It is that time of year, the end of semester has arrived. I just thought that I would do a reflective blog post on my current view on teaching and learning in general and in regards to ICTs. I have a constructivist view on education. I strongly hold the viewpoint that students learn best when engaged in a social context. With this in mind all activities that incorporate ICTs in them still need to adhere to this foundational principle. ICTs do have a large place in an early childhood classroom and throughout my teaching career I will ensure that I am using all new innervations that will enhance the learning experiences of my students. However I will be doing it in a constructive manner, even if I had 23 Ipad available to my class I would only hand out 12 and ask my students to work in pairs.
What are your thoughts on the topic, feel free to leave a comment if you agree or disagree and why.
Thank you for reading.
Here is a topic of thought, what would your response be if a parent asked on your professional opinion about whether or not they should buy a TV or game system to be placed in a child’s bedroom. There are so many factors that would play into whether or this would be a good choice based on the child and the family however your personal viewpoint would also influence your decision. Here are my thoughts, No you should place these Items in a child’s bedroom, and here are my reasons why:
- You can not police what they are watching, playing.
- They are better off engaging in educational games on a computer or Ipad or playing in a real life situation (dramatic play with dolls. Lego etc.)
- Some games can decentralize students.
- The games and shows can be addictive.
- The games are anti social and result in anti social behaviors.
Here are a few web links that cover this issue and would be worth a read.
Television in child’s bedroom: Bad idea
Televisions effect on a child’s leaning ability
Effects video games have on children
Thank you for reading, feel free to leave a comment.
Pinterest is a tool used tool used for collecting and organizing things that inspire you. It is a great tool since you are able to follow people with like minded interests weather it be sight word games, classroom organization, mathematics activities and the list goes on. Once an idea is found you can pin it to your own wall so that you can refer back to it at a later date.
It is recommend for everyone to sign up to this free site and start using it for PD and a place to store ideas.
Thank you for reading and please feel free to leave a comment.
I have a constructivist view on teaching and learning and believe that student’s learn best when engaging with the content in a social environment. With this thought in mind when using Ipads in an Early childhood context it is believed that this should be completed as a partner, turn taking activity. If a child is unable to complete a level by themselves then they tend to just try all the options and guess. Whereas if there is a partner there students tend to work together.
What are your thoughts? Do you agree or disagree and why? Please feel free to comment.
Digital education is new and exciting, it allows teachers, parents, students and communities to learn in way that has not been as easily achievable in the past. Digital education provides educators with tools that transform lessons from teachers telling students what to think, to teachers supporting students along a learning journey which includes them asking questions, finding their own answers and have control over their own learning.
A great website called ABC Splash provides teachers and educators with some great learning and teaching tools which aid in transforming student learning. There are many benefits of the website which include the following:
- The website is separated into resources for Early Primary, Middle Primary, Upper Primary, Parents and teacher.
- It contains free access to endless resources which are directly linked to the Australian Curriculum.
- It contains videos with associated recommended learning plans
- It contains cutting-edge games, virtual worlds and digital experiences
This sight is a great one o add to your toolbox and I highly recommend that you take the time to have a look at it.
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Reflecting on your teaching practices and lesson plans is an important part on improving and becoming a better teacher. I, myself am very realistic when creating reflections as well as honest which has been noted in all feedback given by mentors in the past. Looking back on my Practical Experience there are many successful lessons that integrated ICTs and worked well, but their are also many situations in which I may have learnt more than the students. Here is a list of both positive and constructive reflections that have developed after just a few of my teaching episode.
1.IWB: I am quite young and believe that I am a student of the digital age. I have grown up with a computer in our house since the age of 9 (not what they are now though, but they were present in my childhood), televisions, video games and the list goes on. Since I have gown up with the use of all of these technologies I find them quite easy to use. All of my skills have been acquired through experimentation or formal schooling and I have never had to teach myself through researching how to use these new innervations. This is believed to my downfall since I went into practical experience doing some research on the different items available and how I could use them, however no where near enough. My first lesson that I taught I developed a PowerPoint presentation to run through and demonstrate the expectations of the lesson. This was displayed on the IWB, and did not go how I envisioned it in my mind. The IWB is very touchy and if your figure come within an 2cm of the board it will register as a touch and change slides. I was in a prep class so little fingers continued to accidently touch the slide and change the picture. This is when I came to the conclusion that when we use ICTs that are new and exciting for the students I do not only need to think about what I will be doing, but also what the students will be doing. If I don’t what then to touch the board I will put a line on the mat they must sit behind so that it isn’t possible. is there a better program that I could be using, could I use the students to reward those not touching to touch the board when I ask, and the list goes on of different thoughts that this first lesson brought about.
2. Digital Camera: Within a Maths lesson I decided to use the classroom digital camera in a small groups activity. Within the group at the camera location students were paired up and were asked to find something around the room that was longer, shorter or the same length as their arm. once they found an item they were to come a get the camera and their partner would take a photo then return the camera to myself ready to pass to the next group. This activity did not work, there needed to be a camera for each pair because learning and teaching time was wasted. Instead of scaffolding the learning by moving around each pair I was left policing the sharing of the camera. Instead of using the lesson time to look at different items and their length students were waiting around for the camera. Within this reflection it came down to the practicality of the task, is it practical to have one camera and 3 pairs, no. The idea to take the photos then reflect and look at them as a class was great and worked well, however it was never practical to only have one camera with 3 pairs.
Here I have only touched on two of the lessons that I taught that had constructive reflections. There were many lessons that had positive reflections, one was where I took a photo of our habitat that we had made for our classroom butterfly that was undergoing metamorphous. Each day the new photo was place onto the IWB so that all the students could see and make observation of the cocoon. this was an excellent use of ICTs because only the students at the very front would be able to see any changes and be able to put foreword observations if the real life habitat in the fish tank was used.
As can be seen a lot can be gained through the process of observations, lessons can be learnt so that the same mistakes are not repeated and strategies that work can be identified so that they can be used again. The most important lesson that I learnt is you can never be over prepared and when using ICTs always have a backup plan because they are not as reliable as we would like to believe.
Thanks for reading, please feel free to leave any comments.
The resource that I have chosen to talk about in regards to ICTs that can be used in an early childhood setting is a Bee Bot. I have been lucky enough to have had the opportunity to use a Bee Bot in a classroom situation and believe that is a great tool and should be available to all early childhood teachers.
As Emma has said in her blog about Bee Bots, the Bee-Bot is a fun colourful Bee shaped robot that is designed for to be used in learning episodes with young children. It is an easy-to-operate, child friendly robot that can be used to aid in the teaching of many different skills including but not limited to counting, problem-solving, letters, rhyming words and weather just to name a few possibilities. The tough make-up allows the children to use the Bee Bot without the threat of it getting broken. Directional keys are used to program the Bee-Bot forward, back, left, and right. When the operator presses the green GO button, Bee-Bot starts his journal that had been programed into him. Bee Bot has lights and sounds which go once after each programed move is complete and also once the entire sequence has been completed. Children want to use Bee-Bot again and again and are enthusiastic about learning when Bee Bot is involved.
Teacher can use the Bee-Bots teach any topic from the curriculum. The Bee bot allows students to learn in a group situations allowing for social interaction and opportunities to problem solve and learn from others. from my experience I believe that students are highly motivated keen to participate in activities with the Bee Bot.
Thank you for reading, feel free to leave a comment.
As you may have heard time and time again an interactive whiteboard is a great tool to have in your classroom. Basically, as Mrs Grimshaw covers, an interactive whiteboard is a large touch sensitive whiteboard with an LCD projector. When turned on the projector projects a live view of the computer screen so that the whole class is able to view it. The touch sensitive software allows the teacher or the student to operate the computer for their needs.
The applications for a Interactive Whiteboard (IWB) in the classroom environment are endless, here is a list of just a few possibilities:
- Interactive lessons
- Viewing student presentations and projects
- Virtual field trips
- Reflecting on previous lessons
- Recorded lessons of substitute teachers
- Documentation of student work.
However, if you don’t know how to use an IWB, then realistically these applications will not be achievable for you. A great website to visit is pro video, here they have short step to step instructional videos on how to use different features of an IWB. Also on the video pro website in the training section is Pat’s space. Every month Pat, who comes from a teaching background, does a review on educational websites that can be used in conjunction with the IWB within a classroom situation.
In conclusion I believe that the IWB is a great tool to have in a classroom environment if you know how to use it. It is believed that it will engage the students as well as transform the learning episode. An example of a website sourced from Pat’s space that would have this effect is called Solar System Scope. This website contains a interactive program that allows you and your class to explore space in a three dimensional manner. It contains endless functions that would support students in building their knowledge base of the solar system. The level of understanding gained by students may not have been as easily achievable if the concept was taught with concrete resources.
The IWB will be a great teaching tool used across all subject strands while on future practical experiences and in my future teaching career.
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A fellow student, Ashleigh Sherman created a post titled ‘High-tech classroom’. It looks at a news report on you tube that looks at schools that have gained successful results when ICTs are implemented within all aspects of their learning. This is a great news post and it is recommended that you watch it.
Please feel free to leave your thoughts about the report in the comments box.
Thank you for reading.