ICTs FOR LEARNING DESIGN
On a scale of one to ten, with ten being totally prepared and ready to teach using information and communication technology (ICT) in the classroom, I self-rank myself a solid seven. I pride myself on my information technology (IT) abilities and seem to be the go to girl when a colleague or student needs prompting, troubleshooting or are experiencing an “it won’t work!” moment. On a personal level, I feel as if I have kept up with IT trends of late, I’ve kind of had to, my pride won’t let my nine year old son know more than me. Whilst completing my university degree via distance education, I was exposed to and confident when using a wide range of e-learning tools including digital simulation and scenario based programs and applications. This exposure and experience with ICT rates me at a seven on the preparedness scale. Then, I was asked to create a Weebly blog.
My rank has plummeted dramatically and after that experience, I’m sitting around a five, at best. I’m not sure why I found it so frustrating creating and designing my page, nothing seemed to work smoothly for me. The ‘buttons’ and ‘links’ just wouldn’t cooperate and I found myself getting more and more discouraged as time went on. I must admit, I’m not a ‘read the instructions’ kind of girl, usually I can play around and things seem to come together for me. But in this instance and to save my laptop from being smashed into oblivion, google became a god sent.
My blog is finally up and running, though not as aesthetically pleasing as my obsessive compulsive disorder demands, but we got there in the end. Creating this blog got me thinking, how can I possibly teach using ICTs when I myself struggle using such programs. Looking at the upcoming course content, I’m quickly realising ICTs go beyond the use of YouTube and subject specific apps like Anatomy Learning – 3D Atlas. Will I cope?
Exploring the ICT Capability and the National Professional Standard for Teachers (see Resources tab), confirms for me that standards regarding ICT are in fact more in-depth than I could ever imagine. It never occurred to me that there are moral and ethical components to consider with regards to ICTs in the classroom. It never occurred to me the ICTs I chose to use, need to be adapted to support the participation and learning of students with disabilities. Nor did it occur to me that the ICTs I select, the strategies I implement, must cater for students who identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander. I guess I just figured if the resource was available, and made the class more interesting for the students, why wouldn’t the teacher use it? I now realise it’s not a simple as that.
Despite my new found apprehension around technology, I am looking forward to this course. I am ready to step out of my comfort zone, as I encourage most of my students to do at times, set aside my frustrations and begin exploring my capabilities. I hope to come out the other end armed and ready to select, implement and manage ICTs in a bid to engage my students and enhance their learning and learning experiences in my classroom.