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Citizenship KS3 evaluation

This paper critically evaluates the strengths and awareness of the use of ICTs in the context of the case study ‘Citizenship KS3.’

Overview of the Case Study: The lesson is aimed at enhancing students’ understanding of the basic premises of data protection and utilization of electronic tools to store and analyze information. The effectiveness of this approach is associated with the teacher’s ability to maintain the right balance between teaching citizenship and delivering ICT skills. The design of the course implies a considerable degree of flexibility with regard to students’ needs: in some classes the teacher concentrates on training ICT skills, while in other classes the focus is solely on teaching citizenship.

Objectives of the Case Study: The objectives of the course are as follows: to familiarize students with different software and formats used to store, retrieve and present electronic material efficiently; to discuss the importance of electronic databases for business, commerce, and society; to warn students against potential misuse of personal data; to help students to make ICT decisions within citizenship context; and to teach the basic functions of Microsoft Excel software, namely sum, average, minimum, and maximum.

Technology Used: First of all, the course relies on the use of Microsoft Excel

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to help students to understand the design of electronic databases. Secondly, Internet technologies are used: a notable feature of the course is that it has a website accessible both at school and at home. Furthermore, students have to email their presentations to the teacher at the end of each lesson. Thirdly, Power Point is used to model the good ICT practice and teach different forms of presentation for a specific audience.

Use of ICTs: The use of ICTs in the context of this course is appropriate and effective. The website of the course fosters autonomous learning and builds on students’ prior familiarity with Internet technologies. The website allows students to access up-to-date information and look at the different views people may have on a specific issue. Furthermore, such course design encourages the development of research and independent thinking skills. Information availability through the website also offers an opportunity to catch up with lessons students might have missed due to illness or other personal reasons.

Presenting the course material in Power Point format focuses students onto the lesson visually and helps to maintain their attention. It provides for a more interactive approach and keeps the pace of the lesson. It contributes to students’ understanding by offering a possibility to go back and review a previous slide.

ICTs can also be helpful as a tool in lesson planning: they assist the teacher in structuring the lesson and staying focused on the key points when delivering the material. Moreover, ICTs provide for a collective way of developing the teaching resource with colleagues.

Students’ emailing presentations in class makes it possible to provide immediate feedback. The help sheet embedded within the website alleviates students’ problems with understanding complex material, for instance, formulae. The instructor can also make amendments to the course based on how much the help sheet has been used.

The disadvantages of the ICTs’ use may include students’ attention getting focused on slide design and animation instead of substantial points of the presentation. However, this disadvantage can be eliminating by enforcing a time scale on the construction of each slide. ICTs make it possible to have a visual check on students’ progress and conduct a continuous assessment.

Finally, more interaction between students occurs when they work with computers as compared to textbooks.

References

Curriculum Online. 2008. ‘Citizenship Video Case Study.’ [Online]. [Accessed May 28, 2008]. Available: http://www.curriculumonline.gov.uk/CaseStudies/citizenshipcasestudy.htm

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