ICT into the Transition Year Programme.
Our school already had
a computer room prior to applying for SIP. However, there
was a spare room that was big enough to be used both as a
classroom and computer room. The school put forward a proposal
to develop this room and give teachers from the Presentation
Secondary school the opportunity to integrate ICT into their
Transition Year Programme. The project covers a wide range
of subjects including Irish, English, Biology, French, Spanish,
Religion, History and Geography and findings from this project,
which are available on this website will give an indication
of the best way of incorporating ICT into a Transition year
Pupils and teachers
have been very enthusiastic in developing the various programmes.
The project classroom has been designed so the teacher can
integrate a traditional "chalk and talk" class with ICT. Each
subject is timetabled to use the room. The project has not
been forced upon any teacher to participate. Nevertheless
as one teacher said, "using ICT is another way of tricking
them (the pupils) into working." Again some teachers were
already confident in using ICT and did not have any difficulty
in integrating ICT into their own curricula. However, there
are others who are "willing" but lack the skills and the confidence.
Training was provided for some teachers once a week during
lunchtime and many are participating in the Intel Teach to
the Future course. The teachers who have smaller classes are
quicker to try out software packages and applications with
By Christmas all transition
year students had ICT skills as they are preparing for their
ECDL exams. Teachers then, did not have to teach the basics,
they could concentrate on their subject area instead. The
main challenge now is to cater for the demand on the room.
Even though the room is timetabled for each subject not each
teacher who is interested in using it can avail of it when
they want. The other issue in transition year, which is a
national issue, is the reality that all the class may be present
today, but due to a match, choir practice, a visiting speaker
etc. you may not have the same number of students the next
day. This can be difficult to manage or it can be advantageous
as the teacher is forced to use ICT when relevant to do so.