My first blog post!

I’m a trainee teacher at Plymouth University and specalise in ICT. Its been an amazing experience so far, even though I havent experienced all of university life because I still live at home with my mum! But I didnt want to move to far away from my boyfriend, or my football team Plymouth Argyle Football Club!

Ive been to watch Argyle since I was twelve, and go with my mum and gran. We’ve always sat in the Mayflower stand, and have made some really good friends around where we sit, which adds to experience of going. Argyle has been in trouble so far, with money and with going down two leagues! Hopefully, it will look up from now!

I have met some really nice people, and hopefully made some really good friends, who I’m going to enjoy the next four years with. I’m glad I chose my ICT specalism, we get to learn new things that I’ve never done before, like programming Robots! I have studied three subjects so far: English, ICT and Educational and Proffessional studies. I cant wait until I start some other subjects, such as Science, next term.Its defently not what I expected it would be, I thought that I wouldnt enjoy it as much as I do, because I didnt like Primary School, and I didnt like Secondary School, until I got to Sixth form. I like the whole attitude at Plymouth University, and I think I made the right choice!

I chose to do ICT as my specalism because it is a cross-curricular subject that would link in with all the other subjects. I thought it may be a challenge to teach it, and a challange for me to get my head around the new technology which is a good thing. I dont think the importance of ICT is shown enough in Primary Schools because the schools dont seem to have the knowlege and understanding of it. By this I mean the headteachers, who are incharge of the budget, and the teachers, who dont know enough about ICT personally or professionally. If they dont know enough to teach it – how are the children going to be able to learn it? ICT doesnt even have to be expensive! More expensive devices in ICT, can always be substituted for less expensive devices, but schools can afford ICT resources, if they research for the best available stuff. They are only able to learn the things that they use at home, e.g. mobile phones, the interent etc – which is self-motivated.

I think that ICT lessons in ICT suites should be no more, especially if taught in rows because children get bored of the same old thing! Also, theres not enough time, discussion, interactivity, knowlege or understanding in the ICT lessons that are compulsary in the National Curriculum. I believe that the classroom should be the place for learning ICT is in the classroom, because you can have one group of 3/4 children on the interactivity using a peice of software or learning a subject cross-curriculurly; you could have another group using an iPad to create a music peice (for example); another group making an animation on a desktop; a group making a video, with a camera; and the list could go on! Then you could put all this together as one project and show it as part of an assembly or as part of a parents evening. How amazing is that? There are so many opportunities. And that is a reason why I chose ICT. To add to this at a parents evening or assembly you could have a text in, or vote on key pads to see what people thought of the project; which would encourage peer feedback and improve confidence and self-motivation.

I think a key thing that I have learnt about in the University of Plymouth so far, is how strict schools are with new technology because of their lack of knowlge. There is schools, i’m sure, that have greatly improved because they have embrased new, and innovating technologies. But questions should be asked like: is this the right thing to do? Should facebook, emails, phones etc should be allowed in schools? And should the government be making it compolsary in their revision of the National Curriculum in 2012 to make new technology use in schools compulsary? It develops a home-school communication system. Parents can text, Facebook or tweet in to say that  their child cant be in, is going to be late etc. Children will be expected to use new technologies in secondary school and even in jobs and university to help their learning and work! And if they cant afford it at home, or parents at home dont have the knowlege, which I know my mum doesnt have the knowlege, where are they going to get the knowlege from?

I believe that there is not a problem with e-saftey within schools if the teachers make children aware of it in all Key Stages, both in Primary and Secondary. Aswell, the more use you have of techonology, and the more education you have in it, the more likely you are to be e-safe. I believe that it parents have talks about e-saftey aswell to ensure e-saftey at home, aswell as at school. Schools, in my opinon, seem to ignore e-saftey, as if it is a ‘taboo’ subject and not to be talked about. More information means more knowlege, more knowlege means more understanding and more understanding means more safety, in my opinon!

If children were motivated to use ICT accross the curriculum then they could achieve better  accross maths, science and English especially. ICT also brings fun to learning, which will encourage children to develop their strengths and weaknesses and shows children that they can do and learn things if they try. It increases self-motivation and confidence. And that’s what I like about ICT in Education.

I think I wanted to be a Primary School teacher because I wanted to help children, because I always struggled a bit in Primary School and teachers were not very supportive. It inspired me to go on to help other children learn, and not be afraid to come up to me for extra support. I think this will be a good feeling to have, and I know it has been when I did my work experience. I choose teaching as well because there is so many chances to inspire, motivate, help, and support children; especially children who struggle, or dont have very good home enviroments. I think its amazing that I could inspire children who, dont have the adult interaction at home, who dont get help with reading, writing, maths, language and speech etc. That is so powerful!

I completed my work experience for the course at a school in Plymouth; this convinced me that this career path was right for me. I was in one class for the whole time, but did school trips with other classes, which was a fantastic experience to have.