Integrating ICTs in Special Education School

Well, I did it! I have stopped procrastinating and have submitted my assignment.  If you are interested, this is the link: http://integratingictsinspecialed.weebly.com/

The audience for this presentation is the parent group of older children attending a special education school.  I was influenced by a Practicum I attended last year, where I spent three weeks with the students who were in their last or second last year of schooling.  

I wish you well with your assignment.

Approach to Education

Each course I am surprised with the amount of reading and preparation to be undertaken – but why am I surprised?  This is big-kids school now.  We are learning how to be professionals.  We are learning how to teach the next generations how to learn, how to be a (successful) part of society and the community, how to develop the skills they will need to pursue their dreams.

When I reflect on the reason why we need to be given the content we receive, I get back into it with clear determination.

Fellow student, SteveDruery, posted of his excitement at receiving advice he had participated adequately to obtain the full 5 marks for Part A of Assignment 1.  This in itself is a clear motivator to continue.

Coincidentally, earlier this week I was fortunate to obtain a link to an article about the different approaches countries take to education.  This site is definitely interesting reading; thought provoking.  The following quote caused me to pause and reflect – how can I ensure that it is part of my teaching repertoire?

“Teachers and principals in Finland have a strong sense of professional responsibility to teach their children well but also to judge how well children have learned what they are supposed to learn according to curriculum designed by teachers.”

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Units of Work

In my earlier blog, I mentioned how I felt a little overwhelmed about completing Assignment 1 and receiving information about Assignment 2 at the same time. 

Is this how students feel during a unit of work?  Experiencing a feeling of elation, having mastered something – then the teacher moves on to the next section of the unit?  I know that is how some Year 12 students are currently feeling about Mathematics.  They have just mastered one part and the teacher adds another element, another step, to it.  We see it as scaffolding; the students see it as a “Gosh, I just got to the post and now you are moving it on me!” moment. 

Education Queensland have a terrific resource, Internet sites with planning tools and units of work, which you may find useful when undertaking Module 2 and planning future units of work.  It also includes links to other useful sites to assist you with ideas for developing units of work.

Providing an overview to students at the beginning of a unit appears to be a critical step in ensuring students know what the goals and expectations are for the unit ahead.

Taking a Moment …

Earlier this week I experienced such a nice feeling – Assignment 1 complete! … I think.  You see, I keep wanting to ‘improve’ on it; to hold on to it just a little longer in case I think of something else, something better.  But, would this really improve it?  Or am I procrastinating about handing it in?  Procrastinate a little more, I will.

This week we started being fed information heading us toward Assignment 2 – really?  I have just taken a breath from Assignment 1 and already I am expected to be developing ideas about the next one.  Am I behind?  Has everyone else forward planned his or her ideas on all the assignments relating to this course?  Nope.  It’s okay.  Your peers are working at the same pace as you are.  Take another breath!  Amusingly, to some extent, Padawan Teacher was expressing the same feelings of elation completing an assignment can bring.  We are not alone!

Putting pressure on oneself to ensure we do our best is common.  I located a website where the business is to produce “A Superior Hiring System for Superior Performance Results”.  It is interesting reading, so if you would like to maximise your performance I encourage you to have a read.

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Anyway, I am taking a breath – and ahhhh.  It feels good to stop, take a moment, and put myself in a positive frame of mind about moving forward.  And here I am…

Sharing ICT Resources

Sharing Scootle resources has been a highlight of the week.  It is a wonderful resource and easily accessible.  Fellow student prasadpratima62 has also spent part of the week investigating the resources available on the Scootle site.

A major focus of this course is to find and share ICT resources to enhance our teaching and student learning.  My mind is in overdrive because of the plethora of new resources identified by my peers and myself.

Fraser Coast Campus lecture attendees were fortunate to have educator Anissa Grumetza attend our class on Tuesday and provide working examples on effective ICTs for her classroom scenarios.

One that I had not heard of, but am keen to utilise is KidRex.org. This site is where young students can safely Google research information without teachers (or parents) worrying about inappropriate material being incorporated into search results.  This is a MUST USE for at least the Primary school classrooms.  As a parent, it would be reassuring to know teachers were mindful and responsible enough to utilise this resource.

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Giftedness – a topic of debate

I was intrigued to read a blog by preservicepilgrimageponderings (here) entitled “Giftedness is not a fairytale!”  It has inspired several peers to respond.

In fact, I am surprised at the responses received to the blog, directly and indirectly through the original blog message.

Recently, I noticed the Queensland Association for Gifted and Talented Children Inc. were advertising a professional development seminar they are holding 27 March 2014.  What specifically caught my interest was Session 1:  An overview of how gifted students know, understand and think.  I would love to attend this session and find out some answers to the many questions looming for children who fall under this “umbrella”.

There are two other sessions for the day, which are also interesting, but to me, not as interesting as the first session would be.

Session1: An overview of how gifted students know, understand and think.
Session 2: Extending high ability literacy learners
Session 3: extending high ability numeracy learners

You may already subscribe to their website, but if not, for further information, the QAGTC site can be found here

Should children who are deemed “gifted” be accelerated in one or more subjects, or should the differentiation principles within the class apply? Although it needs to be considered on an individual basis (I believe), this question would probably be answered at sessions 2 and 3.

Copyright and Digital Citizenship

Digital Citizenship

Well, the hairs on the back of my neck stood erect, beads of perspiration began to form on my palms … #EDC3100 lecturer, David Jones, presented the cohort with an insight into digital citizenship. Am I an “effective practitioner of Digital Citizenship”? Do I apply the correct social and ethical protocols and practices when using ICT? I know I try to be diligent. But am I diligent enough?

David highlights the significance of our professional conduct pertaining to intellectual property using Assignment 1 as an example. He states, “if you use digital resources inappropriately you are going to struggle to get a good mark for this criterion”. However, that is not all. He also highlights the professional significance in relation to the AITSL standards (4.5). [I am now reaching for the fan switch as those beads of perspiration are increasing!]

Really, my only area of concern is the use of music, particularly background music for presentations – to spice up the YouTube, etc. I searched on creative commons for appropriate music – to no avail. However, I did locate a song I do want to incorporate. Unfortunately, the people who created the song, Powder, are no longer in action. There website has a closing statement fareweling and thanking their fan base.

Do I, or do I not include this wonderful song? How do I ensure I reference it sufficiently? I am searching through, with a fine toothcomb the definition of fair use in an Australian context. I do want to get it right; I don’t want to do the wrong thing or be jeopardised for an inadvertent mistake. Do I not include music at all?

Wow! Yet another learning curve within #EDC3100. You gotta love that.  Further to the wonderful resources ICT Beginner blog incorporated into their recent blog, and apart from reading and re-reading David Jones’ information, I have been digesting the information contained in the Australian Copyright Council Find an Answer section. You can access it here. I have located the following blurb and hope, with fingers crossed, this is sufficient to allow me to use the music I have chosen for my assessment.

“An example of fair dealing for research or study may be using music in a film which is to be submitted for a school or university project, but which you do not intend to show outside the classroom or distribute further.”

ICT Beginner blog

Are you a digital citizenship? Being a digital citizen means that you utilize ICTs in order to engage in society safely, responsibly and critically.

As part of the new Australian Curriculum children are required to be digital citizens to meet their learning objectives. Children are to participate in ICTs to gain the knowledge, skills and confidence to make them ICT capable for school, home and work environments.

As part of this students and teachers needs to learn the laws surrounding online work and copyrighting issues. http://www.smartcopying.edu.au/ is a website which details all copyright issues regarding all Australian schools and TAFE services. Which is extremely handy as a teacher in classroom needing to know what you can and can’t copy.

http://creativecommons.org/ is also another handy link for dealing with sharing with the use of legal free tools. The free copyright licenses work alongside copyright laws in able to provide users with…

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