EDX3280 Webquest Assessment

Wow. What a massive assignment!

Click HERE to check out my finished product 🙂

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EDP4130 Resource #2: Digital Technologies Resource…

Digital Technologies Resource: http://itsapreppieworld.weebly.com/ 

My plan: Create a class blog, which will allow students, parents, teachers, and the wider community to eventually track the progress of my class throughout the year. Initially, students will each create a PowerPoint page for our Classroom Procedures multimodal presentation; including a photograph of themselves demonstrating a particular procedure, a written description of that procedure, and a voice recording of themselves reading their written description. The completed class PowerPoint presentation will then be uploaded to the class blog.

Curriculum Links: 

Strand: Processes and Production Skills (ACARA, 2015b)

Band: Foundation to Year 2

Content Description: Work with others to create and organise ideas and information using information systems, and share these with known people in safe online environments (ACTDIP006).

Elaboration: Using different types of data to create information for sharing online, for example creating a multimedia class profile that includes a photo of each student, a personal audio recording and a written message.

EDP4130 Resource #1: Design and Technologies Resource…

Design and Technologies Resource: 

Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xkdgu2alJ-8&feature=youtu.be 

Part 2Helpful Animals Worksheet

My plan: Create a geographically accurate, culturally-appropriate video and accompanying sorting worksheet; to explore a farm setting and discover which animals provide food for us, and/or materials for clothing and other uses. Students will engage with the video first, and then complete the sorting activity which requires them to use this new information to determine which product is produced by each animal on a farm.

Curriculum Links: 

Strand: Knowledge and Understanding (Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority, 2015a)

Band: Foundation to Year 2

Content Description: Explore how plants and animals are grown for food, clothing and shelter and how food is selected and prepared for healthy eating (ACTDEK003).

Elaboration: Exploring which plants and animals can provide food or materials for clothing and shelter and what basic needs those plants and animals have.

EDX3270 Assignment 1

Due to circumstances out of my control, here are my 10 annotated references, followed by my critical essay. Enjoy 🙂

Annotations:

Annotation 1
Anstey, M., & Bull, G. (2006a). Teaching and learning multiliteracies; changing times, changing literacies (pp. 56-81). Retrieved from http://coursereadings.usq.edu.au/services/search_moodle.php?course=EDX3270&year=2014&sem=1&token=u1022224%3A1396763848000%3AueX%2Ft811ohy9YKzCSfSLOA%3D%3D

This document assists educators to identify pedagogical characteristics that enable students to develop their multiliterate ability. It outlines the general principles of a multiliterate curriculum, as well as the importance of teaching explicitly instead of implicitly. A dynamic pedagogy should explicitly outline the goals and reasoning behind each lesson, and should allow students to make links between the lesson content and their lives outside the classroom. This style of pedagogy would be particularly effective in literacy learning, as it could be greatly enhanced by multiliterate forms of information and communication technologies (ICTs).

Annotation 2
Apperley, T. (2010). What games studies can teach us about video games in the English and literacy classroom. The Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, 33 (1), 12-23. Retrieved from http://coursereadings.usq.edu.au/services/search_moodle.php?course=EDX3270&year=2014&sem=1&token=u1022224%3A1396763848000%3AueX%2Ft811ohy9YKzCSfSLOA%3D%3D

Apperley’s article explores the idea that Game Studies research may be used to develop tools for utilising video games as instruments in the literacy classroom, by investigating the relationship between interactivity and meaning making. Video games can be a valuable multiliterate tool in the classroom, but teachers must understand that every student will bring a unique level of meaning making to the gaming experience based upon their prior knowledge base, as well as their personal understanding of the metalanguage used throughout the gaming community.

Annotation 3
Beavis, C. & O’Mara, J. (2010). Computer games – pushing at the boundaries of literacy. The Australian Journal of Language and Literacy, 33 (1), 65-76. Retrieved from http://coursereadings.usq.edu.au/services/search_moodle.php?course=EDX3270&year=2014&sem=1&token=u1022224%3A1396763848000%3AueX%2Ft811ohy9YKzCSfSLOA%3D%3D

This paper outlines the challenging questions about the possibilities and limits of gameplay as a literacy tool. Beavis and O’Meara postulate that “much can be learned about students and their literacy practices from the exploration of their engagement with digital culture – particularly videogames” (2010, p. 65). Successful gameplay requires the user to simultaneously pay attention to a number of elements concurrently, which entails complex literacy understandings and skills. In the ever-evolving world of today, computer games are becoming a highly useful tool that allows students to engage with multiliterate texts, in a digitally relevant form that meets the future needs of our society.

Annotation 4
The New London Group (1996). A pedagogy of multiliteracies; designing social futures. Harvard Educational review, 66 (1), 60-93. Retrieved from http://coursereadings.usq.edu.au/services/search_moodle.php?course=EDX3270&year=2014&sem=1&token=u1022224%3A1396763848000%3AueX%2Ft811ohy9YKzCSfSLOA%3D%3D

This article essentially began the intellectual discourse regarding multiliteracies, due to the changing social environment facing students and teachers. The linguistic and cultural diversity present in the world of today requires educators to take a broader view of literacy than in previous times. It is absolutely essential that teachers connect curriculum content to students’ own understanding and experiences, which are defined by their cultural understanding. By making such a connection, students would be able to develop a deeper understanding of new learning experiences.

Annotation 5
Cope, B., & Kalantzis, M. (2009). Multiliteracies: new literacies, new learning. Pedagogies: an International Journal, 4 (3), 164-195. Retrieved from http://coursereadings.usq.edu.au/services/search_moodle.php?course=EDX3270&year=2014&sem=1&token=u1022224%3A1396763848000%3AueX%2Ft811ohy9YKzCSfSLOA%3D%3D

This article examines the evolving world of literacy learning and teaching. It also addresses the issue of what appropriate literacy pedagogy looks like in the modern world, compared to fifteen years previously, when The New London Group first broached the topic of multiliteracies pedagogy. It is essential for educators to understand that literacy learning and teaching is a field that is constantly evolving, and that students will require a multiliterate education in order to function effectively in the world of today, and into the future.

Annotation 6
Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs [MCEETYA] (2008). Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians. Retrieved from http://www.mceecdya.edu.au/verve/_resources/national_declaration_on_the_educational_goals_for_young_australians.pdf

The Melbourne Declaration (MCEETYA, 2008) document outlines a range of educational goals that play a large part in underpinning the creation of the National Curriculum. It acknowledges that ICTs are changing the way people develop, use, share, and process information; and that students of today must be highly skilled in the use of ICTs in order to function effectively in their future lives. Educators must be aware that in order to be successful in all learning areas, students must develop effective literacy skills.

Annotation 7
O’Rourke, M. (2002). Engaging Students through ICTs: a Multiliteracies Approach. Retrieved from http://www.techknowlogia.org/TKL_Articles/PDF/399.pdf

O’Rourke’s article focuses on the need for educators to utilise ICTs for both engaging students, and preparing them for the future challenges they will meet in the rapidly changing, technology-fuelled world. She outlines the three different perspectives of ICT engagement: technical, practical, and critical. The critical level of engagement “prepares students to ‘read the world’ as well as ‘read the word’“ (O’Rourke, 2002, p. 57), which is an essential tool for educators, as it allows students to make sense of the world while utilising multiple modes of communication. Use of ICTs is essential in a multiliterate classroom, as it prepares students for functioning in an ever-evolving world of technology.

Annotation 8
Hesterman, S. (2011). A contested space: the dialogic intersection of ICT, multiliteracies, and early childhood. Retrieved from http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/6810/

Hesterman’s study paper outlines an investigation into how two Western Australian teachers integrated ICTs into their planning to support multiliteracies learning within their early childhood classrooms. The study illustrated a range of early childhood activities that promote literacy learning, which would have otherwise been unimaginable or unsuitable without the integration of ICTs. Literacy learning begins in the early years of a student’s life, and the integration of ICTs in the early years of schooling allows young children to begin their multiliteracies journey at a much earlier age than in previous years.

Annotation 9
Anstey, M. & Bull, G. (2006b). Responding to rapid change: multiliteracies and ICT. Retrieved from http://www.eqa.edu.au/site/respondingtorapidchange.html

This article reports the outcomes of a Multiliteracies Project that has been implemented in a variety of groups of teachers. The project utilises a self-reflective tool with twenty-four items about multiliteracies. This tool allows teachers to determine their literacy knowledge and practice, and then use their personal data to select a number of items as goals for future development. Self-reflection is an essential tool for teachers to employ, in order to plan, develop, and implement educational content more effectively. Educators must understand where their level of literacy understanding lies, so that they are able to identify any weaknesses they might have, and implement the necessary changes in order to work towards being experts in their fields.

Annotation 10
Wilson, B. (2007). School curriculum for the 21st century. Retrieved from http://www.acsa.edu.au/pages/images/paper%20-%20Bruce%20Wilson%20_NC_.pdf

Wilson’s discussion paper on the National Curriculum addresses the issue of the 21st century school curriculum. It outlines four main questions about the curriculum, which include the elements that have already been agreed upon, as well as additional components that have been proposed for inclusion. It is important for educators to understand the foundation of the curriculum being taught, and the reasoning behind the inclusion of certain content over other elements. It is imperative that educators have an understanding of the curriculum, which will enhance the explicit teaching of knowledge, skills, and depth of understanding that is required if students are to develop into effective 21st century citizens.

Essay:

Literacy is defined as “the ability to read and write; a synthesis of language, context, and thinking that shapes meaning” (Winch, Johnston, March, Ljungdahl, & Holliday, 2010, p. 697). This definition is very basic, and in the ever-evolving, technology-driven world of today, must be reassessed in order to take into account the variety of multiliteracies present and available in modern classrooms. Paulo Freire’s description of literacy learning is much more fitting, as he states that “To acquire literacy is more than to psychologically and mechanically dominate reading a writing techniques… it is to understand what one reads and to write what one understands” (1973, p. 48). This essay will outline and discuss the modern movement toward ICTs being used as a multiliteracy tool in classrooms, and the benefits of integrating ICTs in all areas of education from the early years to the higher grades.
According to Anstey & Bull, a multiliteracies curriculum must provide students with opportunities to engage with, learn about, and explore literacy and literate practices (2006a, p. 56). In order to provide such opportunities, the Australian Curriculum employs an overarching ICT general capability that encompasses all key learning areas. Educators must explicitly teach the knowledge and skills which are essential to young Australians, as well as the depth of understanding that is required if students are to develop into effective 21st century citizens (Wilson, 2007). Students are involved in learning to utilise the available digital technologies, and adapting to new modes of operation as technologies evolve (Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority, 2014). This ICT-integrated learning occurs in all grade levels, but manifests in different forms according to age-appropriateness and ability levels. Within an early years classroom for instance, it is possible to provide an ICT-rich environment that supports the development of global literacies as well as print knowledge (Hesterman, 2011, p. 351).
ICT integration in the higher grades of schooling would be particularly beneficial if teachers could harness the video game genre in a meaningful context. The majority of students would actively and willingly engage with such a platform, but educators must ensure that they explicitly link the video game experience with the required curriculum content, as well as with students’ prior knowledge and understanding. Game choices would also require strict scrutiny to assess suitability. Minecraft is a multi-player game, described as “a game about breaking and placing blocks” (Mojang, 2009), which could be quite an effective tool. For instance, Numeracy lessons could be enhanced by requiring students to build a dwelling to meet predetermined 3-dimensional specifications. Some students may work more effectively with tangible materials such as building blocks, but others might remain engaged with the activity if they are allowed to work in the digital format, which would allow those students to make meaning from the interactive process (Apperley, 2010). Another added bonus of employing the genre of video games is that the process of playing requires the use of a variety of literacy practices, including “on-screen semiotic signalling, juxtapositioning, contextual understandings of play and plot structures” (Beavis & O’Mara, 2010). The New London Group, largely responsible for introducing the concept of multiliteracies, states that classroom teaching and curriculum must “engage with students’ own experiences and discourses, which are increasingly defined by cultural and subcultural diversity” (1996, p. 88). Many children today play some form of video game at home, so it would be foolish of educators to dismiss this form of literacy as unimportant, as “teachers from around the world report students’ attraction to using this medium” (O’Rourke, 2002).
As the world changes technologically, so too must the education process. It is essential for educators to understand that literacy learning and teaching is a field that is constantly evolving, and teachers must consider the social and technological contexts that apply in creating and implementing the appropriate literacy pedagogy for students of today (Cope & Kalantzis, 2009, p. 164). The implementation of ICTs in the wider community are changing the way people develop, use, share, and process information; so it is essential that students are highly skilled in the use of ICT in order to be successful in all key learning areas (MCEETYA, 2008, p. 5). A critical level of engagement with ICTs prepares students to “read the world as well as read the word” (O’Rourke, 2002).
Multiliteracies, a term coined by The New London Group (1996), addresses the need for “literacies learning to acknowledge that new communications media are reshaping the way we use language”. Teachers must remain abreast of technological advancements, to ensure that they are able to present their students with ICT-rich learning experiences. Teachers could use a diagnostic tool such as Anstey and Bull’s Multiliteracies Matrix (Anstey & Bull, 2010, p. 9) to reflect upon their own literacy knowledge and practice, and then use their personal data to set goals for professional improvement. Educators must understand where their level of literacy understanding lies, so they can identify their weaknesses and implement the necessary changes in order to work towards being experts in their fields.
This essay has outlined and discussed the modern movement toward ICTs being used as a multiliteracy tool in classrooms, and the benefits of integrating ICTs in all areas of education from the early years to the higher grades.

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Time-poor, schmime poor…

I love prac.
I love being a SAHM (stay at home mum).
I love being a full-time online student (even the assignments!).
Unfortunately, these three aspects of my life do not coexist nicely.
Prac is currently winning at the moment, but with one week to go, I will not be sad to see the end of it.
I miss my three children, especially Master 3, who is not used to being without his mummy.
I have not devoted as much time to my assignments as I had hoped, which means that, once again, it will be a mad, sleepless, caffeine-fuelled dash to the deadline.
Fortunately, I’m not the only one feeling swamped at the moment – my fellow students over at Waltergboulton and The adventures of a tech minded teacher make me remember that we are all in this together.
My house is not being kept as I’d like it either, but it is the element in my life that I have to let go of slightly. As they say, something’s gotta give! Oh well, some things can wait until next week…

Prac and the endless battle with ineffective tech…

I’ve been on prac now for two weeks, and I must admit that I am getting frustrated with the amount of technological difficulties my mentor teacher deals with on a daily basis! Here are but a few of the problems I have observed so far:
– slow internet speed: how are teachers supposed to utilise online content in the class if they are forced to waste so much time waiting for websites to load?
– equipment malfunctions: two of the four class laptops are not working, and are awaiting technical support
– “smart” board not living up to its name: the audio rarely works when required, which makes playing Youtube videos a challenge
– laptop malfunctions: the teacher laptop should (in my opinion) have been replaced at least a year ago, it is so out-dated and glitchy.
Surely our schools deserve the best technology, technological support, and access to online resources!

Khan Academy

Oh dear! I made the rather large mistake of checking out the Khan Academy (See Week 5 course content)… I’ve already lost huge chunks of time browsing the site, attempting quizzes, and watching informative videos… I think I’m hooked! What an amazing resource to have discovered – not only for my own personal quest for knowledge, I’m 100% certain that this site will have endless applications in a classroom setting as well!
I’ve already watched videos on this site that have reinforced the content for another course I’m doing this semester (Science), and I can’t wait to use it while out on prac!