lim joe→∞

Teaching, Mathematics and Teaching Math.

Teaching ICT? Or Teaching -WITH- ICT?

Posted by forumjoe on July 10, 2009

I guess this early point is the best time to clarify the distinction between Teaching ICT skills and teaching WITH ICT.

ICT Integration
ICT Integration into the regular classroom is something that every teacher should strive for. Teaching critical computer literacies like how to save documents, how to open files, how to browse the web, etc shouldn’t be restricted to the ICT classroom. They should be taught in English, SOSE, Maths, etc. IMHO students are much better off learning graphing and spreadsheets in their Maths and Science subjects than they are in a specific Computing subject. I’ll elaborate on this later.

Skills everyone needs to survive the modern world
So when looking at ICT Skills, I try to distinguish between the things that everyone needs in the modern world, and things that those people working in “computing” need. The former are things like wordprocessing, information parsing, how to run a spellchecker, how to backup documents. The latter are things like Programming, Photoshop, Databases, etc. I’m lucky in my current position as ICT Coordinator and the teacher of the Computing elective that I have some control over both these aspects, and can determine what goes where. It’s nice in theory.

The Dilemma
But then I get into my Computing elective class, and I find students who don’t have the basic computer literacies required to backup, to open a file, etc. Obviously, I’m responsible for teaching those skills too. So this becomes a dilemma.

Now what?
The point of this prose is just to clarify what I’m talking about in future posts on this blog. As an ICT Coordinator, I’m responsible for integrating ICT into the every day curriculum, to ensure that all our students leave the school with the basic computing skills they need to survive this world. And as an ICT Teacher, I’m directly responsible for teaching those more advanced students about the possibilities that extra computing skills will open up. So I will talk about both in this blog, because both are relevent to my current position.
However, teaching the Computing elective is what I struggle with more frequently, day-to-day. What do I teach? How do I teach it? What resources are available to help me? Those are the main questions that I created this blog to help answer. Anything else is bonus.

When I talk about “Teaching ICT” I’ll be referring to where the content is actually ICT related. When I talk about “Integrating ICT” I’m talking about teaching basic ICT Skills in other subjects. The blog will probably be much more about Teaching ICT, but I’m sure topics related to Integrating ICT will get touched as well.



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