July 30, 2007 Getting parents involved in what their children are doing in the classroom and giving them opportunities to help their child at home can only better a child’s learning and education. The new learning system ‘HOMEWORK' is providing an effective means of simplifying this communication between the parents, teachers and learners by integrating educational software with broadcast quality video from the Channel Four educational TV series ‘The Number Crew’. Children work in a teacher-led group using an interactive whiteboard, either on their own or in small groups using tablet PCs. The teacher can use his or her own tablet PC to plan lessons, manage the class, allocate work and monitor each child’s progress. Parents can see what their children have been doing at school, are able to offer help and hence feel more involved with the classroom.
The project led by Professor Rosemary Luckin, based at The London Knowledge Lab and Sussex University’s IDEAS laboratory also with the help from commercial partners worked with teachers, parents and children to develop sophisticated prototypes. The research developed the ‘HOMEWORK’ interactive learning system which enables children between the ages of 5 and 7 to learn and practice Key Stage 1 maths using a range of multimedia technologies - both in the classroom and at home with their family.
The researchers found that using HOMEWORK:
- improved communication between parents, teachers and learners - provided continuity between home and school learning - made numeracy learning more engaging for many learners - increased participation and enjoyment in homework (by parents as well as pupils) - and may have increased the effectiveness of time spent learning.
Teachers were enthusiastic about using the HOMEWORK system - as long as it was robust and well integrated with the rest of the school's activities. For the children using HOMEWORK meant they spent more time on their learning, displayed greater concentration and engagement and enjoyed the choice of activities and computer game style ‘rewards’. Parents enjoyed using the tablet PCs with their children, they were better able to talk with their children about school numeracy work and were able to better understand what, and how, their children were learning at school.