Making sense of ICT in the classroom
Recently, I was exploring the Digital Technologies Hub website (if you haven’t already been on there, spoiler: it’s awesome!) While on there, I stumbled across a series of infographics about the ICT Capability and Digital Technologies curriculum. These infographics got me a little excited… So much so, that I sat down straight away to write this article so I could share them with you!
In the Australian Curriculum, we have the ICT Capability and the Digital Technologies subject. These infographics (shown throughout this article) clearly define the distinction between the two – what needs to be addressed in each, and examples of how that might look.
I often speak to teachers who are confused by these two technology-related parts of the curriculum. They think only the ICT teacher teaches ICT. Or that by having a 1:1 program in their classroom, they have met the criteria for ICT Capability.
It is so much more than that!
As teachers, we are ALL responsible for equipping students with the skills they need to be safe, smart and skilled online.
This can be easier said than done, particularly for teachers who haven’t been trained themselves in the content that makes up the ICT Capability, who aren’t experienced with new technologies and who struggle – with everything else we’re expected to do!! – to find the time to do this up-skilling.
There many resources to assist teachers with this. In fact, one of my biggest goals is to help teachers reach a level where are confident and capable of passing on ICT skills to their students.
There are many skills that need to be passed on, as you’ll see from this next infographic:
I’ve collated in this article some resources that you may find useful. These are ones that I’ve either used myself and found useful, or ones I have created!
Mapping the ICT Capability
Earlier this year I developed some ICT Capability Mapping documents, to assist teachers I was working with in integrating ICT skills into their classrooms.
The ICT Capability address important, critical ICT skills however the wording can appear a bit “technical” for some teachers. The documents I created are designed to be user-friendly, and outline very clearly what teachers need to be addressing in each year group.
These documents also provide space for teachers to note what app/website they will use and in what subject, to meet each of the capabilities.
I’ve made these documents available here:
Learn Digital Podcast
A couple months ago, I launched the “Learn Digital” podcast series. This podcast is designed to help teachers meet the requirements of the ICT Capability. This is for ALL teachers – primary, secondary, graduate, experienced, etc.
This podcast provides practical advice, strategies and lesson ideas for teachers. Basically, to help teachers understand how technology works, what softwares/apps could be useful and how to integrate them into their lessons. Basically, what’s on this infographic (and more!)
I share my own experiences, as well as insights from experienced educators (including, Mr Ian Elder, Principal of Santa Maria College, and Mrs Lorna Russell, Assistant Principal of Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Primary School).
Where possible, I include corresponding lesson plans and/or video tutorials alongside the podcast on my website. Because let’s be honest, it’s one thing to listen to an idea, but it’s another to them go out and create or implement!
Podcast is free to listen to (either via my website or iTunes Podcast) and currently is released fortnightly (would love to make that more regular though – get in touch if you have an ICT idea worth sharing!)
ICT Teaching & Learning Community Australia Facebook Group
I established this Facebook group to accompany the podcast. It’s a way for teachers to learn more about ICT in the Australian curriculum, as well as share ideas, tips, challenges, ask questions and professional development opportunities with other Australian teachers.
Click here to request membership.
“The Tweeting Galah” Cybersafety Resource
The last one of mine, I promise! Cybersafety spans across both the ICT Capability and Digital Technologies curriculum. I’m stoked that schools have already begun using my recently published book, “The Tweeting Galah” to educate students about digital citizenship.
This book is a collection of illustrated short stories that cover common cybersafety risks encountered by young Australians today (cyberbullying, online predators, too much screen time and posting inappropriate content). Reflection questions based on Bloom’s Taxonomy wrap up each of the stories, and there are learning activities – such as quizzes, cybersafety scenarios and digital device contracts – included at the end. I also provide schools with lesson plans and fact sheets to assist the teacher in easily introducing this content and the book to their class.
As one teacher remarked to me the other day, “What I love [about the book] is that it’s just all there! I simply pick it up and start reading. The reflection questions and activities then guide me through what to do after the story. And the kids love it!”
To find out more, click here.
Apple & Microsoft Education Programs
Apple Teacher provides detailed handbooks, walk-throughs and lesson ideas for using iPads, Macbooks and Apple softwares in the classroom.
Microsoft provide a similar service, but of course with their own software programs! Microsoft also provide extended video tutorials and programs relating to topics such as coding (how to introduce it into your classroom for the first time) and using technology to assist students with learning difficulties (such as Dictation to help those verbalise, rather than write, their responses).
Both provide you with short quizzes at the end of each module or program, which means you can be working towards earning badges and certification to acknowledge your efforts and knowledge!
Digital Citizenship – A Full Scope & Sequence
Common Sense Media is another wonderful tool to help teachers check the digital citizenship box. They provide free, fully prepared lesson plans that cover everything from copyright to cyberbullying. They have a full scope and sequence for K – 12, mapping out all the skills students need to know at different ages (Note: American, not Australia, but still highly relevant).
They also provide you with the opportunity to gain certification – as a teacher, but also as a school. It’s a great way to ensure your school is addressing the main points of cybersafety – and not only educating students, but parents as well.
Wow! Who would have thought three infographics would have sparked such excitement in me. But it’s so wonderful to see this essential curriculum being conveyed so clearly and many wonderful resources being continually developed to help ensure our students (and teachers) are equipped to be safe, smart and skilled in an online world.
Any other great resources out there? I would love to hear of any you’ve found useful via the comment section below.