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MirandaNet Fellowship Profiles (MirandaNet Archive - as of March 2015)
As a teacher, I feel privileged to be able to use my background in psychology and behavioural sciences to help children move forward in their learning. The parts of my role that inspire me most are to do with motivation, achievement and finding ways to enable children to understand themselves more deeply and also to help them develop the feelings that are associated with being part of a rich and productive community. My interest in ICT was initially tentative and I felt some alienation towards the whole thing partly due to IT shaman I came across who seemed to have an aptitude for compounding my own feelings of inadequacy due to their inability to go at a speed I could keep up with or to their own limited knowledge which made it difficult for them to explain things clearly enough for me to follow. Okay, I know it's not fair to blame them for my own slowness! Gradually, even reluctantly, I began to see that new technologies dovetailed perfectly with the things I'm most excited about. With newly opened eyes, my interest has snowballed and I'm now hungry and actively searching out new developments and am very keen to further my understanding and skills. The intersection of ICT, psychology and education undoubtedly offers the potential to transform learning as we know it and I can't wait to be part of that transformation.
I suppose being given a laptop computer about 5 years ago was the real gateway to my ICT journey. I began to explore a limited number of programmes that supported me in planning and assessing children's work. About 3 years ago an interactive whiteboard was installed in my classroom and I fell swiftly in love as I marvelled at the capacity of the technology to hold the children in rapture. At the same time, I enjoyed the opportunity to be creative in many new ways and loved developing flipcharts, PowerPoint presentations, photostories and many other resources to help the children move forward successfully and happily in their learning. When our school installed a fantastic computer suite, I was blown away by the ease with which it was possible to put together personalised and collaborative learning programmes that the children could follow while we worked in there and, my goodness me, the eagerness with which they worked was inspiring. Do I believe in the power of ICT within education? You bet I do!
Recent ProjectsI'm lucky to work with people who are also keen to explore the potential of ICT and I'm currently working as part of a team on the development of the VLE within school. We're using Digitalbrain, which has been adopted by our LA but we've also been playing with Moodle. We're excited by the potential to set up a learning community within the VLE, which will extend learning into the home much more powerfully than has been possible before. We're also planning to install suites of computers into 3 of our classrooms over the summer so it's quite exciting working out how to ensure one computer between two children whilst also ensuring space is available for other activities. I'm going to be working in one of the rooms with a Year 1 class and whilst I have lots of ideas buzzing around in my head, if anyone has any tips or advice, I'd love to hear from you.
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