Looking forward, Looking back…

I have just finished planning for most of my lessons next week and wanted to share with you my previous weeks experiences.

I have been on professional placement for a week now and have loved every minute of it.  My mentor is fantastic, and I have learnt heaps.  She is very open minded when it comes to technology which if super for this course.  Last week, she showed me how she uses Evernote to track student progress and keep notes (and pictures) of their work.  I have since managed to have a bit of a play with it and have to say it looks really useful.  She also showed me an app for the iPad Bitsboard.  This app is pretty cool as it has a bunch of already established ‘boards’ that you can use for learning, but the icing on the cake is the fact that you can actually create your own board and put whatever you like on it.  This reminded me of an online tool that I used in my assignment 2 unit plan called Padlet.  I still really like this online tool, but if the school doesn’t want student work posted on line this app just could be a solution to that.

Anyway, just wanted to let you know how I have been getting on and ask how you guys are all going on prac?  Would love to hear from some of you 🙂

Kate.

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Learning from others

I have been asked to read the reflections from the Semester 1 cohort on their prac experiences.  There was a lot of responses and I have to say some of it was really useful.  I have constructed a mindmap, using coogle (which I found through this website), on the most frequent comments.

Image

 

As part of the learning path I was also asked to pick two and comment on them.  Here is what I wrote:

 

The two points that I think are important/interesting for me to consider when I head out on professional placement are:

 

  1. Know what students are allowed to access
  2. Plan lessons first and then think about what ICTs to incorporate

 

I think the first one is an important consideration because I could end up in trouble or in a difficult situation if I let the students access sites that the school doesn’t want them to access.  To ensure this doesn’t happen I will talk with my mentor and get clearance from her before allowing access to websites.  I will also check with her as to whether the school blocks all unacceptable sites.

 

I think the second one is interesting.  It aligns with what we have been taught in this course which is obviously very good.  To be hones though, I hadn’t really stopped to think about this before.  I have not started any planning yet, however, had already began to think about what ICTs I know are available and how I could use them (which seems to be the opposite to what this suggestion says).

 

 

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Teamboard links & other online treasures

I have spent hours now, trying to find useful resources for the Teamboard IWB that I will be using while on prac.  I think I have found some really good stuff, and have also found in my journeys some other interesting sites.  Below I have listed them under headings (which make sense to me at least) for anyone who may be interested.  Some of the links are to sites that are not specifically for this IWB, but look like they would be useful (so I wanted to make sure I didn’t lose the link).

 

Interesting Teamboard blog:

https://lisanecc.edublogs.org/tag/team-board/

 

One of the links from this blog:

http://www.roythezebra.com/reading-games/words-within-words-1.html

 

Teamboard software:

http://www.easiteach.com.au/resources/

http://www.easilearn.com/au/

 

IWB Communities:

http://exchange.smarttech.com/index.html#tab=0

http://www.iwb.org.uk/

 

Website with links to all sorts of online tools:

http://www.classroom20.com/profiles/blog/show?id=649749%3ABlogPost%3A180818

 

Authentic online tools:

http://authenticict.wikispaces.com/Web+Based+Tools

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I need to put the TEAM into Teamboard

Today I decided to investigate the website I found yesterday called iteachinteractive.  Now you may have read my earlier post about this, ‘Panic over’; however, little did I know the panic had only just begun.

I thought it prudent to post on the EDC3100 forum that I would be using a Teamboard IWB while on prac, and that seeing as this was not one of the boards mentioned in the learning path that I was currently in the process of googling info on these particular boards (this is when I found iteachinteractive and thought all my problems had been solved).  The lecturer, David, replied, and said that he was unfamiliar with this particular brand of IWB (oh no!)…

Now my real dilemma began when I clicked on the links provided on iteachinteractive; they don’t work!!! There are numerous, very old, postings on the forum asking for help with this, but alas there is no responses L .  There was mention of problems with access to the website and an alternate link was provided, however, this was not very useful either.

I will continue to search… and for those of you, who may also be using a Teamboard while on prac I will let you know how I get on.

If there is anyone out there in cyberspace who can help me in this adventure, please let me know 😀

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Panic over :)

OK, so I might have panicked…

I was finding it a bit tricky to find anything on the Teamboard that I am supposed to be using next term.  But, like usual I turned to Google.  I love this little fellow!  I have found, what appears to be a very useful website, I think this one is especially good because it is an Australian site.  It is called iteachinteractive, and it has discussions, photos and videos among other things.  So I am off to see what gems there are hidden on this website.

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Quest for the IWB treasure chest…

I am currently completing the Week 9 learning path, on IWBs.  It has been interesting to learn more about these devices, as I have to admit I feel they have been quite underutilised in my previous professional placements (where they have been used more like a static whiteboard than an interactive one).  

It was interesting to read an ACER article about recent research regarding IWBs in the learning environment.  Essentially, the research concluded that IWBs on their own have no transformative value.  Instead, the research suggested that the crucial component is actually the skills and professional knowledge of the teacher in mediating interactions with learners that makes the difference.  The research found that teachers need to receive appropriate mentoring in the use of IWBs, in order to maximise the potential of these devices; and therefore, maximise student learning.   If indeed a teacher did received such mentoring, it seems fair to presume that they would be able to use IWBs in an array of ways.  On this note, I read an interesting blog by a fellow student, Crystal, in which the following list of potential benefits, which I think would only be achieved through such mentoring, was posted:

Why use IWB? What are the benefits?

  • Encourage collaborative learning
  • Engages different learning styles
  • Motivates both teacher and students
  • Enables personalised learning
  • Creates a sense of shared ownership through interaction

(Adapted from Macmillan Education, 2013)

To finish off, I wanted to share with you a useful website re IWBs – Teacherworld.  Here you can find links to the main IWBs currently available.  You will also find links to blogs and resources that can help get your thinking going as to how to best integrate these generally underutilised devices into your students learning.

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Meeting, greeting and investigating

On Thursday, I finally got to meet my mentor teacher and her wonderful year one students.  It was a very interesting day, as it was Grandparents and Special friend’s day and the last day of term three.  I had my list of questions written down and ready to ask (as suggested by David), however, found it very difficult to get some of the answers I was after.  It was not because my mentor was unhelpful, actually she was brilliant, it was just that I felt like there was too many to ask in just one day.  Instead, I observed as much as I could to get the answers I needed.  I used this to determine what ICTs were being used in the classroom and at what level the students were using them.  It was surprising!

The year one class I will have during the professional placement has an array of technology available to them.  There is an Interactive White Board (IWB), 2 regular ipads, 10 mini ipads, about 15 HP laptops and a computer which is connected to the IWB.  The students seemed very comfortable when using the devices and even shut them down and plugged them in to charge at the end of each session.

I found that the IWB was a Teamboard, and was a bit frustrated to find that this is not one of the most common ones that David has listed in this week’s learning path.  I now need to do further research to find out what resources are available for this type of board.  When I commented to my mentor about it being a Teamboard she said that they don’t use it very much.  I found this interesting as there seems to be a lot of use of technology in this classroom, however, the IWB is used mostly for showing videos.  I am now very keen to learn more about the use of these boards and feel there is a genuine opportunity for me to incorporate some hands on/collaborative learning opportunities using this IWB.

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