The Juggle is the struggle

As I get ready to put assignment 1 to bed I feel like I need to let you all know that for me its the juggle that is real struggle!  To study, be a wife, be a mummy, a taxi, a chef, an adventurer (taking kids camping tomorrow), a tooth fairy, a cleaner, a doctor, the Easter bunny and a volunteer is just sooo tricky sometimes. Have I bitten off more than I can chew? Only time will tell.

My main goal is to not let my marks slide as a result of the struggle but tonight I’m feeling like I might have one too many balls to juggle. With a positive mind I’m sure I’ll get through. Is the juggle a struggle for you too?

Assignment time

Like Denise (a fellow edc3100 student) I had no trouble finding lesson plans online that used ICT. In fact I found 3 great lessons so I had a plan A, B and C. I emailed all the creators to ask for permission to use the plans as they were not for public domain and failed to receive any replies. With the assignment due date looming I had to come up with something else. Not wanting to break any copy right rules I, like many others have gone digging through my ever so un-organised document folders and found an old lesson plan from my second prac.

It uses ICT so it ticks that box.

I hereby give permission to myself to use this lesson plan so it ticks the copyright box.

The lesson plan is right here (below) and linked to this url so it ticks that box.

2015 6E Lesson Plan

So with the boxes ticked it’s time to get stuck in and get this assignment done.

Just reading over the plan I cringe because I feel that I have grown in lesson planning since then. It is not my best work but it will have to do.

My Journey, their journey!

As I am nearing the end of another week I find myself looking back at the journey so far in EDC3100. I still find the course overwhelming but the accomplishments so far have given me courage to tackle whatever comes next. The most rewarding achievement so far has being developing and posting on this blog. Blogging has not only kept me engaged in researching the latest and greatest that technology has to offer but, it has also made me draft, revise, reflect, correct, publish and comment.

What great writing practice for me… which lead me to think that this could really be a beneficial practice for students as well. Could my journey be their journey too?

Perhaps it could with Kidblog. Kidblog is a safe place where teachers have the tools to help students publish writing to a secure classroom blogging space. Hopefully they too will draft, revise ,reflect, correct and publish there writing just as I have done over the past few weeks. I look forward to using this technology when I become a teacher of my own class.

Look Up

This week the question was raised, are digital technologies making us anti-social?  I must admit I am struggling to give a clean cut YES/ NO answer to this one. I have two opinions which I consider to contribute greatly to my answer.

  1. Digital technologies are not making us anti-social but in many cases digital technology is making people rude. Don’t get me wrong as I see great value in connecting with loved ones from interstate or sharing the exciting news of a new hair cut, but doing those things on your phone while sitting at the dinner table with your young family having a Sunday roast and your little boy wants to tell you about what he did with his friends earlier that day is RUDE.
  2. Digital technology seems to be stopping people from living the moment. These days every experience is photographed, posted, tweeted or shared instead of just being experienced.
I strongly believe that the digital technology is amplifying, enhancing and transforming our lives but at the same time taking us away from real life experiences and in many cases making us rude.
This YouTube clip really put thing into perspective for me,
Please take the time to watch it.
Unlike Kraig who in his own blog had already establish a strong opinion on the belief that digital technology is not making us anti-social I’m afraid I will continue sit on the fence. I support the idea of “looking up” but see value in social media.

Breaking the rules

Copy wrong or copy right? Turns out I’ve been copying wrong. Just when I thought things were coming together within this ICT and pedagogy course, I find out I’ve been breaking the rules. I’ve never been much of a rule breaker myself so when I found this out I must admit I was really disappointed with myself.

Kinaesthetic and visual learning styles are two styles that appeal to me as a learner so when setting out to develop my blog I quickly set about finding images and video clips that painted the visual of what I was trying to communicate to the blogging community. I used Google images as I have so many times before and selected an image that could be saved without purchase. My theory was that if I could access it without having to pay for it then it must be free for public use.

Boy was I wrong!

As I travelled through the learning path for this week and then read David’s blog stating how to use resources appropriately I developed a plan to get my blog back to a law abiding state. David introduced the idea of using the Creative Commons search to find images and that images that were for Public Domain could be used without attribution. So I removed all my current images (except for those that were my own) and searched for new ones through Creative commons that were for public domain.

Success… My blog is now in the clear and for the future I can make reference to Elly’s blog which clearly states four very simply approaches to copyright and attribution.

With this new knowledge I will endeavour to be a copyright law abiding blogger and some day a copyright law abiding teacher.

The concept map

When trying to create a concept map online for one of this weeks tasks for EDC3100 I originally found it rather challenging. The idea was to show my understandings of the use of ICT and Pedagogy within the context of primary school teaching and learning. I dived in head first, full of confidence into the use of the recommended site Gliffy.

Unfortunately, unlike Denise who in her blog post ‘The Big Three Framework’ stated that she found this task “Much easier to tackle” I was struggling to find my way around Gliffy.

Fortunately Denise had listed some other sites that students could use, one of which was called bubbl.us. Bubbl.us was so much easier for me to navigate and I achieved the task in creating my own Concept map reflecting my response to the question “Why (not) use ICT and pedagogy?”.

With every challenge that EDC3100 presents I do find myself learning how to learn. I am no longer jumping up to email David for help without spending 4hrs or so to figure it out for myself first. The collaborative nature of this course is really great. Although I am still petrified to click on something wrong and cause the computer to have a meltdown, I have started to take more digital risks than I would have in the past.

Catering for individuals in the classroom

The best learning experience I’ve designed to date was on practical experience with a grade 6 class (initially totally out of my comfort zone as in the past big kids were scary). I was put in charge of an literacy lesson on different types of texts and more specifically for this particular lesson the focus was advertising.

To paint the picture clearly so you can understand why I believe it was my best work it is important for me to define ‘best’. To me my best work is defined by the amount of student engagement and how many students are making connections to what they already know and developing further understanding of the new concept/s.

Leading up to this lesson I had been observing the students in the class, gaining an understanding of prior knowledge that they have and had found an interesting observation about a particular student (Lee). Lee was new to the school from China and English was her second language. She would zone out in lessons and throw her nose deeply into her Chinese novels. She did not participate in the lessons at all. I didn’t believe it was due to lack of interest but due to her inability to connect with and understand the content. Like Tameka in her blog I felt there was importance in inclusion and engagement so I made it my mission to cater to her individual needs, whilst allowing the other students in the class to form greater understanding of the main concept in writing an advertisement and how these might change depending on the audience you are advertising to.

I found a Chinese advertisement and an English advertisement for a popular hair product. I had Lee help me out the front of the class to translate the Chinese ad. We discussed the difference in the direction of the text(Chinese people read Up/down and right to left) and where the eye was being drawn (ads for English speaking countries are often created in a Z shape with text and pictures as this is the way the eye is naturally drawn). Lee blossomed having the opportunity to share her own prior knowledge and many students had an Aha moment when discussing how you may change your add depending on your audience.

This lesson then lead into a cross curricular activity whereby students were to learn about Asian countries for geography. The students needed to write a travel advertisement for an Asian country of their choice. Through problem based learning it was established that they would need to research the country they were advertising so as to know what would be appealing to their selected audience (Chinese or Australian) . We booked the computer room and researched, taking notes on important facts. We also looked at online advertisements and compared how effective they were in hooking the reader. I bought in travel brochures to look at single page advertisements in print.

Then for assessment it was time to create their full page advertisements for literacy and an accompanying fact sheet about their country for geography. Lee created an advertisement for a Chinese audience and with support from an teachers aide wrote her fact sheet in English.

This was my best learning experience because it catered for students individual needs, it was cross curricular, it required problem based learning and it incorporated ICT.

The icing on the cake was a card from Lee on my last day of prac saying

“Thank you for caring about me”