I am happy and relieved to know that the semester is drawing to a close! It has been a full on semsester full of assessments and a professional experience prac. The EDC3100 course has certainly opened my eyes to the value and importance of using ICTs in teaching and student learning. Initially I did struggle…I did not like and still don’t like the course material layout on the study desk. I missed being able to justscroll down and click on a module link or folder to access the information or assessment information that I could easily print off and read ( yep I’m old school). I found it annoying having to go through the various learning path books to locate a snippet of information about the assignment, only then to forget which book it was where I read something that I wanted to be able to refer back to but couldn’t find it. Other than than this gripe, the course content was in valuble and I have learned so much.
I have learned more than I thought I would about incorporating ITCs in the classroom. I have learned to challenge my preconceived attitudes about the use of ICTs in the classroom. I have also come to realise that I need to adjust my beliefs to better cater to the needs of my future students.Whilst I am not a very tech saavy individual (and up until recently I was really ok with that), I shouldn’t let my personal views and barriers to learning how to use ICTs prevent my future students from missing out on using and incorpartating ICTS in their lessons. I now undertand that children today are indeed digital natives and there is a great need to ensure that the children who enter into our classroom have access to and are engaging with a wide range of digital and multimedia technologies.
Last blog! Thanks, Fiona:)
I came across a blog post by fellow student blogger Liesha, about a neat interactive resource she used with her students throughout her prac that sounds interesting. Topmarks is a great website with a great range of interactive activities for all different subjects. Leisha mentions that she found that using an interactive activity was a great way to engage students either at the beginning or end of her lessons. It is so important that teachers share resources, particularly when they come across great ones. I’ll keep this resource in mind to use in future pracs! My students enjoyed the maths lessons because it alway started with an interactive song such as counting to 100 by ones or something similar. Just dance songs were great for when the maths lessons wrapped up just a few short minutes before the lunch bell!
It was nerve racking for me to be watched by my mentor and site corordinator teaching a lesson whilst on my professional experience. As nerve racking as it was, I really appreciated receiving immediate constructive feedback after my lesson. This helped me to see where I was at, what I did well at, what could have been better about the delivery of content and areas I needed to address for imporvement.I did take my feedback into account and did my best to implement theses adjustments in subsequent lessons.
I had my site coordinator spend the day with me in the classroom. The feedback and advice given to me has definately got me thinking about how I teach and how I can adjust aspects of my lesson delivery and content to improve future lessons. For example, when I had organised the laptops to be set up and brought up an online game for students to play, I didn’t quickly go over how to play the game with the whole class before they went to play it independently. This was because I had two teacher aides in the room with me to assist those students. However in future, I may not have the luxury of having two other staff members working with me in the room.
It has only been a matter of days since my three week long professional experience prac ended. Wow what a massive learning curve it was! I spent my first week feeling overwhelmed. A new environment, new faces, having to get my head around the Anita Archer explicit teaching model (WALT, WILF TIB spiel) etc. I spent my second week teaching the vast majority of the week, mostly maths and english and I spent my final week dealing with two relief teachers and the site co-ordinator in the class room as my mentor came down with sickness. Overall I enjoyed my time in the prep/year 1 composite class, the students were wonderful and I was lucky enough to have a hightly experienced mentor teacher for two weeks. The support staff and other teachers at the school were helpful and encouraging.
As for teaching ICT to enrich and transform student learning, well this really wasn’t high on the classroom agenda! Just like fellow student Jacqueline mentions in her blog, My prac experience also co-incided right in the middle of the school’s mid-year assessment time. This meant that there was little if any time for any experimental ICTs to transform student learning being incorporated to satisify my prac requirement. There were set lesson objectives I had to teach within a very tight teaching schedule. I did get to incorporate the use of Ipads to assess student comprehension of a retell of a story book for English. As part of every lesson introduction, whether it be maths, geography or english I planned, created and presented a power point presentation. I showed youtube clips and we viewed Google maps during geography. I even sought a free online maths game for students to play during maths rotations. But this is where the ICTS aspect ends. Perhaps I didn’t push for more use of ICTs in my lessons. My mentor admitted that she found the use of classroom laptops teditous, there was the need to type in the teacher’s password whenever the screen timed out. The students had little time using the laptops during lessons. There were no educational interactive programs on these laptops either.
I don’t want want to make excuses for not doing my best to plan for more exciting and enriching lessons with the use of ICTs. I am not a tech saavy person. I did look for guidence from my mentor about the incorportion of ICTs only to realise that she felt that the use of ICTS in this age group of students (ages 4-6) was time consuming and there would be the need to have lessons (possible a few) to explicitly teach the students how to use the digital technology, before we could teach content with the use of ICTs to enrich the learning. I wonder if many other students encountered similar problems and or barriers?