Reflection on Peer Review

I found the peer marking session in class really interesting. I was actually really impressed with the feedback I received because I felt that both of my peers put a lot of thought into the way my blog could be improved. I agreed with all of the feedback I received and was really grateful for the constructive criticism because both peers were able to pick up on things that I would have just skimmed over. I find that when you’ve been working on an assignment for a long time it is hard to take a step back and see the faults, which is why I believe activities like this are so important. I decided to spend some more time on refining my teaching episode and I also added some links to the curriculum which was one of the suggestions within my feedback. I will also spend some time checking my references and reading over the written material within my blogs to ensure that there are no or very minimal grammatical errors. I now feel a lot more confident about refining my blogs and having them ready to submit for next week.

Peer_Criteria_Blog Kesta to Jess(1)

Peer_Criteria_Blog Ruth to jess(1)

Lifelong Learning in a Digital World

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Lifelong learning is a term used frequently in educational contexts and there are many different attributes people associate with it. Investigative, analytical, self-motivation, and communication skills are essential for students to acquire in order to become lifelong learners (etools4Education, n.d.). Lifelong learning is currently particularly valuable to students due to the abundance of information available on the internet that requires whoever uses it to be able to analyse and evaluate (characteristics of lifelong learning) it’s quality and credibility (etools4Education, n.d.).

Lang (2014) raises an interesting point by suggesting we are using the term lifelong learning too often without actually understanding what it means and questions whether or not we really do need to prepare our students for this popular concept. Even though I think lifelong learning is a valuable concept, I am also aware that educational buzzwords do not always represent an idea that is beneficial to learning.

The following TED Talk is on ‘Lifelong learning as an adult.’ There seems to be a focus on helping our students to become lifelong learners, but I think it’s just important that we do the same and embrace learning in all aspects of our lives as this attitude will inevitably project onto our students.

References
etools4Education. (n.d.). Lifelong Learner. Retrieved from http://www.online-distance-learning-education.com/lifelong-learner.html#.U3bwLHbm5ed
Lang, J.M. (2014). Enough with the ‘Lifelong Learning’ Already. Retrieved from http://chronicle.com/article/Enough-With-the-Lifelong/144137/

TEDx Talks. (2013, January 20). Lifelong Learning: Anna Maria Romero-Leher: at TEDxHampstead [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVQrwP765Tg

Digital Blurring

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We use technology in many different aspects of our lives and because of this it is inevitable that some of our technological skills will transfer from one category to another. For example, console and online gaming has in the past been considered a leisurely activity, but now people are paying close attention to the educational benefits and embracing gaming in the classroom (Howell, 2012).

SPLODER

(Screen shot taken from http://www.sploder.com/free-arcade-game-maker.php)

‘Sploder’ is a game creating website that if monitored and well-planned, can be used effectively in the classroom. Children can make games together in groups to develop their creative collaboration skills, however it is important that as the educator you set clear objectives for an activity like this so that students do not go off task (Teach Web 2.0, n.d.).

The following YouTube video is of Educational Scholar James Paul Gee who provides a well-informed discussion on the value of games in education.

References

Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT: Digital Pedagogies for Collaboration and Creativity. Melbourne, Australia: Oxford University Press.

Teach Web 2.0 (n.d.). Sploder. retrieved from http://teachweb2.wikispaces.com/Sploder

Digital Fluency

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According to Howell (2012) using a variation of technology in the classroom develops a plethora of skills in students and provides them with a horizon of experiences. As educators working in the digital age, we need to make sure that we are providing our students with the necessary tools to guide them in becoming digitally fluent not just in school but for the rest of their lives (Howell, 2012). Holland (2013) discusses how giving students opportunities to direct their own problem-solving, providing only a small amount of instruction during scaffolding tasks and encouraging children to lead one and other by sharing their knowledge are all techniques that can be used in the classroom to facilitate digitally fluent learners.

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The info-graphic above (created using http://www.easel.ly.com) is a visual representation of the groups of people in society that are increasingly developing an expectation that students will leave school with a wide range of technological skills (Howell, 2012). This sense of expectancy from the community and beyond further exemplifies the importance of getting students to interact with and become fluent in, the use of different technologies.

References

Holland, B. (2013). Building Technology Fluency: Preparing Students to be Digital Learners. Retrieved from http://mylearningspringboard.com/building-technology-fluency-preparing-students-digital-learners/
Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT: Digital Pedagogies for Collaboration and Creativity. Melbourne, Australia: Oxford University Press.

Digital Information

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From an educational perspective the topic of digital information is an important one. In the digital world today there is an enormous amount of information readily available online, but unfortunately the website providing the information is not always a credible and reliable source. We spent some time in class analysing different websites and articulating what features made them appear credible or lacking credibility. Some of the most common indicators of credibility were the layout, the language used, if there were any references or links to other sources, if the information lacked bias, and whether or not the website was attempting to sell or promote something. We used the website Group Map (http://www.groupmap.com/) to generate these ideas and I can see how this technology would translate really well into the classroom in that it allows even the more introverted students to share their ideas in a non-confrontational way. The following YouTube video gives some guidance on evaluating websites- a skill that, since the integration of technology into classrooms, has been essential for both teachers and students to acquire (Howell, 2012).

Below is a board I have created on Pinterest, which is a great site for collecting valuable and relevant information for both teachers and children.

 

 

References

Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT: Digital Pedagogies for Collaboration and Creativity. Melbourne, Australia: Oxford University Press.
occclibrary. (2012, January 9). Evaluating Websites [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6M-ViddtUE

Participation and the Digital Divide

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Sadly the digital world we live in seems to be exacerbating the divide between children from low and high SES families (Sharma, 2014). Schools are integrating technology into their classrooms at an exponential rate and those who cannot afford it or get access to it, are missing out. Low SES families aren’t the only ones that have been disempowered by the rise in technology as it has also been a geographical issue because many rural areas still do not have a strong internet connection or in some cases any at all (Logue & Edwards, 2013). Sharma (2014) discusses how over the past few years more and more Australians have gained internet access but because of this those who don’t have it are even further segregated than before .

The digital divide

(Image created using Wordle)

On a more positive note, there are organisations  that are trying to bridge the gap and give more people access to technology and the internet. The One Laptop per Child (OLPC) non for profit organisation has been delivering laptops to developing countries for many years and is now targeting schools in Australia. This organisation has shown to have a positive impact on bridging the digital divide and will hopefully continue to do so in the future (Logue & Edwards, 2013).

References

Sharma, M. (2014, February 26). Digital divide still an issue for low income workers. The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved from      http://www.smh.com.au/
Logue, D., & Edwards, M. (2013, November 21). Free laptops bridge digital divide. The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved from http://www.smh.com.au/national/education/free-laptops-bridge-digital-divide-20131114-2xiib.html

 

Digital Security

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Due to the way that society functions today most of us have some form of digital identity therefore, it is important for us to have an in depth understanding of the issues surrounding it. We explored the topics of cyber bullying, scams and Facebook in class and my group payed close attention to online identity theft. Below is a YouTube video that exemplifies how easy it is for someone to steal your identity over the internet and provides the simple steps you can take in order to remain secure online (NordicEdgeAB, 2011).

As an educator it is imperative not only that I have knowledge on these issues, but also that I am able to inform children about them in an appropriate way. I believe the best way to introduce children to these concepts would be to show examples, particularly of cyber bullying, because it’s an issue they can easily relate to and empathise with due to its prevalence in society today. A newspaper article written in 2013 revealed that 1 in every 4 Australian children is a victim of cyber bullying, making Australia the country with highest amount of cyber bullying on social networking sites per capita (“Australia ranked one,” 2013).

References

NordicEdgeAB. (2011, October 11). Online Identity Theft- Stolen Password- Social Engineering [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOxxTaBP3xs

Australia ranked one in cyberbullying. (2013, August 21). Mandurah Mail. Retrieved from http://www.mandurahmail.com.au/story/1727945/australia-ranked-one-in-cyberbullying/