Byte into this

14th March 2008 at 00:00
This course is about looking at the bigger picture. Technology will transform learning in the next few years and you need to think ahead. Mobile phones and iPods aren't objects to be confiscated - they're valuable educational tools.

It's a good idea to have an annual ICT audit to find out what access children have to gadgets at school and at home. Then you can find ways of tapping into those technologies for learning.

Pupils often know more about the latest technological advances than teachers, so get them involved in coming up with ideas.

The course explains what's expected of schools in the latest government guidelines for ICT. There are some brilliant pointers towards useful websites and free software. We also learnt how to create online learning communities that are interactive.

I have recently used Google Earth in my RE lessons to create a virtual pilgrimage to the Golden Temple in India. It gave some of our children a sense of journey that they hadn't experienced before. See www.earth.google.com.

I've also started to use Moodle, a virtual learning environment, to build basic resources but there's more I'd like to do. I'm hoping to buy in some outside help from an IT professional, to create something exciting.

This course will be useful for technology specialists and people like me who don't know so much. One day doesn't turn you into an expert but it makes you aware of what's possible. I left feeling excited instead of afraid.

Helen Simpson is head of RE at Plumstead Manor School, a secondary girls' school, in Greenwich, southeast London. She was talking to Steven Hastings.

THE DETAILS

ICT 2008 is run by Osiris Educational and takes place on March 27 in London, April 23 in Birmingham and April 24 in Leeds. Cost pound;279 plus VAT.

For more information visit www.osiriseducational.co.ukCourse-Info.aspx?CMID=206.

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