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Last course of my Masters of Education (Information Technologies)
EEB503: Reflecting on possibilities; new technologies and modern pedagogy: What will distract me in my final 5 weeks?
How much can we give our students, how much is too much and should we worry that maybe we are choosing content that is beyond many of them? I came across this competition (Three Minute Thesis Presentations).
I intend to show this to my Year 5 and 6 students as an example of a presentation for their Genius Hour Projects, one static slide and a three minute talk. I want them to see how a simp presentation can be effective if they know their information and take the time to practice. Injecting humour, sticking to the time limit and appearing to be confident, good ingredients for a recipe of success.
Ken Robinson Bring on the Learning Revolution!
HAD I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
W.B. Yeats (1865–1939)
“He Wishes For the Cloths of Heaven”
from the Collected Works of W.B. Yeats
Everyday children spread their dreams beneath our feet and we should tread softly.
What have I been doing today? Feeling a bit unwell, sitting in the sunshine soaking up the allocation of vitamin D and trying almost anything not to go and work on my second last assignment for this session. Hang out the washing, tick; make a small omelette for breakfast tick; pay a few bills, tick; not feeling so well sit in the sun again, tick. Eventually I was feeling better, the office had warmed up slightly, the light had changed and it was time. Time for an online search, found this great read, quoted it in my assignment.
What is social media? Put simply it is a new set of technologies and concepts that we need to add and integrate to our existing strategies.
With so many offerings on the internet it makes sense that educators arm themselves with the knowledge and confidence to evaluate Web resources for themselves and the students they teach.
A collection of websites and online resources to consider:
Slide share Presentation Evaluating Web Tool Criteria for Educators
Choosing the Right Web Tool (Storify.com by Jennifer Fenton)
Booktrailers for Readers (A great site ….. so many ideas)
How to make a book trailer ( A Prezi Presentation)
Free technology for teachers by Richard Byrne
Blooms Taxonomy according to Seinfeld (Youtube)
The Australian curriculum Website (Changes: Youtube)
Daniel Morcombe Child Safety Curriculum Year 3-6
Making YouTube accessible for students: View Pure
Video sites YouTubehttp://www.youtube.com To make YouTube accessible in the classroom to students, copy a YouTube URL e.g on iPhone apps http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xWSyZyPFazE Open up View Prue from http://viewpure.com/ and paste the URl into the View Pure window and click the Create button and you now have a new site http://viewpure.com/xWSyZyPFazE that students can access and the video is free from potentially harmful content. TeacherTube http://www.teachertube.com/ and SchoolTubehttp://www.schooltube.com/ have a range of videos suitable for use in the classroom.
Social networking, the sharing of artifacts, email, instant messaging, online games, forums, podcasts, wikis, blogs are what comes to mind when we think of the world wide web today. No longer just passive consumers of information placed on the web, these are the web 2.0 tools that permeate our lives both professionally and personally allowing its users to collaborate, create and publish content to online spaces both locally and globally (Luckin et al. 2009; Richardson, 2010). Inarguably group construction of knowledge, online authoring and responses in real time, together with the availability of network connections and the increased availability and affordability of devices are slowly changing the way our children think and learn (Roblyer and Doering, 2013).
It seems it is no longer acceptable for teachers to teach in isolation. There is unprecedented pressure on schools and teaching teams to share planning, assessments, collection and analysis of data. This is the case in my workplace at the moment. However many teachers themselves do not embrace pedagogical practices that utilize the participatory nature of Web 2.0 tools which encourages pursuing inquiry, collaboration, exploring new literacies and publishing to audiences as categorized by Crook (2008). In fact Web 2.0 technologies together with social media by their very nature are often viewed as ‘disruptive technology’ (Paulet-Crainiceanu, 2014). Richardson (2010) recounts how it wasn’t until he fully understood how global connections could create conversations and connections to learning networks and communities for himself that he was able to see what was needed to facilitate changes in his own curriculum and teaching. Perhaps this is the case for many educators today, a familiar story at my own work place.
A small group of teachers including myself are modeling and encouraging a shift in pedagogical practice through the planning of learning experiences which encourage problem solving and collaboration, including: students blogs; web conferences; accessing You tube clips, online games and learning tasks through virtual classrooms; creating using a variety of Web resources including photographs, images, diagrams, voice recordings, animations, movies; accessing sites such as Google, Google Maps, online dictionaries and participating in offerings such as An Hour of Code. Educators in Queensland can set up virtual classrooms, wikis, blogs etc. within The Learning Place, Education Queensland’s protected online environment for schools (Queensland Government, 2015). This gets around the problem of the restrictions placed on educators to publishing on outside sites, however this can still be frustrating on many levels when trying to incorporate collaborative and participatory technology into our pedagogical practice. For example we cannot plan using Google Docs and many other cloud computing applications, as these are restricted in Queensland, yet teaching colleagues in Victoria have been using them for years.
However in the end it is the teacher’s decision to choose the most appropriate pedagogy to meet the needs of the children they teach and this can be done by connecting with their students, a generation of perceived active networkers but many still have no idea of how to effectively use the plethora of Web 2.0 tools and resources available (Paulet-Crainiceanu, 2014; Roblyer and Doering, 2013; Crook, 2012). Teachers need to accept that they can be partners in student learning, supporting a shift away from traditional teacher directed learning to one that allows students to learn through an online environment of increased conversations, creativity and collaboration (Johnson, 2009).
Technology is evolving at a rapid rate and I have come to realize that hurdles can be thrown up at anytime. Privacy and online safety will always be a concern, but with education and shared responsibility through parent, teacher and student shared responsibility this can be overcome (Richardson, 2010). At the moment as a school we are trying to come to terms with the inevitable road of Bring Your Own Device and the policy that accompanies it. Many teachers are still of the mindset that they want someone to show them how to do things with technology instead of working it out. Groff and Haas (2008) allude to this thinking and suggest teachers need to be willing to ‘tinker’. Gouseti (2010) in discussing the success of using social media as an educational tool also reminds us that success cannot be expected at a first attempt. The idea of children having their own device is very daunting for many staff members whose web pedagogy in my opinion is in the development stages. These are all issues that impact on the successful use of web pedagogies in schools.
Crook, C. (2012) The ‘digital native’ in context: tensions associated with importing
Web 2.0 practices into the school setting. In Oxford Review of Education. 38:1,
(63-80) DOI: 10.1080/03054985.2011.577946
Gouseti, A. (2010) Web 2.0 and education: not just another case of hype,
hope and disappointment? Learning, Media and Technology 35:3, (pp 351-
356) Doi: 10.1080/17439884.2010.509353
Groff, J & Haas, J. (2008) Web 2.00 today’s technologies tomorrows learning.
Johnson, M. (2009). Web 2.0 – a 21st century learning transformation. Primary
Source Teaching the Web 2.0 Way. (pp25-34). Columbus, Ohio: Linworth.
Luckin, R., Clark, W., Graber, R., Logan, K., Mee, A & Oliver, M. (2009). Do
Web 2.0 tools really open the door to learning? Practices, perceptions and profiles
of 11-16 year old students. Learning, Media and Technology 34:2, 87-104.
Păuleţ-Crăiniceanu, L. (2014) Integrating the Web 2.0 Technologies in Romanian
Public Universities. Towards a Blended Learning Model that addresses Troubled
Student-Faculty Interaction. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences. 142
(2014) 793–799. Doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2014.07.618
Queensland Government, Education Queensland. (2015). Learning Place. Retrieved from http://education.qld.gov.au/learningplace/
Richardson, W. (2010). The Read/Write Web. In Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts and Other
Powerful Web Tools for the Classroom. (pp1-16). Thousand Oaks, California: Corwin.
Roblyer, M., & Doering, A. (2013). Integrating Educational Technology into
Teaching: International Edition, 6th Edition, Pearson.
I am finding that the use of Web 2.0 tools I use in my personal and professional life are becoming blurred. Until recently I used Twitter for my professional connections and learning and Facebook predominantly for my personal life. However I am now a member of a number of Facebook groups which support my professional connections and learning also. I don’t find this to be problematic as I am always mindful of my digital footprint and post wisely to Facebook. (I always tell children if they wouldn’t be happy for others to hear or witness comments and behaviours in life, then don’t post it online). I am also finding that apps I use in my personal life such as Animoto, Pic Collage and iMotion (photo editing, especially when I travel) are becoming part of my professional repertoire and they have installed on devices at work. I like to share new apps and Web 2.0 tools with students as I find them. Tonight as part of an assignment I tried Prezi for the first time. I feel it is good for students to see the learning processes we go through as adults.That’s why I document my initial thoughts into this presentation. I tell them we never stop learning. I also use these opportunities to reinforce cyber safety. As a staff we are very conscious of staying safe online and model appropriate behavior to students.
This year I am investigating using blogs more frequently as both an inquiry and reflection tool. Coding is also a focus, using apps such as Scratch Jn and the Scratch website. We have started a coding club at lunch time and through word of mouth we have an enthusiastic core of students keen to expand their knowledge. Code.org http://code.org Crunchzilla http://www.crunchzilla.com
HOW DO WE EVALUATE WEB 2.0 TOOLS?
When I think about my day, I think about my teaching partner and sharing conversations about posts we have read and made on social media. We are both researching and learning from the net but in the end we are sharing with each other and then we are inspired to share with others.
Social networking is just not about the internet, this afternoon I realised social networking connects us in so many ways….. on the net and beyond…. we learn, we share, we inspire, we network, we wish. The internet allows all of us more than ever before to share, create, collaborate, respond and comment on anything and everything.
All my adult children came home on the weekend; girl friends, boyfriends, the birthday boy and the bride to be! We had a great time together, sharing stories, songs, music, movies, photos and more. iPads, iPad minis, iTunes, Spodify, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and Pandora all fell into the mix but we shared……. social networking is part of who we are now, we are not isolated, instead these platforms seem to unit us, just another way we all connect. Yes there was wine, yes there was food and yes there is us. It’s part of who we are it’s part of life in 2015 so let’s enjoy.