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MirandaNet Fellowship Profiles (MirandaNet Archive - as of March 2015)
I have a background in business and combined with an MBA, hold qualifications in ICT from the University of Cambridge, the ECDL and Adobe.
I have taught ICT for over ten years and recently introduced “e-learning” and “enrichment” into my current school. I developed an E-Safety Policy for this school, which has been used as a template for other schools and most recently, the school was considered for an award for Outstanding ICT Learning Initiative of the Year 2010.
I have been asked to present my ideas on “Games and Learning in ICT” and “Successful teaching in ICT” to a number of international conferences on ICT and Education.
I am currently at University completing the MA in ICT in Education. My main thesis on the MA is educational management, developing staff and leadership and e-learning.
I have also been approached to write an essential guide to e-learning and teaching ICT by a well-known education publisher and have submitted my first draft. I already have had some articles published in IT Educational journals.
Today’s world of education is catching up to the demands of society. Pedagogy has to change, to meet the needs of a students living in a digital age.
I believe over the last ten years of teaching ICT and Business to students aged 11 -18, I have met this challenge and been able to accommodate a generation who want to learn, using current technology.
I taught students aged 11-18. I taught IGCSE, AQA A level and E/ICDL Certificate and Advanced. I was on the Enrichment Committee, which involved bringing a new exam regime and incorporating within this, enrichment projects involving digital movie editing, animation, and robotics. In addition, extra curricular activity saw the development of a pc club and pc workshop wherein students after school, learnt how to build PCs, manage networks and further develop their media skills. A recent ISI inspection stated the school has “in ICT improved the provision of ICT”, and that “there are examples of excellent work using ICT given the outstanding resources available”.
My E-Safety policy is currently the one used within the whole of British School Netherlands (five schools in total) and taken as a template by other International schools in the area.
The school was considered for an award for Outstanding ICT Learning Initiative of the Year 2010, based on the work that I had done and what the students had achieved.
ICTs are most often used in education to support existing teaching and learning practices with new tools. This was certainly true within our school.
While impact on student achievement was a matter of reasonable debate, a consensus was established within the school that further use of ICTs could help to promote and enable educational reform, and that as Kozma (2003) suggests, “exciting curricula based on real-world problems into the classroom”. (p.1)
Bearing this in mind, it was decided to introduce online learning and logic games to run alongside the curriculum, as part of enrichment and differentiation. This was initially began in ICT and its measured effectiveness would then be used as a motivator to encourage adoption of this new pedagogy across the all the curriculum subjects. The difficulties lay in explaining the need for change and establishing a rationale that change would be of benefit to the students, the school and the teachers.
Enrichment also saw the introduction of games and learning into ICT. Flash games, logic games, the opportunity to make games and utilize other interactive media stimulated interest in ICT way beyond the standard curriculum of the Office 2007 package.
Web based activities such as these programmes are, encouraged students in collaboration and communication and peer to peer recognition of their work. All students of whatever ability had the opportunity to progress and exhibit their work, within a safe “school environment”, i.e. accessible only by other students and parents
E-learning is the new mantra for education but it has been understood in so many different ways depending on government policy, school management, conflicts with traditional teaching and cultural values. Introducing on line learning and games therefore could have fallen into the category of misuse, overuse and an excuse for those in the lobby against technology in the classroom.
The feedback within the school matched that of Squire’s research as whilst some educators were confused over the value of online learning, underachievers saw it as the new way to learn and over achievers saw it as the gateway to far more opportunities
In the beginning, this raised as many questions as it answered about the failure of current pedagogy in schools matching learner’s view of the real world and how they associate ICT within it.
The way forward is to marry the two so that all learners are able to gain from online learning and the opportunities this gives to expanding the curriculum
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