ICT Cross Curriculum Content

A comment by Pixeltoy on an earlier post about the Laptops for Learning Forum got me thinking: although I do believe much work will have to be done to ensure authentic integration of ICT resources into all subject, I’m not sure that syllabus change is the answer.

NSW syllabuses already have cross-curriculum content embedded into each syllabus.  One of the content areas is Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). The ICT cross-curriculum content in the English 7-10 syllabus is worth quoting here at length:

Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) content in English enables students to develop and apply skills, knowledge and understanding of ICT in their composing, responding and presenting, and as part of the imaginative and critical thinking they undertake in English. The ICT content has been incorporated into the content of this syllabus to ensure that all students have the opportunity to become competent, discriminating and creative users of ICT and are better able to demonstrate the syllabus outcomes of English through the effective use of ICT.

In their study of English, students are able to apply their existing knowledge of word processing, multimedia, ways of formatting and presenting texts, simulation software, graphics and electronic communication and further develop their skills, knowledge and understanding of these technologies. They learn about the ethics of information communication through technology.

At Stage 4, students use specified tools and functions of word processing for composing. They learn to import images and graphics into folders and documents. In formatting documents they learn to desktop publish using graphics in a multimedia presentation or webpage, evaluating appropriate layout and design principles for a specific audience.

At Stage 5, students use more advanced specified tools and functions of word processing for composing. They learn to create, import and manipulate graphics. They learn about advanced forms of digital communication such as video conferencing.

So, what is it that’s already letting us down?  What is it we are missing in our professional learning to be able to implement this content, which already appears in our syllabus documents?

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  1. #1 by darcymoore on May 17, 2009 - 10:09 pm

    Hi Kelli,

    Funny how were are having the same conversation about cross-curriculum content at our blogs: http://darcymoore.wordpress.com/2009/05/16/10-things-a-det-teacher-can-do-in-preparation-for-11-laptops-in-classrooms/

    Have you looked at he English Ext 2 blurb for multimedia in a while? It is pretty funny/disturbing!

  2. #2 by Troy on May 19, 2009 - 7:14 pm

    Yep, I agree, we already have some pretty good guidelines.
    So, what is it that’s already letting us down? Did we learn anything from the introduction of the Stage Six? Did we repeat similar mistakes in the linking of Stage Three via the Stage Four and Five?
    Leaders at school level? Access issues? Classroom teachers? What if one part of another professional actively resisted one element of their occupations??
    Some teachers have only just become users, while students have been experts, the balance of power has shifted.
    Solutions?? Of course, professional learning, development, students directly involved in that learning. A cultural shift…

  3. #3 by dskmag on May 19, 2009 - 9:39 pm

    Nice work, I think that the ICT Stage 4/5/6 statements were not intended to address read/write web at all, but also written in such a way never to name the technology. Today, they are lacking in the areas of realism and audience.

    Right now, the mis-alignment of laptop delivery (short term politics) and longer term renewal (Nat Curric Authority) leave an 18 month ‘hole’. I don’t see any investment in people, and find it bizarre that Connected Classrooms is seen as the way forward. There is little desire to invest in people and lack of alignment with NSW Institute etc., In-services, pupil free days … simply don’t scale and create in-equity. There is a lack of clarity in DET/BOS and Nat Curric messages right now.

    No one seems to want to put their hand up and take responsibility … tick tock …

  4. #4 by pixeltoy on May 28, 2009 - 2:35 pm

    At last some constructive discourse about ICT & current curriculum. Unfortunately I cannot comment on S4-6 syllabii (love that plural) even tho I have a son in yr9 and another in yr11 who have had minimal access to ICT at high school this ur (yr11 used computers for ‘all my own work’ only- in yr9 he has accessed info on the net for 3 classes a total of 3 times during library only). Facts like these lead me to make the previous statements BECAUSE current syllabii do not explicitly state that ‘considerable financial resources have been invested in successful integration and implementation of current technologies in the learning cycle. As such, it is mandatory that students demonstrate an ability to X using ICT to demonstrate mastery during the course of this syllabus.’
    Hence, “it is NOT absolutely necessary so I’ll just keep doing what I have done for the last 5+yes, all my other students progressed!”
    This is what I see as an outsider looking in to High Schools. I’d say at least 70% would fit this assumption if not more.
    Now, this new initiative is wonderful news- netbooks for all yr9 students. As an ICT enthusiast I could be teaching in such exciting ways with each student on their own netbook. I can use all of the included apps because of my own inquisitiveness. I can attest that at least 90% of high school teachers will never use more than M$ Word & perhaps Powerpoint. Adobe Connect requires a quick course and a ‘need’ to use it, Captivate is a powerful tool which has excellent potential! Pity the learning curve/TTI (total time invested) is too great. Elements- PS, DW, PR require a lot of training. They cannot be equated to Paint, M$ Moviemaker or HTML export from Office! (where is the music app? Soundbooth?)
    So, what do we have essentially? IMO in a yr9 class where the teacher has no idea, the students will quickly learn to Social Network within the school LAN. Students will inevitably teach themselves the software out of curiosity IF they are shown the power of the tool. The further ahead of the teacher they are, the more reluctant the teacher will be to use the software. Catch 22?
    I think it can be successful but only with effective training, not by Adobe! Teachers need to see HOW to use the ICT/software effectively, WHY they should be using it regularly and WHERE it fits in to the learning cycle. Why use Photoshop to edit a photo when Paint will suffice? If teachers cannot effectively ENGAGE students this way then the netbook is doomed to becoming a large social networking device.
    How does this link in to syllabus content? As I stated above, if the teacher can’t see WHY, HOW or WHERE they should be using it then what they have been doing so far will suffice.
    I mentioned on another post what happened back in 92/93 with the new English syllabus. It was thrust upon districts and schools with a ‘here work it out yourselves’ approach. Many teachers to this day have little or no idea how to implement it effectively. With the investment made on this new initiative I truly hope a thought has been spared for training, effective training!

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