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Can the effective use of ICT tools improve student outcomes in writing?

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Started by Karen Mills 01 Apr 2011 6:19am () Replies (4)

Across our cluster there are teachers who are undertaking Inquiries into this topic. This discussion is for them to share their thoughts, ideas, findings and practice.

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  • Karen Mills (View all users posts) 01 Apr 2011 6:31am ()

    I worked with a Teacher Aide yesterday who had a couple of boys who struggled with the physical aspect of writing. This is a situation where ICT can support these students. Often, they will have lots of ideas to share but if they stuggle with writing it becomes frusrating for them as their hand can't keep up with their brain. A blog is a great tool for these students. By embedding a range of Web 2.0 tools, these boys will be able to share their ideas with an authentic audience on a regular basis, while being supported by their teacher aide. My prediction is that the older boy will become more willing to write for this new audience thus improving outcomes. Being a shared blog for the two boys, they will also be collaborating, negotiating, mentoring (one older, one younger) and creating.  See the Blog here.

  • Jo Howard (View all users posts) 05 Apr 2011 9:37pm ()

    As one of the teachers that is taking part in an Inquiry into this subject (specifically focusing on boys writing) we are hoping that motivating the boys with a variety of ICT tools and activities will develop more enthusiasm towards writing. The issue that we feel might occur is that although the boys may become more motivated to write, will this necessarily lead onto an improvement in achievement. The major areas that are holding back boys from achieving in writing are involving the surface features such as punctuation, spelling and tenses. Will using ICT tools and applications help them to improve these skill whilst still maintaining enthusiasm????

  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 05 Apr 2011 10:52pm ()

    Great post Jo, I think the hardest thing is - finding ways to show how ICTs have had an impact on the learning itself (learning intentions, literacy outcomes) beyond the measurables of motivation and behaviour.

    Maybe the following can shed some light?

    Literacy Teaching and Learning in e –Learning Contexts Author: Sue McDowall for CORE Education and New Zealand Council for Educational Research. Published: June 2010

    This paper focuses on the findings from the e-fellowship research which highlights how e-Learning contexts can be used effectively to support literacy teaching. "In a multi-media age it is no longer sufficient to teach students how to make meaning solely of and with print texts." (Chapter 6, page 61). However, some people may feel that working in a digital realm may hinder reading and writing achievement. The findings from this study show an increase in achievement in both reading and writing, "especially for students with a history of underachievement in these areas." (Chapter 6, page 61). Something worth thinking about when unpacking National Standards for literacy.

    http://www.educationcounts.govt.nz/publications/ict/77144

    I'd be interested to hear your thoughts?

    Tess Smile

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