Archive | July, 2013
Video

2013 – Did you know?

31 Jul

I love these clips. They provide a great stimulus to reflect on ‘HOW’ we can prepare our students for their future lives. Given that many of them will have jobs that don’t even exist yet – how can we as educators provide them with the skills they need to participate effectively in society?

The old chinese proverb comes to mind “Give a man a fish and he eats for a day, Teach him How to fish and he will eat fish for a lifetime”. Our children need to ‘learn how to learn’ and digital technologies provide them with access to information and networks that enable them to learn in new ways and to continue their learning throughout their lifetimes.

Just one of the opportunities that digital technologies affords our children is to connect with others around the globe. In this type of activity alone students can learn about other cultures, gain access to a wide range of different perspectives and start to develop the  communication skills they will need to actively participate in our highly digital world.

Whether we like it or not the key message here is that SHIFT HAPPENS – and as future educators we need to embrace change and new technologies if we are to prepare our students for their future lives.

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Don’t let the tail wag the dog!

31 Jul

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The past 3 weeks has been a wonderful adventure of trying out new technologies, locating digital resources, and at times banging head against computer to add to my personal ICT toolbelt! One could be forgiven by getting carried away in the whirlwind and implementing blogs and concept maps into every lesson plan – because that is what I know. Apparently, many educators fall into the trap of integrating the IT resources they are familiar with into lessons, which hold little educational value to the context being taught. This is what is referred to as the ‘tail wagging the dog’!

The most important thing to consider when integrating ICT’s is the way they will be used to ensure they have maximum impact on student learning. In other words don’t use it just for the sake of using it! I guess you could say it is similar to a builder choosing his tool before he knows what job he is going to do. Wouldn’t be very productive would it?

The main message here this week is to think more deeply about the pedagogical reasons for using an ICT, and how the digital tool is going to benefit student learning.

Some related articles:

MCEETYA. (n.d). Pedagogy Strategy: Learning in an online World. Retrieved on 31st July, 2013 from http://www.mceecdya.edu.au/verve/_resources/ict_learningonlineworld-pedagogystrategy.pdf

NCAA. (n.d). Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in the Primary School Curriculum: Guidelines for Teachers. -. Retrieved 31st July, 2013 from http://www.ncca.ie/uploadedfiles/ecpe/ictenglish.pdf

NZ Ministry of Education Website –http://www.educate.ece.govt.nz/learning/exploringPractice/ICT/PedagogyAndICT/MakingInformedDecisions.aspx?p=2

Scootle – The one-stop shop for Digital Resources!

30 Jul

As part of the week 2 learning path we have been introduced to the scootle website – this online tool is a teacher’s digital resource heaven!! The site is very user friendly and is managed by Education Services Australia. So not only does this site have an endless supply of digital resources to choose from, it also aligns resources with the Australian Curriculum. Using the search option you are able to filter the search for resources by topic, learning area, year level and type of digital resource ie audio,video.

I found this great tool for having fun practising fractions!

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goo.gl/6gMlw9

Students can learn independently using this resource to learn about fractions and the concept of equivalence. The visual and hands on nature of online resources make it easier for students to gain an understanding of these difficult concepts – and of course provide a bit of fun as well!

I have noticed other students from the course have had fun exploring the scootle website and have posted some similar resources. I particularly like Pam’s site which links to How to make a kite. My daughter would love to take this activity one step further and record a video of herself outlining the procedure on her ipad!

Other Related Articles:

http://wendysgardenoflearning.wordpress.com/2013/07/28/scootle-fantastic-resources/

Concept Map: Why integrate ICT’s into student learning?

28 Jul

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In our digital world ICT’s are an essential tool for learning if students today are going to develop into confident and successful learners who are competent and capable citizens of the future. The Melbourne Declaration for learning advocates the use of ICT’s as being fundamental for student success. Current research also states that effective use of ICT’s in the classroom increase student engagement, which leads to increased learning and achievement (ACARA, 2012). Why wouldn’t the students be engaged though? They are able to use familiar technology that involves hands on learning, closely linked to their real worlds, providing them with a sense of relevancy to their learning. Add to that they actually ‘ENJOY’ using technology!

As I had breakfast this morning my seven year old created a ‘HOW TO’ video on her Ipad. She went through the process of making a jigsaw puzzle, starting with each of the items required ie paper/textas/scissors. I was very impressed to hear the commentary “Never use scissors without asking an adult first”. She then proceeded to go through each step required, and even had a jigsaw that she had made earlier. This was literacy learning at its best – she was totally engaged in the process, very hands on, and she got so much enjoyment out of this. To my surprise she even asked if she could upload her movie to ‘You Tube’ when she had finished. Imagine sitting at a desk writing out a step by step process – it just doesn’t seem to have the same excitement level, or is that just me?

Research also shows that the use of ICT’s can make it easier to teach topics that have been otherwise difficult to teach (ie fractions), allowing students to develop a much better foundation of concept development which enhances further learning (ACARA, 2012). The added benefits of technology is that teachers can more easily differentiate learning so that students are able to learn at their own pace – assisting every student to become a successful learner in the process.

Finally ICT’s are the ‘tools’ that students require for lifelong learning. In a rapidly changing world students need to learn the skills of ‘how’ to identify and ‘use’ online and digital technologies to enable them to be active and successful citizens of the future. The ability to connect with others, and share information and ideas is just one of the skills and ‘tools’ that will enable to students to participate more effectively in future society and to provide a pathway toward lifelong learning. I think Helen sums this up perfectly in her blog and I agree with her statement that ICT’s provide an infinite capacity for learning!

Resources

ACARA. (2012). Digital Resources supporting the Australian Curriculum. Retrieved 28th July, from http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/

The concept map was created on the bubble.us website https://bubbl.us/

Am I a Creative and Productive user of ICT?

26 Jul

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One of the goals of the Melbourne Declaration is that all Young Australians should become successful learners, confident and creative individuals and active and informed citizens. I have been recently been asked if I thought it important that teachers themselves are successful learners? This begs the question ‘how can one teach what they do not know?’ which has caused me to look more closely at the Melbourne declaration to understand what is believed to be the characteristics required to be a successful learner in the 21st century.

The declaration states one of the characteristics of successful learners is to be creative and productive users of ICT’s as a foundation for success in all learning areas. As an online learner I certainly believe that I am using ICT’s in a productive manner, as the internet in particular has provided me with access to education and learning pathways that were not available to me ten years ago. In this sense technology is the foundation for my further success. However, am I using ICT’s in the most effective manner? And am I creative in my use of ICT?

Whilst at times I have thought myself to be highly creative in my use of technology as I have produced my first clip for you tube (and thought I was very clever!) and various imovie presentations. I now must admit that my use of ICT is very limited and the past 2 weeks of EDC3100 have opened my eyes to a range of online tools that I never knew existed, and to the possibility of using ICT’s in a far more effective and creative manner.

Just one of the ways of being a creative learner is to discover and find new ways of working. In the last week alone the course has shown me a whole range of tools to store & record information (diigo, feedly, blog), connect and share information with others, and has challenged me to think about new ways to use ICT’s in the classroom. So while I am not as creative as I would like to be now, I feel I am definitely on the right path to reaching my full potential through my capacity for learning and my strong motivation to be a successful educator!

Video

Diigo

25 Jul

Diigo is  a useful online tool for storing and sharing information. The You Tube clip gives a brief outline of the features and benefits of using Diigo. I wish I had known about diigo earlier as it is a great online tool for saving and organising the resources that I have bookmarked throughout the course, such as websites and journal articles. Not only is it a good online filing cabinet, it also has the capability of sharing resources with others. This provides a great way to collaborate with peers and continually engage in professional development.

Learning Theories: Constructivism & Connectivism

25 Jul

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A learning theory that I have frequently come across in my studies is constructivism. The theory asserts that students are active participants in their learning and need to engage in learning experiences that allow them to construct their own knowledge (Thirteen ed online, 2004). Teachers who use this theory to inform their teaching practices act as facilitators in the learning process.  They engage students in a range of hands on experiences that involve the process of inquiry or problem solving to enhance their knowledge and enable them to attain a deeper understanding of their worlds.

Many argue that ‘connectivism’ is constructivism revamped for the digital age! Whilst I lack the knowledge to agree or disagree at this stage, I will work towards developing my own view as I become more familiar with this theory and explore ways of incorporating connectivist strategies and tools in the classroom. From what I know so far the theory has come about due to the changes in education led by the rapid increase of technological advancement and its use in society. The underlying principles of this learning theory are that people can improve their knowledge and learning by connecting to others via the digital network. It posits that learning can take place through a diverse range of mediums ie email, blogs etc, and that ‘what you know’ is not important as knowing ‘where to go’ to find the information you need and which tools to use (Siemens, 2004).

The online tools that I have currently set up in the course including twitter, diigo, and blogs will enable me to connect with others and share learning, knowledge and resources. This is connectivism at work – as these tools will allow me to organise information and collaborate with others to continually develop my skills and knowledge well into the future. As I continue throughout the semester I hope to add many ways of incorporating ICT’s in the classroom incorporating the principles of connectivism.

References

Siemens. G. (2004). Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age. Retrived July 25th, 2013 from http://www.ingedewaard.net/papers/connectivism/2005_siemens_ALearningTheoryForTheDigitalAge.pdf

Educational Broadcasting Corporation.(2004). Constructivism as a Paradigm for Teaching and Learning. Retrieved July 25th, 2013 from http://www.thirteen.org/edonline/concept2class/constructivism/

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