In expand the curriculum using ICT. 2. Classroom

In data
analysis and interpretation section the investigator tried to work the data into
a broad level framework consisting of four key concepts: interactions,
teachers’ perceptions, time structures and teaching strategies, as these
concepts related directly to original research objectives. Then the
investigator explored the relationship between the concepts, looking for commonalties.
What emerged were patterns of data that fell into the four following themes: the
changing role of the teacher, classroom dynamics, teacher predictions of ICT in
school, the concept of the classroom. These four themes became made the final
categories for data and the framework from which the findings were drawn.

1.The Changing Role of the
Teacher

The information obtained from the
teachers with respect to first segment it was revealed that when teachers used
ICT with their students they engaged in different styles of delivery with less planning
and additional spontaneity. With the use of ICT learning became more process oriented
and more exploratory. Teachers said they put more emphasis on how students learned
as well as what they learned. Teachers labelled themselves not as teachers, but
as facilitators and coaches. These labels were not new to many teachers but as
the attention shifted towards seeking information from ICT, teachers identified
more readily with a role where they were guiding and facilitating a process.
The problem, however, was that some teachers felt as though they were “learning
alongside the learners” and that often the students knew more about the
technology then they did. Real change for teachers occurred in the approach to
management, lesson plans and learning outcomes. In connection to learning
outcomes they discussed the importance of a learning outcomes and how they
needed a thorough understanding of the various ways in which a student could
meet an outcome. The teachers also realized that there is not just one way of
doing something through the lessons they design. It is now turned over to a
student’s understanding of an outcome and how s/he chooses to demonstrate it.
But in addition to teachers who are very traditional in their curriculum
delivery face a much steeper learning curve. Thus teachers in this study said
they needed coaching on the integration of ICT into the curriculum as well as
how to expand the curriculum using ICT.

2. Classroom Dynamics

The findings
related to classroom dynamics revealed that as a part of a teacher’s different
style of delivery in the classroom, his/her physical presence shifted from
being at the front of the class most of the time, to circulating among
students. As a result, teachers worked with students on a more informal and
individual basis, kneeling next to work stations and helping students work
through problems. While teachers experienced a shift away from them, they
observed more student-student interaction and more emphasis on peer teaching.
As a result, there was more collaboration and student and teacher interaction
was geared more towards teachers helping students interpret an outcome and
discovering ways to meet that outcome. In addition, the increase in
collaboration between students allowed them to discuss the purpose of their
work and question its validity. The advantages towards this style are mirrored
in our workplace where we are encouraged to work in teams and to negotiate
problems and solutions. This study also revealed that in a classroom where the
teacher used ICT the move was towards increased interaction in the class with
definite emphasis on teachers using the technology to open the classroom up and
let students explore and discover.

In response to
the original research questions on the nature of the interactions and how they
differ from what previously occurred, I can conclude that the emphasis on a
more collaborative environment may be leading teachers and schools towards the
development of a new educational paradigm that accommodates the new
technologies. These approaches, largely initiated by Dewey and Piaget, espouse
that students construct their own understandings.

3. Teacher
Predictions of ICT in School

The teachers in this study recognized the
alluring nature of the ICT and most were trying and succeeding to integrate it
into their classroom work. However, it is fair to say that most were still at
the early stages of using the technology. Most were enthusiastic but slightly
wary of how to properly design and deliver material that is useful and relevant
to students. Further teachers suggested that when they used ICT it broadened
and expanded their teaching by giving them more curriculum ideas. Given this,
it seems fair to say that the success of ICT in the classroom will be greatly
influenced by teacher training. So the response of the teachers’ anticipation
seemed both positive and negative. Teachers were both enthusiastic about having
a new resource to access both professionally and for their students. They
enjoyed the increased communication with peers and with pen pals for the
students. But however, for many of them, the newness and novelty of the ICT was
still apparent. What appeared more difficult to predict was how ICT, other than
being new and exciting, would affect learning. New skills needed to be taught about
finding, reading, analyzing, discarding and continually assessing information. Before
teachers can address these skills, they need to better understand what they are
and how they are different from previous skills. 

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