Practical ICT tool to be used in classroom

Here is a website about integrating ICT in teaching and learning experience that I found useful for teachers to use variety of ICT tools in the classroom. Some examples are as below:

1. Visualizer

A visualiser is helpful for teacher to show information, short videos, movies or communication with another person through webcam. It gives students visual stimulation due to the project screen is big enough for everyone to see. Hence, it enhances better learning.

2. Interactive whiteboard

Interactive whiteboard is useful in a way that it provides more interactive learning to students. It also enhances visual stimulation because the objects on the board are movable compared to the workbook.

3. ICT club

This page contains variety of activities that young children could do using ICT. Fun and creative activities listed are enjoyable to children it will be a brand new experience to them if teacher could integrate some of these activities into the learning.

 

Reference

Teaching Ideas. (2013). ICT- General teaching ideas. Retrieved March 28, 2013, from

http://www.teachingideas.co.uk/ict/contents.htm

Children, ICT and eSafety

Today, I would like to share about how children can use ICT safely at home and in school. It is undeniably that ICT is important to young children in this twenty-first century due to the rapid growth of ICT throughout the universe. Children living in the urban area are exposed to ICT more than children living in the rural area. Not only that, an old-version of mobile phone seems outdated to urban area children; whereas rural area children will see it as an amazing tool. Hence, if children have the opportunity to use ICT, eSafety must be taught especially serving the Internet.  A leaflet provided by Moulton Chapel primary school has shared on how could parents ensure children use the Internet safely at home and how to use ICT more effectively in learning. I found that this leaflet is quite resourceful in a way that the school has explained very clearly to the parents on how their children use ICT in school. Variety of ICT tool and the purpose of using each tool has been listed out as well. In fact, this could give parents more ideas on why ICT is important in children’s learning. As a teacher, I would recommend you to take a look at this leaflet on how the school has use ICT in teaching and learning.

Backward or Traditional design

I pondered for a while when I saw the word “Backward design“. It is a new term to me and after I read the explanation on Wikipedia– a link provided on study desk, I found that this method is pretty amazing. In Wikipedia (2012), it stated that traditional planning on lesson plan or curriculum will usually determine the content of learning, objectives, lesson plan and types of assessment.  However, Backward design works the other way round. It first determines the goal of learning, plan assessment then create lesson plan (Wikipedia, 2012). None of these methods are wrong because both methods contribute in student’s learning. What makes these two methods different is the effectiveness in student’s learning. Students could be learning on the same topic but with different method, as a result, the outcome would be different. Reflecting on my personal teaching experiences, I feel that Backward method is more effective compared to the traditional method. This is because the goal has been set in the teacher’s mind and he or she will not easily go out of track while delivering the lesson. Indeed, it takes more effort and time in the planning process. It is good that I’ve get to know this because it motivates me to change my way of planning lesson or curriculum.

 

Reference

Wikipedia. (2012). Backward design.  Retrieved March 26, 2013, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Backward_design

Can cell phone help student’s learning in school?

This is a topic that different stakeholders in education are debating since long ago and indeed certain schools have allowed their students to bring cell phone to school. Debate.org (2012) has shown that 81 percent of people have agreed that cell phone should be allowed in school. Hartnell (2008) has explained the fifteen benefits things students did with cell phone such as using the stopwatch during experiment, take photos of science experiment process, receiving text message or email from teacher’s reminder, recording the teacher’s teaching for revision and much more. Looking from this perspectives, indeed cell phone is able to bring benefits to student’s learning. But, how do school ensure that students are able to control themselves and do not misused the cell phone? Hartnell (2008) has also given some suggestion on how the school could introduce the use of cell phone. Some examples are teachers explain the rules and etiquette of using the phone to students, invite parents for the learning purpose for cell phone and others. I feel that these are good suggestions that can be applied to school that trying to implement this policy. In my own opinion, I feel that cell phone can be used in school for learning purpose. But, if there is students who breaks the rules, then the students will be stopped from bring cell phone to school.

 

References

Debate.org. (2012). Should students be allowed to use cell phones in school? Retrieved March 20, 2013, from http://www.debate.org/opinions/should-students-be-allowed-to-use-cell-phones-in-school

 

Hartnell, E. (2008). How mobile phones help learning in secondary schools. Retrieved March 20, 2013, from http://www.ifap.ru/library/book330.pdf

 

 

The Amazing Toolbelt Theory

After reading about this theory, I took sometimes to look around the environment around me even my lifestyle. Only then I realized we are surrounded by the ‘Toolbelt’ in our daily life all the times. Socol (2009) has mentioned that “every human on earth needs some kind of technologies which assist them in their interactions.” (para 6). This is indeed very true. Looking at myself before using an iphone and after using it. There is a big difference. Before I gotten an iphone, mobile phone is not so important to me because besides contacting and send text message, nothing else I could do with it. However, after I gotten an iphone, I took it so precious where it needs to follow me where ever I go. I need iphone to check email, facebook updates, google online for instance message, using whatsapp for free text and of course playing interesting game. My phone has to be with me 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Just imagine, how much it meant to me ><!! I would not deny the benefit of having an advanced technology in society nowadays, but could you imagine what will happen when one day all the smart phones are not functioning anymore? A fun scenario to imagine.

Another scenario could be students nowadays rely on internet more than traditional library. Krupa (2006) has discussed about whether the internet is a threat or a supplement to the traditional library. According to the research done, 39.9% of students used the internet a few times a week and 22.4% of students use internet few times a day. Krupa (2006) also stated that technology progress has make the breakthrough in application, such as e-books that are slowly replacing the print book.

Lastly, my course mate Erica Lee has started exploring a brand new tool- Prezi to do a simple summary on what Toolbelt theory is about. It is very easy to understand!! Now is my turn to explore it…..

 

References

Krupa, Z. (2006). World Libraries. The Internet — A threat or a supplement to the traditional library? Retrieved March 14, 2013, from http://www.worlib.org/vol16no1-2/krupa_v16n1-2.shtml

Socol, I. R. (2009). SpeEdChange: The toolbet and universal design-education for everyone. Retrieved March 14, 2013, from http://speedchange.blogspot.com.au/p/blog-page_2046.html

Concept Map: First trial :)

 

This is my first time of doing a concept map using a software. I find it very organized and is very easy to use. Besides that, it also helps me to be more organized in my own ideas. A concept map can also be described as a ‘summary’ of a topic which enables reader to read easily.

The above concept map explains about the benefits of using ICTs in teaching and learning. It is divided into two categories which are students and teachers.

Fun and Interesting resources

First of all, I would like to thank Scootle for providing us the resources that we could use to teach students. As I were exploring the resources, I found this game is pretty interesting for children aged 5 to 6 to learn English and mathematics.

Link: http://www.scootle.edu.au/ec/viewing/L8306/index.html

It is a treasure hunt game that include the learning of Mathematics (logical thinking & problem-solving) and English (reading & writing). When I was playing the game, I found that it is very interactive and the tasks designed is very appropriately for children. If I were a child, I would be happy after playing it because I have gained a sense of satisfaction through helping Pirate Jack to complete the tasks. It’s worth playing!! Check it out.

Another game that catches my interest is this:  http://www.scootle.edu.au/ec/viewing/R10720/index.html

There are three games altogether and those are good games that can help children to recognize letters, create awareness towards the letters in the environment and also introducing letter in different types of pattern. I feel that it is very important for children to expose to this activity because they have to be a creative and critical thinking learner. It is also an activity that help children to see the letters in a more interesting and meaningful way.

 

References

Pirate Treasure Hunt [Game]. (2011). Australia: Education Services Australia.

Explore letter, words and text: Letter detective [Game]. (2011). Australia: Education Services Australia.

The Amazing Tool: Digital Camera

My friend Kay Yi has posted about the use of Digital Cameras. I agreed that it is a powerful tool that contributed for different learning areas in school. Duncan (n.d), states that digital camera can be used to enhance any project that needs photos. Indeed, students can use camera in their learning such as during field trip, students can capture photos for their project or to record the result of science experiments. In my workplace, digital camera is a basic ICT tool that teachers would use to observe children learning progress in class. The teacher will usually reflect and record down the children progress or even post the photos to the class Facebook page for parents’ reference. This is to be done on a regular basis. A learning experience that I would like to share with you is that I’ve learned how amazing that a digital camera could help the children to learn. In an early childhood course organized by my school , a Taiwanese lecturer had shared with us on how their kindergarten children learn in Taiwan. There was one incident where some of the children were constructing the “Taiwan museum” and they are working out on themselves at the blocks corner. The teacher has decided to bring the children to the museum so that they could get more ideas on how does a museum looks like. Children were taking photos of the museum from outside to inside. When they got back to school, they had a discussion upon the field trip and compared the building they have taken with the one they have built in class. At the end of the day, the children had successfully construct a complete museum model using the blocks. (During the progress, children have found out the problems  and teacher’s scaffolding is important. This project took around a few weeks to complete) 

 

Reference

Duncan, D. (n.d). Using a digital camera in the classroom. Retrieved March 10, 2013, from http://terpconnect.umd.edu/~toh/image/DigitalCameraUses.htm

Types of learning activities vs. Types of technology

A reflection on why the authors are considering the types of learning activities, rather than types of technologies is because the learning activities play a major role in deciding on what material or tool is needed for the learners. This is also because not every learning activities would need ICT as a learning tool. For instance counting activity, it is better to let the learners to have hands-on counting experience such as counting the real objects to let them feel the quantity. Compared with using a computer program that only allows them to count verbally, the learners are probably counting without actually understand how much does ‘5’, ’30’, ‘100’ or ‘1000’ mean for instance. From here we can see that the learning material that is being used is important to determine the learning outcome of the learners.