Trainee teachers

Sample use of IT within the English with Drama and Media Education PGCE programme

Trainees are using free software- ‘Audacity’ and ‘Moviemaker’ (downloadable from the internet) to create podcasts and movies for use as teaching resources within English, Drama and Media classrooms.

Trainees are primarily using the resources to present texts to pupils in very visual and lively ways. Voice-overs combined with appropriate sound effects, credits and visual images show representations of chosen texts and offer pupils alternative ways to access more difficult texts.

In addition, the production of multiple versions of any one text (e.g. ‘Shall I Compare Thee To A Summer’s Day?’) are also used to spark debate within the classroom, concerning the nature of Media texts. Issues surrounding interpretation and representation are analysed alongside key English and Media terms such as target audience, bias, connotations, symbolism and metaphor.

Trainees have also been taught how to use the software, so that they in turn can cascade this knowledge within the school environment.  Pupils are instructed on how to use IT in order to create their own Media texts. This is very useful and indeed essential in a lot of respects, as pupils must create and produce their own Media texts on most GCSE Media courses.

The software is also used to strengthen trainees’ pedagogical knowledge, as they use it to create podcasts and movies that explicitly instruct others (colleagues) on how to use the software applications.

Response by PGCE student: English and ICT

Discuss your use of IT so far within this course.  How has it/will it benefit you as a teacher practitioner?

To date, I have used a variety of IT resources in the course of PGCE English, both in completing tasks for the course and in preparation for my first school placement.  I have produced numerous PowerPoint Presentations for English, for use in both Starter and Plenary aspect of a lesson.  In addition to this I have used PowerPoint to deliver my Love of Literature presentation in English.

I have also used Microsoft Word to complete assignments, and prepare worksheets for micro-teaching activities.
For my Subsidiary Subject I am studying Special Educational Needs.  A large part of this study takes place using  Weekly tasks are posted online and must be completed and posted within distinct discussion forums.  These are then evaluated by the tutor on a weekly basis.

In English, we have been using Podcasting and Vodcasting to look at the poetry included in the CCEA GCSE Poetry Anthologies.  I have created a Podcast for Remember by Christina Rossetti.  I then used this Podcast as the basis for my MovieMaker project.

Each member of the PGCE English group has been given webcams which we intend to use to discuss what is happening when we are out on placement in our schools.  We have also received some basic training in the use of Interactive White Boards.

All of these skills will be useful in making my English classroom more interactive and interesting to pupils.  As the classrooms in my placement school are only fitted with IWB, the use of PowerPoint and Active Studio will be essential, and the tips I have picked up will be of great benefit.  The use of Podcasts will also be quite interesting for students, although it remains to be seen just how accessible the necessary resources to do this will be in school.  However, I will be able to use my own and my classmates original podcasts when teaching this aspect of the GCSE Syllabus.  Generally speaking, the new skills I have learnt and the old skills I have developed through the course of the PGCE will be extremely beneficial in the practice of teaching an English class.