Tuesday, 25 April 2006

Technology and the KLAs

Should ICT be a separate KLA?

I noticed that in QLD Science is a separate KLA to Technology. Does this Technology KLA refer to ICT type technology or is it equivalent to the Technology part of the Science and Technology KLA in NSW? I will need to research this further.

Either way this has made me think again about whether there is any value in ICT being considered a separate KLA. I can see arguements for and against.

As a separate KLA ICT skills will be nutted out and a core list of skills developed. On the other hand technology is advancing at such a rapid rate that such a core skill base may be easily rendered obsolete.

As a separate KLA ICT would just add to the teacher workload - would we really reap the benefits which ICTs can bring to our lessons if it is separated?

ICTs can create more engaging lessons. I have read research (I will try to find the reference) which indicates students in the US from low SES areas show increased engagement when technology is used in lesson delivery.

The way students use technology is not removed from the rest of their lives. For example, students would use the internet to play games or send messages or search for information. The ICT skill of using the net is imbedded in the purpose for its use. Being removed the skill has no meaning.

Students use a word processor to type a report - the skill is not removed from the English KLA - in fact such a report may be the presentation of results from a HSIE research project or a Science and Tech experiment.

It would be interesting to research whether or not the use of ICT can be linked to improvments in literacy directly - i.e. not only through engagment? Are students reading and writing skills improving because they are using technology? I'll leave that for another post.

What do others think ... How is ICT presented in your state? Does it work?

15 Comments:

Anonymous Trish said...

The Qld Technology KLA modules are available here. http://www.qsa.qld.edu.au/yrs1to10/kla/technology/modules.html
Looking at the modules shows that they look at technology as not just ICT. Haven't looked at the NSW syllabus to comment.

9:02 pm  
Anonymous MArty said...

In the NT it is listed seperately but meant to be incorporated with subjects. The idea is that it's a tool and is used where appropriate. Havibg it listed seperatly is to help teachers see where they can use it.
Cheers MArty

11:09 pm  
Anonymous Michael said...

I think technology should be taught seperately. I used to be a computer consultant for 12 years and in my experience people learning 'on the job' usually only pick up the basics. I know of many people who have used computers for 10 years and can only type a letter or use the specific application that they have been trained for and nothing else.

If you want students to really have a strong grasp of technology when they leave school you need to teach it. To think that they will gain strong skills by absorbing it in general use just does not happen.

Michael

11:55 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wouldn't it be a move backward to teach ICT as a separate KLA? Seamless integration is the ideal, and this means putting teaching and learning first, and having easy access to reliable, networked applications suitable for immediate classroom use, and teachers confident in their use. Sounds so simple, but of course it is just the tip of the iceberg.

5:44 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Victorian Essential Learning Standards list ICT as an interdisciplinary domain which means it should be taught as a part of the other KLAs to support them rather as stand alone lessons. However we will have to report on it separately. Is this a double standard?

5:45 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Throughout the rest of Australia, technology is a separate strand as far as I can see. In Tasmania it was treated very much like what is part of the science curriculum her in nsw. Technology was not about computers at all! It was about the process of design, make and evaluate, and looked at design of every day objects and their implementation and use.

m

5:45 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it possible in 2006 to not have ICTs pervasively interwoven into everything we do accross the curriculum? Sepereate KLA - hmmm - very 80s! I will be attending an inservice this-arternoon for the new (Qld) outcomes based English syllabus. I'm expecting to completely lose count on the elements of this syllabus document which make direct or indirect reference to ICT competencies and essential learnings.

I'm also certain the L word will also invariably crop up ("Literacy" for those who missed the "literacy block" thread from some weeks back). I do not believe that it's drawing too long a bow in suggesting that your ICT query has very real linkages to the notion of "multiliteracies" - a term which has plenty of currency at present - gets an awful lot of mentions, but clearly needs to be dealt with on a number of levels in regard to what it really means for us and our practice as educators.

r

5:46 pm  
Blogger The Constanti Blogs said...

I think technology should be taught seperately. I used to be a computer consultant for 12 years and in my experience people learning 'on the job' usually only pick up the basics. I know of many people who have used computers for 10 years and can only type a letter or use the specific application that they have been trained for and nothing else.

If you want students to really have a strong grasp of technology when they leave school you need to teach it. To think that they will gain strong skills by absorbing it in general use just does not happen. This would be the case even if all teachers have strong skills, which they don't.

M.

5:46 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

but the skills should still be taught within the context of whichever KLA you happen to be working in when they are required.

m

5:47 pm  
Blogger The Constanti Blogs said...

Ah - the T word. Glad you raised that one! As if the ambiguity surrounding the term "literacy" wasn't enough!

In Qld (not sure about the other states) we now have a "Technology" KLA which needs to be adhered to - quite distinct from ICT competencies, which are checklisted and continuuaed (now there's a word for you!), in a plethora of equally valid ways, but not articulated as as a dedicated KLA in their own right.

Sorry if I have not articulated my viewpoint adequately - was in NO way suggesting that fundamental ICT skills should happen by osmosis. The idea being suggested involved the continuum or checklist of ICT competencies being interwoven into the topic being covered by the learner. eg When I covered "gold rush" last year - one of the tasks taught and assessed was to use excel to construct graphs ot represent various data - comparative mass of 20 biggest nuggets found in Australia, line graphs to show comparitive growth/decline in Australia's European and Aboriginal population during the 1850 - 1900 timespan etc.

r.

5:47 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Leaving the teaching of ICT to “regular teachers” just doesn’t work... It’s the blind leading the blind. Actually, it’s more like the blind leading the partially sighted, :-)

Having said that however, I also believe that there needs to be much better integration of ICT tools into regular KLAs, for teachers of ICT to perhaps become more involved in a team teaching approach so that the use of the tools directly supports the curriculum outcomes in a just-in-time manner. It’s probably not appropriate that we have technology classes for the sake of technology classes, but there certainly needs to be some ICT expertise available for students to tap into who are trying to use the tools effectively in other KLAs.

The comparison would be...
Students telling the story of some historical period using video VS. Students learning to use Moviemaker
Students analysing raw data to build understanding of a scientific principle, VS. Students learning how to use a spreadsheet.
Students collaborating with global partners to solve a common problem, VS Students learning to send an email
And so on...

I suspect that ICT taught in isolation only achieves the latter, while getting the regular (non ICT savvy) teachers to attempt the former is a complete waste of time. There needs to be greater liaison between classroom teachers working towards the KLA learning goals while having ICT teachers who are able to provide insights in the tools for doing so.

I still think it ridiculous that after 20 years of having computers in schools and spending millions of dollars in professional development and teacher training that we still need ICT experts at all. I reckon classroom teachers ought to be able to do this stuff by now. We shouldn’t need experts at all. Ah well, keeps us in a job I guess. :-)

5:48 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought it interesting that the federal ICT Literacies testing insists that it is not a curriculum being tested and that the literacies are embedded in KLA activities....

The 'isolate or integrate' discussion is always a vexed one and the experience never seems to match the intention.

The Victorian dilemma is interesting... what criteria do you report on?

5:48 pm  
Blogger The Constanti Blogs said...

Is technology just ICT?

5:49 pm  
Blogger The Constanti Blogs said...

For a new generation of teachers it may be time to dig out "Pencils Across the Curriculum!"
http://www.ictpd.net/bj/publish/pencils.htm

It was written in 1990 and still gets about 100 hits a month and another 100 for the Spanish version Los Lápices dentro del Plan de Estudios http://www.ictpd.net/bj/publish/lapiz.htm

5:49 pm  
Blogger The Constanti Blogs said...

No technology is not just ICT. Technology refers to any type of tool. E.g. pen and paper, scissors and the like. It also includes ICTs, but these are a particular type of technology, namely information and communication technology e.g. computers, internet, email etc.



In NSW Science and Technology is one syllabus and this Technology does not refer to ICTs. ICT type technology is embedded in all the syllabus documents

5:49 pm  

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