Monthly Archives: April 2014

Week 07: Digital blurring

Is there any longer a line between our schooling, working and social environments? Physically, the answer is probably yes. However, digitally, the answer is not so clear.

Personally, I know that skills I learnt during post-high school education are still useful to me today in both my work life and study. Skills I have learnt at work serve me well in my study and my ability to quickly learn new software for personal reasons.

As educators, can we use this principle to teach students? Jane McGonigal (2010) would emphatically say ‘yes’. However, careful consideration should be given to the learning outcomes that are desired. Teachers should not be using technology just for the sake of engaging the students, although this is a valid consideration when lesson planning.

Yes, digital technologies used in gaming can transfer to more structured educational settings. But many of these gaming worlds are not suitable for student use. However, this is not to say that blurring the digital lines between gaming and education is not possible. Software programs such as MineCraftEdu (http://minecraftedu.com/page/), developed with teacher input, could be used in geography for mapping purposes in place of paper and pencils.

educational-video-games

So, while the lines may be there today, they are definitely blurring. Will they eventually disappear altogether?

Weekly Task:  Create a Sploder game.

References

AsapSCIENCE (2013, May 17).  The new periodic table song (in order) .  Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zUDDiWtFtEM

McGonigal, J. (2010, February). Jane McGonigal: Gaming can make a better world [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/jane_mcgonigal_gaming_can_make_a_better_world

Trend Hunter Inc. (n.d.).  Educational-video-games [image].  Retrieved from http://www.trendhunter.com/trends/educational-video-games

Week 06: Digital fluency

Digital fluency may be more natural for digital natives, but teachers will need to ensure their digital fluency is of a reasonably high level. In order to increase the digital fluency of students, a teacher’s own skills come under examination. This is not to say that the skills of students cannot be utilised in the classroom. On the contrary, collaboration and peer instruction will improve the skills of all involved.

digital-fluency-130214100710-phpapp01-thumbnail-4But how does digital fluency develop? Through constructed learning or through trial and error? Initially, exposing students to a variety of technology will provide them with digital literacy skills. Howell (2012) recommends exposure to various programs and applications including word processing, animations, podcasts, blogging and web design. By building skills that can be used in a variety of programs and applications, the digital fluency of students increases.

In some instances, students with previous exposure to certain programs may have a higher fluency level than the teacher. In this instance it is probably in the interests of both teacher and students to use that fluency to provide instruction to others, including the teacher. By doing this, a collaborative environment is established with the aim of increasing the digital fluency of all concerned.

Weekly Task:  Create a Scratch animation.

References

Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT. Sydney, NSW: Oxford University Press.

Rosenthal Tolisano, S. (2013, February 14).  digital-fluency-130214100710-phpapp01-thumbnail-4 [image].  Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/langwitches/digital-fluency

Week 05: Ditigal information

digital-marketing-2014Digital information comes in many formats including text, graphics, audio and video. Possibly the only consistency is that they are accessible via digital technology. How best do you determine what information is valuable? How do you determine what will be useful and appropriate for classroom use?

Online search tools supply a multitude of digital resources. Every resource should be evaluated for appropriateness and quality. For example, the Scootle website (www.scootle.edu.au) has links directly to the Australian Curriculum, but each activity or lesson plan must still be assessed for relevancy in your own classroom for your own students.

AssessmentCircleSo how do we assess the quality of digital resources? One way would be to create an assessment rubric based on criteria such as the author/producer, the type of resource, the appropriateness for the intended audience and recommendations by other users. Education Services Australia (2012), recognising the need to assess the intrinsic value of digital resources in an educational setting, has produced value standards establishing benchmarks for the purpose of assessing the intrinsic value of digital resources.

However, digital information is all about context. In the end, it may come down to what appeals to each of us individually – the beauty of having such a diverse range of digital resources available.

Weekly Task:  Create a Pinterest board to display various types of digital information.  I created one on the Periodic Table as this is a subject currently of interest to my children.

References

Digital Information World (2014, January 4).  Digital-marketing-2014 [image].  Retrieved from http://www.digitalinformationworld.com/2014/01/2014-state-digital-marketing-infographic.html

Education Services Australia (2012). Educational value standards for digital resources. Retrieved from http://www.ndlrn.edu.au/standards_for_digital_resources/tech,_access,_ed_reqs/technical,_accessibility_and_educational_req.html on 11 April 2014.