Monday, October 6, 2014

Week One

After three years of training I now find myself at the end of my first week of my final practicum. Over the coming weeks I know I will be challenged in many different areas but also find strength from the past experiences and knowledge that I have. Over the next six weeks I hope to achieve my criteria well but my motivation and commitment is much deeper than that of an assignment. This practicum is the foundation to which my 2015 classroom will begin from, so I want to test, experience, develop and define my personal teaching style, pedagogy and proficiency to a high standard of excellence. But, deeper than all this is my motivation to see this class excel and learning flourish daily.
This week brought a big change to my recent previous experiences, not only in year level but more significantly in digital integration. As a teacher who has had experiences in and believes in the full integration of digital learning I want to challenge and consider my views as I take a step back to experience a non-digital classroom. Over the coming weeks I hope to redefine and establish a richer personal pedagogy for the integration of digital technology in the classroom. Although I come from a biased standpoint already I hope to be able to see both sides to this issue to truly establish a strong understanding and position.
Other goals which I hope to achieve during this practicum are in relation to the Graduating Teacher Standards. Of which all relate to content, pedagogy, multiculturalism and learning excellence. Satisfaction of all these areas will hopefully create space for learning within a classroom that is inclusive, empower and inspiring.
Reflecting back over the past week I want to begin to question the differences I found within this non-digital classroom. One of the most apparent differences that stood out to me was the amount of content that was delivered. For example in mathematics students were required to copy down a list of 30 equations which were written on board then solve each problem and finally go to the teacher to check their answers. This process took a long time with some students not even competing half the equations. Here I see one huge benefit where digital technology can transform learning for example using a web programme such as Xtra Maths, Maths Whizz, Mathletics. Using these programmes students are able to solve numerous problems in a short amount of time whilst also receiving instant feedback allowing them to rethink their strategies and understandings for further questions. If I try to consider negatives effects of such programmes only aspects such as number formation, writing skills and strategy steps would be absent. But, these do not affect the actual process of learning to complete strategies in order to solve a problem. Although in some situations allowing a student the ability to write down the steps used would be of benefit to their learning. Mathematics appears to me as one subject area that digital technology can bring significant transformation. It allows students to complete more problems in a shorter time period and also gives instant feedback to guide students.
In conclusion, the past week has felt like I’ve stepped back in time to where digital technology isn’t used within education and worksheets are the key medium. It has been interesting to reflect again on how education is without digital 1:1 devices. Overall I found that the learning content appears to be at a slower pace because the medium doesn’t offer the speeds that devices do. Motivation within the classroom didn’t appear to be lacking at all and students appeared to be mostly all engaged with their learning and most completed all their learning efficiently.

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