Integrating ICT’s with Numeracy. Exploration 1 into ICT integration with KLA’s.

maths 3      KLA – Mathematics

The integration of ICT’s into all KLA’s is a key focus in my current search for resources.  This brings about a new batch of KLA specific discoveries, the first of which I will share here.  Happy Numbers is a new interactive maths resource for early years.  It looks to be quite valuable as it operates with a range of devices including chromebooks, interactive whiteboards and tablets.  This seems to offer some more features than other programs I have seen as it is flexible, enabling the teacher to select options which customise activities according to student and class needs.  Happy Numbers provides a range of activities that facilitates learning of foundational concepts.  This is supported with targeted feedback, visuals and animations, making it an engaging resource.

happy numbers match

 

The good news is that there is a free account option available.  They also have a blog which contains valuable posts about the teaching of numeracy with ICT’s in lower year levels.

Happy Numbers blog

 

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There has to be an easier way to find images I can use.

Vital to the teaching and using of ICT is the understanding and application of ethical use principles and laws.  Perhaps one of the most frequently encountered situations with regards to this is the issue of copy write.  Teachers and students are heavy users of content from the internet and require at times to reproduce this content in various forms.  It can sometimes be very difficult to find what we need from the Creative Commons site.  Whilst endeavouring to uncover an easier and more thorough way to find content that is freely available for use, I discovered a blog from one of my favourite bloggers whiteboard blog.  It seems that Google have now included a filter through which you can find content that is available for use for a variety of purposes.  This includes creative commons but seems to be more comprehensive than this.  When searching for an image, simply click on search tools and then select usage rights.  There are more in depth instructions on this blog.

http://www.whiteboardblog.co.uk/2014/02/google-images-makes-easier-search-creative-commons-images/

 

 

Socrative – an interactive student response system

Following my previous blog around students engaging with their devices and the IWB, I excitedly began considering many opportunities for this type of technology.  I could immediately see the benefits in terms of engagement, but so too the benefits related to curriculum delivery and pedagogy.   As I continued to explore such ideas I came across Socrative.  This is a very exciting program and I can see much potential for its use in the classroom.  Perhaps the most promising is the “Space Race” feature;  teachers can create virtual teams of students who compete to finish tasks or quizzes to move their rocket along the IWB and win the Space Race.  Another fabulous feature of Socrative is  “Exit Tickets“.  This feature provides the teacher with valuable feedback data as students complete questions such as “today I learned….”  and “tomorrow I need….” as they finish their lesson.  This information is automatically generated in report form for the teacher.  Valuable real time data such as this would prove a real asset for beginning teachers and experienced teachers alike.

It’s all in the cloud!

For some time, I have been keen to discover a way for students to interact with the interactive whiteboard from their individual devices.  My hope was to discover a way for them to contribute ideas, answers, vote for ideas etc.  I knew this had to be possible but it would require a search.  Whilst looking for something else – I found it.  I came across a very helpful blog the whiteboard blog.  This is a fabulous resource for supporting technology in the classroom.  Through this blog, I discovered ProWisePresenter – a cloud-based software that allows interaction between a digital screen and any classroom device using ProConnect.  This provides a world of opportunities as teachers can create presentations which engage student participation.  Students can annotate, add text or images and even vote on a poll or answer quiz questions on their individual devices. 

Sharnel Faulds a colleague and peer, has also blogged about Interactive Whiteboard resources and she has included some fabulous links amidst some insightful reflection.

Blooming good idea

As my knowledge and skills are developing in the use of ICT’s, I am finding that I am at that exciting (but sometimes overwhelming) stage of considering classroom implementation.  I am noting a pattern emerging.  Step 1 I discover something new (eg, iPads) and excitement and ideas strike. Step 2 I realise how much I still have to learn about the device or technology.  Step 3 My confidence grows but I am looking for a place to start.  Step 4 The second guessing kicks in as I begin to feel overwhelmed by choices.  Step 5 Find some help Step 6 Back on track and start planning use around curriculum requirements.

If you too are considering using iPads in classrooms, here is some connectivism in action.  Check out  this blog Creative ICT – it provides some great tips on iPad basics, answers many questions and links you to  some great resources to help you along your journey. The most impressive for me was the Bloom’s Taxonomy for iPads.  This really triggered my thinking, it was a ‘light bulb moment’ that I am sure will lay the foundation for quality teaching using ICT’s.

Screen Shot 2012-04-15 at 19.29.09

References

Bloom’s Taxonomy for iPads [Image]. (2014). Retrieved from       http://barbaraainscough.blogspot.com.au/2012/04/ipads-basics.html

 

Searching for answers………….

Image

The World Wide Web is a vast source of information and it this immense amount of knowledge that makes it so useful, it also seems that the enormity this presents creates challenges.  A book with few pages contains limited information but it is easy to search for and locate this information.  It seems to me that opposite may be true for the internet, at least for some.  Thus, I began thinking about what I need to know about using and searching the internet. I set off on a new mission; to discover how to discover!  It turns out that the feeling of being overwhelmed by information is not particular to me, it is a real thing!  In fact it is referred to in this article by Taha as “information overload, or information search anxiety”.  Taha discusses this and provides an e-literacy model that aims to provide us with the very things for which I was searching, a how to guide.  My mind began to swirl with possibilities as I read and considered the role that such a model could play in the classroom and as a tool in my pedagogical tool kit.

Here it is again:  Knowledge Maps for E-Literacy in ICT-Rich Learning Environments  Ahmed Taha

References

Taha, A. (2006). Knowledge maps for e-literacy in ICT-rich learning environments. Journal                   of Library \& Information Services in Distance Learning, 2(4), 67–78.

Searching [Image]. (2014). Retrieved from  http://www.google.com.au/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&docid=clHUHUzIzQYmgM&tbnid=cG6GeM2aipGwHM:&ved=0CAYQjRw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.redorbit.com%2Fnews%2Ftechnology%2F1112688946%2Fmicrosoft-google-challenges-090612%2F&ei=vUYqU8L8HMOckAXS94HgAg&psig=AFQjCNHo_uWzywZFOgCHOcZCyiuOtHeVQQ&ust=1395365897236072

Time to step things up.

The world of ICT’s is very familiar to most children in schools (and mine at home), so I decided to explore some of their world.  This decision took me on a search of a way to make animated videos as I could see the benefits of such use in a classroom setting.  A quick Google search uncovered Goanimate , a website that enables you to make your own video.  I found it to be quite user friendly with the added bonus that you could create a 30 second video for free.  I therefore set to work, ICT Genie ensued.  Check it out, it only took 2 hours to create a 30 second movie (and an added half an hour to figure out what to do with it once I had finished). There is also Goanimate for schools – however an account and payment is required for that site.  This was quite an enjoyable activity, although quite time consuming I have discovered that ICT skill development is certainly a cumulative process.  The more you give it a go, the more you learn and the less time it takes you on your new discovery.  I hope you enjoy my video.

Image

 

I am not alone.

It is easy to feel that I am the only one struggling with the process of engaging with these new technologies. I look around me in class and see many bright eyes on young faces, faces that seem at ease with the requirements of this ICT subject. The differences between us become instantly apparent to me and as my eyes scour the room for someone who looks like they know what they are doing; someone who will not judge me for my slow uptake and silly questions. My eyes settle upon someone whose face looks just as unsure as mine, someone else who may feel as old as the hills and remarkably out of touch. I decide to turn to Google to find some tips for managing this ‘generation gap’ of ICT comfortability and I find two videos. I find great solace in this the first video; did you hear a click as it reminds me that my relationship with ICT’s is not tentative as I might think, that I am not as ‘old’ as I feel and that I do have some skills. Humour is a great teacher and I found that I was literally LOLing. The second video Kids of today also made LOL and gave some context to my perceptions of self-efficacy. This really isn’t about my ability, only about my level of experience. The only way to change my level of experience is to get out there and jump right in. So now with a renewed motivation – I’m off. Stay posted for my next discovery.

On becoming a Connectivist.

I am a people person, I love to be around people, talk with people and experience life with other people. The idea of Connectivism, therefore, sits well with me and I can see the advantages that this theory of teaching and learning offer to me. An example of this has already presented itself in my first ever post, where I was helped along my journey through the interaction of a peer. Such interactions will prove to be not only rewarding, but essential. In this instance, through this course I will be both a student and a teacher of Connectivism. I have begun my exploration into the world of ICT’s and although having only just set off, already I am finding that the theory of Connectivism is a sound travel guide. As with any journey I am seeking great things to experience and from which to learn. I shall be posting links to my discoveries in my blogs and I encourage you to share in this journey with me. One of my first discoveries is a slide share presentation by Stephen Downes who provides great practical tips against a theoretical background for both the Connectivist learner and teacher.