NP3 ICT in school

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ICT outside school ICT in school Pedagogy Recommendations

We would like to thank all the teachers, other school staff, children and parents who made this research possible.

In reading this research it is important to remember that the data analysis is based on the data that we collected, which inevitably is partial and reflects practice at the time. This may well have changed over the intervening period.

For a detailed discussions about the use of ICT in schools please refer to sections 4 and 7-11 of the Meta-Analysis Report.

The ICT Innovation Framework (ICTIF) is a potentially useful tool to help teachers reflect on ICT use within school. The framework is discussed in depth in Sections 4, 8 and 11 of the NP3 Meta-Analysis Report. The ICTIF covers three aspects of ICT use by children in schools: Quantity, Focus and Mode. These are illustrated below, by focussing on key questions that teachers need to ask themselves about their children's use of ICT in school.

Quantity : the proportion of time children use ICT[edit]

NP3 Child at IWB.jpg

The Quantity of use may vary depending upon the curriculum area and also between teachers. In one of the study schools, Stepside, children in one Year 6 class used ICT for up to 50% of the available school time, whilst in a colleague’s Year 2 class the children used ICT a great deal less (up to 10% of the available school time).

Questions to ask:

  • Is ICT mainly used solely by the teachers (e.g. using the IWB to display information to the class)? (The teacher’s use of ICT should not be included in the estimation of the Quantity of use).
  • What proportion of time is spent with teachers and pupils both using ICT (e.g. children are responding to the class display by doing something on their iPads or inputting information to the class display)? (This can count towards the quantity of use)
  • Overall, on average, what proportion of school time are pupils engaged in using ICT? (This is the Quantity of use)

Focus: the purpose of ICT use[edit]

If ICT is being used for coding/programming (e.g. using Scratch or Beebots) the Focus is teaching about ICT (Computing).

Alternatively, ICT may be used in a wide range of ways for teaching and learning across different curriculum areas including games (both 'educational' and ‘real’), finding information, video-conferencing, blogging, audio –recording, making videos and animations, sharing information, demonstrating and so on. All of these uses focus on ICT being used for pedagogical reasons (PICT or Pedagogic use of ICT)

ICT may also be used as a reward for good or improved behaviour, or for other reasons not directly connected with the curriculum. According to the ICTIF, the Focus for these uses would be ‘Other’.

See Table 4.4.2. in the Meta-Analysis Report for the range of uses in the NP3 study schools.

Questions to ask:

  • Is the primary purpose to teach about ICT (e.g. Computing lessons)? (Focus = Computing)
  • Is ICT being used to support learning across the curriculum (i.e. in subjects/domains other than Computing)? If so, it falls into the category of Pedagogical use of ICT (PICT).
  • Is ICT being used for other purposes, which in themselves may not be primarily about learning (e.g. free choice during ‘Golden Time’ or as reward for appropriate behaviour or to occupy children who have finished other work)? If so the Focus is 'Other'

Mode: the impact that pedagogic use of ICT (PICT) has on what is being taught and/or how it is being taught[edit]

The Mode only applies where the Focus was PICT

1. Pedagogic use of ICT (PICT) may SUPPORT existing practices and the existing curriculum[edit]

In Fairfield Lower, Ms Smith said that her children had done some research using iPads to create a fact file about extinct animals. She had directed them to one specific website. Thus, the Internet could have been replaced with a book or handout selected by the teacher and was neither changing what they children were learning about or how they were learning (i.e. Support on the Mode dimension of the ICTIF)

2. Pedagogic use of ICT (PICT) may EXTEND existing practices and/or the existing curriculum[edit]

NP3 Extend Photo 0122.jpg

In Stepside, Ms Harrison was sensitive to the fact that some of the children in her class did not feel comfortable contributing verbally to group discussions, but she was keen to engage the children in collaboration and discussion. She planned a ‘silent discussion’ involving the use of three large touch screen devices and three discussion activities which facilitated verbal discussion but also enabled less confident children to contribute through written comments.

The lesson successfully engaged the children in collaboration and discussion (verbal and written), so changed how the children were learning, but this could have been achieved using photos, large sheets of paper and post–it notes. (Extend on the Mode dimension of the ICTIF)

For more detail refer to Section 4 of the Meta-Analysis Report.

3. Pedagogic use of ICT (PICT) may TRANSFORM existing practices and/or the existing curriculum[edit]

In Coast Primary, a Year 5 class used ICT during a six week period when working on a topic about Ancient Greece. The pupils used Garage Band to compose a piece of music which portrayed the atmosphere of the journey Theseus made on his return to Athens. Initially the girls, who worked individually on their iPads, researched classical music with a sea theme. They then created audio samples using physical instruments in the music room – this took two weeks. Next they used Garage band on their iPads, importing their sound samples and using the composition tools within the app. Once the music was completed it was exported into iMovie and images sourced from the Internet were added. The final movies were then uploaded to YouTube.

ICT transformed aspects of both how and what the children learnt in ways that that could not have been achieved without ICT. The software helped increase the children’s agency by allowing them to visualise as well as hear the music. Thus it deepen their sense of being a musician and enhancing their learning of music. Another ICT-dependent transformation was the way in which YouTube was utilised for sharing the pupils’ work and as a means of communication over the internet. (Transform on the Mode dimension of the ICTIF)

Questions to ask: 1. What impact is the pupils’ use of ICT having on the curriculum?

  • If the curriculum is fundamentally unchanged then the Mode is Support.
  • If the curriculum is changed then go to question 2.

2. What impact is the pupils’ use of ICT having on how you teach (your pedagogical approach)?

  • If how you teach is fundamentally unchanged, but is more efficient or engaging, then the Mode is Support.
  • If how you teach is changed then go to question 3.

3. Could the change in what and/or how your children are taught have been achieved without ICT?

  • If the change to what and/or how the children are taught could have been achieved without ICT then the Mode is Extend.
  • If ICT is essential for what/how the children are taught then the Mode is Transform.

For more detail refer Section 7 of the Meta-Analysis Report.

ICT outside school ICT in school Pedagogy Recommendations
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