Post your ideas about the hardware and software choices you would make in relation to your discipline area.
My discipline areas are Society & Environment and English which require students to develop key historical understandings based on continuity and change, critically evaluate evidence by locating primary and secondary resources and analyse historical contexts to form historical argument (ACARA, 7-10 History, 2016). My students also require key language, literature and literacy skills that enable them to interpret, create and discuss a variety of multimodal texts (ACARA, English, 2016). The good news is that technology can effectively enhance development of these outcomes and enable development of 21st-century skills whilst being motivating, engaging and authentic. We can teach our students to be critical consumers of information and develop digital literacies whilst providing opportunities to collaborate, communicate and connect by shifting pedagogy toward constructivist learning environments that are cohesive with curriculum standards (Roblyer & Doering, 2014, p. 304).
Smart Devices – Mobile technologies have blurred the boundary of formal/informal learning environments and present an opportunity to establish life-long learning skills by utilising a tool that is engaging and authentic to student lives beyond the classroom. It is my hope that students will be able to BYOD to the classroom to access information, connect and create content on the devices they are familiar with to make the learning more meaningful. Students are also able to utilise the photographic capabilities of such devices to explore community-based historical issues and construct texts all from one device with minimal cost to the school (Roblyer & Doering, 2014, p. 376).
Interactive Whiteboards – this tool presents an opportunity to make learning interactive with students engaging directly with the technology and exploring the affordances it offers. Virtual site studies can be conducted from an interactive whiteboard, enabling students to collectively visit areas unavailable locally, giving students a deeper perspective on the world around them. I think this is one area in which technology enables certain experiences that are unavailable in a traditional context. Interestingly, Wood and Ashfield argue that the use of IWBs in the classroom improves the pace of learning which is crucial to covering the broad and extensive nature of the history curriculum (Wood & Ashfield, 2007).
VoiceThread – Enables students to collaborate around various forms of content; PDFs, images, videos, and text (Roblyer & Doering, 2014, p. 376). It is hands-on, interactive software that is accessible from any device, laptop, computer. Students can add real-time audio and visual comments, connecting and expanding their communities for learning. This software is applicable for any discipline but can be used specifically to address key English outcomes that require students to interpret, create and engage with multimodal texts.
Timeglider– This is web-based software that enables students to create free timelines for mapping the context of specific history content and planning projects. Students are then able to share these and collaborate with others. The affordances of such software enable students to develop 21st-century digital literacies by offering links and tutorials that teach students how to produce and share content. The use of this software aligns with key history outcomes where students examine continuity and change in a multimodal format (ACARA, 2016a).
ACARA. (2016a). 7 – 10 History. Retrieved from Australian Curriculum: http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/humanities-and-social-sciences/history/curriculum/f-10?y=10&s=HKU&s=HS&c=1&c=2&c=3&c=4&c=5&c=7&c=6&layout=1
ACARA. (2016b). English. Retrieved from Australian Curriculum: http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/english/curriculum/f-10?layout=1#level10
Roblyer, M. D., & Doering, A. H. (2014). Intergrating Educational Technology into Teaching (6th ed.). Essex, UK: Pearson Education Limited.
Wood, R., & Ashfield, J. (2007). The use of the interactive whiteboard for creative teaching and learning in literacy and mathematics. British Journal of Educational Technology, 39(1), 84-96.