Ideas for using ICT to enhance Teaching and Learning

When it comes to enhancing your lessons and making them into learning experiences, there are many options. So, what do you want to do? What follows is a decision-making process which presents options and suggestions. The general move is from more teacher-centered activities at the beginning, through to more learner-centered ones at the end.

1: Present something to a class

Make your lesson more visual by enhancing your content with a visual element.

Presentations

Use Powerpoint, Prezi (www.prezi.com) or Google Docs (http://docs.google.com ) to create a visually
appealing presentation.
Use SMART Notebook with a SMARTboard

Create or find diagrams; use the scanner facility on the high end copiers to create JPG pictures.
Find and embed animations or simulations of processes.
Use the ready made lessons from Smart Exchange, or create your own using the lesson activity toolkit.
Create a video/use an existing video

Download from YouTube with RealPlayer, edit with Moviemaker.

2: Create a resource to give to the class

Learning happens best when students create or discover something for themselves. But they might need guidance in getting there. So create a resource which will provide the scaffolding to lead them in the right direction, or give them the basic skills which they need to complete a task

  • Use Word or Adobe InDesign to combine text, photos, diagrams etc to create a well laid out, attractive worksheet, briefing document or set of notes.
  • Use Word Maths tools to create mathematical documents.
  • Save documents as PDF format to distribute electronically; this protects the document and preserves the formatting.
  • Make the documents available on Moodle.
  • Use Word or Inspiration to create templates which can scaffold students as they start out on a project or other classwork.
  • Use webspiration (www.mywebspiration.com ) to distribute mind map templates which students can use collaboratively.
  • Make videos, pictures, mp3 audio files, animations, revision quizzes, etc available on Moodle as alternative resources for students to work with on their own (for information, revision, enrichment or as part of class work).
  • Scan text from books or old worksheets using the high end copiers, to PDF format, then use Adobe Acrobat Pro to convert these scans to editable text.

3: Assess work done by students

Some tools and tips for doing assessment in as pain free a way as possible.

Excel

  • Use Excel to create a rubric which adds up and calculates as you go along.
  • Use Excel to keep an electronic mark book.

Word

  • Use the reviewing features in Word to add comments and track changes you make to a student’s work.
  • Use Annotate to add comments quickly from a palette of ready-made and customisable comments.

Moodle

  • Use Moodle to create an activity for handing work in, then use the online grading to mark work from students, and to return it to them marked with comments.
  • Use the comments box in Moodle to upload a filled in rubric.
  • Use Moodle to create a quiz which can be marked instantly. There are a variety of formats for questions, not just multiple choice, and there are clever ways of using the quiz (eg allow 2nd and 3rd attempts at a question for fewer marks).

4: Provide a challenge or spark to kick off a project

Big ideas and Essential Questions

Formulate open ended questions which challenge learners to think deeply about issues of relevance and importance by using various tools and media

Thinking Tools

  • Visual Ranking – rank various options, and then compare your ranking to the rest of the class
  • Causality web – gain an understanding of the complexity of a situation by mapping the various causal relationships at work
  • Showing Evidence - build the structure of an argument or debate

Videos

Use video clips from YouTube, or short clips from movies, that are funny/sad/provocative etc to promote thinking and generate emotional engagement.

5: Get students involved in a project or problem based learning experience

In a meaningful project, there are usually 3 stages:

Gathering information, whether from writtensources, or by generating or finding data or information.
Processing what was gathered in the previous stage, so that the project is not merely a treasure hunt for random facts. This is where higher order thinking should be taking place.
Presenting the information: to make a project meaningful, it is preferable to have a “real” audience. ICT tools, particularly web 2.0 tools which allow one to create content on the Internet easily, can provide many opportunities for sharing work with others.

(a) Gathering Information

Google Search Use the various options in Google to search in a more visual manner (wonderwheel), or according to time

Mindmap Use Inspiration to collect and summarise ideas, or www.mywebspiration.com for collaborative version.

Information scrapbook Collect and organise information (collaboratively if necessary) from various sources (eg pictures, web pages) into categories using Microsoft OneNote.

Information table or matrix Use Excel to create a matrix of categories, criteria, cases, data readings; use Excel web app or Google docs for online collaborative version.

Cell phones/Cameras Use cell phones and/or cameras to collect photos, videos or audio recordings of interviews, site visits, field trips, experiments etc.

Probes Use the various probes to measure sound, light, motion, pressure, temperature, etc, and collect time-based data.

Referencing Tools Use Word’s referencing tools to collect bibliographic information as part of the gathering phase so as to prevent pain and suffering later when needing citations or a bibliography.

Outline as brainstorm Collect ideas in Word or PowerPoint Outline view; order them and set their relative importance to create a coherent outline; send a Word outline to PowerPoint to create an instant presentation.

Geographic Location Use a GPS to create a treasure hunt (geocache).

(b) Processing Information

Calculations and Graphs Use Excel to perform complex, repetitive calculations using formulas, and then draw graphs of results to show trends or make comparisons.

Pivot Table/Chart Work with variables in a dynamic flexible manner to see patterns in survey or experiment data using Excel Pivot Charts

Mindmap Use an Inspiration mindmap to create an outline, and use the outline to create a PowerPoint or Word document.

Location in Time Use XTimeline.com to create a timeline online, collaboratively if necessary.

Geographic Location Use Google Earth to locate relevant places, and use the markers to map out the relationship between certain points. Use ArcView to work with maps and information relating to geographic location.

Structure an Argument Use the online Intel thinking tool Showing Evidence to gather information and organise it so as to build the structure of an argument. As this is an online tool, it could be used collaboratively, or to conduct an online debate.

(c) Presenting a conclusion or final product to a significant audience

Write a long document in Word and make use of referencing (citations and bibliography) tools, and use outlining to organise sections and automatically create a table of contents.
Create a video and share it on YouTube.
Create a website using Google Sites: http://sites.google.com
Create a presentation using powerpoint.
Create a brochure or newsletter using publisher.
Create a poster or more complex publication which combines text and graphics using InDesign.
Work with photos in PhotoShop.
View a Sketchup 3D drawing in Google Earth; save images from Google Earth to JPG format and create a Word document which uses these images.
Create an audio recording or podcast using Audacity, and publish it online.
Use Autocollage or Photosynth as a way of combining several photos; publish a 360 degree view online using Photosynth.
Create a song using Songsmith.
Get students to create ePortfolios using Google Sites as a way of combining all their digital work in one place and making it available for the world to see.

© 2017 Peter de Lisle