The advent of technology

8th December 2006 at 00:00
"Me! Me! It's my turn! Let me do it please..." cries little Tommy, the boy who usually spends morning registration in a semi-sleepy daze. And he's not the only one. All the pupils are perched on the edges of their chairs, waiting with bated breath..

Enthusiastic children? First thing on a frosty winter morning? What is going on?

Actually, it's Sandy's turn. She clicks the mouse button and, with a flurry of bells and chimes, a giant exploding cracker appears on the board.

Everyone cheers - the countdown to Christmas is underway.

This year, our class advent calendar has gone techno. We have a homemade, live-action version on the interactive whiteboard, complete with top sound effects, moving cartoons and tumbling snowflakes.

I am particularly pleased because, not only have I finally overcome a few of my ICT misgivings, but it feels like a triumph over the myriad of gimmicky shop-bought alternatives - milk chocolate, plain chocolate, white chocolate, Barbie chocolate and even diet chocolate. Perhaps I have witnessed one too many advent calendar-induced tantrums, but this year I have taken a stand.

When I was little, I didn't need gimmicks to lure me in. I used to think it was magic when I opened the doors of my "traditional" paper calendar to find cheery little snapshots of trumpeting angels and roasting turkeys.

And then there was the double door of December 24 - bigger than the others and the most exciting. And yes, I did always break the seal before I was supposed to, but the traditional nativity scene never failed to disappoint me.

So with a little help from PowerPoint and Google, I have taken the advent calendar into the 21st century. Everyone is excited and there is not a novelty chocolate snowman in sight

Louisa Leaman is a London teacher

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today