August 9

Blog Task 2 – Observation

Ok, here I go again with a Second round Observation task that is more suitable to my Reflective Blog Task 1.

Second Round Observation – Year 8 Multimedia class:

Computer Room C10 – 1 lesson per cycle – a typical half hour:

Arriving at the C10 room I find the students standing quietly at the door waiting. I note that there is no nonsense behaviour and I say good morning to the group, along with a thank you for patiently waiting.

A student asks if she can open the door, of which I reply with yes you can. Then I request the others’ lineup so that the door can be opened. As always, I request the young ladies enter class first, then the young men follow.

Students make their way to their computer workstations, usually I note they like to go to the same locations. They tend to want to keep within their “known knowns”.

I ask them to log on to their NSW DEC Portal and their Google Document Portfolios. This class, whilst well behaved, have diverse abilities. I advise them I am making my way around to see where they are up to with their Multimedia Flash Movie.

I note SammyAntha has moved ahead, as expected, and explains to me that rather than creating a Flash movie of their family car driving, she thinks she would like to involve her family characters from last Semester. I praise her for the creativity and remind her to make this entry in her Google Portfolio.

I continue my role as an educator rather than a teacher.

A student, Billy, is observed playing his favourite Internet game. I ask him “can he access his Google Portfolio” and he tells me “yes”, but keeps playing the game. I note his physical behaviour is not bad and that his choice for playing the game is due mainly to his abilities. I ask Billy, can you log on to your NSW DEC Portal?” He tells me “yes” and starts doing it. From Billy’s perspective, he knows I will wait with him to see that he can do it. Once Billy’s Portal is on screen, I notice he hasn’t copied the URLs from his email onto his Portal page, so I ask him “where are the URLs for your Google Documents Billy?” He replies with “I don’t know.” I then ask Billy to “show me the email I sent the class with these URLs.” He does and I show Billy the URLs. I then ask Billy’s friend (Dylan) to assist Billy to insert these URLs onto Billy’s Portal page.

I have now moved around the classroom and have each student working toward their Multimedia Flash project. I now mark the attendance roll for the lesson using the school supplied Microsoft Surface tablet.

Jack’s hand is raised. He advises me that he cannot log onto his Student Portal. I have a look and notice that he does not have the Student Intranet icon on his desktop. I explain to Jack that his Student Profile has not loaded and that he needs to log off the computer and log back on again to obtain his profile. He does this without question and is able to log on to his Student Portal.

I now give a class demonstration of a ‘Simple Flash Movie‘ and demonstrated how to ‘identify and label‘ the components of the Adobe Flash interface.

R19 – Theory Room – 2 lessons per cycle – shared class – utilising NSW DER Laptops – a typical half hour:

 

Task 3 Blog Post – Design Brief

My Problem (Design Situation) following Ewan’s 5 Step Design Process

1. Immerse myself without conclusions …

Year 8 Multimedia Elective class is split between two teachers, with only three lessons over the two week cycle between us; and only one lesson in a computing laboratory.

Physical space – is not conducive to accessing the Multimedia computing curriculum; and the NSW DER Lenovo laptops are not conducive to in-school Server access, detract from the 55 minute lesson timeframes and are prone to errors.

Virtual space – is not conducive to design thinking, creativity, anywhere / anytime access is not a user-centred learning environment.

2. Specific Point – synthesis everything …

A Design Process is a method of solving-problems – of solving known unknown collaboratively through “design thinking”. In terms of my learning space changes, the problem to be solved is the development of a student-centred learning environment. An environment where students feel comfortable and are able to think, rather than just follow instructions.

3. Decide on a ‘problem’, ‘opportunity’ or ‘gap’ …

4. Ideas to solve the problem …

5. Test / prototype as I write my Design Brief …

_______________________________________________________________________

A Design Process is a method of solving-problems – of solving known unknown collaboratively through “design thinking”. In terms of my learning space changes, the problem to be solved is the development of a student-centred learning environment. An environment where students feel comfortable and are able to think, rather than follow instructions.

First Round:

Ewan, as an immersion task I like the idea of welcoming colleagues and students; as well as being welcomed each day, as the daily grind of learning continues. I will obtain photographs to support this post and update this soon.

Generally, I endeavour to arrive around an hour before classes commence and the walk from the car to the staffroom can take upward of 20 minutes, sometimes longer. Not that I am a slow walker, nor do I get lost, but students tend to want to say hello and talk as I make my way across the playground.

Putting myself into the students’ shoes (if this is my requirement), then as a student I would feel welcomed and ready for a day of school. As a student, I leave Mr Mate after our playground discussion, finding our when I have you next, a high five and a smile on my face.

As Mr mate – continuing my way to the staffroom, via the common room for sign-on, I pass many groups of students – juniors and seniors. All of which reciprocate with ‘our’ good morning routine.

Passing my colleagues along my path to the staffroom reminds me of a bee hive. Most are walking briskly, contemplating something, their hands full, most have insufficient time for more than a fleeting ‘hello’ or ‘good morning’ in reply.

Arriving at my desk after my morning greeting to colleagues and in sequence, I place my bag on my chair for unpacking soon, log onto my work computer, switch the kettle on, visit the bathroom, make a cuppa, then commence unpacking my bag and setting up my computing desktop environment; i.e. portable hard drive, portal login, daily notices, prepare the tablet for morning roll call and think about Periods 1 and 2.

As a colleague – our TSO is usually engrossed on his computer screen and quite often frantic to correct a computing issue for the days whole school business. He always returns the greeting. My Head Teacher is always busily engrossed on his computer screen, looking at daily notices, staff absences, needed cover. Sometimes he gets to ‘have his cuppa’, but quite often cold. He quietly reciprocates the morning greeting despite his many concerns. My colleague computing teacher usually arrives in the staffroom just prior to roll call and always reciprocates the morning greeting.

After approximately 3/4 of an hour the days business is ready to commence. The bee hive really gets moving and usually the welcoming routine is put on hold till the next day.

Reflective posts:

  1. Syracuse Hancock International Airport” – http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/lizcrowder/2014/08/08/blog-task-2-observation/#comment-8.
  2. Shannon’s Thoughts” – http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/shannonsthoughts/2014/08/08/blog-task-2/#comment-20.
  3. Think Digital” – http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/thinkdigital/2014/08/01/a-small-design-project-prototype/#comment-7.
July 27

Reflective Blog Task 1

  • describe a problem space that is not serving the purpose it could do, for learning (80 words);

Semester 2, 2014 sees my Year 8 Multimedia Elective class split between two teachers, with only three lessons over the two week cycle between us; of which some lessons are not timetabled into a computing laboratory.

The teaching and learning space is actually a two pronged problem between the ‘physical and virtual spaces’. Physical space – is not conducive to accessing the Multimedia computing curriculum; and the NSW DER Lenovo laptops are not conducive to in-school Server access, detract from the 55 minute lesson timeframes and are prone to errors. Virtual space – is not conducive to design thinking, creativity, anywhere / anytime access is not a user-centred learning environment.

  • describe the changes, however small, you make to that space as a result, in order  to attempt to create a better space for learning (up to 200 words); and,

Being the computing and majority teacher I have designed a virtual classroom that takes the place of the in-school Server for document access purposes. Within school, students still log on to the computer systems, however, they now access our ‘Multimedia virtual documents’ instead of the in-school ‘Student Data’ and ‘My Documents’.

Within the ‘8Mult.B2’ directory, my colleague teacher and I have access to all teaching and learning documents; whilst the students have access to their own ‘GDocuments (Google Documents)’ and ‘Resources’ anywhere / anytime – a concept based approach rather than merely knowledge based.

Online Learning Space Re-Designed

  • explain, using some of the suggested reading, why that space might benefit from some thinking on its design (200 words);
    • What are the core reasons for which we need a design process?

    A Design Process is a method of solving-problems – of solving known unknown collaboratively through “design thinking”. In terms of my learning space changes, the problem to be solved is the development of a student-centred learning environment. An environment where students feel comfortable and are able to think, rather than follow instructions.

    • How have the challenges in space design changed over recent decades?

    ‘Designers’ were once seen as a ‘design thinkers’ – educators were once seen as ‘teachers’; i.e. distinctly separate roles. From around the 1960s design became known as a ‘science’ – a scientific methodology or process.

    • What are the core capacities anyone requires to begin thinking like a designer?
      • create and develop visual responses to problems;
      • solve problems through – identification, researching, analysis, solution generation, prototyping, user testing, evaluation;
      • understand factors affecting design; i.e. cognitive, social, cultural, technological, economic.
      • respond to user / audience contexts; i.e. physical, cognitive, cultural human factors;
      • utilise tools and technology;
      • flexible and dynamic practice;
      • communicator;
      • sustainability.
  • leave a comment on at least three other students’ blog posts, with a suggestion for an improvement, based on your reading (provide reference(s)).
  • post a link to each of your feedback comments under your own post.