My Vision Statement

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Posted by MacKinnon | Posted in ICT, teacher | Posted on November 23, 2012

My personal development of my knowledge and understanding in Information Communications Technology (ICT) has certainly improved as a student during teacher training.
Things have changed in ICT for children. When I was a child and the only computer programme commonly used by children was paint on a Windows ’97. Since then the market for children’s computer software has exploded. Between in school software and online games there are so many different types of software aimed at and accessible to children.This course has taught me how to use and teach these programmes confidently, but also to make me aware of avenues to find out about current developments in children’s ICT.

Naace is the ICT association, who have developed their own ICT curriculum proposal to give advice to other educators on developing their own schemes for use in schools until the National Curriculum is released. They have an easily accessible Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) key stage 1 and 2 pdf document. The Naace framework is split into four areas; digital literacy, skills, technical understanding and technology in the world. The focus is on progression between the key stages, with digital; life, skills and technologies at the core. The framework is based around giving children the skills and understanding of technology and the ability to relate this to their own lives.

The skills defined by the framework include; programming, modelling, presenting, communicating and understanding how technology has evolved. These basic skills are similar to those mentioned in the current National Curriculum (1999) which included; sharing information, using a variety of tools and organising their work efficiently.

Within technical understanding lies computer science. Within the framework we are being instructed to teach children how to programme and code. This development, starting during the EYFS builds onto children designing and developing their own pieces of software, exploring ‘what will happen if’ and understanding why a computer works in the way it does.

Payton and Hague (2010) give a description of digital literacy in that it involves engaging, communicating and representing but also understanding the challenges that come from the technology but also the cultural and social context that it is released into.  Digital literacy involves developing a wealth of skills and building upon these from the EYFS all the way through life. The involvement of digital literacy in everyday life means that is not only relevant during ICT lessons but across the whole school curriculum. With popular culture being so based around digital literacy (for example, mobile phones or social networking) it is important that children know how to interpret the information and are aware of how to stay safe. Digital literacy involves being creative in interpreting online texts, taking into account why, when and who they were written for and sharing these viewpoints with others.

Current technology should not be confined to the allocated ICT slot on the timetable, there are a wealth of resources and technologies that would be wasted if not brought into any lessons where they are relevant. All subjects within the national curriculum should have links to ICT. Even within the current National Curriculum (QCDA, 1999) there is talk of integrating ICT into other subjects, since 1999 the resources in which we as teachers can do this have developed greatly. For example in mathematics there are school specific softwares or free online teaching resources.
This does not mean that teachers can rely on technology to teach for them. There are many ways in which literacy can be facilitated by the use of ICT, for example in phonics games, storytelling and presenting their speaking and listening work. Zain (1994_ however reminds us that it is “teachers knowledge of literacy and pedagogy will drive the electronic writing tools. Good teaching is the most powerful program we can run”.
We can look at the use of ICT as building bridges, if a school sets up a virtual learning environment (VLE) parents, carers, teachers and school staff can admire and aid to the work that is being done within the classroom. Downes (2002) describes strengthening home and school links in this way as a way of “deepening a students learning with ICT”. 

As teachers who are preaching the use of ICT it is important that we don’t forget how much of an invaluable resource it is to us. We must remember that it can be used to aid planning, through use of online teacher programmes Dore (2002) discusses the posititve effect that use of teaching forums has, by giving teachers a chance to share experiences and advice to other educators. The use of technology for us as teachers to extract information for our own pedagogical knowledge is vital, to ensure that we are comfortable and familiar with programmes that we will be using within lessons. We must be digitally literate ourselves, able to solve problems in classrooms, overcome misconceptions either online or offline.

In my opinion with the continual fast paced development of ICT, one of the most important things that educators can do is keep children up to date with current technologies. Giving children a basic understanding of how to stay safe online, both at school and at home should be high on the agenda, encouraging digital citizenship in this online age. At primary level ICT should involve teaching a skill set that means when it comes to computing they will have the set up to continually develop these skills in further key stages and later life. If we as teachers take involved interest and opportunities to explore new technologies and share this passion and knowledge with our classes we will be able to motive and inspire the future generation.

 

Hague, C. Payton, S . (2010). Futurelab. Available: http://www2.futurelab.org.uk/resources/documents/handbooks/digital_literacy.pdf. Last accessed 21/11/12.

Department for Education. (1999). Information Communications Technology National Curriculum . Available: http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/teachingandlearning/curriculum/primary/b00199028/ict. Last accessed 20/11/12.

Downes, T. (2002). Perceptions of how ICT has the potential to influence children beyond the curriculum: home/school/community. In: Loveless, A. Dore, B ICT in the Primary School. Buckingham: Open University Press. 23-27.

NAACE (2012) ICT Programme of Study Consultation [online]. Available from: http://www.naace.co.uk/naacecurriculum/programmeofstudyconsultation [Accessed on 21/11/12].

Zeni, J. (1994) Literacy, technology and teacher education, in C. Selfe and S. Hilligoss (eds) Literacy and computers: The complications of teaching and learning with technology. New York: The Modern Language Association of America.

 

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