I’ve been thinking about ICTs and how they are used in the classroom. Penpals was what came to mind, in high school we had a sister school in Japan and in primary school we had penpals from other schools. When I was at a local Primary School Upper Plenty Primary helping out at the end of last year I noticed that they also have something similar, the program that they had in place allowed the students to talk via videochat to a school somewhere in another country. These sorts of programs allow the children to connect with others there age in another country and so learn about another culture. When I am a teacher I am hoping that they have a similar program in place that my class can take part in as I think that it would be a really fantastic chance for the students to be able to learn about another country not just through reading and watching videos but to actually have the chance to hear from someone of a similar age to them and ask questions.
I have never known a classroom where ICT has not been used, granted in my early years of schooling it
When I got to high school ICT was still there in the lower year levels we had a class called IT that we all had to take. Later on, now, they don’t have that class anymore and it is incorporated into all of the other classes. However in IT we learned how to touch type using the program Mavis Beacon. It was boring and tedious and no one really liked doing it, though I have to admit that while I cannot touch type really well I can still do it. I’m not sure if they still teach it now that they do not have a separate IT class however it is a skill that I am grateful for because before I did it I typed using only one finger on the keyboard and it took forever to type something. As well as learning touch typing in IT we did spread sheets in excel, lots and lots of spread sheets. The year that we did spread sheets was so boring compared to the year that we got to research a celebrity and make a power point or learnt how to make a short animated movie with our own drawings.
As well as having these IT classes we also had another class were we all logged onto a program were we had to answer questions on maths or English depending on what subject it was that day. The questions it asked us were pitched at our level of learning and the aim was to improve our skills.
Other uses of ICT in the classroom I suppose are the use of music and Ipods. When I did art in year 10 the teacher always had music on in the classroom while we worked. The school policy was that it was up to the teachers whether or not students were allowed to use I pods in class. We were always allowed to use them in maths when we had to work silently on the problems in the book, other classes when the teacher was talking they were a big no-no. When I pods were allowed though it kept us quiet and focused on what we were doing.
Technology is a useful thing, we always typed up our work for a good copy and handing in work electronically via email or usb was so useful and it saved paper because you were not printing it out. However not all teachers know how to use it, lots of the teachers that I had in high school had no idea how the projector worked and got students to help them with it. We had interactive whiteboards in nearly every class though I only ever saw it being used once and then the teachers had in the ICT teacher to show them how it worked, it did not go well. We also had computers and projectors in nearly every room. Teachers however used the projectors allot to show us movies and clips, and had their computers connected to the projector so that they could type on Word instead of writing on the board.
When I am a teacher I would like to be able to use the technology that I have in my classroom I do not want to be one of those teachers who has an interactive whiteboard but has no idea how to use it. I want to be able to use it to do activities at the front of the class and include all the students. I want to have them use computers to make power points and type up their work and be able to use different mediums to present. Technology in schools and the world is a reality and I think that it is important to use it in the classroom. One thing that I like is I pads and E-readers where you can read the books instead of carrying around heavy textbooks. I think that because it is technology as well students may be more interested in reading if it wasn’t actually a paper book that they were reading but rather a tablet of some sort.