What I have Learnt and Gained so far…

Everything we have done so far in EST430 has been initially confusing. Yet as we have been moving through the unit I find it easier and easier to understand the technicalities and the benefits of each aspect. I guess when it comes to technology the more we ‘upgrade’ our skills the easier it is to understand it. And with the rate at which technology moves, I think I’ll need to learn something new every week to stay on top of it.

As I have noted, I am most defiantly not a computer buff but I am very surprised at which I have been able to stay on top of things in the unit (well I hope that is the case). Skills aside I have defiantly progressed. Even if what I have done in this blog is not enough, I have defiantly gained a lot of knowledge and skills in which I can take with me into a classroom, and for that I am very happy.

Highlights of the Unit

I wish to go over some of the highlights of what I have gained from this unit.

Edmodo

Edmodo has been a terrific guide throughout. I would defiantly use this networking tool in my classroom as a means of setting goals, homework, polls and answering and questions. With this said I wouldn’t use Edmodo for students in grade 3 or below. Another situation I wouldn’t use Edmodo is when there is too many students, as it may become too difficult to stay on top of all the posts.

Edublogs

This blog has defiantly been a learning experience and yet I feel as though I would use this in my classroom too. If I was to choose between Edmodo or Edublogs, I think Edublogs would defiantly be my choice. This is taking into account that my students are ready for it.  Edmodo gave me the impression that it is a lot easier to get used to, therefore it may just be a good lead up to blogging, just like this unit has proved.

Google Reader

Making an RSS was incredibly difficult to understand. I have to admit I still don’t completely grasp the full benefits of it. Signing up for an RSS was simple enough yet learning how to subscribe to pages was difficult. I have subscribed to several blogs yet I have not actually had any need to use the Google reader. Difficulties aside, I think after some guidance from someone that can use an RSS, that I may see the benefits of it, in the form of keeping up to date with my future student blogs.

Diigo

Diigo was quite interesting and yet like the RSS, I don’t think I am quite so ready for it. It appears to be a great way of sharing your bookmarks with fellow peers. However, I think sharing your bookmarks on Edmodo or on your blog would be a better way than joining yet another network that is only fulfils the one purpose of sharing bookmarks.

Audacity

Making the Audacity audio recording was quite fun and the instructional video was very beneficial in understanding what is to be done. I think students would defiantly have fun playing around with Audacity and they can use it within their assignments or presentations.

Photo Story

Making the Slideshow was very simple. Using Photo Story was really easy to understand and it can be used in so many different settings within the school. Just like Audacity, Photo Story can also be used by the students in assignment presentations.

Picasa

making digital images using Picasa was another fun way to play around with photos and making a collage. It can be used to present events going on in the school or even as a front cover to a book.

Cued Articulation

Another thing that I have learnt during my teaching practicum was the benefits of cued articulation. Cued articulation was generated by a speech pathologist named Jane Passy. Cued Articulation was developed to assist students with hearing impairments yet can also be used to help students develop sound awareness, especially in the early years.

I saw its benefits throughout the prep classroom I worked with. Some students actually learnt the sound, and hand movement, of a letter but had no idea what the name of said letter was. Unfortunately you cannot learn how to teach cued articulation for free. Rather the schools need to pay for the PD seminars on it. I hope to learn more about cued articulation and will defiantly try to push the future school I work in to check it out. 

please see these YouTube videos on Cued Articulation:

Amy

Jane Passy

 

Picasa Collage

Hey people, I just finished my Picasa collage. It was really hard to figure out so I don’t really think I’m a big fan of it. I prefer Photo Story any day.  Picasa didn’t really have many explanations on how to use it and it took me a while to figure out how to save my collage.

Surely once you get used to how Picasa works it will be useful in the classroom especially after an excursion or camp where you can creatively display the photos taken.

In this case I have just put together some random photos I have on my laptop.

Slideshow- Photo Story

Photostory classroom

Hey everyone, this is my slideshow. The photos are from one of my teaching practicums and it is of a prep classroom. Some of the photos may look different to what some of you are expecting. This is due to the particular school being a PYP school. In other words it is an International Baccalaureate program for the primary years.

I used Photo story for this and I found it very easy to do. I just needed to follow each step and press next. The steps are explained well, they were straight forward and didn’t have technical Jargon.

There can be a lot of benefits in using slideshows in a classroom setting as well as a professional setting. For example if a school that is new to the PYP program wanted to know how to set up their classrooms, this particular slideshow could be helpful.

Within a classroom setting, I would defiantly use Photo story. I like how you can narrate each picture and explain it further. It’s a wonderful way to explain what each photo means. This could also be used to keep parents up to date on what is going on in the classroom.

Audacity Recording

blog audio

Hey guys this is my Audacity recording that I have made. The tutorial video that John Pearce gave us access to on the Wiki page was very helpful. I am so bad with technology and I actually made something thanks to that video.

Audacity can be very useful in a classroom especially when you are 10 minutes into making a recording and you say something that was not meant to be in the recording. Rather that starting the recording again from scratch you can edit the bits that you don’t want in there. Very beneficial 🙂

Teaching Practicum

My teaching practicum was amazing! I got to do so much and gain a lot of experience. The supervising teacher was really laid back and let me take control of the classroom as much as I wanted. I was pretty much teaching full days and I was responsible for all class management. I also worked with three other teachers and got so many tips from each one.

I attended a Professional Development (PD) meeting that was run by Michael Ymer, whom I was told, within the primary school, to be an expert mathematics teacher. He is apparently very hard to get and the school was very lucky to have him. I observed him conduct a mathematics lesson for the preps and it was the best mathematics lesson I have ever seen. I love Mathematics and I know that it is a challenge for teachers to engage students in the subject. I want my future students to develop the passion for mathematics that I developed as a student. It takes a very skilled and committed teacher to do this and Michael Ymer is defiantly one of them.  Watching him take a maths lesson was truly inspiring. Please check him out by clicking on this link: Michael Ymer

Getting up to date with Diigo

Hey everyone, I know I have been absent from updating my blog recently, but now that I have finished my teaching practicum, I hope to be more up to date soon.

My teaching practicum was amazing! I learnt so much useful things in which I will be updating you guys on soon.

I just got my Diigo account up and running. It was very easy to sign up for, all you need is to make a username, password and provide an email. There is no other details needed which makes Diigo a lot easier to sign up for than most social networking signups.

I know what Diigo does but I don’t really know what to do with it as of yet. I know it is a social bookmark in which I will find useful… when I have pages that I want to bookmark and share with my peers. I can see myself using it as a teacher but not so much now as a student, because I have nothing to share. I find something soon… I hope 🙂

Blogroll

YAY! I have made a Blogroll, thanks to Mel (see ‘Mel’s Blog’ or find her on my new Blogroll).

I was excited and eager to have a Blogroll on my blog as I believe it can be really helpful to have a list of all your student’s blogs easily available. Having a blogroll with your students is not just beneficial for a teacher but also helpful for students. Being a student within the EST430 unit I have been looking at other blogs from the unit to gather ideas. I have navigated to blogs from the same unit by using the Blogroll. With this said, I can see how a student will benefit from having a class list of blogs to browse through. The only negative side of the Blogroll is that addling the links is rather time consuming as only one link can be added at a time.  

RSS…Misunderstood

I just had a little rant about the RSS activity from week 3 on Edmodo.  I don’t really understand it very much. I have added some Edublogs onto my account using Google reader. Was that the activity for the week or was there more to it? I don’t know if I was somehow supposed to link it up to this blog. I can see that the other blogs I have looked at have a list of blogs on the sidebar called a Blogroll. Is that to do with the RSS activity? And I would like to know how to make a Blogroll.

I can see how RSS can be beneficial for a teacher as it saves time. Rather than visiting several sites or student blogs to see if anything new has been added, we can subscribe to these websites to show us any updated information on Google reader. It is a more efficient way of keeping track of our student’s progress as they make posts up on their blogs and for our future students to keep track of their peer’s posts and teacher discussions/instruction. However, this is given that the teacher actually knows how to use RSS to its full potential.