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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.