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It’s not about the tool, it’s about how you use it. 

This quote is taken from a course book within Week 2’s learning path to guide us through the assignment. What do you think about this? 

At uni last week, I was sitting in my Literacies class where we were presented with one thesis statement per group. We were to express our points of view whether we agreed or disagreed and why or why not. My group’s topic was: The focus of ICT should be on the pedagogy, not the technology. Do you agree or disagree? I agreed. This was also consensus amongst our group. 

I really believe that sitting children down with an ICT in front of them is not a reasonable way of developing their ICT competence and placing a tick beside this general capability of the Australian Curriculum.  A reading by Margaret Lloyd confirms this by stating that the incorporation of ICT in the classroom needs to follow a plan and purpose. To me, this makes so much sense as failure to do this is sure to lead to distraction and disaster. 

The pedagogical approaches for effective ICT integration that were brainstormed within my Literacies group included determining the prior knowledge/skill set of the student before allocating them an ICT, making students aware of the lesson intent and the ICT’s role in this, as well as ensuring the use of ICTs generally relate to a real-life situations. Next, we discussed that the ICT should be used to enhance understanding, as opposed to being a fun yet pointless tool, and I feel this all goes back to the need for purpose. As Lloyd further explains in her article, technology should be purposefully embedded in teaching practice instead of being an irrelevant added feature in the classroom environment. Classrooms are busy places nowadays and there sure isn’t time to waste. 

It could be said that I am a strong believer in that teachers must be confident and proactive users of technology who embed ICTs in their pedagogy, as opposed to replacing effective pedagogy with ICTs. This goes back to the initial quote of this blog, you can have the latest and greatest technology (the tool) but if you do not complement it with powerful teaching strategies (how you use it), you are not bound for success. 

What do you think? Does ICT integration in classrooms need to be driven by a purpose? 

 – Kristie