Saturday, 19 November 2011

Course Reflection and Feedback

iLE@RN-t much on this journey!

I can’t believe it’s just about over *wipes an imaginary tear* Here we go…

To be completely honest, I did think the ‘e’ in eLearning stood for electronic…and was majorly confused when the video ‘eLearning with the iLE@RN Model’ said that computers were not the focus. However, after watching, I felt like my eyes were truly opened to the possibilities, responsibilities and challenges that came with using technology in the classroom. That my students learn best when their learning is meaningful, engaging and challenging. That technology IS NOT the focus, but merely tools to help us as educators teach the children as best we can.

Whenever I look for resources to aid my professional development, I love things that are succinct, useful and can be understood and used as soon as you pick it up. Introducing the ‘Bloom's digital taxonomy map’ by Andrew Churches. He has taken a Bloom’s Taxonomy matrix and has added the programs/skills that would enable higher-order thinking to occur. Succinct, useful, easily understood…PERFECT. He has taken the old and added the new for us. I think Second Life would fit in anyone of Bloom’s domains and the learning there is just so rounded. I would possibly put in analysing as you need to see the relationships between ideas. I also believe programs like Glogster and Prezi require students to use higher-order thinking.   

I have thoroughly enjoyed doing this web 2.0 course. Not only did I learn and experiment with a whole new arsenal of web 2.0 tools, it also enabled me to have some important professional discussions. I’ve heard about other teacher’s ideas, and have even made an educator friend overseas (hi Cece). Overall a very worthwhile experience. If I could give any advice…don’t start in term 4…too many things happening. Oh, that and if you can – have a small group working on the same things. The discussion that comes from it is invaluable.

To whomever decided to read my blogs, and follow me on this journey…thanks for the company and the support.

Row…over and out J

Module 10

To Wiki or Ning? That is the question!

Wikis…Nings…what is the difference…is there a difference? For this module, I decided to visit my colleagues’ meeting point to do this module altogether. After a 15 minute conversation on different examples we’ve seen and experienced, I think I know the difference.

The focus of a wiki is the topic. Random individuals join together to collate information on a topic. On the other hand, the focus of a ning is more on building community rather than building a reference site. Nings are a wonderful tool for teachers to let each other know some great resources or a collective place where expertise from around the world is abundant. Wikis may be used quite creatively in the classroom where groups of children are working on the one topic - adding as much information as they can to make a more detailed resource. I think both of these are versatile tools for students AND teachers.

How can Web 2.0 assist in improving learning outcomes for all students?
It has become very obvious that the world our students grow up in is very different to the world that we grew up in. We live in a society where information is available anytime, anywhere. Where everything is exciting, loud, colourful. Sound and engagement never stops. Yet, we expect them to learn in a quiet classroom with a pencil and a book? The tides are turning, where teachers are learning to use tools that can engage children in the classroom. Tools that help us differentiate the curriculum for them and enable them to use their own skills and talents that previously may not have been evident…thus making learning more meaningful, motivating, challenging, and enjoyable.

BOOM! One more of these babies to go!

Module 9


I’mm baaack! After a month full of illness, reports and life in general going pear-shaped, I’m back to finish off this Web 2.0 course.

My school has been a fan of Scootle for years. I, however, managed to evade the bandwagon until today. Scootle is amazing. The best part – for me – is the fact that there are learning objects that are based on the Australian Curriculum. It is also super duper easy to use due to the organisation of the site – by subject, grade, strand and then indicators. In my classroom, I can see this being a versatile tool in, for example, my maths groups. They even enable the teacher to create learning paths for their students, aiding in differentiation of the curriculum.
I am quite experienced when it comes to social networking, having both a Facebook and a twitter account. However, I was shocked to find out that a numberof children in my year 2 class has a Facebook account. It is obvious that their parents were not aware/were not too concerned about the fact that they are younger than, the required age of, 13. I guess that is one of my main concerns – if WE do not teach them about cyber safety and privacy, who will?

My colleagues have been raving about Second Life, so purely out of curiosity I decided to check it out. The possibilities of where this program can take people are mind-blowing. After watching the video ‘Education in Second Life: Explore the Possibilities’ my mind was buzzing with ideas on integrating this into my classroom. We have units exploring the past, different countries, different environments…this would make learning, so much more motivating. However, I do feel like it is more suited for older students. I think I need to look more into this one.

1 down, 2 to go!