- Tony Bates
ICT Integration has challenged educators for many decades, but overcoming the inertia of generations is not a simple matter, especially when when those who seek to become teachers do so based on their appreciation and love of traditional teaching environments. However, understanding the integration of educational technologies for both teachers and students is clearly essential to enable more effective teaching and learning.
Technology is transforming many professions, as it is again doing with education. In adapting to this change you will discover many new ways to teach and learn that were unimaginable in previous decades, increasingly improving the ability of your students to learn in ways that are more interesting and relevant, and preparing them for a future in which technology recreates their world of work, leisure and learning every few decades.
The world continues to change, it always has, but the most obvious change now is an increasing rate of change. We must learn to cope with these changes ourselves and prepare our students to cope, for there is no sign that the rate of change is slowing, indeed it is rapidly accelerating
Dr Jason Zagami
Where, when, how, what and even why students learn is changing, largely as a result of information technologies and their impact on society. Students no longer need to make personal copies by hand, read aloud or transcribed to a board by a teacher. A student today has access to all human knowledge on personal portable devices, with the capacity solve complex mathematical problems, translate between languages, and author directly to millions in text, audio or video. The idea that students come together to learn from a single pseudo expert on a particular subject and using only the local resources they can provide is increasingly absurd.
Yet while making many past schooling practices obsolete, technology has made other educational activities easier. Those experiences that were rare in the past due to the time and complexities of their organisation, now become common place. Students can experience their learning with professionals in their fields, as was done through most of human history, working with real authors, science investigations, engineering projects, artistic works, and historical studies. Learning can be personalised with different activities appropriate for each student and learning environments that were once only provided by exceptional teachers with particular passions, expertise, or networks, can now be facilitated by all teachers. Drawing upon shared knowledge, bringing external expertise to their students, individualising learning, and letting students beyond their classroom walls to interact as learners with their global community, are the new realities of teaching.However, as with any significant change, educational technologies are not without their challenges, and we are learning how to ensure that students and teachers can use technologies in effective, safe, and responsible ways. Schools are by their nature conservative, and initial reactions to change are often fearful with attempts to try and limit such change, even to prevent it. Eventually though, a few teachers, schools, and then school systems and countries, take tentative steps to explore new possibilities. As these are shown to have benefit, adoption gradually occurs. No competitive business could survive such a slow approach and thus education has lagged well behind business and societal integration of new technologies.
Teachers generally have very different approaches to technology adoption and fit within categories of Innovators, Early Adopters, Early Majority, Late Majority, and Laggards. Technology eventually diffuses until 100% adoption, but this occurs more quickly with some (Innovators) and less so for others (Laggards).
Another, sightly more cynical way of looking at this is using a pencil metaphor (McKeown, 2006).
The lead-ers (Say led)
These are the early adopters who enthusiastically share what they have tried - warts and all.
These are the people who see what the early adopters have done, willingly grab the best of it, learn from the mistakes of others and do great stuff with their students.
These people would use the technology if someone would just give them the gear, set it up, train them and keep it running. All they need is some help from some sharp person.
This part of the pencil can never be sharpened no matter how hard you try. Even when the point is still sharp. In a pinch it can be used for the most basic of tasks.
This is used to undo as much of the work done by the lead-ers.
Hangers-on know all the right lingo, attend all the workshops, but just don't actually do anything.
New innovations however do not always live up to their promise. Artificial Intelligence and Virtual Reality have for many decades been just about to revolutionise education, Interactive White Boards have been incredibly popular and heavily marketed into schools, but these decisions are now being questioned and alternatives considered. The Gartner research group each year generates a Hype Cycle showing where new technologies lie on a process they have identified of initial excitement, inflated expectations, disillusionment, and then more gradual integration.
Anticipating and evaluating changes in educational technologies is difficult, to dismiss unwarranted hype while not missing out on valid opportunities to transform teaching and learning, takes time and effort to stay abreast of the rapid changes occurring in educational technologies. Each year the New Media Consortium (NMC) conducts research studies by interviewing experts and compiling the Horizon Reports on the six new technologies most likely to be significant for K12 and Higher Education in the next five years. The reports are presented with justifications and resources to help teachers and schools explore and integrate these innovations into teaching. They also contain more detailed discussions on the underlying trends identified and how these may influence education in the near future.
Knowing about educational technologies is one thing, putting them into systemic practice is another. ICT Integration can refer to different things depending on context, in this text it refers to the ability of a teacher to transition from not just using ICT but to it playing an essential role in improving teaching and learning. Just as with other areas of expertise development, our capacity to integrate the use of educational technologies into teaching is a cumulative process of exposure to ideas, examples, practice and finally innovation and leadership.
Stages of Teacher Development
The term ICT is however fraught with confusion. Technically it refers to telecommunication technologies and how they communicate with each other. In education, particularly in the UK, it developed into a term to broaden computer education from studies of software and hardware to include the internet, mobile devices, and other technologies such as digital cameras, thus becoming a catchall that encompasses all digital educational technologies that can be used to support teaching and learning. In the USA the term Educational Technologies is more commonly used, and in Australia we tend to use the two interchangeably.
Many teachers however associated ICT with traditional computer studies, but as the use of educational technologies was integrated into all curriculum areas, it has become more common to understand that ICT refers to the use of any digital educational technology in any curriculum area, not just specific computer studies courses. To help differentiate this, the Australian Curriculum will refer to computer studies courses as Digital Technologies and the study of educational technologies within other curriculum areas (English, Maths, Science, etc.) as ICT, or more specifically, ICT General Capability development.
This text is focused on two things, teachers capacity to use educational technologies to improve their teaching and their students learning, and the ICT General Capability development of students through the use of ICT.
ICT capability is based on sets of relevant knowledge, skills, behaviours and dispositions. Internationally, such capability is typically represented developmentally across interrelated domains or elements to show increasingly sophisticated experiences with technology. For example, the ICT curriculum for England presents ‘lines of progression’ in strands and sub-strands. The National Education Technology Standards (NETS) for students provided by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) represent capability with six sets of standards. In Australia, the Statements of Learning for ICT are presented as five broadly defined conceptual organisers, representing key aspects of ICT that apply across the curriculum. The Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) has also identified a progression in research associated with the National Assessment Program – ICT Literacy.
Early researchers into ICT in education, such as Papert (1980) and Turkle (1984), considered that students constructed reality from experience and prior knowledge. The student interacts with the environment and, to cope with this environment, develops a conceptual framework to explain the interaction.
More recent theorists, such as Dede (2009), echo these earlier propositions even as technologies evolve, giving rise to the set of constructs upon which the ICT capability is based.
ICT capability is based on the assumption that technologies are digital tools that enable the student to solve problems and carry out tasks. That is, the ICT system needs to suit the student and the task, while the student needs to develop an understanding of what the machine can do and an appreciation of the limitations under which it operates. In this way, students come to perceive ICT systems as useful tools rather than feeling that they themselves are the tools of the machine (Maas 1983). The latter often occurs when users have little information about how ICT systems operate and simply follow set, standard procedures, determined for them by the system. These will be examined in greater detail later.
Therefore, the ICT capability needs to take account of the types of tasks that provide authentic contexts for learning. The range of tasks is categorised into three sets: Investigating with ICT, Communicating with ICT and Creating with ICT. Students also need the knowledge and skills to use ICT based on an understanding of the ‘nature of the machine’. This is encompassed in the Managing and operating ICT element of the continuum.
While we will unpack the ICT capabilities teachers are expected to develop in students later in the text, first you need to understand where you are as a teacher with educational technologies, and the models we have available to assist this understanding.
The SAMR model (Puentadura, 2007) describes a process of educational technology integration that can be useful in reflecting on how well we use technology to enhance learning.
In the first two stages, labelled substitution and augmentation, digital technologies enhance existing practices, with little or no functional change or improvement over what could have been achieved without the use of the technology. In the third and fourth stages, labelled modification and redefinition, technology allows for transformation to completely new learning experiences that were not possible with existing educational technologies.
No level is inherently better than any other, and each is appropriate for certain learning activities, but generally teachers progress from substitution through to redefinition with experiences at lower levels before being comfortable in applying educational technologies, and the pedagogies they facilitate, in more transformational ways.
SAMR is not just about the technology, but how the technology is applied to enhance or transform learning and teaching, an example of pedagogy. However many such improvements are not possible or practical until technological advancements enable new ways of approaching teaching and learning.
Enabling technologies can be innovative changes to familiar software and hardware or something entirely new. These may be developed for education or more commonly, be repurposed for education, e.g. PPT, Social Media, IWB’s, tablets, or AR glasses. Teachers can explore the use of new technologies at all SAMR levels, and it is a useful skill to be able to identify these levels.
The SAMR model can be used for all curriculum areas and age levels to assist teachers in improving their teaching through the use of educational technology. Examine the attached six examples.
Expanding on the SAMR model, the Technology Integration Matrix (TIM) developed by the Florida Center for Instructional Technology shows how teachers can use educational technologies to enhance learning for K-12 students. The TIM has five interdependent characteristics of meaningful learning environments: active, constructive, goal directed, authentic, and collaborative (Jonassen, Howland, Moore, & Marra, 2003). It then extends the SAMR model to associate five levels of technology integration (entry, adoption, adaptation, infusion, and transformation) with each of the five characteristics of meaningful learning environments. Together, the five levels of technology integration and the five characteristics of meaningful learning environments create a matrix of 25 cells that provide examples for teachers that model how different educational technologies can be integrated into your teaching in meaningful ways.
Summaries of the matrix are available for students, teachers and classrooms:
Examine a range of uses of technology for various subjects and age level at http://fcit.usf.edu/matrix/gradelevel.php
Examine a range of educational technologies by type at http://fcit.usf.edu/matrix/digitaltools.php
The SAMR and TIM models provide examples of educational technology integration at various teacher experience levels, and can assist in identifying new approaches to the use of educational technologies to improve your pedagogy. Sometimes however the use of a particular educational technology is simply not appropriate and the Technology, Pedagogy and Content Knowledge (TPACK) model developed by Koehler and Mishra (2009) can assist you in making the decision as to whether a particular educational technology is appropriate for what you intend to teach (Content) and how you will go about teaching it (Pedagogy).
Where all three are in alignment, teaching is most likely to be effective: TPACK.
Teachers’ knowledge about the subject matter to be taught. The content to be covered in a primary school history unit is very different from the content to be covered in senior school mathematics course. It can include knowledge of the wider concepts, theories, ideas and frameworks of this knowledge.
Teachers’ knowledge about different ways to teach, and the methods, processes and practices of learning. These include educational theories and how these inform an understanding of how students learn.
Teachers’ knowledge about ways of thinking about, and working with technology to support teaching and learning. This includes understanding educational technologies sufficiently to apply them to a range of contexts and purposes, and being able continually adapt to changes in digital technologies.
The transformation of content for teaching. This occurs as teachers interpret subject matter, find different ways to represent it, and adapt instructional materials to present alternative conceptions to students. PCK covers the fundamentals of teaching, learning, curriculum, assessment and reporting.
The manner in which technology and content influence and constrain one another. Teachers need to master more than the subject matter they teach; they must also have a deep understanding of the manner in which the subject matter can be changed by the application of different technologies and which specific technologies are best suited for addressing subject-matter learning for different content.
An understanding of how teaching and learning can change when particular technologies are used in particular ways. This includes knowing the pedagogical affordances and constraints of a range of technological tools and a range of developmentally appropriate pedagogical approaches.
Underlying truly meaningful and deeply skilled teaching with technology, TPACK is different from knowledge of all three concepts individually. Instead, TPACK is the basis of effective teaching with technology, requiring an understanding of the representation of concepts using technologies; pedagogical techniques that use technologies in constructive ways to teach content; knowledge of what makes concepts difficult or easy to learn and how technology can help redress some of the problems that students face; knowledge of students’ prior knowledge and theories of epistemology; and knowledge of how technologies can be used to build on existing knowledge to develop new epistemologies or strengthen old ones.
There are several approaches you can take to achieving TPACK alignment.You can start from PCK, looking at a particular way of teaching some specific content, say the history of Australian colonisation (content) through direct instruction (pedagogy). You can then look at what technologies might improve student learning - firstly of the content. Perhaps making a computerised 3D model of a sailing ship of the times in Sketchup would assist students in understanding the cramped conditions on board, created or imported into a virtual world all of the students avatars could crowd down as passengers into the ship. Next you need to consider if the pedagogy and technology is a good mix. Direct instruction could be used to step students through the construction process as they follow along with you constructing the ship on an IWB, so yes this could work. Another advantage of TPACK however is that it provides an opportunity to consider things differently. Perhaps students could design their own ships to try and improve upon the historical conditions, research past and current ship building, get into contact with historical ship building clubs or museums, etc. This tends to open up a range of other pedagogical approaches that are facilitated by the technology. Remember back now to SAMR. We could substitute building a physical model for a virtual one, even augment this by being able to view and move inside the virtual model, but we could also modify the activity by allowing each student to modify the model to create their own alternative designs, and finally by sharing these designs on a site such as Sketchup, students from different classes around the world could compare and discuss these designs and the effect it would have had on the passengers, bringing in different cultural ship designs and colonisation stories. Certainly a richer experience to that of reading a text and viewing some static pictures of sailing ships.
You could also start from CTK. You might be asked to teach paragraph writing (content) through the use of blogs (technology). This then prompts you to consider the range of pedagogical approaches you could take. Yes an instructivist approach may be appropriate for some situations, most often when introducing a new concept, but the technology facilities a range of other pedagogies. You could use behaviourism to motivate students by sharing their blogs with parents or the public. A constructivism approach could be to have students deconstruct other blogs and work out what would make their blog effective, a social constructivism approach to collectively write group blogs and learn from this collaborative endeavour, even a connectionism approach in which students contribute their blog to a wider network, sharing ideas on what makes a good paragraph for an online new service produced by students from several classes around the world.
The TPACK game is a simple practice environment in which you can have a go at identifying the missing TPACK element. While not providing answers, playing the game may help clarify the purpose of TPACK, encouraging you to think about all three elements - content, pedagogy and technology and how they interrelate with each other rather than being separate considerations in your teaching. Finally, remember SAMR as you do the activity, and try to think how the technology can move from enhancement to transformation of the learning experiences.
The expectations on teachers to integrate educational technologies into their teaching has grown considerably, and while teaching as a profession has been slow to engage with new technologies compared to many other professions, this is changing rapidly. Governments and employing authorities are setting standards that teachers are expected to meet, professional development is being provided for teachers and teacher education courses are incorporating these standards in teacher preparation courses.
The Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) is a national body set up in 2010 to define these standards and guide teacher education and teacher registration bodies in ensuring that teachers meet these standards.
The standards are detailed with descriptors of what a teacher should be able to demonstrate at different career stages: Graduate, Proficient, Highly Accomplished and Lead. In many cases there is also a detailed illustration of practice of showing a teacher at a particular carer stage demonstrating that standard.
Increasingly these standards are being used to judge teacher performance in teacher education, teacher registration, annual performance reviews, performance bonus payment schemes, and teaching awards.
While many standards relate to ICT, there are two specific standards focused on teacher use of educational technologies:
In the Professional Knowledge (Standard 2 - Know the content and how to teach it) we find 2.6 Information and Communication Technology.
A graduate teacher is expected to be able to demonstrate that they can implement teaching strategies for using ICT to expand curriculum learning opportunities for students. Sharing our Indigenous Nation is an illustration of this practice.
A proficient teacher is expected to be able to demonstrate that they can use effective teaching strategies to integrate ICT into learning and teaching programs to make selected content relevant and meaningful. The Wonders of Pi is an illustration of this practice.
A highly accomplished teacher is expected to be able to demonstrate that they can model high-level teaching knowledge and skills and work with colleagues to use current ICT to improve their teaching practice and make content relevant and meaningful. The ICT for Learning is an illustration of this practice.
A Lead teacher is expected to be able to demonstrate that they lead and support colleagues within the school to select and use ICT with effective teaching strategies to expand learning opportunities and content knowledge for all students. The Individualising Student Learning is an illustration of this practice.
In Professional Practice (Standard 3 - Plan for and Implement Effective Teaching and Learning) you will find 3.4 Select and use resources.
A graduate teacher is expected to be able to demonstrate knowledge of a range of resources, including ICT, that engage students in their learning. The Who am I? Puzzles and Number Patterns are illustrations of this practice.
A proficient teacher is expected to be able to select and/or create and use a range of resources, including ICT, to engage students in their learning. The Cyberbullying and Using a Range of Resources are illustrations of this practice.
A highly accomplished teacher is expected to be able to assist colleagues to create, select and use a wide range of resources, including ICT, to engage students in their learning. The Online Curriculum and Evaluating Professional Learning are illustrations of this practice.
A Lead teacher is expected to be able to model exemplary skills and lead colleagues in selecting, creating and evaluating resources, including ICT, for application by teachers within or beyond the school.
From 2005 to 2012 the Queensland state education department implemented a comprehensive ICT professional development program - the Smart Classrooms Professional Development framework for all Queensland State School teachers.
The Queensland Smart Classrooms Professional Development Framework involved teachers progressing through three level of certification in the use of educational technologies to enhance their teaching, generally by creating a portfolio of evidence that they are meeting the expectations of the level.
Each level addressed teacher capabilities in four areas:
As of xxxx xxxxx teachers had completed their ICT Certificate with xxxx their Digital Pedagogy Licence and xxxx a Digital Pedagogy Licence Advanced.
The Smart Classrooms Awards annually recognises Queensland State School teachers and ICT support staff for their use of ICT to do outstanding work in Queensland State schools. All Smart Classrooms Award winners received a $5000 grant, allowing them to extend their professional development by attending conferences or courses to extend their understanding and practices in ICT in education. Previous winner Shane Roberts explains the benefits from the awards.
Unfortunately due to budgetary constriction the Smart Classrooms Professional Development framework was concluded in 2013 and rebadged as a Digital Pedagogy Guide with a Digital Pedagogy Resource Kit to be developed from existing resources.
While the Smart Classrooms Professional Development framework was very successful in progressing the capabilities of Queensland State School teachers to integrate ICT into their teaching, the AITSL national Teacher Professional Standards and supporting programs will take up the guidance of Australian teachers in the effective teaching with educational technologies.
Many teachers spend time teaching overseas and it is important to have some understanding of the ICT standards expected of teachers internationally.
The USA focused International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) have developed the National Educational Technology Standards for Teachers (NETS*T) and for specialist computer education teachers, the NETS*CSE, to evaluate the skills and knowledge educators need to teach, work, and learn in an increasingly connected global and digital society. It addresses five areas:
In the Australian Curriculum developed by ACARA, students develop ICT capability as they learn to use ICT effectively and appropriately to access, create and communicate information and ideas, solve problems and work collaboratively in all learning areas at school, and in their lives beyond school. This capability involves students in learning to make the most of the digital technologies available to them, adapting to new ways of doing things as technologies evolve, and limiting the risks to themselves and others in a digital environment. The Melbourne Declaration on the Educational Goals for Young Australians (MCEETYA 2008) recognised that in a digital age, and with rapid and continuing changes in the ways that people share, use, develop and communicate with ICT, young people need to be highly skilled in its use. To participate in a knowledge-based economy and to be empowered within a technologically sophisticated society now and into the future, students need the knowledge, skills and confidence to make ICT work for them at school, at home, at work and in their communities.
Information and communication technologies are fast and automated, interactive and multimodal, and they support the rapid communication and representation of knowledge to many audiences, and its adaptation in different contexts. They transform the ways that students think and learn and give them greater control over how, where and when they learn.
Scope of ICT capability
The nature and scope of ICT capability is not fixed, but is responsive to ongoing technological developments. This is evident in the emergence of advanced internet technology over the past few years and the resulting changes in the ways that students construct knowledge and interact with others. Students develop capability in using ICT for tasks associated with information access and management, information creation and presentation, problem solving, decision making, communication, creative expression, and empirical reasoning. This includes conducting research, creating multimedia information products, analysing data, designing solutions to problems, controlling processes and devices, and supporting computation while working independently and in collaboration with others. Students develop knowledge, skills and dispositions around ICT and its use, and the ability to transfer these across environments and applications. They learn to use ICT with confidence, care and consideration, understanding its possibilities, limitations and impact on individuals, groups and communities.
ICT Learning Continuum
ICT capability across the curriculum
ICT capability supports and enhances student learning across all areas of the curriculum. Students develop and apply ICT knowledge, skills and appropriate social and ethical protocols and practices to investigate, create and communicate, as well as developing their ability to manage and operate ICT to meet their learning needs.
Learning areas provide the content and contexts within which students develop and apply the knowledge, skills, behaviours and dispositions that comprise ICT capability.
ICT capability and the Technologies learning area
Information and communication technology is represented in two ways in the Australian Curriculum: through the ICT capability that applies across all learning areas; and within the Technologies curriculum through Digital technologies. The ICT capability will be reviewed (and revised if necessary) to ensure that there is consistency with the Technologies curriculum following its development.
The ICT capability is addressed through the learning areas and is identified wherever it is developed or applied in content descriptions. It is also identified where it offers opportunities to add depth and richness to student learning in content elaborations. An icon indicates where ICT capability has been identified in learning area content descriptions and elaborations. A filter function on the Australian Curriculum website assists users to find where ICT capability has been identified in F–10 curriculum content. Teachers may find further opportunities to incorporate explicit teaching of ICT capability depending on their choice of activities. Students can also be encouraged to develop capability through personally relevant initiatives of their own design.
Organising elements for ICT capability
The ICT capability learning continuum is organised into five interrelated elements:
The Student ICT Expectations aim to help you develop students develop their ICT knowledge, understanding, ways of working and skills needed for learning and working in today's digital world.
The Student ICT Expectations are organised as a continuum and specify the learning expected by the end of Years 2,5,7,9,10 and 12 aligning with the year level junctures and broader language of the Australian Curriculum ICT Continuum.
The Student ICT Expectations matrix identifies the ICT knowledge, understanding, ways of working and skills that students in Queensland state schools are required to have the opportunity to develop from Prep to Year 12. These expectations are based on the National Statements of Learning for Information and Communication Technology and support the Australian Curriculum General Capability of ICT Capability.
The Expectations include the same elements of ICT Competence as articulated in the Australian Curriculum:
The USA focused International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) have developed the National Educational Technology Standards for Students (NETS*S) and profile elaborations. ISTE's NETS for Students (NETS•S) are standards for evaluating the skills and knowledge students need to learn effectively and live productively in an increasingly global and digital world.
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Barr, A., Gillard, J., Firth, V., Scrymgour, M., Welford, R., Lomax-Smith, J., et al. (2008). Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians.Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs. Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs. PO Box 202 Carlton South Victoria, 3053, Australia.
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