The more time I spend trying to figure out the best way to integrate ICT into my PYP classes, the more I keep changing what I am doing in class.
My first two years in the program I was basically finding a connection to each of the Units of Inquiry for each class. Here are some examples:
Unit of Inquiry – ICT project
- Energy – Glogster poster on how to save Energy
- Landscapes – Excel spreadsheet and charts on the worlds tallest mountains
- Governments – Prezi presentation on different types of government
- Story telling – Storybird to create online stories
Technically the students were working on projects that were related to their unit, but the connection was limited and was more of a project based unit and not inquiry based.
This year our single subject teachers (ICT, Music, Art, PE etc.) along with our PYP Coordinator came up with a plan to make a strong and stable connection with one unit from each year level. That way they could work with the classroom teachers on all phases of the unit. During the other units of the year we would still focus on using inquiry based projects. These projects would more be based on the concepts or skills that were associated with the unit.
I also added an idea I got from listening to Brad Flickinger’s podcast of trying to have the students learn one skill really well throughout the year. For example: Year 5 – Documentaries, Year 4 – Podcasts. Having each class only for an hour a week proved to be to limiting for this approach. I found myself having the students working to often with pen and paper in my classroom. Another problem is that it would also take us more time to finish each project than was allotted to each unit.
Over the winter holiday break I read through the ICT in the PYP documentation from the OCC. I noticed that I had good ideas but I was still teaching classes that were too independent compared to what they were doing in class. They suggest that the ICT classes be used as a tool for the classroom, with limited stand alone lessons. They also suggest not to make a project just for projects sake but to have it be more meaningful to what the students are already doing in their classrooms.
I spoke with our Board and PYP Coordinator to establish a way for me to meet with each class on a bi-weekly basis to better integrate what they are doing in their classes with what is being done during my lessons. I know I should have been doing this already but my time at the school is precious due to the fact that I am the ICT teacher and I am responsible for taking care and fixing all of the tech related problems in the school.
The classroom teachers are really enthused with this new possibility. We are already coming up with fun and exciting ideas on how to use technology in their lessons. Connecting both to their units and also to their stand alone lessons.
This is just starting and I will keep you informed as to how things are going in the next few weeks.