Unit 1 - Introduction to interactive teaching and the use of ICT

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“Tell me and I'll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I'll understand.” (Chinese proverb)

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This is the first unit in our programme. The unit offers an introduction to interactive teaching with and without ICT. It introduces the idea of “plan-teach-reflect”, as well as lesson planning to include interactive activity. The unit covers the following aspects:

  • What is interactive teaching?
  • ICTs in interactive teaching.
  • Effective use of ICTs, including basic use of netbooks, browser, and images / slideshows (also in OpenOffice Impress).

The aims of Unit 1 are to

  • understand principles of interactive teaching - with and without ICT,
  • see illustrations and discuss issues involved in implementing it,
  • think about changing one’s own practice, and
  • develop ways of working with colleagues to reflect on practice, share ideas and trial new strategies.

The unit also introduces the most significant change technique, and at the end of this unit, we look at the Leadership for Learning principles.

The unit is presented here in five "sessions", each approximately two hours long (when used in a workshop setting), but you may want to divide the material to suit your own setting (see "how to use this resource" for more details).



1.1 - What is interactive teaching? An introduction to the interactive Zambian classroom
In this session you will learn about:
  • the interactive teaching technique of brainstorming, and how and when to use it in the classroom, and
  • activity templates for interactive teaching techniques, and how these can be introduced alongside current lesson plans.
To meet the learning intentions you will:
  • plan a brainstorm activity that has the potential to generate lots of ideas,
  • complete an activity template for the brainstorm activity that has a clear learning objective,
  • do this activity in the classroom, and
  • reflect on this activity (and revise, if necessary) to ensure maximum interaction from students.
There are no ICT components for this session — this will start in the next session.
1.2 - Introduction to interactive teaching with ICT
In this session you will learn about:
  • the cycle of ongoing reflective practice (plan - teach - reflect) and how this can be used to improve planned interactive teaching activities, and
  • an activity on how to use a netbook to open a web browser.
To meet the learning intentions you will:
  • use a netbook to open a web browser and induct students in the process before the next session, and
  • reflect on this activity (and revise, if necessary) to ensure maximum interaction from students.
The ICT components you will focus on are:
  • Netbook familiarisation: Switching on, logging in, opening a web browser.

Classroom based activities (with your students, after this session):

  • You will try the same activity in the classroom, introducing your students to the netbooks.
1.3 - Activity planning and reflection
In this session you will learn about:
  • keeping a reflective journal as part of the process of ongoing reflective practice, and using reflective questions to aid this process,
  • differences between an interactive teaching classroom and a traditional classroom,
  • using mini blackboards and digital images as tools in an interactive teaching activity, and
  • using the Think-Pair-Share technique to encourage cooperative learning.
To meet the learning intentions you will:
  • record reflections on trialled activities in a learning journal soon after the activities have been carried out, and use reflective questions to help structure journal entries,
  • accept that during interactive teaching the classroom may be more noisy and children may move around independently,
  • plan an activity that makes use of mini blackboards and digital images, and trial it in the classroom, and
  • plan an activity using the Think-Pair-Share technique that allows students to interact with each other, and trial it in the classroom.
The ICT components you will focus on are
  • viewing slideshows using the web browser and Open Office and
  • manipulating slides in Open Office.

Classroom based activities (with your students, after this session):

  • You will repeat the netbook familiarisation activity from last session, and
  • you will try the same activity with your students: viewing a slideshow.
1.4 - ICTs in interactive teaching
In this session you will learn about:
  • ICT and how it can be used to support interactive teaching,
  • the principles of interactive teaching as a reminder of what we are trying to achieve with this programme,
  • the kinds of resources (ICT and non ICT) needed for interactive teaching,
  • what seating arrangements work best when using ICT, and
  • making effective use of non ICT resources during groupwork with computers.
To meet the learning intentions you will:
  • identify collaborative and independent ICT use both inside and outside the classroom from videos and photos,
  • be mindful of the principles of interactive teaching when designing activities,
  • consider using a wide range of materials ranging from sticks to sophisticated software to support interactive teaching,
  • arrange students/desks into groups when doing ICT activities, and
  • plan and teach a second digital image/slideshow activity focusing on effective use of mini blackboards by groups of students.
The ICT components you will focus on are
  • GeoGebra
  • Typing practice
  • Email (optional)

Classroom based activities (with your students, after this session):

  • you will repeat an image classification activity with your students.
1.5 - Introduction to Leadership for Learning and effective use of ICT
In this session you will learn about:
  • Leadership for Learning as a framework that creates the opportunity for change in schools to promote the activity of learning,
  • Most Significant Change (MSC) as a technique for monitoring and evaluating this professional development programme by collecting stories of significant changes in areas of practice, and
  • sharing resources effectively across groups and within groups when doing activities that make use of ICT taking into account the number of students per computer and the need for all students to spend time on the computer.
To meet the learning intentions you will:
  • recognise the potential for leadership capacity to expand as a result of the professional development of staff on programmes like this,
  • contribute MSC stories on a regular basis either by writing them down or making an audio recording,
  • plan ICT activities that allow all students to see the computer well (no more than 6 per computer) being prepared to provide alternative activities for the rest of the class to work on at the same time, and
  • plan activities that allow all students equal access to a computer by e.g. giving them roles within groups and encouraging them to monitor use.
The ICT components you will focus on are
  • Searching for images and downloading images
  • OpenOffice Impress for making your own photo stories
  • Continuation of typing practice

Classroom based activities (with your students, after this session):

  • you will do group work around images (using OO Impress),
  • you will do typing practice in the classroom
1.6 - Leadership for Learning
In this session you will learn about:
  • the lens metaphor for exploring the 5 LfL principles,
    1. Focus on learning
    2. Conditions for learning
    3. Learning Dialogue
    4. Shared Leadership
    5. Shared Accountability
  • leadership practices that support learning and which can be organized within the 5 LfL principles, and
  • LfL in the classroom.
To meet the learning intentions you will:
  • use the lens metaphor to identify LfL in the classroom and record your observations and reflections on a table mat,
  • identify the LfL practices employed in the OER4schools programme,
  • develop a personal and professional understanding of leadership practices that support learning and which can be organized within the 5 LfL principles, and
  • watch a video of teachers in action to see if some or all of the 5 LfL principles can be identified.
The ICT components you will focus on are
  • consolidate your skills with concept mapping, geogebra, images, and typing.

Classroom based activities (with your students, after this session):

  • you will continue with Geogebra, images, and typing.