Tuesday, December 15, 2009

My Refective Sypnosis....

I am not happy to where I am yet....
But I am pleased to have started the journey.

The process of engaging with each of the presented e learning tools has been both challenging and rewarding.
This engagement has been enriched thanks to the contributions of other colleagues’ ideas, applications and suggestions via our professional blogging network. I am amazed at all the incredible e learning tools that are available to use in the classroom. I have developed a passion for reaching today’s learners in ways that engage them – the digital natives; particularly “as the use of ICT continues to grow globally, students will increasingly demand an education that embraces “ICT (Education Queensland, 2009). Due to this voice from students who are demanding ICTs in the classroom, I will discuss the following theories and frameworks that support the incorporation of e learning tools as a means of engaging students and enabling them to reach their potential.
There are many learning theories that are mention here but Oliver’s (1999) Learning Design Framework; Kearsley & Shneiderman’s (1999) Engagement Theory; and Siemens(2004) Connectivism Theory. These will be addressed in the context of three outstanding e learning tools that I have discovered: WebQuests, Mahara ( E Porfolio) and Blog
Firstly, WebQuests, Mahara and Blog are a fantastic tool that scaffolds learning experiences using links to purposeful resources via the Web, underpinned by an authentic task, and promote student centered learning. A well design WebQuest. Siemens’ (2004) connectivism theory; where new “connections between fields, ideas and concepts” are identified, either individually or collaboratively. Additionally, Productive Pedagogies’ higher-order thinking would be achieved as “students manipulate information.
Oliver’s (1999) Learning Design Framework parallels the implementation of a WebQuest. The learning task involves an investigation or problem to solve in relation to an open-ended question; the learning resources are largely provided via links to essential resources on the Web; and the Learning Supports are evident due to the scaffolded learning structure of a WebQuest.
Secondly, Mahara, Moodle, Scholastic, SlideShare are “collaborative, multimedia tool" that can hold images, documents, and videos. Allowing Learning Managers and educators alike to explore and store to leave comments in multiple formats. These are some of my favourites of the many e learning tools presented here. These tools could provide a powerful medium for student reflections, articulating contributions to group projects or assignments.
Sharing files and resources I find daunting experiences at first. Once I understand the concept of partnering, donating and sharing it made me realised that I am now involved and practicing in the concept of connectivism. Using Media fire or Delicious to store my resource and other important documents can make personal resources accessible and can make sharing easier.
Partnering and sharing learning from other school and classes (perhaps in a global scale) will provide students with a voice to share their learning. The thought of making their learning journey visible to parents/caregivers and other relevant stakeholders make me think that learning is about sharing. This learning reflections and contributions can all be shared in one place from anywhere in the world – without the need to install extra software. Problem solving in where to access information and resources is now accessable.
Utilizing Skype and comments through blogging made it so relevant - these tools I find are necessary for collaborative engagement, involving communication, planning and social skills – thus encompassing Kearsley and Shneiderman’s (1999) first principle ‘relate’ of the Engagement Theory. The ‘create’ component could potentially incorporate two creations: creating an assignment (for example) creating the PowerPoint or a digital story to compliment the task or an activity. Secondly, the PowerPoint and digital story both could be ‘donated’ in SlideShare or in a multitude of way, for example to parents/caregivers, peers, a community organisation, relevant stakeholders, a partnering class, or school.
Ultimately, the purpose of the customer is to create a purposeful environment, as “the authentic learning context of the assignment increases student motivation and satisfaction” (Kearsley and Shneiderman’s, 1999).
Thridly, connectivism using e learning tools have made realised that I have now “scratch the surface” of ICT and technology. There is so much to learn. I encountered a number of set-backs during my experimentations. Some of these popular ICT tools like Twitter,made me realised that I still need convincing on how I could use it effectively in the classroom. However, thanks to Skype, Email, Delivery Forum from Moodle, and suggestions on colleagues Blogs I was able to discover RSS to attach and to view my peers comments. Having to actually see who your peers/followers are it made easier to blog. This process of utilizing my networks to locate information illustrates the emergence of Siemens’ Connectivism Theory, where “the connections that enable us to learn are more important than our current state of knowing” (Siemens, 2004).
By exploring and experimenting on posting and editing process, I have been able to successfully posted and donated my own PowerPoint to SlideShare. Now I am able to utilize this tool in the classroom (see ‘SlideShare’ posting for examples).In saying that, I still need to develop various ways to incorporate ICT tools to fully engage students in their learning.
At the same time as, this theoretical perspective of Connectivism needs to be instilled into our students for developing attributes of a Lifelong Learner (QSA, 2006), as they learn to “nurture and maintain connections… needed to facilitate continual learning” (Siemens, 2004). Students today live in a different world in comparison to the industrial-age based school model (Smith, Lynch & Knight, 2007), and their social being and sense of belonging largely exist within digital social networking forums. Therefore, the inclusion of e learning tools for collaborative engagement may contribute to students’ need for acceptance and belonging at their level.
According to Maslow’s hierarchy, this need for belonging should precursor one’s achievement and mastery (Kunc, n.d.). Marzano and Pickering (1997) reflect this belief, articulating that when “attitudes and perceptions are positive (feeling accepted by teachers and peers), learning is enhanced”. However, in today’s schooling practices the hierarchy is often shifted, where “children are required… to learn their right to belong” (Kunc, n.d.).
Through listening to the students’ voice, we as educators can take a step closer to not only engaging our students through ICTs, but foster a sense of belonging and acceptance when we provide the rich experiences craved by learners inside the classroom (Prensky, 2005). The process of this developing this Reflective Blog, I have a sense of expectation. This journey has remarkably boosted my self-confidence and eagerness for utilizing e learning tools with my future learners. I am now motivated and I choose to engage them… (Prensky, 2005).


References used throughout:

Brady, L. & Kennedy, K. (2005). Celebrating Student Achievement: Assessment and Reporting.Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Prentice Hall
Education Queensland. (2009). Smart classrooms rollout to school. Brisbane, Quensland, Australia: Queensland Government
Gonzalez, C., (2004). The Role of Blended Learning in the World of Technology. Retrieved December 10, 2004 from
http://www.unt.edu/benchmarks/archives/2004/september04/eis.htm.
Google For Educators. (2009). Google Earth. Retrieved Nov. 30, 2009, from
http://www.google.com/educators/p_earth.html
Hartnell-Young, E. and Morris, M. (1999). Digital professional portfolios for change. Hawker Brownlow Education: Australia
Keirsley, G. & Shneiderman, B (1999) Engagment Theory: A framework for
technology-based teaching and learning. Available from http://home.sprynet.com/~gkearsley/engage.htm
Kunc, N. (n.d.) The need to belong: Rediscovering Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Retrieved November 12, 2009, from htp://normemma.com/armaslow.html
March, T (2002-2006) The 7 Red Flags. Downloaded from http://bestwebquests.com/tips/red_flags.aspMcInerney, D & McInerney V (2006) Educational Psychology. Constructing Learning. (Edition 4) Australia: Pearson Education Australia.Oliver, R. Exploring strategies for online teaching and learning. Distance Education. (1999) Vol 20 (2) p 240- 254.Prensky, M (2001) Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants. Retrieved November 2009, from http://www.marcprensky.com/writing/Prensky%20-%20Digital%20Natives,%20Digital%20Immigrants%20-%20Part1.pdfThe Learning Design Construct. Retrieved November 2009, from
http://www.learningdesigns.uow.edu.au/project/learn_design.htm
Wenger, E (nd) Communities of practice. A brief introduction Retrieved November 2009 from http://www.ewenger.com/theory
Marzano, R. & Pickering, D. (1997). Dimensions of Learning: Teachers manual, 2nd Edition. Colarado, USA: Mc REL.
New Basics Branch and Queensland School Reform Longitudinal Study. (2002). Productive pedagogies classroom reflection manual. The State of Queensland: Education Queensland
Oliver, R. (1999).Exploring strategies for online teaching and learning. Distance Education, 20(2), 240-254. Retrieved Nov 3o, 2009 from
http://www.learningdesigns.uow.edu.au/project/learn_design.htm
Prensky, M. (2005). “Engage me or enrage me”: What today’s learners demand. In Educause Review. Retrieved November 13, 2009 from http://www.net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/erm0553.pdf
Queensland School Curriculum Council, (2007). English essential learnings and standards. Brisbane, Qld, Australia: Author.
Queensland School Curriculum Council, (2007). Science essential learnings and standards. Brisbane, Qld, Australia: Author.
Queensland Studies Authority. (2006). The attributes of the lifelong learner. Brisbane, Queensland, Australia: Queensland Studies Authority.
Queensland Studies Authority. (2007). The QCAR Framework — aligning curriculum, assessment and reporting. Queensland: Queensland Studies Authority
Siemens, G. (2004). Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age. Retrieved November 2009, from
http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/connectivism.htm
Smith, R., Lynch, D. & Knight, B. (2007). Learning management: Transforming teachers for national and international change. Frenchs Forest, NSW, Australia: Pearson Education Australia
WikiPedia. (2009). WikiPedia. Retrieved December 9, 2009, from
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia
Winch, G., Johnston, R., March, P., Ljungdahl, L. & Holliday, M. (2007). Literacy: Reading, writing and children’s literature South Melbourne, Victoria: Oxford UniversityPress.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Twitter: Twit or not to twit?

Twitter scares me. For all its popularity, I thought I need to explore and have a look at it for myself satisfaction.
I think, I am in a minority on this one – ‘The feeling of connectedness’ Twitterers can get trick of the brain into thinking of having a meaningful interaction, while another part of the brain knows something crucial to human survival is missing. (I have to find the theory).
Compare to having coffee with your next-door neighbour could do more for your brain than a thousand Twitter updates. This doesn’t mean there isn’t important issues and news that can be source from twitter. While in the same argument has been going around forever, and is the same claim made about television, that doesn't make it untrue.
Again, this doesn't mean that it's not worth it and highly valuable for people to stay connected to distant family and friends, I'm just saying that it's worth a look at whether that might be lulling some folks into a false sense of "I'm connected" at the expense of real-life connections.

Ironically, services like Twitter are simultaneously leaving some people with a feeling of not being connected, by feeding the fear of not being in the loop. By elevating the importance of being "constantly updated," it amplifies the feeling of missing something if you're not checking Twitter (or Twittering) with enough frequency.

Seimen’s connectivism stated some significant trends in learning.
Many of the processes previously handled by learning theories (especially in cognitive information processing) can now be off-loaded to, or supported by, technology.
Know-how and know-what is being supplemented with know-where (the understanding of where to find knowledge needed).

I like to see twitter and its effectiveness in the classroom. I can use it as a hook- What is on twitter today or let say what people say about this??? If you are also wondering you can also twit me neth967

Cheers Mary-Ann

Siemens, G. (2004). Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age. Retreived November 7, 2009, from http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/connectivism.htm

Wikipedia and Critical Literacy

While the term 'wiki' has been credited to Cunningham (1994, as cited by Augar, Raitman and Zhou, 2004), Wikipedia was created by Wales and Sanger in 2001, to be used as a reference tool.

I use Wikipedia as a reference guide, I did not realise the other projects the Wikimedia Foundation also hosted - a dictionary/thesaurus, collection of quotations, a directory of species and a source for free textbooks and manuals to name a few.What I like about Wikipedia is that there is a lot of information readily available at your fingertips, without having to go the heavy encyclopedia of yesteryear. When using Wikipedia, it is to find out a little about a subject, before going to more authoritative sources.


As a Learning Manager/ educator in the classroom This will be a good discussion for older students by comparing source of information through the lens of ‘comparing’ and 'analyzing' which is the more reputable source. Wikipedia has good source to use bearing in mind what is the author’s back ground, reputation, values etc. Again this relates to critical literacy… ( mentioned in my previous postings).
Winch et. al (2004) described Critical Literacy as reading with knowledge of how language works; with an awareness of where the text positions the reader; with perception of ideas and values and attitudes that constitute the implicit framework of the text and out of which the text is generated.
Another way to encourage our students as readers to actively analyze texts and it offers strategies for uncovering underlying messages. Although there are many theories and approaches we can encourage our student to be critical in finding source or information, my favourite, I guess is the questioning approach. According to whom?


Cheers Mary-Ann

Winch G., et.al (2004). Literacy reading and writing and children’s literature (2nd ed.).South Melbourne,Victoria Aus: Oxford University Press.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Digital Story Telling way to go!

Digital Storytelling refers to using digital tools so that ordinary people can tell their own real-life stories. Using digital storytelling and proper application can be an effective tool . This in line with Seimen's ...through interaction with, use of, and understanding of the exponentially increasing body of knowledge, individuals are required to connect with others to share experiences and to make sense of knowledge. People need to now become part of unrealistic society and to use the technology that is available to them, (Siemens, 2005 and Lee Lafever, 2009), to access the information they need for their current situations.
Digital storytelling will connect others and perhaps creating one would be advantageous to both creators and listener/viewers as they share their experiences. Through Digital storytelling, students will be inspired to tell stories to the next generation using moving image.

I can imagine reflecting and evaluating the students learning will be a central point of gathering data on how students learn through thier experiences. This could be use as summative assessment.Students will be engage through emotive or playfulness screening by movie makers. SOSE lessons will never be the same again. I can see students, as a viewre- will be engage through emotive screening by movie makers.


As Learning Manager/ educator using special screening lessons and hands-on workshops for students and teachers can be the author of their own learning.


One example down below.

Cheers,


MaryAnn


Digital story examples: Retrieved December 8,2009, from:ACMIAustralian Commision for Moving Images: http://www.acmi.net.au/digitalstorytelling.aspx


Siemens, G. (2004). Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age. Retreived November 2009, from http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/connectivism.htm


video

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

YouTube for ESL and classroom management?

video

Now that a growing majority of Internet users have broadband, you can search just about anything using YouTube and other video clip sites (Google Video, Revver, etc.) have become very popular - especially with young adults. These sites also provide English learners and classes with a new tool to improve listening skills. For an ESL (English as Second Language) students this YouTube will be ideal for them as they can hear how certain words pronounced correctly. Scientific and latin words is also a challenge for all students.

The real advantage Using You tube is - at least from a language learning point of view - is that they offer authentic examples of everyday English used by everyday people. Of course, this is the challenge as well. Students may enjoy watching these clips, but poor sound quality, pronunciation and slang can make these short videos even more difficult to understand.

On the other hand, students are attracted to the "real life" nature of these videos. By creating context for these short videos you can help your students explore a world of online English learning possibilities.

Something to ponder:

Can you write 5 examples in how you could use Youtube in the classrooms?

1.) I like to use it as a hook for example you are doing a cooking activities.

2.) As a classroom management or behavioural management?

3.) Problem solving- Then type in "how to" the YouTube clip can be as simple as "How to do"anything really.

4.) Literacy- Use a title then predict what is the content.

5.) Just given you ESL sample.

Cheers Mary-Ann

Using images through Flickr




Some creative ideas for using Flickr in the classroom:

1.) Essential Learning Math: Space

Ask students to identify shapes and the quantity of shapes in the image.
Mathematics, by the end of year 3, Space: Geometric names and properties are used to sort, describe and construct common 2D shapes, including squares, rectangles, and circles, and 3D objects, including prisms, pyramids, cones, cylinders and spheres.

Queensland Syllabus required students to locate and apply an image that represents the feelings/experiences of a character in a given text.
Justify choice of images.
Essential Learnings required students to locate and apply an image that represents the feelings/experiences of a character in a given text. Justify choice of images.

2.) English, by the end of you 5.
Reading and viewing
Reading and viewing involve using a range of strategies to interpret and appreciate written, visual and multimodal texts in personal and community contexts.

Readers and viewers use a number of active comprehension strategies to interpret texts, including activating prior knowledge, predicting, questioning, identifying main ideas, inferring, monitoring, summarising and reflecting.
So much more you can use images. I think images can use in variety of ways. Using Flicker is just one way to incorporate ICT to enhance learning .According to Winch et al., 2004,we now live in an iconic world -which require each individual to decode meaning and decoding images, applying this type of learning can only enhance deepen students understanding that when applying images an author has purpose. For students justify thier purpose for them to understand visual literacy is an important as reading written text.
Cheers
Mary-Ann
Winch G., et.al (2004). Literacy reading and writing and childrens literature (2nd ed.).South Melbourne,Victoria Aus: Oxford University Press.

Mahara another E Tool concept? or more

Mahara is a fully featured electronic portfolio, weblog, resume builder and social networking system, connecting users and creating online communities. Mahara provides you with the tools to set up a personal learning and development environment. It has fa
Useful for students for the following reasons:
· Write diary entries online (Blogs) for assessment purposes.
· Upload documents and link them to certain blog entries.
· Join Groups and change privacy settings to suit student’s preference.
· Have this e-portfolio through your entire course and create different blogs with different views.
My Files:
· Allows file uploads (PDF, Word Documents, Excel Documents, Images, etc)
· This is a central place for ALL your files on your Mahara page.
· If you create a blog you can pull in different files from this repository.
My Views:
· Allows the user to made "VIEW groups". This allows them to set certain groups to certain VIEWS and blocking out others from seeing particular files/blogs.
· You may create as many different Views as you like and reuse your Artifacts, even giving them different titles for different audiences.
· Views can also be used to submit work for feedback or assessment to a Controlled Group.
My Blogs:
· Allows the user to create an 'online diary' or 'blog'.
· Each Blog can include a title, description, tags.
· You can split the blog up and create a number of POSTS in each blog OR made it one large blog There are many overlapping technologies which can be classed under different areas of learning and teaching.
There are many E tools that student can use to collaborate and communicate through the use Google sites and Google docs.
Google Sites – Can be use as Wiki or a place to organise group assignments and add comments. Google Docs - For Online collaboration can use spreadsheets and documents

In the past, I was involved in an asignment discussing and exploring the effectiveness of E Porfolio (see SlideShare Posting for more details). I understood it very well on how (older)students can create thier own and stakeholders are able to access student progress etc. By using Mahara it make it simplier because students are able to use other e tools to suit thier needs.
I was lucky enough to log in to "my Mahara" and chat to someone about it. He was just logging off . So - for group projects and assignments Mahara or Moodle its another dicision on which is better to use...posting I have to make.
This E- Tools are very much intertwine with one another. Come along with me in this thingking... dare you to get it!

Early Childhood Thinking:
Like.... dust + more dust= dirt + water =mud and more!!! mud x2 + sunlight = ?? you guess a mud brick (with careful nurturing and science with it) Then the 3 little pigs made a nice brick house... and more! Just let your childlike imagination go...
E tools in 21st century I get it I get it!!!
Cheers
Mary-Ann

Mahara an Open souce Porfolio: Retrived December 6, 2009. from:http://mahara.org/features

Monday, December 07, 2009

More on Learning Theory Connectivism VS Constructivsm.

I will take you in a journey.

Seimen’s says:

Most learning needs today are becoming too complex to be addressed in "our heads". We need to rely on a network of people (and increasingly, technology) to store, access, and retrieve knowledge and motivate its use. The network itself becomes the learning.
Connectivism is different to the other learning theories in that the knowledge is now outside the individual due to advances in technology whereas in the past knowledge has had to be learn and retained by the individual. Gonzalez (2004), (cited in Siemens, 2005) states that knowledge has a ‘half-life’, that it is soon obsolete and superseded. ( It happen to me the other day I made a comment then an hour later I read something and I had to unlearn). Knowledge is growing rapidly and it is estimated that “half of what is known today was not known 10 years ago”. Therefore it is now not possible to ‘know’ knowledge as other theories have suggested and not necessary as it is held ‘online’.
On the other hand… ( I love this phrase)
Constructivism suggests learners are always attempting to create meaning from knowledge and experiences, however this does not account for knowledge and learning that is gained through organisations, through ‘communities of practice and networks’ and not just within the individual. Each of us generates our own “rules” and “mental models,” which we use to make sense of our experiences. Learning, therefore, is simply the process of adjusting our mental models to accommodate new experiences.
Constructivism is the closest of the other theories in that learning still has to be personalized to the individuals personal, social and cultural experiences, however the skills that are required are more about creating, problem-solving, reasoning, decision-making, and evaluation (Kearsley and Shneiderman, ND), rather than learning content knowledge.

How Constructivism Impacts Learning?

Curriculum–Constructivism calls for the elimination of a standardized curriculum. Instead, it promotes using curricula tailored to the students’ prior knowledge. Also, it emphasizes hands-on problem solving.
Instruction–Under the theory of constructivism, educators focus on making connections between facts and fostering new understanding in students. Educators/Learning Manager can tailor their teaching strategies to student responses and encourage students to analyze, interpret, and predict information. Educators also rely heavily on open-ended questions and promote extensive discussion among students.
Assessment–Constructivism calls for the elimination of grades and standardized testing. Instead, assessment becomes part of the learning process so that students play a larger role in judging their own progress.

There are countless learning theories out there…but both theory make so much sense to me. In this course I keep asking myself which theory am I applying now? Maybe both must of the time..Something to ponder about (*sigh*) someone enlighten me...connect with me? Aha!

Cheers
Mary-Ann

Keirsley, G. & Shneiderman, B (1999) Engagment Theory: A framework for technology based teaching and learning. Retrieved November 10, 2009.from: http://home.sprynet.com/~gkearsley/engage.htm
Gonzalez, C., (2004). The Role of Blended Learning in the World of Technology. Retrieved December 10, 2004. from http://www.unt.edu/benchmarks/archives/2004/september04/eis.htm.
McInerney, D & McInerney V (2006) Educational Psychology. Constructing Learning. (Edition 4) Australia: Pearson Education Australia.
Siemens, G., (2004) Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age. Retrieved November 7,2009. from: http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/connectivism.htm
Queensland Studies Authority. (2007). The QCAR Framework — aligning curriculum, assessment and reporting. Queensland: Queensland Studies Authority

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Midiafire...A Virtual Filing Storage...


Media Fire is a type of tool that’s makes any file accessible anywhere. You can browse and share by having a free account so you'll always be able to manage and share your files and images at any time regardless of which computer you're using. You can post and/ or make it public to share the files or you can choose to make it private. You can save in named folders but you can also put tags on them. By doing this you don’t have to even remember where you put it! This just makes life lot easier, for teachers and educators alike- who always want to store and find resources, activities, lesson plans, letters etc. Having something like this is good as creating back-up of files.

I am not so sure how you might use this in a school setting perhaps peer assessment for high school or tertiary education… a file storage tool such as Media Fire may allow for easy sharing of documents, photos, presentations etc. amongst peers and stakeholders. Media Fire could provide easier access / sharing of resources within the second stage (Learning Resources) of Oliver’s (1999) “
Learning Design Framework” that support learners to do a required task.

Also, Media Fire could be used for Learning Managers to share educational resources with a community of Learning Managers could be developed that exceeds the schools boundaries, perhaps creating one space where such resources could be accessed.

In the past I used to email my assignment to myself to prevent losing it. Just to think of it I was already filing my ebay reciepts in my 'hotmail' to simplify my life.
Midia Fire offers more ...is the way to go. I promise to share ...just need to make time.

Cheers
Mary-Ann
http://images.google.com.au/imgres?imgurl=http://d961282.u36.infinology.net/images/StationMate.jpg&imgrefurl=http://organizewithfun.com/custom.html6.html&usg=__kbnsoeh1vmY793GkB9oLmG5Eg5c=&h=348&w=347&sz=40&hl=en&start=40&um=1&tbnid=r8q0HszTd5WhkM:&tbnh=120&tbnw=120&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dfiling%2Bsystems%26ndsp%3D18%26hl%3Den%26rlz%3D1T4RNWN_enAU326AU327%26sa%3DN%26start%3D36%26um%3D1

Learning Management SYSTEM a virtual school

A Learning Management System (LMS) is software that enables teachers to build online courses which provide students with opportunities to gather information, collaborate and communicate. Blackboard and Moodle are both LMS.

Throughout my three years at University I have used Blackboard for many courses. Now, I find blackboard extremely easy to use. I have seen many blackboard course sites. Some of these were highly effective and became a space in which students could reflect, share thoughts, access further information and explore many different resources. Some blackboard sites were simply a means of providing further information to students. When blackboard sites are carefully designed they can be engaging and innovative learning resources.

Blackboard as a virtual school, including the ability to deliver an engaging, personalized educational experience to students. School and universities are now using blackboard for virtual learning opportunities – for opportunities to learn at their own pace and take control of their learning. Some students even feel more comfortable to ‘speak up’ and interact with other classmates and their teachers in an online setting.

By using moodle for this course has given me an insight into this Learninging Management System’s capabilities. Moodle seems to facilitate collaborative learning in a much more effective way than blackboard. Moodle encourages collaboration and aligns with Kearsley and Schneiderman’s Engagement theory which claims that learners need to engage in collaborative experiences (1999).
Using Moodle and Blackboard
· Both has features that allow it to scale to very large students or groups
· Fully online courses, while some use it simply to augment face-to-face courses (known as blended learning).
· Build richly collaborative communities of learning around their subject matter (in the social constructionist tradition).

Reflection:
I have to be open and ready to unlearn and re learn new skills and knowlwedge. Yesterday's opinion can sometimes no longer valid to the present.

Cheers
Mary-Ann

Reference: Kearsley, G. & Shneiderman, M. (1999). Engagement Theory: A framework for technology-based teaching and learning. Retrieved Nov. 18, 2009,from http://home.sprynet.com/~gkearsley/engage.htm

Thursday, December 03, 2009

QUIZES, TEST, using CLASSMARKER.




I haven’t truly experience students saying “Our dog ate my homework Miss” but close “My baby sister ate or chewed my homework”. I have heard that said twice. I am not surprise that things happens.
After reading Makiko’s blog about classmarker I thought I must to check it up so I did.
http://www.classmarker.com/

After signing in, I played around a bit and explore the possibilities. I notice I was creating my quizzes in no time. I find it user friendly. I can think of many ways. It allow you to choose things like how many questions to display per page, are questions given in random order etc.
I like this idea to check your students understanding about a unit or can be use as formative assessments. You could design a test to suit student’s needs. The results could be used by the teacher to see which students need extra support and which students are competent with their math’s. This could also help the teacher buddy students into pairs or groups with a high achieving student and a lower achieving student in the same group, this way they could learn from their peers.

Advantages:
For Teachers/Learning Manager:
 I like the idea of storing your test/quizzes as well as going back to edit or add what ever you need.
 You can access it wherever there is an Internet.
 Save time and paperwork.
 Teachers can also hide the test after it has been taken so you can still see the results but your learners cannot.

For Students:
 Students will be able to access their quizzes test at home
 Great for a student who attends so many activities like sports.
 They can attend the test anywhere and finish it their own pace.
What do you think?
Cheers Mary-Ann

Image retrived December 2,2009, from:http://images.google.com.au/imgres?imgurl=http://school.discoveryeducation.com/clipart/images/homedog.gif&imgrefurl=http://school.discoveryeducation.com/clipart/clip/homedog.html&usg=__T01bxwYtR_IvXt2anYull_gb6os=&h=604&w=550&sz=21&hl=en&start=1&um=1&tbnid=S14GNk1h-Zz4lM:&tbnh=135&tbnw=123&prev=/images%3Fq%3Ddog%2Beating%2Bhomework%26hl%3Den%26rlz%3D1T4RNWN_enAU326AU327%26sa%3DN%26um%3D1

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Scholastic!! Scholastic!

Thank you Scholastic!
I remembered clearly how my daughter loves her monthly supplies of books.She collected 'Baby Sitters Club' she used to get three amonth. It was not very expensive. My mentor teacher this year just reminded me on how good those books were.
While distributing student books that they bought through Scholastic, she mentioned how she get to have free resources from Scholastic that depending on students orders.I taught I have to check it out myself.
So I got connected and more... It allows you to set up a free class homepage that can be accessed by your students and thier parents as well. You just need to click here, and then create an account.

Creating a homepage is quite simple. I encourage teachers and educators alike to create an account and have a go. It is a good place to check out what is the latest news.
What a wonderful way to share to your parents what is happening to your classroom. There are lessons and lots of new ideas that I can use wherever you may be teaching.Just let your imagiation go. You could be teacher far far away and here is your resources.

Cheers
Mary-Ann

Retrieved infrormation from: http://www2.scholastic.com/browse/home.jsp

RSS. Get it while its hot!


How I stumbled with my RSS? (most commonly translated as "Really Simple Syndication" but sometimes "Rich Site Summary") You can laugh at me. But all I can say is.. I dont know how but I stumble on it while I was clicking away. I got it!!! I can't tell you exactly how.
My excuse is I must have been very tired and excited I want to read everyone’s blog and more!! Now to my heart content I can read a feed subscription, blogs anything I like. One day I want to subcribe or follow to the tropical plants blog.Im sure there is one if not gonna do just that(blog).
The good news is I do understand how it work now that’s the main thing (pwew).

I am pleased to say that:
You can get updates from this blog via RSS.
Browser-based news readers let you catch up with your RSS feed subscriptions from any computer, whereas downloadable applications let you store them on your main computer, in the same way that you either download your e-mail using a web-based service like Hotmail.

In general you need a RSS reader and must of them are free in my case, I use Google reader because I already have one. If you click on the RSS button you can subscribe to the feed in various ways, including by dragging the URL of the feed into your news reader or by cutting and pasting the same URL into a new feed in your news reader. Most sites that offer feeds use a similar orange button, but some may just have a normal web link.

We all know that,there are so many information sources to keep up with on the internet.
Before RSS, you would have to visit each page individually to see if there was any new content. RSS works the other way round: you log in to your RSS reader and all the new stories are brought to you.You just tell your RSS reader the sites you’re interested in.


In class, as a teacher using RSS will be great tool save a lot of time searching and archiving information’s. Teachers can read students postings (unit of interest) each other’s postings, moderating students work via blogs. If the class is doing some unit that interest the student you can subscribe to the Web and skim read other postings. It can also be use as formative assessment on how students are interacting with peers, problem solving scenario to where an on how they get such information’s. I am sure you can think of more ideas. It’s limitless!!! I just think it make life easier for you as a teacher and I can just imagine students reading each others peers posting.

Cheers
Mary-Ann
BBC News retrieved on December1,2009.http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/help/3223484.stm#mysite

Monday, November 30, 2009

Podcasting and Vodcasting


Podcasting is a convenient way of automatically downloading audio or video files to your computer. You can then play this audio or video on your computer or transfer the files to a portable MP3 or video player.(ABCnet)'Podcast' generally refers to audio. 'Video Podcast' (or 'Vodcast') refers to the distribution of video files in the same manner. To be honest I didn’t understand how it works at first. So being a learner explorer that I am download podcast and experience it on hand. I t seems that the opportunities for teaching and learning are endless. It opens up ways of learning that teachers twenty years or even ten years ago may have not even imagined.
As I type my posting I am learning about galaxies and stars. Subscribing to a reputable or educational podcast is available for free. Once it’s loaded, you can listen to it straight away. I have now a subscriber of “starstuff2009” how cool is that? Note: This takes a while to load because of its size.It can be use as background.The next episode of this subscription will now automatically. That if I want to learn more about galaxies! Surely there are podcast about on anything.


Personally I would like to load as much information about tropical plants. Ow, sorry I really need to think about my future classroom! Most of us know about digital natives so they will have iPod or MP3 or similar in their pockets or bags.

In the future I want to hear myself say “today we are going to explore….. Using your iPod instead - of “boys and girls if you have any gadgets put it back in your bag!” The main thing is that our students are engage and learning. As educators we need to engage student not enrage them (Presky, 2005). Student can upload and share ideas that are relating to the any unit.

(I think some of those students in the bus today were listening to Podcast about their assignment!----I just heard NASA will send someone " to space" to patch the hole in one unit! While typing my post I have learnt so much about Galaxies, Asteroids, and NASA’s next project!)

I am sure you can think of more ideas beside Galaxies. I have to check and research if I can download about tropical plants after coffee.


Cheers
Mary-Ann
Image retrived from:

Google Earth .... -0'0- How you see it...


Don’t you hate it when you going somewhere and you can’t read the map? (Googly eyes!) Some of you can relate to this…age! So forget atlases and maps - they are old school! 'Sharon's Blog' made me so excited so much resources out there to use for Science and Math.
If we go with Maths, for example, Google Earth could well be a nominated Learning Resource when creating a maths Measurement and Space Investigation using the ICT Learning Design Framework (Oliver, 1999). The Learning Task, being problem-based, would require learners to plan a trip, including the route to take and the timetable or itinerary. It is possible for this to be a solely ICT driven Investigation, with Google Earth as the main tool used by children.

It could even allow learners to give directions to an unfamiliar destination, including the use of street names and land marks thanks to the technology.
Its limitless.What do you think?

Cheers
Mary-Ann

Oliver, R. (1999). Exploring strategies for online teaching and learning. Distance Education, 20(2), 240-254.

SlideShare

Just as I feel comfortable in using Powerpoint, I discover Slideshare - a place where I can upload, store and share my PowerPoint. Sharing my PowerPoint to the rest of the world can be daunting. I was interested to see after having uploaded some Powerpoint presentations that they have been viewed - I am now sharing on a global scale. I can see that this is a tool that could be used in collaborative projects with other global classrooms. Students from around the world participate in different tasks to be completed on a monthly basis. The students use a program called Slideboom which appears to be very similar to Slideshare.

Sharing, donating, creating is really what it is all about.

Cheers
Mary-Ann

The Power of...PowerPoint.

I have seen many students create PowerPoint’s and deliver reports or presentations to the class using this medium. Students do enjoy creating PowerPoints, though can be distracted at times creating animations, layouts, colours and fonts rather than focussing more on the content of their presentation. Non-the-less, I find PowerPoint’s a great starting point for students to begin adding images, hyperlinks, music and animation to their written work due to the fact that the program is relatively easy to use, navigate through and find help if needed. It is a great introduction to using computers as well as what is possible with blogs and other ‘web2’ tools.


The creating process is obviously fun and engaging for students therefore different learning styles are catered for when creating and viewing a PowerPoint. Students tend to be visual learners due to the amount of exposure to TV, DVD’s, and ICT’s, therefore PowerPoint presentations meet this type of learning, (Pearce, 2007).I have seen a recent example of a PowerPoint presentation used to add images and fonts to create emphasis to different aspects of the poem.


I have found personally, PowerPoint’s are great for delivering lessons….putting up key questions or images that all can see while you discuss the topic. It is a visual cue to keep students on track and the LM can keep referring back to the various slides. The lesson key points can be put on sequential slides which are easy to work through during the lesson. It is easy to move back and forward through the slides if necessary for revision.


In combination with data projectors In the past I have use PowerPoint at church which we use as a slide for songs, future events, and it was useful for as simple as using as a picture slide. One thing I like about PowerPoint is that you could also use and index to easily track or restore your songs (anything really). PowerPoint can easily be shared through email and now Slide Share.
I was involved in creating a PowerPoint recently for an assignment were we focused on the animations and timing of text entering and departing a slide to create focus. I must admit I still don’t understand it.
YEY!! More learning to do more exploring!!!


Cheers Mary-Ann

Connectivism ...an experience!!

Blogging to connect…
My first experience on hand external learning…Although I am a very outgoing and people person I find myself so alone in this course. My panic button is on high alert. Because I am a little wonderer and explorer, I decided to have a different blogfrom the rest of my peers but that didn’t work I need to be connected with fellow boggers to be seen and heard.

Thanks to Skype I made contact with my peers! Makiko, Jadene, and Emma . I am not forgetting you Sharon who enlighten me by posting comments on my other blog. I must say I learnt so much from my little wonder that I can now apply to this journey. I finally decided to wonder-off and join the crowd. Wow I finally felt home when I saw that I have followers and I am able to comment.

My reflection:
Dont be so surprise that there will be one of my kind in your classroom we do exist.
We can no longer personally experience and acquire learning that we need to act. So... We derive our competence from forming connections. Karen Stephenson states:
“Experience has long been considered the best teacher of knowledge. Since we cannot experience everything, other people’s experiences, and hence other people, become the surrogate for knowledge. ‘I store my knowledge in my friends’ is an axiom for collecting knowledge through collecting people (undated).”

When knowledge is abundant, the rapid evaluation of knowledge is important. Additional concerns arise from the rapid increase in information. In today’s environment, action is often needed without personal learning – that is, we need to act by drawing information outside of our primary knowledge. The ability to synthesize and recognize connections and patterns is a valuable skill.
What do you think?
Cheers
Mary-Ann

WebQuest...

My Quest for Sustainable Environment...

Using 3 R's( Reduce,Reuse,Recycle)as workable Webquest for grade four students. Note this is my SOSE assignment which I was happy to pass. I learnt more after exploring further as we do. I love the idea of adding more picture and redeveloping another Webquest for differnt Key Learning Area. http://sites.google.com/site/neth67/

WebQuests are ideal for independent learning as well as group work and are somewhat engaging for students due to the fact that learning experiences are delivered electronically. The main benefits of a WebQuest are as follows:
• That resources and websites that would normally be accessed by students during their research have already been qualified and located within the WebQuest for students to utilise. This prevents students encountering inappropriate web sites during their research on the World Wide Web.
• It can reduce the time wasted finding suitable material and assessing whether the web site content is suitable for the unit of work.
• It allows the Learning Manager (LM) to scaffold the learning and develop concepts as students work through the various content material, questions and tasks built into the unit of work. This fits very well with Constructivist learning / teaching theories.
• Learning Frameworks such as the Dimensions of Learning can be incorporated easily as Declarative and Procedural Knowledge (learning outcomes) can be clearly stated. Activities and learning experiences that incorporate Complex Reasoning Process or that allow students to Use Knowledge Meaningfully can be incorporated into the WebQuest.
• The LM can ensure that students encounter a range of authors, opinions and the latest up-to-date research for students to access.
• Most of all the WebQuest can be created and designed in many different ways. This is my SOSE assignment WebQuest feel free to comment. I admit I have to do more wore on creating a user friendly Webquest.

Cheers Mary-Ann

WIKI

WIKIs can be an effective tool for encouraging, collaboration participation, and interaction amongst peers in the classroom and as well as the learning agenda is controlled by the students. Some additional ideas for using a WIKI in the classroom include:
• Creating a class glossary in the context of a current Unit of Work
• Class book review, where students discuss a prescribed text in a WIKI
• It allow students to post their drafts to a WIKI for peer review and comments
• Creating an action plan and resource list for a class excursion of school camp
• Collaborate with a class from another country to discuss culture, climate, daily life etc.

Example of fifth grade WIKI: http://ambritgrade5.pbworks.com/
From my viewpoint, one of the key features of the WIKI forum is enabling students to share ideas and contribute to others thoughts –“Communal constructivism where students and teachers are not simply engaged in developing their own information but actively involved in creating knowledge “increasing the motivation of students to learn” (Kearsley and Shneiderman, 1999), which at the same time as aligns with the first principle of connectivism, stating that “learning and knowledge rests in diversity of opinions” (Siemens, 2004). Constructivism suggests that learners create knowledge as they attempt to understand their experiences

In the past I used Wiki as a group assignment. Constructing our own virtual futuristic school was an excelarating experienced. Having work as a group of diverse background we created an amazing virtual school. Contributing and engaging ourselves on what is an idealistic school in the future made it so clear that as a group of learners we experienced authentic assessment.I like the fact that you can edit and add information at your own leisure. One of the student had to go away before our assignment was due. He was able to contribute his ideas and reflection by login in on the enternet while his on holiday.

Holmes, B., Tangney, B., Fitzgibbon, A., Savage, T, & Mehan, S. (2001).Communal constructivism: Students constructing learning for as well as with others.Retrieved Nov.25.2009.from https://www.cs.tcd.ie/publications/tech-reports/reports.01/TCD-CS-2001-04.pdf .
Keirsley, G. & Shneiderman, B (1999) Engagment Theory: A framework for technology-based teaching and learning. Available from http://home.sprynet.com/~gkearsley/engage.htm
Siemens, G. (2004). Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age.Retreived Nov.25, 2009, from http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/connectivism.htm

Discovering Avatar….



I have discovered that there are many educational blogs and wikis that provide information about how avatars can be used in the classroom. Classroom 2.0 gave an example that used avatars, wikis and podcasts in a global classroom collaboration, again demonstrating how the components of relate-create-donate are being used in learning environments….How can they be used in an educational context?
"Avatars provide a face to the students and a face to the teacher. They provide
the human element to online teaching" - Cohen, 2007
Avatars are a way of providing anonymity for students. They are a way for students to have a mask to hide behind when presenting information as well as protecting their identity. This addresses the needs of the shy student, while also relieves parental concerns about how their child is being portrayed online.
I can’t believe Cohen’s comment that Avatar’s are better than Sykpe! So I tried to e-mail a personal message to a friend it works!! Having to design your own appearance to suit the situation can give it an effective message. I can now say there is variety of ways you could use this in a classroom situation. Assignments prompters’ I can imagine emailing students and giving instructions in a playful way.

Avatar (means) the incarnation of a Hindu deity, especially Vishnu, in human or animal form:http://www.answers.com/topic/avatar

What do you think?

Rediscovering Maslow's Hierachy of needs...

I felt really challenged by Norman Kunc’s (1992) article on Maslow’s Hierarchy. I have mixed thoughts on this subject. On the one hand I believe in inclusion and the acceptance of all individuals for who they are and the richness, whether seen or unseen, that they bring to society and our community. On the one hand I am not sure whether our education system which is tossed around by government economic rationalism can provide the support for students with disabilities into classrooms. Surely there is some balance to be found between full inclusion and complete segregation.
Kunc, himself says that schools are a reflection of our society and so are governments. I hear his views when he speaks about the alienation those individuals, of all walks of life, experience and the need for greater levels of acceptance in our societies beyond just what achievement / success can provide. Do we not remember more fondly people who have taken the time to get to know us, have seen our potential or have provided acceptance when others haven’t? I long for a society that is more tolerant, accepting and seek deeper levels of connectedness rather than personal gain and self interest. I am now starting to understand the popularity of Face book,MSN, Skype, Blogging, etc; I see that this is a 21st century another way of being connected and belonging?
I myself comes from a close family background belonging for me is an important aspect of my personal life. I guess in an Early Childhood field it is important to ensure young students to feel that they belong (this is must in the beginning of the student schooling).
The article does highlight for me, as others have stated in the forum, the importance of acceptance through positive staff / student relationships is required for true learning to occur and for the individual student to grow as a person.

Mary-Ann

Kunc, N. (1992). The Need to Belong: Rediscovering Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Baltimore, Paul H. Brookes Publishers

Friday, July 17, 2009

My First Post...

My e-learning journey.
I have finally managed to get my blog up and running. I have had many attempts and have experimented in different ways to make this blog more appealing to my fellow students and to the whole world. So please feel welcome to comment on how it looks and on the content. Don’t forget to add any ideas on how I can improve it.

For the computer savvy this would have taken you maybe half of your coffee break. This first stage took me a nearly whole day! In saying that, I had a pleasure of looking at and exploring the other educational blogs.

At the moment, I am quite overwhelmed by the fact that you can spend so much time editing and creating simple task. I would really love to know how to properly set this up with images and links. I guess by playing around with this I will eventually stumble on something interesting that I could add.



Mary-Ann