Ideas for Assessment 2

I am looking at the following outcomes as they seem to have the most potential when combined with technology.

“responds to and composes texts for understanding, interpretation, critical analysis, imaginative expression and pleasure” EN4-1A

“effectively uses a widening range of processes, skills, strategies and knowledge for responding to and composing texts in different media and technologies” EN4-2A

These are both stage 4 outcomes for objective A. I’m considering a variety of writing software such as Write or Die, WriteMonkey and Dark Room if I choose to do the first outcome.

For the second outcome I’d be looking at using multimodal creation software such as http://www.scholastic.com/graphix/createcomic.htm, which seems like a lot of fun. Students can practice skills in story structure, layout and writing whilst using graphics to compliment their work. They could then try telling the same story in narrative form and reflect on the differences between the two. Which is more effective? Is there less information in the digital text?

Skype could be used to contact a willing graphic novelist for a brief Q&A on the skills and strategies that go into creating such texts.

The digital publishing aspect of the work will also be more engaging for the students (Roblyer & Doering, p.275)

The curriculum I will be using is the English K-10 Syllabus:

http://syllabus.bos.nsw.edu.au/english/english-k10/content/901/

Technology is mentioned in the Syllabus’ Rationale: “…become imaginative and confident users of a range of electronic and digital technologies and understand and reflect on the ongoing impact of these technologies on society.”

References

NSW K-10 English Syllabus (2012). Retrieved from: http://syllabus.bos.nsw.edu.au/english/english-k10/

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How do we know if the use of technology is effective for learning?

My thoughts about the issues raised in this article and how they might impact on my first assignment and its aims.

The aims:

This assignment will enable you to demonstrate:

o Your understanding of theoretical and practical frameworks for technologies for learning;
o Your understanding of technology use in the classroom relating technology use to curriculum outcomes;
o The ability to contrast the capabilities and affordances of a range of classroom technologies; and
o Awareness of ethical, safety and classroom management issues relating to technology use in the classroom.

  • It seems like it’s important to justify the use of computing in the activity. It shouldn’t be just using computers for the sake of it. In terms of curriculum outcomes it addresses the need for creativity, imagination, reflecting on the importance of structure and the creation of a multimodal text relevant to the modern context.
  • Instead of using computers in a way that only replaces a classroom activity (domestication), such as word processing. Computers will afford students to be content producers and create texts they were previously unable to such as edited videos.
  • The activity will also allow the students to use mobile phones (after checking with the school) to film, again introducing relevant tech to the classroom (the issue being that personal life has far more tech than the average classroom)
  • I would frame the use of computers and mobiles as important modern life tools, rather than educational ones.

References

Bigum, C. (2012). Schools and Computers: Tales of a Digital Romance. In L. Rowan & C. Bigum (Eds.), Transformative Approaches to New Technologies and Student Diversity in Futures Oriented Classrooms. Springer, Netherlands.

Thoughts about learning theories related to Assessment 1

I’m considering using Windows Movie Maker as the software.

The use of it would require a certain amount of directed instruction in order for students to assemble their footage for presentation.

Once students become accustomed to the software it would open up opportunities for more inquiry-based learning and active participation as they construct their own material using sound, video and graphics with my role as more of a facilitator of their use of the software rather than directing their texts.

I would probably employ some information processing theory in the initial explanation of how to use the software, by giving a visual demonstration (powerpoint?) to reinforce the development of short term memory on how to operate the software.

The task itself is also embedded in social context (a news report) which makes it easier for students to engage with and learn according to Dewey’s social activism theory.

By giving the student’s free reign to create their own style of news report using the software it also enables me to see each students’ level of development and build upon it.

References

Roblyer, M., &  Doering, A.  (2014). Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching: International Edition. 6th Edition, Pearson.

Starkey, L., (2012). Teaching and learning in the digital age. Oxon: Routledge.

The Affordances of ICT: My thoughts on Virtual Reality

Though the technology is still in its infancy, I’m excited about the potential of Virtual and Augmented Reality in the classroom. Headsets are steadily becoming more available and their classroom applications are limited only by imagination, teacher enthusiasm, skills and software development. The original context is the classroom and students eyes. It literally affords teachers/edu-programmers the ability to create/alter the world and take student’s minds out of the classroom and into the content. This technology will afford the ability to visually augment the classroom (eventually perhaps daily) with material relevant to the lesson. Imagine a Greek history lesson with an actual 3D hoplite or even a formation that students can examine instead of simply looking at flat pictures and diagrams. I believe it would dramatically increase students enthusiasm for lessons and helps learners who are perhaps more visual learners. It is limited in that the students are passive and hopefully software develops to the point where students can create/influence their altered-classroom environments. It also affords the ability to VR create simulations which could be applied to safety (CPR classes), scientific experiments too dangerous/expensive for the school lab or language learning activities to name a few. You could also literally put students in workplaces, other cultures and other worlds giving them relevant skills and experience for the globalised, digital world they will work and live in.

References

Bower, M. (2008). Affordance analysis—matching learning tasks with learning technologies. Educational Media International, 45(1) 3–15. doi: 10.1080/09523980701847115

Butler, M., Morgan, M., & Power, M. (2007). Evaluating ICT in education: A comparison of the affordances of the iPod, DS and Wii. In ICT: Providing choices for learners and learning. Proceedings ascilite Singapore 2007. Retrieved from http://www.ascilite.org.au/conferences/singapore07/procs/morgan.pdf

Hardware Module

Hardware in my Classroom

At my Korean elementary school I had a computer, printer, laminator and a TV linked to the PC. I had access to digital copies of the textbooks so used the TV screen to display the page we were doing. It also had audio links embedded on the pages for listening activities. The computer was old and the tech support was haphazard leaving me to work through problems in Korean. Cords ran along the floor and the Ethernet cable was held, in a port hanging under my desk, by sticky tape. I also used my smart phone for recordings, photos and as a game timer. No new tech was introduced in the 12 months I worked there. I assume the company I worked for didn’t want to overspend and was happy with what I could show the parents with the TV display. The large display was incredibly useful for engaging students with relevant videos, my attempts at MS Paint and text book work. Parents and teachers see the tech as useful but a bare minimum for classroom hardware these days.

Thoughts on the readings:

  • ICT, its effect on kids in and out of the classroom is undoubtedly an area we don’t know enough about.
  • Agreed with Cox that we need a balance between a broad, systematic balance of quantitative and qualitative research as neither is enough by itself.
  • Seems like researchers have a tough job in a field that’s diverse and constantly evolving, thereby requiring constant research and evaluation
  • Cox says researchers must stay on top of tech developments but also synthesize findings with other fields like psych/socio etc.
  • We need new assessments that measure a wider range of literacies if we are to understand the benefits of ICT in the classroom. Quantitative testing has difficulty assessing 21st century skills
  • Teachers need to be tech leaders, but also need the support of curriculum, schools and government.

References

Cox, M.J. (2012). Formal to informal learning with IT: research challenges and issues for e-learning. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2729.2012.00483.x

Voogt J., Knezek G., Cox M.J., Knezek D. & ten Brummelhuis A. (2011). Under which conditions does ICT have a positive effect on teaching and learning? A call to action. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning. 15 November 2011. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2729.2011.00453.x.

Module 2: TPACK

Tpack-contexts-small

I’m the star (Reproduced by permission of the publisher, © 2012 by tpack.org)

Do you think the expansion of the “T” into “Tech” is significant or necessary? Does it help the framework?

Emphasising ‘tech’ over the other parts seems counter intuitive as TPACK seems to be more of a holistic approach that balances each of the three areas. In that sense I don’t think it helps the framework.

I’ve never come across TPACK before but it seems like a decent representation of the approach modern teachers needed in formulating a balanced curriculum that maximises the knowledge and tools now available. Having several years of hands on experience would put me a little towards the PK section but I lack a lot of the theory. TK is probably my strongest area and content, the weakest.

An article on a study done by English educators that questions the usefulness of TPACK as a framework:

Parr, Graham; Bellis, Natalie and Bulfin, Scott. Teaching English teachers for the future: Speaking back to TPACK [online]. English in Australia, Vol. 48, No. 1, 2013: 9-22. Availability:<http://search.informit.com.au.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/documentSummary;dn=322818783063191;res=IELAPA&gt;

References

Koehler, M. & Mishra, P. (2008, March). Thinking Creatively: Teachers as designers of technology, pedagogy and content [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1iCPLTz7Z-Q

Module 2: Our students and technology in the classroom

Are you what is known as a digital native or immigrant?

I’m a digital native, but only by a few years. Ever since my parents got a PC when I was in primary school I was hooked and rapidly became the head of household in terms of computer literacy, largely through trial and error (and a few viruses/reformats). It took my parents a decade or so to become comfortable with the technology and their emails are gradually becoming less stilted/formal. For me it was just fun. In early high school all my friends went home and got on MSN and would often chat until dinner. My students in Korea are thoroughly native, they spend most of their free time on smart phones and the strongest part of their English vocabulary is often technology related. Between my PC and Galaxy note I’m online 24/7 these days and even track my exercise/work progress with an app. Living overseas has probably led me into using technology even more heavily in order to keep in touch with my friends and interests.

As a teacher, how might you deal with the variety of attitudes and experiences of technology in your classroom?

I would always try to bring my passion for technology to the classroom. I’d relate it to what students like to use. Their chat programs or games. I’d make it fun by talking about common chat slang, creating memes/captions and have students produce material related to their online interests. I basically would try to invest them in the classroom by connecting it with their digital lives outside it. The main problem I anticipate would be gamers who spend too much time online. They come to class tired and disinterested. Engaging these students would be a priority.

References

Prensky, M. (2001). Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants Part 1. On the Horizon, 9(1), 1 – 6. doi: 10.1108/10748120110424816