Introduction to Digital Technologies 08.01.19

Hi! My name is Abbie, and I am currently studying education at university. My own journey through education has inspired my career choice, through experiences with teachers, several school placements and leadership programs it is clear to me that primary school education is the path for me. Through my university journey so far, I have gained an understanding of many elements of teaching, in particular the importance of communication in the classroom as “communication is, and always will be, at the heart of teaching and learning” (Pollard, 2008, p.332).

However, in 2019, communication is not solely the art of pen on paper or engaging in conversation, digital technologies are widely used and are therefore responsible for expanding this definition. Digital technologies incorporate skills such as investigating and researching for new information or creating original material, and through this, digital technologies can “enhance teaching and learning.” (Education Scotland, 2018).

Relating to a class discussion during my new module today, when used effectively digital technologies can increase pupil achievement, especially children with ASN, and can remove barriers for learners who may not have access to these technologies at home, perhaps for poverty related reasons. Digital technologies also increase pupil creativity and ambitiousness by engaging learners, and overall “lead to improved educational outcomes” (Scottish Government, 2016). I feel that it is a necessity for children to learn basic ICT skills as a compulsory ability in 2019 everyday life, and to prepare for future employment or further education. This is the main reason I have chosen the digital technologies module.

As my own primary school experience contained very few digital aspects, other than one whiteboard which was rarely used, I have limited knowledge when it comes to technology relating to learning. I did however get the opportunity to observe games based learning during my two-week primary school placement through an interactive maths and literacy website called ‘sumdog’, which was used regularly across the whole school. Although this particular school encouraged the use of digital technologies in the classroom, I am aware that this is not always the case. A high percentage of children possess the skills of being digitally literate, however do not get the opportunity to develop this through their learning in school. (Beauchamp, 2007, p.1) highlights the “pedagogic way of thinking which underpins the use of both hardware and software”, personally, as a student teacher, I plan to incorporate both digital technologies and traditional methods of teaching, to enhance the learning of myself and pupils. During my placement, it became evident to me that using technology hand in hand with learning engaged pupils as they could associate this with digital or online activities at home.

(Prensky, 2001, p.1) underlines the radical change in pupils’ lifestyle, and therefore the need for a change in the way they are taught in relation to the education system, which this module will enable me to do by incorporating interactive, digital learning into lessons. I hope to broaden my knowledge of modern resources used in the classroom to engage learners, and to expand my own skillset for self-fulfilment. This blog will enable me to reflect on my own progress and identify my strengths and areas for development within digital technologies, to overall improve my teaching abilities. I look forward to this reflecting process and posting about my journey throughout the module!

Abbie 🙂

 

References:

Beauchamp, G. (2012) ICT in the Primary School: From Pedagogy to Practice. Pearson.

Education Scotland. (2018) Enhancing Learning and Teaching through the use of Digital Technology. [Online] Available at: https://www.gov.scot/publications/enhancing-learning-teaching-through-use-digital-technology/pages/2/ [Accessed: 08 January 2019].

Pollard, A. (2008) Reflective Teaching: Evidence Informed Professional Practice. London: Continuum.

Prensky, M. (2001) Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants. [Online] Available at: https://www.marcprensky.com/writing/Prensky%20-%20Digital%20Natives,%20Digital%20Immigrants%20-%20Part1.pdf [Accessed: 08 January 2019].

Scottish Government. (2016) A Digital Learning and Teaching Strategy for Scotland. [Online] Available at: https://www.gov.scot/publications/enhancing-learning-teaching-through-use-digital-technology/ [Accessed: 08 January 2019].

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