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.
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.
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.
I never thought that I would delve so deep into an assignment and use so many tools embedded in the one artifact. I have begun by selecting a reusable prezi template and then began modifying to suit my assignment plan and context. So far I’ve used and embedded iPhoto on my macbook to video an introduction, Powerpoint diagrams converted to pictures to illustrate educational goals, Goanimate to illustrate supporting evidence and youtube as a vehicle for uploading video. Its exhausting just listing them out and I’m not yet finished. I wonder what other tools I can come up with to add diversity and interest to my presentation.
I had nearly convinced myself that ICT was stereotyped destroying the brains of our children. I’m so glad that I saw this news article about a year 7 student from America that used ICT in her science fair project. How awesome to send a toy into Earths outer atmosphere using ICT’s such as; GoPro camera’s to visually record the journey, electronic temperature devices to record change in temperature, GPS for location tracking and Youtube to share the experience globally. My views of how to use ICT effectively in the classroom just took a sharp turn in a positive direction. The inquiry that will lead from this project for students and educators is enormous and exciting.