COLLABORATIVE CLASSROOM

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Collaborative technology can be used to support student collaboration and provide interactive experiences. These digital tools are fun and engaging and also support 21st Century skills like collaboration, communication and creativity.

This technology provides an array of functionality in the classroom that support student collaboration. We can use traditional teaching approaches that enhances collaboration such as Jigsaw, Project -Based Learning, Groups Works, Think-Pair-Share integrated with collaborative technology such as Edmodo, Yammer or Wridea (to name a few) to provide greater opportunity for connectivity.

I found the following Youtube video captivating that shows how to create a collaborative classroom using technology – Naturally Smart.

 

The following articles that I came across in my research, identifies free online collaboration tools which could be useful in our classroom.

http://www.emergingedtech.com/2014/05/20-excellent-free-tools-for-interactive-collaboration-experiences-in-the-classroom/

http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2012/08/the-top-27-free-tools-to-collaborate.html

 

 

Personal Digital Devices Should Be Allowed In School

 

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Using digital devices in school or classroom is “inevitable” and so BYOD is preferable to the “lockdown” approach adopted by some schools — particularly in relation to mobile phones (Stavert, 2013).

Opportunity to use their own devise leads to increase engagement, motivation and initiation by students and they invest into their learning as it is the significant part of their life and use of it in school allows it to be integral to their learning lives as well.

It provides more personalized student-centered learning approach (Mellar, 2015 ) which allows students to have power over their own learning and become responsible for their own learning.

Allowing use of personal devices in school also extends the learning opportunity beyond the classroom and allows seamless learning opportunities that bridge the formal learning in schools with the informal learning outside of classroom and school.

At this point it is important to highlight that allowing students to use their own device provides opportunities for them to be part of the online world and get exposed to the many pitfalls of the online world.

For this reason students need to learn not only to keep themselves safe but to behave ethically as well. To address this issue, framework for digital citizenship is adopted by NSW DET which makes it imperative that teachers guide and prepare their students to be digital citizens. Another issue could be that some students get easily distracted and may use their device for applications other than learning such as social media sites. In such cases, it is important for the teacher to consider these issues during lesson planning so that they prepare lessons and use pedagogies that caters for the needs of all students and keeps them engaged throughout the lesson providing no opportunity for distraction.

Having said this, I believe that schools should be focusing on promoting responsible use of these devices, rather than banning them.

“You can’t stop students using the powerful computers in their pockets.”
 

References:

DEC NSW (2011). Digital Citizenship                                                                                          http://www.digitalcitizenship.nsw.edu.au/

Meller B. (2015). BYOD is shaping Education in the 21st Century               http://tech.co/byod-education-21st-century-2015-04

Stavert B. (2013), Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) in Schools, 2013 Literature Review

http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:5iq6KauHRTgJ:https://www.det.nsw.edu.au/policies/technology/computers/mobile-device/BYOD_2013_Literature_Review.pdf+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=au

 

LESSON PLANNING

 

A lesson plan is the instructor’s road map of what students need to learn and how it will be done effectively during the class time.lesson plan

To be effective, the lesson plan does not have to be an exhaustive document that describes each and every possible classroom scenario. Nor does it have to anticipate each and every student’s response or question. Instead, it should provide you with a general outline of your teaching goals, learning objectives, and means to accomplish them. It is a reminder of what you want to do and how you want to do it. A productive lesson is not one in which everything goes exactly as planned, but one in which both students and instructor learn from each other.

 

 

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TPACK FRAMEWORK

 

TPACK 2

Teaching with technology is a wicked problem.

   Wicked problems require creative solutions.

   And TEACHERS are designers of the total packages.”

                                                          Punya Mishra

 

 

An expert teacher of 21st century digital age would be those who can bring together knowledge of subject matter (content), what is good for learning (pedagogy), and technology (ICT). The combination is described as Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK).

This framework outlines that integrating technology into teaching is not simply adding ICT to traditional approaches, it depends upon deep knowledge of how ICT can be used to access and process subject matter (TCK) and understanding how ICT can support and enhance learning (TPK) in combination with PCK.

This knowledge of TPACK framework will enable me to weigh pros and cons of choosing technology resources for my content matter while developing my lesson after all I agree with Punya Mishra – “technology changes what we teach , how we teach and the context within which teaching and learning happens.

 

I would say I have just entered the TPACK zone of the framework as I am still learning but  I will be able to claim I am an Expert Teacher not before long.

 

 

Hacking By Students

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While protecting student’s online safety is a must, so is protecting school computers from malicious students.

Students hacking school databases to change grades, stealing computer passwords, infecting computers with key-stroke logging malware, accessing secure sections of school sites, posting pornography or hate content on school sites, or hijacking a school’s website – to name a few of administrator’s dilemmas.

And it is a reality schools across the country struggle with.  Just recently, 2 cases of hacking by students have highlighted news. In one case, students hacked into school system to change grades and in the other, students paid hackers to delete their absenteeism records from the system.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3281805/Three-students-charged-hacking-school-computer-change-grades-schedules.html

http://cphpost.dk/news/danish-students-hacked-into-school-computer-to-erase-absence-records.html

“Students are very, very tech-savvy.”  Martinez & Harper 2008.Staying ahead of would-be hackers is not a one-fix solution; it’s an ongoing process that periodically assesses new and existing threats and updates security practices.

Following measures can be taken to prevent hacking at school;

1. Ensure school computers have up-to-date security software installed, and that it automatically updates. Be sure firewalls are set, and enforce the use of  strong passwords.

2. Set the ground rules that outline what is (and isn’t) acceptable use of school computers, and make sure students and their parents are aware of both the rules and the consequences for hacking, harassment security breaches, or failing to adhere to the schools acceptable use policy. Talk about these standards periodically, not just during the first week of school.

3. Leverage content filtering technologies that help prevent students from seeking out inappropriate online content.

4. Use two networks – one for students, another for teachers and staff. This makes it harder for students to hack into sensitive information.

5. Teach internet safety and digital responsibility to help students develop a strong online ethic.

 

 

 

Reference

Martinez S. and Harper D, 2008,  Working with Tech-Savvy Kids

http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational_leadership/nov08/vol66/num03/Working_with_Tech-Savvy_Kids.aspx

 

 

Web- Based Learning Resources

 1.

ggogle app

(https://www.google.com/edu/products/productivity-tools/)

These communication and collaboration apps include Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Docs and Sites, and a GAFE account unlocks access to dozens of other collaborative tools supported by Google. All of these applications exists completely online (or in the cloud), meaning that all creations can be accessed from any device.

  1. Google Drive – to store all of the digital files and access them from any device in the world.
  2. Google Docs – can be used to create lab reports, storyboard and other documents that can be shared through icloud.
  3. Google Slide – to create great slideshows that can be collaborated on and shared.
  4. Google Forms – to collect data assess & monitor student progress.
  5. Google Sheets – to manipulate data and keep track of it
  6. Google Drawings – to create great visuals for projects and assignments.

 

 

2.

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http://socrative.com/

Smart student response system that allows the teacher to interact with the students – quizzes, games, exercises. Good for pre-assessment, collecting background knowledge & reflection. Socrative empowers you to engage and assess your students as learning happens. Through the use of real-time questioning, result aggregation, and visualization, you have instant insight into levels of understanding so you can use class time to better collaborate and grow as a community of learners.

Its available on iOS Apps, Android Apps, Chrome Apps, Kindle Apps, Windows Apps, and all web browsers making it accessible in all educational technology settings

 

3.

edmodo.jpg

http://www.edmodo.com/

 

Edmodo is a web-based platform that provides a safe and easy way for your class to connect and collaborate, share content, and access homework, grades and school notices. It is like Facebook but in a safe and controlled environment appropriate for school.

Heres why I will use it for my class

  1. Runs on all platform – Students can upload their work on any device, and I can view it and provide feedback regardless of my location and the smart device I am on. It doesn’t matter if the school is BYOD, or if the hardware is changed, all of the information will remain on Edmodo, despite our individual or school-based technology choices.
  2. Edmodo provides you with a secure environment where you can create a classroom group for your students. In this virtual group you can :
  • Place digital resources on edmodo for students to access or download,
  • Create polls for students to vote online.
  • Write short summaries of lessons for students who were absent from class (better yet: get your students to write the summary).
  • Post homework information.

These apps are highly effective, user-friendly, responsive and collaborative, the technology defintly enhances the learning process.

 

 

Using Web2.0 in Teaching

Web 2.0 tools provide the means to communicate, share, and present materials within the classroom and to the outside world. These tools are known to be effective for open-ended tasks (Cook & Harrison, 2008), and their ubiquitous availability encourages extended and enhanced learning. In a Web 2.0 world, there are continuous opportunities to share ideas, get feedback from others, expand on existing information, socialize, and collaborate. Thus, the use of these Web 2.0 applications reflects efforts to enhance the level of meaningfulness of information and content in the context of expanding students’ insights (Plough, 2008).

Three ways of using Web2.0 in teaching

  1. Digital Storytelling or presentation – digital story is a personal narrative that shows the authors reflection of a learning process. Using web application such as Animoto that produces videos using images and music selected by the user resulting in a professional quality video.
  2. Collaboration and network building – using Blogs –  creates collaborative learning space for teachers and students, allowing for discoveries, sharing ideas and discussing important topic.
  3. Storing and sharing information – using SlideShare (http://www.slideshare.net/): This  free online application lets users upload PowerPoint or Open Office presentation files and share them online. Power Point documents, or any office document, stored on the web with a permanent URL are a valuable resource. No need to email the file to recipients, or carry a copy around on a USB drive. This can be used by students to upload reports and assignments instead of submitting a hard copy.

Utilization of aspects of new technology, like Web 2.0, can provide the tools allowing for diverse approaches to education and makes constructivist approach to learning possible.

Reference:

  • Crook, C., & Harrison, C. (2008). Web 2.0 technologies for learning at key stages 3 and 4
  • Plough, C. (2008). Web 2.0 tools motivate student creativity. Tech and Learning.  retrieved from http://www.techlearning.com/ article/8534

 

 

Student Safety & Privacy in Cyber World

 

 

Ethical issues in Education Technology involves several different aspects, including proper “netiquette”, student safety and privacy, unauthorized access at school, and objectionable materials showing up at school. This is an important responsibility for teachers in the classroom that use technology. As teachers are encouraged to use technology in the classroom, cyber ethics should also be a part of the curriculum.

Student safety and privacy is one of the important aspects of cyber ethics that teachers are responsible for in the classroom.

NSW DET has implemented Digital Citizenship program into curriculum where every teacher who uses technology in classroom has the responsibility to educate their students how to be safe on cyber world.

Refer to NSW DET Policy on Online Communication Services: Acceptable Usage for School Students that defines the policy for school students of the NSW Department of Education and Communities for the appropriate and acceptable use of internet and online communication services provided by the Department.

https://www.det.nsw.edu.au/policies/general_man/general/accep_use/PD20020046.shtml?level

This document should be made accessible to all students. To ensure safety and privacy of students in my classroom, I will read and explain this document to my students in great detail so they are aware of the consequences, if they breech safety policies and also be aware of the actions they can take if they become victims of cybercrime.

 How to Deal with Cyberbullying

Discuss Cyberbullying: provide curriculum and pedagogy that supports students to develop an understanding of cyberbullying and its impact on individuals and the broader community.

Recognizing the Signs
Keep your finger on the emotional state of students. Does a student seem depressed? Withdrawn? Are his grades suddenly dropping? Advice students that you are concerned about them and wish to help, if they confide in you, ensure that they have done the right thing, if they don’t then ask other staff members for help.

Responding to an Incident

If you find out about cyberbullying incidents, pay close attention right after it happens. Encourage the target of cyberbullying  not to erase the evidence by immediately deleting the hurtful message from her wall or phone. Tell the student to take a screen shot to save it, and then share the information with an adult.

Most importantly respond in a timely manner to incidents of cyberbullying according to the school’s Anti-bullying Plan.

For more information for teachers, students and parents follow the following link;

https://esafety.gov.au/esafety-information/esafety-issues/cyberbullying/cyberbullying-information-for-teachers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Technology-integrated Science Classroom

 

A technology integrated, inquiry based and connected classroom is where teacher lectures less, and students explore more. Where learning is inquiry based, and students develop skills of investigating, communicating, collaborating and evaluating through technology and connectivism.

Technological tools used to achieve this science classroom can be:

  • Phone and tablets – to take pictures of slides or dissections which can be uploaded to the class wiki and become part of the class digital textbook. The beauty of this is that students who have missed the lab can refer to it.
  • Dataloggers are used to collect primary data in experimental conditions or during fieldwork visits.
  • Digital microscopes are used to provide magnification and the digital version allows the image to be projected immediately onto a large screen for viewing by the whole class. The image can be recorded for use in student reports or stored by the teacher as exemplary specimens.
  • Gel electrophoresis is used in biology to separate DNA and RNA fragments.
  • V-labs – submitting reports in the form of voicethreads or video
  • Google Docs – can also be used to create lab reports
  • Videos – such as Khan Academy videos, TED talks, and other informational videos- Youtube
  • Livescribe pencasts– is a digital version of your notes and audio come to life as an interactive document called a pencast. Pencast can be created that addresses the content of your lesson, which is interactive and also allows students to revisit lessons anytime, anywhere.
  •  Google Jockey – to facilitate interactive learning in classroom where  concept  can be facilitated by teacher and students are to Google information that are needed which can be sent to teacher using Class Moodle and then it can be uploaded to class wiki for sharing.
  • Create Glogsters – lets you create online multimedia posters. Combine all kinds of media on one page and create fantastic posters that really tell the story.
  • Create a digital product using a tool such as Prezi, Flip Snack, Empressr, Wix, My Brain Shark, or create a screencast, to name a few.

Instead of saying “submit your assignments” a teacher should say “publish your assignment and upload the link to Class Moodle”.

 

That’s the technology- integrated  science classroom.

 

Technology Integrated Planning Framework (TIP)

TIP is a model that aims to guide teachers in integrating technology into their lessons. (Roblyer & Doering, 2012)

The benefits of using technology in science teaching and learning include that technology “can engage student in ways not previously possible”! (MCEETYA), 2005). ICT supports student-centered investigation, and allows data collection and observation where fieldwork is not possible.

The challenges of integrating technology into lesson could be the incompetency of the teacher, lack of technical assistance and access to hardware, software and other resources.

Having said this, technology do not create improvement, its how the teacher utilizes technology, that is most crucial.

 

 

References:

  1. Roblyer, M.D. & Doering, A. H. (2012). Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching: Pearson New International Edition, 6th Edition. Pearson (Intl), 08/2013. VitalBook file.
  2. Ministerial Council on Education Employment Training and Youth Affairs (MCEETYA). (2005). Pedagogy Strategy – Learning in an Online World: Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs (Australia and New Zealand).

 

 

 

 

 

Connectivism – A learning Theory for Digital Age

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“In a network world, learning is a network forming process. Knowledge is a network product,” Dr. Siemens

 

I am quite fascinated and strongly agree with Dr. Siemens’s theory of Connectivism. While the original theories of learning attempt to explain the process of how one learns, connectivism concerns itself with what is being learned.

With the growth of technology, connectivism was developed in which teachers and, more importantly, learners can integrate and utilize technology that provide a two-way learning environment that is capable of equipping students with critical thinking, problem solving and global participation skills.

As Dr. Siemens stated that since technology has such profound effect on society’s ability to communicate and learn whether it’s through Facebook. Twitter, instegram, to name a few, learning should not be based on what we know but our ability to share that knowledge with each other (connect), build and improve.

It makes me think, so why not integrate technology into classroom when it’s a huge and essential part of our students life, why not take advantage of this fact and make changes in teaching practices so that instruction reaches students in their connected and social learning spaces that provides opportunities for them to develop skills of critical thinking, problem solving and global participation.

The teacher can still ensure that critical learning elements are achieved…while the links and connections are formed by the learners themselves” (Marhan, 2007).   With this shift comes open education in which students are permitted to create their own learning through blogs, wikis and other collaborative platforms, where boundaries are non-existent and content has no physical location. It is through connectivism “that individuals co-create knowledge in a global, networked environment” (Darrow, 2009).

Connectivism fits the present approach to learning and answers the question as to how learners connect information in the digital age.

 

 

References:

  • Darrow, S. (2009). Connectivism Learning Theory: Instructional Tools for College Courses.
  •  Marhan, A., (2007). Connectivism: Steps towards rethinking e-learning theory and practice.
  •  Siemens, G. (2005). Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age. International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning