scoop it scoop it good

A few weeks ago i would not have been able to tell you what a curation was but now i am all over it. A curation is the collection of quality resouces , information etc that come together for a chosen issue or topic and is shared through various tools.

The task 1 requires the development of a curation. Yes it took awhile to get my head around it a bit like last year getting my head around and artefact. With technology comes  a new vocabulary. After many changes and a few sleepless nights i decided my curation would be on Engaging students through technology in the early years f-2.  My curation is based on finding authentic , rigorous and engaging learning opportunities through projects, activities and lessons underpinned by the Technology learning area in the Australia Curriculum.  I have read numerous lesson ideas and activities that provide low expectation for younger students and are boring. I believe that young students have the capability  and need to be involved in activities that are challenging , make them think and enable them to consider the world around them in an age appropriate way.

I am super excited about my curation. I have expanded my Personal Learning Network (PLN) by reading blogs, tweets and posts on Facebook. I am following the ideas, news and information that my experts talking about. I have especially enjoyed reading the blogs of teachers who have tried specific activities that engage students. My PLN i am using various tools such as Facebook, Pinterest and Blogs. this provides me with various ways to interact with my experts  while also being suitable to my own personal needs and availability.

I have scooped numerous ideas for integrating Technology in the younger years of primary. I have different activities, projects some connected to other learning areas while others may stand alone underpinned by Technology, yet each is engaging and fun for young students and offer the ability to differentiated to suit ability and year levels. If you want to see more go to my scoop it page and regularly check in or follow me as i will be constantly adding and updating with new ideas for the younger years.

ENGAGING STUDENTS THROUGH TECHNOLOGY IN THE EARLY YEARS F-2

reflection and connections

Over the last weeks i have been engaged in a digital program called Scratch. Scratch is a  free online program that is  has a global community of teachers and students . To trial scratch click here Scratch  to go the site

During the three phases of interaction with scratch   i went through various stages of success, failure and persistence. Each stage required me to  follow instructions, design, generate, manage and (often) problem solve. I wondered to myself why some areas were difficult and why others were not. Firstly it is so often in this fast paced society that there is the expectation of immediate answers and scratch made me slow down and look at the programming and representation of structure. This bought an understanding of the influence of technology and the affects it has had on humans.

Over the process of completing the scratch activities i was able to see the connections with the Technology strand in the Australian Curriculum and connections to the Melbourne Declaration(2008), Goals For Young Australians. Through the scratch program i clearly  was engaged in;

Understanding and recognising impact of products and considerations given to the design of products

– through the program i was able to see the process of making a simple game just by sequencing movements and was able to reflect on the process of the cat to envision a much larger product and the benefits and influences it has had on humans

Explore and Investigate opportunities  for designing

– creating the car race and ping pong i was able to go through a process of design, evaluation and problem solving and explore the change of sequence required if i changed strategies in ping pong or the design of a track.

Generate develop, design using digital technology

– using scratch i was required to participate in numerous activities which required design , the generation of sequence such as changing the colour of the sprite , add music  and movement.

 

Using criteria to  to technolgoy

– the scratch program had numerous steps which i was required to follow to be successful. After each success i then allowed time for reflection on the process which allowed the clarity to see errors but also to be able to see areas in which i could improve on  such as design, extra movements, width of paddles and extra balls in pong.

 

During the reflection process it was these alignments that enabled me to see the connections to the Technology strand in the Australian Curriculum. It further provided  the ability to see possible opportunities for students to be engaged in scratch in authentic projects that require the process of design,investigation, generating and  evaluation. It is these skills that require creativity, critical thinking and problem solving skills which the Melbourne Declaration (MCEETYA, 2008) say are critical for 21st century students to have to be able to effectively participate in the world around them. The scratch program would lend itself nicely to Maths and the creation of shapes , direction and problem solving.

To view thew Australian Curriculum Technology draft syllabus click here

To view the Melbourne Declaration click here

 

pong

Pong or tennis as what i recall it being called. A totally addictive game that was hours of entertainment on the atari. I would have never guessed that all these years later i would have the ability to recreate it , nor find it still as enjoyable. The creation of pong was slightly different than the previous tow activities as it required the creation of two sprites the first one the ball and the second the bat. Yet again by following the sequence provided i was able to create the game. I will admit however the depth of instructions was far greater and required greater attention to detail during the construction. My first attempt was less successful . Although it had numerous elements it clearly did not reach all the objectives and required further adjustments. The key to this creation was ensuring that all elements are accounted . On my first attempt i noticed that although i had added the score and sequence of events i had missed the if control which meant that sequence was not achieving what it was built for. Personally my experience with pong was challenging. yes i had success but it required trial and error and readjustments . It was only when i played the game that i began to notice faults or areas that required improvement , it truly was a problem solving mission. It wasn’t until the game was played that i realised what needed to change but also why i needed to change it. I noticed even after i went to bed i was still considering what could be done , where did i go wrong  and what else could i add. This is an activity that requires attention and deliberation, it constantly required thinking of potential elements that can be added and accounted for. Such as speed, distance, extra balls and various sizes.

Connecting scratch to the technologies Key Learning Strand (Queensland Studies Authority, 2013) i can connect various elements to the curriculum. Firstly there is the generation of design and purpose of design,  and then being able to reflect and evaluate on the process. this one area which i have certainly delved into over the last 24 hours. This then provides further connections to technologies in everyday life and the impact  of it. I know myself i interact with technologies daily but also the technologies impact upon me, this is an interesting perspective. It is a relationship of influence on both sides.

 

 

To view my pong click here

on your marks get set go

car racing

 

Today i created a race track !  The task for today was to create a race track and i successfully completed the activity thanks to the instructions once again from Simon Haughton.

I was able to complete the activity with near to none meltdowns and i put this down to have gained the necessary skills from the previous activities. The previous activities of etch a sketch provided me with the skills required to successfully create  a working race track .

The first task was to create a back ground and sprite.  I must say i enjoyed creating the background . It reminded me of the paint program and how i used to play on it and draw pictures. Things haven’t changed. I still ended up with pointy trees, star like lop sided flowers and a sun that is very questionable. My sprite on the other hand was recognisable with it’s four wheels, wing and colour red.

Once i created the background i then constructed the track . thankfully i followed the instructions of a less complicated track as this would become necessary when i had to drive the car. I found i was able to  add direction, movement and angles as per the previous activity. However when it came to test driving , myself as the driver has a lot to answer. I really like creating this program and having the ability to add text such as winner, bad luck. I can definitely see that this program could expand by add sound, additional cars and even questions to move further along the track. Constructing the program i too had to consider my design, problem solve to ensure that the car would fit on the track and create a sequence of directions that worked. Although i enjoyed making this, through out the whole process i was reassessing and adjusting  my movements and plans  to ensure my design enable successful navigation to the checkered flag.

scratching

Uni has not even officially started and i am already in full swing. This is my first encounter with scratch a program that enable you to create interactive programs for free. I always feel anxious when introduced to a new program , overwhelmed that it is all too much and i may never grasp the skills and concept. This was the same as i started to explore scratch. Firstly i started with the step by step intro as a starting point on the try it out page of scratch. Easy clear instructions, well set out allowing for easy navigation this was a very positive introduction.

The initial steps  was learning the lingo. A sprite is the character, logo that you can use to sequence events  and programs for. The sprite is set as a default as a cat.sptie

Now that i had success with the intro i was ready to tackle the learning activities . Success, before you now it i had the sprite moving left, right, up and down. I think i may like this program. The next activity required the creation of a square. Through the clarity of instructions i was able to sequence movement that enabled the sprite to draw a square. More success. Next step was to draw a triangle on top of the square. This is was my frustration started. It seemed not matter how i changed the degrees i couldn’t get a triangle, it seemed my cut little sprite did not want to follow instructions. The sprite would turn go straight up but not at the angle needed to create a triangle . I began to get quite annoyed at myself for not being able to do this. Three hours later i still had no success. Yes i had created a square but that meant nothing if i could not add a  triangle. The best thing i could do was go to bed.

Fast forward the next day and a fresh perspective. After  a few deep breathes and one or two tries viola a triangle , yes i admit it was not straight and sat at a ninety degree angle but it was a triangle. After further problem solving and deliberation i managed to create a triangle that was centred with the square.

Now the next task was polygons. What i particularly liked about this activity is that once you have reached the angles and direction you are able to copy the sequence , hit forever and before you know it that cut little sprite is creating polygons non stop. I feel though if i had not gone through the difficulty with creating the triangles i would not have understood the necessary movement, angles required to create a polygon. Once i had that understanding i was then able to implement it to create various sizes of polygons.

To view my polygon click here polygon

Off again!

It doesn’t seem that long ago that i was posting here , how time flies. However 6 months on and i am into my last two subjects and using yet more ict that i have not heard of previously. The upside is building a toolkit that i hope to be able to use and recall for future use. As i reflect upon my journey so far through uni i have traveled great distance with technology. Firstly navigating the Study Desk platform, mahara, making movies, web pages, using wikis, Google docs, blogs and semester one continues to build on to this. 

This time the blog is specifically created for EDP4130 Technology Curriculum and Pedagogy, Stay tuned to read how i go up against making a triangle,  pong, polygons and cars.

the end

I had the most wonderful prac experience. My mentor was supportive , provided me with endless hints and information and i was in the end sad to go after finally settling in. Reflecting back on the course and prac there is a huge gap. It sounds all great this technology in the classroom and certainly by having the correct pedagogical approach it would be worthwhile implementing into the class. But then there is reality. Not all schools are equipped, not all schools have the ability to have interactive whiteboards in every classroom, computers for every child, cameras or ipads. Then there is the connection my classroom did not have wireless connection and the connection to the classroom was shaky in the best of times. Many times my work was slow to load or dropped out which makes using the resource unreliable. there was one lesson that i had to abandon as it just wasn’t worthwhile waiting and wasting the learning time. The other consideration is the time and also the ability of the teacher. Many teachers are not familiar or don’t have the time to be familiar with many of the ict platforms. This leads me to my reflection  of the course and prac. As an upcoming teacher in the following year i really do aim to be kept up to date with technology because there are so many wonderful resources that can expand the students   knowledge and understanding and secondly i now see the importance of having the balance and connection to a right fit pedagogical approach of ict. Ensuring that ict is there for the support and expansion of development and not just fluffing.

Wendy reflects on her prac experience on the benefits of sharing resources and how teaching is about being a part of a team to benefit the development of the students and not a competition between teachers and i do agree. To read Wendy’s blog click here. Through the course many student’s have shared the resources they have found and it has been great , some i have filed away for future references. Jennifer has been one fellow student who has shared resources throughout the semester. Jennifer has just shared the tool Instagrok a search engine for students to read more about this great resource go to Jennifer’s blog click here.

 

My mentor teacher is a teacher who has been teaching for over 20 years and is shaky when it comes to ict  and it is not that she is not willing to implement new ict  platform it is teh time constraint to learn them well enough to implement them . The school policy has just begun to stat that all teachers must have an EdStudio site that student’s can access. I worked with my mentor it set up an edstudio site and went to an after school workshop . I can say that having developed numerous websites  for university the edstudio was similar and i had no trouble adding and changing the sites where as it was all new to my mentor. But that is the difference i work with ict daily for university and the teacher does not. Having an understanding of the use of edstudio i have now begun to design my own and i ma having a great time.

Rachel was another student which had a great prac to read about her experience using ict in the classroom go to her blog, click here.

Overall i liked this course , the work was huge and it was very time consuming but at the same time it was enjoyable  and i will walk away with a new respect for ict as a learning tool and i have a better understanding of the planning necessary to ensure authentic purposeful integration into the classroom.

Using ICT on prac was scarry for some studetns , other students were not able to integrate any and some had a free range. My experience  on prac was taht there was limited resources and limited opportunity and i felt that what i did implement was purposeful and suited the content and the objective. Althou there was one smartboard in the school my teacher has never used  it and it seemed not many teachers new how. Mrs V had hands on expereince using the interactive whiteboard and although it may have tested her she succeeded congratulations , i am yet to even see one working . To read Mrs V ‘s blog using a smartboard click here.

Janine a fellow student has commented that although there is benefit for technology in the early years play based learning is more important. to read Janine’s post click here KinderBytes

Finally reflecting on the experience has made me consolidate some information from the course. Firstly a toolbelt is  a fantastic way to make sure you can cater for the students. Click here to read more about developing your own toolbelt . Secondly blogs are a great way to share resources. teachers are supposed to work together to develop and cater for the students it is not a competition as another student said. Finally each step taken is a step forward in learning and learning is progress. Will i continue my blog maybe when i have a classroom as it is time consuming but therapeutic. I will develop my own edstudio and i will keep reading blogs.

Apple

I myself am not taht familar with apple except my ipad  and iphone when it comes to using an apple mac i am lost it all looks like a friegn lanaguge to  me . The problme is most schools tend to use apple caomputers so i guess when my computer finally reaches it age i amy have to take thet step towards the dark side ……..purchasing an apple. I read an article called Why Teachers Are Trying out Apple TV in the Classroom.  After reading the articel i began ot understadn the readon why.

The first is a feature called Airplay  which  the ability to prject from your apple product to the apple tv  an amazing tool for a classroom.

Apple has also digitialzised numerous children books which means you could essentailly buy the ebook and downloaded it to numerous apple products money saving and paper saving

Apps have now beenc reated taht are alingned and can enahnce the curriculum and once again these can be ustlised on the apple products.

YOu can also have an app taht allows the ipad to connect to the interactyive whitebaord how fantstic ios that for a teacher.

There seem to be many benefits from using an apple prodcut the problme is i am so familar with my microsfot device thta i  am worried abotu how long it would take to have the same ease with another pridcut . But as part of a digital jouney of growth i guess this is a step taht i will need to take . Now taht apple is back on the popularity list after years been hidden away after highs and lows i may need to invest and take the chance .

QR codes topic discussion

I am really interested in QR codes and I integrated them into the unit plan for assignment 2 as it seemed like a great way to engage students and provide links to critical information. A QR code is an abbreviation for quick response code.

QR codes are becoming more common place in the community and now in education. Firstly a QR code is a specific matrix bar code that can be read by readers which are installed on ipads, mobile phones. Simply by scanning the code you are instantly led to more information or a website.

  Click here to view example of  QR codes

 A QR code can store information such as a file, website, information that can be used a later day

AS a teacher you need a QR code generator and there are many available clicks here to view a list of QR code generators.

Then you also need to ensure the devise have a code reader to scan and read the bar cade. Again there are many resources click here to view the code reader apps

I have come across a presentation of 40 interesting ways to use QR codes in the classroom . Click here to view the ways .In my assignment I used QR codes as part of a scavenger hunt linking the students to information that I wanted them to visit as they walked through the school in a science lesson.

Seven interesting things you should know about QR codes discusses what a QR code is,  Who’s using it, , how it works , the significance of QR codes, the implications for learning and teaching,  downsides and where to next . This article is a great read for those just learning about QR codes. It suggests the down side is it is not many people are aware of QR codes or using them but also there needs to be an effective pedagogical approach when using QR codes. To read more information visit the article by clicking here

The benefits of QR codes are it places the learner within a rich source of accessibility, links to their context and increases the diversity and mobility of the classrooms. Not only are they ways to bring the learning straight to the student to the resources you want them to visit and learn, and they can also by a great teacher tool. Using a site such as Edmodo or Edstudio teachers can embed QR codes for assessment details which students can access; teachers can use them to file resources, reports and information.  Students can then also create their own QR codes to hand in assessments and homework. There is an interesting article from Auckland discussing QR codes in education click here to view.

Cool Cat teacher blog has a great blog on using QR codes and how the teacher introduces the students to using them. Clicks here to visit the Cool Cat Teacher blog

Cool cat blog has numerous blogs on QR codes that are worth viewing click her to view them

Hardlink to the future QR codes

A lesson in augmented reality

I believe QR codes are time saving for a teacher , using less paper  but also create an engaging learning environment for the student by connecting them to instant information that you want them to view. Being able o use QR codes for storing files is another great benefit. Students are truly digital and by having QR code in the classroom and having students use them to hand in work or view information is a further connection to their context.

Interactive whiteboard topic discussion

An interactive whiteboard is made up of three pieces of equipment an interactive whiteboard, digital projector and a computer.

To use an interactive whiteboard you are able to use an interactive pen or simply touch the screen as you would if you were using a mouse. Using an interactive whiteboard allows interaction between the learning and the students in differ ways such as a whole class environment, rotation, while it provide the ability of the teacher to observe interaction and encourage collaboration with students in many tasks. The resource is effective in engaging students through a variety of formats to connect and extends students learning.

IWB allow teachers with all digital abilities to easily integrate the use of an iwb within the classroom. Visual electronic aids which connect data from the computer to the whiteboard which students and teachers can thane interact with.

IWB are been hailed as the new resource to engage, motivate and enhance student learning. The benefits also aid in lesson planning and differentiation. By using the digital resource it is hoped that educators can maintain a dynamic interaction with the whole class, and provide a whole class learning environment creating a collaborative environment.

There are many uses with an IWB   to intrinsically and extrinsically motivate the children to learn but it is also a way to manage behaviour and reach a range of learning style such as hearing impaired, ASD, tactile learner, visually impaired and the special needs students.

 

As a teacher there is benefit in shortening task time through an integrative resource that both students and teachers are able to use, the students will be more interested in learning creating motivation for teachers to learn how to use a iwb and the available resources and finally teachers are able to store notes and create a collection of material to be use in subsequent lessons or following years.

 

To read more about the benefits and research into iwb in classroom visit read the information called interactive whiteboards and learning click here.

As a preservice teacher I am yet to come across an iwb most classrooms I have been in have a whiteboard and a projector. I will be looking forward to seeing an IWB in use soon I hope. It makes me think that once I am a teacher if there is one in a classroom will I be able to use it. I found this blog which created a list of hints and shortcuts for using an iwb. Click here to read them at elearn.

There are also some fantastic apps out there that allow you to plan activities or presentations on your ipad which then can be connected to the interactive whiteboard. Such as Splashtop whiteboard. Splashtop whiteboard allows the ipad to be Wi-Fi connected to the iwb, allowing the teacher to interact with the students and take the lesson from anywhere in the classroom , asking the students to annotate  over anything displayed in the iwb from the ipad. Check out splashtop whiteboard click here. There are many more app such as Educreations interactive whiteboard or show me interactive whiteboard. To see all the apps visit this site by clicking here Best interactive whiteboard apps

You may also need an adaptor to connect to the iwb in some cases which costs under $50 might be well worth an investment. It is called a smart board VGA adaptor. Visit the ipad academy for more information click here.

 

Mrs Poulter a fellow student has also blogged about the use of interactive whiteboards including 13 great reasons to use an iwb in a classroom. Click

While fellow student Emma Smolenaers has written a blog on the use of iwb from and early year perspective. Click here to read Emma’s blog

 

I am yet to see an interactive whiteboard in action but after doing all the research I am eager to find a classroom using one to its best ability. My only concern is that with so much technology how many teachers are taking the time to have development in this area. It is all well and good to have an IWB in the classroom but the teachers need to be able to use them. Are the schools instructing teachers or offering professional development? My prac school has one for the whole school, and it is a large school so I was quiet surprised that they are not in the classrooms. My teacher has never used it, and although she said I am welcome to have play and practice, there is no time in-between teaching.