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Key ICT skills in the Primary Classroom

06 Mar, 2017

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In Primary education, the effective development of student ICT capability is imperative. So it is necessary to understand the best ways to start this occurring within all Learning Areas.

Studies have shown (Ager, 2003, p156) that it is essential that teachers help children to develop basic ICT skills and to become familar with ICT in its broadest capacity and also to be able to use in a positive way.

It is essential that children develop their ICT capability in two main areas. These areas are concerned with allowing them to learn techniques that help them to interact with the computer or ICT device.

Keyboarding Skills

The best way to introduce children to inputing information into the computer is through the use of an overlay keboard. An overlay keyboard is used with software that enables children to link pressing a particular spot on the keyboard to a particular action that will occur on the screen. 

Software that accompanies your overlay will allow you to design the overlay for the computer by first dividing the A4 or A3 space into large areas. By doing this, you are providing a wide range of pads that can be pressed by the child. Your next step is to add text and pictures to the overlay and decide what you want to happen when the particular section is pressed.

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Figure 1. Begin with the basics in the Primary classroom today.

Mouse Skills

The mouse is a very important device that allows users to input into the computers. It is mainly involved with selecting other tools or features of software being used by clicking. So it is necessary to make sure that the mouse children use is considered carefully. As they come in various sizes you need to ensure that won't be too large for size of children's hands.

Other methods to be taught include helping children to pick up the mouse and repositioning it in relation to the computer. This can best be achieved by using a mouse mat and checking to ensure that they always work with the mouse in the middle of the mat. In addition, the technique of sliding the mouse and then lifting it slightly so that there mouse hand is at a sensible distance from the computer and screen.

The above information represents significant areas of learning for children in Primary education. ICT capability development revolves around the ability of children to use them confidently. Within the Learning Areas of the Australian Curriculum, it is the responsibility of primary and early childhood teachers to develop the first four levels of progression in its Learning Continuum. The effective use of these devices by children will help you to initiate the creation of ICT capable students in your classroom.

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When first introducing the mouse, ensure that children do not grip but hold it quite gently with the palm of their hand resting on the body of the mouse and their forefinger positioned over the main button.

Begin by getting them to click on part of a picture to start an event, such as an animation or sound. Next, encourage them to click on a particular image on the screen. Children will see that the image will appear to stick to the mouse pointer and will be able to move it around. They can then click the mouse button to make the image stick to the background again.

Double clicking is the final technique needed to be taught and it means that you press the mouse button twice in succession quickly. The best way for children to learn this is by setting up within your computer how large or small the gap is between the two presses. It is important when doing this to ensure that the gap is not too large as it then may be interpreted as two 'single clicks'.

The above information represents significant areas of learning for children in Primary education. ICT capability development revolves around the ability of children to use them confidently. Within the Learning Areas of the Australian Curriculum, it is the responsibility of primary and early childhood teachers to develop the first four levels of progression in its Learning Continuum. The effective use of these devices by children will help you to initiate the creation of ICT capable students in your classroom.

 

Learn More HereWhy ICT matters in ECE, Key ICT skills in the Primary Classroom, Planning on using ICT in ECE, How to help children develop ICT capability in ECE