Code of conduct for students

It was after reading a post by fellow course member Vivien Clark about using different ICTs with different year groups that prompted me to reflect on the different ICTs that I used during prac. Before attending prac I thought I would be one of the lucky ones who’s students had access to a variety of ICTs including chromebooks. Boy was this to come back and bite me.

Day 1 of prac:  While watching from the rear of my classroom the teacher sat the students down and instructed them to engage in silent reading. Interestingly he told them they can use their chromebooks for online reading. To my absolute horror not one person actually did any authentic reading during that session. A group of boys down the back spent their reading time googling images for their desktop home screen. Girls were watching One Direction on youtube, many others were trolling through online catalogues deciding on which book to read while most engaged on online chat between other students in the class.

The online environment offered too much selection and the boundaries weren’t clear enough, let alone being able to exercise the code of conduct that they all agreed to and signed when they received their chromebooks.

Definitely in my classroom there won’t be any antics like this and I’ll make the boundaries explicit. A dashboard on the teachers computer would stop this behaviour pretty quick.

Effective Use of Scootle – Learning Paths

Previously I have used Scootle as a great resource for finding resources and ideas to use in lesson plans an unit plans. Usually has been used as a stand alone resource. Whilst on prac I learned how to integrate this resource further and use it as a tool for students to access.

There is a function in Scootle that allows us to create learning paths. Learning paths are exclusive paths of selected resources that students can access via a password. I used these as fast finisher activities for when students have finished their work early or as a calm down activity when students have returned from a specialists lesson or just returned from break all hyped up.

Here is a learning path that I created for my year 7 maths class. The password to access this exclusive learning path is CRGSLG. Our topic was decimals; adding, subtracting, multiplying. The students loved it. As I saw and observed on prac students need planned ICT experiences. It’s a disaster waiting to happen for a teacher to give students instructions such as choose a cool maths game.


Click on the Scootle picture then enter this password CRGSLG

Mock Weekly Spelling Test – Google Forms

After some thoughtful contemplations about Google Forms in the classroom, I have created a mock spelling test using google forms to test a suggestion about using google forms for weekly spelling tests in the classroom. The link to the mock spelling test is here

When giving the test the teacher would read the words out aloud. It would have been good to add some audio to the form so that the students could work completely independently on their test. I thought about recording the words in audacity and embedding the link in a google doc although wondered if this would be too cumbersome and also contemplated saving the file as an MP4 and then could put on an ipod and play aloud to the students. Having an audio file of the words means that students doing extension words could work separately and all students could finish spelling at the same time.

Here are some negatives:  some students may only finger type and be left behind. With room chatter the audio file may not be heard. Can you think of any others to add to my list?.

What are Google Forms? How do I use them?

A topic was presented that interested me. Using Google Forms as ICT in assessment. What the …. is a google form let alone using it as an assessment tool? Off I go with my trusty google search engine.

The first part of my research took me on a journey to find out what a google form is. According to Google Drive (2013):

Google Forms is a useful tool to help you plan events, send a survey, give students a quiz, or collect other information in an easy, streamlined way. A Google form can be connected to a Google spreadsheet. If a spreadsheet is linked to the form, responses will automatically be sent to the spreadsheet. Otherwise, users can view them on the “Summary of Responses” page accessible from the Responses menu.

Here is a short video that describes Google Forms

Using my PLN I discovered Tom Barrett, a teacher from England who has incorporated  Google Forms into classroom assessment. Here is a link to his blog ’10 Google Forms for the classroom’ that outlines how he is achieving this great blend of rich ICT experiences into everyday learning and assessment.

My particular favourite is using Google Forms for the weekly spelling test. I can really see the benefit here as all results are collated in a spreadsheet and identifying misspelled words will be a whole lot faster than opening 30 student exercise books, finding the right page and individually marking each one. Using a spreadsheet the data can then be transfered into individual students spreadsheets and can provide a visual graphical analysis of results over time.

What are your thoughts and ideas?

To NAPLAN or not?

Many of my peers have made the dreaded decision to defer the start date of EDC3100 prac until NAPLAN testing has finished. For me, I have decided to dive in and start on the scheduled day. Yes, my year seven class will be NAPLAN testing for one to two sessions per day and are unlikely to carry on with explicit teaching however, at some point in my beginner teaching days I am likely to have to supervise a NAPLAN testing period. I’ve decided use this time to get to know and analyse student names and their virtual school bags. When it comes to ICT in the classroom, I am confident using computers, internet, cameras, ipads however, my prac class doesn’t have any interactive smart boards and I have never seen one used let alone plan to use one in my ICT rich lessons;  So I intend on asking my mentor teacher if there are any lower grades that wouldn’t mind a prac student observing their lessons that involve the use of ICT’s such as interactive smart boards.