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Enhancing Digital Technology

Would you accept children being failed to be educated on maths or language?  Although they are being brought up/growing up surrounded by it and to have a successful, positive experience within and out with school they must have developing knowledge and skills of these subjects.  I’m assuming your answers would be no, therefore, why do you sit back and accept the fact the majority of children are being failed to be educated on technology.  Why is this the case when children are completely surrounded by digital content whether that’s; television, mobile phones, games, tablets, kindles, laptops…etc.  These are all digital tools which children will see within their everyday life yet it gets pushed away within the classroom.  By doing so children are merely consuming the content of the TV, game, kindle etc. rather than learning about HOW the content is created, why do we not teach children these skills and promote the creation to allow children ownership of what they are growing up admiring.

When exploring the different website’s Derek shared with us my brother was sitting in his bedroom playing Minecraft in his own little bubble.  My brother is someone who loves to learn, as soon as he finds something he is interested in he researches it meaning he knows SO much about Minecraft where he has a number of books he’s read inside out, a huge youtube playlist with a number of videos of Minecraft and a notebook with a number of notes he’s taking when watching his friends play Minecraft.  My brother is 9 years old.  If someone this young is so interested in learning about this game it would make perfect sense if he was taught a little about it.  Therefore I sat with him and we went through the website  which explains how Minecraft is coded.  He was stunned at how HE could code and make the game work exactly like it does when he plays it.  He was so engrossed in the whole process that he completed all the challenges and watched every single video intently.  Seeing him so inspired and enthusiastic to create something which he and all his friends play every other day was very rewarding.  The next day I came downstairs to witness my brother sitting with 4 of his friends (of various ages and genders) going through the challenges learning how to code.  Honestly i was amazed and my eyes were opened to how much children are actually interested in the ‘behind the scenes’ of games they play.

After exploring coding and sharing it with my brother I showed him Mozilla and the features of X-Ray Goggles and Thimble.  We explored these together and learned how to use these together, it was a great experience as I realised he actually knew a lot more than me about digital tools  and he actually educated me on different factors as I was educating him.  During these activities I realised we were actually learning collaboratively as he and his friends were.  We were also sharing our; learning, knowledge and skills.  This highlighted to me that this could easily be adapted to a collegiate learning culture if it was introduced into schools.

In this video it is stated that learners are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunities offered by technologies and by doing so it will help raise attainment, ambition and opportunities.  This is stated for digital learning week however from this video it is clear this should be the case for the whole year through and when looking at the principles and practice of technologies this is also the case.  Angela Constance also discusses the fact that schools should embrace digital technologies and I think that with most/if not all schools have access to digital tools therefore we should continuously embrace this fact and take advantage of it.

As a developing student teacher I feel it is essential to reflect on how we are embracing digital technology within the classroom.  I think this is something which is advancing and improving within schools however I think it is essential that we introduce different ways of using and developing digital technology in teaching and learning.  As I stated before children are growing up surrounded by digital technology therefore I believe their interest and enthusiasm for using and learning about digital technology is there embedded in them, it is up to us as teachers to enhance this and take advantage of the children’s interests to allow teaching and learning to be the best it can be within the classroom.  I think there are many possibilities and opportunities when looking at technology and I am very excited to be part of the growing/developing teaching and learning of technologies.

 


The website’s I used to form these opinions are;

https://teach.mozilla.org/tools/

https://code.org/learn

http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Education/Schools/ICTinLearning/DLTStrategy

http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/resources/d/digitallearningweek.asp?strReferringChannel=educationscotland&strReferringPageID=tcm:4-615801-64&class=l1+d86716

http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/learningandteaching/curriculumareas/technologies/principlesandpractice/index.asp

 

 

Bloom’s Taxonomy

Tricia asked us as part of our questioning and discussion to come prepared to the second workshop with a context and questions to follow this context.  When looking at this I felt extremely nervous as it looked a lot more difficult than she had explained.  However as I got started it was such a straight forward, helpful aid to use which allowed me to think of very in depth questions that would make the children think and learn in a wider context than just the topic.  For this I chose children of primary 4/5 and a book called Wonder by R.J.Palacio which can link in with a variety of curricular areas.  I think this would be a wonderful class book to read together as a class as there are so many different learning points within the book.  This book can link to; language, health and wellbeing, religious and moral education, drama and art and design.  I used the Bloom’s Taxonomy to aid me in thinking of my questions and I found this the most helpful process for questioning.  It allows you to start off with simple, easy questions which you can come up with on the spot which you then take and explore deeper with the questions linking.

PBWorks (no date) Bloom’s Taxonomy (Revised) [online]. Available at: http://pcs2ndgrade.pbworks.com/f/1318607148/RBT.PNG (accessed 23/02/15)

RBT

Remembering – Ask the children;

  • Do they remember the key points in the chapter?
  • Do  they remember a time they felt the same way as some of the characters at these key points?
  • Do they remember ever experiencing anything that the similar to the key points?

Understanding – Do the children understand;

  • Bullying?
  • Exclusion?
  • That people are different i.e look different, have different personalities etc
  • That bullying etc. have an effect on other people as well not just the individual who is being bullied
  • Friendships and relationships- can be good and bad…

Applying – The children could put themselves in the position of either the main character or another character from the book, they could write a short story or produce a comic book strip (or something similar) which can show what is happening and how they are feeling about the situation as that person.

Analysing – The children could have a discussion where they can explore the reasons why certain people act/react differently.  Is it possible they’re doing so because their home life and experiences or because peer pressure from friends etc..

Evaluating – The children could put themselves in one of the characters positions and defend their actions which could bring a debate into their discussions.

Creating – The children could create; a comic book strip, story, piece of art, pivot animation or a range of other things which expresses their feelings and point of view of the book.  The children could then work in pairs to have 10 minutes to look and jot down questions they have.  They could then ask those questions and have a discussion with their partner exploring their thoughts and feelings.

 

Technology Lesson

During technology input myself, Danielle, Erin, Katie, Ailsa and Lucy worked collaboratively to come up with a lesson plan that involved an area which we weren’t too confident about.  By the end of this workshop I realised that planning a technology lesson wasn’t as daunting as I first thought and it’s something I would love to experiment with in the classroom.  

Here’s our lesson plan:

Individual Lesson Plan Format (Primary)

 

Class/Group: P4/5………………      Lesson: …………………………        Date: ………..…

 

Previous ExperienceLesson on how to safely cut wood using a saw and how to handle scissors carefully.

 

Working towards outcomes of a Curriculum for Excellence 

I explore materials, tools and software to discover what they can do and how I can use them to help solve problems and construct 3D objects which may have moving parts.

 

Literacy/Numeracy/ICT/HWB (where appropriate):Numeracy: measuring –  Literacy: following instructions and communicating
Learning Intentions Success Criteria
 We are able to cut different materials using different tools safely to create a 3D object  ·       I am able to cut paper using scissors smoothly

·       I am able to cut wood using a junior hack saw

·       I can use a ruler to measure the cuts

·       I can follow instructions appropriately to make a windmill

·       I can compare the different resources used

 

Resources Paper, scissors, wood, hacksaw, desk clam, ruler, glue gun, pencil, split pin
 

15 mins

 

5 mins

 

 

 

 

5 mins

 

30 mins

 

10 mins

 

30 mins

 

15 mins

 

 

 

20 mins

10 mins

Setting the context/Beginning the lesson (Introduction) 

Recap on different tools and skills already learnt

 

Share and explain L.I’s and S.C split into groups

 

 

Teaching the learning intentions (Development)

 

Use instructions sheets to divide up roles

 

Create the paper part of the windmill

 

Measure the wood

 

Sawing wood

 

Tidy up while teacher glues

 

Ending the lesson (Plenary)

 

Reflect on the materials and tools used and compare

Use success criteria to evaluate performance

 

 

Discussion

Check for understanding

 

 

 

 

Observation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Discussion and observation

Peer Assessment

5 Attributes..

These 5 attributes are some which I believe are very important in terms of being  teacher.

Integrity

Official definition; 1- The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles.

2- The state of being whole and undivided.

My view of this is:

 To be professional you must have integrity as it important to be open and honest with your class as they ask difficult questions or challenge your own person views.  It is being open to change with your techniques, attitudes and beliefs.  It is also being open and honest in terms of asking for help when it’s required or seeking advice on issues which you thought maybe didn’t go so well and there’s possibility for change.  It’s also using your own experiences to help within the school environment, whether it being in the classroom or in the staff room etc.  I think integrity is having the confidence and the courage to speak up when problems arise and support is essential.  It’s also having the confidence and courage to voice your views (appropriately and where necessary) on different topics which you teach with the children however doing it in a way in which you aren’t persuading the children to think the same way, making it clear that these thoughts are purely personal.

Patience

Official Definition: The capacity to accept or tolerate delay, problems, or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious.

My view of this is:

To be a professional teacher you must have patience as it is important in all aspects of your job; within and out with the classroom.  Children will be very challenging with your patience as a teacher as some individuals will take longer to grasp certain aspects of the course where others will fly through certain work.  Also many children will challenge your patience as a teacher as they will become unmotivated and distracted easily where they won’t want to do their work therefore it is your responsibility to keep them on track.  However if a child continues to do this it will become very irritating and disruptive, being a professional with patience will allow you to deal with these situations appropriately.  Also within the staff room if a class with personalities occur patience is essential to avoid confrontation and allow a healthy, comfortable work environment.  Moving onto parents, having patience with parents is important as they should be comfortable with asking both simple and complex questions in which you have the patience to; answer, discuss and explain to them anything they may not understand.

Empathy

Official Definition: The ability to understand and share the feelings of another.

My view of this is:

To be a professional teacher it is important to have empathy as children will normally be more comfortable and work best when the teacher can relate to them.  It’s important when a child doesn’t understand the work given to them that you understand their struggle and you can relate to them as this will help you have the appropriate approach when discussing any issues with them.  Having empathy will also allow children to be more comfortable in exploring ideas where they’ll ask more questions and feel at ease when making mistakes that they can then learn from.  It is also important to have empathy when talking with parents if there has been an issue with their child.  It’s important to understand where the parent may be in terms of their emotions and their understanding of the issue which is of concern therefore it is essential to approach them with the appropriate manner.

Tolerance

Official definition; 1- The ability or willingness to tolerate the existence of opinions or behaviour that one dislikes or disagrees with.

 

2- the capacity to endure continued subjection to something such as a drug or environmental conditions without adverse reaction.

My view of this is:

Tolerance is very beneficial to a professional teacher as they will be challenged very single day where their tolerance within the classroom will be pushed to the limit.  Being a teacher is often a challenge where children’s behaviours can be very unruly and it is difficult to get them back on track with the appropriate behaviour.  Children will also have opinions on certain work where it’s possibly even the opinion of ‘what’s the point in this I’m never going to need this… I’m not doing this’ which proves to be a struggle when keeping children on task.  Therefore having tolerance is very significant.  It is needed in order to deal with situations without ‘loosing it’ and shouting at the children as this has no real benefit.  Having tolerance within the classroom will help to provide a happy, controlled and relaxing environment where tempers are kept at a minimum and children don’t waste their time ‘winding up’ their teacher.

Fairness

Official Definition: is the quality of making judgments that are free from discrimination.

My view of this is:

 

To be a professional teacher fairness is one of the most important attribute’s as each and every child should be treated with equal opportunities within the classroom.  Education is something which should be provided to all children will the same level of quality whether it be in a deprived area or a very developed area.  Whether a child comes from a rough/working class background or a wealthy/middle class background their education and the attitude shown from the teacher should be no different.  This is also important in terms of gender and ethnicity where a child should never be treated any different due to something which is out with their own control.  This is essential  for children to experience during school and it is essential for teachers to provide this to each child throughout their school experience where they should reinforce this to the children and stop any behaviour which shows any form of discrimination.   

 

 

 

Sharing comments…

Personally I found receiving feedback a very useful and positive experience which helped me reflect on my post in a different way from the way I had previously.  I enjoy receiving comments on my posts as it highlights to me whats going right and what I need to improve on in my next post.  It also gives me a variety of points which enhances/challenges my understanding of my opinions on different areas which allows me to explore them further therefore receiving a better understanding.  I like discussions about topics where I enjoy hearing other people opinions and reflecting on my own to see if they can be changed or not, this normally happens during comments.

Giving peer feedback I found great as well, however I have realised how difficult it is to read things critically as all blog posts I read I found only positive comments to make.  However I think with more practice of this I will soon be able to find a balance with giving compliments and development points.  I enjoy reading others blog posts as I find it very interesting to see what they’ve took from a certain area.

With my future studies I will be aware that peer review really benefits me in my own reflection and understanding of my own opinions or on work I have to understand.  I know in future I will find myself asking my peers to read over my comments or my work and get them to comment on the things which are and aren’t working as I do this already however I feel it’s necessary for me to remember and do this to others as well.

In the classroom I feel it is important to have other teachers review on; lessons i’ll carry out, work I will produce for the children, my marking on pupils work which I found difficult to mark and the way I deal with challenged within the classroom etc.  I feel peer review will be very important to support my learning as a teacher within the classroom.  I also feel it’s important to introduce peer review to the children i’ll be teaching and allowing them to this during their work throughout the year, I think it’s beneficial to children to have their peers review their work as a lot of the time peer comments are more meaningful to children than teacher comments are therefore I think it is important to allow the children to do this.

Overall I find peer review to be a very useful and positive experience which I will take into my classroom to help my development as a teacher and to support the children as they develop.

Professionalism: My Views…

After watching these videos and taking my own notes on the different opinions/views on professionalism I have gathered some of my own thoughts on them…

I completely agreed with everything that was brought up in this video. I think it’s making a very strong, powerful point when looking at professionalism.  How the doctor and nurse explained their jobs are very similar to teaching, in my opinion.  We take a child who has a certain level of knowledge and skills where we then work with them to develop them further as individuals, this brings the great satisfaction which is felt by the doctors and nurses when taking in a patient and making them better.  I think that when you have had a significant impact on a child’s life where they’re grown and developed as individuals who are equipped to move on and develop even further what you’ve taught them in your year of working with them a great satisfaction will be felt.  Passion, dedication, loving your job, team work, commitment, enthusiasm, being reachable etc. is what professionalism looks like according to some of the teachers in the video.  I feel strongly about all of these factors as I think they all make such a huge different to treating teaching as your job; something that needs to be done for a couple of hours and being professional where you’ll see teaching as more than just a job, more than just a couple of hours in the classroom.  Being a teacher means going above and beyond your duties; it’s caring for the whole community and taking into account the difference you’re making in it and not just the children.  Being a professionalism means always staying informed with the; new curriculum, new discussions, new issues and new teaching methods.  To be professional we must be aiming to meet/going beyond the quality and the standard of which society expects us to guarantee the children.  It’s mentioned in the video that teachers aren’t just the educator of the child but the educator of the community, they have such a wider impact than only the child sitting in their classroom.  Therefore being a professional is taking this into consideration and putting in extra effort out of school hours and out of the school.  In saying this though it’s important to have an aim in your efforts, it’s important to know what you’re doing and what you want the outcome to be in the end as this will allow you to help spread your knowledge and skills throughout many people’s lives.

I split this video up into 5 sections for the different teachers opinions on professionalism;

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The notes I took from the Miss Catherine Long were points which conflicted with some of my personal views.  Personally I don’t feel as though professionalism is becoming more noticed within society this present day.  I find it has always been noticed merely the concept of professionalism has changed.  When you look back 40 odd years now you find teachers were professional in terms of;  their classroom environment, their delivery of information, the methods of teaching, working with the pupils, teacher/pupil relationships and their involvement with children at break times etc.  For all teachers these factors were to be addressed in the same manner therefore they approached these in professional ways.  However in the 21 century professionalism has changed and adapted for the new education system.  These days their are big differences on what is classed as professionalism.  Teachers have varieties in their classrooms environments, methods of teaching due to the new outlook on teaching.  Working with the pupils is approached in a number of different ways and the teacher/pupil relationship has changed dramatically as they must adapt with society and the changes which occur in it, taking into consideration the new attitudes of children and their development.  Teachers involvements at break times have changed as aspects of behaviour were highlighted and must be monitored etc.  There are many changes which I feel has altered our view of professionalism and therefore I feel society has more of a voice now because everyone has different view points.

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I agreed with everything Mrs Nursen Chemmi explained in the video.  I feel teachers have a huge role to play as children will use them as role models where they will copy the way in which you speak/act.  Professionalism should mean you’re continuously being a positive role model in their lives are many children will either be missing a mother/father figure or not have positive role models in their lives.  Children are influenced very easily therefore as a teacher you should take this into consideration and ensure you’re influencing them appropriately.

IMG_4944

The first part Mrs Coleen Walsh spoke about is the same as Mrs Nursen Chemmi, however the second part was very interesting for me as it is something that I find is affecting children more often.  Children should never be judge by their home life as it’s something which they have no control over.  If children were judged on their home lives and parents then there would be extremely unfair judgements both positive and negative.  Every single child should be treated equally and given the same chance with their education.

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Mrs Erin Smith raised the point that professionalism should be used differently with different groups of people, to a certain extent I agree with this.  Professionalism should vary slightly depending on who you are communicating with however your communication should still be clear and you should still have appropriate attitudes towards each individual the same.  I find that when communicating with different individuals it’s important to keep your key values of professionalism therefore you’ll always respect and approach them appropriately.

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Miss Catherine Long describes here essentially that teachers should be engaging with what I just learned to be an enquiring practitioner.  As from my previous blog post I have explained why it is important to be involved in practitioner enquiry.  I feel these are very important and significant words which I strongly agree with in terms of professionalism.

Chris

I think that Chris had a very positive message about teachers!  I enjoyed listening to him and felt as though he had an important, inspiring speech.  Chris’s passion really shone through in his message where he believes teachers are ver important and should be treating well while being payed well.  I agree with him as he describes how teachers should valued as we care for kids.  This is such a true statement which I feel is overlooked a lot.  Teachers care for every single child in their class and in their school, hence the reason most teachers go above and beyond to help their children learn and develop.  It was very refreshing and I think many teachers would agree with Chris’s words here.  

Karen

I disliked Karens statement and I disagreed with it hugely.  Karen states that she is an educational worker who merely punches a clock, I think this is a hugely negative view on being a teacher which will have a very negative impact on her work as a teacher.  Personally I do not feel that being a teacher is a job in which you can punch a clock as you must dedicate so much of your time and energy into it.  In my opinion Karen is not a professional teacher, nor is she someone who is taking her job serious enough.  She has a variety of children of different ages and different abilities who are all counting on her support to aid them with their development however with this negative attitude Karen will not be able to do this effectively.  I think it’s a very irresponsible and selfish view she has on her job.   

 

Development of my learning

Watching this video;

really made me think about how effect my note taking is during lectures and then what I do with them when I come away from the lectures.

IMG_4923

I wrote out a mind map based on this video which I have now been using for the past week when studying or coming out of a lecture.  It’s worked amazingly!  Before there were many things which I was doing that is one this sheet; re-writing my notes, having a word bank of words which came up in lectures that I didn’t understand, organising my lecture notes, I phone my mum every day at some point and explain to her what I’ve learned or what my lecture was about, I phone my siblings or boyfriend on days when I found the lecture difficult and discussed it with them, I related subjects to one another and I picked out the parts which I found were the most important.  However as you can see there are many things which I wasn’t doing; taking notes when reading (which is now helping me significantly as it keeps me involved in the book), questioning myself on different parts of a topic (which is also helping me as it highlights where I’m struggling the most), quizzing myself where i have questions and write down my answers (I’ve done this once or twice but not sure if it’s beneficial to me) and space repetition which i know realise is the most important aspect of studying.  I found myself caught up in my emotions of moving away from home for the first time and being out my comfort zone that I let myself slip where yes I would take notes and re-write them but for the first couple of weeks I hadn’t gone back over my notes at all.  This has really highlighted to me how important it is to do so therefore I’ve started from the very beginning and I’m going through each powerpoint re-writing and re-reading.  Taking new notes, adapting them from the old ones, refreshing and learning the topics from before and it’s felt great!  Getting focused and using these techniques I’m managing to keep up to date with the current work and topics we’re doing in class but also go back over the ones from before.  I know work my way found this mind map when studying assuring I’m learning effectively and actively.