Module 6 (Part A): The internet and the classroom

Discuss how safety and privacy issues could impact on integrating technology into your teaching, and what steps you could take to deal with it.

Roblyer and Doering point out various ways in which technology can negatively impact students, including safety and privacy issues (Roblyer & Doering, 2014, p. 235). As a future teacher of History and English, social networking platforms afford collaborative discussion opportunities across many different cultures; opportunities that are unavailable in traditional learning environments and crucial to achieving History curriculum outcomes. The relative advantage of these tools is too great to dismiss. However, integrating social media into the classroom requires a focus on the importance of digital safety and maintaining online privacy. LaRose, Rifon & Enbody argue that it is possible to improve online safety for students by emphasising the importance of one’s personal responsibility however, this strategy requires a degree of self-efficacy and perhaps dismisses those students who are most vulnerable and lack the maturity and knowledge to properly protect themselves (2008, pp. 75-76).

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Module 5 (Part B): Technology Integration

What do you see as the some of the benefits and challenges of technology integration, and using the TIP framework, in your teaching area?

Soujah (2014) makes some interesting points regarding technology integration that align with my pre-service, constructivist view of teaching.  We have reached a point in the 21st century where technology is ubiquitous, and integrating technology across all disciplines is not only essential, but inevitable. Thus, technology should not be treated as a separate entity but viewed as a tool that supports and facilitates curriculum goals to develop skills required for successful participation in the 21st-century (Soujah, 2014, p. 445). It should be invisible; the focus needs to shift from why to how. According to Prensky’s definition of digital natives, students of today have learned predispositions with technologies, having spent their entire lives in the digital age (Prensky, 2001).  To motivate and engage them in studies, the learning must meet them where they are. And that is on social network apps, on smart phones, on the web and we must do this using the tools already available to them.

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Module 5 (Part A): Technology in HSIE & English

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).

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Module 4 (Part B): Teaching and Learning with Digital Technologies

Post your informed and critical opinion about the use of IWBs in the classroom.

I can offer my informed and researched opinion on the use of Interactive Whiteboards (IWB’s) in the classroom, however, my critical opinion is limited due to having zero practical experience with this type of hardware or relative teaching experience in a classroom setting. With this is in mind, it seems logical that in 2016 the use of IWB’s in the classroom should be commonplace. Much like the theory of connectivism, IWB’s have come of age and should be utilised to promote interactive learning, enhance student engagement, create connected classrooms, and enable students to participate in the affordances of technology. Thinking back to the foolish tech predictions observed in Module 3, I feel the same conversation will occur about the use of IWBs in years to come.

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Module 4 (Part A): Teaching and Learning with Digital Technologies

Connectivism

How does connectivism help you understand the place of technology in education?

Connectivism helps me to understand the process of learning as knowledge built from a connection of personal networks. Duke, Harper and Johnston (2013) argue that it is through these personal networks and exposure to a diverse range of viewpoints and opinions, that the learner acquires 21-st century skills.  This blog, for example, is a self-created artefact that serves to build my own personal network. By commenting on this blog and generating online discussion, together we are connecting, building and improving on the knowledge thus the learning is happening within the technology and becomes a tangible product (Siemens, 2010). We can physically see the thought processes taking place between fields, concepts and ideas. Anderson and Dron argue that these networks of blog comment, twitter discussion, and content creation facilitate an emergent collective of the group mind (2010). This is where the learning is happening in the digital age. It is outside of the individual and within the technology or as Siemens explains, the learning resides in the “non-human appliance” (Siemens, 2010).

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Module 3 (Part B): What are classroom technologies?

The Affordances of Classroom Technologies:

What is your understanding of the affordances of the type of technology you are wanting to use?

Affordances are the characteristics or qualities of a text that enable people to do things. For example, the affordances of digital texts such as a strategic placing of a link on a website provides a cohesive tie to another digital text to create meaning (Honan, 2012, p. 61 & 70). Tags are another example, with tags at the bottom of this post enabling links to other relevant material. By taking a sociocultural view of literacy, the way a person interacts with these affordances of technology depends on their identity, experience and the context in which they are engaged.

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Module 3 (Part A): What are classroom technologies?

Hardware in Classrooms:

Investigate one hardware device that you can use in the classroom. What are the benefits and challenges of this hardware device? How does it enhance learning? Have you discovered some good resources for the use of this device?

With the emergence of ubiquitous mobile computing that is increasingly cloud based (Roblyer & Doering, 2014, p. 37), I would like to investigate the use of handheld smart phones as a hardware device in the classroom, specifically to enable a student response system via web2.0 and ‘social software’ and as a tool to facilitate student/teacher/peer collaboration.

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Source: http://www.gettingsmart.com/2013/01/part-1-44-smart-ways-to-use-smartphones-in-class/

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