It has only been a matter of days since my three week long professional experience prac ended. Wow what a massive learning curve it was! I spent my first week feeling overwhelmed. A new environment, new faces, having to get my head around the Anita Archer explicit teaching model (WALT, WILF TIB spiel) etc. I spent my second week teaching the vast majority of the week, mostly maths and english and I spent my final week dealing with two relief teachers and the site co-ordinator in the class room as my mentor came down with sickness. Overall I enjoyed my time in the prep/year 1 composite class, the students were wonderful and I was lucky enough to have a hightly experienced mentor teacher for two weeks. The support staff and other teachers at the school were helpful and encouraging.
As for teaching ICT to enrich and transform student learning, well this really wasn’t high on the classroom agenda! Just like fellow student Jacqueline mentions in her blog, My prac experience also co-incided right in the middle of the school’s mid-year assessment time. This meant that there was little if any time for any experimental ICTs to transform student learning being incorporated to satisify my prac requirement. There were set lesson objectives I had to teach within a very tight teaching schedule. I did get to incorporate the use of Ipads to assess student comprehension of a retell of a story book for English. As part of every lesson introduction, whether it be maths, geography or english I planned, created and presented a power point presentation. I showed youtube clips and we viewed Google maps during geography. I even sought a free online maths game for students to play during maths rotations. But this is where the ICTS aspect ends. Perhaps I didn’t push for more use of ICTs in my lessons. My mentor admitted that she found the use of classroom laptops teditous, there was the need to type in the teacher’s password whenever the screen timed out. The students had little time using the laptops during lessons. There were no educational interactive programs on these laptops either.
I don’t want want to make excuses for not doing my best to plan for more exciting and enriching lessons with the use of ICTs. I am not a tech saavy person. I did look for guidence from my mentor about the incorportion of ICTs only to realise that she felt that the use of ICTS in this age group of students (ages 4-6) was time consuming and there would be the need to have lessons (possible a few) to explicitly teach the students how to use the digital technology, before we could teach content with the use of ICTs to enrich the learning. I wonder if many other students encountered similar problems and or barriers?