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Thursday, December 08, 2005

Start small...

After two rescheduled attempts I finally made it to Port Charlotte Primary on Islay today. It was great to have discussions during the day with the staff about the use of ICT they are making. It was great to speak with them about how they could make further use of technology. I occupy the curious position of being able to make recommendations to staff that already know what they could do, and so many of my suggestions are quite simple. I hope staff find this encouraging. The best use of ICT is most often the simplest of things.

We need to make greater use of email – email the class next door. Email an equivalent class in a nearby school. The kids will love to do it, and they will love to check for responses! Write about anything in the email – what you have been working on, what you have learnt, what you are going to do. Ask questions – how about setting some maths problems to another class?

Use a computer to illustrate – the web is full of information and images. Show some examples of what you are talking about. Get hold of a data projector. I would argue that a projector and a computer is of more value in a classroom than two computers.

Check before making – the web is becoming increasingly populated with content, so chances are another teacher has not only taught the lesson you are about to do, but they have made a resource and posted it online. I would rather waste 20 minutes searching and possibly finding nothing than wasting an hour preparing something that I didn’t need to.

Learn how to use bookmarks and record the sites you find useful. The BBC is commissioned to produce 50% of the curriculum which has begun to appear online already.

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