ICT student textbook syllabus

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Introduction

Historically, human beings have used different ways of organizing and presenting information, and communication. Language, script, print, mass media such as radio and television have been important information and communication technologies (ICT). Whenever a new ICT is introduced, we see significant changes not only to education and knowledge processes, but also to larger socio-cultural, political and economic structures and processes. In the last few decades, digital ICT are being widely used. In this note, ICT hereafter refers to digital ICT.

The agricultural revolution and industrial revolution created the agrarian and industrial societies respectively. The term information society1 is being used to describe the society today, in which socio-economic activities based on the production and consumption of information have become predominant. The digital revolution has made information creation, access, processing and sharing quicker and simpler.

Participating in this society requires an understanding of how these processes are affecting society as well as the development of new skills. It is the responsibility of the education system to respond to this by helping students develop an understanding of ICT, its impact on society and the possibilities for learning through ICT. The education system also has to support the building of skills in students that will make them capable of functioning in, and be responsive to a society shaped by ICT.

ICT have impacted education by changing the processes of learning and the spaces of learning. Availability of a global digital library, the internet, has meant that the focus of education now needs to move from content acquisition to meaning making of content and using the information for decision making. The availability of new formats of content representation also allows us to explore and understand knowledge in new forms. This means, of course, that new skills have to be developed; both in terms of skills in interacting with the ICT environment and in terms of cognitive skills like analyzing, meaning making and representing the information available.

The syllabus is based on the NCERT ICT curriculum and the National ICT Policy, which emphasize on building the skills of computing, creating and collaborating through safe, ethical, legal means of using ICT. The curriculum has included the following themes – ICT for connecting and learning, ICT for creating, and interacting with ICT. To allow for different ways of creating learning experiences, the curriculum envisages the use of different applications and platforms available today, as well as on building a mindset that will continue to explore newer applications on an ongoing basis. This requires a technology environment that is free and open; this has also been recommended in the National ICT Policy and in the NCERT curriculum. The textbook has therefore introduced different digital processes predominantly through a wide variety of free and open source applications, (whereas ICT education has often been limited to the study of few proprietary software applications). The choice of applications; both generic and subject specific has been made in such a way as to introduce students to the possibilities of creating and learning with ICT.

Thus ability to work in the ICT environment, creating content, sharing and learning and focusing on educational and learning processes, are the key principles of this syllabus design, rather than on just learning specific applications. The syllabus emphasizes a thematic, project based approach to ICT learning, this approach will also enable integration of ICT with multiple school subjects.

Approach

In line with the NCERT ICT curriculum , the following dimensions of ICT knowledge have been taken up in this book:

  1. Interacting with the ICT environment, including the internet and an understanding of the nature of ICT
  2. Data processing and representation
  3. Communication with graphics
  4. Audio visual communication
  5. Working with different software applications

Logically, the NCERT ICT curriculum has been developed as a 3-year curriculum; in our state, this will be spread over 5 years, covering Classes 6-10. This will be covered in two books – Book 1 and 2, with Book 1 covering classes 6-8 and Book 2 for classes 9-10. All the above dimensions of the ICT knowledge will be covered in both the books.

The following sets of materials have been prepared to support this syllabus:

  1. A text book for students, that introduces ICT skills and applications using a project based learning approach, integrated with the different school subjects. The core competencies and skills to be covered in the text book will be determined based on the National ICT curriculum and the Telangana state academic standards and subject text books. The text book will take a project based approach to the attainment of these learning competencies.
  2. A handbook for teachers and teacher educators to help them implement the syllabus as well as support their own knowledge and learning of the ICT applications based on the NCERT ICT curriculum. This handbook will facilitate the transaction of the ICT syllabus and also provide meaningful linkages to curricular and co-­curricular areas. The teacher handbook will also have a component for teachers to build their own capabilities in using ICT.
  3. In addition to these two, there is a user manual, providing the features and processes of using the software applications used in the text book. This will be provided on-line for use, as and when required, and not in a printed format.

The student curriculum focuses on bringing digital literacy for students as well as introducing digital methods for subject learning. The digital literacy will focus on building computing and creating skills and not merely on office applications.

Objectives

It is expected that at the end of the completion of the ICT syllabus, the students would be able to reach the levels of competencies articulated in the National ICT Policy. The key expectations from the curriculum are listed below:

  1. Able to interact with various ICT devices and applications and handle ICT equipment safely
  2. Able to use ICT for understanding information, analyzing and meaning-making
  3. Able to use ICT for creating and expressing in various forms - textual, graphical and audio visual
  4. Able to use ICT for self learning through use of multiple ICT applications in various subject areas
  5. Able to collaborate with one another and create and share work, as well as publish through web based methods
  6. Understand the implications of ICT on society and adopt safe, ethical and legal practices of ICT use

Teaching learning processes

  1. ICT allow for integrated multi-disciplinary learning methods to be developed. For enabling an exploratory and holistic approach to learning, the textbook for the students has taken a project based approach. A project based approach offers several advantages in terms of student engagement, exploration, self-learning, peer learning, expression and self evaluation. By using ICT to explore an issue or a theme, students will be encouraged to make connections with different school subjects.
  2. The textbook has been developed based on the Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) framework where technology is not introduced as a stand-alone, tool-based method but integrated within core academic processes relevant to school learning. Hence, the activities have been consciously described in terms of processes of learning, rather than as steps of using an application.
  3. An important emphasis in the textbook is on the possibilities of creation using ICT. Hence, the book has been written as a set of activities that invoke several learning processes and integrating ICT meaningfully into the processes, allowing multiple possibilities for student creation. Working with various tools and applications has been left as incidental learning.
  4. Collaborating and learning is another important aspect of ICT. The activities in the textbook have been designed to allow for group work and adequate opportunities for peer learning. It is intended that different activities be taken up by different student groups to allow for a wide variety of creations; thus allowing for peer learning and sharing.
  5. It is intended that the activities be done in a cumulative manner, across different themes of the curriculum as well as across levels. The learning will be assessed formatively, by reviewing the processes of working with various digital methods and tools through the projects, as well as evaluating the finished product, which will be in the form of a digital portfolio.
  6. All activities need not be completed by all students. The teacher can assess the learning contexts, needs and transact the activities that will be most effective. Teacher is encouraged to introduce variations into the activities that may make them more useful for student learning.

As mentioned earlier, focus on educational and learning processes are the key principles of this curriculum, rather than merely learning specific applications. Therefore, no specific software applications are focused on, in the teaching, instead, the pedagogical processes that are sought to be learnt are discussed. For instance, instead of explaining how to use LibreOffice Writer (a text editor), the focus is on 'text editing' and creating ‘text resources’. Similarly, the discussion is on creating image resources, audio resources, video resources and on combining these resources for creating, editing and publishing learning materials, instead of merely learning to use a GIMP or Audacity or OpenShot software applications. Hence the manual for these software applications is separated from the student text book and teacher hand book and referred through hyper links as and when required

Academic standards and assessment

Academic standards

ICT can used to create music, write poetry, learn mathematics or make videos. ICT can also help in communicating with one another and in learning together. This textbook has been developed to introduce students to all these possibilities. In this new subject called ICT, the students are expected to know about various aspects of ICT as well as develop different skills of doing activities with ICT. These are listed below.

Knowledge – based

The students are expected to know the following:

  1. Understanding the history of ICT
    1. What is ICT
    2. How did ICT develop
  2. Understanding the effect of ICT on society
    1. Effect of ICT on family, neighbourhood, school and village/city
    2. Use of ICT ethically, safely and responsibly

Skill - based

The students are expected to be able to do the following

  1. Creating with ICT: Using ICT to express your ideas, using available resources (using images, audio, text, videos)
  2. Learning with ICT: Using ICT to learn school subjects and improve your general knowledge
  3. Connecting with ICT:
    1. Using ICT to talk to your friends, to work together and to play together
    2. Using ICT in cultural activities and working with the local community for mutual development.

Students are encouraged to explore this new area and make connections to your own daily life, understand the impact ICT have on your life, how you would like equip yourself to understand this new way of learning and communicating.

Assessment processes

  1. The ICT subject will be assessed through a summative assessment at end of each term, so it will have Summative Assessment 1 and Summative Assessment 2. The portfolio of digital creations of the student will be assessed in the Summative Assessment.
  2. In addition, each of the six subjects (3 languages, Mathematics, Science and Social Sciences) will integrate ICT into at least one of the Formative Assessment's for the subject. The formative assessment can be done during the second term, so that the students would have had an opportunity to acquire basic ICT competencies during the first term. The teachers should discuss and space out the FA among the different subjects. They can also combine the FA of different subjects in a single project, which can have elements of learning for each of these subjects. For example, a project on 'Water conservation' can cover science, history, geography and mathematics.

1https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information_society