Stages of Learning in Information and Communications Technology
The VELS take account of the developmental stages of learning young people experience at school. While student learning is a continuum and different students develop at different rates, they broadly progress through three stages of learning. General statements about characteristics of learners in these three stages are available at Stages of learning.
The following statements describe ways in which these characteristics relate to learning experiences and standards in each of the three stages of learning in the ICT domain.
Students begin using ICT to create simple information products and to access learning tools. By applying ICT in a range of contexts, students develop knowledge, skills and behaviours for the effective use of ICT for learning in all domains. They become critical users of ICT for learning and communicating, and creating information products. They learn to use ICT tools to visualise their thinking and record their thinking strategies for use in future problem-solving activities. They progress to maintaining a digital record of evidence of their learning in all domains that enables them to reflect on learning how to learn. Electronic communication tools are introduced in students’ first years at school and more complex, contemporary communication tools are gradually introduced until students become confident users of the technology for communicating with experts and participating in online forums as both contributors and beneficiaries of knowledge.
Years Prep to 4 – Laying the foundations
Early in this stage students become familiar with the main components of a computer and develop their hand-eye coordination by using a mouse to control the cursor/pointer on the screen. Students enter and manipulate data to create simple information products.
Students progress by using ICT to organise, revise and classify ideas to assist their thinking processes. They access published multimedia resources and are encouraged to think critically about how these resources support their learning.
Later in this stage students use ICT to solve problems, express ideas and present information to different audiences. They apply simple formatting and editing techniques in order to improve the appearance and accuracy of information they create for audiences. They experiment with simple ICT tools and strategies to make visual their thinking processes and begin to consider how these tools can be used for solving new problems. They locate and access information from online sources and they exchange electronic messages with other people. They begin to apply strategies to facilitate easy retrieval of their files.
Years 5 to 8 – Building breadth and depth
Early in this stage students become more proficient in the use of ICT for the purposes of sharing knowledge and acquiring information. They use ICT to visualise their thinking in order to make sense of ideas, concepts and issues from all domains, and to reflect on their learning.
Students progress by devising planned approaches to problem solving. This involves documenting the order of, and time allocation for, individual tasks within extended projects. Students use a wider range of ICT tools, techniques and functions to support their thinking processes, to model systems, to solve problems and to create information products for a variety of purposes. They use the equipment’s operating system and software functions to manage their files.
Later in this stage, students become more proficient in the use of Internet research tools to locate and download information from a range of sources, and they judge the quality of information, based on set criteria. They conform to accepted codes of practice when using ICT, and discuss the consequences of ICT use in a range of environments and contexts in the community. Students create and maintain digital evidence of their learning in all domains, the evidence exemplifying the progress made in applying ICT knowledge and skills.
Years 9 to 10 – Developing pathways
In these years students use ICT to manage individual and collaborative projects. They initiate and engage in real and virtual teams and collaborative problem solving in local and global environments. They use ICT tools to record, organise and express their thoughts and communicate with others.
Students use a range of ICT tools and techniques to assist in monitoring, reflecting on and refining their thinking strategies when addressing complex issues and solving complex problems.
Students select appropriate ICT tools for research, modelling, publishing, decision making and problem solving, and assess the validity and appropriateness of these tools. They make judgments about the quality of their own and others’ work and act on them.
Students understand the need to protect data and they use ICT tools to protect their files and control access to them. They share ideas with others through a range of electronic media. They demonstrate and discuss appropriate ethical and social behaviours for users of ICT and analyse the impact of ICT in society.
National Statements of Learning
The Victorian Essential Learning Standards (VELS) incorporate the opportunities to learn covered in the national Statements of Learning (www.mceetya.edu.au/mceetya/statements_of_learning,22835.html). The Statements of Learning describe essential skills, knowledge, understandings and capacities that all young Australians should have the opportunity to learn by the end of Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 in English, Mathematics, Science, Civics and Citizenship and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).
The Statements of Learning were developed as a means of achieving greater national consistency in curriculum outcomes across the eight Australian states and territories. It was proposed that they be used by state and territory departments or curriculum authorities (their primary audience) to guide the future development of relevant curriculum documents. They were agreed to by all states and territories in August 2006.
During 2007, the VCAA prepared a detailed map to show how the Statements of Learning are addressed and incorporated in the VELS. In the majority of cases, the VELS learning focus statements incorporate the Statements of Learning. Some Statements of Learning are covered in more than one domain. In some cases, VELS learning focus statements have been elaborated to address elements of the Statements of Learning not previously specified. These elaborations are noted at the end of each learning focus statement.