Reflection 1 – What is a digital world?

The topic for week 1 was ‘What is a digital world?’ in which we covered different characteristics of a digital world and the importance of a digital pedagogy. The topic also introduced mobile technologies, and discussed reasons why we need to adjust and adapt to the digital world.

As a teacher, it is important for me to understand what a digital world is, which can be defined by the technology we have in our surroundings, and the importance of how to teach using these digital technologies. Everyday life is completely different to how it used to be due to the advances in technology, and as the 21st century digital learner has already grown up in a technology-rich environment, using digital technologies in the classroom could be both engaging and motivating (Howell, 2012).

As mobile technologies were introduced, a great example was given by Howell (2014) as she spoke about being able to have a conversation on the phone with someone on the other side of Australia. This is a great advancement in technology as it helps us to be more globally connected.

Technological advancements are a given, which means that adapting to the digital world as a teacher will become more mandatory. One problem I can see is what if the technology is overused? There needs to be balance, as some children that do not learn as well without student/teacher interaction may fall into a state of disequilibrium.

Even though as a digital native I have already got a vivid understanding on the digital world, this first topic opened my eyes to a more in depth view on how technologically-rich this world has become, and the importance of this knowledge as a teacher will allow me to plan my lessons more accordingly.

References

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://echo.ilecture.curtin.edu.au:8443/ess/echo/presentation/8a668af5-c192-4635-ab9b-d302c122bd6b

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Reflection 2 – Digital identities and digital security

In week 2 the topic ‘Digital identities and digital security’ was presented to us, while also introducing us to skills that allow us to manage our own digital identity, and discussed how the rest of the world can view our digital footprint (Howell, 2012). This topic allowed me to see how much of my own identity is online, and it was quite confronting.

Firstly, knowing how to manage your own digital identity is important as a teacher, as everything about you that is available online can be viewed by anyone in the world and it will reflect on you in one way or another, sometimes without any option to explain ourselves (Howell, 2014). This topic offered to me a valuable YouTube video (MMU Library Services, 2013) that helped improve my skills on managing my own digital identity.

Secondly, as great as the digital world can be, it is also unsafe and as a teacher it is important to be aware of security issues that can be presented to you on the web (Howell, 2014). For a student, being informed as early as possible of the issues like scammers, and cyberbullying, is critical. Personally at a young age, I wish I had of known earlier, I did not know how to deal with these issues and fell for one another on occasion.

Although you have some control over what is already online, you have most control over what is put online to begin with, and as a teacher it is important to inform your students on the appropriate steps to take. As a student, I am still learning and developing these skills every day so when I am a teacher, I am able to modify my approach and make sure my students are aware of the importance of their digital identity and digital security.

References

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 Mod01 04 topic 03 [ilecture]. Retrieved from https://echo.ilecture.curtin.edu.au:8443/ess/echo/presentation/1636447f-aa10-42de-bec3-f6fe6f44932e

MMU Library Services. (2013, August 28). Managing your digital identity [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0mgBzOBpuxE

 

Reflection 3 – Being a digital curator

Being a digital curator was the topic introduced in week 5 along with an online article by Flintoff, Mellow, and Clark (2014) that explained digital curation as a tool that allows you to create your own digital library centred on your topic of choice, which can also be applied in multiple ways within education. Two examples of digital curation tools were introduced with this topic, those being Pinterest and Scoop.it.

At first I thought the tools were limited to what were given as examples in the unit, and I found that I had to assist my own understanding of the concept by researching the term online. I found an article (Scott Scanlon, n.d.) with an immense amount of digital curation tools, and to my surprise I found I recognised a few of them.

If a topic you are teaching is rather difficult, or you have students that are having problems, digital curation tools are valuable for a teacher and a learner as it allows you to provide your students with an additional resource for a specific topic (Flintoff, Mellow, and Clark, 2014). These tools are not limited to just a desktop computer, but can be accessed via other means including iPods and smartphones.

As mentioned before, this topic introduced us to two examples of digital curation tools, Pinterest and Scoop.it. Pinterest is a great example of a highly visual based tool, whereas Scoop.it allows for more of a balance between image and text. When used in conjunction with each other, these tools can provide a better understanding of a specific topic.

Even though digital curation seems like a promising tool to use as a teacher in a classroom, I found when learning to use these tools, that I was easily distracted by the social media aspect of them. Regardless of this, I can see myself finding use of digital curation in a classroom in the future.

References

Flintoff, K., Mellow, P. & Clark, K. P. (2014). Digital curation: Opportunities for learning, teaching, research and professional development. In Transformative, innovative and engaging. Proceedings of the 23rd Annual Teaching Learning Forum, 30-31 January 2014. Perth: The University of Western Australia. http://ctl.curtin.edu.au/professional_development/conferences/tlf/tlf2014/refereed/flintoff.html

Scott Scanlon. (n.d.). The Ultimate List of Content Curation Tools and Platforms. Retrieved from http://www.youbrandinc.com/ultimate-lists/ultimate-list-content-curation-tools-platform/

Evaluation Matrix 1

Name of teaching resource

Pinterest

Weblink (if web based)

http://www.pinterest.com/matthewiskov/basic-introduction-to-astronomy/

Who should this digital teaching resource be used with? (ie year/grade)

Grade 2

How should it be used? (e.g. individual, whole class)

This teaching resource is directed to both individual use and group environments.

Which subject or learning area would it be most appropriate to use in?

The subject my Pinterest board is directed towards is science.

Identify the strengths of this teaching resource

Teachers have access to a range of activities to assist their students learning and understanding, and help assist in introducing them to new topics. These activities range from individual students basic ‘cut and paste’ activities which also help develop their fine motor skills, to activities that involve a group of students working together to create something large. This teaching resource is basic, and is useful for teachers as it assists with lesson planning and creative projects.

Identify any weaknesses of this teaching resource

Firstly, one weakness is that some of the activities in the teaching resource require a range of different materials and tools to create, which may not be as easily accessible as others. Secondly, because a pin can take you back to the original website, it might be inconvenient if the website was modified or taken down for any reason.

Explain any ideas you may have for further use of this teaching resource

I would like to expand the pinboard and perhaps focus on individual aspects of the topic, while also allowing my students to collaborate on the pinboard, and pin their own findings that are relevant to the topic and they feel will assist their learning.

Evaluation Matrix 2

Name of teaching resource

Scoop.it

Weblink (if web based)

http://www.scoop.it/t/cyberbullying-by-matthew-iskov

Who should this digital teaching resource be used with? (ie year/grade)

Grade 6

How should it be used? (e.g. individual, whole class)

The teaching resource I have chosen is directed towards individual and whole class use.

Which subject or learning area would it be most appropriate to use in?

I believe the most appropriate learning area to use this in would be health.

Identify the strengths of this teaching resource

This teaching resource has a range of articles regarding acknowledgement and prevention of cyberbullying. As a teacher, it is important to understand the severity of cyberbulling, so you can help provide a safer digital environment for your students. Passing this information onto the parents could also help with providing a safer digital environment at home. Cyberbullying is an ongoing problem, and creating awareness is important.

Identify any weaknesses of this teaching resource

Although the teaching resource provides awareness of the issues of cyberbullying, there is a limit to how much it provides as a teacher cannot be fully in control of their students’ personal life in regards to technology.

Explain any ideas you may have for further use of this teaching resource

This teaching resource will always have room to expand, as more information is released regarding the acknowledgement and prevention of cyberbullying. I would not only use this as a teaching resource for in a school, but I would also use it personally and will distribute it to my friends and family. I would make sure the website link is readily available to anyone who needs it.