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					    Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Competence
Conceptual statement
Introduction

In the Australian Curriculum students develop ICT competence as they learn to use ICT effectively and
appropriately when investigating, creating and communicating ideas and information at home, at school, at
work and in their communities.

Developed economies and societies are increasingly built on the ICT competence of workers and citizens.
The Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians states that ‘In this digital age,
young people need to be highly skilled in the use of ICT’ (MCEETYA 2008, p.5), and, while schools already
employ technologies in learning, they ‘need to increase their effectiveness significantly’ over the next
decade. To be successful learners at school and beyond, students need to become ‘creative and
productive users of technology’ (MCEETYA 2008, p.8), equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills
to use ICT in contemporary learning and living.

Information and communication technologies transform the way students think and learn as they support
risk-taking and knowledge sharing. These technologies are fast and automated, and interactive and
multimodal, and allow students to control how and when they learn. Specific requirements change
according to the needs of individuals to find solutions to problems or to construct and communicate their
learning.

The ICT competence conceptual statement and continuum describe the nature, scope and sequence of
learning for ICT competence in the Australian Curriculum. These materials can assist schools and teachers
across the learning areas to plan for and support student development of ICT competence.

Scope of ICT competence

Students develop competence in using ICT for tasks associated with information access and management,
problem solving, decision making, communicating, creative expression, and empirical reasoning. It is also
essential that students develop knowledge, skills and understanding around the fundamental logic and
conventions underpinning ICT use and the ability to transfer these from one ICT environment to another
(such as from school to workplace and to other social contexts). Equally important is the manner in which
ICT is used, based on an understanding of the technology’s limitations and its impact on individuals,
groups, communities and organisations.

Students develop ICT competence when they:

      Apply appropriate social and ethical protocols and practices in managing and operating ICT
      Manage and operate ICT: applying technical knowledge and skills; managing data and information
       efficiently, effectively and appropriately and interacting with ICT for learning
      Investigate with ICT: planning and refining information searches; locating and accessing different
       types of data and information and verifying the integrity of data when investigating questions, topics
       or problems
      Create with ICT: using ICT to generate ideas, plans, processes and products to create solutions to
       challenges or learning area tasks
      Communicate with ICT: exchanging ideas and information with others while adhering to social
       protocols appropriate to the communicative context (purpose, audience and technology).The
       diagram below sets out the elements of ICT competence and illustrates the relationship between
       them. An understanding of the nature and scope of ICT competence is not fixed but is necessarily
       responsive to ongoing technological developments. This is evidenced by the emergence of
       advanced internet technology over the past few years and the resulting changes in the ways
       students construct knowledge and interact with others.
                                       Elements of ICT Competence



Terminology

Information and communication technology specific terminology is constantly growing and changing.
Information and communication technology encompasses the range of digital-related hardware and
software used to support the capture, storage, transmission and retrieval of data. Besides computers, this
can include peripheral devices such as scanners, printers and speakers; mobile devices such as mobile
phones; and hand-held devices such as digital cameras, digital media players, calculators and data probes.
The following online glossary provides regularly updated lists and definitions of ICT terminology:
http://hsc.csu.edu.au/info_tech/glossary/2327/common_terms.html#a

ICT competence across the curriculum

Students develop and apply skills in investigating with ICT across all learning areas. They use ICT to
access data and information from a range of primary and secondary sources when investigating questions,
topics or problems. Students use ICT to create solutions to challenges or problems, developing skills in
creating with ICT, and use ICT to communicate ideas and information to others, considering purpose,
audience and technology, developing skills in communicating with ICT. Students apply technical knowledge
and skills and appropriate social and ethical protocols and practices to investigate, create and
communicate, and in so doing develop their skills in managing and operating ICT.

ICT and the Technologies learning area

In addition to the general capability ICT competence, ICT will also be addressed through the Technologies
learning area, which comprises two subjects: Design and Technology and ICT. While the Technologies
learning area in the Australian Curriculum is yet to be developed, it is expected that ICT as a subject will
reflect the key elements of national and international curriculums.

The key difference between the general capability ICT competence and ICT as a subject is that students
studying ICT as a subject should develop more sophisticated understandings of the relationship and
interconnectedness between ICT hardware and software. This enables students to understand the
structure and operation of networks and feel confident in designing network and software solutions for
authentic situations, taking into account social, legal and ethical considerations.

In the Australian Curriculum ICT competence is identified in learning area content descriptions and content
elaborations. A filter for general capabilities makes it possible to see wherever ICT competence has been
identified in the F-10 curriculum.
Theoretical framework

Information and communication technology competence is based on sets of relevant understandings,
knowledge, attitudes and skills. Internationally, such competence is typically represented developmentally.
In this case, students demonstrate increasing levels of competence as they move through phases of
schooling and have increasingly sophisticated experiences with the technology. For example, the ICT
curriculum for England presents ‘lines of progression’ through the years of schooling. The Australian
Council for Educational Research (ACER) has also identified a progression of ICT competence in research
associated with the National Assessment Program.

To identify the development of ICT competence and to assist teachers in providing appropriate information
and experiences, ICT knowledge, skills and attitudes are typically represented in interrelated domains. For
example, in the ICT curriculum for England these domains are referred to as strands and sub-strands. In
the USA, the National Education Technology Standards (NETS) for students provided by the International
Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) represent competence with six sets of standards.

The continuum for ICT competence has been developed in reference to these and other international and
national scope and sequence models. In particular, it is based on the structure of the NETS for students
provided by ISTE. This was adapted initially with reference to the framework developed by ACER for the
National Assessment Program, then with reference to the ICT curriculum for England, and finally with
frameworks from a number of Australian state education authorities.

The ICT competence continuum is structured around interrelated elements of activity (Investigating,
Creating, Communicating and Managing and operating) conducted within a context of Social and ethical
protocols and practices. The element concerned with Social and ethical protocols and practices was
transformed from the NETS Digital Citizenship standards for students performance indicators. The
standard’s areas of Technology Operations and Concepts and Communication and Collaboration were
transformed to create the Managing and operating and Communicating elements respectively. A
combination of the standards for Creativity and Innovation and Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and
Decision Making formed the basis for the Creating element. The Investigating element was built from the
Research and Information Fluency set of standards.

References

Information and communication technology: National Curriculum for England

- Program:http://curriculum.qcda.gov.uk/uploads/ICT%201999%20programme%20of%20study_tcm8-
12058.pdf (accessed 9 May 2011)

- Secondary Curriculum:http://nationalstrategies.standards.dcsf.gov.uk/node/16087 (accessed 6 May 2011)

International Society for Technology in Education 2007, Profiles for Technology (ICT) Literate Students.

International Society for Technology in Education 2007, National Educational Technology Standards
(NETS) and Performance Indicators for Students.

www.iste.org/ (accessed 6 May 2011)

Ministerial Council for Education, Early Childhood Development and Youth Affairs 2007, National
Assessment Program – ICT Literacy Years 6 & 10 Report 2005, Curriculum Corporation, Carlton South,
Melbourne.

Ministerial Council for Education, Early Childhood Development and Youth Affairs 2010, National
Assessment Program ICT Literacy: Years 6 and 10 Report 2008, Curriculum Corporation, Melbourne.

WestEd 2009, Technological literacy framework for the 2012 national assessment of education progress,
WestEd, USA.

Further Reading
Garmire, E & Pearson, G (eds) 2006, Tech Tally: Approaches to Assessing Technological Literacy,
National Academy Press, Washington.

Kozma, RB 2009, Transforming Education: Assessing and teaching 21st century skills in The Transition to
Computer-Based Assessment, Scheuermann, F and Bojornsson, J, Ispra, Italy, European Commission,
Joint Research Centre, pp. 13–23.

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development 2005, Are students ready for a technology-rich
world? What PISA studies tell us, Paris, France.

US Department of Education and other organisations, Partnership for 21st Century Skills, 2010

http://21stcenturyskills.org (accessed 6 May 2011)




    Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Competence


Continuum
ICT competence is presented as a continuum of learning that describes the knowledge, skills and
dispositions students can reasonably be expected to have developed at three stages of schooling (the end
of Years 2, 6 and 10).

The continuum is based on the belief that students need opportunities to develop ICT competence over
time and across learning areas. What is learned in the early years supports all subsequent learning. The
continuum describes expected learning for each element of ICT at each of the three stages of schooling.

The continuum is presented in two formats: the first shows expected learning for each stage of schooling;
the second shows expected learning across the three stages of schooling.
Elements of ICT competence
The continuum is structured into five interrelated elements of ICT competence:

      Applying appropriate social and ethical protocols and practices when using ICT
      Managing and operating ICT
      Investigating with ICT
      Creating with ICT
      Communicating with ICT

Applying social and ethical protocols and practices when using ICT

ICT competence develops within a context of social and ethical practice. This includes students developing
an understanding of:

      intellectual property such as copyright, acknowledging sources of information; referencing methods
       for text, images, music, video
      information security and practices that violate the integrity of information such as hacking,
       spamming, fraud, advertising, viruses, scams, phishing, and computer protection when sharing
       information online, for example when peer-to-peer (p2p) file sharing
      personal security and their responsibility to:
            o protect the rights, identity, privacy and emotional safety of online audiences
            o avoid and prevent cyber bullying such as bullying through exclusion and malicious
                messaging
            o consider the consequences of actions such blogging and uploading images
            o ensure security (physical, mental, social) of self or other persons such as reporting online
                security concerns, being aware of ‘grooming or luring’ and cyberstalking
            o respect audiences, known and unknown, for example in use of language, formality of style,
                type of content, forms of address
            o be aware of the portrayal of self and identity of others.

      the benefits and consequences of the use of ICT for individuals, groups and communities in society,
       such as:
           o enhancing participation, functioning and equity, meeting special needs, improving civic
              participation, allowing accessibility, decreasing geographic isolation
           o being drivers of ICT, for example having realistic attitudes, becoming positive creators not
              just recipients, creating a positive digital footprint
           o understanding how changes in technology impact on and relate to changes in society, for
              example use of avatars, virtual worlds, chat rooms, gaming, online shopping, and seeking to
              balance digital relationships and time online with face-to-face relationships.

Managing and operating ICT

Students operate ICT to investigate, create and communicate. This involves applying the technical
knowledge and skills that underpin the use of computers to work when and as required with information and
use information classification and organisation schemes. This involves:

      efficient and ergonomic use of hardware and software including:
            o troubleshooting
            o monitoring occupational health and safety issues such as eye strain, repetitive strain injury,
               and neck, shoulders and back injuries
      selecting appropriate hardware and software from a range with increasing scope to match the
       needs of the user and the task
      understanding ICT systems and transferability of knowledge and skills between systems and
       applications
      using software to manage and maintain information in digital files, for example generic file and
       software functions such as opening and saving files in given locations, resizing images, copying and
       pasting text, naming and organising/managing files, file formats, security of files.
Investigating with ICT

Students use ICT to access data and information from a range of primary and secondary sources when
investigating questions, topics or problems. To do this effectively and efficiently, students use processes of
defining, planning, locating, accessing, selecting, organising and assessing information and data. This
involves using ICT to:

      define and plan information searches to:
           o identify what students already know and what they need to know, such as posing research
               questions and using graphic organisers
      locate and access data and information through:
           o search engines, search functions and general and specialised directories
           o navigation tools between and within documents, accessing documents that have some form
               of restriction such as password-protected files
           o different file formats such as PDFs, negotiating user accounts, selecting information from
               within a document or website, and using peripheral devices
           o organising data and information using a range of ICT tools.
      select and evaluate data and information and apply criteria to:
           o verify the integrity of data and information and their sources, for example for usefulness,
               credibility, reliability, validity, relevance, bias, timeliness, author, date.

Creating with ICT

Students generate ideas, plans, processes and solutions to challenges or learning area tasks. These may
relate to learning a concept, completing an activity and responding to a need, and may be self-generated or
requested. This involves using ICT to:

      generate ideas, plans and processes to:
          o clarify a task or the steps or processes required to develop responses to questions or
              solutions, such as using visualisation thinking tools, classification, pattern identification,
              filtering, graphic organisers, concept/mind maps and flow charts
      generate products or solutions for challenges and learning area tasks to:
          o develop, refine and present new understandings, for example a presentation incorporating
              an online tool, a report, a video, a podcast, a digital story
          o create an input or a process to support an output (for example, collecting data or developing
              a design to be used in another product; programming to enable the control of traffic lights
              (control technologies) and modelling with spreadsheets and simulation packages)
          o transform information, for example converting a set of instructions to a flow chart to
              represent a sequence of activities, converting a table of data to a graph or chart, creating
              animations for film, and taking static information and making it dynamic as in digital
              storytelling.

Communicating with ICT

Students use ICT to communicate ideas and information with others and collaboratively construct
knowledge, in adherence with social protocols appropriate to the communicative context (purpose,
audience and technology). They:

      share, exchange and collaborate to enhance learning by:
          o sharing information, such as on social networking sites
          o exchanging information through reciprocal communication, such as by email, instant
               messaging, bulletin boards, online friends, public forums, blogs, video conferencing
          o collaborating and collectively contributing to a product, such as using wiki project
               management tools, file management, online docs, interactive whiteboard software
      understand and apply social protocols to:
          o receive, send and publish taking into account characteristics of users, such as culture,
               gender, location, status, and expertise, and the permanence of digital histories
      apply techniques or strategies to ensure security of information to:
          o control levels of access to sites
          o protect files
          o block inappropriate users and report abuse.
              Capability descriptions by element and stage of schooling
Applying social and ethical protocols and practices

By the end of Year 2

Students recognise that people create information resources and that information they create or provide
can be used or misused by others.

They follow class rules about using these resources and apply basic guidelines to secure personal
information.

They identify how ICT is used in their homes and at school.

By the end of Year 6

Students apply practices that comply with legal obligations regarding the ownership and use of information
resources.

They apply strategies for protecting the security of personal information, and recognise the rights, identity,
privacy and emotional safety of themselves and others when using ICT.

They explain the use of ICT at school and in the local community, and understand its impact on their lives.

By the end of Year 10

Students recognise ethical dilemmas and apply practices that protect intellectual property. They use a
range of strategies for securing and protecting information and understand the need for codes and conduct.

They apply appropriate strategies to protect the rights, identity, privacy and emotional safety of others when
using ICT in a range of contexts.

They assess the impact of ICT in the workplace and in society. They speculate on its role in the future and
how they can influence the use of ICT.



Managing and operating ICT

By the end of Year 2

Students safely use a limited range of devices, functions and commands when operating an ICT system
and identify appropriate software for a task.

They use basic ICT terminology to describe hardware and software features and their operations, and
manage their digital files with guidance.

By the end of Year 6

Students use a range of devices ergonomically and with increasing efficiency.

They select and apply appropriate software functions and use basic troubleshooting procedures to solve
routine malfunctions.

They apply an understanding of basic ICT system components to use functions, processes and
procedures, and apply basic software commands to effectively manage and maintain files on different
storage mediums.
By the end of Year 10

Students efficiently, effectively and ergonomically use and optimise a selected range of devices and
software functions to meet particular tasks and to solve routine ICT system problems.

They make changes to functions, processes, procedures and devices to fit the purpose of the solutions.

They apply strategies and procedures for efficient, secure and effective management and maintenance of
files in a variety of different storage mediums and formats.



Investigating with ICT

By the end of Year 2

Students use ICT to identify, record, group and classify textual and graphic information to show what is
known and what needs to be investigated.

They locate and retrieve textual and graphic information from a range of digital sources, and explain the
usefulness of located information.

By the end of Year 6

Students use appropriate ICT to identify and represent patterns in sets of information and to pose
questions.

They plan, locate (using search engines and basic search functions), retrieve and organise information in
meaningful ways, and assess the suitability of information using appropriate criteria.

By the end of Year 10

Students select and use appropriate ICT independently and collaboratively to analyse information to frame
questions and plan search strategies.

They use advanced search tools and techniques to locate precise data and information that supports the
development of new understandings.

They develop and use criteria systematically to evaluate the quality, suitability and credibility of located
information and sources.



Creating with ICT

By the end of Year 2

Students use ICT to prepare simple plans to find solutions or answers to questions.

They experiment with ICT as a creative tool to generate simple solutions for particular audiences or
purposes.

They use the basic functionality of limited software to experiment with manipulating different data types
such as text, images (still and moving), audio and numbers.
By the end of Year 6

Students use ICT effectively to record ideas, represent their thinking and plan solutions.

They create ICT solutions, independently or collaboratively, for particular audiences and purposes, and use
a range of software types and functions to edit a range of data types such as text, images (still and
moving), audio and numbers.

By the end of Year 10

Students select and use ICT to articulate ideas and concepts and plan the development of complex
solutions.

They design and modify creative ICT solutions, independently and collaboratively, for particular audiences
and for a range of purposes.

They use an extensive range of software types and functions and peripherals to manipulate and edit
multiple data types, such as text, images (still and moving), audio and numbers.



Communicating with ICT

By the end of Year 2

Students use identified ICT tools safely to share and exchange information with appropriate audiences.
They apply basic social protocols when communicating with known audiences and use limited techniques
to ensure digital security.

By the end of Year 6

Students select and use appropriate ICT tools safely to share and exchange information and to collaborate
with others when creating solutions.

They apply generally accepted social protocols when sharing information in online environments, taking
into account different social and cultural contexts. They independently establish secure accounts for
approved online environments.

By the end of Year 10

Students select and use a range of ICT tools efficiently and safely to share and exchange information and
to construct knowledge collaboratively.

They discriminate between protocols suitable for different communication tools when collaborating with
local and global communities, and assess the risks associated with online environments and establish
appropriate security strategies as required.
Capability descriptions by stage of schooling and element
By the end of Year 2

Applying social and ethical protocols and practices

Students recognise that people create information resources and that information they create or provide
can be used or misused by others.

They follow class rules about using these resources and apply basic guidelines to secure personal
information.

They identify how ICT is used in their homes and at school.

Managing and operating ICT

Students safely use a limited range of devices, functions and commands when operating an ICT system
and identify appropriate software for a task.

They use basic ICT terminology to describe hardware and software features and their operations, and
manage their digital files with guidance.

Investigating with ICT

Students use ICT to identify, record, group and classify textual and graphic information to show what is
known and what needs to be investigated.

They locate and retrieve textual and graphic information from a range of digital sources, and explain the
usefulness of located information.

Creating with ICT

Students use ICT to prepare simple plans to find solutions or answers to questions.

They experiment with ICT as a creative tool to generate simple solutions for particular audiences or
purposes.

They use the basic functionality of limited software to experiment with manipulating different data types
such as text, images (still and moving), audio and numbers.

Communicating with ICT

Students use identified ICT tools safely to share and exchange information with appropriate audiences.
They apply basic social protocols when communicating with known audiences and use limited techniques
to ensure digital security.
By the end of Year 6

Applying social and ethical protocols and practices

Students apply practices that comply with legal obligations regarding the ownership and use of information
resources.

They apply strategies for protecting the security of personal information, and recognise the rights, identity,
privacy and emotional safety of themselves and others when using ICT.

They explain the use of ICT at school and in the local community, and understand its impact on their lives.

Managing and operating ICT

Students use a range of devices ergonomically and with increasing efficiency.

They select and apply appropriate software functions and use basic troubleshooting procedures to solve
routine malfunctions.

They apply an understanding of basic ICT system components to use functions, processes and
procedures, and apply basic software commands to effectively manage and maintain files on different
storage mediums.

Investigating with ICT

Students use appropriate ICT to identify and represent patterns in sets of information and to pose
questions.

They plan, locate (using search engines and basic search functions), retrieve and organise information in
meaningful ways, and assess the suitability of information using appropriate criteria.

Creating with ICT

Students use ICT effectively to record ideas, represent their thinking and plan solutions.

They create ICT solutions, independently or collaboratively, for particular audiences and purposes, and use
a range of software types and functions to edit a range of data types such as text, images (still and
moving), audio and numbers.

Communicating with ICT

Students select and use appropriate ICT tools safely to share and exchange information and to collaborate
with others when creating solutions.

They apply generally accepted social protocols when sharing information in online environments, taking
into account different social and cultural contexts. They independently establish secure accounts for
approved online environments.
By the end of Year 10

Applying social and ethical protocols and practices

Students recognise ethical dilemmas and apply practices that protect intellectual property. They use a
range of strategies for securing and protecting information and understand the need for codes and conduct.

They apply appropriate strategies to protect the rights, identity, privacy and emotional safety of others when
using ICT in a range of contexts.

They assess the impact of ICT in the workplace and in society. They speculate on its role in the future and
how they can influence the use of ICT.

Managing and operating ICT

Students efficiently, effectively and ergonomically use and optimise a selected range of devices and
software functions to meet particular tasks and to solve routine ICT system problems.

They make changes to functions, processes, procedures and devices to fit the purpose of the solutions.

They apply strategies and procedures for efficient, secure and effective management and maintenance of
files in a variety of different storage mediums and formats.

Investigating with ICT

Students select and use appropriate ICT independently and collaboratively to analyse information to frame
questions and plan search strategies.

They use advanced search tools and techniques to locate precise data and information that supports the
development of new understandings.

They develop and use criteria systematically to evaluate the quality, suitability and credibility of located
information and sources.

Creating with ICT

Students select and use ICT to articulate ideas and concepts and plan the development of complex
solutions.

They design and modify creative ICT solutions, independently and collaboratively, for particular audiences
and for a range of purposes.

They use an extensive range of software types and functions and peripherals to manipulate and edit
multiple data types, such as text, images (still and moving), audio and numbers.

Communicating with ICT

Students select and use a range of ICT tools efficiently and safely to share and exchange information and
to construct knowledge collaboratively.

They discriminate between protocols suitable for different communication tools when collaborating with
local and global communities, and assess the risks associated with online environments and establish
appropriate security strategies as required.

				
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