About Mr. Ross Young

Enabling children to develop ICT capability is far more challenging than teaching a series of techniques in applications which will soon be redundant in a fast changing context. The word capability is about an understanding of the purpose and fitness of a task; a confidence and competence to undertake an activity; an ability to evaluate and reflect upon a situation and be open to further developments. In relation to ICT specifically it is more than just understanding the features of ICT that support an activity, but also of the ways in which working and knowledge within subject contexts can be enhanced. The National Curriculum defines ICT capability for children in the wider context of children’s learning, and also as an aid to a certain type of learning, which will be discussed later; “Pupils use ICT to find, explore, analyse, exchange and present information responsibly, creatively and with discrimination. They learn how to employ ICT to enable rapid access to ideas and experiences… Increased capability in the use of ICT promotes initiative and independent learning, with pupils being able to make informed judgements about when and where to use ICT to best effect and to consider its implications for work." (DfEE 1999, p.96) What this shows ICT capability not to be, is the learning of specific techniques or skills related to specific programmes which will soon be made redundant in a forever changing world. The ICT curriculum is broader than that. It is relatively timeless because it encourages children to become ICT capable. Children can apply understanding and show competence to the general processes of dealing with information. Children through the ICT curriculum can develop and apply understanding, not only of how ICT can assist them in their work but also of the ways in which it affects the nature of the work. To have a future of children who are “capable” means they will have power and fitness for a task, they will be qualified and able, they will also be open, or indeed, susceptible to their own development. Many children, for example, arrive at our school with an ease and familiarity with ICT and a confident and curious approach to new technology and the skills required to help them explore. What they need from us as teachers and as a school is support in developing these skills in order to use all the information available to them creatively and effectively rather than repeating a practice of familiar skills and techniques. Below shows how the ICT curriculum at the Dharma School specifically enables children to learn and develop. The framework for the knowledge, skills and understanding of ICT, and this is presented in four aspects; Finding things out - Developing ideas - Making things happen - Exchanging and sharing information - Reviewing, modifying and evaluating information - Collect, organise, store, retrieve, analyse and present information - Develop critical interpretation, looking for accuracy, validity and reliability of sources. Developing ideas and making things happen - Refining ideas - Problem-solving - Create, test, improve, and refine information - Discover patterns and relationships in information - Measure and record information Exchanging and sharing information - Develop a sense of audience - Appropriately present - Raise interesting questions Reviewing, modifying and evaluating work as it progresses - Evaluate their own and others’ sources - Develop a critical and analytical approach to the social, economic, political, legal, ethical and moral issues in ICT.
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