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The group presentation on a problematic teaching issue is an area of the education module that most people dread. Individually, we all have ideas about what we see as problems or issues; we all know which particular problems each of our individual schools are facing, but the idea of choosing an area collectively was daunting.
The first real step was to get to know the people in the groups we were assigned to. We had no choice as to whom we would be working with and therefore had no preconceptions as to what ideas would be raised. Luckily, the group worked well together and we all had similar ideas and outlooks. Also, the fact that we were from different subject backgrounds was an advantage, as each of us brought different experiences to the group.
It became obvious from the outset that when discussing possible issues to investigate, the topic of ICT kept cropping up. As ICT is becoming increasingly relevant in education (and in society as a whole) it was inevitable that we would eventually put together a presentation entitled 'ICT Across the Curriculum'. Originally, we decided to focus on Key Stage 3 only but this soon caused problems, as the area of ICT in schools is not confined to any one key stage. In the National Curriculum document for England it states,
'Pupils should be given opportunities to develop their ICT capability through the use of ICT tools to support their learning in all subjects.'
As a group we agreed that in our particular placement schools (and in general) pupils were not given sufficient opportunities to do this. This consolidated the idea that a presentation on 'ICT Across the Curriculum' would not only benefit the education group as a whole, but would also be a real issue that all newly qualified teachers would face when commencing with their first teaching posts.
The next problem to overcome was the vast area of ICT that could be covered. It was unrealistic for the five members of the group to cover the topic in whole, let alone do it in a presentation lasting between 20 and 25 minutes. Under the broad heading of ICT each member of the group had some interest in some aspect of it. The five areas we decided to focus on were: a) National Curriculum requirements, b) Funding of ICT (and resources), c) Integration of ICT into other subjects (including SEN lessons), d) Schools' role in equipping pupils with the necessary skills for society, e) International comparison.
Due to the nature of the topic, we predicted that some of the 'sub-areas' would overlap. This was going to be a problem because as a group, we lived miles apart and had different work and social commitments. We agreed in our first meeting that we would meet at a set time once
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