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Discussion in 'Primary' started by covcov, Jan 27, 2008.
Has anyone used this? Is it any good?
We have it at school and it is terrible. We are in the process of re-writing the syllabus to get rid of it. Here are my problems:
1)Yes, it makes teaching ICT easier. The children log in and then that's virtually it - off they go. However, the kids learn nothing. Following one memorable Smart Learning lesson on databases where they had to identify fields, the teacher asked a high ability child what a 'field' was. Her answer - "somewhere where you can put a swimming pool." The children just do what's asked without thinking about what they are doing.
2) It is inaccessible for LA children as it requires a large amount of reading.
3) The exercises are pedantic and don't resemble real-life programs. To be accepted as giving a correct answer you have to type exactly what they want. No extra spaces or capitals. Often even the teacher can't work out what is missing
4) The assessment tells you nothing, merely whether they have completed an exercise and take so long to complete that you usually can't do it in a lesson. Unfortunately, you can only save at a specified point, so unless they complete the task, the work is lost and has to be repeated.
Instead we are using adapted Greenwich Learning plans together with a few of the Sherston titles: The Wizard's apprentice, Crystal Rainforest, that kind of thing. It's cheaper and the kids learn more.
Thanks for that Charliee. It does seem a bit like giving them a worksheet and I'd rather have something that uses actual programs.
We have it - don't use it much now. Some staff use specific lessons, but then often forget to move the names of the children into the new class so they can access what is needed.
Wouldn't recommend it.
wouldn't touch it
Hmm, looks like it's going to be a no then.
Thanks for everyone's replies,
Hi. I'm a trainee teacher placed in a school and for my observation next week, I am teaching ICT.
The school uses Smart Learning and I attempted to teach a lesson earlier this week. Now, I am usually quite competant with ICT as my partner is also on a computing course and I am quite computer orientated myself. However, I must confess that I hate this program. I used it prior to the lesson to see what the children would be doing (they are currently on controlling devices at year 5 level) and it was just horrible.
Even I struggled with it, and this was only at the first section. I now have to think about progression, which is going to be difficult as the children struggled so much with the program that almost all of them didn't understand.
Also, I am finding it hard to link these programs to the Aim of each lesson. The program just simply seems to be a, 'do this and it's right' type thing and I agree that I don't believe the children are actually learning anything in this parrot like fashion.
HOWEVER. There seems to be no way I can get out of it since the school seems to value this software and want me to use it. I am currently on the second section, 5.2, of controlling devices and I am so lost. The headteacher is coming to observe me next tuesday and I am losing my head over it. I have no idea what to do. I have thought about going over the first section, because I don't believe we should move on until children know the basics, because then they will be just as lost as me, but I have thought about pairing them up, because some of the children did well and some struggled really badly. I was thinking of pairing them up to complete the activites and then for the plenary, talk about procedures, which we will then move on to. (which I have NO IDEA how to do.)
(I apologise for the lack of coherance in that last paragraph)
Can anyone at all offer me any advice? I am becoming really stressed over this, and I'm normally so laid back, I'm horizontal!