Done and Dusted

Well, EDC3100 I think I have conquered you.

I have submitted assignment 3, which makes me done and dusted for ICT and Pedagogy. This course is huge. HUGE. Ridiculously huge. And whilst some of the content is really valuable, a lot of the time, working through the moodle books is tedious and not at all compelling. It also meant that finding information later was often really difficult.

The assignments were interesting, but like a lot of my education assessments, I still feel like they are set up to assess how much we know about education theory, when by this stage of our degree I would hope that it would be my actual teaching skills, content chosen and assessment task design that was being tested.

My favorite assignment was still assignment 1, and here are some more of my favourites!

Amy’s HPE Video 

Megan’s Video

Charlotte’s Video

Congratulations on everyone who has made if through this course!

W

Assignment city: Population Me

The light at the end of the tunnel is near. Only 3 more assignments, over 11,000 words all up, and I’ll be done for semester one with only three more subjects of my degree to go.

Which sounds like I should be done at the end of the year.

But because my GPA is less then .1 below the requirement to overload, AND because USQ doesn’t offer one of my subjects in sem 2, I actually have 12 months to go.

I’m picking up an extra elective next semester, just to keep my head in the Education game, but it will be nice to move from a full time load to only 2 subjects. Hopefully it also means I’ll be able to get some good results from those subjects too.

But in the mean time – back to work!

Learning styles – Are they real?

I have a bit of downtime at the end of prac, because in Victoria senior school exams have began. It seems the trend now is to start Semester 2 in the last two weeks of term 2, just before the students go for school holidays. None of this makes any sense to me, but alas, it seems to be how it is done now.

Whilst on this downtime, I’ve been working on my assignments and doing some general education research. Now, my girls go to an I.B. primary school, and my intention is to do my masters in IB at some point. Learner styles make sense to me, and generally I’ve seen that concept work pretty well in the classroom. Not everyone learns the same way, and each learner learns differently depending on the context of the lesson as well. And the day of the week. And the weather. And their mood.

But this ted talks doesn’t really agree with that at all. Which is a provocative concept to me! What do you think? Do learner styles exist? Are we overthinking it?

What the TPACK?

The TPACK image

Could this subject have anymore acronyms?

So as part of assignment 3, I’m working on what TPACK is and how I need to use it in the classroom. Rebecca has a fab blog post about this, if you’re not familiar with it. But basically it is the way teachers are able to match up the content they are teaching with the tools that they have available AND with the teaching strategy. Assignment 3 includes lesson plans that specifically ask us to think about matching our lessons with teaching strategies and offering examples as to where in the lesson they are used. Whilst every mentor I’ve had tells me in no uncertain terms that this type of planning is unrealistic and not feasible in the real world of teaching, I do see the value in trying to make a habit of it. (Is one set of 5 lessons creating habits though? Probs not).

The ones I’ve been using most at Bloom’s, Productive Pedagogies and Habits of Mind (HOM has a fantastic website!). I’ve been doing this in a very basic way, using the headings and brief examples from my lessons as to how they support my students learning.

Verdict: TPACK is Good, but possibly overdoing it. At the end of the day no teacher can teach using all the strategies all the time. Best practise changes year to year. We just have to do the best we can for the students we have!

THE ROBOT

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Capture Video? Yes please Mr Swivvel.

My fantastic mentor purchased this very cool little tool last year, and was super excited that it fit into my prac so well. We had to use ICT in our lessons, and given the school only has 2 class sets of laptops and 2 small computer labs, doing it in a way that was not just powerpoint or youtube on a projector was quite difficult!

The way we used the robot was to have one student have the remote control in their pocket, and then the Swivvel would follow their motion as they moved around. The performance was recorded on the ipad, and students would then have a chance to review, self-reflect and evaluate their work before their final performance.

This fits very nicely into Bloom’s Taxonomy higher order thinking heading of “Evaluation” don’t you think! #handy

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On Prac!

Well I have officially started at my prac school. Life is going to be slightly dull this week, as the year 10’s are on work experience (mostly) and they seem to be the majority of my students. So we’ve been doing a lot of planning, and and feven planning some lessons with ICT avaliable within the school even if we don’t end up using it. Because 15 days actually isn’t a log of time, and when students only have 250 minutes of class time with you it can be tricky to fit in all the things.

Also, in Victoria, we are coming up to external assessment period, and because my school only has students in year 10-12 that affects everyone (As I suspected and posted about here). No junior school to go and observe or teach. But I’m looking forward to planning some great exam revision for the English students, and continuing to work with the Drama ensemble pieces. In fact we’re using a super cool ICT for drama, but more about that next week.

I hope everyone else is having a great week.

Some other experiences on prac include;

Gemma’s experience with a similar class dynamic to my Year 10 English class

Britt’s experience with a similar access issue to ICT

Connect-Ed.

Because apparently our learning path isn’t enough. I’m in the middle of working through the Connect-Ed resource modules.

Pros

For real teachers, this can be counted as part of your PD hours, and is actually not that difficult.

Some of the simulations for facebook are, although very very very very slow, good at showing the pressure young people can face online from their friends and peers.

Cons

Not very helpful, really. Some good info, but nothing I didn’t already know.

Slow. So. very. slow. Not hugely engaging.

The trouble with recommending modules like this to complete, is that almost contradicts all the things we are being taught about using ICT as a learning tool. I’m only half way through, but I certainly don’t think this program is transforming my learning in anyway. Although, the simulations are the most effective part of this, and used on their own could be useful in a classroom setting.

Half way point!
Half way point!

Learning in lessons

It’s really common to get caught up in the perception of what teaching is based on what our assignments are often based on. The idea about ‘teaching knowledge’ and ‘communicating a concept’ are both things that teachers need to do, and need to be good at. But in reality this should not be taking up every single lesson, particularly has students get further through secondary. My last mentor reminded me that students’ generally learn best by doing, and there are some great resources about this on the AITSL website. By actioning the new concepts you’ve shown them. And that secondary students particularly might need more complex ways to action these concepts and therefore need an activity to go for longer than one period.

This means that not every lesson needs a specific learning outcome all to itself. Students need time to practise and hone their skills, and graduate teachers need to remember that even though our university assessments often insist on creating lessons that seek to achieve a particular goal. The goal should always be student driven learning rather than teacher driven teaching.

Some other EDC3100 students are already doing some fab work planning and teaching, like Natasha

🙂

Wxo

First day done!

Well I survived my first day! Being in a school with only senior students, I’m mostly feeling quite short.

At the moment most year 10s are on work experience, so there isn’t a huge volume of actual teaching happening this week. Although I am helping with some of the non-work experience kids work on pathways things. Later this week they’ll go to a few TAFEs and Universities, to help them start planning what, if any, further study they might like to do.

Also we’ll be heading out to the Art Gallery on Friday for some fun. So I’m really looking forward to that!

I was no where near as prepared as Danielle, so I’m going to have to pick up my game!

Hope everyone else had a great first day!

Wxo