When considering how and why ICT should be implemented in the classroom, schools need to contemplate the following questions:
- “What are the futures we are preparing our students for?
- What is required to prepare our young people for tomorrow’s social, cultural and economic futures?
- What is the value of education currently and in the future to the Australian and global economy?” (Department of Education, Training and the Arts, 2008).
Essentially we need to analyse how ICT can connect with students’ real world and lives. How will using ICT in lessons prepare students for their future?
The Melbourne Declaration on Education Goals for Young Australians in 2008 emphasised the crucial place that ICT literacy had in the classroom. “Rapid and continuing advances in information and communication technologies (ICT) are changing the ways people share, use, develop and process information and technology. In this digital age, young people need to be highly skilled in the use of ICT. While schools already employ these technologies in learning, there is a need to increase their effectiveness significantly over the next decade” (Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs [MCEETYA], 2008). With the developments in technology, new jobs will be created. As a result, it is recommended that students are prepared for the unforeseen future and the jobs which will arise.
It is hoped by incorporating ICTs in 6Q’s classroom, students will become fluent in using technology. This is important, as technology continues to develop rapidly.
As part of a 21st century education, it is vital that students are given opportunities to use critical and creative thinking in their education. “A person who thinks critically can ask appropriate questions, gather relevant information, efficiently and creatively sort through this information, reason logically from this information, and come to reliable and trustworthy conclusions about the world that enable one to live and act successfully in it” (Jensen, 2008, p.142).
The Australian Curriculum general capabilities states that critical and creative thinking are imperative in education. Critical thinking involves students “to recognise or develop an argument, use evidence in support of that argument, draw reasoned conclusions, and use information to solve problems” (Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority, 2012). The Australian Curriculum also values creative thinking in learning. Creative thinking can involve “combining parts to form something original, sifting and refining ideas to discover possibilities, constructing theories and objects, and acting on intuition” (Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority, 2012).
In 6Q, we have been using ICT to demonstrate our critical and creative thinking skills. The year six students have been conducting investigations and creating iPad generated presentations. For example, during book week, the students created book trailers on their iPads. One teacher shows how his class used iMovie to create trailers. Examples of the year six students’ trailers are below.
An example of another school using iPads to enhance critical and creative thinking can be found here.
Using ICT to illustrate critical and creative thinking skills applies to the real world. 21st century education aims to prepare students for a future which involves ever evolving technology. “Digital literacy is vital for students to become confident, creative and productive in a digital world” (Department of Education, Training and the Arts, 2008). Students will need to use their critical and creative thinking skills to adapt to this environment. If 6Q can learn to do this now, they will succeed in their future careers and lives.