Thursday, 2 June 2011

What have I learnt about 'New Technologies' in Education??

Over this semester I have really enjoyed learning about the 'New Technologies' and how as starting teacher we can embed and integrate them into our teaching. 

There are so many things that I have learnt and to name a few, who knew that a social networking site such as Twitter could be used as an educational tool? Or that blogs and discussions boards can have such a positive effect on learning and feedback.

This unit has opened up a whole new avenue to teaching for me and I have been show some great resources that I can use in my own classroom when I start teaching, or even on prac.

An important issue that I will take away from this unit is that technology in the classroom should not just be used as a tool. Instead it should be embedded and integrated into the curriculum so that using these kinds of technological resources becomes a normal part of a student’s everyday life. The technological world is constantly growing with better and more advanced things being produced. So shouldn’t students have the opportunity to learn about and use them in their classroom?

Working with technology in at school also allows students to connect with each other not just at school but also outside of school to. It follows the social constructivist theory that learning should be collaborative, scaffolded by the teacher and building ones own knowledge. This learning environment is engaging, student-centered and students are actively leaning.

I also really enjoyed making my own wiki for assignment two. Until this unit I had only ever had a quick look at Wikipedia, and never thought i would be able to create my own educational wiki!

To conclude, this unit has been eye-opening and I feel I have learnt many new ways to improve my teaching by bringing it in to the 21st century and creating a safe, active and engaging learning environment through the use of Information and Communication Technologies.

Monday, 16 May 2011

Online Dangers and Cyber Safety

Around 43 per cent of people with internet access have online ‘friends’ they have never met in real life (Kaspersky Lab, 2011).

Although the Internet is a great way to interact socially with friends and family and is also a great educational tool, it has opened up a whole new world, allowing information and connections to be sourced in ways unimaginable a few years ago. However the Internet can be a dangerous place. Parents and teachers are often unaware of online dangers and it is important for them to find out what the most significant online dangers are and how to deal with them.
Some of the significant online dangers include:

Cyber bullying: This includes threats, insults and other malicious behaviour that is spread across the Internet by email/instant messaging/social networking sites such as Facebook and twitter.

Inappropriate content: This varies depending on age/network/parents etc, however inappropriate content tends to refer to sites that contain unsuitable content for children This can refer to pornography, gun sites, drug taking etc.

Data Theft: Children my unknowingly have personal information displayed about themselves and their family, making it easier for online predators to access information about them.

Predators: This is probably the most worrying and is the most talked about online danger. Predators typically pretend to be a young person and befriend another young person through the Internet and then gather personal information about them.

Whilst many children are more than capable of using computer and Internet technology, they don’t always understand the online dangers that are around and the implications that they can have. Therefore children who are online users should be warned about this for their own personal safety and to put parents and teachers minds a bit more at ease.

Saturday, 7 May 2011


Literacy involves gaining the skills and knowledge to read and interpret varying texts and artifacts, and to successfully navigate and negotiate their challenges, conflicts and crises. To the domains of reading, writing, and traditional print literacies, one could argue that in an era of technological revolution, educators must develop robust forms of media literacy, computer literacy, and multimedia literacies, thus cultivating “multi-literacies.”

-Douglas Kellner and Jeff Share, “Media Literacy in the US”

Literacy is defined as “The ability to identify, understand, interpret, create, communicate and compute, using printed and written materials associated with varying contexts" (Literacy, 2007). However, our society is filled with technology such as computers, phones, etc and to be able to participate and engage in this new technological world, writing and reading, although still very important, is not enough.
From what I have read, my take on multiliteracies is that there is more focus on incorporating other aspects of literacy such as visual, audio, images, symbols etc into literacy learning and this is due to the fact that we know live in a technological society where children are using multiliteracies in everyday life, inside and outside the classroom.

Some examples of using multiliteracies in the classroom include:
Digital story telling:
With digital storytelling, students can are able to improve muliteracy skills, show their creativity and also it gives them a voice.

Storybird is a great website where you can see digital stories written by others and it also helps you to create your own stories:

Podcasts allow teachers to provide educational material either for revision or homework so that students can download and use the information at a time that suits them. It is also great for students to share learning experiences. 

Monday, 11 April 2011


In our society today, tools such as instant messenger and microblogging are rooted into children’s lifestyle. In their spare time they will constantly be on social networking sites, microblogging sites such as twitter and chatting away to their friends on instant messengers such as facebook chat or whatsapp (on the iphone).

This is the world that younger students are being brought up in so why not use theses tools that they know how to use so well, and embed it into their education.

I have been looking at using twitter a learning tool. I must admit, when I first heard about Twitter I thought it was just another social networking tool where people could just update you on what they were doing at the specific moment and thought it was actually pretty boring. I never really saw the point in it and when the view was put across that it could be used as tool in education, I really didn’t understand how. But from our lectures and after reading a lot more about it, I now realise that Twitter has the potential to be a great educational tool. It is not just an instant messaging site or social network site, but instead it can be used to have conversation on a larger scale and you are able to share your ideas and knowledge with not just a few contacts but to a huge network of people.

After looking through the web, I actually found a really good website/blog, which has a number of ideas on ways to use twitter in the classroom and the title of it is:

"100 ways to Teach with Twitter":

Instead of me listing all the uses of twitter in education, I thought you may want to have a look at this useful link. This blogger has compiled a number of articles containing examples and suggestions for using Twitter in instructional applications.

"Twitter is a place to share a resource, a link to a new blog post, or an insight, and even a place to have a little fun. It’s a place that could be about learning”.
 -- David Jakes.

Monday, 4 April 2011


From my own personal experience, I have compiled a short list of a few advantages and disadvantages of using Wikipedia.


Wikipedia is very easy to use and is a good way to quickly find relevant information without having to search through a number of different sites that Google pulls up.

The information provided is basic and is explained in simple and clear terms, which makes it easier to understand, especially if it a topic that is unfamiliar to you.

When researching something in Wikipedia, each page has sources, which you are able to click on and be taken to another page. This new page has information relevant to the topic you are searching and explains this source in more detail.


I think that it is important to understand that Wikipedia entries are not always posted by scholars, therefore as anyone is able to go onto Wikipedia and edit the information or add new pieces of information, it can make this information less reliable.

Therefore, when searching conventional terms then the information that has been entered may be bias based on the views of the person who has entered the information.

Wikipedia may be a great source of basic information, but a lot of educational institutions won’t accept it as a reference, mainly because of the first point I made.  

Wikipedia is a quick and easy way to search for information on the Internet and like everything on the Internet, Wikipedia has good information and flawed information. Teachers should be aware of this and can help students learn to distinguish between information that is correct and relevant and information that is wrong and biased.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Use of Blogs in Education

Blogs gives students their own voice and creates a learning community, where students can share their opinions and thoughts with each other.
I think it can also result in feedback from peers and teachers, giving them motivation to think and form a good opinion.

As well as teaching students how to form an opinion and create a discussion, blogs can also teach a number of different skills. It can encourage the development of research skills and improve digital literacy, where the student learns to review, interpret and evaluate online resources. 

Web 2.0 and the Social Constructivist theory

Web 2.0 allows users to interact, collaborate and network with each other on the web, through tools such as blogs, social networks, Wikis, podcasting, etc. The implications that Web 2.0 has in education have many links to the social constructivist theory of teaching and learning:

Social constructivism, “meaning that the student joins a know­ledge-generating community and in collaboration with others solve real problems as part of their study”.
(Haugen, H., & Ask, B. Pedagogical Approaches to e-Learning).

Web 2.0 has transpired as a practical teaching and learning tool for educators, creating social constructivist learning environments which are engaging, student-centered and active learning environments.