INF530 Critical Reflection

As I sit and reflect on my thoughts on INF530 I began to revisit my notes I had taken early in the semester and in particular my first blog post. The exert below was taken from my original thoughts where I quoted Mark Prensky (Prensky, 2001) and his thoughts on digital natives.

It seems appropriate that I ended up using this quote and theme in my end digital essay as I came to wrap my head around some of the concepts within the course. Prensky’s views on digital natives in comparison to digital immigrants was a turning point in my beginning of my knowledge around our students and how they learn (Prensky, 2001). Through further reading I began to umpack my students and how they learnt and made the link with later modules around creativity and game based learning in an article entitled ‘Do They Really Think Differently? (Prensky & Berry, 2001). At points this semester I felt perplexed with the overwhelming nature of starting a new degree and taking all the information in while having no face to face conversations in the form of a tutorial. However, with time, I began to realise the discussions taking place in the form as blog posts, comments, tweets and discussion forums was just as rich.

Module two discussed knowledge flow and the information environment and was the content very new to me. As I discussed in my blog the taxonomies of learners took my back to my undergraduate degree in education. The comments on my blog allowed me to take my learning further as Julie suggested I take a look at Andrew Church’s Blooms Digital Taxonomy. The image below from Andrew Church (Church, n.d.) discussed the communication skills behind the taxonomy which could be used within my current context. I found connections when Church mentioned collaborating as a higher order communication skill and I made links as I completed my digital essay on capabilities and soft skills in the work environment. The content was starting to form a series of links in my mind.

Andrew Church – Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy

Module five discussed creativity and I once again made connections with the possibilities of using capabilities rather than outcomes which came through my current context at St Luke’s Catholic School Marsden Park and I placed the below thread on the discussion forum.

I brought my prior knowledge of creativity to what I had learnt through the module. As you can see from the topic discussions below the ability to discuss with others throughout the forum proved beneficial.

The way Samuel weaved his discussion, see screenshot above from the discussion forum, into creativity based on recent work from Jane Hunter (2018), allowed the conversation to have a new lens for myself. One in which I began to question how the inquiry cycle of learning could fit into allowing students to be creative. I enjoyed learning about creativity and education and found links with my other course subject for this semester INF541.

“Learning in a digital age requires practitioners who understand education imperatives in local and global settings, and who can demonstrate an agile response to novel technologies that may catalyse learning (Lindsey, 2018). The final module in the course INF530 summarised all my knowledge that I had learnt throughout the modules and allowed me to reflect.

The video above that highlighted the ‘Future of Learning’ by Mark Treadwell, summarised my thinking as I reflected on growth my throughout the course and my digital essay. Students live in a changing world and our school system needs to begin to reflect that. Students need to be able to collaborate, manage themselves, identify problems and have the ability to think and question to succeed in this world (Treadwell, 2017). These capabilities are beginning to be reflected in some aspects of education.

INF530 allowed for a foundational understanding of the connected world personally developing my understanding around communication, creativity and future learning tools.

Reference List:

Church, A. (n.d.). Bloom’s Digital Technology. Retrieved from http://edorigami.wikispaces.com/Bloom%27s%20Digital%20Taxonomy

Hunter, J. (2018). Technology integration and high possibility classrooms: building from TPACK. New York Routledge.

Lindsey, J. (2018) Concepts and Practices for a digital Age. In Reimagining education in the digital age. [INF530 Modules: Topic 5] Retrieved from Charles Sturt University website: https://interact2.csu.edu.au/webapps/blackboard/content/listContent.jsp?course_id=_34205_1&content_id=_1975594_1&mode=reset

Prensky, M. (2001). Digital natives, digital immigrants part 1. On the horizon, 9(5), 1-6.

Prensky, M., & Berry, B. D. (2001). Do they really think differently. On the horizon, 9(6), 1-9.

Treadwell, M. (2017) The Future of Learning. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t64KgFZcTmc

Digital Essay Proposal

The Proposal

  1. Proposal topic

 

‘How do we as teachers, prepare students to engage in a digital world, by leveraging evolving tools?’

 

  1. Proposed digital tools and/or spaces to be used

 

I propose to use google sites as my base for my digital essay. Within this tool I intend to branch out and use a range of tools to not only enhance my essay but to model the evolving tools that are available to our students to prepare them for the digital world. I was very interested to hear about adobe spark and therefore want to endeavour to use this for some aspect of my presentation.

 

  1. 250 word rationale for topic focus for the multi-modal essay

 

After delving into module 6, a little earlier then scheduled, I was drawn to the future of education and how my current context in a pre to post school environment supports students. My initial proposal was

‘How do we as teachers, prepare students for the futures of learning, using information sources, tools and an understanding of the communities of learners?’

However, I was a little concerned the topic is too broad. After posting the topic into the forum and receiving feedback from Sam and Julie I refined my topic to my final proposal of ‘How do we as teachers, prepare students to engage in a digital world, by leveraging evolving tools?’ I originally included the word technologies instead of tools but on further reading I settled on tools. This topic will allow me to utilise my current contextual knowledge while delving deeper into how tools can support students. Early in the modules I came across the term ‘digital natives’ and the term has really resonated with me throughout the modules. By including a focus on students engaging in a digital world I will be able to explore how we can foster this knowledge in students and push them beyond the realms they currently know.

 

I am excited to use my own knowledge base and professional experience to enhance my knowledge on digital tools which can be used to engage students in a digital world.

Blog Task #2 – taxonomy of learning in knowledge networks

When I clicked through to the link of Bloom’s Taxonomy suddenly puzzle pieces of information came back to me of an undergraduate degree in education. Krathwohl described Blooms as a means to classify learning objectives, activities and assessments in a clear and concise manner (Krathwohl, 2002). As a teacher you always want the best for your students and a way of achieving that was always trying to reach those levels of higher order thinking. Does this still exist in a schooling system of digital natives? What needs to be updated in 2018 to provide a more non-linear system of stepping stones towards higher order thinking?

Iowa State University has developed website dedicated to the unpacking of Bloom’s taxonomy with interactive graphics and in depth articles. See Image Below. As I clicked my way through while expanding my reading I came across a statement that read, “representation of the knowledge dimension as a number of discrete steps can be a bit misleading” (IOWA State University, 2018). Something about this statement stuck with me because in a changing world and the rapid expansion of technology daily, how can we have a linear step process to the way in which students should be encouraged to think and learn? 

I pondered as I continue and thought about a student within my classroom. As an example imagine a student really loves sharks and decides they are going to create an interactive book using book creator. The student would like the book to have videos, questions and information. It will be a text that informs the reader. My learning objective is set for the class based on Bloom’s to reach the create step and students will type the information into their book creator book as part of the english program. The student however only knows how to list information. Does this mean they are only simply remembering? So with the help of technology we embed a video that is in child friendly language that the student understands but can’t yet articulate using their own words. Straight away a student who can only remember information to list is also creating. Both part of Bloom’s Taxonomy at vastly different ends of the scale. Huitt discussed this towards the end of his article stating students can “know” about a topic on “many different ways and different levels” (Huitt, 2011). Is this enough to say that students access information in different ways? Or should we be thinking of different ways to integrate higher order thinking into our classrooms?

I found this video as I went in search of something more relevant for students today (Mostafa, 2016). I thought it was a good representation of taxonomies applied to a different situation. How can we as educators make learning taxonomies more relevant to today’s learners? Are they still relevant? The questions that could be asked are endless and as students learning becomes less linear students need to be able to achieve higher order thinking at any given time.

I feel this blog post left me with more questions than answers as I delved down the rabbit hole to try and form so understanding of how learning taxonomoies can be applied into a changing classroom dynamic. I’d love to hear your thoughts on how they can fit as a missing puzzle piece.

References

Huitt, W. (2011). Bloom et al.’s taxonomy of the cognitive domain. Educational Psychology Interactive. Valdosta, GA: Valdosta State University. Retrieved [date], from http://www.edpsycinteractive.org/topics/cognition/bloom.html

Iowa State University. (2018) Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy. Retrieved from http://www.celt.iastate.edu/teaching/effective-teaching-practices/revised-blooms-taxonomy

Krathwohl, D. R. (2002). A Revision of Bloom’s Taxonomy: An Overview. Theory into Practice, 41(4), 212-218. doi:10.1207/s15430421tip4104_2

Mostafa, J. (2016, January 3) Blooms Taxonomy: Inside Out [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G40ANGIDGcw

Into The Deep

My first post. My first leap into the deep. I’m Angela Ryall and I’m a stage one teacher at a school in Western Sydney. I knew I wanted to be a teacher from very early on and this is a little bit of my journey…

What’s my context?

Before teaching I took a gap year and I worked in a school in England. It was there I fell in love with the profession and decided it was for me. Fast forward a couple of years and here I am.

I’m currently teaching Stage One at a next generation school which has a vision of doing things differently. Instead of key learning areas our school is focused on pillars of learning which are based on the general capabilities. The aim being to develop students who are ready to solve any problem of the future not merely “jobs of the future.” We, as a staff team, don’t have all the answers, we are learning together and also failing together. If you would like to follow the journey you can find the school at @stlukesmp

So where does the digital age fit in?

I’ve been fortunate enough to work in schools that are very well equipped for the digital age. In my current position one of our pillars is to ensure our students are “digitally literate.” What does that entail? Well digital citizenship is at the core which was thought provoking when reading the article on digital natives by Marc Prensky (2001) through the module. The term digital native really appealed to me as I wrapped my head around my students and where they will be at the end of their 15 year learning journey. How can we teach students that they have a digital footprint when a parent may have already created a footprint for them from the day of their birth?  These students will be on the internet more than they will ever read a book and personally I found this was highlighted well in Prensky’s article.

My personal aims

I came into the course open minded with an understanding that teachers need to be learners themselves. Already I’ve gained an understanding of digital repositories and how they are forming an integral part of our lives. I hope to form a clear link between my current context and how I can create personalised learning journeys through digital means for each child. What does that look like? I’m not exactly sure yet! How does that fit in the early years with a focus on literacy and numeracy? I’m not sure on that yet either!

What challenges are you hoping to meet?

I’m hoping the juggle of full time work and fitting study in is successful and that I meet my own personal challenge of continuing to grow and learn in my teaching journey. Personally, I’m challenged to understand the differences between schooling contexts. How can one school have access to robotics equipment while another has access to 5 desktops computer in an IT room? What steps can even put in place so every child has the opportunity to be digitally literate in our changing world? Additionally, and perhaps why I have chosen the book I have, I am challenged by the fact we place six and seven year olds in learning spaces with little play based learning. How can we change our teaching and learn through play?

Angela

Prensky, M. (2001) Digital natives, digital immigrants 

http://www.marcprensky.com/writing/Prensky%20-%20Digital%20Natives,%20Digital%20Immigrants%20-%20Part1.pdf