One of the greatest problems facing teachers, particularly primary school teachers, is planning ICT activities that can help children develop their ICT capabilities.
In this article, you will learn:
- What you need to consider when planning to use ICT in teaching and learning
- Planning on integrating ICT
- Planning on developing an integrated approach in primary ed
Why is Planning important in Teaching?
Planning is important in teaching as it ensures learning progression in subject learning and also in the general capabilities of the curriculum. Through planning you be able to better manage student boredom in the classroom which leads to behaviour issues and more classroom management strategies are needed.
Planning ensures that all students learn from the curriculum and that the content of the key learning areas are considered.
Yet, one of the most difficult things which you have to face as a teacher is being able to plan ICT activities that develop student ICT capabilities.
The most effective way to develop students' ICT capabilities is to provide them with meaningful activities, embedded in purposeful subject-related contexts.
For example, "rather than teaching children how to use a database, a knowledge of database principles and processes and the skills required to enter and manipulate data, can be taught through using a database to help the children learn something useful about a subject" (Bennett,2007, 48).
What do you need to consider when you plan on using ICT for teaching and learning?
Using ICT in the classroom requires planning which is a little more complex. It is one of the primary teacher's major issues - planning ICT activities that can help the children develop their ICT capabilities and ICT literacy.
While ICT in the primary classroom has many benefits, it is vital that when you are planning the use of ICT that you consider the following as a good strategy for the use of ICT in teaching and learning
Here are some things for you to consider when you want to plan for using ICT for teaching and learning in your classroom.
Have you conducted a thorough analysis of the situation?
Effective teaching depends on effective planning and this in turn, relies heavily on you conducting a thorough analysis of the situation.
For there to be an optimal lesson with ICT you need to have clear learning goals, provide a supportive social context for learning, enable students to engage in the learning process in a number of different ways, help students contextualise the content in terms of their own experience and knowledge, and be willing to modify learning tasks in the light of student circumstances.
Understand how students learn with ICT
Before you even begin to plan on using ICT for teaching, it is vital that you understand how your students learn with ICT. You must learn how to match the ICT resource to the intended learning and how ICT relates to other key skills.
Decide on the role you want ICT to play in the activity
Do you want the students to use the ICT in the activity to develop their ICT capability, to support learning in another area of the curriculum or both? Ultimately, you should aim to have the students use ICT to support the subject context learning whilst remaining transparent in the background and developing their ICT capability.
Are there opportunities for you to assess children’s ICT competence?
Good planning should create assessment opportunities because good assessment informs good planning.
Use a range of further questioning to consider things such as the knowledge about children’s existing knowledge, cross-curricular links, and any constraints on yourself when planning to use ICT etc.
Reflect on the impact of learning styles in education and the role of ICT within them
The main problem is not only the abundance of models but also the competing benefits of successful use. ICT has the capability to provide high quality visual and auditory materials, however, the justification for their use should not just be that they match a single learning style.
Planning for Integration of ICT in teaching and learning
There are four steps which you need to consider every time you decide to include the use of ICT activities in your lessons.
- 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, 2007, p51)
You also need to consider:
- The educational purpose of the activity - are you going to develop ICT capability, support the subject context or both?
- Will the children be monitored so that you can identify the best times to intervene to further develop their capabilities in ICT?
- Are the children actually going to be using ICT as a tool for learning?
- Have you included opportunities to assess their capabilities in ICT along the way?
- How will the children work? Collaboratively or cooperatively?
Planning on Developing an Integrated Approach to teaching and learning with ICT
ICT in the primary classroom plays a significant role in a child's learning and development. However, if you are to integrate ICT into the curriculum it is important that you:
- Need a good understanding of ICT concepts and their relation to other areas of the curriculum.
- Plan to focus on the importance of clear objectives for each classroom activity. For example, plan on developing students' ICT capability prior to using ICT in teaching and learning particularly in other subject learning.
Close relationships exist between ICT capability and knowledge, skills, and understanding in other subject areas. It is not helpful to see their development in isolation.
Using ICT in the classroom effectively will need you to shift your focus between ICT objectives and other learning objectives during an ICT activity.
Literacy- ICT Lesson Plan Bundle
Foundation Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Year 4 Year 5 - Lesson Plans that Integrate Technology in Literacy Lessons!
If you want learn more about our strategy for use of ICT in teaching learning, we recommend joining your colleagues in our NESA and TQI accredited online professional development for teachers using technology in the classroom.
Being an accredited course means that the practices and principles of ICT in teaching and learning process that will we discuss are all aligned with the teacher quality standards in Australia.
‘ICT Teaching Strategies for Primary School Teachers’ stresses that just simple exposure of ICT to students will not sufficiently develop their ICT capability and ICT literacy and will just result in the haphazard development of ICT skills.
The objectives of ICT integration in education are many so I emphasise the importance of teacher planning when you decide to use ICT in teaching and learning.
Why Plan for the use of ICT in Primary Teaching
Our strategy for use of ICT in teaching learning involves the technology integration planning where you as the teacher, ensure that you as a teacher enable students to reach the stage where the technology they are using becomes sufficiently transparent that they are almost unaware of its existence while achieving learning outcomes. This the ultimate aim of ICT capability and our strategy includes the following:
- Analyse the situation
- Understand how students learn with ICT
- Practice ICT teaching strategies for primary school classrooms
- Facilitate student capabilities in ICT
- Develop a whole school approach to ICT capability
- Select the appropriate ICT tools to use in the classroom
- Support ICT capability development across key learning areas
- Create an inclusive technology-rich learning environment
This online workshop on ICT teaching strategies for primary school teachers has proven to be successful in having an impact on student ICT learning.
“This course has been beneficial. I have learned more about how to integrate ICT in the classroom and how to support the students who struggle in this area. The readings have been particularly useful and it has been great to see other professionals and their use of ICT in the classroom.”
"I have thoroughly enjoyed this course. I have learned the importance of ICT in all schools. This course has enhanced my ideas of classroom practice by giving me confidence that I was on the right track."
"I will definitely employ these ideas. Great tips."
The ICT for teachers that we recommend are significant for the successful technology integration planning model that we provide. They all encompass the following attributes:
- Promote a high level of decision making on the behalf of the students
- Challenges students intellectually.
Key examples of ICT in teaching and learning include:
- Word processors
- Desktop publishers
- Spreadsheets and databases
- Web creation and development
- Coding programs
- Drawing and painting programs
The best strategy for use of ICT in teaching learning is to begin with what you have got. Don’t always look for the next big technological development to come around and somehow solve your teaching with ICT problems. Technology integration is about the here and the now of the available technology in the classroom. Imagine the potential for ICT learning within the context in which it will be taught.
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