Monday, 2 March 2009

Last Post

I have enjoyed keeping a blog about ICT. 

It has made me take more notice of the use of ICT within observed lessons and my own lessons, because I knew that I would be writing about it. This worked the other way too, because I had been writing about it I was also thinking about it.

 I think the ICT on the PGCE course has made me consider the wider use of ICT all around us, and I now notice more children using different technologies and how natural they are with them.

 One of my year 4 children brought in his memory stick with a PowerPoint presentation, of a maths thinking problem; he had made for the rest of the class. This was because I had giving them a problem a day on the IWB and he had found one he wanted to share. I like to think that I had inspired him, not that he thought he could do a better job!

 I have also found blogging a useful tool for sharing information I have found, although I have not used this very efficiently as I have not looked at anyone else’s blogs and doubt they have looked at mine. Therefore it is probably more useful as a personal reflective tool.

 I am not sure that I will keep blogging for personal reflection. However it is something I might consider using with my class.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

There is still nothing on there but the bare bones of a website, but i got our Ceramics Website address wrong! I think this will be a project for July when PGCE is finished!

ICT on SBT 1


The children have an ICT ‘skills’ lesson once a week. Whilst I was observing this included:

Dance Mat Typing

BBC Celts site – this is a great interactive site that they can explore, listen to stories, make forts and armour, play games and much more.

Revelations Natural Art – this is a fantastic arts package. It is lovely to use and comes in 3 versions Basic, junior, expert. It has different media they can chose from, the colours blend like real paint, it has stamp functions, clip art, symmetry lines and much more.


I also got the opportunity to observe the ICT subject leader teach. This was good, and reinforced what I had seen from my CT. A key feature was giving the children an opportunity to play with the software and find things for themselves.


The CT used the IWB frequently, most maths lessons were started with a PowerPoint to give the session context. He also used it to model (proof reading, writing), and set timers for the children to see.


The use of pictures from arts week and the school trip then being displayed on the IWB was a nice way of evaluating both experiences.


Music and story CDs were also used quite often.


My use of ICT

I used the ICT suite during an English session to research sea creatures so the children could make a fact file. This series of lessons also involved modelling on the IWB how to fill in their planning sheet, and a PowerPoint of sea creature pictures. I used the IWB to annotate an information text to show the key features. These were then put into a list which the children (in the plenary) had to write down on their wipe boards, I used the roller blind function to cover the list and to reveal slowly to check their answers. We also played guess the habitat and guess the animal using the spot light function, which a child was able to control. I used the IWB to create a task called Fact or Opinion, the children had to tell me if the statement was fact or opinion and then move the box to reveal the answer.


They really enjoy coming up and using the IWB, I think it makes them listen better as they want a go.


I also used PowerPoints for Maths.


In science the school have a programme called Science explorer (I think…) which has lots of online experiments to watch and quizzes and games to play. I used this in a lesson on teeth. It brushed a set of teeth for different amounts of times and put the information on a bar chart.


I was due to teach a lesson of ICT in the final week (and was having my link tutor observe) but the night before at about 8pm the CT phoned to say there was a virus and the network was down, so there would be no computers for my ICT lesson. I still taught the lesson which was about repeated patterns and pointillism but using felt tips, we reflected as a class how we would have used the computers if we had them.


I didn’t see them used, but the school are equipped with DigiBlue cameras. I asked about these as they can be great fun but the response was they didn’t work very well and most of them were broken. This was a bit of a shame….


The use of ICT in the school was good, all teachers were positive and enthusiastic. One staff meeting I attended was about writing the school mission statement for ICT. This was really interesting and it was clear that all understood the importance of ICT in the new generation, and the issues about not all children having access at home. They talked about having time where the parents and children could use the schools computers. The ICT subject coordinator also has set up some ‘silver surfer’ sessions for the community.


Overall a positive experience of ICT use.

I have finished my on line course for promethean, it was useful, I recommend it! Level 1 - Foundation Skills course is free

Friday, 28 November 2008

Update on Promethean training

I have now got a login and have started the training program.

I think it is quite useful and you can do as much as you want at a time. It is a walk through of how to use 'ActivPrimary', showing you through flash animation how to do each each step and what the icons mean. If you pass all the assessments you can print yourself a certificate! I have only done assessment 1 so far.

I'm not sure that other people in my group check others blogs, so I will put a link in our group C facebook group.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Serial Days

I have not seen much use of ICT in the past couple of days. The interactive White board (IWB) is used a lot for introductions, these are mainly PowerPoint. It was also used in science to show an explanation of sound and sound waves through cartoon demonstration and explanation. This was good as it was able to focus in on the detail/ magnify and also slow down the action. Another function the IWB serves is count downs. you can set up a timer with lots of different alarms when the time is up, the children seemed to really respond to knowing how much time was left. I think it helped them to stay on task.

Our University session on IWB was useful and fun. It was useful to be hands on with it and discover what we could do. It also made using one a little bit less scary, as you only know if you can do it once you try. It was fun to develop ideas and games that could realistically be used in teaching. I have found that all of the schools I have worked in or visited use Promethean boards and a program called 'ActivPrimary'. This is quite different in the way it functions compared to the Smart boards and the Note Book software. However I think after familiarising ourselves with the boards in the particular schools, they can be easily transferable ideas. Also in ICT you have to be able to use a variety of programmes.

There is a free training programme on the Promethean Website, I don't know if its any good as am in the process of investigating (you have to create an account).

Monday, 10 November 2008

Recently I have been using my computer, facebook and last fm to keep myself sane. I have been working hard on planning lessons, DAs and Assignment research, all of which have been computer based. So it has been nice to give myself little breaks to browse through photos and chat to friends online whilst working. Also I have enjoyed listening to new music suggetsted by Last fm radio!

I am also in the process of setting up a pottery business online. This has taken a back seat since I started the PGCE course though. But I have purchased a lovely light tent to photograph our pieces so we are now in the processes of taking lots of photos, before constructing our website. It is up at the moment but very raw, with not much actual content (

I had power cut yesterday evening and most of the night, although I very much enjoyed the peace and quiet (no machines buzzing!), it did highlight that it could happen at any time and I should get into a better habit of saving regularly so as not to lose what I am working on. It also made me promise myself not to leave any work right to the last minute/ night before (eg assignment)!

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

On School Placement - Serial Week

The school that I am at, use a program called dancemat typing every week. It is a touchtyping trainer which is set up as a game with levels pf progression. I think this is a great idea as it is a valuable skill for children to have. The children really enjoy it, though i have seen a few which type with one finger anyway.

So far apart from this ICT is only being used for introdutions to lessons (ie powerpoints) - the class teacher is away though so this will probably change.

The way in which I access information is changing - I think that for this assignment i have made much better use of internet resources. I have let sites leading to other sites take me on a journey of information gathering, which throws up some unexpected and interesting results.