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download 5Today I have spent some time setting up sites that I will need to use for 3100.  I now have a social bookmark site and for the first time I am using wordpress (which I set up last year, not even sure why I set this site up) but more importantly I am using a blog !!!  Of course I have heard of blogs but never actually used one myself.  I love learning about all the technology that is available and find it exciting to think how I will use this information in the classroom.

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23rd February 2014

So this is my second day working my way around these new technologies that are required for 3100.  I set up my twitter account today which is  also all new to me.  I have a couple of friends who I am now following but will have to look at it all a little more in depth to work out how it all works.

26th February 2014

Have been working on learning more about blogs and twitter.  I am now following some other students blogs. There is so much to learn although I am sure that by using these sites on a regular basis it will start to become second nature.  I am going to look at making a firm start on assignment one today as I need to make sure I stay on top of my work load this semester with four courses to complete !!

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01 March 2014

I have made a good start on Assignment one, making a power point presentation which I will turn into a you tube clip I have also created a padlet page for my artifact.  I have seen padlet used in the past and thought it was a great site to display work.  I have not had the opportunity to use it before now so this is another area where it is a case of learn as I go.  I have also completed all of the tasks for week one on the study desk, this has been interesting with some of the information provided in the course very informative.  I loved the fill in the gaps challenge and had a laugh along the way as I tried to figure out what word would fit the gap.  It seemed too easy for the answers I gave and once I seen the correct answers (all about chickens, not children) I gave myself a slap to the forehead.  The thing that really impressed me this past week was viewing the ‘Hello Kitty’ you tube clip.  This clip is a great example of how a year seven student was creative enough to come up with what one would normally consider an impossible task and turned it into reality using basic concepts and ICT.  This clip is an example of how one is only limited by one’s own imagination and as a pre service teacher inspires me to hopefully encourage my future students to reach for the stars.

02 March 2014.

I found this website which I thought I would share as it has some great links and information about interactive white boards (ITW).  During my last three practical experiences all classrooms that I worked in had ITWs however they were not being used to their full potential.  One teacher informed me that the one in her classroom was not working properly and she was waiting on an IT person to come and take a look at it.  The other classrooms I attended, the teachers did not know how to use them in an interactive way.  They could connect their laptop to the ITB and allow students to view things they could run on their laptop for example a youtube clip or a powerpoint presentation but that is as far as it went.  To have these types of resources in the classroom and not use them to enhance students learning and engagement seems to be not only a waste of money but more importantly a waste of a great tool. Please click on following link or the picture below, both will take you to, The University of Sydney (2014), where you will find on the webpage numerous links to other great pages that can help increase understanding and knowledge of how to get the most of an IWB.

The University of Sydney

The University of Sydney

06 March, 2014

Out of the practical experiences I have done thus far my first prac stands out above the rest.  Coming from an era where the teacher was the one who did most of the talking in the classroom and the student was the one who listened, I soon discovered that the modern day classroom had changed somewhat.  My mentor was at least ten years my junior but I learnt so much from her.  To be honest I had never seen a problem with the way I was taught.  I mean I know my times tables and I can spell (without reaching for a calculator or a dictionary).

However the more I thought about how I was taught  the more I began to realise how boring it was, writing endlessly in my exercise books, copying what ever my teacher wrote on the blackboard.  It was during this practical experience that I was first introduced to  Constructivism.  I was able to see firsthand how important it is to ensure students make a connection to what they are being taught and relate it to their own experiences.   The diversity in this composite class was at times challenging and required me to use a number of strategies throughout a lesson in an attempt to keep students engaged and interested.  An important lesson I learned during this experience was to ensure that all students learning needs are catered for even if that means providing a number of different activities that will in the long run see all students reach the same outcome. Since that very first experience I have come across many theorists and  I have to say both Jerome Bruner and John Dewey would be my favourites.  They see students as individuals who all learn differently, depending on their own life experiences.  Bruner sums it up perfectly in the following clip.

08 March 2014

Well what a whirlwind of week it has been!  I am in the process of trying to find a school to take me for prac while also making sure I engage in all four of my courses.  As much as I love 3100 it has consumed a lot of my time this week.  Don’t get me wrong I am truly enjoying this course, there is just a lot of boxes to tick (excuse the pun).   I have made a great start to Assignment one, but I am still trying to master Twitter and Diigo.  After reading introductions on the desk top it soon becomes apparent that I am not alone in this journey.  There are so many students doing this course, that I think it would be impossible to follow all of them so I am going to select a few different ones and make a point of keeping up with their posts.  So far I have found a lot of familiar names that I have worked with before so I am following them but I would also like to follow some that I do not know and as David pointed out it is always good to follow others who are not majoring in the same domain.

I am wondering if I feel so daunted by the amount of resources and information out there in the virtual world how would a child feel or approach it.  In all honesty they would probably do a better job than me.  One thing I have in my favour is that  I know I have to constantly improve my own ICT skills on a regular basis so that I can share my knowledge and vice versa with my future students.    I am sure we all want to be the best teachers we can possibly be and when it comes to technology who better to gain an opinion off than Bill Gates, I hope you enjoy listening to Bill’s opinion of what makes a great teacher.

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09 March 2014

Today I read a post that a fellow blogger posted that really got me thinking.  Bec’s Blog ‘Are we there yet’ contained a post named ‘reflection‘ that I found interesting and did exactly what  I am sure Bec set out to do and that is it had me reflecting on my Uni journey in the sense of the ICT I have used.  Bec asked if the ICT assessment pieces required in certain courses in fact restricted me as I had to follow the requirements of the course.  This post took me back to my very first ICT experience with uni and at first I thought it was my first course but then smiled as I realised it was actually the USQ home page.  Trying to get my head around all of the pages on USQ was very daunting and I was sure there was no way I would ever be able to navigate my way around it all ha ha very funny now that I look back !  Although, Bec was actually asking about assessments and so it was one of my first courses where I was required to create a power point presentation and present it on You tube that my first learning experiences was first transformed.  I do agree with Bec that we are producing assessments that are directed (not sure I am always in tune with what that direction is 🙂 ).  However I think my learning has transformed as I am willing to give most ICT resources a go and to my own amazement and at times frustration will persevere to achieve what I set out to do.  Perhaps I am interpreting ‘transforming’ in the wrong context.  One thing is for sure I have come a long way when it comes to using ICT from creating the very time consuming ‘web quest‘  an ‘eportfolio’ , a ‘multi modal project’ and an electronic ‘scrap book’ .  As I look back on all of these assessments I can see how I had to create something that met the brief but I do feel they are all a reflection of me and can see myself using some of these programs in my future journey.

12th March 2014

Just a quick blog to share a blog that I stumbled upon when researching for assignment one.  The blog is called “Kids Can’t Use Computers… And This Is Why It Should Worry You” .  Please take the time to read as future educators you may find it interesting.  I would love to hear your thoughts on if you agree or disagree with the blogger.

15th March 2014

Week two completed and I have to admit my head is spinning.  So for this course has been a whirl wind in the amount of info I have had to look over. So much so that I overlooked registering this blog !!  So lucky that David picked up on it and sent out a reminder. It just goes to show that no matter how prepared you think you are, (including getting in early to complete tasks) there is always a chance that you can overlook something.  I think this could be the same in the classroom when teaching a diverse range of students.  Hence where reflection should be called upon regularly to help ensure that all student’s needs are being met.  However it does not stop there it is just as important for the teacher to encourage their students  to reflect on their own performances.  This is supported by Mark Clements (2014), article The Importance of Reflection in Education.  This article reiterates the importance of reflection when it echoes Dewey’s famous quote “We don’t learn from experience. We learn from reflecting on experience”.

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