Technology can be used by teachers and students in a variety of ways to support classroom learning. By focusing in on good learning and teaching practices and assessing how technology can support those practices, teachers can focus on effective use. Information about high-yield instructional strategies can be found on the LearnTeachLead site created by the Ontario Curriculum, Student Achievement Division.
For example, teachers can use technology to support specific high-yield, research-based instructional strategies such as;
differentiated instruction (using technology to provide access to multiple ways to learn concepts)
differentiated assessment (using technology to provide access to multiple ways to assess students)
timely descriptive feedback (using technology to help provide descriptive feedback as quickly as possible)
peer and self feedback
gradual release of responsibility
Assessment for and as learning can be greatly facilitated and enhanced through the use of technology. Making it easier to document learning in ways other than the formal submission of a polished product, students can reflect on their own growth as part of the learning process. Technology can help teachers be innovative in how they meet the expectations for assessment detailed in Ministry of Education policies such as Growing Success: Assessment, Evaluation and Reporting in Ontario Schools.
In a report written by Michael Fullan (2013), Special Advisor to the Premier of Ontario, titled Great to Excellent: Launching the Next Stage of Ontario’s Education Agenda, he describes the 6 C’s as the skills required for innovation and entrepreneurialism. Fullan (2013) states that the 6 C’s are also skills that parents and employers desire.
From the report (Fullan, 2013), the 6 C’s include;
Character education — honesty, self-regulation and responsibility, perseverance, empathy for contributing to the safety and benefit of others, self-confidence, personal health and well-being, career and life skills.
Citizenship — global knowledge, sensitivity to and respect for other cultures, active involvement in addressing issues of human and environmental sustainability.
Communication — communicate effectively orally, in writing and with a variety of digital tools; listening skills.
Critical thinking and problem solving — think critically to design and manage projects, solve problems, make effective decisions using a variety of digital tools and resources.
Collaboration — work in teams, learn from and contribute to the learning of others, social networking skills, empathy in working with diverse others.
Creativity and imagination — economic and social entrepreneurialism, considering and pursuing novel ideas, and leadership for action.
Video resources around how to develop the 6 C’s in Ontario classrooms can be found on the LearnTeachLead, Student Achievement Division Resources - K to 12 website.
To develop skills within the 6 C’s, technology integration is necessary. Technology does not need to be used every moment of every day, however, teachers benefit from practicing and developing the skill of selecting technologies that will help each student learn and develop skills supporting the 6 C’s. This may mean that different students are using different technologies at different times in class.