ICT, plan b, and other restrictions.

So, no IWB practice as this school doesn’t have access and therefore, I have to use the projector only.  Some classrooms don’t even have a projector, just a white board.  I have had the opportunity to work in rooms with computers but even this is limited.

Plan b with using any ICT comes down to the projector working for presentations, the presentation or my laptop (school allocated) failing to connect, or the internet failing.  We did have a blackout at the end of one day that resulted in me having to come home to work on lesson planning and another day the internet stopped working for students.  The feedback I received mentioned some troubleshooting to determine the cause or how widespread the problem was when trying to find a solution – Does if it affects all those in your classroom? Can those students with personal devices and data usage still connect to the internet? Are other classrooms affected? It turned out that the school internet was the problem but those students with personal devices (year 11 class) were able to continue research using their phones.

The staff were under the pump from the start of term 4 and this impacted the time I had to lesson plan.  Discussing future lessons the day before and having to be ready the next day did provide a reality check as this is a likely the scenario for the beginner teacher.  Given the short notice most of the time while on Professional Experience meant the reasons for selecting ICT resources were based on the following: What I already knew/found during this unit, what the teacher was happy/familiar with, and whether or not the site was blocked by the IT department.  There was no time to apply C.L.E.M. in these instances but I did consider the RAT model when selecting and using the ICT.

One day to go then to reflect on the experience as a whole and get working on the rest of the assignment. I need a holiday.

First week of prac.

Implementing ICT into lessons is great when you can imagine so many ways to use the tools, apps and sites you find during the unit. However, the reality is that my classes don’t have Interactive White Boards (IWB) only projectors. So far, I’ve used a PowerPoint presentation and the students have used digital cameras to document their work and upload them to a folder and the specified drive where the teacher can access them.  The way this differs from traditional cameras is the quick, easy access to the final product and that the teacher can check they have completed the steps, such as sourcing images online.  These are part of the learning that students need to complete before moving on to the next step. I would say that, as per the RAT model, this amplifies the instruction method but will also, in later lessons, transform student learning as they will be using Paint.NET to edit and modify their images. I’m hoping I can source a link I found a while ago where you can upload your image into a virtual, outside, urban gallery space (street art-style), so far I can’t find it. *sigh* If anyone knows what I’m talking about and locates it, that would be great! (I live in hope)

*I learned that a wireless mouse is a great addition to the classroom so you can circulate.

Adventures of C.L.E.M in the world of IWBs.

Some ‘Literature’ in the acronym C.L.E.M (raised in a previous post):

In reading Beauchamp’s text about the spectrum of IWB users, he classifies them as:

  • black/whiteboard substitute;
  • apprentice user;
  • initiate user;
  • advanced user;
  • synergistic user.

Although I haven’t found any ground-breaking examples for its use as yet, having read the criteria, I feel that I fit somewhere between apprentice and initiate. I have created my own resources for use on an IWB and used multiple tools but, as yet, I have not had much opportunity (or awareness of opportunities until now) to make it interactive for the students.  My limited experience is having one student types in notes as the rest of the class debated that Scottish play. Do I count having them participate in an online survey where they could watch the results appear on the screen? Not sure.


Interactive white boards (or IWB).

So far, I haven’t found anything that unique about the use of these in the classroom. I don’t know if it’s just me but I am unable to see past them as being a giant screen. I have used them with PowerPoint presentations and I can see the benefits of students interacting with them adding notes to the board during the presentation or them solving problems and identifying techniques. In this way, I see them as being similar to an old fashioned chalk board the difference being that they use digital pens/erasers and can click/drag images.  This is, of course, beneficial in developing schema and in understanding how schema is transferable from one ICT tool to another, and presentations or flipcharts make it easier for everyone to work through information together. Is there some extraordinary way of using IWB that I haven’t come across yet? I hope so. I’d love to see some unique way to use it that goes beyond my observations above. In terms of the RAT model I can only see this as amplifying learning but I am unable to identify any transforming aspects.


I don’t know much…

but I know I. C. T.

If you were singing along, you are either showing your age or have a broad pop-culture education. 😀


I’m noting ideas of how I could bridge ICT and my subjects but it’s rather difficult when I still don’t know what ICT is available at my prac placement, or what they are studying, unlike my fellow blogger who has met with her mentor and discussed options. *sigh*

My plan, however, is to keep recording all these fabulous links, sites, and tools on the very useful Diigo and contact my school again, tomorrow, just to check if I should rock up on the 4th October, what time, and where.  I haven’t been contacted by the site coordinator or anyone else so I’m hoping it starts on that date, as planned.

Meanwhile, I thought this app to combine a photo and text would be great for visual art and this word generator could make poetry, Haiku in this case, more fun!

There’s something about C.L.E.M.

This acronym is aimed at analysing whether or not to use an ICT based on what you can research about it, basically.

  • Community – Is there a group that uses this and how active are they? Do they have resources? How do you get involved?
  • Literature – What does the literature say about this ICT (how to use it, how not to use it, how to apply to learning)? What does it say about limitations or issues?
  • Examples – Are there lessons showing how the ICT is used? Do they work well? Can I use them or modify them?
  • Model – How does the ICT work and what does it do? Is there specific terminology to learn? How is it more beneficial compared to other ICT? What problems/solutions are there?

It’s a good place to start, I’d say.

ICT on Professional Experience.

I’ve made contact with my school but I am still waiting to hear what I need to do before hand or what topics/years I will be teaching. All I know is that it will be Visual Art, and English Juniors.

Meanwhile, bouncing back to this subject from the other one that’s had my focus for a while, I am responding to an activity given the little information that I am currently armed with.

What digital technologies will I use on PE?

Laptop/tablet, USB memory sticks, IWB, searches on the library computer, projector, the school’s digital information management system, emails, computer programmes (internet search engine, Photoshop, Paint, PowerPoint).

This has led to some questions:

Does the school provide a laptop/tablet? Will I be using my own? Can I connect to the school wifi? Are there programmes I need to access? Will I be using my mentor’s laptop/tablet? Will there be an induction into the programmes/security? What do the students use/have access to? Is there wi-fi in all classrooms? What technologies are available in the classrooms?

I got excited when a fellow student shared a link to Free Interactive Whiteboard Resources but when I clicked on the first hyper-link it took me to non-digital, wipe-clean, white boards. Amusing, but no help. The lesson here is to scroll down the page, any page, to make sure you have got all the information. The good stuff was at the bottom. Hahaha.


Putting on my big girl pants and getting back in the game.

‘m am feeling a bit more positive since my disastrous first assignment, hence I’m back to including images in my posts (a sure sign that I’m feeling happier).


Having read through other reflections about that short quiz on bullying I found it interesting that one other person who achieved 100% was also a parent and covered this topic previously in their course.  The combination of these factors is what informed my choices in the quiz – being witness to your child’s errors in judgement, regardless of what you’ve taught them or how often you get them to repeat conditions of use, is a good measure by which to understand how people think. Not just young people, but anyone may be tempted by ‘free’ or ‘you have won’ message alerts or inadvertently open an email from a friend because they are not aware that their friend’s computer is infected and is now using their contact list for its own evil ends.


Digital Citizenship – part two.

Issues around ICT often focus on warnings and protection whereas we need to educate young people to be pro-active digital citizens in their own and others safety and privacy.  History has shown that restrictions do not work but it is possible to include authentic learning tasks to immerse students in real-life situations.  It is not possible to protect them at all times so it is preferable to teach them to develop problem-solving skills and to think before acting.

With regard to my upcoming professional experience, I have noted that a school-wide behaviour policy is practised and I have learned, through this week’s study, of a number of other policies and resources, for both teachers and students, that may be applied to strengthen my understanding of ICTs in learning and teaching.  I have gathered these resources for guidelines and practices to inform my strategies along with what my mentors do, and why.

Within the English curriculum, students focus on digital and multimodal texts and the meanings and interpretations communicated through different mediums. After completing the quizzes and the learning, I feel capable of teaching English while incorporating ICT tools and safety aspects. It is possible to be prepared with some resources, lesson planning, and strategies but the idea of a Plan B for when things go wrong is certainly something that I need to work on.


Digital Citizenship – activity and quiz.

We were asked to briefly outline our “knowledge and experience with digital citizenship and the safe, responsible, and ethical use of ICT in your personal and professional lives” including “bullying, cyber-bullying, spamming, phishing, identity theft”.

These are some of the technologies I interact with daily: My smart phone – not the latest model. Indeed, I only got one about 18 months to 2 years ago. A friend gave me an old one that was already 3 models behind the latest one but brought me into the 21st Century. The reason this happened was that my husband’s digital camera just wouldn’t cut the mustard to take photos of my art through a hole in a box (I won’t go into detail).  Someone else loaned me their smart phone and I was amazed that it had superseded the quality of pixels of the purpose-made camera! From there I used it for communication through Messenger and Facebook, which I use on my desk top computer. I have used Skype, Google Docs, various account management programmes at work, design programmes, internet banking, a multitude of digital equipment for watching, recording, streaming, designing, and creating, for entertainment.

Having worked in telecommunications for 10 years I was aware of information being encrypted in mobile phones and understand that technology has moved on, but so have hackers and scammers. I tend to rely on friends who work with technology to keep me informed about security, spamming, and phishing issues. It is a good habit I have that I question almost everything that I see shared around on the internet, I’m mainly talking Facebook, and constantly eye-roll at the things I see people accept as fact without their cross-checking it. This is where I rely on Google to fact-check and my university studies have taught me how to verify sources. Having a child that grew up using the internet, as parents we constantly instructed, informed, and monitored access with regards to personal safety that has paid off, but not without some learning curves and consequences.

Summary of quiz results and reflection:

I scored 100% on this four question quiz about bullying. I think it demonstrates that my prior learning includes this subject matter about bullying. There are misconceptions about bullying that were evident in the questions such as, bullies have low self-esteem, bullying is not a serious issue that warrants legal consequences, cyberbullying has replaced other forms of bullying, the focus should be on the victim to stand up to the bully.

For the Cybersafety quiz I tried to think what a primary school student would answer. Behind this thinking is the following: When something says ‘free’ it’s quite tempting, even for adults. When someone is helping them with a site they could be preoccupied with getting a result and not remember not to share their password. Sharing passwords with parents or friends based on trust and for the latter, for fun and being silly.  If they see something inappropriate online, I believe young people are more inclined to not tell anyone regardless of drilling because they may think they will get into trouble. Again, I have drawn on personal experience with my own child and with shows I’ve watched about stranger danger where children react rather than consider their actions.

What does this say about my original thoughts above?

Interestingly to me, I see my questioning skills and prior knowledge played a part in the quiz.  I am not inclined to take things at face value and when being asked a question I question what the motive is behind the questioning. This forced me to really think about what I know about bullying but also what point the quiz was trying to make. Being familiar with both technology and parenting brought skills into play that makes me think that I could bring these skills to the classroom and use my experience to develop ICT experiences for authentic learning.