At the beginning of this course I had a very limited understanding of the relationship between ICT and pedagogy. In particular, I had a very limited understanding of how to use ICTs in the classroom to enhance and transform teaching practices and student learning. During past professional experience placements, I used a limited range of ICT tools such as PowerPoint presentations, Word documents, YouTube videos, online games and electronic books, to facilitate teaching and learning in my classroom. I did not have the knowledge, skills or confidence to implement ICTs outside this range of tools. Bingimlas (2009) states, “one barrier that prevents teachers from using ICT in their teaching is lack of confidence” (p. 237). Fu (2013) similarly argues that teachers’ attitudes, perceptions and confidence in using ICT are the main challenges associated with successful ICT use in the classroom. Therefore, as I commenced this course I acknowledged that I needed to improve my ICT skills and broaden my repertoire of ICT tools to use in the classroom. I also needed to expand my understanding of the relationship between ICT and pedagogy and how to use ICTs in the classroom to enhance and transform teaching and learning.
As I progressed through this course I have been challenged to learn more about ICT and pedagogy. Initially, I struggled to understand the concept of using ICTs to ‘enhance’ and ‘transform’ teaching and learning. By reading other people’s blogs both inside and outside the course, engaging with the course modules and activities, and conducting my own research, I came to understand the power of ICT in the classroom and how it can be used to enhance and transform teaching and learning. ICT provides an array of powerful tools that can help in transforming the present isolated, teacher-centred and text-bound classrooms into technology enriched, student-focused and interactive knowledge environments (Rastogi & Malhotra, 2013). Some of the powerful new tools that I have learnt to use include Bubbl.us, Popplet, WordPress, Book Creator, Word Cloud, Wix, and Voki. I have surprised myself with my ability to develop new skills in using these new ICTs and I was enthusiastic to use some of these tools on my recent professional experience placement. On my recent placement, I also enjoyed the opportunity to teach my mentor teachers how to use these tools to enhance and transform teaching and learning.
Throughout this course I also significantly learnt that ICT integration functions at different levels in the classroom. The ‘Rat Model’ (Hughes, Thomas & Scharber, 2006) has helped me to understand how ICTs are used in the classroom and whether they are functioning as replacement, amplification or transformation. The Rat Model has enabled me to more effectively evaluate how I use ICTs in my classroom. Kirschner and Wopereis (2003) state, “ICT is too often used as a modern and efficient substitute for existing learning and teaching materials and seldom as a vehicle for innovation and transformation of education” (p. 107). As a result of this learning I realised that on past professional experience placements I was using ICTs to ‘replace’ traditional forms of teaching and learning rather than to enhance and transform teaching and learning. Therefore, this new understanding enabled me to make critical decisions about how I use ICTs in my classroom during my recent placement, particularly regarding using ICTs to enhance and transform teaching and learning. I now feel more confident in using a wide range of ICTs in the classroom and I recognise the importance of evaluating and reflecting on how I use ICTs in order to enhance and transform teaching and learning.
The following concept map provides a brief summary of ‘ICT and Me’ and my learning throughout this course:
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.
Fu, J. S. (2013). ICT in education: A critical literature review and its implications. International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology, 9(1), 112-125. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/openview/2e3a7cd417463ec1e137548a306a0a31/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=28521.
Hughes, J., Thomas, R., & Scharber, C. (2006). Assessing Technology Integration: The RAT –Replacement, Amplification, and Transformation – Framework. In C. Crawford, R. Carlsen, K. McFerrin, J. Price, R. Weber, & D. A. Willis (Eds.), Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference (2006) (pp. 1616-1620). Orlando, Florida: AACE. Retrieved fromhttp://www.editlib.org/p/22293/.
Kirschner, P., & Wopereis, I. G. J. H. (2003). Mindtools for teacher communities: a European perspective. Technology, Pedagogy and Education, 12(1), 105–124. doi:10.1080/14759390300200148.
Rastogi, A., & Malhotra, S. (2013). ICT skills and attitude as determinants of ICT pedagogy integration. European Academic Research, 1(3), 301-318. Retrieved from https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/5a1b/f2eaa3e991bc99734ff6e30585f5edf5fa73.pdf