Interactive Whiteboard Technology

It is undeniable that the technologies we have access to in the classroom today are amazing. Compared to the classrooms we grew up with, today’s students have access to such a wider range of educational technology. The technology that we have today is great; however, it is tempting for teachers to use this technology as a substitute for effective pedagogical techniques.

Chris Campbell’s presentation entitled “pedagogy before technology: making educational sense of interactive whiteboard’s”, highlights the positive effects that IWB use can have in education. These positives such as promotion of higher order thinking are attainable through techniques such as sorting, ordering and labelling activities.

Clearly, the use of IWB’s can have a positive effect as detailed above, however the educator needs to understand the specific pedagogical basis and activities that will lead to this higher order learning. Without this basis, IWB’s are at risk of simply becoming an expensive toy. They are at risk of becoming ineffective time wasting replacements for quality teaching.  

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Cyber Bullying

The nature of the world our students are living in today allows for greatness. It allows for creativity, communication and diverse understanding of unique concepts. It allows for the creating of new and specific skills such as web page editing, movie making and researching. However, it is also ‘anonymous, instant and far-reaching’. These characteristics have lead to, what has now been termed, cyber bullying.

Cyber bullying can range from a one off insult to a complete breakdown of an individual’s mental and physical wellbeing. It can take many forms and is often difficult to notice and to monitor. Cyber bullying may involve sending our photographs of the victim in order to evoke feeling of embarrassment or it may take the form of direct insults or threats the victim’s safety.

This style of bullying has only become popular with the development of new technologies. This means the parents, teachers and friends of those who have become victims have limited experience with resolving the issue. Many don’t know how to identify the bully, and if they do, the style of bullying is often subtle and indirect. It is also unlike that a victim of this bullying style would ask for help. Many victims feel as if this is just part of being an active internet user and that if they tell an adult, they may have their internet use monitored or taken away.

This is where it becomes our duty as teachers to step in. We need to educate students, just as we do with traditional forms of bullying, about ways to deal with cyber bullying. Students need to know their options as a victim or as the offered. They need to know methods of breaking the cycle and ways to get help in order to effectively save their wellbeing before permanent damage is done.

online quizzes such as the one provided bellow can be useful in helping students identify cyber bullying in their lives.

This blog was inspires by the article bellow. For those looking for further infomation and advice regarding cyber bullying please visit:

A guide to cyberbullying: http://www.rcysostenibilidad.telefonica.com/es/media/pdf/Get_with_it_Cyberbullying_Booklet.pdf

 

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Web 2.0 Technologies in the Classroom, Oluwafisayo

“Web 2.0 technologies such as blogs, wikis, podcasts, social networks, and virtual worlds have become popular and are gradually making their way into the classroom. Instructors need to continually find innovative ways to use these technologies in education”. (Williams & Chinn, 2009). This statement describes the challenge facing teachers in today’s classrooms. We can see from this quote that it is the duty and responsibility of the teacher to incorporate the technology that we have available to us into the classroom.

The article continues and highlights that notion that technology can be misused and ineffective if its use is not shaped around a strong pedagogical foundation. This could be said about any teaching materials used within the classroom. If the teacher does not have a firm reasoning based around effective pedagogy, the materials become useless.

The text also refers to specific pedagogical pillars that allow for effective incorporation of technology into the classroom, the main one being constructivism. This broad term in itself coincides with the nature of internet based education. The link between the two is inextricable as students are able/encouraged to construct their own understanding through research and interaction with technologies.

Documents such as this provide guidance for teachers wishing to effectively corporate technologies into their classrooms. It is very unlikely that teachers will be able to personally adapt to these methods and then apply an appropriate pedagogical basis on their own. While it is not impossible, it is time consuming and challenging. This makes it necessary for workshops and articles such as the one we have addressed here, to make the obvious connections and to guide teachers in this new wave of educational methods.

Inspired by the document: Social-Constructivism. Oluwafisayo, E. (2010) “Constructivism and Web 2.0 in the Emerging Learning Era: A Global Perspective,” Journal of Strategic Innovation and Sustainability, 6(4), 16- 25.

 
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Personal Learning Environments – the future of eLearning? Graham Attwell, Pontydysgu

how do blogs fit into PLE's?

The introduction to this article suggests that with the emergence of new learning technologies and Personal Learning Environments, we will need to find a place for the Teacher in the classrooms of the near future.

With this issue still in mind, we are presented with the argument that students can create a completely effective learning environment that is altered towards their personal needs and learning styles.  This goes hand in hand with the fact that students can then use these PLE’s to show their employer that they posses specific stills that are appropriate for the position they have applied for.

With connection to the internet becoming widely and easily accessible, it is becoming effortless for individuals to create their own PLE. In doing this, students are not restricted to formal learning environments such as classrooms and are able to combine the theory they learn online with the practicality of the environment surrounding them.

It would be irresponsible of a teacher to ignore these incredible improvements in technology and the changes in the standard learning environment. It is not impossible for teachers to incorporate elements of the PLE into the traditional classroom setting. With the pedagogical knowledge of teachers, we can adapt and advise the use of technology in a way that will enhance the learning of our students.

At a secondary educational level students need to be taught how to use these technologies. They will also need to be shown the skills they need to posses before they enter the workforce. Students will not know how to access their PLE without some sort of formal learning environment. For this reason I suggest that PLE’s are effective for those who know how to use them effectively, however the role of the teacher is not redundant.   

Attwell puts these thoughts into an interesting and easy to understand video. check it out!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWjA-rT3jfk

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