Saturday, November 6th, 2010 | Computer Usage
Sound computer skills: You can’t become an accomplished pianist without your fingers regularly touching the keys of a piano. Likewise, you need lots of practice on computers to develop adequate computer skills.
Information handling: Before you are given the right to use a car in public, you must learn the rules of the road and prove that you can skilfully manoeuvre a vehicle in heavy traffic. The internet is often called a super information highway. This road leads to interesting discoveries, but can be treacherous and dangerous. Sufficient exposure and practice are required to develop the skill of finding accurate information on the web and then using it effectively.
Knowledge creation: Computer tools for collecting, collation and manipulation of information – such as databases, spreadsheets and automated statistical tools – are invaluable to the knowledge worker. If you want learners to become skilful users of these tools, you must expose them to technology as early as possible.
Communication and collaboration: It is no longer possible to communicate effectively with others without using ICT. We are not just talking about e-mail – the use of video conferencing, Skype and social networking platforms are gaining popularity as communication and collaboration tools. Many learners are already using some of these tools for personal communication, and must now to be guided towards employing them for productive purposes.
Innovation: The first step to innovation is innovative thinking. Computer tools – such as mind-mapping tools and digital design tools – encourage and develop this way of thinking. Exposure to innovations published on the internet further stimulates innovative thinking.
These few examples alone should be adequate to show that it is impossible to develop 21st century skills without the use of technology.
Two things are required: learners must have access to sufficient technology in school to develop these competencies, and teachers must have the skills to guide the process.
For more technology tips for teachers click here.