I’m now starting the MOOC from Coursera “ICT in Primary Education: Transforming children’s learning across the curriculum“. Although I have not yet taught young children, I’ll try to do so after the summer, and this course comes at a right time!
So Week 1: the typical start with presentations. Nothing original here: “Hi, My name is Valerie, I’m from France; I am an IT engineer and I started teaching adults 2 years ago. I’d like to teach young children now and so am interested by this course.”
Notes from Introductory video:
- Professional dev course, based on books with UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education
- About (free) tools and resources available to teach
- This is not a static body of knowledge as technology is changing all the time, and new experiences are made every days
- In Week 1: Why using ICT? successes and failures; creating a Course journal
A couple resources:
- http://www.scoop.it/t/etel: ‘Emerging Technology Enhanced Learning Tools’, where I could see a very interesting slideshare about OER, from University of South Africa (http://www.slideshare.net/ROER4D/openness-in-higher-education), and downloading an interesting report about distance education, including George Siemens as one of the authors, I just don’t know when I’ll be able to read 234 pages… (http://linkresearchlab.org/PreparingDigitalUniversity.pdf)
- https://groups.diigo.com/group/ict-in-primary-education: here I found a great resource for young kids that I will surely use, http://lightbot.com/hocflash.html, and I posted the link for ScratchJr
Great example of the use of tablet(s) by young children to make a video on butterflies. Positive reaction: it lets them create a (digital) object, and get immediate feedback about what they do, thus engaging them; Negative reaction: they are not manipulating real objects but media, and may focus too much on media instead of understanding the concepts.
I think ICT should be used in primary education to prepare children to their future use of it (school and work), and because it provides additional means to teach.
Regarding the 6 learning types in relation to the coming activities to introduce ICT to young children:
|Learning through:||Students learning about your topic could be using:|
|Acquisition||Teacher explaining concepts such as algorithm, program, iterations/loop, events,… Maybe watching a video also (YouTube, etc)|
|Discussion||After an exercise, discuss on one’s solution with others (no ICT here)|
|Investigation||Searching information about concepts in Wikipedia for ex (using browser and search engine)|
|Practice||Computer game / exercise on concepts (using computer application, including development environment such as Scratch)|
|Collaboration||Decide about the journal content (no ICT here)|
|Production||Create a collective journal with information searched, images,… (using an application or word processor)|
Regarding the French context, at this url, one can find the results of the recently closed study on the use of Digital at school, in France:
Supporting Teachers: some advices taken from IITE UNESCO Guide:
- Put ICT devices in the library and access halls because it is important for everyone to see the children working on computers.
- Give a greater role to ICT in development and assessment, as it is very motivating for learners to get immediate feedback.
- Provide more mobile devices with wifi. Fixed equipment is expensive and their scope of use is limited, while mobile devices plus wifi allow more flexible use of ICT.
- One-to-one access to teachers then to students.
- Training to teachers.
- A technician oriented towards pedagogic innovation is needed more regularly in the school. [I’d like to play this role myself! 🙂 ]
- Give visibility to teachers to talk about their activities.
Regarding Action plans and policies, the main points I’d like to remember are:
- ICT training not much needed anymore, but training on teaching with ICT is
- Importance of collaboration between teachers; communities of pratice; sharing and reusing learning designs
From the padlet, I got the reference of the European Schoolnet Academy, and they have plenty of very interesting MOOCs! For use, I will check at least the “How to teach computing for primary teachers” one… And if possible, the one on games in schools.