Blogging is a relatively new phenomenon and not something that I have attempted before, I squirm at the thought of others being able to read and scrutinise my work. I’m also not very comfortable with my work being available to search and anyone on the planet be able to view it, this feels like an invasion of my privacy and I am constantly thinking of what I should or should not type and what others, who stumble across my work, may think of what is in my blog.
I understand, however, that blogging can be a fantastic tool for the classroom and allows learners to organise and share their thoughts and ideas in new and exciting ways as well as collaborate with others. Online blogging platforms, such as Glow, can allow for a home-school link too, with parents and carers being able to view learners work via the platform and leave comments for others to view. This idea of “sharing” work for everyone to see is excellent, it means that there is a greater chance for parents to collaborate with schools and learners and allows a great amount of collaboration and creativity for learners, before the blogging phenomenon children’s work was only seen within the classroom and, as such, was only available to parents and carers at certain times such as parents evening or if they happen to visit the school. Blogging allows the pupils work and creations to be visible at any time which is likely to engage more collaboration from everyone! (Holmes, J. 2016)
Blogging is definitely something that I envisage using within school, as a teacher, because it can give an insight into how pupils feel about certain subjects within the classroom and is likely to engage pupils and parents and carers more than only using paper and pen.
The digital technologies module is an optional module within the BA Hons Education degree at UWS. I chose this module over others because I have a reasonable understanding and experience of digital technologies within the classroom and personally. I would however, like to improve my skills and gain further experience in order to improve my confidence when using digital technologies enabling me to use my skills effectively within the classroom and to support the learning of pupils. This module will allow me to explore different modes of digital technology and make links and ultimately teach them through the Curriculum for Excellence Experiences and Outcomes.
Today children are coming to school as “digital natives” having spent much of their lives so far, surrounded by technology (Prensky, M. 2001, P2). It is impossible to avoid digital technology in 2019, therefore, it is imperative that all pupils are allowed to develop the skills to use it effectively, confidently, responsibly and safely.
The Curriculum for Excellence addresses digital technology outcomes from early level onwards, therefore it is imperative that teachers and students are able to equip children, from an early age, with the knowledge and confidence to use digital technology available. For example, the very first early level outcome is TCH 0-01a requires children to be able to “explore digital technologies and use what [they] learn to solve problems and share ideas and thoughts” (Education Scotland, 2016).
The use of digital technology in education is key to raising attainment and can benefit pupils, parents and carers and staff in all areas of education. The Scottish Government is committed to embedding digital technologies into the curriculum for excellence so that pupils benefit fully from technology with no exceptions.
Some of the Scottish Government aims are to:
- develop the skills and confidence of teachers
- improve access to digital technology for all pupils
- ensure that digital technology is a central consideration in all areas of curriculum and assessment delivery
- empower leaders of change to drive innovation and investment in digital technology for learning and teaching
Digital technologies are constantly changing, therefore to be able to follow these aims, in particular to develop my skills and confidence as a teacher and educator I am aware that I must endeavour to be a lifelong learner in terms of digital technology and participate in continuous career development in this area (Scottish Government, 2016).
I consider myself to be a digital immigrant in many ways as I haven’t grown up using digital technology and carry a “digital immigrant accent” (Prensky, M. op. cit. P3). For example, I am more comfortable and more likely to print out a copy of a document and read the paper format than simply open it on a digital device and read it, as I find a paper copy less distracting and easier to read. To be an effective teacher I must be aware of these behaviours and ensure that they do not affect the learning and guidance that the students receive from me. This is a skill that I endeavour to enhance throughout this module.
I look forward to building on my knowledge, developing new skills and reflecting on my journey over the next 12 weeks whilst studying this module, who knows, I may even enjoy blogging at the end of the module!
- Education Scotland (2016) Curriculum for Excellence: technologies experiences and outcomes. [online] Available: https://education.gov.scot/Documents/Technologies-eo-.pdf. [Accessed: 8January 2019].
- Holmes, J. (2016) The digital difference: how technology is changing learning. TES Magazine. [Online] Available: https://www.tes.com/news/digital-difference-how-technology-changing-learning. [Accessed: 10 January 2019].
- Prensky, M. (2001) Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants Part 1. On the Horizon. [Online] Vol. 9(5), Available: https://doi.org/10.1108/10748120110424816. [Accessed: 8 January 2019].
- Scottish Government (2016) Enhancing Teaching and Learning through the use of Digital Technology: A Digital Learning and Teaching Strategy for Scotland. [Online] Available: https://beta.gov.scot/publications/enhancing-learning-teaching-through-use-digital-technology/. [Accessed: 8 January 2019].