Defining an approach to computers in education

Key Information Technology Outcomes (KITOs)

Information technology in education can enhance learning opportunities for all age-groups and in all curriculum areas. There is a co-operative framework for teacher professional development to support and extend the KITOs here.

Lesson plans and software evaluations linked from this page are copyright © the individual authors.



Operations and computer components




Problem Solving

Independent Learning


(Kinder & Prep)

Turns the computer on and off. Keyboard and mouse familiarity

Draws simple shapes using the computer.

Uses telephone etc with clarity and confidence.

Navigates through talking books.

Operates a remotely controlled vehicle

Uses simple matching etc software.


(Grade 1-2)

Identifies computer components and their uses. Loads programs

Can construct a text using a computer, and print it out.

Acts out common human interactions with peers.

Browses local computer resources to find information.

Uses simulations of everyday activities.

Uses computer software to support learning in literacy, numeracy and problem solving.


(Grade 3-4)

Begins to type or do simple voice input

Presents work using a word-processor.

Exchanges email with a local friend

Finds information with an automated library catalogue

Identifies types of micro-electronic devices in everyday life.

Uses drill and practice programs


(Grade 4-5)

Puts information into a computer by touch-typing or dictation.

Creates texts with a word-processor with more confidence. Uses features such as spell-checkers.

Explores the Internet, and exchange email world-wide. Knows and uses 'netiquette'.

Constructs and uses simple databases

Use simulations to achieve an understanding of principles and facts.

Learns with a computer-based tutorial package on a regular basis.


(Grade 5-6)

Improving typing speed and accuracy. Use peripherals such as scanners and digital cameras

Analyses and presents information using a range of productivity software/office tools.

Communicates interactively using a variety of computer mediated methods (such as IRC)

Obtains specific information from a computer system

Controls a mechanism through a series of commands (eg. LOGO)

Makes judgments about tutorial packages


(Grade 7-8)

Distinguishes between hardware and software. Explores different computer platforms.

Integrates the use of different productivity software packages.

Participates in video-conferencing

Locates specific information on the Internet

Collects real-world data automatically, and uses eg: spreadsheets to predict future events.

Under teacher direction, uses diagnostic and assessment systems.


(Grade 9-10)

Makes information products with software construction tools

Uses macros/scripts in office tools, which are used with increasing accuracy

Interacts within a virtual on-line environment such as a MOO.

Creates own homepage, with links and pictures

Constructs simulations of real or imagined events and places.

Uses independent and computer managed learning systems


(Grade 10-11)

Identifies common computer problems and work to remedy them.

Creates macros/scripts for use with productivity software

Uses a modem and sets up communication software.

Determines the veracity and reliability of information from different sources.

Controls systems in 3 or more dimensions with many degrees of freedom.

Comments on features of computer based learning systems, and relates these to own learning needs.


(Grade 11-12)

Programs in a computer language.

Can use complex functions of productivity tools in combination

Creates scripts for communication packages

Selects information sources and use it with attribution.

Creates accurate models with good presentations.

Selects computer based learning packages to suit individual needs.


(Grade 11-12)

Solves problems by selecting and using computer tools in combination in an appropriate, efficient and proficient manner.

This table is the beginning of a project which can produce an agreed model for information technology in Australian Schools. Based on the nationally developed Profiles of other curriculum areas, it will produce by a comprehensive guide showing how computers can be used across the curriculum by students throughout their schooling careers.

Because information technology equipment in schools varies in type and quantity, and because technological changes and societal expectations change so fast in this area, the document is being generated electronically. Therefore a high degree of consultation and subsequent modification is expected.

The initial stage has been to produce a grid for planning. Members of the computer discussion group at the University of Tasmania have put together a framework, and some initial ideas of how it might be used.

We would be interested in your comments, both of the framework and the current contents. It suggests student outcomes of teaching when computers are used in the ways indicated by the Strands.

When comments indicated this grid was a useful starting point, supporting material for each grid cell was sought. This is in the form of explanatory writing, student work samples and teacher comments. All material is attributed to the contributor, and may consist of live hyperlinks where appropriate.

This grid was devised by the Computer Education Discussion Group, including Lynda Ireland, Matthew Cooper, Andrew Fluck, Belinda Griffiths and Charlotte Kupsch.

Operations and computer components
Essential skills for operating computer equipment. A pre-requisite for the other modes of use, which give increasing confidence and an awareness of the limitations of information technology. Students learn both physical dexterity, clear pronunciation and logical thinking skills in this area.

The computer is used to create or file information that is usually transferred to paper. This mode has an important role to play in raising students' self-esteem.

For example, images could quite easily be put on paper using a pen or pencil, but the computer increases the accuracy the student can achieve. In a similar way, word-processors help students to organise their thoughts and present text in a conventional form analogous to the printed material in the world around them.

When computer tools are used in combination to manipulate text, pictures, sounds, numerical and organised data, the student is displaying competency in the publishing mode.

This mode is typified by computer mediated communication. Initially this is between individuals who may already be known to the student.

As confidence grows, the student may begin to branch out over the world, responding with appropriate 'netiquette' to persons who are not initially known to the student.

A developing confidence and care will be reflected in the type and extent of news-groups and other discussions students join.

When used for research, the computer is used to access information and other resources.

Using a computer in this way, students develop questioning skills.

They solve problems by stating them and re-shaping them to fit different resource frameworks.

Problem Solving
In the problem solving mode, the student is able to examine and build situations.

Students would generally begin by using simulations or control systems created by others.

For example, an adventure game might simulate an event in history, or the growth of a town.

Students will soon be able to construct simple models of the world around them and implement simple control systems for vehicles constrained to low speed in 2 dimensions.

As they progress, they will be able to work with more sophisticated mathematical models, and begin to predict events.

In constructing new simulations, students apply presentation techniques whilst exhibiting deep knowledge of the situation.

Independent Learning.
In the Independent Learning mode, the student will expect to learn new knowledge or skills.

Initially the teacher will select appropriate diagnosis or drill software for the student.

As familiarity grows, students will engage in more comprehensive learning using computer systems which the teacher will use to manage and track achievements.

Eventually students will become adept at stating their own learning needs, and will select and use computer systems which suit them.

2Oct97/4Mar98 - to be revised annually

Please send comments on this draft to Andrew Fluck.