Hope you enjoy….
While following the learning path I had to complete an activity which was to find a resource on Scootle. What an amazing site. I also noticed that a fellow blogger, Nicole thought the site was amazing too. Nicole said she had wished that she knew of this resource tool sooner as she would have utilised the site for her other pracs. I was actually thinking the same thing.
I found a fantastic interactive activity called Who Lives Here? The students search a rainforest habitat in north-east Australian for clues about animals that live there. They track down hidden animals and find clues such as animal sounds, tracks and shadows. Students also check species descriptions to identify which animals might live in the area. At the end of the activity the students write a survey report including observations and conclusions.
This activity is great for grades 4 – 7.
The strand for this activity is science/science as a human endeavour
Key learning objectives
- Students observe differences between animals that suit those animals to particular environments.
- Students identify methods for protecting living and non-living things.
While exploring feedly which is an amazing technology tool, I came across a reflection blog by a blogger named Abigail Jaraja. I related to this blog straight away as Abigail seems to be in the same situation as myself, trying to juggle four subjects at one time. I also have the dilemma of working full time as well as being a mum of two. My juggling act is getting a little messy. Abigail also stated in her blog that she wasn’t quite sure what web tool she was going to use for her artefact. I too was unsure as I was choosing between prezi or glogster. I have used prezi before and it is very good to use. It enhances creativity and is an easy program to utilise. I haven’t used glogster before. I’m not quite sure how glogster works so I need to spend some time researching it. My thoughts are heading towards prezi as I feel quite confident using this. Abigail also stated that she has a wonderful teacher called Ms Kim to share ideas and questions with. I too have an amazing mentor at the school where I work. She has such a fantastic technology curriculum implemented into her classroom. She has given me some fantastic resources for my blogs and I thank her for that.
I am very interested in the concept of allowing Social Networking in the schools as a learning tool. This topic has interested me since becoming aware of all the tools I have utilised with the ICT and Pedagogy course. I found an article of the pros and cons of allowing this tool into the classroom. It is easy to be swayed by the negativity surrounding Social Networking. Research and publicity suggests sites such as Facebook, Bebo and Twitter are creating a generation of self-centered children, who are cyber bullies that lacked the ability to concentrate and communicate appropriately. Leading neuroscientist Baroness Greenfield and psychologist Dr Aric Sigman claimed the current social networking trend could have a negative impact on children’s physiological, emotional and social development (Murray, 2009). However, online networking isn’t necessarily “bad”. Social Networking is gaining positive recognition for encouraging students to use the kinds of 21st century skills we want them to develop, while enhancing literacy and communication skills, and being utilised in pedagogical approaches as a learning tool in the classroom (University of Minnesota, 2008). Acknowledging this growing popularity of using technology to communicate in this manner has altered the approach teachers are using in their classrooms to retain children’s interest in learning. There seems to be a debate whether or not to utilise this type of learning tool into the curriculum. The types of questions raised were: What about predators? How do you stop explicit images filtering through? Will the students be distracted? I particularly liked the comments at the end of the article. It was quite interesting to learn how many people were fore the concept of implementing Social Networking into the curriculum. I’m still sitting on the fence with this topic. More research for me.
During this course I have tried my best to engage in the learning process of HOW and WHY it is important to use ICT in the classroom. My knowledge is expanding by learning about and actively engaging with various ICT tools. The tools I have learnt about are twitter, blogs, scootle and feedly to name a few. At first I thought they sounded like cartoon characters but once you find your way through utilising these tools it can become quite addictive.
The content learnt so far has broadened my knowledge as to what ICTs can do in a positive way for students’ learning. Although I am asked to assist students’ through my work as a teacher aide, using ICTs or hands on activities where possible, this course so far, has given me the confidence and exposure to various and endless availability of ICT resources. Through this course I am challenged and encouraged to incorporate ICT into the curriculum for a greater student learning experience.
Through my work I am participating in ICT Personal Development (PD) sessions once a week. Combining this course with these sessions is giving me the confidence to use ICT in the classroom to help benefit the students’ learning and understanding as well as having fun.
INTITIAL THOUGHTS AS TO WHY ICT IS IMPORTANT IN THE CLASSROOM:
Our students today are digital learners. Must acknowledge, recognise and cater for.
ICT is a tool that teaches us how to learn and creates lifelong learning skills – i.e. teach a man to fish and he will eat forever, teach a child to search and they will always find information.
ICT allows differentiation for all students.
ICT allows extension and remedial programs to occur without reflection on student directly.
ICT allows students to show what they know when previously they wouldn’t have been able to e.g. A science report is difficult for a child with poor writing skills, but if voice recorded, Prezi, slide show, movie etc it allows them to show what they know, not just what they can write.
ICT is necessary in all forms of society – planning for the future.
Allows students to access real experts – e.g. the year 7 class at my school spoke in real time with Wendy Orr, author of Nim’s Island.
Allows interaction with other students in all parts of the world.
Upon reflection I discovered this fantastic website from Education Queensland about the reasoning behind the Contemporary Practice Resources. There is a lot of reasoning in here for why we should have ICT in the classroom; the contemporary learner tab has a great source of info.
“An effective school pedagogical framework accommodates the ways in which today’s young people interact, learn and develop identity, and responds to society’s demands on education.”— Education Queensland – Pedagogical Framework
Education Queensland (2014) states that students, even those who are frequent users of technology, may not fully realise the potential of technology to both empower and maximise their learning potential. They need explicit teaching and support.
They also suggest that in a school environment, they need to connect with teachers who can support their use of technology in learning, assist them to find quality, relevant resources, and guide them in critically evaluating the notions of others and creating and publishing their ideas for a wider audience.
Through my reflection I have discovered that technology gives teachers and students the ability to teach and learn in more mobile, immediate, connected and collaborative ways. I feel at the completion of this course I will have the confidence and ability to empower my students’ to utilise all possible areas of ICT and to have the confidence and ability to try new things.
The year 7’s were writing a persuasive argument and they were using the app Go Animate. There argument was about ‘Should sugar drinks be sold in tuckshops’? This idea came from a BTN episode about ACT tuckshops banning sugary drinks. The Go Animate video had to show two people having a conversation about it, each on opposing sides. The year 7’s haven’t quite finished them yet but there are some amazing ones being created. Once they are finished I will publish one.
The last four days have been traumatic for myself and my two children. I had to make the most painful decision to put our dog down after he attacked someone. Our dog was my sons best friend and to try and explain to him what had to be done absolutely broke my heart.
This blog is a personal reflection of how technology can be used as a therapy tool. I want to say that without technology my son would not have had an outlet for his grief.
After the decision was made and a lot of tears shed, my son went downstairs and started to play on his xbox. Five minutes later I heard my son talking and discovered that he had skyped his best mate that he has known since preschool.
Due to this amazing technology tool, my son was able to find some comfort and distraction from the hurt that he was feeling by talking, laughing, playing (xbox live) and venting to his best mate.