I find it interesting how well ICT can be embedded into Maths. There is a big focus at the moment on embedding. Embedding ICT, Maths and English into training programmes such as Apprenticeships and NVQs. The embedding goes further as ICT and English should be embedded into maths oh and not forgetting bringing the British values and culture into it somehow. I must admit my first thoughts were ‘oh no here we go again’ but all this embedding is making for a much more enjoyable and fun maths session. It just needs a bit of thought at the planning stage but it is really worth while. ICT is embedding it self naturally into our daily lives so we need to take the barriers down and let it into the adult education classroom. The main trick is not just replace what you normally do with software like Excel, Word and PowerPoint but to use the full power of the internet and availability of technology.
Do you class yourself as ‘Old School’?
Have you spent many years avoiding computers or saying things like ‘all you need is a pencil and a diary’. I have personally experienced people like this and find it unbelievable that for some people there is so much resistance to move forward with technology. But is it so unbelievable? I believe there is an interesting paradox in education when it comes to ICT. On one hand schools, colleges, business colleges and training providers are told they should be embedding ICT into the learning yet on the other hand they are being told to teach maths like the ‘times tables’. Why learn the times tables if you have IT that can do it for you. Functional Skills Maths is good in that it tries to relate maths to the real world but in the real world we get computer to do it for us or an app on a tablet or phone. Exams still want to see how you worked the calculation out rather than asking what hardware or software you used to do the calculation for you. Problem solving skills and thinking skills is where we should focus and let the ICT do the bit that for most is a chore or a subject with barriers.
Using ICT to enhance learning is something that I believe is essential on all courses. I like to back up everything I deliver so learners can go back over the content of a learning session. This also includes the ability to flip the classroom and allow learners to have their lesson before they arrive. This means the actual lesson can be focused on questions they have and checking their understanding. I have just started to develop an on-line course on ‘The Principles of Business Administration‘ and another for on-line course for ‘Maths Support‘. The next few months in Milton Keynes will be interesting as I test these on learners. I will report back.
David – InIT Learning