Goodbye, Goodbye, Good Friends Goodbye!

Hello All,

So as you may have guessed from the title it is time to say goodbye to EDC3100. This will be my last blog post for the semester. That is not to say that I won’t continue blogging at a later stage but for now it is goodbye.

I would just like to briefly reflect on the course that was EDC3100. Despite initially feeling overwhelmed by this course and questioning whether I could get everything done and keep up with three other courses I am pleased to say that I have made it! (Well almost, I technically will have by Friday). This course has had its many challenges but it has also had many successes and I feel I have learnt a great deal over the past 15 weeks.

Too all of you still completing the course, keep your head held high you’re almost there! To everyone good luck and all the best for your future studies!

Thank you too everyone who has taken the time to read my blog posts and share in my experiences throughout the course.

Jess.

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Using ICTs on Prac

Hey Everyone,

If you read my post ‘7 Sleeps’ you would now that one of my main concerns for prac this semester was how I would integrate ICTs into my teaching and students learning experiences. Technology use is not one of my strengths, though I do feel I am fairly competent.

Upon meeting my mentor teacher I was told that I had access to an interactive whiteboard, five laptops within the classroom (others could be borrowed), and four iPads. My first thought was great! I will have plenty to work with.

Then I started prac and the iPads were requested to another year level and the laptops in my room were being shared across the other Year 3 and 2 classrooms periodically. So the iPads were out and I would only have some access to the laptops. This concerned me at first because my resources were diminishing and my time with resources was becoming limited. Oh well, welcome to the real world of a teacher!

I adjusted my plan and made sure that for the lessons I required laptops that they were charged for as long as possible prior to use. This worked well and students really enjoyed the opportunity to work with the laptops as this was not common practice for them.

To read more about other student’s experiences on prac read Nicole and Tegan’s posts or if you would like to follow a student’s journey through prac read Mazzaedwards blog posts from prac.

Thanks for reading!

Jess

A Prac of Firsts

Hey Guys,

As I mentioned in my previous post ‘I did NOT plan for that!’ I have just been on Prac. Yay! I was really sad to leave my class last Tuesday, but life goes on. On this prac I had several ‘first’ experiences.

My first day with this class was a bit different to my other pracs because we went on an excursion to the Ipswich Art Gallery. This was my first excursion with a class so I was quite excited. And boy did it live up to my expectations.

The students weren’t there to look at artwork but to create their own. The Ipswich Art Gallery runs many activities for kids and this was one that really appealed to the Year 3 teachers at the school I attended. The students created their own ‘Squishy Circuits’ with play-doh, LED lights, a battery pack, and simple wires. You can read more about it on this website.

The students were really well behaved and it was fantastic to see what they created. I took many photos on the excursion for students to create a digital recount later. One of my favourites was of a truck that you can see below.

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On this prac I also had my first athletics carnival. Which was quite fun despite the fact that we all froze from the wind. My class also started buddies with the Kindy next to the school, which was the first time I had been able to watch students taking on the ‘buddy’ role.

Each of these experiences gave me a different context to see the students and their varied strengths beyond the classroom. For those who weren’t necessarily strong in English or Math, they were creative with their sculptures on the excursion, excelling in athletics and provided the most support to their buddy from the Kindy. I believe that it is important to celebrate every student’s successes and on this prac I felt that I had the opportunity to witness many more of those successes.

Thanks for reading!

Jess.

I did NOT plan for that!

Hey Everyone,

It’s been about a month since my last blog post, so I have heaps to talk about. I think I’ll start with Prac!

Now for those of you who have been keeping up with my posts you will know that before prac I was extremely excited but also quite nervous. As it turned out I had an awesome experience and learnt a lot, I had nothing to be worried about. I did however, have to worry about what came after prac. The assignments waiting for me.

Now some of you may be thinking but surely you knew about this before prac and had made preparations to get those assignments completed. To you I say you are correct, I did. I knew that I would complete prac on the Friday the 5th and would have two assignments due on Tuesday the 9th (not enough time to complete two assignments). So before starting prac I set out a plan to tackle each assignment.

This worked well for me at first. The first weekend of prac I completed what was planned and was very proud of myself as I never get any uni work done while on prac, usually. Then came the Friday of week two. Waking up to find that you are sick with a stomach bug. Not Cool! Thankfully being a Friday I only lost one day of prac and had the weekend to recover. But wait, the PLAN! That went out the window and panic set in. But it was okay! I made it!

Now I just have to stay motivated to get through the end of this semester. One assignment and one exam to go. In the wise words of Brendan I will just have to keep chipping away at the assignment and pile of notes to revise.

As always, Thanks for reading!

Jess

CLEM Framework

Hi Everyone,

In this week’s learning path we were introduced to the CLEM framework. This is quite handy and just in time for professional experience because this framework helps you to develop knowledge about a specific ICT and how to use it effectively. This is particularly helpful to me as I am unsure at this point as to what I will be able to do with my prac class and the resources at my disposal.

The acronym CLEM is broken down into four parts: Community, Literature, Examples, and Model.  To use the interactive whiteboard (IWB) I will have to clarify the model, engage with literature, look for examples of others using the same IWB that I have available to use for some ideas and communicate with the communities around me; whether they be online, within my school context, or at uni with other pre-service teachers. If I complete each of these parts effectively I will be able to use this particular ICT from my teaching context successfully on prac.

Thanks for reading.

Jess

7 Sleeps!

Hey All,

ONE WEEK TO GO!

I’m Super Duper EXCITED for PRAC! Now that I know where I am going and the year level I have this is all becoming REAL! Alright so as well and being really excited I am quite nervous but more excited at this point.

Last week I was reading this blog post from Alex where she is talking about prac, she says, “It is those few weeks that remind me why I started studying again and who I do it for.” I totally agree with her. There are many occasions where I sit back and look at all of my assignments due within a week of each other and have to ask myself why on earth I put myself through the stress of all this. Professional experience luckily enough swoops in at the right time and reminds me of what I am working towards and why the stress will be worth it in the end.

Despite my main concern for this prac being around how I will use and integrate ICTs into my learning, I have to remember that the ICTs are not the focus. I need to approach this prac as I have all the others and do my best to learn and improve as a teacher. This will involve the use of ICTs but it should not be my only focus.

Thanks for reading!

Jess.

Footprints in the Sand

Hey Everyone,

We all know that what we put out there on the World Wide Web is there for good, but how often do we forget this. How often do we leave footprints in the ‘metaphorical sand’ of the internet without realising the trail behind us? This blog post from Nicole suggests how easy it can be to forget, she also makes links to some useful websites about digital footprints.

This website in particular gives five suggestions for how you can manage your digital footprint. This link is an extension of the above website and is based at a teen level and informs teenagers on how to protect their digital reputation. Although both of these webpages have been designed for children and teenagers, the information is still very relevant to adults and should be taken on board by all.

Thanks for reading.

Jess

NEVER take Candy from a Stranger!

Hi All,

When I was growing up my parents always told me to never take candy from a stranger. So I didn’t take the lollipop from the ‘Your Digital Footprint’ Moodle book. Instead I watched the YouTube clip which can be viewed here (Warning this is creepy!).

I was already aware that this kind of stuff can and does happen to people but watching the actor made me feel sick. I mean the thought of unintentionally giving away your location so that some pervert can find you is scary. We all need to be cautious of the details we share and what details may be linked to photos that we upload. The whole situation makes me feel yuck!

Anyway enough from me for now, just be careful out there.

Jess

Connect.ed

Hey All, As a part of the Week 10 learning path I have just completed the four modules required by the connet.ed website and have received my Cyber Smart Certificate. Yay! For anyone who is currently practicing as a teacher or still working towards becoming a registered teacher I would recommend this resource. Although the modules took a few hours to properly engage with I feel it was well worth it as the modules were very informative. As technology evolves and students become even more engrossed by such devices it is crucial for teachers and schools to have an awareness of the advantages and problems that come with this new phenomenon. The modules work through the safety issues and problems that students face online and provide a way to help combat and prevent such issues from occurring. Module four in particular was helpful when applying this new knowledge to the school context. Well worth the time. Thanks Jess

NAPLAN

Hey Everyone,

I was in my EDX3270 course this afternoon when we were alerted to the fact that by 2017 NAPLAN tests could be marked entirely by computers. This article from the Australian has the story. I understand the push behind this, to speed up the process of returning results to students and their parents as currently the wait is four months. The plan is that students will have their results returned to them two weeks after taking the test, which would be fantastic as it gives a better indication of where students are at. A lot can change over four months which makes the results less reliable in indicating a student’s abilities. But at what cost is this time frame advantage gained?

Another article written for the Conversation in response to the above article suggests that this may not be worth it. If the computer is only working from an algorithm to mark the creative writing tasks, how is it accounting for creativity in students writing? I don’t see how it can. Not yet at least.

I’d love to hear everyone’s thoughts.

Jess