At the recent IB conference in Rome, one of the sessions I attended was run by Oulu International School about mapping technology skills throughout PYP and MYP. OIS made a conscious decision to rename ICT to Educational Technology (ET), making the connection to how technology is used for learning! The first questions posed to focus thoughts were:
- Is there a plan in the classroom? (not just the tech lesson, but all lessons)
- Does it improve learning?
- Does it change learning?
At OIS, the library and ET team played a vital role in collaborating and creating guidelines – the library as media specialist playing a central role in tying the whole school together. Interestingly, OIS also work with a local university to help train staff on the latest innovations and developments in tech.
First step when mapping the skills (rather than the tools) is to conduct a whole school (teacher and student) audit of tech skills – this will highlight where the ‘holes’ are, using such a template: mapping skills ICT These websites have some useful checklists:
Could we build this around the IB AtL skills?
- Communication: What are the basic skills we want a staff/ student to demonstrate (level 1) when communicating with technology?
- Social (for collaboration): how do we want staff / students to collaborate using technology?
- Self-management (for organisation; affective use; and reflection): What technology skills will teachers / students use for organisation? How would teachers / students use technology with care? How will teachers / students use technology for reflection?
- Research (for information literacy; and media literacy): How will teachers / students use technology for research?
- Thinking (for critical thinking; creative thinking; and transfer): What technology skills will teachers / students use to demonstrate / develop critical thinking? etc…
How would a teacher / student demonstrate [communication] using technology?
OIS had developed the following areas as part of their skills mapping:
- word processing skills
- graphics skills
- touch typing
- what is the internet?
- web page literacy skills
- additional skills
These areas were broken down into blocks (G1-2, G3-4…) and what particular skills would be focussed on in these grades, in these areas. They also tied in the ET work with the units, so for example, a unit task may have included creating a brochure. The skills for creating this brochure were then taught in both the tech lesson and reinforced in the unit lesson. Skills were then transferable!
A final thought, when thinking about technology in the classroom, the following questions are helpful in structuring the curriculum:
What is your plan in the classroom? How can technology (and tech/design lessons) help with this?
- Who do you teach? Who are your target group?
- What do you teach? What is the content?
- How will you teach it? What technology will you use to help teach this?