Thursday, October 29, 2009

use of ICT in classroom

I am going to be nasty here, and maybe I should feel guilty…..or not.

The school bought 16 notebooks a little while ago. Fantastic!!!! We now have 16 keys to explore the world. We share these notebooks among 5 or 6 teachers.

I try to book those laptops regularly, and sometimes (most of the times) unsuccessfully. Maybe I should plan my lessons 6 weeks in advance, but that would be being organised! And then I think “well fair enough, other teachers must use the laptops effectively and they need them more than I do”

2 days ago, one of the teacher I share the laptops with was away and some relief work had been set (by her). I had to help the reliever to set up the laptops etc..

Then I had a look at the work set up. The kids had to use the internet to create crosswords. No explanation was provided at all.
The next day the same situation started again, except that the kids had to use Word to write a story.

What shocked me here was the fact that it is not because you use a computer that you re using technology effectively. What is the point of spending $16000 to create a crossword? The students engagement and their learning are not greater because you use a computer instead of a piece of paper. The question here is “what is the point of making a crossword?” What is the learning? Where is the thinking here? Where is the teaching?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

French visit in my class

Last week a French lady came to spend the day with me in my class. She is thinking of becoming a teacher, maybe, perhaps….she had a bad experience at school and she is not sure if she wants to spend the next 20 years at school.

This lady spent the full day with, to see what a secondary teacher does. My first class was a year 9 French (of course French coz I am a French teacher!!!). The students had to make photos of them expressing verbs with their body. They could use a photo camera or a mobile phone. The lesson started and some kids had forgotten their mobile phone. They asked me if they could use my Chinese made mobile, which they love, to make some pix, I lent it to them and off they went outside taking some dressing up clothes on their way out.

Suddenly the lady looked at me and told me “ Oh my god but do you trust the kids with your mobile phone? Are they allowed to be outside? Don’t you want to stay with them outside to check on them?”

It was the first time she visited a school outside of France, and she never experienced a class where the kids are in charge of their learning. She was also very surprised that I was not lecturing my class.

I have not thought about my own experience at school for a long time. And it is very true that in France teachers lecture a lot, actually that is the only thing they do. This type of teaching suited me a lot when I was at school myself, but as a teacher I do not lecture, and I always make a point of making the kids responsible of their learning.

The fact that this lady was with me all day made me realise how much I have evolved in my teaching since my first class when I used to only lecture, exactly as I have been taught.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Smart enough?

I have Smartboard Software installed onto my computer, and I have had it for 2 years or so (maybe 3, time flies !!!). I have to admit that I don’t use it a lot because I use heaps Powerpoint which I find very interactive. I use it mainly when we watch a video and the students have to fill in the gaps using a air mouse. You see I don’t have a IWB and I live very well.

Feeling a bit guilty I tried during the holiday to create a presentation using smartboard software.

I made a movie to show what the activities are on the presentation. I hope you can understand my thick French accent- no hope for me to lose it ever as I have been living in an anglophone country for 9 years now!!!!!

I added this post because I would like to know if I am on the right track. Are there other tricks and tips that I am not aware of?? I actually need some help to know a bit more about IWB.

I have found a lot of inspiration here and