3 Reasons why we should integrate ICTs in student’s learning experience.

This is a link to my online artifact. I chose to use Prezi to demonstrate using various media why we should integrate ICTs in student’s learning experience. There are a couple of videos included in it that have been labelled as “not part of the assignment” as they are too long and use up too much time. I have left them in there for extra information and also because I will use this artifact to show to some of my colleagues in an attempt to convince them that we should use ICTs in our delivery strategies.

Starting Age: When should computers be introduced to children?

I was reading a post from a fellow student about when computers should be introduced to children. She was discussing the merits of getting children started using ICTs in education, even if it’s only controlling the mouse. She also pointed out that there is some fantastic resources available for this age group.

This is what I posted on her blog in response:

“Hi Miss Bennett.

I think there is a lot of merit to introducing children to ICTs at a very early age. I have seen children at home using computers before even being able to read. Admittedly there is a bit of guess work happening, but they are able to watch what someone else does and remember what to do by recognising the process even if they can’t read yet. Kids can so easily pick up new concepts at this time of their lives. Introducing ICTs at this stage will make using ICTs in the future second nature. I also think that looking at the other extreme illustrates this point. Watching people that did not grow up with ICT trying to use a computer shows how difficult and frustrating it can be to come to grips with the concept of ICT. I really don’t think its ever too early to get them started.”

Different learning styles

I was reading a fellow blogger’s blog where she was talking about how different people learn and how she has struggled with the learning style offered by this course. This was my response that I posted on her blog:

I felt pretty stressed at the start of this course by the amount that I had to get through in the short time I was given along with the fact that it took so long to work out how to do the tasks I was given. That being said, I have come so far and feel incredibly empowered to try anything and work out how to do something on the internet that I wouldn’t normally have even tried. I’m also finding that it is taking me less time to work out new web applications. I am also a hands on learner and have found that this style of learning suits me perfectly. I do use this style to some degree with my apprentices that I train as I have learned in previous units that students learn more through discovery than through rhetoric. I do accept that we all learn differently so I also try to respond to the individual learning style of each of my students.
All the best for the rest of the course. I hope this unit makes you stronger and more capable.”





Classroom dinosaurs

I was reading a blog  by a fellow student – Peter Brabyn. He talks about how one day, our classrooms may become ‘dinosaurs’ as we are progressing in this digital age where we do alot of our learning, reading and communication in digital form as opposed to using actual paper and face to face communication. This struck a chord with me as I think about my own children. Every afternoon, they do their homework (usually on the computer). They then do half an hour of mathsletics (maths games) on the computer, then read virtual books off a virtual bookshelf in return for virtual pets and virtual furniture that they put in their virtual house. Seems crazy but they are having fun and learning at the same time. I will not be surprised if there did come a time when there was no need to step into a classroom. Peter says in his blog that he has not stepped foot onto the university grounds since he enrolled. I myself have never ever been to the university and I finish my degree at the end of this semester (if I pass this unit of course). We are seeing some trully radical changes in such a short amount of time. It makes me wonder what education will look like in the next 10, 20 or 50 years.

That warm fuzzy feeling

I was reading a post by a fellow student and blogger where he talks about that warm fuzzy feeling he gets when students bring appropriate information to the class and share it with fellow students. He says that that is what he is there for. I identify with that feeling. I get it when students start asking about how engines work and how can you make them perform better. When I can see that they genuinely want to know how an engine works and I can fill in the bits that they don’t understand and bring them to a place where they have that ‘aha’ moment, that get me excited and gives me that warm fuzzy feeling. The other thing that does the same for me is sharing those little tricks that I have learned from old tradesmen that make those difficult jobs easy. Its taken me the last 25 years to collect my ‘toolbox’ of tricks and I love passing those tricks on to others. That really makes my job enjoyable and makes me want to go back the next day and do it all again.

What are the laws that surround copyright on the internet

David Jones pointed us in the direction of a very interesting web page that describes very well the laws that surround using media (videos, music, images etc.) from the internet. the page is distributed by edublogs and can be found here. It explains that one can use media off the internet if it has a creative commons licence. If looking for an image, a good place to start is flickr but to find images with the creative commons licence, go into the advanced search options and tick the box that says only “Only search within Creative Commons-licensed content”. This can be found here. Care should be taken to give credit to the owner of the image by displaying using text near the photo who owns it or where you got it from. When looking for videos, music or other media equal care should be taken. The page from edublogs mentioned before gives plenty of information regarding this. If you are in breach of copyright and are asked by a lawyer to remove media from your blog or similar, the advice is to quickly remove it and that should be the end of it. The article talks about lawyer firms that actually looks for breaches of copyright so they can contact the owner of the breach and make money from them by demanding that you remove it or be prosecuted. In my opinion, this is a poor way to make a living but it is a good warning for us to be careful about what we use in our blogs, webpages or similar mediums.

Google Reader Retiring

I was reading up about google reader for my assignment and found out that Google Reader will be retiring on July 1st this year. They gave information  on how to transfer all of your information from Google Reader to another reader. Information on how to do this is contained here. http://support.google.com/reader/answer/3028851

Anybody using a different reader that they would recommend, please add in comments.

I found a forum with several suggestion as to a replacement feed reader. Please be advised that there is some bad language in this forum.

A particularly good reader is netvibes. You can watch an introduction video about it here.

There are several other readers mentioned in the forum.

My blog is my toolbox

During this course, I have learned so many things and have learned about so many tools. At first this was becoming quite overwhelming, but it is settling down now and I can’t believe what I have covered in three weeks. For a while I was wondering how I could keep track of what I have subscribed to and what I have learned and it just dawned on me that my blog is my toolbox. Each time I learned about or subscribed to a new tool, I blogged about it (I use edublogs) and included a link. If ever I need to refresh my memory on what I have learned or can’t recall a certain website I once used, I only need to go back to my blog and its all there.


Google Reader

I was playing around with the settings in Google Reader and found a really nice way to read the feeds that come through. I found that you can read your feeds as a fullpage slide show that can be on automatic scroll or manual. The beauty of this is that you get a full page view that is quite aesthetic and that reduces the amount of text and information that is on your screen. This gives a much simpler and uncluttered feel. To enable this, on the left panel, hit the “All items” tab. Then on the top of the screen, a “View Settings” tab will appear. Press this and a drop down menu will appear. Go to the bottom and select “View in Reader Play”. Done. The only catch I found is that the “Switch to original layout” button which is an icon at the bottom of the page that reassembles an eye wouldn’t work for me. I found that to return to original view, I just closed the page and re-opened it. I also put a shortcut in my favourites bar in explorer. I hope this helps someone.