The End………..

So the time has nearly come to finish EDC3100.  With assignment three due tomorrow evening I am madly trying to finish it.  Reading Jacqueline’s blog titled A3… Still going…looking for kindred spirits, I know that i am not alone in the struggle of trying to finish off the assignment and the semester.  It has been very long and challenging – but that is why I love studying.  Prac was extremely interesting this time round and I learned a lot – I have been practising some of my new behaviour techniques in my job as a teacher aide.  Just like Chloemprice and Mitchellraine, I too am happy to be ending this course and like them I have learned a lot about how to plan and implement enriched ICT lessons.  Yet, I am still torn on ICT vs concrete materials/hands on activities.  I understand the way the world is moving and developing in regards to technology, but I believe that children learn best with hands on activities, using concrete materials they can manipulate.  So one of my first blogs is about this same issue and I can honestly say after about 10 weeks I am still sitting on the fence.  My progression through this course has not been able to sway me but it has given me a new insight in how to ICT to enrich students learning.  So I say goodbye to EDC3100 in a few more hours as I must go now and finish assignment three.  Do I think I will continue to blog……. not sure.  After some time away from ICT and some well earned holidays I may be able to look at this blog a little differently and continue to blog when the need to have a rant or vent arises.  Until then thank you to everyone who has read my blog, liked posts and referred to them and good luck for the rest of your studies.

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References:

Cat picture.  Retrieved from https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/00/1b/8f/001b8f76798cd792fa004f562818d8a4.jpg

Chloemprice blog.  (2016).  The end.  Retrieved from https://chloemprice.wordpress.com/2016/06/13/the-end/

Jacqueline blog.  (2016).  A3… Still going…looking for kindred spirits.  Retrieved from https://jacquelinehowlett.wordpress.com/2016/06/12/a3-still-going-looking-for-kindred-spirits/

Mitchellraine blog (2016).  Finally the end!  Retrieved from https://mitchellraine.wordpress.com/2016/06/12/finally-the-end/

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In the headlines again….What do you think?

Last Friday in the papers the topic of technology and children was raised again in the Courier Mail article titled Technology is creating a generation of dummies.  Over the weekend many news and morning talk shows also discuss the latest article.  This topic has once again been raised due to the federal election and the education policies from the parties.  The course EDC3100 is designed to teach pre-service teachers the importance of enriched ICT lessons and how they can benefit students.  This article highlights many issues of this hot debatable topic – at what cost is it costing our schools.  The maintenance of the technology not to mention maintaining up to date technology is being paid by the schools.  This is where I am torn.  This money could be being spent elsewhere, more concrete materials for students to learn with, more readers, more sporting equipment, more teachers and teacher aides to support and extend students.  The cost of technology is something school budgets need to consider together with supporting teachers with professional development in technology.  The article also highlights the effects technology is having on students, as quoted in the article “reliance on technology is turning kids into jumpy, erratic dummies who cannot focus long enough to meaningfully study anything”.  Many comments from the public also support the need for less technology.  There have been studies and articles about this hot topic.  This article written in 2012 highlighted the same issues back then.  However, what are we doing about it?  It seems to me we are continuing going forward with technology, yet no one is really aware of the long term effects it will have on students learning, behaviour or socially.  Whilst on professional experience the task was to plan and teach at least five enrich ICT lessons.  This was extremely challenging for two reasons, the limited ICT available and my mentors attitude to ICT.  Whilst she allowed me to meet the requirements she believes that ICT only replaces it does not amplify or transform.  After many discussions around this I also tend to agree (and I did before I went on professional experience) as nothing beats hands on concrete materials especially when working with students in the early years.

References:

Lang, L.  (2016).  Technology is creating a generation of dummies. Courier Mail.  Retrieved from http://www.couriermail.com.au/rendezview/technology-is-creating-a-generation-of-dummies/news-story/5c84058176b9d2bf88e367c01663b4c7

Mintz, S.  (2012).  Are we raising a generation of educational dummies?  Retrieved from http://www.ethicssage.com/2012/06/are-we-raising-a-generation-of-educational-dummies.html

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Coming to the end………

As my professional experience draws to an end I feel it’s time to reflect on the experience.  As stated in a previous blog I was lucky enough to have a returned placement.  This meant I knew the school, the rules, the procedures and some of the students.  I thought with this knowledge it would be a breeze.  Well I had no first day nerves….. but that was about it.  This experience has been challenging due to the teacher’s rules and the students behaviour.  Most of my teaching time I had to deal with behaviour management and it is extremely hard when you follow Play is the Way program and the rules are:

  1.  Yellow Poster – it takes great strength to be sensible.
  2. Orange Poster – treat others as you would like to be treated.
  3. Red Poster – pursue your personal best no matter who you work with.
  4. Green Poster – be brave and participate to progress.
  5. Blue Poster – have reasons for the things you say and do.
  6. Purple Poster – be the master no the victim.

This is extremely hard when you need to ask the students constantly show me yellow poster or the words “was that a strong or weak choice” or “follower or leader”.  The students are very familiar with this language and know exactly what I am referring to when I have had to use it.  So like Jacqueline in her blog Behaviour Management, I too have struggled with behaviour management.  This actually troubles me as I believe as a teacher aide I have strong behaviour management however I do mostly work with a small group of students.  However I wonder if it is the school as many student’s behaviour at the school is quite challenging and every teacher is up against it every day which is taking up a lot of their direct teaching time.  Whilst these rules may seem hard to understand they do have some value and I do like the yellow poster – I have used that a lot.  I do also like the green poster, students need to participate in order for them to progress.  I have only one day left and then I go back to my school where I work as a teacher aide with stronger firmer rules that most of us are used to, however I am sure I will slip up and language like strong or weak will come out and I am also sure the students will look at me as if I have lost my mind.

My experience has been challenging and rewarding at the same time.  I have learned I can plan a lesson fairly well, in the early years relate everything back to real life as students will connect and engage, my teaching does need more practice and I need to be able to pick up cues that students are struggling with abstract questions – I must show in concrete, especially in the younger years.  I have also learned that it is much harder to observe a whole class and teach at the same time and I hope this develops as I continue my degree and during my first few years as a teacher.  The class has been lovely and I do have a few favourites and I will be sad to go.  The class is challenging and they do not react well when they have a relief teacher.  This is something that really needs to be address as my mentor unfortunately has to take leave for medical reasons.  So for the next 3 weeks I will wonder how they are behaving – which little volcanos have exploded.  I am thankful of the experience and extremely fortunate to have such an experienced mentor.

References:

Jacqueline’s Blog.  Retrieved from https://jacquelinehowlett.wordpress.com/2016/05/30/behaviour-management/

Play is the Way.  Retrieved from https://playistheway.com.au/buy-products-resources/58-life-raft-manual-6-x-a4-posters.html

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