WIKIS AND POWERPOINT AS COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT TOOLS IN SCIENTIFIC LITERACY: A PROPOSED HEURISTIC

TitleWIKIS AND POWERPOINT AS COGNITIVE DEVELOPMENT TOOLS IN SCIENTIFIC LITERACY: A PROPOSED HEURISTIC
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
Authorsdu Plessis, A
JournalProblems of Education in the 21st Century
Volume57
Start Page25-47
PaginationDiscontinuous
Date PublishedDecember/2013
Type of ArticleOriginal article
ISSN1822-7864
Other NumbersICID: 1083814
Keywordscognitive tools, heuristic, ICT, Internet, PowerPoint, scientific literacy
Abstract

The overall performances in the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMMS) and Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) of South African learners have been dismal to say the least and the Annual National Assessment test results of grade 3, 6 and 9 learners related to general literacy and mathematics have left a lot to be desired. Clearly this suggests that something has to be done to address this. At the same time, South African education is still suffering as a result of the legacy of apartheid and the great majority of schools are lacking basic resources such as libraries, infrastructure and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) resources, including internet connectivity. General learner literacy and ICT literacy development and usage for learning are high on the government’s agenda, as is scientific literacy. However, there seems to be a dearth of ‘how to’ implement ICT related activities to develop reading, talking, listening and writing within a science classroom learning context with special reference to promoting scientific literacy in its fundamental sense. The theoretical and practical outline that follows attempts to assist filling the void related to the above by introducing an ICT based scientific literacy heuristic that is infused by the ICT based ‘Extended Cyberhunt Approach’ of Du Plessis (2010) and Du Plessis and Webb (2011, 2012, in press) and the off-line Scientific Literacy model of Webb and Villanueva (2008); Webb and Mayaba (2010) and Webb (2010). The focus of the heuristic is to develop scientific reading, talking, listening and writing, as well as to establish a different classroom learning space and experience. In addition, it adds emphasis on on-going feedback from the teacher to the learners as well as focusing on reflection and journal writing to inform teacher planning and subsequent interactions in the science classroom. The additional potential of the heuristic is not only that it offers ICT literacy skills development and the development of skills within a curriculum related science context, but also that ICT skills can be developed even without internet connectivity through using Microsoft Word and/or PowerPoint for writing development and presentation or adding Web 2.0 tools such as a Wiki to complement Microsoft Word and/or PowerPoint if connectivity is available. Research suggests that various skills such as planning, searching and researching, presentation, assessment as well as various cognitive skills can be developed when ICT is used as a cognitive tool in a ‘Learning-as-Design’ context, i.e. when learners (students) become the designers and composers of artefacts related to topics that are curriculum based. This paper also then forms the base for an intervention in two primary schools in the Eastern Cape Province in South Africa that has received ICT resources for the first time ever, including internet connectivity, in September 2013. Hence, the anticipated research within these two schools will explore whether this heuristic has the potential to assist with and improve scientific reading, talking, listening and writing, as well as whether this approach improves motivation and interest related to science learning and ICT literacy development, including the potential to develop planning, searching and researching, presentation, assessment as well as various associated cognitive skills.

URLhttp://journals.indexcopernicus.com/abstract.php?icid=1083814
Refereed DesignationRefereed
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