Tēnā koe and welcome

This being my first blog post here, I think perhaps a tiny explanation is in order…

I am using this blog to up-skill my ICT.

Why?

Because my daughter has a school blog (and if I want to be a teacher with a modern skill set, knowing how to blog is up there with knowing how to write on the interactive whiteboard…) and because ICT has been crucial in my own learning to date and will be a feature of my/your/everyone’s future classroom.

This year I got to choose several elective content papers before I complete my teaching qualification. There were a number of content papers to choose from for my final year, some focussing on science, one on ESOL teaching, several on literacy topics, another on music…you get the idea. I mulled my options for some time. I spoke to my tight-knit group of study-buddies (whom I affectionately think of as ‘Team Awesome’). I wavered between what I really liked, what I thought would look good on a CV, what I thought I could improve…

Eventually, it became clear that I was really drawn to the technology paper (this is in terms of the New Zealand Curriculum technology strand) and the ICT paper (theory and practice of using ICT in the classroom).

After finalising my choices, I thought how unusual it was that after 3 years of learning online (I’ve completed three years of university study without ever having to go to My University) that I would choose a course devoted to ICT.

And it’s because, deep down inside, I not sure I think of my study as ICT-enhanced learning. Sure, I feel enabled – but not ‘enhanced’…

Case in point: at the end of last year, I had to edit my whole year’s worth of practical professional development into a PowerPoint, in order to get some peer feedback, not a grade – just feedback. On campus, they were giving 20 minute presentations in person, alongside a PowerPoint, the peer feedback from which would help them revise their final professional reports for submission. Off campus, we weren’t sure. Yes, we wanted peer feedback too, but we were going to get it based on whatever digital info we could get uploaded, without the presentation in person to help get our personal practical learning across.

There was a sense of challenge that as an off-campus student I could possibly present something close to what was expected from the on-campus students. I wouldn’t show just a PowerPoint if I was in class, so why settle for just showing one online? A couple of tutors had been experimenting with Adobe Presenter throughout the second semester, and that was the type of professional presentation I wanted to give. So I started researching how I could do it, for free.

It took extra time and effort to do it but it was a fantastic learning experience – I found the best way to imbed video and audio into my PowerPoint slides and then looked into how I could get it to my peers for review as it maxed out My University upload limit. Eventually I chose AuthorStream, which is a web-based slide share site (and had the biggest upload limit I could find. My presentation was several hundred MB’s in size).

Anyway, thanks to my presentation, I got some great peer feedback which helped me edit my report (which then got an excellent grade). Overall, that experience of deciding to ‘do ICT, but do it better’ was the highlight of my year. The experience totally affirms my decision to take a whole paper dedicated to learning how to teach with and about ICT in the era of e-learning communities.

Have you seen or used any ICT in a way which you thought really enhanced a teaching or learning experience?

10 responses to “Tēnā koe and welcome

  1. Thanks for sharing your ICT journey. I definitely seems like technology is becoming interwoven with pedagogy and curricula across the globe and finding and practicing ways it can enhance your teaching practice is a great goal for all educators!

  2. Thank you for your positive comment Margaret. You’re blog is so insightful and thought-provoking; it has made my day that you have visited akoaroha. Best wishes for the New Year to you.

  3. Welcome to the world of blogging! I look forward to following your journey this year.

    Like any tool ICT can enhance and diminish learning. It’s not so much about what computers can do which pencils and paper can’t but what you can do with computers. For me it’s been about connecting with people to help my learning journey rather than the whizz-bang stuff but I accept for everyone it will be different.

    Stephanie

  4. Thanks for your warm welcome Stephanie – your blog has definitely been a source of inspiration and helped me muster up the courage to begin this journey, so I really appreciate you visiting my first steps. Best wishes for your New Year and your new classroom adventures.

  5. Hi there

    Thanks for the Twitter follow. I commend you for taking that step from private to public and sharing your journey with others.

    I do fear though that new teachers with possibly 45 years of teaching in front of them have an option NOT to learn with ICT. It scares me.

    I only know of you and Stephanie who blog as teachers in waiting.

    I hope that there are many more- it’s just that I don’t know about them.

    Keep in touch

    Best wishes

    Allanah

  6. Hi,
    Great to have come across your blog so early in its journey. I’m also just starting out on the blogging journey so I would love to become ‘blog buddies’ if you are interested?
    One of the most powerful ICT programs I have come across so far is Xtranormal. It’s a program that makes it really easy for students to create animation movies and is a perfect way to teach studdents the strong relationship between body language, grammar, speech and writing. Students who usually struggle with English have created some AMAZING movies!
    Look forward to your journey over 2012.
    Anna

    • Look – I am learning! I have found the reply button.
      Thank you for your lovely comments Allanah and Anna – your encouragement in this early phase of my blog project means so much. I would love to be a ‘blog-buddy (if you can forgive me for being a ‘blog-newbie’) Anna. Hopefully over the next few weeks I will get into the swing of it and develop my writing style (I feel a bit awkward sending words into space – but I’m sure I’ll get over it).
      Thank you all again for helping make this blog a positive experience from the outset.

  7. Kia Ora
    Thanks for the follow on Twitter, and I am sure I will enjoy calling in to read some of your posts. (Not that I wouldn’t like to read them all, but just making sure I don’t promise something I don’t deliver!).
    I am sure I will learn heaps and enjoy your journey as you share it.
    Kathryn

    • Thank you Kathryn for your kind words. I am quite overwhelmed at demonstration of manaakitanga in response to my first post. I’ve decided to bin my frivolous second post already (blog writing practice) for something a bit more meaningful to show my appreciation.

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