Knowledge Network will be trading in Australia under the trademark KnowNet.
           
 
Release date 10 Sep 2002
   
Published in:
Delegate material (CD) for Educator Conference in Port Elizabeth

 

 

 

 

 

Success of ILAMM / Progressive Learning Programme (PLP) at Grey High School
 

Educator Perspective

Prior to using Knowledge Networks Progressive Learning Programme (PLP), learners utilized a self-paced approach to improve their ICT skills.

This approach worked successfully for those learners who enjoyed using computers.  However, for the vast majority, this approach was not effective as the pupils were not stimulated and did not have the maturity to work through the tasks responsibly.

The Knowledge Network PLP is based on a structured approach which is project-based.  We found that the learners focus on the project/task and not on remembering where the icons are on the toolbars, i.e. learning the programs is incidental.

We have found that the PLP satisfied our criteria for a curriculum:

  1. Structured

  2. Skills-based, as it improved

a.      creativity
b.      Thinking
c.      Reading
d.      Listening

  1. Evaluated

  2. Progressive

We have been using the Programme since the beginning of 2002, and have found it to be very effective.  The Grade 8’s started on Level 01, which they completed in the first half of the year.  They are now busy on Level 02 which they will complete by the November examinations.

We took a decision whereby each Grade would complete two Levels of the PLP in a year, culminating in Level 05 in Grade 10.  We felt that an intense approach to this curriculum would focus the learners on applying the knowledge and obtaining the necessary skills.

It was initially frustrating, as the methodology is unlike anything they have previously seen and it took 2 months for them to understand and realize the importance of how the PLP works.

The results after the first skills Evaluation was approx 50%, 6 months later they are in excess of 65%, showing the success of the PLP.  

The Grade 9 results show a similar trend, although their results are a bit lower as we started them on Level 02, which was perhaps a bit ambitious.

The positive comments and attitude of the learners has been encouraging, especially with the influence of some learners obtaining the Certificate of Successful Completion.  This can only have a positive effect.

The skills of the educators who are presenting the material has increased exponentially.  The sessions are well structured and no prior skill is necessary from a computing aspect.  The sessions are based on the Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Access).  

As the sessions are not focused on the Suite, but rather the skills, it doesn’t matter which version of Office one is running.  However, we are using Office XP, where there are differences, predominantly in Powerpoint and parts of Word. Knowledge Network has assured us that these sessions are being revised to incorporate these changes.

Another area which needs to be considered is the time management of the class.  This is still a concern for us, but has significantly improved as the learners become more equipped with the different skills, and are gaining in confidence.

We are not using the Generic Marking Sheet, as supplied with the PLP, but rather have modified it to suit our needs.  It was used to great effect in the first half of the year to assist the learners to achieve the required outcome.  Additional categories that were added to the Marking Sheet were Posture and Behaviour.  This form of assessment is now only used when remedial follow-up is required.  This was a qualitative assessment rather than a quantitative assessment.

The Skill Evaluations and Examinations were well structured and covered the various skills comprehensively, doing so in the allocated time frame of 1 hour.  

One of the key aspects is the reading and interpreting of the evaluations – it was surprising to see how few learners actually read what they are required to do.  We are seeing a marked improvement in this area, in the latter half of the year; this can only be of benefit to them in their other subjects.

Some of the skills in the sessions cannot be done on the network that we are running, we merely inform the Co-ordinator and those aspects are not included in the Evaluations.  Knowledge Network is very accommodating and this can be summed up by the following statement: “Partners in Education”

We at Grey believe that we have started to successfully implement the Knowledge Network Progressive Learning Programme and that we are continuing to look for ways in which to make ICT relevant and exciting in the forthcoming years. 

Learner Perspective

These are a few of the comments, taken from Grades 8and 9, after 3 months of working on the Curriculum:

When we are finished this course at Grey High School we will be way ahead of other people.  M. Hayward 8B

The High school work in computers is not easier but more interactive because in the Junior School we had no chance to show what we really could do in our I.T skills.  A Postepski 8B

I really enjoyed computers this term and I know that I could have done much better with the second evaluation.  With my first evaluation, I did very well.  Airplane formation is a good thing to do because it gets your eyes on what the teacher is trying to say.  The speed at which the lessons went were, I think, a bit slow, but I know that they will speed up next term.  I have learnt many things such as show and hide, the toolbars, auto shapes and many other things.

T Whitehead 8D

I really enjoyed computers this term. I liked the different things we done. But the time that we did our tests in was too short for me.

But I learnt some new things. The lessons were much better than the lessons we had at my junior school.  
L Soga 8E

The part of the course which I have done has been very worthwhile. If I never did this course, I would probably still be hopeless at Word.  M Jordan 9A

The course is very good. I learnt a lot of things. I can honestly say that I could use these skills more effectively now in my assignments but we should be given more time in these tests.  S Mtshayi 9E

It has been rather useful because I have found that I can now do a lot more things on the computer that I never used to be able to do. I would also like to do a few more worksheets similar to the test.  G Thomson 9E

C I Townsin
Head: InfoTech
Grey High School

 

 

 

 

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Date of update: 18 February 2009