Ever Evolving

There has never been so much available, but how effective is our use of ICT in schools?

Recently I was asked a question by a colleague, an LSA working in Foundation Phase.

She’s young, keen, bright.

“How can I keep up when everything keeps changing? Mrs X knows so much and she makes it look easy”

That’s a big question.

When I started teaching I had a blackboard and a half share in a BBC computer. The biggest ICT difficulty I encountered was waiting for the tape to screech its way to the end and load the programme.

But today, in many schools there is a plethora of hardware and in many cases advances in technology have rapidly overtaken staffs’ ability to use it.

So what can we do to keep up?

Prepare Play
I think that we need to take time to play and explore. You have to be confident to use an ICT skill before you can teach it so you have to invest the time to explore and play.

If you’ve been on ICT CPD go home and use the software/app/skills that were covered.
Keep using them again and again until you are confident the knowledge and skills are firmly embedded.

Teach someone else how to use your new skills, write about it on your blog.

If you find something great or spot something that might work for someone else tell them – even better show them. Maybe blog about it.
If you’re in Wales use all the great features on Hwb+. Join a network, start a network, make playlists.

Recently on Twitter @ICTevangelist posted “Social Media as a teacher … the more you put into it the more you get out of it” – how very true

In some ways it’s never been easier to find new stuff – use twitter, follow people, join conversations, use hashtags and read blogs. All that expertise is available – use it.

Be Selective

You can’t do it all. I think it’s better to do something well rather than dabble in lots of things in an ineffectual manner.
What do you want to achieve? Make sure you are doing something that will enhance your teaching, don’t try and shoehorn something in because it looks fun. Bookmark it and save it for a time when it actually fits into your teaching.
Decide, select your weapon of choice, develop your skills, teach it.
And once you’ve done one thing well move on to something else (but remember to share your success or failure with your colleagues so they can learn too)

Ask your pupils

You have a room full of potential experts – encourage them to share ideas. Tell them what you want to achieve next and let them bring in ideas.

Next week I really want us to do some photo editing and present our poems using ICT – how can we do this?

Be Unafraid

Don’t be afraid of it. The number of times staff tell me “I would have done it but I was afraid I’d break it”
Obviously don’t do anything foolish but if you are sensible you aren’t going to do that much damage – honestly.

Ask for help

But only after you’ve tried on your own first.

Google is your friend.

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