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Thoughts about Learning with Technology


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21st Century Education

This week I learned about learning in the 21st century. I found this week really applicable and interesting. Using technology in a classroom was very intersting as it made me think about it in a new way. I think that using technology in a classroom could be very useful but  at the same time it would need to be used in an interesting and authentic manner. For example using a power-point presentation rather than writing on the whiteboard would not be as effective as using a video or app to illustrate an idea. However teachers need to be careful not to use techology for the sake of techology if it does not add anything to students learning. I really like the idea of teaching to many different learning styles, not only does this allow all students to participate and excell but I think it would also make learning more diverse and interesting. Rather than only teaching out of a text book which would be mind numbingly boring for anyone, teachers can incorporate physical tasks, creative and problem based tasks. I really enjoyed the idea of shoeless learning, this is something I am excited to try one day. I was looking for more information about sheless learning when I came across a website about different learning environments in the 21st Century, “Learning Environment: 20 Things Educators Need to Know about Learning Spaces”. I found the information very clear and succinct.

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Image from:http://rubble.heppell.net/places/shoeless/

I found this video had an interesting take on learning in the 21st century. It proposes that while technology and informal learning are an important part of learning today we should not abandon formal learning and should use these new techniques only when they enhance the learners experience.

I started task 2 this week which I am really struggling with. I am not involved in any of the social networking sites so this will be something very new for me. I also found it difficult choosing a topic as my hobbies didn’t seem to fit into any of the sites. I spoke to some of the people in my tutorial to find out what they were doing and realised that many of the social sites could be adapted to almost any hobby. I am finding that even though i find it difficult talking to people I don’t really know it can be very helpful.


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Authentic Tasks

This week I learned about authentic tasks. I find this subject really intersting and it seems more aplicable to actually teaching. I think that having authentic tasks in a classroon is essential to worthwhile learning. Without students being engaged in authentic learning they will not be able to apply what hey learn in the real world succesfully as well as not enjoying the taks as much. Of course there is a place and time for academic style tasks and these should not be overlooked but in many circumstances students will benifit from authentic tasks. An authentic task is one that has real world applications and that allows students to explore ideas, solve applicable problems and think about how it relates to other situations. This differs from acedemic tasks which are genreally book learning with set problems and solutions that do not allow for alot of creativity. I think in a classroom it is very important to have students engaged in tasks that are both enjoyable and allow them to think and learn for themselves. The departnment of education and child development website for victoria defines authenitc tasks as:

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They define one aspect of authentic tasks as ‘supports multiple representations and solution strategies’. I think this is essential to the creative process, allowing students to answer the problem in many different ways according to their strengths, interests and interpretation. This approach doesn’t limit students to one set way of completing a project.

I found this short YouTube video about an authentic task set by a chemistry teacher, I think this is a good example of how an authentic task should work.

I have found this weeks work relatively straight forward and haven’t had too much difficulty with it therefore I decided to start looking at some authentic tasks that other teachers have set students. while researching this I stumbled across an excellent website with authentic task rubrics for a plethora of subjects. There are some excellence examples of authentic tasks here in the Authentic Assesment Toolbox.

I was talking to a girl in my tutorial about the social media site we could use for task 2, she was having difficulty deciding how her hobbies would best fit into a social media sight. I suggested that she look into Pinterest and Foodbuzz as she was interested in cooking.

 


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Authentic Learning

This week i learned about Authentic Learning, ironically not very authentically. I think this is a very relevant and important aspect of successful classroom teaching, if a child is not enjoying learning or cannot see the point then it becomes harder t learn successfully. The 9 aspects of Authentic Learning were very interesting to me and I can see how they would make a more positive learning environment. I was reading an article by Steve Revington about Authentic learning and he makes a good point in saying that we have to be very careful to ensure that what we are teaching is in fact authentic. It is easy to mistake using real lie scenarios as examples of authentic learning but not use examples with connections to what is really happing in the world.

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I really enjoyed this weeks lectures and readings as I could clearly see the way I could apply them to a classroom situation. I often find that although the content we learn is relevant and will be useful one day it is hard to see clearly how t will be applied. I hope that I will able to be an Authentic teacher as those were the teachers I remember from school, those lessons that I could engage in and really see the point of.

I started to explore the different kinds of website creating websites this week. I have never created a website before and have found it rather difficult. It has been a challenge to decipher some of the jargon used and get used to navigating around the pages. I had trouble using a blogging website as at first I tried weebly but then discovered it was a paid site. WordPress was a lot more complicated but I am slowly getting used to the layout.

I was able to help my partner edit his website which is also on WordPress. I had not understood how the website worked before but now I was able to contribute some ideas in a useful manner. I feel more confident making suggestions now that I have an understanding of WordPress. Think that I will be able to develop my website more after this unit is completed.


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Digital Citizenship

This week I learnt about my digital footprint and the importance of having an online presence. I didn’t realise how important it is in todays society to have an online profile that matches my offline personality. I have thought about the effect an online profile can have on how people view you but as I don’t use social networking sites very much I didn’t realise the extent of it. Having an online profile that reflects both who you are and how you want to present yourself to the online world is very important in todays society, future employers, peers and colleagues will be able to see and judge you not only on whom you are in person but also on who you are online. As I was looking at articles about how your online profile can affect your future I found this on by Dr Phil How Your Online Profile Could Sabotage Your Future, I normally find some of the things Dr Phil says a bit dramatic but he does address a lot of the points I have mentioned, it was quite an interesting read. Learning about why it is important to be careful in what you post online tied in very well with my poster on protecting yourself online. I was able to solidify concepts with additional ideas from the lectures and develop a better understanding of the concept. Click HERE to see the poster.
I was a bit anxious about task 1 as I had never created a website or a blog before; I found that it took several attempts on different websites until I was confident enough to start on my website for task 1. At first the tools seemed confusing and it was hard to get exactly what I wanted but I was able to use the help function on Wix and also Google the problems to get the look I wanted.
I usually am not a very social person and prefer to work things out on my own before asking for help. However in the tutorial I was sitting next to a girl who was also having trouble with creating her website, we were both using Wix so we tried to work out a problem together. I actually found it quite helpful and probably worked out how to do it faster than I would have on my own.
I was actually able to show someone else how to create a blog this week. My Auntie went on a holiday to Bali and was creating a scrapbook to show to the rest of the family. I suggested the instead of printing out all the photos she could creating a blog. She found it difficult at first but after a couple of tries she got the hang of it. I think I also have a better understanding of how it works after teaching someone.

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