What’s all the HUB-bub about?

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Once again, there’s no surprise in realising, once again, that one link leads to another. Whilst browsing through suitable resources and lessons that may be enhanced through the use of an IWB, I came across this valuable teacher-friendly site. 65 Free Whiteboard Resources from Teacher Hub . This American website offers a wide variety of activities according to curriculum area and age level suitability.

If you are interested in hunting down some useful Maths resources that use an IWB, then look no further than Mathsframe. Although it is a UK website, there are many appropriate activities that relate to the Australian Curriculum standards.

The final site of plenty can be found at TopMarks .

The plethora of ideas is almost limitless. What does and should matter, is how applicable each particular lesson or activity is, in relation to what we want to use it for and its linking to the Australian Curriculum. As teachers are becoming more ICT literate and confident with exploring new features, it is wonderful to see an emerging culture of class teachers who are willing to share their expertise with others across the globe.

Going OK with TK …

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As part of this week’s Learning Path, I enjoyed having a browse through some of the vast array of IWB resources that can be implemented in our classroom – especially useful when we are adding girth to our ever-increasing toolbelt and TK (Technical Knowledge). Like Pamela and many other course-mates, we have found ourselves in the thick of packing it all in – looking and learning as we go.

Knowing what’s out there, so to speak, plays the most important part of this learning journey. To begin with, it’s easy to look at a resource/flipchart and think how creative and innovative that teacher had to be when creating such a resource. But, perhaps it’s the sign of our developing awareness of using ICT effectively, it doesn’t take long to start thinking along the lines of “Well, it’s a good flipchart, but I would like to add …”. Surely, that is the best indicator of a developed resource – one which has the worthwhile ideas, but fits the specific purpose for that teacher?

One of the activities David encouraged us to complete was to ‘source a good resource’ – an IWB flipchart that we wouldn’t mind using in a class situation. Here’s one I thought was a winner – Fraction Basics – an engaging interactive activity for reviewing aspects of fractions with a Year6/7 class.

Positively Connecting to Connect.Ed

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Thanks to David for drawing attention to this valuable website for educators and students alike. With a plethora of engaging resources to access, Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has developed an initiative called cyber [smart:] which delivers a range of materials that can be implemented in today’s classrooms. The site contains a highly appropriate set of four modules for a teacher to complete in order to ascertain his/her level of understanding of the internet and how it is being used by students.

The modules cover the following areas:

Module 1: The Connected World – addressing the four cyber safety capabilities: digital media literacy, positive online behaviours, peer and personal safety and e-security.

Module 2: Cybersafety and your students – looking at the issues that are faced by today’s students in an online environment.

Module 3: Schools and the law – focussing on the importance of a whole school policy/approach when dealing with cyber issues.

Module 4: Putting it into practice – exploring a range of available resources for using with students and enhancing their awareness of cyber safety.

Aspen’s blog provided useful insight into aspects of the Connect.Ed resource.

It’s important (for all concerned) to be educated in the safe and ethical use of the internet. What is also apparent is the necessity for continued and open dialogue between teacher and student/student and parent/school and parent/community and school. This was a valuable resource and one which I would like to implement at some stage in the future.

Innovation – the name of the game.

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Now that Assignment 2 is safely tucked up in Ease-land, I’ve had a little more time to look at some articles of interest. I would like to share this link to the BBC magazine page which looks at the benefits of Minecraft and how its innovative technology adds up to being more than a video game.

I had to smile as I read “That’s all very well but I, like many other parents with Minecraft-obsessed kids, wonder if they are wasting their time. Surely the whole experience can be made educational?”

The article continues to unearth (no pun intended!) that yes – Minecraft can be used as an educational and social tool – computer programming and co-operative learning to name two skills that can be developed. It seems that the phenomenon is also a means of social connections within a school that may not have taken place if it hadn’t been for a mutual following of Minecraft.

A useful link to resourcing and implementing innovative ideas can be found at the Victorian Government’s Department of Education and Early Childhood Development website. Innovation in Education  The short informative video clip highlights the advantages of implementing as many innovative ideas into the curriculum in order to facilitate higher order thinking skills. I shall quote one individual from the link, which sums up succinctly, what innovative teaching should be:

We teach them how to find out more about the things they’re interested in, rather than teaching more things to be interested in.

Plugging into Connect.ed

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Wow! This website, introduced to EDC3100 as part of this week’s learning path, certainly makes you sit up and take notice. Fellow bloggers, Kate and Teagan both had some very worthwhile points to make. Digital citizenship can come at a price if it is not used correctly and in a principled manner. It is vital to instil in today’s students, the importance of cyber safety and protecting not only their privacy, but that of others.

Participating in online activities has obvious advantages, but when misused, the pitfalls become all too serious. Helping students to equip themselves with the right knowledge and awareness of such consequences is an obligatory component of being a supportive teacher. Perhaps we can’t always be one step ahead of the less savoury aspects of the cyber world, but as educators, it is possible to keep our eyes open to what is happening in the world around us. More importantly, it’s imperative for our students to be alert to any dangers and be prepared to take action simply by talking to others if the need arises.

I particularly liked this image from The Book Fairy Goddess

 

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Blogging from a Blogger’s Point of View

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I was interested to read the link kindly provided by a fellow EDC 3100 blogger who led me to read further, an article by George Couros who specialises in innovative teaching and learning.  I was drawn to the concept of new graduates using blogging as a means of collating a portfolio of what they continue to learn and what they consider their most effective pieces of work to present to others. When I hear the word ‘portfolio’ I think back to friends who were art students in years gone by, carrying large flat cases to and from classes. How pertinent it is in today’s technologically advanced society, that anyone can and should collate their own portfolio, to convey their thoughts and ideas to many different people at the click of a few keys, via blogging.

Couros highlights the usefulness and accessibility of blogs when he draws attention to five pertinent reasons why they are a valuable tool in developing one’s own portfolio. He lists the following advantages: Open Reflection, Developing Literacy with Different Mediums, Student Voice, Creating an Open Archive of Learning and Developing a Positive Digital Footprint.

It is important to underline the concept that blogging is a valid and authentic tool to get your word heard/read by like-minded people and professionals.

A Blog of Many Colours

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A blog I am following with interest is Mrs. Pepe Dot Com, an Apple Distinguished Educator (these individuals have some wonderful ideas to share with others who are genuinely interested in promoting the effective use of ICT within today’s classroom).

In a recent post on her blog 21st Century Digital World, the enthusiasm and passion for sharing ICT ideas that work are most evident. In turn, this enthuses the reader to click that link and investigate further.  As part of a current project, APP-smash: the Ben Bloom fist in the SAMR glove mentions many of the aspects we have been introduced to as part of EDC 3100 – how best to use and implement ICT in today’s classrooms. The trendy way in which these components have been drawn together is visually stimulating – all parts fitting together, in some shape or form.

Mention was made of Alan Carrington’s Padagogy Wheel (tick), Kathy Schrock’s Bloomin Apps/Interlocking Cogs (tick), Dr Ruben Puentedura’s SAMR Model (tick), Benjamin Bloom’s Taxonomy (tick) and Gregory Kuloviec’s App-Smashing (newly ticked!) … I was intrigued and wanted to delve a little deeper – App-Smashing – making apple juice or something? Have a look for yourself at this Vimeo where all becomes clear.