Issues and Discussion
Digital culture and digital literacy: Computer technologies and other aspects of digital culture have changed the ways people live, work, play, and learn, impacting the construction and distribution of knowledge and power around the world.
(14) Graduates who are less familiar with digital culture are increasingly at a disadvantage in the national and global economy.
Digital literacy—the skills of searching for, discerning, and producing information, as well as the critical use of new media for full participation in society—has thus become an important consideration for curriculum frameworks.(8)
In many countries, digital literacy is being built through the incorporation of information and communication technology (ICT) into schools. Some common educational applications of ICT include:
- One laptop per child: Less expensive laptops have been designed for use in school on a 1:1 basis with features like lower power consumption, a low-cost operating system, and special re-programming and mesh network functions. (42) Despite efforts to reduce costs, however, providing one laptop per child may be too costly for some developing countries. (41)
- Tablets: Tablets are small personal computers with a touch screen, allowing input without a keyboard or mouse. Inexpensive learning software (“apps”) can be downloaded onto tablets, making them a versatile tool for learning.(7)(25) The most effective apps develop higher-order thinking skills and provide creative and individualized options for students to express their understandings.(18)
- Interactive White Boards or Smart Boards: Interactive whiteboards allow projected computer images to be displayed, manipulated, dragged, clicked, or copied. (3) Simultaneously, handwritten notes can be taken on the board and saved for later use. Interactive whiteboards are associated with whole-class instruction rather than student-centered activities.(38) Student engagement is generally higher when ICT is available for student use throughout the classroom. (4)
- E-readers: E-readers are electronic devices that can hold hundreds of books in digital form, and they are increasingly utilized in the delivery of reading material.(19) Students—both skilled readers and reluctant readers—have had positive responses to the use of e-readers for independent reading.(22) Features of e-readers that can contribute to positive use include their portability and long battery life, response to a text, and the ability to define unknown words.(22) Additionally, many classic book titles are available for free in e-book form.
- Flipped Classrooms: The flipped classroom model, involving lecture and practice at home via computer-guided instruction and interactive learning activities in class, can allow for an expanded curriculum. There is little investigation on the student learning outcomes of flipped classrooms.(5) Student perceptions about flipped classrooms are mixed, but generally positive, as they prefer the cooperative learning activities in class over lectures.(5)(35)
ICT and Teacher Professional Development: Teachers need specific professional development opportunities in order to increase their ability to use ICT for formative learning assessments, individualized instruction, accessing online resources, and fostering student interaction and collaboration.
(15) Such training in ICT should positively impact teachers’ general attitudes towards ICT in the classroom, but it should also provide specific guidance on ICT teaching and learning within each discipline. Without this support, teachers tend to use ICT for skill-based applications, limiting student academic thinking.
(32) To support teachers as they change their teaching, it is also essential for education managers, supervisors, teacher educators, and decision-makers to be trained in ICT use.(11)
Ensuring benefits of ICT investments: To ensure the investments made in ICT benefit students, additional conditions must be met.
School policies need to provide schools with the minimum acceptable infrastructure for ICT, including stable and affordable internet connectivity and security measures such as filters and site blockers.
Teacher policies need to target basic ICT literacy skills, ICT use in pedagogical settings, and discipline-specific uses.(21) Successful implementation of ICT requires integration of ICT in the curriculum.
Finally, digital content needs to be developed in local languages and reflect local culture.(40) Ongoing technical, human, and organizational supports on all of these issues are needed to ensure access and effective use of ICT.(21)
Resource-Constrained Contexts: The total cost of ICT ownership is considerable: training of teachers and administrators, connectivity, technical support, and software, amongst others. (42) When bringing ICT into classrooms, policies should use an incremental pathway, establishing infrastructure and bringing in sustainable and easily upgradable ICT
.(16) Schools in some countries have begun allowing students to bring their own mobile technology (such as laptop, tablet, or smartphone) into a class rather than providing such tools to all students—an approach called Bring Your Own Device. (1)(27)(34) However, not all families can afford devices or service plans for their children. (30) Schools must ensure all students have equitable access to ICT devices for learning.
Digital Divide: The digital divide refers to disparities of digital media and internet access both within and across countries, as well as the gap between people with and without the digital literacy and skills to utilize media and the internet.
(23)(26)(31) The digital divide both creates and reinforces socio-economic inequalities of the world’s poorest people. Policies need to intentionally bridge this divide to bring media, internet, and digital literacy to all students, not just those who are easiest to reach.
Minority language groups: Students whose mother tongue is different from the official language of instruction are less likely to have computers and internet connections at home than students from the majority.
There is also less material available to them online in their own language, putting them at a disadvantage in comparison to their majority peers who gather information, prepare talks and papers, and communicate more using ICT.
(39) Yet ICT tools can also help improve the skills of minority language students—especially in learning the official language of instruction—through features such as automatic speech recognition, the availability of authentic audio-visual materials, and chat functions.
Q.4 Differentiate among curriculum plan, unit plan, and lesson plan.
A Lesson Plan is a daily strategy designed by teachers, usually for a day, to perfect appropriate and proper in-class and in-home teaching and learning methods for students.
It acts as a map to control and oversee lessons that need to be taught and assignments that must to given. It is a far-reaching graph of classroom activities with a flexible methodology for teaching ideas, skills, and abilities.
There are two different types of Lesson Plans, and creating them requires adequate focus. Elements such as lesson objectives, anticipated problems from students, materials required, time allocation for each activity, and period of student-student and student-teacher interactions are essential to be considered.
EduSys is an effective automatic Lesson Planner for teachers who are dedicated to impart real-time classroom experience for students. The application motivates and empowers teachers to design an efficient subject-wise, class-wise, and grade-wise plan keeping a student’s needs and necessities in mind. With it, teachers can ensure the plan goals are compatible with the development of every student at the same time allow students to reach the achievement expectations.
A Unit Plan follows a similar format as the lesson plan but covers an entire unit of work for weeks, months or a semester. It is imperative to demonstrate the principle objectives of a curriculum and how to exercise, assess and commence sessions for students in different classes. Henceforth, Unit designs are frequently utilized for making syllabus and instructional year plans.
Unit Planning is a process of systematically arranging subjects. Wikipedia defines it as a series of learning experiences that are linked to achieving the aims composed by methodology and contents. In any case, it is appropriate to many or all teachers and the individuals who assume the administrative position and is viable for a semester.
EduSys is the best application platform for creating and systemizing Unit Plans. The application incorporates sophisticated teaching tools for teachers to create classroom lesson plans and unit plans.
A Lesson Plan explains, fundamentally, the objectives of a specific lesson and how teaching must be planned in an approach to accomplish those objectives. A Unit Plan, then again, covers a more extensive zone; a unit that can incorporate numerous lessons.
|LESSON PLAN||UNIT PLAN|
|Definition: A teacher’s plan for teaching an individual lesson||Definition: Plan for a unit, which consists of many lessons|
|Created By: Individual Teacher||Created By: Sectional Head or Head of the Department|
|Time Consumed: Covers only one lesson and takes only few hours to create||Time Consumed: Covers numerous lesson and takes longer hours to create|
|Aim & Objective: Can include personal aim for teacher development||Aim & Objective: Can be used for curriculum review|
A lesson plan is usually prepared by the teacher who conducts a lesson for students to make sure a lesson meets its objectives and learning takes place effectively. A lesson plan includes lesson objectives, anticipated problems from students, time allocation for each task within the lesson, activity types, and interactions that take place during activities such as student-student, teacher-student, and material that will be used for the lesson, etc.
Apart from these, a lesson plan may also include personal aims that focus on the personal development of the teacher. Furthermore, a well-planned lesson may have a broad plan that is to be displayed in the class for students to record. Thus, it is clear that a lesson plan paves the way for the teacher who conducts the lesson to be well organized beforehand.
A lesson plan elaborates, basically, on the objectives of a particular lesson and how teaching is planned in a way to achieve those objectives. A unit plan, on the other hand, covers a wider area; a unit that can include many lessons.
Furthermore, a unit plan includes goals broken down in terms of lessons, the outline of the content intended to cover and cross-curricular references, etc. A lesson plan is usually prepared by the teacher who teaches that particular lesson in the class.
However, a unit plan is applicable to many teachers and those who play administrative roles in a school and is effective for a semester. Moreover, a lesson plan can include personal aims for teacher development, unlike unit plans.
Curriculum planning is a complex process where faculty define intended learning outcomes, assessments, content, and pedagogic requirements necessary for student success across an entire curriculum. The Teaching and Learning Centre’s educational consultants provide curriculum support to Faculties and departments to facilitate high-quality learning experiences for students.
The process is concerned with making decisions about what to learn, why, and how to organize the teaching and learning process taking into account existing curriculum requirements and the resources available.
At the general level, it often results in the definition of a broad curriculum framework, as well as a syllabus for each subject to be used as a reference by individual schools. At the school level, it involves developing course and assessment plans for different subjects.
At the classroom level, it involves developing more detailed plans for learning units, individual lessons, and lesson sequences.
Sometimes, life in the classroom seems so dynamic and hectic that it might feel as though all plans can go astray. As a teacher, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day and forget about the big picture, and curriculum is the big picture. In other words, the curriculum is the sum total of skills and concepts that students learn, explicitly as well as implicitly.
Losing track of the big picture of a curriculum plan is totally understandable, but at the same time, having an overarching plan is an important way to make sure you don’t lose track of what matters most in a particular unit of study.
Sensible curriculum planning will bring focus to your teaching, and it will also make it easier to figure out what activities, projects, and lessons you do each day. Follow along with novice teacher Mr. Geller as he discovers what curriculum planning is.
Q.5 Discuss the advantages and limitations of E-assessment in schools.
Advantages of online assessments
The use of online assessments saves companies a lot of time and money. Often the assessments can be completed in less time, multiple candidates can complete the online assessment at the same time and there is no need for specialized (and expensive) personnel.
Also, the test takers are able to take the assessment during class, or at home, using their own devices. You get to see their results and answers and get instant feedback about your chosen topic.
That helps you, as a researcher, recruiter, teacher, or trainer, to learn more about your users and adapt to their needs, strengths, and weaknesses.
Disadvantages of online assessments
Not much can be said about the disadvantages of online assessments since the advantages outweigh them by far. But there might be some, for example, you need to be computer literate (or able to use a computer well) in order to create and take an assessment.
Technology is not always reliable, there might be connection or internet problems, energy breaks, and other things like that. Also, there’s a cost involved in online assessment software.
Online assessments have some pros and cons. It’s up to you to decide what is the best option in your case, that is, keep using hard copy assessments or go for the online option.
Although some financial investment in online assessment software is needed, we believe the benefits outweigh the costs by far. It’s a value for money acquisition, since you, as a professional, will save a lot of time and money in many other ways.
Also, online assessments allow the test takers to take on mobile learning, which means, they are able to take the assessments anywhere, anytime. And they receive their results immediately by email. You can see their results and download them into an Excel file.
- supply immediate and focused feedback on students’ work
- allow students more than one attempt at an answer
- present questions in a predetermined or random order
- be used for diagnostic, formative or summative assessment
- guide students to further reading or resources if they are having difficulty
- increase students’ digital literacy
- increase student engagement
- record highly detailed student learning analytics and present them to the lecturer in real-time
- manage lecturer workload and corrections
Online assessments are based on using computer technology and the networking ability of the Internet to deliver and score tests.
Many different question formats are available and can be implemented within the same test, such as multiple-choice, multiple responses, fill in the blank and true/false. Online assessments are given by employers to test applicants’ prior knowledge, in schools, and as a part of online seminars.
Advantages for Students
Online assessments can give you instant feedback, unlike paper examinations in a traditional classroom learning session. Automated online assessments give you the option of taking practice tests whenever you want. Students don’t always have to be in a classroom setting to take assessments. Some assessments are Internet-based, which allows the student to take the test at home or anywhere else he likes.
Advantages for Teachers
Teachers can distribute multiple versions of the exams and assignments without having to manually monitor which students got which tests. This cuts down on cheating.
Electronic assessments allow teachers to quickly evaluate the performance for the group against the individual. Report-generating capabilities help teachers identify learning problem areas for the group and individual students.
Online assessments take up less storage space in respect to keeping records than paper. All data can be stored on a single server. Teachers can mix and match the question styles on exams, including graphics and make them more interactive than paper exams. Eliminates human error in grading.
Disadvantages for Students
Answers on online assessments can only be right or wrong. There is no room for explaining your answer or getting partial credit. For example, in geometry or calculus exams on paper, a teacher can see how you worked out your equation.
He can identify where you went wrong to come up with the wrong answer. In this case, he can give you partial credit. Online assessments don’t give teachers the option to see your line of thinking to get to your answer.
Disadvantages for Teachers
Technology isn’t always reliable. Information can be lost if a system breaks down. In some cases, teachers need some technical expertise to create exams.
The costs to set up an electronic assessment system in a learning institution or business training environment can cost thousands, even tens of thousands. Testing online is not suitable for essay writing and analysis or cognitive thinking testing.