Digital Photos and Skype

I really do like the idea of using ipads for taking videos and photos in class. I also like the idea of using mastery skype – Skype in the classroom, (take a look at a youtube clip for how to set it up) where you can click to connect with another classroom from anywhere in the world. How cool is that? You can take a virtual field trip (excusion) without leaving the classroom. That’s great for seeing international museums. Theres also the Global Classroom Project, where teacher can connect and share ideas and resources and link up to collaboratively work on a project.

Thanks, Fiona

Interactive whiteboards

I have never used an interacative white board (IWB) before. Like my fellow student Linda, I will need to do a crash course on how to use the many features of the IWB. In my previous prac I used a smart TV, so it had a touch screen which made the TV interactive. So I will be a novice when it comes to using a IWB in future classrooms. I found the interactive Borad tips and tricks site very useful, the slide on flash web sites was interesting and something I will want to incorporate into my future lessons, it particularly useful as it explains how to access and use information from a web site by down loading flash files to use offline!. This is pretty great to know how to use, as I ran into problems in my last prac wanting to share information online but the internet ran too slow and the kept buffering. My little students became bored and distracted and I was annoyed beacuse a component of my lesson wasnt going according to plan! Thanks, Fiona

Too much screen time

Many fellow students are blogging about screen time and how it is of concern that children (ages 3-18) should only be allowed up to 2 hours per day of screen time. This is pretty difficult to limit screen time down to 2 hours per day, especially for teenagers, where the use of digital screens is madatory to complete set homework and assignment projects using digital devices. Fellow EDC3100 student Ella write about how it is impossible to complete her studies without numerous hours of screen time in any one day. Its not just the learning factor that what keeps us all in front of the screen.Theres the communication factor, where so many students use social media to connect with their friends and family. Then theres the entertainment factor, now we can watch tv through our portable devices, plus play games and access information and even shop on the internet. Then there’s the functioning in every day life factor, net banking, checking emails etc too. I myself spend way too many hours in front of a screen every day. This may to be too much screen time. I get headaches and sore eyes but our world keeps on bringing us back to our screens. Thanks Fiona

Digital Privacy

Week 10 learning path was certainly an eye opener. It can be frightening to know just how easy it can be for criminals and creepy people to view, access and invade your persnal information on social media. I have a facebook account and recently I changed my privacy setting to prevent my friends from tagging me in photos and tagging the location of where we were eating out at, letting everyone know which restaurant we were at! To me that’s giving out too much information. What I cannot stop is what is viewed on my friends news feed, which can be frustrating. Also I try not let facebook know my location from my mobile phone, its painful at times as I often get these messages that pop onto my screen advising me that I have 30 seconds to click on it to stop facebook from accessing my location. My facebook privacy setting also have enabled me to keep my facebook account private and my facebook page will not come up on a Google search when my name is entered. Yesrerday I Googled my name and my pinterest pin boards was the first on the list. Now anyone would be able to take an educated guess that I am a teacher, as I have a math rotation board and literacy board. Then the seach was followed by a photo of me with my friends friends taken by a newspaper photographer 2 years ago! I forgot that our photo was taken! It’s scary knowing that I have a digital footprint, and anyone can now know what I look like, work out where I live from that photo and know that I am likely to be a teacher due to the types of things I pin on pintrest!

Digital Citizenship

Digital citizenship is the ability to use ITC in a safe, responsible and ethical manner. I have been using the internet for a whole range of purposes, communication, net banking, finding out information, contributing to forum discussion and the like for  well over 10 years.

I thought that I had a good sound knowledge of cyber safety. As invited by the week 10 learning path on digital citizenship, I  just completed the cybersmart kids quiz and I got a total of 21 out of 25 correct. I learnt that I should not instruct children to give out any further personal information beyond their first name and nick ( I thought an email address was also ok) and not to trust many of the social media web sites. Intersting. I also have been guilty of just ignoring those pesky windows, you know, the ones that pop up and move around…Closing them is the smarter and safest option because there may be a virus attached to the pop up.

When I took the bullying quiz I was suprised to only have got half of the questions correct. I did think that in high school that cyber bullying was more prevelant than actual face to face bullying. Is it because the media portays the cyber bullying? No doubt, this form of bullying will be the most common form of bullying in our high schools in the coming years. Another question I got wrong was about the bully themselves having a low-self esteem, which as it turns out that most bullies have an inflated self esteem.

The office of Children’s esafety Commissioner wbsite has a range of important and valuble information on cyber bullying, illegal and offensive information, how to report the offensive information and legislation, the Enhancing Online Safety for CHildren Act, 2105.

Thanks for reading, Fiona

Prac time…..

I along with many other students are beginning to feel the pre-prac nerves. I felt exactly the same way as Crystal did. It was today that I was fortunate to meet up with my prac mentor today and I had the opportunity to meet with the prep/year 1 class that I will spend the next three weeks with. I must say that I am feeling a whole lot better about about this prac now! My Mentor was very approachable and was quick to set me at ease about the whole process. the classroom is equipped with a laptop connected to a projector. The white board isn’t interactive though, however the laptop has a touch screen. My mentor invited a couple of her students to interact with the touch screen by mving words over to where they belong to which had the students engaged during a literacy lesson.Through out my placement the class and I will have access to ipads and 8 lap tops. This is pretty awesome as the class only has 15 students! I am now looking forward to starting on Monday! Thanks for reading, Fiona 🙂

A Uni for the real world?

Recently I seriously began questioning how well I was being equipped to become a teacher. I enjoy many of my classes and I believe it is important to have a strong theoretical understanding of child learning and development. But that is all the uni teaches. As for being an actual teacher in the classroom, you know ‘for reals’, I feel as though the uni is failing us on so many levels. Why do we spend 4 years at uni when really we dont actually learn how to be a teacher until were are in our first paid teaching role? I am only participating in one prac this year and this prac is only 3 weeks long. Just as I will begin to get to know my students, have built a positive rapport with my mentor teacher and begin to get into the flow of being in a classroom discourse, it will be time for me to leave and go back to theory. I don’t get it. Why isn’t this degree more hands-on? I know that I’m not the student who feels this way. Then today I read the blog post from a student from lasts years edc3100 course and she felt the same way, wll the part about being trained on the job, part… Interseting…..So why can’t the degree be 50% training, 50% Theory?

Thanks for reading, Fiona:)