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Assessing the provision of ICT for Inclusion: Tips 2 in a set of 8

Tips on how to use ICT to support inclusive practice
Use ICT to support different styles of learning
• The World Wide Web contains more than text. It has sounds, movie clips, animations and symbols on some sites. Encourage pupils to browse different sorts of sites. Search for images and clip art [such as]. • Don’t just use the computer as a word processor. Think about multimedia, PowerPoint, children scanning in artwork or recording their voices. Let the computer help them to show what they can do instead of being one more barrier. • Make sure you can use digital cameras – a great way of recording achievement.

Think about group dynamics
• Don’t group people by ability – or rather don’t go on intellectual ability or literacy skills. Some pupils who are poor communicators may be skilled on the computer and have a lot to offer to their less technical peers. • If pupils with limited spoken English or poor test results are always in the ‘bottom group’, they come to feel a failure. Is this the message you want them to take from your lessons? • Think about multiple intelligences. Think about groups based on complementary skills. Look at Guidelines for group working with computers []

Remember: not everyone has ICT at home
• And don’t assume they haven’t! Many pupils may be in a care setting and may be moved around quite often, making it difficult for them to have consistent access to ICT. Nevertheless, recent initiatives mean they may have better ICT facilities than some children who are living at home with their families. Similarly, there are a significant number of Travellers who see ICT as a useful support for their children’s education. • Make sure that children know about homework clubs or other ways in which they can use the school’s ICT facilities. • Also make sure that if a pupil needs particular access devices such as switches or an enlarged keyboard, these are provided throughout the school and not just in one classroom or on one machine.

Respect cultural diversity
• Many people use Encarta as a reference material but how many make sure they have Africana – Microsoft’s CD-ROM for the black community []? • Check out how you are doing by using Schools in a Multicultural Society – an audit for schools []. For case studies and ideas for ways of working, have a look at the examples proved by Portsmouth’s Bilingual Support Service [].

© Becta 2002 published March 2002

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Becta | ict advice | timesaver | Assessing the provision of ICT for Inclusion: Tips

Celebrate other languages and cultures
• Although much of the information we use in schools is in English, ICT can support other languages. Many staff find it invaluable for getting up-to-the-minute materials for MFL, but it can also support community languages. • One way of finding localised information on the Internet is to use a search engine, type in the keywords and add the domain-name extension for a particular country. For example, to find news in India, one could enter ‘newspapers’ in Colossus, a directory of search engines arranged by country []. • Look at Becta’s Community Languages site for information about multilingual word processing []. • You can also use translation engines on the web. Type in information in English and turn it into Urdu, Albanian or a host of other languages. Try [] and []. • Check Becta’s Community Languages site for other translation engines as well as the Say IT sheets which translate common IT terms and computer-related phrases from English into 24 other languages [].

Ask an expert
• You can obtain information on line from Becta through the technology information sheets [], including advice on support for deaf pupils []. • Find out about a whole range of support organisations that can help you []. • Mailing lists such as SENCO-forum, managed by Becta, was started in 1995 to support Sencos in their work. It offers a convenient way of keeping in touch, and users like it! “I post a query and there may be two or three responses by the end of the day,” and “You get real up-to-the-minute information on SENCO-forum because it comes from people who are directly working in the field.” • The Inclusion site [] has an ‘Ask the Inclusion Panel’ facility to assist you if you can’t find the resources you’re looking for.

It’s good to talk
• Share your ideas! Join in Online conferences such as the Becta-RNID From policy to practice: supporting the inclusion of deaf pupils []. • Contribute to the Teacher Resource Exchange []. You’ll find lots of ideas for lessons at a whole range of levels. Contribute your first thoughts and see if anyone can add to them.

Use your computer for administration
• Record keeping lies at the heart of the inclusion agenda, because without good record keeping the needs of the individual child are lost and inclusion is unsuccessful. There are many packages to help with this process and ICT can save you considerable time and make the transfer of information between professionals a much simpler process.