Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What did they need to know?

I asked for some help about what to include in an hours introduction to ICT for student teachers and got loads of good suggestions (see ICT: Tell me everything I need to know!).

Originally uploaded by Swansea Photographer
I tried to squeeze too much in and perhaps didn't structure it as well as I might have as a result I didn't have time to cover a couple of areas I wanted to talk about. It was videoed but I'm not sure if it is viewable off campus without logging in. Let me know if you can see it: PGDE2010/11 Intro Lecture.

I started by talking about the Standards For Initial Teacher Education and highlighting the references to ICT in that document. Learning about ICT and discovering how to use ICT effectively in learning and teaching is something that every teacher is expected to do - regardless of stage or subject. I went on at some length about this, in retrospect, probably too long. (It was a bit abstract and would probably have come out more effectively as I demonstrated some specific uses later on.) The key message I hoped to communicate was that they might be confident about their personal ICT skills but that they need to start thinking about their teaching skills. Can they use ICT effectively to support learning and teaching? To that end I quoted one of the people that had responded to my earlier post:
"The most important thing that could have been said to me at the beginning of my teacher training is that ICT is far more than you realise. You may think that you are confident in the field or you may believe that you are a complete novice, either way you have a lot to learn. " - @relativism
To emphasise this, since almost all of them said they had a facebook account, I referred them to the GTCS Code of Professionalism and Conduct, specifically the bit that says:
"As a teacher you must... avoid circumstances which are, or could be, perceived to be of an inappropriate nature. This is also the case in connection with social networking websites, outwith the school/college setting..."
However, I did point out the the GTCS were not suggesting they didn't use social networks at all but rather that they had to start thinking and behaving like teachers. In fact I pointed out that the GTCS make good use of social networking tools and gave the specific example of GTC hosted probationer blogs such as They Don't Use Chalk Any More.

That was a significant chunk time... and I hadn't really started picking up what people had suggested I should have been telling the students about!

However, before I got onto my Personal Learning Network's suggestions, I wanted to say a bit about Glow, so I explained how they would get access and did a quick demo, highlighting in particular GlowMeet (and surprise, surprise, I showed them the Doctor Who Meet page) and the external resources that can be accessed through Glow (specifically the 2Simple stuff).

Finally, I got onto some of the things I wanted to talk about based on the suggestions of others. In particular, a couple of people had suggested I should use examples where ICT allowed things to happen that would be difficult or impossible without ICT. I intended to come back to this in a number of different ways but started by offering a feedback channel for the students by putting a phone number on the screen and inviting the students to send a text. Any text they sent would be automatically displayed on a blog where I will respond to the comments and encourage the students to continue their interactions. I also gave an email address and encouraged students to send a photo to a Posterous blog.

Next up was Twitter. I encouraged them to sign up for Twitter and promised I'd give them more information later about how to get the most out of Twitter. I did make the point of showing them some of the Tweets that had come in from educators while I had been talking to them as a practical demonstration of how Twitter can be used to gather real time information and advice from a Personal Learning Network. (I archived the responses with TwapperKeeper.)

I was rapidly running out of time and I tried to squeeze in some of the suggestions from others but there was loads I missed out. Since this is already a reasonably long post, I think I'll stop here and pick up on what I did (and didn't) do next in a future post.

Let me know what you think of what I've described so far. Is there anything you'd like to add, disagree with or expand upon that will help the students?


Martin Hawksey said...

out of interest how did you set up the SMS to blog?

David said...

Hello Martin

I've been meaning to contact you about this. Does your SMS Voting system need smart that Learning Aps textwall provides or would anything that can produce an RSS feed from text messages do?

The trick I used to produce a SMS backchannel used a service from Intellisoftware which is free. You can set up an Intellisoftware account that automatically forwards text messages to an email address. I just used the email address that posts to my blog... which has an RSS feed.

I've been meaning to write up how to do it for a while. Could your SMS vote thing be adapted?

Martin Hawksey said...

Hi David,

The SMS voting could be easily modified to use a different RSS feed. I know a number of webmail sites provide an RSS feed so forwarding to one of these might be an option

The only question mark would be how much delay there is to filter through the systems.

Definitely something I want to try. Will let you know how I get on ;-)


David said...

Hello Martin

The email seems to be sent by Intellisoftware more or less as soon as they receive the text message. The only delay would therefore be from the text message end of things... which I don't think anyone has any control over!

Martin Hawksey said...

Huzah new version of the code just for you, with instructions on how to make it work with blogger


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