Reflection & Feedback

reflection

This is the first blog I have ever written, in my opinion it has helped me retain information, it’s helped me think critically about each module individually and analyse how it will help me become a teacher, what habits I have now in relation to technology, what I can improve on and finally what expectations students and parents with have.

In the beginning it was hard for me to write reflectively, I found myself writing minni essays without asking myself things like; “what have I learned?” and “how will that help me in the future?”. Now I think asking those questions for each topic in the future will keep helping retain information and help me understand the ways that I learn so I can keep improving.

From a teachers point of view I can see how  I could use blogs instead of exercise books in the future, I’ve found it to be a more in-depth process then putting pen to paper. I found many things that related to the modules that I could use to further illustrate my points, like YouTube clips and pictures. This blog kept me inspired and allowed me to use my creative abilities as well as academic which made this whole study period very engaging. I will use blogs in my teaching, hoping that my students will be as engaged as I was.

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Blog_Rubric_Peer_Marking REBEKKAH DENNINGTON #2Blog_Rubric_Peer_Marking_Rebekkah_Dennington

I found the feedback part of this essay a very interesting and rewarding experience, to have opinions of people who work and learn differently to me, analyse my work and note where my strengths and weaknesses are and in turn, view their work and see how mine compares. At first I must admit I didn’t agree with a lot of the feedback but once I had a detailed look at my work and the corresponding comments I did not need anymore convincing.  I found that I was not writing reflectively, which may be one of the most important parts of the essay. I also discovered that I was using pictures that were aesthetically pleasing but not related to the text. There were many other areas in which I needed assistance, such as grammar, wording, my sentence structures and lastly my referencing, reflecting the APA style as much as possible. All of these issues were reflected in the comments and marking of my blog by both students and I remedied all aspects of my blog to the best of my abilities.

Pictures

  • Reflection[image], retrieved from theauthorsblog.wordpress.com/
  • The Best Gift Leaders Can Give: Honest Feedback[image], retrieved from http://www.forbes.com

Life Long Learning

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Education does not stop at the end of your time at a high school or university, instead through the use of digital technology children and adults are becoming life long learners, meaning that people now have the means to constantly learn new skills. Whether they are informal skills like learning to grow tomato’s or leaning how to change a tyre, these skills we can look up online and have Google as our uncertified teacher. Alternately getting certificate or diploma through online institutions like open university’s or Qld Tafe are formal skills, regardless of the type there is the opportunity to constantly learn(Howell, 2012).

Creating generations of life long learners firstly demands teachers to be life long learners. Consider that as teachers our professional development is part of our job description, its needed to maintain certification,  teacher are also required learn while teaching so students can receive a outstanding and up to date education. Salary increase opportunities also encourage life long learning by offering higher salaries to individuals with more training, sometimes it may even require attending out of school workshops(Bryce, Withers, 2003). Although schools do allocate monetary recourses and leave opportunities for professional development, teachers as life-long learners is unfortunately a lacking most schools  because of the limited quantity, and quality of professional development available. It is crucial that schools, teachers and government representatives recognize the importance of developing teachers as life-long learners, how can the community expect life-long learning skills and attitudes in children and not support the development of those same skills in teachers(Bryce, Withers, 2003).

The DER (Digital Education Revolution) is a government incentive designed to assist students and teachers to provide and receive the best education possible but to date the DER has not completely resolved issues like, bridging the digital gap (DEAG, 2013). This leads me to theorise that once again an individuals socioeconomic status will ultimately decide if a student is  life long learner and if so to what extent, meaning that the cost of internet and technological devices may limit but not completely eradicate the amount of time a student can spend self-teaching.

The European Lifelong Learning Initiative defines lifelong learning as “…a continuously supportive process which stimulates and empowers individuals to acquire all the knowledge, values, skills and understanding they will require throughout their lifetimes and to apply them with confidence, creativity and enjoyment, in all roles circumstances, and environments.” (Watson, 2003) To build the foundations that Watson describes teachers consider all the major components of the curriculum and the characteristics of their students and what strategies and methods are best suited to those students before they decide on the technologies and methods best suited to their students and educational environment. Then endeavour to incorporate the foundations of lifelong learning, like; self directed learning, searching and analysing information, communication and language skills, problem solving and teamwork, among so many others. To much emphasis on the curriculum and examinations alone can encourage a short term approach to learning, a ‘what do I have to learn’ vs. ‘how much can I learn'(Bryce, Withers, 2003).

References

  • Watson, L. (2003) Lifelong Learning in Australia, Canberra, Department of Education, Science and Training Retrieved from http://www.llcq.org.au/01_cms/details.asp?ID=12
  •  Bryce, J, Withers, G, 2003, Engaging secondary school students in lifelong learning
  • Howell, J, 2012, Teaching with ICT: Digital Pedagogies for Collaboration and Creativity
  • Education Department, 2013, Digital Education Advisory Group (DEAG) Final Report, retrieved from https://education.gov.au/technology-schools?resource

Digital Blurring

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When analysing my digital life and how much technology I use personally, I discover that I communicate a lot online, through email, Facebook and text messaging. I play games and when I need to research , my laptop is the first place I go. I believe any of the digital skills I have accumulated from my personal use of digital devices can be extrapolated and applied to teaching or learning(Howell, 2012). This is known as digital blurring, when the digital skills can be transferred from one area of your life to another.

Children learn skills from gaming like hand eye coordination and problem solving, they learn how to communicate and use colloquial language with social media sites like Facebook, they learn how to truncate and search for information with websites like YouTube and google(Howell, 2012). It could be said that all of these skills are needed to learn as well as to be an educator.

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Programs and online games are consistently being created to aid teachers in ‘blurring’ student skills and applying them to the curriculum. Programs such as Mathletics, where students can compete against each other online solving math problems, for younger student there is simple adding and subtracting and for more advanced student there are things like algebra.

Sploder is another program teachers can use for digital blurring, this is another web based program that allows anyone to make an online game. Different goals can be picked as well as the style of game, colours, backgrounds and even music, it could be used as a teaching method as well as a project for students to undertake. I personally found this program fairly simple  to navigate but not as easy as other web programs like scratch. Because I wasn’t finding it isn’t as easy, I wasn’t as inspired for ideas on how to incorporate it into a lesson.

Here is a link to the Sploder that I made.

http://www.sploder.com/games/members/bekkdenni10/play/teaching-in-a-digital-world/

http://www.bryankorourke.com/journal/2013/7/4/the-line-between-the-physical-and-digital-worlds-continues-t.html

Refrences

  • Howell, J, 2012, Teaching with ICT:

Pictures

Scratch

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Today I would like to further discuss my experience with scratch. Scratch is a web based program which allows anyone to create short animations with sounds and pictures that the website has provided, but there is also the option to record you own sounds and music and upload and edit your own pictures. I found this program fairly easy to navigate and very inspiring for ideas, particularly for the target age group that I would like to teach. The route that I chose to go down was relating the animation to reading and writing. Clicking on the animals in the animation activated a sound which is my voice spelling out the name of that animal, my aim for this animation would be to allow children to relate the name of the animal to the picture and to what the word looks like so later they could Identify that word in another piece of text.

Below is the link to my scratch

http://scratch.mit.edu/projects/33608862/

Digital Fluency

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Digital fluency is using our technological abilities to achieve any type of  goal, this has become an important element of teaching, every year that students progress in school they are expected to be fluent in different areas. Then when entering the workforce, students are expected to have sufficient knowledge in all areas and have the ability to extrapolate all of their digital knowledge and apply it to new programs and technologies(Howell, 2012). There are many area that may effect a student becoming digitally fluent, including the digital divide and the teachers digital fluency and teaching methods.

As a teacher I will have to develop my digital pedagogy, to embrace all new technologies and to keep up with the new age of digital students and the expectation from parents that their children will be taught with technologies (Howell, 2012). Consider the areas that will determine weather a student will be digitally fluent or not, firstly the teacher, weather the teacher enables the students use of technology or models advice so students can see the uses of the device but not how to use it. Secondly, the different types of learning for students, if a student learns in a constructive manner or a student the responds to a constructionist learning environment. The teacher must use different methods and incorporate technology in multiple ways to stimulate students. Finally, the digital divide; schools and students to who and do not have access to technologies(Howell, 2012).

The skills needed by students in the digital age must be embedded in order to engage in learning programs, internet safety, and internet navigation(White, 2013). Printed newspaper sales are declining and Amazon.com sells more electronic books than print books, this highlights the importance of digital fluency(White, 2013). As a teacher it will be my responsibility to ensure I am keeping my students fluent and re-evaluating my methods as a constant as technology keeps evolving.

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Programs are consistently being discovered to assist teachers in engaging students that can easily be applied to the curriculum, an example is a web-based program called scratch, this program allows you to make interactive short animations. The website has designed characters, sounds, colours and backgrounds so any creator can choose their own combinations, the characters are capable of making small movements and words can be inserted in speech bubbles. This week I have made my own short animation to demonstrate a way that this program could be used in an early childhood or primary school setting.

References

Pictures

Digital Information

digital-marketing-2014Digital information is any piece of information that we can view digitally, it differs from reading a book or newspaper for many reasons, the most obvious being that when we read an article online, we aren’t just reading an article, there’s information within the information(Howell, 2012). You can see examples of this when you look up anything on Wikipedia, There are hundreds of hyperlinks, leading you to related pieces of information or defining words or phrases that the common person might not understand.

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There is the possibility that the information that we are receiving online is not accurate, the process to finding accurate information is simple, you can choose to only search for information from government websites or education websites ending in ‘org’ or ‘edu’ or you can research the website that has posted the information(Howell, 2012). These as well as many other online skill are ones that we will constantly have to relay to our students on a daily basis.

untitledPinterest is a website that I only discovered through this weeks task, its full of short pieces of information displayed on infographs, I found the site to be engaging and useful for finding quick facts and ideas. The information being displayed in infographs, with the colours and pictures would make this website engaging and particularly beneficial to assisting the curriculum, For example, this website could be a more engaging way of teaching younger children to truncate and use key words. I have left a link below for everyone to see my site, on my Pinterest are ‘pins’ about technology in education.

http://www.pinterest.com/bekkdennington/pins/

In a later module, a task was to create a website marking rubric, I believe that this rubric relates to the points raised in this topic, like teaching students what websites have reliable information. As a teacher I will have to evaluate websites before I present them to a class of students, I will also be expected to evaluate many websites to find the best one to support my lesson. I have created a very simple rubric for websites so a teacher can cover all areas such as safety, reliability and whether its going to keep the student engaged.

Website evaluation rubric

References

  • Howell, J, 2012, Teaching with ICT: Digital Pedagogies for Collaboration and Creativity

Photos