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Classroom virtual learning environment vrs books, blackboard and teaching

(6 Posts)
henwoman Fri 17-Jun-11 18:28:51

I've an October born daughter in year 5, so she will start secondary in Sept2012, but we're doing the legwork now. We've visited a very good reputation private catholic girls/now taking boys, in a nearby town. As expected, came away very impressed. Have also visited local state 'ofsted rated outstanding' secondary which she can walk to. Will also be visiting 3 more for comparison. Immediate concern is how much secondary schools have/haven't changed since my time (I'm 45, so 30+ yrs ago...). I've been thinking about the state school which was dilapadated (sp?) and filthy, but had obviously spent its budget on banks and banks of computers - not just in the IT suite, but throughout the site. So a lot of the 'normal' lessons are taught in front of screens. AIBU to be horrified at this? or am I ancient history so far as education is concerned?? The school is 'outstanding' in our county, so they must be doing something right. Any one going through similar?

Tortu Fri 17-Jun-11 19:18:44

The general theory is that if education is about preparing children for their future life, it would be a flawed process if this did not, now, involve ICT. In my school every teaching room has an interactive whiteboard, which I feel has revolutionised teaching. Have to say that I wouldn't want to teach the British curriculum without it as most of the new resources are being produced to be interactive as well and are designed for this form of teaching rather than the more static textbooks (which also change so quickly now that there is barely any point in schools buying them).

However, the real point is that if you have an 'outstanding' school within walking distance, you'd be silly to go anywhere else. It is extremely difficult for a school to get this rating and thus it must be a very good school.

freerangeeggs Fri 17-Jun-11 19:38:17

When I was a wee girl I had a desk and a blackboard of my own. I love writing with chalk and it is one of the great disappointments of my professional life that I have never once had the opportunity to write on a blackboard.

However, as a teacher I think interactive whiteboards are fantastic. At their most basic level of use they're just expensive projectors, but when used in more imaginative ways they make a huge difference.

Computers are also an excellent aid for lots of SEN kids. My Y9 bottom set use laptops all the time and it's amazing how much more they can write, and how much their personalities come through in their writing, when they're able to type instead of hand-write.

What would you prefer? Some boring, wordy, mass-photocopied worksheet that will make the kids groan at the sight of it? Or just a teacher standing talking at the front?

If you read the literature about the impact of ICT I think you'd change your mind smile

henwoman Fri 17-Jun-11 20:46:30

Thanks ladies for your comments - where do I go to find out more about ICT as teaching aid? Her primary school has ICT suite, but apart from mathletics I don't know what they use it for... Obviously we're computer literate at home (how else would I be here on mn?), but I'm a dinosaur when it comes to education, and only have my own experience (+30yrs ago) to go on...
FWIW How much value should I put on the physical environment? I found it deeply depressing to think about spending time every day in the buildings which were so poorly presented outside and in - worn out really. However my DD didn't seem to notice... If the children/staff accept low standards of accommodation how can they aspire to greater things? I'm sure I'm now sounding very middle aged middle class middle england.... and I should see beyond the superficial.

GnomeDePlume Fri 17-Jun-11 21:28:04

If you are truly interested the OU offer a post graduate course in online and distance education. ICT can support education in many ways:
- asynchronous education allows students to learn at their own pace
- web based communication allows students to collaborate across huge distances or just to the next room
- ICT allows students with various problems which would in a normal environment hamper communication communicate on on a level playing field

We all learn in different ways. ICT can support this. Chalk and talk only works for some.

GnomeDePlume Fri 17-Jun-11 21:36:31

My DCs (soon all 3) attend an ugly 1970s built comp. In our town there was a Hobson's choice of one. At this ugly, peeling, in and out of special measures school my DCs thriving.

The teaching is good on the whole, ICT is used extensively but appropriately.

Dont judge a book by its cover.

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