Primary Teaching.

I have been really inspired by my first few weeks of being a trainee teaching. The lectures have got me to do some further reading, and I have got some great idea from a book that I have been reading at the moment, entitled “Primary Schools and ICT – Learning from pupil perspectives”, by Neil Selwyn, John Potter and Sue Cranmer.  It talks about childrens thoughts on ICT, and not just about the thoughts of researchers and talks about both past and present technologies, and future ones. For example, there are people who are looking to create web 3.0 softwares and will probably be part of the education of the future. It also talks about how frustrating pupils and teachers find the use of ICT.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve had a go at QR codes, robots and making animations, which has taught me a lot about how ICT can make lessons ‘fun’ for children, and enrich and enhance their learning. But, learning needs to be more than just fun for children to learn. Learning need to be insperational and needs to be enhanced by the learners way of learning. For example, Guy Cluxtons research and research completed by Votsky and Piaget.

Making animation has been really fun, but challenging to, for both children when first learning how to animate, and for me becasue we’ve had to make our first lesson plan! We’ve had to choose an Indian Story, in which, Ive chosen one about Ganesh, the Indian God. We then have to get the children to think about the story, and seperate the story into the different parts, and get them to think about the beginning, middle and end of the story. We then have to get them to draw the storyboard and capture it using ‘I can animate’ software, and then make a movie out of it. I’m really unsure about doing this, although, it is my first lesson plan, and first experience of actually teaching, even though we are only doing this activity with a small number of children. I’m actually quite pleased that it is animation though, because I can confidently use the software, but still something might go wrong.

I had to come up with a lesson plan for the use of robots in teaching mathmatics, and this was actually more challanging than the animation lesson plan because you have to think more indepth on how the children are learning and picking up maths. It is a core subject, and there are a lot of negative thoughts surrounding it, as maths teachers have passed down through the generations, the opinion that maths is not easy, and their class isnt very good at it; this is passed more on to girls than boys, who favour maths and ICT subjects. So, how do you include everyone? With gender differences, as well as inclusion of SEN and Gifted and talanted and the issue of differeation.

In some schools, there are cultural differences, as well as, economic differences. Although, most schools are in a particular area are either poor or wealthy, and a predominant ethnicity of the pupils and parents. These aspects may affect the use of ICT, not only at home, but at school, and not only the use, but the software and hardware available to the pupils and teachers, and the communication that is available between home and school.

In some schools, there are Facebook pages, texting services, e-mail accounts, blogs and websites availble to parents to keep up with their childs education and to contact the school if there is a problem, or attendance issues, this can work from school to home as well. Some people argue that it is also advisable for teachers to set up a special, professional Facebook profile, to add the parents of pupils, to voice any concerns what-so-ever, and to arrange meetings etc. In my opinion these are good ideas, because the teacher or school can get in contact with the parent or parent can get in touch with the school, at any time of the day, and not during school hours.

Also, in some schools, pupils are allowed to use these technologies, alongside mobile phones, and internet enabled devices. Some argue that this shouldnt happen and schools should take these devices off them, but it is now hard to differentiate between the diffrent technologies, by saying what is and isnt acceptable. The problem is that technologies have integrated, so, many devices have cameras, have bluetooth and internet enabled, such as iPads, and members of staff, not only teachers, dont know what everything does. In my opinion, they cant stop children bringing certian devices in school, if they are unsure of all of its capabilities. Although, some would argue that, they should stop children bringing in these devices if they dont know what they do. But, doesn’t this suggest that staff, especially teachers, should have more of an education and training in technology, so they fully understand them? And can fully be able to teach technology? Because, in my opinion, most teachers cant do this today.

I believe that e-saftey can only be taught by wide discussion of it through knowlege from the school and parents. But I think, a responsibility of the school is to inform parents of the most up-to-date risks there are online, because I dont believe that parents are aware of e-saftey either. The only way the children can develop and learn e-saftey, is using the technology that is readily available at the time. Although, this could be to expensive, in my opinion because technology, and esaftey is rapidly changing, so having the up-to-date software and hardware and training for teachers, may not be the best way forward. There have been studies to show that students dont best learn through ICT, but there are more studies contridict this.

Id like to hear some peoples veiws on this, and other information that would be relevent 🙂