In the Australian Curriculum, students develop Information and Communication Technology (ICT) capability as they learn within and across disciplines.
Managing and operating ICT
o Select and use hardware and software
This covers any specific use of hardware and software, with an emphasis on software that is a tool for producing an artefact of learning. In contemporary times, software could be that which is installed on a computer device or apps on a mobile device. A better and more sustainable solution is to seek software that is online as a software service or web 2.0 tool. This way, it doesn’t matter what device students are using.
o Understand ICT systems
This covers using online systems for learning. On a small scale, this could be using a learning object that is interactive and focusses on one learning intention. In this system, students need to skills to operate within the confines of the learning object. On a medium scale, the ICT system could be an interactive learning system, such as Mathletics, that provides presentations and simulations, activities and tests and tracks learning. In ICT systems such as this, students need to learn how to navigate within the system. On a larger scale, there are Learning Management Systems such as Blackboard and Edmodo. In these ICT systems, students need to know how to navigate within the system as well as the skills associated with using collaborative tools such as wikis, blogs and discussion boards.
There is also an aspect of understanding computer systems generally and how hardware, software and networks interact. For example, students need to know how and where to source and app, install it and register a username and password in order to have online security credentials. Students need to know about these “links in the chain” and have the skills to work with them.
o Manage digital data.
Students need to be able to manage their data and files, both online and locally on their devices. This is closely related to understanding ICT systems as most software systems require security credentials. Students not only need to be able to organise their data and files but also risk manage their storage with backups, anti-virus and anti-spam measures.
Investigating with ICT element
This element is all about Information Literacy (or fluency). This is adequately defined by ASLA. This can also be associated with an Inquiry Process:
- http://big6.com/; http://big6.com/media/freestuff/Big6Handouts.pdf
o Define and plan information searches
This is all about the skills associated with being strategic about finding data information online.
1.1 Define the information problem
1.2 Identify information needed (to solve the information problem)
o What is my current task?
o What are some topics or questions I need to answer?
o What information will I need?
[Source: http://big6.com/ ]
Additional Resource: Step Zero: What to Do Before Searching
2.Information Seeking Strategies
2.1 Determine all possible sources (brainstorm)
2.2 Select the best sources
o What are all the possible sources to check?
o What are the best sources of information for this task?
[Source: http://big6.com/ ]
o Locate, generate and access data and information
Locate Data and Information
Students also need to know which tools to use, depending on the depth and validity of the information they are seeking.
- QLD State Schools eBooks Digital Library – $1.50 per student subscription service
- We all use Google, but we can all use this more effectively via Google Advanced Search
At a junior level, students would use suitable search engines such as:
At Secondary, deeper searches can be conducted with:
Primary Data Sources
There are many sources of primary data and databases online. Many can be found in Scootle and:
- Australian Bureau of Statistics
- Australian Data Archive
- BBC Country Profiles
- CIA World Factbook
- Official Statistics on the Web (OFFStats)
- OzGuide to Statistics
- The Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey.
Creative Commons Resources: https://ccsearch.creativecommons.org/
Generate Data and Information
In many subject areas, students need to know how to collect raw data, organise it and display it using applications like spreadsheets and databases. These systems may be installed on a local device or available as a cloud service online. For example, Surveymonkey is a system that can be used to generate a survey, collect data and display it. Some systems that you may like to try are:
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft Access
o Select and evaluate data and information
Choosing and Evaluating data and information
Students need to be skilled in establishing the validity and authority of information that they find online. They also need to be able to identify bias as well as the relevance the information has to their own goals and purposes.
- The 5 W’s of Web Site Evaluation
- The ABC’s of Web Site Evaluation
Organise and Curate data and information
This is all about collecting and organising sources of data information so that it can be efficiently analysed. In most cases, information will have been sourced by searching the internet and then identified as relevant (locate). This then needs to be collected somewhere and then sorted and organised. There are many tools that achieve this (such as pinterest and diigo), but many are blocked due to their social networking capabilities. Sites that aren’t blocked are:
On local devices, you can’t go past Microsoft Onenote
Detailed Reading of information sources
As part of the organisation process, students very often need to read and summarize information sources, before they can be analysed. Detailed Reading To Learn strategies can be employed here.
Connecting data and information
This is where you organise data and information to establish the relationships within and between the data and information. This then facilitates the process of analysis.
Creating with ICT
o Generate ideas, plans and processes
To create, students need to compile information together in a different way by combining elements in a new pattern or proposing alternative solutions. For this element, students need to employ ICT to:
This is all about using ICT to Design a product of learning or solution. If the product is a written task, then the design may well take place in a concept map or mind-mapping application such as:
Or even just an essay plan in Microsoft Word. If the product is multimodal, then students may need to create a narrative script or storyboard. If students are presenting their solution or findings as a website, then User Interface (UI) and Site Map (Navigation) designs need to be created. If the product or solution is a physical object, then Computer Aided Design (CAD) or 3D Design programs may be necessary. Beyond this, solutions and products may need to employ a full engineering design cycle:
o Generate solutions to challenges and learning area tasks.
This is the implementing, building or making part of the creative process and students need to employ ICT to:
If the product is text-based, then a Word Processing application could be used. For visual works, there are a multitude of image editors available online and the same is true for audio works. For multi-modal works, students could create videos, animations, comics or computer games. For physical objects, 3D Printing has become popular, as has the Makerspace movement.
Communicating with ICT
o Collaborate, share and exchange
Students need the skills associated with this technology. These include:
- Composing and sending email (including social and ethical protocols)
- Creating email groups for collaborative sharing and constructing knowledge
- Managing emails
2.Learning Management Systems (Blackboard)
Students need the following skills:
- Sharing their learning with and collaboratively constructing knowledge with blogs
- Collaborating on shared artefacts of learning with wikis
- Collaborating and constructing knowledge with discussion boards
- Collaborating and constructing knowledge with group tools
3.Other Online Learning Systems
Many online learning systems have public forums for sharing and collaborating. Here, students mainly need to be skilled with social and ethical protocols
4.Blogs, Websites and ePortfolios
Students can publish and share the products of their learning via Blogs and by creating their own websites and ePortfolios. Students need to be guided through the technical skills needed to do this as well as manage feedback.
- Blogs – Blackboard Blog or http://edublogs.org/
- Websites: https://education.weebly.com/
- ePortfolios: Blackboard wiki or http://www.throughtheclassroomdoor.com/edtechtools/#ePortfolios
Social media such as facebook and twitter could be leveraged in education, to collaboratively constructing knowledge, but is currently has a high risk level and is blocked by filtering.
o Understand computer-mediated communications
Students need to understand that their communications:
1.Are either synchronous or asynchronous and one-to-one or to a group; and which tools are suited to which form of communication.
2.Are directed to an audience for a purpose
3.Are varied in form and control when collaborating in a variety of ways and that media has levels of richness.
4. Have advantages and disadvantages in supporting active participation in a community of practice and the management of collaboration on digital materials
Applying social and ethical protocols and practices when using ICT
o Recognise intellectual property
Students need to recognise that content and resources that they access, use, adapt, modify or build upon must be acknowledged and attributed.
- Creative Commons Search – will generate the credits that can be pasted into student works
o Apply digital information security practices
Students need to know how to create secure passwords and to protect them. They also need to know about the various ways they can manage risks to their data by performing regular backups. When using personal devices, students need to know how to manage other security threats such as viruses, spyware and malware.
o Apply personal security protocols
This is all about cybersafety and digital citizenship. Students need to have the knowledge, skills and strategies to protect the rights, identity, privacy and emotional safety of others when using ICT. At the classroom level, protocols and codes of conduct need to be developed and agreed upon so that communications are safe and constructive. Beyond the classroom. Students need to know how to communicate safely and appropriately online.
o Identify the impacts of ICT in society.
Students need to identify the value that ICT has at home, in school and to society in general. They also need to realize that ICT has both positive and negative effects. When a student’s solution to a problem involves ICT, the solution needs to be assessed for its impact on society in terms of its benefits and risks.