Thanks for your suggestions. I have included screen grabs in the worksheet which gives explicit instructions on how to complete the task. Although this doesn't always work and I find that I am having to go through the worksheet with them to explain the instructions! It's really tricky as it is quite useful for them to follow the onscreen step-by-step instructions but the room layout doesn't allow this.
Would it be viable to provide the students with a copy of the digital demonstration at the beginning of the session. loading it up via USB or posting the demo on Moodle prior to the session. In this way the LSP's could take their cues from you and call you in when necessary but walk the weaker learners through at a pace that suits them. This might enable you to move around the room and give extra assistance to those who need it much like a our pebble pad session with Kerry Hine.
You could use a hand out with screen shots to help maybe......... I have just noticed Tina has said this though......... I use very little IT in my lessons but if I do I have same problem It seems like the norm for IT suites to be layed out in this way, can you speak to other lecturers and see if they have the same problem or ask how they get over this? If they do then maybe ask for the layout to be altered to suit everyones needs, It might be that the tables need to be turned just 90 degree's
Thank you for your suggestions. I have considered altering the layout of the room but after speaking with the technicians this is not an option. The tables are fixed to their positions because of the location of the plug sockets and because they share scanners the cables don't quite stretch enough. It is just a really bad planned room from the offset - infact all of the Mac suites have the same setup so its a recurring problem whichever room you are teaching in.
Another suggestion for the room layout issue that I don't think anyone has already suggested - could you host the start of the lesson in the centre of the room before the computers are on/logged in? Run through the theory first, before the distraction has been fired up? If there's a lot of material, maybe a digital copy of whatever theory you're running through could be available to them?
If you're teaching them photoshop, perhaps do a demo at the front of the class with everyone paying attention, then let them get on with it - if you've provided a checklist for what they need to do or achieve and emailed them links to videos that will help, they can then spend the rest of the lesson working on their own - and at their own pace, too!
I agree with what your saying here about room layout , in the past i have delivered photoshop tutorials to a large group of easily distracted learners. After the first session with this group i changed my delivery to this and it kept them focus and not on Facebook.
When the learners enter the IT suit i asked the to follow the warm up task which was to log in a mac , go on to moodle and download the sample images then gather round the centre table for the demonstration and session objectives. I found that as they had an active task to do as soon as they walked through the door kept them away from such distractions as social media. I also ensured that there was clear session objectives on the board which we followed and ticked as the session went on.
Thank you for your suggestion - this is a really great idea. I make good use of Moodle and because we instilled this as a resource at the beginning of the year, learners use it constantly. We always upload the worksheets after the sessions, but it would make more sense for those learners to have this resource before the session.
I would definitely agree with the difficulties of the set up of a traditional IT suite. I have no experience in using IT rooms in my teaching, however I found our own PGCE session in the IT suite working with pebble pad a really difficult session to focus in. It certainly seemed that it was difficult to provide a focus to the session, even with the use of the interactive whiteboard. However once a few of us were on pebble pad and talking to each other via forums and messaging, we began to solve problems and ask questions within the program itself.
Maybe the answers need to come from the use of the technology itself rather than changing what seems to be a necessary layout for the IT rooms. At the school I teach the IT teacher has access to all his students computers during the session (is this possible on any network?) Of course the level of ability of the tutor will be a factor in this and of course we always need to consider the ability of each learner. Ensuring that each learner has enough basic skills to take part in the session stresses the importance of the Minimum Core.
That’s a great opportunity for the learner not to miss out on the session and they were extremely lucky that you had this extra time slot however what would have happened if you didn't? I guess with most courses there are time restraints and the learner would have to do catch up on the missed session, are sessions sometimes repeated at a latter part of the course for them then to catch up?
It was lucky this time, but I am struggling to find a way of including them if this opportunity hadn't been there on this occasion. It also just so happened that I was repeating the same session for another group later on, so the student may have been able to chip in on that, which would have been another lucky break for him/me - but this may have clashed with another class he was due to attend, so I'd have still been stuck.
I guess one does what one can to do a quick run-through with individuals who missed out to bring them up to speed. Or perhaps ask them to catch up in their own time by providing them with the extra materials like hand-outs that you had in the class and providing them with links to good online videos that cover the same materials, assuming the student has somewhere he can go to access them.
About learners that miss out on some or all of a session - possibly you need to set agreeable ground rules at the beginning of the course to how they are going to catch up. If they miss a session (all or part), I try and get them to take responsibility for how they are going to catch up.
It can have an impact on your teaching and learners if they walk in late esp. if it becomes a habit
A good idea if you have the time to run through and use hand-outs but this is dependent on the type of course you are delivering.
Possible suggestion is they buddy up and notes are shared if one is absent, I used to do this on other courses and worked very well.
Hope suggestion helps!
That's an inherent problem with IT suites I think, due to plugs/cabling etc - perhaps mirrored walls would fix this!? On the subject of LSPs, if the LSPs are ready and willing to get an advance low-down on a session before they join their student in class they would be able to fill in any gaps in the learning the student develops during the class? Is it unreasonable to ask LSPs this? Being new to teaching, TEACHING is new to me, let alone LSPs, so I don't know if there is scope for them to chip in and help fill in the learning gaps(?).