Using ICT in the Classroom
A large body of literature indicates that individuals have different teaching, learning, and preference styles when it comes to using ICT in the classroom. Learning preferences tend to differ among teachers (Clark-Ibanez and Scott 41). Nowadays, the purpose of learning has shifted from memorizing information (surface learning) to being able to find and utilize the information through ICT application (deep learning). Modern studies have indicated that the learning process is constructive and not receptive, especially when ICT is integrated into the classroom environment (Carr 19). As a result, a learner is expected to construct and understand acquired information to create new ideas and models (abstract hypotheses). Finally, a learner takes action-active testing (Bird 15).
The effectiveness of using ICT based programs determines the outcome of their application in the classroom environment. In addition to the career teacher training, instructors who are continuously trained have a high attrition rate when applying ICT in classrooms in line with the TPACK theory (Clark-Ibanez and Scott 41). Although the ICT based program is successful in many states, it should have the required credentials that provide explanations or evidence of its success rates. For instance, South Carolina’s model has been applied in different regions across the globe, including Saudi Arabia. To determine the effectiveness of the program, it is important to review its application and relevance. For example, ICT based program on using technology in the classroom has been added to the overall improvement of the school’s level of accomplishment.
It has become critical for learning institutions to create programs aimed at training teachers on the best strategies of integrating technology. To improve teacher’s performance, a competency assessment instrument should be used as the blueprint for measuring the effectiveness of ICT application in the classroom environment. Such an instrument allows one to assess for criteria and various requirements needed in imparting knowledge in the dynamic education environment as described in the SAMR theory (Clark-Ibanez and Scott 39). For instance, access to the Internet, computer, as well as network stability, and LCD projectors are essential for teachers to produce instructional materials to successfully use ICT in the classroom. This can be used to fulfill the “five key goals: (a) learning, (b) assessment, (c) teaching, (d) infrastructure, and (e) productivity” (Bailey 13).
Examples of New or Existing ICT to Explore or Enhance
Teachers exploring new technologies may find that a school network is unable to support them due to inadequate wireless access, firewall restrictions, lack of bandwidth, or other issues. In the recent study of 559 Ohio teachers by Bird on the school network and use of ICT tools, participants reported that restrictions of the school firewall filtered or blocked some Web 2.0 tools to protect students from unwanted or inappropriate materials (Bird 11). However, this action not only prevented students from accessing Web 2.0 tools but also hindered and discouraged teachers from adopting these tools in their classrooms. Participants reported that acceptable use of policies should be reviewed before integrating Web 2.0 tools into instructional practice (Carr 7). In an urban Canadian district where piloting of the integration of iPods and iPads has taken place, staff members were not prepared for the difficulties in synchronizing, powering, maintaining, and managing the devices as aligned in the SAMR model (Carr 9). Therefore, when provided with a well-maintained network, teachers can explore technologies thus building their knowledge base to become 21st-century teachers.
Technology-base learning, as part of the ICT based program, involves imparting significant skills for educators to ensure that they are knowledgeable on how to apply technology to support the learning process. Technology-based learning is characterized by the use of different technological tools such as a computer, audio-visual presentations platforms, iPhones, and projectors among others (Bird 12). While undergoing career training on the ICT application, it is extremely important to acquire skills in technology-based learning during the lesson execution.
For instance, charts and pictures as instruments of technology-based learning will make the learning experience interesting and easy to understand for any student in such a classroom environment. Besides, the use of visual-audio presentation such as a simple class visual screen would boost confidence in learners since fear and low self-esteem are the most common obstacles, especially when the minority of learners or those with special needs have to cope with their normal counterparts and keep pace with them. Therefore, integration of technology-based learning enables an educator to acquire practical skills that might enhance creativity and confidence among students in the classroom environment. Apart from career training, teachers need to attend vocational ICT based programs designed to train them on how to integrate these support services in the lesson execution (Bailey 22).
A teacher can depend on the creation of a visual representational meaning which is called the space-based model for analysis. It centers on the placement of objects within the semiotic space of learners in their classroom environment by use of technological tools such as Ipad. For instance, in practical teaching, it is important to create short videos or slides to allow students to practice communication of their ideas clearly and concisely to an audience consisting of their peers in the context of a formal class presentation. Notably, the inclusion of the class video in the learning process is important in attracting the attention of the learners (Bird 15). Integrating technology in teaching is critical in creating a positive and dynamic learning environment.
As a result of the ICT application, a teacher is always able to evaluate the level of understanding of the topic discussed by reflecting on the learner’s perception, distinctiveness, attentiveness. For instance, a teacher can catch the attention of learners by simplifying the lesson delivery through ICT tools such as an audio-visual presentation to accommodate the interests of both fast and slow learners. This skill ensures that learners understand different technological applications, which make instruction delivery interesting and easy to follow (Carr 7). To provide the best technology-based instruction delivery through ICT integration, a teacher should be equipped with the necessary skills for balancing over-dependence on technology in education by creating a lesson plan that properly enables traditional and modern instruction delivery methods to encourage creativity among learners.
The use of technological resources has always been a hot topic for discussion in the gatherings of education scholars due to possible applications and risks that are associated with such usage. International Technology Education Association (ITEA) has defined technological resources as the means to optimize and enhance teaching and learning. On the other hand, many of the educational scholars have also defined technological resources in a broader sense than of educational applications (Bernard et al. 45). The traditional educational cites like university campuses and colleges would be relics thirty years from now because of the advancements in communication technologies being applied to the educational process. Thus, basic computer tools like hardware and software should be used for the creation of instructional material, which can be stored on digital devices like CD and DVD optical disks, USB storages, etc. The information within the aforementioned devices can be accessed using CD-players, VCR and DVD-players, and personal computers. The main difference between tools, materials, and devices is in their usage and proper application within the dynamic classroom environment.
The ICT resources are used for one common purpose, which is providing instruction through technology. Digital media content is stored and transmitted with the help of binary codes. The piece of information, whether it is audio, video, or plain text, is converted into binary codes and then converted back into the digital material (Allen 22). These binary codes are then translated into the given form with the help of digital devices. Computer displays, CDs, DVDs, video games, and web pages are typical formats of digital media. These technologies are replacing AV technologies because of greater capacities, high speed, and multiple functions along with many other new applications. The computer is the main device for the development and management of other digital resources. The computer is used for the creation of digital material and display of lesson material to students. Thus, a good instructional ICT design has two essential components of its effective implementation. These components are problem-solving strategies and performance improvement outcomes. These two constituents are necessary to ensure that the integration of ICT tools results in the creation of a holistic learning environment.
My speech: Content on ICT application is attached in appendix 1
Equipment: Laptop and projector to be supported by the school IT administrator
Information and document needed: Past literature and models on ICT in the classroom
Target group: Teachers
Purpose and Goals:
- To present types of ICT tools in a classroom environment
- To explore different ICT application models in the classroom
- To offer recommendations on the best ICT strategies
Time: Ten minutes
Location: School hall
Allen, James. Seizing the Opportunity: the Quality and Extent of Online Education in the United States, 2002 and 2003. Needham, MA: Sloan, 2005. Print.
Bailey, Craig. A new perception on the construct of ICT learning. New York, NY: Miller & Associates Publishing, 2008. Print.
Bernard, Robert, Philip Abrami, Yiping Lou, Evgueni Borokhovski, Anne Wade, Lori Wozney, Peter Wallet, Manon Fiset, and Binru Huang. “How does ICT education compare with classroom Instruction? A meta-analysis of the empirical literature.” Review of Educational Research. 74.3(2004): 379-439. Print.
Bird, Kendall. Online vs. Traditional Education: The Answer You Never Expected. 2014. Web.
Carr, Sarah. As distance education comes of age, the challenge is keeping students: Colleges are using online courses to raise enrolment, but retaining it is another matter. 2012. Web.
Clark-Ibanez, Marisol, and Linda Scott. “Learning to teach ICT.” Teaching Sociology. 36.1(2007): 34-41. Print.