Final Culminating Statement.

Before starting this course, I thought I was competent with the use of technology and confident in my skills. However, upon starting it, I have realised that there are different areas of technology which I wasn’t aware of and how to integrate it into a classroom setting. Technology was not a substitute or a tool that was used to replace pencil-to-paper learning. Instead, it was used to enhance learning.

From the first week, I learnt about websites which I wasn’t exposed to. This reinforced that previous knowledge about technology was of little to no help with integrating technology in a classroom setting. Our first activity was a mind-mapping activity created on bubbl.us, and I thought the concept was creative. “Skwirk” was a type of instructional learning software which contained games and information on different topic areas. This had made an impact on my previous mindset. Not only were these websites used to further learning abilities, but they engaged students in a fun environment which is what I hope to provide during practicum and in the future with my own classroom.

Although interactive whiteboards are something I have never used in the classroom, we had to learn the basics of how to create a notebook file and incorporate activities. Learning to operate the software for the second assessment was stressful but it was a great self-taught learning experience. Interactive whiteboards had many advantages to cater for a range of learners and was a great way to engage the students. I haven’t had any chances to use it while on practicum (refer to this post), but I hope to use it in the near future.

ePortfolios and blogging were not ideas I would first associate with primary school. Having never received an ePortfolio before and assuming that blogging was aimed more at high school and university students, I assumed that they would not be suitable for a primary level. I was proven wrong when I learned that my co-operating teacher is currently running a class blog, where students commented on each other’s posts and wrote their own. Any comments or posts were to be filtered out by the teacher to secure that all content that was visible was acceptable. This would be a great way to ensure that cyberspace isn’t used as a medium to harm others like in the scenario talked about in the tutorial. This also provided me with another level of teaching students, as this would assess their literacy abilities and peer-evaluation.

I have come to appreciate that students are becoming more tech-savvy, and online gaming is a great example of it. Although I had never imagined that online gaming would be considered educational, Matthew Kearney has changed my view on online gaming as it incorporates a variety of skills with fun and learning. The impact of technology has inspired me to use different technologies whether in daily life or in the classroom. Recently, I have begun to appreciate mobile app technologies for smartphones and tablets. In the last tutorial, we had to complete an orienteering activity, which allowed me to use my iPhone in an inventive way. This encouraged me to further my knowledge on what apps were available and how to apply these technologies to future lessons.

The implications for my approach to teaching is that I am more aware that technology enhances learning in all areas. It is always about the learning aspect instead of using technology to replace what is already available. My blogs are a mixture of what technologies are available and how it could affect or aid the learner’s understanding.

Post counts:

Type 1 (blue): 5

Type 2 (green): 4

Type 3 (orange): 7

References:

Barrett, H. (2010). Balancing the Two Faces of ePortfolios. Educação, Formação & Tecnologias, 3 (1), 6‐14.

Bassett, G. (2003). A school’s duty of care for students to whom it gives access to cyberspace: Data in (Content Regulation) and Data Out (Privacy). Retrieved from http://www.netsafe.org.nz/Doc_Library/netsafepapers_grahambassett_duty.pdf.

Hall, I. & Higgins, S. (2005). Primary school students’ perceptions of interactive whiteboards. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 21 (2), 102-117.

Higgins, S., Beauchamp, G. & Miller, D. (2007). Reviewing the literature on interactive whiteboards. Learning, Media and Technology, 32(3), 213-225.

Hodge, S., & Anderson, B. (2007). Teaching and learning with an interactive whiteboard: a teacher’s journey. Learning, Media & Technology32(3), 271-282.

Johnson, L., Smith, R., Willis, H., Levine, A., and Haywood, K., (2011). The 2011 Horizon Report. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium. Retrieved from http://www.nmc.org/pdf/2011-Horizon-Report.pdf.

McGrail, E. & Davis, A. (2011). The Influence of Classroom Blogging on Elementary Student Writing, Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 25(4), 415-437.

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