Hello, my name is Angela Hayes. I am married with 5 grown up children and 7 grandchildren. I am 50 years old. I have started studying later in life, after having raised my own children. I have been involved in working with children on a regular, twice weekly basis, through ‘Active After-schools Community’ program, with the Australian Sports Commission for the past 5 years. I am a trained personal trainer, so as you can see, my interest is in the health and fitness areas. I have a Diploma in fitness. I was also a lecturer for Weight Watchers some years ago now. I live out of town in a secluded, quiet valley on the far north coast of New South Wales.
As it has been many years since I was at school myself as a student I have a lot to catch up on. My knowledge and experience with ICT is somewhat limited. I am experienced in using Facebook, digital cameras, mobile phone, browsing the internet to access information and I have designed some ICT (web pages, PPP, etc) as required in other courses I have already completed. I found these challenging but doable. I have found that I need support in order to develop skills and knowledge when working with ICT, much in the same way as my future students. I do find myself using my computer and mobile telephone on a fairly regular and consistent basis, I probably couldn’t function without either of them. This may be due in part to living out in a rural location and also doing the Bachelor of Education Primary course online.
I have used some ICT in my past 3 practicums and found them to be of benefit. I have used PPP, Smart Notebook, Internet based activities and simple word processing. ICT proved to be engaging for students. Even reading a book from the interactive whiteboard, or showing a YouTube video, proved to be motivating for students. Many of the activities I designed for using with Smart Notebook were effective, although I do prefer the old fashioned hands-on manipulatives in Maths lessons. I feel the greatest role ICT has to play in the classroom is to increase accessibility to resources, engaging students and to help teachers facilitate learning. ICT in itself is not effective, it is how the teacher uses it and organizes it in the learning environment.
During my practicums I also saw how using ICT can create problems. Having multiple students logging on at the same time can cause mayhem. When a particular activity that has been prepared doesn’t run as it should causes frustration. Internet dropping out, digital cameras not working, memory running out: all problems that pop up when least expected. But the benefits do outweigh the disadvantages.
In EDC3100 I would like to become more familiar with different types of ICT and learn how to cope with the times when it doesn’t want to work the way it is supposed to. At times I feel sure ICT has a mind of its own; a little like a student with ODD.
But most all, in this course I would like to learn about and get to use a wide range of ICT ideas and pedagogies that can be applied in practical, user friendly and effective ways in the classroom.