Partnership between Pridwin and Knowledge Network -
Summary of - A Case Study
should facilitate the acquisition of technological skills which
are necessary for an individual to function optimally in a
education process, the learner should learn when and how to apply
these acquired skills to their maximum advantage.” Simon Weaver,
Principal Pridwin Preparatory School
identified that a progressive and structured approach to computer
teaching is vital to equip the boys for their college years and
adult lives. For this reason we joined Knowledge Network in
September of 1999.
The curriculum (Information Technology
Learning System) provided by Knowledge Network was also
relevant because it continually builds on existing foundations and
the boys are encouraged to think laterally and to be creative. Two
teachers from the school have been trained to present the
curriculum and the ongoing training has been beneficial to both
the teachers and the pupils.
It was soon
realised that the boys were now learning the skills, but were not
being given many opportunities to apply what they had learnt in
the other subjects. Thus a strategy was discussed with the staff
from Knowledge Network and we have come up with the following
model, which has three important components:
The first step
is the acquisition of skills in order for computer
education to be effective. Each class, from Grade 0 to Grade 07,
has an hour a week in which the Knowledge Network curriculum is
This year the Grade 05’s have completed Level 01 and
Grade 06 and Grade 07 have completed Level 02. Next year we are
pleased that the Grade 07’s will have achieved enough skills to
move to Level 03 (of the Knowledge Network IT Learning System -
progressive learning programme).
It was felt that
the skills were meaningless if they could not be applied to other
situations and a strategy of integration was discussed. We
felt strongly that in the integration process the subject teachers
were not to become computer teachers.
Instead, the boys were to be
equipped with the necessary skills, the teacher was to continue to
be able to be passionate about his/her subject and the computer
was only to be used as a tool. In this way the standard of each
subject would not be jeopardised, and the subject matter and
discipline would still remain all-important.
Above this, the
assessment of the project is on the subject content and not on the
pupil’s ability on the computer. At this point a seminar with
Knowledge Network was arranged during which all the teachers
realised the importance of our strategy and became excited about
the integration route.
In order to assist the teachers to set
projects, a grid was provided by Knowledge Network, which clearly
showed the skills the boys had been taught at any point in the
project and computer policy was then set up and this document
outlined what was expected of the teachers when planning, setting
and executing an integrated project. This document also set out
where information is to be stored in the computer centre and how
the projects are to be printed.
It was then
decided that it is important to keep a record of all projects that
have been set and executed. In this way the ideas of other
teachers can be used, adapted and expanded upon where necessary.
project template was developed and, after a training session
with Knowledge Network, was implemented. This template assists the
teacher with the planning of the project and these templates are
to become part of an intranet system in the future.
Once all this
groundwork had taken place, it became evident that the staff
needed some training. The teachers were given a full day course,
which was split into two four-hour sessions, on how to set and
integrate projects within their subject area.
They were also shown
how to read the Knowledge Network IT Learning System
Progressive Learning Programme Skills Grid in order to know
which skills could be expected from the boys.
After this training,
all the teachers commented on how the anxiety of using computers
in their subject areas was greatly reduced and they were relieved
that they did not have to have more computer knowledge than the
boys. They felt positive about this approach because they were
still able to assess the projects according to their subject
training sessions, the teachers developed certain projects and
then executed them with their classes. Many of these projects have
been done successfully.
The final part
of the process was to give the teachers computer training
in some of the applications, namely Excel and PowerPoint. This was
to help them with their day-to-day teaching as well as to help
them in the setting of some projects.
In the future it is our
intention to enhance the staff’s access to computers, to
continue with staff training and to have our classrooms suitably
equipped so that PowerPoint presentations can be presented to the
boys as another teaching medium.
Pridwin Preparatory School
Tel +27 11 788 1116 Fax +27 11
Network Products used for the Integration and Professional
Development Programme at Pridwin Preparatory School
Time frame: Full
integration model implemented and professional development
completed in 5 months - for all educators and all learners
System – Implementation: Progressive Learning Programme
Learning and Mentoring Methodology
Integration Model for Schools
Integration Seminar for Educators
Integration Skills Grid
Integration Project Development Templates
Development - IT Learning System Session Training
Development Workshops and Seminars
Development Diploma Programmes