End of one chapter…

I can’t say that I will definitely continue to blog here in the near future but I think I will most probably leave it up here in this cyber space. While I do know that not all my blogs are superb, but it might just benefit some random Internet user in future. It would be quite a wonder that that user would even make it here in the first place 🙂 tee hee!

‘Blogging’ as part of a university requirement has certainly been quite an interesting experience. It has been a steep learning curve – inserting things whatnots into posts and the blog itself, organising layouts, etc. There are pros and cons but probably more pros at this point in time particularly with regards to forming an online Personal Learning Network and how important it is for me to maintain or grow it in future. Without the connections made, I would not have made it to this wonderful TED Talk by Rita Pierson in Miss Wright’s blog who in turn found it from Jess’s blog.

Watching this inspiring and heartfelt video is probably one of the best closure, sort of a mini ceremony to celebrate the end of the semester and my bachelors. I only wish all the best to everyone of us University of Southern Queensland’s EDC 3100 ICT & Pedagogy semester 1, 2013 students and to everyone else – educators and non-educators alike. May all of you have happy and fulfilling journeys! 

Appreciation!

So I thought I should try blogging at least once from an iPhone. Turned out to be not that fun actually! It is quite challenging to navigate around the space and for some reason, I sometimes can’t type properly in the editing box plus the tool bar keeps overlapping! Maybe it is just my lack of skills or the site’s incompatibility with iPhones.

Now, back to the caption. I would like to share a photo of gifts I received for my first ever Teacher’s Day celebration! I was very touched that I received so many even though I was only there for one month to fulfill my Professional Experience. I only taught some children a few times during day care but they still gave gifts. I am so very grateful and appreciative of the parents who were so generous as well as kind fellow teachers and principal who gave me gifts as well. I hope all of you had a joyful Teacher’s Day celebration too! 😀

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Video Games & Learning

Here’s a video – ‘Games and Education Scholar James Paul Gee on Video Games, Learning, and Literacy’, that I thought is worth sharing. It was posted on our study desk this week.

In this video Mr. Gee talks about the place of video games in learning and literacy. One part that really got me thinking was when he compared how after taking an algebra course, we would just give a test to check how much we learn but we will not give a test to a kid who played a ‘Halo‘ video game. (I had to google what it was haha!) Why is this so? He went on to say that it is because we actually trust the learning and design of Halo better than we trust the design and learning of an Algebra tests!

Till today, I absolutely detest video games and I seldom encourage them or suggest it as an activity to do together. I have seen how addiction to video games have ruined human relationships…you may well argue that it is the human who caused the addiction and not the video game itself, but that is a whole different topic. Nevertheless this short video definitely got some schematic changes going on in my head. I might just change how I see video games in future. However I still don’t think it is an absolute must in the early learning environment. What say you? 🙂

Come full circle…

Part of our final week’s reflection included a question whether our Professional Experience (PE) changed our views on the role of ICTs in learning and teaching. If so, how?

Here’s a summary of my response:

I used to think of ICTs as a

  • huge form of distraction for children
  • a possible form of addiction
  • a key factor in children losing interest in off-screen activities
  • result in children developing shorter attention spans

However, with careful and cautious consideration on the quality and quantity of exposure to ICTs and also how to properly integrate ICTs, ICTs can act as a platform to

  • act as a platform to introduce concepts/skills
  • spark students’ interest in learning
  • help to make abstract concepts more understandable for young children – basically enhancing learning
  • as another avenue to express themselves and be creative

Nevertheless, I STILL do value the importance of play-based learning in early childhood as Janine mentioned in her blog. I chanced upon this website ‘Irresistible Ideas for Play-based Learning‘ that Janine linked to, much earlier in my course of study and I am amazed EVERY time I visit the site to get some ideas. Regardless of the interactivity, high visual appeal and entertainment that is offered by digital media, this site proves that basic, non-screen, traditional, dirty, sensorial play can be as interactive, visually appealing and entertaining as well!

Perhaps ICTs-based Play can come in between the cracks to achieve what hands-on, traditional play cannot?

After all the main objective of our PE was to ‘enhance student learning’, no? 😉

I may just keep a tag on the topic and lookout for researches and innovations in future 🙂

Bubble Wrap App Game

I am sure most of your with smartphones probably know about this already, but here it is anyway, the – Always Bubble Wrap Android app game!

We used it for a simple station game during prac. I can’t say that it is entirely a great game (because all you have to do is to pop it…) but definitely creative! I would never have taught of such an idea for a game app 🙂

Here is another one by Apple – ‘BubbeleFREE’, that has a timer feature. This may be more suitable for older children or adults like ourselves who need to just while our time away without squeezing our brain juice 😉 Enjoy!