Yesterday, I made reference to the ITL Research Findings that was released at the Partners in Learning Forum.  A small group of us received an overview of the content on the day of its release.  Located in a Washington hotel room, we had a bit of a breakfast and then a short Powerpoint summary of the key points.  I was there with my camera and snapped some pictures of some of the interesting slides.

Previously, I had talked about the slide that talked about reasons why ICT wasn’t being used in classrooms.  I think that it read like a Letterman Top 10 list.  Now, we do know that technology is indeed being used in classrooms.  All that you have to do is follow the discussions on Twitter regularly or walk the halls of any school and you’ll see all kinds of examples and success stories.

The research findings identifies some of the typical use of ICT in the classroom.  I managed to grab a picture of that slide as well.  I had a slightly better angle for this picture – you have to look hard to see the light encroaching on the picture.

The report authors create a couple of broad-swiped categories about the use.  They divide the examples into “Basic” and “High level” uses of Information and Computer Technology.  I tend to agree with most of the categorizations except that I’d move “Write or edit stories, reports, or essays” down to Basic uses.  I don’t think that the categories are necessarily exclusive either.  For example, “Creating multimedia presentations” would probably incorporate the skill of “Finding information on the internet”.

The hierarchy is interesting to look up and down.  If I was a tech co-ordinator, principal, or superintendent, I think that I’d be presenting the content and then asking staff some questions to help frame their own or a school’s use of technology.  Some things that I think would spark some conversation and feedback would include:

  • Does this chart reflect ICT use in our school?  District?
  • We’re assuming that everyone is using ICT at some level in this summary.  If your practice isn’t on the list, where would you feel comfortable entering?
  • How many of these things could be done with students BYOD?  (Bringing their own devices)
  • How many of these things could be done without the use of technology?  Can it be done better?
  • Which tasks require that each student have their own computer?  Which tasks are better done in groups?
  • Identify a piece of software or online resource that could be used for each task.
  • Which of these tasks could be assigned as work to be done by students outside of the classroom?
  • Is there a use of ICT that you use exclusively?  Does the graph generate any additional ideas?
  • Where and how does Critical Thinking fit into the chart?  Literacy?  Numeracy?  The Arts?

and most importantly…

  • Where are your typical ICT practices?  What do you need and what can I do to help you move up the chart?

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