SMART board feature

I have started looking into the SMART board. We were asked to find one feature and discuss it as part of our learning path activity. The feature I explored was the animation feature. This video tutorial on YouTube gives a great example of how to use the animation feature to teach children in prep/ year 1 how to draw letters of the alphabet. It can be pre-recorded to save you time or if you need to use it as a small group independent activity. Alternatively, you can have the students practise tracing the letters on the IWB.

This is a link to the website, Mrs. Gebauer’s which offers much more information and tutorials on using the SMART board features.

Tessa

By tessamiller10

Prac and beyond…!

I have read that many of you have already meet your mentors. I had the pleasure of meeting mine also and getting familiar with the context. Like a fellow student, Hayley, I am much more relieved and feeling more relaxed about prac. They have an IWB (smartboard) which the teacher actually used quite a bit and I even got to have a go using it in small groups for mathematics which was pretty cool. I will need to look into the smart board more to become more familiar with it for prac. My mentor has also been generous about sharing information and resources which was very kind and they use the C2C also (with tweaks for their context). The C2C is new to me since this is my first prac in a school context so it is good to see what it is all about. I hope most of you have had the chance to meet your mentor and were lucky enough to find a helpful one.

Tessa

By tessamiller10

iCloud Brain overload! Prac and Assignment 3

I was reading blog posts from other students such as Shireen and it is comforting to know other students are nervous about prac -especially those of use who are early childhood majors and have yet to teach in a school setting.

I was also relieved to have assignment 2 done, but there is still a lot of work to do for the final asignment, not to mention prac and completing the learning path. Phew, not sure about any one else, but my brain certainly feels like an overloaded computer with all this new information to comprehend and assimilate. It makes me wonder if this is how some or all of our students feel when learning new material (particularly if they are struggling with it). I have made a mental note (along with the stores of other information in my icloud-like brain) to remember this when students are learning and seem to be in need of a time out. All good functioning systems need to be switched off every now and then.

Scholastic offers some quick and easy suggestions on giving your students brain breaks.

Tessa

By tessamiller10

TIP model: balancing the scales

Tannie reflected on the TIP (Technology Integration Planning) model in a recent blog post and brought up an interesting point about school budgets and how this impacts on which ICTs are available. In addition to this she provides a link to a blog post discussing how some schools can be rash with there inclusion of ICTs.

This link takes you to a web page discussing the importance of ensuring the curriculum comes first and should act as a foundation for all teaching. Many schools can rush out to buy new technology without thinking about the implications, whether they are actually beneficial and if the staff even have the professional knowledge to operate them.

Clearly, they have not considered the TIP model when thinking about ICT use. This link provides a clear and concise way of thinking about including technology integration in schools using TIP.

Tessa

References

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

Roblyer, M.D (2006) Integrating educational technology into teaching, 4th edn, Pearson Merrill Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ

Finger, G., Russell, G., Jamieson-Proctor, R., & Russell, N. (2007). Transforming Learning with ICT: Making it Happen. Pearson Education Australia

By tessamiller10

Points to ponder…

This week we were asked to engage in an activity that got us thinking about points to ponder before heading out to professional experience. In doing so we were asked to read and respond to reflections of past students by choosing two points to discuss. Below is a summary of my responses and I decided to add them to my blog post as I thought they were timely to consider.

What was the most important or useful thing you learned about integrating ICTs while on Professional Experience?The resource has to be flexible to be able to cater for a diverse classroom.I found this an interesting and important point to ponder. Not only does the ICT have to relate to the concept you are teaching, one needs to keep in mind that all classrooms have diverse learners with diverse needs and different ICT proficiency levels. In addition it was interesting to note how many parents where reluctant to allow their children to engage with technology outside the classroom and unwilling to particiapte themselves (for example class blogs). As an educator you certainly need to take the school and community context into account and use ICTs accordingly.

What do you wish you had known about integrating ICTs before going on Professional Experience?More knowledge about the type of web sites that Education Queensland had blocked.
I think this will be an important preparation exercise to ensure you have access to the use of websites you have planned to use. Not sure how you find out, but I am going to look into it to save time researching resources that can’t be implemented. Also, this covers what previous students mentioned regarding always having a back up plan when ICTs fail. I have to wonder though does this then make more work for already time poor teachers (and student teachers!). In addition, if you are integrating technology effectively your whole lesson could be based on the use of a particular tool and if it does not work for whatever reason then that could forfeit a whole lesson.

I understand the benefits of using ICT in teaching and learning, but I must admit it makes me more than a little nervous to think of all the barriers and technical issues that can be encountered.

Tessa

By tessamiller10

Cyber safety: everyday in everyway

After completing the cyber safety educational course I learned some valuable information and interesting insights. Like a fellow student on her blog, I was surprised to realise how much young people rely on social media and how important it is to their identity. I must admit, I am not a huge fan of social media, but do understand that it is here to stay, young people use it, therefore I need to understand how it works and how to educate my students about using it safely.

I was also pleasantly suprised to realise my depth of knowledge and understanding of cyber terminology was better than I anticipated! Reflecting on this, I noted how most of what I know I have learned through ‘doing’. This got me thinking, that while we ned to explicitly teach these concepts to children, we also need to continuously reinforce it when engaging with technology through everyday teaching.

For those, like me, who have a specialisation in early childhood, I have another link to cyber bullying education aimed at under 8’s. I have mentioned this on my blog before, it is called The Allen Adventure and it Australian.

Tessa

By tessamiller10

Digital Danger: where has your footprint been?

I was reading Shireen’s blog post and reflecting on what I have learned about digital citizenship (it also has a cute little graphic about being a digital citizen which I thought was great).

After reading and doing some of the activities for the learning path related to this, I must admit I was a little concerned. There was an acitvity called the ‘lollipop‘ which sounds innocent enough but was down right scary! I am not a Facebook user (anymore) but this test is enough to freak anyone out. It is really quite scary to see how easy it is for people to track you via your digital footprint. As David mentioned you may have a digital footprint whether you choose to or not. Why? Because others create one for you by using your image in photos etc.

This really hit home to me, the importance of teaching students how to use technology appropriately.(I must admit it almost made me want to abandon some of it altogether!). It also made me reflect on my age and how technology was kind of being introduced and then came into full effect over a number of years.I don’t know about you but it was something we just started to use because it made things easier, quicker and neater (that was about the extent of it). As it progressed rapidly, we have been bombarded with new ‘tools’ but never really told about how to use them safely and the implications of this. I really need to brush up on my safety skills with technology and can see why it is embedded into the new curriculum.

Tessa

By tessamiller10

ICT and the great cull

Another thing I have reflected on during this week while reviewing the importance of staying current with ICTs as an educator is how this translates to other resources. It is now clear to me that ICTs are essential for educators and we must have knowledge of how to use them in order to integrate them into the classroom. Furthermore, ICTs are, and always will be, forever changing and we need to keep pace with that. They are the go to tool for the 21st Century learner and teacher. So, the main message from this is: know the most effective tool for teaching and keep your toolbelt updated!

Now, this got me thinking about other teaching resources I have gathered over the past 10 or so years (has this started ringing any bells??). I have oodles of folders of worksheets, songs, transition ideas, past programs etc etc. I also had concrete materials such as puppets, props, home made resources and a mountain of picture books. I decided to ruthlesly go through them to rate then on a contemporary relevance scale (yes, I made that term up and yes you may refer to it as CRS, [everyone is doing acronyms these days!]). I had to really think hard about things that were truly relevant to today’s children and decide between resources that were true classics over old and past their used by date. Anyway, so far I have halved my picture book collection and intend to get stuck into my folders next. If I decide to keep the information they contain I am going to look into a more technological way of storing and accessing them (they really are a pain to lug around).

So, I guess I could say this subject has taught me to reflect on the relevance of all aspects of my teaching and remind me not to become one of those teachers who just does the same old thing and uses the same old stuff year in and year out – we owe the children we educate far more than that.

Managing Digital Clutter is a site aimed at teachers, offering solutions to help you get on track with sotrage. Live Binders looks pretty cool. Check out the link.

Tessa

By tessamiller10

Less paper or paperless?

While reading the blog of a fellow student on the future of ICTs in 2020, I was reminded of realisation I had about this course. I don’t know about anybody else, but I have hardly used any paper so far! Most subjects I seem to be printing off paper left, right and centre! Has anyone else found the same thing?

One thing I have accummulated though is a tonne of online/digital resources in my ICT digital folder which seriously needs attending to! The previous paper items have been transformed and have to go somewhere. Hmmm, looks like I now need to work on a more efficient method of storing all my online resources for effective retrieval. Has anyone got any ideas for how they go about doing this?

There was a link on this student’s blog to the future of ICTs. Interestingly, it stated that ‘in ten years’ time, schools will decrease their paper consumption by no less than 90%’. I found that figure quite staggering, but if you take into account the increasing use of ICTs in schools(such as laptops, iPhones, iPads) it certainly cuts down on paper usage. Everything is stored and/or produced electronically, seriously reducing the carbon footprint.

Tessa

By tessamiller10