Basic ICT-skills

Basic ICT-skills are universal and many of the tools that we use are the same for kids in Uganda and Norway. We use the same browsers, smartphones and operating systems. The simple goal for our project is to make this comprehensive source available for teachers all over the world through facilitating translation and re-contextualization.

 

This is an example of the resources from www.iktplan.no, a plattform helping teachers, teaching basic ICT-skills to pupils in Norwegian primary schools with the following resources:

  1. Learning goals, goals for both Competence and Skills
  2. Video and tutorials for teachers to use in the classroom(including PDFs and Powerpoints)
  3. Interactive quizzes and assignments

To make these resources available for teachers outside of Norway we must:

  • Translate the basic content(Text, Video, Illustrations and assignments)  from Norwegian to English
  • Implement the basic content into a localize plattform for crowdsourcing
  • Initiate national projects with teachers that will participate in translating basic content(Text, Video, Illustrations and assignments) in to new languages.

IKT-plan is a a comprehensive course covering ICT-skills from level 1-10 int the Norwegian school system. The text in this article is only an example taken from the first part of the course.

 

Example content:

Competence – the pupils should be able to use a web browser and recognise search fields

27/01/2014.

The framework for digital skills, acquire and process, after year 2 states “Read hypertext and simple interactive information and use image and icon based navigation” – and this must be reflected in the learning goals for all subjects. IKTplan.no interprets this to mean the following competence:

  1. Explain the purpose of a search engine
  2. Explain why it is a good idea to use several search words when searching
  3. Manage to pick out some good search words from a text
  4. Explain why links are a good idea (navigation, more detailed information)

Search engines and search words (1, 2, 3)

It is implied in the framework that the pupil can start and close a web browser and recognises terms such as search field, icon, web browser, windows and tabs. There must already be the beginning of understanding that it is a good idea to be able to make good searches: the quantity of information on the internet is so great that if this is not mastered, a great deal of time can be lost, possibly without even finding what one is looking for. Search engines can be thought of as librarians, and using good search words means finding the words that enable the librarian to find the right books. Clarification of the subject is important; another example would be to search for poodle rather than dog – if it is poodles you are interested in.

Links and hypertext (4)

A hypertext is a piece of text that contains both text and links. Being able to recognise links is therefore a skill, but the pupils must understand that this can give more information and lead on to other websites or pages. The advantage is that the text can be made shorter and that those who need or wish to read more are able to do so. Since in most cases this leads on to other websites, it is important to know that the arrow keys can be used to navigate backwards and forwards between the websites. “Image and icon based navigation” is about hyperlinks and arrow keys, because links can also be images and the arrows are also a form of hyperlink, because they point to pages we have been to before – a typical example is the image of a house, which means “home” or “front page”. Another thing to remember is that digital reading differs from analog reading because we read in a different way – we jump backwards and forwards in text instead of reading in a linear way.

 

Skills – the pupils should be able to use a web browser and recognise search fields

31/01/2014.

The framework for digital skills, acquire and process, after year 2 states “Read hypertext and simple interactive information and use image and icon based navigation” – and this must be reflected in the learning goals for all subjects. In IKTplan’s assessment, the necessary skills are:

  1. Start and close a web browser
  2. Know the name of at least one web browser
  3. Go backwards and forwards between pages in a web browser by using the arrow keys
  4. Recognise a search field
  5. Know what is meant by search word
  6. Recognise a link
  7. Know that not everything on the internet is true

Web browser and navigation (1, 2, 3)

Many people believe that a web browser is the same as the internet, but a web browser is a program that interprets digital information from the internet (data is stored on the internet as 1 and 0) so that it becomes legible to us. We might compare it with a radio. Radio waves are sent out into the ether, but we cannot hear them or see them. They are interpreted by the technology (the radio), so that the content is made available to us.

To start a web browser, we double click the icon for the browser, or right click and select run, or use start -> all programs (scroll to web browser) and then click the program file. To close it, we click the red cross in the top right corner (Windows) or the red mark on the left (Mac). The most commonly used web browsers in Norway are Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Opera.

Search fields and search words (4, 5)

See video Rødhette og Ulven (Red Riding Hood and the Wolf), which can be found under the subject Norwegian in this goal.(Find another example for your own country)

Links (6)

A link can also be called a hyperlink. In most cases, a link in the middle of text will be marked by underlining and blue letters. By clicking the link, we are taken to another website or another location on the same website or we can download a file. Links are a form of navigation on or between websites.

A link may also consist of an image; a typical example is a picture of a house to illustrate the front page (home). Arrows in the web browser are also a form of link, leading to the previously used websites or pages.

The “Links” resource is meant for teachers, who will find a more detailed introduction to what hyperlinks are, why we use them and how they are created.

Source criticism (7)

The “Is everything we read true?” resource is intended as an aid to help pupils start to think about source criticism. At this level, we often use the work “true” rather than “credible” or “believable”, because these might be difficult to understand. The purpose of this task is to get pupils to understand that there is a difference between fact and fiction – and that not everything they see, read or hear is necessarily true.

 

Competence – pupils should be able to produce a simple composed text

27/01/2014.

The framework for digital skills, produce and process, year 2 states “Write simple texts on the keyboard and create simple, composed digital texts. Know about the simple use of digital sources and copyright” – and this must be reflected in the learning goals for all subjects. IKTplan.no interprets this as:

  1. Place images in appropriate positions in the text
  2. Choose graphics based on the textual content – text and graphics support each other
  3. Choose font size, type and colour to promote the message
  4. Be aware that it is lawful to use images from clip art libraries
  5. Know that everything found on the internet has an owner

Digital form requirements (1, 2, 3)

Producing and processing are not just about the purely technical skills of creating a presentation, from start to finish or by processing what others have made and mixing with our own. To a large extent, it is also about consciously choosing tools and how these can be used to promote a message. For this reason, it is important to start creating an awareness of how elements interact right from the first years of primary school. This is about being deliberate in which images we choose, whether an image can replace part of a text or whether it can explain or emphasise the text in a way that makes it easier to understand. Font types and colours can also give different associations, and here we can think about how fonts and colours are chosen in books, newspapers and magazines – and whether advertising differs in some way from other text.

Source validation and copyright (4, 5)

Simple use of digital sources includes beginning to be critical about sources. We can begin on the basis that not everything we read, see or hear is true – by taking children’s stories as a starting point, for example. The characters in stories act in quite different ways than in reality. There are also some misunderstandings that should be clarified: whether photographs are more “true” than drawings, for example, or if things in books are more “true” than things on the internet. For pupils as young as this, it is perhaps easier to use the word “true” rather than “credible” – even though the expression “credible” will be used in later years. As regards copyright, IKTplan.no interprets this to mean that it is lawful to use some images but not others – even though it is possible to find them on the internet. We might relate this to common objects that pupils own, such as a football. Then, we could ask who owns the football and who can decide whether others can borrow it. The pupils will doubtless think here that it is the owner who decides, and we must then draw the parallel with the internet, that here too it is the owner who decides how the content can be used. If we do not know whether we can use what we find, this is the same thing as stealing a football from someone else.

 

Skills – pupils should be able to produce a simple composed text

31/01/2014.

The framework for digital skills, produce and process, after year 2 states “Write simple texts on the keyboard and create simple, composed digital texts. Know about the simple use of digital sources and copyright” – and this must be reflected in the learning goals for all subjects. IKTplan interprets this to mean the following skills at this level:

  1. Know how to create small and capital letters (shift)
  2. Know how to change the colour and size of letters (font type and colour)
  3. Find pictures from a clip art library associated with the products being used
  4. Insert an image, clip art or other visual element
  5. Ability to break text around images

Competence – pupils should be able to send digital messages

27/01/2014.

The framework for digital skills, communication, year 2 states “Use simple digital tools and media in presentation and communication” – and this must be reflected in the learning goals for all subjects. IKTplan.no interprets this as:

  1. Write a sensible subject text/header
  2. Choose who should receive a message based on needs and purpose
  3. Know that sensitive information should not be written in the message

IKTplan.no takes as its basis the fact that many pupils form familiarity with a learning platform that has an internal message system, while e-mail will be discussed in the communications goal after year 4. Many pupils also have mobile phones, so it may also be natural to discuss sending a text message under such a goal – without this being part of iktplan.no Some pupils may have started chatting, perhaps in connection with a game they have access to on a PC or tablet. This is not discussed at this level either, but we should note that there are games where things can be bought, so we should be careful about what we click on (buy-ins and upgrades, where the text is often in English).

Presentation (1, 3)

IKTplan.no interprets presentation as the way we approach others and present our message. One of the most basic things is to write good subject lines/headers, so that the recipient gains an immediate understanding of what the message is about. This also makes it easier to search for subjects if we have a large number of messages or e-mails to check. Another good habit is that the action that is anticipated by the recipient appears early in the message, but this is not discussed at this level in iktplan.no. Identity theft is something many have experienced, and many more are likely to encounter it in the future. For this reason it is important, even at this early stage, that pupils become used to not writing sensitive information in messages, e-mails, chats and other digital communication. No serious internet users will ask for this. For pupils at this level, sensitive information might also include where they go to school, what sports teams they belong to etc. – as well as address, full name, telephone number, personal ID number, passwords etc.

Communication (2)

Communication is not only about purely technical skills in sending and receiving messages (and other forms of digital communication), but also about choosing who to send them to – and this must be based on the purpose of the message. We can imagine for example that a teacher sends a message to all pupils, but it would not be natural for all pupils to send answers to both the teacher and all the other pupils. This may be inappropriate in many ways: not everyone needs to receive messages about everything, and to limit the number of messages being sent out.

 

Skills – pupils should be able to send digital messages

03/02/2014.

The framework for digital skills, communication, after year 2 states “Use simple digital tools and media in presentation and communication” – and this must be reflected in the learning goals for all subjects. IKTplan.no interprets the skills to be:

  1. Create a digital message in Skype, Facetime, LMS etc.
  2. Recognise an e-mail address
  3. Know where to enter the recipient’s name/address
  4. Choose recipients from a list
  5. Recognise subject field/header
  6. Use the reply function when answering a message

Example of introduction video(voice in Norwegian):

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