Our Rationale

Learning Task One: Development of Interim Team Project Plan

Our team enterprise project is centred around developing an Information Communication Technology (ICT) handbook for teachers. We have called it ‘Going that Extra Mile: How to Incorporate ICT into your Classroom’. Our project seeks to develop knowledge, skills and values that allow teachers to effectively integrate technology in their own classrooms. The project will involve wide ranging inquiry which will focus on the challenges that face ICT in the everyday classroom, including the dilemmas that teachers are faced with when incorporating ICT and how we can encourage and empower teachers to effectively implement ICT into their classroom. We believe this is an important aspect of teaching in the 21st Century and we intend to develop a document that helps and supports teachers, step by step, to productively ‘transform education and learning’ (John & Wheeler, 2008, p. 15) in their classroom which will only increase the opportunities students have to experience ICT.

We are working in conjunction with Anne Mirtschin from Hawkesdale College in relation to our project and what we hope to accomplish. In early May we are meeting with her at Hawkesdale to show her where we are up to so far and for Anne to share with us her ideas and thoughts on our project and where to go next. We have set up a wikispaces account and invited teachers to join and give us ideas, feedback and comment on our project. So far it has been really good to get other teachers feedback and ideas which has once again made us excited about where our project may lead. As a team we are working collaboratively and our success will be continually measured and evaluated throughout this project through informal and formal feedback from staff involved and members of our Wiki. We hope to accomplish our project by mid June.

Our project focuses on teaching and learning with ICT across a range of subjects and developing a learning environment that is conducive to learning by allowing the students space and time to interact within the learning and teaching process. Goldstein (1997) states that despite three decades of government initiatives and academic research, the use of information and communications technology (ICT) in teaching and learning remains only partially understood by educationalists and inconsistently practiced in schools. Teachers know that ICT can be useful in the classroom but many are not confident or competent enough to implement it effectively. Creating and maintaining stimulating learning environments can be achieved through effective classroom organisation, efficient use of ICT and an atmosphere of innovation.

Our proposed project is supported by the theory of highly regarded theorist Jean Piaget (1972, as cited in Krause, Bochner & Duchesne, 2006), who according to Krause, Bochner and Duchesne (2006) believed that ‘opportunities should be provided for students to experiment with materials, to test ideas and to begin to think logically about the problems they encounter (p. 55). Through doing this it will allow students ‘thinking… (to) be challenged, forcing them to extend and expand their existing knowledge as a basis for later learning’ (p. 55). This idea of increasing the involvement of ICT in the classrooms is verified within the six principles of the Principles of Learning and Teaching (PoLT), where ‘student’s learning needs to connect with their current and future lives, and contemporary thinking in the broader community’ (Department of Education and Early Childhood Development [DEECD] (2009).

Our project fits in with the Information and Communications Technology discipline of the Victorian Essential Learning Standards (VELS, 2009), where in level four ‘students explore new software functions that promote efficiency and effectiveness’ (p. 2). At level four ‘students begin to work in a collaborative global environment’ (p. 2), and this can be possible within classrooms where teachers are assertive with their ICT skills. For those teachers to take the big step into becoming a 21st century teacher can be quite overwhelming, so working with other teachers who are in the same situation can be very beneficial. This theory is supported by Vrasidas and Glass (2005) who believe that ‘learning happens between and among people, and insights are constructed from the ideas of others that gain value when they are shared’ (p. 83).

‘Going that Extra Mile: How to Incorporate ICT into your Classroom’ builds upon the underpinning theories that new technologies can be used to enhance student learning in the classroom. Sutherland (2008) states that “the teacher is the key to improving learning with ICT” (p. 29) and that it is possible to find ways of incorporating ICT into classroom practices to improve learning. Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences (1983, as cited in Fogarty & Stoehr, 2008) believed “it’s not how smart you are, but how you are smart” (p.6). Incorporating ICT into the classroom seeks to develop multiple intelligence combinations of Visual/spatial intelligence as Fogarty and Stoehr (2008) states ‘manifests itself in computer programs and software’ ( p.6 ), Interpersonal intelligence as we ‘inquire about our world through interactions with others’ ( Fogarty & Stoehr, p. 15 ), Logical/mathematical intelligence involves ‘the logical progression of a computer program’ ( Fogarty & Stoehr, p.9) and Verbal/linguistic intelligence which ‘embodies the ideas of speaking, listening and other forms of communication’ ( Fogarty & Stoehr, p.10). Teachers who utilise ICT in the classroom are giving their students the potential to develop these intelligences, as students are exposed to rich learning experiences within the classroom environment.

The key aspects of enterprise education are embedded in our project with the main aspect being that it is intended to help learners broaden their knowledge and understandings of the changing world and help them to gain new skills and successful opportunities for their future. Enterprise education is becoming increasingly popular in schools and is a priority area within the National Goals for Schooling in the Twenty-First Century which is endorsed by the Ministerial Council on Education, Employment and Training and Youth Affairs (MCEETYA).

MCEETYA defines enterprise education as ‘learning directed towards developing in young people those skills, competencies, understandings, and attributes which equip them to be innovative, and to identify, create, initiate and successfully manage personal, community, business and work opportunities, including working for themselves’ (Queensland Department of Education & Training, 2000). We believe that this definition of enterprise education underpins our project as it is designed to give teachers and students all the skills and attributes as stated and can be seen as a great benefit for them to take into their future lives.

Another key area of enterprise education that relates to our project is that students will be better prepared to join and integrate with society throughout the 21st century as supported by Graham (2005). He states that ‘enterprise education aims to develop a culture that equips students to adapt to, take advantage of, and proact upon changing circumstances in society, business, employment, career and their community by way of innovation and entrepreneurship’ (p.48).

Our resource will also assist teachers and students to share the teacher/student relationship as it is giving them a chance to learn together and with others instead of just being teacher focused. Jones and Iredale (2010) support this as they state that ‘enterprise education encompasses a range of changes in educational practices as well as the nature of the teacher-learner relationship’(p.13).

Our final handbook aims to provide invaluable opportunities for teachers to give them more confidence to try new things, familiarisation with equipment they use, suggest ways to integrate ICT across the curriculum and will therefore provide creative, knowledgeable and innovative learning experiences that underline enterprise education.


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