Vision Statement

November 7, 2014 | Leave a Comment

vision

 “Children today are proclaimed to be the first truly digital generation; a generation that appears to have everything at its fingertips” (Kenyon, 2012). 

Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is a fundamental part to the ever growing society we live in, and can be seen as an ‘integral and accepted part of everyday life’ (NCCA 2008).  This reflects how important technology is for children’s education, inevitably starting in the Early Years. The children of today are growing up in a society which is full of technology everywhere we look, enriching and enhancing their learning. The report published in 2009 by Ofsted, emphasizing the importance of ICT, suggested that teachers should reinforce the importance of ICT and appreciate it as not only a subject itself but also embedded across the curriculum (Ofsted, 2009). I agree with this, as a teacher I feel it is important that ICT is embedded within the curriculum, as personally I feel it can be used to enhance the learning of children in many different ways. As there are many forms of technology it does not only have to be a computer or iPad that can be used.

Now the shift in the curriculum has taken place and children are being taught the abstractness of ‘Computing’, with the focus being on computer science; children are being taught ‘the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work and how to put this knowledge to use through programming’ (DfE 2013). It is important that children are taught the basics of computing, developing their computational thinking. As well as allowing them to become digitally literate to ensure they are able to adapt to 21st century thinking. With plenty of research  carried out to ensure my personal subject knowledge is sound enough I feel I am going to be able to teach children the new elements of technology, throughout the curriculum and within the computing subject itself.Through technology the curriculum and learning as a whole can be seen to be more inclusive. This can be seen through the vast amount of apps and websites that can be used within the classroom to allow those who are impaired to be included in the learning. It can also be seen through the use of switches which can be attached to both computers and tablets to allow those children who have a difficulty with their fine motor skills, to be able to access the games and software which are available.

Teachers today are seen to be teaching children for jobs which have not yet been created (Fisch et al. 2008). Therefore it is important that they are equipped to deal with this. Digital Literacy is defined as;  ‘the capabilities which fit someone for living, learning and working in a digital society’ (Jisc 2014) and can be seen to be have grown in importance within the classroom. As Surman (2013) encompasses the idea that digital literacy is just as important as reading and writing, showing that it is a ‘step in the right direction’ as many future jobs place a high importance on digital literacy; informing the idea that this is a vital subject which teachers need to consider. I feel that this has a strong value within the classroom and my classroom will reflect this through embedding technology within it, showing the value of computing both on and offline. As Ivy (2011) shows that as a wide variety of adaptable resources are available it is seen that it can be easy to link this through different threads of learning.

When using ICT in the classroom it can be seen to increase the motivation to learning, as Passey et al. (2004) share findings of the fact that there was more positive motivation to learn when ICT was being used for both the teaching and learning within the classroom. This is shown especially within the Early Years, where children are constantly using ICT within their free-flow play; both with computers, iPads, interactive whiteboards and many more technological devices, being readily resourced with apps and software. This allows the development of collaborative learning and independence. Technology also allows children to understand that it is not just the teacher that can be the main source of knowledge (Caldwell 2014). But they can use a wide range of resources to allow them to access and find out new information for themselves. This can be done through using the internet and accessing different websites like infant encyclopaedia, and purple mash.

As these websites are aimed at children they are seen as safe for them to use. E-safety is of the utmost importance when using technology with children. It is vitally important that they learn how to use technology safely and ensure that they know they can talk to someone if they ever have a problem on the internet. It is important to teach children not to share personal information online and to teach them that some things they need to keep to themselves. To help me teach E-safety I would use such tools as Hector the dolphin safety button which allows children to close a screen which makes them feel uncomfortable. This is available on the thinkuknow website, which has many other resources to help teach e-safety. With the ever growing society of technology it is important for children to learn how to be safe when using all types of technology, especially mobile phones, and not just the internet.

Through the use of technology information can be shared much easier than in the past. It can be seen as a way of including parents in the school community, as well as sharing children’s work, thoughts and ideas. This can be carried out through sources such as blogs and community pages, which allow information to be shared quickly and easily. It can be seen that many schools use blogging as a tool to keep up-to-date with the learning of the children and to allow parents to be involved in this, through being able to comment on the blog posts. Although I have not seen this carried out in a school, I feel it is something which I will consider using, through starting a class blog when I start teaching next year as I feel it is an exciting and engaging way of sharing information.

To conclude, technology can be seen an a part of everyday life and can not be ignored or overlooked. It is important to reflect this within the learning environment to ensure that children are able to adapt and cope with the ever changing world around them. Children need to be taught how to be skilled and competent in using technology, and as a teacher it is vitally important that I am able to equip children with the knowledge and skills then need to do this. However it should be noted that technology should not take over completely, and children should still learn the basic components of reading a book and writing with pen and paper.Throughout my three years at University I have been able to develop a vast amount of ideas and resources which I am able to take forward to my teaching career. I feel confident in using these to teach with and about technology.

Reference List

Caldwell, H. (2014) Why teach computing? [online]. Prezi. Available from: http://prezi.com/-x2be-ikl2sc/why-teach-computing/ [Accessed: 31/10/14].

Department for Education. (2013) The 2014 Primary National Curriculum In England. No place: Shurville Publishing.

Fisch, K., McLeod, S., Brenman, J. and Sony BMG. (2008) Shift happens. YouTube. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emx92kBKads. [Last accessed 6.11.14.]

Ivy, R. (2011) New Technologies in the primary classroom. In: Georgeson, J., Moyles, J. and Payler, J. (eds.) Beginning Teaching Beginning Learning: In Early Years and Primary Education. Fourth Edition. Maidenhead: Open University Press. pp. 168-176.

Jisc. (2014) Developing Students Digital Literacy. [online] Available from: http://www.jisc.ac.uk/guides/developing-students-digital-literacy [Last accessed: 06/11/14].

Kenyon, T. (2012) Digital literacy must become an essential part of the ICT curriculum. The Guardian [online]. Available from: http://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/teacher-blog/2012/nov/15/digital-literacy-curriculum-future-skills. [Last accessed 6.11.14].

NCCA (2008) ICT (Information and Communications Technology). Dublin: online. Availabe from: http://www.ncca.ie/en/Curriculum_and_Assessment/ICT/ [last accessed 6/11/2014]

Ofsted. (2009) The Importance of ICT. London: Ofsted.

Passey, D., Rogers, C., Machell, J., and McHugh, G. (2004). The motivational effect of ICT on pupils. Nottingham: Department for Education and Skills.

Surman, M. (2013) Cited in: Gurney-Read,J. (2013) Digital literacy ‘as important as reading and writing’. [online] Telegraph. Available from: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationopinion/10436444/Digital-literacy-as-important-as-reading-and-writing.html [Last accessed: 06/11/14].



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