Using Voki in my teaching

Through out the last couple of days I have been trying to think of new ways to incorporate ICTs into my teaching whilst on professional experience. Due to the fact that the students have a library lesson tomorrow I wanted to make the last half hour of the session interactive and interesting for the students. With the support from the members of the EDC3100 Facebook page, I was asked to try out VOKI to develop my own animated character that I can use for my lessons. I found VOKI easy to use and I enjoyed playing around with the different voices and characters.

I decided to create a character named Dorothy the fish who is interested in learning multiplication.

The Connect.ed modules

As part of the weekly learning pathway activities we had to complete four modules from Connect.ed. The modules explained issues that face students in today’s society when it comes to interacting with various forms of technology. In my previous post I talked about not feeling confident in teaching children online safety. After completing the four modules I feel like I have a better understanding on what can potentially happen and as a future educator how I can prevent this from happening.

At the end of the modules I received a certificate for acknowledging the completion of the modules and I am sure it would come in handy for my Eportfolio when I finish my degree.

Take the lollipop

I feel like I am finally catching up on the learning pathway activities and preparing myself for my field experience which is starting Monday. During this week’s learning activities we have been learning the importance of equipping our students with the skills and knowledge to become cyber smart citizens in the twenty first century. Before undertaking EDC3100 I have been constantly thinking about children and their safety when it comes to technology due to media reports about safety while interacting online. It appears after reading Stacey Kruse’s blog post on connect.ed and digital citizenship it looks like I am not the only one that shares this view.  While watching the news I have in the back of my mind how do I teach the skills children need in order to be safe whilst online. Even though this semester has caused me a lot of stress and at times I have felt out of depth and overwhelmed with this subject, upon thinking about the subject so far, I am glad that I am undertaking this subject as it is helping me identify issues and problems that technology may impact on young children’s safety and it is giving me the tools on how to teach children how to be safe online.

As  part of the weekly activities we were asked to Take the Lollipop activity. What happened shortly afterwards not only freaked me out but also served as reminder to be careful on what information you put on the internet about yourself and just how many people can access your personal information.

My Field experience checklist

Things have been pretty quiet here due to family circumstances and as a result I wont be starting my field experience until the 13th of October. I am disappointed that I will be starting later but I feel lucky that I have such wonderful support from my university and also my mentor. Now it is time to get back to blogging, After reading Sara’s checklist on what she needed to do in order to get prepared for field experience it made me think about what I need to do to organise myself and make my prac a little less stressful. I have come up with the following points:

  • Arrange daycare for my two children.
  • Make and freeze meals for late nights.
  • Write up at a least a draft of the preparation essay.
  • Have a range of useful websites and apps that can be used whilst on field experience.
  • Read the documents that my mentor provided to me (responsible behavior. management plan, C2C documents and the staff handbook).
  • Look for resources that can be used in the unit plans.

Heading towards module three and professional experience

At last I have finished module two and assignment two and now starting to get my head around module three and my upcoming field experience. I have been quite nervous about my placement as I have grade three and I don’t have a lot of experience teaching this year level. Last Thursday I was able to meet my mentor and she was lovely! She defiantly put my mind at ease about the professional experience but also made me quite excited despite the nerves. My mentor gave me so information about the school and the units which is a massive help as I can read them over the holidays and possibly source and investigate ICT resources I can use while on professional experience. I am also feeling less nervous as Mrs J P Finan will be undertaking her placement at the same school except she is with the preppies. Hopefully as the field experience progresses we will be able to help and bounce ideas of each other. 🙂

Thinking about ICT resources for assignment two

As mentioned in my last couple of posts I am doing a year two History unit plan and implementing ICTs into my lessons in order to enhance student’s learning. During the last couple of years I have completed a variety of different learning plans. For some reason the unit plan we have to develop for EDC3100 has challenged and at times frustrated me. I am trying to find authentic resources that not only will enhance children’s learning using ICTs but also make it fun and engaging for both teacher and students. I discovered an app called Sock Puppets. It allows children to choose a background or photograph of their choice and to record their voice. While I was thinking about how this can be used in the classroom, I found out from one of my personal networks on Facebook,  there is a cord you can purchase from JB HI-FI that allows teachers to use IPAD apps through the interactive whiteboard.   I thought this would be of use for my year two unit plan but it may also be helpful  for my fellow EDC3100 peers as we are nearing closer to the date where we start our professional experience.

Interesting ICT resources from…..GOOGLE!

During week six of the learning path we have been learning about sequencing our learning activities in regards to our unit plan for assignment two. While reading through the activities the one point that stuck out for me was when David Jones (2014) mentioned that not all ICT resources are going to benefit and enhance children’s learning. When searching for further ICT resources it is suggested that we if we use the correct terminology we would be surprised by what we can find. Since reading this I have been trying to find some excellent resources that can be used in classrooms by both children and teachers that are worthwhile considering being used in my pedagogy. Generally when I search for something I go straight to Google but even at times I have to sift through websites to find the hidden gems of the ICT resource world.

As a parent of young children I sometimes wonder what children can find online and if it is safe and it looks like I am not the only one. After reading Brooke Armstrong’s post “ Kid safe Google search” it made me realise that there is a search engine for young children to use and I was quite surprised that Google was the creator for this.  I decided to see what else Google can provide so I proceeded to search  for the terms “Google education” and this fantastic page popped up called Google for Education. It provides a range of tools, resources, apps, and programs that can be used by children and teachers in the classroom. At the moment I am still reading up on it but I think it is a great resource and a starting point for inspiration for ideas on implementing ICTs into the classroom.