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flickr photo by schopie1 http://flickr.com/photos/schopie1/2508439763 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license

Countless times so far this year, it has been apparent to me how much I have to learn myself in order for this art and design teacher to become an adequate IT teacher. This is a role I have found myself in as a teacher in a new school where we are all jacks-of-all-trades, paddling furiously to keep heads above water!

Working within the constraints of iPads only, has meant that my unit has been severely constricted and the semester has been an ongoing battle to find relevant apps and online learning platforms. Whilst there have been some serious ups and downs in this regard, hampered by my low knowledge, extensive other demands on my time (including study, family and the multitude of other aspects of my job) and ever-present physical and mental exhaustion, I am now starting to see there have been some awesome moments of success.

Although the factors limiting my time for developing my unit have also prevented me from engaging in my study to the extent I had hoped, INF530 has helped enormously to develop my IT unit as well as the strategic direction for the faculties I am in charge of (Arts and Technologies). Considering authentic tasks combined with fortuitous timing gave my students the opportunity to make recommendations to the company about to redesign the school website. Considering ideas about the internet of things, digital literacy and digital citizenship has inspired inquiry lessons where students have engaged in dialogic and dialectic processes to develop their understanding. Reading Invent to Learn for my Literature Review, inspired me to initiate tasks with a range of choices, allowing students to direct and control their own learning and through which they have created and will share their final products. We have asked many “what if” and “how might we” questions, collaborated to share knowledge and skills, extended projects into areas of interest and will in a few weeks participate in a 3D design maker workshop. As I write my Digital Essay, where I am investigating the significance of creativity and the potential benefits of integrating subject disciplines, I am more confidently able to find and implement opportunities for my students to bring their knowledge of other subjects into their study of technology. I have created a unit that I will no doubt change a lot when I repeat it next semester but it has been an incredible learning journey to combine my initiation into teaching IT with my study of INF530.