Preparing for Prac

Over the last few weeks I have been busy trying to organise myself for prac. I have many mixed emotions at this is my first ever time completing prac and working with school age children. For some reason I can handle anything thrown at me when it comes to Kindergarten children but the thought of 6 year olds completely terrifies me :-s

I am yet to meet my mentor so hopefully once I have met her, seen the school and met the students in my class, all my confidence will return and I will have a more positive outlook. For now I am going to focus on all of the things I can think of to ask in preparation for prac and explore the different materials and resources I could possibly need.

So far my list keeps growing and growing.

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.

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. 

 

 

The Technology Integration Planning Model (TIP)

While exploring the different ways to integrate ICT into my learning environment, I started to think about the different access to ICT that we as teachers and more importantly, our students have. I started to think about the different learning environments that I am familiar with and realised how vastly different their ICT capabilities and access is. This started me thinking about how ICT can be integrated in situations where state of the art facilities, devices and programs are not available. How do these teachers ensure their students have access to ICT to enhance their learning. While exploring further understanding of my personal comprehension, I came across a blog all about the TIP model. 

Through my exploration, I have gained an understanding of the importance of focussing on why ICT is being incorporated. It is vital, as educators that we are integrating ICT to enhance and engage the students in the learning to expand their knowledge and understanding. Through using the following adaption of the TIP model, I am able to ensure a comprehensive integration of ICT into my classrooms that will enhance the learning of my students. 

 

 

 

tipadapted

(http://blendingict.wordpress.com/2011/09/26/the-technology-integration-planning-model/). 

 

References

McCullough Warren (2011)http://www.wazmac.com/teaching_learning/school_planning/planning_vision.htm

(2011) The Technology Integration Planning Model. Retrieved from http://blendingict.wordpress.com/2011/09/26/the-technology-integration-planning-model/ 

 

 

Connecting With Others Through ICT

The more I explore this course, the more I realise how much I rely on ICT to connect with others and extend my personal knowledge. Since beginning my degree, I have always used ICt to connect with my peers through the use of the studydesk, email, online forums, blogs and facebook groups relevant to each course. However, I never really thought much of it before this course, it was something I just naturally did at the beginning of each semester.

Recently, I have been thinking about how my use of ICT has really become integrated into my daily survival. Not only to extend my knowledge and understanding, but also to gain and share ideas, connect with others in similar situations and provide and receive motivation from those around me. Without the use of ICT, sometimes I wonder where I would be…. probably going insane all by myself and feeling extremely isolated, as I know many others who study externally do. 

As I explore the blogs of my fellow students, I came across a blog from Sara. While reading her blog, I discovered, with great comfort to me, that there are other people that feel the same as I do and are also reliant on their ICT connections. 

“Using Technology” and “Technology Integration”

 

I have been exploring the different ways I use technology in my life and while reading through one of my EDC3100 lectures, I came across an interesting article about ‘using technology’ and ‘technology integration’. This started me thinking about all the times I have used technology without really understanding the purpose and reasoning behind using it. I explored ADITI RAO’s blog about this. 

 

This thought train started me thinking about all the times children at school are expected to use various software, programs and devices. I wondered if they really knew why or how they would use them. I wondered if many teachers spent the time explaining ICT to their students and engaging them in the understanding and knowledge so they are equipped to use this technology again or if they just expect them to use it for the purpose of this assessment and never think about it again. I started wondering how many children actually understand why we use ICT and how we can integrate it into our lives.

I found the following table from ADITI RAO’s blog extremely useful in helping me understand the difference between ‘using technology’ and ‘technology integration’ and creating an insight into just how much more important the integration of technology is then the ability to simply use technology. 

 

Tech Use Vs. Tech Integration

 

 

References

Rao, A (2013). “Using technology” versus “Technology Integration”. Retrieved from http://teachbytes.com/2013/03/29/whats-the-difference-between-using-technology-and-technology-integration/

 

 

 

Exploring Assessment 2

When I firat looked at assessment 2 I was overwhelmed and excited all in one! I thought, WOW, combining ICT (something Im not great at!!!) into lesson plans was going to be tricky! Despite the ICT component, I strangely like writing lesson and unit plans, I think because I can explore so many different experiences for the children in my class and create fun and exciting learning experiences for them!

I started thinking about what to unit to explore and decided on a year 2 history unit. By the end of the unit, students would analyze aspects of daily life to identify how some have changed over recent time while others have remained the same. They would describe a person, site or event of significance in the local community.Students would sequence events in order, using a range of terms related to time. They would pose questions about the past and use sources provided (physical, visual, oral) to answer these questions. They would compare objects from the past and present. Students would develop a narrative about the past using a range of texts.

The Constructing Knowledge Aspect is:

  • The impact of changing technology on people’s lives (at home and in the ways they worked, travelled, communicated, and played in the past)(ACHHK046)

 

The Transforming Knowledge Aspect is:

 

  • Sequence familiar objects and events (ACHHS047)

 

  • Distinguish between the past, present and future (ACHHS048)

 

The Australian Curriculum: History, Year 2. Retrieved from http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/humanities-and-social-sciences/history/Curriculum/F-10?y=2&s=HKU&s=HS&layout=1