Saturday, 1 April 2006

SPS Moving Ahead

SPS has just started to move ahead in leaps and bounds this year. It is good to see the enthusiasm of teachers as they talk about the different things they are doing with their kids in the classroom. A lot of leading from the front especially from Kim & Kelvin but also a host of key people around the at all levels of the school who are really stepping up to the challenge of using ICTs with their students and sharing with their colleagues. It has also been a great help to be able to overcome some of the technical barriers with the ongoing investment in infrastructure & hardware - this has not only been a financial investment but a psychological investment putting a little pressure on teachers to 'just do it' and giving them the confidence knowing they have some gear that works and are not just allowed to but expected to trial & innovate. Cluster funding for teacher release allowed me to work one on one with teachers in the Junior team this week. Teachers in this group are at both ends of the ICT integration continuum. We looked at a range of things from how to use the digital camera, creating templates for student stories, accessing online resources (including DLOs) an action learning project on the Commonwealth Games presenting in PowerPoint, using the Data Projector to demonstrate KidPix techniques & share student work. (The Data Projector is so popular in this class i had to point out that a bulb has a limited number of hours to its life - makes a change from teachers not turning on their computers - to have to suggest they should turn it off some of the time! :-) A big discussion point with Junior teachers was classroom management - we talked again about the three seat model which they are all familiar with now, using classroom experts, using the data projector or setting up the classroom computer in a convenient learning space (for modelling & guided learning), using Jill's model of Discovery Learning - kids trying things back & feeding back to the class what they have learnt, and using senior school computer mentors or buddy classes. It was good to see that all classes are frequently using the Reading Box resource i created for them last year during student 'choice' time and as part of their reading programme rotations. The listening posts are great for this - just plug them into your computer speakers and minimum noise during reading time.
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