Research Results

Report on IMYM7 Pilot Teachers' Information and Communication Technology Literacy

Prepared by Distance Learning and Information Technologies Unit, Program Development Branch, Manitoba Education and Training

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In October 1998 twenty Manitoba schools were chosen, through analysis of their application forms, to participate in the Grade 7 phase of the Interdisciplinary Middle Years Multimedia (IMYM) Project. The purpose of the IMYM Project is to provide a model of Technology as a Foundation Skill (TFS) (see Appendix B) integration with all four (English program) or five (French program) core subject areas using a real-world concept-based approach at middle years. The results of IMYM7 are

  • a core of model technology-integrated Grade 7 classrooms
  • Grade 7 teacher mentors from every region in Manitoba
  • an online concept-based interdisciplinary unit for use by all Manitoba Grade 7 teachers.

One of the research components of the IMYM Project is to design an effective professional learning model to support teachers in the integration of information and communication technologies in their classrooms. This report illustrates the methodology by which a professional learning model was crafted for IMYM7 pilot teachers, and the resulting increase in these teachers' level of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) literacy.

Initial Self-assessment of Pilot Teachers' ICT Literacy

In April 1999, before the start of professional development, the Grade 7 IMYM pilot teachers completed the IMYM Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Literacy Rubric at their orientation session. This was the Entrance Assessment. Pilot teachers were asked to self-assess the level of their skills in various information and communication technology areas including

In each of these ICT areas, pilot teachers selected from a rubric of four competency levels: a) Beginning, b) Developing, c) Accomplished or d) Exemplary. The complete rubric is found in the appendix of this report (see Appendix A). Pilot teachers repeated this self-assessment at the conclusion of their professional development in May 2000. This was the Exit Assessment.

IMYM7 pilot teachers used this assessment to help them, along with their school division Productivity Tool Training Person and their IMYM Project Team Contact Person, to develop an individualized plan for their ICT professional learning. Each school division Productivity Tool Training person was responsible for training their IMYM7 pilot teacher on basic computer operation, file management, networking, and on word processing, database and spreadsheet applications. The Manitoba Education and Training IMYM Project Team concentrated on providing professional development in graphics use, information searching, Internet research, email, hypermedia, videography/video editing, and interdisciplinary pedagogy.

Pilot teachers also used this self-assessment tool to determine the areas in which they could continue to learn and practice their ICT skills in a self-directed manner. Finally, the IMYM Project team used the results from each teacher's Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Literacy Rubric to organize the IMYM7 professional learning model for the 1999-2000 school year.

IMYM7 Professional Learning Model

The IMYM7 pilot teachers received 10 days of classroom release time for professional learning related to the project. The first two days were an orientation to the Interdisciplinary Middle Years Multimedia (IMYM) Project and interdisciplinary pedagogy. During the orientation, pilot teachers were introduced to IMYM Project Team members as well as to each other. Sharing and networking among teachers and schools was facilitated. The IMYM classroom was modelled, by providing a variety of learning centres on Computer Guided Learning (CGL) The Learning Equation, digital camera use, electronic portfolio, Hyperstudio, interdisciplinary pedagogy, Inspiration, video capture and web page design. The IMYM7 pilot teachers also received more intensive professional development in each of these areas over the subsequent eight professional learning days.

One of the remaining eight professional learning days was designated as a self-directed day. Pilot teachers used this time to obtain personalized training in any particular area in which they wanted to strengthen their skills. The final IMYM7 professional learning day took place in March 2000 as a follow-up sharing session. The 10-day IMYM7 Professional Learning Model is outlined in the table below.

IMYM7 Professional Learning Model
Dates Professional Learning Length
April 1999 IMYM orientation/modelling two days
June 1999 Hypermedia/HyperStudio full-day
CGL/The Learning Equation full-day
July to December 1999 school division training on basic computer operations, productivity tools, and classroom network management as req'd
September/October 1999 concept mapping/Inspiration half-day
digital camera half-day
videography/video editing half-day
interdisciplinary pedagogy half-day
November 1999 electronic portfolio half-day
web design/web graphics full-day
interdisciplinary pedagogy half-day
March 2000 follow-up sharing session full-day
Date Optional self-directed professional learning day full-day
Total   10 days