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As I sit here trying to multitask (mess more than one thing up at a time) I’m thinking about how much classroom education has changed in the 11 years I have been teaching. 11 years ago, schools didn’t have ICT suites as we know them today. If a school was lucky, it would have come RM machines or even BBC Bs still in action. My second school I taught in was Woodside Primary School in Bradford. I remember the day our 15 PCs were dropped off and they remained in boxes for a couple of weeks as everyone didn’t want the responsibility. I unpacked them one dinnertime and assembled them on our newly refurbished ex-library. It looked sensational and I can still remember the thrill I got just at looking at all the machines lined up brand new and ready to go! A few weeks later (the PCs had not been switched on yet) we started our whole school training on ‘How to boot up a PC’, we moved swiftly on to Word Processing and a few other programs. If I recall correctly, we had to complete many tasks, homework, portfolio of our development and many other things. About six weeks later, we were ready for the children, totally in charge ready for the children to learn at our pace! How we feared that children may ask us a question that we didn’t know the answer to!

How things have changed! As soon as a new piece of technology arrives in school, I unpack it in front of the children and we learn together. It was only during the last week of the term I received this netbook I am currently typing on, I booted it up in front of my Year 6 class, explaining just why I love my job so much. I was then that I realised that Windows 7 was installed. I asked the children if they knew how to work Windows 7. Sophie replied, “Easy! Just watch the adverts on the telly!” She proceeded to show me how to display two programs split screen and said “I’m a PC and I invented Windows 7.”

Children as young as Primary aged children know that their teachers don’t know everything. I wonder what ICT will look like in 10 years. Will we have fully mobile wireless IT that is seamless from school to home? Will schools be the centre of a learning community? Will teachers teacher less and learn more? Will pupils be taught less and learn more?

We certainly live in exciting times. If we do what we always did, we will get what we always got! Taking the roof off our classrooms and showcasing our learning to the world is surely a step in the right direction. Children in Year 6 at Heathfield Primary School have already seen the benefit of doing this in our first week of blogging! Already, we have had a Gifted and Talented Writers’ Project developed between Heathfield and a south coast school. Only on Friday evening, we had a request from a Hereford secondary school teacher to use Lauren’s writing with his class of Year 8 children. Right now, there are children at home preparing work to be blogged to the world. Giving our children a worldwide ‘real’ audience is not only great for them it is great Heathfield Primary School but more importantly great for our children.

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  1. Miss Holland
    December 20, 2009 at 10:59 am #

    Wow Mr M!! That was some very thought provoking writing for a Sunday morning. I completely agree though as even I reflect on how times have changed with ICT in education. It is vital that the children know that we too are learning alongside them, with them. So many times I have been told “You are an adult. You know everything.” I am always telling my children when they do something wonderful, or tell me something I didn’t know. They are teaching us, just as we teach them.

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