5 visual ways to bring Primary school ICT to life

James Berger

James Berger is CEO of Netcom 92 — an audio-visual solutions company from Essex. With over twenty years of experience in the industry, James has provided technical support for primary and secondary schools up and down the country, helping them to improve the audio-visual quality of their ICT facilities.

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Primary school ICT can be a tricky subject for some teachers. For those who aren’t completely au fait with the technology themselves, it can be difficult to integrate new concepts and ideas into their lesson plans. Computers and tablets are always being upgraded to include new features and software, which can make staying up to date difficult.

But, when it comes to Primary school ICT, there will always be a need for visual learning tactics. In fact, audio-visual technology can help you add a little touch of fun to an otherwise complicated topic area. So let’s take a look at a few ways to bring primary school ICT to life.

1. Create and Implement Stimulating Design Projects

Most children seem to agree that school ICT lessons are often a little tedious. Unfortunately, this is mainly down to a lack of innovative learning opportunities. In Primary schools up and down the country, the same core lessons are taught over and over again. More often than not, children find they are already very adept at skills such as typing and using the internet from a screen-based homelife.

Audio-visual stimulation can encourage them to engage with the project they are working on. Nowadays, we are seeing more and more schools introduce the concepts of coding and game design into their ICT lessons. There are now a whole variety of apps that allow children to construct simple codes, with immediate visual effects. Using these to supplement key learning strategies can be a huge boost.

2. Use Interactive Systems Such as Clevertouch

The interactive whiteboard has been a staple of Primary school ICT for a while. But, with touchscreens becoming more and more accessible, they could soon become outdated. Interactive systems such as Clevertouch now allow children to learn directly from a tablet, rather than one central board. As the teacher, you are in control of what your class sees and can set up activities from the main screen for them to complete at their desks.

With one in three children now owning a tablet in the UK, putting these skills to practical use is important. Such technology enables schools to bring ICT to life in front of their very eyes.

3. Introduce Metacognition into Everyday Learning

Metacognition is a new buzzword in audio-visual learning. In layman's terms, it is simply the ability to self-assess and improve work through the use of technology. Screencasting apps such as ScreenChomp and ExplainEverything make it easy for children to visually explain their thought processes.

Screencasting enables primary school children to combine drawings, text, and images onto one screen, in order to create a video of their progress. This has already proved useful in the solving of mathematical problems, but can easily be integrated into Primary school ICT. Children can use the audio-visual elements to create a learning hub that enables them to look back and explore their understanding of a particular subject.

4. Keep Visual Blogs to Record Progression

One reason children don’t engage with ICT is because they can’t see or share their previous work. However, with blogging tools now available for mainstream use, keeping a visual record of progress is much simpler. Through platforms like Edublogs and Kidblog, children can create digital timelines of their work.

In a similar way to metacognition, Primary school ICT teachers can help children assess their own work, as well as providing a space for collaboration between peers. Being able to visually follow their progress and share their efforts with their parents will enable children to develop strong communication skills on which they can build moving forwards.

5. Make the Most of Online ICT Resources

With data protection and web filtering services keeping children safe online, there has never been a better time to use the internet for its intended purpose: a tool for informative learning. While there is a whole host of child-orientated websites out there, finding ones that promote audio-visual learning are paramount.

Games that are specifically designed to strengthen primary school ICT skills can be extremely useful. All too often, ICT is seen as a way of cultivating the next generation of button-pushers, but there is so much more to the subject than just copy and paste. Games that promote simple coding and multimedia construction are perfect for early years learners looking to get to grips with basic computer functions.  

How do you engage pupils with ICT learning? Let us know in the comments below.

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