Conclusion

As I have come to the end of my professional experience and towards the end of this semester I am reflecting on the amazing learning experience I have had. Not only was I able to complete my professional experience at an ICT enriched school but I was able to engage with different ICT equipment on a fun professional development day!

I was able to have a go at controlling a small drone and reflect on how we could use it in the classroom. We also looked at 3D printing and the use of Virtual reality in the classroom. It was amazing and I feel so lucky.

Throughout my experience, so many lessons were taught with the use of ICT equipment and it definitely enriched the learning of the students. They were engaged and interested in learning and it was transformed with the introduction of the new ICT equipment. 

I was sad it came to an end but I had definitely learned alot.

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Formative assessment.

I had questioned my mentor today on ways she does formative assessment within the classroom. She explained how they use what is called a “plough back” where they reflect on the lesson. The teacher asks questions about the lesson and pulls a stick out of a cup with a student’s name on it for them to answer. 

Another tool for formative assessment is what they call traffic lights. Each student has a picture of traffic lights on their desk and during lessons the students point to a colour to show whther they understand or not. The teacher is able to scan over the desks and see which students may require extra help.

I think the traffic lights is a great idea however I was thinking for assignment three, I like the idea of a plough back where we reflect with the students on the lesson. I also think that observing them and asking questions throughout the lesson is also a good tool for formative assessment as students can be provided with feedback.

ICT enriched classroom

My professional experience has begun and the first thing I have noticed about the classroom I am in is the use of ICT with lessons. The lessons are taught using a smart screen and slideshows that have been created in powerpoint. Every subject that is taught starts with the students on the floor and engaging with the teacher using a white board, projector and laptop. 

A few things I have noticed when students learn are strategies the teachers use to ensure students are understanding.

For example, when teaching a mathematical concept of patterns on my first day, the teacher engaged the children in a digital game to elaborate on their mathematical thinking. It kept them engaged in their learning and provided them with the knowledge and understanding of the concept.

Another use of ICT I found interesting was the use of a timer on the white screen. There was a picture of an hourglass and a countdown timer to show the students how much time they had left. It would then beep when the time was up. This appeared to be useful for the teacher as she didnt have to keep an eye on the time and was able to focus more on student learning assistance. The students were also able to see how much time they had left encouraging them to work more efficiently.

Reflection on assignment two… preparing for assignment three.

So I have received my assignment two results today and I have to say I didnt achieve as well as I had hoped but I did pass. It makes me question how I could do well with assignment one but now my ideas were questioned in assignment two?

As I read through my feedback, my marker appears to not quite understand what is happening in the unit. I have developed a process of experiences for developing knowledge and understanding of structuring stories. I have planned activities that work with students on developing their understanding through each stage which will lead to their ability in creating their own story at the end of the unit.

I have really begun to think about my unit plan and changes I may need to make in order to do well in assessment three. I still want to keep the main idea of students learning about stories being created through a sequence of events. I want them to be able to use their imaginations and work together. How am I going to do that? 

Reflecting on a previous prac I have done I noticed that students were given tasks to retell a story through a cutting and pasting sequence activity. 

My unit plan had this experience however it was going to be done through a digital application on an IPad. My final experience was for students to create their own story in groups however since receiving my feedback I realise it may be a little too advanced for that year level so I have decided to use the second experience of retelling a story.

Website development begins….

The difference between using technology and technology integration.

I recently engaged with information regarding technology on the desktop (Dann, 2017) and the difference between the use of it and actually integrating it into learning experiences.

As I look at life nowadays I think about how different it is to the time I was growing up. Back then I had no Ipads or digital televisions and we were lucky to have one computer. Most households these days are equipped with Ipads, laptops and smart televisions. I was lucky to have one analog television.

These days children have unlimited access to ICTs and it has even become a requirement for students to have an IPad for learning.

This got me thinking about the use of technology and technology integration. Before IPads were invented, any technology that was available was mainly just for sporadic use, facilitating activities and achieving information. These days, technology has been integrated into society as it is used for learning and collaborative purposes, construct and build knowledge as well as being purposeful.

As I looked through my unit plan I compared the ideas of Aditi Rao (an American technology resource specialist) to the planned learning experiences of the unit. 

– Technology usage is planned and has a purpose.

– Technology is used to engage students with content.

– Technology is used to support curriculum goals.

– Students mostly used the technology.

– Technology is used to help instruct students on content.

– Technology is used to create and develop new thinking processes while encouraging higher order thinking skills.

– The technology is used to facilitate collaboration within the classroom.

These are just a few of what I have alligned with the unit. After looking at these I have come to the conclusion that the planned unit integrates technology rather than just using it. 
Dann, C. (2017). Enhancing your ICT enriched learning experiences. Week 6. EDC3100 ICT and pedagogy. University of Southern Queensland. Retrieved August 25th 2017 from study desk.

Reflecting on ICT use in a previous professional experience.

Today as I thought about professional experience coming up I reflected on my last one at the school I will be returning to. 

I remembered the technologies used on a daily basis within the prep classroom. Every morning the teacher used the smart screen and laptop to engage the students in learning literacy, using the smart screen to take an “I do, we do, you do approach”. She was able to show the students via the smart screen the task they were to complete through a demonstration. The teacher then proceeded to encourage the students to do one of the questions with her before sending them off to finish the task in their workbooks. The students would then come back to the mat to reflect on their learning which the teacher called the “plough back”.

IPads were also used in the classroom when doing english rotations. One particular activity involved the students practived their writing skills on the IPad in groups through a writing app.

Reflecting on this made me think about strategies I will use in my unit plan to ensure students are provided with knowledge in the most effective way.

Decoding learning themes.

As I work through task two for EDC3100 I am reflecting on whether the unit I am planning embeds the successful use of ICT equipment. 

I decided to review the 8 themes for decoding learning (Dann, 2017) and allign them with the experiences i have planned.

Learning from experts: The students of course will be learning from their teacher but will develop the understanding of sequencing events to tell a story from a well known author.

Learning with others: Students have the opportunity within the unit to work with each other, exploring new ideas and developing knowledge.

Learning through making: This is evident towards the end of the unit when students put their newly learned knowledge into practice.

Learning through exploring: Students will be given opportunities to explore new ideas through guided processes.

Learning through inquiry: One of the experiences encourage students to inquire about stories they read and discuss why certain events may happen (especially referring to the little red hen story).

Learning through practicing: The students are given opportunities to practice before completing a task given to them.

Learning from assessment: Students will be given the opportunity to learn from assessment during the unit so that they are able to achieve their desired result at the end of the unit.

Learning in and across settings: The students will have the opportunity to continue learning throughout the unit across all experiences.

It seems the unit I have planned alligns with the 8 decoding learning themes which makes me feel like I am on the right track for this unit.

Creativity is key

So I have submitted my first assignment for ICT and pedagogy. At first I was unsure of what to do for it, but seeing as I am completing my Bachelor of early childhood, I decided to go with the foundation year and base it on the English syllabus of the Australian curriculum. Its amazing the ideas I can come up with just by reading the content descriptors and imagining the activities the students could do to reflect those. 

As a kindergarten teacher, I remember a while back, before IPads and laptops were introduced into the classroom, how I would incorporate literacy into the kindergarten age group. I remember doing an activity with the children based on them drawing their pictures. As usual practice, when children drew a picture, the educators would ask them about it and often write a sentence to describe what is happening in the picture. From this I came up with an idea to extend on their pictures by creating story boards for them to tell a whole story of their own. The children would draw pictures in each square and once finished, I would sit with them and go through each picture, discussing what was happening. 

Of course this age group may not have been aware of the sequencing process to tell a story but I was sure to say things like, ” Then what happened?” “Or what happens in this picture after that one?” This helped the children to describe their story which we then cut out, laminated and turned into books which were read at story time. This could be seen as an early introduction to sequencing and story telling as well as a piece of work that each child could be proud of.

As I brainstromed my assignment, I remembered doing this and thought it would be great to incorporate into a unit, however instead of the paper story boards, children will do it on IPads which reflects the replacement part of the RAT framework (Hughes et al, 2006). They will use an application known as ‘book creator’ which will amplify the learning instruction through efficiency and productivity (Hughes et al, 2006). The basis for this unit will focus on the ability to sequence and tell a story.

It would be great to see learning instruction transformed where the students sequence for themselves and create their own stories using the book creator app. 

Looking forward to the next assignment.
Hughes, J., Thomas, R., & Scharber, C. (2006). Assessing Technology Integration: The RAT – Replacement, Amplification, and Transformation – Framework. In C. Crawford, R. Carlsen, K. McFerrin, J. Price, R. Weber, & D. A. Willis (Eds.), Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2006 (pp. 1616-1620). Orlando, Florida: AACE. Retrieved from http://www.editlib.org/p/22293/

Food for thought.

As I continue my learning journey through ICT and pedagogy I am learning so much about it! I used to think that ICTs were for teaching or research to add to the education of the children and I didn’t really delve too deep into trying to understand how embedding ICTs influence teaching and learning.

As an early childhood teacher I do use ICT’s in the kindergarten room for learning purposes, however I have never really reflected on why I have used it or the process of children learning through it. It was just there.

I recently watched Dann’s tutorial (Week 2, 2017) on the RAT (Replacement, amplification and transformation) framework that was introduced by Hughes et al (2006). This model was generated for the purpose of teachers evaluating their own use of ICT and pedagogy. Hughes (2006) suggested that consideration of three broad themes are important for teachers as it ensures that all aspects in the instructional activity where technology is embedded are covered. These three themes include: student learning process, instructional method and curriculum goals.

Upon reading and listening to this, it made me think about my practice in the kindergarten room and how I have never really considered these three themes before. I had never thought about the process of how students learn through the ICT tool we use. I used it as more of a learning enhancer rather than an actual process. The instructional method used through experiences was more about visual learning, repetition of sounds. The children never physically interacted with it, unless they were taking photos on an ipad we used. There were always goals for the children to learn but I never considered ICT being embedded into it.

This has definitely got me thinking about ways I can improve my pedagogy using the RAT framework.

 

References:

Dann, C. (2017). Conceptualising ICTs. Tutorial, week 2. EDC3100 ICT and pedagogy. University of Southern Queensland Retrieved May 31st 2017 from study desk: https://cloudstor.aarnet.edu.au/plus/index.php/s/1ZP3qNCEA8mYfQX

Hughes, J., Thomas, R., & Scharber, C. (2006). Assessing Technology Integration: The RAT – Replacement, Amplification, and Transformation – Framework. In C. Crawford, R. Carlsen, K. McFerrin, J. Price, R. Weber, & D. A. Willis (Eds.), Society for Information Technology & Teacher Education International Conference 2006 (pp. 1616-1620). Orlando, Florida: AACE. Retrieved from http://www.editlib.org/p/22293/