Nick McGuinn, my ex-PGCE tutor at York University and all-round great man, invited me recently to deliver IWB training to the English trainee teacher cohort.

In doing so, it led me to reflect on two questions:

1) What sort of ICT pedagogy is most useful to a trainee English teacher?
2) What is the best way to explore it?
3) How can I explore both of these and still do a job at the same time?

I decided pretty much on the outset that spending an hour training the students in the use of an IWB would be a bunk exercise. Yes, it would be useful to let some of the them play with a text by finding, pasting and annotating from scratch. However, only by exploring it themselves can the student teachers actually can a knack for it. Personally I find the powertools somewhat gimicky on the Promethean board. However, if you see the links below in the PowerPoint, there are free personalised training programmes available for those who wish to use them.

What I REALLY was interested in is a vision of ICT use in the classroom that was pupil-centred, collaborative and focussed on hard-to-teach skills. To this end I used the model of ICT use proposed by Kent LEA, as shown to me by the great Carol Weale. As you should see below, my interpretation of this model suggests that Functional ICT use (the ‘lowest’ rung on the metaphorical ladder) requires teacher-intensive ICT use (IWBs, resource preparation etc) while Evolutionary ICT use (the ‘highest’ rung) requires pupil-intensive ICT use (making movies, contributing to Wikis etc).

However, let’s not be too utopian about this. If the ICT starts to go wrong, or if a pupil doesn’t know how to save a video on movie maker, then someone needs to have that knowledge. The case is, though, that I would warrant that SOMEONE in the room, usually under the age of 16, would know how to do it.