Finishing Prac

I have finished my Practical Placement for this semester and what a rollercoaster it has been. On previous practical placements I have taught year 6 and 7s but never a year below, this prac I was thrown in with the year ones. Reflecting back upon my 15 days of experience I recognise that there was minimal ICT integration and when I say minimal I mean minimal. From memory I used 4 YouTube videos and that was it, besides the brief appearance of my iPad to show the students a photo of my cat for a rhyming lesson.

I acknowledge that although it is hard to get year one students to use ICTs as they may not be 100% responsible, I also acknowledge that there is another defining aspect as to why there wasn’t much integration. This reason being: RESOURCES. As the school does not have the resources for students to have iPads or an interactive whiteboard it is unfair to expect a high level of ICT integration. These sorts of materials could drastically help those students that are visual and kinaesthetic learners and it is a shame that not every school has access to these.

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Support Surrounds Us

No matter where you look online you will find teaching resources and support. Upon exploring the social networking site, Facebook, I discovered that there are multiple pages that support teachers whether they concentrate on Early Childhood or Primary schooling. There are two pages in particular (URLs below) focus on Early Childhood studies and often provide users with snippets and ideas for resources that you can have access to if you subscribe. Often there is also conversation surrounding up and coming conferences and professional development seminars which not only alerts the users to these events but also helps them feel a part of a teaching community.

http://www.facebook.com/TeachEzy?fref=ts

http://www.facebook.com/EdSenTeachingResources?ref=ts&fref=ts

Voki

Upon creating a WebQuest for another course I had to engage with online resources in order to make an online problem based mathematical journey interactive. I decided that instead of just using text it would be thoroughly engaging if I used cartoon videos and characters to relay messages to those undertaking the journey.  

There is a free version and a “Classroom” version. Within the free version there are plenty of backgrounds, characters and player colours that you can choose from. However, you need to be careful not to select any that have a Google Scholar hat on as they cost money (This was the rookie mistake that I made).

You can also choose to record your own voice as the character “speaks” or you can choose to use text to talk which offers you a variety of voices that are pre-recorded. Personally, I found recording my own voice allowed me to put emotion into the required speech and was more personal for the students whom would undertake the WebQuest.

The website I used creates ‘Vokis’ have a better look for yourself – it’s simple to use!

http://www.voki.com/

Topics of Interest

My first topic of interest is the effective combination of ipads and IWBs.

Using an ipad within the classroom is a great way to integrate ICTs although only a small amount, if not only one, student can use it at a time. Most schools that I have been to for practical experience lacked the resources to have an ipad for every student. However, as they have access to interactive whiteboards I have researched how I can make this possible within the classroom.

My first option was to purchase a VGA Cable and connect it to the IWB. Looking at personal reflections it became obvious that although this method works fairly well you are tethered to the IWB by the cable. As this sort of defeats the purpose I wrote this option off.

The second option was to download the Whiteboard VGA Out iPad app from iTunes. This app allow me to  connect to a projector within the room, and further turns the projector into an IWB, allowing me to walk around the room with the ipad and effectively hand it to students so they can take control. This adapter can also connect and work with an IWB but the down side is that the IWB is no longer interactive whilst connected.http://www.whiteboardblog.co.uk/2013/02/how-to-connect-your-ipad-to-your-interactive-whiteboard/

You can get further information from http://applied-education-project.wikispaces.com/Connecting+a+ipad+to+a+IWB 

and

Edmodo

In my EDC3100 tutorial last week out tutor mentioned a resource that I found quite interesting, Edmodo. After the tute I went and explored it a little more. Edmodo assists students learning online etiquette guidelines in order to build “Digital citizenship skills”. It allows peer review and critiques for online posting and encourages students to practice their language skills, including grammar and spelling, through conversation.

Edmodo allows cultural exchange by connecting with classrooms around the world. This will help concrete student’s knowledge as their engagement levels are increased. It is designed for teachers, students and parents to help assist with learning.

Check it out! http://www.edmodo.com/

The beauty of Apps

I was getting my scroll on through fellow EDC3100 student’s blogs and I found a fantastic blog by Louise Clark-Dickson. Louise talks about all of the apps that are available and appropriate to use within the classroom. As I am buying an IPad tomorrow (SO EXCITED!!!) These resources are something I have to seriously look at. Louise explains in her blog that there is even an app that you can mark the roll with, although I have seen our EDC3100 lecturer do this it becomes so much more exciting when I get the chance to do it!

Check out Louise’s blog for more details J Some great ideas in there!

http://clarkdickson.edublogs.org/2013/04/16/blog-eighteen-iphone-apps/

 

Top 10 tips for prac

Upon scrolling through the list of EDC3100 student blogs I came across a highly relevant post by Janine Allman about the Top 10 tips for surviving prac. Although I may be familiar with this information I believe all first year students (and some second year students whom may not have done the best on their first prac) should have access to this resource.

  1. Be punctual
  2. Dress Appropriately
  3. Be flexible
  4. Follow School Rules
  5. Plan ahead
  6. Get friendly with the office staff
  7. Maintain confidentiality
  8. DON’T gossip among staff
  9. Be professional
  10. If sick be punctual in letting the school know you can’t make it

To get further information on this go to Janine’s blog http://janineallman.edublogs.org/2013/04/21/tips-for-surviving-prac/