Throughout the course of this unit and close examination of the curriculum documents (Victorian Essential Learning Standards [VELS]) it became clear that the use of Information and Communication Technology in the classroom must be integrated. That is, it must support learning and be used as an interdisciplinary tool rather than a discipline itself. It must assist students to develop their thinking, create innovative solutions and communicate or collaborate with others. Utilising ICT must help students focus on the task and not the technology (Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority, 2009). The technology itself should be invisible so that it facilitates time consuming processes allowing students to concentrate on higher order thinking (Le & Le, 2007). It is however, undeniable that to teach with ICT tools, teachers and students must know how to effectively use them. For that, ICT lessons devoted to learning operating skills must be delivered. For the technology to become invisible, it must first be assimilated. Herein lies the challenge of a creative teacher, how to deliver ICT skills lessons with content that is integrated? We live in an exciting time, where the amount of tools that are available for teachers and students can truly enrich our lessons and help deliver integrated units where teaching ICT becomes embedded. Content will be more powerful and significant because it will relate to real life and have more meaning for young people (Beane, 1995). Lessons can be as varied and as engaging as our students need them to be and there is no denying that our students need to be engaged. As digital learners (Prensky, 2001) they are the first generation to be born with this technology and as such they are able to use it with ease, they identify and connect with it, and most importantly it meets their needs. This brings some challenges for teachers as they must struggle to develop their own knowledge in an area that is constantly changing and improving. I believe that the only way to achieve this is to immerse oneself in the technology. Teachers must really use it, they need to familiarise with it until they can truly understand its benefits and enjoy it. They must do so until technology becomes invisible to them. Bringing Web 2.0 technologies and other ICT resources into the classroom means that teachers will facilitate student development into contemporary, productive and globally apt individuals. Students that learn in an ICT rich classroom can express themselves in socially relevant ways (Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority, 2009). A a teacher I want to prepare my students for life-long learning. I believe that students of today have the opportunity to seek knowledge in non linar ways and if as a teacher I can prepare them to find such knowledge, to network and to connect I will be facilitating this continuous learning (Siemens, 2005).
Beane, J. (1995). Curriculum Integration and The Disciplines of Knowledge. Kappan , 76 (8), 616-622.
Le, T. & Le, Q. (2007). Using computers to promote literacy development. In J. &. Sigafoos, Technology and Teaching (pp. 41-50). New York: Nova Science Publishers, Inc.
Prensky, M. (2001). Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants. On the Horizon , 9 (5).
Siemens, G. (2005). Connectivism: A learning theory for the Digital Age. International Journal of Instructional Technolgy and Distance Learning , 2 (10).
Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority. (2009, September 11). Information and Communication Technologies. Retrieved October 9, 2009, from Victorian Essential Learning Standards: http://vels.vcaa.vic.edu.au/ict/intro.html
Wordle, (2009). Retrieved October 10, 2009, from Wordle: http://www.wordle.net