ICT is not a formal subject in Irish Primary Schools, it is not included in the Curriculum timetable. However it plays a major part in school life, both for the teacher and for the students. It is used in various forms, in every subject and at all levels. Many 4/5 year olds come into school quite confident in using technology. Some children, however, have not had the experience of using a computer and need to learn the basic skills involved. I teach Junior Infants and we are lucky to have a computer room in our school, as well as computers/laptops in classrooms. Every Wednesday morning I spend three quarters of an hour in the computer room with my class.
We started last September learning how to hold the mouse correctly, how to move the cursor, how to click and drag. I have used various programmes with them so far, including MS Paint, Millie’s Math House, Bailey’s Book House and Sammy Science. It’s amazing how quickly children take to the whole ICT process. Now they can open and close these programmes, they can recognize “Don’t save” in MS Paint, thus enabling them to obtain a clean page.
• Put a coloured sticker on the mouse to remind the child which part to click
• Have an avatar (picture) of the programme on the desktop for easy access
• Remember the keyboard is in capitals, so if you write something for children to type, you may need to write it in capitals at first
• Use older children to help the younger ones. They love to get involved!
This term each child will have a folder on their computer and will learn how to save their work. They will learn how to type simple sentences and insert pictures from clipart. We will use websites to play games and to gain information
We have an Interactive Whiteboard in the classroom and the children just love to “interact”. We use it for most subjects but the highlight is using it for our Twitter account. We are @MrsBellsClass and we tweet and post photographs about what is happening in the class. We have made friends with classes all over the world through our classroom Twitter. We have a Class Blog which we need to work more on (!) and just before Christmas we had a very enjoyable Skype session with Ms McCullagh’s Junior Infants in Holy Cross, Co. Tipperary.
In early December we got involved in #ccGlobal, where school children worldwide sent Christmas greetings. This involved making physical cards, making an online greeting and embedding the greeting into a QR code on the card! We really enjoyed the process, the children learned about QR codes and we really appreciate the help we got from PamO’Brien ( @pamelaaobrien) in making the Animoto greeting.
ICT is constantly developing. Last September, when I made an outline for the year’s work I did not dream that we would be talking about QR codes or using Animoto. Through my own Twitter account ( @7MJB) I have met many wonderful teachers who are always willing to share and give advice.
One of these great teachers is Emma Chamberlain, a Reception Teacher at Hunslet St. Marys Primary School in Leeds. Emma shared her ICT Plan for Infants with me and has kindly allowed me to share it with you as a download below. Emma adapted this plan herself and you may need to adapt it to suit your needs
I am very interested in ICT and have learned a lot by becoming involved in the Monday night chats on Twitter ( #edchatie) organised by @fboss. Teachers discuss various educational topics, share ideas and support each other. A great way to further your knowledge of ICT!
Download Infant ICT Plan (.pdf file 25.8KB)
Download Infant ICT Plan (.doc file 201KB)
Mary Jo Bell teaches Junior Infants in St Anne’s Primary School, Shankill, Co. Dublin. There are 22 boys and girls in her class. Her class is @MrsBellsClass on Twitter and her Class Blog is mrsbellsclassblog.blogspot.com