Two really good resources I have discovered over the last few weeks is Socrative and Plickers. Both allow for easy assessment of learning in the classroom with instant access to data that can guide teaching strategies moving forward. It seems as though the challenge is for teachers to collaborate and start utilising these assets. The need for consistent assessment across the cohort in schools may be necessary but that should stop at least using these tools for formative assessment.
So I reflect on my first blog and can see just how much further I have (well at least think) in using ICTs not just for something to do or making it fun, but also as a way to provide students with a way of using the skills they have learnt and demonstrating their knowledge and understanding. ICTs, if well considered, are an important asset to any teachers kit bag. Before the course, I thought of ICT in the classroom as teaching students how to use things like PowerPoint or how to type but it is so much more…Adding a layer to their understanding in real terms rather than how to do a skill or task.
Death by PowerPoint is a theme that I regularly come across. Using the IWB’s in the classroom, it is easy to fall into this trap and we will end up teaching the same way as using a blackboard. It got me thinking about the Flipchart calendar introduced in week 11. How can we use these interactive resources in our classroom to transform the learning? I am teaching a lot of maths during my P.E and one thing i found was being able to present a range of different images and manipulate, transform and essentially pull them apart as a great way to engage the kids in the learning and transform their knowledge from know about to know how to.
It is amazing how being able to visually represent your thoughts add so much depth and meaning as opposed to dot points or, well, forgetting. Being able to link your ideas to overarching topics gives it meaning when returning later to look at what you were thinking.
See screenshot of my mind map. I find that I just keep asking myself questions after I write something…amazing to build depth of thought!
For another subject, I was required to introduce a shared reading lesson with an interactive artifact similar to what was required for EDC3100. I used Powtoon and found it very difficult to use on internet explorer. I have used this again for 3100 but through Google Chrome and found it much better and quicker to respond. Our students run into problems like this regularly in the classroom. I think we need to encourage them to dig a little deeper when things are not working and show that it is ok if ICTs play up – we just need to fix them. After all, building and fixing ICTs will be a big employer when these kids grow up.
My mentor has encouraged the use of Smart Notebook for lessons. It is very simple to use and the ability to scaffold a lesson into a short I Do – through explicit teaching of the topic, We do – easy link to interactive or collaborative learning activities (youtube clips, games…) and You do – independent activities is easily done with Smart Notebook.
And like that, my world has changed. I have moved into a different position at work and the impact it is having on uni and home life is hard to take. I have to re-evaluate how I am going to be able to complete my study as the hours at work at a little bit silly at the moment. Hopefully soon enough it will settle down. Oh – then throw 3 weeks of prac in and its nearly meltdown time. Oh well, no need for sympathy, just get on with it!
So thinking about how to incorporate ICTs into the classroom and I think about what I was exposed to at school….Overhead projectors and a TV with VCR player. Creative to say the least 😉 From past prac’s, I love the use of IWB but be aware not to fall into the trap of death by PowerPoint! Keep it interactive for the kids. They need to be able to experiment, play and enjoy the use of ICTs.