(Writing & Reading with Information Technology in Education).
Kilkenny City Vocational School
Reviews of this project
Assistant own report on the project
The aim of this project
is to integrate ICT across the curriculum wherever possible
to help students increase their literacy, numeracy and overall
motivation levels. It was felt that this would blend in with
the Department of Education and Science Retention Programme,
which the school is also participating in.
The computers had been
installed in a computer room. Teachers were extremely anxious
about bringing their whole classes into the computer room,
as they were not confident of their own ICT skills. As a result,
an IT assistant (Rita Lennon) has been appointed for the current
academic year to assist with the delivery of ICT initiatives
in the classroom, this is the first such appointment in the
post-primary sector. She works in collaboration with the Mathematics
and English teachers. Mary T Dalton is the Project co-ordinator.
There are two first year groups and the students have been
broken into groups of four and released from their classes
for two to three periods a week to go to the computer room
to develop their numeracy and literacy skills with the aid
of ICT. The weekly spelling lists, written assignments and
maths are provided to the IT Assistant so that the appropriate
software packages can be used with the students. This approach
reinforces the work being carried out in the classroom.
Initially, it was difficult
for the first year students to remember when they were to
go to the computer room. After a few weeks they got into the
routine and now do not like missing out on their sessions.
The IT assistant is providing individual attention to the
students as they are attending the computer room in small
groups. It is envisaged that early in the second term larger
and whole class groups will be brought into the room by the
class teachers and the teacher will be support by the IT Assistant.
The photos illustrate a first year classroom and show students
in the computer room.
There are a number of
factors that are contributing to the success of this project;
the support provided by the Principal, project leader, I.T.
co-ordinator and other staff members to the IT Assistant;
the role of the IT Assistant was clearly outlined to the staff
prior to the appointment; the IT Assistant has studied the
JEB and has interpersonal and ICT skills. The success of the
project hinges around the fact that there is a dedicated IT
Assistant in place. The students involved in this project
have specific educational, social and emotional needs and
require a high level of support to be maintained within the
education system and to have their specific needs met. The
integration of ICT into the first year curriculum gives students
a chance to use computers to improve their numeracy and literacy
skills in a non threatening way.
The future development
of the project will be stagnated without the vital assistance
and expertise of the IT assistant (Rita Lennon). There will
be a lost opportunity for both the present and incoming students,
a lack of support for teachers and the time consuming nature
of technical problems may also be difficult to overcome. It
is hoped to build on what has been achieved to date and expand
on this both in terms of what is undertaken within the individual
student withdrawal groups and also in terms of curriculum
planning and implementation for the future with particular
emphasis on staff training and skill enhancement.