Connect.ed Modules

This week has required the completion of four modules through Connect.ed, exploring important issues regarding the safety and security of online and technological activity. Although I am familiar with a lot of issues raised during these activities, some of the terms that were defined were not things that I have been all that aware of (phishing in particular) and it was a great learning activity to remind myself of school responsibilities and the situations that I may be faced with in my future career.

I found the simulation exercise to be particularly beneficial in providing a greater insight into the pressures and social diversity that students are engaged in on a daily basis. These simulations also demonstrated how versatile bullying has now become – there are no restrictions to when this might occur as technology has become so accessible to anyone. Indeed, as technology has broadened and expanded communications, bullying has been able to take on a new form that goes beyond the school playground and, essentially, into the victims home.

Education is a particularly important component in ensuring that students are able to conduct themselves online in a manner that is safe and respectful to others. As reliance on technology has increased, it is essential that students are aware of their rights, policies that may be in place (both in school and wider community) and have an understanding of the ramifications that some online conduct will result in.

My certificate of completion can be found using the following link.

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Technology Integration Planning (TIP) Model

The TIP Model has been examined this week as a method to remember and use for designing ICT integrated lesson plans. This tool is a useful guide for teachers to implement effective uses of technology into classroom activities through the following method;

  • Phase One: Determine Relative Advantage.
  • Phase Two: Decide on Objectives & Assessments.
  • Phase Three: Design Integration Strategies.
  • Phase Four: Prepare Instructional Environment.
  • Phase Five: Evaluate & Revise Integration Strategies.

By following this guide when planning and evaluating lesson plans, it will be easier to prove the reasons that you are using technology in the way that you are and how these are impacting the learning and development of students.

The following is a revised diagram of the model that was used in this week’s work book.

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“What I know about Lesson Planning”

In this module we have been asked to brainstorm all the things that we know about lesson planning and I have contributed my own mind map to organise my ideas on this topic. The following is a mind map that gives an overview of my initial thoughts on this.

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A useful resource provided on the Study Desk suggests a number of questions to ask when developing plans for lessons, incorporating student needs and skills, lesson timing, available materials and class facilities. This source can be found here and is a helpful guide to remember and use whilst on prac.

Prac Placement – Checklist for Preparation

I’ve been a little bit preoccupied with completing Assignment 2 and other course work to have made any substantial progress in Blog postings for Week 9, so I’m in catch up mode at the moment to get myself up-to-date. The initial work books for this week have been reiterating the requirements of pre-serving teachers during prac as well as introducing the next assignment. My placement that was organised for me has now unfortunately notified USQ that they no longer can take me, so at the moment I’m not sure where my placement will be (Eek! Fingers crossed this gets sorted out soon!). However, I will still dedicate a post to my ‘checklist’ for preparation for placement.

  • Look at the school website.

In all previous pracs that I have been fortunate enough to have, the first thing that I have done has been to look on the web at the official site for the particular school organised for me. This allows me to get a sense of the general context of the school, provides me with the opportunity to read school goals/policies as well as giving me insight into the school’s recent events (often gained through online newsletters).

  • Make initial contact/introduce yourself to your mentor before commencement date.

This initial point of contact is particularly important as it provides you an opportunity to gain an understanding of the specific school context and will better prepare you for what to expect. This initial contact can also allow any introductory documentation/booklets that might help to be forwarded on as a reference.

  • Update resource folder

During my previous pracs I have designated a plastic folder to organise grammar worksheets/handouts that I have completed or found during my placements. Making extra copies of these (particularly useful when students have completed all activities designated for the lesson quicker than expected) and organising them as required will be a help for when prac starts.

  • Printing all relevant information/forms (USQ)

By having a print out copy of all the relevant feedback forms/lesson plan templates/referee contacts etc. will ensure that I am better organised for the upcoming weeks for prac.

Kid President – For Teachers & Students

Fellow EDC3100 student, Mel posted this on her blog and after watching it I had to share it on mine also. This video is such an adorable little reminder about the importance of learning and the ability for students to reach their potential. In the end we are all teachers, just as we are all students and it’s important to ensure that we can recognise the importance and beauty of this simple fact.

 

 

The Influence of Technology on Education

Like Mitch Gardner, the progress that I have made so far in Assignment Two has me recalling the few times that ICTs were integrated into my own school experiences. Although some of my teachers certainly presented my class with opportunities to combine technology and learning, this ICT integration was irregular and few. Technology has really opened up the possibilities and potential for learning, and now with more and more students having access to electronic devices, knowledge is becoming even more limitless.

However, with this growth in technology there are also many young people who are being left behind. A video by Sugata Mitra explores the impact that the internet can have on the future of education and I particularly found his investigations “A Hole in the Wall” to be really fascinating experiments made on the impact of computers on education. The following is a video that explains this further, however it is also beneficial to take a look at this site to learn more about Mitra’s research and findings.

 

 

Google Apps

This week I have been working more on the next assignment and after this week’s learning path I’ve become a little bit more critical in reflecting on the ICTs that I’ve chosen to integrate into my UoW. I’ve been relying a lot on the SAMR Ladder in order to do this, trying to discern whether the ICTs I plan to use are in fact successful learning experiences that will further engage and enhance learning opportunities for the context I’ve decided upon. It’s becoming so apparent to me how much my attitude on technology in the classroom is changing as a result of EDC3100, I’ve been taught in other subjects why ICT integration is becoming a fundamental tool in pedagogy but haven’t really known how to evaluate successful ICTs or what kinds of things I should be thinking of in doing this.

Google Docs has not only been mentioned a number of times, but also used throughout the weekly lesson paths and because I have a limited knowledge in the various potential of this program as a learning and teaching tool I found a useful resource that explains a variety of ways that Google Apps can be used in the classroom (click here). This site illustrates some great techniques to manipulate a number of programs offered by Google to help create better learning experiences and pedagogy and is worth a look if you have time.