My PLN 2013

My PLN 2013.

This entry was posted on May 28, 2013. 1 Comment

Unit 6: Changing practice in a digital environment

My progress with technology has been at a rate of knots. My computer comes on my list of favourite things. What would you take to a dessert island……my laptop! Lol. I have always loved technology and strive to stay up to date. I love to self teach and use this to my advantage when ever I can. I have no qualms at all about trying a new program and actually hate having to use the help button or read the manual. I would much rather experiment and see what else I can learn along the way. 

As citizens I think technology has had a huge impact on our lives. Both good and bad. I hate that I am always contactable. I hate feeling always “switched on”. I do not feel like we have any down time these days. What  ever happened to shops not opening on Sundays and staying home with the family. Cooking a roast and mowing the lawn. BUT I do love the ability to find out anything at any given time. No more arguing about the correct answer, “just Google it” has become the catch cry of our generation. I love being able to connect with friends thousands of miles away.Oh, and I do love internet shopping! I love the fact that I can study online while snuggled up in bed. 

Technology in the teaching environment is interesting. I see us constantly telling the students to “act responsibly” on the net only to see grown women acting like school girls on Facebook and on that same point – Don’t Drunk Text People!!! I cannot stand the instant gratification people seek from technology. I really think we need to stop telling the kids how to behave and actually model some of this behaviour instead of just preaching about it.

Technology can play a big part in education. It encourages inquiring minds, promotes collaboration and encourages organisation. Having said that though, none of these things will help if the students are not taught how to effectively use them. Its not called the WEB for nothing! We need to introduce web tools in a way that the students can see the relevance in using them and instruct how to use the tool well. There is no point showing your year 11’s how to use evernote if you don’t show them how to effectively use it and demonstrate the practical application.

Occasionally though we still here “just teach it the normal way” from students. They are familiar with tried and tested concepts of classroom teaching. Sometimes introducing something new can be stressful. We need to choose when we implement ideas to alleviate this. I think technology will continue to be a growing part of the curriculum although time management and organisation will still limit some use. Its difficult to relocate a group of rowdy year 9’s to a IT Lab and still stay in control. Some will still choose to favour older teaching models. It actually amazes me how beginning teachers (1st year out) are not as tech savvy as you would think. 

This entry was posted on May 15, 2013. 1 Comment

An interesting morning!

Well, what an interesting conversation I had this morning with my homeroom. I had a conversation with them about online privacy and how they keep in touch digitally. Did they think about their online privacy? Yes surprisingly they did. What steps did they take to protect themselves? Some chose not to use their surname on profiles, some used pseudonyms, others just kept their account on private. What tools did they use to stay intouch with each other? Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr and the list rolled on, Skype…………So obviously they use whatever is new. Did they have multiple accounts? Yes, but most only had multiple accounts because they forgot passwords etc. Some had multiples to play games and earn more points. The most interesting one was the multiple accounts because they had been banned on multiple occasions. 

So, how did they feel about us using these tools in education. 

In general they were receptive. They said “we are always online, so it makes sense”, but they were very concerned about teachers being able to access their private life. This I can appreciate and understand. So I asked, “would you not make another account just for this purpose?” but sadly the answer is no. This is perceived as too much trouble. 

So what is the solution? Edmodo perhaps? Not so sure, they see that as a dorky teachers Facebook. Had to laugh at that one. But I do think given that they would like us to be more online with them that a happy medium can be found. Bearing in mind this is a year 8 group, who still do not see the benefit in being able to contact your teacher on the weekend. So maybe the answer isn’t so much in the method but in the age of the student academically. My homeroom partner uses Edmodo really successfully with a Year 11 group. Who obviously given their age are much more conscientious. 

But hey, whatever the answer it was a great conversation to have with them. Funny enough they left the room still discussing the issue.



By the way, loving Pintrest.

Using it to “pin” lots of different things I come accross on the net. I have made different boards for different topics, just like my own virtual filing cabinet.

This entry was posted on May 13, 2013. 1 Comment

Unit 5 – Evaluating Search Results

This weeks task was interesting. It reinforces the fact we already know about how students use a search engine such as Google. They are unaware of how to filer the results that Google provides and make “Good choices” as to which websites to trust – hence they use Wikipedia.

Kathy Shrock’s 5w’s of Website evaluation chart is a great tool for simple website evaluation

Who wrote the pages and are they an expert?
Is a biography of the author included?
How can I find out more about the author?
What does the author say is the purpose of the site?
What else might the author have in mind for the site?
What makes the site easy to use?
What information is included and does this
information differ from other sites?
When was the site created?
When was the site last updated?
Where does the information come from?
Where can I look to find out more about
the sponsor of the site?
Why is this information useful for my purpose?
Why should I use this information?
Why is this page better than another?

Somethings appear reputable even when they are not

Our task for this week was to do a search on a common term, “ancient Egypt” and choose a website to evaluate.

After conducting a Google search I chose the BBC site as it is an organisation I have used before. All the articles contained in this site have clearly designated authors or contributors, dates of contributed material, regular updates, even an about the author section to check the credentials of the contributor. These things to me suggest a trusted and well maintained source of information. The absence of advertising is also notable.

Some new search engines I explored were instagrok and DuckDuckGo. DuckDuckGo was blocked from our network. instagrok was very visual but I found my familiarity with Google still draws me back. I am happy to learn how to master it rather than attempt another.


This entry was posted on May 13, 2013. 1 Comment

Helpful hints!

little_miss_helpful_classic_post_card-r0077b4e6cadf49269cb4ee124b668397_vgbaq_8byvr_512This term I started studying again. I have not written an essay since high school (chiseled it in stone back then) and I have never written an academic essay. After only getting a pass on my first assignment I hit up my colleagues for some tips. Big thanks for all of the help.

Your colleagues are a great source! Pick their brains……Lets help each other.

Weebly in the classroom

We currently use weebly for our More Able Students Program. As the administrator I have to extend an invitation to the students via weebly and give them access to view or edit the pages I feel relevant. The students are subject to fairly similar rules of expected use for our internet as they are expected to use on weebly. So I cannot see any issues in this matter. I feel this can be an extremely useful tool in a class situation as we have seen with our teacher currently supporting us in its use. We currently use a page to introduce new topics and display work submitted. We also have a pathfinder database for assessment help. We can basically tailor pages to suit a teachers classroom needs. Sadly not many have taken us up on this help.

I feel we come in at the Augmentation role on the SAMR scale as we can be used for images and video. Many things we could provided could make the lesson and the research process quicker. Here is our link

This entry was posted on April 29, 2013. 1 Comment