Standardised no more? Through ICT!

I noticed on mjlarsen’s blog, a reflection on new insights into ICTs gained professional experience. Whilst I was on professional experience, our principal attended a meeting that discussed the plans for the future online NAPLAN, as mentioned in our final module, so I have some inside info. Firstly, a few selected schools will try the online version next year. In 2018, schools can opt to be a trial school, and by 2019 it is said that online will be mandatory in all schools.

Implications much????

Surely all schools have the ICT capability and support to allow all students in Years 3 and 5 on the computer at the same time? ‘Pfffft….’ I hear you say!

Well here’s the solution, and I actually like it..

Every test is different. No two tests are the same, eliminating the ‘everyone at the same time’ dilemma. Also, the questions are automatically differentiated, based on previous responses, for example, if a student gets the first 10 questions correct, they move onto harder ones, but if they get them wrong, they are given easier ones. At their level! Think of the self-efficacy! You can find out more here but there’s nothing like a little staff meeting gossip to give you a heads up!

Standardised testing not so standardised anymore, eh?





Getting annoyed with technology..

I am absolutely loving my prac, and I will be sorry to finish up on Friday. However, I am so sick of using back up plan after back up plan for my technology.

My hotspot on my phone is constantly in use, and now thanks to Telstra I’m having to do this at home too. Because I need to have a big vent, this is how ICT has failed me on this prac:

  1. No webcam at school. Solution- I brought my own computer.
  2. No internet connection at school for my computer. Solution- I have my hotspot.
  3. Cannot connect computer to IWB. Solution- bought extremely expensive adapter.
  4. Connected everything, but external speakers didn’t work so audio too quiet. Solution- a bottle of wine that night.

Week 2 and 3

  1. All of the above.
  2. Telstra outage has meant no internet at home. I am STILL not reconnected. No solution as yet apart from hotspot.
  3. Home printer broke. Solution- drive to uni at night.
  4. Tried to use Prezi on iPads but app wouldn’t work. Solution- Booked computers.
  5. Ed Qld wouldn’t allow access to Prezi on student login. Solution- mentor (bless her) used her login for every single computer.

So here is a link to Lip Sync Battle. Because it is funny, has absolutely nothing to do with ICTs, education, or resources. Enjoy.

Great interactive maths tools

Hi everyone, I am feeling really fortunate to be teaching in an age of easily accessible resources. I cannot believe how easy it is to find a clip, information or an interactive game to compliment just about any area that I am teaching. I think the kids become so engaged and it really reinforces their learning. I thought that I would share a few websites who offer fantastic online free maths resources for the classroom- some are even tablet-friendly.

This one is great for interactive maths games and activities, I am currently using the year 4 shape sorting one.

I also love this one and I have used it many times before.

For those who have done EDX3270 maths, I decided to make the most of the QuestGarden membership and have created a no-frills simple WebQuest where I dump activities such as these and the kids are using them at home and during reading/maths rotations.

Hope everyone is enjoying prac 🙂

Mac and IWBs

If anyone on prac has a Mac- and like me you are unable to do the ‘Mac-tastic’ things you want to on the school’s Windows laptop, you will need to purchase some cables and adapters in order to get ‘hooked up’. I know that other students such as BeeHappy4life use Macs and if you are anything like me, once you go Mac, you never go back, and it can seem limiting when trying to use Windows/PC again.

So, to save you some research…

To connect IWB to iPad- The IWB has a ‘VGA’ connection, so you will need VGA (female) to lightening /or VGA to 30 pin (depending on which iPad you have) I got mine from Officeworks for $44. (Expensive, yes but I figure a useful tool and something I will be using all the time)

To connect IWB to Macbook (I have a Pro) you will need a Mini Display Port (DVI) to VGA adapter. I got mine from JB Hifi for $38…

I also made sure that I had permission to use my Mac, (IMPORTANT!!)

Now I’m set! I hope that this helps.


Prac, day one.

Well due to the Fraser Coast Show holiday next Friday I was able to start prac on Friday instead of tomorrow. This was great as I was able to get to know the kids and do some observations before new units of maths and english begin. I was also able to test out the technology. I’m glad I tried to because we had all sorts of dramas, from a failed internet connection (resulting in using my hotspot on my phone) to no web cam, to trying to use my Mac as a backup- but of course the Mac wouldn’t connect to the IWB! I’m extremely grateful to have had Sat and Sun to run around looking for the correct cables so that I am able to teach my lesson on Mon! Phew!

I have been trying to check out the IWB features from home, I punched in the model number and have been watching the demo videos– check it out (If you are using a Hitachi Star Board that is!)

Letting the kids choose….privacy issues and social media

I have a Facebook account, although I usually keep it deactivated. This is because I am uncomfortable with the ‘comfortness’ that people have with opening up their private lives (and the lives of others) on social media. When I add a photo on Facebook or make a comment/status (which is a rarity), I go through a list of questions and processes in my mind, such as ‘who will see this?’ ‘are there certain people who will be offended by this?’, ‘will there be repercussions for myself or anyone else?’ and I find that I get so caught up thinking about the after-effects that I end up rewording so much that I delete it anyway. So, I have issues….. and I am uncomfortable with people knowing where I am, what I’m doing and who I’m with… which brings me to my children…

I have always argued the fact that there could be serious repercussions in the future for children who’s lives have been totally exposed on social media without their consent. I am a private person, and I feel that if the world had seen me growing up and anyone could access photos of certain milestones of my life, I would feel somewhat violated. I don’t post photos of my children, and I often ask people and organisations to respect my views on this. They can make the decision when they are adults. This is difficult when it is society’s norm. I noticed this article today on the ICT feed, and I wanted to share it with you… what the hell, I might even re-activate the ol’ Facebook account and share it on there!!!

Interactive Whiteboards- uses and UNDERuses.

I was reading Belinda’s blog about underuse of interactive whiteboards (IWBs) and it coincidentally arrived at the same time as I had read David’s shared Diigo resource about the many different uses for IWBs. Although I admit that I haven’t had time to go through every one, I have really picked up some great tips and I have stored for later use.

I also found this clip on you tube, nothing really ‘out there’ but just a reminder of the engagement of students when using the IWB. I don’t know about other students but I certainly don’t feel confident using the board, mainly because I don’t have one to practice on, but I’m really keen to use it and would love to engage in a PD to learn more.