The End.

Well this is it. My final blog post required for EDC3100. In all honesty, I have found it all a bit tedious, especially when struggling to find something to talk about. During this experience I am happy to say that I have followed some blogs outside of the course and have referred to them for inspiration constantly. As for me personally, I am not sure that I will be continuing to post.

This course has however, opened my eyes to creating and developing personal networking systems that I will most definitely continue to refer to during the rest of my uni experience and all the way through my professional career.

Of course I couldn’t possible leave without noting how much I have actually learned about ICTs. I came into this course considering myself relatively ICT savvy only to discover that there were many concepts of ICT that I knew very little about. I can now confidently say that while I still have so much to learn about ICT such as integrating technologies into lessons to make to purposeful, enhancing and transforming for both teacher and students, after all, learning is an endless phenomenon; I am more digitally advanced than I was 3 months ago.

Wish you all the best of luck for your future endeavours!

Signing out,

Chloe

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PowerPoint Presentations

I will admit I absolutely LOVE Microsoft PowerPoint Presentation! The last two professional experiences I have been on; I have religiously used PowerPoint. For me personally I would say that PowerPoint transforms my teaching in that it helps me to remember what it is I am teaching and what concepts I need to be teaching, so that I do not forget anything important.

The use of PowerPoint also enhances students learning by amplifying their comprehension of the concepts being taught by using engaging and interactive presentations to present to students what they are learning about during lessons.

PowerPoint is also useful in that it caters for visual learners, and can further engage students in learning through the use of imagery, sounds and animations which in turn enhances student’s abilities to retain what they are being taught during lessons.

These are just some of the benefits that I have encountered when using PowerPoint. If you haven’t used PowerPoint Presentation for teaching purposes, I highly recommend you do!

Surviving and Thriving

On my final day of professional experience, I received a book I ordered online a few weeks before, titled Surviving and Thriving: The Essential Teacher’s Guide by Nadine King. I wish I had received this book a few weeks earlier because holy smokes it is amazing! The book talks about everything a beginning teacher needs to know and do in and out of the classroom. It is incredibly helpful and inspiring.

One of the chapters discusses classroom management and offers a variety of ways on how to manage the classroom. One of the sections of this chapter is titled “Marking the Role”. Now I don’t know about you but I didn’t really think much about marking the roll. I mean it’s pretty straight forward right? Well why not shake it up a little? As many of you know, marking the roll not only lets us know who is and isn’t at school for the day, but it also provides an opportunity to individually greet all students for the day. Have you ever considered marking the role using the Interactive Whiteboard?

Easiteach software is an ICT enhanced way to mark the roll. On the IWB, students names are displayed and upon entry to the room, it is their responsibility to press their names in which their photo will appear. You are also able to record students saying “good morning” which plays as they press their name. To further extend this activity, a suggestion could be to allow students to drag an emotion (emoticon) that they are feeling and place it next to their photo. This process allows you to assess and track students emotional wellbeing during the week/day.

Another interactive suggestion is to use the online tool Classdojo. At the beginning of the year, students select a monster styled avatar (don’t worry, they are not scary in any way!). The roll is displayed on the board along with students chosen avatars which at the beginning of the day are all red in colour, that is until students come in, tap their monster which then turns green, symbolising that they are present on the day. This software is not limited to simply marking the roll but also is available to be used as a rewards system for managing behaviour.

Who would have though ICTs could be integrated into the classroom simply to mark the roll!

It should be noted here that these ideas are all part of the book stated at the beginning of this post.

I highly recommend purchasing this book. It is absolutely wonderful!

The Wonderful, Magnificent Google Earth!

On professional experience, I had the opportunity to begin a whole new Geography unit. As I had a Year 5 class, they were learning about the location of major countries in relation to Australia and the influence people have on the environmental characteristics of places.

Over a couple of lessons, we began exploring the continents and countries of the world, in particular Australia, Europe and North America. The exploration of these continents provided the perfect opportunity to use Google Earth to travel around the world from the comfort of the classroom.

Using Google Earth in my geography lessons I was able to create rich hand-on experience for students with a clear point of reference. Students used Google Earth to identify specific locations, including their own school. Students were able to gain visual understanding of their world simply by using a digital representation of the world around them.

While my time teaching Geography was short, using Google Earth is definitely an ICT application that I will carry over into my classroom!

Does ICT Create Lazy Learners?

I had some sort of an epiphany while out on professional experiences that left me a little bit concerned about the future of our students learning. I had a really enjoyable professional experience. Good school, great class and a fantastic mentor, what more could you ask for?

Throughout my teaching experiences I began to notice something disturbing about my class. And here is how it all came about. It was assessment time for the students and before they were provided their mathematics test I decided to go through a few practice question with the students, very similar to the ones they would engage with during the test. All went well, students were responding to the questions correctly and were showing their working out. I was so confident in their abilities and that they were all going to do so well! 20 minutes passed and I provided the students with their tests. They all finished and so that night I took home the tests and marked them. And to my disappointment, many of the students were getting the questions wrong, even though we had practised similar ones before they took the test. I was so deflated. I felt like I had let them down. Like I had failed them. So the next day I discussed my concerns with my mentor and she said that it was not my fault, but rather that these students are so used to having instant access to answers, and so when it comes to testing conditions and they have no instant access they lose concentration. They stop thinking.

And that’s when it dawned on me. Is technology use actually making students not think about what they have to do? Is technology negatively impacting students’ abilities to remember and recall? Because let’s face it, why would you need to remember information when you can just type a few words in a search engine, click a few buttons and find the answer you are looking for all within a few seconds? Why remember things when someone or something else will do it for you?

So I ask you, does ICT create lazy learners?

QR Codes

As most of you know, the professional experience we have just engaged in required us to integrate ICT into our lessons that can be used to amplify and/or transform students learning. Well, I thought I would take the time to talk about one of the ICTs that I used in a mathematics lesson to amplify students learning.

For the last few lessons the class had been learning about different types of angles and how to use a protractor to measure angles. In order for students to practice their new knowledge of measuring angles I provided them with a variety of cards. On these cards was an image of an angle in which they were to use their protractors to measure. There was no answer provided on the cards but instead a Quick Response (QR) Code next to the image of the angle. Students were required to firstly measure the angle before using a device with a QR code scanner application to find out if the measurement they measured was the correct answer shown on the device from scanning the code on the card. This activity allowed students to continuing developing and understanding the concepts and processes of measuring angles, but also enabled students to use ICT as a source of information and confirmation on the result they came up with. There was not one students not completing the task! It was fabulous!

Up until this activity I hadn’t had a lot of interaction with QR Codes, but golly I wish I had activities like this when I was at school.

P.S.

Click here to access the resource I used for this activity.

Coding

After I attended a tutorial for the ICT course I am currently enrolled in at uni, I left feeling a little confused. For a brief moment during the tutorial there was a small discussion about coding and how we as teachers to be, need to teach coding to students. What on earth does that mean?! After doing a little bit on studying, here is what I have picked up.

As you are aware, the world is becoming more and more technologically advanced. There are not many environments that do not include some form of technology, and evidently, that also includes schools. Technology is as much a part of daily life as it is to eat, drink and sleep. In schools there is a great need for students to become capable and fluent learners when using technology. This is where the term “coding” comes into play. Just as students become fluent with language and literacy learning, they are now also having to become fluent with using technologies in order to express themselves and their ideas.

So now that you have some understanding of what coding is and why it is so important, you’re probably thinking “how do I teach students to code?!”. Well, here are but a few suggestions.

Hello Ruby is a website that explains programming fundamentals to kids and includes detailed lesson plans for integrating the coding concepts into the classroom for students aged 5 and over.

Code.org teaches students basic programming by providing guided exercises for students to complete. This site is a fantastic way of bringing coding into the classroom. An added bonus is that it is completely free to use! So get onto it!

Scratch is a programming language and an online community where students create, program and share interactive media stories. This site encourages student to think creatively, work collaboratively and reason systematically, which is everything that coding is about. It should be noted however; Scratch is better suited to middle years’ students as it requires more than just basic coding knowledge to engage successfully with the product.

Girls who Code is a fantastic site that encourages girls into the coding phenomena!

Lastly, CS Unplugged is a website that provides activities for the classroom that teaches programming fundamentals without the use of ICT devices. This is an amazing website, especially if you find yourself having to teach coding with limited access to technologies.

I hope that this has been insightful and you feel a little more savvy about coding!