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  1. Google Docs

    August 25, 2013 by Mrs Hurley

    Last week, I used Google Docs in the classroom for the first time. We used a template given to us at a recent PD to create a character profile and I had the students in their reading groups purely so the collaborative groups were smaller and easier to manage.

    Here are a couple of things I learnt from this experience;

    1. Collaboration needs to be explicitly taught! No matter how much I emphasised the ‘you cannot change, delete or contradict somebody else’s contribution’ rule, I had full-on arguments coming from some kids who just couldn’t agree! Negotiate was definitely not a word they knew.

    2. A lot of technology knowledge in students is assumed. In general, people tend to believe that because the students I teach have grown up with computers, that they know everything about technology. From chatting to my students, it appears that the only things they use their school netbooks or home computers and other devices for is social media. Oh, and Maths games when they’re really bored on the weekend.

    3. Nothing is explicit enough in my room. Unrelated to technology and the use of Google Docs but I’ve really noticed how helpless my students are when they need to think for themselves. Actually, this needs a whole post to itself.

    Other than providing more opportunities to practise these skills (collaboration itself and new technologies), I am unsure as to how to teach these skills to my students. Am I throwing them into the deep end? Am I introducing too much at once?

     

    What difficulties have you experienced when introducing new technologies/apps/websites in your classroom? How did you overcome these difficulties?


  2. My First Post

    August 11, 2013 by Mrs Hurley

    Who would’ve thought that I’d be inspired enough to create my own personal blog?

    After attending the Teaching & Learning in the 21st Century Face-to-Face session on Friday and listening to all of our speakers, I came to a couple of conclusions.

    1. I need to make a bigger (positive) digital footprint
    I consider myself pretty tech savvy. I can usually fix any problems that the kids have with their netbooks without calling the technician. I use Facebook & Twitter personally. I moderate our class blog. I have organised Mystery Skypes & Guest Speaker Skypes for my students. However… I Googled myself the other day (something I swore I wouldn’t do – thanks Jenny Luca!) and was unusually disappointed. 3310 results. Most of which belong to a photography in America who shares my name (unique spelling and all.. I’m annoyed.) The thought occurred to me that this didn’t mean I wasn’t “good” with technology, this just meant I didn’t have such a huge online presence and I’m only just starting out. And that’s OK but I’d love to have a bigger name online (for good reasons of course).

    2. I’m on the right track with our class blog
    So far this year, my students have Quadblogged, Mystery Skyped, Tweeted (haphazardly) and Skyped with a teacher in Japan & a class in Malaysia to learn more about their culture for our Asia unit. Not to mention all of the positive outcomes just having a class blog has, such as improved writing skills when learning to write a quality comment. Can’t wait to start using Google Docs in the class!

    3. Nothing beats the connections I’ve made to other teachers this year
    It’s awesome.

    Finally, I’ll leave you with an important message I picked up on, shared with us by Peter Maggs. We can’t stand by and be aloof like cats. We all need to dive in with constant enthusiasm and “be more dog”!

    So, I’ve hoping to update my blog at least weekly. I’m really hoping it doesn’t just fall to the floor because I forget to post.

    Have you done any of the mentioned online ‘things’ with your class? What difficulties have you faced when creating your own personal blog? If you attended the Teaching & Learning in the 21st Century session, what did you think? What was your favourite part of the day?


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