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Integrating ICT into the Transition Year Programme.

Presentation Secondary School

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 programme.

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 their students.

Image of the computer room.

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.

 

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