I'm not crazy, my reality is just different to yours.

EDP4130 A Technological Journey – Stage One.

This week was very interesting in terms of my personal learning journey for professional experience (PE). I began with a short lesson which included proof reading and maths mentals. These were small 15 minutes sessions aimed at easing me into the teaching of this class. With each class there is a different dynamic and this class was no exception. It is difficult to let your own style loose with students conditioned to how their class teacher responds. Nevertheless, it is part of the learning journey.

Frustration with the use of ICT, with a non calibrated Interactive White Board that at times did not interact, however it still provided a platform for me to display the body of work I wanted the students to complete. it saves so much time, when you can use the IWB as a projection screen to put up a worksheet, rather than rewrite everything on a board. I could save my work and what additional information was captured.

What I believed started out to be a potential nightmare of a PE , turned out to be a good week. I have through showing initiative proved my worth to my mentor, which is a relief. She does have high expectations. I guess I am moving into week two with a renewed vigour. Unlike my friend Teresa Daniels who had a really challenging time.  I guess even if the PE is a challenge, it does highlight what we will NOT do once we are out there in the real world.

 

Well I was launched into teaching today during middle session.

I was asked to complete a lesson plan for both classes (which I did using the EDC3100 template). Overall the comments from my mentor were favourable and she added a few things that would bolster the planning. I was informed to be concise and do not over complicate it by being wordy. After all it is not something they use AT ALL.

What we do use in this classroom is WALT and WILF. I liked using the WILF (What I Look For) as a tool for setting expectations of the class. Whilst I need to perfect this, I believe it is a helpful way to start the lesson. My colleague http://rachelcostigan.wordpress.com/2014/05/24/walt-wilf-and-tib/ explains the terminology very well in her blog.

They are simple tools and tips you can use in the class room.

My first lesson was mental maths, which I sat up all night last night creating. I did two sets, one for the lower learners and the other for the rest of the class. It turns out I was aiming too high, but not knowing the children made it a little difficult to gauge what was simple maths facts and what was not. I use the IWB to simply display the information. Nothing fancy, but it was handy to have there/.

My second lesson was about grammar, spelling and punctuation in a PROOF READING exercise. Overall I received good feedback and was pleased with my efforts.

Tomorrow is full observation and then back in full swing Thursday.

Until then……

Ok so I am a little behind the eight ball already. Whilst most of you are finishing your professional experiences (PE) this week, my journey has just begun.

Having to juggle work commitments I have resorted in pushing it back by two weeks, which leaves me in a real rush to complete my assignment by the due date. The stipulation of starting PE late was that I was not eligble for assignment extensions. Oh well , thems the breaks.

I was having a feeling of dread the past two weeks however an email from my mentor has certainly settled things down somewhat with a list of lessons she wants me to teach. Most of which is structured around the C2C, so I doubt there will be much planning on my part.

I found a great online resource place http://www.tesaustralia.com/ which  has some fantastic ideas, all free that I can download. So far my list of items to teach is

Science – use of light

spelling groups

Possessive Apostrophes

Maths – fractions (ewww scared) , chance (what are the chances of me blowing it) and data (I can provide plenty of data to say I suck at Maths)

So I have a variety of different lessons to teach so it will be great. in the past it has mainly been the subjects the teachers thing will challenge me the most.

I had no interest to do this PE this year. Perhaps it is due to the lack of interest I had in the course topic. Whilst I love my ICT, I am more focussed on finding the best possible way to engage students. As I have said before, I do not believe this is the only option.
My mentor was most impressed that ICT was the focus, she does not seem to tech savvy, so needless to say, I might be in for an interesting three weeks.

I started using interactive white boards during my time as a rural fire service officer in NSW. We used the ‘Smartboard’ as a digital mapping system. We would bring a map up on the screen and were able to plot the direction of a fire on the board, save it as a page for future reference.

This was 2002. Ground breaking stuff back then. We used to get a paper based map, put a clear plastic covering over it and use overhead projector marker pens and hand draw the fire direction, weather behaviour, fall back lines and the like. If we wanted to update the overlay we cut up a new piece of plastic. We kept rolls and rolls of drawn on plastic with no real knowledge of which fire it related to!
Now we could do it on computer. THe map was on the big screen. If we made an error , it was deleted. It tracked every change, every moment we added something. AND we could refer back to it should the boss or Coroner wanted it for information.

Fast forward a few years and now classrooms have this wonderful piece of technology. Gone is the tv and vcr on a trolley that you borrowed from the library. Gone are the reel to reel projector films in science. We can teach students using a clever screen, a laptop and a set of speakers.

SO what is the downside? Well I am not sure if teachers have the understanding NOR the time to utilise them to their full capability. Sure they will show a you tube clip, be able to bring the worksheets up on a screen instead of printing them out, but if only they knew how much they could do with them.

Perhaps a little more time allowing students to utilise them, then they could teach us all how to use them.

This is one bit of ICT I embrace. They have purpose, they are a powerful tool and save plenty of time and effort. If the teacher wants to keep it, she/he can! just hit the save button.

SIMPLES…

Well like my friend Leesa, I too am disappointed in my assignment mark. I did put a fair amount of effort into it, but as a slowly drew closer to the due date and cut off time, I lost interest. I could not see where I could possibly incorporate ICT. Comments back to me from the marker stated that whilst I wrote about pedagogical approaches in my essay I did not discuss ICT.

Silly me for asking but is ICT a mere tool for us to value add to the student learning? I thought was I was doing a unit on was Geography NOT web design. I was criticised for only using ICT for research and blogging. Is that such a bad thing ? Is this what is reality for 5th graders?

Call me old school but I believe we need to TEACH children about important matters USING the best tools at our disposal. ICT is one of those tools. When faced with a dilemma of no ICT or minimal ICT in schools, how are we to put all our focus on this?

We may have computers available and smartphones and apps, but kids really need to still learn how to write with a good old fashioned pen and paper and read books that have pages.

I love Technology, but not at the expense of valuable education .

I just completed my cybersmart training course. it is great to see the work undertaken to inform our children Cyber smart Connect Ed has four easy modules to read and complete. The interactive quizzes and simulations help reinforce the information provided on the website.

 

I also looked at some of the resources and believe they can be applied in a school setting with a great amount of ease. They fit in well with the Australian Curriculum HPE with full incorporation to ICT.

A fellow student also rated this site highly in her blog which you can read here. I think everyone should do this online course. It is really beneficial in helping adults understand what goes on in cyber space and how vulnerable our children are to online predators.

 

My certificate is  here cyber smart certificate