What is a whole school approach to developing student ICT capability?
A whole-school approach is when there is a cohesive, collective and collaborative action in and by the teaching staff to strategically work on improving student learning in ICT capability.
It involves school teachers working on the same teaching strategies and ICT tools to ensure that student ICT capability is effectively developed throughout the school.
Why is a whole school approach important?
Ensure Progression and Continuity in Student Learning
A whole-school approach is particularly important when it comes to addressing the development of student ICT capability and therefore fulfilling the Australian Curriculum requirements. Firstly, by ensuring that every primary classroom teacher is implementing the same teaching strategies and integrating the most appropriate ICT tools for student learning, progression and continuity in student capabilities can be achieved. Student capabilities are then built upon when teachers actively collaborate and share invaluable student data regarding their progress. Effective progression and continuity in student learning also serves as a vital aide in classroom management as primary classroom teachers avoid the repetition of ICT skills that can lead to student boredom and misbehaviour.
Maximise Student Outcomes
The development of student ICT capability is the responsibility of all teachers, not just the ICT specialist teacher or those assigned to this duty. It is the view of ICTE Solutions Australia that ICT is a crucial tool for teaching and learning in today’s society and should be integrated throughout all Learning Areas of the Australian Curriculum. Students need to be ICT capable to “participate in a knowledge-based economy and to be empowered within a technologically sophisticated society now and in the future” (ACARA, 2016). They will learn important ICT capabilities as they develop proficient practices in the use of key technologies in their lives.
It is the duty of all teachers to maximise the abilities of all students and therefore all citizens within Australia if the nation is to have a truly proficient society that adopts, adapts and confidently embraces and exploits technology to its advantage.
We believe that the use of ICT in the classroom must simultaneously serve two purposes that is to firstly, effectively develop student ICT capability and secondly, to support and enhance the curriculum context.
To Utilise and Exploit the Full Potential of Technology
Primary schools use a range of ICT tools in the classroom and the contribution to ICT capability varies tremendously. The effective application of ICT capability development is only achieved if students have full control over the technology itself. This is the only way that they can utilise and exploit the full potential of technology in the classroom. Other applications of ICT in the primary classroom includes when the computer or technology is in control or provides a structure for the activity. However, these are the least likely to be able to achieve ICT capability development.
Maximise Student Motivation and Engagement
As every new generation of students gets exposed to the latest developments and advancements in ICT primary classroom teachers can take advantage of their enthusiasm and use of technology in their lives. Today, ICT in the classroom serves as a fantastic tool to motivate and engage students together with its ability to create independence in learning and improve student achievement levels. The connectivity of ICT also allows students to explore things outside of their classroom walls and interact with the world.
How does ICTE Solutions Australia help Primary Schools to develop a whole school approach to developing student ICT capability?
We provide effective professional development for teachers that focuses on proven teaching strategies and ICT tools that will ensure the development of student ICT capability at your school. Our services comes in a variety of formats including teacher workshops and online courses for primary classroom teachers. The strategies we promote include the following.
Teaching and Developing Student ICT Capability
Strategy 1: Understanding the nature of ICT capability
In order to appreciate the role that ICT capability plays within every Learning Area it is important that the nature of it is understood. Learning what makes up ICT capability will help to lay the strong foundations for the development throughout your school.
Strategy 2: Auditing teacher capability
Research has shown that by teachers having a good understanding of their own ICT capability as well as various software available, it increases the development of ICT skills for students.
Strategy 3: Planning for Progression: Classroom foundations
For the development of student capabilities to begin it must start with the individual teacher. Here we provide you with the right tools and knowledge to start this process in your own classroom. It is about plotting the right path for each student by utilising how you can plan for their learning effectively.
Strategy 4: Actively Collaborating and Sharing Knowledge
A whole-school approach can only be achieved if everyone is working from the same book and passing on key data about student capabilities. By doing this, the next teacher can effectively plan for the learning of new ICT skills for each student.
Strategy 5: Promoting Progression and Continuity
It is vital if students are to continue to develop their capabilities that the correct student data is shared across all schooling phases. The effective collaboration and communication between schools plays a significant role in the effective development of student ICT capability.
Strategy 6: Facilitate Capabilities in the classroom
Providing the correct learning environment is essential for primary classroom teachers and involves the right scaffolding and affordances are in place to support student learning.
Strategy 7: Selecting the appropriate tools for learning
The correct tools for the development of student ICT capability need to fostered and integrated into the Learning Areas to ensure that capabilities in ICT skills are promoted. With the wide range of ICT devices entering the realm of the classroom these days, not all will efficiently and effectively achieve this particular goal. Understanding what and where to use specific ICT tools will boost students’ abilities with technology.
Strategy 8: Developing an effective assessment strategy
To be able to teach and develop student ICT capability in a proficient manner it is absolutely vital that every teacher learns and understands how to judge student work appropriately. To be able to assess a student’s progress primary classroom teachers need to look past just the digital product that is created.
Strategy 9: Organising ICT in the classroom
Research shows that if every child is to benefit from ICT then it is imperative that the organisation of ICT in the classroom is done in an efficient manner that will ensure productivity and engagement by students is paramount.