Catching my breath this weekend

I can totally relate to Tracey’s blog post about the first two weeks of prac! Check it out here.  I don’t think I have ever been so tired as I have been these last two weeks! I have a long weekend to catch up on sleep because it is a bank holiday here Monday :). However, I’m feeling much more confident after two weeks like Kelsie and I know that I am going to miss it when it comes to an end.

It has been such a long time since my last prac that I really did lack a lot of confidence when I first started and was very worried and anxious.  I think that the possibility to learn on the job is the only way forward and I am happy to have the opportunity to do so.

ICT Guru

So I gained the title of ICT Guru on Prac, which couldn’t be further from the truth but it was quite funny.  I did have the opportunity to meet the real ICT Guru at the school however.  This was invaluable and we were able to talk through the possibilities of using ICTs at the school to engage the children’s learning.

He introduced me to an apple app called “show me”(I’m not sure if it is available on android but I imagine it would be).  It is an app that turns your iPhone or iPad into an interactive whiteboard. Go here to find our more.   I used it as an assessment tool when I did a unit on money.  I was able to download coin images from the internet which the children could sort into size and value and they were also able to record or write their understandings with this app. It was means of assessing that they could recognise and describe the features of the coins and know that the value of the coin is not related to its size.

Fun and Games

So having taken the advice that we should check our resources before the lesson because there could be issues with the school firewall blocking access to certain sites on the internet, I began to set everything up and logged onto the computer connected to the IWB. The plan was to minimise the pages that I needed making it easy to access during the lesson. However, like Kay who was having technical issues, it became apparent to me that the computer was not allowing flash player and obviously needed updating. Unfortunately, an update still didn’t work and I was still unable to access the resources I had planned to show the children via the IWB.  Fortunately, the little notepads that the children were going to use did work and I was able to connect one of the notepads to the IWB.  Stress levels went up but it got sorted in the end and thank goodness I was prepared before the lesson or it could have been a disaster.

First day of Prac completed!

Durmiente (Explore!) by Juanedc, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License   by  Juanedc 

Well day one of Prac completed and I survived even if a little tired.  I had forgotten how tiring it is to be with 21 energetic children.  MInd you we had a lot of to-ing and throwing around the building for assembly, music, dance and indoor wet play.

My mentor and the staff have been very welcoming and happy to help me in my quest to implement ICTs within my planning.  However, having used the notepads that they have in their class with a couple of the children today, I came away feeling a little frustrated.  The children have to log onto the notepads and it takes such a long time to connect.  Such a waste of teaching time and frustration for the child….and me.  I am also a mac user and I have to familiarise myself with windows.

Need to get my thinking cap on this weekend and have my plan B in place!



I have completed the Connect.ed modules and received my certificate for doing so here…Connect.ed certificate.

I was particularly impressed with the tools that were shared along the way from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

Like Sharon I am specialising in Early Childhood and I can relate to her when she says that there was not much for Early Childhood through the modules in her blog but I don’t feel that the very young are as vulnerable because they are under the closer guidance from parents and teachers about the technologies they use.   However, I was drawn to the video “tagged” for teenagers (16 +) to see the kind of things that they get up to. Mainly because I have one at home.

As I was going through the modules it was clear that I have not grown up with technologies with my dinosaur answers in the simulation about social networking!  From one of the videos an ICT teacher hit the nail on the head when he said that technologies are not bad, they are here to stay but what is important is that we teach children to use them respectfully by promoting positive and safe online behaviour.


Digital Footprint

In learning path 10 “where does your digital footprint come from” I watched this, 

which reminded me of my greatest fear about social media.  Phones that can take pictures and videos allowing anyone to capture images of people when they are not even aware of it and post it to the internet.  One such video came up on my facebook page of a girl picking her nose on the underground.  What disturbs me the most is not what she was doing (although strange that you should do that in public) but that someone took a video of her and then advertised it on the internet to be shared amongst millions.  Why would you do that?  More recently, a friend of mine took a photo when she was in the bus of two ladies sitting in front of her (back of their heads). These ladies had very distinctive haircuts and a colourful fashion sense.  She uploaded that photo to her facebook page with a sarcastic comment.  Again, why would you do that?  When I see someone aiming a phone in my direction, although they might just be watching a movie, reading a text or checking their Facebook page, I will physically turn around so my face can not be seen. I find this a real invasion of privacy that people feel they can take your photo and splash it all over the internet without your consent.  It makes me wonder should we speak out or stay silent?

As for the “Rate My Teacher” sites, i’m glad i’m going to teach Early Childhood 😉


Having a Plan B

Some of my plan B’s include:

  • Using my hotspot on my phone if the school should lose the internet.  I have an iPhone and this is how to connect to your hotspot.
  • Download any youtube video to my laptop.  See how to here.
  • Ensure that iPads/laptops that I will be using are fully charged.
  • Connect with the technology teacher at my school where I will be for Prac.
  • Ensure that the resources that are needed are available and booked out for my use.
  • Check that any apps that I want to use are installed and working.
  • Check the compatibility between my mac and the school’s computer system.
  • Always check with my mentor that the ICTs I have chosen comply with school policies.

Scaffolding for Assignment 3

More scaffolding being built by Augapfel, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License   by  Augapfel 

Wow, there is so much content in this course.  Feeling grateful that I am only doing two courses this semester.  I have to say while it is scaffolded very well, for me there is too much reading.

In this weeks learning path I read about the breakdown of the assignment, which was very helpful.  However, something that struck me, as it did with assignment 1, was the allocation of marks to the work involved.  As I was reading through the breakdown about the lesson planning, I couldn’t believe that they are only worth 1 mark for each lesson plan, our reflection and mentor feedback.  In the advice of where people lost marks one of the dot points said,

They submit fewer than 5 lesson plans.

With an allocation of 1 mark each where is the incentive to include any?  I will of course include all five of my lessons, my reflections and mentor feedback because I want those 5 marks!  Someone else who recognises the amount of work for these assignments is Brittany and Carolyn’s blog reflects on the course in general.


Biggest Challenges on Professional Experience

Having completed learning path week 9, I was relieved to see that the challenges that I face are similar to those that others are facing. Kate’s blog here has some awesome advice while on Prac.

My planning has been ongoing since the start of the course. I have been saving a list of interesting websites that I might revisit on Prac.  This week I began to downloaded and print copies of the feedback forms that my mentor will hopefully fill out for me.  There seem to be an awful lot but I wont feel guilty. A friend of mine who is a teacher once told me that she likes being a mentor because the pre-service teacher does most of the planning and teaching but the mentor teacher is the one who gets paid!  So hand those feedback forms in early fellow students!!