The Use Of ICT In Your Classroom - Most schools and teachers make the same journey when the move from an analogue classroom to a more digital one. ITL Teacher Survey from 2011 contains a chart (page 20) showing this journey in one picture:
Most teachers that are new to using computers in the classroom starts by using Internet as a source of information, using the computer to share content (from teacher to student, the other way around or both ways) and as a substitute for pen and paper, just as is shown in the chart above. There is nothing wrong with using computers this way, but this is not what computers excel at. Today's computers are really, really good at calculating huge amounts of data almost instantly as well as creating simulations, animations and multimedia. The next level for using computers in the classroom should be to start using tools for these ”higher level use of ICT” shown in the chart above in the classroom.
The obvious question for every teacher is of course:
”How should I as a teacher that knows very little of these ICT tools be able to transform my teaching methods in the classroom?”
I´ll try to describe a way that most teachers can use to get started on that journey.
There are some ICT tools that you can start using in the classroom with some of the students in your class. If you start with the students that are interested and that normally complete their tasks sooner than the other kids in your class they will be an invaluable source for you when making this transformation. You can supply the ICT tools and directions to online resources where they can teach themselves how to use the ICT tools and they can start using them when they completed the tasks you´ve given them. Once they learn how to use the ICT tools they can teach other kids in your class and you as a teacher can of course learn from them as well. Soon all students in your class are able to work with ICT tools that you never thought you´d be able to use in your classroom. There is nothing that boosts the confidence in a student as much as when they are able to teach the grown ups!
A free (for PC or Mac) simulation tool. Also available (but not free) for iPads. Very useful in physics education, but also usable in other subjects. In Algodoo you can simulate (and change the parameters) for instance gravity, friction and density. Since it´s possible to build freely the students will come up with other things to build and simulate than you as a teacher will do. For more tutorials, search Youtube (”Algodoo tutorial”) or watch the webinars on the Algodoo homepage (http://www.algodoo.com/learn-it/)
A free tool for statistics. Doesn't sound cool? Think again! It really is. There are many videos on youtube with Hans Rosling and Gapminder that are worth checking out. Here is one of them: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwII-dwh-bk Unfortunately you won´t get Hans Rosling when you download Gapminder, but it´s still very useful!
Another free tool for comparing data between countries worth checking out is Factlab http://factlab.com/
A free simulation of our universe. You can freely explore whatever you´re interested in by moving around freely from the planets to the most distant galaxies. Works on PC only!
The edu-version http://minecraftedu.com/
A game that has sold over 17 million copies on PC/Mac alone. It´s available on other platforms as well. Minecraft is a game where you can build freely with blocks. Millions of kids love this game and you can use Minecraft in the classroom as well in many different ways. There are lots of videos on Youtube shoving examples of what you can build.
A video about using Minecraft in education: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSimHPmZ0hA
A link with 25 examples of stuff built in Minecraft that will blow your mind away: http://mashable.com/2013/02/13/amazing-minecraft-creations/
This article was first published here ...