Online Games!

The learning path for week 3 explored the idea of using computer games to transform learning, and had us using a game called ‘Dragon Box’. I played the game for a five to ten minutes and then it became frustrating because I didn’t know what to do next. Would students also experience frustration and a feeling of being a failure when exposed to some ‘games,’ online? I know the video, the game producer and the lecturer tried to make a big deal of how great the game was, but it didn’t stop me from feeling a ‘failure.’ Maybe algebra really is beyond me and no game is going to change that! I love ICTs but I’m not that into games. Games have to be suited to individual students’ needs, likes and interests.

It shows me that teachers have to be careful in the resources they choose and align them with only the students who will benefit from them. A game that one student responds to, another student may hate.

One great resource that I have seen and used in my practicums is one called , ‘Study Ladder.’ It’s a free to join site and has thousands of interactive activities, games and printable worksheets. Activities range from Foundation to Year 6. Teachers can create classes for their students to be part of. Teachers can assign particular tasks, activities and games at the correct level. Subjects range from Maths, English, Science and History. And it is aligned to the new National Curriculum. GREAT” Most of the activities have great appeal. The can be used as individual, group or whole class activities. They are definitely in the ‘Amplification stage’ at least.

Website is http://www.studyladder.com.au/

Another tremendously useful resource (kit of resources) is Woodlands, also a free site, full of interactive ideas and games, covering several subject areas (Maths, Literacy, Science,History) and levels. The only drawback is that t is English/American online activities and so, is not aligned to the National Curriculum.

Website is http://resources.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/

In her blog “Got Game’ (posted 16th March, 2015), Erin Cavavan goes into some depth about online games and websites she has seen used. She also states how the learning paths have awaked her mind to the huge amounts of online resources that can be used to transform learning. It is a good read.

NGRAM VIEWER

After reading Rohan Watson’s blog titled ‘NGRAM Viewer’, which he blogged on March 11th and having read about it in the learning paths I went and Hd a look myself. This appears to be an excellent online resource and I think it would be interesting to use in the classroom setting with students.

I found out that ‘NGRAM Viewer’ can be used as a very useful educational tool. It could be used in a number of curriculum areas. It could be very useful when exploring new or unknown vocabulary presented in texts. I believe it to be most useful for teachers in preparing lessons and activities when using a new, unseen text with their classes. The students would also find this a useful opportunity to explore words/phrases that they are interested in or unsure of. I’m sure I will use this resource in the future, maybe in my next practicum.

This is the link you follow to get to NGRAM viewer: https://books.google.com/ngrams/

Copyright. What a headache!

After completing Learning path for Week 3 and seeing what is expected of in regards to copyright in Assignment 1, my head was spinning. I have become use to and proficient at referencing in APA style, but I am at a total loss when it comes to this!! I was most upset with the mammoth task it appears to be at first sight. I can’t comprehend how I will be able to produce an online artefact without using online images and such like.

Visiting Sam Andison’s blog, ‘Copyright…Have you broken the law???’ posted on 17th March, 2015, my feelings about copyright were a little alleviated, but not much. Seeing that someone else was feeling the same was reassuring.

I agree with Sam in that there do need to be laws in force to protect those who in are the entertainment industry as their livelihoods rely on their work, but the copyright laws in Australia goes beyond that , preventing ‘fair use’, preventing creative expression.

I have to keep looking further into the issue of copyright as it arises in the online artefact that I have to produce for Assignment 1.

Movie Maker is a GREAT resource!

I thought I’d write a quick blog about using a most underrated and underused resource; Microsoft Windows Movie Maker. I have seen this resource used to great advantage in schools. Classes can produce high quality videos very quickly. Class work and texts can be adapted for student use by using Movie Maker. It is already included on most PCs and there are inbuilt tutorials that will instruct teachers how to use it. Videos can be produced and then converted into different formats. Videos can be uploaded to YouTube which is also a great ICT resource. Students can create videos of texts they are studying or any aspect of their learning. Often the only other resource needed is a digital camera. EASY!!!

How much technology in the classroom?

Well I just read a blog in Sam Newton’s blog entitled, ‘ICT in my everyday life’ and was blown away by how much ICTs assist him in his life and business: iPhones, iPads, apps to calculate employee’s wages, Audionote to record lecture notes, etc. He wrote that it is scary for him when he looks at how he relies on ICTs on a daily basis. But I’m sure he is not unlike many others. Today’s world is driven by ICTs on many levels. How are we to manage as teachers in classroom where ICTs are changing at such a phenomenal rate? I liked a comment that Tyson Granzien’s wrote on his blog, ‘Technology is not there to ‘do school for you’ but it is there to enhance your time and school and make things easier.’ I think this comment is very true.

You know, when I was young ICTs…

How have ICTs changed the world? I was thinking about this, after having done the learning pathways for week two. I watched the video showing how technology has increased and changed over the years. I tried to find an example of this in my own life. There are so many! I used to listen to my parents and grandparents start saying, ‘When I was young there was no..’ Now I can turn around and say,”You know, when I was young I had never seen a computer, a calculator, an iPhone, a Smartboard…’ When I was growing up telephones were only seen in important places like businesses, offices and rich peoples’ houses. I remember the first phone we did have (when we living out west in a small rural town) was one of those ones that had a crank where a dial should have been, and you had to wind it to talk to the operator ho would ten connect you to the number you wanted. There were no direct lines. If you had to talk about something personal  you had to go to the neighbouring town where there were public phones, otherwise Miss Gerty would be telling the whole town your business. Now you have mobile phones which connect to the internet and allow your to talk to anyone in the world and give you information on any topic you desire., and it helps you to organise your life. The only technologies I remember from when I was at school was a slide project and an old black and white TV. I don’t think there were any ICTs at all, not one. How things are changing. I can’t imagine will be available to future classrooms. We live in a world of ICTs and have to learn how to embed them in classroom pedagogies. This article by UNESCO gives an insight into New Directions of IC and their use in Education.

Useful Tools for Creating Artefacts for Assignment One.

I was reading a Patrick Linnan’s blog post, ‘Week 1, Blog 3’ made on 7th March, 2015 and came across a few interesting resources that he wrote about. He wrote that ‘students from previous courses had used programs to create animations such as Powtoon and GoAnimate.’ I went to those sites and found that they are indeed most useful sites with good resources to use. I may experiment and see if something may be suitable for Assignment 1’s artefact. GoAnimate has a free 4 day trial and $50 per month thereafter. Powtown is free! Patrick Linnan wrote that these resources could provide students with simple ways to make a presentation or a way for teachers making learning experience more effective. I can see the use of animations in these two resources drawing students in and motivating them. In the past I have relied on others giving me ideas when it comes to learning about ICTs, but I can now see that blogs and other ICTs such as Diigo and Feedly will be of great benefit, not only for assessment tasks in this course, but also into the future. Although rather daunting at first, I can see their applications.