Information Technology has transformed major areas of human life. Technology has made it easier for humans to communicate and interact with each other. Infusing classrooms with digital learning materials such as computers, hand held devices and the internet increases student-to-student interaction as well as student-teacher interaction (Bitner & Bitner, 2002). Interaction forms the basis of learning as through it students get to discuss educational materials with each other (Sharma & Barrett, 2011). Students also tend to initiate discussions with the teachers, therefore, understanding of the course’s contents. Information technology makes this educational interaction faster than it is without technology whereby each student has to set time for academic discussions.
According to the National Educational Technology for students (NETS), learning productively and effectively forms the basis of acquiring education in the current physical world. The NETS for students offers six performance indicators for students to achieve during the complete digital learning course. The performance indicators entailed include the students being able to increase their creativity and innovation. This performance indicator measures the creativity of students attributed to technological learning process. Communication and collaboration also forms an important part of the performance indicator of using information technology for the teaching and learning process. Effective Information and Technology (IT) learning should improve student to student and student to teacher communication and collaboration. Effective IT learning should also enable the students and teachers to do effective research and information fluency. Information and Technology enables students effectively to research on the internet on academic materials hence enhancing the learning process when effectively done. Effective IT learning offers avenues that student can exploit to enhance their critical thinking. For instance, through interaction with other scholars online, IT increases and diversifies collaboration process where student from all over the world can share critical information. Information sharing is further enhanced by the absence of physical interaction among students involved as prejudices are eliminated. Somebody’s contribution on online platform are judged on the basis of the content of their ideas rather than physical appearance, race, gender, among many other factors.
The mission is to enhance student learning process through the application of information and technology that adhere to performance indicators as provided by the technological standards of digital learning and teaching. The guiding standards are Essential Academic Learning Requirements (EALRs), Common Core State Standards (CCSS), and International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE).
Goals and Objectives
Requirements for setting up an online educational portal for the students in the class include:
High Performance Computers
These computers act as the main servers for the portal and coordinate all the activities taking place in the portal. The project requires at least two computers just in case one fails to perform. The computers should have constant internet connections to enable effective management and to retain the portal online at every moment.
The maintenance team carries out an indispensable function in the management of the project. The team is responsible for ensuring the website portal is online at every given moment to ensure the students find it every moment they log in. The administrators are responsible for ensuring the personal profiles created by the students receive high maintenance.
Material for Students
The success of the Information Technology learning process depends on the proficiency of the students on using the internet. The plan includes a training program for students who have limited knowledge concerning the internet. Since all students need to open their personal accounts, the management team will ensure they do so for students who cannot. Training such students on how to manage their personal accounts in the portal plays an important role in ensuring such students is able to interact with other in the discussions. The plan also entails a training program for all the students concerning the rules and regulations for taking part in the discussions in the portal. The plan contains the punishments accompanying the breaking of the guid0elines. Students are made to understand that despite the portal being an interactive portal; it is only meant for academic purposes.
Method of Integrating IT in classes
Replacing Hard copy Materials with IT Materials
Technological reading materials easily accessible on the internet replace hard copy materials such as hard copy content books. These materials are easily found on the online library on the portal. Assessing students on the proficiency of using these online materials intends the administrators monitoring the different accounts the specific students use on the portal and their frequency of accessing the online library.
Using Chat Rooms for Discussions
Chat rooms offer a platform for students to conduct their discussions on academic matters. Students use these portals to contribute their ideas on the topic under discussion. Assessing the student progress using this form of technology entails monitoring their particular contribution to the matter under discussion. The administrators have the responsibility of handling the study and judging the contributions offered by the students to the chat rooms.
Online Tests and Examinations
Offering students tests and examinations through online portals makes it easy for the tutors to monitor the student progress. Student marks and development are awarded through this online portal hence making it easier for the students to get awareness of their progress. Assessing this method is easy because the students’ performance is monitored online.
Online Downloading of Notes
Providing notes online offers convenience for students to analyze and access the notes easily through the online portal. Analyzing notes and editing them becomes easy for the students given the fact that the notes can easily be accessed and downloaded from the portal. Students in the classroom can easily edit the notes and share them out with other students. The effectiveness of the online notes id determined by the way students’ rate the notes given on the portal.
Online registration and Monitoring Students
The portal offers a chance or the management to analyze and monitor the students. Rather than the manual analysis of students and monitoring them, the online process provides an easy and fast method of monitoring the attendance of students. Vetting this technological method entails students signing in on the portal before they attend the class. This makes the analysis easier and hence the student monitoring procedures.
The online library application offers the most effective way for the students to analyze and read through the books provided. Students can access the online library through the online portal and search for the specific books they need. Analysis of the performance of this method entails the administration analyzing the frequency of the students accessing the services offered by the online library.
Using the Internet for Conducting classroom Experiments
Using Digital Boards for Teaching
Using digital boards for teaching makes the learning process easier than when using manual boards. Teachers can easily edit content they provide on these boards at their convenience. Analyzing this method entails getting feedback on students’ perception on this form of technological presentation of information.
Using PowerPoint Presentations
PowerPoint presentations just as the digital boards make the presentation offered by the teachers to the students easier. Teachers can present the content they teach through these PowerPoint’s on the online portal for students to download and follow-up later. Vetting the success of this method also depends on the feedback acquired from the students.
Digitally monitoring the Academic Progress of Students
Digital monitoring of performance entails posting the student results on the portal. Digital information as compared to the manual information is easily analyzed through methods such as using Microsoft excel. Calculations of the performance through these portals are easier hence making it possible for easy monitoring of performance of the students.
Registering Students through the Online Portal
Registering students through an online portal is easier than manual registering. Student progress, as well as the analysis of their results, is easily done after the students are registered on the online portal. Vetting the success of this method entails vetting the response of the students concerning the effectiveness of these methods in monitoring their progress in the classroom.
Offering learning Instructions Online through the Platform
Encouraging Students to offer their Suggestions and Contributions through the Online Portal
Online portals give students a chance of offering their contributions on different matters outlined in them for student discussion. Offering suggestions on matters they consider for improvement through the online portal give a chance for easier assessment by the tutors of the ideas the students want to pass across.
Using Social networks to set up Student Interaction Portals
As discussed earlier, online portals and social media offer a chance for students to interact and share out their views on different matters. The class can use the chance provided by the social media to set up groups that the students can air out and share their views on different matters they consider important. The use of the portals makes it easy for students to access the information required and share their views on various matters concerning them. Students can discuss personal and educational matter. Vetting the success of this method entails the teachers vetting the response of the students concerning the effectiveness of this method of interaction.
Using Social Networks to pass information to Students
Social networks provide a wide range of interaction and socialization. Given the fact that many youths are in these social networks, they provide a platform for the student interaction. Teacher can arrange a meeting through posting them on these social networks. Encouraging the students to join the networks also provides a chance of a wide access of the networks in the first place. Vetting the success of this method entails the student's response to the guidelines posted on the networks.
Hardware and Software Resources
Computers form the basis of online interaction hence is necessary for the students to access the online portal and the IT learning. Under EALR 2 (Digital Citizenship), students would be able to learn using computers for basic writing and computational skills. Evidence of learning would include use of word processing program, use of spreadsheet program, and presentation program.
Handheld Internet accessing Equipment
Apart from computers, students have to access handheld equipment needed for accessing the internet as they increase the convenience of the students accessing the internet and hence the online portal. Based on Common Core State Standards (CCSS), this will go a long way to enhance research work that is evidenced based. Noteworthy, this is an earls 2.3: Select and Use Applications: Use productivity tools and common applications effectively and constructively. Student can use the internet enabled such as iPad for collaboration.
Projectors offer the chance of the teachers conducting classroom lessons through digital blackboards, which is easier than manually. This aids in boosting the clarity, understanding, and consistency of information shared as required by CCSS.
PowerPoint just as digital blackboards offer easy presentation of information as it gives the teachers an easier chance of presenting the required information to the students.
Online portals give the platform of the students interacting and discussing educational content just as they offer he platform for them to create and manage online libraries for use by the students.
Social networks provide a wide range of interaction and socialization. Given the fact that many youths are in these social networks, they provide a platform for the student interaction. Teacher can arrange meeting through posting them on these social networks. Encouraging the students to join the networks also provides a chance of a wide access of the networks in the first place. Vetting the success of this method entails the student's response to the guidelines posted on the networks.
The internet router is a hardware requirement needed by the administration to provide the internet required to run the project. Since the program is IT dependent, the accessibility of the internet offers the chance of efficiently running the activities required.
This is an earls 2.3: Select and Use Applications: Use productivity tools and common applications effectively and constructively. Students would have to learn how to use internet in their interaction. The administration is to ensure each student has access to the internet provided apart from ensuring there is a sufficient running on the internet at every given time.
Component 1.2.1 of EARL entails Communication and collaboration to learn with others. The multimedia website provided by the application of information and technology provides the most suitable avenue upon which students from all over the world can share information.
Internet cables ensure the internet provided by the administration is sufficient and at utmost speed at every given time to ensure, the students can easily access the offered services at every given time.
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