Thursday, August 25, 2011

New Session, New Students... Old Question!

I've asked variations of this question before (see ICT: Tell me everything I need to know!, What did they need to know? and Initial Teacher Education and BectaX) but with 550-ish new students starting a PGDE course next week, and with the ever changing nature of technology, it seems it's time to ask it again:
What should I do in a one hour lecture to get new student teachers excited and enthusiastic about ICT in education?
277/366: Drag and drop by DavidDMuir
277/366: Drag and drop, a photo by
DavidDMuir on Flickr.
My question is, essentially, how do I avoid this? -->

To set the context, I get one hour to talk to students about ICT in the first week of their PGDE course. This will not be the only thing they hear about ICT during the year, but it might be the first thing they hear and it will be the only time I have the opportunity to see the whole cohort at the same time. Roughly one third of them will be primary students and the rest will be secondary students covering just about every secondary school subject.

So, what do I do? What do I say? What could I get the students to do? How can I get such a large group, with different experiences, different interests and different levels of competence, interested and enthusiastic about ICT in Education?

Looking forward to seeing your suggestions.


Mosher said...

a) use it
b) don't overuse it

It's a tool, not the be all and end all. A good presentation is fine, but Powerpoint/Prezi every lesson soon gets dull. You still need to mix in plenty of good old traditional methods (chalk 'n' talk, quizzes, group work, practical exercises, etc.)

Kenneth... said...

Hypnotise them!

Kristy said...

Well since I was one of last years cohort - the most useful thing you told me was how useful Twitter is as a method of sharing good practise and finding other teachers.

I agree with others to emphasise not to over use it - one of my best crits last year was for a lesson in which the smart board wasn't even turned on.

And maybe a word on compatability - no point making Promethean lessons for placement 1 if the next school doesn't use it! And be experimental - try new things. I'm testing out Glogster next week - we'll see how that works out

I wrote more than I meant to - oops

Mosher said...

Oh, if you *are* going to use it then learn to use it properly. Expect the unexpected and - particularly with online resources - have a backup plan in case something goes wrong.

I had a quiz set up for a class last year using an online system and the sheer volume of data being transferred by 20 pupils using it at once (or our shoestring and glue network - one or the other) couldn't handle the strain. Cue me floundering for something to fill the time.

Stuart Brown said...

ICT is so important to teaching in 2011. The rise of social networking, mobile connectivity and other new technologies has had a profound effect on young people (it also seems to transcend social class).

Young people are now communicating in a way that is different then 15, 10 or even 5 years ago. They are used to a wealth of information available instantly.

Educators must adapt and embrace this change in order to ensure that young people get the best outcomes out of school!

P Casey said...

I've picked up so much from Twitter, so that should definitely be part of it, hash tags and lists are where I found most of my PLN, so man explanation on those two things would be of great benefit to them!!
From teachmeets, ive started using Wallwisher, it's like the 1 thing I've learned today idea, but exists online forever, so could be a good way to document a whole topic or course!
One of the Walls I used last year is here -> if you want to use as a demo
I agree with Mosher though, don't use the tech for the sake of it! As you reminded us last year, it's not about the tech, it's the teach!!

test said...

Don't say 'it's a tool'. That is so over-used and so off the mark imho. It is so much more than that. Integration of ICTs across a teacher's practice is a fundamental skill for a teacher charged with taking learners forward in today's digital world. FRom the earliest opportunity you should establish in your pupil's minds that they can create and not just consume digital content. Raised bar of expectations of yourself and of them is again a games, movies, animations. Manipulate sounds images etc. Help them speak the language of the digital world even more fluently...immerse yourself in engaging contexts with ICTs and you can make your classroom be the most vibrant of places. One example:

Ewan McIntosh said...

It's not about the tech, it's about the teach. The reason most tech fails to add value in school or fails to scale to widespread use is because most educators most of the time don't think about how the way *they* were taught would have to change given what we know today.

I'd make the lecture not about ICT at all, but show 10 ways pedagogy has changed thanks to the expectations tech has given learners and the ease with which it can offer more time/energy to do new things that, before, may only have been on a nice-to-have list.

David said...

I'm seeing a couple of themes (at least) emerging. Thanks for the comments so far.

Mosher, Kirsty and Paul sounding notes of caution.

Social networking, collaboration and PLNs from Kirsty, Stuart and Paul.

Stuart also adds mobile technologies, which (in my mind at least) links to Ewan's challenge to think different!

Anything else to add, or an opposing view to offer?

Iain Hallahan said...

When you sit down and think about it, and I mean *really* think about it, it really all comes down to people and engagement. ICT can be wonderful when used well, but dreadful when used badly. Out of the 3 letters, I would say that the T is the least important and that is the tool part discussed above. The I is the middle bit; it is the message you are delivering or the Maguffin you are looking for. C is what it all boils down to - the interactions with others. Without that connection, then the other two are just time fillers. Learn to use your techs to communicate effectively, make sure your communications are two way and remember you leave a digital footprint. Don't say anything in cyberspace that you wouldn't say in front of your HT in the staffroom or in front of a pupil/parent. Plenty of examples of where such digital illiteracy or naivety can lead!

Iain Hallahan said...

Been thinking about my flowery, late night comment (above) and have decided that the T is more a toolbox than a tool, and much like going into a toolbox you need to know what tool from the box is going to be suitable for the job you are trying to do before you go into the box looking for it. In theory you can use a screwdriver to hammer in a nail, but that doesn't mean you should do it.

Nealsson said...

Whatever you do, you must keep your personal and professional online activity separate. Use a false name and do not allow any potential for this to be connected to your school or employer. Any comment that you make on twitter, Facebook, blogs or wherever can be read out of context and linked, however tenuously, to your work and used to construct a case of professional misconduct against you.

Those so accused are disciplined and gagged for fear of losing their livelihood. Education in Scotland is still populated by ignorant, authoritarian and weak people who will at once praise and be jealous of your ict skills.

islayian said...

You will capture those who attracted to technology just by your natural wit and charm (Aye Right)
I think you need to show a way in for those technophobes who will be sitting in the class.
Even if they use facebook and are texting on their mobile phone while saying that 'technology doesn't mean a thing to me or to how I teach'
What 3 tools can have an immediate and quick impact on their 'Teach' but it must be based on learning.

Shirley Campbell-Morgan said...

-that they have a duty to help pupils be internet responsible and to make them aware of their digital footprints, using eportfolios etc to help pupils create a positive digital trail.

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