Module :

Word Processing

Action Research Diary

What activities work and Why?

The pupils enjoyed the simple exercise of completing easy sentences. They recognised and understood the language involved very readily, which gave them enormous satisfaction. Much reinforcement ensued as the children constantly re-read the text as they worked through the editing tasks, all the time affording them ample opportunity to improve their accent and fluency and the teacher to appraise their work.

All the children actually had the same task to do, so once the initial preparation had been made, the lesson was easy to conduct and correct. It gave the teacher a chance to listen to individuals as they worked and help with language pronunciation, spelling as well as word processing skills. They could speak and read the European language, as they performed the tasks without actually being the focus of the whole class.

Individual work is necessary at this stage to ensure every child grasps the basic skills for future ICT activities. However, although most of the word processing was conducted on an individual level, the pupils enjoyed and benefited from working in pairs for some of the word processing activities. Peer-to-peer teaching can be very effective especially where some pupils have prior experience using computers.

What is not helping and Why?

Technical
The printer was causing problems. By October, it still was not working. There appeared to be no obvious solution. The cartridge, paper feed tray, network configuration, sharing details were all checked. Other members of staff were invited to investigate to no avail. A technician was requested to come and examine the printer, however he was not available.

New PC’s
The new hardware equipment was promised to arrive by Halloween. The five extra PC’s will allow pupils more access time to the computers i.e. 40 minutes per week or more instead of 25 minutes per week. It will also facilitate whole class instruction in the computer room.

The teacher failed to save drafts of the pupils’ work processing documents to show the development and progression in lessons and their progress. All ICT sessions should be saved under different filenames.

Creative Writer 2 was used for one work processing lesson. Unfortunately, the size of floppy disk capacity isn’t adequate to save all the graphics. At this stage the computers were not adequately networked. There was a difficulty in saving work and printing. Not many schools have Creative Writer 2 and therefore the work using this package cannot be sent to another school via email attachment.

Lack of Days
The teacher needed to take a course day for personal reasons, also the children had two half days for staff meetings. As a result, the pupils in 5th class fell behind in three lessons of MFL/ICT. The timetable had to be re-arranged to suit the SIP project.

Most of the pupils are inexperienced at typing, and need to learn to adjust to text wrapping, spacing etc. They are very slow to type initially and the lessons take a long time.

As a result of the amount of time required at the keyboard, oral language practice has been diminished somewhat. Some of the word processing content would have been more successful after another week of consolidating the vocabulary through other classroom activities.

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