l am from Japan and have taught English at elementary school, junior high school and senior high school for more than twenty years.
Why I chose MA ICT and Education at Leeds
One of the reasons I chose to study here was because the University of Leeds has a good reputation as a whole across the world. I am concerned with integrating lCT into my teaching and this programme, which delivers a unique curriculum seemed to be the most appropriate course for my background of teaching.
Furthermore, it was one of additional benefits that the university is located in the centre of West Yorkshire and it has an abundance of scenic spots to visit on holidays. I often drove to the Yorkshire Dales and Peak District at the weekend with my family.
As ICT education has been acknowledged to enhance other subjects at school, the integration of ICT into teaching seems to be coming a trend all over the world. I believe that the new learning environment online will contribute to the enhancement of teaching and learning in the future.
l am interested in implementing a virtual learning environment (VLE) into teaching at my school.
MA ICT and Education provides a unique course design. Each module is composed of the combination of the online seminar with other students (including distance learners in other countries) and face-face sessions in the following week in order to compliment the seminar.
The seminar prompted us not only to discuss a range of ICT topics with other students who have different backgrounds, as well as the tutor, but also to practice the realistic ICT learning as a student through the Adobe Connect online conference system.
It is productive and useful to exchange opinions from the global point of view concerning the latest educational issues with other school teachers.
Computer facilities are crucial for the ICT programme and the School of Education provides two ICT rooms. It also offers the common room in which l ate lunch every day over a chat with friends. l often made coffee and tea there between lessons and studies, these rooms were indispensable to my campus life.
l was also satisfied with the university's facilities, especially the libraries. Generally, the collection of books and online journals university libraries offer should be a key factor for study. I made great use of the libraries from Monday to Saturday.
Moreover, the university provides a great number of computer clusters. Especially, the 24 hour open cluster which was a benefit to me, particularly just before the submission of my dissertation or an assignment.
I often also used a lot of the cafes on campus.
The School of Education offers a range of support to all students. We were provided with a Personal Tutor as well as a Module Tutor.
My Personal Tutor was so generous that she regularly hosted meetings for us and gave us a range of advice on campus life, private life and academic matters. Each time providing us with the opportunity to cross-programme talks over coffee and snacks.
The Module Tutors offered us face-face sessions every week in order to reply to our questions concerning the modules. To complete my Critical Study (dissertation), my supervisor provided me regular tutoring to solve all of my questions.
All staff have been generous and quick to respond to my every enquiry, whether face-face or email.
Outside of study
The university offers a variety of activities and the School of Education planned us two camps to the National Parks (the Lake District and Peak District) throughout the academic year. Many staff and students took part in this.
As I lived in a countryside town (30 minute journey to Leeds by train), I had plenty of opportunities to drive to many towns and villages in Yorkshire. I was also fortunate in that I could watch world-wide popular musical performances in the city of Leeds and get almost anything I wanted.
Now I have completed my Critical Study, I have returned to Tokyo to teach as a full-time junior high teacher. I hope I can continue my studies in a Japanese university.
If you are a teacher and are considering integrating ICT into your teaching the MA ICT and Education programme not only covers practical theories of ICT education, but also provides opportunities to discuss a range of issues.
As shown in the enormous growth in ICT education at primary and secondary level, the UK is definitely one of the more advanced countries in this field. The University of Leeds has a good reputation to develop the virtual learning environment in the world.