OER4Schools/3.4 Group work with ICT
OER4S |title=Group work with ICT |session=7.4
- 1 Review of homework
- 2 Groupwork with computers: Seating arrangements
- 3 Groupwork with computers: Sharing resources across groups
- 4 Groupwork with computers: Sharing resources within groups
- 5 Groupwork with computers: The role of non-ICT resources
- 6 Planning a lesson using groupwork and ICT
- 7 Follow-up activities
1 Review of homework
If you are running a professional learning programme which follows these sessions in sequence, then you should do the review of follow-up activities relating to the previous session (test). The 'review of follow-up activities' for that session is available here, and also shown below in the session text. However, if you are following selected sessions in a different order, then you should use the reflection appropriate to the previous session you did.
The review of the follow-up activities for this session (to be done at the start of the next session) is available here.
2 Groupwork with computers: Seating arrangements
By this stage we've reflected on and trialled group work quite a few times. We now look at how ICT fits into the picture.
Discuss some of the following statements and questions:
- How would you interact with learners in these various setups? For instance, if computers are arranged in rows, what would the interaction be like? If they were sitting in groups, what would the interaction be like? For these activities, refer to the two pictures above! What is the interaction like in the picture that shows the booths in the comptuter room?
- With mobile technologies, what are good ways to configure group seating? Refer to the picture of our lab!
3 Groupwork with computers: Sharing resources across groups
Pair work (5 min) on sharing computers.. Spend 5 minutes as pairs, considering the following scenario: You have 60 children in your class, and 10 computers. How would you arrange the groups, how would you distribute the computers, how would you structure the lesson?
To help with this, consider the following questions:
- In devising groupings consider how many children can see the screen and get hands-on experience.
- If you only have a few computers, it is better to operate a carousel so everyone gets a chance?
Often the computers would be distributed equally (in this case one computer per group of 6), and all groups would do that same task. This distribution may well be seen a equitable. However, in practice, more than 3-4 children per computer does not work well.
Another way is to do different tasks groupwork, where some groups do computer-based work, while others do non-computer-based work. After a period of time, you can swap around the tasks, so that the groups which were not using a computer can now use one.
Refer to the two pictures above: In the picture with many children behind one netbook, do you think the children are using the netbook effectively? In the picture with the tablet, are the children interacting?
Here are two more pictures you can consider, regarding how children are sitting around a computer: In one picture, the screen us upright, and all the pupils are squeezing in behind. In the other picture, the screen is flat, allowing the children to sit around the screen.
4 Groupwork with computers: Sharing resources within groups
Having considered how computers are distributed among groups, we now consider how the computer can be shared equally within groups.
- What would you do if there are some students who always control the computer, while other group members never get to use it?
- Would you say that it is sensible to mix computer-literate pupils with novices?
- How will you ensure they help rather than dominate their peers?
You should discuss strategies for access to computers within the group, i.e. rotating access to trackpad. You could also discuss the benefits of using tablets or putting computer screen flat (where this is possible).
It's important to create an environment where all pupils can participate. It's very important to make this explicit as the goal for group work: Everybody should have a go on the computer, not just the students who can type fast.
Come up with strategies for how you can achieve this. For example, in a group of 4, the students need to change over: For example, after a set period of time, access to the computer is rotated. This could be facilitated by giving each student a bottle top when they use the computer (but only on first use). At the end of the task, part of the evaluation is how many bottle tops your group got.
5 Groupwork with computers: The role of non-ICT resources
Pair work (5 min). In pairs, discuss the role of mini-blackboards in groupwork with and without computers. How can mini-blackboards support interactive teaching? How can mini-blackboards support groupwork with computers? What other non-ICT resources can you think of, which can be used with computers? How?
If you need to provide further input, remind them of Eness' lesson on vertebrates. In this lesson the pupils were using the tablets to look at pictures of animals, while they were using mini-blackboards to write down their observations.
You could also do a short brainstorm about what resources you can think of, that might support group work? E.g. books, newspapers, other technology (like radio), things found in the natural environment, etc. Get participants to think creatively about what might be available in the local environment.
6 Planning a lesson using groupwork and ICT
Ensure that you have plenty of time for this task to be planned!
You should allow at least half an hour to 45 min.
- Discuss with your colleagues (from the same grade) which topics you have coming up next week, and whether some of these topics would work particularly well with groupwork and ICT.
- Make active use of the computers in the lab to identify digital resources together.
- Devise an open activity where groups have a shared goal and where outcomes may differ between groups, for a lesson you are teaching next week.
- Consider: How will you ensure everyone participates and everyone learns? How will you stretch all learners?
- What will you say to the groups to ensure this? (Make a note in your lesson template.)
- Explicitly ask groups to make sure everyone understands the new concept or process; make it their responsibility to support each other and check this is happening.
- Consider whether you can assign different roles within the group.
- Consider how the computers will be swapped between groups, and between pupiles within a group, to ensure that there is effective access for everybody.
7 Follow-up activities
Try out your groupwork with ICT. As the week progresses, the teachers within each grade should share the experiences. That is to say, if you are the first teacher to teach this lesson, meet your colleagues afterwards, and discuss with them how it went, and what improvements could be made.
As you teach the lesson remember to think about your own role in the classroom; it is not just to monitor progress but also to interact with pupils, assess their understanding, offer support and help move their thinking forward. Sometimes a group will even need you to sit with them and offer intensive support to progress. Think about how you can identify this need?
During the lessons, remember to encourage groups to let everybody within the group have a go at using the ICT!
Video some of the groupwork if you can (ideally a colleague can do this for you so they can capture you as well as the pupils) and upload it to the server.
In the next session, these follow-up activities will be reviewed. If you are using this session on its own, you can have a look at the review of follow-up activities here.
At the end of each session, we provide an overview of the activities in this session, together with their suggested timings. Although this appears at the end of the session (for technical reasons), you should keep an eye on this throughout the session, to make sure that you are pacing the workshop session appropriately!
Total time: 78 (min)
Activities in this session:
- Whole group discussion (10 min) on computer lab layout.
- Individual activity (5 min): Drawing a computer lab.
- Reading (2 min)'
- Pair work (5 min) on sharing computers.
- Presentation and discussion(10 min).
- Pair work(5 min).
- Discussion(10 min).
- Pair work(5 min).
- Discussion(10 min).
- Plan a lesson in year groups(11 min).
- Agreeing follow-up activities(5 min).
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