Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Standards, Models and Integration Frameworks

Integration of technology into classroom lessons is a key theme evolving from the current curriculum. As a teaching in the making, it is important that I have met a number of Graduate Attributes that allow me to have the knowledge on how to do this successfully. Week eight of ED3441 provided us with a number of different theoretical frameworks and practical planning models to ensure we have the right tools to succeed.

Fluck (2001), discusses the three phases of integration of ICTs in schools.

- Phase One: students in school first use computers to allow ICT to become a curriculum choice in schools
- Phase Two: ICTs are used in classrooms to enhance learning opportunities
- Phase Three: the curriculum includes topics of study that require the use of ICTs and would not exist without them.

These three phases seem to be the path of future education. Every subject we study at uni requires us to think in depth how we can incorporate ICTs into our lessons to enhance learning, especially in this technological world we currently live in. I am lucky in the fact that on my last professional experience, I had a SBTE who wasn’t afraid to explore different technologies in her classrooms and wasn’t scared of failure. Even though she wasn’t always 100% sure of what she was doing, she still took risks, and I saw how well students responded to it. Some of the things she did were as little as using her iphone to film short scenes the students had to perform. She was then able to email the clips to her laptop and project them up onto the screen for all to easily see. Will you be the kind of teacher that takes risks with technology or are you happy to cruise along with just what you know now? Remember all of our actions and attitudes towards technology are going to affect any students that we teach in the future.

Once again, I was really challenged by Max in our weekly tute. Every week he throws at us a different concept that we need to take into account when creating our own Wikis. This week it was about what kind of learning tools are we going to have our students use as part of the main learning activity. How much scaffolding are we going to provide? What efficiency do students already have in using these learning tools? I had not previously realised just how much thought had to go into something as simple as picking a learning tool for our students to use. Max provided a model from NETS – National Educational Technology Standards for teachers. This model made me realise that every learning activity I have my students do falls under one of the following four categories: begin, develop, proficient, transform. Each of these four stages requires different levels of teacher scaffolding, and it is important to recognise what stage my learners are at when developing the activities for them to complete. As we are nearing the due for this assignment I just want to wish all my fellow ED3441 classmates the best as they are completing their Wiki because I know how much of a struggle it has been for me!


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  2. Hi Rachel,

    Wow what a very informative and well written blog. As I missed the lecture on Standards, Models and Integration Frameworks (week 8), your post filled me in. As you stated as novice teachers or ‘teachers in the making’ it is important for us to meet a number of Graduate Attributes, to successfully integrate ICTs into the classroom.

    The three phases of integration you stated I thought were very beneficial as the use of ICTs in today’s society is so demanding. On your prac you mentioned your SBTE used ICTs frequently in her classroom.
    Where you also given this opportunity when you taught and if so how did you use them?

    On my prac, I was given the chance to use an interactive whiteboard every day with the students. The students loved the use of it as they were given the chance to be active participants in their learning. However, I was not given the chance to explore the use of ICTs any further. In my future pracs I would love to be given the chance to use a variety of ICTs to enhance the students learning, just as your SBTE did. Integrating different ICTs into the classroom is a step to ensuring we are using the right tools to succeed.

    Have you been given the opportunity to use a variety of ICTs in your classroom when on previous pracs? If so, did the students enjoy it? If not do you think the use of ICTs may have enhanced their learning?

  3. Hey Angela, you have asked some very interesting questions regarding my experience with ICT’s during my professional experience. I had a similar experience to you on my prac. During my time at the school, my classroom was lucky enough to receive a portable interactive whiteboard (IWB). Unfortunately, the teacher had not yet received the software for the whiteboard so we used it just as a projector screen. It was a very last minute decision to include IWB in my lesson so it was very much a learning situation for me and not just the students. The students were so excited to be able to have a ‘different’ kind of maths lesson. I projected the maths worksheet up onto the IWB from the teacher’s classroom laptop. This allowed me to type in the answers to the questions as we were marking the work. Students were able to come up and type in their own answers as well making the lesson very hands on experience for them.
    The only negative part of using the IWB in the lesson was the fact that the laptop was at the front of the room so we could connect it to the IWB meaning that every time I wanted to type something on the computer I had to turn my back to the class. Fortunately I was in a class with well behaved students so had very few behavioural problems, but if it was a class that needed constant teacher eye-contact than this lesson would not have worked very well at all.

    Unfortunately this is my biggest experience with ICT’s during all three years of professional experience. I have however noticed that each year, as schools are receiving more ICT’s, there is an increasing pressure to include ICT’s in lessons and in particular to use for student assessment. My prac class this year had two pieces of assessment to do on the computer during Phase One and Phase Two of my prac. In Phase One, my students were in the final stages of creating a webpage for their current unit and in Phase Two, my students were using the computer to create their own feature article. Both of these assessments were completed using Microsoft Publisher which provided the students with a template for their assessment task so they were able to know what they had to do. I struggled at times to help students out with their tasks as I am not familiar with Publisher. I saw it as an excellent learning opportunity to develop new skills. I am looking forward to developing new skills in my final prac next year so that when I have my own classroom I am not scared to incorporate ICT’s in my classroom because I want to ensure the current ‘technology savvy’ generation have the best learning experiences I can give them.

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  5. Like you Angela, I was able to use the interactive whiteboard regularly in the classroom on professional experience. I found that it further engaged students in learning. They were all really excited to get up and have a go whether the task included games or writing. The possibilities were endless with the wide range of tools available on the software and from the internet. I used the interactive whiteboard in practically every lesson.

    During my time on professional experience, I also provided opportunities for students to access computers. However, I found it difficult to implement this use of ICTs in the classroom so this resource was not used as often. It is difficult to ensure that all students received an equitable amount of time on computers because there were only a limited amount of computers in the classroom.

  6. Rachel,
    My classroom had just moved into newly renovated classrooms when I returned for my second prac. The teacher had not yet used the IWB because she was unfamiliar with the software. After school we would explore the tools and interactive features.
    I also found the location of the IWB a negative because I had my back to the class. Being in a class that required frequent behaviour management, I knew I had to change my teaching practices. I eventually picked students to control the laptop and IWB. I had a student with ADD in the class and I found that giving him this task calmed him down which made the rest of the class easier to control.

  7. Those are good ideas to combat the 'back to the class' problem Sara. My SBTE and I had a discussion after the lesson about strategies and we came up with allowing students to type in the answers as much as possible. However my only issue with that would be would it take up too much teaching time waiting for students to come up to the laptop, type in the answer and return to their seat?

    Did you find though that the students who didn't get control the laptop tended to get cranky and complain that they wanted a turn too? Or did they just accept your decision? When you allowed the student with ADD to control the laptop, did it seem like he was missing out on the actual lesson content because he was too busy with the computer?