The Best ICT Tools to use in the Classroom

Teaching Strategies

By Michael Hilkemeijer

 

Top 5 Reasons why these are the best ICT tools in the classroom today?

These ICT tools for teaching and learning are the best in the primary classroom for the following reasons:

  1. These ICT tools for learning are affordable - you probably have them in your classroom or school already. 
  2. They are generic - this means that they are widely available and commonly used by both students and teachers.
  3. Content-free - this type of software challenges children intellectually.
  4. Children in control of technology - the ICT becomes a tool for learning in a variety of different ways and the demands 
  5. Develop student ICT capability and ICT literacy - this is amplified when you support and scaffold ICT learning in key learning areas.

 

How to use ICT tools in the Classroom

To unlock the potential of technologies to use in the classroom, you need to:

 

DON'T GO LOOKING FOR THE LATEST TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS IN EDUCATION!

 

 

ICT tools in the classroom

WHY YOU NEED ICT PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT?

"Teachers need specific professional development opportunities in order to increase their ability to use ICT for formative learning assessments, individualized instruction, accessing online resources, and for fostering student interaction and collaboration."

- UNESCO 

 

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The Best and Most Appropriate Empowering ICT tools.

Evaluating technology integration in the classroom

Great ICT Learning tools for Language, literacy, and Early Childhood Education.

 

 

How does ICT enhance Teaching and Learning?

There is a list of reasons which demonstrate how ICT can enhance teaching and learning in the 21st century. However, some of the main ones include:

  • Student motivation.
  • Student attainment levels.
  • Student engagement in subject learning.

The following list of ICT tools used in classroom teaching is categorised into various areas of learning. 

This will then go to illustrate the benefits of each for teachers and students.

 

INTELLECTUALLY CHALLENGING TECHNOLOGIES TO USE IN THE CLASSROOM

 

ICT Tools for Developing Literacy

With the 'new literacies' comes new ICT skills as literacy is no longer limited to reading paper books and texts. Today, new literacies brings the learning of new technologies which are essential for students to master if they are to be literate for the 21st century. New technologies can be used to do traditional things in a different, more motivating way. As a consequence, teachers are challenged not only to integrate technology into traditional aspects of literacy instruction but also to engage students in emerging technological literacies.

 

  • Word processing has close links to literacy and language development. Being proficient in word processing skills is something which students will continually use and build on throughout their school career.
  • Blogs are an excellent way for students to collaborate and communicate using an online word processor. 
  • Wikis ('What I Know Is'): These can be a repository of knowledge for students and like blogs, the possibilities for wikis are wide open. There can be research projects, writing projects, and library projects just to name a few.
  • Emails - great for developing online literacy skills. We all write differently online and for different audiences too.
  • Web creation and design: These are really online word processors and so the possibilities in literacy lessons are endless but can be limited to the teacher's own capabilities in ICT.
  • Web searching (Information literacy skills): The ability to find information is a vital skill to have in the 21st century. What strategies are available to navigate electronic texts and the internet? Where are the signposts and clues?
  • Drawing and graphics programs: Visual literacy is equally important today than ever before. Imagine demonstrating to your students how to use one of these drawing or graphics programs so that they can use it creatively in order to add an image to a newspaper article, to understand how pictures can sometimes tell a thousand words just by the colour, expressions or medium used
  • Digital video: Harness the power of video to help students develop their language skills. 
  • Spreadsheets and Databases: Who said that these can't be used in English lessons? What about opportunities for the teaching and reinforcement of a range of higher-order language skills, such as keyword selection and the skimming and scanning of text?

 

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        ICT tools in the classroom

 

ICT Tools to Promote Literacy and Language Development in Early childhood Education

 

Child development is the most general educational goal for early childhood teachers. 

ICT can be used to support the learning and development of both literacy and language in early years education. 

This is mostly conducted through collaboration with other children around computers where the quality of discussions can be quite interesting.

 

  • Computers offer a ‘print-rich’ learning environment for young children. You will most likely find that there is a lot more attention to detail in their conversations than in other situations. Some believe that this may to do with the abstraction the computer provides as it allegedly forces children to talk more and physically do less. 
  • Developmentally appropriate programs - There are a few things that you need to remember in terms of choosing the most developmentally appropriate programsIt is important that you look for programs that promote speaking, listening, reading, and writing. There are programs that can record children’s voices. The Gruffalo App is one such example that allows children to record their voices in time with the story being told. They can then listen to their own voice throughout the story as it is being told.
  • Internet - The Internet can also help children learn literacy skills in their home language and in the language of their friends. 
  • Word processors - these offer possibilities for children to compose and write without needing to have mastered the production of letters by hand. ICT learning tools for early childhood education offers such a variety of ways for children and photos and videos is another method to develop literacy and language skills. The reason why this is the number one activity for this is that it allows children to weave together words and pictures.

 

So these are the main ICT learning tools that I suggest to use to aide in the development of literacy and language.

 

There are other tools such as multi-link headphones, digital cameras, webcams, audio recording software, walkie-talkies, telephones that also encourage the development of speaking and listening skills.

Interactive whiteboards and smartboards promote writing skills on a large scale. However, these are mostly used in collaboration with the ones I discussed earlier.

There are many ICT tools that can be implemented successfully in a learning environment. Learning environments in early childhood can now be indoor and outdoor, so these tools can have quite an extensive range.

 

 

 

ICT tools used in classroom teaching

LEARN ALSO ABOUT:

How to choose meaningful ICT tools and resources.

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5 ICT tools to teach Mathematics

 

 

ICT Tools for Primary Schools

 

READ ABOUT:

9 of the best ICT tools for the Secondary Classroom

 

Primary educators are charged with the task of developing ICT capability through effective technology integration in the classroom. From Foundation to Level 4 in Year 6, students are expected to progress in their learning in ICT capability.

 

Here is my top list of ICT tools for primary schools.

 

  • Word processing – a basic and important skill to have for students through their formal schooling. Students are expected to progress in their skills through primary school and should be able to save documents, save them in different formats and understand what those formats mean. You should effectively help students to develop key typing skills and provide them with access to printers.
  • Spreadsheets – as with word processors, to be able to save documents and to have sufficient typing skills. Primary exit skills include being able to set up columns, using basic formulas, inserting and deleting rows, changing font size etc.
  • Information literacy skills – web searching is an essential skill in the information age. Students need to know practical skills and critical skills such as understanding domain names and what they mean; knowing which are more trustworthy; knowing which are more useful for information and research.
  • Animation (clay or drawing) – stop motion is the best for students to practice and they can craft a story and develop their higher-order skills as they plan, monitor and evaluate their own work.
  • Presentation software – you could use Prezi or PowerPoint, whichever one you prefer and are familiar with the most. Ensure that by the end of primary school, they leave with skills such as being able to create handouts and notes pages, setting up animations, designing their own slide design and inserting tables, images, and smart art graphics.
  • Blogging – this is a type of website or part of a website that can be updated with new content from time to time. Most are interactive and allows students to have a controlled online presence.
  • Web 2.0 – one of best ways to develop higher-order skills for students. It includes Twitter, Facebook where you can create a class page and Tumblr which is awesome for digital images with short titles.
  • Publishing programs – the most familiar of these is MS Publisher which is great for developing literacy skills which makes it extremely useful in primary education.
  • Making a video – yep….students can create a video, edit it, and evaluate it as most iPads contain a recording camera. Students can transfer it to a program where can continue to piece together their work.
  • Web design – students can do this anywhere and at any time these times. Did you know that if they have MS Word that they can create a single web page using this program? Awesome right!

 

 

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