ICT’s transforming teaching and putting theories to the test

I have been pondering for the past week if I can use ICT’s to transform my teaching.

During the past 2 years I have been studying, I have been challenged to change my mind and accept that everything i thought was, might not be so. I have had to do the same with the question above. “can I use ICT’s to transform my teaching?”. Two years ago my answer to this question would have been no. But here I am, saying yes to this question. I strongly believe ICT’s can enhance even the best of teachers.

Lev Vygotsky has inspired me to embrace his theory on social development. I feel very passionate about his concept of “play”. He believes that a childs cognitive development and understanding stem form their social interaction sand their ability to ‘play’. by playing, children are able to justify and make sense of tasks.

I have experienced this form of ‘play’ first hand. I recently started to teach a 3 year old little boy how to write his name. I started by printing out some templates of his name on the computer and was asking him to sit and trace the letters. To him this was BORING! so i started to think of new ways I could make it fun. He is forever on my Ipad playing games and drawing pictures in the paint app. So, i thought I would make use of his love for the ipad and get him to trace his name on it, and well what can i say, he was a little rusty at first but it was no longer ‘boring’ for him. He was engaged in learning and he didn’t even know it!. I then started thinking about Vygotskys theory and decided why not make his learning experiences fun, so for two weeks we practiced his name in new fun ways; on the ipad, we painted it, we stomped it with painted foot prints, we spelt it in the back yard with his never ending supply of toy cars and the list goes on. He started to recognise the letters in his name on street signs and on the telly. He would say “hey there is a ‘T’ for Tyrone”or “There is an ‘r’ like in my name”. One afternoon I was sitting at my desk writing and he decided he wanted to do the same, so i sat him up next to me and I said why don’t you write your name mate, like we have been on the ipad and with the paint. He needed little encouragement and then just like that, he wrote his name for the first time on a piece of paper!

I was so proud of him. And am proud to say that I (with the combination of Vygotskys theory and ICT’s) transformed the way i was teaching.

Using the TEST Framework

Task:

“How do I keep up with all the readings and all the activities for this subject when I have other subjects, a family and business to run?”

Environment:

I am studying full time (4 subjects), working shift work, planning a wedding and rebuilding my home after the floods in 2013 with my Fiance.

Skills:

As this is my 3rd year of study I have had the opportunity to develop my organisational skills and prioritising. But with the added pressure of unforeseen circumstances (flooded house) time management skills can fall beyond the way side.

Tools Available:

There are plenty of tools that are designed to specifically help organise day-to-day life. It can be assumed that most people have the use of an ICT (phone, computer etc.). such ICT’s almost always have a calendar and reminder system on them. Use this calendar to set up a planner around tasks that need to be completed. Set the alarm reminder so that you are aware of what task you should be moving onto next. If you have a PC this software is very good and comes with a free trial. It helps plan your daily tasks and study schedules. Encourage friends and family to visit in non-uni times and ensure they understand the importance of completing your studies in a timely fashion. Lastly, within your study schedule, allow time for yourself. Having a break will refresh the mind and allow for productive work when you return.