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Monday, May 19, 2008

Educational blogs

Thanks to Allanahk for her posting about this newsletter - the particularly practical aspects of Computers in the Classroom especially useful (modified from Terry Freedman - Computers in Classrooms)
The lesson forms part of a unit which forms part of a scheme of work. There is a good starter activity, one that gets the pupils settled down and in the right frame of mind to do the work the teacher has planned for them.

•The teacher spends time at the start sharing the intended learning outcomes of the lesson and how this lesson fits in with the preceding and following lessons. I was impressed with a recent conversation with a 5 year old who could tell me not just what he had learned in class today - but how it fitted in to the big picture, and how their current theme will lead in to the next! This made his learning so relevant for him.

•Learners are given open-ended tasks. (Even lessons designed to impart a set of skills can still be more interesting than “drill & practice”).

•A range of resources are provided for learners, enabling the teacher to give quality guidance, ie not confined to explaining how to save the document! Resources include “how to” guides and posters, on-screen help and each other.

•Ample time is allowed for reflection and goal setting, thereby allowing it to be somewhat more useful than the POLO model: Print Out and Log Off. This is an essential part of the lesson, used to check what learning has taken place, consolidate learning, and prepare learners for the next stage (goal setting). In fact, a lesson might have two or three plenaries rather than just one at the end.

•The purpose of any homework is to consolidate and extend the learners’ understanding of the work they have been doing in class.

•Learners are allowed sufficient time on the computers, the teacher helping individuals and small groups.

•Work is set at an appropriate standard, taking into account prior learning and attainment, expectations of their age group in terms of national standards and key competencies.

•Open questioning/inquiry learning – and assessment for learning techniques are in evidence.

•Range of material provides for differentiation (higher attainers and children with special educational needs) and personalised learning.

•The teacher is aware of individual needs, e.g. individual education plans – and makes use of the assessment and other data.

•Not all work takes place at the computer: there is ample opportunity for discussion and reflection. What is important is not the use of technology per se, but the appropriate use of technology.

•Learners respect the equipment and the room e.g. they do not leave discarded print-outs on the floor.

•Learners are confident enough to try out things which may not have been demonstrated or introduced: they ask help from each other or look at the posters and manuals available.

•Learners ask questions that the teacher is unable to answer.
  • Learners are obviously more self-motivated than teacher motivated; their learning or progress is not teacher-dependent

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