secondary curriculum.
Applying Teaching Strategies in Primary School
There are many uses of ICT in primary education and as mentioned earlier, this is mainly due to the pressure that you have as a teacher to incorporate the use of ICT in the classroom. ICT is a complex and powerful tool for learning, but exposure to it will not benefit the students unless supported with teaching strategies for ICT capability development.
Video in Advanced Workshop (Short Preview) - Applying ICT teaching strategies in Primary Science
When it comes to teaching strategies using ICT, the teaching strategies that you need to employ become more complex. Here is why?
- There may be confusion between ICT as a subject, a key skill and as a learning tool – this can lead to a variation in approaches when teaching and learning with ICT.
- Successful for ICT capability comprises of a variety of ICT teaching strategies.
- The components require a variety of conditions for their development, therefore, it is also helpful to identify these components.
- ICT capability is not a once-and-for-all initiative. Progress should be monitored and goals reviewed regularly.
- ICT activities are not isolated from the rest of the curriculum.
The most effective teaching methods for primary teachers are the ones that you will use to support your students in their learning process.
I will give you the expertise you need in order to exploit ICT tools used in classroom teaching such as word processors, paint and drawing programs, coding programs.
You will learn how to apply ICT teaching strategies in the classroom such as the following through real-life, authentic learning experiences:
- Learning how students learn with ICT – provides the groundwork for your understanding and effective employment of ICT teaching strategies when integrating ICT in the classroom.
- Analysing your situation – this involves a level of complexity as the level of ICT capability that you have as a teacher directly impacts your student’s ICT capability development. It also means taking a look at your school’s ICT resource level.
- Make instructional decisions when integrating ICT in the classroom such planning and seeking to develop all components of ICT capability.
- Selecting the appropriate ICT tools used in classroom teaching – significant use of ICT teaching and learning strategies depends on the selection of ICT as tools for learning and ICT capability.
- Supporting and scaffolding ICT capability when integrating ICT in the classroom.
Our capacity building workshop for teachers also supports other ICT teaching and learning strategies such as:
- Putting clarity first to allow for the autonomous selection and use of ICT.
- Personalising instruction through the use of the ICT capability Learning Continuum.
- Incorporating interactive learning.
- Promoting student reflection.
- Cooperation and collaboration in the use of ICT.
Making Instructional Decisions
Learning how children learn with ICT will play a big role in the type of ICT teaching and learning strategies that you employ. While ICT in classrooms might be becoming more popular it is clear through research that simple exposure to ICT is not sufficient in itself to develop student ICT capability and technological literacy.
Ultimately, these ICT teaching strategies should enable you to be able to plan and seek opportunities to develop each component of ICT capability.
I encourage you to join your colleagues in this workshop for teachers when using ICT in primary education. It is essential that in the 21st century classroom that is predominantly digital or ICT-orientated, that you not only choose the right ICT tools for classroom teaching, but support your choices with ICT strategies in the classroom such as the ones that you will learn to employ in meaningful and purposeful learning activities as this develops ICT capability.
The Best Strategies for Integrating ICT in Teaching and Learning
In 2002, the State of Queensland quoted about the use of ICT in schools as being as such:
ICT is at the core of learning and teaching in the 21st century. [Our] future depends on how successfully we integrate ICT in the curriculum and daily learning and teaching.
Since then, this view has not changed and in fact has been embraced by the arrival of the Digital Technologies curriculum to some extent. This is despite the development of ICT capability within it as being different to that when facilitated throughout the other key learning areas.
When you focus on the role that ICT has in primary education it becomes very clear the need for ICT teaching and learning strategies that are by definition the methods used to support the learning of ICT, not a list of ICT tools used in classroom teaching.
As a primary teacher, ICT teaching strategies employed need to facilitate the transparent use of ICT by students when they are using it to complete learning activities set by you in key learning areas such as in literacy. Literacy can also be taught in other KLAs and in the process be enhanced by ICT and furthermore, develop ICT capability. This is provided that Integrated Learning Systems such as literacy-specific software is NOT used.
Prior to primary education, of course, is the use of Information and Communication Technology in early childhood education. The effective use of ICT here and the teaching strategies supporting its use should set a precedence here for the development of ICT capability. This is what the effective use of ICT teaching and learning strategies should be about.
To not only take away the notion to children that technology should not be taken for granted….but to understand that ICT is a tool designed for a specific purpose.
Presented to you below are evidence based ICT teaching strategies for ICT capability development, but first let me explain further what ICT is in teaching and learning?
For you to select and use ICT tools for teaching and learning that will develop student ICT capability you need to consider the following:
- That they are content-free;
- That they challenge students intellectually;
- They promote the development of higher order thinking skills as children are able to make decisions based on the opportunities and limitations of the systems available;
- And most importantly, they give the students full control over the technology itself.
So what is ICT in teaching and learning? They consist of many ICT tools used for teaching and learning already, but require effective ICT teaching and learning strategies in order to be exploited to their full potential. Examples of ICT tools for teaching and learning, therefore, consist of the following:
Word processors – can be successfully integrated throughout all key learning areas of your curriculum. It has excellent connects to literacy and language development that can also be promoted in any of the curriculum with the right ICT teaching strategies for literacy learning.
Spreadsheets and Databases – surprisingly can be used in literacy learning too with the right strategies, but predominantly used in mathematics and science in primary school lessons that make it great for STEM learning in education. Don’t forget that databases can be used in other key learning areas such as geography.
Desktop publishing software – very similar to word processors and has many features that give young children authentic learning experiences.
Online word processors – if you don’t have a web creation tool available, then surely you can use something like MS Word. It has web publishing capabilities so why not create a class web page or get them to create a page for their project in English, Geography or other key learning areas.
Coding programs – you are no doubt aware of the importance of coding programs such as Scratch Junior throughout the curriculum. Like other ICT tools in education its use is only limited by your imagining in relation to it potential for learning within the context that it will taught.
Animation programs – there is a wealth of ICT capabilities, NOT ICT skills, that can be facilitated in the projects throughout the curriculum. It can be stop motion or still images, the choice is yours, but embed the ICT teaching strategies within it to ensure that ICT capability is developed effectively.
Video making software – have you got a video camera of some sort? Perhaps from video recording from a tablet computer like an iPad, webcam, smart phone or a standalone camera. Most programs that can be used in primary education are generic and affordable.
Blogging – there are a number of online sites such Edublogger that you can use to enhance literacy learning using ICT tools in education like this.
Presentation programs – MS PowerPoint is not the only program that can be used today. You now have the choice of Keynote or Prezi. Whatever one you choose programs like these are great for allowing children to express their thoughts and learning in front of the class. There are also animation capabilities present and it is very interactive. Promote the development of ICT capabilities in its use.
In each of the above ICT tools it is very important that you don’t just use them because you can. Just exposing them to Information and Communication Technology (ICT) will not develop their ICT capabilities, but simply promote the haphazard development of ICT skills.
The following strategies will enable you to learn how to teach ICT effectively in your classroom today.
Key ICT Teaching Strategies for Primary School
When it comes to the use of ICT in subject teaching or even in its own right, there is a layer of complexity because of the impact of the ICT resource setting of your school.
Teaching strategies for ICT capability first need to begin with you developing an appreciation of each individual’s ICT capability at the time of planning. From here, your good planning should create assessment opportunities.
Planning strategies for Teachers
Planning for progression is a key problem facing many primary teachers when incorporating the use of ICT activities that can develop student ICT capabilities.
Meaningful activities embedded in purposeful subject-related contexts is your choice to develop student ICT capabilities. So effective planning is essential and depends on a thorough analysis of the situation at the outset.
A key principle to remember when using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in teaching and learning is to always begin with high expectations. This is a significant ICT teaching strategy as the children that enter your classroom will already have a varying degree of capability in ICT as a result to their use of it at home and elsewhere. Having high expectations means knowing where the children are up to in the first place.
This needs to occur when you:
- Plan ICT integration in English and Literacy;
- Plan to use ICT to support literacy teaching;
- Plan to use ICT in mathematics, science and other key learning areas.
It is important that planning should ensure that ICT capability is enhanced as well as learning in other subjects, even where there is the potential for lower levels of ICT skills.
You must ensure that you have supported children’s ICT capability development while providing them with contexts that stimulate learning in all subjects as well. It requires you to have clear thinking and you need to consider:
- Whether you are going to just develop ICT capability? Or you are going to support the subject learning with ICT or both?
- Will the children need to be monitored to identify opportune moments for teacher intervention to enhance the ICT techniques used?
- Does it provide them with experience of using ICT as a tool?
- Are there opportunities to assess ICT capability?
- Will they work collaboratively or cooperatively?
Strategies for Assessment
How often do you assess the capabilities (not the skills) of students when they use ICT to learn about another subject? If your answer is rarely, then it is likely that the ICT teaching and learning strategies that you employ are fruitless in terms of furthering the individual student’s ICT capability.
Don’t worry, however, the following strategies for assessment for learning will enable you to overcome this obstacle today.
I have discussed already the significance of planning for learning progression in ICT capability, yet in order for you to plan for progression, you will need to have an appreciation of where the children are, where they ought to be and where they might be heading next.
You need to, in other words, establish a starting point for learning so that you give accurate directions that will enable them to plot a course for themselves.
The integration of ICT in subject–related activities are inextricably associated with practical outcomes. The key elements of ICT capability are also practical. So you simply cannot assess a finished product and expect that to fully represent a student’s ICT capability. It is only a partial and very limited evidential step.
Your ICT teaching and learning strategies need to reflect that you have:
- Identified what you want the children to learn;
- Decided what evidence is needed;
- Gathered the evidence;
- Recorded the evidence.
In the end, it will help you set clear objectives that will enable you to use the record of evidence to plan for progression along with structuring your assessment opportunities.
First, however, you will need to identify what the components of ICT capability are and learn to apply ICT teaching strategies for each of them and you can find out how to do this here in our online workshop for teachers that focus on formative assessment strategies for primary schools.
ICT supported teaching and learning strategies
The ICT teaching strategies that is employed in subject learning must be able to build on a child’s use of ICT at home. You can do this by creating a need to use ICT techniques and then be on hand to show them what to do what they are engaged in a problem.
The following ICT teaching and learning strategies will enable you to achieve the aim of developing children’s ICT capability by ensuring that its use is transparent in subject learning. Each of these strategies for ICT capability you will be able to notice in its application how the children will become focused on using the above ICT tools to achieve other outcomes that you have set for them.
Stimulate and structure ICT learning – Earlier I stressed the importance of having clear objectives and this needs to be coupled with having high expectations and structuring activities.
Consider the task of producing a worksheet for the students.
Step 1 – Planning the task (higher order thinking skills): You would consider what outcome is considered to achieve. Then break it down into smaller steps.
Step 2 – The process of producing the heading
Step 3 – Process of entering text
Step 4 – Process of adding images
Step 5 – Monitoring the progress of the task (higher order thinking skills)
Step 6 – The process of producing the student response boxes
Step 7 – Evaluating the outcome in relation to its purpose
Did you pick out the components of ICT capability there? This is how you should structure your ICT activities in subject-related contexts.
Group students and resources accordingly – successful schools who have used these ICT teaching and learning strategies considering pairing students using these factors like differences in ICT capability, the personalities of the children, sex and the nature of the task.
Plan and seek to develop every component of ICT capability – this means focusing on the routines, ICT techniques, processes and higher order thinking skills in every activity. I go into each of these in more detail in this workshop for teachers.
Not believing the progression in ICT capability is simply exposing children to more sophisticated software – simple exposure to ICT will not in itself help your cause. In fact, it would just mean that the lack of intellectual challenge would result in the haphazard development of ICT skills. Progression is facilitated through broadening and elaborating contexts along with using sophisticated software when the task demands it.
Allowing the students to find and overcome the difficulties for learning to occur – if you interfere too much, the student will have very little processing power left to use for the application of the software to the problem or to consider the issues arising in the problem domain (this may be another curriculum subject area).
To learn more about how to ICT effectively in the classroom today by using these and more ICT teaching and learning strategies, continue reading through this link about how ICT teaching strategies can make an impact on your students' learning now.
How to Increase Student Engagement in ICT with These Awesome Strategies
ICT Teaching Strategies to Engage your students today
The use of ICT in the classroom can be a source of great motivation for students, but how then can you be sure there is effective engagement in their learning? Here are some tips which you will learn in our most popular free online course for teachers today.
These ICT teaching strategies are evidence based and will help you optimise the use of technology in the classroom.
Planning for Progression
Planning is a common practice by teachers, but it can sometimes be overlooked when it comes to the use of ICT in the classroom. Mostly, this is a result of our knowledge and over-dependence on students’ everyday use of technology. Progression, in any subject is to do with ensuring that students develop their knowledge and skills as they grow older and more mature. When using ICT in the classroom, it is to do with how a student can learn concepts and skills of increasing difficulty.
Planning for progression in student ICT capabilities involves you as a teacher, having a good level of knowledge of each student’s capabilities in ICT. Failing to plan for this, can lead to the duplication of work and this then leads to a danger of students stagnating in their learning, inevitably leading to disruptive behaviour in the classroom.
How to plan for progression in ICT capability?
To overcome this obstacle, it will be important to first consider the following two approaches:
- Determine the ICT teaching objectives for the planning period (year/term/half-term).
- Clarify key topics for each subject for the planning period.
- Identify opportunities for ICT within each subject.
- Select and adapt the ICT projects which are most appropriate for achieving the ICT objectives with the subject contexts.
(Bennett, Hamill, & Pickford, 2007, p. 51)
- What is the educational purpose of the ICT activity – to develop student ICT capability, support the subject in its learning or both (recommended)?
- Will the students need to be monitored to identify opportune moments for teacher intervention to enhance their ICT skills?
- Does it provide the students with the experience of using ICT as a tool for learning?
- Are there opportunities to assess students’ ICT capability?
- Will the students work cooperatively or collaboratively?
(Kennewell et al., 2000, p.90)
Determine a starting point for their ICT capability journey
In order to plan for progression it is important that you have an appreciation of where the children are, where they ought to be and where they might be heading next. Determine a starting point and then give them accurate directions that will enable them to plot a course.
One way to achieve this is by planning a pre-lesson which will set them a similar ICT activity that will allow to take notes, observe and monitor their capabilities in ICT at that time. Then use the record of ICT capabilities for students to plan appropriately – the hallmark of a proficient teacher.
Challenging students with ICT and stretching more capable students
If there is ever to be a more challenging learning area to teach in schools today then it either has to be about teaching with ICT. Children today are fluent with technology even more than the generations before them. As a teacher, you need to set challenges for students with ICT that will help them progress further in their capabilities.
It is important to remember that increasing the level of challenge for students does not mean giving them more sophisticated software to use. Progression in student capabilities is not achieved in this way as it will only teach them new techniques. More sophisticated software should be used because the task demands it. Challenging students could simply be related to the subject context, or the style and mode of presentation. An example might be asking students if they have thought about changing the size of the text, including another picture or modifying the content if they are working on a slide.
Of course, you cannot challenge someone unless you know what they are capable of doing and gauging the level of challenge for ICT activities can be difficult, particularly as the children progress. For example, a student might be highly efficient at using on piece of software but inexperienced with another. Despite this, you will find that those students who are confident users of ICT will be able to transfer their knowledge and skills across a range of various software.
Intervene at the appropriate moments
In my view, a student can also be challenged intellectually by ensuring that when you teach ICT capability that you place emphasis on the development of higher order skills. If you have a set of questions written down for the planned moments, the unplanned moments and also at the times when you want to drive learning forward more, it is a great method to keep students thinking and on their toes throughout the lesson.
Focus on the Concepts behind the skills
This can be done through whole class discussion about examples and non-examples of a concept, both with and without ICT. Challenge naïve ideas about handling ICT tools, particularly when monitoring the progress of individuals. For example, when students use spaces to spread out text on a line or page, show the effect of extra text so the spaces move to a different position or line.
Fearing lack of Tech Support
One of major reasons for disengagement with ICT in the classroom is the fear of technical problems or thereof. Of course, if your school does not have adequate technical support, this may add further stress to you and even your students!
Here is what you need to know.
Students don’t have to be sitting at a computer in order to develop their capabilities. The understanding of concepts and higher order skills can be enhanced with whole class questioning. Group discussions about the processes necessary to carry out a task can also be achieved and you as a teacher can model the planning, hypothesising and evaluating. So plan ahead!
By following these points, student engagement in ICT can increase whilst developing their capabilities in ICT. Remember always to monitor their progress in ICT activities so to ensure continuity and progression.
ICT Teaching Strategies in Primary Education
They don’t call it Primary education for no reason! ICT teaching strategies in the classroom are vital in primary education. Among many countries such as Australia, governments are recognising the importance of integrating ICT throughout the curriculum. The Victorian Curriculum, which mirrors the Australian Curriculum also places emphasis on this.
You might have already guessed that I am Australian, right?
These ICT teaching methods can be used in whatever curriculum you teach - the Philippines, India, Australia - it doesn't matter. You would be correct, but it serves as a great example and anyway, no matter what curriculum you teach, if you know it follows suit, then the following ICT teaching strategies will be an excellent way for you to stand out amongst your colleagues as an ICT integrator.
The Australian Curriculum, has placed the responsibility of ICT capability progression amongst the hands of primary teachers. From Foundation level to Year 6, four out of 6 levels of progression are present (see image).
They have done this for good reason. Primary education is just that. From early childhood it picks up students’ learning and builds on it. Back to the point, this is the reason why learning evidenced based ICT teaching strategies is so important. The national curriculum recognises the integration of digital technologies throughout the learning areas as General Capability – in particularly, ICT capability!
It is actually a requirement that teachers teach this and other general capability through their key learning areas.
So the ICT teaching strategies that I am about to demonstrate meets this range. Here are my ICT teaching strategies for primary education.
Number 1: Establish a starting point for learning
If progression in student learning is your objective as a classroom teacher, then it is vital that you do this. Establish a starting point can be achieved for any lesson which involves the use of ICT and where specific ICT techniques, routines and processes.
For example, right at the beginning of the year if the previous year’s teacher didn’t share any information with in relation to student progression in ICT capability (and they should), then do some pre-assessing.
Set up a small literacy-ICT activity and list some ICT techniques that you expect students to know in order to complete the task.
Then monitor and keep track of their progress in a pre-made record sheet which you can go over at the end of the lesson and use for future planning.
This ICT teaching strategy can be repeated throughout the year if you are unsure of student progress in ICT capability learning.
Number 2: Integrate Digital technologies and Develop ICT Capability
As mentioned, the integration of digital technologies throughout key learning areas is recognised as ICT capability. However, research has shown that ICT capability is more than this.
It actually comprises of 5 key components which together constitute ICT capability. These components are techniques, routines, concepts, processes and higher order skills.
From my experience, to integrate digital technologies is then to plan and seek opportunities to develop each of these components. As an ICT teaching strategy this is the ‘bees nees’.
To achieve this, you need to do the following.
ICT teaching strategies to improve the Routine use of ICT in learning can be improved with focused practice tasks. So for students who are slower to learn routines this is ideal.
ICT techniques is what constitute as routines, so the ICT teaching strategies for this are slightly different. It helps to name the ICT technique and the name should not be seen as something extra to learn. Instead, it means to be a way of communicating and thinking about the actions and its effects.
For Processes, the best ICT teaching strategy for this is to discuss whenever possible with students what they are doing at the process level. Avoid talking to them about the next technique and instead draw on images and analogies where it is helpful in order to help students gain a feeling for the whole process.
Now for this component, it is my belief that the ICT teaching strategies to do with this is what makes ICT capability stand out better than just ordinary ICT skills. Higher order skills will only be developed if you as the teacher help students to plan, monitor and evaluate their ICT work.
You can do this in whole class teaching.
Eventually, you will let the students do some of this for themselves and this can be done if you ask them strategic and evaluative questions, encouraging students in groups to ask these questions of each other and then expecting individuals to ask these questions of themselves.
Finally, focus on the Concepts behind the skills. Use whole class teaching to discuss examples and non-examples of a concept, both with and without ICT, in order to highlight the important features of the concept. For example, a poster is not a message as it is not communicated to a person.
Additionally, another ICT teaching strategy would be to challenge naïve ideas about handling particular ICT tools. For example, when students use spaces to spread out the text on a line or page, you could show them the effect of adding extra text so that the spaces move to a different position on the line.
Classroom engagement will be a little less stressful with these strategies to increase student engagement. ICT for students can do a lot for the engagement of students in lessons, however, without effective teaching and learning strategies it is ineffective.
These ways to increase student engagement are teacher-tested and will help you keep your students focused on subject learning. Teaching strategies with technology need to be embedded in practice so that the students don't lose sight of tasks and it becomes routine to them.
Student engagement strategies with ICT not only motivate and enhance learning but also develop ICT capability and ICT literacy.
Teaching strategies for use of ICT in the classroom will enable you to optimise the available technology and prepare students for 21st century life.
7 Other Must-follow teaching strategies
Today, most classrooms are becoming more digitalised with the increase of technology incorporated into the curriculum. It has always been my view that as a consequence you should just not aim to use technology just because it is there and as an ‘add-on’, but to develop student ICT capability. That is, to make technology transparent in its use when students are using it to achieve the learning goals that you have set in the subject. This is what developing student ICT capability is all about.
However, the right technology teaching strategies must be employed and not only this, they need to employed by all teachers as they share the same perspective and understanding on developing ICT capability in the curriculum.
Already, I have outlined appropriate ICT teaching and learning strategies that need to in place and occurring in your classroom. The following are also important strategies for teaching with technology.
Use mobile learning and social media
Many students have their own mobile device and even social media accounts. So why not use it to engage them further in the learning process. Tablets and smartphones will allow you to expand the learning boundaries past the classroom walls and this will encourage a strong sense of community.
Embrace formative assessments strategies in primary schools
The development of ICT capability is significant and as its components are practical it calls for you to accurately assess student ICT learning throughout the year to inform your planning well. Using formative assessment in primary schools will enable you to identify struggling students and you can target these the next lesson.
Put communication and clarity first
The use of Information and Communication technology (ICT) encourages students to become more autonomous in their selection and use of ICT tools and resources. You must communicate your intentions with the use of ICT well and set clear expectations. Clarify them to the students
Encourage handwritten notes
A key component of ICT capability is the promotion of higher order thinking skills and by getting your students to plan first on paper and use handwritten notes will be important in starting this process.
If you employ formative assessment strategies appropriately this will enable you to determine a child’s capabilities in ICT at the starting point. You can then help each individual child to plot a course for their own ICT capability learning journey. Additionally, the understanding of the ICT capability Learning Continuum is significant in personalising instruction and learning for children in your classroom.
Having a brainstorm session
You can help the planning process by conducting a class brainstorming session. In this time, you can model the appropriate train of thought. These sessions encourage students to be free in their creative ideas and express their ideas.
One of the best strategies for teaching with technology is to embed it into meaningful and subject-related learning activities. Diversifying your projects will help this course.
You can use all these strategies to increase student engagement and develop student ICT capability alongside subject learning.
The use of ICT in the classroom should always be accompanied with these ICT teaching and learning strategies so to prepare students to learn to use ICT as a tool not just for their school learning, but throughout life and employing these ICT teaching methods in subjects for curriculum learning is your best option.
How to Best Apply Teaching Strategies that Enhance Student Learning now?
Today, there has been widespread acceptance of the integration of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in all sectors of education. To date, there has been many new technological developments for education use. However, there have not been many good ICT teaching strategies examples.
In my mind, teaching strategies for primary school are a lot different from technology use in the classroom because that is my area of specialty. There is a distinct difference between the two.
So in this article, I will not only prove this to you through effective teaching strategies with technology but will highlight the ICT teaching strategies in primary school classrooms for you to apply. Each of them has been proven to be effective and fundamental in its application as they are derived from credible ICT teaching strategies studies that develop student ICT capability.
To start it is significant to help you to hone in on your aim as a primary teacher. When integrating technology in classroom activities it is vital that your aim should be to develop ICT capability. Your ICT teaching methods for primary classes should such that you enable students to make the technology transparent in its use. The students in your class should hardly notice that they are using it whilst achieving the learning outcome you set for them.
As an ICT teaching strategies example this sets you up for the rest that will follow. ICT should always be used as a tool for learning and when done in meaningful context-driven activities you can develop their ICT capability. Here are some effective strategies for teaching with ICT throughout the curriculum.
English Learning Area
Teaching and learning with ICT in primary English presents you with many opportunities and without going too much detail, as this is covered with my literacy with ICT teaching strategies examples in my online workshop, you can apply effective strategies for teaching literacy quite easily as it is a primary focus in this sector.
As an example, you would word processing programs to edit text, draft or publish an informative or persuasive text. Why word processors as an ICT tool for classroom teaching? It is because they are closely linked with literacy and language development at all levels. It can also be applied across the primary curriculum.
Past ICT teaching strategies studies have indicated that teachers who have successfully developed ICT capability would question the whole class or group prior to ICT activities to clarify their expectations, focus the students on what they were doing along with to generate ideas on how they might go about using the technology.
Other ICT teaching strategies for primary school teachers would be to ensure that they will develop highly structured tasks to introduce particular ICT techniques that students can use subsequently use those ICT techniques in more open tasks in which they could make decisions about the choices of ICT techniques.
You can apply this type of ICT teaching methods for primary classes when you want to enhance literacy with ICT and develop ICT capability.
Another example of using ICT teaching strategies for primary school teachers can be applied in science teaching. In this key learning area, students may be asked to make and record observations accurately. An ICT tool here could be a word processor, but another one is also spreadsheets.
There are many ICT techniques that can be used here so what are the effective teacher strategies here? Here is a little excerpt from my online workshop featuring effective teaching strategies examples in science teaching.
4 of the Best Evidence-based Teaching Strategies with Technology
Research has indicated that the use of technology in the classroom is in danger of becoming a medium more employed for fun than for learning. Evidence based teaching strategies with technology is imperative if technology integration in the classroom is to make an impact on student learning.
Teachers must apply instructional strategies appropriately in order to truly see and understand the benefits of technology in education. The development of student ICT capability will only occur when technology is transparent in subject learning and these instructional strategies are employed.
These ICT teaching strategies are evidence-based as they come from the most ICT capable classrooms around today. As a result, you know then that if employed appropriately, student attainment levels in ICT capability should increase for your school.
So what are evidence based technology teaching strategies? If ever you were after teaching strategies for the classroom, then you need to the ones that are backed by research. Just like the ones below. They were derived from research several years ago (Kennewell, Parkinson & Tanner, 2000) from the most ICT capable schools and classrooms and teachers in the UK. While a few decades have passed since then, these core teaching strategies with technology have been proven to work and remain the essential methodology that grounds you in the development of ICT capability today.
High Impact Evidence based Technology teaching strategies
Here are my top four evidence based teaching strategies:
Plan for Learning Progression in ICT capability
This involves you planning ICT activities in meaningful activities, embedded in purposeful subject-related contexts that will develop their ICT capabilities.
Develop each component of ICT capability
For routines it means providing focused practice tasks. Techniques would require you to have a checklist. Associate the name of the technique with the effect it achieves. With processes you will need to discuss with students what they are doing at the process level rather than discussing the next technique. Higher order skills are typically planned, monitored and evaluated by yourself as the teacher, but later this responsibility can be transferred and owned by the students themselves.
Focus on concepts behind the skills
Challenge naïve ideas about particular ICT tools and techniques both in whole class teaching, where appropriate, and when monitoring learning progress.
Provide effective scaffolding in the classroom
You could use methods such as demonstrating using descriptive commentary, monitored instruction, monitored repetition, guided repetition and the quick fix which is when you would generally solve a problem without an explanation.
5 Strategies for the Digital Classroom
As a primary teacher, you should always aim to ensure that students are enabled to reach the point when they are using technology in the classroom that they become so focused on using Information and Communication Technology (ICT) as a tools that they hardly notice they are using it to achieve the learning outcomes that you have set for them.
This is what is known as developing student ICT capability.
So here are the ICT teaching strategies for primary school teachers today.
Focus on the learning progression
I’d like to start this as it is important for the following teaching strategies using ICT. Learning progression in ICT capability demands that students develop greater autonomy and confidence in their selection and use of ICT tools and resources. What is required by students is an understanding of the ICT potential of situations.
Plan and seek to develop all components of ICT capability
ICT capability is NOT about just teaching just ICT techniques/skills. There are in fact other key components which together constitute ICT capability. Understanding how to achieve them within meaningful context-driven learning activities. These are effective ICT teaching methods in primary school today.
Plan the incorporation of ICT activities in Learning activities
If you are to achieve this, then you need to have a good understanding of ICT concepts and their relations to other areas of the curriculum. It involves you deciding on the role of ICT in the learning activity – whether you just want to use it to support the context learning, to develop ICT capability or both? This decision underpins how well you integrate technology in the classroom.
Build on a child’s use of ICT at home
As we all continue exploit the use of technology in our lives, children particularly are becoming more confident in their use. It is no wonder they are known as ‘digital natives’. You can no longer assume that the ICT activities you bring to them will enable a learning fit for the 21st century digital world. Ensure that activities are meaningful, interesting and most importantly, structured in such a way as to engender understanding that may be difficult for them to achieve unaided.
Stimulate and Structure ICT Learning
Continuing on from what I mentioned earlier about structuring learning, you must have clear objectives and have high expectations particularly from these ‘digital natives’. The most successful teachers clarified their expectations, focused students’ attention on what they were going to do, demonstrated new ICT techniques and generated ideas on how they might go about it.
10 Teaching Strategies with Technology Tips
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!
When primary students are learning with technology in the classroom, it would then be important to ensure that they are able to reach the stage where the technology that they are using becomes sufficiently transparent to the extent that they are almost unaware of its existence. They should become so focused on technology as a tool to achieve other learning outcomes. This, after all, is the ultimate aim of developing student ICT capability.
My top ten teaching strategies with technology tips!
Here are the top technology teaching strategies to help your students when learning with technology.
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 students’ 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.