EduPic Graphical Resource- what I have been looking for!

7 May

The award for the most useful blog post of this semester goes to…. Mrs Poulter at Keeping up with the Times- a never ending journey with her blog post Photographs and Graphics for Educational Use. The website EduPic has pictures and graphics (mostly for math) of certain topics so that you can have some visual representations when teaching or perhaps in a worksheet. I have been looking for something like this for the times when I am on prac and just needing a picture or graphic to display what I am saying about a topic! This is great- I love being able to connect with fellow pre-service teachers and learn more, and gain more resources for when I head out on prac. I feel this is going to be the most prepared and well-resourced prac I am going to have done! Woo hoo! 

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Voki- taking the ‘fear’ out of classroom learning

7 May

This week thanks to the EDC 3100 study desk I came across a fantastic resource called Voki. It’s an online service that allows you to create your own speaking avatars! I think this is just genius- at the Official Voki Blog there are dozens of ways that you can integrate this resource into your teaching. It made me think of the times when I was at school and I so badly wanted to contribute to classroom discussions or share an answer or question, or share something that I have learnt but I was too afraid. I was a shy student who was afraid to ‘get it wrong’, and was worried about what people thought of me. I think this resource takes the fear out of classroom learning- really enabling students who were like me to contribute to the classroom community and learn from each other. In a society where we are driven by technology and it is a new social order where we interact via facebook, twitter, blog postings and emails, this is an authentic resource that may give students more of an opportunity to have a ‘voice’ in the classroom. 

Addressing Diversity- ending the ‘sameness’ problem

7 May

As I was going through the learning path for this week I was interested in gaining some information about diversity and how we as educators can embrace diversity using ICT’s. I had a look at this brilliant blog post by SpeEdChange called Changing Gears 2012: ending required sameness. Among some really insightful thoughts, the main theme was the fact that in society we are so obessed with everyone being the same- it’s almost unacceptable to be different, but that now we need to start embracing and using diversity to change the world. It is amazing to be different! As a pre-service special education teacher, this really hits home. Only decades ago were people fighting for the right to an education if they had special needs or different needs. It is our responsibility as a society to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to reach their potential, whatever barriers they may face. I know that the Universal Design for Learning is a great model in the classroom to ensure this happens. I also watched this wonderful video by google about the benefits of ICT to aid  in learning and exploration in the classroom. Watch it here. I love the title- Learning independence! Thats what we want, don’t we? Independence of children who may have special needs so that they can interact and live in the world around them successfully, not just to ‘get by’ but to actually make a difference using their own talents! 

ICT & Assessment

7 May

The second topic I chose to explore was of ICT and Assessment, and how to authentically develop assessment that assists in student learning and outcomes through the use of ICT’s. I cam across a great article by Mary Lincoln here that explains the importance of using ICT’s in conjunction with other strategies to ensure successful integration and implementation of assessment. Following Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy is a great place to start and frame assessment that used ICT. Here is a great list of resources that could be used with assessment called Integration across the curriculum

 

What I learnt through this exploration was that ICT should be integrated into Assessment, not just assessing ICT skills, but using it to ENHANCE. This is something I continue to come across on this topic of ICT pedagogy. 

UDL- ICT exploration and explanations

7 May

For this weeks learning path we were asked to explore 2 topics of interest and build a set of information and resources on these. One of the topics I chose was the Universal Design for Learning. I explored what this approach meant in relation to ICT and came across my fellow EDC 3100 student, Scott at his blog, Scott’s Uni Blog and read his insightful and details explanation of the UDL process in the classroom involving ICT’s in his post Universal Design in Education (UDE). After developing a great explanation of the UDL in regards to education being a process that is flexible and accommodating to all students, I went on over to scoop.it and had a look at some of the resources and information people had posted.

-I discovered that the use of iPad’s were a great UDL resource and watched this video to get some ideas along with reading the post called 7 Great Strength-Based Universal Design for Learning Apps for Students with Special needs

-The UDL centre has some great resources listed here that you could use in a classroom. 

Dream box has some great ideas for integration of the UDL model in Interactive Whiteboards

VoxoPop is an awesome resource for a voice based learning tool

 

Loved getting information about this topic that is dear to my heart because I am studying Special Education and is particularly relevant for me in ensuring that I cater to all needs in my classroom. Using scoop.it was great- and I learnt a lot! 

Professional Experience Preparation

23 Apr

As I was reading a fellow pre-service educator Miss Philp’s blog, I read a recent blog post Week 9, post 3: Where will ideas for Assignment three come from? As soon as I finish one assignment, I see we need to start thinking about the next one! But, this assignment is a little more practical as it is directly related to prac. I had a look in the Week 9 learning path which takes us through all we need to know for professional experience and there were a couple of things that I know I need to dive deeper in before I go… 

1. What model will I be using…. I need to have a greater look at the TIP model which looks at integrating ICT’s into teaching. This blog explains it really well. Have a look at this picture as well to get a greater knowledge of the model.

2. Don’t just substitute, enhance! It’s no good just using the smartboard in the same way I have used a white board… Enhance learning, don’t just substitute it! 

3. Prepare students for a new learning enviroment. This should be one of my biggest purposes as a teacher working with ICT’s… Start to prepare students for real life contexts and new ones so that they are experts.

 

Definitely some food for thought… 

 

I also downloaded a lot of the resources I needed for prac so that I could get ahead on it. I already know where I am going, and I am just waiting for final confirmation. I am looking forward to going back to the same school I went to last semester. I am very lucky that I already know the teachers, the school and a lot of the students so I am already one step ahead in my preparation process. 

Video

I will not let an exam result decide my fate

23 Apr

As I was procrastinating from doing assignments this morning I came across a YouTube Channel of Suli Breaks whose career centres around the spoken word. He has done a previous video on why he hates School but loves Education, and this was his sequel to that video. In this video he talks about the fact that at School or a Higher Education we are taught to follow the rules, and follow the tests. If we fail a test, we are uneducated, unintelligent, and have no future. He talks about how students are led to believe that if they do badly at school then they will go no where in life. The way we work our current education system contradicts our current society… The kids we are teaching google, facebook, instagram, tweet, blog and flickr. How can we base education on traditionalist ideas that are contrary to our current society. It makes me think about ICT’s involvement in schooling. I don’t want to be a teacher stuck in the old ways of society… I want to be a teacher that inspires, encourages, and helps others reach their potential whatever way that might be. ICT’s can do this for us… We just have to know how best to use them in the classroom. Food for thought….