Teaching in a Digital World-Deanne Drayton


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Lifelong Learning

lifelong learning

Image source: www.glogster.com/loryrous/commit-yourself-to-lifelong-learning-/g-6l5o4vpbt7t84ihmdv1r0a0

This week we looked at lifelong learning and how education helps to develop skills for learning well beyond our academic lives. Educational outcomes are no longer restricted to the years of formal schooling; we are now concerned with developing the skills and aptitudes in our students that will ensure they engage with learning across their lifetime (Howell, 2012). I saw this while I was part of the Committee of Management of the Neighbourhood Center in my town; the center provided a number of general interest programs, such as looking after chickens to Fungi identification especially the ones you should stay away from. I can also use myself as an example, I have been putting together a website for my business and I have put in a lot of time researching the best way to have my site recognised high up in search engines; I have learnt quite a lot about search engine optimisation; having access to a wealth of information online is invaluable when it comes to pursuing your knowledge on topics of interest. Policy also plays a part in what we teach, when we teach it and what the desired learning outcomes are (Howell, 2012). The policy surrounding technology use in Australia is driven by a number of key factors; what is happening around the world, such as the shift towards a global knowledge based society; the changing nature of professions and workplaces; the impact of eCommerce and how we now make money and the digitising of our personal lives and recreational pursuits (Howell, 2012). Lifelong learning is defined as learning that is pursued throughout life; it is flexible, diverse and available at different times and different places (LLCQ, 2014). I for one know I will continue to learn, especially about those topics I am passionate about.

life-long-learning

Image source: http://blog.vipdesk.com/2011/04/04/lifelong-learning-matters/

We were required this week to use Voki www.voki.com. I choose to do my presentation on The Oceania Project www.oceania.org.au. The Oceania Project is a Not-for –Profit research and information organisation dedicated to the Conservation and Protection of Whales, Dolphins and the Oceans.  I created a mermaid avatar; I thought that was appropriate with an uploaded image of a whale in the background. Instead of typing what I wanted my mermaid to say, I recorded myself speaking and used my own voice for my mermaid.

Here is my link www.voki.com/pickup.php?scid=10489604&height=267&width=200

Viki

oceania project

I thoroughly enjoyed using Voki , I enjoyed Voki far more than the last 2 weeks using Sploder and Scratch. Voki was easy to navigate around the tools and very easy to create a presentation. I can see as a teacher particularly in early primary, Voki would be a useful tool to use when presenting to the students. The character tells the story which I would imagine would engage the students more than the teacher. From middle to late primary students would easily be able to use Voki to make interesting presentations of their own.

I am quite excited about Voki and I know I would use it in my classroom.

References:

Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT: Digital Pedagogies for Collaboration and Creativity. Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, Victoria.

LLCQ, (2014). WHAT IS LIFELONG LEARING? Lifelong Learning Council Queensland Inc. Retrieved 21 October 2014, from http://www.llcq.org.au/01_cms/details.asp?ID=12.

 

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Digital Blurring

This week’s topic was digital blurring; we were asked the question at the beginning of our studies, ‘are you more digital in some parts of your life than in others’. My answer to that is absolutely. I use Facebook, Instagram, I have a website for my business and a blog attached to my website which I have to consistently work on. I work well with Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint, I use Photoshop CS6 on a regular basis but this only scratches the surface of digital technology. Give me a game to play and I have no idea and no patience. I see my 8 year old daughter pick up and use any piece of technology she can get her hands on with ease she has no fear and she is prepared to give it a go which is something we adults do lack when it comes to technology. Students of today know more about technology than their teachers do and students will always know more about technology than their teachers (Prensky, 2007). We need to adopt a fearless approach to technology just as children do.

Incorporating further technology applications in upper primary school to extend on the skill set children already have, such as, digital portfolios to store images, multimedia, blog entries and virtual worlds; Flash (Adobe Flash) is a multimedia platform which can be used to add animation, video and interactivity to webpages; multimedia and mashups; cloud computing; gaming consoles such as Wii fit; Photoshop and Jing where videos can be created with narrations (Howell, 2012). Sadly, however, many teachers lack in this area or are not passionate to apply technology such as those mentioned in the classroom; Prensky (2007) explained teachers could benefit by applying technology in their classrooms; students often observe their teachers as technologically ‘illiterate’ due to their lack of fluency with modern technology, students are aware that this technology is needed for their future. It would be of benefit for teachers to learn to ‘divide the labour’, meaning work with students to understand how the technologies work, what they offer and to understand how to include them in assignments (Prensky, 2007)

digital blurring       Image source: http://massively.joystiq.com/2008/12/06/the-digital-continuum-blurring-the-line-between-co-op-and-mmo/

After watching the Video ‘gaming can make a better world’ I can see Jane’s vision as I am someone who would love to fix all of the world’s problems and I am very passionate about that. I am not a gamer but if I had an opportunity to do good through a game I would be inspired and motivated to play one of these games. To be able to capitalise on the ‘I am better and more success’ in the gaming world (McGonigal, 2010) and utilise this attitude to motivate gamers and have gamers cooperate (McGonigal, 2010) with each other into solving world hunger I feel would be fantastic if it can be achieved. I was listening to JJJ radio the other day and there were game creators explaining their new games, one stood out to me; it was a game from their real life experience of losing their child to cancer, this inspired them to create a game which takes the user through the same experience. The creator believed it would help people going through a similar experience deal with their situation and it would give users who have never been through something like that the opportunity to experience the process of a death of a child through a game. I found this topic controversial as it does deal with a real life situation, not sure I would play it but I can see the pros and cons of a game like this. The way of the future I guess with games that do deal with real life issues.

logo-freerice-ungame-gamesforchangeorgImage source:http://thenewjew.wordpress.com/2007/11/29/solving-the-worlds-problems-one-video-game-at-a-time-12-real-life-video-games-you-should-know-about/
As part of our work this week we were required to create a game with Sploder www.sploder.com. To begin with I had all sorts of trouble with creating the game, when I finally managed to produce the game it then came time for testing; that was where the fun began. I am not a gamer so for me to play my own game was hilarious, I couldn’t manipulate the controls very well at all.
Here is the link to my game Break the House

The first level is pretty easy, once you have scored 6 points you move to the next level which becomes harder as the house structure is reinforced. The house is made up of 3 levels; the bottom level is the strongest, middle medium strength and the top level the weakest.

Capture
I did find Sploder challenging , however, I can see the benefit of allowing students to create their own games as it requires critical thinking and problem solving. I really am not into games so I would say that was where my challenge lied. By allowing students to create games in the classroom and allow them to be creative and perhaps set them a task on solving a small problem, unlike world hunger, who knows they may have an innovative idea to help solve depression in young people or world hunger.

References:

Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT: Digital Pedagogies for Collaboration and Creativity. Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, Victoria.

McGonigal, J. (2010). Gaming can make a better world. Retrieved 13 October 2014, from http://www.ted.com/talks/jane_mcgonigal_gaming_can_make_a_better_world#t-210832.

Prensky, M. (2007). How to teach with technology: Keeping both teachers and students comfortable in an era of exponential change. Emerging technologies for learning, 2(4), 40-46.


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Digital Fluency

This week our topic covered digital fluency and how it is important to develop not only our skills but our student’s skills to exist in a digital world. Digital fluency is the ability to sue digital technologies in a confident manner (Howell, 2012). Research has shown that technology when applied affectively increases student learning, understanding, and achievement all while motivating students to learn; technology encourages collaborative learning and helps develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills (Shamir & Korat, 2013). Incorporating word-processing, spread sheets, advanced web searches, animation, game making, podcasting, presentation software, blogging, social networking, movie making and web design in your classroom all helps to build skills and expand a student’s experience with technology. Students learn to create digital content, become technology innovators and in turn digitally fluent with a different range of technologies which build up a repertoire of skills (Howell, 2012) that can be used later in life.

digital-fluency-400x289

Image source:http://langwitches.org/blog/2013/02/18/skilled-literate-fluent-in-the-digital-world/

I found the article, ‘Getting young people fluent in digital’ very inspiring; giving young people the right skills to help them gain employment is far better than bombarding them with a bit of everything. I believe too often in schools particularly high school students are taught a lot of information which may or may not find them employment but to give young people the right skills for employment is far more valuable. I have had to learn as I go using technology due to my age we had minimal digital technology at school and it is hard to learn as you go and takes a lot of time. I believe Fluency is on the right track, training young people in the skills that small businesses need (Social enterprise hub, 2014) it makes far more sense to me. It would be great to see more social enterprises doing the same thing, perhaps secondary schools should take this on board and team with small businesses so young people can develop the skills they require to gain employment.

digital-fluency-2-400x291

Image source: http://langwitches.org/blog/2013/02/18/skilled-literate-fluent-in-the-digital-world/

Our task was this week to produce an animation or game using Scratch scratch.mit.edu/. Scratch allows the user to create stories, games and animations which can be shared with others online.

After making my animation I believe Scratch for a teacher has the potential to create some very useful visual learning aids for the classroom. Students could also use Scratch to create digital content; by developing the animation storyline, planning the story on a storyboard and implementing and completing the task. Students would be able express their creativity along with using critical thinking I believe it would be very engaging and motivating to students as the end product would be their own game or story they have produced..

Scratch was fun to use, allows the user to express creativity and develop problem solving skills, however, I found Scratch to be quite time consuming for a beginner. I also found the activity challenging to make my animation do what I wanted it to do; if motion was not placed in the right order, it was difficult to work. I am sure in time, with patience and practice it would be easy to navigate your way through. I can see Scratch as an exciting education tool with loads of potential once mastered.

Click on the image below and you will be directed to my Scratch animation. To use click on the green flag to begin the animation. Press the space bar for the unicorn to change colour.

stage

References:

Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT: Digital Pedagogies for Collaboration and Creativity. Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, Victoria.

Shamir, A. & Korat, O. (2013). TECHNOLOGY AS A SUPPORT FOR LITERACY ACHIEVEMENTS FOR CHILDREN AT RISK. Springer Dordrecht , Heidelberg New York London.

Social enterprise hub,(2014) Getting young people fluent in digital. Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved 4 October 2014, from http://www.theguardian.com/social-enterprise-network/2013/aug/02/young-people-fluent-digital.