ICTs in Learning and Teaching

Professional Experience provided me with a huge insight into how ICTs can be incorporated into student learning along with teaching to ensure effective and enhanced student learning experiences.

I faced challenges and successes throughout the experience which taught me a lot about the effectiveness of ICTs in learning for not only students but teachers as well.

The incorporation of ICTs in the Prep students learning experiences truly showed me how much ICTs can assist and develop student learning.

I particularly learnt how to incorporate ICTs to cater for the diverse range of abilities and styles evident in classroom environments.

The Prep students were able to use ICTs to develop and continually practise new learned knowledge.

For example: The students were learning about Indigenous History and just by using Powerpoints of pictures and YouTube vides of Indigenous life, the students were able to see and understand how the Indigenous people lived and still live today.
Without this, the students would not have had that visual learning.

We also used music and students were dancing and singing like Indigenous people. They loved it so much that they were asking to do it everyday.

Just from a small incorporation of the available ICTs, students grew in their behaviour, their engagement with their learning and their knowledge in all learning areas.

ICT is a must, as it provides numerous opportunities for students to experience learning in different ways and it prepares students for the future.

Reflecting on Professional Experience

Professional Experience is all finished. What an experience it was.

I found the Prep class I was with very challenging with behaviour. They were always wriggling, lost attention very quickly and could not keep their hands to themselves.

However, I was able to overcome this challenge with the incorporation of ICTs.
The class didn’t have very many opportunities to use ICTs as the teacher was not very confident with using them in her lessons.

I was able to provide abundant opportunities for the students to experience ICTs in their learning.

We did a lot of whole class learning, where I incorporated the interactive whiteboard, particularly with the use of interactive games and activities, YouTube videos and power points, which were aligned with the lesson context.
The students enjoyed this and were always engaged with the learning.

I incorporated computers in small group rotations for both Maths and English.

We also used digital cameras for Science and Maths.

I also found using a sticker chart for behaviour management worked very well.
Students had to get 10 stickers on their chart to be able to have a pick out of the treasure box.
Wow, didn’t this motivate the students to work well and display good behaviour. The students tried very hard to get those 10 stickers and by the end of the 3 weeks, all students in the class were able to pick out of the treasure box. 

I truly enjoyed this Professional Experience and have grown extremely from it.

iPads4learning

While researching for different apps to use for educational purposes, I came across a great pdf file that discusses a huge list of apps, for the iPad, which can be used for education. It includes a picture of the application icon, the application name and a short description of the application.

If you would like to learn more about what educational apps are out there, then click on the link, for a huge list: http://ipads4learning.global2.vic.edu.au/files/2010/10/1-1-iPad-App-List-Prep-2012-uwlt4a.pdf 

Apps for Prep Students

As Professional Experience is fast approaching, this week I began searching for interesting, fun and engaging apps for the iPad to use with Prep students (as Prep is the year I am with on Professional Experience).

When searching on the internet, I came across an article that discusses the “Top apps for Prep Students”. 

This article discusses a group of four mothers from the around the world, who call themselves the ‘iMums’ and who are passionate about technology. These mothers have taken the time to go through the huge range of apps to inform parents and educators about the best digital stories, educational apps, fun games and technology products.

The iMums found 5 different apps for the iPad, which cover some of the basics of early learning, including reading, writing and maths and which have been designed to engage, entertain and educate.

These 5 apps include:

School Writing: by Australian-based developer ‘demografix pty ltd’. It provides students with plenty of practice to perfect their writing of letters and numbers using their particular school font on the iPad.

Crabby Writer: by Mrs. Judd’s Games, was developed by a teacher. It teaches early reading, writing and phonics from Preschool through to First Grade. It is a fun and engaging app that has children wanting to work on their early reading and writing skills, as well as working on phonics and early literacy.

i Learn With Boing: by Tribal Nova. This app works on math skills for children age 3-6 years and includes counting, number order and addition. It is a fun and engaging app, which assists children in the development of important key math skills in a fun way, where children want to play.

Bugs and Bubbles: by Little Bit Studio. This app provides music, advanced interactivity, 18 games and activities, which are all set in Uncle Bob’s Bubble Factory, stickers to earn, graduated stages, multiple user profiles, “adaptive play”, multi-touch interaction, visual instructions and much more.  The skills that are addressed in the app include: shapes, colours, patterns, balance, counting, pinching, sorting, tracking, balance, plus heaps more.

Zachy the Robot: Quest for the Museum Treasures: is produced by GenevaMars in collaboration with the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh. This app is designed for children aged 3-6 years to teach them about Fossils, Dinosaurs and Minerals in a fun and engaging way.

Each of these 5 different apps are great for the iPad, as the students not only use them at school, but if they have iPads at home, parents can download them for the students to use as well. They are great learning resources that engage students with fun and interesting games and activities, at the same time as developing and enhancing some of their basic skills. These apps are the type of apps that have students wanting to use them all the time, which is great, as they are having fun and learning at the same time!

ICT Games

When researching for more resources to use on the interactive whiteboard, for both my Professional Experience and for my future teaching, I came across the website ICT Games.

ICT games provides both literacy and numeracy educational ICT activities and games for students in the lower grades. All of the games and activities on the website have been designed by James Barrett.

When going into the numeracy section, students are asked to select a theme from a variety of different mathematical themes, ranging from number facts through to equivalence.

When going into the literacy section, students have the opportunity to choose from a wide variety of different literacy games, ranging from spelling words through to sight recognition.

This is a great resource, which can be used for both literacy and numeracy learning experiences, as it not only can be used on the interactive whiteboard for collaborative learning, but also can be used on the computers for individual and group activities. It is an engaging, motivational, interesting and fun learning resource for students in the lower grades.

 

 

 

Interactive Whiteboard Resources

When reading through fellow EDC3100 students blogs, I came across a post on Tash’s blog, about a website with 65 free interactive whiteboard resources. As I chose the interactive whiteboard as one of my topics of interest, I found this website to be of great use. When browsing through this website, I discovered the resource called “Illuminations”.

‘Illuminations’ is a resource created by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, it provides more than 100 interactive math games and activities for students in grades Prep through to 12.

I believe that Illuminations is a great maths resource for all years, as it can be used on the interactive whiteboard for students to work collaboratively or students can work individually on the games and activities on the computers.
It is a great way to engage and motivate students in their learning of mathematical concepts, skills and strategies.

Interactive Whiteboard

My second topic of interest is the “Interactive Whiteboard”.

Whilst researching different resources and sites on the interactive whiteboard, I came across a huge range of different websites full of resources, which can be used in the classroom on the IWB.

However, the main website that I found to be of interest was the website: iboard.
Iboard has hundreds of interactive resources in the one place, including: free teaching tools and practice games.
Tools and games are available for each of the different learning areas and for each of the different age groups.
It includes four different pages for teachers, along with students to use, these include: the activity finder (teaching tools and practice games), units of work (includes complete packages for mini topics, at least a weeks worth of lessons plans, interactives, texts, images and supporting printables), teaching packs (and everyday teaching tools, interactive resources and sheets to photocopy, to teach a concept, develop and secure a skill or transfer knowledge) and skill builders (structured to provide tiny steps through core skills, including mental computation).
The interactive games, tools and skill builders can be used for both whole-class and individual learning experiences.

I would definitely use this website for my future teaching, as it is a great way to get students engaged and maintain their interests. Students are able to have fun while still learning important concepts, skills and strategies for each of the different learning areas.

When reading through my fellow EDC3100 students blogs, I came across a blog post by Tamyka about another interesting and great website to use for the Interactive Whiteboard, called: Kent ICT.
This website provided a range of different resources that could be used in the classroom on the IWB. It provides learning experiences for students, where they are engaged with the IWB, in learning areas from mathematics to literacy to science etc.

This website is a great ICT resource for teachers to have, as it has students engaged in the learning and allows them to collaborate and interact in a fun and interesting way, while still learning.

Both websites are great ICT resources to use in learning experiences in the classroom, as they allow students to: engage in the learning, work collaboratively, communicate effectively and engage in hands on experiences, while still learning.

Check out both resources at:
http://www.iboard.co.uk/activities/page/1/subject/maths/years/4-7
http://www.kenttrustweb.org.uk/kentict/kentict_iwb_general.cfm  

 

ICT For Assessment

This weeks learning journey requires us to choose two different topics of interest, regarding ICT, that we would like to learn more about.

My first topic of interest is ICT for Assessment. While researching resources I came across the website: Apps in Education.
Apps in Education provides a list of apps that can be used for assessment.

One particular app that caught my eye was the app Easy Assessment.
Easy Assessment is a simple way to capture and assess performance in any context or situation. The app was designed by an Australian Teacher Jarrod Robinson. He initially designed the app to be used for PE and wanted an easy way for teachers to construct rubrics. His design was so good, that other teachers began to see the benefit of the rubric maker and it has now become a standard tool on many teachers iPads and iPhones.

I believe that this app would come in handy, as you can easily add and manage different classes and subjects and also allows you to develop your own rubric.

I would definitely use this app in my future teaching, as it is an easy and manageable way to record student results and also record notes about students performances when assessing a variety of different elements.

 

This Week’s Activities

During this week, we have continued to prepare for our Professional Experience and Assignment 3. Our Professional Experience allocations were provided this week, which has provided some relief about beginning this Professional Experience and I now know where I will be going. The Professional Experience for EDC3100, requires us to authentically integrate ICT’s into the student learning experiences, to support and enhance their learning.

Now that I know where I am going for Professional Experience, I need to organise a time to meet with the site coordinator and the mentor, to discuss the context and expectations. I then need to prepare everything, so I am ready for Day 1 of my Professional Experience.

I also need to get underway with assignment 3, particularly the aspects that can be completed before going on Professional Experience.

I cannot wait to begin my Professional Experience, there is nothing I love and enjoy more, than getting into the classroom and working with the students.

I am really looking forward to this Professional Experience, and all the new knowledge I will gain from it.

 

ICT Based Solutions

In EDC3100 this week, we were introduced to a table called ‘ICT Based Solutions’ by Roblyer. Roblyer highlights a variety of learning problems, which occur in the everyday classroom, including: ‘Students needing quick access to information and people are not locally available’ or ‘ Concepts are new, foreign’. The table then incorporates an ICT solution, which will accommodate for the different learning problems that occur in the classroom.  For example, in order to cater for the learning problem ‘Concepts new, foreign’, students could use graphics, tools, simulations and video-based problem scenarios.
It then shows the relative advantage to the ICT solution.

I believe that the table is a great resource, as firstly, it shows how, we, as teachers can accommodate for the range of different learning problems we can encounter in the classroom and secondly, it may just be the resource that will encourage ‘ALL’ teachers to integrate ICT’s into each of their lessons to support and enhance their students learning.

Here is a copy of Roblyer’s table:

Technology solutions with potential for High Relative Advantage (adapted from Roblyer, 2006, p. 45)
Learning Problem Technology Solution Relative Advantage
Concepts are new, foreign (e.g., mathematics, physics principles). Graphics, tools, simulations, video-based problem scenarios Visual examples clarify concepts and applications
Concepts are abstract, complex (e.g., physics principles, biology systems). Maths tools (Geometer’s SketchPad), simulations, problem-solving software, spreadsheet, exercises,  graphing calculators Graphics displays make abstract concepts more concrete; students can manipulate system to see how they work
Time-Consuming manual skills (e.g., handwriting, calculations, data collection) interfere with learning high-level skills Tool software (e.g., word processing, spreadsheets) and probeware Attention-getting displays, immediate feedback, and interaction combine to create motivating practice
Students cannot see relevance of concepts to their lives (e.g., history, social studies) Stimulations, internet activities, video-based problem scenarios Visual, interactive activities help teachers demonstrate relevance.
Skills are ‘inert’, i.e. students can do them but do not see where they apply (e.g., mathematics, physics). Simulations, problem solving software, video-based problem scenarios, students development of web pages, multimedia products Project-based learning using these tools establishes clear links between skills and real-world problems.
Students dislike preparing research reports, presentations. Student development of desktop- published and web page/multimedia products Students like products that look polished, professional
Students need skills in working collaboratively, opportunities to demonstrate learning in alternative ways. Student development of desktop-published and web page/multimedia products Provides format in which group work makes sense; students can work together “virtually” students make different contributions to one product based n their strengths
Students need technological competence in preparation for workplace. All software and productivity tools; all communications, presentation; and multimedia software Illustrates and provides practice skills and tools students will need in work situations
Teachers have limited time for correcting students individual practice items. Drill-and-practice software, handheld computers with assessment software Feedback to students is immediate; frees teachers for work with students
No teachers available for advanced courses. Self-instructional multimedia, distance courses Provides structured, self-paced learning environments
Students need individual reviews of missed work. Tutorial or multimedia software Provides structured, self paced environments for individual review of missed concepts.
Schools have insufficient consumable materials (e.g., science labs, workbooks). Simulations, CD-ROM based texts, ebooks Materials are reusable, saves money on purchasing new copies.
Students need quick access to information and people are not locally available. Internet and email projects; multimedia encyclopedia and atlases Information to access; people are easier  less expensive to contact.