ICT project-based learning

Our model for ICT integration into the primary school curriculum formalises the nine elements which we believe make up the basis for successful ICT project-based learning. It takes educational pedagogy and proven theory and exemplifies it with student worksamples. Its adaptability enables any teacher to take it and apply it to any subject area, be it at K-12 or tertiary level.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Element 1: Sophisticated Multimedia tools


Our school commits a generous proportion of its budget to technology. Having a very sophisticated network means that we can utilise the most current multimedia tools and run them efficiently. With our high level of technical support, our teachers are able to do what they do best which is work with their students in an environment where technology is reliable ... well, as reliable as technology is prone to be.
In the Junior School, we aim to challenge students with ICT-related projects which will allow them opportunities to use a wide range of multimedia tools. There is not a set outline of what software should be used in what year .. but rather what software suits the project the class is working on.
Over the years, multimedia software has become more refined and user-friendly. PhotoStory is a perfect example and is a huge hit across the school. Whether it be writing a recount or narrative, describing an event in history, some aspect of Science or creating an advertisement, this application provides a simple to learn yet rich environment for children and adults. The opportunity to work with graphics, text and music as well as recording a narration means multiple learning outcomes are consolidated.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Overview of our ICT model

We began reflecting on how and why our teaching colleagues were so successful in utilising Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and as a result, we formalised elements of successful ICT integration. As a consequence, we created our model of multimodal project-based ICT learning, completed a paper which reviewed current research and literature on this topic and were accepted to present at the EdMedia 2006 Conference.
At Abbotsleigh Junior School (AJS), our teachers adapt technological innovations to widen the concept of literacy, moving from traditional print-based text to allow students to think, learn and communicate through visuals. They have created a culture where an activity-orientated learning environment is provided. Our girls use multimedia as a means of expressing themselves in a multimodal approach, choosing creative and individual ways of exploring and generating ICT projects. Selecting their own pathways, setting goals and having control over their work in progress, demonstrates a consistently increasing degree of autonomy over technology.
Our jigsaw model highlights the nine essential elements that we believe should be embedded in classrooms today to help children take advantage of the potential of new technologies to enhance their learning. The following common factors are those which we recognised for successful classroom projects/activities which integrate technology and the curriculum:
• MULTIMEDIA
• MULTIMODAL
• TEACHER
• SCAFFOLD
• STUDENT
• PROJECT-BASED
• PRODUCT and PROCESS
• AUTHENTICITY
• AUDIENCE
There are many benefits associated with this model. Our teachers report that not only are students gaining a greater depth of understanding of curriculum areas but their collaborative, communication and problem-solving skills are also being developed.

Introduction to our model of successful ICT integration


Successful utilisation of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) lies not only with innovative teachers but also with a high level of ICT resources and support personnel. Our school has created a culture where an activity-orientated learning environment is provided. Students use the computer as a means of expressing themselves in a nonlinear, multimodal approach: selecting their own pathways, setting goals and having control over their work in progress. Our students demonstrate a consistently increasing degree of autonomy over the computer, choosing creative and individual ways of exploring and generating multimedia projects.

On reflection of ICT use at Abbotsleigh Junior School, we noted 9 common factors in successful classroom projects/activities which integrated technology and the curriculum. These elements are interconnected and led to our Jigsaw model of project-based learning.