How I have used ICT to enhance my students’ learning – Danielle
ICT can be used in a variety of ways to facilitate and enhance students’ learning and includes: using data loggers; online assessment resources such as Kerboodle; mobile phones; and communicating information via software such as PowerPoint (Capel et al. 2016). Although each of these has been used within my own practice, further discussion will focus on the use of software and data-loggers.
ICT has been used with a Year 8 class to encourage student-led learning and to introduce them to the concept of research. Working in groups, students used the internet to investigate how the Earth’s atmosphere had changed over the past 4.5 billion years. Prior to conducting the research, the class was informed that they would be creating and delivering a two-minute presentation of their findings. Sharing this aim with the students helped to encourage a conscientious attitude towards their work and motivated them to progress in their learning; this was evident in the quality of the presentations that were produced. Further to this, students then used the ICT skills they had learned within lessons on a different topic.
According to Scheme of Works, and the KS2 National Curriculum, pupils had previously had minimal tuition on the composition of the Earth’s early atmosphere. Therefore, when planning this series of lessons, students’ prior learning and knowledge was taken into account. In-line with Vygotsky, Bruner, and Wood’s learning theories, a set of questions were designed to help guide the students with their research, and teacher support was provided to those who needed further scaffolding(Bruner & Watson 1983; Vygotsky 1962; Wood 1998).
ICT was also used for a research project with a Year 10 class; however, the activity was more student-led. Triple Science students were asked to write a 700-word journal article on a scientific discovery of their choice. Following a lesson on this project, students were set this task as homework, and were required to extend their knowledge past that of the National Curriculum, and that which they had already learned. As the students were required to conduct research using online journals, and use Microsoft Word to create an academic article, ICT enriched their learning by enabling them to work independently and take responsibility for their learning (Jedeskog and Nissen 2004). Furthermore, as the research related to an aspect of science that they were passionate about, this project promoted intellectual curiosity. The benefits of using ICT as described above relates to Bruner’s theory of ‘discovery learning’, whereby pupils use the knowledge that they have already acquired to help them develop new ideas and progress in their understanding of a topic (Bruner 1966; Capel et al. 2016).
Data loggers have also been used to improve students’ learning of a number of topics, such as pH and neutralisation. Data loggers are electronic devices which record data over a given period of time, and in some cases, plot the results on a graph. Using technology in this way was found to be particularly useful for pupils with low numeracy skills as it reduced the need to read, and devise, an appropriate scale for a graph. Moreover, it enabled SEND pupils to focus on the Science rather than worrying about using lots of equipment.
Bruner, J.S., 1966. Toward a Theory of Instruction, Belknap Press of Harvard University. Available at: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=F_d96D9FmbUC.
Bruner, J.S. & Watson, R., 1983. Child’s Talk: Learning to Use Language, W.W. Norton. Available at: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=k0h4QgAACAAJ.
Capel, S., Leask, M. & Younie, S., 2016. Learning to Teach in the Secondary School: A Companion to School Experience, Taylor & Francis. Available at: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=86zDCwAAQBAJ.
Vygotsky, L.S., 1962. Thought and Language, M.I.T. Press, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Available at: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=ZNVrAAAAIAAJ.
Wood, D., 1998. How Children Think and Learn, Wiley. Available at: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=mw3DGr01lYkC.
Jedeskog, G. and Nissen, J., 2004. ICT in the classroom: is doing more important than knowing?. Education and information technologies, 9(1), pp.37-45.
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