ICT can be defined as “anything which allows us to get information, to communicate with each other, or to have an effect on the environment using electronic or digital equipment” (Siraj-Blatchford & Siraj-Blatchford, 2003, p. 4).
The following ICT’s I reflected on that I have been using on Professional Experience Placement in an Early Years classroom are as follows:
- computers (including desktop, laptop, and handheld computers);
- digital cameras and digital video cameras;
- creativity and communication software and tools;
- the Internet;
- interactive stories, simulated environments, and computer games;
- programmable toys and “control” technologies;
- electronic whiteboards
I have begun to reflect on the roles for ICT and some examples that I saw or facilitated while on placement.
Roles for ICT
Children using ICT in their play or learning (alone, with peers, or with adults).
Children using computers to play games, listen to stories, or draw pictures.
Children using ICT equipment in games or role-play activities.
Children and teacher using ICT together to scaffold children’s learning.
Using the Internet to locate information or resources, sparked by children’s interest in a particular topic or idea.
Children and teacher using ICT together to document and reflect on children’s learning, or to share children’s learning with parents, or other practitioners.
Taking digital photos, videos, of tasks during teaching and learning
PowerPoint presentations on topics related to English or Inquiry
Reviewing these together, with classmates or sharing them with parents
I have been reading other blogs to find out what ICT’s my fellow EDC3100 students have been using while on Professional experience. Kirsten highlights a great way she odserved in incorporating ICT and Spelling in a Year 2 class! http://kirstiewilladsen.wordpress.com/2013/05/30/spelling-icts/
After completing the four modules through Connect.ed exploring issues regarding children navigating the world of online I read other EDC blogs to gather opinions of what other educators now think of the importance of online safety. Stephanie in her blog Connect-ed-modules highlight the importance of all children no matter their age in being aware of the ramifications their online use may have. It has also made me do some further research on how I could implement a follow up unit for early years students. I did some further searching, looking for examples of unit plans I could do with my early years students following the completion of the Connect.ed Modules and found this blog The Book Fairy by an primary school librarian who has developed a unit plan to support teachers inimplementing a cybersafety unit. It outlines ICT use for younger students in a positive and informative way for them to understand the importance of safe ICT use. It incorporates the safety aspects into lessons and the rules set out for safe ICT use. It gives you some great ideas for anchor charts you can develop with your students.
While completing my Professional Experience placement I saw how ICT can provides opportunities for scaffolding and supporting learning for children with additional learning needs. I had one student who presented with a number of social and behavioural needs due to a very traumatic early childhood. I got to observe how my mentor incorporated ICT to provide him with a variety of ways to put together words, pictures, and sounds, providing him with a range of ways to communicate his ideas, thoughts, and feelings with he was unable to orally communicate them.
One such app was the ‘iTouchiLearn Feelings for Preschool Kids’ which gives social cues needed to identify, interpret and communicate their emotions. By interacting with words and associated visual actions, children step through the process that causes an emotion. https://itunes.apple.com/au/app/itouchilearn-feelings-for/id487364947?mt=8
One blogger http://blog.momswithapps.com/apps-for-special-needs/ gives readers a whole list of apps that can be used with students with additional learning needs. When I showed my mentor this blog she was delighted to add a bigger variety of apps to support her student!
Reflection is considered an integral part of teacher practice. As pre-service teachers we are constantly being asked to reflect on our philosophy and practice. However, teamed with apprehension about my technological competency and understanding the nature of blogging, constructive reflection has been a difficult process for me.
To be honest I have come to the conclusion that I haven’t been reflecting to the best of my ability due to two number of factors:
- t have an initial question that I wanted to explore as part of my process.
I believe that If I actually posed a question around my ICT journey I wouldn’t feel at times that I am only blogging to pass the subject rather than just being panicked and start blogging without really mapping out my journey. What I should have done is directly after each weekly learning path automatically write my 1-2 blogs directly related to the learning path materials. My third blog could then address further areas of personal interest.
- Time Constraints
I am thoroughly enjoy the journey I am on to become a qualified teacher, however if other students out there who, like me, are doing the Bachelor of Education course online, they too are perhaps working nearly full time and doing University full time, time constraints can put a massive strain on ones ability to complete task to the best of ones ability. Yes I know I put myself in to it – but as a mature age student if I didn’t bit the bullet and go ahead I wouldn’t have the career satisfaction that I get from being an educator compared to my previous employment.
I’ve just discovered an article written by Dr. Sarah Prestridge from Griffin University on ‘Reflective Blogging as part of ICT Professional Development to Support – Pedagogical Change’ http://ro.ecu.edu.au/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2218&context=ajte which I wish I had read at the start of my journey to better support the reflective process for me.
The importance of this week’s modules became all too real a at my Mother-In-Law’s 60th Birthday this past weekend when she got her new Samsung Tablet as her gift. Her just turned 2 year old grandson was quick to register what it was and just as quick to know where to turn it on and access you tube to attempt to watch Mickey Mouse!!!
So in a world where my students are connected every day I am becoming increasingly aware of the need for myself to become more connected as well!
It draws attention to the role I have in scaffolding my students to have the skills to navigate the online world wisely.
Module 1 gave some effective strategies such as the importance of using privacy settings, scaffolding students in being able to critical analyse information gained from the internet which can help students and school communities prevent cyber safety issues.
The toolbox support section had great advice for strategies students at different age levels can use!
I myself am guilty of using ICT’s in the past as an “add-on” in the classroom. The challenge for me as I prepare for my Professional Experience Placement is to develop interesting and well-planned teaching and learning experiences to utilize the educational potential of digital resources, Internet communications, and interactive multimedia to engage the interest, interaction, and knowledge construction of young learners.
Before I begin to excitedly plan for my learners I need to:
- Explore more deeply the relevant contexts or frameworks from the curriculum I will be using to ensure practical integration of links to the curriculum and the learning processes
- Find out what ICT’s are available in the school
- What are my mentor teacher’s own expectations of the importance of utilizing ICT’s.
- What existing use of ICT’s are happening in the classroom
Here is a link to some ideas for developing rich ICT lessons, especially in the early years!
Following some fellow bloggers post I can see that meeting mentors and discussing their placement and the incorporation of developing ICT rich lessons is upmost on peoples mind. It’s great to read other people’s blogs and read similar thoughts to what I have been having. See Isabella’s blog at: http://isabellairvine.wordpress.com/
I am very fortunate to have had a very brief meeting already upon which I got a very favourable reception to my brief description of how some of my lesson plans need to integrate ICTs. I am looking forward to having my formal meeting with my mentor in the coming week to discuss the development of my ICT lessons within the teaching and learning experiences!
My opening statement “ICT as a Curriculum Resource: resource should not be separate from learning but integrated in learning and classroom room pedagogy so to both enhance and transform learning experiences” on my previous blog really made me reflect on how I would use ICT’s when planning my Unit of Works ( UoW). Further reading during Study Desk Week 8 further supported my journey through it asking us to reflect on what makes for good ICT integration when planning teaching and learning experiences for our students. Fellow students such as Geoff at http://geowal.wordpress.com/ also highlighted the journey they are taking to ensure ICT’s are being integrated with Teaching and Learning experiences and not just being used.