Teachers up to speed on ITALIC

The latest phase of training for ITALIC (Improving Teaching and Learning in the Cayman Islands) concluded on the weekend.

This follows two weeks of sessions that brought teachers and principals up-to-date on several curriculum software packages – Destination Reading, Destination Math, Reading Upgrade/Comprehension Upgrade, Go Venture Small Business and Personal Portable Library.

Destination Reading will be used in all government primary schools and covers phonics, decoding and comprehension skills needed to guide students towards reading success.

The latest training sessions introduced the benefits of the Learning Management System, which enables teachers to customize assignments and lesson plans for individuals or groups.

‘This allows for flexibility within the software programmes,’ explained ITALIC Programme Manager Ann Hale. ‘It means teachers can adapt the packages depending on the students’ progress and different ability levels.’

Destination Math focuses on applying learned skills and concepts to solve meaningful problems and will be used in all government schools.

Reading Upgrade/ Comprehension Upgrade is a reading programme aimed at the middle- and high school-level students and will be implemented at those classes in government middle and high schools.

Go Venture Small Business is a realistic business simulation package that recreates the day-to-day experiences involved in starting and running a small business. It places students in the role of founders and CEOs of their own virtual businesses while engaging them in realistic situations and problems.

During a Go Venture Small Business training session at the Alternative Education Centre, teacher Mark Dolton’s initial reaction was that the number of different components used in the simulations might overwhelm students. However, after using the product himself, he discovered that it was very flexible and students could start with simple factors, like pricing, and add complexity as they advance.

Teachers on the Brac were also introduced to Personal Portable Library. This software package contains an entire library, giving students and teachers portable access to the greatest works of literature, art, history, music, philosophy, science and mathematics.

ITALIC is a programme developed by the Ministry of Education, in partnership with IBM, and is designed to integrate the full use of computer technology in the education system to improve the traditional classroom experience.

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