gingerhobbit (gingerhobbit) wrote in teaching_uk,

Computer Science in Education?

Hi all!

I'm Beci, a 2nd year computer science student aiming for a Primary PGCE. Bit random I know, but there we go. Anyway, we're in the process of proposing our final year project ideas at the moment, and obviously any way of linking it to education for me would be a huge bonus.

So what I'm asking really is if there is any specific section of the curriculum (primary or secondary, I'm really looking at this quite broadly at the moment) that you feel could be greatly improved with some kind of software program or IT initiative. My degree focuses on computer vision and graphics, so is there any teaching ventures at the moment that depend on graphics/images/animation in some shape or form? I'm thinking of perhaps literacy, for example. Or perhaps there is some research into an IT-related method of teaching currently taking place that you may have covered in an essay or project?

Apologies that this sounds really vague, but I am looking at it quite broadly at the moment. Just some sort of idea that I could research and play around with from teachers or students like you who are in the know about what's currently going on in terms of IT in education.

Thankyou for any help you can give me!
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How about something specifically aimed at SATS revision/practice? That's the only thing we're really lacking IT-wise in our school.

Sorry I can't be more helpful.

I've been working as a Level 2 TA in a primary school for over a year and am starting my PGCE next month Whooo Hoooo!

btw I love your icon - am so hoping they create a series out of it, don't you??
How about (if you know someone with the language skills) some sort of programme that lets kids practise foreign language vocab? Fairly low-level stuff, just colours, animals, that sort of thing. Particularly something that would work on an interactive whiteboard?

Many primary schools are bringing in French or other languages but there's a lack of resources and specialists to teach it!
Look at Learning Platforms - Moodle/WebCT/FrogTeacher.

Alternatively look at ways of monitoring student attendance.

Hope that helps - Learning Platforms are being pushed by the government atm.

It also will help you if you decide to go for an Secondary ICT role.
I second the learning platform idea!
They are such a huge thing at the moment - is a bit wierd though, my previous school (I quit this term) wouldn't even consider implementing one whereas I have been grilled at every interview I have attended recently about them (I chose to write my PGCE Final Project on them and whether they could be used as a substitute for a specialist teacher).
The things are going to be mandatory soon, are they not?

Replace a specialist teacher with a learning platform? Are they serious? (No, don't answer that question; I'm afraid you'll say 'yes'.)

Let's be clear; computerized learning platforms are essentially glorified mechanisms for handing out, receiving, and sometimes even marking worksheets (okay, multi media 'worksheets' but still!). Worksheets do not teach children; TEACHERS teach children. At the end of the day, learning platforms may make the distribution and implementation of material easier (and I emphasize the word 'may'), but it requires a teacher with specialist subject knowledge to select, adapt, and deliver that material according to the needs of his or her pupils.

Besides, the damn things can't mark essays.
Oh, I went into the project with the personal opinion of 'you must be kidding' and came out with the same opinion, but I argued the report from the opposing perspective (I was bored senseless with my final placement - 6 hours a week teaching of ICT and 1 hour of Mathematics)

What the project did was have a set of specialist teachers devise lessons on the system and then the students attempted the work with myself (monitoring the use but not getting involved) and a technician available. It failed completely. The control group of students who had the same notes, powerpoints, worksheets, exercises and verbal explanations (we had taped commentary for them) but delivered by the teacher all scored so much higher than the experimental class.

Personally I am of the opinion that they should be used for the distribution of resources and the collection of work - particularly in an ICT classroom setting (it is hell getting work out of students if the printers are not working/are out of toner). If I had been able to implement one in my previous school it would have made my life so much simpler, as opposed to having a marking cycle where by I only saw their work in a form I could comment on once every 3 weeks (or in the case of last term, I saw their work for the first time (when it wasn't on their computer screen) in November, simply because up until then neither e-mail nor printers were functioning.
I agree with the distribution use; the virtual learning platform I've had training on would be brilliant for that sort of thing. It could deliver and receive assignments electronically, even from home, keep track of marks, deliver material at pre-assigned times and could mark closed questions (multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, etc.). It would even remind pupils of homework due and homework OVERdue. The only thing I would like to have been added to it is a means to deliver a message to parents via email.
Mine marked tests... it was great :o)