Being Cyber Smart

As a part of the requirements of the learning path for my current course I was required to complete an online training course in the area of cyber safety. The modules were an excellent look at the intricacies of the digital world in which we now live and which is so familiar and second nature to the current primary and secondary school student population. I was intrigued to identify how much I use and rely on this online world for myself, someone that I would consider to not be that computer savvy. One of the important messages from the training was to importance of teaching students and raising awareness about the risks of sharing too much information online. At my recent school pre-service teaching placement I began discussing the web 2.0 world and heard about a 15 year old boy she knew who was requesting that year 9 girls send him a photo (nude or near nude) of themselves for him to put in his personal album. The scariest part of this is that many girls were happy to oblige!

Another topic that had great coverage was the issue of cyber bullying and learning how to identify it; respond appropriately; and also provide resources and tools to help students understand what cyber bullying is and when someone has crossed the line of appropriate online behaviour. The simulated activities gave a good insight into how a bit of fun and joking can quickly escalate into something for more damaging. The interviews with experts and the information and opinions they share are also very enlightening. The whole course is certainly worth completing and should be re-visited, particularly knowing the speed of technology development that exists in our world and the need to try and stay up to speed.

I am glad I completed this training and recommend you also consider checking it out. I have attached my Cybersmart Connect.ed certificate here,  recognising successful completion. Another string to add to the eportfolio bow.   


Didn’t go to plan!

Well, epic fail!

I planned and prepared to use two new ICT devices with my year 6 HPE class today. I had checked some ‘Heart rate monitor’ apps during the week; chose what seemed to be reasonably effective and user friendly (and FREE); downloaded the app onto the set of 6 iPads for the class to use; and gave the iPads to the class to use so we could investigate the impact physical activity has on heart rate; comparing and contrasting results in the whole class. Seconly, i had been shown a digital pen and notebook that records what is written and spoken and can play back at a later time. I thought this would be a quick way to record the heart rate reading across the class and collate the answers later. Great plan – didn’t quite go that way.

The reading on the heart monitoring were all over the shop; the pen didn’t seem to work properly (or maybe I used it incorrectly); it took way too much time and the class ( and I) got really distracted from the physical activity drills I wanted them to work on. All in all, efforts to use ICT’s actually took longer; were less effective; and provided incorrect results. It would have been better to get the class to measure their own heart rate and physically write down the anserw with pen and paper.

I have just been reading Tammy’s blog, who also discussed some of the challenges of using ICT’s in the class, including loss of teaching time; student distraction; and failure to work or connect to the school network.



Free Apps – Sound good; not always that useful!

I planned to use an app. called ‘Coach’s Eye’ in one of my athletics lessons on long jump. In discussing it with my mentor teacher I discovered that it was not very useful unless you purchase the upgraded version. Apparently the free version only relates to some core sports played in USA – Football; baseball; golf. The school aren’t interested in downloading apps that cost unless they can be justified and fit into budget spending for that department. Being here for just a short 3 week practical placement didn’t allow the time to organise this or justify the value in purchasing this app.

Similarly, I downloaded a free heart rate monitor app to my phone to check if this could be used with a set of 6 iPads that can be booked out from the school library. In process of using the app I discovered that the free version only allows you to measure heart rate 3 times in a day. Again, evidence that you need to do some searching to find worthwhile apps that will do the job you need them to do.

In reading Jess’s blog, it sounds like she has discovered a great app to assist with coaching athletics. I will have a closer look and see if I too can use this app with my lessons on long jump or high jump.