So Long, Farewell, Au Revoir

As a Sound Of Music lover this was not an opportunity I could miss so enjoy this link.

This is my last blog post for EDC3100.

I wish I could say I was sad that it has ended but I cannot tell a lie.

Blogging still seems pointless for me and doesn’t seem to have changed yet. But it has expanded my horizons when dealing with ICT. Never had I imagined the issues surrounding ICT were so wide and varied. Nor had I given much thought to what technologies are available to use today and their use in the classroom. Barely able to wrap my head around that I am then confronted with the fast paced and ever changing world of ICT the future of ICT just makes my head hurt.

Because of these lessons I have learnt my philosophy on ICT has changed. ICT is not something to teach students how to use, it is much more than that.

Its learning how to use it safely, how to apply knowledge, and not waiting for the future to change but teaching students that they are the force which will guide the future of technology and how to handle that responsibility.

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So Long, Farewell, Au Revoir

Under Pressure

Under Pressure

Under Pressure – I think David Bowie says it better than anything I could ever write.

Stress is something we as future teachers will have to learn to deal with, but there are literally thousands of articles dealing with this, Teacher Magazines talk about it all the time, even mainstream newspapers like the guardian dedicate an entire column to their secret teacher. These articles deal with everything related with teaching but a recurring theme is stress, perhaps the article with the headline, “stress is reaching a crisis point”, highlights the issues better than I or David Bowie ever could.

But still as I sit here with just over a week to finish four separate assignments, I am on a strict time management schedule, I can’t help but think the evil course coordinators have done this on purpose with the simple reason of preparing us for the stress of the future.

Still Its very mean.

Under Pressure

Teenagers Are Mean

Reading through Sarah’s Blog Posts (yes, I know I seem to keep using her as another blog link) I found her post about cyber-bullying. It always saddens me that bullying is so prevalent in our society and in so many different ways. But before reading Sarah’s post I had never really considered that bullying could be done inadvertently.

That apps and software have to be invented to prevent this is sad. Reword It, acts to recognise when someone who has downloaded the technology has written something mean or inappropriate like “idiot”, “retard” or “stupid” the technology responds by placing a red line through the word and therefore alerting the writer that they had written something inappropriate.

Technology like this shouldn’t have to exist but because it does it should be part of parent pamphlets so they are more aware of the precautions they could take to better educate their kids. Schools should take similar approaches as well.

Cyber bullying is too important not to take precautions like this.

Teenagers Are Mean

Reflections

During my placement I like all of us have been so busy doing all of our lesson plans ensuring that we learn something new everyday. I did keep a diary of my experiences but it was not until I started reading some of the blogs of other students that I realised that my blog could be a good place to showcase my reflections, it is too late to do weekly reflections like Ella. So instead I will do a whole placement reflection.

I always get so nervous before my first day of placement, its like a pit inside your stomach that I am sure we have all been familiar with at some point. But overall my prac went great. I learnt some very valuable skills and improved dramatically like I hope we all did. The ten essential skills and explicit teaching as well as positive behaviour management were the  three main focuses for my placement.

For the first time behaviour was an issue and I discovered I was a bit of a softie. I have since learnt a few small ways of combatting my inner niceness by having an internal counter for warnings before moving a student or writing their name on the board or in more extreme cases sending them to “buddy class” which thankfully only happened once.

That was honestly my biggest issue, and I still have a long way to go but I think I have made significant progress and am proud of my performance on placement overall.

Reflections

Screen Time Strategies

A fellow blogger Sarah, talks about managing screen time in the classroom and gives an example of playing handball for 5 minutes to get more out of her students.

Managing screen time in an increasingly screen dependent society has become more and more important not only in the home but at school as well. When the government bought laptops for students they effectively ensured that screen time would rocket during class time for students. No longer would screen time have to be planned in, but now it would be freely available and most likely used every lesson.

With this came a challenge for teachers to think of ways to keep students working effectively and not becoming disruptive students.

It is not as simple as googling strategies, although when you do many strategies do come up, they are all simply for parents of young children like Great Kids! and Empowering Parents. Although perhaps these sites would be more useful for primary teachers.

During my placement I, like Sarah used a similar technique to get students back on task during long screen time sessions. Instead of handball, I used this time to explicit teach skills like graphing and third person writing, all of the skills were relevant to the work the students were currently doing.

Screen Time Strategies

HELP ICT NO WHERE

Shock, Horror, Amazement.

The feelings I felt when I found out that every single room I would be teaching in had access to an Interactive White Board (IWB).

However, over the course of my placement, I never saw nor used the IWB as anything more than a projector. It has been hailed as a revolution in classrooms increasing a students interactive ability with the classes content. Yoojin Chelsea Jang discounts this statement and talk about the failure of the Interactive White Board in her article.

In this school however my mentor detailed how she had sat through countless lessons, learning how to use the IWB to enhance the learning of her students to the fullest extent. And I fully believed she put in everything she could, she had to be one of the most enthusiastic teachers I have ever met.

But one thing brought the whole system down, calibration.

Because of the type of IWB chosen for the school. The IWB needed to be calibrated constantly, and that lasted for about a week before teachers began to get sick of others not calibrating the white board and began to slip themselves. Without calibrating the IWB’s became nothing more than projectors and somehow even managed to stop the most exuberant teacher from using them.

How would I a lowly prac student, even attempt to use them???

HELP ICT NO WHERE

Positive Behaviour Management

For the most part schools Australia wide have adopted the positive behaviour management strategy. On all of my previous placements behaviour has not been an issue at all, the most frustrating behaviour a student exhibited was being a chatterbox. And that was it, I had no students with learning difficulties or behavioural issues.

This was the first time i ever actually had to think about and implement behaviour strategies. Both my mentors pushed positive behaviour management (PBM). One of them really believed in it, citing how she could never imaging running a classroom routine that wasn’t controlled with PBM. The other did it simply because it was the schools policy I assume.

The Safe School Hub totes the amazing results the approach can have when taken by the whole school.

I can kind of agree, with a whole school approach the effects of PBM can be discerned in the facts of a schools results. But really I don’t think it is the holy grail of behaviour management and sometimes after a hundred carrots some students need a small stick.

Positive Behaviour Management