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EDC3100 Assignment 1 - What and Why of ICTs

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Jess Stone

on 31 March 2013

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Transcript of EDC3100 Assignment 1 - What and Why of ICTs

Foundation Reason and example #1 Reason and example #3 Reason and Example #4 Conclusion Reason and example #2 Classroom context:
Year 4/5 composite class with approximately 6% Indigeous students and 22% ESL students
Students put into composite class are typically achieving above the standard for their year level with few behavioural issues
No identified learning difficulties or disabilities and students are generally engaged and eager to learn
Low-middle socio-educational status - ranked as 922/1000 on MySchool with 43% of students coming from the bottom quarter of the model (http://www.myschool.edu.au/; 2013)
Metropolitan Queensland State Primary School
Limited resources available: IWB, 1 hour computer lab lesson per week, 4 computers in classroom, CD player, and 4 digital cameras
Performed significantly below average across the range of NAPLAN Literacy and Numeracy tests in 2012 as reported by MySchool Why? #1
The integration of ICTs in this context allows students to learn at their own pace and to differentiate their learning based on their individual learning needs and interests within a target content area (Croser & Bridge, 2012). Within the context of this class, as a composite class with learners at different levels, this allows students to differentiate their learning from their peers' learning and to work at their own pace. It also means that the teacher does not have the same pressure to plan two separate lessons on the same topic, at least to the same extent as would be required if students' learning was entirely dependent on the formal classroom teaching, leaving the teacher with time to plan for better quality learning experiences, as opposed to a greater quantity of experiences, enhancing the students' learning in this way. EDC3100 Assignment 1, Part B What? #4
Mrs Kathleen Morris (2013) has written a blog post about how and why teachers should have class blogs and involve parents in the operation of these blogs. She writes about how engaging parents through blogs can create a 'virtual window into the classroom, through which parents can engage with their children's learning, assist in class learning and projects, and keep in contact with the teacher. Mrs Morris also cites the additional power of education where parents are involved in their children's learning as a valuable reason for using blogs as a method of bringing busy parents into the classroom environment, and provides a number of resources for enabling this home-school integration to occur. This post also provides links to a number of different webpages containing resources and further reading, should the curious reader desire to find more information about the topic. As a blog post in itself, this post provides an example of how one Victorian teacher uses blogs to engage her students' parents in their learning, using a medium linked directly to the method being discussed, making the resource interesting and relevant for the reader. To read Mrs Morris' full blog post, please click this URL: http://primarytech.global2.vic.edu.au/2013/02/09/a_guide_to_involving_parents_in_your_class_blog/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+org%2FFzIe+%28Integrating+Technology+in+the+Primary+Classroom%29
This blog is licensed to be linked to through the CC-BY-NC license at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/ - please check the page before relinking or using this information.

If you are interested in the idea of engaging parents through the use of ICTs, you may also wish to watch the YouTube video (approx. 5 min.) to the right - however, it is not a compulsory part of this presentation. The video provides additional details of how a group of teachers at a primary school in West Thornton, England, use ICTs to engage their students' parents. When used effectively, ICTs can be highly valuable tools for a variety of different needs within the classroom. Within the identified context, ICTs can assist with differentiating learning experiences, engaging and encouraging students to take responsibility for their learning, embedding constructivist learning and teaching approaches into classroom practice, engaging parents in their children's learning, and much more. The use of ICTs is supported by such policies as the Melbourne Declaration (2008) and a number of theorists (Churchill et al., 2011), and is an area in which students must be capable upon graduating from school, as they will be expected to be competent in the use of various ICTs in further study or employment. ICTs are relatively simple to integrate into teaching and learning, and they complement the work undertaken in any class, meaning that there is no excuse, with the exception of power outages or equipment failure, for neglecting to integrate ICTs into everyday classroom practice.

I hope this presentation has encouraged you to consider using ICTs in your own classroom teaching and learning practices and has helped to demystify some of the issues surrounding its use. ICTs and Pedagogy: What and Why? Curricular and pedagogical context:
Australian Curriculum for Years 4 and 5 and Essential Learnings for curriculum areas not yet signed off for implementation within schools
National Partnership school for Literacy and Numeracy
Students work at their own levels, predominantly within the scope of the combined Years 4 and 5 curriculum content
School's defined pedagogical framework combines use of WALT, WILF, and TIB with Blooms' Higher Order Thinking Skills for clearly set goals and development of thinking skills across the lower and higher order domains of thinking
Schoolwide positive behaviour support plan in place with clear school rules, expectations, and consequences for actions.
School focus on involving parents and caregivers Why? #3
The integration of ICTs into teaching and learning in this context also strongly supports a constructivist teaching and learning approach. A working definition of constructivism is that it is an approach to teaching and learning that recognises that everything a person learns is mediated by prior experiences and understanding, and thus, individuals construct, rather than simply absorb, new knowledge (Churchill et al., 2011). Through using ICTs, relevant contexts for learning can be created, in which the teacher scaffolds and supports student learning through real-life activities which involve expressing personal values, exploring multiple perspectives, and reflecting collaboratively, meaning that ICTs are relevant and appropriate tools for student learning within a constructivist approach (Churchill et al., 2011). A number of theorists also support constructivist teaching and learning approaches, including Vygotsky, Dewey, and Piaget (Sigelman & Rider, 2009) among others, which means that turning from a traditional-style of didactic teaching to this more interactive form of student-centred teaching is a change that will help students become learners and improve their outcomes across the curriculum. References: What? #3
In the video linked to below, the teachers are leading an inquiry project into the technologies used, past and present, at an ironworks. The teachers discuss the benefits of integrating ICTs into their units of work, in terms of both the students' academic outcomes and their engagement with the project. In their discussion, the teachers talk about some of the key focal points of constructivism, as mentioned in the 'Why?' section to the left, and list ways in which the use of ICTs in their units address these points. For example, the students used the Internet on the classroom computers to research generally and specifically in groups the kinds of technology used in the era in which the ironworks was a functioning business. They then use this knowledge to build and test their own models of waterwheels, applying their understandings to a real-life context. At the end of the unit, the students visit the ironworks, having completed a number of other learning activities that fall under a constructivist approach using ICTs such as digital cameras and computers as tools to facilitate this learning, and having done this work prior to the visit, students are then able to reflect on the technologies used in the ironworks in a very different way to that which they would have engaged with had they been learning in a traditional, didactic manner, with limited information and resources available to them without the use of ICTs.
For further details, please watch: http://www.edutopia.org/ferryway-ironworks-integrated-studies-video (approx. 10 min.) (Ellis, 2008) Ellis, K. (2008). Using Today’s Technology Tools to Study Yesterday’s [video]. Retrieved March 17, 2013 from http://www.edutopia.org/ferryway-ironworks-integrated-studies-video Why? #2
Integrating ICTs into teaching and learning in this context will enable students to take responsibility for and engage with their own learning. With a number of students coming from homes with low expectations for these children educationally, it is important that students know that they are responsible for their own learning and capable of succeeding at study, so that they are encouraged to try at school and to be active and responsible learners. The implementation of ICTs enables this by giving students a means for actively learning for themselves, with teacher support, and for sharing their learning with other students in the class and elsewhere. The Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians (2008), more commonly known as simply the 'Melbourne Declaration,' supports this reasoning through both of its two major goals for Australian students: Goal 1 in that students are building on their individual knowledge bases and interests and are maintaining high expectations for their educational outcomes, and Goal 2 in that students are, by actively engaging with their learning and taking responsibility for it, becoming successful learners, confident and creative individuals, and active and informed citizens. Integrating ICTs into the teaching and learning environment means that students have regular opportunities to engage with learning practices that encourage their development towards these goals, making ICT implementation a valuable learning tool for students in this context. Morris, K. (2013). A Guide to Involving Parents in Your Class Blog. Retrieved March 22, 2013 from http://primarytech.global2.vic.edu.au/2013/02/09/a_guide_to_involving_parents_in_your_class_blog/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+org%2FFzIe+%28Integrating+Technology+in+the+Primary+Classroom%29 Why? #4
In the low socio-economic area in which the school is located, many students have two parents who both work full-time, and a number also come from single-parent homes. This means that parents, although they may want to be involved in their children’s learning, may not have opportunity to visit the teacher before or after school and so may not be able to keep in contact with their children’s teachers. Within this context, the use of ICTs such as blogs to engage parents in their children’s learning means that parents can stay in contact with their children’s teachers and school experiences even if they cannot come in to school to meet the teacher, and that the school can meet its goal of involving parents in their children’s learning. This focus on parental engagement comes from research that has determined that students with parents who are engaged in their children's learning are more likely to succeed at school (Dessoff, 2009), meaning that engaging parents has become a high priority for many schools in an attempt to raise National and State literacy and numeracy standards through helping students achieve by keeping their parents engaged and interested in their learning. (Morris, 2013)
Image URL: http://primarytech.global2.vic.edu.au/files/2013/02/10-steps-to-navigating-the-4KM-and-4KJ-blog-25cacsj.jpg Background Music for the Approach [Background music]. Retrieved March 24, 2013 from https://soundcloud.com/synthmaster-lumpy/background-music-for-the-approach
Licensed for use under a CC-BY-SA Creative Commons license. Croser, R. and Bridge, D. (2012). Information and communication technologies. In A. Ashman and J. Elkins (Eds.), Education for Inclusion and Diversity (4th edn.), 161-192. Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Australia What? #2
In the video embedded to the left, a number of teachers at West Thornton Primary School in England discuss how they use ICTs in their classrooms to engage students. While the majority of the teachers are Year 4 or 5 teachers, other year levels are also represented. Ultimately, the teachers describe some of the methods of integrating ICTs that they use, such as students recording themselves speaking in French, then transferring the video to a computer and finding both the parts they spoke well and the mistakes they made. This also transfers responsibility for learning from the teacher to the students, as they critique themselves and each other and actively engage with the task to develop their skills. In taking this responsibility and engaging with the task, the students are becoming active and successful learners, which, in an Australian context, fulfills part of the goals within the Melbourne Declaration (2008), making the learning experiences valid and worthwhile to consider implementing in a similar form in classrooms here in Queensland.

Should you wish to explore this idea further, please watch the video embedded to the left. Churchill, R., Ferguson, P., Godinho, S., Johnson, N. F., Keddie, A., Letts, W....Vick, M. (2011). Teaching: Making a Difference. Milton, QLD: John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd Sigelman, C. K. and Rider, E. A. (2009). Lifespan Human Development. Melbourne, VIC: Wadsworth Cengage Learning Available for reusing under a Creative Commons CC-BY-SA license.
See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ for license details. Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs. (2008). Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians. Retrieved March 3, 2013 from http://www.mceecdya.edu.au/verve/_resources/national_declaration_on_the_educational_goals_for_young_australians.pdf What? #1
An example for using ICTs for differentiation in classrooms is Mrs Henrietta Miller's differentiated literacy program for Year 5, as described on her blog. Mrs Miller describes how she and her co-teacher differentiate a literacy unit for students at different levels using a secure online discussion forum called Edmodo, available at http://www.edmodo.com/#.
Students are given a choice of books to read, depending on their ability levels, and engage with their reading through Edmodo by role-playing characters and discussing themes within the books in a secure environment with their peers who are working at the same level that they are. By posting questions on Edmodo, the teachers were able to encourage deep and meaningful questioning with the students and so the students' thinking and questioning skills developed considerably through engaging with these learning experiences. This demonstrates the potential for using ICTs as a means for differentiating learning experiences within a class of students at a similar level to the context described in this presentation, and shows the level of student independence that can be achieved through experiences similar to this. For further details on the program described here, please visit http://www.classroomchronicles.net/2010/10/16/using-edmodo-in-the-primary-classroom/. Dessoff, A. (2009). Parental Engagement Pays Off. District Administration, 45(5), 16-20. Retrieved March 23, 2013 from http://lq6tx6lb4h.search.serialssolutions.com/?ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&ctx_enc=info%3Aofi%2Fenc%3AUTF-8&rfr_id=info:sid/summon.serialssolutions.com&rft_val_fmt=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:journal&rft.genre=article&rft.atitle=Parental+Engagement+Pays+Off&rft.jtitle=District+Administration&rft.au=Dessoff%2C+Alan&rft.date=2009-05-01&rft.pub=Professional+Media+Group%2C+LLC&rft.issn=1537-5749&rft.eissn=2162-6650&rft.volume=45&rft.issue=5&rft.spage=16&rft.epage=18&rft.externalDocID=EJ839614 Miller, H. (2010). Using Edmodo in the Primary Classroom. Retrieved March 25, 2013 from http://www.classroomchronicles.net/2010/10/16/using-edmodo-in-the-primary-classroom/ The Forges [Image]. (2011). Retrieved March 21, 2013 from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Forges_at_the_Novelty_Iron_Works.jpg
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