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« Get the right image | Main | We’re on the ball! »

01/06/2006

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There's a commonly held view I have found in my travels that 'private' schools often use ICT the least to gain their results. I don't know at all if this can be true, but what kind of tech were you demonstrating and what did they take to the most? France is THE top blogging country in Europe. Do they use blogs at all for learning?

The department has access to an interactive whiteboard and computer suites. The idea of the training was to show colleagues how to boost their already impressive results still further by creating suitable resources for use on their equipment.

As for the tech, we had a look at uses of:

PowerPoint: (presenting vocabulary, playing games and organising role-plays)

Word: (Teacher's Pet, converting text boxes into draggable images and drop-down menus)

Interactive exercises: (Pathfinder toolkit, Turbo-Mots, TaskMagic and Hot Potatoes)

No-one mentioned blogs or podcasts to me personally and I wouldn't have had time to cover them anyway. However, if I'm asked back for some more training, I will certainly suggest we do as I think that would be particularly good for extending their high achievers.

Ewan writes:
"There's a commonly held view I have found in my travels that 'private' schools often use ICT the least to gain their results."

Exactly the opposite in my 24 years of experience in selling software for MFL to schools. Private schools in the UK (both prep and secondary independent) are our bread and butter - even more so recently now that MFLs are not compulsory beyond KS3. The take-up rate of MFL in state schools beyond KS3 has now fallen to just 25% in England. Virtually all prep schools offer at least one MFL, and virtually all secondary independents offer at least one MFL up to GCSE level. Essentially, we are returning to the system that prevailed when I was at school (1940s to early 1960s), where only “posh” kids are studying MFLs – in order to groom them for careers in the diplomatic corps, business and foreign travel for pleasure.

Private and international schools abroad buy quite a lot of software from us too.

I just did a bit of research in my archives. The British School in Paris and The British School in Brussels have been using Computer Assisted Language Learning since the 1980s.

Very impressive Graham. What software were they using?

I'm not at liberty to say - Data Protection Act.

Many schools, state and private, in the UK began to get into CALL in the early 1980s with the advent of the BBC Micro. The Web was not around then (it went public in 1993), and email was limited mainly to HE institutions.

I have several hundred state and private schools on my database that began to get into CALL in the 1980s. My daughters' primary school began using computers for English language teaching and maths in 1979. A report on the school which included an anagram quiz program, written in BASIC by my elder daughter Siân, was published in Educational Computing, 1, 5, 1980

As for CALL software, many popular BBC Micro packages began to appear in the 1980s: Wida's Storyboard, Wida's Questionmaster, Camsoft's Fun with Texts, Cosmos's The French Mistress, Eiffel Tower, Hangman, adventure games such as Schloss Schattenburg and Granville, etc. There was a lot of good stuff around then!

Fascinating stuff Graham. In the 1980's I was playing games on my ZX Spectrum which had 48k of memory I seem to remember.

Those were the days!

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