Lesson Plan For Assignment One

Below is a Link to the Lesson Plan which I have used in Assignment One.

Lesson Plan – Life Cycles

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Is Paper Dead?

Check out this video. I guarantee it will make you laugh!!!

It’s a toilet paper add, which is a weird thing to post about – but it sums up perfectly the topic – Is paper dead?

Nowadays, we can do so many things that we need paper for on the iPad. We can replace reading a book – with reading it on an iPad. We can replace our reminding sticky notes on the fridge with sticky notes with a reminder notification on the iPad. Want to sit down and do a Sudoku or a crossword in the paper? Well, you guessed it – you can even do them on an iPad!

When you stop to think about it, businesses are all trying to turn their billing systems electronically, and make you pay extra for a paper bill sent it the mail! Rip off!! At work, we used to get a paper pay slip every fortnight – now they just get emailed to us. I feel that this all goes back to the time saving aspect of technology, that we can get it done quicker and not have to put in too much effort – however it does have it’s negative sides to it also.

It’s easy to keep track of your old pay slips when they are in paper form – put them in a shoe box and label it ‘pay slips’ or put them in a folder in a filing cabinet. They’re always there, you can always go back to them! When they’re electronic and sent to your email, if you’re anything like me, you miss half of them. I don’t hop on my computer every day. and even if i do, i don’t always check my emails… Even with Uni, you can have it online – but I bet 9 out of 10 of us print it off anyway! It is always easier having a hard copy right in front of you. I always print my things off!

Like everything there is pros and cons to any situation. And with the world progressing, I think this push for being paper free will get more realistic for some people as time goes on. However I don’t think we will ever be paper free.

Paper isn’t dead. And i really don’t think it’ll ever die – we will always have a use for it, Always!!

 

Concrete Materials Vs. ICT in Classrooms

I have just discovered a blog post by Jordan Slade, who wrote about ICT verses concrete materials in the classroom. I found this to be a great read, because I very much agree with what was written.

I personally think that the more concrete materials that children have to work with, the better they will learn. Yes, you have to cater for varied learning styles, and yes, that means incorporating a bit of everything into your lesson… however I think that the less children are exposed to digital technologies everyday, the more they will engage and learn from them when they are exposed to them.

During my last Prac, there wasn’t really a great deal of technology available for the children – there was a computer room, and an interactive whiteboard up in the front of the classroom. And you know what – these children were more enthusiastic and engaged in their learning, compared to the students of big public schools, who use iPads as if it were a pencil and paper.

The interactive board served as a rewards chart during the day where students could give themselves a point when they were doing good work, or good listening etc, and was also used for watching educational mathematics and literacy videos and/or songs.

I had an activity planned, where the children learned stem words and their extensions, and I used dice to teach the experience – the base word on one dice and the stemming word on the other. The children got to roll the dices and put the word together, and then form it into a sentence. This bought be such joy as a pre-service teacher to see how engaged these children were in learning – not once did they even need technology for this learning experience.

I believe that it is very important for teachers not to forget that going back to the basics, and teaching the children with concrete materials is a highly beneficial tool for child learning. To read more on this topic, follow this link to an article called Using Manipulative’s. While reading, I found that it is a very practical site too, as it explains in depth strategies in teaching using such objects. Definitely recommend it!

Blaming Technology?

My last blog post posed the question – Is it the internet making us lazy, or is it us simply choosing to be lazy, and blaming technology?

I just found a article written by Dominique Jackson, who I could have sworn has taken the words right out of my mouth with her writing. She talks about very similar subjects to those I have raised in my recent I dunno, Google it blog.

It definitely makes sense to me! We have subtracted our old routines, such as the Saturday morning town trips to pay the bills, and do the shopping. Today however, we are given the luxury of going onto the internet and paying all of our bills, whether it be telephone, electricity or power.We also can complete the whole grocery trip in 15 minutes instead of half an hour to an hour, and browse all the different fashions that are out. What a change, all of this can happen with just  a few clicks of a mouse and a visa debit card!

This is great right! How easy has this technology thing made our lives…. I agree 100% it has made our lives somewhat easier, however my question was has it indeed made us lazy?

I guess in my opinion, i’m sort of leaning to the fact that yes, technology has led us to become more lazy in everyday life. We don’t put a great deal of effort into things anymore, and it’s because you can sit at home on the couch and do it all online. I know a great percentage of people that I know do basically everything online – because its simply easier. Here is yet another article on this topic entitled How Technology is making us lazy, It defiantly gives you plenty to think about.

Has Technology Made us Lazy?

As i was looking through articles for one of my previous blogs, I stumbled across this article – 11 Ways Technology is Making us Lazy by Sherilynn Macale. As i read the dot points that Sherilynn had written, and my initial thought was: yeah, we are lazy!

Some of her dot point included:

  • entertainment without leaving the couch
  • food order and delivery
  • online shopping
  • no more waiting in cues
  • Finding out the latest news
  • messaging friends to arrange a catch up.

When you stop to think about it, I guess that is somewhat lazy of us. But is it technologies fault? or is it a fault of our own?

Technology is just a thing, it doesn’t have the power to use itself – We as the people have the power to use it. The quote ‘a poor workman always blames his tools’ seems to be right in perspective while discussing this topic… So my question is – Is it the internet making us lazy, or is it us simply choosing to be lazy, and blaming technology?

Stay tuned for the my next blog, as I will endeavor to dive into this topic, and find out the answer to this question!

“I dunno, Google it”

You don’t know the meaning of a word? My parents would say “Go and find a dictionary” whereas a friend would say “I dunno, Google it”.

You don’t know where a place is? My parents would say “there’s a map on the shelf” whereas my friends would say “I dunno, use google maps”

You need to do some research for something? My parents would say, “Go to the library” whereas a peer would say “I dunno, Google it”.

I think you get the picture here! The answer to everything is Google! In today’s society it just seems to be the answer for everything – “Just Google it!” I remember growing up and going to primary school, before the internet was around. When it came time to do a school project, I would have to go and have a look through old encyclopedias on the bookshelf to find my information. Back then, the computer we had, had Microsoft Word and that pinball game installed on it, and that was about it!!

Today however, as i sit down to do an assignment for University, all i have to do is go to Google and type in what i need. What a transformation! But is it for the better? Have we become ‘lazy’ to only limiting ourselves to one form of learning? My parent’s would say “yes”. But what would we say?

So, ever so ironically, I went to Google for an answer! This is link to an article I read by Nicolas Carr called ‘Is Google Making us Stupid’. I found it fairly interesting – and just to give you a sneak peek, here is a quote from the article – it’s defiantly food for thought; “it is our own intelligence that flattens into artificial intelligence…” 

ICT in Early Childhood Settings

I’ve been working in the childcare industry for almost 5 years. And although that is not as long as 12 years, as Jane Edwards has worked, I believe that her views align reasonably closely to mine when it comes to ICT within an Early Childhood Setting.

When I first began working in childcare, of course technologies such as the computer, printer and digital camera were used, however for the most part we still used the good old traditional pen and paper to take down observations and do the daily programs. Advancement in technology has seen each room receive an iPad, in order to enhance and extend on children’s learning. We can use the iPad to look up videos on YouTube, listen to music or find pictures to show the children. It is such a handy thing to have when you need to extend on a child’s learning experience straight away!

I read an article by Dr. Bruce Perry which sums this up. And I just love his quote! ‘While Technology can help us teach children, in the end our children learn from us’ How true! It is definitely the role of the parent, and of the teacher to facilitate the child’s learning. An example used was sitting down together with the children and playing cards. This is a cognitive experience, where the children are able to learn to add, to predict, show emotions by laughing and learn how to win. This, in contrast to playing cards on the computer where you either win or lose – the computer does the rest.

I guess in the whole scheme of things, the children at my center do not do a great deal of interaction with digital technologies. And although I am against having an over exposure to technologies, I do believe that children need some form of digital interaction in the early years, in order to assist them in learning, but also to help prepare themselves for Prep, and the rest of their schooling years where digital technologies become more highly relied on.

I believe it’s everything in moderation! Digital technologies are extremely beneficial to educators, and are exciting for children, however ‘while technology can help us to teach children, in the end our children learn from us!’

Technology and Children’s Development

This sort of extends on from my previous blog, about growing up back in the day with very little technology, compared to children today. How many of us know a young child who has an iPad – and when you watch them with it, and it’s like second nature to them? Is this a risk to child development? Or does it in-fact benefit the child?

I found an article written by Margie K. Shields and Richard E. Behrman, titled The Future Child, which I found a very good read! This article covers all developmental areas of the child, and the effects of technologies; here are just a couple of the concerns raised.

Physical Development:

Children need physical activity and social interaction to become healthy, happy and productive. When over obsessing screen time is consumed by children, it can deprive them of the opportunity to be active in organised sports or other social events and activities which are very beneficial to physical development.

Social-Emotional Development:

Excessive time spent with technologies such as iPad’s, may also have an affect on that of the child’s social-emotional development. As a young child, interactions between family members, peer groups and community networks are very important as they play a crucial part in the child’s interpersonal and social competence skills going into early primary school. However with media use increasing – one of the concerns that has been raised, is that children will form “electronic friendships” instead of human friendships.

 

 

ICT and Social Media

There is always so much debate over social media! Sites such as Facebook are great for catching up with friends, seeing what they’re up to, sharing pictures etc. however it can also be the place where cyber bullying can take place! Gabby talks about this issue in her blog named ICT and Safety. She states “There is a large concern regarding ICT and online safety especially when students are using it”. I thought that this was a very valid statement, so I did some research on the statistics on cyber bullying. Paul Fletcher has written an article, where I found that 1 in 5 Australian children between the age of eight to fifteen experienced cyber bullying! He says “Of course social media can very much be a force for good – and it can help to create a sense of community and belonging.  But when things go wrong as they sometimes will, today it can be hard to get help (Fletcher, P. 2014)”.

As educators, we should be aware of this statistic, and implement strategies into classrooms to educate children about ICT safety, and how they can prevent it happening to them.

 

Resources:

Fletcher, P. (2014). 1 in 5 Australian kids have experienced this. And the consequences can be devastating. Retrieved 10.3.2016 from http://www.mamamia.com.au/cyberbullying-statistics-in-australia/#u7UKuqOOJCu2uQYV.99

 

 

“Back in the good old days…”

I know that I am not that old yet in the scheme of things (I’m a 90’s baby), however I am old enough to remember when we got our very first ever computer at home! How exciting that was!! However, now as sit down to write this, its become a normality! Children today won’t ever know life without a computer!! Crazy hey! Between now and then technology has evolved so much! I have gone from having a big square box as a computer – to now, where I have a flash laptop that is equip with all sorts of flash applications that do flash things.

I live (and grew up) on a family owned, third generation dairy farm, and when I was young I had no idea about technologies. My enjoyment and entertainment was outdoors… I loved feeding the calves, playing the sandpit, riding my bike, climbing trees, playing in the dirt etc.

Today however, you see babies no older that 5 months old with a screen in front of their faces. “Back in the day” even when I was little, that simply just wasn’t done. There are so many articles discussing this topic, and many pros and cons are given regarding growing up with technology verses growing up without it. Chiara Sanchez  states some shocking statistics in her article, stating that 66% of kids aged between four and six use some form of phone or iPad regularly. A furthermore 61% of three year olds and 38% of two year olds also use this technology. WHAT? Personally, that is dreadful! What happened to actually playing with your child? Instead of putting them in-front of a screen!

Laura Phillips has also written a great article discussing some of these pros and cons. Although she states some advantages of growing up with technology such as different educational learning activities, she has noted that growing up without technologies gave the children more opportunities for higher levels of physical activity, self motivation and stronger social ties.

With all this in mind though; is too much technology really a preventable thing? Children go to school and within the school environment there is technology used – from tablets to computers to smart boards. So my question is what age should children be introduced to technologies? Each individual will have a different view, however I believe that below 3 is definitely too young – I say bring back the good old days where technology wasn’t the main view point in life – playing in the dirt never hurt anyone!