At EdTechSA 2015 I presented a workshop on the journey my class and I have taken as we went about creating our class blog. As part of this workshop I created this prezi which I am more than happy to share.
Watch this space for the sketchnote of the discussion we had about interesting elements of a class blog.
In term 2 of 2014, I had the pleasure of working on a new concept with the year 2/3 class that I teach as part of my role as ICT specialist at Modbury West School.
This was the concept of branching. Branching is defined in the Australian Curriculum as:
Branching occurs when an algorithm makes a choice to do one of two or more actions depending on sets of conditions and the data provided.
Now this might sound rather dry and boring, but the way we approached this new concept was very engaging and my students now have a solid grasp of some basic concepts covered in the Digital Technologies curriculum and how they can be applied in the tasks we undertook.
This is the unit planner that was developed for the “Choose Your Own Adventure” topic
My example of a ‘Fairy Tale’ algorithm
My example of a ‘Fairy Tale’ branching algorithm
My example of a CYOA fairy tale: The Three Little Pigs
I have been asked to present to the first year pre-service teachers who are visiting our school at the moment. When I asked our AP what they would like me to present on about ICT, I was told to tell them about what I do.
This posed the question, what is it that I do?
How have I learnt (and continue to learn) what I know about ICT?
I have put my thoughts on this into a prezi about Educational Technologies and it has been an interesting experience pulling together all of the different facets that make up this area I am so passionate about.
I have decided to work with Pinterest as my main curation tool at the moment simply because I love the visual nature of this tool. I can organise the links I have into easy to understand categories and arrange these boards in the format I want them to be. Best of all I can see at a glance what links I have filed and Pinterest even tries to remember if I have already saved that link before!
So what is Pinterest
According to Pinterest itself it is
visual bookmarks for good stuff you find anywhere around the web or right on Pinterest.
Pinterest is a place to discover ideas for all your projects and interests, hand-picked by people like you
The main benefits that I see for Pinterest are:
- saving links in an organised and visual way
- following people of similar interests
- having access to links that have already been tried and tested
Here is a link to a great website I found that has lots of ideas for educators who are starting out on Pinterest
Our goals for today are:
- Setting up a Pinterest account (here’s a handy tutorial if you get stuck)
- finding people to follow (you can start with me if you want – Jacqui Knipe)
- learning how to search pinterest
- learning how to pin from the web/uploads
Whilst I intend to post in a lot more detail about what I learnt at ISTE2013 in San Antonio, I am going to start with a brief overview that I am also sharing with my staff about the main “takeaways” I had from this experience.
So where to now…
Lots and lots of resources to check out!
- First and foremost the must see video from the conference is the final speaker, Adam Bellow and his keynote entitled You’re Invited to Change the World. It was a very moving and inspirational keynote and I feel very privileged to have been in the room to witness it and to meet Adam throughout the conference. If you weren’t there though it is well worth the watch.
- The Ignite Sessions that happened before the opening keynote were fantastic – 10 speakers with only 5 minutes each to present their ideas. It was fast paced and full of great ideas!
- ISTE also have a great YouTube playlist that showcases a wide range of presentations on topics from iPads, Digital Image, BYOD, Storytelling and much more. I know I will be going back here to view some things I wanted to see but just couldn’t get to.
Her website can be found here
Her Twitter account is here
See some of the games she has worked on here
His website can be found here
His Twitter account is here
Adam Bellow’s Educational Tech Commandments
His eduTecher website can be found here
His Twitter account is here
My earliest email newsletters from Kathy date back to the early 2000’s and she was one of the first education technology gurus that I followed. That is why it was such a thrill to meet her at ISTE and to see that, all these years on, she is still sharing fantastic resources to a wide audience.
Kathy Schrock’s iPads4Teaching resources
Kathy’s Website http://www.schrockguide.net/
Another website with resources for iPads
The One iPad Classroom by Jennifer Bond
Other People’s ISTE Resources
While I haven’t necessarily had the time to go through all these resources myself – here is a whole host of resources tweeted out by other educators during the conference that cover a wide range of topics. A miscellaneous treasure trove of resources just waiting to be explored!
On my day off in San Antonio, while I was attending ISTE, I was really looking forward to visiting SeaWorld. I had seen my husband’s photos from his visit the previous year to San Francisco and I couldn’t wait to experience the amazing orcas. Through the power of the internet, I had spent time researching how I was going to get to SeaWorld and what I was going to do to make the best of my time there and I was very excited to be going there.
After a long bus ride, which was made rather pleasant by the great free WiFi on the bus, I was finally at SeaWorld.
I excitedly made my way to the huge Shamu Stadium with many, many other people and followed my husband’s advice of not sitting anywhere in the splash zone if I wanted the camera to keep on working for the rest of my trip!
The show began and it was truly amazing to watch these beautiful creatures move so gracefully through the air and water. I loved watching them swim close to the glass so I could observe so clearly how they were moving.
But this was where my admiration of SeaWorld ended. What was really disappointing for me, and for the whole premise of SeaWorld was that this show was purely about watching these amazing animals perform tricks. There were absolutely no learning opportunities available, no explanation of why the animals might exhibit these behaviours in the wild or how they had trained them to “perform” these tricks.
The saddest testament to this is that when I returned to my school and was sharing my overseas experiences with my students, I wasn’t actually able to answer any of their questions about these creatures. I had experienced their show (twice in the one day in fact!) and didn’t actually know anything about them outside of the knowledge I brought with me.
I worry that educational technologies and education in general could go down this path though. That we are so in awe of the amazing things we can do, that we forget to go deeper and actually develop a greater understanding of what we are actually learning about and acquire the skills that allow us to continue to develop our learning. I would hate to see my students only learning amazing tricks that allow them to put on a show – I would much rather see the deeper, richer learning that only comes once the gloss is stripped away and the messier undertaking of real learning takes place.
I definitely don’t want to be a SeaWorld educator!