Thank god it’s over!

Done

Well it’s finally over – hooray! Not to say that I didn’t learn a lot in this course and I even feel a little bit smarter for it, but talk about exhausting. EDC3100 felt like the equivalent of three subjects put together some weeks, so I’ll be honest and say “I’m glad to see the back of you!” For someone who wasn’t that savvy when it came the world of ICT I have definitely come away better off and might even teach my kids a thing or two. I have enjoyed reading all your posts this semester but will probably retire from blogging for a little bit . . . who knows, I might get the urge again once I’ve caught up on some much needed rest.

Good luck to you all, I hope you have an awesome holiday.

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Digital cameras

I am of the same opinion of Beata (see post below) when it comes to the power of the good old digital camera to enhance learning experiences for students of all ages. With limited ICTs available on prac, the digital camera proved to be an invaluable tool in creating lessons enriched through using ICT.

Having been given the task of completing a science unit for movement with a prep class, I had a little light bulb moment (doesn’t happen all that often) and we hit the adventure playground in small groups armed with the camera. Boy could those preppies pull out some great moves! They loved the experience, were all on task, and loved being in front of the lens. The pictures taken during that activity created some really great opportunities to further synthesise the learning. At the end of the unit I created a power point collating all the photos in the movements being demonstrated – ‘I like to move it move’ was the theme song of course.

Beata's EDC3100 Blog

The power of digital cameras as an ICT to enhance students’ learning should not be underestimated. Digital cameras are very versatile tools as they are easy to use, relatively inexpensive and can be incorporated into every KLA. After a demonstration and rules for using a camera safely, even very young children are able to use it purposefully. Digital cameras can engage students, help them become more involved in activities, take ownership of their own learning while providing a digital or printed record.

During my prac, we went on an excursion and we took photos of the different animals on the farm and the activities we were involved in. The photos were used as a stimulus to help students write a brief recount. The writing was more purposeful, interesting and students produced higher quality work. Each student’s writing – with couple of small photos glued on – is displayed in the classroom. Later these…

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Gotta love those little preppies . . .

The top five things I loved about working with prep students . . .

  1. They are complete sticklers for routine, talk about being vocal when you dare deviate from their daily schedule.
  2. Their absolute honesty, whether that be telling you they love your shirt (or hate it), or oversharing information you probably didn’t need to know.
  3. Their ability to bounce back and get over things, in trouble one minute and not a care in the world the next.
  4. Their view on the world, they are just so straight up – no grey areas.
  5. Their infectious laughter and smiles.

The joys of sharing

Thanks-For-Sharing

Going on placement for an ICT subject was a little bit intimidating. I am certainly not a digital native – well definitely more so than my parents but probably a lot less than my kids. Walking into the classroom and being expected to bring out the big guns for engaging lessons that integrate ICT was daunting to say the least. I was over the moon when I found out I had a prep class, surely I could wow them with what little bit of savvy I have with ICTs. Much to my delight, my mentor teacher was awesome and not expecting me to reinvent the wheel per say. She was as keen to share with me her resources and knowledge of integrating ICTs in lessons as I was to share with her. By the end of placement, I had definitely added to her repertoire of interactive and engaging ways to tap into the minds of little people in the class, as she did for me.

ICT aside, the sheer amount of resources my mentor teacher had amassed in her twenty plus years of teaching was mind boggling. She was kind enough to offer some suggestions on how to begin my own collection starting with the sites below.  Thought I would share these with you, they have some great start up resources for when we have our very own classrooms one day and they are all free.

1000s+FREE+Primary+Teaching+Resources+&+Printables+-+EYFS,+KS1+and+KS2+-+SparkleBox.jpg

http://www.sparklebox.co.uk/

Skwirk+ +Online+Education+-+Educational+Resources+Australia.jpg

http://www.skwirk.com.au/

The light at the end of the tunnel

light at the end of the tunnel

Well I don’t know about the rest of you but I am looking forward to a well-earned break at the end of this semester. I have definitely lost the spring in my step over the last few months and have dragged myself through the workload. It felt like I was losing the battle every other week – maybe it is was the combination of subjects this time around?

I had a wonderful time on prac and managed to snag an awesome mentor, the kids put a smile on my face everyday and that in itself reassures you that all this stress will be worth it in the end. Now to just get these last assignments out of the way and take a big breath.

Interactive whiteboard – engaging little minds

interactive whiteboards

With very limited ICTs available on placement – the interactive whiteboard became somewhat of a savior to me. What a fantastic tool to heighten student engagement – this was especially true for those wonderful little preppies who accepted me as part of their class for three weeks.  Each day we would start off with phonics or counting You Tube clips that would settle their little bodies and gear their minds for learning. Whilst whole class learning sessions were kept short (preppies can’t keep still for long) the interactive whiteboard provided opportunities to engage both the visual and aural learning preferences in the class.

Most challenging things about professional placement

Top two most challenging things on previous professional placements

  1. The guilt trip: having to shuffle around three young children to before and after school care and pretty much neglect them for three weeks while mummy chases her dream of graduating with good marks.
  2. The classroom context: getting to know the students in the class (including all their names) within the first two days of placement. Making your lesson plans engaging and meaningful to those students, with relevance to their current learning and needs.

Top two most challenging things on EDC3100 professional placement

  1. The guilt trip (it never goes away): having to shuffle around three young children to before and after school care and pretty much neglect them for three weeks while mummy chases her dream of graduating with good marks.
  2. The classroom context: being completely unaware of what ICTs are available within the classroom until the last minute; and how to create engaging lessons using ICTs when there are very limited opportunities to do so.