Third Reflection

‘A guide to cyberbullying’, a joint initiative by the Office for Internet Safety.

Click here to view the PDF document

Bullying is repeated aggression, verbal, psychological or physical abuse. Bullying isn’t always face to face. Due to the advancements of technology there are various mediums one can use to bully another. A common form of bullying is online bullying.

There are plenty of ways people like to bully online. Here are the 5 mentioned in the article:
1. Personal Intimidation: This can be posting abusive or threatening comments on someone’s profile.
2. Impersonation: When someone sets up a fake
profile or web pages acting as the victim.Impersonation can also happen when someone’s profile or IM account is hacked and others are contacted under their name.
3. Exclusion: The blocking of an individualfrom a group or community on facebook or Myspace etc.
4. Personal Humiliation:This involves posting images or videos which embarrass or humiliate someone.
5. False Reporting: Making false reports to a service provider to have the user’s account or website deleted.

So If you are being bullied online what can you do?
Don’t Reply, this is what the bully wants
Keep the Message. This is useful evidence
Tell Someone you trust e.g. Your parents,friends, a teacher or youth leader.
Block the Sender.
Report Problems to the people who can do something about it i.e. responsible websites and mobile phone operators.

As someone who has experienced online harassment from a photo posted up on a public facebook group I can personally say that the above recommendations work. I did not reply to the stranger and I immediately made the group administators aware of the comment by giving them the link to the photo in a private message. They were very helpful and messaged me back. They deleted the abusive comment and blocked the harasser from the group. I was very grateful at how helpful they were as I had never up until then experienced any online abuse before since I am very cyber smart and I don’t like putting my personal life out there for everyone to see.

Check out the Cybersmart website and twitter page for great resources and advice:
https://twitter.com/CybersmartACMA

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

Second Reflection

‘Why mobile technology makes sense in the 21st century classroom’ by Justine Isard.

Click here to view the PDF document
Isard is highly opinionated when it comes to the view of integrating moblie technology within the classroom and curriculum. As it turns out I agree with his point of view. Isard goes into why mobile learning is different to other technologies such as laptops and computers and he highlights the fact that moblie technology is portable. Student’s literally have so much information carried with them and ready to be accessed anywhere at the touch of a screen. Apart from that, mobile learning it is valuable since teachers are trying to ‘teach’ children to be literate. With technology such as tablets and smart phones children are actually practicing and growing in digital literacy skills. Another great thing about allowing the use of mobile technology within the classroom is that it encourages risk taking and innovation, self education and peer mentoring.

Image by Sean MacEntee and found on http://www.flickr.com/photos/smemon/6972691660/

So my first thought after reading the article was “Why does research suggest that mobile technology improves academic skills?” I put myself in the shoes of students and thought… Maybe when we look and feel smart we are more motivated to learn. This may sound really naive but think about it, do we not feel more motivated to learn when the resources and the environment we are in triggers creativity? Mobile technology if one of the fastest growing consumer market and over a short span of time. Is it not astounding that our children are actually able or more able than us in using these great inovations? I would argue that the ‘touch generation’ has been ‘touched’ with ideas, creativity, new tools and easy access for learning. So to the question of “why should we incorporate mobile technology in the classroom”? I say “why not?”

Here is a link which may inspire you to reconsider the use of mobile technology. It shows the creativity of a student and how the use of mobile technolgy has paid off…Literally.

This is a list of just some of the great educational applications which can be used by children through mobile technology:
http://iphone.appstorm.net/roundups/50-learning-apps-for-kids/

First Reflection

‘Interactive Whiteboards: A Practical Guide for Primary Teachers’ by Peter Kent (Chapter 3).

IWB bookChapter 3 focuses on the idea that intellectual quality can be enhanced in the classroom with the use of an Interactive Whiteboard (IWB). Kent argues that students need to “think beyond memorising the content” (pg.19). It is stated that in order for intellectual quality to be enhanced the IWB presentation needs to be interactive i.e. promote higher order thinking, prompt class discussions and present information in a way that is open to interpretation. There needs to be an essence of ambiguity and randomness in the IWB presentation.

Some practical activites which teachers can provide using the IWB include:
-Labelling
-Sorting
-Ordering and Sequencing
-Puzzle, game or simulation

As I had never used an IWB before and because they began installing them in schools after I had graduated I was very sceptical as to whether or not they actually enhance learning or just leave schools out of pocket. Even after reading this chapter I still felt as though I had to try things out for myself before I make a judgement. Therefore I did agree with Kent when he said that the IWB must prompt class discussions and I also agreed that lessons need to have a practical componant to them for higher order thinking so that children are not just rote learning.

For the first class assessment I made and presented my first IWB. As I was creating it I used some of the practical activities suggested by Kent, namely labelling, sorting and discussing. I do believe that the IWB has a great potential to enhance higher order thinking if used correctly, however if it is over used or used without purpose I feel the children will very quickly lose interest in the technology.

When creating lessons for the IWB a teacher must reflect on the following:
– Have I used the IWB for the entire lesson or have I planned for other activities?
– Am I using the IWB to its full potential or am I using it like any other bit of technology?
– Have the children lost interest?
– Did we have class disscussions which showed curiosity or wonder?

Here is a great link which educators can access to repurpose IWB files, alternatively you can create your own and use your own higher order thinking!
http://econtent.thelearningfederation.edu.au/ec/p/home

Here is a useful clip for beginners who are using the ActivInspire program: