Sunday, August 16, 2009

Reflective Synopsis

Hi Bloggers,

Wow! I must admit this has been a very different journey. Before commencing this course, I thought of myself as digitally literate although of course with room for improvement. However, once the course had begun I was quite amazed at how wrong I was. Firstly, I didn't realise there were so many different technologies out there and there capabilities. Most of the learning tasks we had to complete about the particular technologies were mostly all new to me, I had only heard or used a few of them previously. Therefore when we were informed on our first assessment piece it was extremely daunting anf very overwhelming. Only within the last few days I am beginning to feel relief overcome me which has no turned into satisfaction that I am completing my final blog, on these technology tools. As I would hopefully like to sit down and write a blog every now and then, possibly in perhaps a way of a digital journal, obviously not personal but, still using and interacting with the tool at the same time.

Over the duration of the last few weeks, I found a number of the learning tasks to be quite challenging but also time consuming. However, I learnt that is all just a part of the process. Since then I have acquired PLENTY of new information about a range of online program and technologies in which I will hope to use and incorporate into my own classroom in the near future.

After completing all the work I have also discovered many different uses for the technology tools. Although, there were definitely a few of the ICT tools that stood out more than the rest, possibly for ease of use or I may perhaps found more interesting and engaging. The ideas behind some of the technological tools were also brilliant and very intriguing. I won't go into details about any of them as my thoughts on each tool are included within my blog. I will however list a few of my favourites which included: voki avatars, image manipulation, digital Storytelling, powerpoint button quizzes and file storage.

As well as this I have learnt about the pedagogical frameworks around ICTs and the different styles in which children learn and the proven ways in which children learn best. This helps with the type of method you use to teach the children but also in what environment they learn best.

With all the positives of this learning adventure, there are always some form of negative happenings. As I have already mentioned I found some of the activities to be quite challenging, I found this especially with the WIKIPedia learning task. This is where we had to find educational resources for early childhood. I'm not sure what it was but I didn't manage to find anything, possibly I was typing in the right thing in the search bar, I'm not entirely sure. However, I found activities to be more so time consuming than challenging. Constructing a powerpoint or creating a quiz took up time, more so the quiz in thinking of what questions to write and what content was going to be within the quiz. Therefore my main aim was to learn how to use the technology rather than exactly what content it provided within the quiz, as this was a challenge in itself learning how to use each tool. I must admit the instructions provided on the moodle course website have been a massive help and were very detailed. Without these this assessment piece would have been even more challenging and taken a lot longer to complete, that and also it would be very difficult to learn how to use them to begin with.

As an early childhood educator, I would definitely use the voki avatars within my future classroom. I believe this is an excellent tool especially a great way to introduce a new lesson to younger students. It could also be a great tool for a complete learning journey, with the incorporation with the character into the unit of work. This way the students are engaged, the lessons include a form of digital ICT in which the way the world is going. They would find the character interesting and would be able to relate to it, with the teacher completing the work behind the character as in what it says etc.

What are your final thoughts?


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