Connect.ed

Until today I was completely unaware that these was a program called connect.ed. As I explored the modules, I began to realise what an amazing course this is for teachers to gain knowledge and understanding of the cyber-world their students are living in.

It gave me a first-hand,  hands-on look at what students in today’s society are doing online, how they are interacting and the types of comments that are being made. Personally, I have no idea what children are doing online as I don’t have children old enough to use the internet and social media sites.

As I participated in the activities and questionnaires, I started to really think about the harmful affects some of these comments and interactions could have on our children and how important it is that we are ALL vigilant about the safety of our children and students.

Even as an adult, I have never thought of the ‘digital footprint‘ left behind, especially from facebook posts and photo uploads. I know myself, Im guilty of uploading personal photos and tagging myself, family, friends and even locations without thinking about who else can access these images. It wasn’t unitl I watched the following video that I really understood how easily someone could take your name and location and find you from anywhere in the world.

I am extremely glad I completed the certificate in the cyber safety modules and they have made me think further about the use of ICT and keeping both myself and my students safe.

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Negativity of Technology

While going through the online learning paths for this week, I was highly disturbed when I came across this article about a computer hacker gaining access through a baby monitor. This suddenly gave me chills and started me thinking, every parent I know, myself included uses a baby monitor to ‘monitor’ their children while they sleep. How can people ‘hack’ into something so simple and innocent which we use to help protect our most precious possessions.

After getting over the initial shock and thinking about the ICT side of it, I came to realise that nothing is safe when IT is involved. No matter how strict our security is, how tight our ‘net-nannys’ are and how secure we think our network is, some genius will always be able to hack into it. Its the intention we need to be mindful of.

On top of this disturbing discovery today, I also discovered that the musicians U2 have been able to download their album onto all iPhones using the iCloud. Seriously, I didn’t believe they could do this until I checked my music folder and low and behold it was there! I mean if they can add things to your accounts and phones, where is the line drawn? What can they access that they can remove? Can they see all your photos and personal information?

Personally, I think technology has gone nuts and after today, I completely will be limiting and monitoring what is happening in the electronic world around me!!! Obviously, as modern day people we rely heavily on technology, but this has made me realise we can never be too vigilant, especially with our children and ICT.

Measuring the success of ICT integration into the classroom

Through participating in the weekly forums and discussions, I am starting to feel a lot more confident in my understanding of how to incorporate ICT into my classroom and more importantly how to incorporate rich ICTs that are engaging and meaningful to my students. This week, we have been focussing on how to measure the success of integrating ICT into the classroom. 

Throughout this module, I have come to realise that rich ICT is more then providing the children with ICT devices and programs to use. Rich ICT engagement means providing opportunities for all children to engage with ICT at their own pace and towards their own understanding. Through participating in the forum this week, I have explored how I would measure the success of integrating ICT into my classroom. Until now, I just assumed ICT was integrated through all students doing the same thing on a computer without really thinking about it. 

I started to think deeply about how I would measure the success of ICT within my learning environment and came up with the few things I could do to ensure all children were developing an understanding and real world knowledge. These things included:

  • a discussion with the children at the end of the lessons regarding their knowledge, understanding, challenges and successes
  • monitoring children’s  individual and group engagement with ICT. 
  • monitoring children’s collaborations and constructive team work.
  • Personal reflection on the alignment between ICT and pedagogy. 
  • Referring to the SMAR model to ensure I am consistently providing rich learning opportunities for the children. 

Technology Driving Me Nuts!!!

Today has been a bad technology day for me! As much as I love my technology and rely on it as my lifeline to the world, and I really mean my lifeline, it has not been a great IT day!!! I use forms of technology for everything from banking, to email communication, to completing my studies, to catching up and connecting with friends. It seems as much as I rely on technology, sometimes I have days where none of it wants to work for me. 

It started today with my laptop having a moment and locking me out of the study desk, which was fabulous seeing as I had planned on a day of catch-up and assignment work. So I spent the morning playing phone-tag with IT to fix the issue! After that, I thought I was all organised until I realised that all of my banking was done. I mean seriously, with all of the IT capabilities, how can the system prevent me from being able to use ANY for of my banking! Finally after that was resolved, I locked myself out of my wordpress account!!!

Anyway, this really has nothing to do with my ICT studies and classes, I just thought that it was ironic that as much as I love ICT and rely on it so heavily, it really is the devil’s advocate! 

Rich ICT Learning Experiences

As I move through the unit plan in assessment two, I have been doing a lot of thinking about what ‘rich’ ICT and learning experiences incorporate. I have been thinking of different ways to engage children in the use of ICTs while ensuring that the content and knowledge being developed is of high quality and purposeful to the children and their learning. As I explored the internet and blog post, I came across a post from Sara, who was also thinking about the incorporation of ‘rich’ ICT experiences. 

As I explored her understanding to reinforce my own personal understanding, I discovered an amazing article she had found that really concreted my understanding. The article discussed the importance of incorporating ICT for individuals rather then for the whole group to ensure that all children’s needs were catered for and a ‘rich’ learning environment was created. Within the article, the importance of integrating literacy with ICT also made me realise that children need a well-balanced learning environment to ensure that concrete knowledge and understanding is developed as well as vital skills and processes. 

This article has helped me realise different ways that literacy and ICT can be incorporated into the learning environment to ensure that all children are receiving the highest quality experiences to further their individual understanding and knowledge. 

 

Gray, T. Rich ICT Learning Experiences: What Do They Look Like? Retrieved August 2014 from http://elearning.tki.org.nz/content/download/408/2229/file/rich%20ict%20learning%20experiences_tessa%20gray.pdf.