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Thursday, 10 January, 2002, 15:00 GMT
Top of the class for technology
Teachers who make the most of technology in the classroom have been awarded cash prizes.

The competition - which was open to teachers, lecturers and ICT advisers - was to find people in the UK who make the best use of information and communication technology in schools and colleges.

It was organised by the British Educational Communications Agency (Becta), which oversees the government's plans for school computers and internet connections.

Each winner receives 2,500, with a further 2,500 going to their school or organisation.

Carl Sherlock
Carl Sherlock uses new media to grab children's interest and hold it
Jonathan Boyle, of the top technology school, Thomas Telford, in Shropshire, won the prize for secondary school subject teachers.

He says he uses new technology to adapt lessons for individual pupils.

He told BBC News Online: "We've put the curriculum on-line, so that pupils can work at their own pace.

"They get direction from teachers, but the most able will be able to move ahead, and perhaps miss out some of the more basic things."

Motivation

The prize for primary school teachers was shared between Carl Sherlock, of Llanfoist County Primary School, in Abergavenny, Monmouthshire and Bill O'Donnell, of the Holy Child Primary School in Londonderry.

Carl Sherlock says he uses new media to try to grab children's interest and then to keep it and motivate them.

He says technology has worked well in improving the standards of achievement among boys.

He told BBC News Online: "We had a problem with boys under-achieving but have found that the use of computers has helped them in their literacy work."

Jonathan Boyle
"Pupils can work at their own pace," says Jonathan Boyle
One example was how he got children to write a poem on the book The Iron Woman, after getting them to construct their own model of a computer-operated woman.

Mr Sherlock said that he was "over-the-moon" with the award, particularly as it recognised teachers' achievements.

He said his personal prize of 2,500 would be spent paying off his student loan and other debts.

Innovation

The winners were announced by the education minister Catherine Ashton, at the BETT 2002 education technology conference in London.

She said the government's investment in ICT in education was having an impact in schools.

"There are many examples of ICT playing a significant role in transforming the teaching and learning process and some of the best of these are highlighted through these awards," she said.

"Becta's ICT in Practice Awards highlight some superb, highly innovative and creative examples of good practice.

"These teachers are a credit to our profession, and we and they should be justly proud of their achievements. Our intention is to identify such excellent practice and ensure the widest possible dissemination so that others can learn from them."

The awards were sponsored by BT Education.

See also:

09 Jan 02 | Education
Classrooms of the future
09 Jan 02 | Education
Classrooms of the present
14 Jan 00 | Bett2000
Technology boost for key skills
02 May 00 | Education
Revving up maths
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