Teacher Education Initiative Project Final Report

Teacher Education Initiative Project
Final Report
Ludlow College
Castle Square, Ludlow, Shropshire, SY8 1GD
Project manager:
Carol Booth (CTL Access & Teacher Training)
cbooth @ludlow-college.ac.uk
Names of team members:
Isobel James (Co-ordinator – Teacher Training)
Maggie Hughes
June 2009
1 Introduction
Project Title: Interactive Whiteboard Training
Ludlow College can trace its history back for over 800 years. More recently, in 1977, the
boys Grammar school and the Ludlow Girls High School combined to become a
comprehensive sixth form college. It was (and still is) the main provider of 16 – 19 education
in South Shropshire. Since then, the college has expanded its adult provision extensively
and is now classified as a “sixth form college with F.E. provision”. It is a genuinely “open
access” college and works in partnership with other colleges and education providers in
Shropshire to promote learning and training opportunities for all. The teacher training
courses offered sit within the ATT (Access & Teacher Training area) and contribute to an
expanding provision of accredited courses for adult learners.
Aims and Objectives
The aim of the project was to gain financial support towards training the ITT team in the use
of interactive whiteboards. At the start of the year the College had just 3 IWBs, so staff had
little opportunity to use them and were not experienced in their use. A portable IWB was
made available in the ITT room and clearly students we train on the 7303, 7304 & 7305
(PTLLS, CTLLS & DTLLS) should be given the opportunity to use IWBs. Our staff therefore
needed to be trained to use them effectively and to step up from the “consciously
incompetent” rung!
The college had begun negotiations to introduce portable, wireless IWBs (Mimio) in all
teaching rooms via the Molenet bid, and staff were to have demonstrations during college
CPD training days. However, the time scale for implementation of the technology within the
ITT course was urgent (with the teacher training courses being well under way) and the ITT
co-ordinator felt that trainee teachers would benefit from, and should have access to,
alternative IWB systems. Previously the teacher-trainees had had access to discrete
training in another room and had, as part of their course produced Power-point
presentations which were then extended and annotated with the IWB in a different
classroom. The need for developing Power-point has lessened greatly over the past 5 years
as most of the trainee teachers are now familiar with this. However the use of the IWB in
South Shropshire is less prolific, although many report having such a Board in their
placements which they would like to use.
The moving of rooms for this aspect of the course had now become problematic and instead
of specialist staff to teach this aspect, it was felt that not only training in the use of this Board
was necessary for the trainees and the ITT team, but modelling its use during teaching
sessions was desirable. This necessitated training therefore in the specific (Hitachi) software
available in the ITT classroom. There was no time for staff to attend general courses using
a Board which was unlike the one available and transporting the skills. The college would
not have funded this training because the general move was to the use of the Mimio
software with portable IWBs.
June 2009
It was deemed to be imperative, that:
1. the present team should understand the general advantages of using an IWB so that
this could be convincingly incorporated into the teaching of strategies and
2. the Team should be immediately able to model this when teaching the present
3. the trainer should be familiar with both teacher-training and the teaching of Maths in
order that 2 of the team could see and demonstrate the benefits of this training in
their specialist subject areas.
2 Strategies
It was important that training should be provided in the ITT room at a time when the whole
team were available. A Saturday proved to be, at this late stage, the only option.
The course team leader had previously observed the innovative use of IWB by a member of
the Shropshire Advisory Team during a previous training session and hence contacted the
Advisory service to see if they could help. Fortunately they were able to do so and so it was
arranged for our ITT team to undergo CPD training through the Advisory service.
Ruth Tanner, who is experienced in advising in schools and also a Maths specialist, was
suggested by the Advisory service and duly gave a thorough demonstration of the Hitachi
software on the portable IWB to the ITT team members.
This workshop was opened to other members of staff who also use the training room.
Ruth negotiated our particular learning objectives and allowed time for all staff to explore
their individual specialisms. Although the CPD opportunity was offered to other college
staff, in the event, only the three team members attended.
3 Outcomes and Impact
All objectives were met in that:
1. The staff team are now confident that they can explain and demonstrate the use of
IWBs convincingly and incorporate their use into their own work.
2. This was immediately modelled in the following weeks’ classes.
3. The team benefited from particular Maths strategies and Ruth generously supplied
much of her own material which they could incorporate into their own teaching.
The starting point of the team was varied from zero to limited experience in the use of IWB.
Following the training, the immediate impact was that two students in the current PTLLS
cohort gave a presentation to the group using IWB within a week of the staff having the
training. This has since extended to several other ITT learners as the co-ordinator has been
June 2009
able to demonstrate use with a degree of knowledge and competence! She has gained the
confidence to explore less obvious uses; for example she has been able to demonstrate use
of a music stave with annotation and writing of music.
The Teacher Educator staff have been able to extend IWB use to other programmes they
teach on. Since some of the CTLLS learners are already currently employed by the college,
they too, have passed on their knowledge to other members of staff; one even led a CPD
session within her own teaching team.
4 Learning Points
The reasons for and methods of calibrating the screen
How to use IWB annotation tools over any document or web page
How to access different background screens, such as grids, graph paper music
paper, etc.
How to add images to documents and work with these: a particularly striking
example was the way Ruth used photos of herself and colleagues near a rock face
for students to estimate and finally work out distances etc. This added interest and
would show students real applications of maths.
How to use sound with documents.
How to create links to all the resources which may apply to a topic, such as web
pages, photographs, other images, videos and sound.
It also must be acknowledged that there were initial delays in arranging the training for the
staff, which has limited the time for the benefit to be felt by our current learners. This was
partly due to waiting for quotes from alternative trainers and the practicality of getting a time/
date that all concerned could honour. The initial aims have been met, but staff may
continue to need further support or advice in the future.
The limitations of use in numeracy and science teaching were realised i.e. text capture does
not recognise chemical or mathematical formulae and some difficulty was experienced in
particular uses e.g. gaining a graph paper background. It was recognised that specific
software packages (e.g. for graphic work) might need to be purchased.
5 Synopsis
In summary, the Teacher Educator staff requested support in order to develop their own
competence in the use of interactive whiteboards and to observe imaginative use of them in
order to improve and enhance their own lessons and to impart confidence and knowledge of
their use to trainee teachers. The latter have had immediate benefit by having access to the
June 2009
technology for their own use. The ITT team will need to continue to incorporate this
technology in their own delivery and to strive to increase the variety of use; they are still
“new users”, but have gained the confidence to have a go!
6 Key words / Phrases
Interactive whiteboard or IWB
ITT (Initial Teacher Training)
June 2009