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Showing posts from 2015

Final Reflection

This Web 2.0 course has solidified my understandings and introduced me to some great new tools for the classroom. Web 2.0 has taken hold for educators and is having a significant impact on learning for the 21st century. Overall it can be said that the creation of collaborative learning spaces is huge. What is essential, and something this course most definitely provides, is the necessary and appropriate teacher preparation for the pedagogical impact of using Web 2.0 tools in the classroom. It is imperative that teachers feel comfortable and ready to adopt the educational benefits of Web 2.0

E-learning with the iLE@RN pedagogical model can combine to provide the necessary student learning, teacher designed curriculum and creative lesson planning. You cannot just launch students into this style of learning. Skills need to be addressed that incorporate communication, collaboration, questioning, reflection, critical thinking etc so that learning is at its optimum.

I am a big supporter of …

Module 10: Learning Communities, Constructing Knowledge Together

For all the changes that have taken place in education over the years, the focus still remains on the people. The recent changes in technology have provided a major catalyst for a whole new approach to the education system. However, it is still just a tool and it will only ever be as effective as the people who make up the learning community and the lifelong learning opportunities it provides.

What is a wiki? A wiki is a great example of Web 2.0 technology. It enables anyone to create content online using tools. The most famous wiki is Wikipedia - an online encyclopedia created by users from around the world. Some example of how wikis can be used in classrooms include:

create online text for your classstudents publish researched information or presentations using a wikicreate digital portfolios for studentscreate collaboration opportunities between classesexpanding your teaching beyond the classroom walls Teachers can also use wiki's for PD, connecting with other educators to discu…

Module 9: Networks on the web – professional and social

Social Networking - it's everywhere and almost unavoidable. In the teaching profession, is there a way to utilise social networking in the classroom? Or would we be inviting them into a world beyond their maturity (depending on age groups) where they would leave lasting marks on their digital footprint? From a teaching perspective the question becomes, which of these social and professional networking tools could enhance the learning in my classroom, and how?

Scootle is a website that provides teachers with access to digital curriculum resources and is managed by the ESA (Education Servies Australia). Scootle is a tool that provides teachers with easy ways to find, organise and use digital resources in the classroom. For example, presentations can be done and shared, even collaborative projects. I could see that Scootle could be used to introduce a topic in the classroom, with students learning ideas and styles of presenting. Web 2.0 features and allow you to connect, share and col…

Module 8: Managing your flow of information on the Internet

RSS is an acronym that stands for 'Rich Site Summary' or alternately, 'Really Simply Syndication'. RSS feeds are a great way to subscribe to a websites content. With so much accessible information right out our fingertips in today's technological age, it can often become confusing and overwhelming to even find a starting point. RSS feeds can help by providing regular information direct to you.

It's a great way to keep track of your favourite websites and be notified of updates. It's obviously an efficient use of time in the hectic world we live in with the search time taken out. It is also a much better solution that an email list subscription as you don't have to give out email and eliminate, therefore, potential spammers.

It would be great for students to establish RSS feeds that would relate to an assignment topic or area of current research. It would allow for access to the most up to date content automatically. RSS feeds can give you access to news…

Module 7: Building Online communities

In today's cyber world, there is a plethora of data out there! Therefore, it's a great idea to discuss and learn different ways to tap into this wealth of information. I have some of my own ways - being the avid iPad user that I am - that I will tell you about later. However, I had not read much about Delicious or Diigo and it was interesting to learn of yet another way to try and itemise useful information for future uses.

Upon delving further in Delicious I can see a range of benefits that I currently use. For example:

there is never enough time to read interesting articles and its great to be able to bookmark pages, authors or work sites that have great lesson ideas you might like to come back to and trial in your own classroom.a benefit that is an absolute MUST, is the capability to be able to access your bookmarks from any's also beneficial to be able to share interesting articles or sites with students and colleagues that promote discussion and activities. …

Module 6: Exploring photos and videos on the web

In the past for personal reasons, I did store and use Picasa for editing photos and creating albums. I have to confess that I have moved on since then, however, it is still very useful for those embarking on photo streamlining and editing. It is wonderful that it is a free tool for organising, editing and sharing photos. The simple photo editing tools are useful and I have created Picasa slideshow albums previously. In the classroom students could use Picasa to manage photos for projects or reports or quickly create a movie slideshow. For example, it would be a good way to present a digital portfolio of their work, useful for an excursion report or to make an historical documentary using the sepia editing functions for example. 

I love photo editing tools - it's a bit of a hobby of mine. They can be great fun to play with. I think Picasa is a bit too involved for the primary aged students I currently work with. There are some easier to use applications for the iPad that would be mo…

Module 5: Creating and Communicating Online is another interesting take on the tools provided for students to brainstorm. I think this is an important skill for students to learn at an early age to help them when planning for a task. In my class we use the 'Popplet' application on the iPad which does the same type of thing. It is very user friendly and a great way for students to see the interconnectedness of things. Many students really enjoy adding images to their diagram. For example, this term we made a 'Grammar Popplet' where students demonstrated the connection between verbs and adverbs for example, inclusive of examples and images. Below is a I made on the use of some of the Web 2.0 tools that have enhanced learning in my classroom.

Whilst I fully support the creativity of combining text, images, videos etc to create an interactive learning environment, I have my concerns at a primary level of going 'online' to do this. Whilst working on 'Glogster' (which is fantastic!) …

Module 4: digital storytelling

For personal reasons I have listened to a variety of podcasts. One of my favourite is, "Stuff you missed in history class" (podcast HERE). It is a discussion about interesting facts from the past and students could easily model to produce one of their own from facts learnt in class.

Vidcasts are good for tutorials and I have shown a number of these to my students. I found them particularly useful in upskilling my students for 1:1 iPad use in the classroom. I find Paul Hamilton's tutorials very useful on the use of technology in the classroom. (link HERE). Although I believe it is best for students to find their own way with many of the apps, a quick basic run through on some of the 'how to' certainly goes a long way in eliminating many of the questions.

From the links, I particularly like the 'Storynory' (HERE) website. I think my students could easily create an audio story around a Bounce Back theme, such as the one linked above on 'friendships'…

Module 3: collaborating with Google Docs

I have used Google Docs for personal reasons and have found it to be an excellent collaborative tool. It would be a great resource for older students as it is made for collaborative learning. Combine that with the fact of accessibility - with both lap tops and an iPad app - it is a fabulous learning tool. To have one shared document for multiples users and 24/7 access is great for learning on so many bases.

The challenge to create a Google forum that I could use for an assessment activity in my own classroom is endless. The ones that immediately come to mind include:

1. in the future I definitely look forward to digital portfolios. A showcase type portfolio that seeks to highlight (mainly for parents) the students best work. This is where they publish the work they are proud of and feel a great sense of accomplishment. It would be a powerful experience and show great growth over time and build self esteem.

2. a Google form that would encourage self or peer assessment where they refle…

Module 2: Exploring the use of blogs in K -12 learning spaces

Activity 1: Learn about BlogsI have quite a bit of experience with blogs. I used to run a family blog and a friend in the USA and I currently run a book review blog: Great Reads and Tea Leaves
Activity 3: Using and customising Blogger
I had a lot of fun customising my blog. I got a stock image from a site our family business uses and I put the information on top of that image using iPad app 'Pixelmator' (brilliant app) 
Activity 5: Find out more about the educational use of blogs.Firstly, Ann Griptons blog, 'Teach.Eat.Play''  was most interesting. Her writing was easy to read and follow and I particularly enjoyed her comments on reporting and assessment:  So this year, I’m letting results go. Sort of. I know I have to deliver a grade at some point, so I will. However, from the outset, I will be allowing students to present curation their learning (Bateman, 2014), reflecting on it as we go. There was an article fromDylan Wiliam a while …

Module 1: Web 2.0 and personalising your Web space

Introduction: please visit my first blog post "Teacher Confession".
Activity 1: getting an overview of Web 2.0
Through YouTube:
Watching YouTube clips – the future is so exciting, I like to view it as a Cultural Revolution – in how information is created and shared – not just digital opportunism. The possibilities are endless. Its about how people are using the web, its a move away from static to dynamic through, for example, the use of applications. A network based on interaction and communication, everything is connected and cannot be viewed in isolation.
Through web sites and eLearning tools:
I am please to see I already use so many of the suggested learning tools. For example, I store all my work and study in Dropbox and I find Edmodo to be an invaluable tool for learning in the classroom.

What do you want kids to do with technology?

The time has come to move from the wrong answers to the right answers! Technology is a wonderful tool and it will drive long term change.

Teacher Confession

Welcome to my "Inspire Box" - my place to share with you my thoughts on the uses of technology in the classroom. I have been in education for over twenty years and I am a big believer in holistic education which will provide students with the skills to do jobs that probably have not been invented yet. Let's make this journey together.