ICT in Subjects at #TLAB13

My notes for #TLAB13 presentation followed by the slides; all images from Google’s Stock Collection in Drive. NB: I have not edited the notes for this post.

Setting the scene:

  • SMT made decision to teach ICT through other subjects. No more discrete timetabled ICT lessons.
  • Moving to a two-week timetable and 30*50 minute lessons instead of 40*40 minutes per week.
  • ICT teacher would manage which departments and when.
  • Units of work would be decided upon collaboratively.
  • A lot of work.
  • Hard to choose a department.
  • English were restricted by having two class sets of set texts.
  • Maths by streamlining and classes following different POS.
  • Science taught two units at the same time to half a year group each.
  • ADT operate a carousel system.
  • Good depts: Geog. History. RE. Music. Latin. MfL.
  • One lesson per week from the partner subject.
  • ICT rooms had to be booked because there is no timetable. Clash with CAs meant resource management very difficult. Bid for carry cases of mobile devices was rejected.
  •  A logistical nightmare. How was I going to protect the ICT curriculum?

But. A fantastic opportunity. As an evangelist of the use of education technology to enhance learning, here I was faced with a formal opportunity to prove it – to do it rather than talk about it. Game on!

Section One: content and activities, ICT curriculum

Geography

  • Volcanoes and earthquakes. One term.
  • Google Apps for Education. Google sites. Google docs. Frog.
  • Y7. 120 pupils. Five classes. Four Geog teachers. Two ICT teachers.
  • Recreate a case study of a natural hazard. Map skills.
  • Groups of four. Pupils chose a partner and then teachers allocated two pairs together.
  • Group management roles were given. More about that later.
  • Pupils had to go through ICT admin of accounts for GAfE and school network, including ICT AUP. This allowed Geog teachers to get them started over the first two weeks. But Geog teachers found it hard having less lessons.
  • ICT content: collaboration and teamwork, referencing sources, web searching, websites, writing for the web, google maps and web tools.

RE

  • The Covenant. Half term.
  • Google Apps for Education. Google sites. Google docs. Voki. Prezi. Other web2.0 tools. Frog.
  • Y8 120 pupils. Five classes. Four teachers. Two ICT teachers.
  • Six sections. Meet with all participant teachers to discuss what we could do. Pupils to investigate an independent line of enquiry into one of the six areas and then share them with each other through a cycle of review or presentation. Similar to Geog projects.
  • ICT content: collaboration and teamwork. Research. Referencing. Web tools: presenting/communicating information suitable to audience.

English

  • Set text. Half term.
  • Google Apps for Education. MS Word. Classtools fakebook. Frog.
  • Y8. 48 pupils. Two classes. One teacher. One ICT teacher.
  • Yellowcake Conspiracy – a novel.
  • Annotating google maps.
  • Fakebook profiles.
  • Word processed reports.
  • ICT content: web2.0 tools, social networking and esafety, word processor and templates, writing online, formal report writing, spell-checking etc.

PE

  • Fielding & striking techniques. Term.
  • 12 flip cameras. Windows Movie Maker Live. PowerPoint. Frog.
  • Y7. 120 pupils. Five classes. Three teachers. Two ICT teachers. Only one ICT lesson.
  • ICT content: filming and editing video. Annotating still images.

Music

  • Composition for media. Term.
  • Y8. 120 pupils. Five classes. Two teachers and two ICT teachers.
  • CuBase. Scratch, Google presentations. Frog.
  • ICT content: music composition with CuBase, Scratch programming language.

Overall the simpler individual work like that done in English or Music was much easier to achieve. For the collaborative projects – and scratch programming games – it was always striking a balance between ambition and achievement for each pupil.

Section Two: group work, pedagogy, assessment, management tools, evaluation

Group Roles

Time Manager: meeting deadlines, checking everyone is on task and getting their job done.

Content Manager: which sections are being done by whom. They should plan deadlines for content to be done by in consultation with Time Manager.

Layout Manager: design, colours, fonts should all be consistent throughout the site. References must be accurate.

Functionality Manager: when building websites it is necessary to check that everything works properly for visitors.

For the next project we added Project Manager to help co-ordinate everybody and to make a clear lead/person to talk to if you were worried about anything.

It was excellent to call all the managers of one type out of the room for a two minute briefing. For example, all the content managers could share how they were managing their role and making sure the content was being covered. Equally, in the RE project, we were able to do the same with all those across the groups within one class studying a particular line of enquiry. We could do this because there were two teachers present.

Pedagogy

Team teaching can be great fun but sometimes it can be very hard.

And there are times when feel rather exposed and vulnerable in front of your colleagues.

To combat this I wanted to make sure I was teaching well. I investigated learning objectives, SOLO taxonomy, group work and project based learning. Most of this was done through blogs and books, some of the authors are presenting today.

Core principles of the classroom for ICT in Subjects

  • Pupils knew what they doing next
  • Every pupil to receive verbal feedback about their work every lesson (two teachers after all)
  • Instructional material was always available through the VLE.
  • Pupils struck a balance between ambition and achievement.
  • Peer review, and improving work to achieve quality, was to be included wherever possible.

Assessment

  • Frog VLE was used where appropriate for pupils to upload files to be marked.
  • Certain planning pieces (e.g. for Scratch game plans) would have to be signed off by a teacher.
  • Comments were made on Google Docs where appropriate to help the pupil move on to the next step.
  • Difficult for the ICT teachers because their class would change from project to project so hard to get to know the individuals and their work well.
  • ICT teachers do not have to write reports or go to parents evenings or provide tracking data.
  • There will be an ICT exhibition towards the end of the academic year, showcasing the work. Still planning this but ideally I would like the pupils to show their parents their work following an introduction where some pupils showcase their ICT experience for the year. Not sure the former part of this is viable so back to the drawing board. How do we present an ICT exhibition without WiFi?

Management Tools

To keep in touch with participant teachers, I used a google spreadsheet with a worksheet for each class/teacher. I would make a master copy which would then be copied out to each class. Problematic because of two-week timetable which meant the order of lessons could be different for each class between their ICT lesson (A) and their non-ICT lesson (B): ABBA, ABAB, BABA, BAAB. Therefore, a large degree of flexibility was necessary at all times.

It was a challenge to get participants to fill in the spreadsheets with the content of their (non-ICT) lessons.

Few responses to emails. I had to make sure that both me and my ICT colleague were following everything up face-to-face.

Evaluation

As research project for my MA I have used the evaluation process of ICT in Subjects to find out if the school is doing KS3 ICT the best way it can to inform future decisions about whether or not to continue or return to discrete lessons.

The research involved pupil questionnaires, teacher questionnaires and documentary evidence in the form of academic tracking data over four terms.

Findings:

1. Comparing academic achievement in the participant subjects, 83% of pupils did better in the participant subject test after ICT in Subjects. [NB: this analysis requires further verification as there are many potentially influential factors]

2. Many participants felt that ICT benefitted their learning.

3. Some participants wanted to return to discrete ICT lessons where they learnt about computers.

4. Some liked the new way of learning ICT whilst in another subject.

5. Despite several opportunities, not one pupil said the use of ICT was a bad thing.

ICT in Subjects at #TLAB13

My Twitter workflow – diigo and evernote

Often I receive puzzled looks when I say the word twitter. And I think I understand why. But maybe I don’t. It’s hard to see why non-tweeters are non-believers. Also, many twitter users I know do not use the service like I do. So, for tweeters and non-tweeters alike, I thought I’d explain my twitter workflow.

  1. I read tweets during incidental/transtion moments unless I am following a hashtag for a conference or something that has piqued my interest.
  2. A link grabs my attention and I follow it.
  3. I like what I see/read and want to save it somewhere to recall it later (for me that’s evernote or diigo bookmarks)
  4. I retweet it using the *quote tweet* option, including some #hashtags that will turn into #tags in my bookmarks. [NB: quote tweet does not exist on twitter’s web app, but on it’s mobile app as pictured below, and on major twitter clients like hootsuite]
  5. It saves into my diigo account (using packratius). [NB: I used packratius first, then switched to ifttt but they stopped doing it – can’t remember how I do it now but packratius works]
  6. The last slide in the deck below shows diigo and evernote integrated into my google searches on chrome – pretty nifty when you are retrieving material at a later date.

No slides? Click here.

This makes sense to me because, if I want to save it, then it is likely that some people who follow me would like to see it as well. Some fellow tweeters favourite their tweets to save them to evernote or their bookmarking service or for future reference. But this model works well for me. I pay careful attention to the tags so I can retrieve the material when I come to do some work in that area. You need to be careful with tags. It’s not as obvious as you might think. Develop a consistent approach and stick with it. For example, if you are researching ipads and save lots of ipad links, the tag ipad will quickly have dozens of results which don’t help you much. Here is where tag combinations come into play: e.g. #ipad #app #geography.

If I want to read/watch the content in more detail later, I also include @myen (how to) in the retweet so it saves into my linked evernote account. This will put the tweet into my workflow from where I will process it. [NB: If I retweet a link it always saves in diigo, whether I want it to or not.] The slide deck below shows tweeting to evernote.


No slides? Click here.

If you do it differently, let me know. Always good to share how we get things done.

 

My Twitter workflow – diigo and evernote

ICT in Subjects: Lesson Planning and Learning Objectives

learning objective arrow 
Where you going with that arrow in your hand?

The idea of team teaching with lots of my colleagues is intimidating. Daunting. Exciting (we have a lovely staff at Bennies). Sometimes there will be natural friendly banter and repartie, but at other times this won’t come so easily and the potential to offend someone is a risk. Some will be vulnerable, shy, nervous and maybe even unhappy to participate.

To minimise this potential, the lesson planning has to be clear and simple and awesome. So, I have started to address this on the planning site. An extract from the site:

What I like so far I found on James Michie’s blogpost on learning objectives. This engages in conversation with David Didau, the Learning Spy, who has written posts on Creativity, Analysis and Comparison, Using Learning Continuums, Zooming In and Zooming Out, and 40 Ways to Introduce Learning Objectives (now 50). I found these posts very helpful in focussing me on how I might set lessons out and provide access for all.

I really like the simple approach of setting a learning objective for the whole class but having differentiated learning activities for pupils to do. I’m looking to establish a format that I can use in every lesson, mirrored on the VLE, in all subjects. Something solid that people can rely on but can be used flexibly and creatively (not just *stuck* on the board at the beginning of the lesson).

These posts are a great read for any teacher. What I applied to my department needs to be re-thought and ready for the planning stages, accessible to pupils and teachers, and able to be taught by me or my fellow ICT teacher. I am short of time. If you know of any great articles or research that might help inform this structure and process, I would love to hear about them. Full credit will be given here and on the site. Comments welcome as ever.

 

 

ICT in Subjects: Lesson Planning and Learning Objectives

MA Notes: Halliday, J. (2002) ‘Researching Values in Education’

MA Article Notes

Halliday, J. (2002) ‘Researching Values in Education’ British Educational Research Journal. Vol. 28, No. 1, 2002

I found this article hard going. Read it over a period of time (holidays) and had to work hard to follow its arguments. Ultimately I have written this with close reference to the conclusion where Halliday generously summarises his method. I have also included definitions from wikipedia for terms I am unfamiliar with and the links to their source pages. My text/thoughts are in bold to distinguish them from Halliday’s, because I found it difficult to re-write what he is saying.

My conclusions:

For us doing the masters, I think the reason we are reading this is to introduce us to the importance of the impact of our methodology on our research projects. I don’t find that Halliday gives us any answers here. He drags the whole debate into question by saying that we (researchers and educational institutions in general) do not have the means at our disposal to test the conclusions of others research, and, there is a tendency for research to compete to assert correct practice. In this, I think, he is saying that we must explore whatever research has been done into our chosen research area and, if at all possible, to build on that rather than branch off and do our research for it’s own self-serving sake in a maverick-style context. Instead of seeing other research as competition, we are to acknowledge and embrace in the interests of furthering the value position in a particular field. Therefore, our research will become part of the wider fabric of research into that area.

Continue reading “MA Notes: Halliday, J. (2002) ‘Researching Values in Education’”

MA Notes: Halliday, J. (2002) ‘Researching Values in Education’

MA – Critical Review: Hargreaves, ‘The Knowledge-creating school’

Critical Review: Hargreaves, D. (1999) ‘The Knowledge-creating school’

This review aims to analyse the article, evaluate and compare its claims and assumptions and critique it’s conclusions by asking who or what exactly is driving school agendas? Is it the technological revolution or the welfare of the child? Continue reading “MA – Critical Review: Hargreaves, ‘The Knowledge-creating school’”

MA – Critical Review: Hargreaves, ‘The Knowledge-creating school’