29 Nov Students to continuously learn ICT skills
When students switch schools, they encounter teaching strategies hitherto not familiar with. This breeds discontinuity. By instituting connections that bridge the gap between primary and secondary school teachers, it is possible to help students to continuously learn ICT skills
Is progression and continuity important?
The transitioning from primary to secondary school requiring teaching students a curriculum that equips them with skills as they embrace adulthood. As opposed to other subjects where this is fundamental too, ICT capability is not an independent subject. It is a learning aid applied in various subjects. The Australian Curriculum affirms it as a crucial skill in the 21st century and ensures it is implemented in every learning area. In the UK ICT curriculum, it is as an important tool for ICT learning. As a coordinator your role is to satisfactorily utilize the allotted slots for ICT timetable and offer support to new students in acquiring ICT skills thus cultivate a culture of real learning in all subjects. As students transition to different levels of schooling, it is crucial to ensure they learn all subjects competently by imparting more knowledge about advanced software and techniques.
The Local Authority Level (LEA) of the UK is partially charged with dispensing analysis of data to schools to enhance TNSC ICT support and aid target setting. But Australian teachers are mandated to take charge at the school level and subject level too. For instance, meetings with heads of departments willing to be part of this activity is possible in which they can be informed of challenges and solutions to them. In such meetings continuity must always be a priority among the agenda items in departmental and whole school meetings as well.
Smooth transition of school needs consultation with subject teachers. Help students familiarize with ICT equipment in secondary schooling. Let your main goal be help them understand applicability of skills acquired in various curriculum areas.
Further, progression can be realized by conducting cluster group meetings which comprise representatives from concerned primary and secondary schools. As much as it predominant in the UK, this approach can be replicated in Australia by first focusing on the head of the department then you as the primary school ICT coordinator.
Schemes of work as the foundation of establishing the curriculum bridge
I acknowledge that the informed contained in this book is extracted from UK-based research. Please bear with me. All in all, there is a lot to borrow from them on matters progression and continuity to support student ICT skills. Just like in the UK, learning discontinuity is a widespread problem and it is possible to deal with it. In the words of Kennewell et al. (2000), educators must be proactive in using the instituted social bridge that connects primary and secondary schools. Giving students from a neighboring primary school a chance to use your ICT facilities every week is a great idea. It makes students more conversant with computers and varied ICT equipment available and improves the ICT skills of the primary staff.
You can also tackle discontinuity by exploring various teaching strategies applicable in each phase. Primary school teachers will be wiser with respect to the extent to which they implement ideas and secondary teachers will understand experiences their new students possess already. Primary teachers are able to help a lot of students build a good platform from which secondary teachers can start from and reinforce it further.