Technology in the Curriculum... Robbie O’Leary, Principal Sacred Heart SNS, Killinarden, Tallaght What’s your school like? Aims, principles and features, Primary School Curriculum Introduction the child’s sense of wonder and natural curiosity is a primary motivating factor in learning the child is an active agent in his or her learning learning is developmental in nature the child’s existing knowledge and experience form the base for learning the child’s immediate environment provides the context for learning learning should involve guided activity and discovery methods language is central in the learning process the child should perceive the aesthetic dimension in learning social and emotional dimensions are important factors in learning learning is most effective when it is integrated skills that facilitate the transfer of learning should be fostered higher-order thinking and problem-solving skills should be developed collaborative learning should feature in the learning process the range of individual difference should be taken into account in the learning process assessment is an integral part of teaching and learning Since @ 2003... INTERACTIVE WHITEBOARDS SMART PHONES WEB.2: BLOGGING, TWITTER, YOUTUBE, WIKIS SOCIAL NETWORKING TABLET COMPUTERS CLOUD COMPUTING ONLINE CPD The Pace of Technological Change Years to reach 50 Million users Radio Telephone Television Mobile phones Cable TV Worldwide Web iPods MySpace Facebook YouTube 0 10 20 30 40 50 The main aim of education should be to send children out into the world with a reasonably sized anthology in their heads so that, while seated on the lavatory, waiting in doctor's surgeries, on stationary trains or watching interviews with politicians, they have something interesting to think about. (John Mortimer) ...alternatively... “If we hire a youngster who doesn’t know all the mathematics or physics that is needed to work here (i.e. in Nokia), we have colleagues here who can easily teach those things. But if we get somebody who doesn’t know how to work with other people, how to think differently or how to create original ideas and somebody who is afraid of making a mistake, there is nothing we can do here. Do what you have to do to keep our education system up-todate but don’t take away creativity and openmindedness that we now have in our schools.” (Sahlberg, 2011) Generation after generation, parents raised their children to use the tools with which they were familiar. Later on, some of the more ingenious children tweaked their ancestors’ tools and invented new ones. But never before the advent of electronic computers and, more recently, of Internet-based services, did such a large fraction of humanity change their everyday habits and tools in such a short time. Within a couple of decades, the tools used in most trades and for such basic acts as communicating, gathering information, keeping records of the past or drawing plans about the future were replaced by digital ones. For the first time, today’s parents and teachers have little, if any, experience with the tools that children are going to use every day in their adult lives. OECD, September 2015, Students, Computers and Learning: making the connection Giving our students the opportunity to develop 21st century skills is a priority. Technology is embedded in all aspects of our lives, and is bringing our society new advantages and solutions every day. I want to encourage all teachers to use technology in the classroom to bring learning to life for students; to give learners the tools to collaborate and to examine engaging problems; to research and analyse information; and to use digital resources to communicate their ideas and to share what they create with others beyond the walls of their classroom or school. Minister for Education and Skills, Jan O’Sullivan, October 2015 We have committed ourselves to embedding 21st century skills strongly in the teaching and learning of subjects. We want to provide and reward learning experiences that promote not only critical thinking, but also collaboration, creativity, innovation and inventiveness – attributes that will be absolutely necessary if we are to equip young people to tackle the challenges of changing economies and the moral, societal and environmental challenges that arise in a globalised world. Dr. Harold Hislop, Chief Inspector, September 2015 The need to integrate technology into teaching and learning right across the curriculum is a major national challenge that must be met in the interests of Ireland’s future economic wellbeing. Schools IT 2000 strategy document, 1997 Modern societies are increasingly based on information and knowledge. So they need to: • build workforces which have ICT skills to handle information and are reflective, creative and adept at problem-solving in order to generate knowledge • enable citizens to be knowledgeable and resourceful so they are able to manage their own lives effectively, and are able to lead full and satisfying lives • encourage all citizens to participate fully in society and influence the decisions which affect their lives • foster cross-cultural understanding and the peaceful resolution of conflict. OECD, September 2015, Students, Computers and Learning: making the connection UNESCO’s ICT Competency Framework for Teachers emphasizes that it is not enough for teachers to have ICT competencies and be able to teach them to their students. Teachers need to be able to help the students become collaborative, problem-solving, creative learners through using ICT so they will be effective citizens and members of the workforce. “Technology is the only way to dramatically expand access to knowledge. To deliver on the promises technology holds, countries need to invest more effectively and ensure that teachers are at the forefront of designing and implementing this change.” Andreas Schleicher, OECD Director for Education and Skills Executive Summary: In the end, technology can amplify great teaching, but great technology cannot replace poor teaching. Rosen (ReWired) …it is not only the range and sophistication of hardware that is changing – but so too is the way that today’s “iGeneration” learns. Surrounded by technology from birth, traditional (i.e. teacher-centred, paper-based) approaches fail to engage or even interest modern children. Consequently, schools that fail to create authentic digital contexts that reflect the lives of children will fail to connect with them, resulting in boredom, disaffection and decreased learning. TECHNOLOGY HAS PRESENTED OPPORTUNITIES TO CHANGE THE LOCATION OF EDUCATION FROM THE CLASSROOM TO . . . ANYWHERE. THIS GENERATION, WITH ITS PERVASIVE USE OF CELL PHONES AND OTHER PORTABLE COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGIES, IS READY TO HAVE THEIR EDUCATION EXTENDED FROM THE CLASSROOM TO ANY ROOM. (LARRY D ROSEN, REWIRED, P.58) Marc Prensky (Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants) When our leaders think that the job of educators is to re-create the old education better and more effectively for today’s students, they deny our students the means to cope and thrive in the 21st century. When they think success at education is moving our kids up in the international PISA [Program for International Assessment] rankings, they send the message that they want our students to compete in the past. Prensky Despite all the focus that reformers place on testing, our hardest and most pressing educational problem is not raising test scores, but rather connecting our kids’ education to real life and to the fast-evolving world of the future. It is our inability to make the material we are currently required to teach in school real and interesting for today’s students – call it relevance, or engagement, or something else – that makes so many current efforts unsuccessful. Prensky Our students have changed radically. Today’s students are no longer the people our educational system was designed to teach. What is the primary function of schools...? Are we teaching our children what to think... or how to think? Gilbert (Why do I need a teacher when I’ve got Google?) The role of the twenty-first century teacher...is to help young people know where to find the knowledge, to know what to do with it, to know “good” knowledge from “bad” knowledge, to know how to use it, to apply it, to synthesise it, to be creative with it, to add to it even, to know which bits to use and when and how to use them and to know how to remember key parts to it... ...and to develop their communication skills, their creativity, their ability to work well as a team, their confidence and self-esteem, their sense of what is wrong and what is right, their ability to deal with adversity, their understanding of their role as a citizen of the world... Jean Piaget Intelligence is what you use when you don’t know what to do. Instead of asking... • What Interactive Whiteboard should I buy? • Which tablet is the best? • Should we have a computer room? • Which platform is the best? Where do we go from here – and how do we get there? • What are the needs of the pupils….in terms of methodologies and learning outcomes? (Do we subscribe to Mortimer’s definition of intelligence, or Piaget’s....? Is Prensky correct?) • To what extent can ICTs enhance the attainment of these objectives? • In what ways will pupils and teachers be using such technology? • What are the most appropriate applications to this end? • What hardware do we need? Classroom Activity Profile Teacher-based instruction Independent work Group work Programme for Government 2011 This Government’s ambition is to build a knowledge society. Education ... will be the engine of sustainable economic growth. Ireland has experienced a decline in educational outcomes in recent years. We will draw from top performing education models like Finland to reverse this trend ... Education will be a priority for this Government.... 21st Century Schools This Government will end the treatment of ICT in education as a standalone issue, but will integrate it across education policy ... A new plan to develop ICT in teaching, learning and assessment will be developed ... The primary priority for investment in ICT in the immediate term will be the integration of ICT in teaching and learning across the curriculum and investing in broadband development to ensure schools have access to fibre-powered broadband. Obstacles •Absence of a clearly articulated vision •Lack of funding / investment •Impossible to plan •Unreliable broadband •Technical support •Dismantling of middle-management structures Guiding Principles •C L A R I T Y O F P U R P O S E •A C R O S S - C U R R I C U L A R R E S O U R C E •I N F O R M A L S K I L L S •C L E A R L I N K A G E W I T H C U R R I C U L U M O B J E C T I V E S •B R O A D S P E C T R U M O F U S E : C O N T E N T - R I C H / CONTENT FREE •T U T O R , T O O L , T U T E E •H O M E U S E •T R I E D A N D T R U S T E D S O F T W A R E Optimum Conditions The level of access to the technology The more devices there are, the more likely it is they will be used Optimum Conditions The level of access to the technology The more devices there are, the more likely is they will be used The specification levels of the infrastructure …in terms of storage, processing power and connectivity Optimum Conditions The level of access to the technology The more devices there are, the more likely is they will be used The specification levels of the infrastructure …in terms of storage, processing power and connectivity The availability of high quality applications …appropriate to the needs and abilities of the learners Optimum Conditions The level of access to the technology The more devices there are, the more likely is they will be used The specification levels of the infrastructure …in terms of storage, processing power and connectivity The availability of high quality applications …appropriate to the needs and abilities of the learners The social context of the learning activities How the teacher can orchestrate the environment with regard to grouping and opportunities for interaction Optimum Conditions The level of access to the technology The more devices there are, the more likely is they will be used The specification levels of the infrastructure …in terms of storage, processing power and connectivity The availability of high quality applications …appropriate to the needs and abilities of the learners The social context of the learning activities How the teacher can orchestrate the environment with regard to grouping and opportunities for interaction The role of the teacher The clarity of the learning objectives, and of how the technology enhances the learning Optimum Conditions The level of access to the technology The more devices there are, the more likely it is they will be used The specification levels of the infrastructure …in terms of storage, processing power and connectivity The availability of high quality applications …appropriate to the needs and abilities of the learners The social context of the learning activities How the teacher can orchestrate the environment with regard to grouping and opportunities for interaction The role of the teacher The clarity of the learning objectives, and of how the technology enhances the learning Training and support exemplary teaching with computers is more likely to occur when there is a full-time ICT coordinator employed in the school, when training and development opportunities are plentiful and ongoing, and when a principal-led climate for productive technology use is present.
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