Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Critical Analysis of Approach - November 2005

Strengths in relation to learning and learners

Animation is established in 2 classes, leading to: embedding of ICT, offering different ways of learning and working, Multiple Intelligences theory in action, the facilitation of a range of learning styles, pupil experimentation, new experiences, cross-curricular projects. Alternative forms of assessment have been introduced eg video assessment in joint English/Science work. Food Preparation, Art, and RMPS enjoy alternative assessments. IC3 has a strong emphasis on initial assessment and pinpoints where learners need to focus, it is structured (step by step) and takes learners to another level of ICT skill. IC3 skills have been applied to work in Science and English.

Staff have weekly/monthly ‘drop ins’ for advice on ICT and embedding it into schemes of work and targets, pupils can copy work into an ePortfolio, and an eTwinning project has broadened some very limited horizons. Video conferencing has motivated pupils to be in class and to experiment with this media. Pupils have a greater choice of National Units to study. Two teachers have been motivated to take up the challenge of learning about Online Learning.
Some pupils can now access homework ‘anytime, anywhere’.
My experiences are shared with educational community via FLaT blog
There are a range of opportunities for pupils to learn outwith school time via the Virtual Learning Environment.

Limitations in relation to learners and learning

Despite regular ICT Inset, much of the technology is new to the teaching staff. Some are unsure of where it fits. If initiatives are not written in to the School Development Plan, then the impetus may be lost. Delays to building work have led to aspects of the project being rerouted or delayed. Developments in Music provision have been especially delayed. Pupils are not yet adequately trained in Video Conferencing. The ‘trial and error’ nature of animation work, though valid, is time-consuming. The gap between whole staff FLaT Inset and project start-up was too long. Pupils are not yet aware of Multiple Intelligence theory and some pupils prefer traditional methods of assessment eg written. IC3 is thorough and therefore S4 pupils recently introduced to it are not going to fully achieve qualification. Some pupils are not at the moment taught by those staff who are on the FLaT steering committee. Learning about Online Learning is time consuming, therefore benefits will be over the medium term. Homework blogging pages are not as editable as a normal Word document, therefore it is harder to facilitate those with ASN.


Culture change is over the long term
Time required for evaluations
Wireless technology does not work at local hotel
In UK, Video Conference upload speeds are relatively slow. Also, firewalls are notoriously difficult to work around
Low rate of internet access in low income, excluded households

Proposed next steps

Small steps in development of pupil use of animation and video conferencing
Use video conferencing within the school's Green Team
Seek additional facilitators of Video Conference sessions
Evaluate pupil experiences of alternative assessments
Provide more ‘hands on’ practice for all teaching staff
Approach management to dedicate one Inset per year solely to FLaT aims
Approach management to incorporate main FLaT aims into School Development Plans
Ensure that all Music equipment is ready to be purchased as soon as FLaT room is available
Timetable two afternoon training sessions in Video Conferencing (each for ½ of the school).
Regularly feedback animation experiences to staff group so that new work is informed
Encourage trained staff to use the language of Multiple Intelligences with their pupils
Remind steering committee that pupils may wish to work and be assessed in traditional ways and to facilitate this
Timetable and advertise monthly 'drop in' sessions for teachers
Encourage Online Learning staff to share/implement learning at stages during course.
Speak to ICT Network Manager about alternatives to Blogger re: improved layout of blog
Recommend to management that a wireless (homework) laptop is made available to each unit by August 2006
Identify local meeting place with wireless technology.


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