Subject wrap up……

Unless I can find something that I find interesting enough to blog about, this will be my last blog for a while. I am just about to complete this subject and during today I have conducted a review of the requirements for assignment 3 and have found that I have enough blogs to ensure full marks for this section of the assignment. So instead of leaving this journey open I thought I might write one final blog to give myself closure.

Unlike my fellow student Melissa, I am just about to complete my professional experience. I have been lucky enough to have an experience where my mentor was highly competent in the use of ICT’s and the school I have been with provided me with and Apple computer to use during my time with them so that I had the same technology as the students. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at prac and have formed some friendships that I value with fantastic people. Everyone has treated me as an equal and with respect and I have been paid some brilliant compliments that have strengthened my resolve to complete my studies and join the profession. While at prac my private life had some stress with my dear nana passing away and my two children traveling to Canberra for a school trip and during this time the school and mentor have been super supportive. I will be returning to them later in the year to work with year 4 for my next PE and I am looking forward to working with a year level that I have not had experience with yet.

Assignment 2 marks came out while I have been at PE and after a heart racing wait while signing on to find them out, I was thrilled to find that I had been awarded 37/40. This mark was such a relief as it means I only need one more mark to pass this subject. I believe this has played a part in my enjoyment as PE as pressure was immediately released and I felt I could relax a little into the experience and not be so worried about the last assignment.

My last piece of ICT I would like to share with everyone is something that my mentor shared with me and it’s something that, while small, makes a huge difference to the flow of a lesson. The website is Tiny URL. This website takes a normal sized URL and reduces it down to a minimal size. It means that instead of forwarding on files with links on it through applications like Airdrop or Edmodo you can write a URL up on to the whiteboard and it doesn’t take the students three weeks to type it into their computers. I hope that this is something that you will find valuable.

Thank you for following my blog over the pas few months, I hope that you have enjoyed the read.

 

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Disposable cameras

Reading Billys blog tonight and a recent experience with my children has reminded why we are all going to so much trouble to learn as much as we can about ICT. 

While shopping with my children, miss 11 reminded me that they had to have disposable cameras for their school camp. We walked in to the photo developers retail outlet and asked the lovely young fellow behind the counter if they had any in stock. Lucky for us they did. Miss 11 started into a barrage of questions including:

How do you recharge the batteries?

How come I only get 27 photos?

Why can’t I see the photos straight away?

What do you mean there’s a film in there? and many, many more…..

The lovely chap explained everything to my children and they were astonished at how crappy the technology was. I then explained to my children that I only bought my first digital camera when Miss 11 was 2. Horrified……. just horrified!!! Miss 11 couldn’t believe it.

Once home from our eye opening shopping expedition we opened up the digital camera packaging and had a practise of winding on the film, looking through the tiny hole and taking a photo. Winding on the film was difficult for Miss 11 as she had never had to do anything like that before and she didn’t think she was ever going to feel the click of the camera being ready for the next photo.

We continue to push ourselves in our learning so that we can develop creative individuals who can further our technology in ways that we can’t even dream possible yet.

The beginnings of assignment 3

Finally I am happy with my Part B of assignment 3. While I’m not going to share my entire submission, I thought I would share half of it. I have a very interesting context for prac this year. Since starting at my prac school I have also received an Apple laptop that I can use for the duration of my stay with them. This school is very generous and that are making my stay highly enjoyable.

I hope you enjoy reading the following:

Community and School Environment

Professional Experience (PE) Context: An established Catholic school in high socio-economic Brisbane suburb. Students are equipped to become reflective and self-directed lifelong learners in an ever changing socio-cultural milieu, embracing a Christian ethos.

Parental involvement is valued and an open dialogue policy exists between parents/caregivers and school staff. School community life is inseparable from Christian community life via the associated parish. It is informed by the Sisters of the Good Samaritan and the value of compassion.

Class Context

A cohort of 25 students: Grades 6/7 composite class (9 boys ; 16 girls). A variety of learning needs present, which informs planning and teaching:

  1. One student has
    1. Mild Autism Spectrum Disorder (IEP).
    2. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (requires medication).
    3. Social Emotional issues (more evident at home).
  2. Two year 6 students completing year 7 Maths.
  3. Year 7 girls experiencing relationship issues (belonging).

Inquiry based learning and constructivism chosen as cohort prefers collaborative learning.

Class and School ICT Environment, Processes, Resources and Policies

ICT usage policy outdated (last updated 2009). However, a 1-1 laptop program exists but is very new (Apple Macbooks). A common sense approach adopted when using ICT’s and global network. All decisions regarding ICT ideas\sites are sound-boarded with school’s administration prior to implementation.

Support staff hours allocated to one ASD student. This person is highly competent in ICT. Furthermore, an ICT support person (full-time) is employed to troubleshoot and research programs\hardware for classroom implementation.

Established Class Routines and Topics/Lessons being taught

Established routines: Whole school assembly; Dance-cart; Chess-class & Morning prayer.

Topics I will teach:

  • English – Narrative writing
  • Maths – Percentage, decimal and fractions.
  • Religion – Judaism
  • History – yr6- Colonisation and Indigenous Australians; yr7- Emergence of Ancient Australians.
  • Science – yr6- Phenomena and rapid change: Earth and environments within; yr7- movements of Earth\Sun\Moon and effects on phenomena.

Toontastic and Ibooks

Like this fellow student I have come across some amazing new apps and ideas. Whilst at prac I have been exposed to some amazing technology that I would like to share.

My year 6/7 class is currently writing their own adventure narrative as their summative assessment piece. I suggested the students use an online site to turn this piece into a Multiliteracy piece. My mentor teacher suggested that the students present their piece in the IBooks author app which they all have on their laptops. This app takes their writing and puts it in the form of a book where online pages need to be turned, they have a front cover and they can break it all up into chapters. The target audience for their stories are their prep buddies and since they don’t read well it was suggested that the students embed a narration into their books. It was decided that Toontastic, an Apple app, would be a really good marriage to IBook author.

Toontastic is an app on the students IPads where they can create a simple animation and record a voice over with the animation. This animation can then be saved and uploaded to the students IBook. The prep students will now be able to manipulate their online book and instead of reading the page or having someone read it for them, they can tap onto the animation that appears like a picture and the animation starts and the story is read to them.

I have watched the students using these ICT and have participated in problem solving and giving ideas that they might like to try. I have really enjoyed this experience and can see the value in this type of activity. The students have been highly motivated to complete their books and are excited to see their buddies enjoying their hard work.

The night before prac.

Today has been an interesting one. I have been watching the comments posted on the EDC3100 Facebook page all day and everyone seems to be, like me, nervous, excited, terrified. I have also been scrolling through fellow students blogs to find some advice, reassurance and support and was pleasantly surprised by Kim. She too has been reading others blogs and has posted about being prepared.

Personally I really like the point being made about finding out and knowing where the students are in their learning before trying to implement any ICT. This too, goes for anything that you need to plan for in my opinion. A lot of the posts on Facebook have had comments made about writing lesson plans for their first day. How can this possible be done effectively without knowing the students and what type of learners they are? Crazy!!! Thank goodness my mentor has the good sense to allow me to observe for the first day.

I would like to wish all my fellow students a great first day at prac. Swallow the nerves, relax, get to know the kids and the school and have fun!!!

Not another acronym………

Over the past 10 weeks we have been barraged with acronyms. It’s getting to a point where I feel like I’m talking in TXT language.

The acronym for the week is CLEM. Yet another scaffolding framework/model which is designed to help choose ICT’s for a purpose.

The purpose for this reflection is really as a reinforcement tools to help me absorb and make sense of this new model.

CLEM: Provides scaffolding around learning about a potential ICT to enhance student learning.

C: Community – Community of teachers who use this ICT to enhance student learning

  • What is the community?Aare there different communities?
  • Where does this community of teachers exist?
  • How do I become a member of this community of teachers? How do I get help from this community?

L: Literature – Literature surrounding the use of this ICT

  • What does it say about how to use this ICT for learning?
  • Does it provide problems and limitations with using this ICT?
  • What are the  optimal results when it comes to student learning with this ICT?

E: Examples – Examples of its usage

  • Are there any example of this ICT being used for students learning?
  • What are the parameters of good and bad examples of use of this ICT?
  • Can I learning anything about the examples provided about using or suitability of this ICT?

M: Model –

  • Is there any language/vocabulary surrounding this ICT that the students need to learn to be able to use it effectively?
  • How is this ICT different from other ICT’s?
  • Are there any common technical issues that will have to be dealt with? Is there help?

 

 

Re-blogging

During this semester I have been attached to a support group of fellow students who are also completing this ICT subject for university. This support group happens via Facebook. I have really enjoyed and appreciated the camaraderie of the fabulous people in this group. We offer each other a voice of reason, a place to ask questions, somewhere to vent frustration, somewhere to share stories, news, marks and disappointments and most importantly somewhere to have a laugh. This week one of my fellow students shared a question to the rest of us that made me laugh as I saw an ironically funny side of it. Thank you Fiona.

Our fearless leader (AKA lecturer) happened to notice that students this semester were satisfying a component of the assessment by re-blogging other students blogs. He shared his thoughts on his own blog. Is this taking the easy way out or not? My fellow student Fiona (see above) decided to share her thoughts on the subject by re-blogging David’s blog. Brilliant! It is safe to assume from this that perhaps she is one of the re-bloggers David was talking about.

After reading David’s Blog and Fiona’s blog/reblog and comments on the subject I actually had a look to see how these clever people worked out how to re-blog as I have not attempted or even known that this option was available to us.  It’s obvious to me that I still have a lot of ICT manipulation to learn.

Happy blogging (or re-blogging) people!