Life Long Learning

 Learning about lifelong learning in this week’s work reiterated the importance of building digital fluency in students. Lifelong learning is learning that is pursued throughout life and the ability to learn in a flexible manner in a diverse range of situations with an emphasis on continuing to learn throughout a lifetime (Lifelong Learning Council Queensland Inc, 2014).

Living in a knowledge-based society, it is important for all members to be able to access current information (Gilbert, 2007).As stated in Howell (2012), this is necessary in order to succeed and adapt in the ever changing political and economic dynamics of the world today. In today’s society, the abundance of current information is found within technologies and knowledge and understanding is deepened and supported with the development of technological competency (Howell, 2012).

In relation to technology empowering students to continue with learning throughout life, Sharples (2000, p. 192) states that it encourages this by allowing students to “call on information and knowledge when needed to solve problems and satisfy curiosity”, interact with rich learning resources and the opportunity to connect with teachers and fellow learners. “Effective learning in schools that is rich in digital technologies will ensure learning occurs longer through life” (Howell, 2012, p. 13).

For the weeks task I had to create a Prezi.  It was through exploration of the subject matter that I was able to complete the task. I experimented with the site in order to create the Prezi. I reflected on knowledge I had gained in prior tasks in relation to the creation of digital information’s. Looking at the process I undertook, not just in this task but the unit as a whole, I believe I adopted a constructivism approach for the successful completion of this subject. Corry (1996, p.540) states that “cconstructivists believe that students should learn to solve complex problems they will face in real life” and  argues the benefits of this, reiterating that the skills applied in order to solve such problems will assist them throughout life. This then resonates to me as a strong link between constructivism and lifelong learning.

Capture

http://prezi.com/h4efshir0-6k/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy&rc=ex0share

References

Connect community. (2013). Life long learning [Image]. Retrieved from http://www.connect-community.org/members/blogs.asp

Corry, M. (1996) Constructivism and Technology. Retrieved October 17, 2014 from http://home.gwu.edu/~mcorry/corry3.htm

Gilbert, J. (2007). Knowledge, the disciplines, and learning in the Digital Age. Educational Research Policy and Practice, 6(2), 115-122

Howell, J. (2012).  Teaching with ICT: Digital pedagogies for collaboration and creativity, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, Australia.

Lifelong Learning Council Queensland Inc. (2014). What is lifelong learning?. Retreived from http://www.llcq.org.au/01_cms/details.asp?ID=12

Sharples, M. (2000). The design of personal mobile technologies for lifelong learning. Computers & Education 34(177-193). Retrieved October 17, 2014 from https://www.tlu.ee/~kpata/haridustehnoloogiaTLU/technolohiesforlifelong.pdf

Peer Feedback

One of the last tasks in completion of this assignment was to give and receive peer feedback. Initially, I was quite reluctant and worried about the implications of critiquing someone else’s work. However, after looking in depth into two other student’s blogs I found it a rewarding and eye-opening experience. This task allowed me to gain feedback and a critical response from two peers. As I am completing this subject via distance, the partial anonymity of the act created a sense of security in saying exactly what I thought, and allowed my peers the same opportunity. The feedback that I received was quite positive, one of them that I received from Kylie Jackson gave me quite an in depth review pin pointing exact issues and changes that needed to be made to my blog, there was a couple of referencing errors that I had overlooked which allowed me to correct these quite fast and easy. The feedback I received from both peers was extremely useful, but being able to read the blogs and explore the rubric in detail allowed me a chance to understand the process that will be made by my tutor. From the peer reviews and extensive exploration of the rubric I found the experience beneficial as it allowed me to reassess and make relevant adjustments to my blog to boost my chances of a higher grade.

Attached is the two rubrics I received from peers as feedback, and the feedback I provided to them.

Feed back I received:

Peer feedback from Kylie Jackson

Peer feedback from Caroline Dixon

Feedback I provided:

Peer feedback for Shelley Neal

Peer feedback for Caroline Dixon

References

Miles, S. (2014). Time for Feedback [Image]. Retrieved from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=2664

Life Long Learning

Learning about lifelong learning in this week’s work reiterated the importance of building digital fluency in students. Lifelong learning is learning that is pursued throughout life and the ability to learn in a flexible manner in a diverse range of situations with an emphasis on continuing to learn throughout a lifetime (Lifelong Learning Council Queensland Inc, 2014).

Living in a knowledge-based society, it is important for all members to be able to access current information (Gilbert, 2007).As stated in Howell (2012), this is necessary in order to succeed and adapt in the ever-changing political and economic dynamics of the world today. In today’s society, the abundance of current information is found within technologies and knowledge and understanding is deepened and supported with the development of technological competency (Howell, 2012).

In relation to technology empowering students to continue with learning throughout life, Sharples (2000, p. 192) states that it encourages this by allowing students to “call on information and knowledge when needed to solve problems and satisfy curiosity”, interact with rich learning resources and the opportunity to connect with teachers and fellow learners. “Effective learning in schools that is rich in digital technologies will ensure learning occurs longer through life” (Howell, 2012, p. 13).

For the weeks task I had to create a Prezi.  It was through exploration of the subject matter that I was able to complete the task. I experimented with the site in order to create the Prezi. I reflected on knowledge I had gained in prior tasks in relation to the creation of digital information’s. Looking at the process I undertook, not just in this task but the unit as a whole, I believe I adopted a constructivism approach for the successful completion of this subject. Corry (1996, p.540) states that “cconstructivists believe that students should learn to solve complex problems they will face in real life” and  argues the benefits of this, reiterating that the skills applied in order to solve such problems will assist them throughout life. This then resonates to me as a strong link between constructivism and lifelong learning.

References

Connecting community. (2014). Life long learning [Image]. Retrieved from http://vipdesk.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/life-long-learning.jpg

Corry, M. (1996) Constructivism and Technology. Retrieved October 27, 2014 from http://home.gwu.edu/~mcorry/corry3.htm

Gilbert, J. (2007). Knowledge, the disciplines, and learning in the Digital Age. Educational Research Policy and Practice, 6(2), 115-122

Howell, J. (2012).  Teaching with ICT: Digital pedagogies for collaboration and creativity, Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, Australia.

Lifelong Learning Council Queensland Inc. (2014). What is lifelong learning?. Retreived from http://www.llcq.org.au/01_cms/details.asp?ID=12

Sharples, M. (2000). The design of personal mobile technologies for lifelong learning. Computers & Education 34(177-193). Retrieved October 28, 2014 from https://www.tlu.ee/~kpata/haridustehnoloogiaTLU/technolohiesforlifelong.pdf

Digital Blurring

The topic focus for this week was on digital blurring. On initial exposure to the topic, I had never heard the term before. I now currently have an understanding of the concept as the skills and acts we utilise in the online world being transferred into everyday life (Howell, 2014).

I see the occurrence of digital blurring as having the potential to improve learning experiences. Examples of these improvements can be seen in the engagement of learners through the inclusion of games and videos, as well as having the opportunity to develop physical skills such as hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills (Howell, 2014).

Gaining an understanding of how digital blurring can be brought into the classroom and the impact it can have, I definitely approached this week’s discussion board task with an open and inquisitive mind. The task was to create a video game using software called ‘Sploder’. I found this task very frustrating. I had never attempted a task such as this before and had to begin by conducting a lot of research and readings on how to do this. It took me several hours of fiddling to begin creating my game. Once I had completed my game, I stepped away from my computer and as a result lost all my work. As I had completed this prior, it was slightly quicker to recreate however still very frustrated due to my lack of understanding.

With the amount of struggle I was presented with in the creation of this game, I was able to empathise with those that are a part of the digital divide and created awareness in myself of the importance of teacher understanding on the various kinds of technology. As I was unsure of the creation or purpose of Sploder, I would be very hesitant in using it in the classroom. It wasn’t until after continual persistence with the program did I gain a more comprehensive understanding of how to incorporate it in the classroom. My game was very simple due to the aforementioned lack of understanding or experience with the game, so the benefits it could bring to the classroom would therefore be reduced.

One way I believe to address this lack of understanding in the classroom is to allow the ‘experts’ in this situation do the leading. In the instance of video games, this would be the students.. “This can be empowering and exciting for both students and teachers… by allowing students to provide input in constructing activities, you will create a high level of engagement and commitment to learning” (Harvey, 2014).

Below is the link to sploder

http://www.sploder.com/?s=d004c7dl

References

Harvey, B (2014). Bridging the digital divide in classrooms. Retrieved October 15, 2014 from http://www.edweek.org/tm/articles/2014/07/02/ctq-harvey-digital.html

Howell, J. (2014), Living and learning in thedigital world Mod 02 04 week 7 [ilecture]. Retrieved from https://echo.ilecture.curtin.edu.au:8443/ess/echo/presentation/9d8a1cd3-f679-4184-8791-6765f6454274

Digital Fluency

The focus for this week was on digital fluency. Before familiarisation with the topic, I was able to assume the concept by associating with the word ‘fluency’. Looking at defining fluency I thought of the words speed, accuracy and ease, terms used by Holland (2012). Digital fluency is the “ability to use digital technologies in a confident manner” (Howell, 2012, p.246). Extending on this “a student not only navigates within a single environment, but also begins to demonstrate an ability to make effective choices and use the tools to advance their understanding and communication” (Holland 2013).  I found this to be a key point in developing my position on digital fluency in the classroom, as it encouraged me to view fluency as not only how to use technology, but how to utilise these technologies to further their understanding and assist their own learning.

Through the study of this concept I have found a deeper understanding of the connectivism theory. Not only has my understanding of the concept strengthened, but the relevance and validity of it in a classroom setting. The advancement of ICT’s allow the gaining of information to occur through the internet and other means to build on current knowledge (Gilbert, 2007). I have found myself a lot more open minded to the thinking that because of the huge impact technology has made on the way we live, communicate and learn, current learning theories need to reflect and consider this (Siemens, 2004).

There are many skills that are required for competency in the 21st century (White, 2013). My current understanding is that it is necessary for the production of a workforce that is able to keep up with the advancements in the world. I believe as teachers there are many activities and experiences that can be presented to students to develop their digital fluency. From the readings I conducted, I have conduced that the most effective way to develop digital fluency is to offer a wide mixture of technologies in the classroom and expand their experiences with a variety of tools and software (Howell, 2012).

References

Gilbert, J (2007). Knowledge, the disciplines, and learning in the Digital Age. Educational Reasearch Policy and Practice, 6(2), 115-122

Holland, B. (2013). Building technology fluency: preparing students to be digital leaners. Retrieved October 10, 2014 from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/building-tech-fluency-digital-learners-beth-holland

Howell, J. (2012).  Teaching with ICT: Digital pedagogies for collaboration and creativity, Oxford University Press: South Melbourne, Australia.

Information fluency [Image] (2011). Retrieved from http://deeprunwildcats.org/metcalf/?cat=3

Siemens, G. (2004).Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age. Retrieved October 10, 2014 from http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/connectivism.htm

White, Gerald K. (2013) Digital fluency : skills necessary for learning in the digital age. Melbourne : ACER

Digital Information

Digital Information

Working through the topic of digital information I found the readings and lecture very relevant to me both now and as a pre-service teacher. It opened my eyes to the large amount of ways we can retrieve information online and digitally. It also showed me how to ensure reliability and validity of sources, and the importance of teaching this to children. It was not hard to see a natural connection between computers and education. As stated in Resnick (n.d., p.32) “because education is associated with information and computers are associated with information, the two seem to make a perfect marriage”.

One digital information resource I found to be most useful in a classroom setting was Pinterest. Working as an aide in a public school, I had heard the wonders of Pinterest many times before however prior to this week’s tasks, I had never used it. Needless to say, I have since discovered what a valuable resource Pinterest is to teachers specifically. I found Pinterest to be a very simple tool to use and creating a profile was a quick and easy process.

From exploring Pinterest and various other online resource tools, I have begun to understand how these tools can influence and improve teaching strategies and pedagogies. I examined Pinterest specifically and was able to list multiple ways in which this one form of digital information can impact in the classroom.

  • Accumulation of resources- From the variety of links, videos, images and ideas that can be found on Pinterest it allows educators to create a type of resource board for themselves and their students and allows them to share these ideas with colleagues quickly and easily (Wells, 2012)
  • Teachers can use Pinterest as a tool in the classroom with students in order to engage and build their skills. Teachers could get students to set up boards for projects, or portfolios (Heike, 2012)
  • Pinterest has the option to set up collaborative boards, and allows multiple users to contribute to the group brainstorming and idea collections (Heike, 2012)
  • As a tool to teach copyright and digital citizenship (Wells, 2012)

Through the use of Pinterest in such a way, it allows teachers to access a wide variety of teaching options and strategies, and when used in conjunction with nanotechnological resources, allows teachers to create a resource collection that is varied and caters to multiple learning styles to best assist students in reaching each learning objective (Bitter & Legacy, 2008). It allows benefits to all types of learners by allowing access to information “through visual, auditory and kinaesthetic sensory inputs” (Gage, 2006, p. 17).

References

Bitter, G., Legacy, J. (2008). Planning and developing technology-rich instruction. In Using technology in the classroom (7th ed.) (pp. 162-193). Boston, MA : Pearson.

Gage, J. (2006). Pedagogy. In How to use an interactive whiteboard really effectively in your secondary classroom . London: David Fulton.

Heike, T. (2012) 5 tips for using Pinterest In your classroom. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from http://www.edudemic.com/5-tips-for-using-pinterest-in-your-classroom/

Lion, W. (2008). Information hydrant [Image] Retrieved from https://www.flickr.com/photos/will-lion/2595497078/

Wells, S. (2012).  How teachers and educators can use pinterest as a resource in and out of the classroom. Retrieved October 1, 2014 from  http://www.stevespanglerscience.com/blog/education-today/how-teachers-and-educators-can-use-pinterest-as-a-resource-in-and-out-of-the-classroom/

Digital Divide

The week’s task called for the creation of an infographic on the digital divide. I personally find infographics to be a visually appealing way to convey information or a message. This was not my first encounter with info-graphics; in previous subjects throughout this course I have had to use and create info-graphics to present a variety of different information. As a result of this I was able to draw on my prior knowledge and experiences in order complete the task in a more timely and efficient manner.

I found the topic of the digital divide to be an ideal subject on which to create an info-graphic on as it allowed me an opportunity to explore the concept some more and produce my own understanding of the topic. After participating in all the readings on the topic I realised I still had trouble processing the concept. This was partially due to the fact that not only have I always had access to current technologies and a curiosity to learn how to utilise these skills, but I always believed that those in my community had the same opportunities. Watching the video file Bridging the digital divide (Molinari, 2011). I was overwhelmed by the statistics reported with those that are not competent in the use of technologies. Because of my own inability to comprehend the complex subject, I endeavored to create a simple, aesthetically pleasing info-graphic that explained the topic in a way that anybody could.

Looking at the theoretical underpinnings we have been exploring in addition to such issues, this aspect has me questioning the relevance of the connectivism theory. The connectivsm theory is based on the premise that knowledge is constructed through networks and connections (Howell, 2012) and that it is not the acquisition of knowledge that is in important; but rather the ability to seek it out within a system (Siemens, 2004 cited in Brill, 2008). As an educator, this sparks the question to me; are those who are not able to access technology unable to learn?

In relation to the second assessment, I would like to continue venturing into how the incorporation of technology into the classroom can help in potentially bridging the gap and look at what else teachers could do in the classroom to allow students access to the resources necessary to build skills and competency to function in the digital world.  As educators, I believe our role does not end with offering students the opportunity to access technologies, but that it is equally important we teach them how to properly use the equipment and resources (Hess & Leal, 2001).

References

Brill, A. (2008).  Connectivism, globalization, and the digital divide: A resource for bridging the gap. Retrieved September 26, 2014 from http://dmlprojects.wiki.usfca.edu/file/view/Connectivism,+Globalization,+and+the+Digital+Divide_Aaron+Brill_John+Bansavich_12_10_08.pdf

Hess, F., Leal, D. (2001). A shrinking digital divide? The provision of classroom computers across urban school system. Social Science Quartely 82(4). Retrieved September 26, 2014 from http://imet.csus.edu/imet7/gale/poster%20imet/Shrinking%20Digital%20divide.pdf

Howell, J. (2012).  Teaching with ICT: Digital pedagogies for collaboration and creativity, Oxford University Press: South Melbourne, Australia.

Molinari, A. (2011). Bridging the digital divide. [Video file]. Video posted to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kaxCRnZ_CLg

Digital Security

This week’s topic alerted me to many of the dangers that both children and adults alike can be subjected to in the online world. Identity theft, scams and cyberbullying are all important issues to be aware of as users of the online community.

For the weekly tasks I chose to focus on cyberbullying as I felt this would be one issue that would be most relevant to me as a future educator and an issue that I would almost certainly come into contact with. While the task only called for discussion on one news article, as this is such a prominent issue in today’s society, there were an abundance of news articles on this topic and I found myself reading through several articles on a variety of elements regarding cyber bullying. I found a lot of the research both confronting and worrying and set out to find preventative strategies and ideas to create awareness.

Cyberbullying is the bullying or harassment that occurs through technologies such as computers and mobile phones. Perpetrators will use SMS, e-mail and Facebook to spread their message. (University of Gothenburg, 2010). One news report I found stated that Australia has been ranked number one in online harassment, with one in four children reporting being harassed or bullied on social networks (“Australia ranked one in cyberbullying”, 2013). The article reiterated the relevance of this issue in a primary school setting with the reveal that 80 per cent of Australian children under 10 are now active on social networks (“Australia ranked one in cyberbullying”, 2013).

One reason cyberbullying can cause so much harm is the inability to escape the harassment. In cases of face-to-face or playground bullying, the bullying stops once victims are away from the bully, this is not the case in cyberbullying (University of Gothenburg, 2010).

As educators, an awareness of this bullying is a step in the right direction in addressing the issue. Research conducted by the University of British Columbia suggests the need for programs aimed at reducing cyberbullying in particular. This is due to the assumption that the many established programs aimed at preventing bullying cover cyber bullying as well and this is not always the case (University of British Columbia, 2012).

I believe as educators we need to teach students how to act responsibly and safely online and similarly show an interest in their safety and the sites they like to visit (University of Gothenburg, 2010) in an attempt to reduce the occurrence of this online aggression.

There is some useful links below that has a lot of useful hints and information on how to be cyber smart.

http://www.cybersmart.gov.au/

http://www.cybersmart.gov.au/Kids.aspx

References

Australia ranked one in cyberbullying. (2013). Mandurah Mail. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from http://www.mandurahmail.com.au/story/1727945/australia-ranked-one-in-cyberbullying/

ETCB Organization (2013). End cyberbullying 2014. [Video file]. Video posted to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfT2qqrqzgo

Ranjan, A.(2014). Cyberbullying vs Bullying [Image] http://www.techtricksworld.com/cyberbullying/

University of British Columbia. (2012). Cyberbullying and bullying are not the same. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120413122202.htm

University of Gothenburg. (2010). Cyberbullying: A growing problem. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100222104939.htm