Teaching Assistants ICT Training | Acting to Improve

Teaching Assistants ICT Training

I’m busy working out what to include in a one day ICT workshop for trainee primary school teaching assistants. I’ve got an ICT suite booked from 10 till 3 and I’m wondering what people think the TAs really need to know. I’ve had a few thoughts of my own and some great input from Andy. Last night I found that Anthony was thinking about something similar. He’s planning some longer training for TAs and has narrowed it down to 4 topics:

Redbridge Primary ICT Consultant: TA Training
* Using relevant software to support a child with special needs
* Training other TAs to create banners for display
* Researching websites for teachers and TAs to use in their lesson
* Using the IWB to teach

I agree with these and have added them to my list. I also think he’s hit on a couple of really important points but maybe not spelled them out. Teach one TA in a school how to do something really useful on the computer and it tends to spread :-) without the need for formal training. Teaching assistants tend to be a resourceful lot and if something is actually useful it spreads virally through the school.

Of course I was interested that he’d picked out making banner titles for classroom displays. This is something I’ve banged on about for ages. Hand cutting lettering for displays is a hugely wasteful use of teaching assistants’ time. Often schools don’t even have die cutters for the letters so that means using wooden templates, drawing them out and then cutting by hand. If TAs, and so by implication teachers, learn how easy it is to do banner titles, and how good they can look, maybe this can change.

Other areas I’ve thought about:

  • File saving and sharing – an introduction. Basic, but many people, including teachers, have no concept of the difference between files and folders, don’t understand about saving versions, or even sensible naming of .docs
  • Calibrating white boards. This is a simple but really helpful classroom skill!
  • Supporting from the side – how not to do it for them!
  • Very basic troubleshooting. Things like checking knowing how to check the in control panel of the laptop when the sound doesn’t work. It’s often just defaulted to ‘mute’.

I think the best way to take this forward might be to use a wiki page so I’ve set up a Teaching Assistants ICT Training page on usefulwiki.

If anyone wants to join in it is easy to edit. Just set yourself up a user name and away you go :-)

So what do you think teaching assistants need to know about using and supporting with ICT? Either add your thoughts to the wiki or leave a comment here.

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