minions_fangirling_despicable_me

This is It!

Hi Everyone,

As per the featured image, this is what I look like right now! I am so happy to have completed this course!

This may very well be my last blog post, ever! It is quite saddening because I had quite a lot of fun blogging and sharing what I find with my followers. This semester has been one of the busiest, most stressful semesters I have ever completed though! I have enjoyed the ride, sometimes (#lol). I just hope that everything goes smoothly from now. Fingers crossed I am ready and prepared for my upcoming exam and when my grades come back, I hope all the hard work and stress was worth it.

I think this course had many positives. I really enjoyed the Learning Path and how it was broken into small sections. It definitely motivated me to finish the work so I could see a tick in the box. Maybe I’m just a little too OCD and MUST see a tick – no exceptions. And I learnt SO much! I am far more confident in teaching a class of students and using ICTs to enhance their learning.

For now, after my exam I’ll be on holidays!! Say hello to stress-free days, doing what I have wanted to do since the start of semester and sleep-ins! I cannot wait!

Many others students have written good bye posts. I really enjoyed reading Hayley’s and Laurenn’s blog posts. Definitely check them out.

Well, THIS IS IT!!

Thanks everyone for a great semester.

Bye for now!

Brendan

Reference:

Reaction Gifs. (2014). Minions Cheering (Despicable Me) [Image]. Retrieved June 14, 2015, from http://www.reactiongifs.us/minions-cheering-despicable-me/  

environment

ICT Is Good For the Environment? #Winning!

Hi Everyone,

So, as this course has proved numerous times, ICT is essential in the modern education classroom. It provides further learning opportunities for students, allows for an inclusive classroom and caters for all learners. ICT is a win, win! However, did you know that ICT is also helping the environment? I didn’t until I came across this article. While reading the research that this article proposes, I found two statistics that really surprised me! It states:

“The report, SMARTer2030, shows that as smart phones, networked sensors, smart grids and other ICT devices become faster, cheaper and more available globally, they have the potential to deliver profound environmental, economic and social benefits.” (eGov Innovation, 2015)

“These include a 20 percent reduction of global carbon emissions by 2030, over $11 trillion dollars in new economic benefits, the ability to extend e-healthcare to an additional 1.6 billion more people worldwide, and an estimated 30 percent increase in agriculture yields.” (eGov Innovation, 2015).

These statistics are crazy! $11 trillion dollars in economic benefits in 15 years? I for one try to do all I can to help the environment. I guess now I have an excuse to use my ICT devices a lot more now? Will anyone believe that?

Thanks,

Brendan

References:

eGov innovation. (2015). ICT can Fast-track Solutions to Global Warming. Retrieved June 14, 2015, from http://enterpriseinnovation.net/article/study-ict-can-fastback-solutions-global-warming-718214165

Technology Green Energy. (2015). Help Our Environment [Image]. Retrieved June 14, 2015, from http://technologygreenenergy.com/help-our-environmen/ 

IWB

The Interactive White Board!

Hi Everyone,

I am writing a post about the interactive white board as it was my saviour on professional experience. I didn’t think I would rely on such a resource so much! Literally every lesson I was using it to play interactive games, I asked students to manipulate shapes and many more resources were used to enhance student learning. I never know the plethora of activities and resources that are available on the internet for the use of the IWB.

For those of you who aren’t aware of what an interactive white board is, it is basically a normal white board however the screen is touch sensitive and can be manipulated through different actions. Pretty cool stuff!! I found that:

“In September 2008, Newsweek magazine reported that more than 70% of primary and secondary schools in the U.K. have interactive whiteboards compared to only 16% in the U.S.” (NEA Member Benefits, 2015).

I think that all schools should utilise this resource. The students respond very well to it and it makes lessons much more engaging. This is a quick example of how Interactive White Boards can be used.

I loved using the interactive white board. As did Michaela. If you would like to read her blog post about her IWB experiences, follow this link.

Thanks Everyone,

Brendan

References:

NEA Member Benefits. (2015). Interactive White Boards Enhance Classroom Instruction and Learning. Retrieved June 14, 2015, from http://www.neamb.com/professional-resources/benefits-of-interactive-whiteboards.htm

Wikimedia Commons. (2015). Interactive Whiteboards [Image]. Retrieved June 14, 2015, from http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Interactive_whiteboard1.jpg

kids using ICT

Did My Students Know More Than Me?

Hi Everyone,

While I was on my professional experience, I was placed within a year four classroom. There weren’t too many ICTs available, but the ones the school did have, the students were experts in using! I felt like they were teaching me how to use some things. It was definitely a collaborative classroom.

This brings me to the point of this blog post. Brittany has written a post about Tech-Savvy Students, which you can read here. It is very interesting as it goes to show the amount of technological information students have.

Frallion (2015) proves this and states that:

“In 2011, 62% of year six students and 65% of year ten students reached or exceeded the relevant proficient standard for ICT.”

This is quite astonishing as students within the twenty-first century are proven to be proficient with using technology. It makes me question some teachers within schools that refuse to use ICTs within the classroom. Are we really denying students the right to use a resource that has almost shaped their lives to this point? If we think about it, students these days have been using ICTs since they were barely walking with the introduction of child-friendly iPad and iPhone apps, child centered television shows and technological resources that aids in their development. What do you think? Are we setting our students up for success?

Thanks Everyone,

Brendan

Reference:

Frallion, J. (2015). The Digital Natives and ICT Literacy. Retrieved June 14, 2015, from http://research.acer.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1104&context=resdev 

Musyrifah, E. (2010). Using Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) and Multimedia as media to promote Second Language acquisition [Image]. Retrieved June 14, from https://evamusyrifah.wordpress.com/category/information-communication-technology-ict-mid-term-test/ 

meditation_water_rocks

Revisiting Professional Experience: Before and After!

Hi Everyone,

Uni is a total balancing act!

Before the commencement of professional experience, the week 9 Learning Path asked everyone to write the top 2 fears or challenges you were feeling. I have tracked my response down and this is what I wrote:

The top two challenges that I have about my future EDC3100 Professional Experience are:

1. Having the ability to design at least 5 ICT-based lessons! I have no idea what grade level I am in, nor do I know what school I have been placed in. And I doubt I will know until a week prior. I hoped I would have been able to get a few weeks notice so I could meet my mentor and pre-plan the lessons and content that they wish for me to teach. Then, I could have actually sat down and plan these lessons with engaging and exciting ICTs. I feel if my mentor gives me one night to prepare for my lessons (which has happened on my last two PEs), I will have more of a focus on the content rather than ICT – but I am keeping positive that I will be fine.

2. Secondly, another fear that I have for my future prac is becoming really far behind with my uni work. I finish prac on the 5th of June, and I have three assignments due straight after prac. I just hope I have the time to design and create ICT-rich lessons and deliver the necessary content and also try and fit in assignment work at some stage within the three weeks.

Upon reflection, I made it! I successfully used ICTs in my professional experience, transforming the students learning. It was a big learning curve for me, especially using an Interactive White Board. I complete overcame this fear and feel like I am able to use and integrate effective ICTs into my future professional experiences. I had such a great time and learnt so much! I feel like I am definitely more aware of ICTs and technology in the classroom. I think one things teachers in general have to improve on is actually using the vast amounts of resources that are available to use – especially ICTs.

However, fear number 2 definitely came true. I was very, very, very far behind in my assignment work when I had finished professional experience. I just have to keep chipping away, one assignment at a time. This is now my mission – finishing all assignments!!! The light is at the end of the tunnel!!

If you would like to read about others’ experiences on professional experience, Kerry and Laurenn have written great posts about it.

Thanks,

Brendan

Reference:

Katsi, M. (2015). Deepen Physical Engagement Through Self-Reflection [Image]. Retrieved June 11, 2015, from http://www.mokasti.com/deepen-physician-engagement-through-self-reflection/ 

keep calm

First Day Done and Dusted!

Hi To My Followers,

As you all should be quite aware, the first day of prac was today, the 18th May. The start of my day had me quite nervous, feeling anxious and to top it off, I had very high stress levels (for those of you who know me, this really isn’t a surprise at all). I was not able to visit my professional experience site prior to my start date, so it was all a very new experience for me, especially not knowing anyone else that was also attending the same school as myself was quite daunting.

When I had signed in, a group of very nice office ladies greeted me with a warm smile and showed me to the staff room where I met an array of friendly staff members – all very keen to find out information about my uni and general information about me. This was a great feeling, I felt like I was apart of the school community, even if I had only been there for five minutes. This start to the morning really allowed me to feel welcome into the school and had me feeling at ease.

I then met my mentor and went through the usual introductory information. I inquired what ICTs that were available at the school and it looks like there is an Interactive White Board and a couple of computers within my classroom. I am planning to take my own iPad into the school to use with lessons to add to my ICT resources.

Following on from this discussion, the school bell rung and the time had come – I was going to meet my class! I walked with my mentor to two rows of 25 students. I met each student and they were extremely nice and happy to have me in their classroom. I was greeted with initial questions like “How old are you?”, “How many people are in your family?”, “Do you live at your school?”. They were very interested, which I think is a good thing.

I am really looking forward to the next three weeks! I can’t wait to teach my first lesson.

If you would like to read other encounters of first day of prac, then definitely head over to Tayla’s Blog and Tracey’s Blog – you’ll find some great blog posts.

Thanks for reading,

Brendan

Reference:

Marygrove College MAT. (2014). Keep Calm I’m a Future Teacher [Image]. Retrieved May 18, 2015, from https://www.pinterest.com/pin/148055906474081534/ 

troll

Trolls! But Not in the Dungeon…

A big hello to my followers!

I have been looking at a few of my fellow bloggers posts and I have come across Laurenn’s blog post about Trolling.

For those of you who do not know who a troll is or what they do, About Tech has explained that:

“Someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as a forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.”

Yikes! Seems like pretty serious stuff, and it can be seen that trolls are classed as ‘keyboard warriors’ and intend to cause harm over the internet. So, what should we do about them?

I believe that the first step as educators is to teach children about trolls and what they intend to do over the internet. The only way to combat a situation is to spread awareness and ensure students know that these people are out there and what to do when they come across them within their virtual world.

Heads up has reported that Trolls often:

  • Have false identities
  • They think it is ‘all In Fun’
  • And they have an easy exit as they can walk away from their computer whenever they want

Laurenn states that if people come across a troll while you are on the internet, then should stay calm in your responses (if you choose to respond to them) and keep cool – don’t allow them to get under your skin! They have failed at their objective if you ignore them.

Can you think about a time when you have come across a troll? What did you do about it?

Thanks for reading,

Brendan

Reference:

Nivens, J. (2012). How to argue on the internet without becoming a troll [Image]. Retrieved May 11, 2015, from http://lifehacker.com/tag/trolls

qr code

QR Codes!!

Hi Everyone,

I was searching through a few of my followers blogs and I came across Tayla’s blog in which she writes about QR codes. If you aren’t sure what QR codes are, they are a square of black and white pixels – you may have seen them on the side of some products that you have previously bought.

These QR codes can be scanned through an app on your phone in which they will automatically link you to a certain website – pretty cool stuff.

If you would like to know a little bit more about them, please view the following YouTube video.

BBC Active have reported on QR codes within education. They have found that:

  • A maths teacher is adding QR codes to her printed worksheets to give students access to the solutions at home.

  • A modern foreign languages teacher uses QR codes to give access to GCSE listening papers. She prints them out on stickers and asks students to stick them into their planners for homework.

  • A head teacher has decided to put QR codes around the school for parents to access information about each department on information evenings.

  • A year 5 teacher encourages pupils’ enquiry skills by ‘posting’ QR clues around the classroom in the context of a research project on the daily life of British children during the Second World War.

  • A science teacher films all of her practical experiments. She uploads the videos to the school’s virtual learning environment. Each video is archived and displayed as a QR code on the wall of the science lab for reference by students and other teachers.

  • A librarian has developed an ingenious use for QR codes. He sticks a QR code on books that have been reviewed as a podcast by volunteer students. Once scanned, the code will take you directly to the podcast.

This is really great! Would you have thought about using QR codes within your classroom? This report is really great reading, if you would like to read the whole thing – please read the following link.

The QR code that I have used as my featured image is the QR code for a college in England named “Harrow House”. If you scan this QR code, it will take you directly to their website.

Thanks,

Brendan

Reference:

BBC Active. (2010). QR Codes in Education. Retrieved May 9, 2015, from http://www.bbcactive.com/BBCActiveIdeasandResources/QRcodesineducation.aspx 

Harrow House. (2015). QR Code. Retrieved May 9, 2015, from http://www.harrowhouse.com/Default.aspx?pagename=QR-Code-for-Harrow-House

connected

I’m Connected.ed #Finally

Hi Everyone,

I am on the catch up, once again! I am usually hyper organised with all of my required work, and it is almost always done by the end of the week. However the past two weeks have had me shaking in my boots! I have had three assignments due within the past week and a half, work related shifts and meetings and to top it off, I have been away at the coast for the long weekend (it seemed like such a great idea last week, now, not so much). So, my assignments quite quickly became my main priority, pushing back everything else. So, here goes!

But I will have you know, I AM FINALLY UP TO DATE AND CONNECT.ED!!

I bit the bullet, sat down and worked through everything that I had to complete before going on prac – which will be another instance in which my normal work gets pushed back for next week. I finally have completed all learning path activities for ICT and have also completed the Connect.ed modules #HappyDance.

I was quite surprised to be honest. when completing the simulations within the Connect.ed modules, it very quickly took me back to late primary school when MSN became the new craze. With some impulsivity and peer pressure, I joined the band wagon and signed up for an MSN account. Now, this may have seemed like a great thing at the time, however the more I used it, the more I was exposed to cyber bullying from other peers within my class. I de-activitated my account quicker than when I signed up, the community of pre-adolescent, twelve year olds was definitely not for me. And, it was quite a good thing – because all those who were ‘leading’ the pack of cyber bullies got quite harsh punishments – it definitely paid off for doing the smart thing.

Now, a few of you may be saying – where is he going with this? But, if you have completed the Connect.ed modules, you will find that the simulations are reality for most teenagers and have experienced something like this within their lives – either at school or within the open, virtual world.

Something that surprised me when completing the modules were the statistics of age groups using different forms of ICT. According to Cyber Smart, they have found that:

“Nearly half a millions teens went online with their mobiles in June 2013 – and that number is increasing every year.”

For #Gensmartphone, they are at a much larger risk of cyber bullying than when I was at school – I only had to worry about my contacts within MSN, for the short time I did have it. However, Cyber Smart have stated that

“42% of teenager use a form of social networking”

This is a major factor that we as future teachers must be aware of. We need to start educating children on cyber safety to ensure their futures are not impacted on – as they say, once it is on the internet, it never goes away.

You should also check out some of my peers blogs! BrittanyTegan and Jessica  have blogged about this issue and provide excellent insights.

Here are some websites that we can use to educate children – maybe on professional experience? Your mentor may think it is just as important.

http://www.cybersmart.gov.au/

http://www.education.vic.gov.au/about/programs/bullystoppers/Pages/advicecybersafe.aspx

https://www.staysmartonline.gov.au/

http://www.cybersafetysolutions.com.au/for-parents.shtml

I hope you think cyber safety is such an important issues that we must be teaching our students!

Thanks very much,

Brendan

stress

Yay for Stress! #TotalSarcasm

Hi Bloggers,

Upon reading Michaela’s blog, she has written a very very very relevant blog post about stress – I totally feel you there Michaela! I too think I need to invest in some “I’m not sleeping glasses”. A little snippet from her blog post goes like this:

“I still have more than half of my assessments to complete- 6 to be exact, including an exam as well as a three week placement which will take up the majority of that 5 week period, essentially leaving me with 2 weeks to complete 6 assessments!?”

If you haven’t read her blog post already, I would totally recommend it! It left me feeling like I am not the only one that is crying on the inside about the number of assessments we have left, as well as the processes of a three week prac. Also, fun fact for the day – the Sydney Morning Herald have reported that:

“Studies have shown one-fifth of Australian university students are diagnose with serious mental illnesses during their course.”

stressed-simpson

Is this saying something? Continuing with this trend, they also state that:

“Distressed students were mostly under-graduates in their second, third or fourth year, aged between 18 and 34.”

Universities around Australia have pushed for more students to receive youth allowances to help them cope with the pressures of modern life. YES PLEASE! I work two part-time jobs while studying full time and try to have a somewhat social life on the side. You just gotta do what you gotta do….

My good friends Google has provided me with 10 steps to deal with stress which include:

  1. Avoid Caffeine, Alcohol, and Nicotine.

  2. Indulge in Physical Activity

  3. Get More Sleep

  4. Try Relaxation Techniques

  5. Talk to Someone

  6. Keep a Stress Diary

  7. Take Control

  8. Manage Your Time

  9. Learn to Say ‘No’

  10. Rest If You Are Ill

I definitely need some more of number three! And, I feel that if I had less going on at the moment, I could do number eight much better.

The American Institute of Stress has made a great comment which states:

what is your experience of your life? Are you taking time to appreciate what you’re working so hard to accomplish or are you just speeding through in order to tackle the next item on your to-do list?

Just remember why we are completing our course! The stress will be worth it!I hope this helps everyone! Just remember, WE CAN DO IT!!!!

Thanks,

Brendan

References:

Collins, S J. (2010). Stress Stalks Uni Students. Retrieved May 8, 2015, from http://www.smh.com.au/national/education/stress-stalks-uni-students-20101122-18467.html

Selman, S. (2015). Entrepreneurship and Stress: Stay Calm and Focused with These Five Apps [Image]. Retrieved May 8, 2015, from http://www.startupist.com/2015/02/16/entrepreneurship-and-stress-stay-calm-and-focused-with-these-five-apps/

Skills You Need (2011). Dealing With Stress | 10 Tips. Retrieved May 8, 2015, from http://www.skillsyouneed.com/ps/stress-tips.html

The American Institute of Stress (2012). Are You A Stress Addict? [Image]. Retrieved May 8, 2015, fromhttp://www.stress.org/are-you-a-stress-addict/