Learning Strands

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The learning strands seek to build capacities to handling today’s and tomorrow’s technologies appropriate for use in education, capitalizing on technology to master technology, managing the ICT infrastructure, using technology to surmount bar- riers and to acquiring insights to lead technology educationally. The six strands are:


Connecting with the World

ICT tools enable anytime, anywhere access to information and resources. Given the proliferation of internet connectivity, the curriculum recognises the fact that being connected to the internet offers tremendous benefits to teachers in termsof capabilities to access information and resources of various kinds and to utilize them in their teaching-learning. Not only will these add to the range of techniques that teachers use, but also make a difference to their students learning. The ability to critically review and use the resources will be an essential input to teachers professional development.

Becoming aware of the range of materials the web offers for the teachers’ own learning as well resources for their teaching; critical appraisal of the Curricula for ICT in Education information and resources; safe, productive, ethical and legal use of these resources; and protecting oneself and others from the harmful effects of the virtual medium is fundamental to every teacher’s learning. Therefore, the strand introduces teachersto the internet and its resources; using browsers and search engines; choosing appropriate sites; search and retrieval of information and resources; different kinds of websites and interactivity; navigating the web, bookmarks, subscriptions to services and products; downloading information and resources; awareness of formats and techniques; copyright and safety issues; uploading and sharing information; and transactions through internet.

Connecting with Each Other

ICT tools also enable a variety of ways to keep people connected. Synchronous and asynchronous modes increase the degree of interactivity and help create communities, which can then collaborate to form interest groups for a common cause. While at the bare minimum, it enables a very rapid way of communicating with a friend, it can be leveraged to break teachers’ isolation and promote professional growth. Becoming aware of various communication possibilities, becoming interested in and participating in professional communities and keeping abreast with newer ways of communicating are essential to keep the teachers in sync with developments of technology and updated about developments in her own discipline and in educational practice.

Learning to create an email ID; send and receive emails; store and manage communication; handle attachments; maintain address books; form or join email forums; participate in discussion forums, wikis, video and audio conferencing, social networks, blogging and micro blogging; become aware of cyber bullying and other social issues are essential parts of teachers’ cyber kit.

Creating with ICT

ICT tools are not seen as an end in themselves but as an opportunity to create and express. Modern ICT employ a variety of media forms –text, graphics, animation, audio and video, enabling a rich communication. Easy, friendly ways have been discovered to interact with ICT. Together they expand enormously the range of learning that can accrue. Software applications and hardware devices have become increasingly versatile and cater to a variety of learning needs. The wider the range of tools, devices, software applications and techniques those teachersare aware of and can productively use, the wider will be the opportunities for developing their imagination and expression. Treating a computer as a mere information delivery device will lead to a gross underutilisation of its capabilities and diminish its use for teaching-learning. With access to a range of tools and devices, the repertoire of communication skills will also increase. The teachers’ ability to leverage the interactive features into teaching-learning will also extend the range of activities students can be involved in and learn from.

Creating, curating, managing images and documents; repurposing them into communications; gathering and processing data and presenting them; working with audio and video tools to create media rich communications; learning to program and control devices and processes, become important to teachers.

Interacting with ICT

ICT are evolving at a very rapid pace. The type of device, its operating processes, and the purpose for which the tool is to be deployed the range of essential learning in ICT is ever increasing. While the computer has evolved to take on more and more complex tasks, the interface itself has become simpler by the day. From the days of a command line interface to an app based touch interface, computers have become extremely productive, finding uses in more and more applications, particularly in the daily routine of every common man. Understanding how ICT systems operate and an appreciation of the range of ICT tools available today can help identify opportunities for teaching-learning. Extensive use also helps make informed decisions in selecting the most appropriate tools for education. A computer today is not just a large calculator but an integrated communication medium. Expectedly, the more the functions, the more the complexity. The free participatory ways in which this technology has grown has also brought in diverse ways in which different hardware and software achieve similar tasks. Keeping abreast of the technology becomes a challenge. At the same time, trying to learn every new tool in a rote manner would not be fruitful either. A broad conceptual understanding of how ICT devices and tools work, along with an operational knowledge of safe and efficient use of ICT is the aim, together with learning basic ways to troubleshoot and working around problems.

Connecting input and output devices –printers, scanners, webcam, digital camera, sound recorder, projector, headphone; using storage devices and optical disks; mounting and dismounting devices; connecting to the internet –modem, data card, Wi-Fi, LAN; bandwidth and connection speeds; software installation; using , different operating systems; file management; settings and configurations; enabling regional language support; troubleshooting and basic repair; virus protection and safety of equipment and user form the strand’s focus.

Possibilities in Education

ICT capabilities have led to a wide variety of educational applications. Software applications which extend learning, immerse students in experimentation and problem solving, make available data sets to process and retrieve information from are commonly used in education. Online resources –books, courses, media materials have become common. Interactive possibilities, individual users interacting with packaged material or groups of people interacting with each other have opened up ways in which teaching-learning is transacted. While the glamour and novelty of the medium attracts everyone, becoming a discerning, critical user of ICT is very essential. Sugar coating of information cannot constitute enriching of experience. Learning to acquire insights into how ICT operate and impact teaching-learning, what forms of media and information can be appropriate to learning, how educational goals can become the arbiter of choices made in ICT, assessment and evaluation of ICT tools, devices, information and resources are very important, if cost effective and meaningful ICT has to be promoted.

This strand therefore forms the bridge between the aspirations of the education system and the runaway developments in ICT. The strand involves exploration and experimentation with open education resources (OER)–access, use and evaluation, creation and contribution of educational resources; research and critical appraisal of the utility and effectiveness of ICT devices and tools; familiarity with virtual environments for self-learning and teaching-learning; familiarity with the web and its range of resources; productivity tools and their meaningful use; tools and forums for planning, organising, teaching-learning, assessment and evaluation; tools and forums for professional growth.

Reaching Out and Bridging Divides

ICT has become available widely, overcoming geographical and social boundaries. But this has not naturally ensured access to its benefits to all. ICT itself has evolved techniques –a DVD or a music player as examples of portability, forums as examples of public helplines and support, public sharing and open educational resources; a wide range of free and open source software -auguring well for improved access. Language barriers and professionalisolation can deny students and teachers access to the wide range of digital information and resources. Becoming aware of, experimenting with, participation in and creation of resources and support aimed at those denied access will help reach out and bridge the divides. Physically challenged, particularly the visually impaired and the auditory impaired cannot access information as easily.

The theme will involve an exposure to building digital communities; understanding the need for and evolving a shared agenda; creating, sharing, and curating resources for teacher and student communities; community radio; local language tools and local content, translators and translations; subtitling video; disability and assistive technologies –screen readers for the visually impaired; audio books; talking books; collaborative possibilities –wikis, open maps, data repositories and forums.

Last modified: Friday, 1 February 2019, 5:26 PM