Reflective support children’s learning in the various subjects I

Reflectivecommentary   The evidence gathered has beenanalysed in order to unpick how technology is affecting our class. I provide anoverview of e learning across the curriculum, as a resource for both teachingand learning. I define E learning for the purpose of my study as the way inwhich teachers use the internet, interactive white boards (IWB), and devices inthe classroom to support children’s learning in the various subjects Iobserved. I am mindful that children gain a lot of ICT skills and knowledgeoutside their classroom (Ofcom, 2016).

 I found, in our class as researchsuggest, the IWB is the most effective ICT tool for teaching by making the information conveyed throughoutthe lesson, visually appealing (Appendix 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7) (Beauchamp and Parkinson’s, 2005; Becta, 2003).Teacher’s use of the IWB can vary from lesson tolesson, teachers can dominate the learning when they focus on the activity anduse themselves as a presenter of information, rather than a discussionfacilitator (Appendix 5 and 7). Consequently, this reduces the learningopportunities (Reedy, 2008).

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The interaction with the screen combinedwith dialogue enhanced the pupil’s engagement (Arnig2013; Siraj-Blatchford, 2007). TheIWB failed in one class, for the majority of this study the bulb was broken,rendering the IWB useless (Appendix 7). Therefore,because I do not have as many experiences to draw upon as a qualified teacher,sometimes referred to as ‘Thinking in action’ I need to reflect this in myplanning, in case the ICT fails, I still need to be able to manage the learning(Schön, 1991:p.49).

 Ofcom (2016) identify’YouTube’ as the favourite platform for viewing content, when our children goonto this platform to play Just Dance, this can lead to inappropriatecommercial advertising (Appendix 9)(BESA, 2013). This raises an important point; ourschool policy clearly states that children should not be going on this platform(Appendix 10) (DfE, 2015). Consequently, the school policy as a result is nowunder review. I had various discussions with colleagues about our use of thisplatform not being in line with policy, and the feeling is the benefits of theplatform far out way the risks. In future practice, when using such websites itwill be necessary for me to ensure I work within the school policies and beclear that the sites accessed are suitable (DfE, 2017; Jacques and Hyland,2010).

 Our school usessoftware designed for monitoring the practice of reading (Appendix 11).Children take a test, which gives them a score based on their ‘Zone of ProximalDevelopment’- the child’s actual development level as determined by independentproblem solving (Vygotsky, 1978, p.86). The software maintains the learner’sinterest in the task, ensures the task is simple enough to achieve, control thepupil’s level of frustration, demonstrates the task, and emphasizes certainaspects that will help when they practice reading (Topping and Paul, 1999).

Thereis some adult guidance, in the form of monitoring, praise for completing atest, there is no collaboration with more capable peers, and using thissoftware is something a pupil does independently, during self-study (Dixon-Krauss,1996; Wood and Middleton, 1975). In contrast, when a teacher and pupil share abook, with the teacher reading the most in the beginning, as the pupil developsconfidence, they gradually take over (Appendix 12) (Morgan, 1986; Palincsar andBrown, 1984).  Both methods work however; it is the human interactions withthe pupil in the traditional method, which enhances their learning (Garner,1987; Hattie, 2008). Human interaction also offers greater opportunity forteaching media literacy.

In future practice, I will maintain the online methodbecause it complements the traditional method and supports development of medialiteracy (Topping and Paul, 1999).  The essential point here is media rich environments haveimmersed pupils in a world they need to understand (Livingstone and Haddon, 2009; Mommerset al, 2013). To support the pupil’sinterpretation of media our teachers need a framework such as literacy(Livingstone, 2004). I observed a pupil showing signs of media literacywith regard the internet during my study (Appendix7) (Ofcom, 2016). I observedteaching of media literacy through the IWBduring whole class work and group work (Appendix 8) (Hobbs, 1998; Postman,1996).

I also observed that with or without ICT, media literacy is relevant inteaching and learning across curricula and some pupils are showing someunderstanding of media literacy (Appendix 8) (Hobbs, 1998). Inour class, we record the children’s achievements on an online learning journeyusing a piece of software (Appendix 13). Thereis every hope that pupils will reflect on their work critically, aprocess called ‘thinking about one’s own thinking’ to enhance their learning (Flavell, 1979: pp. 231- 236). In support of this, pupils have independent time duringassessment mornings every week, which enables them to upload evidence againsttheir learning objectives. Studies indicate placing the responsibility on thepupil for their assessment could begin to reduce the potential for bias of ateacher’s judgement (Barrett, 2008; Harlen,2005).

In contrast, in our class, theteacher moderates pupils’ judgement against each learning objective as’explorer’ or ‘master’ (Appendix 1). I foundthis relevant because if the teacher, pupils, and parents work inpartnership to produce their next steps this would reduce the potential forbias (Harlen, 2005; Bass and Eynon, 2009). We use softwaredesigned for enhancing their understanding of maths in our school; we setindependent activities, based on their ‘Zone of Proximal Development’ (Appendix14) (Dixon-Krauss, 1996; Vygotsky, 1978, p.86).

In support of this, the teachermodels the way they solved word problems, then encourages the learners toengage in problem solving, in as many different ways as possible, one of whichcould be using this software (Appendix 4 and 6). Quizzes engagelearners in the processes of social interaction, dialogue and sharing, all ofwhich are part of socio-cultural theory (Vygotsky, 1978). It should be the casethat when pupil’s and teachers use ICT collaboratively and there is greateropportunity, for exploration and investigation through talk, learning improves(Appendix 15) (Dawes et al, 2000; Rudduck and McIntyre, 2007). However, Inoticed this type of group work could create a competitive rather thancollaborative atmosphere during our own trainee teachers’ English lesson(Appendix 16) (Holloway et al.

2013; Postman, 1994). I found this relevantbecause teachers need to consider the educational purpose of grouping pupils atcomputers, to create challenge (Dawes et al, 2000; Wegerif and Scrimshaw,1997).  We organise ourdevices to support trio and individual work, pupils’ use of their own devices,or school based IPads and Chromebooks (we have seven devices for thirtychildren). Issuing thedevices can cause a distraction, this needs planning in advanced, and teachersshould always check the equipment before the lesson (Arthur and Cremin, 2010). Mouza and Barrett-Greenly (2015) make the pointdevices are popular in class and have the potential to close the gap betweenthe didactic and the digital learning currently in schools. I found thisrelevant because for me observing learning with didactic materials is mucheasier than observing online learning (Hattie, 2008; Chandler-Olcottand Mahar (2003). For me the most significant aspect was that I need a betterunderstanding of how, when, and to what degree ICT works to support learning,particularly when pupils work independently (Arnig, 2013; Mouza andBarrett-Greenly, 2015).