Friday 30 November 2007

Different world - Same issues

The view from the primary school windows of the International School of Monaco (ISM)






I am blogging from ISM. And yes, it is as glamorous as it sounds.

I am here for 3 days in the school. They have very kindly brought myself and my wife over. The purpose of the visit is to consult on the introduction of effective ICT.

Several questions had to be asked about 'effective ICT' before coming out. Effective for whom? Methodologies of Learning & Teaching? The ethos and values of the curriculum.

I am going to start with the curriculum. I was not familiar with the International Baccalaureate curriculum but my research has shown a great similarity in ethos with the Curruculum for Excellence (ACfE) being developed in Scotland. The desire to develop a values based ethos driven curriculum is vital in any system. If its driven purely on an exam based outcome then it will produce highly 'qualified' individuals with no ability to change/adapt or to work with others. The IBO has reflective learners as one of its core values.

The school itself is in an office block. The early years is on one floor in one part of the building. The Primary and middle school are in another floor of the same building. The high school in another part of the block entered by another door. The lunch room is entered directly from the street and is basically a shop front.

Every teaching area  has Promethean boards but the classes are so small that the teachers struggle to get these used let alone used effectively. Promethean are coming in during January to deliver initial training.

On the first afternoon I gave a talk to all staff who were available and interested. I had about 15. I had hoped to skype with Meach in Georgia but usual thing happened. Its was against the ICT rules to use skype. They were willing to try and change it though but we didn't have time.

I spent the rest of my time speaking to staff about the use of technology in classes and to get an idea of where they stood.

I must say I am impressed by the level of commitment and desire to be open to these ideas. They had fears, which is a good thing, but were prepared to listen and ask wonderful questions.

The staff now need to reflect on where this can be used within their subject area but then that's the same for every teacher in the world, isn't it?


Unknown said...

It's a hard life, eh Ian?!

Hope you both have a great time. I also hope that the school realise what a veritable mine of information and advice you are!

islayian said...

They certainly have wrung us out for ideas and information

john west said...


Bit of a long shot here. Checked out your blog after Ian Mcewan had been keynote speaker at a conference in NZ.

Leaving for the uk on Monday (to catch up with football and other cultural I type rangers are not doing to well)and plan to visit BETT and teachmeet set up by ewan.

To keep this brief would quite like to visit Islay High School and have a look at what is going on. Plan to have a look around Islay and take a bottle or three of finest malt back to new zealand

Spent the last term trying desperately to bring my own school science department up to speed with the whole web 2.0 thing.

my own blog....