Friday, May 30, 2014

ICT in Primary Education: Transforming Children's Learning Week 1

Have you ever heard of a MOOC before? It is a massive open on-line course. I heard about these on and have wanted to do one for a while. I kept waiting for the perfect time. I have learned that there isn't a perfect time. I just have to do here I am! Doing it!

This week I introduced myself on the forums. It was astounding to read where all the particpants are from! It is literally full of people from all over the world - every continent!

Week 1 got me to sign up for I learned about this at an apple workshop I went to, but I never did sign up because I couldn't quite see the benefit. Funny how these things seem to come around again and again.

It's simply amazing how much kids can learn by using technology. Check out this video. It is a great intro to the many things they learned: teamwork, lifecycle of the butterfly, as well as all about different types of butterflies.

This timing is really perfect because we are going to be doing a project on animal life cycles using Ipads. I've seen a number of different ways to identify the levels of learning that kids do with technology. One idea is the SAMR model. This MOOC defines different types of learnin with technology in these categories:

Reading books, papers;
Listening to teacher presentations face-to-face, lectures;
Watching demonstrations, master classes.
Reading multimedia resources, websites, digital documents and resources;
Listening to podcasts, webcasts;
Watching animations, videos.
Small group project, discussing other students’ outputs, creating a joint output.
Small group project, using online forums, wikis, chat rooms, etc. for discussing other students’ outputs, creatng a joint digital output.
Tutorials, tutor groups, student seminars (students leading discussion), discussion groups, class discussions.
Online tutorials, tutor groups and seminars, email discussions, discussion forums, web-conferencing tools (synchronous and asynchronous).
Using text-based study guides;
Analysing the ideas and information in a range of materials and resources;
Using books, people, field trips, to collect data for analysis;
Comparing texts, searching and evaluating information and ideas.
Using online advice and guidance;
Analysing the ideas and information in a range of digital resources;
Using digital tools to collect and analyse data;
Comparing digital texts, using digital tools for searching and evaluating information and ideas.
Doing practice exercises; using tools; doing practice-based projects, labs, field trips, face-to-face role-play activities.
Using digital tools, models, simulations, digital games, microworlds, virtual labs and field trips, online role-play activities.
Producing their own representations of what they have learned, using statements, essays, reports, accounts, designs, performances, artefacts, animations, models, videos.
Producing and storing digital documents, representations of designs, performances, artefacts, animations, models, resources, slideshows, photos, videos, blogs, e-portfolios.

This module got me thinking about the animal life cycles project we are going to be doing next week. Students will definitely do acquisition, and production and perhaps some collaboration and discussion. After reviewing the information in this module, I decided that I will make a little change in our project. Students could get more practice/discussion if they share their information with more than one person, rather than share it one time with the whole class. I think we will have a sharing day where I ask students to view four presentations and grade them. This will give them a chance to give feedback to their peers, be accountable for the information they receive, and the presenter will get four chances to share their information.

The more I learn about technology in the classroom, the more I realize it can be used in almost every area of learning. Learning using technology is becoming essential in the classroom.

The cool thing about this MOOC is how people in the MOOC are collaborating. Check out this google doc!

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