Professional Teaching Practice:  ICT in the classroom

Element 4: Teachers communicate effectively with their students.

Standard: 4.1.5 Use a range of teaching strategies and resources including ICT and other technologies to foster interest and support learning.

“Technology takes a special place in the child-driven learning environment as a powerful tool for children’s learning by doing” (Strommen, 1992).

Technology has effectively revolutionized Australian society. Our newest generation, currently in K-12, is demonstrating for us the impact of having developed under the digital wave. These youth have been completely normalized by digital technologies- it is a fully integrated aspect of their lives. Many students in this group are using new media and technologies to create new things in new ways, learn new things in new ways, and communicate in new ways with new people, behaviours that have become hardwired in their ways of thinking and operating in the world (Klopfer, 2009). Klopfer (2009) gives an excellent example of this, “Children are establishing a relationship to knowledge gathering which is alien to their parents and teachers” (p. 2).

Prensky (2001) states, “Today’s teachers have to learn to communicate in the language and style of their students” (p. 4). I believe by appreciating the fact that the students filling classroom chairs have a different perspective on the world, teachers are able to experiment with new ways to connect with children through these technologies. Moreover, the research is supporting this work, showing that “multimedia education improves both comprehension of the lesson material and students’ interest in the lesson topic” (Klopfer, 2009).

In my first year of Practicum placement I was fortunate enough to be placed in a school that was termed ‘technologically well equipped’. In order to build students auditory, visual and kinaesthetic senses, I planned a week Patterns and Algebra mathematic unit of work for my year 1 class whereby I ensured I incorporated a variety of teaching and learning strategies and took advantage of the ICT resources in the classroom. The program included teaching strategies such as open ended questioning, class discussions, independent instructional tasks and extended tasks, partner work, cooperative group tasks,  problem solving and investigations, practical work and drill and practice (through games). I ensured the program used not only instructional interactive but concrete material based games as they were an ample opportunity for the students to develop ways of working mathematically. Games facilitate active involvement and help develop positive attitudes towards mathematics (McBurney-Fry, 2005) – thus making children more receptive to learning.

ICT and other technological resources included whole class instructional interactive warm up games, educational and syllabus content linked computer gaming, digital camera use which required collaborative investigation work and a created SMART board game designed for small group work that enabled students to ‘talk’ about mathematics. All technological resources were purposefully implemented to enhance the learning outcomes for the stage as it did allow for students to be actively involved, participate in collaborative groups, frequent interaction and feedback and have that authentic connection to real-world situations.

During reflective discussions at the end of each lesson, I felt very satisfied with my planned unit as the students conveyed their enjoyment of using such ICT in the classroom including the use of the digital camera and playing the challenging educational games on the computer. The students described and explained what they learnt, understood and can do in relation to the planned unit of work by expressing themselves through what ICT activities they had completed. I felt that incorporating ICT components into the program fostered the interest, success, excitement and enthusiasm of the students.

Mathematic Unit Program Patterns and Algebra Program2

Original ICT Resource (SMART board game) SMART board maths game

Interactive warm-up game links Spooky Sequences Cheeky Monkey Number Sequences Alien Addition

Educational computer gaming link Outdoor Adventure Sequence

Professional Experience Report 

This evidence was selected to show professional documentation that demonstrates my ability to incorporate the use of technology in the classroom. This standard is ticked evident by my colleague teacher during and on completion of practicum placement showing my compentency to use a range of ICT resources to meet the needs and interests of my students.

21st Century Pedagogy- Greg Whitby

Greg Whitby, Executive Director of Schools, Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta, discusses the importance of needing to develop a new pedagogical DNA for schooling in todays world in order to break from the past. Whitby educates viewers about the necessity of our changing society and the need to incorporate ICT into the classroom for our students. Whitby claims, “It’s about striking the right balance. We cannot ignore the potential of Web 2.0 in creating powerful learning networks for exchanging ideas and knowledge”.

 

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