Digital Blurring

In today’s digital society, technology has become a vital tool to every individual’s day-to-day lives.  As a developing teacher and an individual, technological devices, particularly mobile phones, has become an extensive source of  my day-to-day communication with my friends and family, as a primary way to gather information for my university works and provide interactive platforms like social medias to keep me updated and connected in both virtual and physical worlds. Such an example of dependency to technological devices resulted to acquirement of universal skills that created an obscure line between the  individual’s personal and professional life, also known as the phenomenon of “digital blurring.”  This phenomena allow both students and teachers to use the skills and apply the knowledge that they acquire and learn within their personal life towards their learning and professional settings.

How teachers can take advantage of the “digital blurring” phenomenon to maximise student’s learning in the digital classroom?

In Jason Brown TEDtalk speech in 2016, he explored and discussed the importance for teachers to utilise the existence of technology in today’s classroom to motivate, engage and inspire students to learn. Jason Brown points out the significant impact of different websites in the Internet that can create an inclusive learning environment by providing different insights that students can acquire from different experts online, as well as giving students the sense of empowerment in their learning, as they are independently navigating their way through within the unit contents with the help of technology that will cater to the aspect of diversity in student learning. In this way, students are given the chance to demonstrate and utilise the skills that they are familiar with that will facilitate a meaningful learning for students as they are learning in an authentic way.

(TEDxTalks, 2016)

Technology integration in the classroom also significantly create a creative and collaborative learning environment for students (Howell, 2015). As students in the digital age demand for an interactive and creative way to acquire knowledge, using traditional pedagogies will certainly not cater for their learning demands. Therefore, incorporating technology in their learning will dramatically increase their engagement and classroom participation, as using technology caters for their young adolescents needs and interest (Downes & Bishop, 2012). Such as the use of game-based teaching strategy, that will cater for students that have interest within the field of gaming, while also making the learning experience interactive even for students who do not.

In conclusion, I think that digital blurring is an advantage that educators can significantly use in today’s digital world that can maximise student’s learning by making it empowering and meaningful, as students are using their real-life experiences and skills that will significantly give an authentic understanding of the learning concepts.

 

 

REFERENCE:

Downes J.M., & Bishop, P. (2012). Educators engage digital natives and learn from their experiences with technology. Middle School Journal, 43(5), 6-15.

Howell, J. (2015). Digital Blurring- How do we Teach in an Increasingly Converging World. Curtin University, 1-11. Retrieved from http://link.library.curtin.edu.au/ereserve/DC60272021/0?display=1

TEDxTalks. (2016, March 28). Redefining Learning & Teaching using Technology.| Jason Brown | TEDxNorwichED [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOTEQVYDPpg

 

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Lifelong Learning in the Digital Age

According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), lifelong learning is an opportunity that gives every individual the right to acquire knowledge and skills that they can use to fulfil their aspirations and provide contribution within their communities. Lifelong learning is the type of learning that extend beyond the traditional way of schooling and continue throughout individual’s adult life by being “flexible, diverse and available in different times and different places” (Lifelong Learning Council Queensland Inc, 2016). However, due to the escalation of digital innovations in today’s society, the concept of lifelong learning in today’s generation of students requires educators, like myself, to significantly incorporate technology within students’ learning to extensively prepare and equip students with the skills and knowledge that they will need outside of their learning environment.

In today’s society, knowledge is the primary tool that individuals utilise to be competent in contributing to economic stability rather than the use of physical ability, as well as utilising technology into transforming and building ideas instead of using manual labour and conversion of raw materials (Divjak, et. al., 2004). Therefore, as a developing teacher it is important to be aware of these concepts, as it will help me to properly plan the type of skills and knowledge that I should provide to my future students to help them to acquire competency and be well equipped to face actual life challenges.

Skills that are necessary for students within the 21st century society

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General Capabilities in Australian Curriculum

Skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, communication and collaboration are one of the new set of skills that students within the digital age must put into practice for them to be able to be well equipped within the digital age (White, 2013). Particularly, due to the wide variety of information that can be easily access through Internet, students must exercise the skill of critical thinking to improve their research skills that is particularly vital within the concept of lifelong learning in the digital age.

Online Research: Tips for Effective Search Strategies (Sarah Clark, 2016).

As a future History teacher, it is important to be knowledgeable of the different research strategies that can improve the integrity and the quality of information that I will deliver and share to my students, as well as constantly demonstrating the skills of thinking critically to examine the credibility of different historical sources contents. By doing this, students can exercise the skill of thoroughly investigating historical sources before absolutely adhering to their historical contents, thus, giving students the opportunity to learn authentically by using their own perspectives within the specific subject manner and exploring it further that provide deeper knowledge engagement to the given topic. Giving students the opportunity to constantly exercise these feature within the classroom with the help of appropriate technology will significantly help students to acquire the competent abilities that they will need outside their learning settings.

Evaluating Sources (UOW Library, 2014).

REFERENCES:

Australian Curriculum. General Capabilities [Photo Image]. Retrieved from http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/generalcapabilities/overview/introduction

Clark, S. (2016, January 20). Online Research: Tips for Effective Search Strategies [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTJygQwYV84

Divjak., Sasja., Dowling, C., Fisser, P., Grabowska, A., Hezemans, M., Mihnev, P., Ritzen, M., Syslo, M., & Vicari, R. (2004). Lifelong Learning in the Digital Age. In T. Van Weert & M. Kendall (Eds.), Lifelong Learning in the Digital Age: Sustainable for all in a changing world (pp. 1-49). Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Lifelong Learning Council Queensland Inc. (n.d.). What is lifelong learning? Retrieved from http://www.llcq.org.au/01_cms/details.asp?ID=12

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation. (2015). World Education Forum. Retrieved from http://en.unesco.org/world-education-forum-2015/5-key-themes/lifelong-learning

UOW Library. (2014, December 17). Evaluating Sources [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j8OAPxcXibo

White, G. (2013). Digital Fluency: skills necessary for the digital age [online]. Professional Educator, 12(6), 8-10. Retrieved from http://search.informit.com.au.dbgw.lis.curtin.edu.au/fullText;dn=201833;res=AEIPT

 

The nature of schooling in the digital age

Technology has become a significant tool in today’s classroom due to its proven effectiveness that provides efficiency, not only for educators but most importantly to the generation of learners that are referred  to as the “digital natives.” NMC Horizon is a global community project that consist of major company of technology stakeholders that is designed to identify and describe emerging technology that is likely to have an impact on learning, teaching, and creative inquiry in education (Westenberg, 2014). Their 2013 Higher Education edition, list the leading technologies that are being utilise heavily in today’s classrooms, some of the said technology features will be discuss on this entry and explain why and how they benefit both teachers and learners.

IMAGE SOURCE: mwinfield1. Digital Literacy and the 21st century environment. Retrieved from https://www.slideshare.net/mwinfield1/digital-literacy-and-the-21st-century-classroom-environmentdigital-literacy-and-the-21st-century-classroom-environment-5-638

• FLIPPED CLASSROOMS •

According to NMC 2013 Report, flipped classroom can be defined as the model of learning that rearranges how time is spent both in and out of the classroom to shift the ownership of learning from educators to the students. In my understanding, flipped classroom is a structure of learning that moves from the traditional way of teaching and learning where educators specifically tell students what to learn, how to learn, when to learn and to how to prove what they learned to a more independent type of learning where students can be self directed learners and teachers become a more of a facilitator of knowledge rather than the sole distributor (Mihai, 2016). The features of technology such as laptops assess the model of flipped classrooms that give students accessibility of their learning in their own time at any place, that gives them the option of structuring their own learning strategies, which makes them accountable of their own studies.

What a ‘flipped’ classroom looks like (PBS Newshour, 2013)

GAME-BASED LEARNING •

Game-based learning is one of the most post-modern strategy that is becoming more prominent in today’s classroom to cater for different learning strategies whilst also making learning interactive and engaging. Its efficiency has been proven globally, though it has only been introduced in the educational field for a short period of time. This is due to the fact that using game mechanics learning increases students’ motivation to pursue and work harder in their studies. The article Motivating Students and the Gamification of Learning by Shantanu Sinha discuss how incorporating games in learning influences students’ motivation to learn, by providing different features that significantly increases students’ engagement and participation, which consequently results to an active learning if properly facilitated.

As a developing History teacher, it is significantly important to be aware and familiar of these new features of the digital classroom, to properly developed pedagogies that will accomodate the different technologies that has been emerging within the educational field (Holmes, 2009). Being familiar with these classroom features will help me as an educator to properly develop activities using technologies that will be interactive and will correspond students’ capabilities, which will particularly enhance their skills of thinking critically and ICT furthermore. Being familiar with these features will also give students the opportunity to learn authentically that will give the learning content to be meaningful and creative in students’ life.

REFERENCE:

Holmes, K. (2009). Planning to teach with digital tools: Introducing the interactive whiteboard to pre-service secondary mathematic teachers. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 25(3), 351-365. DOI: doi.org/10.14742/ajet.1139

Mihai, L. (2016, October 13). 8 Flipped Classroom Benefits For Students And Teachers. Retrieve from https://elearningindustry.com/8-flipped-classroom-benefits-students-teachers

mwinfield. (2013). Digital literacy and the 21st century classroom environment [Photograph]. Retrieved from https://www.slideshare.net/mwinfield1/digital-literacy-and-the-21st-century-classroom-environment

NMC Horizon Project Short List: 2013 Higher Education Edition. Retrieved from http://www.nmc.org/pdf/2013-horizon-higher-ed-shortlist.pdf

PBS Newshour. (2013, December 11). What a ‘flipped’ classroom looks like [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_p63W_2F_4

Sinha, S. (2012, February 14). Motivating Students and Gamification of Learning.  Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/shantanu-sinha/motivating-students-and-t_b_1275441.html

Westenberg, C.J. (2014). The List: 12 Top Technologies in Education. Retrieved from http://www.thedailyriff.com/articles/the-list-top-technologies-that-will-change-learning-teaching-higher-education-1021.php

 

Evaluating technologies and Online learning resources

As discuss from my previous entry, technology and online resources are beginning to be one of the primary tools in today’s learning. Thus, it is important for us teachers to be aware of the importance of checking the credibility of the tools that they are using and whether it will be relevant to students’ learning. As a developing History teacher, it is significantly important to be knowledgeable of the skills that determines the correct and appropriate resources that will be suitable for students learning, capability and age appropriation particularly with the amount of different historical sites in the Internet today. Educators can use a wide variety of resources such as State Department of Education (the Department of Education WA) and professional educational organisations (SCSA, The Australian Curriculum) to assist them on identifying the appropriateness of the educational resources that they can use within the classroom (Shelly, Gunter, & Gunter, 2012). On top of this, to further strengthen the incorporation of technology with the unit context, it is an essential for educators to continuously evaluate the suitability of technology sources regularly to identify whether they can still cater to learners diversity.

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Evaluating Information Sources (Educational Technology and Mobile Learning, 2014)

Today the availability of the Internet in classrooms allow students to access wide variety of different information from different websites that does not give any guarantees that it will be relevant or appropriate to students learning or maturity (Bronstein, 2007). The journal article The Efficacy of a Website Evaluation Checklist as Pedagogical Approach forteaching Students to Critically Evaluate Internet Content by Dawn M. Bronstein, discusses that the easy accessibility of information to today’s generation of learners allow them to disregard the importance of the sources integrity and credibility. This argument further emphasise the importance for teachers to be aware of the guidelines that can determine whether technologies and online resources are relevant to the learning settings as they can consequently guide students to be familiarised with the sources evaluation guidelines.

Teaching students to learn to evaluate online contents and tools is an essential part of today’s learning as this will prepare them to be digitally literate individuals (Kharbach, 2014). As the modern classroom allow students to learn independently, being able to evaluate the integrity and credibility of the learning tools and online document contents generates the aspect of critical thinking within learners that will strengthen their opportunity to learn authentically by formulating their own perspective about the specific topic.

Evaluating Sources (sarahlmasters, 2013)

As a developing teacher in the digital age, I believe that knowing about the importance of evaluating technologies and online learning resources and actually incorporating it within the classroom will further strengthen my confidence to incorporate technology with my classroom activities to make students learning more effective and time efficient whilst also making it interactive and motivational for students’ learning experience. Teaching students the appropriate skills and regularly exercising these skills will help students to further develop their digital literacy that will help them for future employment.

REFERENCES:

Bronstein, D.M. (2007). The Efficacy of a Website Evaluation Checklist as Pedagogical Approach for teaching Students to Critically Evaluate Internet Content (Doctoral Dissertation)Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/304717732

Educational Technology and Mobile Learning. (2014). Evaluating Information Sources [Image]. Retrieved from http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2014/04/excellent-checklist-for-evaluating.html

Kharbach, M. (2014). The 5 Elements Students Should Look For When Evaluating Web Content. Retrieved from http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2014/04/the-5-elements-students-should-look-for.html

sarahlmasters. (2013). Evaluating Sources [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDGKsT7QHNs

Shelley, G., Gunter, G., & Gunter, R. (2012). Teachers discovering computers: Integrating technology in a connected world (7th ed.). Boston, USA: Course Technology: Cengage Learning

Digital Issues: Cyberbullying

Throughout this blog, I have explored and discussed the importance of their use in today’s society, but within the particular focus on how technology help teachers and students in classroom use. However, as a developing secondary teacher, it is important to be aware of the possible negative issues that might come with the flexible accessibility of students with technology. Particularly with the prominent use of today’s adolescents with different social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchats. Today, these social medias became an extended platform for secondary students to aggravate the issue of bullying in secondary school also known as the issue of “cyberbullying” (Smith, et. al., 2007), which is one of the most prominent issues in secondary schools that is related with today’s technology.

Cyberbullying is a form of bullying in which aggression occurs through the use of modern technological devices such as mobile phones and computers (Slonje & Smith, 2008). The flexible availability of technology to young adolescents “escalated bullying to a new and particularly insidious level” (Beale & Hall, 2007). This is why it is significantly important for educators to be aware of the severity of cyberbullying towards students to create and plan preventive measures ahead that can be implemented within the classroom and throughout the schools that will help the victims of cyberbullying as well as the cyberbullies without further aggravating the issue outside the school perimeters.

Cyberbullying facts (nobullying.com, 2016).

Cyberbullying like the traditional bullying can have a significant impact on students’ lives, both in victims and the perpetuators, as well as within the school community. According to Victorian State Government Education and Training, the impact of cyberbullying on victims may include feeling of depression, anxiety feelings of loneliness and isolation, as well as poor academic performance, lower attendance and completion rates. Cyberbullying perpetuators may indicate the feeling of disconnection in schools, frequently get into fights and vandalise property (Victorian State Government, 2017). Such indicators can help teachers to any presence of cyberbullying within the classroom and throughout the school that extends why teachers needs to be observant of students’ behaviour.

How teachers can help?

Teachers have a strong authority and responsibility to monitor students behaviour within the school settings (Stauffer, Heath, Coyne, & Ferrin, 2012), that teachers can use to plan preventive measure against cyberbullying that can be implemented with everyday classroom management. Although, cyberbullying events have a tendency to occur outside of school perimeters (Feinberg & Robey, 2009), educators can still largely provide precautionary measures even if it as simple as addressing the issue of cyberbullying. Teachers can also teach students the “electronic etiquette” and safety guidelines that can influence how students use their social media accounts, as well as helping students to be thorough with their activities online (Ertel, Kovarik, Pi, & Delta, 2013). Therefore, as a developing teacher, it is important to be aware of this issue to create awareness in students’ perspectives that may consequently lessen the possibility for such issues to occur.

How to Prevent Cyberbullying (nobullying.com, 2016).

 

REFERENCES:

Beale, A.V., & Hall, K.R. (2007). Cyberbullying: What School Administrators (And Parents) Can Do. The Clearing House, 81, 8-12. Taylor & Francis, Ltd.

Feinberg, T., & Robey, N. (2009). CYBERBULLYING. Principal Leadership 9(1), 10-14. EDDIGEST

Ertel, K., Kovarik, P.A., Pi, M., & Delta, K. (2013). The ABC’s of Classroom Management. Taylor & Francis; New York.

nobullying.com. (2016). Cyberbullying Facts [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIP7ukKXVSI

nobullying.com. (2016). How to Prevent Cyberbullying [Video File]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/4g8w7GV3-iA

Slonje, R., & Smith, P. K. (2008). Cyberbullying: Another main type of bullying? Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 49, 147-154. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9450.2007.00611.x

Smith, P.K., Mahdavi, J., Carvalho, M., Fisher, S., Russell, S., & Tippett, N. (2008). Cyberbullying: its nature and impact in secondary school pupils. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 49(4), 376-385. DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.2007.01846.x

Staufer, S., Heath, M.A., Coyne, S.M., & Ferrin, S. (2012). High School Teachers Perceptions of Cyberbullying Prevention and Intervention Strategies. Psychology in the Schools, 49(4), 353-367. DOI: 10.1002/pits

Victorian State Government. (2017). The Impact of Bullying. Retrieved from http://www.education.vic.gov.au/about/programs/bullystoppers/Pages/impact.aspx

Being a Digital Teacher

Throughout this blog, I have discussed the importance of incorporating technology within the classroom and how these technological innovations help teachers to effectively facilitate learning within the classroom and help students to learn authentically to make their learning be creative and meaningful in real life, if properly used. For this entry, I will discuss how the implementation of technology in today’s classroom can impact my ability as a developing teacher under the learning area of History.

With the increasing technological innovation in today’s society, being a digital teacher means being able to incorporate technology with the specific learning content whilst making the learning area inclusive, interactive, engaging and meaningful to create a great learning environment that will cater to the diversity of learners (Hooper & Rieber, 1995). As a pre-service teacher in the 21st century, it is important to be aware that technology is not just a mere tool in the classroom that can be used to alter the traditional way of facilitating knowledge by using some features of technology, instead have a thorough understanding of the further impact technology in students’ learning if utilised properly (Howell, 2013). As a pre-service teacher in the 21st century, it is significantly important to promote the use of technology within the classroom to prepare students to being digitally literate that will be critical for future employment.

web evaluation
6 Steps To Easily Evaluate Information Online (Educational Technology and Mobile Learning, n.d)

As Thomas Ketchell discussed in his TedxTalks in 2014, he claimed that teachers need to make history context to be brought into life, to make it engaging and inclusive for students’ learning. As a developing History teacher, truly, it is important to learn how to properly use different technological features, but what is more important is to learn and understand the importance of  implementing these technological features and how it can aid social studies content to be comprehensible for learners diversity (Mason, et. al., 2000). However, in order to do this, teachers must have a “deep understanding of the related technology and appropriate pedagogy” (Li, Lemieux, Vandermeiden, & Nathoo, 2013). As a pre-service History teacher, I provide a wide variety of historical context ranging from journal articles, historical websites and Youtube videos to help students with their content understanding. Therefore, it is important to be aware of the checklist evaluation that can identify the credibility and integrity of the historical context to be able to teach students the skills and ability of analysing whether the information within a specific source is plausible for their learning content.

Teaching History in the 21st century: Thomas Ketchell at TedxLiege (TedxTalks, 2014).

Due to the amount of information that are taught within the study area of social sciences, pre-service teachers like me need to be able to conduct activities that are engaging and interactive that can also synthesise information effectively that will cater for students’ capabilities. Now, with availability of technology in the classroom, teachers can enhance classroom instructions and activities whilst also making inclusive and interactive for students (Rowe, 2014). This can be done by using timeline makers softwares such as Sutori and ReadWriteThink’s Student Interactive Timeline, short Youtube video clips, and interactive blogs that students can access in their own time.

Example of synthesising historical information using interactive Youtube Videos: 

World war 2 in 7 Minutes (John D. Ruddy, 2014)

As a developing digital teacher, it is important to be digitally literate to be able to incorporate interactive aspects of technology in the state of 21st century education. As well as, teaching students digital literacy abilities that they will highly utilise outside of school and make them prepared for future employment and be informed citizens.

REFERENCE:

Educational Technology and Mobile Learning. (n.d.). 6 Steps to Easily Evaluate Information Online [Photo Image]. Retrieved from http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2013/07/6-steps-to-easily-evaluate-information.html

Hooper, S., & Rieber, L.P. (1995). Teaching with technology. In A.C. Ornstein (Ed.), Teaching: Theory into practice, (pp. 154-170). Needham Heights, MA: Allyn and Bacon.

Howell, J. (2013). Teaching with ICT. Victoria, Australia: Oxford University Press.

Li, Q., Lemieux, C., Vandermeiden, E., & Nathoo, S. (2013). Are You Ready To Teach Secondary Mathematics in the 21st Century? A Study of Preservice Teachers’ Digital Game Design Experience. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 45(4), 309-307.

Mason, C., Berson, M., Diem, R., Hicks, D., Lee, J., & Dralle, T. (2000). Guidelines for using technology to prepare social studies teachers. Contemporary issues in tehcnology and teacher education, 1(1), 107-116. Cite Journal.

Rowe, C.M. (2014). Teacher behavior in the digital age: A case study of secondary teacher’s pedagogical transformation to a one-to-one environment (Master’s Thesis). Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/openview/9b354d8b94dcb878891189943e2968b5/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=18750&diss=y

Ruddy, J.D. (2014). World War 2 in 7 minutes [Video File]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/wvDFsxjaPaE

TedxTalks. (2014). Teaching History in the 21st century: Thomas Ketchell at TedxLiege [Video File]. Retrieved from https://youtu.be/8eIvGtn1NAU