Professional experience…

I have been progressing through the learning paths these past few days, seeing what is in store for me regarding assignment three. I have been assigned a school for professional experience, I will be undertaking a Special Education prac this time around – I’m really looking forward to it! Now to begin ticking things off my checklist:
1. Contact mentor
2. What time would you like me there on the first day?
3. What classes does he/she teach
4. Diversity of the students
5. ICTs used in the classrooms
6. Programs that the students are involved in?

With this information I am able to start assignment three, as I am able to understand the context of the school and the classroom a little better. I would have really like to have been able to visit my prac school prior to starting, but my own work commitments have not allowed me to do it this time. I have done this for previous PE and found it really beneficial, not only to me, but to my mentor and the some of the students as well.

One of the programs that the school uses is “Reading to Learn”. This is a new program for me, I haven’t had anything to do with it before and I’m really looking forward to seeing it in action. My children’s schools use this program and I believe it has been quite successful. I will be doing a bit of research so I know some of the details about it.

By going through the feedly feed, I’m not the only one in preparation mode. Marissa has been talking about the upcoming prac being the first one that she has started on time in her blog post.

Jacoba has also been discussing the finalisation of assignment two and the up and coming PE here. I feel the last few weeks has been quite stressful for everyone and now we all have the opportunity to take a breath and prepare for PE.

Anyway, I must keep going with the preparation and planning stages and continue on with the learning paths.

Until next time, cheers πŸ™‚


Assignment Two completed, now what’s next?

Assignment two is completed and submitted, what a relief. Not sure about a couple of things, but time will tell. Now I will be having a look at what’s next for EDC3100.

Professional experience is looming, so I will be undertaking the learning paths that are associated with that. I will also be looking at what Assignment three entails. Even with semester break upon us, I will be busy prepping for prac, and working on assessments for EDC3100 and my other subjects.

I hope everyone is on track with their assignment.
Until next time, cheers πŸ™‚

Update on assignment two

Assignment two is what one would describe as a “work in progress”. It is getting there. I’m tweaking things and deleting things as I add or adjust content. I’m still not 100% happy with my “scope”, but I have come to the conclusion I will have another look at it when I’m happy with everything else.

However, I feel that I’m not the only one who has been pondering, or procrastinating about how to actually tackle this assignment. I have laughed at Bec’s latest blog post, and how she has “come to the party late”. I can identify with her on so many levels, it wasn’t that I have started late, it was the choosing of a topic to delve into that really could be transformed by the use of ICTs what had me thinking.

I can finally confirm that I have gone with an “Identity” unit for Year 10 English as I feel that this is a really relevant topic to their position within their lives. Teenagers really struggle with their identities throughout high school, the media has a huge impact on teenagers and I thought that I would though not go with the traditional view of body image, but how we view “others'” in this time of unrest within the world.

My view of this is how our “stories” or life events shape our identity. The students will explore how stories and events have shaped the lives of other people before they explore themselves. Teenagers can be quite self-centered and it’s all about “me”, but with this unit my vision is for the student to look past that surface “stuff” and really delve into who they are now and who they think they want to be in the future.

This YouTube

clip is the first part of a TED talk into defining your identity. Amy Walker does a superb job of introducing the topic, it got me thinking, how about you?

Until next time, cheers. πŸ™‚

Teaching myself to use ICTs

The further I progress into EDC3100 I find myself delving into the depths of ICTs and exploring the many technological apps that are out there in the big wide world of technology. With professional experience looming, I am looking at what apps might be of benefit this time round as I’m doing a special education prac.

What I find interesting though, is when I do find something new, I seem to be jumping right in and teaching myself how to use the app and its features. (Sometimes YouTube can come in handy as well!) At the moment I’m looking at the iMovie app. It is an app that is sitting on my phone and on my laptop but I have never really looked at it before. I’m thinking of using it as one of the assessment tools available to my “class” for assignment two. I just really want to know how I could use it and how it could be used by students in assessments.

In the process of “teaching” myself I have gone to my trusty YouTube and found this

tutorial, it is so easy to follow that even a novice like myself should be able to use it.

Until next time, cheers πŸ™‚

End of another week…

As the end of another week draws to a close and I’m trying to finish off assignment two, I feel that everything is becoming very hectic! After reading a lot of other student’s blogs and I’m not the only one. This evening I have read Julie’s blog and identify with what she is saying. I wish I had more time!!!! Also I agree with how it is easy to get waylaid by looking through blogs and articles and realise yes there is an assignment to complete.

The juggling act is certainly becoming harder. Assessments are coming quick and fast and I’m feeling the pressure to dedicate the time that each and every assessment deserves. I have become a little erratic with how I’m completing the learning paths at present. Trying to not get too far ahead of where I’m up to in the assignment so as to not confuse myself too much. So much content to cover in a short period of time and then to integrate the learning into the unit plan.

Anyway, I’m feeling that there may be a few late nights ahead as I try and perfect what I want for my Unit of Work. I’m sure I won’t be the only one. This is a little descriptor of the varying emotions that I expect to be feeling over the next few weeks!
blog picture

Until next time, cheers πŸ™‚

Stress by Bernard Goldbach available at under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0

Building your BYOD toolchest

As up and coming beginning teachers, I believe it is essential in today’s technological environment to keep up with what is happening in the way of educational technologies. A question I often ask teachers that I work with or fellow students is, “how do you keep up with technology that can be used within a classroom?”

A common response is through social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter and blogs. “Liking” pages or “Following” people, educational bodies or educational technology bodies is one way I’m keeping up with new apps or programs, as well as reviews of updates to current or older applications.

One of the Twitter accounts I follow is “Edutopia”, I have also signed up to their website to be able to access older articles and reviews. One of the latest articles that I have come across is about the tools that you can include in your toolchest for your BYOD programs. Some of these I am familiar with, Diigo, Evernote, WordPress, Presi, Keynote, Google drive to name but a few.

Why do I follow such pages? To be honest it saves me a lot of time. I just log onto Twitter and there it is, new posts which have catchy (sometimes) titles or #hashtags, but one thing I do when I follow someone is see who they follow. I do a little research about why I would want or need to follow them and then I follow if it is of interest to me or my future teaching career. It is all about building my PLN and keeping abreast of developments and changes in technology and teaching practices, but it also has enabled me to create and expand my ICT toolchest.

Until next time πŸ™‚

Time to ponder…

After reading Donna Miller’s blog today, I thought it was time to reflect and ponder on where education is heading in the future and how am I as a future teacher going to embrace it.

Donna’s blog was very thought provoking with her stating that, “The educational system that today’s children are a part of has in fact become highly structured and planned. Teachers are designing work based on set criteria, standard elaborations, curriculum, work plans, content descriptors, achievement standards…………the list continues.”

What got me thinking was two things, one – I love having structure within a classroom, I like to know what is going to happen within the lessons for the day, as it can provide me with valuable feedback if things do not go according to plan; two – yes I feel that education and the way that is delivered and assessed needs to move forward with the changes in society and technology.

As I was thinking about Donna’s blog, I came across Laura Harridine’s blog post with her talking about Bloom’s digital taxonomy. From there I discovered another educational link to Fractus Learning (both accessible through Twitter and FaceBook) and found this article on “8 Education Technology Books Every Leader Should Read”. I feel that there are a number of books here that will not only provide some answers to Donna’s original question, “Should education be this complicated?”, but also provide beginning teachers with some insight on how to embrace the age of technology within our classrooms and use it to encourage, engage and enhance learning in our students.

The book that is high on my list is “Out of Our Minds” by Sir Ken Robinson, I like watching his TED talks as he has such a wealth of knowledge on education.

Until next time, cheers πŸ™‚

Formative assessment tools using ICTs

Twitter is indeed becoming quite a useful resource, especially when you follow a diverse range of educational pages. This morning as I was scrolling through my twitter feed and contemplating assignment 2, I came across this article by edutopia. Not only did the use of alliteration in the title grab my attention, but the words “formative assessment” was the sticking point.

English as a subject can have a variety of formative assessments prescribed. But what I’m really looking for is some form of ICT apart from the usual PowerPoint slide to promote a discussion around a certain topic, especially one that is very personal such as “Identity”.

So far I have looked at Kahoot from the list of five fantastic, fast, formative assessment tools. I’m not sure if you will be able to see this, but I had a little play with Kahoot. This link provides you with a pin to access the discussion topic. If you can’t get on, why don’t you Google “Kahoot” and have a look around its features yourself!

This could be something that is used in other subject areas as well. I can see an huge potential for English, especially with topics such as Shakespeare, poetry, newspapers…the list is endless.

Until next time, cheers πŸ™‚

Introducing Padlet into the classroom

Since beginning assignment two for EDC3100, I have been really looking at what types of ICTs that would benefit students in a secondary school English classroom. In English there are many types of genres of written texts studied, but also different types oral presentations are studied in the form of spoken narratives or persuasive arguments. But how can a teacher make these types of studies more interactive and encourage discussion? The introduction of Padlet can be one such tool.

What is Padlet, I hear you ask. I have included a brief YouTube clip to explain how a teacher can introduce Padlet into his or her classroom.

This can be a very useful tool, for example, when studying novels or plays a teacher can post the main character names onto the wall and then students can add notes about that particular character, such as character descriptions.

Another way that it can be used is to create for and against lists for a debate or argument. Or to gauge prior knowledge around a particular topic, by listing the topic name and requesting students to write words or phrases on the board to show what they already know about a topic.

What I really like about Padlet is that teachers can create these online resources that only the students can have access to, making it a secure and safe online environment for all students. Also, students can access this at home so they can refer to the wall when completing homework or assignments.

I believe using this type of ICT can open up classroom discussions, which will benefit all students.

Until next time. πŸ™‚

Assignment 2: More planning…

As I continue with assignment two, I am researching what types of ICTs that can be used within my class context – Secondary English – that will enrich the learning experience of my “students”, but also be easy to use for a novice person. I am very conscious of the fact that some students can struggle with ICTs, especially when their assessments revolve around them being creative – visually creative, creatively written and verbally creative – if they choose to do a piece that has voice overs.

I have been looking at Google docs for students to be able to undergo the drafting process. But I’m really looking at what type of application that they can use to produce the final product. This is where using Twitter for my PLN has come in handy, I have come across a couple of educational technology sites that I follow on Twitter and they have some good ideas on creating visually appealing stories.

One article that I found interesting in regards to applications to use was from Scholastic, they look at the Book Creator app, which can be used at all ages.

The other is from the Educational Technology and Mobile Learning site, they also explore the use of an app that creates digital stories, using the 30hands app.

These will both be taken into consideration, but I will really need to consider the platform that they use – iPad or laptop, as most Year 10 students use laptops.

So much to consider in creating authentic learning experiences.
Much research needing to be done!
Until next time, cheers! πŸ™‚