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Cross Curricular ICT: The Future?

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by cityfree, Feb 7, 2012.

  1. cityfree

    cityfree New commenter

    Evening all,

    Currently, the ICT co-ordinator and I are looking at the ICT curriculum of now and the future. We are a mac based school.

    My questions to you all, whether in the UK or overseas, are:

    What sort of programmes do you use at the moment, both in ICT lessons and across the curriculum, would you recommend to other schools/never want to do without?

    Where do you see ICT going in the future?

    Which areas would you like to develop the use of ICT in the many different forms?

    What mobile technologies do you use (iPads etc) and how do you work out the logistics (updating, planning etc)?

    Anything else you want to mention?

    We are involved with ICT networks here in Beijing and have lots of ideas. I would like to find out what other people are doing that we may not have heard of and I also felt it would be an interesting topic to discuss. I'm also sure it produce the odd rant about things you hate. Feel free.

    Happy Tuesday,
    CF

    P.S. Using Safari so sorry about lack of paragraphs.
     
  2. cityfree

    cityfree New commenter

    Evening all,

    Currently, the ICT co-ordinator and I are looking at the ICT curriculum of now and the future. We are a mac based school.

    My questions to you all, whether in the UK or overseas, are:

    What sort of programmes do you use at the moment, both in ICT lessons and across the curriculum, would you recommend to other schools/never want to do without?

    Where do you see ICT going in the future?

    Which areas would you like to develop the use of ICT in the many different forms?

    What mobile technologies do you use (iPads etc) and how do you work out the logistics (updating, planning etc)?

    Anything else you want to mention?

    We are involved with ICT networks here in Beijing and have lots of ideas. I would like to find out what other people are doing that we may not have heard of and I also felt it would be an interesting topic to discuss. I'm also sure it produce the odd rant about things you hate. Feel free.

    Happy Tuesday,
    CF

    P.S. Using Safari so sorry about lack of paragraphs.
     
  3. serverservant

    serverservant New commenter

    Hi Cityfree

    I think its VERY important to distinguish between ICT and Computing before getting into this. ICT as a cross-curricular thing is growing in popularity as is the concept of digital literacy for KS 2 and early KS3.

    However, while ICT is normally seen as "Office Studies" plus a few add ons, most of which may be able to be taught by non specialists across subject areas, the more advanced topics: Adv Databases, Robotics, Programming, Networking etc cannot and should not be taught by anything other than a specialist. Hence the whole Gove report thing in the UK now looking at veering towards Computer Science.

    So how do I see the subject evolving? I see it becoming (and I wholeheartedly welcome it) a much more technical subject, that looks not just at how to use it, but how it works, why it works and becomes more hands on.

    Its happening now. Robotics and Coding competitions are springing up.

    I think ICT is a facilitator of learning in any subject, where IT/Comp Sci is the study of computers. I worry that schools would go ICT accross the curriculum and not have any specialist teaching at all. Thats a disaster waiting to happen.

    If I may, the comment about being a Mac school is interesting to pick up on. Id say we should all be cross-platform schools e.g exposing our students to Mac, Windows and (often forgotten but growing) Linux. This doesnt mean buying 3 times the computers, there are other ways to facilitate that. Consequently our IT infrastrastructure in our schools needs to support that cross-platform basis.

    I use linux at home, windows in the classroom and do project work with kids on a Mac. Any system I may need should work on all three.
     
  4. Busstopjen

    Busstopjen New commenter

    I don't teach 'ICT' but in my lessons, I have students use a variety of web2 tool- mainly, Moodle, Wikispaces, Google docs, Go animate, Prezi and You tube. I tried Twitter in class (eg: summarize Darwin's theory of evolution in one Tweet)

    About half of my students now prefer to do all of their notes on their laptops which is fine with me and I think we're moving more and more towards all of the students working that way. They even download their textbooks now rather than carrying the hard copy!
     
  5. cityfree

    cityfree New commenter

    Our Mac systems are dual boot, so if we need to we can use PC systems. I have a feeling Linux comes in somewhere in the senior school.

    I agree with your point about ICT being a technical subject. There should be some programming and the use of 'Computer Science' within schools. You can now use simple programming tools to make games. The children should be looking at user interfacing with this. Although I think that there needs to be a focus on the skills that come with ICT (word-processing etc), I feel the units many schools use are out of date. When they were written, children needed to learn these things. Now they either already know it or can pick it up in two or three lessons rather than 6 or 7! I think agree that we should be looking at Computer Science as the technical side and also ensuring that we embrace ICT tools (digital media such as voice thread, sound cloud, iMovie etc) in the different areas of the curriculum. It should enhance the curriculum where it can make it better. Consider new media such as blogging. Where does this fit into any literacy units? I feel the curriculum needs a shake up across the board in regards to ICT.
     
  6. I like these ideas Busstopjen, I have come to really rely on Moodle for a lot of my classes. Since you are in China and I guess half of your students have ipads I would say ibook author2 should change a lot of things. Getting textbooks is difficult enough here and getting books that fit the 'international' curriculum even more so.
    The free author2 software allows teachers to create their own interactive textbooks and turn them into ibooks for ipads (or pdfs without the interactive function). Think a Moodle/Wiki packed in a few pages with an attractive layout, slideshows and videos.
     
  7. cityfree

    cityfree New commenter

    I'm considering using iBooks Author with literacy to provide the children with authentic audiences. I need to look into it a bit more but for me it is all about creating a reason to write, rather than: my teacher told me I have to.
     
  8. ICT is the gate way to development in any country
     
  9. moscowbore

    moscowbore Star commenter

    I would definitely challenge the assertion that non-specialists can teach MS Office. I am no lover of ICT but I have seen terrible Powerpoints and spreadsheets from non-ICT teachers which make my eyes water.I teach ICT to students from year 1 to year 13 and I honestly believe that asking a science teacher to teach spreadsheets so that a class can analyse results would be a disaster. Having said that, I would happily replace ICT with Computing at KS4 tomorrow. I would teach MS Office skills in KS3. I would also ban any form of Apple computer product from all schools as they are a waste of money.
     
  10. squeakyhaggis

    squeakyhaggis New commenter

    HTML tags will fix it



    Hopefully
     
  11. pgrass

    pgrass New commenter

    It depends on the teacher. I taught my students to be able to setup and conduct interactive physics experiments in Excel. For example, they investigated the effect air resistance has on the trajectory of a golf ball, the occurance of rogue waves, how probability determines radioactive decay etc. etc.
    The ICT teachers in my school have no clue when it comes to advanced (or simple) conditional logic, relative and absolute references, adding and using buttons etc. in Excel. I was also shocked when they said they have never programmed anything.
    It is usually the competent mathematics teachers who teach the useful ICT stuff - advanced use of Excel, advanced use of Sketchup, computer programming etc.
     
  12. Regardless of the skills of the non-specialist teacher? Are you suggesting that just because someone is a science teacher they don't then have any specialist ICT skills. I know several physics teachers, all of whom usedspreadsheets to aid them in running multi-million pound projects before they became teachers. Interesting you think you know more than them about using spreadsheets.
     
  13. willow78

    willow78 Occasional commenter

    Interesting debate and I agree with the above,some non teachers at my school are very good at Microsoft Office and could easily teach to at least GCSE level, it tends to be one specialist area though, such as Excel or Access.
    The biggest thing at the moment is the use of mobile devices in the classroom, I have been to a few meetings with other International schools in Bangkok to see how they use mobile learning in the classroom.
    I also think see the benefits of mobile Apple products in the classroom and the use of Macs in Music and DT.
    The school i am currently at is a bit behind on some of the things mentioned, so am glad that i am moving on next year and this school has put me behind a couple of years, if I do decide to move back to the UK, hopefully my new school will be a bit more open to future developments in ICT.
     
  14. The thing with ICT is that it is rapidly changing. How many students still think the C in ICT is computers? The truth is ICT is developing, certainly in respect to mobile devices, quicker than any curriculum development. Once a group of people have discussed ad nauseum what to include in the curriculum the T in ICT has moved on.
     
  15. momentofclarity

    momentofclarity New commenter

    What sort of programmes do you use at the moment, both in ICT lessons and across the curriculum, would you recommend to other schools/never want to do without?


    In a Mac 1:1 school from Year 4 in your neck of the woods, lower school KG-Year3 have access to laptops in class and ipads. We do not run "ICT" classes, it is integrated (in theory) across all subject areas for ICT type of work. Our design & technology do a lot of programming work within their units including sketch up and other programming platforms from as early as year 7(equivalent age). We offer ITGS at DP level as well as DT so it progresses well from the lower years. The expectation for staff is we are professionally capable in the use of all day-to-day software and LMS including MS office, pages, numbers, keynote, Moodle, PowerSchool, wikis, blogs etc etc.


    Where do you see ICT going in the future?


    I hope the realization is made that technology is certainly not a fad and the potential tools for educational purposes are huge. Teachers still using workbooks, hand writing assignments etc will begin to be a rare species, particularly with the ease of digital submission and marking processes currently being developed and refined. The argument that technology is a distraction will hopefully begin to disappear, replaced by the argument that technology is a necessity. Anyone arguing otherwise is doing their students a disservice (regardless of subject area).


    Which areas would you like to develop the use of ICT in the many different forms?


    Individualized curriculum. The ability for students to create content, critically examine evidence and demonstrate learning without the tired necessity of repeating facts easily found online in one-off exams. A controversial idea I know, but it is the essence of the movement towards concept based learning versus content based learning.

    What mobile technologies do you use (iPads etc) and how do you work out the logistics (updating, planning etc)? Anything else you want to mention?


    1:1 Laptops; Multiple class sets for sign out of ipads and ipods. Still haven't found an easy solution to the updating and downloading issue, but some positive progress has been made in the past couple of months.


    Hope this helps


    MoC
     
  16. Top flight school is it, the one you work in? I remember a couple of years back a school in The UAE wanting teachers to have IWB experience. I only use the IWB when it is connected to my desktop, and then pretty much just use it as a glorified OHP. I still do most of my work, I'm a classroom teacher in primary, on the white board using a marker pen. A friend of mine worked in a top school in Kenya, and no, apple schools are not top flight, top flight is when kids go from there to HMC schools in The UK, i.e an IAPS school. He was still using a green chalk board. Interesting you think your school is better than an IAPS, (expectations are there to improve things after all) which allows children to sit exams to get them into top public schools in The UK. Now, as with all syllabuses, there are faults with CE exams, but if you are seriously going to suggest that top HMC schools in The UK are substandard them I'm more than happy to let you continue to do so.
     
  17. willow78

    willow78 Occasional commenter

    True, as an ICT teacher I have to consantley re-train myself and have had to do a lot of personal CPD to keep update with the changing curriculum and world.All pretty exciting stuff and a great subject and area to be involved in.
     
  18. momentofclarity

    momentofclarity New commenter

    @Mr. Board. Not claiming one is better than the other, I am simply stating that when given the access and opportunity to integrate and employ technology effectively it should be done.


    I work in a school I consider good. It provides me the opportunity to be the most effective educator I can be, but "top flight" is a subjective classification and not a discussion I will get into as it does not really lead to any productive ideas. I never claimed Apple schools were "top flight" any school that can justify high enough tuition can create a 1:1 program using apple products, and as you so succinctly explained access to technology does not guarantee effective implementation or integration of technology.


    IWB's are definitely one form of educational technology I would agree are superfluous as it is basically a slightly higher powered projector, with only enough power to engage a single student (personally could do more with a box of markers and a large whiteboard). I was also in a school in the UAE which used IWB's as a marketing tool, but in my time at the school I never saw a member of staff using one to anywhere near the capabilities it offered (I include myself in that judgement as well). I would argue that the idea of IWB's is solid, but the implementation is limited by hardware. An alternative more teachers are using in our lower school involves using iPads as an individual whiteboard for each student. This allows for immediately displaying of student learning, sharing work and easily doing student presentations on the board through a projector wired with an apple TV (as a simple example of moving beyond a traditional OHP format). This work can be saved as authentic evidence of student learning for portfolios, student led conferences and parent-teacher conferences. Our students portfolios were student curated multimedia ibooks, pretty effective method of sharing student learning. There are also various tools (Socrative/Moodle etc) which allow for quick and easy formative assessments (similar to those I am sure you already do very effectively, but informally), but the important change is the ability for the teacher to quickly and easily view and record this evidence.


    No idea what the IAPS schools, or HMC schools are, excuse my ignorance but I would hesitate to use any school system as the benchmark by which all others are measured, particularly any school in the UK NC which is certainly not a world leader right now. I fully respect the ability of a teacher like you describe able to educate student effectively with minimal tools, but is that out of choice or circumstance? Any teacher CHOOSING to avoid the use of technology and integrating it effectively as a tool for their students learning is putting their students at a disadvantage in both further education and career. Any other argument is naive at best and ignorant at worst. Is providing students an education of memorization and rote facts effective in a world that is quickly evolving into one which values not only factual knowledge but the ability to use, apply, evaluate, and create new knowledge? When access to the "right" answer is easy, shouldn't we be using the tools available to help students evaluate and apply this information effectively?


    Curious about your further thoughts?
     
  19. moscowbore

    moscowbore Star commenter

    Dear Mr Board, I know many ICT teachers who are rubbish at ICT. I know many more non-ICT teachers who are rubbish at ICT. You do not need to know anything about programming to teach ICT. This is why I would like it to be replaced with computing ASAP. Yes, I am suggesting that your average science teacher does not have the skills to teach spreadsheets properly. They may know how to generate a graph from two columns of numbers, but, they would not know how to generate a chart trend or find the best fit line or even know these things exist in spreadsheets. I ran multi million pound projects before I was an ICT teacher and I used spreadsheets. I am not sure what point you are making. I would point out that I also used project planning software (MS Project). Many people used spreadsheets to plan projects and this was often disastrous on large projects because spreadsheets are not really designed to do project planning. yes, I do think I know more about spreadsheets than science teachers.
     
  20. Wrong, you are questioning whether any science teacher can use and teach the use of spreadsheets. You didn't mention 'your average science teacher'.

    So interesting that you can tell two people you've never met what they can and can't do. Just goes to show what an ignorant and condescending individual you are.

    You obviously can't read. I said they used them as an aid in their role as project managers, not that they used them to actually plan projects.

    Yes, it is obvious you think how wonderful you are. Whether my two ex-colleagues, who are now science teachers but were both chartered structural engineers, know more or less about spreadsheets than you is questionable, but oh so interesting to see you say they don't. You are a grade A aser.
     

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