Professional Focus Paper Information and Communications Technology Level: National 1 1. Who is this paper for and what is its purpose? This paper is for staff who provide learning, teaching and support as learners work towards Information and Communications Technology National 1. Curriculum for Excellence is a unique opportunity to raise achievement and to ensure that all learners are better prepared than they have been in the past for learning, life and work. This is because the new curriculum gives real scope to build learning from 3 to 18 in a joined-up, seamless way. As a result, progression in learning can be much stronger, with a clear focus on knowledge, understanding, skills, capabilities and attributes. These are delivered through the experiences and outcomes of the 3–15 Broad General Education (BGE) and, at the senior phase, through programmes that build directly on the BGE, leading to qualifications. Because of a strengthened focus on the nature and quality of learning experiences and increased learner participation in every aspect of the learning, teaching and assessment cycle, self-motivation is likely to be increased and learners consequently more engaged and enthused. To ensure continuity and progression, qualifications at the senior phase have been designed to embrace this unambiguous focus on high-quality learning. Curriculum for Excellence has the flexibility to meet the needs of all learners in their local circumstances, enabling each to achieve their very best. For example, some centres may take the opportunity to offer qualifications over two years, whereas others may enable learners to work towards qualifications within one year. In both cases, the advice in this paper is relevant to the learning and teaching approaches which learners will encounter. This paper is intended to stimulate professional reflection and dialogue about learning. It highlights important features of learning which are enhanced or different from previous arrangements at this SCQF level. How will you plan for progression in learning and teaching, building on the BGE, to meet the needs of all learners? 2. What’s new and what are the implications for learning and teaching? At National 1, Information and Communications Technology consists of seven units providing learners with relevant experiences to develop skills for learning, life and work. The units are: Capturing Digital Images Searching for Information Working with Digital Images Working with Assistive Technologies Working with Software Applications Working with Multimedia Applications Working with Communications Technologies INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLGOY At National 1 the units are standalone, and to achieve an Information and Communications Technology unit at National 1 learners must be able to achieve the outcome within the unit, with the appropriate level of support and resources. At National 1, learning should be relevant to the learner’s everyday life, their overall learning programme and/or work and leisure. The outcomes across the range of Information and Communications Technology units at National 1 and other areas of the curriculum may be linked together to provide personalised achievement opportunities for all learners, for example: Information and Communications Technology: Searching for Information could link directly to Social Subjects: People and Society and Social Subjects: Natural World Information and Communications Technology: Working with Multimedia Applications could link directly with Life in Another Country: Aspects of Life or Creative Arts: Creating Materials for a Performance Information and Communications Technology: Working with Communications Technology could also link directly with Communication: Interacting in the Community and Interacting in the Workplace Information and Communications Technology units could link directly with Personal Achievement Award: Safety and Security, Exploring a Local Area and/or Social Events. Progression for learners may be to other Information and Communications Technology National 1 units, Information and Communications Technology National 2 units, and to further study, employment and/or training. The nature of this progression will depend on the individual needs of the learner. What are the key aspects of Information and Communications Technology National 1? Integrated approach to experiences and skills development Information and Communications Technology units at National 1 build on the experiences and skills developed within the BGE. A range of contexts, including within the local community, will broaden and extend learners’ experiences and enable them to apply their skills across a range of curricular areas. Information and Communications Technology units provide learners with a wide range of possible activities, including, for example, using assistive communications technologies, working with multimedia/software applications, altering digital photographs, searching for information safely on the internet and using a mobile phone to send a text or take a photograph. For some learners, with more complex needs, specific targets may be set within their individualised educational programmes to ensure skills are developed across literacy, communication and employability, enterprise and citizenship. In planning experiences and skill development in Information and Communication Technology National 1 staff should also take account of the targets set in other curricular areas, including literacy, numeracy, and health and wellbeing. Wider range of evidence of learning There is a clear focus on assessment as an integral part of learning and teaching. Staff will want to use their interactions with learners to form judgments of how teaching and tasks are to be directed to meet learners’ needs. At National 1 it is anticipated that most evidence for assessment purposes will be gathered on a naturally occurring basis. A variety of assessment approaches should be used to allow a range of valid and reliable assessment evidence to be gathered. Such approaches might include: observation of evidence demonstrated during an activity (using an observation checklist, visual recording, photography or equivalent) oral questioning before, during and on completion of a task (recorded using audio-visual or audio recording or using detailed written assessor notes) the centre’s own assessment tools learning and teaching activities that generate physical evidence for assessment identifying opportunities to record evidence within other curricular areas and/or other environments. INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY These examples of evidence could be used by learners and/or with staff to build a portfolio to demonstrate progress across the outcomes in the range of Information and Communications Technology units. Staff should develop criteria of success where the focus is placed on small, well-defined steps in learning. In this way the learner with more complex needs is more likely to achieve success and be able to progress within the level or on to the next level. Staff should ensure that different approaches to assessment are matched to the individual learner’s needs, including accurate and regular feedback, as appropriate. Where possible, learners should be at the centre of this process so they have a clear understanding of what will be assessed and how it will be assessed. They should also be supported and involved in selecting the assessment evidence that best demonstrates the knowledge, understanding, skills, capabilities and attributes they have developed and demonstrated. Staff have the flexibility to manage the support requirements for each learner. They may also keep informal records as part of the learning and teaching approaches to show how the learner is progressing. Hierarchy of units Programmes of learning should be planned to encourage learners to aim for the highest level of achievement. There is no mandatory content at Information and Communications Technology National 1 but the general aims of the units provide learners with opportunities to: take digital images find information on the internet make changes to digital images and show altered images use an assistive technology to communicate personally with others and/or to support their access to learning explore a range of software applications work with multimedia applications to create a multimedia product explore communications technologies. This will help learners to develop and improve their skills in familiar and not so familiar settings and for a range of purposes. These experiences, skills and knowledge will be developed further in National 2 and beyond, and across National 1 units in other curricular areas. Careful planning of contexts will be required to ensure learners can move within and between National 1 and National 2 units, as appropriate. What are the key features of learning in Information and Communications Technology National 1? Active learning Learners will be expected to take an active role in the learning process, working individually and collaboratively to develop skills. Learners may require individualised differentiation of tasks and activities to promote their engagement in learning and to support their achievements at Information and Communications Technology National 1. Learners will require varying degrees of support to enable them to achieve the outcomes and assessment standards. Some learners may take part at an experiential or sensory level, where they require full support. Some may require frequent direction and support to enable them to take part, while others may take part independently or with intermittent support. For a few learners, with more complex additional support needs, where the outcomes in an Information and Communications Technology National 1 unit may not be fully achievable, the experiences gained in Information and Communications Technology units will enhance learning and may contribute to their success within other National 1 units. Using a variety of different methodologies, active learning approaches and support models will ensure that learning experiences meet the needs of all learners. INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLGOY Personalised learning and learning independently At Information and Communications Technology National 1 learners have real opportunities to develop skills for learning, life and work in ways that are stimulating, challenging, relevant and enjoyable. These opportunities may be related to their specific needs, interests and choices, which in turn promote engagement. For example, using the internet to search for information related to a hobby, interest, pop star, pop group or sporting team or using a mobile phone and multimedia and software applications gives young people choices and enables them to follow their interests. In tandem with these activities, a learner can be working on personal safety and supported to follow the centre’s protocols for internet safety. Learners with complex needs will require varying degrees of staff support for all or part of the tasks. Well-defined assessment tasks will determine the level of support an individual learner may require at any given point within the learning and teaching environment. Learners should be given the opportunity to use their normal mode of communication and have access to the appropriate resources identified to support their learning, for example: voice output communication aids, signing and pictorial/symbol systems alternative keyboards and mice, speech and hearing amplifiers, soundbeam systems, mobile phones, digital equipment, talking kitchen equipment, switches, note-takers and literacy aids an identified level of staff support to access, participate in and achieve tasks an adapted environment. How will you plan opportunities for learners to learn independently as appropriate? How will you plan contexts to ensure there is progression without unnecessary repetition of content? Responsibility for learning The quality of the relationships of the range of staff supporting the learner and a clear understanding of individual needs will enhance the learner’s ability to engage in and, as appropriate to individual needs, take responsibility for their learning. Learners progress at different rates and will require different levels of support depending on the task/activity to be undertaken. Staff should be aware of the types and range of supports required to enable the learner to experience success and achievement with the least possible intervention. Personalised learning, with clear links to previous learning, progress and achievement, ensures that learning, teaching and individual educational programmes are tailored to the learners’ needs across the contexts for learning. Learners’ preferred methods of communication and the increasing use of technology will play an important role in allowing learners to take increased responsibility for learning. Advances in communication technologies are enabling some learners to develop communication skills which foster/allow independence in accessing areas of the curriculum, and are central to them developing relationships with others, enhancing their emotional health and wellbeing. Learners should be encouraged to monitor their own progress, where appropriate. Learners can be guided towards building their own understanding of the learning process using a range of strategies. For those learners who are at the earliest stages of reading and writing or who require positive behaviour support strategies the following could be used: visual self-assessment (photographic, pictorial, graphic) oral, gestural and signing responses an achievement reward system (stickers, certificates). How will you support learners to take responsibility for and plan their own learning? INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLOGY What key areas will you communicate with learners to ensure they are making progress with the aims of the course? Collaborative learning Learning and teaching approaches should encourage and develop collaborative working, including learning from each other. When planning collaborative learning and teaching approaches, staff will want to consider how individual learners can be encouraged and supported to take on roles that provide appropriate challenge and also meaningful opportunities to contribute to the group and to experience success. Many practical activity contexts rely on learners working with a partner and in a group. Working collaboratively provides the relevant and real-life contexts and situations that promote knowledge and understanding of life outside home and school. For example, learners could visit a community facility, shopping centre or exhibition and by creating a visual report communicate and share their views and record of their outing through the centre’s network or website. They could take part in workshops with members of a local photographic or film club in the centre or in the community as part of widening their awareness and developing their skills and interests. In experiencing different roles learners will help to provide information and support that can improve their learning and understanding. This could include, for instance, learners acting as researchers, creators and presenters. Working together and supporting each other in this way will encourage learners to build positive relationships while demonstrating awareness and respect for others. How might you develop collaborative approaches to learning and make effective use of technology? Applying learning For learners with complex needs, learning experiences linked to strengths, interests and choices will enable them to develop practical skills and knowledge within the area of information and communications technology and apply these in other areas of the curriculum and in real-life situations. Staff should ensure that tasks and activities are clearly linked to outcomes, which in turn will allow learners to demonstrate their knowledge, understanding, skills, capabilities and attributes, accompanied by whatever support model has been identified for the individual. There will be learning opportunities which develop thinking skills, employability, enterprise and citizenship skills as well as literacy and numeracy skills across the Information and Communications Technology units. Learners will be able to develop their own skills and have the opportunity to apply these across the curriculum. For example, learners could be involved in creating a leavers’ year book or photo album, a road safety film aimed at younger children, a sensory story including sound effects, an animation featuring their favourite superheroes or a photographic display linked to an important personal event, centre event or area of the curriculum. They could practise using technology to keep in communication with friends and family. A central theme is to encourage learners to use their existing and emerging skills in a range of contexts in the centre, at home and in the community. The experiences of information and communications technology will encourage learners to make choices, express opinions and communicate their ideas and creativity. Learners will be able to apply their developing skills and knowledge to enrich their learning across all aspects of the curriculum. How can you ensure that learners can access opportunities to apply their learning in other curriculum areas? INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATIONS TECHNOLGOY 3. Qualification information The SQA website provides you with the following documents: unit specification support notes unit assessment support packages. Full information on arrangements for this qualification is available on the SQA website. Further information on the developments in National units is available on SQA's National 1 unit web page: www.sqa.org.uk/national1. T +44 (0)141 282 5000 E [email protected] W www.educationscotland.gov.uk Education Scotland, Denholm House, Almondvale Business Park, Almondvale Way, Livingston EH54 6GA © Crown copyright, 2012 You may re-use this information (excluding images and logos) free of charge in any format or medium, under the terms of the Open Government Licence providing that it is reproduced accurately and not in a misleading context. The material must be acknowledged as Crown copyright and the document title specified. To view this licence, visit http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence or e-mail: [email protected] Where we have identified any third party copyright information you will need to obtain permission from the copyright holders concerned.