Research Results

Impact of the IMYM Project on Grade 7 Pilot Teachers: A Follow-up Report

March 2000

Prepared by Distance Learning and Information Technologies Unit, Program Development Branch, Manitoba Education and Training

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7.0 Summary

Pilot teachers reported that they appreciated the opportunity to meet and share ideas with fellow IMYM pilot teachers. They reported that discussing and sharing ideas, challenges, and successes with colleagues in person at the IMYM7 follow-up session was very encouraging and affirming. They also reported that having the opportunity to see samples of projects and student work was very motivating.

Pilot teachers reported that they valued hearing that other pilot teachers experienced the same frustrations, concerns, struggles, pitfalls, and successes. They felt they could go back to their classrooms with an abundance of great ideas for using ICT in the classroom.

Many teachers indicated that they still needed more time to work on completing their EcoTrips and their classroom websites. Teachers also reported needing more professional learning sessions, more technical troubleshooting help, and more time to grow and develop. Pilot teachers reported that they would like another year to repeat the Balance and Harmony interdisciplinary unit to "do it right"!

IMYM pilot teachers indicated that certain conditions made it more challenging to incorporate information and communication technologies in an interdisciplinary way in their classrooms. These challenges included

  • structure of the school day divided into multiple short periods with not enough time for deep learning
  • specialization of teachers in one or two subject areas
  • lack of time for teacher collaboration
  • large number of student outcomes to be achieved in each subject making for more breadth than depth
  • lack of technical support on a reliable as-needed basis
  • lack of high-speed Internet access resulting in frustration and time wasted

On the other hand, IMYM pilot teachers believed that other conditions facilitated the integration of information and communication technologies (ICT) in the classroom. These included

  • flexible scheduling
  • longer class periods
  • professional learning on a flexible, just-in-time basis, convenient for teachers
  • professional learning on ICT integration that is clearly linked to Manitoba curriculum
  • professional learning matched to the level of teachers' ICT use and integration skills
  • time scheduled for teacher collaboration across subject specialization
  • time scheduled for teachers to observe each other and to mentor each other as "critical friends"
  • time scheduled for teachers to collaborate to develop ICT integrated learning experiences
  • computers in all classrooms and on the teachers' desks (rather than only isolated in labs)
  • high speed Internet access in classrooms