By Michael Hilkemeijer
For many years now government websites have been making teachers aware that children are living in a rapidly changing digital world with Information and Communication Technology (ICT) at the steering wheel. This has also led to governments increasing the use and encouragement of ICT devices such as specific software and hardware that the children use in their everyday lives such as tablet computers, desktop computers, and smartphones to be successfully integrated into the curriculum.
Integrating ICT in the classroom can lead to:
- Support for teaching and learning;
- Development of skills, understanding, attitudes and behaviours to assist children to live and work successfully in a digital world.
Using ICT in the classroom can provide opportunities for all children to develop their skills and knowledge to become successful members of society in a digital world by encouraging ICT use in the classroom to be done ethically, creatively and productively.
Today, curriculums such as the Australian curricula describe opportunities to authentically:
- Integrate ICT in teaching and learning;
- Incorporate digital citizenship when considering the ethical and social impacts of using ICT in classrooms;
- Plan and ethically teach in all subject areas;
- Enable students to develop knowledge, understanding, and skills about ICT related to their interests.
The Role of Teaching and Learning with ICT
The ultimate aim of integrating ICT in classrooms is to develop children’s ICT capability and this is achieved by making the ICT transparent. In other words, the children become so focused on using ICT as a tool to achieve other outcomes that they hardly notice they are using ICT itself.
As a primary teacher then, you should ensure that you enable the children to reach the stage where the technology they are using becomes sufficiently ‘transparent’ that they are unaware of its existence. This is the true essence of integrating ICT is.
To develop children’s ICT capabilities, it will be important for you to provide them with meaningful activities, embedded in purposeful subject-related contexts. For example, ICT in teaching is to do with teaching how to use a database in a context that will help them learn more about the subject itself.
Applying ICT in the Classrooms
The learning of English/Literacy and language skills can be enhanced by the use of ICT in the classroom. It helps children to develop and apply knowledge, understanding and skills of ICT in their composing, responding and presenting. Additionally, it enables them to think critically, creatively and imaginatively in English/literacy learning.
You can learn how to provide quality literacy with ICT integration experiences for your students in my Year 1 to 5 online pd for primary teachers as a member of Academy today.
Or learn more about using ICT in classrooms in one of our literacy with ICT stand-alone courses now.
ICT in the classroom can also enhance and support primary mathematics. Software such as spreadsheets, dynamic geometry software and graphing software can be effectively used to investigate, create and communicate ideas. Today, even more generic software such as MS Word can be used appropriately in lessons.
Here is an example of what you can learn:
Ask students to investigate number patterns using a spreadsheet. In a case study illustrated, students were asked to examine the spreadsheet and find out how the numbers 3, 63, 7, 27 and 100 had been calculated. They were challenged to re-arrange the numbers from 1- 9 in the square pattern to the biggest possible total and smallest possible.
The students required no theoretical knowledge about spreadsheets and the lesson was not about spreadsheets. The spreadsheet was used as a tool to do mathematics.
This task exploits the power of spreadsheets to offer instantaneous re-calculation of a set of numbers.
You can begin your learning journey to learn more about integrating ICT mathematics teaching by becoming a member of my Academy today (50 + online courses and resources) for just $50 per month.
Or start the stand-alone course for $360.
How to integrate ICT in the Primary Science lesson
Through joining our course about how to integrate ICT in the science classroom you will be able to provide opportunities for students to develop their ICT capability when they use ICT to design ideas and solutions, and research scientific concepts and applications.
Join the ICT in Education Teacher Academy now to gain access to this and 50 + other courses for just $50 per month.
Or enrol in this stand-alone course for $360.