ICT in English

Peter Miles

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ISBN 1 84070 126 9

Published by Pearson Publishing 2001 © Pearson Publishing 2001

A licence to copy the material in this pack is only granted to the purchaser strictly within their school, college or organisation.The material must not be reproduced in any other form without the express written permission of Pearson Publishing.
Abingdon School

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Introduction

The digital age of Information and Communication Technology is upon us. The problem is that, although most of us would dearly love to use, explore and assess all these computer-based facilities and other ICT resources now available, time and opportunity work against us. For most, it is enough that we have mastered the keyboard and word processor for our own survival in this age of documentation and record-keeping; to achieve a level of expertise, in order to incorporate it intuitively into our classroom practice, is quite another matter. It can be argued that the English department has a better claim of entitlement of access to this technology than any other.Yet, more often than not, we are treated as the poor relation where provision of this technology is concerned. The aim of this pack is to give ammunition to the argument for better ICT provision and access for English departments by looking at the range of possibilities on offer. But access is only part of the problem; English teachers should be given time to familiarise themselves with the technology and to develop their own materials for use in the context of their particular school situation. Time and resources need to be made available to achieve this. For ICT in English to succeed, it must become an integrated part of the whole English scheme. English departments must also resist pressures to become the school’s ICT training agents in word-processing skills – the emphasis should be on making the technology work for the benefit of English and not for English to be the servant of technology. Naturally, there is a certain ‘threshold of fear’ to overcome with members of staff who are unfamiliar with the opportunities afforded by the technology. This pack might assist in lowering this threshold and allow them to appreciate the ways in which ICT can enhance their teaching and enable them to reach a more confident level of professional practice. As teachers we also need to grasp the opportunities provided by ICT initiatives and training schemes, as well as taking advantage of the enthusiasm of our students and their undoubted skills and knowledge of the technology’s application and uses. With goodwill and a modicum of self-training, the delivery of the English curriculum can be considerably enhanced in engaging and interesting ways using the undoubted benefits and techniques of ICT. This pack is offered as a basis for training and exploration of these benefits and techniques, and, to this end, the forms provided can be photocopied and, where necessary, adapted to the particular needs of the department.

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Introduction

This pack comprises the following sections: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Defining ICT ICT in the English classroom Key Government initiatives Developing departmental policy Management issues The potential gains of using ICT Using ICT in the classroom Classroom management issues Assessment procedures

10 Sources of further information

Acknowledgements
My sincere thanks to my friends and colleagues, Chris Warren and Tom Rank, who have given invaluable help and advice in compiling this pack. I am also grateful to the following organisations for giving me permission to use or quote material from their publications: Becta, The Stationery Office and NAACE. Peter Miles November 2001

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1 Defining ICT

The term IT has recently been expanded to Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in recognition of the growing significance of communications technology to access the Internet, send email to other institutions, to video conference, and so on. ICT therefore combines telecommunications, computing and broadcasting and covers any product that will store, retrieve, manipulate, transmit or receive information electronically, including telephones, faxes, computers and televisions. In May 1999, David Blunkett announced proposed changes to the National Curriculum for England. The resultant document forms the second review of the curriculum with changes having taken effect in schools from September 2000. One of these changes has been the renaming of the subject from Information Technology (IT) to Information and Communication Technology (ICT). The change is intended to clarify the use of the two terms and prevent confusion. Clare Johnson, Principal Manager ICT, Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, explains the implications of the change: The new curriculum for ICT proposes that information is at the heart of students’ study, of IT skills, knowledge and understanding.This new focus suggests that students might start with using IT to find things out, then develop their ideas and make things happen.There is a new emphasis on students sharing and exchanging their work and ideas that encourage collaboration and publication.Their work is constantly reviewed, evaluated and modified.The result should place more emphasis on IT as a tool for learning, rather than merely using applications.
IT and ICT in the National Curriculum, QCA Newsletter, Issue 2, May 1999

It is a further requirement of the 2000 National Curriculum that the use of ICT should be embedded in the whole curriculum. The National Curriculum for secondary teachers in England (see http://www.nc.uk.net/) outlines the importance of Information and Communication Technology by stating that: Information and communication technology (ICT) prepares students to participate in a rapidly changing world in which work and other activities are increasingly transformed by access to varied and developing technology. Students use ICT tools to find, explore, analyse, exchange and present information responsibly, creatively and with discrimination.They learn how to employ ICT to enable rapid access to ideas and experiences from a wide range of people, communities and cultures. Increased capability in the use of ICT promotes initiative and independent learning, with students being able to make informed judgements about when and where to use ICT to best effect, and to consider its implications for home and work both now and in the future.
Information and Communication Technology, page 143

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1 Defining ICT

ICT covers all the tools of information storage and retrieval, as well as the communication systems for the transmission and reception of resources, information and ideas between individuals, interested parties or institutions. It encompasses the knowledge and understanding required to use these tools to assist the learning process. Each tool is designed to facilitate a specific function and can only be of real worth if used correctly and appropriately. The starting point for developing a coherent ICT policy for English does not lie simply in defining ICT, but in determining the desired outcomes to which ICT can usefully contribute. Any activity, whether it makes use of ICT or not, must enhance the study of English as well as promote and develop the student’s linguistic skills; ie the technology must serve the purpose of English studies – English studies must not become subservient to the technology. Handwriting with pen and paper is just as respectable a ‘technology’ as any of the more recent electronic/digital methods of writing. The new ways and means are different and exciting but not necessarily better than the traditional ways of written communication. However, ICT applications can bring to English Studies methods and means hitherto difficult to achieve with the traditional technologies. The study of digital texts; personal control of the written medium; the opportunities of communication and of searching for information worldwide can all be enhanced by the new technology to the benefit of English Studies. The nature of those benefits and the ways in which we can take advantage of new technology are becoming more clearly articulated as more and more English teachers explore their possibilities and apply them to classroom teaching. One thing is certain – the technology is not going to go away and as English teachers we ignore it at our peril. Given time, the technology will become more friendly with better facilities for access. Also certain is that with the increasing role of ICT in the delivery of education, we as teachers, and particularly at ‘subject’ level, should begin to have more say as to its form and content. However, we can only have this input if we have taken the time to explore and understand its nature, flaws and potential.

ICT and the National Curriculum
Although the National Curriculum document does not have a specific section on the application of ICT to English teaching it does, however, contain the catch-all policy of ICT use across the curriculum, and therefore applied to all subjects: Use of information and communication technology across the curriculum 1 Students should be given opportunities to apply and develop their ICT capability through the use of ICT tools to support their learning in all subjects. 2 Students should be given opportunities to support their work by being taught to: a find things out from a variety of sources, selecting and synthesising the information to meet their needs and developing an ability to

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1 Defining ICT

question its accuracy, bias and plausibility b c d develop their ideas using ICT tools to amend and refine their work and enhance its quality and accuracy exchange and share information, both directly and through electronic media review, modify and evaluate their work, reflecting critically on its quality, as it progresses.

Within the English document itself there are certain sections in which ICT is specifically referred to (see the National Curriculum for English). In a recent report, published by the English group of the Becta Curriculum IT Support Project, it was suggested that the following software requirements for the National Curriculum ICT expectations to be delivered in English: The group felt that the minimum requirement would be word processors and access to the World Wide Web and a variety of CD-ROMs for each pupil. It was felt that word processors must have multimedia capability, with the proviso that software on its own is not enough: hardware such as digital cameras, scanners, microphones should also be available. Another proviso is that computers must be networked to allow for collaborative work. In addition to this, the group recommend the following: • • • • • • • CD-ROMs for reference and other non-linear texts. Access to Web browsers, searching, email and bulletin boards. Multimedia authoring/presentation software and Web authoring software. A simple graphically oriented database such as Pinpoint for pupils and teachers (who could use it to build revision materials). A simple way of archiving and retrieving materials from archives, eg last term’s work. Easy Web ‘whacking’ software to grab Web sites to use offline Rating of software and a really comprehensive resource reviewing all English software (old and new).
Source: Curriculum Software Initiative: English, Becta

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2 ICT in the English classroom

It is not the intention of this pack to provide a definitive guide to ICT tools, but rather to explain their function and to address their usefulness in the teaching or learning of English. This section gives a brief description of the ICT tools that may be of benefit to an English department. Each description includes issues arising from the use of ICT (indicated by ), which may or may not need to be resolved if the tool is to be used effectively. There is a language of ICT that, just as with any specialist or technical language, can be a barrier to understanding; a recent Dictionary of IT Jargon ran to over 600 pages! It is essential that any effective ICT policy takes into account the possibility that members of the English department may not be fully conversant with the language of ICT, and will therefore need help in mastering its basic concepts in order to participate with confidence. Coming up against technical terms and associated jargon can raise the threshold of fear in many teachers. Learning a new language comes more easily to some than it does to others, and staff should be accorded all the patience and support that their own students might expect, for example, when getting to grips with the confusing concepts and arbitrary ‘rules’ of the English language. More detailed suggestions of how ICT may be exploited by the English teacher can be found in Section 8, but these proposals are by no means exhaustive. It is up to each teacher to decide whether the tool or activity can be used as suggested or whether you need to adapt it. ICT tools come in two distinct categories: • Hardware – The variety of input and output devices needed to write and read digitally-stored information. • Software – The programs held in the computer’s memory, which allow the computer to manipulate the stored digital information to our particular needs. Clearly, the one cannot operate without the other – a word-processed file or graphics stored on a CD-ROM cannot be ‘read’ unless displayed on a VDU or printed on paper. Some systems can only operate simultaneously; the devices and programs required for video conferencing (the means by which one can see and talk to other people by video link in real time). Firstly, a brief review of the ICT hardware devices available or becoming available to the class teacher. Software will be considered on page 11.

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Input devices
The keyboard
The keyboard consists of the standard alphabet laid out alongside function keys and numbers, much as you would expect to find on a typewriter. The shape of the board and the layout of the keys will depend on specific design, but by far the most common layout is the standard ‘QWERTY’ keyboard, so named because of the first six keys of the top row of letters. Not all keyboards respond in the same way. The function of certain keys and combinations of keys can vary from keyboard to keyboard. It is worth noting that what works on a IBM compatible PC keyboard may not work in the same way on that of a Macintosh computer.

Scanners
A scanner enables both pictures and text to be input to a computer, although you will need specialist optical character recognition (OCR) software for the latter. If your school possesses the full Reader/Writer version of the Adobe Acrobat program then there is an OCR procedure built into it allowing you to produce editable digital text from scanned material. For example, the pages of an out-of-copyright play text or poetry book could be scanned and then converted into editable digital text to enable preparation of multiple copies of the piece, or sections of it, formatted to your particular requirements. Scanned input can be manipulated using image editing software for pictures, or a word processor for texts. A scanner is a useful tool for incorporating original images, from photographs or drawings, into computer documents, such as newsletters, assignments and Web pages. The time taken to scan an image will depend upon the central processing unit of the computer, the size of the image, the quality of output required and the capabilities of the scanner itself. Scanned images are ideal for enhancing documents, but copyright laws will apply to images taken from magazines, CD covers, etc. This does not preclude their use, but restricts how the resulting material can be published, distributed or displayed.

Digital cameras
With a digital camera, light from the image passes to a sensor inside the camera, which uses digital data to replicate the image. The image is then stored on disk or loaded into a computer. Photographs can be displayed directly onto the computer monitor or imported into a graphics package for editing. The image stored on disk can easily be overwritten if the photograph is not of the standard required or if it is no longer needed. Much of the anxiety of taking photographs is therefore taken away and students can select which image they will or will not choose to keep. The rapid

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turnaround between the time the photograph was taken and the time it appears onscreen ready to be used makes the digital camera an ideal tool for enhancing creative writing. Illustrations for written work, photo-stories, newsletters and parents’ evening handouts can all benefit from digital camera images used creatively. Whilst it is true that images from a digital camera greatly enhance the presentation of work produced, and may well enthuse students for the task set, one should remember that the purpose of the process is to enhance the literacy process and, unless the digital camera images lead to appropriate ‘English’ outcomes, it might well be seen by some as little more than a distraction. Students must understand that they are undertaking an exercise related to English which is to be enhanced by digital camera images, and not merely taking a few photographs.

Video cameras and video digitisers
Video cameras and recorders have been available for far longer than the computer. Both satisfy the definition of ICT by storing information electronically, but since they do not need to be attached to a computer, they are often overlooked as ICT tools. The video recorder brings all the advantages of combined sound and image. Its use should be an integral part of the English schemes of work. For example, a video camera can record the discourse between a small group of students engaged in some task for which the camera is merely an onlooker of the whole group. Perhaps some simulation scenario where the group are having to come to difficult conclusions from a range of evidence given, eg a murder, accident, theft, terrorist threat, etc. A study of the group dynamics, body language, speech patterns, etc from the video recording of the session can be very rewarding. Frequent and systematic use of the video camera in the English classroom is an excellent way of recording student performance for close scrutiny and assessment. It can be used to train teachers in classroom teaching techniques and it can be an ideal way of proving the progress that students make, in particular, in oral work. The video digitiser enables video signals from a standard camcorder to be displayed in a window on the computer screen. Video sequences can be stored and used in other programs. Still images can also be captured from the video sequence. Whilst video sequences can be very attractive, some may consider the essential literacy learning element is almost always contained in the audio accompaniment. However, a video recording of an ‘oral’ situation will also capture the accompanying non-verbal language and body language, not only of the speaker, but also of the listeners.

Speech or voice input
Programs are available that will recognise continuous speech input, translating the words directly into a word processor and producing typed scripts from the spoken word. For severely handicapped students, this method has an obvious application, but it invariably requires fast processing and large amounts of memory. Even when these
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are readily available, there still needs to be a considerable time investment before the voice recognition of the software will produce reliable texts. Unless you have no alternative, speech or voice input is currently more of a gimmick than a tool, although as hardware becomes more friendly and processing time quicker, this is an area which English teachers should keep an eye on.

Output devices
The computer monitor, screen or visual display unit (VDU)
This is the most common output device. The size is always measured diagonally, from corner to corner. Larger monitors are easier on the eyes. Three dots of colour make up each picture element or pixel. The spacing of the pixel determines the clarity, or resolution, of the screen image: • VGA (Video Graphics Array) 640 x 480 pixels • SVGA (Super Video Graphics Array) 800 x 600 pixels • XGA (Extended Graphics Array) 1024 x 768 pixels

Large format displays
With the increasing emphasis on whole class teaching, many teachers have realised that the computer can be an ideal tool to use. However, to be effective for this purpose, the display needs to be fairly large. There are a number of options available for increasing the size of a computer display (see page 10), including connection to a television, projector or interactive whiteboard (see page 10), all of which enable large groups and whole classes to view a single computer screen. Very large screen displays can be achieved by using a specialised digital projector. These projectors are still quite expensive and are unlikely to be bought from department funds, but it is well worth suggesting the purchase of such equipment as part of the school’s development fund; it is certain that the price of such equipment is likely to fall rapidly in the next year or two. They are superb for presenting materials to an assembled audience and the perfect output for presentation software such as Microsoft® PowerPoint or displaying Internet browser pages. For whole class teaching, a large screen display allows the presentation of: • high-quality information which can be prepared before the lesson without the need for a colour OHT printer • multimedia: for example, a video clip or an animation from a CD-ROM or other source • a range of material from different sources, prepared by many teachers using a presentation package • a software demonstration.

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2 ICT in the English classroom

A few examples of these applications for use in English include: • delivering specific teaching points on grammar or modelling • sharing the writing process using a word processing package • demonstrating how to use a new piece of software or teaching new techniques, such as how to enter searches in Web search engines.

Interactive whiteboards
There is a developing range of interactive whiteboards available. This technology requires three pieces of equipment: a computer, a projector and a touch-sensitive whiteboard. The computer is connected to the projector and whiteboard, and the projector displays the computer screen image onto the board. The computer can then be controlled from the board. As you point at active elements on the board using your finger or an appropriate electronic pen, the action is transmitted to the computer in the same way as using a mouse. Interactive whiteboards have the advantages of: • allowing you to move around a screen without the use of a computer, as the screen itself is sensitive • offering the same features as a traditional whiteboard, such as writing directly on the board, circling things, highlighting or labelling elements on the screen and erasing errors • enabling editing onscreen and recording any changes or additions • being either free-standing or wall-mounted. Note, however, that although mobile, free-standing models can be heavy.

Large screen monitors
Large screen monitors are a more expensive option than an ordinary television screen connection if you do not already have a specialist monitor, but they do have the following advantages: • Screen dimensions range from 29" to 38" (measured on the diagonal). • Both video and data input can be displayed. • Light conditions in the room do not affect the screen, as it can be adjusted. • The screen normally comes with any necessary leads. One drawback is that this type of screen is not easily portable unless trolley mounted.

Printers
The many types of printer available can be divided into two groups – impact and non-impact printers. Impact printers rely on striking an inked ribbon to form characters on the page and are consequently noisy when compared to non-impact alternatives.

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Non-impact printers will use either an ink-jet or a laser to mark the page. Both systems have their advantages and disadvantages, so the best purchase will depend upon its intended use and the likely running costs. Schools should consider purchasing a good quality laser printer for general administrative use and for printing department-based material, worksheets, course material, etc. Although their unit cost is comparatively high initially, their running costs for high capacity printouts are low. For classroom use, good ‘photo quality’ inkjet printers are now becoming available at realistic prices (between £200 and £400), although it is always advisable to check the ongoing costs of replacement ink cartridges. These printers will give good service provided they are treated kindly. It might also be worth considering the viability if using an A4/A3 format printer as these are much more flexible, especially if you want to produce A4 size booklets formed from folded A3 sheets.

Software
The range of software now available for educational use is growing fast. Many resources are also being made available by practising teachers via resource Web sites; see English Online, Teachit, Andrew Moore’s Teaching Resource Site, etc in Section 10 (page 60). These usually use generic software to carry the content rather than specially-devised programs. Generic software is those programs which have become the standard tools of the computer and are usually already installed on the computer or network, and hence are the least expensive resource available. Because they are content-free, they can be adapted to a range of purposes. An effective ICT policy should start with a departmental audit of existing knowledge of the software that is already available. Command of standard software packages – word processors, databases, presentation software and desktop publishing (DTP) packages – can often be the most effective way of providing functional ICT development within the teaching of English. Used in an imaginative way, the humble word processor has far more mileage for language and literature work than merely operating as an electronic typewriter.

CD-ROMs
Many commercial titles are available, but there are few companies that will allow you to try materials before purchasing them. It is far better to rely on recommendations from trusted friends and colleagues than upon advertising slogans and fliers. The price of CD-ROMs can vary greatly and can represent a substantial investment if a multiple user or site licence is purchased. A good collection of themed poetry material on CD-ROM is produced by Headstrong Interactive at http://www.headstrong.demon.co.uk/.

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CD-ROMs available so far: • The English Romantic Poets • ‘Over the Nightmare Ground’ – British Poetry from Two World Wars • Silver Hooks and Golden Sands – An Introduction to Poetry and Prose in English 1360-1900.

Internet
For the English teacher, effective use of the Internet brings the immediate benefits of: • access to research information, journals, projects, organisations, newsletters and circulars • speedy communications, via email, with like-minded institutions or individuals • shared ideas and materials in a number of different contexts • an extensive source of reference materials from which to produce teaching resources for the classroom or for presentations • an abundance of reference material to support student research into syllabus topics, or countless topics of personal interest • a wealth of student-friendly, self-testing, revision sites that can be accessed independently • interactive, audiovisual resources • the opportunity to present oneself to a worldwide audience, inviting interaction and reaction. A later section will look at the use of the Internet in greater detail (see page 50). Further material can be found in Using the Internet – English (Pearson Publishing, 2000). There are no restrictions on submitting pages to the World Wide Web. As a result, Internet access brings with it access to material that is unsuitable for use in school. Software is available to help censor inappropriate material, but teachers should be vigilant to ensure that students remain within the specified Web sites. Internet connection slows as the number of simultaneous users increases. Afternoon sessions, when the population of the US goes online, are notoriously slow. The Internet exists almost as a living entity that changes and evolves. Links that work one day may not be available the next. Save pages that are likely to change onto the school intranet if you do not want to lose them. Web pages, designed using a range of tools, are not always readable by every computer.You will need to liaise with the ICT technician if more than a few pages do not appear to function as intended. Access to email or chat rooms is often restricted in schools and subject to very strict policy regulations. Be sure that the practice of teachers in the English department does not contradict existing school policy.

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Intranet
Unlike the Internet, an intranet does not rely on connection to the World Wide Web. Instead, the pages are stored on an internal network with access only available to users of that particular network. The advantages of this system are that: • connection speeds are far greater and more reliable • pages that would normally change frequently on the Internet will appear as they did when they were saved – they can only be updated by your intervention • an intranet is not affected by Internet traffic • pages can easily be written to the specific audience of the intranet, making it an ideal location for revision guidelines, notices, or GCSE advice. It is possible, through a system of password coding, to offer limited access to the school’s intranet to students and their parents when they are not in school, but security implications often deter schools from providing this service. Provision of an effective intranet requires frequent updating and a commitment of time. Since intranet pages can be stored without reference to the original, active Web site, it is important to avoid leaving outdated information on the intranet. Interactive material from the Internet will need an Internet connection to function correctly.

Reference material
There is a wide range of language reference resources, such as electronic dictionaries, thesauruses, encyclopedias, etc, available on CD-ROMs. Although these are usually quite expensive to purchase initially, they are available when required and are easily portable. The problem with such publications, as with paper-based reference material, is that they cannot be updated without purchasing the next edition. The Internet gives free access to a range of such reference material, which is constantly updated, but the problem here, of course, is the usual one of online access at the time when that information is required.

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3 Key Government initiatives

During the past four years, in particular, there have been many changes and Government initiatives which have had an impact on the teaching of English. In particular, the review of the National Curriculum and ongoing developments in technology. Unfortunately, the recent National Curriculum review did not strengthen the place of ICT within English; across the key stages the requirements are basically the same, specifically “that students draft and write onscreen as well as on paper, and that they develop skills in locating, retrieving and using information from electronic sources”. Whilst the revised Orders recognise that technology offers opportunities for new methods of communication, and that digital texts have distinct features and structures and require students to develop a knowledge and understanding of them, it does not make the reading and production of such texts mandatory. A vision of ICT development became part of the Labour Party’s 1997 election manifesto. It included a pledge to set up a National Grid for Learning (NGfL) as a structured collection of educationally valuable content on the Internet and a programme of equipping schools and other institutions with the necessary infrastructure and connectivity needed to access that content. A subsequent consultation paper, Connecting the Learning Society, was published in October 1997 where the Government proposed ambitious targets for ICT: • by 1999 all newly qualified teachers were to become ICT literate to mandatory standards in order to receive Qualified Teacher Status • by 2002 serving teachers should generally feel confident and be competent to use ICT within the curriculum • by 2002 all schools, colleges, universities and libraries and as many community centres as possible should be connected to the Grid, enabling perhaps 75% of teachers and 50% of students to have their own email addresses • by 2002 most school leavers should have a good understanding of ICT, based firmly on the standards prescribed in the National Curricula across the UK. In November 1998, the full framework for the Grid was launched together with the NGfL challenge Open for Learning, Open for Business, setting out how the Grid will be taken forward following the consultation. The National Grid for Learning is being developed to: • provide a national learning resource to help raise educational standards, especially to meet the Government’s literacy and numeracy targets, and improve the quality of life and Britain’s international competitiveness • deliver high-quality educational software and services to teachers, students and other learners through public–private partnerships
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3 Key Government initiatives

• remove barriers to learning to ensure quality of access for all, including those in isolated rural areas, those with special educational needs or those in areas of urban deprivation • provide a resource for teachers to improve their ICT skills. Substantial funding programmes are being made available to provide networking infrastructure, hardware, software and training to enable UK schools to connect to the Grid. £760 million has been made available through the Standards Fund for schools to spend on ICT and to access the NGfL in the four years up to April 2002, and a further £710 million will be made available from 2002 to 2004. National Lottery monies are providing a further £230 million up to 2002, through the lottery-funded New Opportunities Fund (NOF).

The NOF initiative
This New Opportunities Fund has to be one of the most significant of all the recent Government initiatives with regard to ICT. The initiative is funded by the National Lottery and a vast amount of manpower and effort has been put into its preparation. Unfortunately, not a lot of teachers are aware of the significance of the initiative nor of the best ways of taking advantage of what it offers. Hence, it is important for you to find out what the initiative could mean for your school. Basically, the aim of the NOF ICT training programme is to increase the expertise of serving teachers (subject-based) and school librarians in the use of ICT, in order to raise the standards of student achievement. The training programme does not currently include voluntary helpers. Schools must register for the training by spring 2002, and the training itself must take place by spring 2003. Serving teachers who qualified before May 1999 are eligible for training – it is intended that, as a result of the training, these teachers will meet the standards of expertise in the use of ICT expected of all NQTs. (It is assumed that those teachers who qualified after May 1999 already meet these standards.) To help ensure that the training is appropriately and effectively focused, a list of expected outcomes has been developed for the programme by the Teacher Training Agency (TTA). For your school to be able to make use of its grant, you must have the following in place: • An ICT development plan, validated by your LEA. • A timetable of when you will send staff on the training. • Access to the Internet for all staff undertaking the training. Once the above are in place, you will need to decide how to organise the training in your school and which training provider to use. Every school will have received a copy of the NOF catalogue which gives detailed information about the ICT training programme and lists training providers approved to deliver training under the scheme. This catalogue is also available to download from the NOF site. (See also http://www.pearsoninformation.co.uk/ for ICT training details.) Note that it is acceptable for different teachers or departments to use different training providers.
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3 Key Government initiatives

Before choosing a training provider, you need to decide which model you want your school’s training to follow, ie face-to-face, distance learning, online learning or a combination of these. Individual training providers should be able to supply you with further information about the services that they offer. Once you have decided which provider(s) to use, you will need to consider how to organise the training sessions. Important: • Do not rush into choosing a training provider. Instead, ask other schools about their experiences and opt for the provider that seems best suited to your school’s needs. • Do not assume that a good software or hardware provider is also going to be a good provider of training – this is not necessarily the case. • Do not forget that this training has to take place in teachers’ own time – try to minimise other pressures on your staff while they undergo the training. It is recommended that you hold a meeting before the NOF training starts, to ensure that all staff are clear about what it involves.You might also wish to give staff the opportunity to look at some sample training materials at this point. Assess the training needs of each member of staff. Every member of staff will be asked to complete a competency form to ensure that the training they receive is tailored to meet their needs. For any staff who feel that they do not have the skills to begin NOF training, some providers offer pre-NOF courses to ensure that basic skills are in place. The TTA has also produced a CD-ROM for schools to help teachers identify their individual training needs (see page 59 for their Web address). Organise your training schedule with care. If you choose to send small groups of staff to separate training sessions, rather than send all the staff together, you need to prioritise the order in which the groups are sent. Since most of the training focuses on the use of ICT in core subjects, it makes sense to send teachers from core subject areas early in the training schedule. See Form 1 (page 18) for the list of basic skills which the NOF training scheme sees as essential for every teacher to have mastered.

Other significant initiatives
The Government has introduced a new National Curriculum in Initial Training Institutions for the use of ICT in subject teaching. From 1999, all newly qualified teachers must establish their competence in ICT to mandatory standards in order to receive Qualified Teacher Status. Similar initiatives, organisations and support mechanisms have arisen from this vision of ICT reform: • The Standards and Effectiveness Unit (SEU) was established by David Blunkett after the 1997 General Election to implement the new Government’s policies for raising standards of education in English schools. It is primarily concerned with identifying and disseminating good practice, but it provides useful reference material and guidelines for KS3 schemes of work. The SEU is
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3 Key Government initiatives

also responsible for a number of innovative policy ventures such as Education Action Zones, Beacon schools and Excellence in Cities. • The British Educational Communications and Technology agency (Becta) is a Government-funded agency working to support the Government’s efforts to improve standards in curriculum subjects, the teaching of Key Skills, institutional effectiveness, and the development of lifelong learning. This organisation is responsible for developing the National Grid for Learning. • The ICT Learning Centres Initiative is designed to help bridge the gap between those in society who have access to ICT and those who do not. The aim is to establish around 700 Learning Centres across England, which will help to bring access to ICT and learning to disadvantaged communities. • The Broadband Consortia. This is an NGfL initiative which should be appearing in your area soon, if it hasn’t done so already. The idea is to group together and link schools, libraries and other ‘learning’ institutions by means of a ‘broadband wide area network’ to a central ‘hub’. The underlying technology is based on a fibre-optic network operating at a very high connection speed (up to 155 Mbits per second). The central hub will provide such services as email, filtered access to the Internet and a regional intranet giving access to structured, age-appropriate educational content from specialist content providers. This regional service should provide an infinitely quicker and more reliable online service than can be achieved by analog or even ISDN connections. Clearly, with this structure in place, schools and related institutions will be able to plan for organising online resources, have easier access to collaborative projects with other institutions and allow for more flexible access to the system. • The Teachers Online Project (TOP). The 1998, £23m DfEE Portables for Teachers’ initiative involved nearly 5000 schools in England and created a unique resource of thousands of teachers making practical day-to-day use of the Internet. Becta is now managing the Teachers Online Project on behalf of the DfES. The aim of the project is to build a virtual community of practitioners to demonstrate how being online can improve classroom practice, leadership and administration; currently the ‘signed-up’ membership numbers over 11 000. The TOP site contains hundreds of online projects and links to online communities by topic. There is also a monthly newsletter, to which teachers can contribute. Contact details for these initiatives are given on page 59. The investment by the NGfL in ICT of over £1 billion up to 2002 is amongst the most significant anywhere in the world. The real test will be whether it raises standards of achievement and whether users find the Grid valuable. The Government has promised to monitor the extent of its use, and make arrangements for the independent evaluation of the development of the Grid for schools.

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Form 1

Basic ICT Skills
Name: .......................................................................................................................... Date:.................................................................... Below is a checklist of basic skills which, according to the NOF training initiative, a teacher of any subject should be competent in. If you are not competent then you should be taking advantage of the training offered.
Cannot do
ICT in English

Particular skill • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Connect a mouse Use a mouse Connect a printer Refill printer paper Tackle basic faults (such as loose connections) Tackle maintenance (eg install printer ribbons/toner) Tackle basic network management (eg passwords, printing) Use onscreen menus Install software (from disk or CD-ROM) Run software (from disk or CD-ROM) Copy files Name files Delete files Save files Open files Print a document Highlight text, etc Copy and paste text, etc Delete text, etc Move material between applications (programs) Connect to the Internet

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Can do

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4 Developing departmental policy

The business of developing a departmental policy is wholly dependent on the ICT policy of the school itself. English must have an acceptable and workable policy which all can accept and which the school can support. Before forming any kind of departmental policy document, the tenor and direction of the whole school policy must have been at least addressed and the English department should have played a major role in this process. Once the school ICT policy has been outlined then the departmental policy can be defined within the parameters set by the school as a whole. If the school has not yet formed such a policy, or is in the process of thinking about it, then the English department should try to make sure it is in a position of being the ‘informed expert’ in order to have influence in helping to steer the school in devising an acceptable form of policy. Needless to say, every school and every English department is different and there is no such thing as a ‘fit-all’ policy. However, many schools and institutions are putting their ICT policies into the public domain on the Internet and it might be worth a search for some of these exemplars just to see the kind of thing you may or may not like.

School policy for ICT
Current national documentation largely refers to the applications and uses of Information Technology (IT) within the curriculum. Most schools are still developing uses for the range of IT technologies available: computer software, overlay keyboards, CD-ROMs and so on. More recently the term IT has been expanded to Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in recognition of the growing significance of communications technology to access the Internet, send email to other institutions, to video conference and so on. What is certain is that ICT is going to have a profound impact on all aspects of education and schools must prepare themselves in the planning and implementation of the technology across the whole curriculum. Allowing piecemeal use of the technology by enthusiasts within departments will only lead to a fragmented and ‘tribal’ use of its potential. Trying to establish a whole school policy from such a situation of diverse practice and established power bases would not be easy. The devising of such a policy has ultimately to be the responsibility of the school management. One possible danger is that the management might be tempted to put the responsibility of establishing the policy document in the hands of the ICT department, or the ICT coordinator. Whatever the current situation in your school, it is vital to ensure that the English department plays a full part in any move to establish
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4 Developing departmental policy

a whole school ICT policy. Note, too, that this kind of whole school policy will have to be continually under review and might even be the engine which drives policy review across all curriculum activities!

The department policy within the whole school ICT policy
A whole school ICT policy is a statement of the beliefs, values and goals of a school staff working cooperatively in the context of using ICT in the operation of that school. The English departmental policy should reflect the same issues but with reference to the delivery of the English curriculum. It is an essential management tool and the following aspects of ICT should be considered: • Where is the department now in its use of ICT? • What, ultimately, is the department’s intention in this area? • Why does the department believe that this is the direction it wants to take? • What realistic goals can be set towards achieving the ultimate intention? • How will the department set about achieving these goals? The department ICT policy is about making clear statements to ensure provision, continuity and equal opportunities in the delivery of English studies across the entire school. The ICT policy statement will be a compromise between what is desirable and what is possible. Above all, the policy document must be compatible with any existing school policies with regard to equal opportunities, gender and disability. It is also important to involve everyone in the formulation process. The benefits of an ICT policy document include the following: • it provides a framework for planning • it provides a template for evaluation • it can provide a vehicle for pressure and enables intentions to be made public • those involved in developing the policy are likely to find the process a positive learning experience • it offers a base for staff training and development and the nature of each person’s role is clarified • it can provide a framework for assessing the degree of achievement for a range of targets. The disadvantages include the following: • colleagues may feel that ICT has been dealt with once and for all • those on the periphery may be marginalised and any not involved may abdicate responsibility.

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4 Developing departmental policy

Who should write the policy?
It is important that all staff, rather than some enthusiastic individuals, share in the process of creating a policy and understand why is it necessary to have an ICT policy. Questions that should be considered might include: • Why is ICT important to staff and students? • What can ICT offer students and staff that cannot be provided just as well in other ways? • How can ICT facilitate access to a broad range of activities in a variety of contexts? • How can ICT promote equal opportunities? • What would be the effect on students if computers were taken away for six months? Questions such as these are expansive, open-ended and open to the interpretation of individuals, but they offer a framework in which it is possible to discuss and then formulate beliefs about the value and place of ICT in any subject area. It is also worth considering whether there is a place for negative or cautionary statements at this stage. For instance, Information and Communication Technology: • should always be evaluated against its cost • should not be used merely for the learning of rote skills • should not be used if there is a better way of doing an activity • is only as useful as teachers want it to be. At this point, schools should have identified a set of statements about their view of ICT. Now they will need to reflect upon current practice before setting goals. Form 2 (page 24) offers a survey of staff opinions on ICT and Form 3 (pages 25 to 27) offers an audit of ICT skills.

Curriculum audit
The next step involves a curriculum audit. Put simply, a curriculum audit involves gathering information about ‘where we are now’ and asking a few questions about that information. There are a number of ways of collecting this information, and staff who wish to conduct an audit of the use of ICT in their classrooms may like to think about the pros and cons of the following: • A diary – Teachers have classroom diaries in which they note down what equipment they are using. • Student records – By looking at each student’s records over a month it is possible to identify what uses are made of ICT by that individual. • Staff audits – An audit of staff attitudes and direct classroom usage of ICT should identify a collective experience of staff, which should help identify where the gaps, needs and strengths might be.

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4 Developing departmental policy

Use of the information
Having spent time gathering this information, a number of questions need to be asked, otherwise this remains a paper exercise. For instance, which: • ICT resources in the department are being used most? • ICT resources are least used? • ICT resources cannot be used because staff lack the necessary skills? • ICT resources would be used more widely if available? • English Studies areas are most readily accessed by using ICT? Why? • areas of English Studies have little input from ICT? Why is this? It is this information which will then enable the department to set goals, both in the short- and the long-term.

Setting goals
The setting of goals can be divided into a number of interrelated areas. Many policies have made use of the following headings: Organisation • How should the use of ICT be integrated into the English curriculum? • What is the philosophy that informs this? • Are there areas of the English curriculum which should not be made accessible by computers? Recording and planning • How should we record students’ use of ICT? • Can technology be used to help in this recording? • Will this enable students to become closely involved in recording their own progress? Access • How will students have access to ICT? Through class-based computers, networks, or equipment shared in a department? • How will access be maximised? By stand-alone workstations in specific classrooms, curriculum areas, resource centre or library? Resources • How will the cost of ICT be handled/apportioned/dealt with? Delegated to departmental budgets? Retained as a central fund? • What percentage of the budget is available for software? • What percentage of the budget is available for the purchase of new hardware and additional peripherals? How much for repairs and maintenance?

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4 Developing departmental policy

• If resources are shared, how will this be organised? By a rota with equipment on a trolley? As a central resource that teachers must visit? • Looking to the future, what resources will be needed? Who will buy them? Where will the money come from? Staff training • What are the needs of the individual members of staff? • How can their needs be met? • Who will deliver any necessary INSET? • When, where and how often will it be done? Monitoring of implementation • Who will ICT be monitored for? Who will ICT be monitored by? • Will ICT be monitored in order to uncover mismatches between policy and practice? • Will ICT be monitored in order to provide support for improvements in practice? • Will ICT be monitored to highlight shortcomings in the policy itself? • How will we ensure that the goals set are being met? • At what points will staff evaluate the process? • Which aspects of the policy will be given priority? For example, software, hardware or staff training? Timetable for implementation • What is the timescale for implementation? • When do we expect the goals to be met? For example, if an aim is to ensure that every class in school has its own computer system, how long should we wait for this to happen? • If a record-keeping system is to be devised, who will do it and by when? This is not an exhaustive list of the issues which need to be considered. However, the setting of clearly-stated objectives within a realistic timescale is an essential element in the process of curriculum development. Form 4 (pages 28 to 30) offers a series of prompts which may prove useful when writing the ICT in English policy.

Conclusion
The process of debating the range of issues is a vital one if the English department wishes to take a serious part in the development of an ICT policy within the school. It should take place whether or not any external forces originally required the department to formulate a policy document. In the end, the policy provides a guide which will assist the school to progress from where it is now to where it wants to be in the future. As a cautionary note, however, it must be remembered that a policy left on a shelf and ignored is a useless policy – it must also be updated regularly to reflect current good practice, new technology and future needs.
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4 Developing departmental policy

Form 2

English department: Survey of opinions on ICT
Name: ......................................................................................................................................... Date: ....................................
This has no bearing on what I teach
ICT in English

Statement
• We need to rewrite/update the ICT in English policy • Schemes of work should include ICT opportunities • The ICT resources we already have are used effectively • I use ICT regularly in my duties as an English teacher • I use ICT regularly with the classes I teach • I would use ICT more often if I felt more confident • I would use ICT more often if access was guaranteed • We have some good ICT material • Departmental ICT usage needs more effective planning • I don’t have time to plan for ICT use in my lessons • There are insufficient ICT resources within the department • I use ICT for the purposes of assessment and recording • I need an email address • I need a computer at home • I need Internet access at home • I use ICT effectively for marking and recording marks • I meet the ICT National Standards for Qualified Teacher Status • ICT cannot help me do my job more effectively • OFSTED would praise our use of ICT in English • I need further training in the use of ICT • I use the Internet for personal research and interest • I use the Internet for lesson preparation and delivery • I think we all use ICT as often as each other

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I disagree

For each aspect of ICT development, tick the column that best reflects your opinion:

I strongly disagree

I have no opinion on this point

I strongly agree

I agree

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4 Developing departmental policy

Form 3

Audit of ICT skills: English
Name: ......................................................................................................................................... Date: ....................................

General use of computers
Keyboard skills don’t know where the letters are am slow but steady am a fluent typist can switch a computer on can insert a disk can use a mouse can load an application program can save a file can print out my work can switch computer off safely (there is usually a special routine involved here).

Word processing
Text manipulation skills can insert can delete can move text around electronically, for instance, by cutting and pasting can change fonts and font sizes can use text emphasis tools – such as italics, underline and bold can alter format, set indents, set rulers, centre text, align text left, right and both left and right, etc can draw up tables. Editing skills understand the impact of various fonts – what associations they carry with them, when to use them, etc understand when to use text emphasis, and when not to understand the impact of layout on the reader understand how text on a word processor can be fine-tuned for a special audience, both in terms of expression and in terms of layout/appearance

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4 Developing departmental policy

Form 3 (continued)

understand the layout of various forms of literature and how to achieve the effect on a word processor, eg playscripts, sonnets understand how to transform text in a variety of ways using a word processor; to change the original purpose; to expand or condense; to alter viewpoint or tense; to change the form.

Desktop publishing
Text manipulation (beyond simple word processing) can set up columns can move specific pieces of text around can draw boxes round text and alter line-width or line-type appropriately can flow text from text-box to text-box, from column to column, and from page to page can set up master pages with headers and footers can set up facing pages with correct numbering can alter leading and tracking can import text from outside the document can import pictures, size them, place them, and organise text to flow round them. Editing skills understand the use of white space in a document understand the use of columns in a DTP document understand how to organise information clearly on the page so that it is legible and straightforward to follow understand the impact of headings and subheadings, etc understand the impact of illustrations and their relationship with the text understand how to design documents for specific purposes and audiences – leaflets, manuals, adverts, prospectuses, booklets for young children, etc. Multimedia can produce a multimedia text can use a digital camera to record images and import them into a DTP text. Fax can send a fax message.

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Form 3 (continued)

Internet and email
Getting online can dial up, log on and get online can email – know the password, etc can log off efficiently so that the modem disconnects. Handling email can use an offline letter writer to prepare email messages can send a simple email messages can receive and print out received messages can attach files to outgoing emails. Handling information on the Internet can navigate efficiently with a standard browser can set and organise bookmarks/favourites for interesting sites can use more than one search engine to find information can download and save text, pictures and sound files for future use can print out material discovered on the Internet. Assessing information understand the nature of the Internet understand the status of information on the Internet.

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4 Developing departmental policy

Form 4

ICT in English: Policy prompts
Introduction
What is the purpose of this policy?

How does it fit in with other policies of the school and the department?

Which aspects of the National Curriculum does it support?

Who is responsible for carrying out the actions of this policy?

Nature of ICT in English
What ICT resources do we have?

How does this policy describe our experience of ICT in English?

How does this policy extend our experience of ICT in English?

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Form 4 (continued)

Entitlement
How does this policy meet the requirements of entitlement set out in the National Curriculum?

How does this policy address equal opportunity issues and guarantee access for all students?

Implementation
What specific applications are in use by the department?

What is the ICT experience of students studying English at each key stage?

What aspects of ICT are taught?

How does this policy aim to ensure the inclusion of all students in ICT?

How does this policy address issues of health and safety?

Is there a specific procedure that needs to be followed in planning access to ICT?

Are legal requirements relating to copyright satisfied?

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Form 4 (continued)

Assessment management
How does this policy support the Programme of Study for English?

Is the use of ICT included in the process of setting English targets for students?

INSET arrangements
How is staff training provided for the use of ICT in English?

How is training for staff funded?

Does ICT training form part of the school development plan?

Review of ICT policy
Who will review the policy?

When?

How?

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5 Management issues

The school’s ICT coordinator, whose role is to oversee and facilitate the management of ICT across the curriculum, is likely to ask for information or data relating to the use of ICT in English. However, the management of ICT in English is the direct responsibility of the head of English. A clear understanding of the roles of these two key post-holders is essential in developing an effective ICT policy for the school or for the English department. For, whilst both are working for the implementation of ICT, they have distinct aims and objectives. Those of the English department should not be compromised. Whoever is appointed to oversee the use of ICT within the English department should be instructed to cooperate but not simply capitulate when there are apparent conflicts of interest. For a full exploration of the head of department’s role, see Running an English Department (Pearson Publishing, 1998). Effective development of ICT in English is more than a school project where the main focus is on the provision of materials or software. However necessary such projects may be, materials and software will remain in cupboards (only used by those relatively few teachers who already use ICT in their English teaching) unless there is an effective structure that embeds ICT into policy and practice. If, as the National Curriculum requires, every secondary student is to have an entitlement to use ICT to support their literacy skills and learning, the provision of materials and software is simply not enough. To ensure effective use of ICT in English, the following criteria must be satisfied: • All English teachers must feel confident and competent about using ICT. • They must be convinced of what ICT has to offer them and their students. • They must realise the potential of ICT tools already at their disposal in schools. • Concerns about the expense, the difficulty and the amount of time needed to incorporate ICT strategies into teaching practice must be assuaged. • Materials and software must meet the teaching and learning requirements of the English department. When developing an effective ICT policy, it is an important part of the managerial process to evaluate how the above criteria are met. ICT resources and the knowledge, skills and ICT capabilities of teachers will vary from school to school. Whatever the circumstances, an effective model for training teachers to integrate ICT into their teaching is required. Effective management of ICT in English is best achieved by setting realistic and measurable targets. An action plan should be created, detailing the steps required to integrate ICT into the teaching of English. Government initiatives, as outlined in Section 3, have provided substantial funding packages for the training of teachers in the use of ICT and it is important that departments state quite clearly the training that they require. It is part of the
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managerial responsibility to ensure that the training services purchased cater for the needs of the department. This cannot be done without first knowing the specific training needs. A survey of staff opinions about ICT (Form 2, page 24) and an audit of ICT skills of department members (see Form 3, pages 25 to 27) are therefore vital. The following is a checklist for managing the integration of ICT into English: • Audit ICT skills and opinions. • Audit ICT applications currently available in school. • Provide training in those applications available to the department. • Formulate the ICT policy. • Include ICT opportunities in English schemes of work. • Establish the mechanism by which ‘good practice’ in ICT is shared within the department. • Set strategies and procedures for monitoring the use of ICT in English. There are three basic requirements for an effective ICT in English strategy, against which success should be measured. It should: • support student progress in the language skills or attainment targets • enable students to become more effective and confident learners • raise the standards of students’ achievement. Within the structure of every school there will be a line manager responsible for liaison with the senior management team and to whom the head of department is answerable. There will normally be termly meetings at which issues arising within the department can be discussed. ICT training for members of the English department, if not already in hand, should be a topic of urgent debate. Government funding will provide training for teachers, irrespective of how well prepared they are to receive it. By referring to a clear ICT policy, and with specific ICT activities in mind, it should be relatively easy to steer the training to the genuine needs of the department. Since the use of ICT, as outlined in the department’s policy, requires monitoring and evaluation, it may be possible to set appraisal targets within the department with the development of ICT in mind. Taking the creation and delivery of ICT activities as a central theme, individual targets may be agreed and used as evidence of appraisal. The right of every teacher to agree his or her own appraisal targets is, however, an integral part of the process and should not be compromised. During the inspection period, OFSTED inspectors will observe the teaching and practices of the department closely. They will expect to see the policies that they have read in evidence in the classrooms they periodically visit. The ICT in English policy is no exception to this. If ICT is a strong feature of your department, there is little sense in hiding it from the inspection team. If, on the other hand, the use of ICT in the department is featured in the paperwork, but its delivery in the classroom is still under development, you may prefer to provide evidence of student work in ICT and

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show only your best examples of ICT teaching. Either way, you should strive to show a variety of well-balanced, thoughtfully planned lessons with consistent practice across the whole department. In these lessons, the ICT entitlement of all students should be in evidence.

School intranets
The increasing availability of software and systems to set up a school intranet makes this an important issue in the future management structure of any school department. An intranet is basically an internal Internet designed to be used within the confines of an organisation. Information is stored on one or more servers and accessed by using a Web browser. This self-contained, miniature Internet can have all the same features – individual home pages, newsgroups, and email – but it can be restricted to members of the organisation to whom it belongs. There are a growing number of schools who are finding that an intranet has enormous potential for education. Within the school, an intranet can contain: • information about the school, its organisation, its expectations, results, reports, etc • details of activities, trips, special events • sporting fixtures, reports • subject details, syllabuses, examinations, materials for teaching and study, year group assignments, subject links • discussion groups • information for parents, parents’ discussion groups • career information • news. All such information can be assessed and vetted for its worth and propriety before it is made available. As a link with home, it has great potential in keeping parents up to date with current issues or even providing them with homework outlines and expectations for their child. Within subject departments, the intranet can become the repository of all materials used within the school (text, graphic, audio), as well as a ‘library’ of texts and links to important and useful sites on the Web. This can be accessed from within the school or from home. Banks of relevant material can be stored and then accessed safely because it has been ‘vetted’ and is stored in a ‘safe’ environment. Like all really useful things, the installation of a school intranet system will cost time and money, but once installed it can only grow in usefulness. The technology required is improving all the time and, with appropriate hardware and connection, it can only aid and enhance the operation of a school.

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6 The potential gains of using ICT

If steps are not taken to intensify the use of information and communication technology (ICT) in our schools, a generation of children – and a generation of adults as teachers – will have been put at enormous disadvantage with consequences for the UK that will be difficult to reverse.
Sir Dennis Stevenson, ICT in UK Schools – An Independent Inquiry, 1997

The computer-based technologies of ICT have already had a profound effect on society in general and the world of education in particular. They have been around for just a few years compared to, for example, the traditional technologies, such as printing and the more recent ones of photography, radio, television and video. The rate of change, their development and use has been exponential, and will continue to be so. The effects of ICT are so profound that the whole structure of society is altering and we are moving from an industrial society into an information society. The millions who used to work in the manufacturing industries have had to retrain for work in one of the many new businesses which have emerged to form the new services sector. ICT is the new literacy. Students must become competent users of ICT, being able to apply ICT tools when appropriate, if they are to be equipped for life in the evolving world of work. That there have already been gains through the use of ICT in schools is undeniable, not only for the students but also for the teachers. Hence, part of the managerial process of establishing effective ICT policy and practice is to convince teaching staff of these potential gains. Whilst the benefits listed here are neither comprehensive nor exhaustive, they will help to inform discussions on potential gains for students and for teachers.

Potential gains for students
Skills for lifelong learning
The skills of the next generation must match the requirements of future economic growth and development. In developing ICT skills, students grow in confidence and are better prepared to operate as ICT-literate members of society as well has having the skills necessary for the world of work.

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6 The potential gains of using ICT

International awareness
Through the communication facility of ICT, students can explore the global impact of ICT and begin to interact with the world around them. Students can choose to become actively engaged in aspects of the life and culture of peoples throughout the world rather than remaining passive spectators. Students can publish work on the World Wide Web so that the world becomes their audience, providing the means for inviting feedback from around the globe. Work by students in other countries can also be commented upon.

Access to information
The world of ICT, and in particular the World Wide Web, has replaced the traditional trip to the library, although that is not to say that the school library is redundant – far from it – although its role may change. Access to this vast ‘cyber-library’ means that more information than could ever be stored in one school library is available onscreen, at home, in schools or in libraries themselves. A computer connected to the Internet can access information from all over the world. However, this vast amount of information, and the fact that there are no restrictions on who may post information on the Web, means that staff and students need to learn how to skim and scan texts, and select according to relevance and reliability.

Motivation
Students respond very positively to the self-directed learning opportunities afforded by emerging technology. Their education is enriched by working at their own pace. Active engagement with their work provides the concentration required for effective exercises that would otherwise be quickly abandoned because of their lack of appeal in printed text form. For example, the word processing of writing tasks is now commonplace but should be regarded as more than just prettyfying the text. With the right approach, the whole process of writing, from drafting, to editing and the preparation and printing of the finished piece can be performed to a much higher and more satisfying level using the facilities offered by the word processor.

Communication
Information stored on one computer can be viewed or downloaded on another, whether it is in the same room or on the other side of the world. Global communication has become faster and more efficient than ever before. Messages can be sent to one person, or to hundreds of thousands, at the click of a button. It only takes seconds to transfer information, the cost is minimal, and the transferred information is immediately useable. This information can be adapted, modified and processed to suit another audience or another purpose. For example, the opportunities offered by this facility go far beyond the ‘electronic pen-friend’ and might include collaborative work with other schools on particular language projects (eg work on dialect), role-play scenarios, exchanging information with schools in other countries by comparing expectations, social attitudes, ways of life, tastes and preferences, etc. This is a facility that has yet to be fully appreciated and exploited by most schools.
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6 The potential gains of using ICT

Presentation of work
ICT provides a variety of tools for presenting students’ work. Texts can be worked on in draft form before proceeding to the final version. The computer also allows the writer to have complete typographical and design control over a finished piece of text. The visual impact of text can be very powerful provided that the right questions are asked about its presentation. Choosing the right font, incorporating appropriate graphics, considering the layout of the text on the page or screen, colours, size spacing, etc, can lead to some very interesting and exciting work.

Improved learning and performance
However worthy the aforementioned gains may be, the real proof of the beneficial effects of using ICT to teach English Studies must surely be its capacity to raise standards of achievement. However, since the development of ICT is an ongoing process, there are few examples that can be cited as conclusive proof. There is certainly evidence to suggest that students who use ICT frequently, as part of a systematic approach to studying or revising, almost always achieve good results. Whether these improvements are due to the use of ICT, or to the structured systematic approach engendered by it, is of little consequence. The National Grid for Learning (NGfL), through the pages of the British Education Communications and Technology agency (Becta), offer examples of improvements attributed to the use of ICT in schools.

Potential gains for teachers
ICT skills
Teachers will naturally benefit from all of the advantages afforded their students, but there are significant personal gains too. The teaching skills required to deliver the ICT entitlement of all students are a significant asset when seeking employment or promotion in schools. Entry to the teaching profession is now subject to attaining adequate ICT skills. ICT capability brings increased confidence to teachers in a rapidly expanding area of education. It enhances the presentation of teaching materials and, through selective editing, provides for their differentiation.

Subject-specific information
Through Internet access, information is available from Web sites designed specifically as resource centres for teachers of English. Information and newsletters from Government sources and from leading English Studies organisations are readily available onscreen and many can be printed for easier and more leisurely reading.

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Some sites offer an email service giving updated information on chosen topics of interest. Ready-made lesson plans and materials can be downloaded and used. Research articles can be perused with reference to more detailed texts available in print.

Online content providers
There are a number of online subscription services which provide a range of content designed for schools – resources, projects and links to other useful Web sites. Purchasing access to one of these providers is effectively paying someone to filter sites and sources of information to provide only those appropriate to your particular interests.

Access to professional advice and support
Many professional bodies offer their services through Internet sites that give instant access to professional advice. Contact information is readily available and communication through email is supported through automated links. Sites often support discussion forums that link fellow professionals on a particular topic of debate.

Administrative support
ICT can be an effective means of collecting, collating and analysing data. Performance results can be read and displayed in a number of ways. The computer is fast becoming the filing cabinet of the information age. It can make frequentlyneeded documentation easily accessible and far less likely to be ‘borrowed’ or temporarily misplaced. Data can also be efficiently and conveniently stored on the Web. For example, via Webstore (see http://pearsoninformation.co.uk/products/webstore.html).

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The role of ICT within English can have a very positive effect on many aspects of English Studies if well-integrated. It can broaden the ways in which the outside world could be brought into the classroom. It can also provide opportunities for those in the classroom to communicate with others in the world outside. English can provide an excellent context for many aspects of ICT which could enhance teaching and learning in the subject. It has, at the same time, the potential to contribute to both the development of ICT capability among students, and to a broader ‘technological literacy’. It can also provide an opportunity for students to integrate and extend their own expertise in the technology within a school subject. Indeed, English might be regarded as having a critical and crucial role to play in these developments within the school curriculum. ICT is now a fundamental element of literacy in a modern technological society. All students are entitled to be able to communicate effectively using the new technologies, and ICT should be an essential element of the English curriculum. Experience shows that ICT is most effective when embedded in the curriculum, integrated into schemes of work and not viewed as an add-on. At this point, it would be useful to consider in more detail what ICT has to offer English Studies.

What does ICT offer to English?
ICT can help students to: • talk, read and write for a range of purposes • engage in cooperative and collaborative activities • organise and present information in a variety of forms • broaden the range of audiences for their work • identify key characteristics and features of texts • develop an understanding of language • develop, keep and compare multiple versions of texts they produce • interact with and change existing electronic texts • develop an appreciation of the potential of multimedia communication and presentation.

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Why is ICT important for English teachers?
One of the ultimate aims and the desired effects of all English teaching is encapsulated in the word ‘literacy’ – the development and nurturing of an individual’s level of competency in the acquisition and use of reading and writing. Language activities and linguistic constructs have to be taught formally as opposed to the ‘natural’ language skills of speaking and listening. These skills are acquired to a very competent level by most children before they even set foot in a classroom. This notion of literacy also assumes that the individual student has the opportunity to experience the literary and cultural inheritance of their socio-linguistic group, as well as being able to explore the varieties and forms of the written language. Until recent years, our literacy work in education has been focused on what might be called the ‘traditional’ ways of writing and reading, ie: • The ‘received’ version of the written language as published in printed material (prepared and printed on letterpress technology) for us to read. • The simple technology of producing the written language using a tool, such as a pen, pencil or typewriter, which enables us to make marks on paper that represent the accepted form of the written language. The advent of the new ICT technology allows individuals far more control and flexibility over the process of writing and to explore new ways of experiencing text as readers. Hence, a change in our definition of literacy is required, a definition which will: • show how ICT might affect English teaching • further teachers’ understanding of the place of ICT in English • show how students’ work can be enhanced and extended by the use of ICT in English • aid teachers’ planning for integrating ICT activities in English • serve as a basis for ongoing departmental discussion as to future development of and opportunities provided by the technology. Literacy involves: • reading to access information and knowledge • access to literary and cultural heritage • writing to explore and shape information and knowledge; to express and develop argument; to create and articulate individual expression • being able to function effectively using the technologies of the time at work and in society. The role of ICT in furthering and enhancing literacy skills is in its infancy: we as English teachers must grasp the opportunity it offers to make it work. One of the phenomena to which the new technology gives us ready access is that of digital text. A brief examination of the characteristics of this new kind of text gives us some indications as to how the technology can not only extend the study of texts but present us with new ways of using it.
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Digital text
One of the more significant aspects of the new technology as far as language and literary studies are concerned is the ability to produce traditional ‘text’ in a digital form. Digital text is simply text stored electronically in some kind of retrieval system or device. The new technology gives the individual writer a far greater measure of access to and control over each stage of the process – from the original writing to the redrafting and editing, the design and choice of layout, font usage and the placing of images. Not only does the creator of the piece have potential control over all these processes, it is now possible to choose the way in which the piece is published. It could be a paperbased artefact, or as a digital presence accessible to anyone who wishes to open, read, download or print it by means of ‘e-communication’ via the Internet or as a multimedia file on a CD-ROM. The use of digital text might, in the future, have a profound influence on how we teach writing and text-related studies. Digital text is much more than merely the speeding up of the publishing process; it allows us to explore texts in ways which were virtually impossible with the traditional ways of holding and reading texts, or simply too time-consuming. The ability to retrieve, search, compare, interrogate and edit digital material has enormous potential for language and literature studies – a potential of which we are only gradually becoming aware. We have had some 600 years to explore and get used to the nature of the printed book. However, it is unclear how the new technology might look and how it might be serving us in ten years’ time, let alone several hundred.

Digital text and literacy
Any new definition of literacy must take into account the nature of digital text. The new technologies encompass far more than print and book-based media ever could. Texts may also be electronically generated and stored in digital form, for example through word processors and desktop publishing packages. They may also use resources which include electronic sources of information such as CD-ROM and the digital text repositories of the Internet. The text itself can be displayed on a screen; this in itself requires a different approach to ‘reading’ and moving through text held in a ‘buffer’ of the computer’s memory rather than printed on the leaves of a book. Already, many of the major publishing houses and software companies are producing and marketing the ‘ebook’. These are literary texts prepared specifically for reading onscreen; text which can also be searched, highlighted, annotated and interrogated in ways hitherto very difficult and time-consuming with print-based technology. Digitally-stored text may also be printed out on paper and, again, the technology gives us a far greater level of control as to the shape and format of the text on the page than could ever be achieved with pen, paper, or even the electronic typewriter.

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The text can now be transmitted instantly to specific places or readers via the Internet; we have control over its colour, shape and impact on the recipient – the content of the text can become ‘personal’. The technology itself has provided the opportunity for young people to explore the sending and receiving of text via mobile phones and has created a new and vibrant approach to the informal use of text. Because digital texts exist in the dynamic, collaborative and interactive medium of the new technologies then the nature of such texts reflects those very same characteristics. Such texts may: • be non-linear in structure • be composed by many authors • encourage different kinds of reader interaction • have a spatial dimension. Texts may appear as multimedia presentations and meanings may be conveyed through combinations of: • texts which are sometimes fluid and temporary • still and moving images such as photographs, animations, video and computer graphics • sound such as music or voice-overs. Because of the new opportunities presented by digital text, learners need to develop: • an understanding of the distinctive features of such texts • the skills to use these different resources to shape their knowledge and experiences • an understanding of how the choices made by writers concerning the presentation (eg text, image, sound, multimedia, print, electronic, spoken) affect the text’s status and meaning. This understanding may be achieved by using ICT in English as, for example: • text can be composed and changed with ease • different media can be integrated into one text • the range of available resources can be extended • focused opportunities for talk • the development of critical literacy.

Practical projects
Using computer-based technology in the English classroom means adapting the various available computer applications to the needs of English Studies. Very few of these applications have been specifically put together for use as an educational tool. Most of them, particularly those known as generic programs, were originally written for commercial use in the office environment. However, like many tools, once invented, they quickly became adapted and used for functions that were never originally intended.
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ICT applications in this context are computer-based programs devised by someone for a specific purpose. All of them handle and manipulate information held in digital form in some way, whether it be for text, numeric, sound or graphical purposes. It would be impossible to consider the whole range of ICT applications available and how they might be used in the context of the English classroom. Hence, the following five sections will be considered: 1 The range of ICT activities which might be considered appropriate for the English classroom 2 Examples of incorporating ICT into typical English activities 3 Word processing and English teaching 4 Transformations: Ways of working with etext 5 Using Web resources and the Internet in English.

1 The range of ICT activities in English
English and ICT activities which explore language and ideas may be usefully structured around the following elements: Composing texts – A focus on how texts may be created and structured. To provide this opportunity, activities could include: • Brainstorming initial ideas for a poem on a word processor, planning and drafting. • Creating a collaborative story, eg one pair of students writes the first paragraph of the story, the next pair adds the dialogue, etc. • Creating a story skeleton which students use to develop their own narrative. • Using a multimedia authoring program to make an information text. • Communicating with others using email, eg to produce a collaborative text. Presenting texts – A focus on presentation tools for particular purposes and audiences. To provide this opportunity, activities could include: • Creating a poster advertising books in the library considered to be a ‘good read’. • Producing books for younger readers. • Using spreadsheets or databases to present information on resource findings. • Producing a multimedia presentation which includes digitised images, such as a guide to the local area for visitors. Reading texts – A focus on response and interpretation. To provide this opportunity, activities could include: • Changing three words in a text file to alter the emphasis of the story, for example, turning a happy ending into a sad one. • Designing three versions of an advertisement – one pure text, one text and image, one text, image, sound – and evaluating the differences. • Deconstructing a multimedia text to explore how the parts make a whole and contribute to meaning. • Reconstructing a text from which key elements have been deleted.
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Transforming texts – A focus on manipulating form and changing texts from one genre to another (see also page 49). To provide this opportunity, activities could include: • Turning a file of descriptive prose into a haiku. • Changing a narrative into a drama script. • Selecting all the factual elements from a text file of fiction, and turning them into a piece of journalism. • Using a thesaurus to change adjectives from positive to negative. • Reworking texts about holiday resorts for different audiences. Exploring texts – A focus on searching for, retrieving and processing information. To provide this opportunity, activities could include: • Exploring and evaluating different versions of the same news story published on one day. • Searching three CD-ROM encyclopedias or Web sites for a famous person’s biography and looking at the differences. • Searching the Internet or CD-ROM for information to support a particular point of view on a topic such as animal rights, and word processing a report on the findings. • Producing a questionnaire about teenage health, graphing results, publishing them on the Internet and inviting other schools to comment. • Searching a newspaper CD-ROM for background information prior to the study of a literary text.

2 Examples of incorporating ICT in typical English activities
The following examples are brief descriptions of activities integrating ICT with some common topics in English: Poetry As part of their work on poetry, students could: • edit a text file of a ballad which was in the incorrect order and use the cut and paste facilities to present it • edit a text file of a poem with its line endings excluded; discuss where line endings would be appropriate; and present the text in the best shape for its meaning • rework a text file of descriptive prose as a haiku • use a desktop publishing package to present a poem in a variety of ways. Researching a topic As part of work on the topic of Victorians, students might: • search CD-ROMs to discover biographical information about famous Victorians; check the information for inconsistencies; and rework the files to produce a class book about them • collect information about housing and health hazards in Victorian times and use the information obtained to word process a letter to a newspaper about their findings
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• use an etext file of a moral tale published for Victorian children and redraft it to make it relevant to today • search CD-ROMs for information about inventions to create a wall display. Language study As part of their work on language study, students might: • create a database of slang words used by themselves and adults and organise the data into fields which include word, definition, place, age of person using it, place of birth and place of residence • search a slang database to discover whether there are any differences between the slang words used by children and adults • use the information from the database in a word processor to create a dictionary of slang. Narrative As part of a unit of work on narrative, students might: • design a database which identifies characteristics of plot and characterisation in fairy tales • interrogate the database to discover the formula to write a fairy tale • design and create a book jacket for a fairy tale including publicity blurb, author details and illustrations • communicate by email with students in other countries to exchange versions of traditional tales • redraft a text file of a traditional tale into a different genre, eg horror, sci-fi or romance. Literature As part of their work in studying Romeo and Juliet, students might: • design and create invitations to the Capulets’ ball • role-play Romeo and Juliet and send emails that they might have exchanged • create front-page news stories covering the death of Tybalt • using a word processor, search an etext file for imagery running through the play; make a separate file of text extracts for each of these themes. Media As part of a unit of work on advertising, students might: • load a text file of holiday resort information and rework it to make it appeal to different audiences • study leaflets from campaigning organisations and produce their own • create posters advertising forthcoming school events • search for and analyse other schools’ home pages on the Internet and subsequently design their own.

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3 Word processing and English teaching
The word processor is undoubtedly still the most effective and useful of any of the generic computer programs as far as English studies is concerned. Most modern word processing programs, such as Microsoft® Word, have common features that can aid and enhance text-handling skills, not only for the composition of text on the page, but also for the construction of documents and for aiding the output as printed or online text. The line dividing word processors from desktop publishing systems is constantly shifting. In general, though, desktop publishing applications enable finer control over layout, and provide more support for full-colour documents. The word processor as a writing tool Any text-based written task which is more than just copy-typing is a valid task for the word processor. The typing up of word-processed essays is valid only if the text is drafted and edited as well. One of the strengths of word processing is the facility it provides for making the process of drafting and editing more attractive and adventurous. This facility can serve as a very effective tool for teaching. An excellent example is found in teaching writing, where word processors can relieve student writers from the perceived drudgery of handwriting repeated revisions. In addition, students pay more attention to what they intend to convey instead of the structure of the paragraph. Word processing programs can assist students in both content and structure. Most word processing programs also provide spellchecking, thesaurus and grammar facilities, and some even provide the opportunity for text analysis. These features can help students to improve the quality of their writing. Typing in text does take time, but it only has to be done once. Remember that there are vast amounts of text which are readily available online or from CD-ROMs (much of which is copyright free) which can be copied electronically and pasted into your own publication. Another facility is the ability to search existing text for particular references (eg the whole of a Shakespeare play for particular images) – a process which would otherwise be very time-consuming. Documents prepared with a word processor can be transferred to any other electronic publishing application, such as a desktop publishing or presentation program. A word processor enables letters, reports, journals, diaries, stories, etc to be written. It also allows a consideration of content, layout, audience, visual impact, etc. This makes it easier to produce such documents as: newspaper simulations, brochures, information packs (local, historical, school-based), posters, anthologies, instruction booklets, magazines, etc. As teachers master word-processing skills, they can explore unlimited possibilities of using word processing for their work.

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One issue concerning the use of word processors which needs to be addressed is the use of spellcheckers and grammar checkers. For example, consider the following points: • Do they distort the true representation of a child’s work? • Could spellcheckers help children to concentrate on the vital compositional aspects of their work if they were not continually obsessed with spelling inaccuracies? Or is that a vain hope? • Should spellcheckers be banned? What happens when a spellchecker questions a perfectly ‘legal’ English spelling? Does it cause insecurity in children? • Can grammar checkers ever be really helpful? Hence, the use of spellcheckers and grammar checkers is a contentious issue which the school will need to address and form a view on. The future of word processing in English A view of how a word processing program might be devised for specific English teaching use is outlined below: Generic software requirements The group felt that word processing software currently available was developed for business and commercial uses and did not always meet the needs of pupils and teachers, or offer the full range of uses that they might desire.They felt that for English purposes word processors needed to offer: • • • • • • • • • an easy way to draft and proof an easy way to cut and paste an easy way to keep drafts automatically a way to view the whole text (as in a Microsoft® PowerPoint overview of all pages) a simple outliner program like Thinksheet, through which it is possible to separate themes in the planning of a text planning tools which enable collaboration different features for different ability levels, eg Window Box versions of Microsoft® Word writing frames in which it should be easy to change structural headings/ size of frames simple tools to give pro formas to students, as in Writer’s Toolkit, where choices can be made to tailor text for different audiences, or as in PowerPoint’s tips; teachers should be able to change the available options to suit their lessons/pupils a way of keeping folders of words in themed dictionaries, a ‘persuasive writing folder’, for example customised word processing packages which log ‘common errors’ made by individual students.

• •

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Other than word processors, the group felt that the following would be useful additional software for English: • • • • A writing frames program. A spellchecker with symbol/picture attached. More customisable spellchecking (eg highlighting distinctions between such words as where/were). A more intelligent search function for reading an electronic text, ie a system whereby the search engine offered a number of synonyms and searched more widely and appropriately. Exemplification of dialectical variation on a CD-ROM or Web site along the lines of WordRoot.
Curriculum Software Initiative: English, Becta

4 Transformations:Ways of working with etext
Now that etext (digitally-stored text) is available from many sources, a concern expressed by English teachers is that there is a danger of students copying pages of etext into a word-processed piece without having processed the content of the text. Transformation can be used to alleviate this problem. Obviously, we would like students to develop a high level of skill in editing – with all the reading, comprehension and sophisticated understanding of language that goes with it. To develop these skills, students should use the drafting, selecting and editing powers of the word processor. A transformation requires the student to understand the text thoroughly, and that understanding (or lack of it) becomes immediately evident to an informed reader. The following activity suggestions flow from these considerations. They assume that a quantity of text has already been loaded into the word processor. Students are asked to analyse and modify the text – transform it – and, in so doing, they encounter a range of editing strategies. The word processor then comes into its own; it is a superbly powerful tool for the task. Rewrite for another age-group The needs and reading level of the audience must be understood. Writing for a young audience, for instance, suggests simple diction and short sentences. Font size and type must also be considered. Examples include: • Technical instructions aimed at adults, rewritten for children. • Safety advice adapted for teenagers. • Children’s fairy tales rewritten with an adult audience, and adult sensibilities, in mind.

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Rewrite for another audience of similar age For example, rewrite an article from the Guardian or the Daily Telegraph for the Sun. To accomplish this task, a student will need to begin to appreciate the subtleties of style that differentiate one newspaper from another. Again, working on a word processor forces an editor to focus on the essential elements in the task, reinforcing understanding and demanding in-depth study of the article in question. Take a text and change its purpose Examples include: • A description of a house designed to sell it, rewritten as the buyer’s surveyor’s report. • Impartial information about AIDs rewritten as a moral sermon against promiscuity. • A serious piece of writing transformed into satire or parody. Here, the focus falls on the audience for a piece and the inner workings of the text, its mode and tenor. The exercise focuses attention on verbal structures and cues that determine the author’s purposes (eg humour, interest, persuasion, information, instruction and all their combinations). Change the viewpoint of a piece Examples include: • Swap gender (try a typical Mills and Boon scene). • Try rewriting in the first person. • Try rewriting in the second person. • What does using first person plural do? Applied to strongly gender-biased texts, the ‘swap gender’ exercise can be surprising in what it reveals about some of the underlying assumptions of language. When we try to encourage developing writers to move away from first person narrative in simple transformations, this exercise can assist their understanding of the process very easily. Shorten a piece Examples include: • Trim down a news article to fit an editor’s specifications without losing the information. • Read a persuasive article, such as an editorial, and extract bullet points. • Cut a play down to the bare essentials without losing the gist. • Remove some verbs and cut back unnecessary words. How far can you go? For example: From: It was dark and the roaring wind made her shiver violently as she stood waiting for the bus. To: Darkness and roaring wind. No bus. She shivered violently.

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Summary, concision, directness – these are admirable skills to encourage. A word processor takes the pain out of the process. The last example can be used to discuss how far one can go with pruning a text before it becomes rhythmically awkward and ugly. Expand a piece For example, starting with a set of bullet points, or notes, expand an article into full sentences. Creating the bullet points can be an extremely useful precursor to this writing task – perhaps through brain-storming. A good word processor allows text to be moved around easily, so bullet points can be ordered into categories or arguments. Change form Examples include changing: • a nursery rhyme into a short story • a fairy tale into a newspaper article • a newspaper article into a fictional prose • fiction into a play script, possibly for radio • poetry into prose • prose into poetry. To achieve success with this sort of task requires a thorough, explicit understanding of the stylistic features of the selected forms. Most groups will contain, in their collective experience, sufficient implicit understanding. It needs to be pooled, shared, made explicit. Change genre Examples include changing: • cowboy fiction into science fiction • romance into crime, etc. Altering genre requires an understanding of complex rules and the ability to pick up subtle verbal clues. Change style Examples include changing: • a formal Bible passage into an informal version aimed at young people • a formal Bible passage into a narrative close to the novel • a highly descriptive flowery style into a plainer style • a formal passage into the vernacular. Translate into the style of another century Examples include: • modernising Shakespeare • rewriting contemporary prose in Dickensian style.
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Modernising Shakespeare can be a way of understanding both the shifts in culture that make Shakespeare sometime seem alien to the modern reader and the issues that, remarkably, unite us across the centuries, thus making him feel like a contemporary. The ‘Seven Ages of Man’ speech from As You Like It offers a good start.

5 Using Web resources and the Internet in English
This section presents a range of activities which might be used with a class, each making use of a particular aspect of the Internet or using resources from specific Web sites. See also Using the Internet – English (Pearson Publishing, 2000) for student sheets and many useful Web addresses. Firstly, a few general points about accessing material from the Internet in a classroom situation. Much of the material on the Internet comes from America, hence the culture on which it is based, the assumptions it makes and the language it uses is US- rather than UK-orientated, and it is well to bear this in mind. However, the number of UK Web sites is growing very fast, and there are a great many sites which will keep English Studies sufficiently busy with excellent home-grown material. The other serious problem which schools should address before giving students access to the Internet is, of course, the danger of them viewing inappropriate material. Although it might be difficult to avoid this material altogether, there are certain strategies which might keep it to a minimum. There are, for instance, a number of ways of filtering material by using programs such as ‘net-nannies’ or ‘walled-garden’ sites, but the best and most effective way is intelligent supervision by staff. It is vital that the school devises some kind of practical policy for Internet access in order to safeguard staff and students from possible difficulties which might arise from such access. English department staff should discuss this with the ICT coordinator to find out what the whole school policy is. What does the Internet have to offer English Studies? The World Wide Web offers teachers, students and departments very pragmatic alternatives to traditional ways of approaching English Studies. How well English departments adapt to and utilise the new media may be the determining factor in their success as language education providers in the digital future. However, amongst teachers there is an understandable fear about student access to uncensored information and an uneasiness about the use of electronic media in the classroom. There is a great deal that the Web cannot do, and we should be critical of its shortcomings. But the medium will become easier to access, better organised, safer and friendlier, and will have the power to deliver a wealth of material. It will create opportunities for extending English Studies into areas hitherto unreachable.

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What information is on the Internet? The Internet is a resource for the whole family to use and it provides a way of communicating with people around the world. Below are some examples of the types of information you can find on the Internet: • Reference material in online libraries. • Global news as it happens. • Newspapers from towns and countries round the world. • Sites for children’s learning and entertainment. • Government departments online. • Well-known organisations such as the BBC and the Science Museum. The dynamics of the Internet The Internet can be regarded as a dynamic communication system with three basic vectors: 1 The downward or resource dynamic – Allowing a user to view Web-held information as text, graphics, sound or any combination, and download it onto their own computer. 2 The lateral or communication dynamic – Allowing a user in one part of the world to contact a user, or group of users, in another. The email, newsgroup, noticeboard, conferencing and chat room aspects of the Internet encourage the exchange of ideas and dissemination of information. It is a way in which likeminded people can get together and discuss issues. Hence, teachers can: • swap resources • exchange insights and ideas • ask for and give help. Students can take part in: • role-plays • simulations • discussions • workshops • joint research. They can collaborate with: • other students • selected adults • people of different nationalities, ages, perspectives and abilities. Results of communication events are: • Increased motivation and interest. • Easily-collectable written work that is useful for further development with students.

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• Written work that can be used for display and assessment. • Improved organisational and ICT skills. The ability to handle many aspects of word processing: editing, cutting and pasting, etc, are essential for effective use of the Internet communication facilities. 3 The ‘upward’ or publication dynamic – The process of publishing material on the Internet. This might be your own, your students’ or the school’s. The Internet gives you the opportunity to have the world as your potential audience rather than the limited number of people who might pass your display board in the corridor. Using Internet resources for English The following ideas outline how the use of ICT and the resources of the World Wide Web can aid the study of a novel. This approach might be applied to any of the literary genres. Note that all writing tasks set in conjunction with these activities should be word processed. Some of these activities will require access to digital versions of the novel. These are available through Web sites and can be downloaded to your computer. It is unlikely that the texts of modern novels will be available in digital form, but there is a wealth of background and critical information, as well as biographical details of many of these authors to be found on the Internet. Downloading digital text is reasonably easy, although the more tricky bit is to convert the received text into a word processing file. This is not difficult but consult your ICT expert for guidance. • Chapter summaries – Students rewrite a chapter summary and present it ‘live’ to the class in annotated form using a presentation program such as Microsoft® PowerPoint. • Tables – Using the ‘tables’ facility in Microsoft® Word, students create a table or grid which might demonstrate, under specific headings, the progressive structure of the novel being studied; character ‘diaries’, etc. For example: Of Mice and Men – Chapter outlines
Chapter 1 Setting The bank of the Salinas river. Character appearance George Milton: George described as, etc. Lennie Small: Lennie’s name belies his appearance, etc. 2 3 Significant action They have hurriedly left their previous ranch following an incident involving Lennie. Lennie pleads with George to tell him again about their dream ranch.

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• Creative emails – This might take the form of students assuming the roles of characters from the novel and corresponding by email ‘in character’ about events and concerns raised by the narrative or the social interaction of the characters themselves. For example, correspondence between Austen characters residing in London and Bath respectively. • Illustration montage – From a collection of images gleaned from the Web, or digital files of scanned ‘found’ images, students construct montages of pictures, texts, etc which might be suitable for a bookshop promotion of the novel, or which might illustrate a particular episode in the narrative. This would entail the use of graphics manipulation packages. • Text analysis – Using hypertext links, students put together a file of notes, or extracts from poems, plays, news items, or other prose works which might be opposite to or reflect upon the theme of the novel being studied. (See the example from Belmont High School in the ‘Of Mice and Men’ section at http://www.lausd.k12.ca.us/Belmont_HS/mice/.) • Transformations – Transformations of digital text can take many forms: in this context students select a suitable extract from the novel and rewrite it as a scene for a TV adaptation in TV script format. A ‘reverse’ technique might be to take a scene from a play (preferably one being studied by the class) and to rewrite it in novel form, but taking the style and genre of the novel being studied as the model. • Associated artefacts – Over the years, many novels have produced commercial artefacts or products as a spin-off to their popularity. The task here is for students to take on the role of marketing manager and prepare a portfolio of promotional material for such an artefact or product based on the novel of choice. Examples might be the Pickwick Christmas Hamper, or perfume, article of clothing, themed experience, etc. • Character viewpoints – Students create short pieces of first person ‘viewpoints’ that might have been written by a particular character in the narrative as their inner reaction to an incident or situation. Students could hyperlink them to that specific point in the narrative. There can be as many ‘personal’ views as there are students willing to take on the role. • Text search – Using the ‘Find’ facility of the word processor, students search the digital text for such things as places, characters, images, objects. These references can then be used to produce character maps, create image banks, or collect information about locations. The spellchecker could also be used with older texts to compile a collection of archaisms which could then be incorporated into a commentary. • Commentary – Students create a file which is hyperlinked to the text which gives details of archaisms, character descriptions, references to objects, places, relationships of characters, etc. This database of information can be built on by successive classes studying the novel. (See the example from Belmont High School in the ‘Of Mice and Men’ section at http://www.lausd.k12.ca.us/ Belmont_HS/mice/.) • Background – Students create a hyperlinked database of social, historical, political and religious background information to the novel as well as biographical details of the novelist concerned.
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8 Classroom management issues

Despite the apprehension of many teachers faced with using ICT, the information age has gathered momentum, and Government initiatives are adding to the speed of change. The function of the teacher is evolving even if the purpose of ensuring effective learning in the classroom remains constant. New technology requires teachers to acquire new techniques. As every student teacher will attest, there is a world of difference between classroom management in theory and classroom management in practice, and there is no substitute for experience. The same is true of managing ICT in English – all the good advice available will never match the learning curve of classroom experience. It would be foolish to attempt to predict every situation which raises a question of ‘classroom management’ for the teacher whilst using ICT to teach English, but there are a few basic ‘dos and don’ts’ that can help to avoid the more obvious pitfalls: • Know your students – Prevention, as they say, is better than cure, and it is easier to cater for the needs of a class, or an individual student, if you know them well. Potential conflicts are best dealt with before they occur. By knowing your students, you will be able to predict their reactions more accurately, modifying their behaviour whenever it threatens the learning outcomes you have set for the individual or the class. • Know your limitations – Until you feel confident and competent with the equipment you intend to use, it is better to opt for relatively simple tasks. Overly ambitious activities, like overly ambitious aims, rarely produce even a satisfactory lesson, much less a good or excellent one. Develop confidence through training; discuss strategy, success and even disasters with working colleagues; but do not deny students their entitlement to ICT. • Play to the strengths of the class – The average age of recognised computer experts is far lower than that of the average teacher. Use the ICT capabilities of students to your advantage. Allow those who can take responsibility for equipment and applications to do so. Students can be seated so that ‘expertise’ is available either nearby or not so readily at hand.You must decide which arrangement will best achieve the lesson objectives. Providing a variety of tasks that, through interest, expertise or experience, will put different students at an advantage at different times should be part of the planning process. Topics can be deliberately chosen to encourage contribution from particular students.You should try to challenge stereotypes and racial attitudes. • Plan resources and access to ICT – The ease with which equipment can be brought to the classroom, or with which the class can get to the computer room, can vary from school to school. If either is problematic, steps need to be taken to resolve the dilemma. It may be better to meet classes outside the computer room rather than parade them halfway across the school. A fair
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8 Classroom management issues

booking system should govern the distribution of ICT equipment across the curriculum. Within the department, the availability of ICT equipment should be planned as part of the scheme of work. • Make your expectations clear – Specify the learning aims of the lesson and clarify how the use of ICT will enable students to achieve these. Predict, where possible, distractions that the use of ICT might bring and state clearly how you expect students to deal with them. Encourage students to make the most of ICT and emphasise the learning opportunities that it provides. • Get to know the Internet – It is worth knowing that Internet connection slows dramatically as the USA awakes and goes online, making afternoon computer sessions less profitable than those conducted in the morning. This can be avoided by saving required pages to the school’s intranet. Connections to an intranet do not need to be made beyond the school’s network, ensuring a faster and more reliable response. Since no link to the World Wide Web is made, Web pages subject to frequent changes can be ‘frozen in time’ by saving to an intranet.You may even wish to write your own pages of information or advice and save these to the school network. The appointed ICT coordinator for the school will be able to give specific advice on the configuration and capabilities of your system. They may have ideas as to how the ICT resources of the school can support the work you are doing in the classroom, but is perhaps unlikely to contribute this information unless you take the time to discuss your work with them.

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9 Assessment procedures

Daily experience shows that ... schools, academies and colleges, give but the merest beginnings of culture ... far more influential is the life-education daily given in our homes, in the streets, behind counters, in workshops, at the loom and the plough, in counting houses and manufactories, and in the busy haunts of men.
Self-Help, Samuel Smiles, 1839

One of the important aspects of this technology is that, for an increasing majority of students, it is likely that they will have access to it and use it far more at home than at school. Therefore, trying to assess the ‘value added’ of the students’ use of the technology purely within the bounds of school will be increasingly impossible to do as the exponential rise in its use at home continues. In spite of this difficulty, it goes without saying that there will have to be some kind of assessment procedure within the school in order to satisfy inspection requirements, etc. Schools will no doubt have their own procedures for the assessment of ICT as a whole and, unless otherwise agreed, English teachers are normally expected to do little more than inform the ICT coordinator of the use of ICT within the department. Should it be a requirement of the school’s policy that a more formal record is kept of use and progress by students in their use of ICT in English, then the technology itself should be of great assistance in keeping such records. The computer provides a cost-effective, paperless means of recording student data. The speed and ease with which this data can be manipulated supports in-depth analysis. It is worth taking the time to establish procedures that, in the long-term, will ease the administrative burden. Putting such systems in place can often initially involve a heavy investment in time and energy, but they quickly repay both. Reports and Record of Achievement statements can be produced from statement banks. This apparently ‘inhuman’ use of ICT ensures consistency from start to finish, and can be based upon National Curriculum definitions of attainment. The final statement can be easily edited if a more ‘human’ touch is required. Spreadsheets can be used to produce merged reports from numerical input, or word processors can be loaded with ‘AutoText’ phrases that allow whole paragraphs to be written at the press of only a few keys. Students may be asked to keep track of their own progress by completing ‘template’ documents. They are, after all, far less likely to lose the school’s network than they are to misplace a paper document. Copies of their personal assessment record can be copied to disk if they so wish, but the original will remain on the network to be accessed by the teacher whenever they desire.

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9 Assessment procedures

The progression of students through the levels of the National Curriculum might be monitored by completing a record sheet which can easily be devised depending on what information you wish to keep. This might be set up as a spreadsheet file which makes it is easier to complete and store than to print out on paper and fill in by hand. Form 5 (page 58) can be used to evaluate and assess the use of ICT in an English lesson.

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9 Assessment procedures

Form 5

English department: Evaluation and assessment of ICT
Subject covered: .................................................................................................... 1 What were the teaching objectives in this lesson? Class: ......................... Date:.............................

2 How did ICT help achieve the objectives?

3 Where in the lesson can I observe students using ICT and set targets to enhance progress?

4 What questions can I put to the students to ensure they focus on the appropriate use of ICT?

5 How will students show what they have learned through feedback in class?

6 How will I ensure that the students pick up English skills rather than presentation skills? (This will have implications for mark schemes.)

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10 Sources of further information

Organisations
Department for Education and Skills Local Authority Web Sites http://www.dfes.gov.uk/ http://www.socitm.gov.uk/soclants.htm http://www.nate.org.uk/ http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/inspect/ http://www.qca.org.uk/ http://www.standards.dfes.gov.uk/ http://www.canteach.gov.uk/

National Association for the Teaching of English (NATE) OFSTED Inspection Reports QCA The Standards Site TTA

ICT initiatives
British Educational Communications and Technology agency (Becta) http://www.becta.org.uk/ Regional Broadband Consortia via the Becta site http://buildingthegrid.becta.org.uk/procurement/school/rbc.html Standards and Effectiveness Unit (SEU) Teachers Online Project (TOP) UK Online Centres http://www.standards.dfes.gov.uk/seu/ http://www.top.ngfl.gov.uk/ http://dfes.gov.uk/ukonlinecentres/

Internet use and policy
Acceptable Use of the Internet http://www.becta.org.uk/technology/infosheets/pdf/accuse.pdf Collaborative School Internet Links Home–School Links http://www.becta.org.uk/teaching/homeschoollinks/examples.html Internet Safety Week Superhighway Safety http://www.top.ngfl.gov.uk/featureweek1.php3 http://www.safety.ngfl.gov.uk/ http://www.top.ngfl.gov.uk/topweek4.php3

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10 Sources of further information

ICT policy
ICT in the English Curriculum http://curriculum.becta.org.uk/docserver.php?temid=84 Implementing IT – NAACE http://www.naace.org/imp/

Writing a whole school ICT policy http://www.top.ngfl.gov.uk/technology/infosheets/pdf/itpolicy.pdf

Resource providers
Andrew Moore’s Teaching Resource Site English and Media Centre English Online http://www.shunsley.eril.net/armoore/ http://www.englishandmedia.co.uk/ http://www.englishonline.co.uk/

English Teaching in the United Kingdom http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/harry_dodds/ Free Resources for English Teachers Headstrong Interactive Teachers Online Project TeachIT – English Teaching on Line Virtual Teacher Centre Web Site Reviews http://www.english-teaching.co.uk/ http://www.headstrong.demon.co.uk/ http://www.top.ngfl.gov.uk/ http://www.teachit.co.uk/ http://vtc.ngfl.gov.uk/ http://curriculum.becta.org.uk/docserver.php?temid=261

Copyright
Copyright and ICT http://www.becta.org.uk/technology/infosheets/pdf/copyright.pdf

General author sites
The Victorian Web: An Overview http://www.stg.brown.edu/projects/hypertext/landow/victorian/victov.html British and Irish Authors on the Web http://lang.nagoya-u.ac.jp/~matsuoka/UK-authors.html See also Using the Internet – English (Pearson Publishing, 2000) for lots of Web sites devoted to particular authors.

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10 Sources of further information

Etext libraries
Bartleby.com Electronic Text Centre – University of Virginia Full Text Books Online Literature Resources from MIT Malaspina Great Books Medieval Sourcebook Project Guttenberg The Internet Public Library http://www.bartleby.com/ http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/english.html

http://www.bb.com/freebooks.cfm?requesttimeout=2000 http://libraries.mit.edu/guides/subjects/literature/ http://www.mala.bc.ca/~mcneil/template.htx http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/sbook2.html#lit2 http://www.promo.net/pg/ http://www.ipl.org/

Search engines
There are many general search mechanisms available which can assist in searching for specific items or subjects on the Web. AltaVista Excite Google Lycos Mirago WebCrawler http://www.altavista.co.uk/ http://www.excite.co.uk/ http://www.google.co.uk/ http://www.lycos.co.uk/ http://www.mirago.co.uk/ http://www.webcrawler.com/

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Contents
Introduction ......................................................................................................... 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Defining ICT ............................................................................................... ICT in the English classroom ...................................................................... Key Government initiatives ......................................................................... Developing departmental policy .................................................................. Management issues ...................................................................................... The potential gains of using ICT ................................................................ Using ICT in the classroom......................................................................... Classroom management issues..................................................................... Assessment procedures ................................................................................ Sources of further information .................................................................... 1 3 6 14 19 31 34 38 54 56 59

Abingdon School Pearson Publishing Tel 01223 350555 ICT in English

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