SMART thinking

18th June 2004 at 01:00
Georgina Stein explains how teachers and teaching assistants are increasing their ICT skills

The recent government funding for interactive whiteboards has highlighted the need for more teachers and teaching assistants to gain relevant professional ICT skills and to be able to effectively use ICT in the classroom. It is well known that specific ICT skills help teachers to become more confident and competent in their use of interactive whiteboards in the classroom, and support for these and ICT skills development is essential.

Canterbury Christ Church University College (CCCUC) has enabled students, tutors, teachers, and teaching assistants to gain free access to online teacher support materials. The client research, development and publication unit at the college has also created a bespoke range of resources to support the needs of busy teachers generally. To ensure that your school gains maximum benefit from your interactive whiteboards and to increase staff ICT skills all you need to do is go to CCCUC's SMART Education website where you will also find the teacher ICT Skills Audit Tools.

It was the teacher ICT Skills Online Audit Tools that paved the way for the additional resources to be developed. The design and creation of the resource materials have been directly informed by teachers and teaching assistants who have used the ICT Audit tools over a number of years. Quite simply, you are asked about what you can do and the support resource materials help you plug your skills gaps. Senior managers and ICT co-ordinators who need a simple yet effective solution have welcomed this facility. To find out more about how this whole-school facility can help you to plan whole-school ICT skills provision, email us at: client@canterbury.ac.uk

SMART Education is our one-stop-shop for professional ICT Skills in Context support. For example, you can gain access to the Great ICT Ideas series of websites, which cover primary literacy and numeracy, and teachers that are using the very popular Max's Toolbox (a friendlier face for Microsoft Office) software can also download and access additional software and materials too.

The Great ICT Ideas for Early Years and Key Stage 1 is a publication plus CD-Rom, which focuses on teacher use of PowerPoint and Word for early years and key stage 1 literacy and numeracy. Professionals wishing to increase their use of MS Word and PowerPoint, Excel and Access, FrontPage and Publisher generally will benefit from the paper-based How toI flip-guides and CD-Roms. What is different about all of the resource materials is that ICT is placed within the context of the needs of busy professionals.

The How to guides for busy Primary and Secondary teachers CD-Roms for example, as with other digital resources, are available through Curriculum Online and you can use your eLearning Credits.

Georgina Stein is director of the client research, development and publication unit at Canterbury Christ Church University College Boost your ICT skills

* SMART Education

Register free at: http:smarteducation. canterbury.ac.uk

* To find out more about the paper-based and CD-Rom resources go to http:smarteducation.canterbury.ac.ukpublicationshtdefault.asp or go directly to the ICT Skills Audit Tools at http:smarteducation.canterbury.ac.uktraining-supportdefault-1.asp

* The Great ICT Website links and hundreds of other resources are available through the Classroom Resources section of the website: http:smarteducation.canterbury.ac.ukclassroom-resources

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