Things have been so busy, but I can not believe that it is almost half way through week three and this is the first opportunity I have had to sit down and write a blog post reflection on my Prac so far!
As all the other students would know, prac is a busy time for us all and we go home absolutely exhausted, So what very little time I have had in the late afternoons and evenings have been spent “recovering” from the full on days!
So far, I am having a wonderful time. My students are just gorgeous, my teacher is unbelievably wonderful and helpful. It has been such a great experience to finally have an opportunity to see what it is really like in the school setting and it has only re-assured me that my career choice and the path I am on is the right one for me.
I was so lucky last week that at my school, right near our class room there was two koalas in a tree. It was amazing, for me and the students. Untill then I haven’t seen a koala outside of a zoo before, so it was a bit special. The perks of being at a tiny little rural school!
My lessons have been going really well so far. I still have a little bit of fine tuning I would like to do before I finish up at the end of the week, but over all I would say they have been fairly successful. As this is such a tiny school the ICT resources have been on the restricted side so I will endeavour to try to find a more creative and innovative way to incorporate them into my teaching and learning by the end of the week.
I really hope that my fellow EDC3100 students are having an equally enjoyable time out on prac. Only three days to go and onto assignment three writing.
Wow, we are already finished week nine! To be honest, I have really enjoyed learning about interactive whiteboards (IWB’s) I have never used one and I actually don’t think I have even seen one being used. So it was great to learn about it a little especially in preparation for my time on prac when I am sure that not only it will be used quite a bit in my presence but I suspect I will be required to use it quite a bit myself. So having a chance to familiarize myself and learn even just a few features I believe will prove to be very valuable.
I have found learning about some of the statistics in IWB’s interesting; such as what features teachers use the most and the least and what most teachers find important when choosing how they will use their IWB’s. I think this will be useful to me when I need to start deciding on what learning objects I might use in one of my lessons.
I also found it very useful to learn about some common problems and ways to troubleshoot while using an IWB. I guess when you are starting out writing lessons for a real class for the first time, it would be easy to overlook the things that might go wrong or might be really time-consuming such as setting up accounts etc. In these cases it might be wise to have a back up plan for when things go horribly wrong!
I hope everyone else enjoyed this weeks learning path as much as I did.
This week we are exploring Interactive White Boards (IWB) in the learning path.
At my prac placement the class uses a Promethean whiteboard. In preparation for this wonderful experience I have downloaded the software to start learning how to use it and begun to explore the Promethean Planet community.
When searching for and exploring some of the features of the Promethean IWB I came across this site ActivTips which includes some videos of great tips for using this type of IWB. I found it very useful and it is worthwhile checking it out!
One feature which I explored in more detail is the Activ tip 115- Action moving objects which is explained at the above Activ tips link. It is used to create a button which can be clicked to move an object (image) in a direction across a page. One flipchart which uses it well is Rocket Race. It is a single page flipchart and can be used in a class setting where you divide the class into 3 groups. You then ask a question or provide a task and when a group provides a correct answer or completes the task the button is pressed to move that groups rocket ahead. The first team to shoot off the page wins! There are several other flipcharts that have a similar concept with different themes, such as a shark attack.
I think it would enhance students learning by creating a fun competitive but cooperative environment in a lesson.
I can’t wait to get out on prac and start to put this new exciting tool to use!
As per my recent posts, I have learned a lot of valuable skills and information to assist me when I enter the teaching scene and for prac this week.
At the beginning of the week, I finally received the good news that a wonderful tiny, rural school has offered to host me for my prac. The little school has 2 mixed level classes including a prep to 3 and a 4 to 7 class. I will be in the early education class and I am so excited to be able to gain some hands on experience with not only school students but an opportunity to learn how to differentiate as a way for catering for a vast range of ages and abilities.
I have attempted to make a start on assignment 3 to put me in the best possible position for prac, I am trying to reduce the amount of study I need to be doing outside of my prac during those 3 weeks, So I need to complete an assignment and weekly learning requirements for another subject as well as make good progress on assignment 3 for ICT and pedagogy all within the next 4 weeks.
I must admit though I have pretty much been pumping out assignments for the last few weeks now and by this point I am starting to loose enthusiasm. I am hoping this will turn around soon.
I am wondering how other students are feeling about their studies at this point in the semester?
This week we were required to work through the four modules on Connect.ed, which touched on many things including safety and cyber bullying. I felt like I already knew a lot of the foundation information but it really helped me to use that information as a teacher to guide my students and incorporate it into my curriculum and teaching. I quite liked the way Tessa from tessamiller10 Expanding horizons through digital exploration put it, “we need to explicitly teach these concepts to children, we also need to continuously reinforce it when engaging with technology through everyday teaching.” This not only helps students to really gain a deeper understanding of the concepts but also I believe it would help them to relate their learning to real life experiences.
I did find some of the new terminology and also some of the statistics both interesting and alarming, just like in Postman’s 5 things we need to know about technology that for every advantage a new technology offers, there is always a corresponding disadvantage. The disadvantage may exceed in importance the advantage, or the advantage may well be worth the cost. I believe that with all the advantages that the internet brings it is worth it, however it isn’t without a corresponding disadvantage in that children of younger ages are more vulnerable and exposed to bullying and “phishing” and “Lurking” I think it was referred to by strangers. Young children are growing up faster and faster as the years go on, I don’t think they need any more responsibility to be pushed onto them then what they already have, however with powerful tools like the internet brings greater responsibilities.
I really liked the idea of the Cybersmart Detectives activity and allowing students to interact with and have access to police officers, which is such a wonderful positive experience to have with such a creditable reference. This type of activity would be very rewarding on so many levels and I believe would really stick with the students for a long time after the activity was over.
In an attempt to get this experience to reach as many people as possible I am sharing it again here.
If this can reach even just one person who changes their settings or re-thinks putting up a particular photo or identifying too much about where they live and prevents this one person from becoming a victim, then this will be worth it.
Also worth mentioning here is Exif.
“Have you heard about Exif – Exchangeable image file format? It’s a specification for how ICTs (e.g. digital cameras/phones etc) that handle image and sound files store information about an image. It’s so that all of the software and hardware involved can understand how to read an image or sound they are given.
Did you know that Exif can include location information. In fact, it can include the longitude and latitude at which the image was taken and store that information with the photo. Most modern mobile devices (e.g. smart phones and tablets) include a GPS and will add this information to every photo taken with the device.” as mentioned by David Jones in our learning journey this week.
You can use this website http://regex.info/exif.cgi to check your images.
It may be a good idea to be smart about when you turn location services on for photos and when and how to turn it off.
This website http://www.imore.com/daily-tip-turn-gps-geolocation-iphone-photos-protect-privacy provides some great tips on how to turn GPS or geolocations off.
We all have some power over how much information we share when we are using the internet and creating a digital footprint. We need to learn how to gain this power and how to use it effectively!
Internet safety should be considered by all users of the internet not only teachers who are supporting students to take advantage of the many advantages and benefits it brings but also to teach them how to be an active digital citizen.
On the 1st August this video clip was featured in a post at ICT’s & Pedagogy
It really touched home for me as recently before then I have been keeping a personal blog at http://themummanextdoor.blogspot.com.au. It was created as an avenue to share photos and what our family have been up to recently with my family and friends and to collaborate with other parents and share ideas. One day I was approached by a stranger who asked me if the baby in the photos was mine? And then he proceeded to ask me if he could have her photos? With no intention of allowing this, I asked him what he wanted to do with them. He replied, he wanted to put them on his website. I searched for him and only found a Google+ account which had nothing baby/children related on it. I blocked him and it left me with some big decisions to make about my personal blog and the photos I would put on there in future.
So I can definitely relate to the comment “There is no use in taking the ‘it wont happen to me’ attitude, as no one realizes when they are being preyed on.” from ICT’s & Pedagogy.
Lauren from LAURENTRANTER The trials and tribulations of ICT’s in Education states the following and I really could not have said it better myself, “as teachers we are responsible for what happens in the classroom, but I think we also need to be able to teach students to use these resources safely when they aren’t in our care.” She continues to provide a link to a UK website called Thinkuknow which I found very useful. The site covers a range of topics about how to teach students of all ages how to use the internet/phones safely, and shows videos, that can help kids relate to the situations they may face.
Furthermore I have also been introduced to another useful website as a teacher, I think it will be worth it’s weight in gold called Know Your Meme I believe this one would be useful as a parent as well.