Guided Web Searches for History

During my recent professional experience placement I attempted to, as a part of my endeavors to improve my explicit teaching skills, designed two lessons as part of a History unit I planned for my year 5 class. There are a few things that I discovered during this process.

  1. Ensure you very clearly define the search parameters that the students must follow, down to as finer detail as the exact words they are to search for.
  2. Practice the searches yourself.
  3. Make sure you allow enough time, or scaffold the experience enough, for all students to finish the searches and find the information.

If you can include these tips in anything you do involving guided internet searching, you might get a bit more out of it than I did.

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ICT’s and National Sorry Day

I was recently on my professional experience placement and during the placement fell National Sorry Day. I was tasked with coming up with a lesson that would develop an understanding of what the day was about and why we mark this national day in the way that we do. My aim was to develop a sense of empathy within the year 5 students I was working with in relation to the children their age that would have had to deal with the trauma that came with the events of the stolen generations. I found a clip from the Australian film Rabbit Proof Fence that I found was very emotive and worked quite well. The school I was at held a church service the next day for National Sorry Day, and the students understood what it was for all the more after the lesson.

IPADS FOR TEACHERS

I came across this Facebook page called iPads for Teachers which I could foresee as being very valuable moving forward in terms of implementing ICT’s in the primary school classroom. The page looks at everything that is relevant to the use of an iPad by a teacher in a classroom from simple things such as the latest iOS updates and when they can be installed, including the new features that the updates entail, new apps that are available to download and use in the classroom, as well as ideas on how to best use these apps in the classroom.

I find this useful as I was first introduced to using the iPad as a teaching resource in my practicum last year at Ascot State School in QLD. This school has a class sized mount of iPads that can be borrowed out of the library by a teacher for specific times that they wish to use them in class. I witnessed an English and a Maths lesson using the iPads, and although in those instances the basics of the lessons were still the same as using more traditional resources, the students really connected with the content more.

WHY GENERALIST TEACHERS ARE IDEAL CANDIDATES TO TEACH PE

I am writing this post in response to a blog post I found here. It states that ‘The generalist teacher has their class for the majority of the day and can construct curriculum experiences which deliver the knowledge and skills of other curriculum areas, in, about and through movement.’ This really struck a chord with me because I have always been an avid follower of sports, and the idea of incorporating a PE element in my classroom has always filled me with a sense of excitement.

I can count one practicum experience in particular in 2014 at Kenmore State School in QLD where the teacher I was working with ran a 15 minute boot camp style session with her class every day, first thing in the morning before the class lined up to enter the classroom.

The reasons for doing this make sense. It gets the blood flowing and the mind ready. It wakes up the tired and allows the energetic to equal out their energy levels. It is these sorts of activities that are a great starting point for what the blog post is getting at, although I look forward to working out ways of fitting in PE activities in other learning areas as well.

WHO DECIDES HOW TECHNOLOGY IS USED AND WHAT IS SOCIAL?

In the classroom these questions are very important as it directly links to the kind of hidden curriculum that you want to set as a teacher. The hidden curriculum refers to the sorts of messages, values, lessons that you wish for your students to take away from day to day classroom lessons from what happens outside of direct content for example, through the behaviour management strategies that are used in the classroom.

As a teacher is is my responsibility to decide how ICT’s and other technology is used in the classroom, and therefore a definition of what social use of technology is. I think it is only fair that if ICT’s are to be used in the classroom then it would be expected that technology be used as much ass possible, where appropriate. Although I could spend quite some time on this subject there would be some strict ground rules that would need to be set such as no mobile phones in the classroom of in the schoolyard. Rules such as this would be counteracted by encouraging use of school resources to be ‘social’ in using technology for example using online spaces with school computers.

A BARRIER TO ICT INTEGRATION

Through my study of EDC3100 I have encountered this particular clump of quotes (Bingimlas in USQ, 2016):

…one barrier that prevents teachers from using ICT in their teaching is lack of confidence (p. 237)

…many teachers who do not consider themselves to be well skilled in using ICT feel anxious about using it in front of a class…(p. 238)

teachers who confidently use technologies in their classrooms understand the usefulness of ICT (p. 238)

…many teachers will chose not to use ICT and media in teaching situations because of their lack of ICT skills rather than for pedagogical/didactics reasons (p. 238)

I’d like to just say a few things about each quote here.

Confidence and anxiety are very valid issues when it comes to anything in your pedagogical repertoire. I think a teacher can address any shortfall in confidence by taking professional development steps such as the short courses offered here that offer steps to help teachers create lessons that integrate ICT’s into them. This will help a teacher to understand the usefulness of the ICT’s that they use and start to factor the use of ICT’s into their teaching daily, building their skills in their use.

References

USQ (2016), EDC3100 ICT and Pedagogy, University of Southern Queensland. Toowoomba

 

YOUTUBE IN THE CLASSROOM

If like me you have ever been someone with a casual interest in some so called ‘viral’ youtube videos, and ever wanted to save those videos onto a hard drive then I direct you to a helpful post by a fellow student, Esther, that can be found here https://perusesite.wordpress.com/2016/03/05/youtube-in-the-classroom/. It directs us to two helpful things, clip converter and this article http://dailygenius.com/youtube-in-the-classroom/ that remind us that youtube can easily be fit into the classroom without the fear of horrible advertising, and that it should be given a second chance if you have been stung before.

In my experience of using some curriculum material from the QLD government that tends to be a little dry and boring, I have found suitable youtube clips that get the same message across. For example using Bill Nye The Science Guy clips in science lessons have always been a hit.

Does anyone have any other examples of substituting lesson content with ICT’s such as youtube that have been successful?

NOTHING WORKS EVERYWHERE

This post is a reflection upon a blog post of a fellow student that draws upon the notion that not all technology works everywhere. The post can be found here https://kerribaldwinedc3100.wordpress.com/2016/03/07/nothing-works-everywhere/.

The post focuses mainly on the differences in student’s need for behaviour management of varying degrees based on the size of their school and how this impacts on a teacher’s ability to implement ICT’s in the classroom. I would like to discuss the implications of something that I would like to undertake in the future: a placement at a school in a remote Aboriginal community. If trying to practice teaching in an environment such as this, the notion of nothing works everywhere could change to it not being possible for the technology to work there, depending on the degree of resources available within that school. According to Korff (2016), there may also be a huge resistance to embrace western culture, and ICT’s in the classroom make up an element of that.

References

Korff, J. (2016) Teaching Aboriginal Students. Retrieved from 28th March 2016 from http://www.creativespirits.info/aboriginalculture/education/teaching-aboriginal-students#axzz447DwMFm0

ESCAPING TECHNOLOGY?

This post is in reference to a blog post I recently read from a fellow student Elly McCulloch that can be found here https://ladyofthesunblog.wordpress.com/2016/03/21/is-there-such-thing-as-escaping-technology/.

It’s an interesting read and I wholeheartedly agree with what I take away from the blog as the essence of what is being said by Elly, that technology is not something that we need to be concerned with in terms of limiting or reducing our use. Technology has been developed on the whole, especially in a teaching setting, to improve, enhance, challenge, develop and provide perspective to enrich the learning experience for both teacher and student. With this in mind technology should be embraced at every appropriate opportunity in the classroom. I for one will be using the remainder of my practical experiences in classrooms to test out as many uses of ICT’s as I can in order to add to my pedagogical tool belt before I am a fully fledged teacher!

HOW MUCH DO I CARE ABOUT ICT AND PEDAGOGY?

This is an interesting question to ponder when I am writing this blog post as part of an assessment item, but also seeking to be a part of the teaching profession as well. A little bit of context will show you that I am approaching the end of my third year of a primary education degree, have been on three practicum experiences and am trying to finish the course as soon as possible. The answer to how much I care about ICT and Pedagogy upon revisiting these facts for myself is quite straight forward: I care a lot! I am hoping through the weeks I spend studying this subject I am exposed to the reasons why we should utilise ICT’s in our pedagogy as teachers, when to and when to not utilise them, and be exposed to new ways in which to incorporate ICT’s in my teaching practice that I might not have thought of before. For example this website http://freetech4teachers.com/ gives many examples of technology that is free to access that can be used in the classroom. Although I have had access to this sort of knowledge before, I hope what I learn in this subject will combine with websites such as this to strengthen my use of ICT’s in my pedagogy.