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07:755 Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for Teachers

I am very pleased to be offering this course through Brandon University, Department of Graduate Studies and Field Research. In keeping with the spirit and intent of this course, this wiki will be used as a central organizing point. Links to activities and resources will be added as the course advances, so please create a bookmark that will allow you to easily find your way back to this page on a regular basis. Navigation links located to the left of the main text will lead you to most of the information you will need.

Manitoba Education, Citizenship and Youth has developed the Literacy with ICT Across the Curriculum initiative “…. to help teachers, school leaders and curriculum developers understand the role of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in classroom learning, teaching and assessment.” The model proposes that ICT be adopted on a developmental continuum. In the beginning stage, ICT is considered a supplement to classroom teaching. As the process proceeds, ICT is adopted into teaching and learning until it is seamlessly infused through all aspects of the curriculum. While many forms of technology can be considered ICT, the Internet and web-based resources are the main forms of ICT being infused into education practice. Effective infusion of ICT requires the integration of a whole new vocabulary and many conceptual shifts. Many teachers who received their training more than 5 years ago would not have had adequate training in the use of ICT as part of their program. More recently, teacher training has been incorporating more ICT into the basic requirement for a teaching certificate. Try this quiz to determine your ICT skills.

Social Media has become a convenient label for a new generation of web-based ICT systems that facilitate human expression, communication, and collaboration. They are considered social because they capitalize on the amazing potential of Internet-based media to connect people with information, people with people, and communities with communities. Examples of social software include content management systems such as blogs, knowledge and collaboration management systems such as wikis, relationship management systems such as Facebook and Google Plus, distributed classification systems such as Zotero, Mendeley, and Delicious, and the use of RSS feeds to distribute information to specific audiences. These tools are used independently, in combination, and with, or without, Course Management Systems (CMS). We will concentrate on the use of web-based media in educational settings. The learning process will involve exploration and appreciation of new concepts, the development of new skills, and the acquisition of a specialized vocabulary.

One useful perspective for understanding the new tasks facing educators as a consequence of the increasing use of technology in teaching and learning is found in the TPCK framework. http://tpack.org/tpck/index.php?title=Main_Page

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The course will be conducted in the following online environments:
Google Applications: Gmail, Google Documents, Google Reader, Blogger and others.

VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol): This course will make extensive use of the Skype VOIP application for regular class activities and for communication with the instructor. Skype supports two way audio and video communication, text chat, audio conference calling, and application sharing. A number of other applications that use the Skype platform, such as desktop sharing and online whiteboards, will be used for other course activities.

Online Bibliographic Applications: Delicious, Evernote, Zotero and Mendeley are web-based applications designed to collect, sort and share online resources.

Individual Blogs: All participants will be required to develop and maintain a webblog. The blog will be used to complete specific assignments and will be shared with other class participants.

MicroBlogs: Using microblogs to connect to communities of educational practice and research.

Wiki: All participants will contribute to a wiki, where resources on social software tools, applications, and theory will be collected and reviewed. The wiki will also serve as a bulletin board for information about assignments, announcements, reminders, etc.

No course can deal with all of the web-based applications available or even all the categories of applications. We will be exploring and experimenting with applications that embody the basic principles of ICT for education. As constructionist learning principles guided course design, self-directed, exploratory learning activities will be featured prominently. This graduate level course is intended for working teachers and school administrators who are comfortable taking charge of their own learning process. A high degree of (online) collaboration and engagement with your peers is required, so this is not strictly a self-study course. Each participant is expected to develop proficiency with the applications and to form part of an online learning community.Even though a large measure of personal responsibility exists for each participant, I will be readily available for consultation and individual coaching as required.

Review the Course Outline linked on the left hand navigation panel on this page. We will begin by establishing anonymous Google accounts and sharing contact information. For detailed directions for this activity, select the link to Activity 1.

I look forward to working with you.