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Posts Tagged ‘baseline ict standards

I followed Tuck Soon’s tweets as he attended a briefing on baseline ICT standards for students. His culminating tweet:

Baseline ICT Pupil Standards in Singapore Notice the huge emphasis on Microsoft Office and lack of Web 2.0 #edtech

In light of all Singapore schools adopting Google Apps for Education by the end of this year and the need to teach 21st century skills, I fear that some folks might still be in the dark. Let me shed some light.

Teaching students how to word process in MS Word and in Google Docs might seem to be no different. However, a fundamental difference is that Google Apps is online and these documents, presentations and spreadsheets can be more easily and collaboratively created.

This collaboration can take place asynchronously or synchronously. Not only must students be technologically literate to take advantage of this, they must be information and socially literate as well. By these latter two traits I mean that they must be able to, for example, analyze and evaluate a written artefact and then decide how best to edit it while socially negotiating meaning and not treading on others’ toes.

These 21st century skills are better taught with Web 2.0 tools like Google Apps than with the standalone MS Office suite (even MS is going online with the 2010 version of Office). Students learn to collaborate across time and borders. They must create and critique while managing their differences in expectations, culture, language, etc. The technical affordances of Google Apps (and Web 2.0 in general) allows learners to do this easily. MS Office does not.

BTW, I do not have a bone to pick with MS. But I do take issue with folks who set standards that are no longer relevant.

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