As I come to the end of an all consuming assignment 3 I feel the need to reflect on the enormity of the required tasks. I can now see the connections that were required between the prac lesson plans and the successes, failures, insights and factors provided an opportunity to see how ICT can enhance and transform learning, Although I have questioned the sustainability of this courses workload requirements many times throughout the semester and fail to see the necessity of this in comparison to other subjects I have completed in this course. Whilst there has been enormous learning experiences it has not been without many stressful and unnecessary hours and days of trolling through learning paths, frameworks and literature. For example this link to Blooms Taxonomy was just one of the required assignment inclusions.
Reflecting on what makes for a great prac placement, I would have to say the mentor is the key ingredient. After reading Amanda’s blog about her positive experience on her recent prac compared with her previous prac I feel it is appropriate to reflect on qualities of a great mentor. Having a supportive and encouraging mentor makes the experience one where you feel like you can succeed. There are so many things to consider and learn when going into an unknown environment with a different set of rules and standards, to have a mentor that understands it’s a learning journey for the pre service educator makes all the difference. 7 tips for pre service teachers had some good tips for prac survival.
After my initial uncertainty about the strong emphasis on explicit instruction during my practical experience I can now see why it’s the prescribed instructional model in many primary schools. Observing my mentor using this instructional approach to teach all the learning areas was impressive, then using this approach myself to teach my planned lessons gave me a real feel for the sequential structure and processes involved. I am now an advocate for the gradual release model, I can see the benefit and importance of including each sequence now that I understand the purpose. The warm up is crucial for repetition of prior learning which transfers information to long term memory. Followed by a hook to gain student attention, use WALT to state the learning goal, give real world examples. Then I DO, where you introduce and explicitly teach the concept while thinking aloud. Moving to WE DO, where teacher and students practice the concept together using modelled steps, only move on when students have mastered the skill. Then students’ progress to YOU DO where they demonstrate the skill independently or with peer support. The final step is review of the concept and reflection on the learning. This is a very brief outline of a very in-depth model. There is lots of literature to support the effectiveness of this teaching model, such as this article, exploring the foundations of explicit instruction.
With the first week of professional experience complete I thought I would reflect on the week that was. My mentor very kindly allowed me to observe her teaching the first 2 days before I planned for and taught a numeracy and literacy lesson. I did the same the next day, planned and taught. Friday was under 7’s day so helped prepare and run our activity and organise children. After reading some fellow students first week experiences I feel very grateful that my mentor and the school is wonderful and supportive. I have been a teacher aide for almost 10 years yet these years of experience in the classroom environment don’t alleviate my anxiety when stepping into a teaching role in an unfamiliar classroom.
Reflecting on my preparation for my approaching practicum I thought I would share my process thus far. After meeting my mentor yesterday for a brief chat and observation of the class in action, I feel like I have limited information and am underprepared. So I am in the process of making a checklist of things to take on prac, I figure this is one way I can be organised. So many checklists and things to remember, I am hoping that by having tick lists will assist in reducing my anxiety and make for a smoother and more organised start to my prac experience. When reading fellow students blog posts such as Tanya’s post about preparation and advice on how to best prepare I particularly liked the advice on this site, Guests in the Classroom: Top Ten Tips for Preservice Teachers.
Here is my attempt at completing the table that was assigned in the week 11 learning path. It is not a comprehensive description of the theories and frameworks but more of brief outline.
|Theory||Purpose||Application to Assignment 3/Professional Experience|
|CLEM Model||Help understand how to learn about a new ICT and how to use it to enhance student learning.||If there are any new ICTs you need to use it might help your explorations.
Hence might be useful as a part of the planning process for Part B.
|TPACK framework||Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge, helps educators understand how to consider and bring together the 4 knowledge’s when designing ICT rich lessons suitable for our context.||Assist in our understanding how ICT can support and enhance learning and how ICT can be used to find information.
Useful for explaining what we have learnt in the course and to describe what assisted our planning.
|Backwards design||Helps educators to effectively plan learning and assessment tasks that align with objectives.|
|SAMR Model||Assists teachers to develop and integrate ICT into learning that will Augment, Modify and Redefine as oppose to Substitution.||Can be used on pe to provide a benchmark of how effective the integration of ICT is during planning. Can be used to describe the level of learning and achievement experienced from each lesson. Is a useful reflective tool for educators.|
|TIP Model||Technology Integration Planning Model- is a planning model for designing ICT-rich learning experiences. Assists in the planning and teaching.||Useful during the lesson planning process during prac. Can be used to describe the planning process in Part B.|
|The 5Es||Is an instructional model based on the constructivist approach.|
|WALT & WILF||These are child friendly ways to share the learning objectives at the beginning of a lesson.||Can be used in lesson plans for pe.|
|Connectivism||A learning theory that illustrates how learning has changed with the introduction of technology. It explains how and why learning occurs.||Can be used in our pe planning.|
|Bloom’s taxonomy||Used to identify and think about constructing and transforming knowledge of student learning.||Can be used in Part b to describe the learning objectives.|
|Postman’s 5 things||To teach 5 important things we should know about technological change.||Can be used to justify and explain our experiences on prac.|
|Toolbelt theory/TEST framework||The TEST framework assists you to think about which tool will help achieve the specific Task you have to achieve, within your context.||Use the TEST analysis when selecting ICTs to use in our teaching on Professional Experience. Use Toolbelt to assist us in selecting appropriate ICTs for lessons during pe. Use in reflection in part D.|
|PKM||Personal knowledge management-PKM is a cycle that will help us to explore and make sense of ICTs and Pedagogy in a way that is specific to us and our needs.||Useful in completing assignment 3 and during pe.|
A little more on the insightful learning throughout week 10. One thing in particular that I found quiet frightening was to learn that your location is attached to photos unless you specifically remove the Exif location. My ignorance to the dangers of the digital world have become very apparent since undertaking this ICT course. I have learnt how other students protect their personal information such as by using a nick name instead of their real name and not tagging yourself in photos on social media. I am relatively new to the world of social media and have fairly recently joined facebook. After engaging in the cyber smart pd I now see how important it is to be a competent cybersafety guide, mentor and role model to ensure our children and students stay safe.
As a pre service educator I can now say I am more aware of the consequences of not protecting ones personal information, as well as carefully scrutinizing the words and images we share with others online. Learning path 10 has provided some insightful information and advice in relation to how to take control of your digital identity. As suggested in a blog post on Teachers Hub, you must take control of your digital identity or someone else will! This prompted me to do a google search to see what came up on my digital identity and I’m happy to say I feel fairly comfortable that any of my personal information is limited and anything available for public viewing is of an acceptable nature. I intend to keep it this way, especially as I am entering the teaching profession. Jenny’s comment about not being able to take back the written word is so true!
connect ed certificate Here is my certificate of completion of a fantastically informative online professional development experience. I highly recommend it to anyone entering the teaching profession. I gained valuable knowledge from all four of the modules in relation to protecting personal information. It took me over 3 hours to complete unlike a fellow student who completed it in a hour. I took my time and read through some of the provided lesson plans for early years students. I would certainly incorporate the animated 3D video Hector’s World to illustrate the importance of responsible online behaviour. I like the way the lesson provides flexibility in how it can be delivered in small groups, individual or whole class mode.
Well I have made it to week 9 and having pretty much completed assignment 2, unit plan I thought I would take a break from the never ending learning paths to write a blog post. After ticking several of the boxes in the week 9 learning path and printing many important documents in readiness for practical placement, I can say I am more nervous than ever about this prac. I’m not sure if it is just me or the amount of planning and preparation required and described in the learning path that has triggered a case of the nerves. I hope I am able to get through this and design some awesome lessons and be super prepared when the time comes to step into my teacher shoes. I now know I am not alone in feeling fearful about this up coming prac, as fellow student Deneal also confessed in her blog post.