My Personal Reflection during EDC3100 Professional Practices (Part 2)

I am really happy with the precious experiences and had fun with the learning progress during my 15 days of EDC3100 professional Practices with the center.  The experiences were really meaningful to me.  Thank you for the supportive team and friendly mentor who willing to guide me and give me plenty of freedom in exploring and experimenting teaching lessons which integrated with different types of ICTs as supporting learning tool to enhance my children’s learning.

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Our First Digital Story- Where should I Stay?

Another achievement in my EDC practicum was produced The ‘First digital story- Where should I stay?’ with the children aged 4-6 years old.  The Digital story was uploaded and shared into center’s Facebook account.

I am so impressed when listened to children’s story.  From the retell session, I noticed that some children were more advance in learned new vocabularies and adjectives such as big and fat caterpillar, spider with 8 longs and black legs.    This makes their story telling section become more meaningful.  Some of the children were able to recognize the characteristics of the animals and draw out on the paper.  Most of them were able to expand their story with more complete and big illustration.  Besides that, I noticed that most of them were confident enough to stand in front of peer and present his story but some were too shy to speak when they saw the camera recording.  These make me very proud of them.  As we know that, art and craft allows people opportunities to capture and record details regardless about the aged group or the background come from.  Art and craft have great influence in children’s emotional and social development as well.  Children take great pleasure and satisfaction in refining their skills and in communicating their ideas and express their feelings.

After trying to implement the activities with young children only I realized how satisfied and great when see my children love to draw on own story.  Apart from that, I have a lot of fun throughout the process of learning with my children for this time of activities when reviewed the video once in class.  I can feel the satisfaction from the children through their conversations and discussion after the video reviewed in the next class.  Some of them mentioned that they love to see themselves in reading a story in the video.  They enjoy and wish to record more video using the camera in future lessons as well.

My Personal Reflection during EDC3100 Professional Practices (Part 1)

During the 15 days practicum in the center, I had gained a lot of precious experiences and had fun with the learning progress.  Really feel grateful to have a supportive team and friendly mentor who willing to guide me and give me plenty of freedom in exploring and experimenting my teaching lessons which integrated with different types of ICTs as supporting learning tool to enhance my children’s learning.  The experiences were really meaningful to me.

Digital Portfolio-Bean Growth Projects + what’s on Earth?

This is an excellent digital portfolio about a short-term project contains of various hands-on activities focus on the vegetable and fruits theme by the bridging class students with my guidance. The whole project was completed within three weeks. The children were learnt about the parts of the plants and the function of each part. Besides that, children gained hands-on experiences through real life activities such as plant the beans, take care of the plants, records observations about the growth of the plants through drawing and class presentation.  Moreover, I had introduced the structure of plants parts to their own functions using Scootle as one of my useful online resources in planning my lessons with 5-6 years old children.

Self-evaluation on Bean Growth Projects:

The objective of the lesson was met where all the children were actively participate in the activities.  Most of them were able to follow instruction in the activities.  Children show interested on the activities where they asked questions and actively contributed ideas in taking care about their plants, as well as remembered to water their plant and move the plant nearby the windows everyday without teacher’s reminder.  Moreover, they were happy to use the camera to take photos as well.

My mentor was happy with my lesson which incorporates ICT in interesting and appropriate ways to get children engaged actively in technology when conducting this lesson.  She further explained that she really enjoy on my planned of lessons which involve children to work with different ICT such as Movie maker and camera.  Before conducting the lesson, my mentors had discussed with me about the activities using kidsblog.  Even though, she love the new idea of children creating own blog account, but due to the consideration of parents’ concerns about the cyber safety issues, she suggested me to upload the video into center’s facebook account as children’s portfolio and shared it with the parents to track their children’s learning progress in school.

Self-evaluation on Scootle-What’s on Earth?

After trying to implement the activities with young children only I realized how satisfied and great when see my children love to participate in the online resource such as Scootle.  The lesson was successful as the students thoroughly enjoyed the activities as the image they saw were not something they would normally see and the Scootle program with audio presentation and attractive illustrations was very useful and engaging resource.  It helps students to stay focus and pay full attention with the resources in the activities.  Apart from that, I have a lot of fun throughout the process of learning with my children for this time of activities when reviewed the video once in class.  I can feel the satisfaction from the children through their conversations and discussion after the video reviewed in the next class.  Some of them mentioned that they love to see themselves in the video.  They enjoy and wish to record more video using the camera in future lessons as well.

 

My mentor felt that this lesson was very interesting as it was her first experience explored with Scootle as well.  She was interested to learn more about the Scootle program and she felt that this learning tool could be very useful for a variety of curriculum implementations.  Besides that, she was proud of my achievement in using ICT as supporting tool to enhance children’s 4C skills- Critical thinking, Creativity, Communication and Collaboration in their learning.  She encouraged me to continue using ICT in future teaching as it help to enhance children’s better engagement and heighten learner motivation by increasing self-efficacy and self-esteem, promoting positive attitudes toward school and increasing student involvement in learning activities.

 

Kidblog in early year

At the beginning, one of the ICTs that I wanted to integrate in my professional practices is Kids Blog. I really love Vicki William’s ideal classroom which using a classroom blog to encourage student actively participate in socialize and interact with each other.  These enhance children’s social and emotional development as they feel a sense of belonging within their environment.   It is valuable and vital shared experiences for children to reflect own ideas and through, express it through words in blogs.  I strongly believe reading through blog posts create children’s awareness on the latest news of what is happening in their class.  Besides that, it can bridge the connection between home and school where parents and teachers can gain better understanding of the kids from reading through their blog posts.   Last but not least, MrsGimShaw’s post had pointed out some very good points of the benefit of blogging for students as showcasing their work to a greater audience, improve and develop on a range of skills (writing and reading), and encourage students become independent learners.

Even though I understand that there are plenty of good reasons for children to explore and work with blogs, but after I had discussed with my mentor, I had decided to abandon this idea in my teaching practice.  Due to the concern about our multicultural issues and differential parents’ perceptions on children working with blog in early year, my mentor was not encouraging me to do so even though she love my planning so much.  My mentor was further explained that some of the parents do not really accept their children to expose to the internet in early year, and some of the parents are concerned about the privacy issues of the page.  Although there is a pity on making changes in my pre-planning lesson, but I still respect my mentor and parents.  I really hope that one day; my ideal school will allow children to have their individual blogs which involve them with writing and editing their own posts.

Something special in Week 13

Thank you for Joyce shared and posted a YouTube video, ‘Felt Board iPad App’ in our Facebook group.  It is really attract my attention with the title.  This is something new about Educational App for early year leaning. Now only I realize that we can do many things with this digital felt board.  We can print out some plain background and then cut the figures out to make our own felt board with my Ipad.  Next, Vicky also shares a list of great iPad Apps which had categorized with different development domains.   I love the activities so much!!!

Besides that, Joyce had written a blog post regards on “Possible “excuses” of why my peers and I having difficulties in writing blog post”.  I am agreeing with some of the “excuses” of why we facing challenging when come to write our weekly posts about ICT.    Sometime, I, myself do feel lazy to start my topic in write my blog posts.  Especially when came in to our practicum week while we are busy with our lesson planning, classroom management and at the same time have to attend college lecture after works, it really make me feel frustrated as well.  Anyway, I still try my best to find NEW information which may be helpful in supporting my teaching in early childhood field.

Cyber-5 Internet safety for young children

This week, one of my course mate, Eunice Ho had posted a new link in our EDC3100 group in Facebook about Cyber Five Internet safety for young children which are I feel is very suitable and appropriate to use in early year setting in order to guide them to become digital citizenship.  This is really related to my previous blog post which discussed about the 9 element of Digital citizenship.  The Cyber-Five story by Jilian Palmieri is a short animation which introduces children to five helpful rules to be safer on the internet such as do not expose your password to the other or do not simply download any files from internet.  There are two main animal characters, Hippo and Hedgehog who shared their thought about introduce and review the five rules to guide children understand more about internet safety.  This website is suitable and recommended for Grades 1-5.  After the dialogue between the Hippo and Hedgehog, children can continues with quiz or test related to the 5 rules which had discussed in the conversation before.  I believe it is an amazing website for children to explore with!!

Week 12: ICT in children’s Play

As part of the works in week 12, I am particularly looking for other ICT learning resources that transform children’s science knowledge in their learning.  It is amazing on viewed the video storybook of ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’ by Eric Carle which shared in Kate’s post.  I agreed with Kate mentioned about this story is a good interactive resource to teach life-cycle of the butterfly and at the same time it showed links to literacy and numeracy.  Besides that, I discovered in Kate’s previous post about busy things is a link that shared a lots of great early years resources for early year children.

Moreover, I came across on Turtle Diary shared by Kristie and Miss Philp’s blogs.  It is a website constraining different educational games with specific focus on concepts and skills about Math, English, Sciences and Arts for foundation years to year two students to use at both school and home.  It provides opportunities for learners to explore with the activities that are covered all learning areas in fun and engaging environment.

I am agreed with Kate emphasized on play is intrinsically motivating and enjoyable activity that is central to children’s learning and development (Corrie, 2000).  It is widely known that children have right and need freedom to play, and to explore their surrounding world, as well as to develop knowledge and understanding in their own way.   Based on the significant contributions from researchers and pioneer educators had showed that the vital of well-developed play brings powerful influences and positive impacts on children’s holistic development in early year.  “It is also becoming increasingly clear that without adult support, the play of many children is destined to never reach this fully developed status” (Leong & Bodrova, 2012, p.28).  Hence, teacher supports and helps to engage children quality play experiences becomes critical part in early childhood years.

References:

Corrie, L. (2000). Learning through play book 1: curriculum and learning outcomes. Western Australia: The University of Western Australia.

Leong, D. J., & Bodrova, E. (2012, January). Assessing and scaffolding: make-believe play. Young Children, pp.28- 34.  Retrieved March 12, 2013, from http://www.naeyc.org/files/yc/file/201201/Leong_Make_Believe_Play_Jan2012.pdf

Week 12- About Bee-Bots

This week I am still focusing on my interest of topic in ICT with early childhood setting.  It is really interesting to read on Emma Pails shared about Bee- bots as her favorite resource for young children to explore in class.  She had discussed about the Bee-bots physical outlooks and the ways of using it in class.

In Nicole’s post, “what is a Bee-Bot?’ (2006) has stated a clear description about Bee-bots is a programmable floor robot with bright and colourful outlook been purposed-built for Early year and primary children.  She further explained that it enables children learn through play about control and directional language.  For me, Bee-bot is cute and attractive.  It works best on smooth surfaces such as table, colorful floor mats, treasure map, or a race track which make engaging contexts for learning.  It is very useful resources to support students to create own obstacles courses and challenges.

Besides that, Kristine Kopelke, a project officer in ICT Learning Innovative center had carried out few learning experiences and activities which are meaningful for young children to engage actively in class.  Some of the best activities that I like the most in the project of ‘Making your classroom buzz with Bee-Bots: ideas and activities for early Phase’ are:

1) Numeracy: Bee-Bot Number Hives, Pollen Hunt,

2) Literacy: Bot-Detectives, Bee-Bots Walk,

3) Interactive Games: Ladybug Lunch, Turtle Island

4) Science: Creating a home for our Bee-Bots

5) Music & Movement: B-Tunes

More resources links about Bee-Bots:

Kent ICT about Bee-Bot, Using Bee-bots for numeracy, Using Bee-bots for literacy

References:

Kropelke, K. (n.d.). Making your classroom buzz with the Bee-Bots: ideas and activities for early phase. Retrieved May 13, 2013, from http://elresources.skola.edu.mt/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/doc_669_2468_beebotguideA4v2.pdf

Nicole. (2006). What is a Bee-Bot? Retrieved May 13, 2013, from, http://bee-bots-downunder.blogspot.com/2006/11/what-is-bee-bot.html

My story Maker

My Story Maker at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh is one of the resources shared by our lecturer; Miss Kim had caught my attention in class.  This kids’ fun game was named one of the Best Website for teaching and learning by the American Association of School Librarians, a division of the American Library Association (Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, 2013).

 

 

 

 

It provide guidance to teach children on adding new objects and characters to create meaningful story.

 

My story Maker is a very fun game as it gives children a grateful of freedom and the power to decide the characters and objects of the story, taking them on adventures and creating their very own story along the way.  It guides children step-by-step on how to work with the story before they start to explore and create their own story creation.  Besides that it enhance children’s literacy skills such as writing and reading as it allows children create the story through typing and entering own words to form sentences. However, I think this resource is suitable for older children as it required high-level of literacy skills and higher order thinking skills to complete the task.  Next, this resource allows the children save and review, or print out the book when the children had done with their own story.  Nevertheless, it is a wonderful ICTs tools to enhance children’s creativity and innovative as well.

Children are allow to review, print or download their work when they had done for the story. Each story will be given a specific code, so that easier for reader to find their story when they want to review it later.

Interactive White Boards (IWB)

Interactive White Boards (IWB) is an instructional tool that allows computer images to be displayed onto a board using a digital projector and allows learners to manipulate the elements on the board by using fingers as a mouse to drag, click and copy items, as well as transformed handwrite notes into text and saved directly on the screen.  In Angie Rhodes’s post had provided a link regards the definition of Interactive White Board for higher education.  Besides that, it discuss about the benefit of IWB work as powerful tool in classroom to enhance interactive and collaboration through the integration of media context into learning process. From the description, I gain insightful ideas about how IWB work as a pedagogical tool to enhance student’s learning in school context.  IWB provides a wide range of learning opportunities which emphasizes on children’s innovation and creativity as well.  Hence, I believe IWB is a great technology tools as best educational resources for integrated ICTs in early year setting.

Besides that, Tamyka Mills had shared one website link about a list of age-appropriate resources that can be used as supportive tools for interactive whiteboard within all context areas.  In addition, it is interesting to read on the comments of Leah Drury’s post discuss regards about the advantages and disadvantages of using IWB in school context.  Next, I had came across “56 interesting ways to use the Interactive White Board in the classroom” shared by Carmen Gambe.  Next, thanks for Michelle Poulter who willing to share about the 13 great reasons of using interactive whiteboards to create a smart classroom that children are active learners in exploring and learning through innovative ICT tools and resources.

I had found some interesting games and activities which is suitable for preschoolers to explore specific topics using IWB through the websites:

1) PBS KIDS Whiteboard Resources– It is cross-curricular, adaptive learning program for each child development that provides IWB age- appropriate, filled with innovative educational games for educators to help children actively engage and participating in collaborative and fun experiences while exploring curriculum from trusted programs such as Curious George, Supper Why and Arthur in learning with their favorite characters.  It covers content in mathematics and numeracy, science, language and literacy, creativity, healthy development and social studied.

2) 10 excellent ways to use an interactive whiteboard in your music classroom from Midnight music (2013) – It is an organized and efficient link that create a bank of learning resources about music technology and software that can be used in many times across multiple classes.

3) The best, free interactive whiteboard resources from Topmarks (2013) – IWB games for kindergartens to higher grades hat allow whole class participate into learning activity at same time.  Cooperation and collaboration between students and teachers are enhance when they work together to solve problem, share and exchange ideas and achieve the answers.

Through the exploration and research, I have discovered the pros and cons of using interactive whiteboards in early year learning.  It is very important for me, as an early childhood educator to locate and decide on using the developmental appropriate activities and resources from all content areas using with an IWB.

References:

Midnight music. (2013). 10 excellent ways to use an interactive whiteboard in your music classroom. Retrieved May 9, 2013, from http://www.midnightmusic.com.au/2011/02/10-excellent-ways-to-use-an-interactive-whiteboard-in-your-music-classroom/

Multimedia resources & Proffesional Development for America’s PreK-12 educators: PBS KIDS whiteboard resources. (2013). Retrieved May 8, 2013, from http://www.pbs.org/teachers/whiteboard/

Topmark Online Ltd. (2013). The best, free interactive whiteboard resources. Retrieved May 9, 2013, from http://www.topmarks.co.uk/interactive.aspx?cat=40

The 9 elements of Digital Citizenship

What is Digital Citizenship?

According to Terry Heick (2013) stated that Digital Citizenship is “The quality of habits, actions, and consumption patterns that impact the ecology of digital content and communities.” 

Another definition given by David Jones (2013) about digital Citizenship “is a broad term that embodies a range of concepts, including safe and appropriate use of ICTs.”

Within this two week, I have gone through more in-depth topics about Digital Citizenship and also cyber safe.  My knowledge on this topic is very limited, but I believe that cyber safety is extremely important for all students and teachers to be aware of how the internet works and what precautions we can take to make sure all parties operating ICT are safe.  It is interesting to read through the Nine Elements of Digital Citizenship written by Mike Ribble (2013) which defined as the norms of appropriate and responsible behavior with regard to technology use.   The work had proposed very clear definition and explanations for each element.  The elements included:

1) Digital access:  This element related on full participation through electronic access in the society.  The starting point of Digital citizenship is to work toward equal digital rights and supporting electronic access.  It is important to be committed to make sure that no one is denied digital access.

2) Digital Commerce:  It related to electronic business such as buying and selling of goods.  As an effective consumers in a new digital economy, users need to be aware on the issues such as conflict with the laws or morals of some countries are surfacing even though everyone have an equal rights to access through internet purchases of items.

3) Digital Communication:  It refers to exchange of information through electronic.  A variety of choices in digital resources have broadened our communication options, such as email, SMS or cellular phones.  It makes a person’s ability of communication with other peoples in any place become easy and convenient without any limitation with time constrain and distance issues.  It offers opportunities to the people to communicate and enhance collaboration with anyone from anywhere and anytime.  It is important to teach users to make right decisions when faced with various digital communication options.

4) Digital Literacy: This element focus of the process of teaching and learning about technology and the use of technology.  It is vital to teach users especially students learning about how technology is being used differently in a digital society of 21st century.  It involved individual with high degree of information literacy skills in the process of educating people about digital citizenship as well.

5) Digital Etiquette: This element related to electronic standards of conduct or procedure.  It is not enough to create rules and regulations or policy to stop inappropriate behaviour when using technology, but we must teach everyone to become responsible digital citizens in this new society.

6) Digital Law: It talks about electronic responsibility for actions and deeds.  There are digital laws as guidelines to deal with the ethnics of technology within a society.  Users need to understand that misuse, stealing or causing damage to other people’s work, identity, or property online is a crime.  For example, plagiarism, downloading illegal music or movie, sending span or hacking into others information are consider inappropriate behaviours or unethical.

7) Digital Rights & Responsibilities: There is a basic set of rights and freedoms extended to everyone in a digital world, such as privacy right, free speech or etc.  It is essential to address, discuss and understand all the basic digital rights in the digital world.  In order to produce a productive digital society, everyone needs to work collaborate and behave appropriately with great responsibilities with users’ rights.

8) Digital Health & Wellness: Emphasize on physical and psychological well-being in a digital technology world.  Users need to be taught about the inherent dangers of technology related to physical and psychological issues such as eye safety, repetitive stress syndrome and sound ergonomic practices.  It is good to provide education and training for all users in order to create awareness on how to protect them when surfing internet.

9) Digital security (Self- protection): It is a precaution to guarantee safety.  As responsible digital citizens and effective surfers, we need to have virus protections, backups of data and surge control of our equipment in order to protect our information from outside forces that might cause disruption or harm.

In my opinion, it is critical to teach and expose these important elements for our young generation as well as beginning at kindergarten level to create awareness and understanding about basic ideas about digital citizenships.  It is vital to encompasses three values: Respect, Educate and Protect (REP) when educating the students to cover all the elements in learning new way in digital society.

References:

David, J. (2013). Forum: Topic of interests- Digital citizenship and cyber safety. Retrieved April 29, 2013, from http://usqstudydesk.usq.edu.au/m2/mod/forum/discuss.php?d=115568

Heick, T. (2013). The Definition of Digital Citizenship. Retrieved May 9, 2013, from http://www.teachthought.com/technology/the-definition-of-digital-citzenship/

Ribble, M. (2013). Digital citizenship using technology appropriately: nine themes of digital citizenship. Retrieved May 9, 2013, from http://www.digitalcitizenship.net/Nine_Elements.html