Ohhhh yeah professional experience

Wow seriously where have the past nine weeks gone?? I feel like I am still trying to get my head around all of this ICT stuff yet the weeks just keep flying on by!!! So now that it is getting to the business end of the course I remember that ohhh yeah I have professional experience coming up in like ummmmmm 3 WEEKS TIME!!! So I checked in with my mentor today through email (great use of ICT for communication) to just touch base and get as much information off her as I can about what to expect throughout the 3 weeks. Then I realised that I had no information to give her back as I have no idea about what is actually expected of me throughout this professional experience. So my task this week is to get my head around the fact that in 3 weeks time I go on placement and what will be expected of me while I am there.

I hope i’m not the only one completely freaking out about the fact that placement has come up so quickly!!!


ICT for assessment purposes

This week we covered reasons for using ICT in regards to assessment. I was interested to see that the 3 main things that were ICT was generally used for with assessing students was forms, quizzes and surveys. Immediately I thought back to the SAMR model and was curious as to why these were the most common ways of assessing students using ICT as to me these fall under substitution and augmentation where the use of a form, quiz or survey just takes the direct replacement of a written test.

Towards the end of the booklet there were other ways in which ICT could be used for assessment and they were ideas such as blogs and eportfolios that not only present the final product but can be used to show research and student work throughout the entire process of assessment. These ways I thought started to move up the scale in regards to the SAMR model and were more in the area of modification.

As I was reading the booklet I was waiting for ICT presentations to be brought up, such as glogster, and was surprised when they were not brought up. I believe that depending on the type of presentation that a student is creating these have the potential to be of the highest value of the SAMR scale at the redefinition stage.

I thought it was great that whilst I was reading about these ICT uses in assessment my mind was thinking further out of the box in the form of thinking about other ways that ICT can be used in regards to assessment but not only that how it would rate on the SAMR model and trying to think of ICTs that would fit in the redefinition category. I believe this shows how my learning is progressing and developing throughout this course.


Expanding my knowledge with the help of other students

Hi all,

Well today I was going through my feedly account as I do several times a week and I saw an interesting post from fionabudd2014 titled Writing with pictello. It caught my attention as I know that in the majority of special education settings issues surrounding writing are always present and therefore the use of ICT in this department tends to help students with their writing in alternative ways. I read Fiona’s post and it continued to interest me as she explained that she had used this with a previous student who had refused to complete any writing task but when using this ipad app they began completing and enjoying writing with it becoming one of the students strongest academic areas. With more research I looked up the pictello app and continued to be impressed by what this app offered. The final thing that I looked up was the video that Fiona had posted the link to on her blog, which can be seen below.

After all this research and discovering exactly what this app can do I also decided that this would be the most appropriate mean for my students to use to present the information they discover about their pets and the photos that they take in the assessment part of my assignment 2 unit. The students are able to create a story where they can include pictures and write their own text and then they are able to set the story in a slide show mode that it will present itself to the other students in the class. There are also other features such as including your voice into the presentation as well so students will have many different options.

Enjoy the video and I hope you are just as impressed with this app as I am and I am always excited with other students share experiences with ICT that has worked wonders for them so that we are all able to learn something new from them.


Reflection idea

After completing week 5’s barometer I had this thought just pop up in my head!!! One of the major things in teaching is to reflect and evaluate on our lessons and units and in doing that we evaluate our own work but we should also get the opinions of our students as well. What better way to do this than by creating our own google forms on google drive that we can create and use with our students as a fun evaluation process. We immediately get the results back and it is introducing ICT into the classroom as well and not only that we can find out exactly what they learnt, what they liked and what they had fun doing and we can use this information to guide how we re shape the unit the next time we go to teach it.

The only depending factor I would have in creating this would be how long it actually takes to create one but once you have the fundamentals down i’m sure it will be a fast and easy process. Can’t believe that after completing 4 or 5 of these i’ve only just had the idea come to me now. This could reshape the way I get student feedback and reshape the way that I am able to evaluate my own work as im sure you’d be able to get the data from them and provide summary reports as well.

I wonder what everyone else thinks of this idea as something to potentially introduce into the classroom with your students.

“Living things” learning experience ideas

Well previous to reading week 5’s booklet on learning experiences I had already come up with lesson ideas. Having thought briefly about my lesson ideas and just jotting them down with resource ideas I had not paired them into learning experiences just week experiences so in this blog I am going to be creating the learning experiences instead of just lesson ideas and also starting to find resources to go with these learning experiences.

Learning experience 1 –

  • Activity 1 will have students being introduced to the term living things. Students will be introduced to what living things are and the different categories of living things. ICT resource that I am going to use will be an online book on living things called “living things are everywhere” and reinforce what has just been read with some multi sensory activities on the topic provided from the book. Students will also be exploring living things through exploratory play to further their understanding. Students will have exploratory play in created food environments with different animal and plant figurines.
  • Activity 2 will have students begin classifying living things into animals, people and plants. Students will begin by making an interactive collage as a class on glogster on things that are classified as living in the groups of animals, people and plants.  Students will then use an ICT program and quiz, which shows different types of living things and then at the end of the program they have to answer a quiz to see if they can classify each of the living things under the right label. The game is called ourselves 

Learning experience 2 –

  • Activity 1 – Students will begin to look at the basic needs of living things, which are food, water, oxygen, shelter and warmth. The main 3 that will be focused on are food, water and shelter. Students will think about their basic needs in terms of food, water and shelter. Students will use ICT to do some research on the difference between needs and wants. Students will then complete a game called “Island life – needs and wants” to further develop their knowledge.
  • Activity 2 – Students will look more in depth about their individual needs in terms of food, water and shelter. Students will use ICT to create a food plate with all the types of foods they tend to eat and then print this out. Students will also design a shelter that they believe will meet their basic needs. A potential game is called happy builder

Learning experience 3 –

  • Activity 1 – Students now having a wider knowledge of living things as well as their needs will apply this knowledge in terms of pets that they have at home. Students will think about the similarities and differences between their needs and the needs of the pets they look after at home. ICT that students will use is the interactive RSPCA website that has all different interactive games and information desgined to teach young students about the needs of animals
  • Activity 2 – Students will be asked to gather information and pictures from home with them looking after the needs of their pets. Students should take pictures of the pet, its food (as well as it eating it), its water (as well as it drinking it) and its shelter and bed. Students should also have pictures of themselves interacting with the dog. ICT students will use is a camera as well as emails so that the pictures will be electronically available for the next acitivity.
  • Activity 3 – Students will create an online piece (not sure what I will use as yet) to display the pictures and information they have gathered about their pet. Students will then use all of this to present to their fellow students (Assessment)

This is as far as I have gotten so far based on my students context, which is they have behavioural disorders and therefore needed to be highly engaged through the use of ICT or hands on approaches I have tried to keep the class work to a minimal and when it is necessary incorporate the big screen so that students have something else to interactive with rather than just me. I have also tried to include as much ICT as possible including games, research, interactive programs, glogster and other forms as this is my students strong point and what highly engages them so they will learn more and have a higher understanding if ICT is used to full effect.

“Living things” unit

I am creating a unit for prep students on living things. These students are in a special education school and have mild intellectual impairments as well as high behavioural disorders. These students dislike sitting around and listening to their teachers talking for long periods of time (15 or more minutes) and this is when behavioural problems tend to increase. The students highly value using ICT within lessons and it captures their complete attention and they are able to stay on focus throughout different tasks while using ICT, as well as taking a hands on approach to completing activities. With this in mind the use of ICT in lessons will be priceless and incorporated as often as possible, in many different ways. The unit will go for 4 weeks with 3 lessons per week.

The learning objectives for this unit are based around constructing knowledge and transforming knowledge. The learning objectives have come from the Australian curriculum science strand for the foundation year level.

The constructing knowledge comes from the biological science “Living things have basic needs, including food and water” (ACSSU002)

The transforming knowledge comes from the science inquiry skills “Engage in discussions about observations and use methods such as drawing to represent ideas” (ACSIS233) and “Share observations and ideas” (ACSIS012)

The assessment criteria that I will use has come from the QSA standard elaborations under the Apply (AP) sections for prep science.

The science understanding criteria is –

  • Clear descriptions of living things and their needs
  • Applications of science knowledge, gained through observation and exploration in familiar situations

The science inquiry criteria is –

  • Clear communication of observations and ideas

At this present stage I have already continued thinking about the assessments and the learning stages and am now researching different ICT resources that can be used in order to enrich the learning of my students

The SAMR model

As I begin to work my way through week 5 we look back on the SAMR model as I realised for a moment that I had completely forgotten about the SAMR model and what it standed for i proceeded to refresh my memory.

Thinking about the purpose of the SAMR model, which is to ensure the quality use of ICT within the classroom I began to think of how I would justify the inclusions of my ICT choices throughout my unit.

To help refresh my memory I went back to the course book The SAMR model – thinking about examples and watched the video and then went to the SAMR model – technology is learning website and then to further refresh my memory and cement the concept of the SAMR model into my mind in order for me to make correct choices with the implementation of ICT in my unit I looked at other students blog posts around the SAMR model in particular  blog post titled The SAMR model and she redefines the the levels of the model based on her understanding. 

She identifies the levels as:


Substitution: In this levels teachers or students are only using new technology resources to replace old ones. For example using Google Docs to replace Microsoft Word.
Augmentation: In this model we are still slightly using substitution but adding more functionalities, such as in Google Docs who it uses auto saving and synching.
Modification:  This level technology is used more effectively not to do the same task using different tools but to redesign new parts of the task and transform students learning.

Redefinition: This level represents that student use technology to create new tasks.

She also provides a video to help further the understanding, which can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=us0w823KY0g&feature=player_embedded 

The 5e’s as a pedagogical framework

As I am still working my way through the week 4 course content I have been thinking about the question of what pedagogical framework I will be using within the structure of my unit plan to develop the essential questions that will base the whole unit. I started thinking about this after going through the “getting started on the unit of work” booklet in the week 4 learning path. But the two questions were which pedagogical framework to choose? as there are so many different options available and where to start?

So I decided to start by having a look through the sample unit plans for last years students that are available as well as going through other students blogs to research what they were. Through doing this I limited all the available pedagogical frameworks that I could use down to just two Bloom’s taxonomy and the 5e’s. The reason I had limited it down to these two were because Bloom’s taxonomy is the most familiar framework to me and the 5e’s was a framework that seemed to be used regularly by those is early childhood as well as the one that was used in the sample unit plan for preps – the same year level that I am creating my unit on.

With this I made my decision to branch out from what I know and am familiar with and to use and learn about another pedagogical framework, which I have done some limited work on, and expand my knowledge.

A blog by Shafy Saeed titled the 5e’s was one of the persuading factors as she provides detailed explanation of the 5e’s model. The 5e’s model includes 5 different phases of learning all beginning with the letter E. They include:

  • Engage
  • Explore
  • Explain
  • Elaborate
  • Evaluate

Questions or activities will be designed based on each of these phases of learning and as students work their way through the unit they will also progress throughout each phase and higher order thinking will be encouraged as well as students taking more control over their learning.

Shafy Saeed posts a website to her blog at the end, which she gives as a way of allowing readers of her blog to do more research on the 5e’s model and getting more information. For those of you who have not viewed her blog and would also like more information the website is http://dbroomfi.hubpages.com/hub/How-to-create-a-5-E-Lesson-Plan.

Creating a class website

I was scrolling through my feebly feed checking out some other blogs from other EDC3100 students and I came across fionabudd2014’s blog post called class website. In the post she talks about the use of a website called classtell to create a specific website just for your class in which us as teachers can communicate different things to parents or students and have them communicate with us through the use of the website.

Some of the advantages of having a class website is that you can post immediately to the website and the information be available immediately no matter what time or day or night it is posted. Another advantage is that the information is available to parents or students from anywhere that has a computer and internet connection. A class website is also a great way to keep parents informed and feel as though they are an active participant within the classroom.

A potential disadvantage is that parents may not be familiar with technology and they also may not have regular access to a computer or an internet connection. This may leave parents feeling behind the eight ball or as if they are not having an active roll within the classroom.

Check out the website – http://classtell.com/ and the video tour to decide whether or not this seems like an appropriate choose for you and your future classroom. I have added this site to my diigo for future references.

Which curriculum?

Well it has been a long time since I have posted on here since we have had our assignments due, which resulted in me getting a couple of weeks behind on the course content due to life in general. So here I am just starting out on module 2 with the plans of getting back up to speed by the end of this week so that I am heading in a good place for my assignment.

So the first thing that I have stumbled upon is a minor dilemma of which curriculum to use with my two options being the Australian curriculum or the Victorian early years learning framework. The reason that I am stuck between the two is because I will be working with a prep special education class who have intellectual disabilities. Now considering they are in prep the ideal would be that they are all working towards the foundation level of the Australian curriculum but in actual fact many of the students would still be working on the upper levels of the early years learning framework alongside the Australian curriculum.

The decision that I have come up with is that I will be using the Australian curriculum foundation level as I believe everyone has the focus of getting students to progress through the Australian curriculum no matter whether they are in a mainstream school or a special education school.