ICT teacher handbook/Approach to the ICT Student Textbook
ICT have impacted education by changing the processes of learning and even 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 as well as in terms of cognitive skills like analyzing, meaning making and representing the information available. The rapid growth and dissemination of information means that we now live in a world which is organized very differently and the implications of ICT and societal processes and institutions also needs to be understood.
Approach and intent of the NCERT ICT curriculum
- The NCERT ICT curriculum has been based on the aspirations and guidelines set in the National ICT Policy which focuses on building the skills of computing, creating and collaborating through safe, ethical, legal means of using ICT.
- Ability to handle ICT environment, creating original content, sharing and learning and focusing on educational and learning processes are the key principles of this curriculum, rather than focus merely on learning specific applications.
- The curriculum has been designed keeping in mind the various possibilities of creative expression possible through ICT applications and platforms available today and also seeks to build a mindset that will explore and such applications on an ongoing basis.
- The curriculum does not take a conventional approach to building digital literacy on specific applications but rather emphasizes a thematic, project based approach to ICT learning. Such an approach will also enable integration of ICT with multiple school subjects. This is why 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'. Similarly the discussion is on creating image resources, audio resources, video resources instead of learning to use a GIMP or Audacity or OpenShot software applications and combining these resources for creating, editing and publishing learning materials. Hence the manual for these software applications is separated from the text book and hand book and referred through hyper links as and when required
The themes of The National ICT curriculum
- Connecting with the world: Technology is providing new ways for us to access information and learn. Along with this, evaluating information and using it appropriately become skills to be developed. This theme will focus on accessing the internet, evaluating resources available and creating meaningful personal digital libraries for self learning.
- Connecting with each other: A related dimension of connecting through ICT is in possibilities for learning in communities from each other. The focus of this theme will be on how to interact and learn in peer learning settings and through online, virtual forums. Collaborating and learning is a key learning expectation from this curriculum.
- Interacting with ICT: Building skills and aptitudes in a technology environment is an important expectation of this curriculum. The theme will focus on building a more proactive approach to engaging with technology, evaluating appropriate technology choices, maintaining ICT infrastructure and becoming critical users of technology, being aware of the social and economic implications of technology.
- Creating with ICT: This is a theme that focuses on building computing and creating skills in students and teachers using various ICT applications. These include data analysis and processing, creating graphics, creating audio visual communications, working with mapping applications, creating resources with specific school subject related applications and programming.
- Possibilities in education: ICTs have changed how we learn, the processes of learning and even places for learning. Numerous applications have also been developed for subject learning. Along with this, it has become necessary to develop a critical perspective on technology in education, an understanding of how technology will alter learning processes, making appropriate choices of technology, media and content and evaluation of technology for various learning processes.
- Bridging digital divides: Technology holds a lot of promise for development. Technology can also lead to exclusions and marginalisations. Understanding the social, economic and political impacts of technology as well as an understanding the various possibilities of platforms can help in making sure technology can be used for equitable opportunities. Another area of focus in the curriculum is in the use of technology for exploring inclusive education possibilities.
Teacher and Student curriculum
- The teacher curriculum is expected to be completed over a 2 year time frame, resulting in a certification. While the 2 year time frame is for a comprehensive program, the curriculum has been designed in a modular manner to allow for need based learning. This can be structured as a course in both pre-service and in-service training, and specific subjects can be differentiated.
- In the student curriculum, the focus is on bringing digital literacy for students as well as introducing the digital methods as a method of subject learning. Themes 1-4 will be a part of the student curriculum. The digital literacy will focus on building computing and creating skills and not merely office applications. Logically, this has been developed as a 3 year curriculum (for Classes 6-10) though individual states can structure it based on their requirements and constraints. The eventual expectation is that this can be tested as a core subject area at the end of Class 10.
Approach of the student textbook and teacher handbook
Philosophy of the book
The National ICT Policy articulated the vision for ICT in education in terms building the skills of computing, creating and collaborating through safe, ethical, legal means of using ICT. The NCERT ICT curriculum has been designed keeping in mind the various possibilities of creative expression possible through ICT applications and platforms available today and also seeks to build a mindset that will explore and such applications on an ongoing basis. Such an exploration requires a technology environment that is free and open; this has been recommended both in the ICT Policy and NCERT curriculum. The textbook has therefore introduced different digital processes predominantly through free and open source applications.
- The textbook has been designed based on the NCERT ICT curriculum; focusing on creating original content, sharing and learning and on educational and learning processes
- Ability to handle an ICT environment for the above outcomes, rather than learn specific applications is the focus of this textbook
- In line with the National ICT curriculum, the following dimensions of ICT knowledge have been taken up in this book
- Interacting with the ICT environment, including the internet and an understanding of the nature of ICT
- Data processing and representation
- Communication with graphics
- Audio visual communication
- Working with different software applications
Each of these is organized as a chapter with graded objectives and activities in 3 levels to address the different levels of Class 6-8. The activities will be structured as small projects which will allow for an exploration of some topic/ issue is one/ more subject areas.
- The 3-level curriculum has been split across two books – Book 1 (for class 6-8) and Book 2 (for class 9-10). Within Book 1, there are three levels proposed, based on the extent of digital skills anticipated and the academic levels expected
- The focus is on learning skills of computing and developing competencies to interact with ICT, as envisaged in the National ICT Policy. Therefore, a wide variety of applications has been introduced. 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.
- Book 1 has a student textbook and this is the accompanying teacher handbook. The teacher handbook will have two components - a component for Teacher Professional Development as well as a component to support the transaction of the student textbook.
- ICT allow for integrated multi-disciplinary learning methods to be developed. To explore and for enabling a 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.
- 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 described in terms of processes of learning rather than as steps of using an application.
- 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.
- Collaborating and learning is another important aspect of ICT. The activities in the textbook have been designed so as 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 learning and sharing.
- 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.
- All activities need not be completed by all teachers and 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.
The learning expectations are two-fold, for students and for the teachers. 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:
- Able to interact with various ICT devices and applications and handle ICT equipment safely
- Able to use ICT for understanding information, analyzing and meaning making
- Able to use ICT for creating and expressing in various forms - textual, graphical and audio visual
- Able to use ICT for self learning through use of multiple ICT applications in various subject areas
- Able to collaborate with one another and create and share work, as well as publish through web based methods
- Understand the implications of ICT on society and adopt safe, ethical and legal practices of ICT use
In addition to these, the expectation from this curriculum is that teachers become a self-aware group of professionals who are able to collaborate and learn and adopt new pedagogical processes for facilitating a constructivist classroom using ICT.