New Opportunities in ICT
You may be aware that developments in web technology, currently referred to as web 2.0, mean that it is now possible for pupils to produce work online thus opening the opportunities for a wider audience. It also provides greater possibilities for pupils to evaluate and have their own work evaluated not only by peers but by a world wide audience. Pupils can now become involved in working collaboratively online both in and beyond school. Teachers, however, should ensure that pupils are taught about e-safety and acceptable online behaviour.
Online Learning allows pupils to:
- access and use online tools including audio and video to create multimedia products;
- exhibit their work to a wider (world-wide) audience;
- evaluate or be evaluated by their peers or a chosen audience; and
- easily exchange work so that more than one person can work collaboratively on a single piece of work at one time.
As an alternative to traditional word processing, you might consider online equivalents such as Wikis, Google Docs and Etherpad which allow documents to be shared with others. Spreadsheets can also be shared and work exchanged using, for example, Google Spreadsheets.
Blogging allows pupils to reflect on and evaluate their work. This can then be commented on by others and encourages further refinement. Current examples of blogging include 21Classes, Edublogs, Cooperative Learning, Voicethread and Twitter (micro-blogging).
Alternatives to PowerPoint
In addition to, or as an alternative to PowerPoint online alternatives such as Google Docs, Prezi, Linoit, Glogster, Mediascapes, etc can be considered. These provide a variety of approaches and styles and add to the richness of ICT learning experiences. Online presentations can also be shared and refined by others.
Historically, programming has involved Logo, particularly in primary schools. Other online programming tools are now available, one example being Scratch, which allows pupils to create interactive stories, games, music and art – and to share them online.
E-portfolios are used to showcase pupils’ work. These are essentially websites, which can be set up so that pupils can upload chosen pieces of work. These e-portfolios can be stored within a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) such as LNI, Moodle, Mahara, Yacapaca or Google Sites.
Educational Social Networks
Educational social networks, such as Ning and Edmodo, can be set up to allow students to showcase their work. They contain features which allow evaluation by a selected audience. Uploaded work can include podcasts, images and videos.
This list is neither prescriptive nor exhaustive but hopefully demonstrates that you need to be aware of the range of online tools and emerging technologies which can enhance the learning and teaching process. It is important to recognise that pupils are living in a rapidly changing world where technologies are evolving at a fast pace.