Veni, vidi, vici?
I suppose that I should actually set some kind of scene. I am the specialist ICT teacher at an Auckland primary school. I have been teaching since 1997. I qualified and taught in the UK until 2001 when I moved to New Zealand. Since 2001 I have been a specialist ICT teacher in Intermediate, Secondary (briefly) and now a primary school. My time in the UK was spent as a classroom teacher, with responsibility for ICT (no budget! – nothing changes there!).
2007 marks the start of a big change at my school. We have read the new draft curriculum, we have read ‘Enabling the 21st Century Learner’ and we have decided to take The Minister of Education’s advice in the former document’s forword and are embarking on developing an inquiry model for our students that will integrate ICT’s into the overall program. We will be creating a’…culture of continuous enquiry, innovation and improvement, risk taking and entrepreneurship.’ Well that is the idea. What we want now is buy in! We need to turn the theory into practice. We are aiming for a two pronged approach, pedagogical change for our teachers and the a gradual increase in ICT equipment in the classrooms at the point of learning.
I have long rallied against ICT suites, they do look flash, but if a class only gets one trip to the lab or hub once a week then the use of ICT can be seen as peripheral to daily classroom practice by teachers. Not only does the attitude of teachers towards ICT need to change the location of the ICTs themselves needs to change. If a classroom is equiped with resources for students to use, then they can use them when they need them. Just in time resources, for just in time learning. I know that this model produces huge resourcing issues within schools and my school is no exception, but I do believe that if genuine integration is to happen, then the use of learning resouces needs to be a daily affair and not weekly.
At my school I am slowly moving the emphasis back into the classroom, by investing in new equipment for the classrooms and not in the IT suite. It is my intention to become an itinerant teacher travelling to the classes and not have the classes come to me, so that the ICT is continually at the point of learning. But that is all down the track and my plans for this will not come to fruition until 2010. So in the meantime my mission is to win over the hearts and minds of the teachers in school to adopt and adapt. This is my biggest mission.
ICT is hard to adopt if you do not love it! For many teachers they regard ICT as just another initiative, another layer of workload that they could well do without, another something that is taking them away from their core business of teaching. If you can not adopt it, then you can not adapt your classroom practice and a viscious circle is created. My mission is to make ICT a transparent skill skill set at the centre of learning. I want students and teachers to be able to make informed choices about the appropriate tool to use to get the job done, to regard ICTs in all their guises as just another tool like a pen or pencil or paint brush.
This is my brick wall.