Resource Material for the IT PGCE:
The learning objectives for this session are that by the end of it you should:
One (perhaps the) key difficulty in teaching IT is to link the development of pupils' IT capability with that of their software skills. Mapping capability on to skills (and vice versa) is not an easy task and for that reason it forms a major focus of most of the Institute-based curriculum sessions.
We start this process today by looking at the development of the 'Exchanging and sharing information' strand of the IT NC. The context chosen for this session is the production of a web page or pages to introduce yourself to your PTE schools. In addition, you are asked to evaluate your completed pages since the evaluating (and modification) of work is another essential strand in the development of IT capability.
Some of you will already be able to meet the first two learning objectives above. For you, additional objectives are that you should have demonstrated a facility in editing pictures and animation and incorporating these into web-pages. This is a large task and you are not expected to complete it in one session. In the first session we will discuss the task, the resources available and assign support for individual needs. You will then have 2-3 days of study time in which you can complete the pages and their evaluation. There is then a further session of curriculum time in which we discuss the difficulties you have had and the evaluations of your work.
The cohort's web pages can be accessed from the index. Note that this is outside the password protected area of the site.
| At the Institute
The task consists of two parts:
(Please see the attached sheet for details of what you page(s) must and should contain - and what you are to do with it when it is written.)
In constructing your pages key point is to think of the needs and resources of your intended audience and to use this as a framework for deciding the structure organisation and content of your page(s). For this reason the session will start with a discussion of the possible audiences, and how this can/should influence what you do.
If you are new to web-authoring you should start by using Home Page and the excellent on-line tutorial produced by ICS. More experienced authors can use Dreamweaver, Fireworks and Flash which are available on the machines in 915.
For work at home you can either use Netscape Composer (free) or I have (legal and free) copies of authoring programmes from the cover discs of magazines.
The major misconception in this concerns the nature of a web-page and is the belief that it 'contains' everything that you see on it - including pictures. This belief is very plausible - if you see it on the page then it 'follows' that it is on the page. Also, if you print a page then both the text and the pictures on it print. However, as a number of you have found out the hard way - this is not the case. Web-pages contain text and links - links to pictures, sounds, movies and other web-pages. This matters because you can make links to pictures on (say) your local hard disc then the page will view perfectly but when you move just the page (say to the IOE server) then the links no longer work and you will not be able to see the pictures. This happened to a number of your pages and commonly happens to those children make. When you teach this area, you can use the fact that children will make this mistake to discuss the nature of web-pages.
A second misconception (held by my own children) is the belief that anything saved as a 'web page' is, by virtue of this, accessible via the Internet. Having made a 'personal web page' at school, which was saved on one of the school servers but not on its web-site, they were most disconcerted to find that they could not show it to me via the www, and could not understand why.All Souls School (a local primary school) has an excellent website, which includes a well-structured lesson plan for writing raw HTML with KS2 pupils and examples of the pupils' work.
Another primary school, Ambleside had a useful page concerned with teaching and learning about the Internet and web-design - including lesson plans.
Becta has a page with good advice for schools who wish to develop their own web site.
You can see examples of work children have done using Flash at the Tygh site.
Webmonkey for Kids has a good set of lessons, projects and tools for use by children.
How to start children writing web pages? There are two schools of thought:
One believes that children should start by writing HTML, so that they understand the coding behind their pages. The point here is that the focus is on the technical side of ICT.
The second believes that children should start by using web authoring packages - including Word - as it is significantly easier to create pages in these. The focus here is on producing a product for an audience - on the capability aspect of ICT.
My strong preference is for the second, but you will need to make up your own mind - and in doing so, think through the purpose of the activity. Is it to teach a technique, and if so which, a markup language, detailed knowledge of which is increasingly of less importance - or an authoring tool? Or is it to focus on capability - and how can this be developed without the concomitant development of skills?
This is an example of one of the major problems in IT teaching - the need to reconcile skills and capability. Remember that the ICT National Curriculum is about the latter, but Ofsted reports that many schools focus primarily on the former.
You should look at the following units of the DfEE schemes of work:
Key Stage 2: unit 4A Writing for different audiences;
Key Stage 3: unit 9 Publishing on the Web.
See 'Issues in teaching using ICT' edited by Marilyn Leask (Institute library reference Loyx LEA) and
'Using the internet in secondary schools' by Eta de Cicco, Mike Farmer and James Hargrave (Institute library reference Loyx Ref CIC).
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by Tim Brosnan. Please send any comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Last updated on 11th October 2001 .