The Teacher Training Agency has produced an interactive CD-Rom to enable special needs teachers to compile a profile of training needs to cover aspects of curriculum access, developing pedagogy and promoting inclusion. ICT: Identification of your Training Needs is designed to demonstrate good practice and help teachers gain the "maximum benefit from training in the use of information and communications technology".
The case studies cover a range of contexts including mainstream schools, special schools, pupil referral units, and support services, and are set within English, maths, science and geography lessons. The soundtrack and accompanying text give examples of broader applications. The video snippets which demonstrate practical applications have accompanying lesson plans and teaching objectives which act as prompts to prioritise training, and these could be used in in-service training sessions to demonstrate the way in which access and independence can be supported by ICT.
Although the examples chosen identify more "visible" special needs the text supports the use of ICT for a range of disabilities and learning difficulties.
New Opportunities Fund money from the lottery is being used to providetraining to address a set of Expected Outcomes. The CD-Rom's accompanying notes refer to these Expected Outcomes, which are based on the requirements of all new entrants to teaching, detailing the knowledge, skills and understanding needed to make decisions about the use of ICT in teaching.
The CD-Rom has a many uses, from individual mapping of training needs to an ICT training development plan for an organisation.
It could also be used to raise awareness of the potential development of ICT in various settings.
A copy of ICT: Identification of Your Training Needs is available to all schools in the United Kingdom. Additional copies can be requested up to a maximum of one disc per school plus an additional disc per six teachers. Tel: TTA Publications Unit, 0845 606 0323 or e-mail: email@example.com Schools in Scotland and Northern Ireland will have received their quota of CD-Roms from the local education authority and library board.
A list of approved SEN training providers has been circulated to all schools by the New Opportunities Fund, and is also on its website: www.nof.org.uk JACKIE HARROP Jackie Harrop is head of learning support services for the London borough of Harrow