The downside of hi-tech

22nd September 2006 at 01:00
As an innovative teacher at a successful secondary school, I was interested to read Michael Shaw's article ("Death by PowerPoint", TES, September 1).

Having developed digital resources for the school, I've become familiar with this syndrome in educational resources. With some packages pupils have actually groaned as they recognise the same drab, low-tech PowerPoint package that every single lesson is delivered in. However, the root of the issue is the woeful lack of real IT training that teachers receive.

There is also a lack of time when they have to develop their own classroom resources.

OK, we now have preparation planning and assessment time but how much difference has that really made to free teachers up to develop high-tech resources? From experience, I know how time consuming it is to produce a good visual, interactive resource with sounds, animations, real interactivity, etc. Very few companies are interested in genuinely innovative, creative material because it costs too much to produce.

There is so much shoddy material out there, and heads of department who are bombarded with boxes of glossy flyers often lack genuine ICT skills, or time, to differentiate the good from the rubbish.

One way forward is for local authorities to invest time and money in their recognisably innovative and creative teachers, pooling and seconding them to develop resources that classroom teachers and pupils want, and giving them the space and resources to actually get on with it.

Chris Firth Whitby, North Yorkshire

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