By the end of this course we will develop knowledge, experience and skills around using information and communication technology (ICT) to enhance and transform the pedagogy that we use to help our students learn. Understanding what information and communication technologies (ICTs) are, how they relate to different learning areas and the Australian Curriculum, and how we might use them to enhance and transform student learning in our classrooms, is an important aspect of moving forward in our ideas about ICT and pedagogy.
What is ICT?
In order to understand the relationship between ICT and pedagogy, it is important to first understand the meaning of ‘ICT’. ICT is digital technology that supports activities involving information. Such activities include gathering, processing, storing and presenting data. Increasingly these activities also involve collaboration and communication. ICT is therefore defined as a “diverse set of technological tools and resources used to communicate, and to create, disseminate, store, and manage information” (Meenakshi, 2013, p. 3). Some examples of ICTs include: computers, tablets, mobile phones, televisions, radios, cameras and the Internet, as well as the programs, software and applications associated with these technologies.
My (Mis)Understanding of ICT and Pedagogy
My understanding of the relationship between ICT and pedagogy is very limited. Research demonstrates that “limited knowledge of technology is a barrier to successfully embedding ICTs in your approach to pedagogy” (EDC3100 Module 1, 2017). This lack of understanding was made apparent as I completed the EDC3100 Module 1 activities. This lack of understanding subsequently makes me reluctant to use ICTs to enhance and transform my pedagogy.
Throughout my university study I have had exposure to a range of different ICTs (e.g. WordPress, Smart Notebook, Story Jumper). However, my experiences using these ICTs within the classroom is very limited. Whilst on professional experience placement I tend to use those ICTs with which I am most familiar and comfortable. Within the classroom I have used PowerPoint presentations, YouTube videos, online games, and e-books to facilitate the learning of my students.
Image source: https://teachbytes.com/2012/07/30/lol-of-the-week-14/
However, after engaging with the EDC3100 Module 1 activities I now realise that this limited use of ICT will at most ‘enhance’ student learning but does not ‘transform’ student learning. Belland (2009) argues that one of the reasons why teachers’ use of ICTs to enhance student learning is so limited, is that their past experience as learners and teachers includes little or no use of ICTs. Given the prominence of ICTs in students’ lives in the 21st Century and the fast pace at which ICTs are constantly evolving and changing, I acknowledge that I need to broaden my repertoire of ICTs and to improve my ICT skills.
In terms of using ICTs to enhance and transform my pedagogy, this is an area in which I am not very confident. Bingimlas (2009) states, “one barrier that prevents teachers from using ICT in their teaching is lack of confidence” (p. 237). I hope that my learning throughout this course will help me improve my ICT skills (I already love using Diigo) and give me the confidence to use a greater range of ICTs in the classroom to enhance and facilitate student learning.
ICT and the Australian Curriculum
The Australian Curriculum recognises the important relationship between ICT and pedagogy in enhancing and transforming students’ learning. The Australian Curriculum states, “ICTs transform the ways that students think and learn and give them greater control over how, where and when they learn” (Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority, 2017, para. 2). Therefore, the Australian Curriculum requires that students learn to use ICT effectively and appropriately to access, create and communicate information and ideas, solve problems and work collaboratively in all learning areas. In particular, students should develop capability in using ICT for tasks associated with information access and management, information creation and presentation, problem-solving, decision-making, communication, creative expression and empirical reasoning. This has important implications for our approach to pedagogy and use of ICTs in our classrooms.
These implications and the importance of embedding ICTs in our pedagogy to enhance and transform students’ learning will be discussed in my following blog posts over the next few weeks. I will also continue to critique and discuss my personal understanding of ICT and pedagogy in following blog posts. Please stay tuned! I look forward to reading your blog posts and learning more about using ICT to enhance and transform student learning.
Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority. (2017). Information and communication technology (ICT) capability. In General capabilities. Retrieved from http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/generalcapabilities/inform ation-and-communication-technology-capability/introduction/introduction
Belland, B. R. (2009). Using the theory of habitus to move beyond the study of barriers to technology integration. Computers & Education, 52(2), 353–364. Doi:10.1016/j.compedu.2008.09.004
Bingimlas, K. A. (2009). Barriers to the successful integration of ICT in teaching and learning environments: A review of the literature. Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science & Technology Education, 5(3), 235–245.
Meenakshi, J. (2013). Importance of ICT in education. Journal of Research and Method in Education, 1(4), 3-8. Retrieved from http://www.iosrjournals.org/iosr-jrme/papers/Vol-1%20Issue-4/B0140308.pdf