ICT as a cognitive tool (ie. Webquests)
Information Computer Technology is increasingly becoming a more prominent cognitive tool, with videos, graphics and games all becoming the basis for lesson plans and students learning. ICT is a broad umbrella that covers different types of computer based technology. One of the most effective ICT cognitive tools in the classroom is the Web quest.
Web quests are a website that gives students tasks to complete; they are shared over the internet. They are an effective tool as they are self-paced and allow for the task to be completed independently or in a group. The students are given enough freedom to progress their own learning but are also given some boundaries to keep on track. Students also learn the ability to deciphering the reliability of sources and sorting through information.
Another effective ICT cognitive tool is the graphic organizer. A graphic organizer uses programs such as Inspiration to create mind maps of the students’ thoughts.
ICT offers a number of effective cognitive tools that can be used in the classroom to create engagement with the learning and to help the students become more independent. ICT allows students to use different tools which can increase their confident and make them more proficient learners.
Video clips can be used to support a number of different learning styles including spatial-visual and intrapersonal by interacting with the senses of sight and sound. Video clips are engaging and have a direct focus that is displayed in an interesting way. Depending on the type of video clip used they can also support logical-mathematical and musical learners.
Which learning style/s does this ICT support?
Web Quests support all styles of learning. Visual learners learn through the images and diagrams or videos that may be embedded in a Web Quest. Auditory learners learn best through listening to the information and talking it through. As a Web Quest encourages collaborative learning and sharing their work with one another, auditory learners can discuss their ideas with others and also take in other opinions. A kinesthetic learner can also engage in a Web Quest as it is a hands-on task where the students are following directions on the internet to gather information. They are engaged by exploring their learning at their own pace.
How could this ICT be implemented as a good cognitive tool within the learning environment?
Web Quests allow for a lot of the learning to be placed on the student. Web Quests produce interesting and challenging ways to learn new things. It also allows students to work together and share what they find in a collaborative learning environment. Videos could be implemented as a cognitive tool within the learning environment by creating enthusiasm or providing an overview of a new subject; giving key information on topics or events; creating self-paced learning through instruction; or providing in depth information from specialists and professors. It is important to make sure that the video is suitable for the age group and that it interrelates with the topics being taught
How is this ICT enabling the development of creativity?
A Web Quest is generally interesting and challenging for students. It sparks their creative side where they are able to discover the information for themselves and discuss with their teacher and their peers. It allows for differentiation by students taking from the Web Quest different experiences and various ways in which they learnt the same thing. Video clips foster the development of creativity by being able to show breadths of information and spark interest in new and exciting things. By being able to show students video clips they are able to see another way of visualizing and creating things.
- Ruffles, D. (n.d) WebQuests: Tools for Information Literacy, Hots and ICT
- Kopcha, T. (narrator). (2008). Webquest 101 Part 1: What is Webquest? [Internet recording]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4rel5qOPvU.