It is more important for you to be knowledgeable about one program that your students will use than it is to have an acquaintance with a large number. This won’t hamper their development in ICT capability as it is better for them to work with a small number versatile programs and to progressively develop their skills and confidence in these through carefully structured ICT activities. Being familiar with a program will help you to identify when students may encounter a problem and enable you to plan for strategies to overcome them. Also, it will allow you to identify when students are ready to move onto a new feature or to use the software for a more demanding task (Kennewell et al, 2000).
Being familiar with a program should take you beyond just knowing how to use the program for a variety of tasks. ICT capability for a teacher is the same as it is for a student – it is about developing an understanding and judgement about how to use those ICT techniques appropriately. Therefore, it is important that you reflect on the “processes it helps the user to carry out and the ICT techniques with which particular effects can be achieved” (Kennewell et al., 2000, p. 97). Consider then how you will introduce the program to the students along with what ideas need to be clear before they start.
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