ICT Teaching Strategies for the Victorian Curriculum
The Australian Curriculum, in a bid to enhance and promote learning, has implanted ICT capability as a General Capability spread across all learning areas. Basically, this means that ICT capability is now regarded as a 21st Century skill that students should possess.
The Victorian state has gone a step further and has added reporting to their curriculum. Teachers in Victoria are now required to assess and report on the progress of students in ICT capability. Essentially, this places teachers in Victoria at an advantage over teachers elsewhere as they will be able to compare the progress of individual students against where they ought to be and consequently work towards filling an existing gap.
Needless to say, there exist several hurdles that teachers have to jump while teaching in order to ensure that their assessment is correct. For instance, teachers have to be careful not to put students who don’t have computers at home at a disadvantage. Teachers also have to navigate the technical issues that occur with computers regularly. Due to such things, teachers have to adopt impactful teaching strategies to ensure their journey towards inculcating ICT capability in students is successful. Some of the ICT teaching strategies that are best suited for the Victorian program have been explored below.
This basically means that teachers ought to plan for progression. While this is a common practice in teaching in general, it tends to get overlooked when it comes to employing ICT in classrooms. This is mainly due to the fact that most students are already familiar with technology. By setting goals and objectives, you are able to ensure that students develop their ICT skills gradually as they progress. It ensures that students don’t stagnate in their learning. To be able to set effective attainable goals, teachers have to be familiar with each student’s ICT capability. These goals should also be expressed very clearly to students so that they know what they are supposed to have learned in a particular time frame.
Before you set goals, it is important that you are familiar with the student’s current ICT capabilities to ascertain where they should be and what to learn in order to promote progression. You can do this by preparing a simple ICT task for them before lessons commence. During this task, monitor them while taking notes on each student’s capability. You will be able to set relevant goals after this.
2. Explicit Teaching
When introducing new ICT concepts, ensure you employ explicit teaching practices that clearly outline what the student is supposed to perform a particular task, and how they should go about performing it. You can use worked examples, as they can, later on, be used by students in independent practice. A worked example is effective as it details step by step how to go about a particular task. At the end of the lesson, you can be able to assess progression by seeing how well the students have understood the steps you followed.
3. Challenge the students
As mentioned earlier, children today are more coherent with technology than ever before. This makes the task of teaching ICT rather daunting, as the risk of stagnating their capability is extremely high. Therefore, you need to challenge your students often to ensure that there is progression in their capabilities. This does not necessarily mean introducing new complex software. You can easily challenge your students by asking them to explore different ways of using one software, as ICT skills tend to be diverse. It goes without saying that you cannot challenge your students if you are not familiar with their current capabilities. However, ensure you challenge the less confident students to ensure their skills grow and stretch the more capable students, to make sure their skills do not stagnate.
Just like in other teaching areas, questioning remains a powerful tool even when it comes to assessing students ICT capabilities. Questioning provides a good platform for students to engage, discuss and even bring forth different perspectives and alternatives. Most importantly, questioning is a great feedback platform. As you question your students, you will be able to depict from their answers the level or degree of their ICT capability. This is definitely beneficial for both the teacher and students. Teachers will be able to realign their teaching practices or explore deeper any problematic areas.
5. Formative Assessment
At this point, it is important to note that because most of ICT work is practical in nature, the most efficient way to track the progress of students in the Victorian Curriculum would be through the use of assessment for learning’ methods. This basically involves giving the students a task and then monitoring the approach they use to complete it. The idea behind this is that a finished task may not unveil the methods that were employed in completing it.
Needless to say, teachers have to be proficient in assessing student ICT capability in order to report on progress. Should you wish to sharpen your skills further, you may explore the accredited online courses offered on this website, all of which are rich in teaching strategies.