Friday, 12 February 2016

Collaborative Learning

What are the key issues raised in this article about collaborative learning for teacher and for students? How do you think these difficulties might be overcome?

This article looks closely at the difference between collaborative learning v cooperative learning, which was an interesting read. However, one of the issues raised in this article refer tho the challenges for students in working in group situations and how the teacher can overcome these issues. It talks about the importance of group roles and responsibilities for the students when participating in group work. It outlines effective group processes including how they ask questions, listens to other and interact with each other. It also discusses how they interact through online communication tools as part of their group and how they need to reflect on their group work cooperation at the end of the project. I believe when working in group work situations that it is important that procedures and guidelines are put in place before they begin. They also need regular opportunities to receive feedback and support from the teacher and class on their work and how they are collaborating. Students need to taught how to effectively work in groups.

Matt Kerr

Sunday, 31 January 2016

Web Based Resources in my Classroom

I am currently incorporating Google Classroom and Google Drive, Docs, Slides and Sheets into my classroom teaching practices. Google Classroom is an excellent resource to base all your technology activities and lessons with the students. Throughout my research for assignment 2 I have found and will look at using "Tramline Virtual Field Trips' and the resources from Project Based Learning Website: 

There are so many web based learning website that develop the skills you want out of the students. This website provides engaging and interesting project based activities that involve collaboration with the students in their own school and with students around the world. 

I regularly use webquests and student directed activities where the teacher becomes the facilitator. I use ABC's Behind the News program in a variety of ways with my class. 

I have also used Mathletcs and Studyladder on a number of occasions for mathematics at school and at home.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Cyber Safety and Digital Citizenship

Cyber Safety and Digital Citizenship

With technology usage in schools continually increasing it is important to be proactive and educate the students about appropriate Internet use. At my school each year we have the Stage 3 students involved in a Police chat about cyber safety and the consequences of making the wrong choice. As we begin BYOD in 2016 for Stage 3 we will be holding further sessions educating the students on appropriate Internet and technology use. They will also sign a BYOD Technology Agreement outlining the expectations for Internet use and using their own device at school. The more the students are educated about cyber safety and digital citizenship the reduced risk of the students making inappropriate choices.

In recent years at my school there hasn't been a great deal of cyber bullying either at school or at home. This is partly due to the fact that students are encouraged to report any cyber bullying issues to the school. When an issue has been reported the school has been very strong to act and deal with the issues immediately and have got the Police involved as well. As a school we also provide the parent with as much information as possible about bullying and cyber bullying from the NSW Department of Education. Our school also has its own Anti-Bullying and Discipline Policy which every parent in the school is provided with a copy of and is referred to by the Principal, Deputy Principal and Assistant Principals when dealing with any bullying for cyber bullying issues. This information and education provided to the parents about cyber bullying and Internet safety all play an important role in reducing and preventing issues from occurring.


Here is a website that I use and many teachers in my school use and share resources with each other and with the students. Great for use at school and for homework.

Monday, 11 January 2016

Hardware at my School

Hardware at my School

Over the last 12 to 24 months my school has purchased enough iPads for each stage in the school. Each class on the stage would get to use the iPads are part of the rotation between classes. When the iPads were available to use there would be enough for most students to use 1:1, however it some larger classes on Stage 3 students sometimes had to share 1:2. The purchase of the iPads across the school was done to ensure there was enough iPads to use with your whole class for learning activities. It was also in preparation for the introduction of BYOD in 2016. Therefore, once BYOD was introduced there would be enough iPads available to support students who chose not to bring their own device to school. The Principal and the Stage 3 Assistant Principal (ICT Coordinator) and the Technology Team were leading the introduction of the iPads across the school. I was in charge of leading the introduction of BYOD in 2016 with the support of the Principal and Technology Team. The P & C and the parents have been continually consulted along the way and had an input into where the school is going with technology. The P & C paid for large amount of the iPads purchased. They have also been consulted about the introduction of BYOD through the P & C, parent surveys and parent forums and information evenings. Through student surveys the students have indicated their engagement and interest in using iPads in the classroom. The students have also been producing high quality work that has been showcased to the community. Overall, the benefits of students using iPads to produce quality pedagogy in our school have been very evident. It’s now trying to create more opportunities for students to use iPads and technology to support their learning.

Matt Kerr

Sunday, 20 December 2015

Digital Natives or Immigrants

After reading Prensky's report on digital natives and digital immigrants I would have to consider myself a digital immigrant. I grew up at school where computers and Internet were not part of school life. Times have changed and I am constantly trying to stay as up to date as possible with new technologies. I do this by constantly looking for new ways to effectively incorporate technology into my lessons. I have recently been teacher Stage 3 classes and they have helped bring me along. The students will lead the learning if you give them opportunities to challenge and explore new ways to present in digital formats. I agree with Prensky's comment that digital immigrants are teaching digital natives and the digital immigrants are struggling to keep up. Many teachers are struggling to keep up with the changes and technology and the way students want to learn. I am struggling at my school trying to bring the teachers along to embrace using new technology. I was an interesting read.

Friday, 18 December 2015

Why do we have digital technology in the classroom?

Why do we have digital technology in the classroom?

Digital Literacy is about the ability to use technology to navigate and evaluate, critically analyse information and find and create information. It is about being able to digitally communicate and participate effectively in a digital world. Most careers in the 21st Century require people to effectively communicate through a range of devices and forms of communication.

The Waldorf School that has taken all technology use out of their school are at risk of developing students not ready for the 21st Century Society. Students need to learn to effectively use the devices At my current school this year I have been leading the introduction of BYOD into the school for 2016. As a school we have been looking the 21st Century Learner Framework and how to prepare students with the necessary skills in technology for the future. Developing the life and career skills to be flexible and adaptable, taking the initiative and skills in leadership and responsibility. Including technology in the classroom provides opportunities for students to lead their learning and collaborate, critically analyse, create and evaluate information in ways they wouldn't be able to do without technology. It also engages the students and enables them to produce quality work in a variety of formats.