Sunday, October 11, 2009
Monday, October 5, 2009
For ful time Uni students who are compiling a CV (from scratch) and completing work to submit regularly, I can see a place for it maybe.
I already have a Blog for my relective accounts and I have a notepad on my iPhone and PC (linked together) which is wonderful for uploading websites/texs/files/contacts/etc., for free. The PebblePad, from what I understand, and I stand to be corrected when we have our 'talk' on it, s only free whilst at Uni and for 12months after one leaves. After this, is has to be paid for!
I am unure as to the logistics of access by others to your "assets" and to the limitof 100MB's of space - yes, I know this sounds huge, but my tiny memory stick has more than enough for my needs combined with my pc.
As I say, for a full time Uni student, it may be worthwhile for storing everything on whilst "on campus", but personally, I think it has too much!?!? Maybe I am just well organised as I already ave a CV on my computer and a section where I add any courses I attend, etc., so I suppose I have an e-portfolio already ..... I am open minded enough to be swayed though still and will say no more until we have our session on 12th November wiith Dominic.........
You will only be able to utilise this site if you are a member of staff or a student at Plymouth University at present.
However, tis web address may give you some further insight:
Would love some feedback from others!! :)
Having finished the ICT module (yes, I passed!!) - my marks weren't as good as I'd expected but then I think I may have had too high expectations of myself! My tutor told me that I had some good stuff in there and I had potential! Well, that's good for the ego and enough motivation to make me continue :)
My sister became my 'critical friend' this summer, as I had no idea where my last assignment was heading, initially. I thought I disliked my tutor but on reflection I reckon it was more of a dislike of the actual module (unfortunately she just happened to be 'teaching' it!) .......... behaviour management was NOT my forte!!!! Having now finished it though,I have actually quite enjoyed it - learnt from it? .... yes, I think I have in a strange sort of way! It was a definate learning curve ... vertical ..... but one I have come out of on top (dependant upon my mark!!! .. watch this space! lol)
Today I felt soooooo valued at work - lots of praise for various things! One of which was the EAL stuff I'd done over the weekend! Also the ART testing began today (thanked by teaching staff for that one!) and the on-going, dreaded, IEP's!!!!! Gotta be ready for Ofsted!
Having that feeling has done wonders for my self-esteem and makes me realise how the pupils feel daily (not that I ever doubted that before! - I know how it feels NOT to be appreciated when you feel as if you are doing your best!)
My feelings towards our little Polish boy are no different - he's wonderful (and very cheeky sometimes!!, but all part of his enduring character.) You have to understand that being of Polish background myself I feel very strongly about his inclusion and want to make it work, but I now realise that it's not as simple as that. I think, therefore I am .....!! (Cogito ergo sum ......)
My husband, knowing how I feel, has been very supportive, but has also told me that I am probably rather biased ....... I just want it to work for this kid! However, even I can see that things are rather difficult!! But I CAN make a difference in how things are approached with him and I intend to do that.
It is something that I feel strongly about, but something which I can make a difference to - I have a greater knowledge of background/culture than most at the school, and I have come across bias before. It make me very cross to see it from staff at school though!
On top of all this we have had our lovely (less than 2 months old) sports car (top of the range Z3) written off by a single driver one morning whilst it was parked quite unoffensively outside our house! (See previous Blog)
Having been to hell and back over the last 18 months (after losing absolutely everything just after our arrival here!!) I am thankful to still feel so optimistic!!!
The reflective account/diary is going to be more useful than I thought (thank you Mark and Rachael).
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Then there's the citations ........... OMG!!!!!!! I have spent nearly as long on those as the actual assignment! Well may be not, but it certainly seems that way sometimes. An absolute maze which I feared sometimes I was lost in for ever, but hey, I think I can see the exit now.
I have really enjoyed this module - I LOVE ICT!!!!! (even if I still have a lot to learn!) and was so glad that I joined the cohort at this time...... late!!
Here's to the next 4 years .......
Saturday, March 14, 2009
I couldn't help but agree with this story - "too much emphasis on particular software packages and not enough time helping the students aquire transferable skills". Read on and see what you think!
Good signs for schools IT spendingFriday, March 13, 2009
An Ofsted report has found that despite schools investing heavily in ICT, there is still no consideration towards its impact on improving learning. The report has noted many gains in schools' IT and has credited the commitment of schools leaders for it. Yet, it found that only half of the schools that Ofsted inspectors visited were actually evaluating the impact of ICT resources on improving learning. Other findings in 'The importance of ICT: information and communication technology in primary and secondary schools 2005-08' included a weakness in assessment, low standards in database usage by pupils and a general restriction on pupils using different software and learning transferable skills. Assessment was the weakest aspect of teaching in IT, the report said, with one in five schools being "inadequate". "The schools visited rarely tracked the progress of individuals in ICT, established their attainment on entry to secondary school or took into account their achievement outside school. Although the use of ICT in other subjects was increasing in secondary schools, the skills were rarely assessed. As a result, ICT teachers rarely knew how well students applied their ICT skills elsewhere," the report said. Although students used ICT well to present their work, communicate their ideas and, increasingly, to manipulate and use a variety of digital media, the report also found that standards in using spreadsheets, databases and programming remained low. Teachers also gave too much emphasis to particular software applications, "rather than helping them to acquire genuinely transferable skills". Higher attaining children in both primaries and secondaries were insufficiently challenged by ICT teaching, the report also found. In Key Stage 4, for example, pupils studying some vocational courses often spent time demonstrating what they could already do rather than acquiring new skills.Christine Gilbert, the chief inspector, said: "Around 77 per cent of the workforce now uses information technology in their job and the demand for these skills is likely to continue to increase. Schools must equip young people with the tools to ensure their employability. ICT needs to be given high status, both by the government and in individual schools, in line with its importance to young people's future economic well being."
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
It's certainly been a steep learning curve along the way, from day one to date - what with using the PowerPoint for what I wanted to use it for (and being able to 'programme' it accordingly), getting the soud to work and all the slides to connect. Then when it wouldn't initially work, (and this was only at home!), having to find out why!
Having sussed all that out and taken it into school on my memory stick I had to transfer it onto the school drive, and then the IWB wouldn't work with it ... oh boy! Having never used the IWB before either, I was going to have to learn how to deal with that too - just another hurdle to overcome! But today I am now as confident as can be for tomorrow!
Having gained all this knowledge I am desperate to put it all into practice more. May be I can offer to utilise the IWB more now that it's not a 'green-eyed monster', and I have already been asked about adapting and using the game I 'designed' for a specific phonics group ..... things are looking up!
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
This is a link to the animated movie that Ann and I made today "Food for thought". I have managed to upload it onto You Tube, and then onto my Blog ...... go on, have a peek and make yourself smile:
Saturday, February 21, 2009
I have managed to open a document in Google and 'write' a few lines, AND publish/save it!!
Now I am supposed to be able to provide a direct hyperlink to it on here???????? Keep trying!!
Typical, stupid mistake - I had it on Edit Html instead of Compose and it 'looked funny'! Hopefully it should work now?! Can't see what I might need to do this for though???
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Have become pretty interested in this 2.o web, internet malarkyand how it might develop, since starting at Uni and tonight found this:
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In for a penny, in for a pound, I went for it ..... watch this space! And, yes, I have done this sort of thing before! ;)
Oh well, back to the Brit Awards!
Monday, February 16, 2009
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Sunday 8th February
Seeing as I couldn't actually finish my photos and post them anywhere whilst at Uni last time, I decided to try and complete the task at home that weekend!! I managed to use the photos initially in a Word document and put the photos in different shapes/backgrounds, etc. Then I put speech bubbles in - not bad I thought!
Having done that I wanted to progress to the next stage and put them into a 'movie'. I was ready to throw the computer out of the window the first day I tried - exasperated or what!!
Still, a good nights sleep and a new day (and about 5 minutes assistance from my eldest son!) I managed to download the music I wanted and edit the photos with captions and music ..... wow, was I impressed!
I then thought it'd be a good idea to upload it onto my Blog.........
Yeah, I know, it's pretty basic - it is my first attempt - ok, it's VERY basic, but I am very proud of it! And Bisto wants to know when he starts getting royalties!!!!
Unfortunateley, it's come up as an error and I can't do it (error codes below!) Wonder if it's to do with having external stuff plugged in? Tried again but same error code/s appeared...?
SUNDAY 15th FEBRUARY!
Have now downloaded GEARS to enable Google Video to host/store any videos I make!, and can now upload my video/movie from here onto my Blog?!?! Oh flippin' hec, not again?!
Well, in my searches (and there have been many folks!) I found I had posted it onto Google Video to be hosted but it might take a day or so for me to find it through a search.
Believe me, I tried ..... I searched for it, and found it - posted 5 days ago (Hmm, just about when I sent it to my sister to see!!) on YouTube!!!!! Oh well, here it is! At last :)
(Bit of a cheat I think as I should have been able to actually upload the video as opposed to the link, still better than nothing at all!)
It made interesting reading and certainly makes you think of how things may change in the future, in the classroom. Will all schools be 'eTwinned' in the future - to other UK schools, or schools worldwide? How will they utilise this? Will it start with simple emails, etc and build up to '2nd life' type worlds where they are taught in other countries too? Anything is possible!!
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Inter-sessional task for 24th February:-
Discuss on your posting any creative ways that you have seen digital media being used in your school. Consider also what were the factors inherent to ICT that made it so successful.
We use digital photography within the ASDAN work the pupils do, and sometimes during English lessons. They have been used to help create storyboards in English (most pupils enjoy having their photos taken - posing for them!) - it assists with pupils that find it hard to sit still for a whole hour or more! They can get up and move around, it involves different types of learning (VAK), and if it keeps them in the classroom rather than getting sent out for getting up and running around, it must surely improve their self esteem too?!
The fact that it involves ICT means, in this instance, that it was talked about, gone and done, (and shown to everyone else by uploading the photos), very quickly. In the past photos would have to have been sent away to be developed and would then have perhaps been displayed on a board. Today it can all be done in one or two lessons and the students know this - everything they have done can be seen immediately and can be edited too - it has SPEED these days!. If pupils want to change the border or colour they can as their photos are really only PROVISIONAL- 'old fashioned' photos cannot be done so easily, and especially not at school!
The BOUNDARIES, at the end of the day, are only as restrictive as the facilitator/educator. If the pupils want to put the photos into a storyboard, they can - on Powerpoint for instance.
If the pupils want to put the photos onto a Word programme and put speech bubbles on to them, the can. They can put relative music in the background if they wish on Powerpoint, and they can chop and change all of this to suit their requirements, as often as they wish - until they have what they perceive as the perfect item to show everyone - ideal for their self esteem ....... they CAN do it and make their work look good!!!!
Anyway, they both look ok eventually - the P/P is the best though, and I'm quite proud of it. I have managed to put the photos on (6 slides), insert speech bubbles and even put background music and some animated effects in! How cool is that? I ust need to be able to sort something out for use during a leson ..... yikes!
I am sure that with some more practice, I will become more confident and quicker at it (hopefully!) - I should really like to be able to get something up and running that I can use at school for a lesson. Perhaps I can find a spare 1/2 hour and get someone to explain things like "can I link my laptop or memory stick to the schools IWB and other stuff"??!! (and make them work more to the point!) ......... watch this space!
Monday, February 2, 2009
The TASK was to find out how pupils are using the internet inside and outside the classroom. It asked that from non-intrusive conversations with pupils consider the following:
- what they are using the Internet for when not directed by the educator
- what skills have they developed for negotiating the www
- which of these skills have been formally taught in school
- which of these skills have they aquired for themselves (or from their peers)
- how much time do they actually spend accessing the Internet
I decided to put out a survey as the students didn't have to put their name to it, but I would ask them to identify their gender and year group.
The first question I broke down into areas I was interested in seeing if used by students - email; chat roooms (such as Facebook and Beebo); gaming; music; films; photos;following or updating websites; Blogs; homework; personal hobby/interest or something else.
The second, third and fourth question were as stated above. The fifth question I split into how much time they access the Internet when NOT at school - after school, during a weekday, and during the weekends. The answers were quite surprising to me.
There was a good cross section of male and female students from year 7 to year 11.
There was only 1 student that recorded rather excesive hours on a daily basis but then they also commented that they didn't really use the Internet as much at the weekend as they were always out!
Of the skills learnt at school, only 2 raised the fact that safety issues had been learnt/taught at school.
The majority appear to think that school hasn't taught them many skills at all and, in fact, that they have picked them up mostly themsleves, or with a little help from peers.
Most stated that they did homework/homework research on the Internet alongside emails, chat (such as Beebo, etc), and games. Some downloaded music or films and only a few had heard of Blogs. Only 1 student had their own Blog!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
From this I realised that most students don't appear to use the Internet to excess, or maybe they believe they don't - perhaps if they timed themselves, they might find different? Then it made me wonder if maybe it's that their parents/guardians have a strict limit on how long they are allowed to spend on line.
The safety issue doesn't seem to be of a high interest or to be of noteable value in a skill learnt at school. Is this because we don't "push it enough"? Or do the students not think of it as something that has been taught them? Maybe as a school we should look into this issue and make it a higher priority - especially after reading the Byron Report!!
Maybe the safety aspect doesn't evolve at school due to the filtering that is in place, but this is not in place at home one would assume and therefore students still need educating about this issue. I often overhear students complaining that a particular site has been 'blocked'!!
Will bring this up in the near future! An interesting result and would be even more interesting if done over the whole school!
Sunday, February 1, 2009
Saturday, January 31, 2009
Have learnt today, (courtesy of my 16 year old), how to download and upload music. Yesterday I found out how to put a url onto Facebook and share it .............. phew! It's all too much! tee hee
Didn't manage to collect the surveys from the libraryon Friday, but must do on Monday. Tonight will finish reading the Byron Report http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/byronreview/ - some of it has been really easy reading, but some of it has been an extremely hard slog.
Visited our Inclusion Unit about my assignment and they have given me loads of stuff that they would like on a web/blog/wiki (they have no idea about the latter two though!), yet are genuinely excited about what we might achieve for the students.
Some literature arrived from Uni yesterday too - no Uni card though, which means still no library access. Although I joined the local Library, they have no 'record' of any of the literature listed on my module leaflet to read, so to date I have not been able to read any of that.
Anyway, after all is done, I reckon I deserve some time on the Wii seeing as only 2 out of 4 are at home tonight!!!! (That means I shall be able to choose what I go on as well ..... sheer luxury!)
Thursday, January 29, 2009
The survey papers I put out in SSC, regarding the way in which students use ICT outside of the educators direction, were so interesting I have done some more to put in the library (wider spectrum of students still) - shall be able to collect them tomorrow after school!!
Oh dear!! Have just tried to delete a 'search label' on my first entry (Monday 19th January 2009) and deleted the whole page instead!!!! aarrggggghhhhhh HELP!
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Still, regarding the task set for next session (finding out about how pupils use the Internet inside and outside the classroom), I decided to sort out a brief, easy to understand, survey to leave in our SSC and Library for students to complete. So far it has been rather interesting and not at all what I invisaged!
I think I am like the 'pragmatist' described on the powerpoint in the lesson - and I would definately like to learn more about the IWB. How to use it full stop in the classroom would be a pretty good start! Other areas, I have been trying to help other TA's overcome (emails, SIMS,Excel, etc) .... at least that makes me feel as if I know something!!!!! :)
Am looking forward to the next session and hope I have got done all I am supposed to have done as I seem to keep finding stuff that is "an activity" (to be done by next session?) and another task ............ sinking or swimming????? (maybe it's just a bit of a doggy-paddle at the moment!)
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Also found out that Blogs are filtered and I couldn't get into mine on the school site!
My son's class has just been given a MP3 player (on loan!) from his French teacher to help with listening skills and pronounciation, ready for GCSE's - what a good idea!
This could easily be adapted for other pupils who have English as a second/additional language (EAL) couldn't it? Adapted in that some are likely to require basics and some maybe just to increase voacabulary bank. Must have a word with our MFL dept tomorrow!
There is a way obviously of viewing them (must find out!) as one of our students is on the Spirit of Discovery yacht (sailing to Australia with family) and their tutor group is following the voyage on the INTERNET via news clips and blogs. How cool is that ........ to be able to keep in touch with someone who is on a boat in the middle of the ocean?!?! It even made it onto Spotlight News at 6.30pm tonight - with video/audio links direct to the yacht and interviews from students at school!
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Found it really interesting myself due to the fact that I'd seen students working on this site but not understood how it actually worked. I now know how it looks/works for both students and teachers. A good way of paperless homework (and sometimes class work too) and ideal for monitoring by teacher. Some pupils will come in with excuse that they couldn't get internet access no doubt, (but it won't hold!) We have homework club with computer access daily and there is always access in the library after school on most days! Besides, if they come to the teacher/TA asap we will find a way around it. Unlike paper homework, they can have numerous attempts (it records how many) but will remember the highest mark. It's quick and instant as the pupil can see their marks immediateley by clicking on "markit" ... and no "Sorry. I've left my book at home!"
There are some brilliant maths 'games' on this site too - so when pupils are allowed on "something sensible" .... this is one of those sites!!