Categoryeducation

Re: The myth of the extraordinary teacher

R

Ever felt like teaching was an uphill struggle? So does everyone else, but impossible it's not - we just need to consider carefully our definitions of the word success. People who say it's impossible to be an extraordinary teacher are part of that uphill struggle, making goals seem more difficult to achieve, but it is possible.

What ICT can be

W

As part of a presentation at an SSAT seminar entitled 'How to make ICT the most popular subject in your school', here is my presentation - pushing ICT lessons beyond their original definition as we look at the history of war, from an ICT perspective.

ICT as the Muses’ birdcage

I

In the 4th century BC the Ptolemies of Alexandria began throwing money at the arts. They did not make the same distinctions between fields of study as we do today, and housed scholars from all disciplines together in the "Muses' birdcage," blurring the lines between otherwise disparate disciplines. I think this should be the role of ICT in the modern curriculum.

Designing a scheme of work

D

Aside from pontificating at the front of a classroom, hands down my favourite thing about teaching is developing schemes of work. I find there’s something extremely satisfying in developing a project that forms part of a larger whole, knowing its place within that whole, and knowing what else is needed in order to guarantee a good coverage of skills.

Assessing Pupil Progress

A

Assessing Pupil Progress was introduced in 2010 to supplement the level descriptors for ICT, and I like it. I'd never, ever print out A3 copies of the assessment criteria and give them to the kids, but as a tool for planning out a curriculum, APP is great.

Accessibility in e-learning

A

A recent US Department of Education report concluded that “on average, students in online learning conditions performed better than those receiving face-to-face instruction”. With the way current e-learning environments are set up, I don't see how... with usability barely registering in the mind of most course creators, students are left searching the labyrinthine maze of hyperlinks to find...

Engagement & ICT

E

We’re not in the ‘90s anymore, and sitting a kid in front of a computer generates little more excitement than sitting them in front of a toaster. In a society where computers are truly ubiquitous, they can’t be expected to be intrinsically exciting. How impressed would you be to find a TV in a classroom? What if I said it received Ceefax?

Key questioning: don’t skip steps

K

When I was training to teach, one of my tutors had a section on his lesson plan proforma entitled "vocab". At the time, I wondered what possible reason there would be to have a vocab section for an ICT lesson plan - the kids know the vocab, right?

Searching the web & information literacy

S

One of the big rubs in this brave new world of technology-assisted education is getting students to realise that not everything posted online is true. With young children, even getting them to realise that search engines don't actually provide you with information - rather, they link to websites that do - is very difficult.

Demystifying abstract terms

D

One of the problems with a subject like ICT is relating seemingly abstract terms. In a recent discussion about storage & computer memory, I found some of my Key Stage 3 students had little concept of the units of file size. After a little while we established that a kilobyte was bigger than a byte, a megabyte was bigger than a kilobyte, and a gigabyte was bigger than a megabyte, but that was...

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