Archive for January, 2008
A third of teachers struggle to use the technology schools are equipped with and want more support and training, the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) said today.NFER’s first Teacher Voice Omnibus Survey (TVOS), which was completed by about 1,000 teachers, including heads and newly qualified classroom teachers, shows widespread use of information technology in schools: 80% said it had made a difference to the way they teach.
But a “sizeable minority” (33%) felt they lacked the necessary skills to exploit the technology available to them and needed more support and information to integrate information and communication technology (ICT) in lessons, NFER found.
A third of the teachers surveyed said lack of resources and poor reliability discouraged them and limited their use of ICT in schools.
But NFER said when compared to research conducted in 2004, the findings suggest that teacher competence in using ICT has improved overall.
Two thirds (67%) said they had the ICT skills to exploit the technology available to them and 62% said ICT helps to raise pupil attainment.
Teachers also said ICT leadership in schools could be improved. Just 27% of respondents felt that the leadership of ICT pedagogy in their school was inspirational and only 44% said that their school is innovative in its use of ICT.
NFER’s Maria Charles said: “The first TVOS survey has given us a valuable insight into the views of teachers. We hope to be able to continue addressing current issues within teaching in further surveys.”
Author: Anthea Lipsett 28th January 2008
Years ago, gym teachers waged a war with video games, blaming them for turning children into couch potatoes.For hours on end, children were glued to their seats while their fingers ran rampant over controllers. That all changed when physical education teacher Don Prorok’s brother bought a Nintendo Wii over the summer.“I was playing in the garage and I was tired and sore all over,” Prorok said.When the school year began, Prorok and the other gym teachers at Chelsea Intermediate School wrote a grant proposing to buy the Nintendo Wii systems to implement into the physical education curriculum. The interactive video game forces players out of their seats and makes them use their arms and legs, which allows for a cardio workout.
Prorok said that convincing administration wasn’t difficult at all.
“They loved it and they were right on board with it,” he said. “Our administration really supports us in what we do.”
The school bought seven systems with 28 controllers, also purchasing Wii Sports game that comes with tennis, bowling, boxing, baseball and golf. The whole school can use the systems, but the gym classes have priority.
Fellow gym teacher Kay Elam said that they were all excited about the game because it brings technology into the classroom and helps develop positive attributes in the children.
“It’s developing more sportsmanship and comradery among the kids,”she said.
Fourth-grader Hannah Stovall said she received a Nintendo Wii for Christmas and that she enjoys the active games.
“I like that you don’t have to do it with the controller, you can actually use motion,” she said.
Madeline Vaughan enjoyed the Wii system for very different reasons.
“I think its the ability to play video games at school,” Madeline said, laughing
Prorok said that incorporating the video game into the curriculum was his way of trying to be innovative, as well as beating the enemy at his own game.
“They’re going to play video games anyway, we might as well steer them to the right ones,” he said.
John McGinn, also in the fourth grade, said that he enjoyed how active the game was and how fun it was.
Steven Ogbonna said he enjoyed how life-like the game was.
“Its how real life, it’s real actual physical education,” he said.
Prorok said that another reason he brought the Wii system into the school is because of the friendliness of the game.
“That’s why I love Nintendo games, there not like shooting games,” he said. “I mean how can Mario be mean?”
Author: Shenequa A. Golding, Southtown Star 20th January 2008
However, schools are not using new technology to the best advantage, according to the government’s educational tech agency.
Most parents believe having the latest technology in schools helps their children learn better, but just a fifth of schools are using it to their full advantage, according to a new survey on behalf of the government’s IT in education agency, Becta.
In a poll of 2,000 parents by research firm Populus, 95 per cent said they believed innovative tools, such as interactive whiteboards, help their children at school. Another 77 per cent believe technology helps engage children in difficult subjects, while nearly two-thirds think computers boost exam results.
Stephen Crowne, Becta’s chief executive, said: “As a parent, you want to know that your child is enjoying school; that they’re getting access to the best support; and that if they’re having any problems, you know straight away.”
The survey also showed that 91 per cent of parents believe the use of computers and the internet helps prepare young people for the world of work.
Despite this strong favour, research from Becta – which advises the government and the education sector on how best to use technology in schools – has shown just a fifth of schools are using modern technology to the fullest advantage.
“There is a gap between what parents think about the way schools are using technology and the reality – we need to close that generation gap,” Crowe said. “We want to move technology from the margins to the mainstream in our schools and colleges and make the most of the opportunities and benefits it can provide.”
Becta today launched its Next Generation Learning campaign, to help push for better use of technology in education – following the lead of Bristol Brunel Academy, the first to open under the Building Schools for the Future programme.
Crowe said: “With people increasingly interacting online and creating and using lots of different media to support their entertainment and friendships, learning which does not make the most of the opportunities provided by technology could be increasingly regarded by learners as dull or irrelevant. Businesses also need people with the skills to make the most of this new environment.”
Author: Nicole Kobie 15th January 2008
We have been hearing about how games will be important for learning for 50 years, with enormous publicity for games in many articles like this. But it has not happened, and I doubt that is will ever happen. The proponents of games argue that students enjoy them, an important issue, but other forms of learning can lead to enjoyable learning.
The principle problem with almost all learning games is that they do not adapt to individuaal student learning needs on a moment by moment basis. Further seldom do they deal with the fundamental issues of learning. For example few games help young children learn to read, in the full sense.
I have been pursuing for many years another learning strategy, adaptive tutorial learing. It can be used with schools or in locations where no schools exist. Each student moves in a unique pace until successful in learning. I have recently been invited to describe this lifelong learning strategy to serveral oganizations in Washington. Games might be used in this approach, partially, but not current games.
I would be happy to send full details of this approach. Please write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Author: Alfred M. Bork (University of California, Irvine)