ICT skills for inquiry

The effective integration of ICT enhances the learner’s opportunity to connect globally and to explore different perspectives in order to understand evolving cultural and social norms. The following list of ICT skills provides the whole school community with a structure for using ICT as a tool for learning. It has been designed in recognition of the fact that learning is a series of feedback loops involving the individual, the group and the local or global environment. All teachers working with PYP students will find that the ICT skills will be relevant to the transdisciplinary programme of inquiry as well as to subject-specific inquiries.

ICT includes a variety of approaches to help connect learners within both the local and global community in order to empower learning. Learners’ awareness, use and appreciation of different ICT knowledge, skills and platforms should be developed. Furthermore, students should be encouraged to recognize that competency in ICT is a valuable life skill.

The following six ICT skills are relevant to all learners: investigating, creating, communicating, collaborating, organizing and becoming responsible digital citizens. Each skill is transdisciplinary and will support learning both within the transdisciplinary programme of inquiry and within the subject areas. These skills interact with each other to support the development of learners. Therefore, teachers should consider these skills when planning for teaching and should look for evidence of them in student learning.


Investigating is to carry out a purposeful inquiry or research, to test existing understanding, discover new information and create new understanding. Through investigation, learners critically evaluate a variety of sources, making connections and synthesizing findings to apply knowledge to real-life contexts.


Creating is a process through which learners are provided with an opportunity to innovate and test boundaries. Learners construct meaning, apply critical thinking and original ideas to real-world situations, and share knowledge through self-expression, problem-posing and problem-solving, and reflection.


Communicating is the exchange of information with various audiences using a range of media and formats. Effective communicators contribute to cross-cultural understanding, make informed choices when deciding on tools to articulate meaning, and provide relevant, significant feedback to others.


Collaborating is the process through which learners validate and negotiate ideas and reach a deeper understanding and a global perspective. Learners are empowered through digital media and environments and through active participation in creating and sharing knowledge.


Organizing is the ability to structure or arrange connected items. Learners understand that ICT systems can be used to inform, adapt, manage and problem-solve during their creative, communicative, collaborative and investigative processes. Learners make connections, transfer existing knowledge and independently explore new technologies.

Becoming responsible digital citizens

Becoming a responsible digital citizen involves using ICT to make informed and ethical choices while acting with integrity and honesty. In a globally connected digital world, learners are empowered to be responsible for their actions, to value others’ rights and to practise safe and legal behaviours.

The suggested ICT skills above are not an added layer to the existing PYP skills as documented in the Making the PYP happen: A curriculum framework for international primary education (2009). Rather, they reflect the IB learner profile and the five essential elements of the PYP—concepts, knowledge, skills, attitudes and action. The ICT skills have a role to play in all these aspects of the PYP curriculum model: the written, taught and assessed curriculums. In particular, the ICT skills listed should be cross-referenced with the five transdisciplinary skills defined in the PYP: thinking, social, communication, self-management, and research skills. The ICT skills defined in this document should be seen as supporting and contributing to the existing PYP essential elements.