Welcome to Group 1’s Q & A online learning forum, where we have invited an international panel of experts to discuss our overarching question:

‘How are social capabilities influenced by the use of ICTs?’

The topic was chosen as our group recognises that the Australian Curriculum places heavy emphasis on both building skills in Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), as well as the development of personal and social capabilities; both of these skill-sets underpin learning in each subject and year level within the curriculum, however for the purpose of this event, we would like to keep the focus on P-3. Our groups’ aim is that we will explore how these two areas work together, the underpinning theory, pedagogical practices and discover useful ICTs to implement within the classrooms. Please ask our panel of experts  your questions, collaborate, share your thoughts and ideas, so that we can discover how the use of ICTs influence development of social capabilities in young children.

How to Participate:

This event will run for five days, from the 16th to 20th of August; on the first four days  we will engage in discussion of our topic via the ‘discussion‘ tabs,  and conclude our event on the day five with a reflection via the ‘final thoughts‘ tab. We ask participants to familiarise themselves with as much background information as they feel necessary for their personal learning, which will help frame and give context to the discussion. Please  address questions or comments directly to our experts  or simply share your thoughts, experiences or ideas to all participants by clicking on the ‘comment’ button located at the end of each post. We hope that with the presence of experts, we can improve our knowledge of quality ICT resources to support social development.

We encourage all participants to follow our event on twitter and ‘like’ our facebook page, which will provide highlights from each day. Please visit this google doc and record key words or phrases that come to mind when thinking about social development and ICTs.  These words will create a useful tool for reflection which we will revisit at a later date. To finalize our event, we ask that you participate in a survey about your learning experience, and we will publish the results on our ‘final thoughts’ page.

Online Etiquette:

(Fox, 2004)

Please review comments  for appropriateness and grammar.

We expect there may be differences of opinion, please respond politely and respectfully.

Please do not use all upper case text, the online version of shouting.

Pedagogical  Model:

We have based our learning event on two overarching learning pedagogies, the Social Constructivist and Substantive Conversation models. These models facilitate understanding through a process of building on previous knowledge through collaboration with others and using meaningful conversation tools. We aim to create a wealth of authentic knowledge and understanding which we can all take, adapt and reflect on to enrich our perspectives.

Social Constructivist

(Corral, 2011)

Social Constructivism, a term highlighted by theorists Vygotsky (1978), Piaget (1950), Dewey, (1966) and Bruner, (1977) purports that learning is an active process in which learners construct new ideas or concepts in a process of understanding new information within the framework of their existing knowledge. The accent is on the learner rather than the teacher; individuals actively construct or create their own subjective representations of objective reality based on what they already know, with new information linked to prior knowledge and understanding. So in this context, we expect each participant will come to an individual answer to our overarching question ‘How are social capabilities influenced by the use of ICTs?’ which stems as much from their background knowledge, as it does from the learning that takes place here.

Substantive Conversation

(Schwartz, 2012)

A pedagogical model which utilises substantive conversation involves considerable interaction among all participants, in order to promote shared understanding. In this model ideas are shared, interactions are reciprocal and involve the following features:

Intellectual Substance, where the discussion focuses on the subject and encourages critical reasoning skills, and allows for higher order thinking skills.

Dialogue involves shared ideas, with participants providing extended statements, addressing their comments, questions and statements directly to others.

Logical Extension and Synthesis, where the dialogue builds logically and rationally on participants’ ideas in order to improve the groups collective understanding.

A Sustained Exchange consists of a sustained and topically related series of linked exchanges between participants (The Department of Education and Training, 2004).

In this context, we aim that the generation of meaningful discussion, which draws on each others knowledge and experience will promote an improved understanding on how ICTs influence social capabilities.

For a more detailed description of this pedagogical model, see: http://education.qld.gov.au/public_media/reports/curriculum-framework/productive-pedagogies/html/int-04.html.


Bruner, J. S. (1977). Early social interaction and language acquisition. In H.R. Schaffer (Ed.), Studies in Mother-infant Interaction (pp. 271-289). London: Academic Press.

Corral, R. (2011), Social Constructivism Image. Retrieved on 06/08/2011 from http://rcorral91.wordpress.com/2011/04/13/4-social-constructivism/

Dewey, J. (1966). Democracy and Education. New York: Free Press.

Fox, L. (2004). Keyboard Image. Retrieved on 06/08/2012 from http://www.louisefoxprotocolsolutions.com/?page=netiquette

Piaget, Jean. (1950). The Psychology of Intelligence. New York: Routledge.

Schwartz, R. (2012). Discussion image. Retrieved on 10/08/2012 from http://cac.ophony.org/2011/12/19/the-national-conversation/

The Department of Education and Training, (2004). A Guide to Productive Pedagogies: Classroom Reflection Model. Retrieved on 06/08/2012 from http://education.qld.gov.au/public_media/reports/curriculum-framework/productive-pedagogies/pdfs/prodped.pdf.

The Guardian News and Media. (2012). Children on computer image. Retrieved on 02/08/2012 from http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2012/mar/31/computer-science-teachers-training-school

Vygotsky, L.S. (1978). Mind and society: The development of higher mental processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.


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