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Theme 1 - Using computers in learning


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Theme 1 - Using computers in learning

  1. 1. Curriculum Themes Document S. Johnson PGCE IT Southampton University 2010
  2. 2. Theme 1 - Using computers in learning & teaching • ICT o Information and Communication Technology (ICT), is used throughout the KS3 and KS4 curriculum. It should not be confused with IT, which is taught more at post-16 establishments, although it is making its way into the 14-16 diplomas. IT is the mechanics of the subject, how things work and why they work, as opposed to, how we achieve something, like using ICT for writing a letter. • Teaching organised in schools o Teaching is organised in schools via a hierarchical system of management. Generally the curriculum is divided into Long Term Goals, Middle Term Goals and Short Term Goals. o A subject tutor may have the task for the short term goals, which is the lesson plans for a topic. A curriculum tutor may be responsible for the middle term goals, deciding what to include in the scheme of work for that term (and all terms that year), as well as the over arching role of determining all year groups schemes of work for their current year. The Head of IT is responsible for determining which exam boards to use and in collaboration with the curriculum manager will decide which units to deliver. • Recent history of using computers in schools o ICT was spread across the Curriculum in the 1980’s and 1990’s as there were not many computers around. There were very few ICT specific lessons. o National hour in the curriculum was introduced in 1999 o In 2002 the Key Stage three strategies for ICT was introduces and there was a renewed focus in secondary education. o ICT across the curriculum and Key Stage three were running in parallel. o We are still developing ICTAC o There is a general guidance for “Harnessing technology for next generation learning” in a report from British Educational Communications Technology Agency (BECTA). o Schools are using Virtual Learning Environment’s for homework and assessments and gets students communicating with each other • Technological and social developments in the near future o The use of ICT in the classrooms may improve the delivery of lessons to different types of learners, such as Kinaesthetic and auditory. o Mobile computing may influence teaching in the future. o ABTutor, Ranger, Synchronise give tutors computer control. o Parents may be able to interfere with what we are teaching with a triangle of emails, pupil, parent and teacher. (John using emotive language) o The students like the instant results which smart boards and computers, in general, can give so teachers are becoming trained in using these resources across the curriculum.
  3. 3. o Schools are issuing notebooks (miniature laptops) to single year groups and these may become more common place over all of the year groups. These notebooks do have college software on them and may not allow access to the internet which is not liked by the students or their parents.
  4. 4. Theme 2 - The role of an IT/ICT teacher • Demands made by the school and the expectations of other staff o Heads of IT – don’t get involved across the school they are specific to their own subject. They are specialising in developing ICT as a curriculum. o The ICT Co-ordinator is a member of the senior management team who is responsible for the finance and administration systems. • Relationship with other school ‘teams’ o Expectations seem to be that ICT teachers will have the time to impart their knowledge to the non ICT teaching staff. This is more important now with the introduction of ICT across the curriculum as all teachers need training with their ICT skills, so more schools are timetabling ICT tuition, for those who want it. o I have noticed that other school teams see ICT as yet another subject area that they are expected to know. Teaching staff have little time to complete their everyday tasks of planning, marking, tutorials etc and don’t feel that they have time to learn a completely new subject as well. It may be beneficial for schools to set targets of gaining ICT skills for all teachers, to enhance their career. Involving ICT within their lessons could provide better motivation for students across the curriculum as long as it doesn’t change the students ‘way of thinking about their subject’. I.e. it has been noted that when a non-ICT lesson takes place in an ICT suite, the students feel that it is an ICT lesson instead. • Influences of recent developments o Functional Skills (pilot until 2010) – building skills across the curriculum used to be known as Key Skills o Year 9 is 9.1, 9.2 and 9.3 only; some students may start to do their GCSE’s early. o Key Stage 3 and 4 are encouraged to i. Apply real world situations when solving problems. ii. Share their views and experiences iii. Use ICT in other subjects • Statutory frameworks with regard to teaching o National Curriculum - QCA o National Standards Site – ICT Framework KS1, KS2 and KS3 o Functional Skills o Assessing Pupils Progress (APP)
  5. 5. Theme 3 - Lesson Planning in ICT • Planning lessons is the key to a successful learning and teaching experience. • There are various types of lesson plans, although there are several common areas such as:- 1. Aims/Objectives (WALT – We are learning to ) 2. Outcomes (WILF – What I’m looking for ) 3. Starter – Short activity to focus students 4. Subject knowledge - Identify or Recap Prior knowledge 5. Tasks/Activities with timings 6. Plenary • Factors influencing our lesson plans are resources in the rooms, differentiation for our students’ needs and abilities, curriculum and duration of the lesson. • There are three types of lesson plans which vary by time, they are :- 1. Long Term – where the curriculum for the year will be mapped out 2. Medium Term – where the curriculum for term will be mapped out (Scheme of Work) 3. Short Term – where the details for each lesson will be mapped out. (Lesson Plan) • I have found that the design of the lesson plan forms change according to the latest remit from the government. I.e. when they introduced key-skills it was imperative that we were including it in every lesson and therefore a section appeared in the lesson plan to allow us to note our usage. • ICT can be used to evaluate our students understanding of a topic by online quizzes and games which can be incorporated in the school’s VLE (Virtual Learning Environment). We use ICT in all of our lessons, whether it is to prepare them using a word processor, or gaining material from the internet, or presenting our lessons using smart boards or power point software. The students are encouraged to use computers for activities and research which gives them motivation to achieve. • It is becoming move popular to get students to observe and evaluate lessons from their perspective. It gives them the skills to give both positive and negative feedback and allows them to see how an adult responds to feedback. • We meet the needs of our students by ensuring we differentiate between our students and incorporate activities in our lesson plans which cater for all types of learners in our class. In some cases we need to allocate targets for individual students to achieve. • When producing lesson plans I found it useful to refer to this circle of knowledge as it enables me to focus my aims and objectives to the students needs. When defining the “What I’m looking for” outcomes I find it helpful to use these beginning sentences to ensure that I don’t miss any group of students out:- o All must be able to … o Most should be able to … o Some will be able to …
  6. 6. Theme 4 - Resource for teaching and learning • Resources o Smart boards, white boards, Projectors, internet, Computers, scanners, printers, headphones, Software, animation, audio, weather stations o Teachers, students, books, videos, field trips, Activities, discussions, group work, pair work and peer to peer. o TeacherNet, WizKidz, BBC, Teachers TV, Teach-ICT, National Curriculum, DFES, Bitesize, aviary, go animate, TES connect, union web sites (NASUWT) etc. o The National Curriculum website: contains the framework for teaching ICT. It gives guidelines rather than specific course details. However, there are some sample units from the 2004 curriculum but the website is not very intuitive. o The DfES website contains the schemes of work for all subjects at KS1, KS2 and KS3. o The BECTA website has new information and ideas which teachers could use to deliver more effective lessons. It is very informative. o The TeacherNet website was developed by teachers so it has very practical guides to government policy sites. It is funded by the government and has good professional development career information. o TeachersTV is a television channel which seems to be on at odd hours, but gives advice and guidance to teachers from actual experiences. • Managing resources effectively o There are limited resources available on a class by class basis, they are controlled by one department and need to be allocated in advance. The ICT rooms are resources for other subjects and they need to be timetabled. o Teachers can evaluate web-sites which may be appropriate to the lessons and make use of their on-line resources, such as quizzes, mock exams by storing them on the VLE o Teachers should identify relevant resources for their lessons and incorporate them into their lesson plans. o They need to be used to enhance a topic and maintain student focus without distracting from the subject matter. o They could be used to capture the student’s imagination, with competitive quizzes or subject specific worksheets, in teams or groups. o Using exhibits and real life examples is good for kinaesthetic learners as well as the audio and animation software. • Evaluation of the effectiveness of resources o A consistent gauge of how effective resources are could be to identify if a students who would normally focus for 5 minutes has focused for longer. o If the whole class has managed to stay on task for the whole lesson then the resources were very effective.
  7. 7. Theme 5 - Teaching and Learning Strategies • learning theory o David Kolb’s learning style focused on the perception and processing of information. He defines Concrete experience (Feeling), Reflective observation (Watching), Abstract conceptualization (Thinking) and Active experimentation (Doing). o As Key Stage 3 teachers we can to give the students concrete experience by allow them to experience a new multimedia product, then asking them to evaluate it. We can then ask them to explain their observations by using them to design and develop their own multimedia product. • Individual and group working o In the beginning of a new subject it is important to establish the students’ prior knowledge which could be done with a whole group discussion, with open and closed questions and a spider gram acknowledging their answers. o It would be prudent to direct questions to individuals if they haven’t participated just to check their understanding of the subject. (formative assessment) o In order to maintain focus during a lesson the teacher might introduce activities which can be completed in a 10-15 minute time slot. This could be achieved by having groups of 4-5 students and having seven, ten minute activities which they rotate between. • Practical work o Practical work can be designed on the computer using specialist software, activity sheets can be produced, cards or games can be printed off. Students can do practical work either individually or in groups. These groups can be situated around one computer per group and the students can be given roles within the groups, such as group leader, designer, developer, tester and user. The groups can produce a presentation of their • Time management o The theory behind the question of more effective use of time is debateable. For example giving instructions to the whole class should be an effective use of time for a top set, however in a bottom set it isn’t as effective as the teacher will inevitably end up repeating these instructions on a one to one basis. • Questioning o Questions need to be both open and closed. Individual student answers will allow assessment of their understanding and probing questions to establish further knowledge and links. • Autonomous learning o It is becoming more popular within schools to expect the students to be responsible for their own learning. I experienced a parents evening with a 7 year old child chairing the meeting. The pupil was expected to show their good pieces of work and then explain their next set of personal targets, all within a short 10 minute period. Whilst it is important for students to take responsibility for their own learning, I think that we need to establish an age where teachers relinquish this responsibility. It has to be a team effort with both the teachers and students working collaboratively irrespective of their ages.
  8. 8. Theme 6 - Continuity and progression • ICT at Key Stage 1 and 2 o Primary Schools teach Key Stage 1 ICT by using the computer suites to type up a poem or a newspaper article. The emphasis is on ICT across the curriculum; they are learning the word processing software and how to use a computer along with the literacy curriculum. o Primary Schools progress to Key Stage 2 and the pupils are progressing much better than at first anticipated, so they are now teaching Key Stage 3 Year 7 work to Year 6 pupils in Primary Schools. • KS2 and KS3 National Curriculum ICT o The Key Stage 3 national curriculum is building on the foundation knowledge of Key Stage 2. The National Curriculum has an emphasis on the continuum from KS2 to KS3. It has five key concepts, Capability, Communication and collaboration, Exploring ideas and manipulating information, Impact of technology and Critical evaluation. o The students in KS2 and KS3 are utilising ICT to enhance their skills in word processing, spreadsheets, databases and on-line research. Their vocabulary is extended accordingly. • National Curriculum for ICT across KS3 and KS4 o The KS4 National Curriculum has the same five key concepts as KS3 but there is an expectation that the students have the KS3 prior knowledge and can therefore research, evaluate and justify their results and ideas. o Teachers and students are keen to explore new technology and the ICT curriculum allows curriculum leaders to incorporate a broader spectrum of tools. Schools are investigating the inclusion of game making software and project life cycle problems which are solved by working in team/groups into the KS4 curriculum. • Structure of examinations and qualifications from 14 and beyond o The 14-19 agenda is offering students different routes to successful employment depending on their learning styles and preferences. o It includes academic curriculum, vocational curriculum and work-based curriculum. o There is a mandatory foundation level which ensures that all students obtain the English Maths and ICT qualifications. The students can then chose between the GCSE and ‘A’ Level or Diploma or Apprenticeship routes. o Students can gain GCSE’s, ‘A’ Levels, Foundation Diploma, Higher Diploma, Advanced Diploma or Progression Diplomas • 14-19 agenda o The 14-19 agenda allows students to think about their short-term academic future from the beginning of Key Stage 4. It ensures that the functional skills are achieved no matter which route the students decide to take and it entitles students to apprenticeships if they are suitably qualified. Diplomas will be available to all students irrespective of their geographical location, due to partnerships / consortiums. The coursework will be replaced by ‘controlled assessment’
  9. 9. Theme 7 - Taking account of pupil differences • Identifying the needs of individual pupils o Pupils are all individuals and every child matters. This is why it imperative that we assess the needs of our students in our classroom. There are resources available for us to assess our students prior to meeting them, such as Individual Education Plans and the Special Education Co-ordinator. We can then incorporate any special needs into our lesson planning. o We need to ensure we conduct formative assessment of our students during our classes as well as more thorough summative assessments at the end of phases. Using questions and answer sessions is a good way of achieving formative assessment as long as we include all of the students. o Differentiation is achieved by firstly knowing what stage our students are at, whether they have any special needs and what type of learners they are. We can ensure we have activities in our lesson plans which cater for all types of learners in our class. We can also ensure that we explain the work at an easy to understand level and allow our gifted learners to have additional work to challenge them. o There are many studies which try to explain the gender gap between boys and girls and they incorporate ways in which we can improve the performance of boys in our classes. They suggest using a step-by-step guide, sing more visual resources, rewarding effort made in attention to detail and using challenging resources such as quizzes. o It is important for us to be inclusive with all of our students no matter what their ability, gender, race or social grouping. Using citizenship and PSHE studies to understand and embrace our differences would be beneficial to everyone. o The SEN Code of Practice has three different stages to it, these are 1. School Action –where the pupil has a special need which will require the curriculum to be adapted for them. This has just been renamed to Stage 1 2. School Action Plus – Where specialist’s become involved to advise teachers how to support the pupils. This has just been renamed to Stage 2 3. Statement. Where a statutory assessment is made for that pupil and they will have a teaching assistant for 25 hours a week supporting them. This has been renamed to Stage 3 o It is important that we maintain our formative assessments of all of the students as there achievements may vary depending on their home and social situations. The use of mentor groups is a more personal way to identify any problems that they may be experiencing and to offer advice and guidance if necessary. The identification of pupils who need support in our lessons could involve a number of people. If the class includes pupils who require learning support, we will need to identify how to ensure their inclusion. We need to identify their individual learning outcomes as a consequence of teaching and we need to brief the classroom support staff regarding our lesson plans.
  10. 10. Theme 8 Efficient and effective classroom management • Major challenges o There are a few challenges which effect classroom management such as available resources and the layout of the furniture and equipment in the classroom. • Motivation o The teaching staff can relate to the students by understanding their interests, such as playing computer games. They could use activities to draw out their interests and see how enthusiastic they are about their use of the internet. These interests could be included in their work, such as evaluating these web-sites or games machines, comparing them and identifying the best features from them to use in designing a new game/web-site to be agreed with the teacher. • Emotionally sound environment o An emotionally sound environment can be achieved by having a mutual respect for teachers and students. The students need to have teachers who they can talk to about problems as they occur which may effect their work or emotional well-being. If some relationships are volatile within the classroom then it is up to the teacher to ensure that an acceptable seating plan is in place. • Behaviour Management o In order to establish appropriate behaviour it may beneficial for some groups of students to have a preset seating plan which will enhance their learning experience. If the group works well in one lesson then this seating plan could become more fluid as a reward, until the behaviour is unacceptable, then it returns to the original plan. o In order to maintain appropriate behaviour it may be prudent to keep the students focused on their tasks. This can be achieved by introducing appropriate activities which can be completed in a 10-15 minute time slot. This could be achieved by dividing the students into groups of 4-5 and have 7 activities available which they spend 10 minutes at; then they are moved on to the next one. • Resources to stimulate learning o The resources available to the ICT staff are individual computers, smart boards, projectors, internet, audio, books, pens, paper, teachers and students. We also have resources to support the different types of learners, such as diagrams, images, text, bullet points, sound and vision. It is important that students don’t do all of their research on the internet and that they continue to do research using books and other sources of information. Getting students to work in groups of 2, 3, 4 and 5 is a valuable resource as they learn from each others experiences and prior knowledge. This works well as long as they are able to discuss their findings with the whole group to correct any misconceptions. • Other personnel o Learning support assistants (LSA) are utilised within the ICT sessions. They come in at the beginning of the session and discuss the content with the teacher. They are given a copy of the lesson plan so that they can assist their allocated pupils. They often have a remit of their own, as they are assigned to particular students who need their help, but it is important that they have an understanding of the topic being taught. Sometimes they require assistance during the session too.
  11. 11. Theme 9 Assessment, recording and reporting • Assessment and evaluation o The purpose of assessment and evaluation is to allow teachers to understand at what level the students are performing. It allows them to identify the student’s strengths and weaknesses and issue personal targets for achievements. They are also used to inform parents of the student’s progress. o Teachers use assessment to establish pupil’s prior knowledge. • National Curriculum level descriptions o The National Curriculum level descriptions can help to inform teachers planning, teaching and assessment at Key Stage 3. The teachers indicate expectations of students at particular levels as well as expected progression on the subject. They help teachers make judgements at the end of Key Stage 3 about a learners overall performance. My first placement school assesses each student each year; they are then grouped and streamed into sets. The students are placed into appropriate GCSE groups in Key Stage 4. • Assessment Methods o There are formative assessments which occur throughout a unit and summative assessments which are at the end. There is the formal method of assessment (exams) and the informal assessment (teacher observations). o Types of informal assessment methods are open and closed questions, quizzes, identifying prior knowledge and student’s presentations amongst others. o Formal assessments are usually written, such as tests, quiz or examinations. • Levelling o There are several levels of achievement that students can achieve from Level 1 to Level 8 and exceptional performance.  Key Stage 1 1 – 3 At age 7 average achieve level 2  Key Stage 2 2 – 5 At age 11 average achieve level 4  Key Stage 3 3 – 7 At age 14 average achieve level 5 o Assessing Pupils Progression (APP) National Strategies website. Identifying the above levels for individual pupils and guiding them to achieve the next level. • Assessment processes for National Curriculum, GCSE, A-Level, GNVQ and other external certification o There are four main examination boards AQA, Edexcel, OCR and BTEC at GCSE level. The assessment process depends upon whether the qualification is vocational or not. o GCSE – from June 2009 controlled assessment is being introduced as part of nearly all GCSE’s to replace coursework. Controlled assessment is coursework in a supervised environment. Students will be given work sheets which will aid with continuity and should improve reliability and validity. o A-Level – Edexcel provides delivery and assessment guidelines to be adhered to for their BTEC National qualifications. These are questions based upon tasks which need to be completed during the sessions.
  12. 12. o GNVQ – Is based on coursework where the individuals are committed to self-directed learning
  13. 13. Theme 10 Relationship between ICT and the broader curriculum • ICTAC o ICT is the use of technology for retrieving and storing information and communicating with one and other. As it is imperative that teachers communicate with their pupils, impart and extract information and knowledge with them; the use of information technology in this aspect should enable teachers to achieve this on a different level. It will allow them to integrate differentiation into their lesson plans more effectively as students can work at their own pace on the computers. It could resolve the problems with pupils who have writing or spelling difficulties, which could enable the teacher to spend more time on their subject area and less on the student’s literacy issues. o The use of the internet puts a virtual library at the students fingertips, although the actual books may not be completely available on-line it will give students the use of the facilities without having to lose time during the class with physical logistics of getting there and finding texts. It also allows the students to identify references online which may be inaccurate which will enhance their key-skills. o Students are more often than not using social networking sites on the internet which they are studying in the OCR Nationals. Their task is to evaluate these sites as well as other multi- media products, such as mobile phone, ipods and internet games. This also covers the PHSE curriculum and citizenship which allows them to discuss the issues surrounding this type of socialising and how to become a well-rounded member of the community, locally, regionally and nationally. Using comic software to allow students to depict stories of interest such as bullying, racism or global warming. o The use of the internet allows students and teachers to investigate career opportunities, work experience and placements. • ICT and curricular structures o ICT is the use of audio, electronic and computing devices which are all resources to be utilised within every subject area. Teaching staff can prepare lessons using software and display it using sound and vision to the students. The Students can prepare their research using computer software and then communicate it to the class using computing equipment. o They can use the computers for their research and group work and publish it on the internet if required. They can use the word processing software to prepare their reports and portfolios and print it out after spell checking it. o ICT can be used as a tool to support teachers to improve their lesson design and motivate pupils to learn more effectively. It can provide opportunities for pupils to learn in challenging ways. It allows the students to use a wide range of sources of information to support their ideas. ICT can support both individual and collaborative work; o ICT can be used as a tool to enable pupils to see patterns or behaviours more clearly and add reliability or accuracy to their work. It allows students to engage in whole-class discussion and consider issues raised by their observations within a wide range of contexts. It allows them to draft, plan and modify their work as well as refine and present their ideas more effectively.
  14. 14. Theme 11 Broader professional responsibilities • Professional responsibilities of all teachers o All teachers are required to be polite and respectful. They are role models for the students. They are expected to communicate with colleagues, identify, plan and deliver lessons. They have to establish procedures for monitoring and evaluating the progress of all learners. They have to ensure inclusion of all students in their lessons and provide good behaviour management. Teachers are responsible for the ensuring the well-being of students, themselves and their colleagues. o They are expected to contribute to fund raising activities for the school, as well as partake in field trips etc. o They all have to participate in play-ground duty once a week as well as Isolation duty • ICT teachers and extra-curricular activities o Most of the ICT teachers that I’ve met have come from other subject backgrounds, such as PE, humanities so they are keen to participate in sporting activities, school plays and field trips. They are keen to assist with after school clubs, for homework and computer clubs. o There are 3 ICT teachers going on a residential year 7 trip for 3 days which involves physical activities, such as abseiling, archery, dry slope skiing. o There are 2 ICT teachers helping out with the firework fund raising activity. They also assist with the audio • After school computing clubs, lunch time and break time computing clubs. o The ICT staff at my first placement have break and lunch time ICT clubs every day. o They have computer graphics and games clubs on a Wednesday after school. • Teachers and parents? o Teachers are polite and positive when communicating with parents; those teachers who have children appear to have more empathy with the parents. The communication depends on the school ethos. At my second placement parent communication is encouraged not ignored. I have seen a school advertise a Parent Voice as well as a Student Voice group. • Teacher governors o A school governor’s role is to support and challenge the school and the teacher governors bring the teachers’ wealth of experience to the governing body. They share in the governing body’s corporate responsibility for the school’s well-being to ensure the schools aims are achieved. They bring a professional perspective to the educational issues of concern to the governors.
  15. 15. Theme 12 Continuing professional development Professional key skills • Key Skills are Numeracy, Literacy, and ICT. This means being able to spell, read, write, do mental arithmetic, use computers for preparation, planning, research etc. • To achieve the PGCE students need to pass the TDA tests in Numeracy, Literacy and ICT. To achieve the Certificate in Education post-16 Education students need to pass level 3 Numeracy, Literacy and ICT. Support continuing professional development • Students will have a professional mentor during their training years that will assist with their target setting and achievements. As a teacher they will have a line manager who will conduct annual appraisals. Each teacher will also have observations and receive feedback throughout the year to identify strengths and weaknesses which need to be developed. CPD support • There are various events and publications arranged by BECTA to assist teachers develop their skills • BECTA has a website which offers support and guidance for teachers. • Unions websites have information for NQT, TeacherNet Career routes • ICT teachers can apply for jobs at secondary schools and progress into management, curriculum head, assistant head teacher, deputy head teacher, head teacher. With the new consortiums, there will be more managerial openings. Applications • Identify job specifications from first schools; ask about interview techniques used at these schools. • Explore the union web-sites who have information available for finding jobs. • Search job sites for available jobs such as o TES Connect, o HantsWeb, o Times o Guardian What is the nature of the NQT year? • To allow newly qualified teachers to find their feet, make their mistakes and become a truly reflective practitioner. • Give the NQT an academic year of teaching responsibilities with a 10% reduction of teaching time to incorporate the logistics of adhering to the next set of standards. • To support the NQT with an induction tutor who will review their progress and assist with their target planning and achievement and answer any questions they have. • Allow students to identify what area of expertise they wish to follow, ensure that observations are carried out to assist the NQT with their continual professional development and gain QTS (Qualified Teacher Status)