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Subject Specialism Reflection Essay

I have a degree in Computer Networking and Communication. Since then I have been continually developing my subject knowledge via various mediums.

I have been teaching my subject specialism for a number of years, and in that time I have gained tremendous amount of knowledge that has helped me to deliver more confidently to make the teaching and learning experience more enjoyable for me as a tutor and for the learners.

The first point to mention here is the teaching observations they have helped me to plan and deliver my sessions according to the national standards. This has enabled me to demonstrate my knowledge of the subject area.

I also attended one day course on Usability and accessibility on 7th February 2007 at The McDonald St Paul Hotel. The part that interested more was to learn and understand about the various challenges disable people face when using websites. Details of course in appendix.

• Disability Discrimination Act and legal obligations
• Overview of disabilities and assistive technologies
• Overview of standards and guidelines
• How to incorporate accessibility into an organisation
• Benefits of accessible websites

This led me to investigate this issues further. The following website was quite useful: http://www.tiresias.org/ , it provides lots of guidance on how ICT can be made accessible for specialist use.

I need to learn more regarding latest software and advance courses. I also need to deliver to more advance level of learners. An opportunity has arisen for me to develop my skills to do this. I shall be attending an advanced Excel course in a couple of weeks time organised Crown Enterprise and Training.

I feel that in some areas of ICT I already have the requisite skills so it is important that I deliver higher end IT courses which would be more in line with my level of knowledge and skills. Otherwise my experience will only be of teaching at lower level of IT courses and very little experience of teaching higher level and that will not help my long term plans of teaching higher-level courses.

I was actually a member of the British Computer Society, http://www.bcs.org/ , for a period of time, though this is no longer the case I do however continue to access their website regularly to update my knowledge on the latest developments in the computer industry as it relates particularly to using technology for learning and for professional development. I have developed myself academically and professionally through the first year of the PGCE course. I need to build on this foundation in the second year and extend both my pedagogic and professional skills. One of the key components that should help to do this would be the ICT module taught on the course.

From the content of the module I look forward to learning how to design a web page. This should enhance my capacity in delivering my specialist subject area of IT by exploring the idea of using a web page to deliver part of my course/courses. I shall explore various websites for developing web pages and undertake any training that might become available. I also intend to develop my knowledge about learning to use Apple Mac in the first instance and then hopefully to apply this knowledge in order to teach Graphic Design. This is quite a challenging target and I would need to tap into all the available resources to achieve this. I need to identify some interactive websites and online learning materials that would allow me to enhance my professional and pedagogical capacities further.

The important lesson for me to learn is as suggested by Hughes and Kennewell (2007, p.100) is to approach ICT so that “ what becomes increasingly important is not so much what you know about a topic, but your willingness to learn new skills, to be open to advice and not to hide your ignorance of relevant knowledge. Regular reading of educational, professional and hobby literature in ICT will be important throughout your teaching careers, as well as attending local, regional and national conferences.”

References
British Computer Society, 2008. Professional Development. [online] (updated 5 May 2008) Available at: http://www.bcs.org/ [accessed 6 May 2008]

Hughes

Tiresias, 2008- Making ICT accessible for blind and partially sighted. [online](updated 10 May 2008) Available at: http://www.tiresias.org/ [accessed 11 May 2008]


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