Engagement & ICT


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?

Moral issues in ICT: handout resource


The social & moral implications of ICT are fascinating, yet I remember being taught about them when I was a student in a desperately dry, detached way. These handouts are designed to generate discussion - I'll be using them with my OCR Unit 8 groups, splitting in to groups of 3 for discussion, then opening the floor up to the class after they describe their scenario.

Key questioning: don’t skip steps


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?

Expectations & user interface design


The Human Oriented Technology Lab at Carleton University’s website reads “As technology becomes increasingly sophisticated and pervasive in people’s lives it is important to foster research and innovation that remains closely linked with the needs, wants and capabilities of people.” Sure, but whose needs, wants and capabilities were taken in to account before now? For decades, gadgets...

Searching the web & information literacy


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


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...

Pupil speak level descriptors


The requests for ICT level descriptors in pupil speak continue to pile up on the TES forums, so I thought I'd make mine available for download. Personally, I think they make a lot of sense, and cover the array of ICT skills we ought to be covering in high schools very well, but at first glance seem inaccessible, particularly for assessing pupil progress.

Resources: lesson plan proforma & Bloom’s taxonomy for ICT


I posted these a while ago on Twitter, but I think they deserve a repost. During my training year, I saw lesson plans as a hurdle to jump before teaching a lesson, but over the course of this year I’ve come to appreciate the value of an in-depth lesson plan. I put together a new proforma for our department earlier in the year, and it helps me form my thoughts when approaching a new subject...

On the Rose reforms, and kicking up a stink


I was interviewed by a freelance journalist for a TES article recently, and was told that our LA ICT advisor was unhappy with the comment I gave on the Rose reforms. “Good ICT is very difficult to teach, and rarely gets beyond skills building, or ‘trivial pursuits’ in primary schools,” I said, annoying primary ICT coordinators everywhere with my sweeping generalisation. “Teaching students to...

Why so slow, Joe?


I’m a pretty technologically savvy guy. I teach ICT (which is no measure in itself, though in fairness I only qualified last year), I’m reasonably good at using well over half of the Adobe Creative Suite products, have been able to HTML code since that’s all there was, can get by with PHP, and have been known to play World of Warcraft. I don’t really know why I’m...

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