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Engaging students in Functional Skills I.C.T.

Discussion in 'Computing and ICT' started by dancetiludrop, Nov 4, 2011.

  1. My suggestion would be to contextualise avtivities in terms of organising an event - which would need advertising through posters and presentations, researched for maximum impact and a spreadsheet used to track expenses and produce documents to use in a bid for funding through charts and graphs. You could get them into teams to invent a company selling something unlikely and get them to pool ideas.
    What age group are you talking about?
  2. I taught IT key skills mainly to students taking health and social care or childcare - they hated ICT. These were also 16+ so slightly different

    I would occasionally let them fo homework from other subjects if it was relevant to ICT eg they had to complete a CV - it was easier tolet them do that in the lesson than keep telling them to stop doing that and get on with the ICT task -the hoework was only allowed if it was relevant to Key Skills so for their CV I showed them how to use a table and then make it invisible rather than use the space bar to space out their qualifications, they were also taught how to left/right / centry justify. Their CV could thenn be put into their ICT portfolio as well as their mainsubject.

    Can you make the FS relevant to other subjects? One project that was popular was planning an outing for a group of nursery children, it was broken down into
    research places you can take children - searching the internet and the library, obtaining brochures
    cost including group discount - spreadsheet (s)
    packed lunch - what are the dietry trequirements for a 3 year old (they had to do this for a childcare unit) - more research
    cost of transport - research plus add to spreadsheet
    letters home to parents giving information about the trip, costs, appropriate clothing etc etc. link the letter to the spreadsheet so numbers update
    Form for parents to fill in with information such as emergency contact number, name and phone number of GP, allergies, medical conditions etc. - adding tables to the letter - then made another spreadsheet with the childrens' details and medical requirements
    They then did a risk assesement (also part of their 'propper; course).

    If you sell it to them as doing course work for other subjects with a bit of ICT thrown in then make assesements relevant to other subjects but incorporating ICT you will do better.

    Have 4-5 assignments and let them chose - assuming they are GCSE they will all be doing maths and English, most will be doing science a fair number history so have assignments linked to English, science, history, art and PE - then let them chose the one they want to do - talk to the subject teachers and see if they have to produce any course work and link the assignment(s) to that.

  3. <font size="2">Your sessions need to be fun and purposeful and you need to have established standards your workroom; you may even want to get students to research standards expected in the work place - and apply them.</font><font size="2">I think you have already had excellent advice - would just slightly expand on both ideas.</font><font size="2">In relation to making activities contextualised and applied, I would advise make them real! See if you can get a number of your friends, colleagues, contacts, & you may even want to get your group to advertise their services in the school parents newsletter etc., to identify real ICT tasks that they need doing. The activities can be quite mundane, but often if it is for a real person it becomes more interesting and an email contact to a responsible member of the team working on the task really helps. Examples can include a leaflet for a local mums and toddler group, a simple spread sheet solution for a sole trader, or even members of a local OAP group that want to get started using the web, kids can make great tutors!</font><font size="2">In relation to links with other subjects this is at the heart of what Functional Skills is all about. You and your HoD need to do the work and approach other subjects to find out what ICT skills they need the kids to have and where there are naturally occurring opportunities to use ICT and then work together to enable the students to complete the technical ICT elements of the task in your lessons leaving your colleagues to concentrate on their technical content. You need to get the balance of you teaching ICT skills that they will then apply in other subjects and the kids coming to you to find out how to do some ICT skill that they may need in Science or D&T.</font><font size="2">When it comes to test preparation it is worth rewriting some SAM questions in the context of another subject as introduction to the type of questions they will come up against. I would also give the students the relevant marking guidance and let them mark in peer groups, helping them to see exactly what marks are awarded for. You might even want to get students to mark an exemplar test, which includes some model answers and some of the common errors that students make.</font><font size="2">Good luck and have fun</font>

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