Great Charting Tools

One of the challenges these days, in such and ICT rich environment, is to sift through all the available resources and find those that are user friendly, functional, engaging and provide quality results when utilised. In the area of creating charts or graphs to record and represent data, I was pleased to come across Joe Wright‘s post that helped with this sifting process. On his post he makes the link to a great website – Educational Technology and Mobile learning. On this site the author highlights a handful of software programs that makes the process of choosing, creating and publishing charts and graphs simple. In the process of preparing my Mathematics Unit of Work for Year 4, I will incorporate this site and encourage students to utilise one of the recommended programs for their assessment.


Myths about use of ICT’s in Education

In researching and preparing for my first assignment I came across a very interesting and useful weblog by Mark Anderson. I have continued to follow his blog posts and recently read his post reporting on research completed by academics at the School of Education at Durham University regarding ‘6 Myths’ of ICT use in education. Here is my summary of what he says, but I encourage you to click on this link and have a deeper look at his expanded comments and explanations. His thoughts link strongly to the need for using digital technology/ICT’s in education as proposed by both the SAMR and TPACK models.

6 Myths

1. New technologies are more effective and impacting than the last technologies! No – Most new interventions improve learning in schools; technologies have actually proven to be a little less effective that other interventions.

2.Today’s children are digital natives and learn differently from older people! No – Familiarity with technology doesn’t equal expertise for learning.

3.Today’s children don’t need to know stuff, just how to find stuff! No – easy access to information is no substitute for experience and understanding.

4.Students are motivated by technology and having more motivation automatically leads to better learning! No – It is only when motivation can be harnessed for learning that there is a benefit.

5. We must use technology because it is there! No – we must know which technology is advantageous to use in particular situations and contexts.

6. The ‘More is better’ fallacy! The assumption is that if a little is good, then a lot is better!


Unit Planner’s Block

I am sure most people have heard or used the phrase, “I have writer’s block!” Well, after many hours over the Easter weekend working towards this 2nd assessment, I think I had ‘Unit Planner’s block!’ It didn’t matter how many times I sat at the desk; revised the learning path ‘moodle’ pages on ‘Studydesk’; or searched the web for ideas, I seemed to keep hitting road blocks and going round in circles. In the end, I sought help and clarification that my initial Unit of Work idea was OK. A great suggestion that has since really helped open my eyes to learning plan ideas for my UoW was to access ‘Australian Curriculum lessons’. (By the way, this advice is in the studydesk learning path, I just hadn’t read that far at the time!)

I am still to tackle in any depth the effective use of ICT’s in my unit plan, but I did appreciate seeing the link on Danielle’s blog to the Edudemic website that provides four different visual representations of apps related to Bloom’s Taxonomy. Will need some further investigating!


Unit of Work for EDC3100 Assignment 2

I have chosen to focus my Unit of Work on Year 4 Mathematics using the content descriptors from both the ‘Number & Algebra’ and ‘Statistics & Probability’ strands of the Australian Curriculum – Mathematics.

Students will… (Constructing Knowledge objectives/content descriptors from the syllabus)

  • Investigate number sequences involving multiples of 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, and 9 (ACMNA074)
  • Describe possible everyday events and order their chances of occurring (ACMSP092)

Students will be able to… (Transforming objectives / content descriptors from the syllabus)

  • Develop efficient mental and written strategies and use appropriate digital technologies for multiplication and for division where there is no remainder (ACMNA076)
  • Construct suitable data displays, with and without the use of digital technologies, from given or collected data. Include tables, column graphs and picture graphs where one picture can represent many data values (ACMSP096)

The Criteria used for assessment (from the syllabus) will be:

  • Accurate and efficient recall and use of facts, definitions, technologies and procedures to solve problems
  • Connection and description of mathematical understandings in a range of situations, including some that are complex unfamiliar
  • Systematic application of problem-solving strategies to investigate a range of situations, including some that are complex unfamiliar
  • Modelling and representation of a range of situations, including some that are complex unfamiliar

By the end of Year 4, students choose appropriate strategies for calculations involving multiplication and division. They describe number patterns resulting from multiplication. They describe different methods for data collection and representation, and evaluate their effectiveness.

They recall multiplication facts to 10 x 10 and related division facts. They continue number sequences involving multiples of single digit numbers.  They convert between units of time. Students create symmetrical shapes and patterns. Students list the probabilities of everyday events. They construct data displays from given or collected data.

I still have a long way to go in refining and completing this assessment task but this is my starting point.