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ETL 411 Assignment 2 Part B Critical Reflection

Introduction

In today’s society, one is only too comfortable with technology. Technology is no longer an indulgence; it’s a life skill” (Backes, L. 2012). Let’s face it; technology has become a part of our everyday lives. It surrounds us (Backes, L. 2012). So naturally, the education system has also adapted to cater for these changes to society. It has become a way of communicating with the outside world, sourcing information, sharing ideas, accessing media releases and most importantly, accessing teaching and learning content (Dubose, 2011).

Image retrieved from http://askatechteacher.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/bubble.jpg

The 21st century student has access to a range of digital technologies that provide an engaging and resourceful way of learning. Teaching and learning programs are enriched by multimodal resources that provide the opportunity to enhance student learning outcomes (Nobles, Dredger & Gerheart, 2012). This is achieved by enabling students to experience first-hand their content and be able to specifically visualise topics that may otherwise be out of reach e.g. before smart boards and computer access in all classrooms, students studying Antarctica could only visualise pictures in printed books. Now students can watch video clips and source both audio and visual media to deepen their understanding of the topic.

Web 2.0 tools are essential in today’s classroom as they support and enhance the teaching and learning experiences as students are engaged and motivated to learn. Their understanding and knowledge is deepened as they are able to access a wide range of resources that require them to select, interpret and evaluate as well as other digital literacy skills (Gokcek & Howard, 2013). The aim here is to create students who are information fluent. That is, they can “subconsciously and intuitively interpret information in all forms and formats in order to extract the essential knowledge, authenticate it, and perceive its significance,” (O’Connell, 2012, p. 7). As teachers, we need to expose students to the digital technologies that are shaping their future. Web 2.0 tools provide various avenues for students to explore multimodal resources. As Boss and Krauss (2008, p.13) assert: “When teachers facilitate well-designed projects that use digital tools, they do much more than create memorable learning experiences. They prepare students to thrive in a world that’s certain to continue changing.”

Integration of ICTs in Curriculum Programs

The role of the teacher librarian is progressively evolving, therefore what is expected of a Teacher Librarian and what they are accountable for is also changing. To shift the common misconception that teacher librarians sit at a desk all day and occasionally scan a barcode, is a slow and challenging task, as it has been this view for so long. However, with the Digital Education Revolution here, teacher librarians as media specialists have an opportunity to significantly change that misconception and lead their school into the 21st century. What is current is only the beginning for what is to come in the future.

The teacher librarian’s information specialist role is now more important than ever. Students need to be educated to become competent, ethical seekers and users of information in a technological world (Mann, 2011). Students need the help of the teacher librarian to confront the challenges of their information needs and develop knowledge and skills they will use for the rest of their lives (Harris, 2011).

In the learning environment of today, students demand access to information and ICT (Hay, 2006). Many authors including Herring (2007), Purcell (2010), Mann (2011), Twomey (2007) and Leppard (2003) agree that we need to be skilled information specialists who are able to select, locate, organise and use a range of information resources and technologies. However, our role as information specialist is more than just being able to locate relevant information for a particular topic or subject area. The knowledge that the teacher librarian can impart in the application of the information skills process has significant benefits in planning, the development of units of work and assessment tasks and strategies (Gibbs, 2003; Lamb & Johnson, 2008). We need to interpret and evaluate the library’s collection on a given topic in the context of the curriculum program, as well as developing information literacy skills (Herring, 2007; Purcell, 2010).  In addition, the teacher librarian must teach students the skill of evaluation (Harris, 2011; Sample job description: School library media specialist, 2009).

A collegial work environment is desired in terms of teacher librarian and school staff working together towards a common goal. By the teacher librarian taking on the role as information/ media specialist, it provides an opportunity for the TL to share their expertise in ICT. Staff development can be led by the TL as they share their knowledge and expertise of web 2.0 tools and ICT integration. Literature reveals that teachers’ attitude and pedagogical beliefs toward technology represent one of the most critical issues (Ertmer, et al., 2012; Richardson, 1996). Therefore, if classroom teachers feel supported in the area of ICT by the teacher librarian, the success rate will be much higher and the students will benefit greatly.

Analysis of Learning
Prior to experiencing ETL411, I thought that I was competent in the use of ICT. It is only now that I realise how limited my knowledge was. I had heard of web 2.0 tools in discussions with other teachers previously, but had never raised an eyebrow or intended to seek more information. Being a classroom teacher of 3 years I am still learning the ropes and obviously still have a lot to learn. It has been through completing this course that I realise how beneficial web 2.0 tools can be in teaching and learning programs.

Image retrieved from http://www.techconnect20.com/image-files/web20wordle.jpg

One of the major benefits of integrating Web 2.0 tools within curriculum is the engagement and motivation it provokes in students (Backes, 2012; Combes, 2014). Not only was I oblivious to the meaning and benefits of web 2.0 tools, but also the range of tools out in the big World Wide Web.

It was only after the first assignment that I became well informed and engrossed in researching the many web 2.0 tools available for a range of different purposes. There is definitely no shortage of what teachers can access to engage and enhance student learning outcomes, it is just a matter of looking for it (which is not hard at all). I found Jeff Dunn’s, ‘The 100 Best Web 2.0 Classroom Tools Chosen by You’ website (2011) extremely useful (it is an annotated bibliography) and it is a resource I have utilised several times now and have also shared with my colleagues.

The Wiki is a tool I have never used before (as well as a blog). I have found it very interesting and can visualise how students could effectively utilise this tool throughout their educational journey. However, i feel as though I would use it in a secondary setting rather than primary. This judgement has been made based on the other tolls students need to become competent in before attempting a Wiki.

Our last assignment enabled us to delve into curriculum design. By critically thinking about how we could integrate a web 2.0 tool into our unit of works, I could visualise how I can (tomorrow) implement in my own classroom. The step by step analysis made me question effectiveness, conflicts, solutions, resources and student outcomes. Assignment 2 was definitely beneficial to my everyday program and I am excited to share my findings with colleagues in attempt to entice them to integrate ICT into their teaching and learning programs more effectively (not just Microsoft Word and PowerPoint).

Conclusion

In conclusion, “the school library provides information and ideas that are fundamental to functioning successfully in today’s information and knowledge-based society” (International Association of School Libraries, 2006). The Teacher Librarian has a crucial role in the integration of both ICT and information literacy within curriculum programs. By leading teachers and students into the 21st century, teacher librarians are shaping the future of education. Technology is an integral part of teaching and learning today and can effectively enhance student achievement through the many resources it has to offer, in particular the use of web 2.0 tools.

References
Backes, L. (2012). 5 reasons to add technology to your classroom. The Inspired Classroom [blog]. Retrieved http://theinspiredclassroom.com/2012/04/5-reasons-to-add-technology-to-your-classroom/

Boss, S. and Krauss, J. Reinventing project-based learning. This chapter excerpt from the book provides an overview of project-based learning within the Web 2.0 world.
Combes, B. (2014). Integrating ICTs [ETL411 Module 3.1]. Retrieved from http://interact.csu.edu.au/portal/site/ETL411_201460_W_D/page/72d99a18-b38c-44cb-80f6-da2bfe987e7f

Dunn, J. (2011). The 100 Best Web 2.0 Classroom Tools Chosen By You | Edudemic. Retrieved from http://www.edudemic.com/best-web-tools/

Ertmer, P. A., Ottenbreit-Leftwich, A. T., Sadik, Ol, Sendurur, E., & Sendurur, P. (2012). Teacher beliefs and technology integration practices: A critical relationship. Computers & Education,59(2), 423-435.

Gibbs, R. (2003). Reframing the role of the teacher-librarian: the case for collaboration and flexibility. Scan, 22(3), 4-7.

Harris, F. J. (2011). The school librarian as information specialist: a vibrant species.Knowledge Quest, 39(5), 28-32.

Hay, L. (2006). School libraries as flexible and dynamic learning laboratories… that’s what Aussie kids want. Scan, 25(2), 19-27.

Herring, J. (2007). Teacher librarians and the school library. In S. Ferguson (Ed.), Libraries in the twenty-first century: charting new directions in information (pp. 27-42). Wagga Wagga: Centre for Information Studies, Charles Sturt University.

Lamb, A., & Johnson, L. (2008). School library media specialist 2.0: a dynamic collaborator, teacher, and technologist. Teacher Librarian, 36(2), 74-78.

Leppard, L. (2003). The role of the teacher librarian in essential learning. Access, 17(3), 9-11.
Mann, S. (2011). 21st-century school librarians: envisioning the future. School Library Monthly, 28(2), 29-30.
O’Connell, J. (2012). So you think they can learn? Scan, Vol 31. May, 5-11.
Purcell, M. (2010). All librarians do is check out books, right? A look at the roles of a school library media specialist. Library Media Connection, 29(3), 30-33.
Sample Job description: School library media specialist. (2009). Knowledge Quest, 38(2), 80-82.

Twomey, M. (2007). Empowering learners: how the teacher librarian, through enactment of the role, empowers learners to shape and enrich a changing world. Access, 21(4), 33-39.

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ETL 411 Assignment 2 Part A ICT Program Proposal

Part A: ICT proposal
Program title: Composers of the Digital Age

 ICT Program Proposal
English

 Stage 2: Year 3 & 4
Selected Web 2.0 tool for integration: Story Jumper.

Image retrieved from http://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/melissawaldronlamotte/files/2014/08/5486577-17oni0x.png


RATIONALE
The integration of technology has become an integral part of teaching and learning in today’s education system. This rationale clearly outlines how the web 2.0 tool, Story Jumper can be used effectively within programming to enhance student’s engagement and learning outcomes.

  • Story Jumper is very easy to use – even for those apprehensive teachers.
  • Low literacy achieving students can be engaged and access their learning at their own individual level (Backes, 2012; Combes, 2014). Story Jumper allows for differentiation.
  • Story Jumper allows students to access their previous learning and utilise it to make connections between all key learning areas (Wanago, 2013; Berger & Trexler, 2010).
  • ICT is an area highlighted in the Australia Curriculum that details the need for students to develop efficient skills in the use of ICT. This can be achieved through the integration of technology throughout all key learning areas (ACARA, 2011).
  • By exposing students to interesting ways of creating and publishing texts (through the use of Story Jumper), they will be engaged and develop of love of reading and writing (Ohler, 2008).
  • Story Jumper can be integrated into any teaching and learning program ranging from Kindergarten to year 12. It is because of this flexibility that all student learning abilities are catered for.
  • Story Jumper allows for group work, which in turn builds effective social skills. Students can support and encourage their fellow classmates as they work together to achieve a common goal (Pegrum, 2010, Grennon-Brooks, 2004, Lee & McLoughlin, 2008, Hayes, 2007).
  • The process of Story Jumper provides teachers with an opportunity for integrated assessment (Lee & McLoughlin, 2008).

 


TARGET AUDIENCE PROFILE

Background information: Nulkaba Public School is a primary school in the Hunter / Central Coast region; with a current enrolment of 407 students. In S2W there are 27 students: 17 boys and 15 girls. It is a composite stage 2 class with a range of learning abilities. Five students have been identified with expressive and receptive language delay; two students have autism; one student has a FM radio and an itinerant support teacher and one student (who has moved recently to Australia from Thailand) is an EAL/D student. At the start of the year, most students presented with a PM Benchmark reading level in the low 20’s. In recent assessments the majority have reached level 30 plus (all except 5 students). Nulkaba Public School proudly introduced the Accelerated Literacy (AL) program a few years ago. Since its introduction, literacy standards have been high and student’s knowledge integration has benefited. Students are actively engaged in AL as they utilise all areas of English in the one program instead of it being taught in segregation. “Accelerated Literacy doesn’t simply teach spelling, grammar and vocabulary. It also teaches the ways of thinking – the discourses, or cultural knowledge – that underpin what these mean. This knowledge is an essential part of being able to decode text and therefore succeed educationally. When AL is taught effectively, teachers are able to awaken a sense of the ‘what’, the ‘how’, the ‘when’, the ‘where’, and ultimately the ‘why’, of language choices in a text. As a result of AL teaching, students gain control over how to put it all together” (Nalp, 2014).


 

ISSUES RELATING TO THE INTEGRATION OF STORY JUMPER

There are a number of issues that need to be assessed and solutions provided in relation to embedding the Web 2.0 tool ‘Story Jumper’ into a unit of work.

1. School Infrastructure

Issue

Solution

Availability and   access to technology.
  •   There is one class set of laptops per stage. The classroom teacher   (CT) needs to book (in advance) the laptops for a nominated session to gain   access.
  •   Alternatively, in the library there is a computer lab, the CT can arrange   with the Teacher Librarian to book in a session where access can be granted.
  •   Story Jumper has a unique safety feature, the ‘duration   field’. Setting class duration significantly decreases the chance that   students in a shared computing environment accidentally or intentionally   access other students’ accounts” (Story Jumper, 2014). Because of this   feature, students can only use their account at school. Students are unable   to work on their books unless the class is open by the teacher within their   school environment. Alternatively, parents can unlock this feature to allow   their child to use this within their home. This feature has been added so   that an adult can carefully monitor the work that is being publicly   displayed.

2. Privacy and security

Issue

Solution

Security
  •   The classroom teacher and the teacher librarian   should be well informed of the DEC Information Security policy. https://www.det.nsw.edu.au/policies/administrative/ict/information_security/implementation_1_PD20130453.shtml?level=
  •   Classroom teacher or teacher librarian to open   accounts and distribute access information to students.
  •   Students understand the importance of cyber   safety.
  •   Students and parents have signed the school   ‘acceptable use of technology’ policy document. This document includes issues   relating to acceptable use of school ICT, cyber bullying and awareness of   ‘digital footprints’.

3. Teacher

Issue

Solution

Limited   experience in ICT or lack of knowledge in the integration of web 2.0 tools. Literature reveals that teachers’   attitude and pedagogical beliefs toward technology represent one of the most   critical issues (Ertmer, et al., 2012; Richardson, 1996).

  •   Teacher librarian to run workshops demonstrating the   use of Story Jumper and highlighting the benefits of integrating it within   all key learning areas.
  •   IT specialist to support and encourage the use of   technology within the classroom.
  •   Working collegially as a staff to up skill all staff   members in the use of ICT in the classroom.

4. Time

Issue

Solution

Finding time   throughout the school week to effectively utilise Story Jumper
  •   Students allowed access to computers outside class time   e.g. at lunch to complete Story Jumper projects.
  •   Designate tasks as homework or projects.

5. Copyright

Issue

Solution

Copyright   infringes of images sourced from the internet.
  •   Students are informed of copyright.
  •   Encourage students to create their own images.   Opportunity to integrate art lessons with technology: create an artwork/   illustration for their story, then scan and insert the image into their   online book.

 


 

STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES

Curriculum Area

Outcomes

Example from the Unit

English –   Australian Curriculum
  •   Plans, composes and   reviews a range of texts that are more demanding in terms of topic, audience   and language (NSW Board of Studies,   2014).
  •   Use a range of software including word   processing programs to construct, edit and publish written text, and select,   edit and place visual, print and audio elements (NSW Board of Studies, 2014).

 

  •   Students plan their   story based on topics covered throughout the term, using the studied text as   a scaffold.
  •   Students use Story   Jumper as a tool to publish their story. They become indulged in the   experiences of an author and illustrator when consequently their book can be   published for other account holders to view.
General   Capabilities ICT
  •   Students have   the opportunity to become competent, discriminating and creative users of ICT   as they learn to use ICT effectively and appropriately when investigating,   creating and communicating ideas and information. Students will learn about   the ethics of information communication through technology (NSW Board of Studies,   2014).
  •   Collaborate,   share and exchange.
  •   Visual   knowledge.

 

  •   Before the   commencement of publishing their stories, students will be informed of   security and online etiquette while using technology within the classroom.   They will be encouraged to apply this at home as well.
  •    Students will work collaboratively in groups   in order to explore the tools and features available in Story Jumper.   Students will share their findings in order to assist fellow class mates.   Ideas will be exchanged as their stories become a creative masterpiece.
  •   Students demonstrate the ability to select   appropriate visual images to include in their story being illustrated (ACARA,   2011).

 

ASSESSMENT OPPORTUNITIES

ICT and literacy outcome based assessments will be ongoing. Students should be informed of the outcomes they are being assessed on at the commencement of this unit.

Type of Assessment

Example in Program

Formative   Assessment Teacher   observation will be a key assessment strategy throughout the program. The   classroom teacher or teacher librarian will record their observations   utilising checklists or rubrics to measure achievement attained by students.   Teachers / TL should also acquire a student work sample.
Formative   Assessment Peer and self   evaluation is a great way for students to reflect on what they have learnt as   well as identifying areas for improvement (NT Department of Education &   Training, n.d.). At the conclusion of this unit, students will share their   published work and their peers will provide (written or oral) feedback. The   student is also encouraged to provide (written or oral) feedback on their own   work. 
Summative   Assessment Utilising a   rubric and professional judgement, during presentations, the classroom   teacher or teacher librarian will assess the published story. Classroom Teacher   or Teacher Librarian to document areas for improvement as well as documenting   the student’s strengths. Not only does this feedback benefit the individuals   but also the teacher, as they are able to identify areas that need   reinforcing. 

 

CURRICULLUM DESIGN

  • At the commencement of this program, students will be introduced to the text they will be studying throughout the term. Students will be exposed to range of print and online texts to demonstrate diversity to the students.
  • Students will be engaged in lessons that demonstrate how to search for images that are not subject to copyright. They will also be encouraged to source digital stories to visualise publication methods and ideas.
  • The classroom teacher or teacher librarian will demonstrate the proficient use of Story Board and then reiterate using step by step instructions as students follow, accessing their own computer or laptop.
  • Students will then be able to access fellow account holders’ published stories on their Story Board accounts. YouTube clips can also be accessed if necessary for students to reinform themselves on how to use the web 2.0 tool from home (if access is granted by a parent).
  • Finally, when students have written a draft for their story and have planned their illustrations, they may begin to publish and edit their book using Story Board.

 

TEACHING OPPORTUNITIES – TEACHER LIBRARIAN ROLE

Area

Content

Opportunity

ICT

  •   The use of Story Board.
  •   Searching images that are not subject to copyright.

 

  •   Demonstrating the   effective use of the web 2.0 tool. Expose students to a range of stories that   have been previously published on the Story Board site. Discuss the purpose,   audience, structure of the texts that have been written. Ask students to   reflect on and evaluate the stories shown/read. What was effective? Why/why   not?
  •   Explain what the term   copyright means. Discuss circumstances where a breach of copyright might   occur. Demonstrate best practice when selecting images to use in their Story   Board publication.
  •   Guide students in   effective research techniques to source both images and digital stories they   may use as a scaffold for their own book they are creating.

 

Literature

  •   Writing literature that is captivating and entices their intended   audience.

 

 Source a range of   print and digital texts to show the class. This will guide their creative   process. Explore the way authors have written their stories. Discuss this   with the students, encouraging them to think critically about the way they   will write and publish their own story.

Safety

  •   Online etiquette
  •   Digital footprint
  •   Acceptable use

 

  •   Teacher librarian   informs the students of online etiquette. It should be reinforced that cyber   bullying is not tolerated and whatever is published, although it can be   deleted, will leave a ‘digital footprint’. This term needs to be discussed in   length.
  •   Students should also   be made aware of their rights and responsibilities when using the computers   at school (with an emphasis on internet use). The CT or TL may read through   the DET Acceptable   ICT use policy documents ensuring all students are aware of their   responsibilities in regard to school internet usage. CT or TL monitors   student safety throughout unit.

 


 

EVALUATION PROCESS

At the conclusion of the program students, classroom teacher and the teacher librarian will participate in an evaluation. This evaluation will assist in the future direction of this program.

Who

What

Details

Student

Survey

Students   participate in a survey answering questions based on:

  •   Ease of use;
  •   Problems encountered;
  •   Enjoyment;
  •   Safety features and;
  •   Recommendations for   the future.

 

Classroom Teacher and Teacher Librarian

Discussion

The teacher librarian and the classroom   teacher will reflect on the program and discuss:

  •   Strengths;
  •   Weaknesses;
  •   Future   direction;
  •   Engagement   rate;
  •   Ease of use;
  •   Successful   integration into other key learning areas and;
  •   Discuss how it   could continue to be implemented if it was found to be successful.

 

 


References
Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority. [ACARA] (2011).The Australian Curriculum. Retrieved from http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/

Backes, L. (2012). 5 reasons to add technology to your classroom. The Inspired Classroom [blog]. Retrieved http://theinspiredclassroom.com/2012/04/5-reasons-to-add-technology-to-your-classroom/

Berger, P. & Trexler, S. (2010). Choosing Web 2.0 Tools for Learning and Teaching in a Digital World. Libraries Unlimited: Santa Barbara, California.

Board of Studies. (2013). Personal development, Health and Physical Education: Years 7 – 10 Syllabus. Retrieved from http://www.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/syllabus_sc/pdf_doc/pdhpe-7-10-syllabus.pdf

Combes, B. (2014). Integrating ICTs [ETL411 Module 3.1]. Retrieved from http://interact.csu.edu.au/portal/site/ETL411_201460_W_D/page/72d99a18-b38c-44cb-80f6-da2bfe987e7f

Ertmer, P. A., Ottenbreit-Leftwich, A. T., Sadik, Ol, Sendurur, E., & Sendurur, P. (2012). Teacher beliefs and technology integration practices: A critical relationship. Computers & Education,59(2), 423-435.

Grennon Brooks, J. (2004) Workshop: Constuctivism as a Paradigm for Teaching and Learning. Educational Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved from http://www.thirteen.org/edonline/concept2class/constructivism/index_sub3.html

Hayes, D. (2007) ICT and learning: Lessons from Australian classrooms. Computer and Education, 49 385 – 395. Retrieved from http://ac.els-cdn.com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/S0360131505001314/1-s2.0-S0360131505001314-main.pdf?_tid=eb0ae55e-298e-11e4-9078-0000aacb35d&acdnat=1408665633_2c86c6b2f48127ee186e7849d2025c55

Lee, M. J. & McLoughlin, C. (2008). Harnessing the affordances of Web 2.0 and social software tools: can we finally make ‘student centred’ learning a reality? Association for the Advancement of Computing Education, Chesapeake, VA, USA. Retrieved from http://bilby.unilinc.edu.au:1801/webclient/StreamGate?folder_id=0&dvs=1408670483856~654&usePid1=true&usePid2=true

Nalp (2014). What is AL? | NALP. Retrieved from http://www.nalp.edu.au/what-is-accelerated-literacy/overview-final.html

NSW Board of Studies (2014). English K–10 : Outcomes linked to content. Syllabus.bos.nsw.edu.au. Retrieved from http://syllabus.bos.nsw.edu.au/english/english-k10/content-and-outcomes/

Northern Territory Government (n.d.) NT Curriculum Framework Assessment Guidelines: Transition to Year 9. Retrieved from http://www.education.nt.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0018/7830/NTCF_AssessmentGuidelines.pdf

Ohler, J. (2008). Digital storytelling in the classroom. 1st ed. Chicago: American Library Association.

Pegrum, M. (2012). Emergent technologies in the classroom. University of WA. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JoUi2dkczRM

Wanago, N. (2013). Effective Web 2.0 tools: for your classroom. Techniques, 88(1), 18.

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ETL 411 – Topic 5 – ICT Integration Issues

Image retrieved from http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-DEF37fZBEM4/Ukpix9qLkBI/AAAAAAAAAZw/nR26KUDDEg0/s640/images.jpg

Although valuable lessons may be learned from best practices around the world, there is no one formula for determining the optimal level of ICT integration in the educational system. Significant challenges that policymakers and planners, educators, education administrators, and other stakeholders need to consider include educational policy and planning, infrastructure, language and content, capacity building, and financing.

Research on the use of ICTs in different educational settings over the years invariably identify as a barrier to success the inability of teachers to understand why they should use ICTs and how exactly they can use ICTs to help them teach better. Unfortunately, most teacher professional development in ICTs are heavy on “teaching the tools” and light on “using the tools to teach.”

Teacher anxiety over being replaced by technology or losing their authority in the classroom as the learning process becomes more learner-centered—an acknowledged barrier to ICT adoption—can be alleviated only if teachers have a keen understanding and appreciation of their changing role.

Education administrators. Leadership plays a key role in ICT integration in education. Many teacher- or student-initiated ICT projects have been undermined by lack of support from above. For ICT integration programs to be effective and sustainable, administrators themselves must be competent in the use of the technology, and they must have a broad understanding of the technical, curricular, administrative, financial, and social dimensions of ICT use in education.

Technical support specialists. Whether provided by in-school staff or external service providers, or both, technical support specialists are essential to the continued viability of ICT use in a given school. While the technical support requirements of an institution depend ultimately on what and how technology is deployed and used, general competencies that are required would be in the installation, operation, and maintenance of technical equipment (including software), network administration, and network security. Without on-site technical support, much time and money may be lost due to technical breakdowns.

What are the challenges related to financing the cost of ICT use? One of the greatest challenges in ICT use in education is balancing educational goals with economic realities. ICTs in education programs require large capital investments and developing countries need to be prudent in making decisions about what models of ICT use will be introduced and to be conscious of maintaining economies of scale. Ultimately it is an issue of whether the value added of ICT use offsets the cost, relative to the cost of alternatives. Put another way, is ICT-based learning the most effective strategy for achieving the desired educational goals, and if so what is the modality and scale of implementation that can be supported given existing financial, human and other resources?

At my current school we are about to trial a new program with 1 stage two class where they all have laptops. These laptops are on loan to them for their entire school year and their parents/ caregivers gradually pay off the loan. Students are able to keep these laptops once completely paid for and they leave primary school. Students laptops will be connected to the main smartboard through the smart notebook application. They will be able to see the teaching and learning content on their own screens without having to look over someones shoulder. The teacher will have access to all laptops and will be able to shut down any programs that are open and shouldn’t be through their main computer. This is very exciting for our school. If it is successful with the trial class, then all primary students will have this opportunity.

Therefore, the educational effectiveness of ICTs depends on how they are used and for what purpose, like any other educational tool or mode of education delivery, ICTs do not work for everyone, everywhere in the same way. In the different part of the world the use of ICTs is different depending on the affordability, availability and access to technology.

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ETL 411 – Topic 4 – The Virtual Library

What is a virtual library?

Image retrieved from https://bibliotekarsha.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/reaching-in-computer.jpg

“A (potentially virtual) organisation that comprehensively collects, manages, and preserves for the long term rich digital content and offers to its user communities specialised functionality on that content, of measurable quality, and according to prescribed policies” (Castelli, D. & Krafft, D., 2007).
The concept of the virtual library is one that has developed with the growth in telecommunication networks, especially the internet. The ‘virtual library’ emulates a ‘real’ library, but is understood to be a product of the virtual world of the internet.
This examination of various definitions of the virtual libraries within the professional literature brings me to that which I will use: The virtual library environment encompasses the concept of the digital library but is more than a collection of digitised resources. The virtual library provides access to an integrated collection of print, electronic and multimedia resources delivered seamlessly and transparently to users regardless either of their physical location or the location and ownership of the information.
The role of the librarian, particularly during the past two decades, has further evolved to encompass the burgeoning technological developments. Crawford and Gorman (1995) have defined the role of the librarian today: To acquire, give access to, and safeguard carriers of knowledge and information in all forms and to provide instruction and assistance in the use of the collections to which their users have access… [libraries] are about the preservation, dissemination, and use of recorded knowledge in whatever form it may come. (pp 3,5)
Rusbridge (1997) agreed with this definition, writing: The role of the library is to select, acquire, organise and make available an appropriate subset of …resources… The library has a role here in the digital world as with print – not just in excluding access to rubbish, but in encouraging access paths to quality.
I am not yet a TL nor have I had any real experience in a library myself, but I am passionate about ICT and integrating it into the curriculum. I am looking forward to the day where I get to create a virtual library myself. Though from the readings it does seem quite daunting. However, so did teaching and programming before I dove in and gave it a go!

References

Castelli, D., & Krafft, D. (2007). Organising the Digital Library. DELOS: Network of Excellence on Digital Libraries. Retrieved from http://www.delos.info/files/pdf/DELOS_NSDL_sschool_07/Presentations/Castelli.pdf

Crawford, W & Gorman, M (1995). Future libraries: dreams madness & reality, American Library Association, Chicago.

Rusbridge, C (1998). ‘Towards the hybrid library’, [online] D-Lib Magazine, July/August,

http://www.dlib.org/dlib/july98/rusbridge/07rusbridge.html

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ETL 411 – Topic 3 – The Integration of Technology in the 21st Century Classroom: Teachers’ Attitudes and Pedagogical Beliefs Toward Emerging Technologies By Chien Yu

Image retrieved from http://xabathor.weebly.com/uploads/3/1/4/2/31421941/5810311.jpg?495

This article was a result of a study based on technology integration in school. Chien Yu an associate professor at Mississippi State University lead the research. She wanted to find out ‘what really limits teachers to use technology?’ A total of 12 teachers from the state of Mississippi were interviewed. Three of the teachers were male and 9 were female, who were teaching in elementary and secondary schools in different districts. This study was to ask two questions: 1. What are the teachers’ attitudes and beliefs toward emerging technology? 2. What are the major difficulties or barriers that teachers face in using technology in the classroom?
‘Literature reveals that teachers’ attitude and pedagogical beliefs toward technology represent one of the most critical issues (Ertmer, et al., 2012; Richardson, 1996)’. Many people would argue that one of the reasons why teachers lack technology integration in their classroom is because of their own ‘personal experience. Experience with schooling and instruction, and experience with formal knowledge. A teacher’s own beliefs in the way that he or she copes with instructional problems could be related to the degree to which a teacher integrates technologies’ (Nelson, 2001).
The teacher’s interviewed have also identified various issues: the availability of computers, software problems, lack of time, technical support and resources and ignorance in the technological arena. This I agree with. In my experiences I have witnessed these issues first-hand. In my current school, while each stage has their own class set of laptops; it is still difficult to effectively use them in a classroom. By the time you set up the laptops, log in and get started, it’s time to pack up again and give them to the next class. This issue also lends itself to the lack of time. Our technical support teacher is only here one day a week which makes it frustrating when something goes wrong with the smartboard or computers. However, with this being said, our school is looking into a ‘bring your own’ policy. One class is said to start trialling it next year where parents can rent to buy a laptop for their child.
Teachers’ willingness to change is a key variable in successful technology integration. However, research indicates that ‘school use of technology is limited to learning games, drill and practice, and/or occasional word processing with almost no integration of technology, and further points out that schools have not done an adequate job in integrating technology for the purpose of enhancing student achievement’ (Cunningham & Cordeiro, 2006).
Therefore as a result of this study, there have been many issues identified. These issues will slowly be resolved if teachers are willing. Technology has become an integral part of life; it continually evolves so it is hard to keep updated. However, as teachers we are committed to be life-long learners and the ‘old way’ simply won’t do anymore. Teachers need to realise that technology is not separate from the curriculum; it is a part of it. It is another tool that teachers can use to enhance students learning outcomes. “The classroom must mirror the real world; technology is everywhere and we accept it as part of our daily lives. Shouldn’t it be a normal and integral part of the instructional process?” (Yu, C, 2013 p.10).

References

Cunningham, W.G., & Cordeiro, P. A. (2006). Educational leadership: A problem-based approach (3rd ed.). Boston: Pearson Education

Ertmer, P. A., Ottenbreit-Leftwich, A. T., Sadik, Ol, Sendurur, E., & Sendurur, P. (2012). Teacher beliefs and technology integration practices: A critical relationship. Computers & Education,59(2), 423-435.

Richardson, V. (1996). The role of attitudes and beliefs in learning to teach. In J. Sikula (Ed.), Handbook of research on teacher education (pp. 102-119). New York: Macmillan.

Nisan-Nelson, P. D. (2001). Technology integration: a case of professional development. Journal of
Technology and Teacher Education, 9(1), 83-103.

Yu, Chien, (2013). The Integration of Technology in the 21st Century Classroom: Teachers’ Attitudes and Pedagogical Beliefs Toward Emerging Technologies. Journal of Technology Integration in the Classroom. 5(1), pp.5-11. Available at:

http://web.a.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=f9bbe433-3177-4e89-b8ee-c86ed42433b5%40sessionmgr4003&vid=10&hid=4212

[Accessed 1 Sep. 2014].

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ETL 411 – Topic 3 – ICT Integration

I integrate ICT into my classroom daily. To be honest, I’d be lost without it. I think too, that that can also be a danger for some teachers; we become to reliant on technology.

Image retrieved from http://www.computers4kids.co.za/images/SACIC_new.png

Smartboard: I use the smartboard for everything! I have a visual timetable with picture icons that link to my programs and lesson content for the day. I have a lot of kiddies (stage 2 – yr 3 &4) that need that visual support, so this works well. I also have two students with autism that need strict structure and need to know, what comes next. There are 5 students in my classroom with expressive/receptive language delay, so the visuals help them to process information.
Zoowhiz: This is a new website we have been introduced to at school and is currently on trial. I think it is fantastic, and the kids do as well! During literacy groups, one of the rotations is zoowhiz on the laptops. Zoowhiz is like mathletics and studyladder. Students can work through tasks that have either been set by you or not. It incorporates english and maths. Students earn money as they complete tasks to then build a zoo. They absolutely love it! Very engaging and motivating.

http://www.zoowhiz.com/


Laptops: At the moment in Science we are working on the topic “Indoors and Outdoors”. This topic looks at built environments. For something different, the students are doing a project on towers. They need to plan and then build a model of a tower that stands at least 1m high, unsupported and be able to hold an empty tissue box. The tower must be made at school. Along with the model they also have to hand in a design folio. This requires them to use microsoft word. They need to import a scanned image of their original sketch, import a photo of their completed model and write, edit and publish. Throughout the task, students answer questions such as what is the purpose of the tower, what difficulties they had, what changes they made etc. I have given the students a copy of a blank proforma that they may use and I’ve uploaded it onto their laptops. I’m excited to see what they all come up with.
CHOIR: again on the smartboard. I have a smart notebook with all of the choir music and lyrics. I have linked a sound file to a button so that when it is clicked, the song plays. Saves taking out the CD a million times.
PM Readers: I have two kiddies that have severe learning needs and are at a level 3 for reading. So during literacy groups they access the PM Reader software on the computers. They love it!
After learning about the web 2.0 tools for the assignment I can’t wait to utilise those as well in the classroom. Next term I plan to use story board as part of the English sessions 🙂

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ETL 411 Why Embed Web 2.0 Tools into the Curriculum?

The following is a summary of the rationale as to why teachers should incorporate Web 2.0 tools into their curriculum programs.

Image retrieved from http://knowledgeempowered.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/100-Best-Web-2.0-Classroom-Tools.png

ICT and the National Curriculum – A key dimension of the Australian Curriculum are the 7 general capabilities, one of which is ICT. The Melbourne Declaration on the Educational Goals for Young Australians (MCEETYA 2008) identified ICT as an area in which students need to be highly skilled. Therefore, a strong emphasis on ICT skill development and integration across all curriculum areas is required (ACARA, 2011).

Future work and life – for students to thrive in the 21st century in both the workforce and everyday life contexts it is advantageous for them to develop confidence, knowledge and the skills necessary to use ICT effectively, e.g. email, wordprocessing, information seeking/searching skills, design and layout of digital documents, using technology appropriately and copyright and privacy issues (ACARA, 2011; Combes, 2014).

Relevance and engagement – technology offers educators an effective student engagement tool that can help students see the relevance between what they are learning and the real world (Wanago, 2013; Berger & Trexler, 2010).

Pedagogical benefits – many ICT tools support and enable learner centred and interactive practices that support a constructivist theory for teaching and learning (Pegrum, 2010; Grennon-Brooks, 2004; Lee & McLoughlin, 2008; Hayes, 2007).

Interest and motivation –school students like the newest and coolest gadgets and their related technological applications. Often students are already using these in their daily lives, thus using technology to deliver and implement curriculum content provides interest and motivation by allowing students to relate to their learning in an observable and immediate way (Backes, 2012; Combes, 2014).

Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy of learning and collaboraton – the revised Bloom’s digital taxonomy is a tool for teachers representing the learning process in relation to new technologies and the 21st century learner. The model identifies collaboration as a separate skill essential for the 21st century learner. It is identified that Web 2.0 tools such as blogs, wikis, google documents and social networking sites enable collaboration and communication and therefore enhance teaching programs (Churches, 2009).

Access – Web 2.0 tools provide a learning environment both to teachers and students anywhere, anytime. Providing access to information for the learner has never been easier (Berger & Trexler, 2010; Backes, 2012).

Flexibility – differing learning styles can be accommodated with the use of Web 2.0 tools. Multimodal, active learning practices and sound effects are some variations in the way information is presented and created through the integration of ICT.

Assessment and creation of content – Web 2.0 tools allow students to collaborate to create content and therefore develop their knowledge. The creation process and sharing of content provides teachers an avenue for integrated assessment (Lee & McLoughlin, 2008).

Literacy skills – the use of instant feedback available when utilising some Web 2.0 tools allows teachers to provide students with feedback that has the potential to improve their reading and writing skills (Education & Health Standing Committee, 2012). Web 2.0 tools such as blogs have been shown to provide opportunities to improve literacy skills (Berger & Trexler, 2010).

Note: Keep the focus on the content and the outcome of the lesson, not the technology–Use Web 2.0 tools when the technology will enhance student learning (Wanago, 2013, Hobgood & Ormsby, 2011, Churches, 2009). PAGE UP

References

Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority.[ACARA] (2011).The Australian Curriculum. Retrieved         from http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/

Backes, L. (2012). 5 reasons to add technology to your classroom.The Inspired Classroom [blog]. Retrieved from http://theinspiredclassroom.com/2012/04/5-reasons-to-add-technology-to-your-classroom/.

Berger, P. and Trexler, S. (2010). Choosing Web 2.0 Tools for Learning and Teaching in a Digital         World. Libraries Unlimited, Santa Barbara: California.

Churches, A. (2009). //Bloom’s digital taxonomy: It’s not about the//tools, it’s using the tools to facilitate learning. Retrieved  from http://edorigami.wikispaces.com/file/view/bloom%27s+Digital+taxonomy+v3.01.pdf

Combes, B. (2014). Integrating ICTs [ETL411 Module 3.1].Retrieved from Charles Sturt University website: http://interact.csu.edu.au/portal/site/ETL411_201460_W_D/page/72d99a18-b38c-44cb-80f6-da2bfe987e7f

Education & Health Standing Committee. (2012). //The role of ICT in//Western Australian education: living and working in a digital world. Report No 16, Legislative Assembly Parliament of Western Australia. Retrieved from

http://www.parliament.wa.gov.au/publications/tabledpapers.nsf/displaypaper/3815411af526896565b2a95448257a8b0012c522/$file/5411.pdf.

Grennon Brooks, J. (2004) Workshop: Constuctivism as a Paradigm for Teaching and Learning. Educational Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved from  http://www.thirteen.org/edonline/concept2class/constructivism/index_sub3.html

Hayes, D. (2007) ICT and learning: Lessons from Australian classrooms. Computer and Education, 49 385 – 395.         Retrieved from http://ac.els-cdn.com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/S0360131505001314/1-s2.0S0360131505001314-main.pdf_tid=eb0ae55e-298e-11e4-9078-00000aacb35d&acdnat=1408665633_2c86c6b2f48127ee186e7849d2025c55

Hobgood, B. & Ormsby, L. (2011). //Inclusion in the 21st century//classroom: Differentiating with technology. University of North Carolina. Retrieved from http://www.learnnc.org/lp/editions/every-learner/6776#noteref15.

Lee, M. J. & McLoughlin, C. (2008). Harnessing the affordances of Web 2.0 and social software tools: can we finally make ‘student centred’ learning a reality? Association for the Advancement of Computing Education, Chesapeake, VA, USA. Retrieved from http://bilby.unilinc.edu.au:1801/webclient/StreamGatefolder_id=0&dvs=1408670483856~654&usePid1=true&usePid2=true

MCEETYA. (2008). Melbourne declaration on educational goals for young Australians. Retrieved from

http://www.curriculum.edu.au/verve/_resources/National_Declaration_on_the_Educational_Goals_for_Young_Australians.pdf

Pegrum, M. (2012). Emergent technologies in the classroom. University of WA. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JoUi2dkczRM

Wanago, N. (2013). Effective Web 2.0 tools: for your classroom.Techniques, 88(1), 18.

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ETL 411 Topic 3 – Integration of ICT in Teaching and Learning: Integrating ICT’s

Reasons for Including Technology in the Classroom

“Technology is no longer an indulgence; it’s a life skill” (Backes, L. 2012). Today in the 21st century, technology has become apart of our everyday lives. It surrounds us (Backes, L. 2012). So naturally, the education system has also adapted to cater for these changes to society. Integrating ICT’s into the curriculum is crucial for many reasons.

Image retrieved 26th August 2014 from https://edu4transformation.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/ict1.gif

Interest – “Kids like the newest things” (Backes, L. 2012). Let’s face it, when we were at school we would all follow a new fad and would beg our parents to have the latest “in thing” that was going around at school. Not much has changed! When a new toy is out, the kids have to have it. Now when I was back at school, a new toy meant a plush toy of some kind. Now if you mention the word “toy” that generally means something that requires batteries, moves on it’s own, plays music….basically, technology.

Practicality – “Technology is now a necessary skill in the workplace” (Backes, L. 2012). As teachers we are preparing our students for life beyond the classroom. We are preparing them to live successful lives. “For citizens in the 21st century, government and public information is increasingly being published in only digital format. Being able to locate, interpret and use this information is going to be an essential skill set for citizens in the future” (Coombes, B. 2009. P.32).

Knowledge – “By teaching them effectively now, you waste less time having to teach them again in the future” (Backe, L.2012). With technology students no longer have to visualise in their heads what we are talking about throughout history and science lessons; we can show them. For example, in science the other day we were discussing bridges and towers. In particular we were looking at how they were built, the structure and materials used. We were also comparing what was used in the past to what is used today. All of my students were highly engaged and then one of them put up their hand and asked “how was the Sydney Harbour bridge made?” I didn’t know the answer to this question so I googled it and then we were able to watch a youtube clip of the building process. We than began to discuss the importance of the structure and materials used and how it would need to be strong enough to withstand natural disasters. The teacher’s aide in my classroom mentioned seeing a youtube clip of a bridge swaying erratically and then collapsing due to a severe storm. Again we were able to look it up and youtube it. Technology is amazing and allows students to experience situations that they would never be able to without it.

Image retrieved 26th August from https://wiredwaihi.wikispaces.com/file/view/WordleCoroICT_(Small).jpg/62336390/428×267/WordleCoroICT_(Small).jpg

Flexibility – “Every child has a different learning style” (Backe, L. 2012). Curriculum differentiation is expected and vital in education today. Technology allows for this as it attends to visual, auditory and kinaesthetic learning.

Access – The classroom always has a diverse range of learners. I don’t know any classroom that has a group of students that learn all the same way. “Technology is a dual gift” (Backe, L. 2012). The disabled, ADD children, ESL students, etc. all have access to the same teaching and learning content through the use of technology.

Misconception – There is an assumption “that children born after 1984 have an in-depth grasp and almost ‘intuitive’ knowledge of how to use technology, simply because they have never known a world without the Internet and technological change.” (Combes, B. 2009. P.31).  This has meant that students are left to learn the ways of technology on their own by their own experimentation. This leaves a huge gap in the efficient use of information literacy skills, as they have not been taught how to effectively search, analyse, evaluate and inquire through the use of ICT (Coombes, B. 2009).

Pedagogy – Technology enables “learner-centred, student-centred interactive forms of pedagogy” (Pegrum, M. 2012). Whilst our pedagogy has always consisted of these elements, we are now enhancing this through the use of ICT. Technology is supporting what teachers are trying to do already.

Whilst most are on board with the Digital Education Revolution and praise the integration of technology into the curriculum, there are still some people who are not convinced. “Real engagement comes from great teachers with interesting lesson plans. Engagement is about human contact, the contact with the teacher, the contact with their peers” (Richtel, M. 2011). While this statement is true, yes teaching and learning is about human contact and yes a teacher who can gain engagement with interesting lesson plans are effective; technology is a tool to enhance student engagement, motivation and learning outcomes. It is not replacing the teacher! A teacher can still plan exciting and engaging lesson plans that involve technology that enables critical thinking, problem solving, research, evaluation and caters for the diverse learning needs of all students.

I will finish with this segment by Coombes which I found intriguing and highly relevant:

“If schools don’t take steps to teach this generation of students how to use electronic sources effectively, then our future citizens will be unable to operate in a world where information is the key to educational, social and economic success. The world and technology will continue to move forward and the information landscape will become even more complicated, overloaded and dense, as business and government place everything including service delivery online. Far from being digital natives, Generation Y and those who follow, will in fact be the digital refugees of the future” (Coombes, B. 2009).

 References

Backes, L. (2012). 5 reasons to add technology to your classroomThe Inspired Classroom [blog].

Coombes, B. (2009). Generation Y: Are they really digital natives or more like digital refugeesSynergy,7(1), 31-40

Pegrum, M. (2012). Emergent technologies in the classroom. University of WA.

Richtel, M. (2011). A Silicon Valley school that doesn’t computeNew York Times.

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ETL 411 Assignment 1 Web 2.0 Tools

Executive Summary

This report analyses and evaluates four web 2.0 tools that are suitable for primary classrooms. The recommended web 2.0 tools that will be outlined in this report are: Story Jumper, Edmodo, Class Dojo and Voice Thead.

  • Legal and privacy information is detailed within this report for each web 2.0 tool that is suggested.
  • An evaluation of the effective and ease of use is provided.
  • The costs involved in the implementation of these web 2.0 tools are outlined.
  • An implementation proposal demonstrates how this tool could be utilised within the classroom.
  • Curriculum links have also been included to ensure that teachers are well informed on how this tool could be effectively used to enhance the learning outcomes of their students, while addressing the curriculum and utilizing the 21st century digital technologies that are readily available.

Introduction

Web 2.0 is the current generation of technology. Web 1.0 was about viewing and linking and now web 2.0 has expanded and evolved from this initial tool. Web 2.0 is, “a second generation of the world wide web. Conceived as a combination of concepts, trends, and technologies that focus on user collaboration, sharing of user generated content, and social network” (dictionary.com). The Digital Education Revolution is greatly impacting on the education system and the way 21st century students access their learning. “Technology will never replace teachers. However, teachers who know how to use technology effectively to help their students connect and collaborate together online will replace those that don’t” (Catholic Education Office Sandhurst, 2009). Web 2.0 tools offer a wide range of use within the classroom. By integrating it into our best teaching practice, students can achieve optimum results. Many educators emphasise the creative, student-centred pedagogical approaches facilitated by digital tools, while others stress the role of online communication and collaboration in creating well-informed and well-connected global citizens (Pegrum, 2009).

The purpose of utilising web 2.0 tools in education is to enhance student’s learning by providing an environment that allows them to participate in a portable, personal web that is individualised. Students are able to access content being taught in various environments e.g. their classroom, the library, at home, at a friend’s house etc and access this content in their preferred learning style. To be able to participate fully in today’s technologically advanced society, students need to build information literacy skills and possess some level of ICT competence (The ECDL Foundation, 2011).

Due to the developing popularity and demand of technology within the education system, various research has been conducted on the implementation and effective use of technology within the classroom. Light and Polin (2010, pg.20) report that effective teachers are “using web 2.0 tools to create virtual learning environments (VLE) that support their pedagogical goals, both at the classroom and district level, and extend learning beyond the physical walls of the classroom”. However, in many cases the issue is not the lack of online tools available, (as there are many to choose from) rather a matter of how teachers can effectively utilise these tools and integrate it within the curriculum content.

It is with this advancement in technology that the education system has modified and added additional student learning outcomes to adapt to the 21st century environment. The implementation of the new Australian curriculum means that teachers (now more than ever) are required to update their ICT competencies as students need to be taught how to use ICTs effectively across the curriculum, with specific requirements to investigate with ICTs, create with ICTs, communicate with ICTs, manage and operate ICTs, and use ICTs in socially and ethically appropriate ways (ACARA, n.d., b).

Therefore, web 2.0 tools encourage critical thinking, collaboration with others, creative thinking, effective communication, gather, analyse and synthesis information. These technical skills prepare students for achieving success later in life are integrated throughout the ISTE Standards for Students (International Society for Technology in Education, 2007). This report demonstrates how four of the many web 2.0 tools that are available can be implemented into the classroom to enhance student engagement, motivation and learning outcomes.

 

Resource #1: Story Jumper

5486577Overview:

Story Jumper is an excellent tool that can be used throughout literacy sessions. Students are able to create and publish their own stories. They are able to understand the process of composition and relate their experiences to those of the author and illustrator. Students are also able to use both digital and old sources (such as the old pen to paper) methods when writing their stories. Photos or scans of the images created by the students can be imported online and then used in their story. Therefore students are able to use a range of techniques that they have witnessed through previous book studies within their own book. “Story Jumper works for a wide age range; little kids will love just playing around with the graphics, and older kids can construct a more advanced story using the advice provided in the Story Starter section of the site” (Common Sense Media Inc., 2014). This tool is a fantastic way to engage and motivate students through cross curricula learning. Students are exposed to English, Creative Arts, Design and Technology, Human Society and Its Environment, Science and even Mathematics teaching and learning content.

Legal and Privacy Information:

Students who create an account must be over the age 13. Story Jumper requires a person to enter in their birthdate and announces, “anyone under the age of 13 must obtain verifiable parental consent before we can activate their Story Jumper account” (Story Jumper, 2014). This innovative tool also clearly outlines their legal and privacy information within their terms of service document and their privacy policy. Story Jumper also gives teachers an interface to manage and review student’s work so that teachers are aware of technology etiquette and cyber bullying. Story Jumper has also added another unique safety feature, the ‘duration field’. This setting is basically a time limit, set by the teacher so they can either let the class eventually expire, or if desired, click the stop button and end early. When the class expires or is shut down, Story Jumper initiates all of the students work to be saved and then logs every student out of their account until the teacher starts the class again. Only the teacher is able to start the class again. “Story Jumper wants to ensure a student’s privacy is maintained at all times. Setting class duration significantly decreases the chance that students in a shared computing environment accidentally or intentionally access other students’ accounts” (Story Jumper, 2014). Another effective privacy feature that Story Jumper has; is that students can only use their account at school. Students are unable to work on their books unless the class is open by the teacher within their school environment. Alternatively, parents can unlock this feature to allow their child to use this within their home. This feature has been added so that an adult can carefully monitor the work that is being publicly displayed. It is important to note that once a story has been finalised, it is then shared publicly amongst other users and then within weeks, students can search the title of their book using any search engine and it will be found.

Ease of Use:

This resource is extremely easy to use. There is a step-by-step teachers guide that is made readily available to assist in the initial setup of the account and the input of students’ accounts. Story Jumper has also provided an online video tutorial on how it works and how teachers may utilise it effectively within the classroom addressing a range of curriculum outcomes. “Story Jumper includes all kinds of prompts that will help kids get their imaginations rolling. However, once you’re actually creating the book, there isn’t much technical assistance unless you refer back to the main help page” (Common Sense Media Inc., 2014). Whilst this tool can be used from kindergarten to year 12, the lower grades will need to be equipped with basic technology skills before being able to use this tool independently. A lot of support will need to be given to the younger grades, however it can still be effectively used in the most basic form.

Costs:

This is a free and valuable resource for teachers. Students and teachers who create books online are able to share these with other users. However, if a student or teacher wishes to publish the book that has been composed, then there is a small cost involved. Story Jumper offers the following options to print classroom’s books (highest to lowest quality): Professional-grade, hardcover book, paperback book, high-resolution, digital download and low-resolution printing with a watermark. Fortunately, Story Jumper offers volume ordering of class books (10% discount for 15+ books). The order and payment system operates like an ordinary online shop. You add your product to the shopping cart, submit payment and shipping details and then finalise the information. Most books can be purchased for just a small price from $1.95.

Implementation Proposal:

Implementation of this tool would be most effectively used through literacy sessions. Accelerated Literacy, which is the dominant literacy program within the school, would benefit greatly by the use of this tool. Students are often subjected to transformations and pattern writes during their writer’s workshop experiences. It is through these lessons that students develop an understanding of the author’s intentions, ideas and the purpose of the text and how it has been written. Through pattern writes, students develop their own story based on the sentence structure presented to them. Story Jumper can be utilised to provide a greater purpose or goal that students can strive towards. Often with pattern writes, each is segregated to the other and students often lose motivation or can’t see the bigger picture because they aren’t all united to form a story. By using story jumper to publish students’ stories, they will inevitably have a greater sense and understanding of the writing and editing processes that are necessary for effective, creative writing.

Curriculum Outcomes:

English

Early Stage 1: ENe-2A, ENe-7B, ENe-3A, ENe-10C, ENe-12E

Stage 1: EN1-2A, EN1-7B, EN1-9B, EN1-3A, EN1-10C, EN1-11D, EN1-12E

Stage 2: EN2-2A, EN2-7B, EN2-9B, EN2-3A, EN2-10C, EN2-11D, EN2-12E

Stage 3: EN3-2A, EN3-6B, EN3-5B, EN3-7C, EN3-8D, EN3-9E

Issues:

  • Cannot be accessed at home without parental consent.
  • Cost involved when publishing the books, whilst slight, there is still a cost that may deter Principals from agreeing to allow publishing to proceed.
  • Cannot be accessed at home by teachers.

 

Resource #2: Edmodo

Edmodo

Overview:

Edmodo is collaborative web technology that allows students to communicate with one another in an environment that is safe and controlled. Comparable to Facebook, students interact with one another, share content, and access homework, grades and school notices (Kharbach, M., 2014). Edmodo also allows teachers to reward students with badges (like stickers) that can be customized to suit the behavior being rewarded e.g. work ethic, neat presentation, great work etc. The progress page is another effective feature that can be viewed by all involved. This allows students in particular to feel motivated to complete tasks set and they can see when their assignment or homework has been marked and is ready for viewing.

Legal and Privacy Information:

Edmodo has no listed age restrictions as each child is invited to join by a teacher. Unlike Facebook, students can’t “find a friend” or send friend requests. Instead they become a part of a group that is established by the teacher. The teacher then distributes access codes to each of the students. The student enters the code into the prompt box to be able to gain access to that group. Once all students have entered the code, the teacher can then lock the group so that the public and others users are unable to access the group and the content posted. If a student shares the code outside the class, the teacher can change it, without affecting students who have already joined the group. Unlike Facebook, Edmodo does not allow private messages between students. Therefore the teacher is able to view all communication between each child, limiting the chance of cyber bullying to eventuate. All posts are identified by the individual students’ names, so no anonymous posts can be made and the teacher has the ability to delete posts. Parents also have the option to sign up for a free account which allows them to view both the teacher and student activity. A free institutional account is also available to the school so that the school can monitor all content shared by their teachers and students.

Ease of Use:

Edmodo is very user friendly. It is probably the most simplest web 2.0 tools available. The FAQs link is readily available with easy to follow step guides to solve any issues the user may be experiencing. Because Edmodo is comparable to Facebook (a familiar and popular social networking site) it would be easy for students to adapt to and use efficiently.

Costs:

There are no associated costs.

Implementation Proposal:

Edmodo could be implemented in various ways. Teachers could consider the following:

  • Post homework. Teachers are able to post homework tasks in their group forums. Students can either choose to upload a document file of the completed homework or leave a reply in the comment box.
  • Post dates for assessments and revision. Communication is vital for students. This is another avenue to ensure students are kept up to date with important information so that they feel prepared. Parents are also able to access this information, which allows them to prepare and support their child. An alert feature has also been included that allows teachers to select so that an email can be sent to the students email address notifying them of the task. Students can also “turn in” their assignments that only the teacher can see. The assignment can be marked online and the student’s grade can be posted with written feedback.
  • Share videos. Teachers and students can post videos based on the topics being explored in the classroom. The comment box allows students to reflect on what they have learnt and express their opinion. It is important to note that the teacher is able to delete videos and comments posted that may not be relevant to the content being taught in the classroom, or that may be inappropriate.
  • Post listening tasks. Through another web 2.0 tool “voki”, the teacher can create an avatar, attach a voice file to the avatar and then post their voki to Edmodo. Students could then write in the comment box what they hear and answer questions based on what they have heard.
  • Share study materials. Study stack and quizlet are great web 2.0 tools that assist students in memorising information. Glogster is a web 2.0 interactive poster tool that can also assist students when studying. These files can be uploaded and shared on Edmodo.
  • Surveys and polls. A feature found on Edmodo is a survey and poll generator. Teachers can utilise this tool in many ways e.g. Mathematics: data lesson, health survey, Premiers Reading Challenge survey, Premiers Sporting Challenge survey etc.
  • Web Quests. Teachers can post web quests that already supplies the students with the links to the websites required.
  • Joint projects. Edmodo connects teachers from around the world. Teachers could opt to set up a joint project between their schools. In order to do so, they would need to set up another group which they could all access. Students could engage and connect with students they have never met before, sharing resources and ideas and developing an appreciation for one another.

Curriculum Outcomes:

There are many opportunities for Edmodo to be used widely throughout all Key Learning Areas.

Issues:

If students are using i-Pads, it is difficult for them to upload documents to Edmodo.

 

Resource #3 Class Dojo

DOjo (1)

Overview

Class Dojo is a very effective and engaging web 2.0 behaviour management tool. It aims to reduce the time spent managing behavior so that teachers can do more teaching (ClassDojo.com, 2014). ClassDojo provides real-time feedback for students on how they’re meeting classroom expectations and includes an easy way for teachers to share this data with parents. Each student and parent are given usernames and passwords to be able to access this information from home. Classdojo can be accessed from their website or their app can be installed on mobile devices, tablets or i-Pads. Students also have the added benefit of selecting and personalizing their own avatar. This is another great way of engaging students as it is personalised. ClassDojo can help individual children as well as an entire class identify areas for improvement in their behavior and set related goals. Teachers set the behaviors, and goals can be based on schoolwide systems or areas identified by you. You can use the mobile app (iOS and android) to give points from anywhere in the room, which frees you up to move around while providing feedback on students’ academic efforts or on behaviors from critical thinking to kindness. The reports feature can be used at the end of a class to show students where their behavioral strengths and weaknesses are. Class Dojo also enables other features such as an attendance record. In the morning, teachers can display the attendance chart, select the option “mark all absent” and as the students enter the room, they click on their name to mark them as present. This attendance can be saved.

Legal and Privacy Information:

Class Dojo outlines their legal and privacy information within their privacy policy. Class Dojo who is owned and operated by Class Twist Inc. states that they have, “been awarded TRUSTe’s Privacy Seal signifying that this privacy policy and Class Twist Inc’s practices have been reviewed by TRUSTe for compliance with its program requirements including transparency, accountability and choice regarding the collection and use of your personal information” (Class Dojo, 2014). This program only covers Class Dojo and does not cover any other information that may be collected through other sites owned by Class Twist Inc. Class Twist Inc. provide a Terms of Service information page during the time of the initial sign up which highlights, “that you post any Content (as that term is defined in the Company’s Terms of Service, located at www.classdojo.com/terms) on the Website at your own risk” (Class Dojo, 2014). Whilst there are passwords to protect users from being hacked, Class Dojo do admit that even with these privacy measures, no security measures are perfect or impenetrable and therefore no system is completely secure. Class Dojo users need to be aware of this and take full responsibility of the protection of their account details and private information. While there are no age restrictions, as found with most web 2.0, “If you are under the age of 13, you may only use this service and disclose Personal Information with your parent or guardian’s express consent” (Class Dojo, 2014). If users have any questions or concerns regarding privacy at ClassDojo or www.classdojo.com, they can contact hello@classdojo.com.

Ease of Use:

Class Dojo is extremely easy to use. The site provides a very easy to follow guide. Tutorials are readily available online and the FAQs page provides users with various solutions to problems they may encounter.

Costs:

There are no associated costs.

Implementation Proposal:

Teachers can create different classes and add students to each class. Each student is assigned a “monster” avatar. The avatars can be customised. Teachers then input the behaviors and skills they want students to display, such as being on time, participating, or working hard. Students can earn points by behaving the right way. When teachers click Start Class, the student avatars appear as a list on the screen. Each avatar has a number next to it indicating the number of points that student has. These numbers are green when they’re positive and red when they’re negative. Teachers can award points through the computer or by using the app on your phone or tablet. At the end of class, teachers can display a summary of behavior point totals for a class or by individual student. These reports can be emailed to parents, and parents and students can log in with a personalised, secure code to view their progress from home. What teachers decide to do in relation to the points gained by the students is up to them. A suggestion would be that at the start of the week students get into dojo pairs. These pairs work together to encourage one another to get as many points as possible. At the end of the week, the three pairs with the highest amount of points can receive a prize from a prize box. Another suggestion would be to le the points accumulate over the term and then reward the students with the highest points at the end of the term.

Curriculum Outcomes:

As this web 2.0 tool is associated with behavior management, there is no specific curriculum outcome that can be pin pointed. However, to encourage participation and engagement in all Key Learning Areas, teachers could customise behaviours that target particular outcomes and KLAs e.g. super scientist, clever mathematical thinking, warrior writer etc.

Issues:

The effectiveness of the tool for learning depends on how it is used. Some teachers may find it inconvenient to continuously switch screens on the smartboard from their current lesson to Class Dojo. Therefore they may consider carrying their mobile phone in their pocket and utilizing the app to keep the points up to date or alternatively create Class Dojo tokens that can be fast and frequent. Teachers could hand out the dojo tokens without any interference to the lesson and when there is a break in the lesson or another appropriate time, students could “cash in” their dojos by updating their points on the Class Dojo site and returning the tokens to the teacher.

 

Resource #4 Voice Thread

voicethread logo

Overview

VoiceThread is a web 2.0 tool that allows teachers and students to upload images, videos or documents, record audio, video, or text comments, and then collaborate with others and invite them to leave comments as well. This tool is unique due to its audio feature. VoiceThread has been created so that its users can easily add audio commentary to their images and documents. This web 2.0 tool is an effective way for students to express themselves creatively and to explore and create multimedia presentations. Users don’t need an email address to sign up, they may just elect a username and password and then start creating.

Legal and Privacy Information:

As with all web 2.0, VoiceThread has terms and conditions that a user must agree to before being allocated an account. There are no age restrictions, however, a student must be invited by a teacher to be able to gain access and use its facilities. This is a secure learning environment where students are free from the public eye. Only those who have been given permission may access these accounts. Other VoiceThread users may also see the content posted by others if that user elects to have their content made public.

Ease of Use:

VoiceThread can be used by anyone, even if they possess the most basic ICT competence. However, the more experience and skill the user has, the more creative and useable the tool. There are many tutorials on how to effectively and efficiently use this web 2.0 tool readily available for those who require further assistance.

Costs:

Unfortunately there is a cost involved if teachers wish to implement VoiceThread. However, the cost depends on the amount of users.

  • A single license allowing up to 50 student accounts is $79/month.
  • A school licence for 350 users is $450,
  • and for 1000 users is $1100.

Implementation Proposal:

There are many ways to integrate VoiceThread into the curriculum. For example:

  • Analysing and reporting on significant historical places or events. Students could import photographs of such places or events and then use the audio feature to critically analyze and explain their research.
  • Art: Students could upload, describe and explain their artwork. This would enable an in depth analysis and critical reflection of their thought processes. Often when we assess art, we are unable to truly understand the student’s intention and ideas behind their masterpiece. However, by utilizing this tool, teachers will now have a thorough understanding.
  • Virtual Tour: Students could create a virtual tour of a place they are studying. This is a great way to connect with students from different areas in the country or the world. Students could create a multimedia presentation that explores the world they live in and then share it with the other students from the buddy school.
  • Book Report: In literacy sessions or for homework, students could use this tool to give an oral book report. Students could scan illustrations or draw pictures that reflect what they have learnt or the main ideas in the story to add to the presentation as well.
  • LOTE: Language Other Than English lessons. Students could utilise this tool as a study aide. They could draw a picture, write the word and then add the audio for pronunciation.

Curriculum Outcomes:

There are many opportunities for VoiceThread to be used widely throughout all Key Learning Areas.

Issues:

Bandwidth can be a problem if an entire class is working on wireless.

A slideshow cannot be created directly inside VoiceThread with music playing in the background.

If the file is too big, VoiceThread will not upload it. Photo, file, video and audio restrictions need to be checked before composing to save this issue from occurring at the completion of the project.

When recording audio, students will need to be reminded to make sure their voices were picked up by the microphone.

References

ACARA [Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority]. (n.d., a). The Australian Curriculum: English (Rationale/Aims).  Retrieved from http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/English/Rationale

ACARA [Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority]. (n.d., b). The Australian Curriculum: Information and communication technology (ICT) capability (Organising elements). Retrieved from http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/GeneralCapabilities/Information-and-Communication-Technology-capability/Organising-elements/Organising-elements

Catholic Education Office Sandhurst. (2009). Cool tools for schools: Graduate induction. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/mackas/cool-web-20-tools-for-schools-getting-going-with-web-20

Classdojo.com,. (2014). ClassDojo. Retrieved from http://www.classdojo.com/about

Common Sense Media Inc., (2014). Story Jumper Website Review. Retrieved from http://www.graphite.org/website/storyjumper

International Society for Technology in Education (2007). ISTE Standards for Students. Retrieved from http://www.iste.org/STANDARDS

Kharbach, M. (2014). A Handy Guide to Everything Teachers Need to Know about Edmodo: Educational Technology and Mobile Learning. Educatorstechnology.com. Retrieved from http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2013/06/a-handy-guide-to-everything-teachers.html

Light, D., and Polin, D.K., Center for Children and Technology. (2010). Integrating Web 2.0 Tools into the Classroom: Changing the Culture of Learning (PDF). New York, NY: Education Department, Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Retrieved from http://cct.edc.org/sites/cct.edc.org/files/publications/Integrating%20Web2.0.PDF

Pegrum, M. (2009). From blogs to bombs: The future of digital technologies in education. Perth: UWA Publishing.

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Collaborative Project Using ICT – ETL411 Topic 2

Image Retrieved 2nd August 2014 from: http://www.coetail.com/stanleyaes/files/2013/10/teaching-with-technology.png

Image Retrieved 2nd August 2014 from: http://www.coetail.com/stanleyaes/files/2013/10/teaching-with-technology.png

Key Learning Area: HSIE, “Living in Communities” and English (Australian Curriculum)

Web 2.0 Tools and ICT Used

  • Email
  • EduBlog
  • Connected Classroom

Outcomes:

HSIE

CUS2.4 – Describes different viewpoints, ways of living, languages and belief systems in a variety of communities.

CUS2.3 – Explains how shared customs, practices, symbols, languages and traditions in communities contribute to Australian and community identities.

SSS2.7 – Describes how and why people and technologies interact to meet needs and explains the effects of these interactions on people and the environment.

 English

EN2-1A – Communicates in a range of informal and formal contexts by adopting a range of roles in groups, classroom, school and communities.

EN2-3A – Publishes text using digital technology.

Objectives:

  • Begin to develop a sense of empathy and commonality with people in other places.
  • Begin to consider feelings and points of views of others, both in their own community and the wider world.
  • Begin to recognise and respect the similarities and differences between people in different places.

Lesson

  • Show children a map of Australia. Explore and discuss the many different places around Australia.  Ask: What do you think these places/communities may be like? E.g. Think about people, culture, township, schools, entertainment, the original establishment, the current change and modernisation etc Have students discuss and share their ideas.
  • Explain that the students are going o become ‘pen pals’ with students from a remote part of Western NSW e.g. Goodooga. Students will email a question to those students in Goodooga asking them about their community e.g. “what does your school look like?” The students in Goodooga will also do the same. This will occur once a week for 5 weeks. Their task will be to then answer those questions. To do so, they will need to take photos and videos so that a deeper level of understanding and knowledge is formed. Then, using Edublog, students will upload their responses.
  • At the end of the 5-week period, both classes will meet through a connected classroom and share what they have learnt from one another.