I've been blogging over the last couple of weeks about my thoughts and ideas on how to develop my ICT/computing curriculum to make it meet the requirements of the proposed new national curriculum (explained here) and to allow children to become much more independent learners. I just thought that I'd write this blog post to summarise the work that I've done so far and to clarify a few thoughts in my mind.
- Year 1, Year 2 and Year 3 (until at least half-way through the academic year) would have what could be described as being 'normal' lessons where the whole class do the same activity together, with me teaching it to them. This would enable them to get a good grounding in basic skills including how to: use the iPad operating system, type with growing speed/accuracy, take good digital photographs/videos and present work neatly using different apps.
- Year 4, Year 5, and Year 6 would also begin each year with some 'normal' lessons in which they would learn and consolidate a few essential skills - notably: e-safety, how to use Edmodo, how to find and evaluate websites on the web and some word processing skills (including using text editing tools).
- All classes would also receive some dedicated programming lessons too (since skills like constructing formulae in spreadsheets or creating programs with desired outcomes require a certain amount of accuracy that I think a whole class of children might not fully achieve through independent discovery). At the moment, many programming applications need laptops to work so having the whole class using them at once would also making booking equipment much easier in school to.
- For the remainder of the year, Year 4, Year 5, Year 6 (and possibly Year 3) would then be able to develop their ICT skills independently using the iPads. They would be able to choose which type of task they want to do (e.g. linked with: multimedia, digital creativity or text and graphics) and what app they would like to do it in - either a new one they want to learn or an app they still want to develop their skills in. Some might want to link in to a topic that interests them, using some useful facts/websites I've pre-found beforehand (to ensure ICT/computing skills remain the focus).
- To ensure that there is sufficient differentiation in the lessons, the children would be able to access this website I've just made that contains my 'good', 'great' and 'super' expectations for every task/app and I would discuss their current progress with them during the lesson (including things that they could do to improve). They would also use this website to get help on how to use the key tools available in each app to get them started:
- To ensure that there is good enough quality in their work, I would get the children to peer-assess each others work at regular intervals. I would also display this slide containing generic success criteria on to remind them of my expectations too (and to make it clear to any visitors that focused learning is actually going on in the room!):
- The children wouldn't be constrained to doing one task per lesson - depending on the app, some children might need to spend a number of sessions working on a project (e.g. creating a multimedia e-book). To keep track of which iPad they're working on and for me to quickly identify which pieces of work need taking off the iPads when finished (so I can share it on the school website and assess their final outcome), each child would have this simple sheet to fill in at the end of each lesson:
What do you think of this idea? I appreciate that a lot of schools would find it challenging to deliver due to varying ICT competences amongst staff but I do think that children are a lot more capable at using technology than people give them credit for and hopefully this idea would capitalise on this.