6 thoughts on “A small sense of achievement…

  1. This year I was all fired up for differentiation. I wanted to provide for my students however they needed as individuals. I’m pretty impressed with the results. On of the most successful uses was with my ELA 30 class studying Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew. I was teaching the text off an ipad app (amazing audio texts of Shakespeare by DodgePoint Software) that had the complete text (and so much more). I was willing to provide paper copies for students to mark up, but also suggested ibooks. In the end, some of the kids purchased the same app I was using, and took notes in tandem with Pages. Others were using ibooks and utilized the highlighting and notes feature that’s built in. And one decided to go with a paper copy she was highlighting and making margin notes on. It worked extremely well, especially because Shakespeare is all about Acts and Scenes and Lines, so mismatched page numbers were not an issue. My grade 10 class this term though is all about paper (yuck). I’m starting to get a few to see the benefits of tech by taking the opportunity when they complain about various issue that tech could make easier. But it’s been a real shift for me, someone who loves tech, to work with a class that mostly doesn’t. Instead of pushing my way on them, though, as I’d like to, I’m working with them to suit their learning needs.

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    • This is great Jon. We must remeber that our love for the technology is not always the best way for our students. I am continually reminded of this by my 22 year old nephew who is one of the only people I know of in his age range who avoids technology like the paluge. The only thing I know he is able to do is post on Facebook. When I am introducing new technology to students or colleges it is also great to refelct upon how long it took me to adapt and change to embrace the technology, and I am still not a completely paperless teacher. I still have note pads where I write all of my notes to the be transfrered to electronic documents. I am also not a great touch typer (hence typos), but the more I work on it the better I get. Like any skill. So the more yo work on your year 10 class the more willing they might be to try new technology.

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  2. Hi Rachael, it must be a good feeling to FINALLY be able to progress with teaching/learning now all your students can log on. It makes me wonder yet again, about all the obstacles that are put in the way of students accessing technology. In NSW, even our kindergarten students have a log on that requires their first and last name, along with a string of numbers if there is more than one child in NSW DEC schools with that name. It is sooo difficult for those young children, who are only just learning to read and write.

    My current Y2 class is challenging my thinking at the moment. One of them wanted to make his own computer game, so I decided to teach them to use Scratch. The only problem was, I hadn’t used the software myself and I could tell it would take me a long time to master. Our first lesson was a great success, however. I just showed them the program and asked them to explore and discover as much as they could. They immediately started experimenting, figuring things out and teaching eachother what they were learning. Some of them have even started making their own games and are already well ahead of me in terms of skill.

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    • Hi Corrinne,
      Thanks for sharing your experiences. It sound like here in SA things are slightly easier for the little kids to log on to our network. We have all usernames and passwords set by our IT manager. For our Reception to year 2 students we have generic class log in’s so I can put this up on the board and then get all students to look up there.
      I totally understand the difficulty when the students can hardly recognise letters, let alone tell the difference between the capitals on the keyboard and the lowecase letters used to lg in. I use a school wide common computer room for my ICT classes so even if I wanted to (but I wouldn’t anyway) I couldn’t put lowecase stickers on the keyboards to help with this.
      Our school is a Birth-year 12 college so we are fortunate enough to have many wonderful resources and the Flexibilty in my timetable to allow me to spend a lesson a week at our child care centre with the Kindy (preschool) kids to introduce them to using our network and logging in using the kindy log in’s. I’m hoping this will have some impact and make the next group of students enrolling a little more able in the logging on department. I will keep you updated with this.

      Thanks also for sharing your story about “teaching” scratch. I love the notion of introduce and then let the students discover and collaborate to develop their understandings. I also have a huge passion for games for learning. I have never used scratch either but I will be later in the year. I will also share my experiences with the introduction and discover method in a later blog post.
      Rachael

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    • I did the same “explore on your own” with Prezi. I’d never used it, but had seen it and heard amazing things. I let the students know I wanted a more unique presentation and suggested Prezi. I admitted to knowing nothing about it. But students were excited for something new and figured it out themselves. Then I had them teach me 😉

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      • Very interensting, This week I am doing the same with my year 6/7’s. I am introducing them to Prezi (well a YouTube intro clip is) and they will be given the opportunity over the next few weeks before holidays to ocme up with a presentation. I’m even allowing them to use iPads (which I’ve never done before with Prezi. I will let you know how we go. 🙂

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