Reflections from the recent IB conference: 1

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?

These questions also tie in to the thinking surrounding the SAMR model that was shared with staff recently: technologyatIST.

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:

http://tommarch.com/strategies/skills-checklist/

http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2014/07/a-comprehensive-checklist-of-21st.html

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?