iPads

A look at the widespread use of the iPads, tablets computeramong young learners and its effects on children.  Not only adults but, as well as young children love tablets and apps, as there are a bunch of new games, educational and creative apps available. Some MODERN parents have no qualms about using iPads, tablets computer to pacify their kids while driving, go grocery shopping or when dining in the restaurant.

But more than serving as a means of entertainment, it is fast becoming a tool for education, even for very young children, from toddlers to preschoolers, some of whom are exposed to the tablet computer from as early as two years old.

In the article ‘iPads in action‘ has highlights technology-rich education increases student engagement, participation and excitement and enables learning takes place at anywhere, anytime. One of the impact of iPads in literacy learning:

‘Most notably, students in the iPad setting exhibited a substantial increase in their performance on the Hearing and Recoding Sounds in Words (HRSIW) subtest, which measures a child’s level of phonemic awareness and ability to represent sounds with letters.

Impact on Kindergarten Literacy Study through Implication of iPads, 2012 ,Auburn, Maine 

 One of the course mate, Emily has also shared the article on the Ellis, Shoni. Teaching the future : how iPads are being used to engage learners with special needs about how two different learning environments participating in the trial are using iPads to engage and enrich the learning of young learner.

 

Reference:

Nay, Audrey. iPads in action. [online]. Scan; v.31 n.2 p.18-22; May 2012. Availability:<http://search.informit.com.au/fullText;dn=193348;res=AEIPT> ISSN: 0726-4127. [cited 21 Apr 13].

Ellis, Shoni. Teaching the future : how iPads are being used to engage learners with special needs. [online]. Screen Education; n.63 p.60-64; Spring 2011. Availability: <http://search.informit.com.au/fullText;dn=193479;res=AEIPT> ISSN: 1449-857X. [cited 21 Apr 13].

 

Earth day online resources

Hands on a globe

Earth Day is observed on 22 April every day, which is an event that marks a global celebration of the environment and the resources the world has to offer. We should introduce this day to educate our children to show appreciation to the Mother Nature and demonstrate support for environmental protection. If you are looking for ways to include this in your school or classroom, you might begin with some of these online resources:

  1. History Channel
    Videos, articles and historical information about Earth Day
  2. Scholastic
    Lesson plans, activities and handouts for educating students about Earth Day
  3. NBC
    Interactive timeline of environmental events and milestones
  4. New York Times
    Interactive timeline featuring 70 years of environmental change
  5. Wall Street Journal
    Photo slideshow of Earth Day celebrations across the globe
  6. Funschool Kaboose
    Free online games, Earth Day puzzles, crafts and quiz 
  7. 5 Free online Earth Day Games
    Free interesting Earth Day Games shared by Stacy Fisher
  8. Sherpherd Software
    Memory Games, Puzzles, Word games and painting for Earth Day

6 Ways to Turn Your 1-Computer Classroom Into a Global Communication Center

Lisa Nielsen‘s  6 Ways toTurn Your 1-Computer Classroom Into a Global Communication Center 

1-Connect home – school 

2-Connect students across the globe

3-Connect students with experts

4-Connect with the World with Livestreaming

5-Connect with the World using Twitter

6-Connect with Those Who Don’ts Speak Your Language with Translation Tools

I was strongly agree with her that “In the 21st century, the connected classroom is no longer a privilege. It is a right.” Yes, this is so true, as a  21st century educators, we should prepare ourselves to be connected worldwide, transform our classroom from disconnected spaces to global communication centre. We must make effective changes to our classroom, bring our students out from the past to the new effective learning environment with integration of technology into the classroom.

Also, Lisa Nielsen has suggested 8 building blocks for successful technology integration
To follow are the building blocks that school leaders and teachers must work together to provide for successful integration of technology into the classroom.

  1. Support teachers in using technology for professional purposes.
  2. Provide teachers with support for securing interactive digital content.
  3. Encourage teachers to partner with students to integrate technology into learning.
  4. School principal must lead by example.
  5. Embed technology integration into teacher and leader evaluation.
  6. Support student acquisition and use of technology in schools.
  7. Work with students to develop responsible use policies.
  8. Secure appropriate permissions from students and their parents.

Kindly view her Prezi presentation on Classrooms as Global Communication Centers for inspiration.

Finally, it is our responsible in preparing students for the 21st century and school life needs to match the real world. Real world success requires connected classrooms and global learners who have the world at their fingertips and know how to connect, communicate, collaborate, and connect with people around the world.  There is not excuse not to use technology in the classrooms, especially when all you need is a laptop and the Internet!

 

A picture worth thousand words

Get this ideas of writing this post on a picture worth thousand words from Kylie Goh blog post of At the lens of the camera. The Youtube video she posted on her blog inspired me how digital camera can be use by the students in learning.This video was designed to introduce teachers to the idea of allowing their students to use digital cameras in the classroom to demonstrate knowledge, explore content, and create products. Taking photographs seems no longer primarily an act of memory intended to safeguard a family’s pictorial heritage, but is increasingly becoming a tool for an individual’s identity formation and communication. (Dijck, 2008)

Besides that, I have found a useful website Cameras for kids, visit to this website you’ll be able to learn about photography, exchange ideas with other kids, practice projects created on this site, and show off some of your pictures with others. Let’s learn some basic camera functions from here.

 

References:

Dijck, J.V. (2008). Digital photography: communication, identity, memory. Retrieved March 10, 2013 from http://cmst458.drkissling.com/winter2011/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/vanDijck2008.pdf

 

Digital Story – The Tiny Woman’s Coat

In last week lecture, Ms Kim Ng had shared an example of how to integrate ICT in Literacy learning. In one of the shared reading session, the students had came out the idea of retelling the story of The Tiny Woman’s Coat by Joy Cowley. As refer to Kinder Clips on The Tiny Woman’s Coat Digital Story, first, the students drew a character or setting from the story. Then, they put the pictures into the computer and on to the Smart board. They moved the characters around on the smart board  and retell the story. It has shown the effort and participations of the students “When we recorded the story we concentrated very hard to make sure we remembered our lines.”

Let’s enjoy the show….

Literacy Resources – Wordle

21 Literacy Resources For The Digital Teacher by Kimberly Tysonjustgrimes

According to Kimberly Tyson, she stated that

Digital tools allows students to:

  • hear pronunciations;
  • read words in a variety of authentic examples;
  • view photos and images related to words;
  • reinforce word learning through interactive games;
  • play with and manipulate language;
  • discover rhyming words; and
  • collaborate with classmates to create virtual words walls.

This is a webpage listed some digital tools show promise to support word learning, review, and play with language. They are group into four categories: Reference Tools, Word Clouds, Games and Review, Word Walls and Virtual Field Trips.

As I was reading one of the course mate, Michelle Thompson’s blog post, she shared about her experience trying out on WordleWordle is a tool for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like. You can print them out, or save them to the Wordle gallery to share with your friends.

Wordle Image above is the one I created. It is very easy to do, try it out and have fun!

 

Draw a Stickman

In week 4, we were introduced to Draw a Stickman creative drawing tools. This tool is very interesting where it allows user to draw using an assortment of pencils, draw elements, tools, and weapons to solve puzzles and overcome obstacles. There are Episode 1, Episode 2 and Draw a Stickman Epic Game available. As creativity is a bridge to learning. This tools is useful to allow children freedom to draw based on their own creativity. The experience combines adventure, puzzle, action, and creative thinking. One of my friend HsingHua shared her master piece of Stickman in her blog and it has brought so much fun to her and her friend. So,  I tried it out too and I am enjoying it,  it’s FUN!

View the video below to see how a creative gaming experience unlike anything you’ve ever played before!, click on this link Draw a Stickman Epic Trailer if it doesn’t show.

 

 

Backward Design

Based on the explanation on Wikipedia– a link provided on study desk, Wikipedia (2012), it stated that traditional planning on lesson plan or curriculum will usually determine the content of learning, objectives, lesson plan and types of assessment.  However, Backward design works the other way round. It first determines the goal of learning, plan assessment then create lesson plan.

VickyHeng ‘s blog post From Backward mentioned that according to Wiggins & McTighe (1998), article on Why “backward” is best the educator starts with goals, creates or plans out assessments and finally makes lesson plans in backward design. Backward design is viewed as the process to using a “road map”.

It is important for us to always remind ourselves that our lessons, units, and courses should be logically inferred from the results sought, not derived from the methods, books, and activities with which we are most comfortable. Curriculum should lay out the most effective ways of achieving specific results.

The backward design model is comprised of the following three stages:

 

Reference:

Backward design model [image]. Retrieved April 4, 2013 from http://blogs.riverdale.edu/techintegration/2011/11/26/understanding-by-design-the-backward-design-model/

Wiggins, G. & McTighe, J. (1998). What is backward design? Retrieved April 4, 2013 from http://www.ubdexchange.org/resources/backwards.html

Wikipedia. (2012). Backward design.  Retrieved April 4, 2013, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Backward_design

 

 

Digital Storytelling

We have been discussing about what and why using ICT in teaching. But as a teacher, I think we should have a better understanding and idea on how to integrate ICT into teaching that benefits our students. Digital storytelling is a powerful tool that could be used in learning literacy especially those young learners. There are many useful and attractive stories often share by educators in blogs, Facebook, Youtube, or Twitter. Through digital storytelling we motivate our learners to apply, contextualize, visualize, and personalize the language they learn. Shelly Sanchez Terrell has shared about Engaging Learners through Digital Storytelling: 40+ Resources & Tips and recommended some useful Web tools to encourage children create digital storytelling such as CreazaLittleBirdTalesThestorystarter,and many others.

Also, I have come across Rog Smith‘s blog site named The Literacy Shed. One of the post that attracted me is the film of an interesting story. His post has given me some ideas on integrating digital story into teaching. The title of the story is The Catch, a film by Josh Carroll & Scott Mcwhinnie. It’s a story about a young fisherman’s meager catch is stolen by a fox who leads him to the catch of a lifetime. Through the story children will be able to learn about the boys emotions in the events of the story, such as distress, anger, surprise, and excitement. Also, he has mentioned some teaching ideas on using critical questions to make the children discuss, think, describe and to transform the ideas:

1. Where is the boy comes from?

2. Why does he need to fish for food?

3.What and why the fox stolen the fish?

Activity : Younger children could describe the giant fish, they could also make fishing rods and paper fish to have a go at catching themselves.

The Catch