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MirandaNet Fellowship Profiles (MirandaNet Archive - as of March 2015)
I have been teaching for about 15 years in inner city state schools and currently in an independent (3-18) school in Surrey. Although a history graduate I specialise in values education, the teaching of science and development of ICT at Primary level. I am also a Year 3 class teacher and enjoy working with children in transition.
I am responsible for Science and some ICT development within the school from N to Y6. I also have input into school strategies for the implementation of new learning technologies. We are using Think.com through most of the Junior School. As an institution we are trying to develop ICT. This will include moving to a full laptop environment from Year 5 upwards. Below that there will be class sets of laptops possibly from Year 1 though this still has to be defined. The theoretical base of this change is built upon a constructivist approach to education and the theories of MI (Gardener) and Bloom's Taxonomy are influential in our thinking. I see technology as a liberating influence for both staff and children. In addition to this the school is rapidly developing its values education programme based upon RIDE which was written in house. I am looking for links between the values education programme and ICT.
I was responsible for the introduction of Think.com within the Junior School during the last academic year; our school community is near 100% online at home as well as at school. We started with Year 3 since this year group combined good potential ICT skills with an expectancy of close supervision. I provided a training session (The Think and Internet safety) for parents and the students became very enthusiastic participants. The prime use of the Think from the school point of view was, and is, to provide a home school link. Homework was converted from traditional pencil and paper format and offered as a popular alternative: a very successful motivator. It has also been a showcase for some children to show their work and a few children have used it as a base for meeting new people. However this has posed a few problems particularly in interactions with Senior School children.
We are currently considering joining Grid Club and locking down are children's sites to Junior School only. The Year 5 cohort was then introduced to the Think, rather less work was done with parents. We have since been working with the Year 5 group, now Year 6, to help them develop a sense of the appropraite way of using their space. This has included considerable censorship, with which we are not always comfortable. Again there has been a wave of enthusiasm but owing to changes of teachers things are fairly quiet at the moment.
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