On the hunt

Now that I finally know where I’m heading for prac I can start to focus on what age appropriate ICTs I can use in my context. Due to being placed so late I had no opportunity to find out what ICT the school has available so I look forward to finding out on Monday. I started rolling through other students posts to find recommendations and I found a post by Miss Brauer and she was discussing the software Powtoon. Powtoon is used to create animated videos and presentations. I thought this may be useful for a grade two class as it will (as the Powtoon slogan states) captivate, engage and explain concepts to students. This tool will be useful in appealing to visual and audial learners. It will also help me to ensure these videos or presentations are relevant to the students in the class by relating it to them, their interests and what they bring to the class. Powtoon is easy to navigate and boasts that you can have a video created in just 5 mins. I might need to practice to have them created that quickly.

Word clouds

After reading back over fellow pre-service teachers blog posts, a post by Mrs Kelly caught my eye. What drew me in was her image. It was like a word cloud in a fantastic footprint shape. The words in the cloud were relevant to talking about digital footprint and they were arranged in various sizes into the shape of a foot print. I started to investigate how I too could create a word cloud into any shape I choose, as I see this as a valuable tool to use whilst out on prac.

I initially tried Wordle but due to having Windows 1o I found that I couldn’t use it without Java. So I then tried Tagul and hey presto, I created my own word cloud! I really think I will be using this word cloud generator on prac for brainstorming and to appeal to visual learners.

NAPLAN ROOKIE

Today my first born is sitting his first NAPLAN test. Fortunately he attends a school that is not overly focussed on NAPLAN and there does not seem to be too much added pressure on his performance. I say added pressure because the pressure he is putting on himself is enough. My son has always been very academically driven and just naturally competitive.

HE IS ANXIOUS! To say the least… I tried to calm his nerves by putting into perspective the relevance of the test. I told him that how well he does in NAPLAN is not going to stop him from becoming the scientist he wants to be when he grows up. I then read him this letter another teacher had written to her students in preparation for NAPLAN. This letter was fantastic and after listening to it my son went into school saying “I’m just going to do my best mum”. Perfect!!!

The further I get into my degree, the more I learn about national testing, the more I disagree with it. I truly believe Australian schools need a educational revolution.

 

Cyber Safe

As part of the week 10 learning path we were told to briefly outline our knowledge and experience with digital citizenship and the safe, responsible, and ethical use of ICT in your personal and professional lives. I feel that my own knowledge of this is only at a sound level. As a teacher I am aware that we are not to post photo’s of children whereby the child can be identified. So this means no faces in photo’s and no identifiable names like school name or location. I have never personally experienced cyber bullying but I have witnessed a mentor in a previous prac educate her grade 3 class about cyber bullying. She used an online clip which she located on a Queensland government website.

After participating in the short quiz I was surprised to find I was wrong on a questions that said is it true or false that cyber bullying is the most common form of bullying taking place in secondary schools. I thought for sure that with online interactions and the increase in the use of social media that this statement would be true but actually recent research confirms that offline bullying is still the most common form of bullying (eg face-to-face name‐calling) in both primary and secondary schools. It does state however that cyberbullying will become more prevalent in the future.

An important factor in helping students that have being bullied is education but it is important to understand not to just educate the person being bullied but it is important to stop the bullying and educate the perpetrator as well. I feel that I will benefit from researching ways to effectively educate students on the safe use of cyber space and hope that I will know enough to model the appropriate use myself.

Breaking the procrastination cycle

Every assignment for every course I have procrastinated. Things like putting off starting, or scanning forums, following Facebook groups and even finding house work to do really slow me down. I read a great blog post from Mr Clancy titled My Assignment Secret. In this post Mr Clancy shared the idea of writing 300words a day, 5 days a week. This goal is very achievable and in fact can often be easily past, giving yourself a wonderful sense of achievement. I am absolutely going to implement this goal for my future assignments in all my courses. Thanks Mr Clancy for letting everyone in on your secret to success I am hopeful that it will help me break my procrastination cycle.

For further study tips students can follow this link from Charles Sturt University which breaks down all the aspects of study life and gives strategies of how to get through it.

Autism Awareness

As I read back over some of my fellow pre-service teachers blog posts I found Kailah’s post about April being  Autism Awareness month. I wasn’t aware of this so I followed the link she shared and gained some valuable information Autism. To relate this post to our ICT course I thought I might share a great link to a wide range of Apps for an IPad suitable for children age 2-12 with autism to use.

The apps are effectively organised into categories like Behavioural, Social skills, literacy, language, sensory, emotional, and more. Each category have an extensive list of apps available.

With the Australian education system moving away from segregation of students with disabilities and an increased value seen in inclusion, I am becoming more confident with the idea that I will be teaching students with special needs (although not my specification). For my own personal development I am trying to learn more about autism and how it affects students, families and teachers. Hopefully one day I will be able to put some of the apps in the link above into action.

Don’t forget April is Autism Awareness month so, go blue for autism!

Learning Journal Freak out

So I got my draft report for my learning journal for assignment two and it appears I am behind. ARGH!! I have been blogging constantly and linking to other students blogs, linking to other resources but apparently I haven’t done enough. I know I am behind in the moodles but I plan on doing a moodle marathon over the long weekend.

I read Jodie Howards and in this post she bought my attention to the fact the when linking to other blogs we need to make sure we are linking to their specific blog post and not the blog reader page. I have gone back through my posts and checked on all my links. Hopefully once the assignment is submitted everything is up to date