What I Learned in My ICT Course

I will be leaving my ICT course at Brandon University with many skills and resources that I can see myself implementing into my future classroom. I have learned about the importance of digital literacy and citizenship, and facilitating the development of these skills in my students. I have also learned about various ICT frameworks that guide the implementation of Ed Tech tools into the classroom. Additionally, I was introduced to several platforms that may aid me in engaging students that are growing up in an increasingly digital age.

Source: https://www.teachermagazine.com/au_en/articles/ict-literacy-in-the-classroom

My Top 5 Takeaways

1. The Importance of Digital Literacy

Determining the Reliability of Information

The digitizing of society and access to technology has increased the ease with which we access and share information. However, not all of this information is reliable or accurate. Digital literacy encompasses thinking critically about the credibility of sources of information. This is an important skill that should be developed in school, as it is important for our students to be able to decipher between real and fake information sources. To introduce my students to these skills, I would first present them with questions that they should consider when exploring sources of information. These questions would surround exploring the author/source, their credibility, and their methods and motives regarding why they shared their message the way that they did.

Source: https://edureach101.com/teaching-students-digital-literacy/
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8o96ey4jCgE

To develop these skills further…

I would engage students in several research projects in which they must determine for themselves the credibility of the sources they select. For example, in my social studies classroom, I would have students present an article on a current event, and explain to me why their article is reliable.   

Happy Fun GIF by bahaso - Find & Share on GIPHY
Source: https://giphy.com/gifs/bahaso-fun-together-learning-61XQCwucaDapRLPHzx

Digital Literacy also Encompasses Staying Up to Date Regarding the Use of Digital Platforms.

It is important for teachers to maintain their own technological competency, and pass these skills onto students in order to prepare them for a future in the digital world. To stay up to date on the ever-emerging digital platforms that exist, I will continue to utilize social media platforms, like Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok to keep up with educators and how they are incorporating ICT into their classrooms. Additionally, open communication with my colleagues and my students will aid me in continually modernizing how I deliver content, and the opportunities I create for students to demonstrate their learning.

2. The Importance of Digital Citizenship

Source: https://shs.weldre4.org/student_resources/library_media_center/digital_citizenship

Digital citizenship involves using technology to safely and respectfully communicate with others. It is important for teachers to teach students about the importance of being kind when communicating online, as there are several mental health implications associated with this. Additionally, digital citizenship involves being mindful when developing your digital identity. Teaching students about the permanency of sharing things online is important, as this may inform the future decisions that students make regarding what they deem appropriate to share publicly, and what is better off left private.

Source: https://safesitter.org/digital-footprints/

To ensure that this message is relayed to students…

I plan to advocate for the organization of school-wide presentations in the future to increase student awareness of how digital communication can impact current, as well as future, well-being and success. Sharing real-world stories with students may be the reality-check that is necessary to motivate them to make the needed changes to their online presence.

Check out the video below that features teens talking about the importance of posting mindfully. This may be a way that I introduce this concept to students in my own classroom.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ottnH427Fr8

3. SIFT

Another important takeaway from my ICT course is the concept of SIFT, which is a method of determining source credibility. It involves the following:

Stop: Before sharing information, question the source and the motivation behind the message.
Investigate the Source: Using internet sources, like Wikipedia.
Find Better Coverage: Find better coverage, and use “fact checkers” like snopes.com, or conduct a reverse image search.
Trace Claims: This involves clicking through to follow links to claims, and investigating the original reporting sources and context.

Source: https://hapgood.us/2019/06/19/sift-the-four-moves/

Using SIFT is an important step in increasing one’s digital literacy. There are many motivations that go into creating content, such as to sell, to influence, to inform, to entertain, or to mislead. So, this is an important skill for teachers to pass onto students. In my own classroom, I can see myself using FakeOut to do so.

This platform…

  • Introduces you news stories, and you must guess which are real or fake.
  • Explains the SIFT method using a series of short videos.
  • Provides you with practice in using the skills you just learned by applying them to determine if news stories are real or fake.

This is a fun and engaging way to introduce students to this concept, and may help them develop the digital literacy skills that will guide their media consumption moving forward.

Source: https://newsliteracy.ca/activities/fakeout/

Link to FakeOut: https://newsliteracy.ca/fakeout/

4. ICT Frameworks for Implementation

In this ICT course we were introduced to multiple ICT Frameworks that guide the use of Ed Tech in the classroom, such as the SAMR and Triple E frameworks. These frameworks communicate to teachers the degree to which they are using Ed Tech in the classroom, and how to reach the next level.

Source: https://www.powerschool.com/resources/blog/samr-model-a-practical-guide-for-k-12-classroom-technology-integration/
Source: https://www.tripleeframework.com/framework-models.html


For example…

In the Triple E framework, the three E’s stand for engagement, enhancement and extension. Using Kahoot! to review concepts (like how I have in the past), engages students and increases their motivation to learn. However, if a teacher asks students to create their own Kahoot!, this may enhance learning by leading students to a deeper understanding of course content, and by aiding them in demonstrating their learning more effectively. However, to extend learning, a teacher may choose to create a class social media page in which class members can post about their learning at any point in the day. This would be considered an extension of learning because the use of technology in this manner may increase student exposure to and interest in what they are learning outside of class time. This may give way to additional learning opportunities as well as the development of real-world skills surrounding the use of digital platforms.

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZZ9Z665mpc&t=5s

I would introduce this framework to colleagues, as it is easy to understand, and may increase the level of teacher self-reflection regarding their use of Ed Tech tools. This is the first step in creating a school environment that values improving the use of ICT in an educational setting.

5. ICT Platforms/Resources

Digital Storytelling

In this course, I was presented with several ICT platforms that I can see myself integrating into my classroom on a daily basis. For example, digital storytelling was one of my favourite topics, and there are several ways to integrate it into the classroom. For example, Book Creator and Story Jumper are platforms that allow students to create their own story in a digital format. This may seem like it would be only useful in ELA, but storytelling can be applied across the board. For example, in my science classes, I may ask students to depict, in a storytelling format, the journey of DNA replication. In a social studies class, on the other hand, I may have students create a story depicting the journey of a chosen global product, from production to consumption.

The steps that go into digital storytelling are outlined in the graphic below!

Source: https://edtechteacher.org/8-steps-to-great-digital-storytelling-from-samantha-on-edudemic/

Coding

Coding is another tool that was introduced to me in this course. At first, I had no idea what coding was, or its significance. Simply put, coding involves creating a command in computer-based language, so that the command is carried out as the user intended. This may seem complex, but there are many ways to introduce students to this concept at an age-appropriate level. For example, websites like Kodable gamify this process, and allow teachers to select the grade level they are working with.

Check out this video outlining how to take part in the “Hour of Code” using Kodable!

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N8E1UWtGY2Y

I see myself incorporating this concept into my pedagogical approach, not only because there is a high demand for jobs in this field,  but because coding develops other important skills in students. Particularly, coding promotes computational thinking. This concept is explained in the graphic below:

Other Platforms

Some of the other digital platforms I got introduced to in this course include Lumio, Padlet, Nearpod, Jamboard, Canva, Miro, Goosechase, Quizzizz, and Flipgrid, amongst others. I can see myself using each of these in my classroom, but below I will outline a few that I find particularly useful:


Lumio: Allows teachers to create interactive lessons that keep students involved in the learning as it is happening. For example, you can embed quizzes, polls, videos, games, and collaborative opportunities right into a presentation!

Link to Lumio: https://legacy.smarttech.com/en/lumio



Miro: Is a collaborative tool that students can use to create concept maps, flow charts, planners, along with other visual resources.

Link to Miro: http://miro.com


Goosechase: Is an online tool that allows you to facilitate scavenger hunts. These scavenger hunts could involve answering questions or completing tasks relevant to content, or could be a way to give students a fun brain break.

Link to Goosechase: https://www.goosechase.com/

These are just a few examples of the ICT tools that this course introduced me to. I am very grateful that I had the opportunity to be exposed to these resources, as I can see myself using each of them in my future classroom.

To Conclude…

Using ICT in the classroom is important to keep up to the digitizing nature of society, and to increase the motivation and engagement that we see in our classrooms. By integrating ICT into the classroom, we are unlocking limitless opportunities for student creativity, and are promoting differentiation strategies for our different types of learners. My goal is to contribute to a school community that values these principles, so that my colleagues and I can become a support system for each other in the face of challenges. Overall, I am excited to see what my future classroom looks like now that I have been exposed to and have added these various ICT concepts and resources to my teaching toolbox.