Third line support for learning

In Uncategorized on March 21, 2012 at 8:30 am

Using technology within a classroom has always had the implication of one of two things;

  • Teacher-led activity through such things as interactive whiteboards and other whole class teaching technologies
  • Student focussed activity which has in many cases meant students working individually on activities such as the research and production of content or presentations

Is there a third approach within which the technology acts as a tool to support learners with access to a range of learning materials?

 If we consider how many of us learn best, we do so in 3 main ways;

  • By doing and experimenting (sometimes called playing!)
  • By reading instructional material such as handbooks or text books
  • By being shown and mentored by a peer (including the use of video resources)

 In many cases it is often a combination of two or three of these that provide us with the knowledge we require and how to apply this to complete tasks or activities. This is often very different from the learning experience that our students where within a class there is a single resource and approach as to how the students will learn. This is where the technology provides a unique learning tool and brings a third approach into learning. Rather than either a single device or the 1-2-1 device approach, we have a small number of devices deployed in the room or with easy access so that students can do on needs basis. The key here I feel is providing access to a range of resources, this could simply be a list of web sites and resources that provide access to alternative learning approaches described above and the style be used in the classroom. For example




http://www.apple.com/uk/education/itunes-u/ (You will require iTunes installed)

 By having access to these, any student who is struggling to come to terms with the required learning or need additional support, can access the same knowledge and skills but through an alternative medium and a different approach. This also provides the opportunity for them to work more independently.

 In the case of teaching ICT, this approach could be applied possibly more so where students tend to have an increased access to technology and as such these resources. What needs to be said is that this does not remove or replace the role of the teacher but allow them to re-focus what they do in the time available, making better use of there ability to act as the primary tool for intervention rather than just as ‘first line support’. In the current climate of Ofsted and the focus on learning and behaviour if we can empower students to develop not only knowledge but also the capacity to learn and allowing the teacher to focus on assessing students and helping those who need it the greatest.




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