Andy’s Adventures

The final version of Andy’s Adventures finally – after some slight technical issues with recording and playback.

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Digital Technologies

The resource, Andy’s Adventures is a story made using Powerpoint to address the Digital Technologies curriculum.  The story has links to a number of resources for students to engage with to learn about codes and symbols as well as play with translators and engage with hands on experiences with the codes and symbols.  As a final task, students will be required to chose one of the codes/symbols studied, decide on a context and complete a script of messages appropriate to the chosen context.

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The Digital Technologies resource I have developed is called Andy’s Adventures.  There are some further additions yet to be made.  Hopefully the resource is accessible and works ok.

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EDP4130 Task 1 Resources

In meeting the requirements of Task 1, consideration of the Technologies Curriculum of the Australian Curriculum was necessary in order to determine the content that would be addressed during the development of 2 resources.  As such, the following areas of the Curriculum were chosen to create the resources around.

Digital Technologies (Years 3 & 4)

Content Description:  Recognise different types of data and explore how the same data can be represented in different ways (ACTDIK008)

Elaboration:  exploring codes and symbols that are representations of data, for example morse code and semaphore and how similar symbols in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art can represent different concepts depending on the context, for example three circles, drawn as lines, can represent ants, fruit, flowers or eggs depending on the art region.

RESOURCE:  The resource to be developed will be an interactive book by which students will follow the storyline of a child who finds a series of codes and be challenged to solve them.  Throughout the story, as a new code is “found”, the child from the story will need to learn more about that code and it’s use in real life through a series of activities and games, before using that knowledge and understanding to create a response in the same code.  The codes that will be explored include morse code, semaphore flags, phonetic alphabet and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander symbols.  The resource will also have links to a range of General Capabilities, including literacy, numeracy, critical and creative thinking and intercultural understanding as well as the Cross Curriculum Priority of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures.

Design and Technologies (Years 5 & 6)

Content Description:  Investigate the role of food preparation in maintaining good health and the importance of food safety and hygiene (ACTDEK022)

Elaboration:  experimenting with tools, equipment, combining ingredients and techniques to design and make food products or meals for selected groups for healthy eating taking into consideration environmental impacts and nutritional benefits.

RESOURCE:  The resource to be developed for this content will be a WebQuest by which students will firstly learn about the various areas of content, including nutrition, techniques for food preparation and cooking and guidelines for healthy eating that governs the running of the school tuckshop before completing the challenge of creating a new Meal Deal for the Tuckshop to produce for a period of time.  They will be required to utilise the knowledge and understanding obtained through the WebQuest learning activities and games in order to achieve this.  Engagement with the General Capabilities of literacy, numeracy and critical and creative thinking as well as the Cross Curriculum Priority of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures will assist with understanding.
The aim is for these resources to provide a valuable, quality and suitable learning experience for students working within the Technologies Curriculum.
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The first 2 days…………

My first 2 days of prac have been a little different to normal.  We had a new student start on Monday who will be joining the special needs group and by shear luck we also had specialists in the school who could spend time with the student and family.  Over the last couple of days I have had the opportunity to meet and see how the specialists (Physiotherapist, Occupational Therapist and AVT) work in the school.  I have worked with some amazing students and also started teaching lessons, trying to use ICT as much as possible.  The main ICT I believe I will be using during my prac would be the IWB.  This is new to my mentor teacher as well so we are working together to see how it works and what we can do with it!  We will also be working with iPads with the students for specific lessons so that will be interesting as well.  

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In Week 11’s Learning Path, we learnt about Beauchamp and how he identified a series of stages teachers progress through demonstrating skills during the use of IWBs.  We were asked to consider how these series of stages compares to the SAMR Model.  Whilst reading through the details of each of these stages outlined by Beauchamp I could recognise the connection to the SAMR Model.  

  • Black/whiteboard substitute

This skill corresponds with the Substitution stage of the SAMR Model and sees the teacher using the whiteboard much like a regular blackboard or whiteboard, with basic skills including writing on the board, limited use of files with the teacher using the resource.

  • Apprentice user

The teacher introduces new software and encourages students to begin using the board, however is usually used in teaching of only core subjects.  I believe the Apprentice user is operating between the stages of Substitution and Augmentation as users are beginning to include more functions in the use of the IWB, but have not yet expanded to using the full resources available or spread this use out over multiple subject areas. 

  • Initiate user

Use of a wider range of programs and effects as well as using multiple files and external resources in a range of subject areas.  Students are beginning to select tools to input to the IWB.  This inclusion of more functions demonstrates the Augmentation stage of SAMR.

  • Advanced user

Use of a range of additional devices – videos, hyperlinks, imported images, etc.  Frequent and unplanned use of the IWB by students. As advanced users, there is significant redesign occurring indicating the Modification stage of the SAMR Model.

  • Synergistic user

Both teachers and students demonstrate a high level of competence with the technology, construct meaning and dictate the direction of the lessons.  I believe this stage corresponds with the Redefinition stage of the SAMR Model.



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Meeting the Mentor

Finally I have the opportunity to write about meeting my mentor teacher.  I think it is going to be a great prac – long – but great.  I found out after meeting my mentor teacher that she only works 4 days a week – therefore the school had to contact USQ to see if I was able to complete my prac over a slightly extended amount of time!  So my 3 week prac has now become an almost 5 week prac!!!  It goes a little like this:

Week 1 – 4 days (Monday to Thursday)

Week 2 – 3 days (Monday, Tuesday and Thursday – Wednesday is our Show holiday)

Week 3 – 4 days (Monday to Thursday)

Week 4 – 3 days (Tuesday to Thursday – Monday is a public holiday)

Week 5 – 1 day (Monday)

After having said that, my mentor teacher has already consider some lessons that I would be able to plan and teach, with more of this to be discussed during our non contact time on Monday afternoon.  Also when I commented that I would need to include ICT where possible in my lessons she was very excited.  She admitted to having received a SMART Whiteboard in her little classroom (small Special Needs setting) and had not used it a lot as she is not sure how to use it.  She would like to get it worked out though and we will do this together – that’s a bit exciting!  She also suggested that she has been wanting to start an edStudio for her students and that this would be a great thing to do as well.  She had a few other ideas as well with possibly incorporating ICT in lessons.  They are lucky enough to have about 7 or 8 iPads for use with the special needs students, which unfortunately haven’t been used a lot.  It will be interesting to see how I will go about planning lessons – at least 2 of these may be on Social Skills!! I think I will be spending the next few days trying to find out a little more about incorporating ICT in my lessons.  

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Models, Frameworks and Theories…………….

The challenge in Week 11 – how well do I know the models, frameworks and theories? I must say this did instill some fear into me!! I immediately thought – how am I going to complete this?  Do I know enough about all of these models, frameworks and theories? But good old google helped me to complete the following table:

Theory Purpose Application to Assignment 3 / Professional Experience
CLEM Model Help understand how to learn about a new ICT and how to use it to enhance student learning If there are any new ICTs you need to use it might help your explorations.  Hence might be useful as a part of the planning process for Part B.
TPACK Framework Identifies the knowledge required by teachers in order to provide effective pedagogical practice.  This includes Technological Knowledge, Pedagogical Knowledge and Content Knowledge. This will be a consideration when planning lessons while on prac – ensuring that not only my pedagogical and content knowledge are effective but also the technological knowledge.
Backwards Design Provides a process for teachers to follow when planning either a Unit or Lessons.  It enables them to look at the final product – what they want the students to have learnt.  Teachers are then able to work backwards, decide on the appropriate assessment, and then the lessons that will enable students reach the understanding required. This will be a useful framework to use in my lesson planning during prac.
SAMR Model Made up of 4 levels, the SAMR model allows teachers to assess and evaluation their use of technology during lessons.  It progresses from Substitution (using new tools to replace an old one), Augmentation (includes more functions), Modification (significant redesign) and Redefinition (new task creation). This will be a consideration in planning lessons – making sure that my lessons are not just “using” technology but that there is a reason for implementing the technology in that lesson.
TIP Model Technology Integration Planning consists of 5 phases providing guidelines to planning effectively with technology. Phase 1 – Develop relative advantage, Phase 2 – Decide objectives and assessments, Phase 3 – Design integration strategies, Phase 4 – Prepare the instructional environment and Phase 5 – Evaluate and revise integration. Due to the similarities to SAMR Model, this may not be used during my prac.
The 5 Es Based on the constructivism theory that students build on their current understandings.    The inquiry approach works through the 5 E’s – Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, Evaluate. This would be a useful strategy for the students I will be working with in my prac.  It will be a consideration when planning my lessons.
WALT & WILF Assists students in their understanding of the purpose of the lesson – “We Are Learning To” and the expectations of the lesson – “What I’m Looking For”. At the beginning of the lesson, completing the WALT and WILF, and explaining to the students the purpose and expectations of the Lesson.  Students can use this as a guide while they work to see if they are meeting the set expectations.
Connectivism Considered to be the learning theory for the digital age.  It refers to the idea that learning occurs socially and culturally through working and sharing knowledge and understandings with others. Specifically with regard to the digital age, this information would be shared digitally. Due to my context, this will probably not be used.
Bloom’s Taxonomy Highlights 3 domains of learning – cognitive (knowledge), affective (attitude) and psychomotor (skills) and looks at moving students through low order thinking through to higher order thinking to improve their understanding.  In order to be successful at the higher order thinking categories, students should have achieved the low order thinking first. Students work from Remembering, Understanding and Applying through to Analysing, Evaluating and Creating This will assist in structuring lessons, constructing appropriate questions in order to progress students through the levels.
Postman’s 5 Things A list of 5 ideas about technological change.  These include: we always pay a price for technology, There are winners and losers, Embedded in technology are epistemological, political or social prejudice, Technological change is not additive, it is ecological and Technology is mythic. In planning lessons, consideration to Postman’s 5 Things may be helpful, particularly when considering whether a particular technology will provide benefit to learning for special needs students.
Toolbelt Theory / TEST Framework Ira Socol highlights the TEST Framework as a useful way for students to determine the appropriate tool to use in their learning.  Firstly they must consider the Task, the Environment in which this needs to be completed, the Skills which they have to complete this task and finally the Tools in which to complete this. This would not be used during prac.
PKM Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) is a process by which a person can gather and share knowledge as well as develop a network of people in order to make more effective use of time. PKM could prove to be useful during my prac and also in preparing Assignment 3 as this could assist with lesson plans, activities as well as reflections.
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Module 4 – Putting it into Practice

Working through the final Module of the Connect.ed program, I found it very informative and helpful in understanding cyberbulling and cybersafety better and how this effects and impacts on our students lives.  Further, the range of resources available are amazing, interactive and relevant to students of all ages and abilities.

Although I wondered how this could be implemented for students in the special education setting, investigating the wide range of resources available on Connect.ed, I do believe these lessons could be used (or at least modified) to use with students with special needs.  Whilst all students need to understand the importance of staying safe while online, students with special needs are likely to be more susceptible to providing information online than other students and therefore would require lessons in this area as much, if not more than other students.

I completed the 4 Connect.ed Modules and have attached my certificate.

Cybersmart Certificate

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Module 3 – School and the Law

Working through this module, the focus is on addressing cybersafety using a whole school approach.  I can see there is definitely benefits with this approach.  It is important to have all parties involved, from the students themselves through to the parents, teachers, administration staff and everyone in between!  I agree that it is important for students to understand the impacts of cybersafety on a person as well as how to best handle it.  Further to this, students need to understand the consequences if they engage in cyberbully of any kind.  I believe that ensuring students are aware of the laws with regards to cyberbully will contribute to students engaging in safer practices online.  It would be interesting to know how many schools run explicit teaching experiences based on the cyberbully and cybersafety issues.  

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