ICT’s in the Classroom

I have already started to make a list of the ICT’s I am hoping to integrate into the lesson plans from c2c that I have been given to teach from, of course this will be with approval, and although it may not be approved I gave it a shot.  Computers for students to engage in research and games for specific curriculum areas, digital cameras to record their learning along the way, three ring – app to order and classify examples of students work I collect along the way.  And of course the IWB – to engage students in a whole class environment, activities will include interactive games in all curriculum areas, online stories, YouTube videos, recording and presenting our learning.  Although this is a short list at the moment and one I am hoping to make larger, it is quite a big deal for this class as they don’t use any at the moment.  If anyone has any other suggestions they wold like to add, please do.

First Day

This Thursday was  the first day of my prac, as I have a make up day for during prac, due to a local public holiday.  I felt very comfortable in the classroom, the students remembered me, the teacher was open and supportive in answering my questions.  I was asked to be an observer for the day, to ease me into the classroom and to assist me in getting a feel for how behaviour management was carried out, identifying students needs, and the expectations of the students while in the classroom.  I also learned and observed about everyday task and activities that were carried out regularly and I was instructed about the teaching that takes place between the two teachers who work together to present students the curriculum.  I still have concerns about the amount of ICT’s I will be able to get into the classroom and the lessons that I am to teach.  I suppose it’s just nerves, I always find the first few days are an adjustment and then I have to best time and very quickly PE comes to an end, just as your getting into it.  So I will tell myself to enjoy every bit of it as time will fly, I want to learn as much as possible from my mentor, and from first impressions so far, we have very similar personalities, organisations skills and mannerisms when we teach.   I am excited, but nervous and worried a little, the learning these little guys will engage in is all in my hands, and I want to do the very best for them.

Meeting My Mentor

On Monday I had a meeting with my mentor to discuss my upcoming PE.  We discussed the class, most of the students I had during my last PE, when they were in prep, so I’m very happy to be engaging with these students again, they are a great bunch of kids.  We then discussed planning, all of my planning will come from the c2c documents, I am to follow them to the T.  This shall be interesting as I have never seen these documents before.  Another surprise was to learn that my mentor does not engage with ICT’s within the classroom and as she follows the c2c very rarely has a need to use ICT’s.  This shall be a very interesting PE, I am excited about teaching but am a little concerned with exactly how much ICT’s I will get into my lessons, as what I am to teach has already been decided for me.  I am not unhappy with using these documents as this is what is expected of me from my mentor and the school.  This is something that I am going to have to get used to as it is a part of teaching.

Information about the c2c documents 

The Learning Place also has support material to assist with the c2c documents, these can be found here


Interactive Whiteboards

Interactive whiteboards are my second choice for a topic of interest for this weeks learning path. Fundamentally, an interactive whiteboard combines a dry erase whiteboard with an LCD projector.  Powered by easy-to-use software, the whiteboard becomes a computer screen viewable by an entire classroom. The projector projects the content from a computer onto the surface of the board while the teacher controls the content either with a pointer or a touch of the hand instead of a keyboard and mouse.  Research suggests that students learn better when they are fully engaged in multi sensory, hands-on learning.

Annie Teich found here states that classroom applications for  IWB include

  1. Multimedia lessons and presentations including audio and video
  2. Collaborative problem solving
  3. Showcasing student projects and presentations
  4. Virtual field trips
  5. Recorded lessons that can be used by substitute teachers
  6. Documentation of student achievement

Dr Mary Ann Bell outlines these reasons for using interactive whiteboards

  • Effectively displays demonstrations
  • Very colourful tool
  • Can accommodate different learning styles
  • Great for all ages
  • Assist with distance learning
  • One computer classrooms can be assisted to cater to all students
  • Constructivist educator, great for mind mapping and concepts (mind tools)
  • The boards are clean and attractive, no chalk residue
  • Extremely interactive
  • Can be used with other forms of technology to further enhance students learning
  • Kid magnet , very engaging and interactive
  • They can be used to to record, print and document all lessons and learning

This site has great tips for using IWB

Origo Education provides these 10 tips for IWB

I have used IWB (limited) and I believe they are a great teaching tool and really look forwarding to learning more about them and their uses in the classroom.  Hopefully during my professional experience I will get to use them extensively and learn new skills that will be invaluable to my teaching career.


Class Blogs

During my search for Topics of Interest learning path this week, I came across a blog by Vicki Williams, where she discuss the use of Classroom Blogs.  I really really want to do this while out on prac.  I am just a bit unsure how it will go with year 1 students.  Getting my head around the concept is also doing my head in a little. Kathleen Morris over at Primary Tech outlines the benefits of classroom blogging, she lists the benefits as

  • Social skills
  • Internet safety
  • Literacy
  • Maths
  • Home school
  • ICT skills
  • Classroom community
  • Authentic audience
  • Global connections

Kathleen describes classroom blogging as the platform for everything and a fantastic way to introduce students to technology and to get them experiencing with ICT.  Technoliteracy has also developed a short video on the the benefits of Classroom Blogging.  And lastly the school bloggers address the benefit of blogging for students as showcasing students work to a greater audience, improve and develop on a range of skills, students become independent learners, differentiated to meet all abilities and everyone learns and teaches.

Kathleen also outlines 10 tips for introducing blogging into the classroom, these will be used when implementing blogging during my professional experience

  • Start small – start with a simple blog (could be a whole class activity utilising the IWB)
  • Integrate – other areas of the curriculum
  • Be regular – set aside some time each week for blogging, and be sure to read students blogs
  • Start local before global
  • Begin with a class blog – doing a class blog first before students have their own blog allows them to build all the skills that is required to develop their own blog
  • Teach quality commenting – initially write the posts and allow students to comment, explicit teaching + high expectations + regular feedback + authentic motivation = high quality writing, developing a strong literacy focus.
  • Integrate Internet safety – ensuring students are responsible online members
  • Collaborate – fins buddies within the school to start your blogging, may even be another class within the school and learn together
  • Get parents involved
  • Keep going – blogs are easy to set up but require persistence to keep them going

While researching this topic, I can say that I got more and more excited about classroom blogging, although instead of students individual blogs, with year 1 students I think a class blog would be more beneficial and realistic, although this will then also have to be something that the classroom teacher would have to be willing to keep up with.

And more on Prac

Going over for the learning journey this week for a second time, just to refresh my memory and sometimes you miss things that you didn’t see the first time.  I have to make a comment on the organisation of the booklet that has all the information that we will need for going out on prac.  It outlines all our expectations, assessment guidelines and what we have to accomplish while I prac, it also includes forms and templates that we may need to use while on prac.  This is excellent as usually I have to search the study desk numerous times trying to find the document I want, only to find out it wasn’t on there, or in another part of the USQ website and then having to get my lecturer to email it to me.  David and the EDC3100 team have done a fabulous job ensuring all is in one accessible place, WELL DONE.

Here is the link to this booklet OVERVIEW AND EXPECTATIONS

More Professional Experience

The learning journey this week has continued to be professional experience based the whole way through the week.  While visiting other student’s blogs this week and networking with them I read a great post by Mrs Poulter that discusses not only what we need to do as a university requirement for preparing for prac, but also our family and home lives.  Preparing our families and our already busy home lives can be one of the hardest parts of prac, even more so for my family.  I have 3 boys, 13, 10 and 8, my youngest two have both been diagnosed with Asperger (ASD) and although they are very different in their behaviours and mannerisms, they both do share routines and being adhered to their routines.  So as you can imagine me being out of the house and out of all their normal routines for 15 days is extremely stressful for them, which then means extremely stressful for the whole house.  That’s just one areas of our lives that needs to be organised during prac, and there is so much more, if I discussed them all I would be here forever.  I am a big list maker and organiser, so I do have that on my side, all I do tell my boys is though that it’s only 15 days, and we do a visual countdown.

Professional Experience

With only 3 weeks till Prac, getting a little nervous.  The theme of this weeks study schedule was to get us all ready and prepared to start thinking about Prac.  The Prac booklets provided give us plenty of information and I am feeling confident about teaching year 1, maybe just not the ICT part of it.  I’m confident in using computers, IWB, digital cameras, digital microscopes and YouTube as teaching introductions or conclusions, but just unsure what else may be included for year 1.  A discussion soon with my mentor I’m sure will fill me in on what the students are capable of using and what I may be able to introduce to them. A fellow student from Kinder Bytes had some great tips in preparation for Prac.

Knowing my students

This week there has been a great emphasis on that although this is a ICT course and our goal is to provide students with rich ICT lessons, it all means nothing if we don’t know our students.  We are teaching to them, we must take into account who they are, their context for learning and where they are with their learning.  We teach to the student ensuring we are catering to their needs and interests.  Twitch Speed was something new for me to learn about this week, it was very informative.  I’ve included a website that further discusses this topic, written by Marc Prensky.

I. Twitch Speed vs. Conventional Speed

II. Parallel Processing vs. Linear Processing

III. Random Access vs. Linear Thinking

IV. Graphics First vs. Text First

V. Connected vs. Stand-alone

VI. Active vs. Passive

VII. Play vs. Work

VIII. Payoff vs. Patience

IX. Fantasy vs. Reality

X. Technology as Friend vs. Technology as Foe

D Day!!

Assessment 2 is fast approaching, for my fellow students D day is today, unfortunately I had a death in the family and have been having a very hard time concentrating or being able to do any work at all.  But on with it! I am trying very hard to get my head around this second assessment and like Mrs Poulter struggling a little.  Although I have had some experience with backward design before I am having a little trouble transforming my knowledge to a new planning format. My brain is having a hard time concentrating on anything, at the moment, but I will push through it.  I do feel however that I am starting this course all over again, hopefully it will all come back to me and I can move forward.  Prac is starting in 3 weeks, so it’s time to bring on my A game and get with it.