Reflection 5 – Using the technology Sploder!

image

My son Benjamin (grade three) creating a Sploder game

I found the topic digital blurring thought provoking. I am not one of the people as stated by Jane McGonigal who collectively spend three billion hours per week playing games online but I do see educational value playing online games (McGonigal, 2010). I have witnessed my own children playing games on the internet or PlayStation that are interactive, collaborative, creative, imaginative and inventive. I see online games as offering children social interchange where persuasion and negotiation may be required. Online games can provide opportunities for learning and developing skills such as strategic planning and complex problem solving skills. These are life skills.

image

Benjamin in thinking mode.

I found the experience of creating my Sploder game  involved planning, designing, problem solving and the use of technical skills. I found using the “link connects” and the “link logic” somewhat difficult and was unsurprised when my grade three, nine year old son Benjamin demonstrated his digital fluency by immediately creating a game using the links! Game creation using Sploder would be a beneficial learning experience for children.

Sploder consider game design uses both sides of the brain (Sploder!). I was interested to find Sploder reflects Jane McGonigal’s innovative way of thinking that “we believe that the world can be changed by creative people who use their minds to make the world better” (Sploder!).

References

McGonigal, J. (2010). Gaming can make a better world.
TED2010, Filmed Feb 2010. Retrieved from
Sloder! Where games come true. Retrieved from
Zichermann, G. (2011, June9). TEDxKids@Brussels – Gamification. Retrieved
from
 

 

Gabe Zichermann – How games make kids smarter

 

Reflection 4 – Using the technology Scratch

scartachDigital fluency can be defined as “the ability to use digital technologies in a confident manner” (Howell, 2012, p. 243). To participate in the digital world we all require some level of this. As a future teacher I will need to be as digitally fluent as possible. I see my role is to facilitate the development of students’ digitally fluency by building on and expanding their existing skills. I see learning in the digital world as a collaborative process between teachers and students.

einsteinThis week my task was to create a Scratch Animation. I found the creation of my Scratch game a difficult process. I understand as a future teacher I will need to provide students with a wide range of technological experiences. I see my challenge as providing on the one hand technological experiences which I am confident in using and on the other hand technological experiences that will challenge me and also the students. Although I had difficulty using Scratch, some students would find this easy. Using this program would be an opportunity for collaboration between myself and my students.

Scratch is a creative practical application that supports the development of cognitive processes that could form the basis of an engaging learning experience.

References
Betchablog (2010). Teaching Kids To Think Using Scratch (image).
Retrieved from
Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT. Digital Pedagogies for
Collaboration and Creativity. Melbourne, Australia: Oxford University Press.
WeKosh (2014). Daily Motivational Quotes “Quotes on Opportunity“. Einstein
(image). Retrieved from

 


Reflection 3 – Pinterest

pinterest poster

click on the image to see more detail

As a long time user and admirer I focused on the digital information website Pinterest. The online visual pin-boarding website allows you to collect, share and store ideas, images and videos. I found the exercise of pinning different types of digital information we encounter onto my Pinterest account enlightening. I had never before considered using Pinterest as a valuable teaching resource. I now see the educational potential.

There are numerous resources available for teachers to support children’s learning such as free teaching apps, educational videos, tutorials, lesson plans, homework activities and educational games. Pinterest is a source of unlimited inspirational and creative ideas. There are opportunities to share and collaborate with other teachers about such things as teaching methods and strategies. There are links to teacher blogs and educational posts. Pinterest is a tool for professional development.

There are many creative ways to use the Pinterest website in the classroom and to supplement lessons. As children learn in a variety of ways and engage in creative interactive activities I found Pinterest to be an excellent visual discovery tool and digital information website. Images, videos, articles and stories available can assist children grasp topics. Teaching using Pinterest is an opportunity for teachers to reinforce to children the importance of critically evaluating and assessing information they find on the internet.

References

Barnes, M. (2014, February 7). 16 Ways Educators Use

Reflection 2 – Infographics

Infographics are a creative, visual way of presenting complex data. They are a different way of finding and experiencing information. Infographics “makes information presentable and digestible” (visual.ly, 2014). “A good infographic is worth a thousand words” (Oxford Dictionaries, 2014).

I found creating an infographic fun and creative. I chose to use a website called Ease.ly. It was user friendly and offered a good selection of free themed templates appropriate for a beginner.

The infographic topic was the digital divide. With the many complex issues pertaining to the subject and the enormous amount of information available,  I found the most challenging part of creating my infographic was choosing information to highlight as a focus. Creativity and design is unlimited. The diversity of the topic is represented by the diverse infographics other students posted. I liked Leanne Haley’s infographic because it was a simple presentation that made a quick impact.

I see merit in children creating infographics as a learning tool.  They are creative, experimental and are a purposeful activity to help develop children’s digital fluency. With teacher guidance creating an infographic would be an engaging learning activity for children working together in small groups creating visual essays.

References

Oxford Dictionaries (2014). Language Matters. Retrieved from
visual.ly (2014). What is an infographic? Retrieved from