Blog

Reflection

“Educators face a constant challenge of refining teaching and learning techniques to keep up with increasing demands and expectations of students…” (Howell, 2012).

Technology is always changing and being improved upon. I believe that it is the responsibility of educators to have a general understanding of the educational technology and software that is available so that they are able to apply them appropriately to classroom practices.

Creating a blog in the beginning seemed to be a reasonable straight-forward process. However, as I dove in and began learning about what was required of me, I became very daunted! I then began working through the assessment step-by-step and it all started to come together.

Through the course of the assessment, I used three programs to create my blog posts. These programs being WordPress, Sway and Nearpod. Before using these programs for assessment 2, I had not even heard of them, let alone attempted to use them.

Using these programs, I had to develop my skills in sourcing and uploading photos into a document and do some simple editing, make recordings and insert them into a presentation, customising a blog and also my academic writing.

As I was creating my “Sway” document especially, I began to envision how I would use this program in a lesson. I began to see that although this was possibly a program that was to involved for upper primary students to use individually, it would make a fantastic tool for small group learning projects with careful scaffolding used too move the students towards digital fluency.

“For teachers, there is unlimited potential to easily and quickly create striking content that can make learning fun.” (Thorp, 2015).

The above quote really sums up how I feel about “Sway” as a program. Without this assessment, I would not have had the opportunity to become acquainted with some fantastic new software and to build upon my learning and understanding on a very in depth topic.

 

References 

Thorp, Danny., (2015). Microsoft Sway review. Retrieved from http://www.techradar.com/reviews/pc-mac/software/business-and-finance-software/microsoft-sway-1301887/review/3

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

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Participation and the Digital Divide.

A Nearpod presentation on “Participation and the Digital Divide”.

The following is the script for the above Nearpod presentation.

 

Today, I will be illustrating what ‘Participation and the Digital Divide’ is and what it means here in Australia, and specifically, how it effects the education of young learners.

When you think about the digital divide, what does it mean to you? To me, the digital divide refers to the ever increasing gap between the percentage of the population that has ready access to technological devices and online services and the percentage of the population that does not.

According to Howell (2012), currently 1 in 5 Australians are not accessing the internet. ABC news reporter Prue Bentley (2014), believes that this is partly because of the lack of affordable broadband.

How are these people affected by their non-participation in the digital world? What if these people are children? What do we, as educators, need to understand about the possible effects that the digital divide could have on young learner?

 

Educators need to be aware in this day and age, that there is a digital divide in Australia and that it may, in fact, have a substantial effect on their students.

If students do not have ready access to technology in their home life, this could have a domino effect and implicate their:

  • digital fluency
  • confidence in using technology
  • ability to keep up with classroom activities
  • ability to complete set homework or assignments

Education systems have already begun to attempt to decrease the digital divide between students by providing more technological resources at schools. For example:

  • laptops
  • chrome books
  • iPads
  • SmartBoards

Along with the provision of more technologies, educators are ‘up-skilling’ so as to provide the appropriate guidance in using these devices.

Education systems are definitely making a positive difference when it comes to student accessibility to digital technologies, but it is still extremely important that educators are aware of the possibility that not all of their students have equal opportunities, access, and skills in this area.

Teachers may be able to further assist their students in attempting homework by setting activities that need little to no access to the internet for completion. Also, if possible, they could establish an after school homework club with access to technology and the internet.

 

Clare McLaughlan (2016), author of ‘The Homework Gap: The Cruelest Part of the Digital Divide’, quotes Keith Krueger, CEO of the Consortium for School Networking in America, as saying, “School systems cannot alone solve this problem”. He believes that schools, teachers, students, parents and the wider community need to communicate and collectively find solutions to this growing situation.

The more informed we are as educators about the possible obstacles facing our students today, the more of a positive difference we can make in their lives.

 

References 

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

Bently, Prue., (2014). Lack of affordable broadband creating ‘digital divide’. Retrieved from http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-07-02/bridging-the-digital-divide/5566644

McLaughlan, Clare., (2016). The Homework Gap: The ‘Cruelest Part of the Digital Divide’. Retrieved from http://www.neatoday.org/2016/04/02/the-homework-gap/

Howell, J., (2014). Living and Learning in the Digital World Mod01 topic 04. Retrieved from https://do.ilecture.curtin.edu.au/templates/1f80f82f-91ba-408a-9a23-c74d701fe3f1/

 

 

What is the Digital World?

What is the Digital World? Placeholder Image

A digital world isn’t something that you can see, touch or hear. It is the world that we are immersed in when we are using everyday technology to live our lives. Technology such as computers, laptops, iPhones, iPads and iPods. All of these technologies, (and many more) are what make up a digital world.

It has become a world that is impossible to escape. Even if you are not physically using a technological device, you are still constantly surrounded by the digital world. As Howell (2012, p. 6) quotes, “Today’s students use technology (IM, Facebook, Flickr, Skype) to be constantly connected to friends, family, information and entertainment. Technology allows them to connect with more people, in more ways, more often…” (BECTA 2008, p. 12).

I believe that the above quote sums up perfectly what the digital world encompasses for young learners, and what we, as teachers, need to learn to use during lessons so as to capture the students attention and imagination and to provide a well-rounded learning experience for the ‘Net Generation’ that we are educating.

Howell (2014), asks, “Why should we bother to change and adapt to the digital age we live in and how does this effect us as teachers and learners?”

The answer to this question, I believe is:

“It has become clear to educators, that ‘we either skill-up and embrace digital technologies or we get left behind by our students.'” (Howell, 2012, p. 5).

In order to be an effective educator in today’s digital age, I believe that we need to understand what a digital world is, what digital technologies students are using and possibly how the digital technologies can be incorporated into an educational setting so that a students skills from their personal digital life can be transferred into their educational digital life.

“We need technology in every classroom and in every student and teacher’s hand, because it is the pen and paper of our time, and it is the lens through which we experience much of our world.” – David Warlick (Rao, 2012)

 

References 

Rao, Aditi., (2012). 10 Educational Technology Quotes. Retrieved from https://teachbytes.com/2012/03/01/10-educational-technology-quotes/

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

Howell, J., (2014). Living and Learning in the Digital World Mod 01 Topic 01. [ilecture]. Retrieved from https://dl.ilecture.curtin.edu.au/templates/1f80f82f-91ba-408a-9a23-c74d701fe3f1/echo_files/android_tab_html5.htm?contentDir=https://dl.ilecture.curtin.edu.au/1415/1/8a668af5-c192-4635-ab9b-d302c122bd6b/&streamDir=rtmp://dl.ilecture.curtin.edu.au/echo/_definst_/1415/1/8a668af5-c192-4635-ab9b-d302c122bd6b/&sectionDir=https://dl.ilecture.curtin.edu.au/sections/a24cf487-adde-43ad-a7a7-bd36a4f1a489/