Having recently had an ICT input on searching, researching and presenting we had a discussion about how crucial it is to teach children about internet safety. Technology has grown drastically over the years. I remember as a teenager my brother and I would argue about who had been on the internet for the longest or would complain when someone phoned on the house phone as it cut the internet off. It’s incredible to think that children will not experience these things anymore and everyone can be on the internet at the same time. Bearing this in mind many parents may not always know what their children are getting up to online, which can be scary. This is why it is essential as a teacher to know the ins and outs of internet safety to ensure this is passed on to the future generations. I used the website www.animoto.com to create a short video about internet safety. I found it extremely easy to navigate my way around animoto and believe I could use this as a resource in the classroom to allow children to present work.
Throughout the ICT input I learned a lot about searching the internet and how to make my searches more relevant. I am the type of person who just types in the search bar and relies on the top hits, I believe many people are. However, reflecting on this I am going to change my habits and dig deeper into finding the information I need to know. I find it fascinating that people can make websites that are completely untrue however, still make them look real and official. This gave me insight into how my habits need to change and I need to pay more attention into what I am reading. Looking through some of these websites I think it is beneficial for my career choice to show children these websites and allow them to analyse whether or not the information is true.
Having crept away from the thought of writing blog posts over the festive period, I have now taken the advice from my lecturer and looked at some of my fellow student’s blog posts. I have to admit I feel slightly embarrassed with myself in regards to the amount of blog posts others have done compared to myself. The blog posts I have read were extremely good and some lengthy compared to my own. This has given me the opportunity to evaluate my own work and realise I need to produce blog posts to a higher standard considering the profession I want to go into. I believe some of my posts have not had a great deal of thought or effort put into them, which looking back now is disappointing. I believe it is highly important to reflect upon situations whether this is a specific class that has been attended or a book that has been read. Bearing that in mind I am going to set myself the goal of creating a reflective blog post weekly and commenting on at least three fellow student’s blog posts.
Upon reading my fellow student’s blog posts I have established that my blog posts can appear to be quite boring. This is due to the fact that I have never inserted a picture or a video clip into any of my blog posts, the titles of my blog posts are uninspiring and would not appeal to people, the font and colour of the text always remains the same and I rarely use quotes or statements to support my view. My aim is to make my blog posts more appealing by changing all these aspects in order to inspire people to read my blog posts.
I believe that reading my fellow student’s blog posts has inspired me to become more creative with my blog and to engage more thoroughly. I believe that in writing a blog post weekly I can improve my confidence and prepare for assignments through reflecting on my learning.
Menter et al (2001) defined practitioner enquiry as a ‘finding out’ or an investigation with a rationale and approach that can be explained or defended. Practitioner enquiry is most commonly undertaken within the practitioners own practice however, it can also be collaboratively undertaken with peers. Being an enquiring practitioner you must reflect and evaluate all your work, especially lesson plans as this enhances not only your personal development as a teacher but the development of the pupils within your class and potentially your peers. Having the mind-set of an enquiring practitioner will allow you to think critically about your teaching and how to improve your teaching. Being critically reflective is not negative as it allows you to question old assumptions, look at things from new and various perspectives and develop your practice by ensuring you can make reflective decisions. Being an enquiring practitioner you should consistently ask critical questions about your professional development such as why and how am I doing this and who and how will this benefit.
There are many benefits of being an enquiring practitioner:
Allows teachers to challenge and transform education systems which benefits the pupils learning.
Allows teachers to monitor their own personal development and learning.
Allows teachers to work collaboratively on plans to develop pupils learning.
Has a lasting impact on professional development for the practitioner.
Allows teachers to increase their knowledge base and allows for more professional judgements to be made, which gives the practitioner a chance to build on self-esteem and professional identity.
However, there are also challenges of being an enquiring practitioner:
Challenges the traditional way of teaching which some teachers may find difficult if they are stuck in old habits and routines.
Different practices and techniques require different skills which can be challenging.
Some teacher may find it difficult to challenge their own assumptions or be critical.
It can seem like a long slow process with no end goal for some teachers.
It can be an overwhelming process for some teachers.
As a student teacher I feel like learning about how to become and enquiring practitioner is highly beneficial not only for my professional practice but for my journey throughout university. I feel that it is essential to learn how to critically evaluate and reflect on situations, which is a skill I need to work upon. However, I feel that learning this throughout my next for years will allow for me to have a critical approach and question what I do throughout my career. Learning about how to become an enquiring practitioner throughout university will benefit my career as I will have the knowledge base of what is expected of me and how to achieve this. Whilst out on my professional practice this will be highly beneficial as I can have discussions with other members of staff about my progress and how to improve upon my learning. I personally feel that being an enquiring practitioner is a positive development as it is not only about my personal development as a teacher but also the progress of the pupils I am teaching. I am a strong believer in the sense that you never stop learning and you are never too old to learn therefore I will develop myself into an enquiring practitioner who learns throughout my career.