Hello again. Throughout this week I have been completing my second assignment for my EDC3100 ICT and Pedagogy course. As I was researching information for this assignment, I couldn’t help but reflect on how far I have come in my studies of ICT as well as teaching in general. When I first started this course I was extremely nervous as I have never been confident with ICTs and nor did I want to be. Now, after making it over half-way through this course, I am pleased at what I have accomplished. I now strive to make the most out of ICTs and see that there are so many new and exciting technologies that could really enhance learning.

Interactive Whiteboards

Hello all. I have been researching lately to find different quality ICTs that one could use within a Prep classroom. I am creating a unit plan and the school that I am creating it for has interactive whiteboards. Unfortunately I was not in school when these were created and had no idea how they work, the different features, etc. So I decided to look it up and found this article on the BBC Active website. This website simply explained what the interactive whiteboard is, what features it has and the benefit of these. Some of the various features include; highlighting texts, showing videos, viewing websites and many more. It is basically like a giant touch screen computer. As I was looking through this information, I couldn’t help but think how much everything has changed, even within the last five or ten years.

Digital World

Hello all. I been thinking more and more about the role that ICTs play in the world today. I came across an article on the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations website titled Digital Education and Technology in Schools. This article explains the world that we live in today as a “digital world” and states that the Australian Government supports and encourages the use of new ICTs in schools so that students can prepare to learn, train in live in this new world. There is a list of different initiatives that have been implemented to help support the use of ICTs in Australian schools. There is also a link to a page containing information about the use of ICTs in a safe and secure way.

Prac Placement

Hello. This week I have started to organise everything for my practical placement in May 2013. I had a look at the school’s website where I will be doing my placement, as suggested by Mrs N Todd. I looked specifically at the school’s statement of purpose. This school encouraged five main values. These are:
1. Excellence
2. Inclusiveness
3. Participation
4. Safety
5. Accountability
I was happy with this as I feel that all five of the values are extremely important for learning as well as life in general. What I liked most about this school’s purpose is that above all it promotes life-long skills and learning.
The school also promotes the 5Cs amoung all members of the school; staff and students. These include:
1. Consideration
2. Cooperation
3. Communication
4. Common Sense
5. Courtesy

Using ICTs

Hello all. I came across a fellow student Mrs Poulter’s blog post today that posed the question:
Should we be focusing on integrating better ICTs or integrating ICTs for better learning?
I found this to be very thought provoking. Some teachers seem to think that students must be able to effectively use all of the new technologies that seem to arise everyday. I think this is because the world is being consumed with ICT and some feel it is essential for everyone to keep up-to-date. However, others think that ICTs should only be integrated to enhance the students’ learning. I personally believe that ICTs should be used to enhance learning as well as allowing opportunities to learn about some particular ICTs.

Fantastic Resource

Hello. As you may know I am studying ICT and Pedagogy at the moment and part of this course involves connecting with other students through their blogs that they have created. This week I came across Miss Kelly’s blog post with a link to http://splash.abc.net.au/. After examining this website I found that it had loads of features and caters for students from the Foundation Year all the way up to Year 10. I specifically looked at the Foundation to Year 3 section and was amazed at what I saw. Within this section there were educational videos about relevant topics, sing-a-long songs, and heaps of other activities. The website is aligned to the Australian Curriculum and includes specific sections for English, Math, History and Science. It also includes specific pages for teachers and parents. I would encourage everyone to have a look at this site.

Essential Questions

As part of my studies at the moment we have to create a unit plan that integrates ICT as a learning resource. Within the unit plan there is a section called ‘Essential Questions’. When I first saw this section of the unit I was unsure as to what sort of questions we are required to write in.
Where we supposed to write questions that the teacher should ask themselves or the students?
Where they meant to be specific to the learning experiences or just in general relation to the topic?
Luckily I found this document that explains everything about the essential questions section of a unit plan. I found this document extremely helpful in my planning and I hope you do too.

Bloom’s Taxonomy

Bloom’s Taxonomy is one of my favourite pedagogical frameworks to use when planning lesson or unit plans. It contains 6 sections:
These sections are arranged from lower-order thinking skills to higher-order thinking skills. When planning for effective learning teachers should aim to include at least one higher-order thinking skill into each learning experience. Bloom’s Taxonomy follows a sort of order however some steps may be repeated more than once. As shown, creating is one of the higher-order thinking skills and students must work towards this by working through the other five thinking skills. I think this is a fantastic framework and I would encourage all teachers to use this.

Curriculum, Assessment and Pedagogy

During my studies in EDC3100 ICT and Pedagogy we have been learning about the relationship between curriculum, assessment and pedagogy. You need all three to create a successful learning environment and teachers must plan for this. There are many different methods used to plan units or lessons however some are more effective than others. Teachers are often encouraged to use the backwards design process when planning learning experiences. This approach involves three steps:
1. Determining the desired results
2. Deciding what the acceptable amount of evidence is needed to support the desired results
3. Creating learning experiences that work towards the desired results
By using this approach teachers are able to help students work towards the desired result. This is a proven effective method for planning and teaching.

Draw a Stickman

Hello all. This week I had a look at a site called ‘Draw a Stickman’. This site contains three sections with pictures of stick people labelled:
-Episode 1
-Episode 2
-Epic Game
The site intrigued me and I wanted to know what it was all about. I clicked on Episode 1 and it proceeded to take me to a new screen where I was asked to draw my stickman and could design him however I liked. After this it took me through a story involving my personal stickman where I had to draw objects into the story in order for the story to progress.
For example, there is a box that is locked. I must draw a key so that it can be opened.
I found this activity to be quite fun and engaging. All parts of the story, although drawn as stick figures, move around and are active. This activity would be great for children.