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This year, I have taken up many new projects in school like Digital citizenship in middle school, iPads pilot in primary school and Robotics in senior school. I chose iPad project for course 5 final project as it is a long project which will give me chance to think- learn- apply- evaluate and modify our plans further.
I have used Google apps and iPad apps like Toontastic, Book creator, Camera, Popplets, Socrative, iMovie, Explain everything etc. In the process of identification and selection of apps, we tested many apps, and finally selected few apps after mapping with the curriculum of year 6. The main struggle was the syncing of apps in all iPads as it takes a lot of time.
The main challenge was to make teachers feel a part of process as the success of this programme entirely depends on teachers’ willingness to integrate technology. So we started with simple and easy steps of substituting simple tasks with technology like researching using iPads and sharing students’ work using iPads etc. It helped students and teachers to move together slowly yet steadily without the fear of technology.
Now teachers are confident in integrating apps like story kit, book creator, Maps, Socrative etc. in their teaching.
Students are digital natives and enjoy the use of technology in lessons. They know more than teachers and enthusiastically share their knowledge with their peers which help the whole cohort to move together.
Learning for us:
We encountered many problems in first month like labeling of ipads, internet connectivity, email accounts etc. These problems are sorted out now and teachers and students know how to us tool effectively in classroom.
Differentiation using Ipad:
iPads allow teachers to cater the needs of different learning styles as now teachers can choose various medium for students to share their learning like animations/ movie making for visual learners, Story kit/ book creator for auditory learners, choice of different activities for SEN or EAL students etc. The array of ipads help teachers to differentiate in class easily.
We are moving slowly towards redefinition as teachers are now gearing up for collaborative projects on iearn.org , which will help teachers to use ipad as a tool in multidisciplinary collaborative project. Our team has also attended iPad summit and brought back experiences of using them in classroom to enhance learning in all subject areas.
After so many days I started reading Coetailers blogs and liked the subheading written in Jessica Faivre blog Once More in The Wild that “The journey itself is the destination”.
Learning is a non-ending process and coetail has put us on the path of modification and redefinition which help our students to learn in new and meaningful ways.
Coetail has inspired many of us to extend our PLN, connect with like-minded people, to recognize, and to understand the importance of incorporating technology in education. I usually spend a lot of time in researching, knowing more about teaching strategies, latest discoveries, TED videos, and resources for my subject and many more. Recently, I found on net that Google Teacher Academy is coming to India, and, it gave me an opportunity to indulge in new learning process.
I started preparing for my application by reading GTA application requirements. In the month of May, I completed my basic Google apps training and in September, I cleared all the papers of Google apps. During this process, I learned new ways to connect, collaborate with my students and hence, started applying new tools/knowledge in my classes by sharing lesson plans, resources, homework, and mark book on Google Drive with my students. I am a Google Educator now who understands and apply the power of Google in Education.
After completing this certification, I applied in Google Teacher Academy and completed my application with the following video.
Recently I got the mail from Google that my application has been accepted and I am going to learn with 50 innovative educators around the world.(# GTAIndia)
My learning during the process has changed my teaching style and my students’ way of learning. Somehow the invisible barrier between students and teachers has gone away and my students connect with me, not only as a teacher but as a knowledge companion 24 X 7.
This is busiest time of school when you are bidding farewell to one cohort and simultaneously planning how to welcome new cohort. I am also busy these days in finishing reports, packing (we are shifting in new building), designing and modifying syllabus and activities after evaluating. SWOT analysis helped us in identifying needs of our students and also, initiated discussions on what should be included in next year curriculum in ICT. This gave me ideas of two projects which I can take for my final course 5 project.
1. Digital Citizenship programme in PSHE lessons
As we all know that social media plays an important role in students’ life in today’s scenario. Teenagers spent most of their time online playing or chatting with friends and family. This makes them vulnerable to negativity of internet.
To protect our students, we have identified 8 modules which we will offer in our PSHE lessons as interactive sessions for them to open up and share their problems and can discuss the solutions.
I have started working on Modules so I can take it as my Course 5 project. These modules require different approach to connect with students and working on identifying strategies and methods to teach students effectively to become Digital Citizen. It will allow me to include:
• Digital Storytelling
• Use of Creative commons
• Evaluating information
• Copyrights and Fair use
2. Challenge based learning in Computer Science classes
Current Scenario: I teach programming skills by introducing a series of small problems and then taking them to complex problems and developing their logical thinking. In this process, some students gain a lot and some struggle with basic concepts.
The new approach is to introduce a challenge in small groups and let them figure out the solution. So, I am planning to introduce small challenges in groups and encourage students to find solutions of given problems.
What this approach offers?
1. Change in Pedagogy
2. Option to extend CBL to PBL
3. Use of Infographics
4. Use of MOOC
5. Flipped learning
The only concern I have in this approach is to select appropriate problems for which solutions can be given yet it challenges them.
Overall this approach will make them independent learner, inquirer and problem solver.
Recent times have been very exciting times for me in school as my school has decided to update their IT policies and work towards bringing more IT in classroom. This is very fascinating as being an IT teacher; I could see a pool of opportunities for technology integration which school has and the vision of management has given us a ray of hope that it will change mindsets of people around us and encourage teachers to bring IT in their lessons.
We have rich technology facility in our classroom which I am listing below and use frequently in my classroom practice; however it is not fully exploited by all staff members.
My school is a very small school with class size of 15 in senior classes and 20 in middle school. We have given 5 carts of laptops which we can be issued as and when required to include technology in classrooms. There are two computer labs fully equipped where I take classes but can be used by other subject teachers in free slots.
All laptops are connected with Wi-Fi available in campus.
2. Promethean active board
All classrooms are equipped with promethean active board and teachers use them for teaching and learning demonstrations or activities. It allows me to create interactive activities for my students for their personalized learning.
3. Promethean active vote kit
My favorite is active vote kit which I used for formative assessments and students enjoyed participating with active vote kits. It gives instant feedback and create active, engaging and stimulating learning environment in class.
4. Active slates
I have been given Active slates to use active board from distance. It gives me freedom to move in my classes and teach from anywhere in the room. It is wireless tablet that works seamlessly with promethean board.
5. eBeam Camera
This device is attached with my computer and I can share books articles with everyone on projector using camera. It also allows me to take snapshots or convert one page in pdf for later use.
We can book carts of IPads for our lessons. I have used various apps that support photo editing and animation for KS3 students.
7. Robotic Kits
I have 10 NXT kits with me which I use with my students for teaching them computer controls.
8. Apple TV
My all-time favorite is apple TV which helps in sharing screens of Ipads and support collaborative learning in the classroom. It provides me a mobile platform to initiate discussions or activities with my students.
Technology has played an important role in changing the face of education in recent times. I still remember days when I was a kid; in those times, source of information were limited in form of text books, Newspapers and Resources in the Library.
Technology has changed the way we live our life be it cooking, travelling, reading, learning and even teaching. Change is constant and it will change method of instruction and learning in future.
What is available? How is it impacting education?
1. Web 2.0
3. Open Source
4. Forums and Discussion Boards
7. Second Life
And so on… list is long…..
Technology has made outside world very engaging and stimulating so it becomes very important for teachers to find ways to involve and challenge students in classroom by using above listed methods.
What is the future?
When I think about the future, it reminds me Dr Mitra’s talk that important skills required for our digital citizens are comprehension, research and evaluation. These skills will help our young generation to believe in themselves and will help them in finding solution of any problem.
After 15 years, learning will not be limited to schools rather various online learning suites/communities will be available which students can opt and customize their learning as per their interest.
Students will not study all subjects rather they will select subjects of their choice and can do in depth study of any topic of their choice by joining learning communities.
I don’t see a role of classroom teaching in coming years; rather can see teaching and learning happening without walls and all learners supporting each other online.
I am a fan of Flipped classroom concept and have tried this in my IB class one year ago. I usually spend a lot of time on internet and keep searching new approaches and theories. Some of these approaches appeal a lot and I use them in my classes. Flipped classroom is one of them. I came across this approach two years ago when I was struggling with availability of class time to provide problem solving exercises to my year 13 students. I used to give them HW every day to prepare them for exams; however was not getting the same results from everyone.
I decided to use the concept of flipped classroom and gave students some online videos to watch at home and started doing exercises in school. Some videos were created by me or some I took from net.
This approach helped me as I was able to give 90% of my class time for problem solving and application of the concept and 10% for discussion of content. It gave me a lot of scope for effective differentiation. However I could not get the same results from my year 12s as
1. It took a lot of time in recording lessons or arranging tutorials.
2. All students were not responding to this new method of teaching. Some students were preparing lessons before entering in my class however some were not and were coming with excuse that I did not get it.
3. Hence I left my experiment.
However reading all the articles made me think again and made me realize that it is high time to change and set goals or action plan for me as a teacher. So My goals are:
1: Flipping my classes – I have thought of two classes where I will flip my lessons; these are Year 9 and Year 12. Idea is:
1. Not to flip all lessons however I will identify few sections of the syllabus and flip my lessons in few sections of syllabus.
2. Will talk to students about this approach and make them understand the benefits of the approach to get full support from them
3. Use my vacation time to prepare my videos
Success of flipped classroom model depends on how teacher uses the class time or what type of activities or exercises are planned for students.
One thing which I have not tried in my teaching is inclusion of games in curriculum. Next academic year, I am including agent sheets, and agent cubes for designing games in year 7 and teaching with cross curricular approach.
Teaching is a dynamic profession where a teacher has to change his/her teaching style according to the level of students, their learning abilities and learning styles.
Few years ago, we adapted our KS3 curriculum from DiDa qualification (Edexcel) for year 7 to year 9 which provides dynamic approach to learning where students learn in multi-disciplinary way and explore real world problems. Students worked for one SPB (Summative Projects Brief) throughout the year which was decided by teacher after discussion with students. The end product used to be an e-portfolio in which they saved their research, completed tasks on different components related to the theme selected to create their e-portfolios. To make their learning interesting and meaningful, we took projects/ issues from our school community, local community and some global issues like waste in our school, e-waste, poverty etc. We tried multi-disciplinary approach by taking many cross curricular activities in project development with different subjects. This initiative was very popular amongst students in our school.
After running this plan for 4 years, we realized that though, Project based Learning(PBL) strengthened communication, collaboration and added new dimensions to their learning however it did not prepare our students well in logical, problem solving and writing skills and many students struggled in end of year written examination. May be, we were missing some pieces of a jigsaw. Hence we modified our syllabus and added more programming and theory bits in our curriculum.
The struggle is still the same i.e. to maintain balance in all approaches to provide best to our students.
After reading the challenge based learning(CBL) articles, I felt, it is the modified version of Project Based learning as students are given essential questions to progress their learning and can be introduced with small topics of our syllabus. However the main difference is PBL is multidisciplinary and CBL can be subject based. The ideas which I got from CBL are:
1. To introduce CBL in my programming classes where a big Challenge can be given to students with essential questions to think.
2. Start with a big Idea and divide it in simple tasks by asking and discussing with students
3. Identifying all possible alternate solutions by researching
4. Deciding one solution according to the essential questions given.
5. Working on the chosen solution and then evaluating.
I will explore more on CBL and will explore possibilities to add CBL in my classes. Your ideas and suggestions are more than welcome.
When I was reading the articles, it was constantly reminding me the recent discussions we had in our school regarding SWOT analysis of our technology and introduction of the buzz word Technology Integration.
This year, our school has decided to take technology integration as school development plan and support teachers to integrate technology in their teaching which is available in school. So, here comes SAMR model…
As a technology teacher, the idea of technology integration excites me as I can see plethora of opportunities to work with technology and integrate in curriculum.
Our role as a teacher has changed a lot; we have evolved from a teacher to a facilitator. I remember my first year of teaching where all my lessons were prepared using PowerPoints. (Phew… what was I doing?)
Though the progression was slow but each year added more value and helped me in understanding my role and changed my teaching style. PowerPoint changed into interactive flipcharts. Interactive flipcharts evolved into students led research activities and Mind maps. And then came iPads which empowered one and all with self-learning. The Journey was long but still ON. I am learning every day with my students and reflecting our learning using blogs, wikis and infographics.
A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning.
Technology helps teachers to ignite students’ creativity and critical thinking. Students design and shape their new ideas into concrete products using technology. It has also helped me in transforming my teacher led lessons to student led lessons.
The technology map which I use in my teaching in different class is shown below.
I think teachers have to include range of activities including basic ones to high order thinking tasks in classroom teaching to strengthen concepts of students and take them on blooms ladder. All tools can be used at different stages ie from Augmentation to Redefinition, depending on the approach with which a facilitator introduces the tool and task to the students.
Technology integration has a source but no end. It is ever evolving, undying………