15 6 / 2012

Throughout this semester we have covered many aspects of e-learning in K-6 education including the various technologies available (http://misscodling.tumblr.com/post/18938343515/learning-technologies-in-k-6-education), classroom blogging (http://misscodling.tumblr.com/post/19339120658/five-influences-of-classroom-blogging-on-student), interactive whiteboards (http://misscodling.tumblr.com/post/20104750985/interactive-whiteboards), equity in education and the ‘digital divide’(http://misscodling.tumblr.com/post/20557863667/equity-in-education-and-the-digital-divide and http://misscodling.tumblr.com/post/20559264435/achieving-equity-in-education), communication facilities (http://misscodling.tumblr.com/post/20945032079/sychronous-and-asynchronous-communication-facilities), a schools duty of care in cyberspace (http://misscodling.tumblr.com/post/23601922076/a-schools-duty-of-care-in-cyberspace) and iPads in the classroom (http://misscodling.tumblr.com/post/24395803795/ipads-in-the-classroom). Here are some points on what information really has stuck with me and what I believe was very crucial and important information for my own professional development. The three major points I’ve taken away from Professional Experience 3: Integrationg Learning Technologies are achieving equity in education, a schools duty of care in cyberspace and iPads in the classroom.

After reading 'A Vision for 2020: Achieve Equity in Education. A Contribution to Public Discussion of the 2020 Summit Idea by Save our Schools - the naitonal independent advocacy group' (www.saveourschools.com.au/file_download/10) and speaking with Glynis we were faced with several questions regarding the ‘digital divide’ and achieving equity in education. What caught my attention the most was the various key areas of the divide, that being the internation divide, the economic divide, the gender divide, the teacher skill set divide and access and connectivity (http://misscodling.tumblr.com/post/20557863667/equity-in-education-and-the-digital-divide). As a pre-service teacher I have found that it is vital for me to try and eliminate the divide in my own classroom. It is noted that not one person can solve the international and economic divide, but such organisations such as One Laptop per Child (http://one.laptop.org/) and Hole in the Wall India (www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2_CjRbZ5EI) are trying to provide technology to children internationally that have previously not had opportunities to use such resources. As a educational professional in the future I will try to keep up-to-date with the ever changing technologies made avilable for education, advocate for equal access and connectivity and ensure both male and female students use these resources equally by having gender-neutral, engaging, entertaining lessons using such technology. As I wrote in a previous blog, all children deserve the same education and deserve access to resources that foster learning through technological means.

In the first week back from prac I was one of the leaders of the reading ‘A schools duty of care for students to whom it gives access to cyberspace' (http://www.netsafe.org.nz/Doc_Library/netsafepapers_grahambassett_duty.pdf). The article describes a court case where a young girl at an exclusive Sydney school was bullied by another student via a homework-orientated online survey for school. It describes the various filtering systems and duties we as professionals have when allowing our students access to cyberspace. A reminder that it is a huge responsibility when setting-up online homework for our students, it takes a lot of time, effort and careful consideration to ensure the students’ safety. On prac this year, my co-operating teacher had just set up a class account for the website Edmodo (www.edmodo.com), a secure social learning network for teachers and students, which worked fantastically for non-school hours communication and tasks for the students. The websites functionality is great, as it eliminates the possibility for bullying by not having any private messaging, and the teacher can see everything that is put online by their students.

Last, but certainly not least, we read an article that described an iPad trial in two different classrooms in two different schools (one urban, one rural), entitled ‘iPads in the Classroom - New Technologies, Old Issues: Are they worth the effort?' (http://www.lib.uts.edu.au.ezproxy.lib.uts.edu.au/drr/30807/012233_ReidiPads.pdf). I found this article very enlightening and provided me with great insight into the use of iPads in the classroom. Having not seen them used in a classroom previously, I was curious as to how the functionality of it would show, and the article portrayed its great success, particularly within the urban classroom, where the technology far surpassed that of the resources provided to one special needs student and grew the researching skills of the majority of the the students. It was an overall success, and demonstrated to me that I would be very fortunate to have iPads in my own classroom at my own dispense. I believe it is worth investing in such technology in our schools as they are such a great tool that has endless use and potential for greatness.

If I didn’t already know it prior to Professional Experience 3, it has now been solidified and confirmed in my mind that technology is the future of education. For myself and my students I need to continually grow my technological skill set so that I can give my students the education they deserve to have in such a fast-paced and forever evolving world of technology. I cannot wait to have my own classroom and use the great resources and technology I have been exposed to throughout the duration of this course.

References:

  • A Vision for 2020: Achieve Equity in Education. A Contribution to Public Discussion of the 2020 Summit Idea by Save our Schools – the national independent advocacy group. April 2008
  • Bassett, G.; A school’s duty of care for students to whom it gives access to cyberspace: Data in (Content Regulation) and Data Out (Privacy). Retrieved from www.netsafe.org.nz/Doc…/netsafepapers_grahambassett_duty.pdf.
  • Davis, A., &McGrail, E. (2011). The influence of classroom blogging on elementary student writing.Journalof Research in Childhood Education, 25(4) 415-437.
  • Higgins, S., Beauchamp, G. & Miller, D. (2007). Reviewing the literature on interactive whiteboards. Learning, Media and Technology, 32(3), 213-225
  • Reid, D. &Ostashewski, N. (2011). iPads in the Classroom – New Technologies, Old Issues: Are they worth the effort?. In T. Bastiaens& M. Ebner (Eds.), Proceedings of World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications 2011 (pp. 1689-1694). Chesapeake, VA: AACE
  • Roblyer, M (2006). Teaching with instructional software. In M. Roblyer (Ed). Integrating educational technology into teaching. (4th ed.). Merrill. Prentice Hall. Columbus, Ohio. Chapter 3.

12 6 / 2012

Alex’s blog: http://alexr96.edublogs.org/2012/06/06/week-10-ipads-in-the-classroom/

My response…

Alex, here are some of my thoughts in regards to what you’ve said, what the reading leaders and Maria spoke about.

1.       My understanding of constructivism is that knowledge is actively constructed in a social process and building upon prior knowledge. I believe iPads allow for this constructivist learning to occur as the learners are actively seeking knowledge from this form of technology, actively teaching themself new skills and more than likely being done in a group or partnered format, thus in a social way.

2.       I agree with those consequences you’ve said, Alex. I believe that iPads would do more good than harm. The reading describes such profound use of the iPads in the urban school, and the great impacts it had on the students, that you can’t deny their significance. Such a great tool for learning.

3.       I believe it should only be considered when the technology used by the special needs individual is close to becoming out-dated. Buying and using such technology needs careful consideration, and should be used in the best interests of the individual child. If you believe an iPad would not be a suitable learning tool for the student, don’t look into it, because truthfully it is not for everyone. Another important aspect is whether the main caregiver of the child within the school context is tech-savvy and

I believe the use of iPads in the classroom would be a great educational tool and novelty, but in no way should over-take or over-shadow classic teaching styles and techniques. I believe they should be used as a supplementary tool and are great for researching tasks. They could be used for “fast-finishers” and be loaded with extra educational apps that would practice and extend knowledge and skills.

Reid, D. & Ostashewski, N. (2011). iPads in the Classroom - New Technologies, Old Issues: Are they worth the effort? In T. Bastiaens & M. Ebner (Eds.), Proceedings of World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications 2011 (pp. 1689-1694). Chesapeake, VA: AACE.

04 6 / 2012

iPads in the Classroom - New Technologies, Old Issues: Are they worth the effort?

This weeks reading was of particular interest to me as I was curious as to how iPads have been received in the classroom. The reading dictates a research project that involved introducing iPads into two elementary school classrooms to support the development of student digital storytelling skills. The research resulted in many positive learning experiences with the technology.
Here is a summary of the text:
The impact of handheld mobile devices on educational practice continues to be an area of considerable interest in both the research and practice of education. iPads are a new type of technology tool that allows for many kinds of interactions with a connected communication device. New possibilities for mobile education are readily evident when these new technology affordances are coupled with a light robust textbook-size screen and thousands of specifically designed apps.
The two different classes, in two different schools, were provided with iPads and asked to use them in their year six classroom.
The urban school had specific allocated time each week for using the iPads and digital storytelling and a great deal of time was spent dealing with the management of the technology and setting up structures to support the activities. The teacher felt comfortable using and teaching the technology. He projected the classes microblogging on the classroom whiteboard during classroom sessions which reportedly reduced the number of questions asked of the teacher during lessons and allowed students to answer many questions from their peers.
Most interestingly, the teacher felt that the iPad became far superior technology to that provided to a special needs student in his class, where it’s functionality of some apps provided the child with learning experiences beyond what was previously available.
The rural class initially struggled with the implementation of the iPads, and the teacher felt the technology was very foreign to her. However, once she gained more confidence in using the iPads, their use within the classroom increased and she felt her students taught her how to use them.
Both the rural and urban classes had similar experiences regarding the ease and speed of Internet access. The iPads were seen to be more convenient, easier and faster than the available laptops when student were attempting to use the internet. The teacher both identified iPads as a significant tool with convenient access to the Internet.
The project proved that iPads are a practical cross-curricular learning tool that can be used at various teacher and student skill levels.
The management of the new technology devices required a significant time commitment from the teachers, including keeping the iPads charged, keeping track of which students were using which iPads and ensuring all iPads had the same appropriate apps.
One main finding of the research was that the implementation of the iPads within the classrooms found student behaviour changed when the students became independent  and led to learning situations where some students had self-guided discovering of questions they had, this a dramatic decline of the number of questions asked of the teachers.

I found this article highly enjoyable to read and provided some great insight into the use of iPads in the classroom. Given the opportunity, I would love to use this fantastic technology in my own classroom. I believe iPads are only the beginning of this type of technology and learning devices. Technology changes and evolves everyday, and when I’m working in the education system I believe that the technology of today will be very “old-school” and outdated. I hope that I can keep up with the pace of change and evolve with the technology itself. I can’t stress the importance of technology use in the classroom, not only do we as professional need to be tech-savvy and able, but so do our students. They will live in a world filled with technological innovation and will need the skills we teach them to succeed in life.
As the title suggests, I believe it is worth investing in such technologies in our schools as they are such a great tool that has endless use and potential for greatness. It is worth it.


Reid, D. & Ostashewski, N. (2011). iPads in the Classroom - New Technologies, Old Issues: Are they worth the effort? In T. Bastiaens & M. Ebner (Eds.), Proceedings of World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications 2011 (pp. 1689-1694). Chesapeake, VA: AACE. 
 

23 5 / 2012

This week I have the pleasure of presenting the reading for the week:

A schools duty of care for students to whom it gives access to cyberspace: Data in (content regulation) and data out (privacy) – Graham Bassett (2003)

At first, the text was very difficult to read and was quite incomprehensible. However, after reading it through a second and third time, I began to comprehend it on the whole.

Myself, Grace and Alex divided up the text to summarise and to present a question to the class with. I was given the section surrounding filtering software in schools, and how it can both over and under-block content from students.

I remember back in school trying to do research for various subjects and topics, and we couldn’t access a lot of information. I think I was disadvantaged, because designated time given to search for such resources, as it was then done in out of school hours, and added stress.

Although filitering software does have its advantages, there can be no perfect balance of cutting out the bad and/or the good.

22 5 / 2012

gracewhyte-deactivated20130804 asked: In regards to your Achieving Equity in Education Post and your response to the question: How can the government and society achieve the national goal of attaining a higher completion rate of school education to year 12?: I think not only does it depend on the parents view of schooling but it relies on your experiences at school. I believe that if you have positive experiences at school including that of teachers than that makes all the difference. In particular teachers can make a huge impact.

I agree. I was fortunate enough to have a lot of positive experiences at school, and has probably lead my career path to the educational system. Also, with having one of my parents being a teacher has also influenced my positive ideology of school, and helped me through high school. Having has such great relationships with my teachers at school helped me through the tough times of the HSC. A friend of mine who did not have the best family support during school, but found a passion for music and held a tight friendship with his music teacher, perhaps this helped him through to complete year 12 as well. It is vital to have teachers support at school, otherwise students’ completion rates would drop significantly. 

12 4 / 2012

http://elyssa1.edublogs.org/2012/03/29/week-iwbs-in-the-classroom/

I was having a look at some of my peers blogs and came across Elyssa’s post on Interactive Whiteboards (IWB). I found her views interesting and these are my responses…

The website http://www.oswego.org/ocsd-web/games/SplatSquares/splatsq100.html is quite interesting and could be used for many different activities. It could be used for lots of different Mathematics lessons, where the children could see patterns when looking at multiplication tables.It could also be used to a game of bingo, to mark ouot which numbers have been called out. Both teacher and student could use it, and is simple and easy to use for all ages.

During my time on prac last year my co-operating teacher used a similar styled program that allowed for them to use it as a Mathematics tool in the classroom. They used it to show patterns in numbers during a lesson on multiplcation, addition and subtraction.

My co-operating teacher kept a “diary” on the IWB that allowed for whatever work the class did during the day to be saved in order of completionand allowed for the students to go back and look at what they had previously done. By doing so, I became more familiar with the SMART NoteBook applications, which was intimidating at first. You can only improve and become confident from practice.

Our lesson on IWBs brought to light a lot of new information and skills on how to use IWBs and SMART NoteBook in the classroom - very interesting.

12 4 / 2012

Today during class we looked into synchronous and asynchronous facilities available for person-to-person communication. I created a mind map using bubbl.us

Here were my thoughts…

https://bubbl.us/?h=dc850/1bf991/90qSbZxjIsjPk

12 4 / 2012

the finished product.

06 4 / 2012

At the beginning of the session this week, our weekly literature circle was focused on the article A Vision for 2020: Achieve Equity in Education. A Contribution to Public Discussion of the 2020 Summit Idea by Save our Schools – the national independent advocacy group (2008). We were presented with three questions, and here were my own personal responses to two of the questions…

Kyle: What do you think could be done to decrease the gaps between high SES and low SES students, and also indigenous & non indigenous students?

On prac last year I had a student who came from a lower SES background in a class full of students who come from a higher SES background. My co-operating teacher monitored how the student interacted with the rest of their peers, and checked that they weren’t being excluded or bullied because of their background. A way of avoiding possible isolation of the student or their education being influenced by this, the teacher could pair/partner up those of both high and low SES, so that there is no gap between them, as this is what my co-operating teacher did.

Will: How can the government and society achieve the national goal of attaining a higher completion rate of school education to year 12?

I think this all comes down to parents. A lot of parents may not have completed year 12, or gone on to a tertiary education, thus may not see the advantages and benefits of staying in school. Because of these attitudes, they need to be reversed, and promote to both students and parents that it is vital to stay in school, as it allows for more time to mature, grow and really understand what they want out of a career for life.

A Vision for 2020: Achieve Equity in Education. A Contribution to Public Discussion of the 2020 Summit Idea by Save our Schools – the national independent advocacy group. April 2008. Retrieved from www.valuesineducation.org.au/pdf/sos0804.pdf

06 4 / 2012

This week we focused on equity in education and the digital divide. Too many children throughout the world will never get the education they need and deserve, and won’t have access to technological resources that other children do.

When asked what we thought the “digital divide” was, the class came up with the following ideas…

- access to ICT, integration into life (technology is everywhere), digital vs. non-digital teaching tools, attitudes towards use of technology (in classroom), virtual worlds and the skill sets (older vs. emerging teachers and students vs. teachers)

Interestingly, this made me think of how fortunate I was during my education to have access to computers both at school and at home, I was taught from a very young age, and throughout my schooling experience, how to use certain technologies, had access to teachers with well-equipped technological skills and come from a family with healthy attitudes towards technology and keeping up with new emerging technologies.

Our tutor, Glynis, then provided us with the five key points of the digital divide, and here are some ideas to decrease this gap…
- the international divide… During class we found two organisations, One Laptop per Child (http://one.laptop.org/) and Hole in the Wall India (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2_CjRbZ5EI)
, that aim to provide technology and accessibility to children worldwide, who may not have opportunities to use computers.
- the economic divide… I believe that this will only be helped by government funding, the more money put into education the better as students won’t miss out on resources, such as books and computers, that other students may have. Lower SES students deserve the same education as students of a higher SES.
- the gender divide… It has been found that males are higher users of technology because of “gaming”, so if a female market of these games can be “tapped” into, we may find that females start to use technology more, and thus this divide may be decreased.
- the teacher skill set divide… The only way to get rid of this gap is if ALL teachers are provided with technological training regularly and efficiently. There is nothing worse than walking into a classroom where the teacher is afraid to use, or is intimidated by, technology in the classroom, and more than likely the students are already more technologically more advanced. Training the teachers on a regular basis will provide more proficient and higher skilled teachers.
- access and connectivity… Sadly, not all students have access and connections to computers and the internet, and the only way to rid the gap, is if all children are provided with computers and an internet connection at school.

I hope, one day, that the digital divide is diminished. All children deserve the same education, all children deserve access to resources that foster learning.

 

A Vision for 2020: Achieve Equity in Education. A Contribution to Public Discussion of the 2020 Summit Idea by Save our Schools – the national independent advocacy group. April 2008. Retrieved from www.valuesineducation.org.au/pdf/sos0804.pdf