I have a two year old
nephew who loves to play like any other young child. He’s inquisitive and will get his face and fingers into everything.
His mum regularly lets him use her iPhone which he manages quite easily. I gave
him my iPad and he turned it on himself and started to use it without any
guidance, focusing his attention on apps that were colourful or had animals on.
Children today are surrounded by technology that they can use with little
teaching and they have a desire to use this technology for play and learning. I
am a firm believer that the effective use of technology can have great benefits
for teaching and learning. That’s why I lead technology throughout the schools that I have worked
in and why I am so passionate about it.
Last year I attended the
Handheld Learning conference in Nottingham organised by ALT and the Becta. I may have been the only representative
from the primary school sector, but every attendee made me feel that the job
that I and many other ICT teachers throughout the country are doing is crucial.
We are at the forefront of new technologies and in many cases we lead the way
in the use of these technologies for teaching and learning.
Receiving the ALT Learning
Technologist of the Year award has given me added impetus; upon applying for
the award I also applied for and was successful in gaining a place on the
Google Certified Teacher (GCT) programme. This course was a fantastic
opportunity to learn more about Google's educational toolkit. I also met many
teachers that are part of my learning network on Twitter. There were 49 other
educators there from all parts of the world and for many it was the best curriculum professional development they had experienced. The pace was frantic
but pitched just right, leaving us wanting to try the tools when we had more
time to do so. I have been able to use Google Apps for Education in my own
school by using its tools and environment to set up the school virtual learning
platform. This is currently being rolled out to staff first then the students will
have the pleasure of using it by Christmas.
Being a GCT and ALT Learning
Technologist of the Year has also offered me the opportunity to become involved
with further teaching and learning opportunities in the wider community which
include training of colleagues at other schools, demonstrating our use of
Google Apps to other schools, presenting at events such as Teach Meets and inviting
PGCE students into my school to learn more about using technology for teaching
and learning. With each occasion I attend I hope I can instil a better understanding of
how technology can be used effectively both in and out of the classroom.
honoured to be one of the recipients of the ALT Learning Technologist of the Year award
and would like to acknowledge the many teachers that have helped me throughout
the years and especially those on my learning network. You are an inspiration.
Figure 1: Kevin McLaughlin and Sugra Mitra
Old Mill Primary school, Broughton Astley