Augmented Reality

I just had the pleasure of reading Wendy’s post about Augmented Reality. (http://wendysgardenoflearning.wordpress.com/2013/09/21/augmented-reality/). Augmented reality is where an individual is able to see a physical object in front of them, then they either put on glasses/ put a tablet in-front of the object and the objects comes ‘alive’. There are a few Applications on the Apple Store that already do this – if you want to try it out ‘Track My Maccas’ is a free one, which, when hovered over McDonald’s packaging shows the farm where the meat in the item came from. At MONA Museum in Hobart, they are starting to integrate this technology into their iPod directory/information system that every visitor gets.

 

As far as Education is concerned, as Wendy says, there are many possibilities! If students go to a museum, they can see the art come to life, and learn about the context in which the art was produced. If students are reading about Captain’s Cook landing they can see it animated and click on information that they are finding very interesting.

As to whether this will make learning more interactive and therefore more effective, probably not, essentially it is just as effective as showing a video to your students. However, the individual aspect of it, i.e. individuals delving into parts of an image which interest them would be something that would be beneficial for education. Additionally, due to multiple intelligences of students by Gardner, students learn in many different ways. Some students may find this way of object interaction particularly helpful to their learning process. 

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Assignment Three

http://crystalhislop.wordpress.com/2013/09/20/assignment-3-not-again/

 

Crystal has blogged about everyone’s favorite part about studying – Assignments! An imposing assignment is coming up in the near future and it is ‘Assignment Three’. I am not sure about students in other majors, but I am very relieved. In my past prac subjects, I have had to type up observations, reflections, lessons, lesson reflections, unit plans, etc etc etc, the document usually totals about 25,000 words. So this assignment the fact that I *only* have to submit lesson plans, lesson journals and evaluations is amazing – I am looking forward to that very much!

Assignment three is off my radar at the moment though, as everyone else in EDC3100 is starting prac now, I don’t start for another three weeks after everyone is finished, due to the fact I run a Holiday programme and I cannot take time off during the holidays! So I am starting on the 14th October. I have several other assignments to start and finish before that, HPE, science and general science course work (all the other subjects I have finished all the coursework). It is now time for me to get organized.. yay!

Being Critical in ICT’s

Do this quiz –

http://www.educationelf.net/how-susceptible-are-you-to-neuromyths-take-the-quiz-and-test-your-science-knowledge/

Being Critical in a world of  ICT. There is so much information on the internet how are we to know what is legitimate and what is not? This is one of the most vital skills we need to teach children – how to criticize and analyze the information they read on the internet. Did they really win one million dollars ? Probably not.

I think the best thing here is to explain that ANY information one reads – be it print digital or in a scientific journal, needs to be read critically, as you would teach them when analyzing media. At the end of the day ‘references’ are not reliable enough – the student needs to learn to look at who paid for the information to be produced (i.e. is a yoghurt company paying to release information about how healthy eating six yoghurts daily are for you), who wrote the article (an academic or Johnno from FlagMag?), and who published the information (Dolly Magazine or The Australasian Journal of Early Childhood). Even more than that one must examine the information regarding how the information was obtained – a research project, observations, or maybe a scientific investigation? Was the study about early childhood students in Australia with data collected from ten students in a small community in rural Northern Territory? Does that really represent the entirety of Australian early childhood students? Probably not.

I hope this post has made you realise what you read and the importance of not only teaching children to analyze what they read, but analyzing what YOU read.

 

PDA’s (Personal Digital Assistant)

How many devices have you used in the last three years to access your online accounts?

Obviously, your smart phone, your three month old computer, your tablet, your computer before that. Your friends tablet that time you were staying with them in Sydney, your aunts desktop computer, your husbands smart phone… and the list goes on. There was even that tablet that I bought and didn’t enjoy so I returned it… logged onto my emails and facebook on that too.

The reason why I ask is that your PDA’s, or Personal Digital Assistants, such as all the items you thought of briefly above store information about your communications. Did you realise you were so connected and had left snippets of yourself on different devices, and over the internet.

The following website offers teachers, students and parents alike information about the internet and the communication possibilities that may not have been possible when the reader was in school. I.e. online etiquette – has evolved since I was in high school. Complaining about daily life on social media is not okay, nor is putting up millions of pictures from your night out – but it used to be. Etiquette has changed so much already, which means that parents or teachers who are trying to help their students/ children deal with online cyber bullying (for example) may not understand the complexities of the issue due to the etiquette of using social media changing so quickly. This is due to the amount of different social medias people use, and the increasing accessibility of social medias – the level of communication speed we can now achieve is related to the fast evolving nature of changing of online etiquette and therefore more disconnection from parents / teachers and their students.

Therefore, it is more important than ever for parents, teachers and students to educate themselves about the dangers of high rates of communication such as what social medias and the internet provide and a website such as this ‘Cyber Smart’ allows us to do so – with issues that are relevant to the Australian culture.

http://www.cybersmart.gov.au/Schools.aspx

Digital Footprint, Part B

The worst part of a digital footprint from social medias, is if a pre-service teacher takes part in university social life, and photos end up on the internet, the teacher could be scrutinized or suspended or fired later on for these photos if they fall into the wrong hands. It seems unfair since people in other professions don’t have to put up with this scrutiny. However I am sure that every single individual has a crazy wild photo from a night out during their youth. I just looked at my own ‘facebook tagged photo count’, and I am up to 3,500 photos in the last six years. A lot of these are from my formative adult years where there are a few photos that I would prefer not fall in the wrong hands. They are not too bad, just me holding a beer at a nightclub, but it could be taken in the wrong way. I am lucky as I am an early childhood educator, my students will not be too interested in my pictures, however my parents might be. This could especially become an issue if for one reason or another I am wrongly accused of discouraging or disadvantaging a student and their parents try to build a legal case against me and the school, and use one of these pictures. At what point are these pictures my (or my friend who tagged me) property, or is it a free for all? This is a scary prospect as it could affect any teacher at any time, as parents don’t always see eye to eye with their child’s educator. I wonder if the implications of this will become more serious in the future, or if the Australian Law will endeavor to protect teachers from personal information being used in a professional sphere.

Digital Footprint, Part A

The presence of the web has brought new issues into the spotlight for teachers, especially with new social media websites becoming so dominant on the internet. Facebook (and other websites) as for so much information as well, and if you choose to hold back information the website prompts you every time you log in to ‘complete your details’. The details they were originally asking for (school, year graduated, birthday, gender) has now expanded to include things such as when you ‘decided to go on a health kick’. Not only is this a substantial amount of personal information which is shared with whoever on the internet (even if you have privacy settings – see my previous post). This information could be found from your students or parents or worse, your future employer.

What use is this information that is so personal in a professional sphere? It was never meant to become known as part of your identity professionally, but today it is a fact that teachers have to be more careful about what they post online. Is this fair? To a point does it mean we are marginalized? Will it make a big difference one day when what you have on the internet is more important and makes a larger part of our lives than it does now? It’s interesting to think about this.. I already think that I cannot do certain things in public in case I am caught in public by a parent (i.e. drink at a pub on a Tuesday afternoon in the holidays). Will the amount of information I put on the internet mean that I cannot ever do anything that does not fit into the ‘accepted’ teacher stereotype?

Reflection on ICT use in the Classroom

I was reading Helen White’s blog post about ICT use in the classroom and how it makes teaching a lot easier (http://helenlwhiteblog.wordpress.com/2013/09/07/reflection-on-ict-use/). This is great, I love the opportunities ICT provides to Australian students, however I also believe it should not take over the classroom environment. I believe it is entirely pessimistic and backward to say that ICT does not have a place in the classroom. In the preschool I work in, we recently bought a SmartBoard, and invested in an iPad for each teacher in the centre. I don’t have an iPad myself as I am just the ASC Co-Ordinator, but the teachers have been raving about the possibilities and ease of which documentation can be made in just a simple process of taking a photo on the iPad, adding a quote and relevant learning outcomes, attaching it to an iPad app that is designed for use by preschools, tagging the students involved and the class name, and ‘send’. The documentation is then sent to the relevant parents email and put on the blog of the class. As far as cutting out photos, writing quotes and making individual portfolios (at some schools these resemble coffee table books!) using an iPad saves on time for the early childhood teacher very much.

However, what about the children? The smart board has made a significant difference to children’s interest in group times as they can be more interactive now, as there is another method of communication. So, all in all technology has made a significant difference to the education of children in our classrooms.

Internet Security – Part B

After reading my previous blog post (https://teachingkidsstuff.wordpress.com/2013/09/12/internet-security-part-a/) it made  me think about the applications of educating children about this reality of shared information without our knowledge or permission. The thing with teaching children about internet security is, are they old enough to make judgements about what they should or shouldn’t want on the internet. Essentially the question we should be asking ourselves is, do we want this information to be public, for the rest of our lives, and beyond! It is a really interesting question because the reality is, if someone felt so obliged they could find out a lot of information about a person if they wanted to, and had the knowledge on how to do this. All of a sudden I feel like I live in a multifaceted, extra large form of ‘The Truman Show’, or ‘Big Brother’!

This raises a few questions for me – should we be monitoring our children’s use of the internet, banning the internet for anyone under eighteen, or adapt our internet in Australia so we cannot access overseas websites so then the Australian Internet Security Laws can protect us? The latter two would make me feel like I am living in a communist state, without the freedom I deserve of being an Australian. The former would be difficult to implement nation wide. I’m not sure anyone has the answer to this question. For now, all we can do as educators is discuss these issues with students and try to give them examples that are relevant to their lives today, so hopefully, they will think twice about posting embarrassing, identifying, honest information on the internet.

Original idea for this blog post came from http://www.abc.net.au/the730report

Internet Security, Part A

The other evening I was watching 7.30 on the ABC network and they had a segment about internet security and how much we are watched in our everyday lives without realizing. Traffic lights monitoring the movements of motorists and pedestrians through bluetooth, cookies sending information about our ‘likes’ on Facebook and monitoring our emails in other countries. Internet security specialists being able to track our every move if they felt so obliged (i.e. if they suspected us for something). Even with privacy settings on Facebook, Tumblr etc. we can be tracked if the government, or less trustworthy thieves could find out vital information we may have not wanted to share. Even emails can be accessed. The scariest part about this all is that if information is accessed, or websites are owned and based outside of Australia, Australian Internet Security Laws cannot protect us, nor can American or British Internet Security Laws – our information on the internet, as obscure or detailed as it may be- can be accessed. 

How do you feel about this? It is very daunting to think this could happen to anyone who shares anything on the internet or simply owns a smart phone. How do we educate our children about this? Are children old enough to make a judgement call about what information is appropriate for sharing on the internet?

 

http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/