Marking Assessments!

Good afternoon fellow bloggers!

This morning I experienced marking for the first time and believe it is worthwhile blogging about. In a previous blog I mentioned that I had created a unit and an assessment piece for Arts and Technology while on PRAC. This was solely based around the students interacting with and using ICTs. There were some students that managed to target the brief exceptionally well and I’m happy to say that I am proud to have facilitated their learning and in turn witness the media presentations they created. Unfortunately this standard is not reached by all that you teach in your class and this is where the disappointing feeling comes into the equation, especially when you know the student is capable of acheiving the standard they need to be at for their year level. I believe that this was due to the fact that some students did not go back and¬†read through the task sheet while working on the assignment. We went through the task sheet as a whole class and check lists were provided for students over the course of the three weeks. Students were also reminded to refer back to the task and criteria sheets, as well as the check lists. It makes it difficult when you know that it was this aspect of the assignment that let them down overall. Overall I am really impressed with how my unit turned out and super proud of my students’ efforts.

This has been an eye opening experience and an extremely rewarding one. I look forward to incorporating ICTs in future classroom practices. Feel free to comment to share your thoughts or experiences about assessment.

Happy Blogging ūüôā

Nadine

Technology Leading to Misinterpretations in the Media?

I was watching Sunrise about a month ago, around the time¬†the Boston bombing occurred¬†and an interesting point was raised.¬† I meant to address this in a prior¬†blog, but I never managed to get around to it. The interview discussed¬†¬†news reporting¬†in relation to¬†social media and¬†society’s use of technology. As most of the¬†population own a ‘Smart Phone’ there is an increasing¬†¬†amount of people capturing significant events that occur in the world¬†around us.¬†Most people then upload or¬†describe what they believe they saw at the time in a post on Facebook or tweet it on Twitter. The interview went on to discuss how this changes the way reporters deliver the news. With so many people reporting current events via social media sites, it makes it difficult for the news to be the first to break a story.¬†This also allows for information to become twisted due to various¬†accounts of what actually¬†happened flying around social forums. There are times where social media sites assist reporters in a positive way.¬†However,¬†the interview outlined concerns that this will eventually change the way news is delivered.

I believe that this interview raised a number of  interesting points. I think that sometimes social media sites misconstrue details and various versions of the truth are posted online. Due to this I believe it is important to educate students about the ethical issues associated with the use of technology and social media sites and to filter what they post on these sites.

Feel free to comment or discuss this blog further ūüôā

Happy Blogging!

Nadine ūüėÄ

Scoop It!

I was scrolling through my Facebook news feed the other day and came across a link to scoop.it. It is a website with interesting posts about ICTs in relation to education. You have to sign up and link it to your Facebook or Twitter account, but I do believe it is worth while checking out. There are a variety of articles that showcase ICTs being used within schools and other education contexts, they make for a very interesting read.

I read the article: Is Coding The New Second Language? I found this article quite interesting, particularly in regards to this quote: “kids may know their way around a computer, but in order to get a job in the new economy, they will have to know how to write a program, not just use one”. I believe this quote showcases future expectations in relation to using and operating with technology.

The more interaction I have with ICTs at a professional level, the more I realise that it is important to be up to date with what’s happening in the world of ICTs. However, my only concern is time, how much time can I and will I set aside to ensure that I’m up to date with ICTs in relation to education? I ask this question, not because I don’t want to set aside this time, I ask this in order to be realistic in terms of the life I currently lead and the life I’ll lead as a teacher. Life is definitely demanding as I know you would all agree, but I believe I will definitely have to find the time to sit down and work out how I am going to educate myself in the way of ICTs, beyond the skills I have already acquired. It will be challenging, but I’m up for the challenge to ensure that my future students are provided with the best opportunities to learn.

Please feel free to share your thoughts!

Happy Blogging!

Nadine ūüėÄ

Back Into the World of Blogging!

Hey guys,

 

It has been a hectic semester and it seems that blogging has definitely taken a back seat to my uni priorities! I know it has been way too long, but I’m back in the blogging world!

I hope that everyone had an amazing professional experience. I don’t know about the rest of you, but to me, the time went way too fast. I suppose this was because I was extremely busy and didn’t have time to stop and think about anything else. I must say that I had a fantastic time on PRAC and definitely learnt a lot from this experience.

I was lucky enough to design an entire Arts and Technology unit while on PRAC, including an assessment task and rubric. This is the first time I have ever had the opportunity to develop and implement assessment within a school context. I must say this was extremely rewarding for me! I got to see my students take the idea and run with it! They produced some amazing work and I was extremely grateful that I got to be a part of it! I go back to the school next Wednesday to mark their assessments, which is also really exciting for me.

The task required students to take 4 to 8 images of a variety of subjects in a range of different photography styles to capture how they see themselves in the year 2013 and how they would like to be remembered in one hundred years time.  They then had to edit their photos using paint.net, which is a fantastic editing program that can be accessed within schools. They had to do this to enhance the meaning of their original images and obviously to make their images a little more exciting. They then had to justify their choices by writing a short explanation for each photo, discussing the style of photography, editing choices, the purpose for taking the photo and of course how they would like to be remembered because of it. Once all of this was completed they had to make a movie using Windows MovieMaker.

It was a jam packed unit, but the kids had fun and produced some really great work! I was also grateful that I had this opportunity because it has helped immensely for the last assignment. I was fortunate enough to use ICTs in every lesson I taught. I’m off to keep working on the massive assignment work load! I look forward to reading your blogs. Feel free to leave a comment.

Happy Blogging ūüėÄ

Nadine

 

 

Exam Results Deciding Your Fate!

It is possible that many of you have seen this video floating around on Facebook: I Will Not Let An Exam Result Decide My Fate: Spoken Word. I thought I would share it here on my blog because I believe this video makes an interesting point. The video discusses education in relation to the pressures that students feel to achieve at school, particularly in exams with the content being of little use to them in regards to their future. The video outlines the importance of education, but suggests that schools are out dated with what they are teaching students of the 21st century, that the emphasis on achieving academically is far too great, particularly for the types of interests that students are immerging with.

This lead me to think about ICTs and the progressing nature of technology in regards to the importance of educating students for the way of the future. I believe that to do this successfully educators need to ensure they embed ICTs  appropriately within the classroom. As the world we currently live in is very ICT savvy, I believe that this will eventually be the way of the world and other traditional forms will become a thing of the past.  I must admit that I have previously disregarded the value ICTs have in education and sometimes I still do. I believe that this attitude has stemmed from the lack of ICTs used throughout my own education and observations made on previous professional experiences. I understand that the curriculum targets important areas, but what about those students that are not academically minded? I think education could do more  to assist these students in building knowledge, understanding and skills that enable them to achieve employment in areas of their interest.

I realise that these points suggested in the video and within my blog are hard to implement, but I think it is an interesting point all the same. Please feel free to share your thoughts in regards to the video.

Happy Blogging ūüôā

Nadine

 

ICTs Enabling Communication

I have been very slack on my reflection ¬†posts, but I have had a great deal of trouble with my teeth and it has prevented me from being able to do as much as I’d like. I had all four of my wisdom teeth out and although I was in a ¬†great deal of pain, I decided to look at the situation as a type of learning opportunity, particularly where ICTs are concerned.

I know you must be thinking: How can getting your wisdom teeth taken out relate to ICTs in any possible way?

I couldn’t talk because my mouth was extremely swollen, sore and numb, so I had to think about how I could communicate with others around me. I thought to myself I can just text them to tell them what I needed or what I wanted, but as I was in the care of my grandmother, I quickly realised that this idea might be a problem. Most people use technology to communicate on a regular basis and for them it is as natural as breathing. My grandmother on the other hand has no interest in using technology. She is not against technology and realises its value and place within the 21st century, but for her particular context she feels it ¬†is¬†unnecessary¬†for her to learn or use technology beyond basic needs, therefore texting was out of the question.

This lead me to a thought about ICT literacy, I don’t believe it’s possible to ¬†interact in a technological world successfully if your ICT knowledge is limited. Using the situation regarding my wisdom teeth, I knew I possessed the knowledge and experience to use text messaging as a form of communication. My grandmother on the other hand does not possess the knowledge or skills and therefore could not participate.

From a pre-service teacher perspective I believe it is important to ensure that I help students to develop their ICT knowledge and skills, to enable them to effectively communicate and interact in a technological society.

Please share thoughts or comments.

Happy Blogging,

Nadine ūüėÄ

Assignment Plans,Setbacks and Submission

My initial thoughts about my ICT assignment were very positive and at the time I thought very possible to achieve. However, as the daily routines of life get crazier, the time in which to complete assignments slowly dwindles away. Initially I thought I would produce a video like the one explaining TPACK on the study desk. I had thought of this idea before watching the video and after viewing it, I thought it was an achievable goal for my assignment. I thought I had ¬†my idea on how I was going to present my¬†argument¬† in the bag, but then the questions began to form. How will I record this by myself? Will I draw my own pictures? Will I google, cut out and then reference pictures? The more I thought about this idea, the more I thought it was not achievable for me to complete on my own within the time frame “life” had allowed me to get it completed.

After this, I thought it best to work on my argument and then think of a way to convey the information in an interesting way. I feel I  have developed a sound argument in relation to ICT integration. Once this was completed it was time to decide my mode of presentation and start creating. Unfortunately with the time I had to complete the assignment, I had to resort to what I knew best and get it done.

I started with a PowerPoint presentation and saved the slides as individual photos. I then recorded my argument in sections with my iPhone and uploaded those to my computer, combined them in windows movie maker to make my video. This was not as exciting or creative as I was hoping to get. I experimented with other applications before resorting to this final method, such as making my own comic characters, stick figure movies etc, but all of these ideas were too time consuming and required a lot more knowledge then what I had at that point in time.

I am happy that I have completed. my assignment and it is now officially linked to my blog via the Assignment One- Why ICTs? Page. I am not 100% happy with how it has turned out, but I have taken time out to reflect on all aspects of the assignment and I know with more experimentation I can get more creative with my own creating of ICTs in the future. I believe the argument I have put forward should carry me through, as I worked very hard on this assignment, even if it was only using the basics.

I hope you all had an enjoyable experiencing creating your¬†artefacts and learnt something new! Thanks for reading and Happy Blogging ūüėÄ

Nadine

Getting Amongst ICTs

This week has been quite an adventure for me, especially where ICTs are concerned. I made the decision to buy a Samsung Galaxy Tab2.  To some people this may not seem like a big deal, but to me it was something I had to take some time to think about. I own an iPhone and a laptop and until now I have always considered this to be enough. I am not saying that EDC3100 has compelled me to go out and buy myself a tablet, but it has definitely got me thinking about my ICT capabilities, my PLN and future students.

I don’t know much about iPads or tablets, but I know most of my students that I encounter on my PRAC and future classes will be familiar with them. This thought lead to another: how can I teach my students using this technology if I know nothing about them or how to use them? I had to consider the cost of the item in regards to how much value I would actually get out of my purchase. I decided to ¬†do some research before going out and buying a product at random. I went to my first port of call google, this website (link)¬†helped me to narrow down my search and my options, but of course the cost was still a concern. I browsed through¬†Harvey Norman, JB-Hifi and Dicksmith websites also, I finally decided to go with a 7 inch Asus model, thinking that it would do the job for now. I ¬†decided I needed to look at it first before going ahead and making the purchase. So I went to Harvey Norman and found it to be too small for what I wanted to do with it. I then decided to browse around and talk to some of the consultants available to make an informed decision about the best product for as least money as possible. I decided on the ¬†10 inch Samsung Galaxy Tab2, it is more compatible with windows and the android system offers more range of apps and it allows me to be able to use it for a range of purposes. ¬†I spent above my budget, but I thought it was better to spend the money and get what I need then spend less and not be able to use it.

Since purchasing my tablet I haven’t had a lot of time to experiment with it or download an extensive range of apps, but I did get a chance to use it in my tutoring session. It came in quite handy as the girl I tutor hurt her finger and was unable to write. We were still able to cover the concepts we needed to cover without putting extra pressure on her. I got to experience first hand what it might be like to use these devices as learning tools within the classroom. It is also brilliant for my personal use as I don’t have to cart my laptop around with me all the time. If I go away for a weekend and need to keep in contact with fellow colleagues or work on uni assignments, my tablet allows me to do so without having to pack an extra bag for my laptop. My tablet does not make my laptop¬†obsolete as I still need it to type up my assignments¬†etc, but it does give me a wider access to ICT resources.

My blog is not trying to convince you to go out and buy a tablet, it simply addresses my thought processes and my reasons for purchasing one in relation to the EDC3100 course. During my research I stumbled across an article outlining that more than 5 million Australians currently own an iPad/tablet and predicts that this figure will rise to 7 million by the year 2017 (you can read this article via this link). I believe this is an interesting point to consider in relation to future students and our teaching practices. As technology moves so rapidly it is important to be as familiar with these technologies as possible in order to connect and provide authentic and purposeful lessons for our students. My main reason for purchasing a tablet was to start filling the gaps between my knowledge of ICTs and my teaching context.

Until next time

Nadine ūüėÄ

It’s All About Building: TPACK

It is another start to what I’m sure will be a wonderful week of learning. This morning I have worked my way through the study desk and have begun to build my understanding of TPACK.

T- Technological

P- Pedagogical

C – Content

K – Knowledge

 

There are seven components to TPACK Рcontent Knowledge, pedagogical knowledge, technological knowledge, technological content knowledge, technological pedagogical knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge and TPACK itself. It is a bit confusing to start off with, but once you look at each component individually it is easier to understand how it all fits together. I believe it is important to have a sound understanding of each component before you can develop your own personal TPACK.

As this is my fourth year in to my studies, content knowledge, pedagogical knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge are concepts that I am all too familiar with. However, technological content knowledge and  technological pedagogical knowledge are new concepts that I am beginning to wrap my head around.

I have briefly summarised my understanding based on previous courses and this weeks materials: content knowledge is what you teach, pedagogical knowledge is how you teach, pedagogical content knowledge is the understanding of what strategies to use in order to teach the content, technological content knowledge is the understanding of technology and technological pedagogical knowledge is the understanding of how to use technology in order to teach. Overall TPACK is the ability to combine these concepts together to effectively deliver engaging and meaningful lessons. Feel free to comment or elaborate on my explanation of the TPACK elements.

I believe that building your TPACK is an on-going process, I am familiar with content of all teaching areas in the primary context. However, the extent of my knowledge varies and I believe I am forever building on my content knowledge through experience, reflection and research. This is the same with my pedagogical knowledge, it largely depends on the type of students I have in my class and the content being taught as to what strategies I use in order to deliver my lessons. I believe pedagogy should stem from context, content and of course students learning needs. I am excited to build  my technological content knowledge, I have come to realise that there is a lot to explore and discover. I feel I am definitely on my way to learning more about ICTs and their specific uses. I believe my technological pedagogical knowledge will take some time to build. I have incorporated ICTs into my teaching practice before, but as I have said in previous blogs they have been on the boring side. I think the more I open my world up to ICTs and the opportunities they can provide to enrich learning experience the more extensive my technological pedagogical knowledge will become.

I believe the game shown in the video on study desk in relation to TPACK, which is also linked here,¬†is a great idea for pre-service teachers and even¬†practising¬†teachers to have a go at. It would help to build upon an individual’s¬†TPACK ¬†and is a great way to share resources and ideas.

I am aware that we are focussing on the Australian Curriculum, but in my own research about ICTs in relation to pedagogy I came across this ‘Digital Pedagogy Guide’¬†for Queensland’s smart classrooms. It is an a4 page and will not take long to read. It explores professional values, professional relationships, professional knowledge and professional practice in relation to ICT planning indicators, digital pedagogy indicators and digital pedagogy advanced indicators. I found this interesting to read and relevant to understanding the purpose and importance of incorporating ICTs into education.

Please feel free to comment or share any information in regards to TPACK. Happy Blogging.

Nadine ūüėÄ

 

Rough Seas, Clearing The Mind and Mind Mapping

Before starting this weeks work, I felt as though I was on a cruise boat and heading in the right direction until the ‘iceberg’ appeared and then suddenly I was in need of a serious life raft. I suppose this kind of feeling can come with anything, but when you realise you are not as technologically minded as you thought you were things tend to get a little scrambled.

I like to believe that I’m a fast learner when it comes to technology and since starting this course and this blog, I have seemed to catch on fairly quickly. As for keeping up with the various avenues related to ICTs and the amount of resources to sort through and look at, not to mention the social networking sites to contribute to, the feeling of needing to gasp for air has¬†occurred. I’d like to think the brain is similar to a computer, when you have too many programmes running at once,the computer tends to freeze and takes a bit of time to get going again. I would like to think that this is what has happened to me in relation to working my way through this weeks material. I have had an information overload and some tasks have not quite worked how they were supposed to, causing frustration. I believe that this is to be expected and by taking a step back and focusing on one task at a time, instead of ten, I find myself being able to think more clearly and make some serious progress.

 

I completed my mind map yesterday and before I started, I looked through a variety of programs until I found one that I felt comfortable in using. I chose to use text2mindmap. Although it is probably one of the more simple ways to construct a mind map online, I felt it was extremely easy to use.

Here is a picture of my mind map – my initial thoughts on why ICTs should be used in education. Feel free to comment, thank you for reading and happy blogging ūüėÄ

 

Nadine