(Posted by Dughall)
I was asked this week if I could provide a couple of hours training for the teaching staff at a primary school on the first day back after the Christmas holiday. The brief is “…something that includes teacher use of the IWB and the use of ICT to raise boys’ achievement”.
Despite having relatively little time to prepare for such a session, I readily agreed but knew that I would benefit by seeking help and advice from a wider network.
I posted a message on Twitter as follows: “‘Raising boys achievement through ICT.’ If you had to give 2 hours input to Primary teachers, what would you do/include?”
Now I am lucky in that there are a large number of excellent educational professionals and practitioners who listen to what I have to say on Twitter and are prepared to help with suggestions and advice. Here’s what came back:
ComicLife – boys love comics as a way in to reading. Sitting with a teacher who has said it has a massive impact on boys, r/w
engage w tv studio, script autocue, camera n director. They luv it
include any ict that uses gadgets-boys attention focussed forever.
Use of IWB to scaffold, model, guide writing structure Use of ICT as visual and aural stimulus for writing ‘talk for writing good’
good Q.Be interested in responses.Possibly loads of different sites/tools to raise ach so they will find at least 1 thing 2useafter
other way would be to look at skill dev. and then pick one or two ict tools for each skill
definitely some game based learning, timez attack being one example for boys
great question & has got me thinking – any online maths & science works well, boys also seem to inspired by webquests for thinking
Ought to mention 21st Century Boys – Sue Palmer, huge concerns about early exposure to too much screen (tv or comp) toxic childhood
I have had a chance to follow up a few of the links including the one posted by @ideasfactory for an article from The Guardian. This article, although a few years old now, is an interesting read and also includes the following helpful list:
The do’s and don’ts of ICT teaching
· DO use ICT to produce a graph to represent boys’ progress. It can be a powerful tool to show them where they’re at, and where they need to go.
· DO make sure there is whole school awareness of the broader issues of boys’ underachievement and how ICT can help and what role it can play.
· DO draft computer-literate admin and support staff into the ICT suite, so they can be positive role models for boys and offer them instant help. If boys are stuck with their hands up for ages waiting for assistance, they will lose focus.
· DON’T let your kit get out-of-date. Make sure you have the best hardware and software your school can afford. Boys will be turned off by equipment that is five years old.
· DON’T use computers as a carrot even though they are a great motivator.
· DO consider setting up an e-buddy scheme with another school. Boys are much more likely to pay attention to things like spelling and grammar if they know they are writing for an audience elsewhere.
· DON’T make assumptions that all boys are “like this” and all girls “like that”. Not all boys will be motivated by using ICT. There isn’t a “size fits all” solution.
· DON’T leave it too late. The earlier you introduce boys to ICT, the better. They are not nearly as self-conscious at key stage 2 as at key stage 3.
· DO look for ways of developing creativity and fun with ICT, such as producing Java applets. Boys respond best to tasks that are short and have an obvious point.
I am hugely grateful for the rapid responses I received from those above and certainly have some food for thought for when I come to properly sit down and plan the session.