Connect.ed

As part of the learning path for my ICT and Pedagogy course, we were asked to complete four modules of work on the Connect.ed Cyber Safety website. I have to say that I really enjoyed it.

Since I am only 23, I did use technology throughout primary/high school, which is very fortunate as it helps me to draw on my own experiences as I consider students today and how I can help them as a teacher.

I think my favourite part of the website was actually the two simulations of a fake student (a 14 year old girl and 11 year old boy) on a made up social network and interacting with their “friends”. I few times I felt like rolling my eyes at the responses, but I had to try and put myself in their shoes and respond to their friends as I would at that age.

Kids today have so many little social nuances that it is really difficult to think what the “correct” answer would be- without getting someone angry or upset!

I also really liked the Hector’s World videos- they were really cute!

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ICTs Are Everywhere!

Like Christy, I have recently noticed just how much I use ICTs in my day-to-day life. Yes, there are the expected ICTs like social media sites, there’s also so many new ICTs I’ve been exposed to during my university career. Something I like to do is use a different type of program (or ICT) for each assignment I have to complete. Sometimes I have had to make a multimodal presentation (I think about three times now)- the first time I used Microsoft PowerPoint, something I’ve used a lot in my primary and high school career. For the next one, I tried using Sony Vegas (a video editing program).

This is only one small example of my exposure to ICTs. The sheer amount of ICTs out there on the “inter-webs” is astounding, and like Jocelyn mentions, the fact that YouTube and Google exist is a great way to find tutorials on how to use these programs/software’s/ICTs.

Do Memes Belong in the Classroom?

I recently found Kelsey’s post called Five Ways to Use Memes To Connect With Students. She raises an interesting point- it does provide a bit of a change to the students “usual” classroom. The post also links to an article entitled Five Ways To Use Memes To Connect With Students. I have to say, as a (fairly) young adult who uses social media apps like Facebook and Tumblr, I of course love a good meme (pun dog and Fry from Futurama being among my favourites), but should they really be used in the classroom?

I think it all boils down to how it is implemented and the dynamics of the classroom. If you have students who can’t look past the humour of the meme and are too raucous about it, then perhaps using memes to talk about class rules may not be the best idea. It can also be useful though, as some students may enjoy the use of familiar images to discuss class rules.

I also like the fact that the article has links to some printables that are ready to use!

Creativity – What is it?

I love the article What Makes People Creative? as it explores the aspects of a person that makes them creative by drawing on many pieces of literature. Creativity is something that is sort of, I guess, pushed back in schools, as we teachers tend to focus more on the academic side of learning (times tables, scientific concepts, and so on because of the assessments that students must compete), but we still need to remember that creativeness is still vital to students learning.

I have to say, I like this article over some others on creativity as it compiles a range of literature in one easy place!

Adjustments for ASD Students

I have just met my new mentor teacher for my EDP3333 course, and the class I have is Year 6. Apparently there are no students with special needs but I still like to research and develop ways to adjust learning for all students (this course asks us to differentiate learning for students). This link is to the Department of Education and Training page on Adjustments for students with an autism spectrum disorder. It lays out the adjustments that can be made in a very simple and easy way to follow, with the adjustments are sorted into either planning, teaching, assessment, reporting, environment, or resources.

Guy Claxton’s Magnificent Eight

This article talks about Guy Claxton (author of “What’s the Point of School”) and his top eight learner dispositions that encourage positive learning behaviours. He also notes that teachers need to create good relationships between themselves and the students. I agree whole-heartedly with this, as in my experience, if a students doesn’t respect and/or like you, they are less willing to collaborate with you in the learning environment.

How To Teach Growth Mindest

Lately, I’ve been really researching the Growth Mindset (made “famous” by Carol Dweck). I came across the 6 ways to teach growth mindset from day one of school article, which discusses six ways teachers can support student’s development and understanding of the Growth Mindset. The article also provides some resources (an app, books, and songs) on Growth Mindset.