Technology can provide many benefits, including: a wide audience for student work, collaborative opportunities with people all over the world, access to experts, use of tools to deliver a message effectively, and tools to systematise complex processes.
Unfortunately we haven’t got to the stage where technology is available without hiccups yet. Often schools are hindered by lack of access to technology (not having one on one devices), frequent cuts to internet connectivity, popular and useful sites blocked by systems, and lack of skills – teachers and students.
I am committed to finding ways to utilise technology to enhance my teaching practices, not just look for gimmicks that fix a short term issue. To this end I will aim to make use of the following technologies:
- Blogs – to provide a central storage point for access to links and resources, to provide information to staff, students and parents, to share work, to encourage people to respond to student work, engage a wider audience in conversations
- Wikis – to provide opportunities for students to co-create, collaborate
- Voki – to engage the audience, direct a specific message in an entertaining way
- Powtoon – utilise an animation tool to communicate learning powerfully, engage audience (transform learning)
- Scratch – to teach students coding language
- Vimeo – to communicate using video
- Animoto – to encourage students to use visual and auditory elements to communicate a strong message
- Voice Thread – to use the power of visual, auditory and written messages, combined with people from various parts of the world
- Diigo – to curate important articles, reference pieces
- Edmodo – to communicate with students around the world
- iPads – in the junior primary years – My Story, Explain Everything, Book Creator, Tellagami, QR Reader, Show Me, Skitch, Puppet Pals
- Twitter – to encourage traffic to blogs, pose questions of my educational Personal Learning Network, access current information and diversity of opinions
- Skype – to connect with others
- Fuse – to connect synchronously with teachers in various parts of the world
- Thinglink?? – gimmicky? or purposeful?
What else would you add to this list?
Challenging Assumptions/ Devil’s Advocate
Providing/ Researching information
Reaching a consensus
Maintenance – to ensure harmony and emotional well-being of a group
Sensing group feelings
Bringing people into the discussion
Project Based Learning process:
1. Identify the objective
2. Set criteria or goals
3. Gather data
4. Generate options or courses of action
5. Evaluate the options using data and objectives
6. Reach a decision
7. Implement the decision
Although this doesn’t look much like it is supposed to – I am feeling rather relieved to have completed it to this stage. The colours are wrong! The line pattern went missing. I couldn’t work out how to do the border, and in the end I didn’t follow the instructions from the video, as I was having no success. In the end I do have a bit better understanding of how to use Photoshop, although I wouldn’t be confident enough to use it with my students. I will need much more time to mess around with the program – and probably need some more expert advice.
This was only one part of the homework for Week 1. Now I have week 2 and 3 to catch up on!!
I have started reading Flattening Classrooms, Engaging Minds. I am interested in the concept of getting students to collaborate with others in other schools and other parts of the world. I have seen some of the benefits discussed in the first chapter first hand – to a small extent.
Last year whilst involved in the Global Read Aloud our class connected with another class in Virginia, USA. Through this link students shared information. By posted video footage on our class blog, making comments through Edmodo, and commenting on their class blog students exchanged information. They were very motivated and interested in finding out about the differences between our cultures.
I would like to further explore the opportunities available during the year ahead. I think my next step will be to start local, make connections, practice using Skype or Google+ and then look for opportunities, within the curriculum, to expand further.
I look forward to exploring the Flattening Classrooms, Expanding Minds with other teachers around the world on January 8th, 11am Adelaide time.
Over the past two evenings I have taken part in two Global Ed 2012 Conference sessions. The first, run by a teacher in country Victoria, showed me what students can do by running their own Blackboard Collaborate sessions.
The second tonight, run by a teacher in Western Australia, showed the possibilities in terms of projects that teachers and students can connect with, and the many benefits.
I am amazed at the possibilities and would like to trial some of these new ways of working with students. I have begun to see the benefits of Edmodo, and Twitter, and would like to explore Sykpe further.