Sunday, 19 May 2019

How Can Current and Future Technologies Support our Student's Learning Outcomes in STEM Education

According to the Department of Education and Training, "The Australian Government regards high-quality science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education as critically important for our current and future productivity." (2019). As a STEAM teacher (the A standing for Arts) this stands as something close to my heart. I have worked quite hard to develop a STEAM curriculum from Foundation to Year 4 and enjoy my job thoroughly. I am lucky because I get to see, on a daily basis, the future 'job ready' skills our students so desperately need.

Sunday, 28 April 2019

Getting Started on Twitter - Hashtags and Who to Follow

It's so great to see so many great educators beginning their Twitter journey. I remember back to my beginning and not really knowing where to start, how to interact or who to follow. I feel like I have finally come to a point in the development of my online Professional Learning Network (PLN) that I can impart some good advice on how to make things work for you. I wanted this post to not only be a list of the top educators to follow on Twitter but I wanted to share how I developed my following and some great hashtags to follow.

Monday, 22 April 2019

Digital Sandbox Time - 10 Reasons to Give it a Go

I will often have ideas in mind for the use of a new or different app. It's always exciting to see what students can do with something new because even more ideas for its use can pop up. What can be a struggle though is trying to explicitly teach 20+ children how to use an app at the same time. It's a nightmare, as some students naturally take their time, some rush ahead and then don't know what to do, others just would rather explore it on their own. When this happens, students get stressed and confused and the teacher does too. This is why I like to have Digital Sandbox time when introducing something new.

Sunday, 21 April 2019

Why Technology in Education is Important

Why would we use technology in education? This is a question I’ve been asked before and one I ponder over frequently. It’s easy to answer with, ‘we live in a society where technology reigns supreme, so we need to make sure our students are prepared for it’, but I think the answer goes much deeper than that. We need to think of what the technology allows us to do rather than the technology itself and where the technology allows the learning to go for our students.

In this blog post, I will explore the following reasons we need to be using technology in education:
·       Improving digital literacy skills and help our students to become multi-literate
·       Preparing students for the jobs of the future.
·       Engaging students

I will also look at examples of how Web 2.0 tools such as blogs, social media and Skype and the iPad have transformed learning.

Sunday, 7 April 2019

A Reflection - My ADE 2019 Journey

2019 has been one of the busiest years of my teaching career. Even before the school year began, I was preparing for another year of study, getting my curriculum ready for Term 1 and preparing my children for their next year of school (including first year of High School for my daughter). Among all this, I knew the Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE) applications would soon be opening and so I was busy taking notes of what I would do. It was one of my professional goals for 2019 to become an ADE. 

When applications opened in January I was excited but didn’t get to work right away. In fact, I kept putting it off due to my busy schedule. School returned and I just couldn’t see how I would possibly have the time to put anything together

Monday, 13 August 2018

I Used Design Thinking to Transform my Learning Space - Part 4 - Prototyping

I’ve reached that point in the design process where I get to experiment with everything I have been thinking about and planning. It’s when I get my hands dirty and start to get a real insight into what will work, what won’t, students’ thoughts and opinions and develop my own ideas of how successful I have been. I have found the prototyping process very engaging, stimulating and somewhat cathartic (they say ‘a change is as good as a holiday’). I have been able to quickly test out all of my ideas, analyse them and improve them in a short amount of time (Dam & Siang, 2018).

I Used Design Thinking to Transform my Learning Space - Part 3 - Ideation

I spent quite a long time trying to understand what my biggest problem was in my classroom. I mean, STEAM is fun and kids love it but I kept wondering if I was doing everything I could to fully engage all of my students and if the working environment was really promoting this engagement. This lead me to decide on my problem statement: How might we design the learning space to better engage all students?

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

I Used Design Thinking to Transform my Learning Space - Part 2 - Synthesising

I previously wrote about my new understandings of Empathy in the Design Thinking process and in this post I am going to discuss the importance of synthesising information gathered in the Empathy phase, what this means and a practical approach to synthesising that anyone can try.

Monday, 30 July 2018

Coding Our Own Computer Games

Nothing makes me feel more proud than when I see my students happily showing off their hard work to an audience. What makes it better is when these kids have never done anything like it before and have developed a love for it. This is how coding went down with my Year 4 students this year when they presented their first ever GameCon.

I Used Design Thinking to Transform my Learning Space - Part 1 - Empathy

Embarking upon my understanding of the Design Thinking process, I have come to learn more about the importance of Empathy. I had always considered myself an empathetic person but had I ever really taken this approach to solving problems? Maybe, subconsciously.

empathy is

Empathy can be best described as “feeling with people” (The RSA, 2013) and in the realm of Design Thinking, it plays an important role because it allows us to try and truly understand the people for whom we are trying to solve a problem. It is no good to try and make something better without truly understanding the end user.