The Harnessing Technology (2005) report outlines its objective of a more strategic approach to the future development of ICT in education, skills and children's services. Its aims are to transform teaching and learning, through shared ideas and more exciting lessons. To engage ‘hard to reach' learners, with special needs support, more motivating ways of learning, and more choice about how and where to learn. To build an accessible system, with more information and services online; and more cross organisation collaboration to improve personalised support and choice, and to achieve greater efficiency and effectiveness, with online research, access to shared ideas and lessons plans, improved systems and processes in children's services, shared procurement and easier administration.
It identifies six priorities for reform; to have an integrated online service for all, integrated online support, a collaborative approach to personalised learning, good quality ICT training, a leadership and development package for educational organizations and a common digital infrastructure to support transformation and reform.
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At the heart of the Primary Capital Programme (2007) is the aim that every school will provide first-class ICT facilities to support personalised learning. The government's plan is to provide a Managed Learning Environment to every school.
This is how they envisage schools effectively using ICT and having access to leading-edge technology, as laid out in the Primay Capital Programme (2007)
Fronter is the London Managed Learning Environment website service provided to help schools use their MLE.The content of the newsletters on the MLE website illustrate the benefits and uses of the MLE for parents, children and teachers. The feedback from ‘Reviews from the London MLE pilot 2007' consist of only words of praise and positivity for all the MLE is doing and all it has the potential to do for children's learning.
“Absolutely the best thing that I have seen in 40 years of being involved with schools. MLEs have now come of age.”
It allows children communicate with each other and their teachers and allows parents to be involved in their children's learning by having homework, test results, individual targets for subjects etc emailed home to them. Better communication is facilitated at all levels.
The ICT coordinator expressed that at the moment the school uses the LGFL but not to the extent they would like.
The idea is for anytime, any place, anywhere learning. They have their own accounts and passwords. She hopes that with introduction of the MLE they would use it for the benefits listed above.
The Woodland Junior School website http://www.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/ was highlighted as a good example of a successfully implemented MLE Kerry hopes to model.
It is well laid out and user-friendly with sections for students and teachers. The key idea is the sharing of information and extension of knowledge through this well organized MLE. She hopes that Benhurst will reap the same benefits.
She explained that the IT facilities in the school (See Appendix1) are funded by the school at the moment but hopes that they will receive more government funding over the next few years with the monies invested from the PCP.
They did received 2000 pounds from Harnessing Technology grant for first time this term and it's going towards the cost of MLE introduction after the initial first year.
I began the ICT lesson by re-introducing the LFGL portal and introduced the learning objectives (See Appendix2)
I used the projector to model logging onto their own LGFL with their username and passwords.
We discussed how to be safe when on the net; not communicating with strangers via email and never giving out personal information. We talked about the benefits of the LGFL for them, as students, if used correctly. Benefits suggested by pupils were: for parent mail, emailing homework and additional subject games for children and parents to be able to access and utilize regularly. A personal target for me would be to utilize the Managed Learning environments for all my students in this way. To add to their learning and to foster strong lines of communication with parents.
The pupils were very engaged and interested in using the LGFL and seemed to be excited about the different ways they could use it in and out of school.
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Highlighting the real benefits to them in terms of their learning and the interactivity of the experience definitely was beneficial in terms of keeping their interest.
This level of interactivity allowed for immediate assessment of their achievement of the success criteria. One child couldn't understand the hyperlink and it was simply a matter of him not using the right click function. I was able to address these gaps in knowledge or understanding in this type of lesson. It's not just didactic learning. Uploading the photo was modeled and in pairs they helped each other upload photos. The potential for cross-curricular learning within these personalised workspaces is limitless and I will certainly be making it an integral part of my teaching career.