Response to peer marking

My response….

My group members Abby Casey and Tina Phizacklea have provided me with some helpful and constructive feedback on improving my blog page. Abby has provided me with detailed comments on where my errors in grammar, spelling, and in text referencing occurred in conjunction to pointing out what other information I should add to each of my blog entries (week’s 3-8). The rubric is also marked according to what I have completed and what I lack in, this effective feedback provides me with an opportunity to change what is lacking by adding to my entries. Abby has also provided me with some useful links to information which will further improve my knowledge on digital pedagogy and its associated theories. I agree with the errors that Abby has pointed out, as I failed to initially pick up on them.

Tina also made some good points on punctuation and in text referencing, which has proved to be extremely helpful, as she has provided me with some pointers on correct in text referencing and my errors in punctuation. After receiving this feedback, I went over every blog entry and ensured all the errors were dealt with and checked over my end reference list. The peer review weeks have been an excellent advantage to myself and other students, as it provides us with a second chance to further improve our assessments and to practice using a rubric to mark other blogs.

FEEDBACK FROM TINA

Blog_Rubric_Peer_Marking for Lyakout Sonia Sullivan(4)

Week 8…

Lifelong learning..

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As soon as I completed my high school certificate, I began to seek different pathways towards a higher education, since I wanted to choose a profession that I was passionate about. This led me to choose a degree in education. By choosing this degree I can dedicate my life to helping students become fruitful members of society whilst pursuing my own passion for education by continually improving myself through professional development and developing myself as an educator.

This week we discussed lifelong learning in the digital age. The Life Long Learning Council Queensland Inc (2014) defines lifelong learning as an individual pursuing learning throughout life, this type of learning occurs after formal education. I can personally relate to this, as I have many hobbies and projects that I work on throughout the year to satisfy my lifelong learning and my inner self needs, I also find myself planning further degrees after I complete this one. The Life Long Learning Council Queensland Inc (2014) also states that lifelong learning is more flexible and unique then what formal education is. I agree with this definition and believe that lifelong learning, other than formal curriculum content, should be introduced to students throughout their schooling by opening up more vocational education opportunities in conjunction to more out of the square subjects as well. This would serve not only to encourage active learning through schooling but to also better enable students to be active members of the local community.

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As educators it is our role to incorporate digital technologies into our classrooms, we must also introduce and develop our fluency in digital literacy. This aims to encourage rich effective learning in digital technologies, which will guarantee lifelong learning opportunities for future students. It is also evident that the education system of today is no longer focusing solely on achieving curricular outcomes, as the workforce expects to have students who are lifelong learners. Due to this change, the education system is pushing towards an emphasis on developing students as lifelong learners (Howell, 2012).

Weekly Task – The Earth Day Network PowerPoint.

Earth Day Network pp

References 

Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT :Digital Pedagogies for collaboration and creativity. South Melbourne, Australia: Oxford University Press.

Life Long Learning Council Queensland Inc. (2014). What is life long learning? Retrieved from http://www.llcq.org.au/default.asp

SearchQuotes. (n.d.).Live [Image]. Retrieved from http://www.searchquotes.com/Ejaz_D_RoxTaR/quotes/on/Lifelong_Learning

Leisure Courses.net. (n.d.). Lifelong Learning [Image]. Retrieved from http://www.leisurecourses.net/lifelong-learning/

Week 7 – Gaming and its possible use in learning and teaching

Gaming and its possible use in learning and teaching

This week students are asked to familiarize with Sploder, a gaming website that has many members from around the world who have created a vast array of cool games and activities.  My initial thoughts when I was reading about this task was that gaming was for enjoyment or for individuals who are gaming enthusiasts, a topic that I have little interest in. Still, I decided to leap into it. I watched various instructional videos, which provided me with a basic knowledge of Sploder. I then entered the online Sploder program and began creating my game, it was not a difficult task and I actually found it quite enjoyable. At the end of the task I created a level 1 Sploder game with multiple obstacles.

wordle

After reflecting on my Sploder game I acknowledged one of my weaknesses in this task is that I have not mastered how to create level two and link level one and two together, thus for future improvement I must delve into deeper research so that I may understand and master how to create different levels and different difficulty levels of the game, this will enable me to better differentiate for my classroom and prove useful for my future teaching.

Upon study of the unit readings, I learnt and reflected on how gaming can a very useful tool in the classroom if planned carefully to relate to class material, introducing appropriate gaming can allow students to gain deeper understanding of educational application. For example racing games are a useful tool to teach students the concept of probability, distance and speed (Howell, 2012). Gaming can also increase self confidence and independent working skills amongst students, if a student is to increase in levels in a game or achievement of a goal, then a student will receive instant feedback, such as a reward or bonus points. This also teaches students to understand the importance of meeting deadlines or targets as well as gaining insight into how to organise time and knowledge obtained from the level before to suit the deadline and the target. The knowledge and skills students learn and develop from gaming is essential, as it provides them with the necessary skills for tasks with a time limit  (tests).

The learning process associated with gaming is closely related to Constructive process in learning, whereby children are not passively absorbing all information but are enthusiastically creating knowledge and skills. This theory also focuses on how children construct their own knowledge instead of another constructing it for them (McDevitt et al., 2013). Constructive process in learning is also related to the topic of gaming, as children work independently or together through gaming tasks in the classrooms to construct their own knowledge of different tasks and develop skills in order to improve when met with new challenges and reach a target or goal.

URL to my game Strange World game http://www.sploder.com/publish.php?s=d004bpvo

References 

Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT :Digital Pedagogies for collaboration and creativity. South Melbourne, Australia: Oxford University Press.

McDevitt, T., Ormrod, J., Cupit, G., Chandler, M., & Aloa, V. (2013). Child development and Education. French Forest, NSW: Pearson Australia.

Play time educational toys. (2014). Combining the worlds of gaming and education [Image]. Retrieved from http://www.playtimeeducationaltoys.com/2012/04/04/kids-educational-games/

Week 6- Scratch animation

This week students were asked to watch an instructional video on animation making. My initial thoughts on the topic were that animation making was some type of gaming or game creating software and that it is just for fun. However when I began to play and use the scratch video I found it quite perplexing. Frustratedly, I decided to utilize YouTube as much as possible to educate and familiarize myself with the online program. I also searched the Google to find some helpful tips on how to use the codes in order to make my animation work more smoothly.

I ensured to watch the suggested video on the student Blackboard, and after familiarizing myself with the scratch website, I decided to view other students animations and study some of the codes that these students had used. After viewing what the other students used for their video codes, I had a clearer idea of how to make my sprite’s move and perform miscellaneous actions. Once I learnt how to move and control my main sprite, I added 7 more sprites and I followed the same procedure to move them around the scene. I found the scratch website quiet difficult and glitchy, even after obtaining background information on how to use the site, I still struggled. This was exacerbated due to my slow internet speeds. The main reason I found this site difficult is due to having to use the website’s codes to animate the sprites and my limited knowledge of them.

Despite all the difficulties I have had, my initial thoughts have changed after using this program as I believe this program is a useful resource in teaching and learning for all ages. Firstly I believe it is a great way get students to become more familiar with other technologies such as YouTube and the Google database. The Scratch website also has an online educators community, which has 7500 members sharing ideas, exchanging ideas and discussions on educational use of scratch (Scratch day, 2014). Another reason the site is a useful tool in learning and teaching is that it provides teacher’s with a visual program to demonstrate or express mathematical concepts and the animation approach is suitable for visual and read/write learning styles. The program also provides students with an opportunity to design their own animation, be creative and familiarize themselves different technologies. This approach is related to Connectivism theory, which states that knowledge can be expressed and accessed through other online users who are  participating in shared activities. Connectivism also states that knowledge exists around us rather than just in our heads (Howell, 2012). When thinking about ethical or physical consideration for the classroom, I believe there are no major issues for concern as the program is family friendly and presents no harm with the supervision of a teacher or parent.

URL to scratch animation created; http://scratch.mit.edu/projects/29641054/

References 

Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT :Digital Pedagogies for collaboration and creativity. South Melbourne, Australia: Oxford University Press.

Lifelong Kindergarten Group at MIT Media Lab. (n.d). About Scratched for educators. Retrieved from http://scratch.mit.edu/educators/

Scratch Day. (2014). Scratch Day [Image]. Retrieved  from http://day.scratch.mit.edu/resources

Week 5- Using Pinterest

Hello readers,

This week students were asked to create a Pinterest account, by first watching a YouTube video on how to use this website, then creating a board that illustrates the digital information educators come across. Pinterest is an online community that consists of ideas for a large variety of projects and hobbies. These ideas are picked by other Pinterest users and displayed for their viewers. My initial thoughts on Pinterest were that the site was only useful for users with hobbies. The Pinterest board I created aims to reflect all the different types of digital information we encounter. After the Pinterest board is completed, students are then required to post their Pinterest board URL on the discussion board for another student to mark using a specific rubric available to students.

I started my Pinterest board ‘Digital Teaching Resources’ by searching for different things in the Pinterest site. Firstly I tried the word ‘digital’, but I only received images and ideas on the latest and greatest technologies. This was intriguing and fun to view, however I was not achieving the result I wanted for my board. I then began to search using multiple keywords such as ‘technology and classrooms’, which provided the information I was looking for. with this I began pinning the relevant ideas and adding this information to my board in order to form a collection for this week’s task.

Personally I have never utilised Pinterest yet I did not find this task that challenging. I did however find this task time-consuming, since even when my search fields where correct there was still a copious amount of pins to sort through before I could find the relevant pin I desired.

According to blog editor Susan Wells (2012) Pinterest has become extremely popular amongst educators, not only is it an easy to navigate site, but it provides a social network for teachers to collaborate, share ideas and ask questions. Wells (2012) also suggests that Pinterest be utilised in the classroom, and that teachers should do this by using Pinterest to retrieve nifty activities, crafts and assignment ideas to enhance the learning process, student engagement and motivation. As an educator I believe strongly that Pinterest can be used as an appropriate learning tool, as it is closely related to the Computer-supported collaborative learning theory. This complex theory states that learning can also occur via social interaction through the use of online technology or software, and the learning that occurs is composed through the sharing and construction of knowledge with others (Howell, 2012).

Marked Pinterest…

My Pinterest was marked by one student who expressed that I needed to improve on adding more pins about TED TALKS and more pins on how to incorporate technology into teaching. These specific pins provides important and useful information on this digital technology and teaching. I have decided to keep my Pinterest board for future use, as I am sure that it will provide me with useful resources and excellent ideas, not only in relation to teaching and technology incorporation, but also for my own hobbies. Pinterest helps to build and develop not only my knowledge of technology but also improves my digital pedagogy (Howell, 2012). Pinterest will also keep me up to date with the newest technologies and software’s, simultaneously assisting me in the classroom with group assignments and activities.

The URL to my Pinterest http://www.pinterest.com/lyakouts/digital-teaching-resources/

References

Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT :Digital Pedagogies for collaboration and creativity. South Melbourne, Australia: Oxford University Press.

inmanNEWS. (2013). Pinterest logo [image]. Retrieved from http://www.inman.com/next/4-tips-for-driving-traffic-with-pinterest/

inhabitat design will save the world. (2012). Inhabitat On Pinterest [image]. Retrieved from http://inhabitat.com/inhabitat-on-pinterest-follow-us-for-more-eco-goodness-inspiration/

Wells, S. (2012, September 17) How Teachers and Educators Can Use Pinterest as a Resource in and out of the Classroom. [Web Blog post]. Retreived from http://www.stevespanglerscience.com/blog/education-today/how-teachers-and-educators-can-use-pinterest-as-a-resource-in-and-out-of-the-classroom/

Week 4- Infograph and Wordle

 Digital divide 

This week students are asked to create an Infograph and Wordle on the topic digital divide. When I ponder and reflect on the topic, I automatically think of what technology parents/carers can afford to provide to their siblings and what is available at schools to their students. To create the infograph below, I had to ensure I was equipped with all the information on the topic as well as how I could best use the Piktochart infograph tool and the Wordle website. After spending some time fiddling around with the Wordle website, I grew in my understanding of how to use it and customise it to my individual needs. I also had to research how to put a Wordle piece into my Infograph and I did this by watching YouTube videos and reading online forums. When comparing my Infograph to other students on the Blackboard discussion, I noticed some students had forgotten to insert their Wordle into their post and some students failed to create the Infograph as more of a visual piece then a textual piece, however I did see some Infograph’s which were of a high standard. My initial thoughts on Infographs was that they are primarily used for assessments and advertising, however after completing this week’s task and reading through the Blackboard material, my opinions and views on Infographs has changed. I have learnt that Inforgraphs are practical and valuable for educators as they provide a tool to present information in a colourful and visual way in conjunction to being a useful tool for students to use for revision or to create different tasks completely.

The digital divide between what is available at home and what is available at school is a major issue for today’s technologically advanced society. Margaret Rouse (2014) defines digital divide as the gap between demographics that have no access to communication technology or digital information and those that have access to these technologies. According to Jennifer Howell (2012) children today are born into a digital world (they are digital natives), unfortunately its an unequal digital world, where not every child will have access to or be able to afford the same technologies as other students. As educators we can close this gap that has been created, this is achieved by;

  • Incorporating appropriate technologies into everyday lessons.
  • Educating students on specific software’s helps them to engage in their learning journey and motivates them to take action as well as control for their own learning.
  • Involving family members in learning new technologies and software’s.

We will now move onto using Piktochart and Wordle within the classroom. Utilising Piktochart is not only appealing to the eye, but it is easy to demonstrate ideas, concepts and information to students digitally. Educators can also use Piktocharts as group assessment tools in the classroom instead of other presentation software such as Power Point. Piktochart also allows one to express ideas on certain topics without having paragraphs of writing, a good example is shown below (Natalija, 2014).

This weeks task- My Piktochart.

 Digital Divide

 To conclude this weeks blog, I plan to improve my ability in using the Piktochart program. I will do this by viewing videos and researching websites to further enhance my Infographing ability, thus becoming more visually engaging and better structuring my information.

References

Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT Digital Pedagogies for Collaboration and Creativity. South Melbourne, Australia: Oxford University Press

Natalija, S. (2014). Back to school:Teacher Talks about Using Infographs in the classroom. Retrieved from http://piktochart.com/teacher-talks-infographics-in-classroom

Rouse,M. (2014). Definition digital divide. Retrieved from http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/digital-divide

Week 3 – Social networking site Facebook

Is Facebook good or bad?

This I will be discussing both the positives and negatives of the social networking site Facebook. I have personally been the victim of cyber bullying and online abuse, a terrible experience that I would wish upon nobody. On the flip side, Facebook has also brought me closer to friends and family, both locally and internationally, whom I would have lost contact with. Facebook also allows me to get advice from other users, it assists me in event management, keeps me informed about new products, helps me to promote my husbands band and keeps my photographs ‘safe’.  Facebook is also really easy and fun to use, however, it has also been a source of procrastination and boredom throughout my education.

I have chosen to concentrate on Facebook’s negatives and positives. The article Is Facebook Making Us Antisocial (2013) highlights the real life friendships that are destroyed by the nature of Facebook, conversely, the article also discusses lost friendships, which have been reunited by Facebook. Joseph Grenny discusses the manner in which society presents itself on Facebook in comparison to real life and the negative effect its having on people’s lives. Another major issue highlighted in the article is the prevalence of online bullying and cyber abuse, which is occurring everyday. This issue is affecting people all around the world and has created division within communities (Grenny, 2013).

On the up side,  Facebook is incredibly helpful. For example, online study or social groups such as the one I have joined for some of my units have helped me tremendously, not only to gain insight academically, but to connect with people from my course. This type of social networking can be fun, useful and can help to create new friendships.

Social media can be abused by some and its effects are widespread and witnessed by many. The issue of online abuse can be avoided by using appropriate language and online communication skills, which can help to avoid conflict and save heartbreak.

The Facebook site has its positives of bringing old friends, new friends and family together or keeping in touch (Grenny, 2013). Another great thing about Facebook is, it allows users to become or create groups which have a similar interest or hobbies. Another positive is that we can use social networking as an effective tool in our classrooms to motivate and engage students; though we must be careful in both our planning and implementation of such tools, by avoiding explicit and inappropriate content as well as ensuring that it has direct correlation with the curriculum and learning outcomes for the lesson (Howell, 2012).

Facebook also helps many students connect and learn with each other. Many schools have made a Facebook group page for students to interact and share ideas on education as well as allowing students to work collaboratively on assignments. Another reason to introduce and use social networking websites such as Facebook in a classroom is to encourage and educate students on how to be responsible, use appropriate communication skills as well as effectively enabling students to become more digitally fluent, thereby using social media to the students educational advantage (Howell, 2012).

The major learning theory which relates and explains the way social media can be a useful tool in learning is Albert Bandura’s Social Learning Theory (2014). The social learning theory explains that learning occurs socially through observing others, which allows the observer to develop and obtain information. This theory also explains how individuals imitate what they observe through social interaction, this directly relates to the appropriate usage of Facebook and similar social networking sites, as social networking is influential when used appropriately (Cherry, 2014). To conclude, Facebook can be used for good, it is up to us as educators and role models to ensure students are aware of the possible dangers of Facebook as well as the advantages, disadvantages and misconceptions the site offers.

References

Cherry, K. (2014). Social Learning Theory. Retrieved from http://psychology.about.com/od/developmentalpsychology/a/sociallearning.htm

Grenny, J. (2012). Is Facebook Making Us Antisocial. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/josephgrenny/2013/05/07/is-facebook-making-us-antisocial/

Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT :Digital Pedagogies for collaboration and creativity. South Melbourne, Australia: Oxford University Press.