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December 17, 2018

How I have used ICT to enhance my students’ learning – Danielle

ICT can be used in a variety of ways to facilitate and enhance students’ learning and includes: using data loggers; online assessment resources such as Kerboodle; mobile phones; and communicating information via software such as PowerPoint (Capel et al. 2016). Although each of these has been used within my own practice, further discussion will focus on the use of software and data-loggers.

ICT has been used with a Year 8 class to encourage student-led learning and to introduce them to the concept of research. Working in groups, students used the internet to investigate how the Earth’s atmosphere had changed over the past 4.5 billion years. Prior to conducting the research, the class was informed that they would be creating and delivering a two-minute presentation of their findings. Sharing this aim with the students helped to encourage a conscientious attitude towards their work and motivated them to progress in their learning; this was evident in the quality of the presentations that were produced. Further to this, students then used the ICT skills they had learned within lessons on a different topic.

According to Scheme of Works, and the KS2 National Curriculum, pupils had previously had minimal tuition on the composition of the Earth’s early atmosphere. Therefore, when planning this series of lessons, students’ prior learning and knowledge was taken into account. In-line with Vygotsky, Bruner, and Wood’s learning theories, a set of questions were designed to help guide the students with their research, and teacher support was provided to those who needed further scaffolding(Bruner & Watson 1983; Vygotsky 1962; Wood 1998).

ICT was also used for a research project with a Year 10 class; however, the activity was more student-led. Triple Science students were asked to write a 700-word journal article on a scientific discovery of their choice. Following a lesson on this project, students were set this task as homework, and were required to extend their knowledge past that of the National Curriculum, and that which they had already learned. As the students were required to conduct research using online journals, and use Microsoft Word to create an academic article, ICT enriched their learning by enabling them to work independently and take responsibility for their learning (Jedeskog and Nissen 2004). Furthermore, as the research related to an aspect of science that they were passionate about, this project promoted intellectual curiosity. The benefits of using ICT as described above relates to Bruner’s theory of ‘discovery learning’, whereby pupils use the knowledge that they have already acquired to help them develop new ideas and progress in their understanding of a topic (Bruner 1966; Capel et al. 2016).

Data loggers have also been used to improve students’ learning of a number of topics, such as pH and neutralisation. Data loggers are electronic devices which record data over a given period of time, and in some cases, plot the results on a graph. Using technology in this way was found to be particularly useful for pupils with low numeracy skills as it reduced the need to read, and devise, an appropriate scale for a graph. Moreover, it enabled SEND pupils to focus on the Science rather than worrying about using lots of equipment.

References:

Bruner, J.S., 1966. Toward a Theory of Instruction, Belknap Press of Harvard University. Available at: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=F_d96D9FmbUC.

Bruner, J.S. & Watson, R., 1983. Child’s Talk: Learning to Use Language, W.W. Norton. Available at: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=k0h4QgAACAAJ.

Capel, S., Leask, M. & Younie, S., 2016. Learning to Teach in the Secondary School: A Companion to School Experience, Taylor & Francis. Available at: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=86zDCwAAQBAJ.

Vygotsky, L.S., 1962. Thought and Language, M.I.T. Press, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Available at: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=ZNVrAAAAIAAJ.

Wood, D., 1998. How Children Think and Learn, Wiley. Available at: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=mw3DGr01lYkC.

Jedeskog, G. and Nissen, J., 2004. ICT in the classroom: is doing more important than knowing?. Education and information technologies, 9(1), pp.37-45.


August 06, 2018

Enhancing student learning through the use of ICT – Alexandra

During my complementary placement, I planned and delivered the first unit of the new Design and Technology GCSE which focuses on New and Emerging Technologies. This provided me with an opportunity to develop a new Scheme of Learning (SOL) with an entirely paperless agenda and digital delivery.

The teacher resources were produced in PowerPoint in which a variety of additional tools were imbedded such as YouTube videos and links to external applications Kahoot, Padlet, Google Classroom Slides and Surveyhero.

A flipped classroom was created by releasing resources to students in advance of each lesson from which they developed their own digital workbook in PowerPoint which was submitted periodically by email or via the cloud for marking and feedback. From these, I was able to develop a digital archive of student work and monitor progress. Individual feedback was given by email in response to each submission and group feedback, to highlight common areas of success and misconception, was given at the start of the following lesson. The SAMR model (Puentedura, 2014) was used to structure the transformation and enhancement of this SOL through ICT.

SAMR model

Kahoot quiz results provided insight into areas of weakness that needed addressing and this informed my short-term planning with the start of the following lesson allocated to this due to 45-minute lessons.

Padlet and Google Classroom Slides enabled collaborative working however the novelty of these provided an opportunity for misbehaving. The software has the option for teachers to verify all comments before they go live but this can disrupt the flow of student contributions. Kirkman (2017) refers to dialogic practice as ‘that in which students are active, engaged and empowered participants in a conversation from which learning emerges’ which was evident through the immediate feedback from the class enabled by not using this facility. This outweighed the behaviour issues but with other classes I would consider putting this control in place to monitor the content and pace of the lesson and to encourage students to consider their contributions more carefully.

Student engagement was high throughout this unit and even with the issues identified, the use of ICT assisted behaviour management and improved engagement with students who had been previously identified as reluctant contributors to lessons. This supports my findings from my base school where I have previously used these applications to support SOLs and found them to be useful tools in behaviour management and engaging disruptive students. However, student demographic and data must be considered to ensure that all students have access to ICT and to be aware of any Pupil Premium students who may require additional support in this area.

The feedback from the wider department was very positive however, as I reflect on the success of this approach I shall alter elements of the scheme and allow more time for student reflection. At my base school I developed the use of Surveyhero to encourage students to reflect on their skills, progress and outcomes. I shall also incorporate more collaborative, student led tasks and develop my pace of delivery and the flow and fluency of the plan in line with the use of technology. I would also like to develop the use of ICT and digital resources to further differentiate the SOL to support a wider range of learners.

References

Kirkman, P. (2017). Digital technologies in the classroom. [ebook] Cambridge Assessment International Education. Available at: http://www.cambridgeinternational.org/images/271191-digital-technologies-in-the-classroom.pdf [Accessed 12 April 2018].

Puentedura, R. (2014). Ruben R. Puentedura's Weblog. [online] Hippasus.com. Available at: http://www.hippasus.com/rrpweblog/ [Accessed 2 April 2018].


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