Tuesday, 23 June 2015

ICT in Primary Education - Week Four Reflection

By www.ocg.at

I've had another busy week trying to balance sick relatives in hospital, technical issues with our leased iPads (further details will be in another post), and the ICT in Primary Education MOOC.  Plus I've had a sick child this week.  Oh, and for some reason I decided it was good idea to see if anyone was interested in having a NZ school library chat on Twitter!  It would have made a lot more sense to wait a few weeks until the course and iPads are dealt with but no, I'm clearly not thinking sensibly at the moment.

However, I have just submitted my second assignment with a whole 40 mins to spare!  So here are some of the highlights from Week Four:
  • This week there was a lot of information about what kind of technology schools are choosing to use and what criteria they are using in their decision-making.
  • The trend is towards tablets and BYOD - the direction our school is taking.  It is interesting that as environments become more technology-rich schools often advocate for a one-to-one strategy.  I wonder if that is where my school is heading?
  • The principle of developmental appropriateness, for recognising the most appropriate ICT tools, was a key framework that was considered to be important at a primary school level.  It is known as DATEC (the outcome of The Developmentally Appropriate Technology in Early Childhood project), and is described in UNESCO's book 'Recognising the potential of ICT in early childhood education' (the last paragraph on page 25, and the table on pgs.26-27).
  • There were several mentions of Bee-Bots in the literature.  I haven't heard of them being used in NZ but they certainly are cute! 
  • I was really interested to see the use of email with younger students (Section 4.2 of the UNESCO book).  I'm obviously a fan of blogging but in terms of interaction, actually getting a response from parents, I think email has the advantage.  Parents are a lot more used to emailing than commenting on blogs - shouldn't we meet them where they are comfortable?  If we wanted to combine the two we could personally email parents with a link to the blog and they could choose whether to comment by replying to the email or commenting on the blog. In the example given the teacher used the class email account to interact with parents, email other classes, send thank-you emails to visitors, and email relatives of the children living/travelling abroad and use that to learn about other countries.
  • Also in the UNESCO book a teacher described how her students documented their daily life with the digital camera and used photos and videos of their work to present it to their parents using a digital photo frame.
  • The reading on One-to-One Tablets in Secondary Schools (pg. 7-12) had a lot of interesting information on three schools' experiences with introducing tablets.
  • Learning Management Systems were discussed, as a way for students to access digital content.  My main concern with this is equity - what happens to those children who don't have access to the internet?
  • Computational thinking and early programming were discussed.  Things like programmable digital toys (e.g. Bee-Bots!), educational robotics sets (e.g. Lego WeDo) and educational programming languages (e.g. Scratch), were mentioned.

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