Saturday, November 20, 2010

Course Reflection

Well here I am at the end the Web 2.0 couse and I'm feeling quite pleased with myself!! I must admit that when I first heard about the course I was a little nervous as I'm not a techno person by nature. However I have really found the course to be a great experience as it has really opened my eyes to what is available on the Web and I have discovered so many great educational tools that students would love. I have commented on the following blog
I think the ilearn model really sums up how we want our students to learn. The key message being that we need to focus on how our individual students learn best and then we need to equip them with the skills needed to learn, so that they can make positive and valuable contributions to 21st century learning communities. Technology (and Web 2.0)  is one of the tools that helps us help our students achieve their goals.
Blooms Digital Taxonomy allows teachers to relate thinking skills to relevant use of technology. It would be extremely useful in planning as it integrates aspects of technology with the relevant thinking skills which provides teachers with many ways to cater for different learning styles and needs and to challenge students to think differently. At our school teachers use Blooms in their differentiated programs so the digital adaptation would really broaden their use of Blooms and provide new ideas for learning activities. I think Second Life would relate to 'applying' as students need to show an understanding of a process and task and then need to apply this. It would also fit with "creating" as they invent and explore. Flickr fits with  "applying" (uploading and sharing images) and mind mapping is relevant to "understanding."
Overall I think that the Web 2.0 course has given me a starting point to exploring the tools that are available for our students. Exploring each of the modules has enabled me to become familiar with so many new aspects of technology and also made me realise how important it is for us to keep up to date as teachers, so that we can engage our students. Technology is integral to our students way of lives so we need to use it as a way of engaging our students so that they will be motivated, challenged and involved.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Well, here I am having just finished Module 10 and I guess this image sums up how I'm feeling at the moment!! This module has given me an insight into wikis and nings which are a great way of communicating with others, particularly when there is a group of people trying to organise and co-ordinate information. I was already aware of wikis but I really only had  a basic understanding of them. The video really helped me to understand how they worked and how easy they are to use. I think it would be great to have a class wiki as all students can contribute to it. Nings on the other hand were really quite new to me as I had not previously used them. Basically they allow people to share common ideas and interests. In terms of education I think nings are probably a tool that I would use rather than the students.
I think that Web 2.0 will definitely assist in improving student learning outcomes. The use of technology is so integral to our students lives and as a result any experience or exposure to new tools can only enhance their experience. Using the Web 2.0 tools really allows students to be creative, to be engaged and involved. There are just so many possibilities and opportunities for them. Firstly in their learning about the various tools they are becoming more knowledgeable about technology and secondly they are then able to apply this knowledge by actively using these tools in various KLA's. I think that the students of this generation will be more open to learning if technology is involved.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Module 9

This module has been really interesting as I have really discovered some new things. I think Scootle is a fantastic resource for classroom teachers with so many great ideas for student learning. Basically it provides a wide range of digital curriculum resources including images, audio files, movie clips and interactive learning objects. The user guide and FAQs are excellent for first time users to gain an insight into this resource making it very user friendly and accessible. I was quite impressed with Scootle and think its a great online resource.
The social networking component of this module was also really interesting. Although I don't personally use Facebook etc my own children love it as a way of keeping in contact with friends. I think that our children and students need to be aware of the negative aspects of using these social networking sites so that they use them safely and appropriately. That way their experience will be enjoyable and responsible. I can understand why the younger generation love these sites as they make connecting with people so much faster and easier and more enjoyable. After watching the videos about Second Life (which is a 3D virtual world) I could see that it may be relevant to use in certain subject areas but I see it as being more suitable for high school students. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Module 8

Well I have certainly learned something new today! I found the whole concept of RSS feeds and Google Reader to be quite interesting and can see that it would be a really valuable tool especially for people who use the internet often. Basically it allows you access to all the latest information from your favourite websites without you having to visit each and everyone. Through Google Reader you can subscribe to those websites that provide RSS feeds and have up to date information sent to you. The videos that I watched were really helpful and made it easy for me to understand how it all works. Using RSS feeds and Google Reader would certainly save lots of time and seems to be a more efficient way of accessing information from your favourite websites. The accessibility of it makes it more appealing to me. I see this tool as something that I would use either personally or professionally, rather than a tool to be used in the classroom.

Module 7

In this module I have learnt about delicious and even though I was aware of delicious before I had not really understood what it was all about. However, after completing this module I have discovered that delicious is really an online bookmark which enables you to access all your favourite websites from any computer anywhere!! Not only can you access these sites but you are also able to share them with others. I think that delicious is really versatile either for yourself to keep your own bookmarks easily accessible or as a way of sharing great websites with your colleagues or friends. At our school we have a delicious account and now that I have a better understanding of delicious I think I will find this much easier to use. In terms of using it with students I think it would probably work better with primary students. For example a teacher can create accounts for individual students to access. In this way the teacher maintains control and can monitor the students use, ensuring that it is being used appropriately and for educational purposes. Another way that it could be used in the classroom would be for the teacher to create a class account and then bookmark sites that relate to what the students are learning in class. Overall I think delicious is a versatile tool that can really save you lots of time while online as it is so accessible.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Module 6

This module has been all about and glogster which I think are really interesting online tools. Both of these would be easily utilised in the classroom. Firstly allows you to brainstorm and create mindmaps which you then have the option to print out or share with others who have an account. You can also save your work for future reference. I found this relatively easy to use and think that students would really enjoy this tool. There are endless ways that this could be used in the classroom as brainstorming and mindmapping are tasks that can relate to many key learning areas. For example, students could do individual brainstorming and mindmapping as an introduction to a new topic in Maths or HSIE or Science allowing the teacher to see their prior knowledge. It could also be used as a whole class or group activity at the beginning of a unit of work.
Glogster is also a great tool and really allows the user to be as creative as they wish. A glog is really an online poster or webpage which can contain graphics, text, pictures, video or audio. This online poster can then be put into a wiki, blog or website. I think glogs could be used in the classroom as a way for students to present or publish work or students could use glogs to present research or assignments. I think that students would love to use this tool and I really like the creativity that it involves as students can really poroduce something that is individual and unique.

Module 5

I have enjoyed this module and found it to be very useful. I was already familiar with sites like itunes, youtube and teachertube but through this module I have actually learnt more about each of these. I think youtube and teachertube are both really useful not only for the students learning but also for my own. There is just so much available in each of these sites.
The digital storytelling component of this module was also really interesting. Basically a podcast is an audio file available on the internet which can then be accessed by your computer and then transferred to a MP3 player. Gone are the days when we had to use cassette recorders, cassette tapes and big chunky headphones for a listening post!! I can see that podcasts would be great to use during guided reading groups. There are many files available for download on the internet or the students could create their own podcasts using their own work. One such site that I came across was Storynory which has free audio files for children. These sites would be really useful if you were looking for a particular story to use for a unit of work or even when studying particular text types. Vodcasts are similar to podcasts except that they contain video content.  At this stage I think that I would need to spend some more time learning about vodcasts in order to see how I could utilise them in the classroom.