What did I learn?

What did I learn??? HEAPS! I learnt how to physically use technologies that I didn’t think I would ever use or need. More importantly I learnt that I relied on the use of ICT’s to learn how to use ICT’s

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I’m not sure I would now be able to create and implement a lesson or unit without using ICT’s.

I now realise nothing is impossible. I always consider how important it is to try to equip students with skills to provide a foundation for their lifelong learning journey. I now realise that ICT’s are the core of ensuring this happens. ICT’s are a global commodity and they are consistently changing and adapting to our needs.

ICT’s ensure teachers can network with each other stay up to date with wealth of knowledge and students can access endless information and have so much fun using technology to learn and develop skills they will need for life.

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ICT’s Galore!!!

I just had a look back over my blogs and assignments. My mind map would now consist of many more boxes. I wrote a list of the ICT’s I have used throughout this course and it was long.  I could list them here but knowing what I know now, that would be boring. Instead, I have utilised ICT to create something fun using Wordart.com (A simple tool that could be used from Prep upwards).

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I am a Web Developer!

Ok so my hubby is a web developer but for the past 2 weeks I have proudly been bragging that I am too. The only difference between us is that he creates web pages from the first piece of code to the last piece of code and all I have to do is add the content I want! I had so much fun creating a web page using WIX 

It was so easy!!!! My hubby was even impressed with how user friendly it was and the options I had. Not only were there plenty of templates to choose from, it had quality images that could be used for free and provided options for bookings, payments, sharing, uploads… Pretty much whatever you would need a website to do, it does!

Technology is rapidly changing to suit the needs of it’s users. What used to take my Husband days if not weeks to create for clients, can now be achieved in a matter of hours. Although I saw the effort involved in designing and developing web pages in the past, I still took for granted the userbility. Now the technology is designed for us to take advantage of it. Anyone can use it and it opens up a whole new world of possibilities.

Quiz Creating one oh one!

Assignment 3 for EDC3100 requires that we create a digital artefact. I chose a quiz because I can see unlimited potential in what can be taught across every year level for every subject. Chris mentioned in our assignment 3 tute that to find free online quiz creators, we should just Google it. I did and the options where endless. I had no idea where to start so I chose the top of the list figuring it was there because it was most popular. Flow Lab for the first one I clicked on. So while I am going to provide some feedback on my experiences, my disclaimer is that I am in no way an expert. My feedback relates to my personal experiences only. Ok, back to Flow Lab. I was initial impressed because the games that you create can be used on iOS and Android devises as well as with Windows PC. The home screen invites you to watch a tutorial which is where I lost interest. It went too fast and seemed to be speaking to people who already had somewhat of an idea of what they were doing. I ditched the tutorial and attempted to have a go at creating a quiz by myself. I had no idea. I couldn’t even figure out how to undo the mistakes I had made as soon as I had a go. I still didn’t quit! I asked the forum (some success was at least finding the button for that) but unfortunately, without a subscription ($) I couldn’t create a quiz with pictures and it was really a platform used for creating games.

Next on the Google list was Typeform. Now this one looked great. So much more simple to use and it actually specifically created quizzes. I managed to type in my questions and answer on the free template and was starting to think I was going to actually achieve something. That was until I looked for a way to upload the images I wanted. I had seen the examples on the home screen and saw quizzes laid out in a similar way to what I wanted so how do I make it happen? Light bulb moment! It took a bit to figure it out but again, to insert images, I would need to purchase a subscription ($).

I was giving up. I couldn’t be bothered going through the process of watching tutorials and creating my quiz only to discover that without money, it couldn’t be accomplished. I did the only left I knew how to do. I asked for help on the EDC3100 Facebook page. Why didn’t I think of this earlier?

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Half an hour after I had asked the question, I had created a quiz! Kahoot was exactly what I was looking for. It was so user friendly. The interface made the experience welcoming and I didn’t feel intimidated by trying something new. Oh and did I mention that it was all free. It claimed to be free and it actually was! I have saved the URL in my list of online resources that I will continue to use when I graduate. It was a fun process and I highly recommend having a go.

 

Too much screen time or not?- Clash Royale

I have seen many articles on social media about the negative effect of screen time with children. As a mother of a 2 year old boy, it makes me sit up and take note. While I do not discount the effect of unsupervised and unregulated screen time, I do not believe that exposing children to technology has such an adverse effect. I am fortunate to also be a mother to two teenage daughters, ages 15 and 18 and have a husband who is a web coder and developer. I get the opportunity to see what technology can be used for and how it can contribute to my sons development in the future.

Let me explain…

While I was buying my daughters material objects for birthdays and Christmas, my husband was buying them memberships to Club Penguin and Minecraft. I’ll admit, that it annoyed me. My girls had iPods back in primary school but I hoped that they would be used for listening to music. When my husband bought them subscriptions to these games, I automatically thought “bring on the pre teen battles with screen addicted kids”. I was so wrong! My shy girls got excited. They were good at something and what they did contributed to their online communities. Yes we put constrictions in place. The chat options were turned off and the amount of time allowed to ‘play’ per day was agreed on. We found that the girls just went in, played, and logged out. They had a purpose and that was it.

Fast forward to now, Minecraft and Club Penguin are now embarrassing primary school phases that are long gone. Now we deal with Facebook, Instagram and Snap Chat. Again we have regulations. We must have access to passwords if we ask and they must be ‘friends’ with myself and my husband. I will admit that social media has made me so proud as a mum. My girls don’t contribute to the social media world much but when they do, they either share amazing memories, the fight for a social cause or just some really hilarious viral clips.

We have just ventured back into the gaming world. As I mentioned earlier, my husband is a coder/developer. He is creating his own games for fun and to keep up to date with the language of coding. He trials popular games as a form of what he calls “research” laughing-emoji.  He has been “researching” Clash Royale for the past month. I’ll be the first to admit that I got my ‘cranky pants’ on when I realised my hubby was doing the whole “I’ll be there in a sec, just gotta finish this game” excuse if I asked him for help around the house. I suppose it’s just like the scenario with kids, you have to put some regulations in place. Anyway, just today I realised something amazing.I realised that my husband, my 18 year old daughter, her boyfriend, her boyfriend’s brother, my 15 year olds friends and my nephew from another state are all part of the ‘Clan’. They collaborate as a team and implement strategy to compete with others. I actually felt a rush of pride when I found out. ICT is not only used for developing higher order thinking and allowing students to be up to date with technology, it allows people to feel a sense of belonging and shows the importance of team work and independent contributions. My daughter and her cousin see each other 3 times per year but now interact daily. I love that!

Is it evil that I haven’t told my hubby how much I like his ICT sharing experiences?

If your family and friends want to go into battle together then check out Clash Royale for Apple or Clash Royale for Android.

Preparing for Professional Experience

I am only 2 weeks away from embarking on my fourth professional practicum experience. EEK! I have worked in a primary school for over 10 years and have done 3 pracs but I still get so nervous. I think it’s because I know I can’t predict what will happen and how I will cope in a new environment away from my comfort zone. I think it is similar to the feeling you get when you are confronted with attempting new technology. It is exciting and intimidating all at once. Luckily for me, my experiences with past pracs and learning new technology have always had the same outcome. I feel a sense of pride at conquering what I’ve learned through practise and reflection and my new skills are constantly developing with the times.

I met with my mentor last week and I get to run their weekly technology class not just for my grade 2 class but also the other grade 2 class and the 2 grade 1’s!!! Their focus next semester is going to be on using writing programs like Microsoft Word. My challenge is going to be to make it fun. I am also going to be able to take small groups to work on building skills in numeracy and literacy and have been told that whatever apps I need for the IPads, I can have! How cool is that!

I found plenty of sites with applications that will be wonderful. I will now sift through them and look at any feedback I can find in the hope I can dwindle down my options and choose the best ones. Here are my favs so far…

(Click titles to go to site)

The 55 Best Free Education Apps for IPad

Best Apps for Kids Age 5-8

Educational App Store

Good luck to everyone on your upcoming Pracs. Please feel free to comment if you have any awesome apps to share.

 

References
Best Apps for Kids Age 5–8. (2017). Commonsensemedia.org. Retrieved 16 September 2017, from https://www.commonsensemedia.org/lists/best-apps-for-kids-age-5-8
Ltd, E. (2017). EducationalAppStore- The Home of Educational Apps. Educational App Store. Retrieved 16 September 2017, from http://www.educationalappstore.com/
The 55 Best Free Education Apps For iPad. (2017). TeachThought. Retrieved 16 September 2017, from https://www.teachthought.com/technology/the-55-best-best-free-education-apps-for-ipad/

Mind Mapping Fun

A fellow student posted on the EDC3100 Facebook page a link to a mind map they had created. I have had to create mind maps for previous assignments and I end up in a copy and paste nightmare of images that I can’t type on or resize. Thank you to Tameka for inspiring to learn something new.

I created my mind map at www.bubbl.us and had to play around a while to figure it out. As a future educator, it is important to be proficient at the technology we will use in our classrooms so it is necessary to take the time to explore new ICT’s so that their full potential as a tool for teaching and learning can be utilised.
My map is not a work of art but a simple chart to show how important my phone and computers are in every aspect of my life. The map shows the people in my life, the technology used to communicate with these people and the types of ICT’s used. New-Mind-Map