The end…NOT!

With assignment three complete and almost ready for submission, I am at the end of EDC3100. What a journey it has been, difficult and frustrating at times, but well worth the stress. You may be wondering why this final blog post is titled “The end…NOT!” While looking for something to sum up how I am feeling about ICT integration within the classroom, I instead came across this YouTube clip which outlines the history of technology.

Since this video was created by SMART Technologies, obviously once it gets to 2000 it is pretty much advertising its own products. However, what interested me most what the question posed at the very end, “how are you going to shape the classroom of tomorrow?” This course has inspired me in many different ways and has changed the way I consider ICT integration in the classroom. But the main understanding I am taking from this course (and I hope it’s the same for many others) is that my journey with ICTs does not stop with the completion of this course. It will be good practice to continuously consider how I am going to shape the classroom of tomorrow with and without ICTs across all aspects of teaching.

What a journey it has been. Thank you to so many of you who have followed me on this journey and I look forward to reading the future posts of those who decide to continue with their blogs.

SMART Technologies EMEA (Education). (2011, October 3). The History of Technology in Education [Video File]. Video posted to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFwWWsz_X9s

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K-12 Horizon Report

Until today I had never heard about the Horizon Report before. As a part of the NMC Horizon Project, in June each year a report which identifies the technologies likely to have a significant impact on global education over the next five years are identified. Looking back at the 2012 Horizon Report the following predictions were made:

12 months (by 2013):

  • Mobile devices and apps
  • Tablet computing

2-3 years (by 2014-2015):

  • Game-based learning
  • Personal learning environments

4-5 years (by 2016-2017):

  • Augmented reality
  • Natural user interfaces

As predicted so far I have only seen the use of mobile devices and apps in schools. Furthermore, I have also heard of Game Based Learning (GBL), but have not seen it in action. If you’re not sure what GBL is have a look at this website which offers a simple description. With a little bit of searching I was able to find this article which talks about a teachers experiences with using the multiplayer online role-play game World of Warcraft, in the classroom. Seems like the students are having a blast with this, but I’m wondering how the teacher is actually coping with having to design and set up the “quests” and accounts for students.

I find it interesting that the predictions made for 2-5 years, have not been included in this year’s preview Horizon Report. I guess it goes to show just how quickly new ICTs are being developed. The following predictions have been made this year:

12 months (by 2013):

  • Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
  • Cloud Computing

2-3 years (by 2014-2015):

  • Games and gamification
  • Learning analytics

4-5 years (by 2016-2017):

  • The internet of things
  • Wearable technology

After looking at this report, I feel that I need to get with the times. The only ones I have heard about are BYOD and Wearable technology such as Google Glass. Already I have heard of BYOD being implemented in some schools, including the school Alysha was on prac at. It will be interesting to see what next year’s report will include and how many of these technologies will be integrated into schools.

Professional Experience Reflection

Although I am sad to have finished my professional experience for this semester, I must say it was nice to have a sleep in this morning. This prac has been one of the most challenging, as it was my first experience with a composite 5-7 class. In saying this, the behaviour was angelic which meant I could actually teach for the majority of my lessons without having to continuously manage behaviour, apart from the chatterboxes.

In terms of ICT integration, I had to get creative with only an interactive whiteboard (that wasn’t interactive) and three working computers (sometimes…). Due to the students completing assessments for the duration of my prac, I taught many mathematics lessons, revising addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. To make this less painful for the students, I got into the habit of beginning the lesson with some mental maths by playing a different online game with the students each lesson as a whole-class. I couldn’t believe how excited the students got and the depression which set in when they couldn’t practice division anymore because the internet stopped working…go figure.

Also to my excitement I got to begin teaching a new unit of Geography focusing on Natural Hazards and Disasters. Hopefully I left a lasting impression on the History and Geography teacher with my use of videos, websites and PowerPoints to guide student discussions and understandings of Cyclones and Floods. In my final week, my camera also became a life saver for one of my mentors, who was trying to teach a lesson with 5 copies of a book shared between 26 students. Yes I am fully aware of copyright laws and I assure you I deleted the photos immediately after the lesson, but obviously the lesson wasn’t going well. I will let you fill in the blanks there.

Overall, I was very happy with my prac, I had some ups and downs obviously with the ICTs, but it has been a great learning curve and as always there is room for improvement. While  reading some of the reflections of others including those of Alysha and Sophia, similar to their school contexts I remembered that prior to completing my prac I was wishing to have a placement somewhere with ICTs bulging out of the classroom doors. However, now that I have finished my prac, I am glad I did not have this luxury, it has pushed me to be creative and think out of the box and just further highlights the fact that some schools are still struggling to provide each classroom with a working interactive whiteboard, let alone a laptop or iPad for each student.

Creating a Column Graph Using Microsoft Excel 2010

Here is a link to a set of instructions I have created to outline the steps to creating a column graph using Microsoft Excel, complete with pictures. These instructions can be added to create most if not all graph types presented in Microsoft Excel 2010.

I have created these instructions for my wonderful Year 5, 6 and 7 students, who I am currently on Professional Experience with. If everything works, my students will be accessing these instructions from this blog. Hopefully these instructions will also come in handy for not just the students I am teaching, but also for those who are following my blog. If I have missed anything or if there is an error in my process, please let me know.

I never knew how handy Microsoft excel could be and really its quite simple once you figure out the basics. With my new knowledge of creating graphs in Microsoft Excel, I think I would like to to repeat my Year 12 Maths B assignment, where I hand drew a massive line graph. Enjoy!

 

SMART Board – Multiplication Resources

In preparation for the start of prac next week, my three mentor teachers have already asked me to prepare a couple of lessons to teach next week. In one of these lessons I will be revisiting double-digit multiplication, as this is a concept some of the students are struggling with. I have been told that some of the problems are as a result of students not knowing their times tables. In preparation for creating this particular lesson I came across a couple of SMART board resources.

The first is a multiplication table which can be adapted to your teaching context, by adding and removing numbers. This resource will be of particular interest when students practice their timetables.

Multiplication Table

The second is a tool for practicing/revising double digit multiplication and offers two methods (structures) to completing the operation.

Multiplication Practice

My Understanding of the Frameworks, Models and Theories in EDC3100

As a part of this week’s learning path for EDC3100, we were prompted to complete a table which aimed to help us synthesise our understanding of all (if not most) of the pedagogical frameworks, model and theories focused on in this course. I couldn’t believe there were so many that were touched on in this course, I had to go back to some of the earlier learning paths to revisit some of these. Relating to my Part B of Assignment 3, I have decided to include TPACK, Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and the Tip Model. Click here to see my completed table.

If you are interested in seeing the responses of another EDC3100 student have a read of Renee’s blog post. Some of her responses are very similar to my own, but something which I didn’t consider is which parts of assignment 3 each framework/model/theory could be used for. Much better than my own, Renee also provides a detailed and clear explanation of Backwards Design.

Encountering a New ICT – Interactive White Board (IWB)

As odd as it may seem, for me this will be my first Professional Experience where I will be able to integrate the Interactive White Board (IWB) into my lessons. During my very first prac, I was not allowed to touch the IWB, in my second the interactive component of the board was broken and during my third prac my mentor couldn’t stay around before or after school to let me learn how to use it. So before I begin my prac next week I’m going to spend some time looking at what teachers have used interactive whiteboards for and I might even watch some YouTube videos to learn how to use them. Here is one video I have already come across which explains some of the basics of how to use an IWB and some of its software.

I also came across this video which shows some different activities you can use the Whiteboard for, especially for telling the time.

Probably what I see is the more important component of learning how to use a new ICT is physically manipulating it. So I’m hoping that when I begin prac next week I will be able to have some time to experiment and explore with the IWB in my classroom.

Cambridge University Press ELT. (2012, May 12). First steps – How to use an Interactive Whiteboard – clip 3 [Video File]. Video posted to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJcfsnw_EhE

PreKschool. (2013, August 14). Preschool Parkland FL – Interactive Whiteboard [Video File]. Video posted to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQF8lkPiIHU

ICT Inspiration – Google Classroom

Today I came across a blog post which talked about the very recent pre-release of Google Classroom. In its beginning stages Google Classroom aims to provide more time for students to learn and teachers to teach. It provides a space accessible by all students which allows them to ask questions both inside and outside of school and also organises student assessments and feedback into individual folders.

I can see this being very useful for those of you who are teaching in a secondary context (not so much primary). No more paper assignments! However, one downfall is that for it to be free as it states, your education institution (i.e. school) needs to have subscribed to Google Apps for Education. But if your school has already subscribed to it, then bonus!

Below is a video which considers the benefits of Google Classroom.

Google. (2014, May 6). Previewing a new classroom by Google [Video File]. Video posted to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUiLc0If0CI

Take This Lollipop

As a part of exploring my digital footprint in the learning path this week, I was prompted to “Take the lollipop”. I had no idea what it was about, but I opened up this website and clicked on the lollipop. As soon as I saw that it wanted my Facebook details, I decided no I’m not going to do that, I will watch the YouTube video instead.

I would just like to  thank my mum for all of the internet safety tips she constantly nags me about. Even though after reading the related blog post and finding out that it was just a project to make people aware of the dangers of sharing personal details over the internet, I’m still thankful and very proud of myself.

At the beginning I had this false sense of security because the link to “take the lollipop” was provided on our learning path which is a legitimate and safe website. For all I know the learning path could have been hacked and this website could have been a serious scam. It made me think of a couple of years ago when a large number of Hotmail accounts were hacked, including mine, and Hotmail was sending out apology emails by the 1000s. For me it just makes it that much more important to ensure, the students I teach are aware of the potential dangers of being active online and how they can avoid or reduce the risks of potential problems such as email hacking.

Coleman, M. (2011, October 20). My Take This Lollipop Video [Video File]. Video posted to http://youtu.be/Z7QoMcrSbow

Connect.ed Cybersmart Modules

I’m so glad these modules were put into this week’s learning path. Here is my certificate of completion just to prove I did do the work.

While working through the Connect.ed modules, I realised there was so much that I just wasn’t aware of or that I knew about, but had never considered ever having to teach it to students. Thinking about it I never remember being taught at school about safe practices while on the Internet, most of this came from my parents who consider themselves to be technology illiterate, which is really quite surprising. So Module 2 in particular for me, was very interesting as it focuses on the potential issues faced by students online.

One critical point I must raise here, is that some of the things in the modules were a bit outdated for example the survey in Module 1, however, overall I still thought it was all very relevant and a helpful resources.

I must say that in Module 4 the ‘Let’s Fight it Together’ Video was a big eye opener. For me it really just made it that much more of a priority to make sure students are aware of what can happen and the consequences of their actions in particular reference to cyberbullying. While creating my lesson plan as a part of Module 4 I came across Hector’s World which has a collection of videos aimed at lower primary students which targets personal information online. These videos are really good resources for exploring what students should do if they are asked to provide personal details online and so much more.

If you would like to find more resources about teaching about cybersafety, cyberbullying, etc.. Go to the Cybersmart home page here.

If you would like to read about how some other EDC3100 students went with these Connect.ed Module you can visit Renee’s blog post and Amy’s blog post. Renee’s experiences were very much similar to mine and Amy provides some points/ideas for how student’s can stay safe while using social media.