Archive for the ‘My Vision Statement’


My Vision Statement

My personal philosophy for the use of digital technologies in Early Years and Key Stage 1 settings.

 

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As we now embark upon a change in direction for teaching ICT in the form of Computing (2013) curriculum, I see opportunities to create really exciting, engaging and collaborative ways of teaching and learning for all children. I envisage a classroom where children have ready access to a range of computing resources which include, internet, iPads/tablets, visualisers, voice recording devices (digital microphones/dictaphones), cameras for stills as well as video, programmable robotic devices (roamer, beebot, big trak) to name a few. I envisage a seamless interaction of learning across all curriculum areas interlinked with computing resources. Technology will be embedded in all subject areas, and children of all abilities including those with SEND/EAL will have the skills and knowledge make their learning much more interactive and collaborative, for example, a story will be written directly online, edited, pictures and sounds added for effect and then, not just published, but a copy purchased as well (www.storyjumper.com). In a typical Key Stage 1 classroom, I would expect to see a group of children working together using cameras to take photos (and writing captions), another group may be using a digital microscope to look at hands, skin etc. and another group talking about the parts of the body, filming  and presenting a video report. Children will have regular opportunities to contribute to the school website, including being able to blog within the school community  also the wider (global) one. It is this ‘Digital Literacy’ that we will become accustomed to.

I envisage children in KS2 having their own iPads which they will use in the classroom and beyond to enhance their learning across all areas of the curriculum. Children will have the capability to be able to find out information using technology independently, be motivated (by the technology), be reflective and respond to problems by being creative, thus enrich their learning by taking ownership. This certainly gives learning more context and meaningful to the learners.

Traditionally, children are being taught ICT skills in their own right, in the form of learning how to use particular programs or software, like developing keyboard skills using word-processor software or mouse skills via drawing software (Reception/Year 1). Whilst these skills are still regarded as important, the new Computing (2013) curriculum goes beyond being the end user of a software program, but rather, the actual program/App creators. The role of the teacher will change from a traditional ‘dispenser of all knowledge’ to one that channels learning by presenting open, collaborative and challenging tasks that require deeper, meaningful learning, one where independence is promoted.

In fact, the new Computing  curriculum aims to ensure that pupils become digitally literate, which means they will have the transferable skills to apply to a variety of platforms to express their ideas, communicate with others (globally) and find solutions to problems. Hence, securing a place in the ever- increasing digital workplace. Specifically, the National Curriculum (2013) stipulate that all pupils:

  • can understand and apply the fundamental principles and concepts of computer science, including abstraction, logic, algorithms and data representation
  • can analyse problems in computational terms, and have repeated practical experience of writing computer programs in order to solve such problems
  • can evaluate and apply information technology, including new or unfamiliar technologies, analytically to solve problems
  • are responsible, competent, confident and creative users of information and communication technology.

 

In order to achieve these higher goals, educators will ‘need to bear in mind the twin goals of learning through technology and learning how to use technology’ (Caldwell, H and Honeyford, G (2014 p.46). In fact, the challenges of resourcing and teacher training, particularly existing members of staff (or long established teachers) will need to be addressed as a matter of urgency, in my opinion. Observations on all school placements so far, suggests, that more will need to be done in order to fully realise the aspirations of the new curriculum. This may, for some schools, have resource implications.

However, I am confident because I have observed children beginning to learn programming using Scratch in some schools already and this presents a really interesting, engaging and creative way of getting children to code and think logically and methodically. Children learn in school and then continue at home, thus becoming active learners. In fact it is this ‘extended learning time’ that is referred to in NAACE (2014), where children continue and develop learning at home on their iPad/tablets/lab tops etc.

In terms of planning, a head start has already been made in this regard by Somerset in conjunction with e-learning & information management (see Computing Curriculum Planning) for a range of detailed, extensive plans for Reception through to Year 6.

As children become increasingly confident at using a variety of devices on a variety of platforms, they will develop a high level of Digital Wisdom, defined as  ‘the ability of to make considered, conscious decisions about the use of technology inside and outside school or a working environment’  (Caldwell, H and Honeyford, G ,2014, p.47). Thus, in order to safeguard children, they must also be equally equipped with the skills to make decisions about e-safety. With the development of the use of mobile technology and accessibility, children must be made aware of e-safety as part of the wider curriculum, as Audain, J (2014, p.11) states that children should be able to:

  • be aware of the danger on the internet in the same way as stranger danger
  • know how to set a strong password
  • know who to tell when they come across situations or web content that makes them feel uneasy
  • know how to comment on a blog post in a positive and constructive way

It will be my role to ensure that children know and understand the importance of E-Safety as recommended by Ofsted (2012) who state that practitioners need to ‘continue to make e-safety a priority in the curriculum, in staff training and in support for parents’ (E2BN, 2008).

……My final thoughts for my vision statement is that ‘ICT is an integral part of the modern curriculum’ (Hayes, 2012, p.172) and that it is a key skill which we need to embrace, educate and equip our ‘future generations to think about our ever evolving world in new ways’ (Crow, D, 2014).

 

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I do hope you have enjoyed reading my blogs. My subject knowledge of ICT has grown immensely as has my confidence. As an Early Years I feel enthused and well equipped to go into my future practice and put into place all of the apps, software and webtools  I have explored and incorporating them into the classroom to enhance and support children’s learning across all curriculum areas.

Thank you for reading.

 

References

Audain, J. (2014) Planning your provision. In: Audain, J. (ed.) The Ultimate Guide to Using ICT Across the Curriculum. London: Bloomsbury Education . p.1-28.

Caldwell, H and Honeyford, G. (2014) Computing And Digital Literacy. In: Dawes, L and Smith, P. (ed.) Subject Teaching in Primary Education. London: Sage Publications Ltd. p.43-64.

Crow, D. (2014). Why every child should learn to code. Source [online]. Available from: http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/feb/07/year-of-code-dan-crow-songkick [Accessed 2nd Nov 2014].

Department for Education (2013) Computing programmes of study: key stages 1 and 2. Source [online]. Available from:  https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/239033/PRIMARY_national_curriculum _-_  Computing.pdf [Accessed 30th Oct 2014].

Hayes, D. (2012) The Curriculum. In: Hayes, D. (ed.) Foundations of Primary Teaching. 5th ed. Abingdon: David Fulton Publishers. p.163- 177.

https://slp.somerset.gov.uk/cypd/elim/somersetict/Site%20Pages/Progressions%20main%20page.aspx

http://www.e2bn.org/esafety/399/e-safety-and-ofsted.html

Unknown. (2014) The value added to teaching and learning by ICT. Source [online].  Available from: http://www.naace.co.uk/ [Accessed 3rd Nov 2014].

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