Teachers go back to the keyboard

Issue date: 28 April 2005

Issue date: 28/04/05

Technology advances have over taken teachers who trained before computers were in everyday use and some find that the children they teach know more about the technology than they do. Teachers graduating today have grown up with technology and are usually proficient in their use but those who trained years before computers were commonplace sometimes find that they don’t have the time to develop their skills.

A special workshop will be held at the University of the West of England on 5 and 6 May 2005 to highlight to these teachers some of the tools that will help them get ahead in the game. Art and Design teachers from Sidcot School and Heads of Art departments from South Gloucestershire schools will be taking part in the pilot programme.

Carinna Parraman from the Centre for Fine Print Research at UWE is leading the sessions called ‘Photoshop and beyond’ to unravel the mysteries of using digital media to produce and print artwork. Carinna said, “We will be looking at the potential for using digital cameras, showing teachers how to download images and produce their own wrapping paper. We will also focus on useful internet sites and demonstrate how to download material from the internet for use in the classroom. In addition to this we will look at the basic tools for animation.”

The sessions will also make time for teachers to discuss the problems they have with keeping ahead with technology. Carinna said, “Teachers often have problems with printers breaking down at crucial points in a lesson or images taking too long to download on old equipment.”

This workshop is a pilot that Carinna is planning to grow into a national scheme. She said, “We are working closely with Hewlett Packard who will be represented at the workshops by Huw Robson. Hewlett Packard are interested in learning about how their technology is used in the classroom so that they take this knowledge back to the drawing board to help develop their products.”

Huw Robson said, “Modern technology can provide new and powerful tools for the creative subjects, but at first blush to the inexperienced teacher, the software and devices can seem daunting. We want to show that a little experience can unlock a lot of possibilities, and at the same time Hewlett Packard can learn what we can do to make future products even more user friendly and responsive to their needs.”

Paul Needles from the Castle School said, “This workshop will be very useful for teachers. We need to keep ahead in this game if we are to integrate digital media into the curriculum effectively to support work in the classroom.”


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