Developing Primary student ICT capability - A Case Study

Developing student ICT capability - Accredited online professional development for teachers

My name is Michael Hilkemeijer and I am the director at ICTE Solutions Australia, a professional ICT development provider for schools. For a long time now I have been researching how teachers from early childhood education to secondary education can develop student ICT capability. Along my way, I also do some supply teaching for some schools and take on some short term contracts. It just so happened that last week I was asked to do a technology class at a primary school in Toowoomba, Queensland. It was something that I didn’t know what to expect being an experienced secondary ICT teacher of 10 years. However, it turned out to be a great experience and a real eye-opener for me. Here’s why…

As mentioned earlier I had been studying the art of developing student ICT capability. The majority of the research in this area has been in primary education. So at the end of the day I came to understand that the school needed someone to fill in this role until the end of the term. The principal asked if I would like to do so and I agreed. What this meant for me was an opportunity for myself to begin the process of developing student ICT capability at the school and this would be a whole school project as I had the privilege of looking after students from Prep to Year 6. Now was the time to practice what I preach!

I’d like to invite you to join in this journey with me. Follow my posts as I share with you my experiences, methods, learnings along the way and ideas. All the resources that I will use along with the background information you will be able to find in the teacher resources page on our website. Thus allowing you also to partake on this journey.

Let’s get started.


When planning on developing student ICT capability in the primary classroom, it is important to analyse the whole situation as effective planning requires this. Here are the questions needed to be answered.

Planning to use ICT – what questions do I need to answer?


According to Kennewell et al. (2000):

  1. What is the educational purpose of the activity?
  2. Will the children need to be monitor to identify opportune moments for teacher intervention to enhance their ICT skills?
  3. Does it provide children with the experience of using ICT as tool?
  4. Are there opportunities to assess students’ competence?
  5. Will the children work co-operatively or collaboratively? How will this be introduced and supported?

Potter et al. (2005) also suggests:

  • What do we know about the children’s existing knowledge, skills and understanding in the subject?
  • What has been their previous experience with ICT?
  • What does the National Curriculum set out for the children in this class?
  • What does the relevant strategy, scheme or framework suggest at this level?
  • What am I therefore expecting the children to achieve?
  • How will I differentiate the activity to reflect the different needs and abilities in the class?
  • What relevant pieces of theoretical writing and/or case studies are there to support my planning?
  • What will be the demands on me in terms of my own knowledge, skills and understanding of ICT?
  • What is the resource setting for the school and how does this impact on what I can plan for the class?
  • What are the additional time costs and constraints on me when planning to use ICT?
  • What kind of grouping or organisation am I planning for?
  • How do I go about the physical management of the activity?
  • Are there any further cross-curricular links?
  • How will I go about including the whole class in the activity?


With 9 weeks to put this plan into action, it will mean effective and efficient planning must occur.  Will I able to develop their ICT capability? No, but that is only because this is a continual process and the time given won’t be sufficient. By the end of the term it is hoped that I will have been able to start this process by pinpointing their current level of capabilities efficiently and effectively. And this important to be able to ensure progresssion and continuity occurs.

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