Responding to peer feedback was an interesting exercise which was new to me and which I found very valuable. My peers and I were to form ourselves into groups of three and then conduct a review of each other’s blogs, using the blog rubric.
Jamie Zelazko and Michelle Hanson marked my blog and links to their feedback documents are below.
Jamie and Michelle were both very generous in their comments, but also constructive in their feedback. It is amazing what a fresh pair of eyes can see that the writer cannot. Both peers noted that I should include more information on how each week affected my own learning; how my learning had changed, from the start of this subject up until now. On reflection, I do agree with their comments and have made changes accordingly. My punctuation was something else that needed work. That is something that I was surprised to see, as I always thought I was quite proficient with punctuation, but on re-checking my blogs, I found that this was also good feedback, which has now hopefully been addressed. More could be done to better reflect my personality, to relate my posts to teaching strategies and include links to more theory. I have tried to revise my blogs to include more of these things. Thankyou Jamie and Michelle.
When I think about everything that I do with technology, I realize that I am a lifelong learner. I have an iphone, ipad, laptop and desktop computer at home, as well as a computer at work. I regularly use Google and other search engines to search for solutions and information and YouTube is an excellent tool to use, for instructional videos on how to do just about anything.
Students, without realising it, are becoming lifelong learners as well. They rely heavily on their phones for social networking, taking photos and videos and web surfing. They had to learn how to edit and send these photos and videos and how to use the social networking such as Facebook and Twitter. They did this by learning from friends, or searching on the internet for how-to videos or instructions. .
If teachers can instil the practice of lifelong learning, their students will become confident, creative and socially included global citizens (LLCQ, 2013).
This week in my exploration of what it means to be a global citizen, I selected an organisation called The Oceania Project. They are a not-for-profit, Research and Information organisation
dedicated to raising awareness about Whales, Dolphins, Porpoises and the Ocean Environment.
Click on the image below to view the Voki video I created that describes this organisation.
I found Voki much easier to use than Scratch or Sploder and believe that this would be a fun tool for students to use in class.
This week was about Digital Blurring. By this, we mean that the technology we use in our everyday lives, helps us learn skills that we can apply to other parts of our lives.
I do a lot of photo taking and video recording and I sometimes combine these photos and videos to make home movies. It never occurred to me, that the skills that I am learning by doing this, can then be transferred to my teaching. By learning video and photo editing skills, I will be able to create digital stories and videos to use in the classroom. These may relate to any subject that I choose.
Computer gaming, blogging and social networking are other examples of unintentional learning of skills. By using virtual worlds, students can learn about co-operation and creating a sense of community within the class (Howell, 2013). The image below links to a site called Primary World, which has lots of virtual world games for primary aged students.
One of our tasks this week was to create a Sploder game. This is an animated game using Flash technology. It took a bit of time but I managed to create a basic arcade game. I did follow the instructional video, but it still took me quite a while to work out how to save the game. I spent a lot of time looking online instead for instructions on how to save and publish it. Perhaps a save button at the top of the game may have made the game more user friendly. Click on the image below to have a try.
Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT: Digital pedagogies for collaboration and creativity. South Melbourne, VIC: Oxford University.
Digital fluency is described as the ability to use technology to achieve your desired outcome (Howell, 2014).
I always considered myself to be digitally fluent in my work as an IT Professional, but after completing a few of the tasks in this subject, I realise that I am only digitally fluent in certain areas. My area of work consists of troubleshooting computer hardware, software installations and network issues. I am very proficient in these areas as well as with basic Microsoft Office software and some coding. Beyond that I would be as bewildered by the applications we have had to use, as anyone else in this subject.
I am a hands on learner and would rather try to work things out before reading a manual, but other people may learn differently. This is something that teachers will need to take into account when teaching their students new applications.
We were required to make a Scratch animation for this weeks tasks and I found this to be very frustrating. Trying to get the sprites to change direction and move where I wanted was tricky. Adding sound and flow was also very time consuming. This is a good application and students would probably have fun with it, but I think that, as a teacher, I would need to allow quite some time to teaching the students how to work with it. Click on the image below to view my Scratch video.
Howell, J. (2014). Teaching with ICT: Digital pedagogies for collaboration and creativity. Melbourne, Australia: Oxford University Press.
Digital Information is the information that we can obtain from, or upload to, the internet, or our computers, such as web pages, documents, emails, images, videos and databases. This just a small selection of what is available out there, there is much, much more. You just have to know what you are looking for.
Even though you may be able to find information, for just about anything you want to know on the internet, some web sites may not be accurate in the information that they are displaying. When using digital information from the internet for academic purposes, care must be taken to only use reputable sources. These sources would be educational, government or other trusted sources (University of Adelaide, 2014).
The image below displays some interesting statistical information gathered by Google on internet usage by the general population.
When shopping on the internet, it is important to ensure that the company you are buying from has a secure payment page. The way to identify this is by looking for the padlock security, or https:// at the front of the web address. This ensures the security of our digital information, such as credit card details or personal information.
Having had my credit card skimmed a few times now, I am ever on the alert for this type of fraud. As a teacher, I will be ensuring that my students are acutely aware of the need to protect their digital information, and the suffering that can occur, when this information is compromised.
Protection of Australian digital information.
To ensure that we are able to access digital information that may otherwise be lost to Australians forever, the National Library of Australia established an ever growing web archive called PANDORA (PANDORA, 2013). This is a collection of Australian online publications and websites. This image below shows the rate of growth of the Pandora archive, and the Pandora factsheet will give you further information on the Pandora project.
The Digital Divide is a term that describes the difference between those who have access to technology and those who do not. The image below is an example of this and measures the differences for the world’s population in their ability to access the digital world. The difference between the haves and have nots.
There are many factors that cause the digital divide and the infographic that I created below summarizes some of them.
I used Piktochart to create this infographic and it was an interesting exercise. I first had to work out how to import a template and then learn how to modify it to my satisfaction. This took me quite a while. I would have preferred a better background to the one I have, but I wanted to use the free templates and the changes I wanted to make would have cost me money.
I have looked at some of the other student’s infographics on the group discussion board and am very impressed by the professionalism that some of them display. They all have similar information, and some are very creative.
Bridging the Digital Divide
In order to bridge the digital divide, there are a number of things that need to be done. There are some suggestions with pros and cons in the image below.
Bridging the digital divide will be something that we will come across, in the classroom, as teachers. There will be students we teach who do not have access to computers at home. These students will be disadvantaged in their ability to conduct online research. Teachers must ensure that these students are able to access the appropriate technology at school so that they are not disadvantaged.
It is essential that students learn Digital Citizenship and Cybersafety from an early age. Teaching such things as privacy, safe behaviours, password protection and strategies for dealing with cyberbullying, are necessary tools in this digital world (Howell, J. 2014).
It is equally important for students to learn about digital etiquette. It is not unusual to see dinner companions at a restaurant, fixated on their phones, rather than each other, or passengers travelling on public transport, being forced to listen to an inconsiderate person’s phone conversation. As Goldberger (1969) discussed in his article, there exists an ever increasing “disconnected urbanism”. This uncaring attitude does matter and I will be teaching my students that phone etiquette in public is just the same as practicing good manners.
Cyberbullying has become more prolific since the general population’s access to technology has grown. It doesn’t stop at the school gates and can continue day and night. Cyberbullying can include areas such as social exclusion, spreading rumours, posting of images and verbal abuse (Stay smart online, 2010).
As teachers, we need to teach strategies to deal with cyberbullying such as not responding, keeping the evidence and reporting it to an adult they trust (Stay smart online, 2010). The Cybersmart website offers online reporting and counselling, as does the Kids Helpline website, or the Kids Helpline number can be called at any time day or night on 1800 55 1800.
Internet scams have exploded in number in recent times and many innocent people have fallen victim to them.
One such scam is the Windows Help Desk scam (Keizer G. 2013). A cold caller claiming to be from Windows Help Desk, informs the victim that their computer is infected and directs them to view the Windows logs, which will show a large amount of errors. These errors are low level errors but the victim doesn’t know that.
The scammer is allowed access to the victim’s computer, where they can gain access to the victim’s sensitive data. The scammer will also ask for credit card details, to pay for their services, or for a fake subscription. Although this scam is quite well known now, there are many people who still fall prey to it. Microsoft has posted a warning on its website, of this and other scams . Malwarebytes has also published a list of the supposed errors that the scammers cite, along with explanations of what these errors really mean.
This is another reason why teachers should make every effort to ensure that their students are aware of such threats.
This video is a timely warning about the problems you may encounter if you do not secure your digital identity, and do not have backups of your data (Tekzilla, 2012).