Category Archives: Library

Unit 7

I found unit 7 quiet interesting to read but very difficult to post about for some reason. Perhaps my views aren’t fully formed on the subject yet – but im just going to try to write on some of the reflection questions from the task.

1 – I think educators have a huge responsibility in addressing the issues that arise with new technology. As the younger generations tend to be the first to embrace new technologies this means schools/educators are on the front line. I especially found the Teach.Facebook.now blog post to be very enlightening and i wholeheartedly agree with the premise. I think it would be better to teach children how to safely interact with Facebook and the Web rather than simply blocking it from school networks and burying our heads in the sand.

St Pauls has been trying to address this problem – yes facebook is still blocked on our School servers but we also teach kids about the permanence of posting something on the web (or via text for the matter) and the dangers of online grooming for example. There have been one or two Facebook related incidents in the school already this year that has really brought this issue to the forefront of our minds.

Just a note on that – I personally have found some of the videos offered on ThinkUKnow to be really great to play to some of the older kids. They have very powerful messages/images.

In relation to Schools being able to keep up with the changing nature of student technology usage, im not so sure. Schools may sometimes be lumbering behind the students. Bibliographies often seem to feature more ‘Google’ these days than anything else. I would like to see a winder range of resourses being encouraged again, I know teaching Students how to research online is very important – but not at the cost of forgetting to teach them how to look up a topic using Dewey.

Online research has also lead to plagiarism problems too. Some schools use programs such as TurnItIn to scan for web plagiarism, and perhaps we need to be looking at making this compulsory in schools or something similar.

Unit 6

And the catchup Continues!

I also had to spend a little time redesigning my blog this morning, the previous theme was just giving me too much grief and was mucking around with cookies, so here’s hoping this new theme works out better. I’ve also included on the home bar long the top of the theme an RSS feed button and also a link to the facebook and twitter PLN account. you’ll hopefully recognise their symbols along the top there.

Moving onto Unit six’s activities i had a look at Animoto, Timeglider, Slideshare and Glogster.

I loved the look of Animoto, and the demo video on the sites front page was beautiful. However this wasnt especially new to me as I’ve been creating similar videos on apple products using apps for quite some time. (i particularly like Splice and Vintage Cam in case you were wondering). However it is a good free online tool that i can see being used in the classroom to create some beautiful projects.  

I can also see Timeglider being a useful classroom tool, and particularly relevant at the moment as we have been looking at timelines with the year fours. I did find it a little fiddly to use though, so it may be easier to have the teacher complete the timeline on the electronic whiteboard with the class rather than having each student make their own timeline.

On the lower end of the scale Slideshare looked and felt just like Prezi to me, which we are already using on the laptops and ipads, and i think i may have missed the point of Glogster…or perhaps i just havent seen a way to integrate it into our classrooms yet. I shall have to give it some more thought.

I have shared the Timeglider links via Diigo with Susan out teacher librarian – so it was also exciting to see how our new sharing group working out. Hopefully Timeglider and Animoto will be making its way into our classrooms!

                                   

Unit 5

So Unit 5’s task includes writing our opinions on an article released in 2010 by the OECD titled ‘The Top Five Actions to take in Education Today.

Well firstly lets list the points;

  • Teach to think, not to regurgitate.
  • Commit to education as a public good and a public responsibility.
  • Focus more on creating a long-term love of learning and the ability to think critically than teaching to standardised tests.
  • Ensure all children have the opportunity to discover their natural abilities and develop them.
  • Ensure that children from disadvantaged background and migrant families have the same opportunity to quality education as others.

Now, im not exactly a teacher, just a library technician so im not sure how valid/valued my ideas on these would be. I do agree with all the points – especially point 3. I think a long term love of learning is a far better outcome then just having the ability to answer test questions well. And i think just simply ‘testing’ children rather than fostering abilities places far too much pressure on them.

As for my opinion on the place if technology in the schoolroom – i think it is a welcome addition! Please note i said addition and not ‘replacement’; sometimes i fear people get these two words confused.

I think technology is very beneficial to the classroom- it can make learning fun and can help children who may not learn in a traditional way. However i don’t think technology can replace teachers or books. It should simply be aid them.

For example – we are currently doing Poe’s work with year sixes. The teacher is reading The Raven aloud to the class (reading quite poetically, setting the mood, pausing in the correct places, adding rhythm to the story) while they follow along reading it in Ibooks on the Ipad. If they come to a word they dont understand they can simply select the word and use the dictionary function.

Together the teacher and the Ipad can help the student better understand the poem better than they would individually.

                                       

Units 3 and 4

Continuing to Power through on my catch up today!
I am unable to do much of week 3’s activities whilst at work as Twitter and Facebook are blocked on our network. This doesnt stress me too much though as i already have a facebook and Skype account and use both regularly.
Facebook use is….*shamefully* daily , and i find Skype a glorious way to stay in touch when overseas. (Though i did struggle using it in the middle east…its blocked there in case you ever needed to know)
I have never really seen the point of twitter but i will sign up at home tonight. Perhaps ive been missing out this whole time!
Skipping ahead to unit 4 then; I installed Diigo (i keep pronouncing Diego in my head) and have had a quick flick through the groups we were advised to follow. I particularly like SLAV. Im not quite sure how i will use Diigo yet, but Susan (the teacher librarian from St Pauls) has created a group for the two of us – so we will see how sharing information this way works out for us. Diigo does seem a little counterintuitive to use though. But perhaps all i need is practice,
I’ve been a long time user of ‘Addthis’ so that was nice and familiar, i also had a browse through Instapaper but have (again) been a long time fan of this, though i do prefer the ipad app ‘Zite’ because i find reading easier on the Ipad.