Archive for the ‘multiliteracies’ Category

Technology in the Classroom: Friend or Foe?

I came across a forum here in regards to how teachers feel about technology integration in the primary classroom. It’s obvious opinions vary. Here’s what I wrote:

I find it quite amusing how people tend to swing in either direction of this debate. You find teachers who are willing to jump full-swing into the use of these technology tools in the classroom, and then you get those that are adamant that their teaching hasn’t been a problem in the last 10-20 years, so why should it change now?I have no doubt that the tools given to us can be a fantastic resource, not only for the staff development within the school, but for each child’s individual education. I also say confidently that all the technology tools in the world will not make a “bad” teacher “good”. As a matter of fact, badly used technology in the classroom can be detrimental. To be a successful educator, successfully integrating technology into the classroom, you must already be a successful teacher first and foremost.

So where does the problem lie? Some would say a significant proportion of teachers in today’s classrooms are afraid of the unknown, unwilling to accept that with new technologies will come an increased workload. No-one that knows what they are talking about will deny that learning to appropriately use and maximise the opportunities offered by these resources will certainly take more preparation time, if only in the intial stages of discovering the resource.

Ultimately, it all comes down to staff training. If a school is serious about wanting to successfully integrate these forms of technology into our classrooms, then it needs to put its money and time where its mouth is. And I don’t refer to mere one-day CPD insets. It all needs to be about on the job training and coaching from someone in the know, two professionals working collaboratively to achieve common goals. This way, each staff member’s CPD in this area can be personally tailored to exactly what they want to find out, and how it can specifically help them in their classroom. When the professional development systems such as this are in place, then and only then can our schools truly be maximising the potential of these fantastic education tools.


Writing to Persuade – Just Add Spice!

I began doing some work with my class today which will lead them to writing their own speech and written text involving  the art of persuasion to put their points of view across.

Initially we began by brainstorming what makes up a “healthy school”, an issue and buzzword that has been bouncing around schools in this country for a number of years now.  The task led to me mentioning that like any good campaign (be it political or advertising), you need a good punch line or slogan to drive home your message.

 It gave me an exciting opportunity to show a number of television advertisements via YouTube that would not only show clever use of slogans, but also other mechanisms adopted as a means of persuading the consumer they target.

It led to some good discussion on how in some cases the slogan played a vital role in selling the product, and in other cases it was more a matter of using other devises, such as using gimmicks, celebrities and other enticements to sell the brands. One popular tv ad was a recent Tesco campaign which included the Spice Girls.

The videos opened the floor to a lot of good discussions about the different tactics of some other different brands being promoted, and of course the range of different ways that could be seen. If nothing else, it got the kids excited about coming up with their own slogan to bring home their own arguments for the speeches they are about to write.