How to speak Tech in Literacy Lessons today

Teaching Strategies

By Michael Hilkemeijer

Throughout the Australian Curriculum, there are many opportunities where literacy learning can be improved with ICT. It is also an opportunity for teachers to develop student ICT capability and the best way to do this is by speaking in technology terms when you introduce the problem statement to students. 

This is the methodology which I have been incorporating into my new literacy-technology integration lesson plans. ICT capability is more than just the teaching of ICT techniques – a very common misconception amongst teachers. Although it does play a key role it has more to do the development of higher order skills and the conceptual understanding which students must possess. 

For higher order skills, it is important that you help build student autonomy in the selection of ICT tools and resources. It is this point which starts students of on the right path in their development of ICT capability. For example, much of the work that a student would do using ICT in literacy lessons mainly consists of redrafting and improving student literacy work. They may have just completed a worksheet which you had set out for them. Instead of just sending them off to type it up in a word processor you could plan and think how you might present this in a problem statement. Here is an example: 

Problem Statement:

“Present to an audience in dot points why you like this character in the text the most. Select the appropriate ICT tool/software that will enable you to do this as well as including pictures on slides which may decide to add either sound or other multimedia elements to.” 

The more you use technology terms in the problem statement the better students will be able to understand the concepts behind the software which you are encouraging them to use. By becoming familiar with the software yourself you will be able to do this effectively. Obviously, the higher the year level the more technology terms you can incorporate. 

Literacy Teaching Resources

As a teacher, you will then need to gauge their comprehension of the problem statement and it may be best to then to have a whole class discussion about what their options are in terms of software available in the classroom. Will the terms used indicate the use of a word processor? Or a graphics software? What about presentation/multimedia software? What is available? What are its features and how can it be achieved? 

By doing this, you will be able to challenge them intellectually and lead them to making the correct choices in terms of the selection of ICT tools and resources for creation of ICT solutions to a problem. By using technology terms you will also be exposing them to terminology which no doubt they will come across in the future and therefore, be better prepared for their ICT and literacy needs.

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