|ICT Training for Teachers|
|Module 3: Identifying and Evaluating the Use of Subject Specific ICT Resources|
Planning for ICT in the Curriculum
Planning for ICT in the curriculum should take place at whole school level and as well as plans for individual classroom activities. Schools should have a policy for planning which ensures that pupils' school experiences with ICT are planned to ensure continuity and progression. Schools may be using their own schemes of work, LEA schemes such as the Lewisham IT scheme published in the Lewisham "Planning for Learning" document published in 1996. Many schools are using and adapting the DfES Schemes of Work for Information Technology (DfEE, 1998). The de scheme provides a set of units together with guidance on sequencing the units to produce a coherent progressive curriculum. These are proving to be very helpful to teachers in planning ICT in the curriculum.
Schools will also need to ensure coverage of the National Curriculum. The strands in the new National Curriculum, the software requirements and how children might progress in their use of software have already been outlined in Module 2 and you may find it helpful to refer to this when you are planning activities.
When planning activities you will need to ensure that you build in opportunities to develop and extend pupils' learning. However, you will need to become familiar with the software, CD-ROMs or web sites you are intending to use so that you can identify how they can contribute to pupils' learning. You will, therefore, need to build in time to evaluate some ICT resources so that you are familiar with their strengths and weaknesses.
You will also need to find a way of identifying what pupils have learned. You may do this by observing pupils while they are using ICT. Guidelines for carrying out pupil observations are included in this module.
Evaluating ICT Resources
Before using an ICT resource you will need to try it out for yourself in order to see the strengths and weaknesses and identify how it might support your teaching aims. Below are some questions to help you.
- Do children find it easy to work out how to use it?
- Is it fairly self-explanatory?
- Is it easy to navigate - can children use it independently?
- Is it straightforward to enter data or instructions?
- Does it give feedback, if so what kind?
- Can you customise it to suit the needs of the children you are working with?
- Are there useful support materials which come with the package?
- Is the language and information suitable for the age range and special needs of the children you are working with?
- Is the content non-sexist? Are both girls and boys in active, positive roles? Is the subject interesting and motivating to both sexes? (this question shouldn't apply to generic software)
- Does it encourage cultural diversity?
- Is it relevant to your scheme of work?
- What links are offered to other sites? (web sites only)
Teaching and Learning
- How long will it retain children's attention, interest and motivation?
- Does it support a range of teaching and learning styles and models of classroom management?
- Does it encourage open or closed responses from pupils?
- Will it support the learning of less able pupils?
- Can it extend the learning of highly able pupils?
- Will it support and enhance teaching? In what way?
- Does it support the teaching of Literacy and Numeracy?
Examples of evaluations
Some of the recommended maths software, and science web sites identified in Module 2 have been evaluated below to give you some ideas about what you should be looking for when you evaluate an ICT resource. You may also want to have a look at the great many evaluations written up by teachers and others on-line. These are available on the Becta and BBC web sites listed below.
CD-ROM reviews www.becta.org.uk/information/cd-roms/ Becta Educational Software Database http://besd.becta.org.uk/ Web site evaluations on the BBC http://www.bbc.co.uk/webguide/ Teachers Evaluating Educational Multimedia http://www.teem.org.uk/
MicroWorlds MathsLinks Logo software can be used to support shape, space and measures in Mathematics. Creating and transforming shapes on paper is very difficult and Maths Links Logo helps children's understanding of geometrical shapes by offering the opportunity to explore tessellation, translation, rotation and reflection. It can help to further pupils' understanding and skills by providing accurate angles, shapes and measurements on screen. Using Maths Links Logo also gives practice in the estimation of measurements. Teachers can customise the software, through on screen buttons, to make it accessible for children with special educational needs and for very young children. The software has a wide range of built in activities to support mathematics and other areas of the curriculum such as art and music. There are very helpful support materials which give lots of ideas for teaching. The software can also be used to support Literacy as it requires children to speak, listen, make predictions, explore ideas and discuss problems.
Graphers software is a data-graphing tool which can be used to support the Numeracy Frameworks objectives for handling data across key stages one and two. It allows children to create pictorial data and then represent it on a table or six types of graphs - pictographs, bar graphs, circle graphs (pie charts), loops, grid plots and line graphs. The types of graphs available for different year groups can be selected in advance by the teacher. Different types of graphs can be created alongside each other using the same data to encourage pupils to discuss which is best for a particular set of data and the question they want to answer. Once the graphs are created the tool bar allows pupils to label the axes, and to represent blocks as percentages, fractions or decimals. The notebook encourages children to describe the data and record their conclusions. These entries can then be printed alongside the graphs for the children to produce reports. The notebook can also be used by teachers to provide instructions for pupils to follow, or questions to be answered.
A web site evaluation
|Key Stages||NC coverage||Topic|
|1 & 2||Science 2.1||Humans|
|Resources||Teacher's notes and worksheets that could be printed out.|
|Pupils could try out the virtual pond dip on this site. They can click on images of pond creatures on the screen to see further information about them. Pupils can also print out a passport to pondworld. The site also shows some fieldwork done by the pupils.|
|Tips on how to use this resource|
|This site can be linked with units 2B and 4B in the DfES Science scheme which are related to plants and animals in their habitat. Pupils can explore the site and print out information about some of the creatures. They could also use it as follow up to an activity on the school pond or wild life area.|
Use your Learn.co.uk Premium account name and password to find materials to use in your class. Evaluate these materials using the paper form in your pack or the web-based form which you can find by clicking here. The form will then be sent to the Talent staff.
Click here for Task 7