Friday, September 26, 2014

Entry 1 - IDT1415 Week 1 Reflections + Exploring the Introductory Resource

I will start by reflecting on the suggested questions in the course Moodle. Answers to the questions below and other contributions will follow as blog entries. 
  • What do you expect from this module (or the programme) ? 
After having read the course program, I would like to be able to become fully aware of and conversant with the different theories and approaches behind the integration and implementation of technologies into teaching. As a tutor on the Trinity Cert ICT course, I have come across a wide range of tools and resources which I have been using to different extents in my own teaching and training. As a tutor and assessor on Cambridge Teaching Awards I am constantly reminded of the importance of clarity and measurability when it comes to defining and writing objectives as well as of how decisions must be informed and pedagogically driven. I believe I have succeeded in combining the above to some extent as I am passionate about learning and how understanding learning can lead to better teaching. However, I really want to take it to the next stage and I believe this course can help me do this.
  • How do you think you will contribute to the module?
I believe that my academic background and experience will allow me to offer different perspectives while being eager to discover and understands those of the other participants on the course.
  • Do you have any worries related to this module (or even this programme)?
I am a little concern about the course work and my own work requirements. I believe to be a good time manager, but because I am a perfectionist and very demanding of myself I think I may find it a little stressful at times. I think my motivation and curiosity are stronger and they will probably compensate for it.
  • Have you thought about making a weekly schedule of your studies?
I actually have already and so the wall in front of my desk at home is already coloured up with both the weekly schedule you sent us and my own interpretation of it. I've set up reminders of weekly tasks across my devices so I trust I will be able to keep everything under control.
  • How will you integrate you study with your professional and/or private life?
I am the head of teacher training in my full time job and also a tutor on the Trinity Cert ICT so technology is an integral part of my professional life.  This is one of the reasons why I also chose this program as this affordance means I will be able to stay course-focused while carrying out my own professional responsibilities. As regards my personal life, part of my study plan is getting to work earlier and using 2 hours per day to study at a time when there is nobody at school so that any work done at home is minimised during the week and more focused on the weekend thus allowing time to also nurture this important aspect of my life.

You could also reflect more specifically on the content of this first week. For instance on Moodle, on the reflective blog itself, on the presentation below, etc.

I have totally enjoyed the first week. I am confident about the use of Moodle and believe this will add to reduced stress levels. I also like the reflective component as I strongly believe if self reflection as a catalysing element for change.
Entry 1 - IDT1415 Exploring the Introductory Resource

Upon scrutiny of the different course files, my attention was immediately caught by more than 2 items, so making a decision to explore only 2 was taxing. In the end, I looked into Clickers and Combining Technologies. The former are excellent ways of not only involving students in your lessons but also a challenging factor to be equated when building up the lesson as the quality of the questions is of great importance. The latter offer the 'out of the classroom' real world experience which I think often times is missing in the ESOL classroom.

As far as Clickers are concerned, I have used Kahoot and Geddit on a few occasions mainly as a way of exploring the tools themselves while attempting to understand the affordances of adopting a BYOD approach at our school, and believe more than ever that the use of Clickers, just as with any other tool, needs to be deeply rooted in the lesson design and a realisation of how they enhance the learning experience.

In relation to Combining Technologies, Karen and Ken did a great job incorporating GIS/GPS devices into their Geography lesson to make it come alive. This is clearly transferable onto other contexts, for instance I work in ESOL and so I have recently started exploring the use of QR Codes to take learning 'out of the classroom' in a way that engages the students beyond the classroom/school while having studying do a 'treasure hunt' around the school. Again some of the questions that constantly hunt me when trying new tools are: 'What's the added value for my learners?, How is this helping them learn?'. I see that these questions tie in nicely with my own expectations of the course as I would like to be able to match the use of these tools to learning theory in a clearer way. Due to the requirements of my work as a tutor and assessor, identifying behaviors which are in line or not with specified criteria trigger an inner need to satisfy this same need when implementing and exploring with technology in the classroom in a more competent way.

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