Teaching Assistant Diploma – Assignment Five
1.What learning skills can be developed using ICT tools?
ICT is a valuable tool for supporting the learning as it extends teaching and learning in many ways. It allows teaches and pupils to use visual and auditory media to extend learning and encourage pupils to become actively involved. Having the ICT technology in schools it encourages the pupils to access a wide range of information and communication opportunities and enables pupils to store and retrieve, draft and redraft, test and analyse. This develops there learning skills that are required for the National Curriculum. These skills include: Communication skills, problem-solving, investigating, evaluating and analysing and critical and creative thinking skills. 2.Discuss 5 factors the teaching assistant should consider when setting up ICT.
When setting up ICT for the teacher the teaching assistant should consider the following 5 factors: * Noise – depending on the activity set by the teacher in the ICT lesson, the teaching assistant may want to get the headphones out for each computer for the pupils to use to reduce distractions and aid concentration. This is because all ICT equipment makes background noise when the power is switched on and even when an item is not in use noise can be heard. So if other ICT users in the ICT suite especially those working in groups can be noisy or distracting that is why headphones would be good to use.
* Heat and light – The teaching assistant should make sure the room is well ventilated by using air conditioning, where available before the lesson starts this is because almost all ICT equipment gives off heat, which can build up during the day and become quite oppressive for users as well as detrimental to the equipment. They say the ideal temperature of an ICT suite is between 18 and 24 degrees Celsius with humidity between 40 per cent and 60 per cent. * Personal Safety – if pupils are using equipment such as photocopiers, fast-moving parts can trap clothing, jewellery and hair. Photocopiers should be located in well-ventilated areas, and pupils should not be allowed to handle toners and inks or try to repair faults. Also ICT equipment should be safe as long as it is used properly and checked regularly. However pupils will need to be regularly reminded of the correct procedures. Pupils should be taught to switch on, log on to and shut down computers correctly; computers can be damaged and work lost if they are turned off incorrectly. * Comfort – When pupils are sat at their work stations they should be in a comfortable position, with easy access to all equipment.
Also the users must be able to adjust their position in relation to the equipment as appropriate. The teaching assistant should go round and check each pupil to make sure they have done this. All pupils when using ICT equipment should change their posture frequently and take frequent ten minutes breaks away from the computer to stretch their limbs, which the teaching assistant should monitor while the teacher is delivering the lesson. * Desk and workstations – The workstation should have enough space for paper, books and other materials, including any special educational needs equipment such as overlay keyboards so the teaching assistant will make sure each workstation area is clear before the lesson starts. There should also be space for more than one pupil at a time, and for the teacher to gain access. It is important to keep gangways and emergency exits are clear to. A good ICT desk design should incorporate cable management and may be modular to allow flexible arrangements. All desks should be at the appropriate height for the users.
3. Outline some important safety instructions that need to be considered when using ICT equipment. The school policy should give guidelines outlining the specific requirements you should follow when supporting ICT. It is important that the teaching assistant is aware of what kinds of risks pupils may face and what to do if they discover any hazards or faults. The Health and Safety regulations state that employers must ensure that risk assessments are made and put in place to manage any identified risk. The teaching assistant should consider the following when equipment is set in up in the classroom or the ICT suite which looks at the Health and Safety issues in relation to using ICT: * All electrical installations must be carried out by a qualified electrician. * All equipment is at a reliable standard and should be checked annually by qualified electricians which is called PAT testing. * No cabling should be trailing on the floor which can cause someone to trip over the trailing wires. * The seating used by the pupils should be the correct size for the pupils using the equipment. * The benching should be sturdy enough to with stand the weight of the hardware and additional equipment stored on it. * The interactive whiteboards should be within reach of all children without them having to stand on anything.
* If the pupils are using programmable toys such as remote control cars then a working area should be created for the pupils to use the remote control cars. Also there is some Health and Safety issues that are more relevant to using the computers, printers etc. in the classroom or ICT suite.
1. All pupils should have a sound knowledge of electrical safety.
2. Electrical equipment’s should not be near any water supplies.
3. All pupils must not take any drinks to tables if they are working with electrical equipment such as cameras, videos, laptops, computers etc.
4. Any additional equipment being used should be situated where it will not cause a hazard.
5. Computers should be located in areas where pupils can sit and work without distracting or disrupting others in the class.
6. Also the correct procedures should adhere to school and local authority health and safety guidelines. 4.How might the teaching assistant encourage independence in the development of ICT skills? It is important for all pupils to be encouraged in their independence. Children need to be given opportunities to learn and discover things for themselves where possible. In this way they have ownership of their learning. If a teacher or a teaching assistant who stands for two long at the front of the class and talks for too long without engaging the pupils they soon lose their attention. As a teacher or teaching assistant you will need to learn the skills and strategies for developing pupils’ independent learning. When you encourage independent learning it is important that operational skills are explicitly taught to all pupils, but also vital that prior learning and experience are recognised. As the pupils come more mature, they can be given tasks that require them to make their own decisions and choices. The pupils will need to be given guidance as to how they can think the process through to help them to do this.
Self-help skills emerge as children start to develop their own independence and make their own choices when working. It is important that pupils learn to take responsibility for their own work and develop different skills, these may include Independent learning which they find out and learn things for themselves through their work, decision making is about thinking about the next step and being responsible for their actions, problem-solving is being able to think things through using their learning skills, self-expression is where the pupils are able to express what they feel, exercising choices is where the pupils make their own choices about what they are going to do and general life skills which is when the pupils are able to help themselves and others.
The ICT skills which the teaching assistant may require in order to fulfil the tasks asked may be basic user skills such as switching on and shutting down, use of keyboard and mouse controls, use of appropriate software packages e.g. word processing, spread sheets, database, graphics, accessing and using learning programmes e.g. from disk, CD ROM, tape, video, accessing information e.g. from computer files, CD ROM, the internet and using electronic communication e.g. email, fax, video conferencing. The teaching assistant can support the independent learning in the pupil by providing an appropriate level of assistance to enable the pupils to experience a sense of achievement, maintaining self-confidence and encouraging self-help skills in the use of ICT, having the ability to operate ICT equipment safely and using ICT equipment effectively as a learning resource. 5.What might the role of the teaching assistant be in carrying out regular checks of ICT equipment to maintain good working order?
The teaching assistant may be asked to carry out a visual inspection of portable electrical equipment before use to ensure the equipment is safe. This should include wall sockets which are defined as fixed installations and the visual inspection should include the following, check to make sure that all plugs are not damaged, check to make sure the wall/plug socket is not cracked or impeded in any way from receiving the plug, check that cables are not damaged, cut, discoloured or burnt in anyway, make sure there is no damage to the equipment’s external casing, make sure the equipment does not have any loose parts or screws, check that the equipment has not been subjected to moisture, i.e. liquid has been spilt on it, and make sure there is no evidence of overheating. If the teaching assistant finds any faults then they should do the following: * Report the matter to the immediate supervisor/manager as appropriate * Remove unsafe equipment from use, by switching off and disconnecting the power supply * Place a large warning label on the equipment, identifying to other members of staff that the equipment is unserviceable and not to be used. The label should be prominently displayed and large enough to be easily seen stating ‘Faulty Equipment – Do Not Use’.