Last night I was about to go for a run – my boy was about to go for his bath but before I left I had a short play with him on the bathroom floor. Normally he waves some of his toys around, explores others or throws them a bit but last night he did something a little different which made me feel very special. We have an old spinning top where you have to push down to get it to spin. Ben decided to clearly hand it to me and with a ‘Da’ I knew he wanted me to spin the toy for him. This was the first occasion where my boy asked me to help him out with something and I tell you this it felt brilliant. He did it again this afternoon with a little windup toy and I clearly feel something has changed in him which can only improve from now on. One very happy daddySent from my iPhone
I’ll make no secret of it – I hate setting pointless and dreary homework. For years now the sort of homework which involves either completing a worksheet or answering several questions I have found to be a waste of time when it comes to improving understanding within pupils and is mostly a waste of time for them as well. As a result I have generally avoiding setting homework where possible.
However times have changed. Whereas up until a few years ago the only time pupils would have been on a computer would have been chatting on MSN now pupils are on their pc’s on a regular basis playing games, social networking and other stuff as well. In fact with the rise of smart phones which are essentially portable computers as well as the eventual arrival of a mature tablet market this year pupils now have a myriad of options when it comes to accessing ICT hardware and software.
So with this change in how ICT is used by pupils how can I use this to get ICT Homework right? The possible answer to this is that ICT homework should not consist of weekly grind tasks which pupils hate getting and teachers hate marking. It should consist of a series of projects or challenges set throughout the year which involve either creation of content or problem solving. These projects should run over a period of time and should if possible relate to what is being taught in class or if not could be different completely in scope.
Possible ideas for projects could include:
1. Designing and building a game level in either Atmosphir or Jumala
2. Complete a model of your house in Sketchup
3. Create a basic app in Google App Inventor
4. Design and build a website/wiki
All work which pupils produce should be submitted (either through files or links) to a class or year blog to allow other pupils to access their work. Through creating this content and then sharing it in a manner which allows for peer assessment is I think the best way for students to be working on something outside of classroom hours.
Lets see how this goes …