Observation Day

Yesterday I had an observation day with my mentor.

It was fantastic! Knowing that I am there for an ICT placement, she had created an activity for the IWB using ActivInspire which is Promethean software for the IWB (I think).

I’ve downloaded the software myself from the link above so that I have it on my own laptop to create flip charts and activities on the IWB when I am teaching… how cool!

I also am exceptionally glad I used the History Year 2 content descriptor:

The history of a significant person, building, site or part of the natural environment in the local community and what it reveals about the past(ACHHK044)

for my assignment 2 unit plan as that is going to be the focus during my placement AND there is an excursion built in to the unit (just like in my unit plan) but the teacher’s planning the unit – 2 x classroom teachers, the librarian and the art teacher planning in unison (It’s an IB school and this is a Unit of Inquiry) had very limited content knowledge of the local history but thanks to my assignment research, I DID!! I was able to be helpful instead of a hinderance before I even began placement!

I’m taking my unit plan in on Monday so that we can use it to plan the unit further and I will not only get University feedback on the unit plan as an assignment, I will get practicing teacher’s feedback on its practical use as well! How exciting!

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Googling myself

So after writing this post about my squeaky clean digital footprint, I googled myself……


My seven year old daughter has been accessing youtube on the laptop in her room that is set up with my gmail profile (I have to confess here, I have three google emails and I actually have no idea how they all work together or separately) and after she does her Reading Eggs homework online, she is allowed to watch youtube music clips, cake decorating tutorials and make up tutorials…… aparently she has been clicking ‘like’ and subscribing to channels without my knowledge….

Consequently, anyone googling me would think I “liked” Justin Bieber, a young girl called Samantha singing about ‘that boy’, another woman singing to her “Dear future husband” and how to make a converse shoe cake among other halloween candy reviews and overtly over the top women reviewing all kinds of random items….

It took me AGES to work out how to delete the likes and watching the tutorials and using the help guide were actually to no avail….. directing me to the “playlist homepage” to “select the playlist settings and click delete” when there IS no playlist settings is INCREDIBLY INFURIATING!!

I have settled for the next best thing and ‘hidden’ the likes from view….

This is going to be trickier than I thought….

Who knew my squeaky clean digital footprint could be sabotaged by my own child……

I sure didn’t!

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Digital Footprint

Reading this post about how we each create a digital foot print, many thoughts went through my mind.

Firstly, is there anything about my shared photographs, online purchases, sites visited or how I spend my dispensable income (um… I don’t have any of that) and even that, I don’t mind anyone knowing, that would make me seem less credible as a teacher or even, a human being?

Well, I thought, I do buy wine occasionally….. but even that is occasional and certainly shouldn’t be reason for concern. If anything it makes me look reasonably human! I’m pretty sure dog worming tablets, snow boots and kids track suits wouldn’t give me too many black marks in the big scheme of things…… although, on the wine front I admit I have made a mental note to pay with cash when I make future purchases….

On the whole though, I’d have to say I am exceptionally tame and don’t really have any offensive comments, photos or well, anything that I wouldn’t want anyone to see. Perhaps an ex or two I’d rather forget, but who doesn’t have those!? (And definitely no inappropriate pictures for them to share!)

After reading Natalie’s post however, I started to wonder if anyone else has footage or images of me that I am completely unaware of…. like Natalie, I can’t imagine why anyone would want to take embarrassing footage of another person and post it online…. and also like Natalie, after watching the rate my teacher clip, I too am glad I am specialising in early childhood!!

Implications of our digital footprint aside from inappropriate or embarrassing footage though had me thinking about this TED talk about the way in which google filters our searches to show us what it THINKS we need to see based on our previous digital footprint, and in doing so actually limits our access on the World Wide Web to being a significantly more Selected Snapshot of the Web.

It’s well worth a watch. It’s only 10 minutes but it was one of those eye opening moments for me. Mostly I don’t mind marketing that tells me when Panoramis dog tablets are on sale, but when I’m searching for scholarly information, I have to say, I want it ALL!

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Troubleshooting 101

So! I’m at my mum’s place and have my laptop tethered to my mobile to use my 2GB of data on my phone while my daughter plays magic sand with nanna for a while so I can catch up on my study……

I’m studying along just fine, and then, half way through the first moodle book for week 10, my laptop says I no longer have an internet connection… what the? So I check my phone and the mobile hotspot has turned itself off….. I turned it on again…. unable to connect…… hmmmmm…. I wonder if this has anything to do with the baby monitor hijacking clips I just watched??? Nah, that would be a bit mad…. encrypted webpages that wipe out your network connections, possibly a test from David to see how good we are at trouble shooting!! (That would be a bit mean!)

So ruling out a malicious course examiner (lol), something else must be wrong….. so I run a windows diagnostic check. Nothing. Try to connect again. Nothing. Phone is completely available to connect to but computer can’t do it…. hmmm.

Open the windows network checker and run another test…. this time it collates information and decides it thinks it’s fixed the problem, advises me to reboot my device so I reboot my phone and still nothing….. grrrr. My trouble shooting skills are getting a work out! I’m about ready to call this guy in to see what he can tweek:

BUT! I decide to check one more thing…. I open the internet connection icon and right click on the Android AP  device name and select properties…… the code to connect to my laptop is different to the code my phone is telling me to use………. FINGERS CROSSED (which made typing really difficult) I cut and pasted the old code (just in case) into a word doc and typed in the new code……….. and here I am, back in business telling you all, all about it on my blog!

Why did the code change randomly? I have no idea. Somethings I am content not to know. It works again, and for now, that’s all I need!

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Why aren’t I nervous about PE?

Reading over the blogs of my colleagues there seems to be A LOT of them talking about how nervous they are about upcoming PE.

This one not only mentions the nervousness but also offers the handy hint of being able to tether the laptop to your mobile phone in cases of emergency where the school network won’t allow you access. Super! I actually know how to do that! Thankfully for me, I didn’t have any issues with internet or network access when I was on my last PE. I learnt how to do all sorts of things with the IWB and didn’t even realise I was integrating ICT into my lessons, I just did it.

I remember my mentor and I worked out how to put a worksheet I had created and saved on my USB onto the whiteboard and we worked through it together as a class filling in the blanks. In another program we had listed coloured words to fit on the coloured lines on the worksheet and we had put them all on a black background so that the yellow would be easily visible. None of which my mentor had done previously but we played with it and worked it out, after school that is, not in front of the students.

I’m in the lucky position of going back to the same site for this PE, with a different mentor granted, but at least I know I was able to pick things up on the fly last time so perhaps that’s why I’m not particularly nervous just yet?

Perhaps it’s because I am still snowed under with all the other ‘stuff’ I have to get done before my placement starts that I simply haven’t had time to get nervous yet?

I don’t know….. I’m not feeling particularly confident about it either mind you so at least I won’t walk in all superior and fall flat on my face!! Here’s hoping anyway!!

I found Kate’s tips for surviving practical experience very poignant and definitely well worth a share!! Sleep hey? Oh my gosh I hope so….. I really, truly hope so!!

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To do lists… and why I’m sticking with pen and paper!

During the week 9 learning path, David suggests using Trello  for making a ‘to do’ list.

Being a big ‘to do’ list person myself, I thought “whoo hoo” let’s check it out! so I duly read the blog post David included for us to learn about how Trello works……..

“Whoa Nellie!”

Overkill much?? Seriously, I looked at the whole system thinking, “well, this is pretty cool, it can do lots of neat stuff, but really, for me, I just don’t have enough ‘to do’ to make this work for me!”

Honestly, I’d spend more time plugging stuff in to the program and sorting it by category and colour code than I would actually just doing the jobs!

When I read the point on the blog that said not to spend more than 19 minutes reviewing the lists each morning I thought, “not 15 minutes, not 20 minutes, but specifically 19 minutes?” No thanks. Anything that schedules me down to the actual minute instead of 5 minute increments is just way too structured for my liking! And I LOVE structure!!

Perhaps at some point in the future, Trello might be a good tool for me to know about, so I’ve saved the info to Diigo in case that day arrives, but for now, there’s really nothing to be gained for me personally that I can’t achieve with good ‘ol pen and paper!

And there’s nothing like crossing something off a pen and paper list! SO satisfying! Sometimes I even write a job that I’ve already done on the list JUST to I can cross it off!!

Deleting a box from an app just doesn’t have the same effect on me……

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ICT invasion

Having submitted my unit plan with a sigh of relief, formal planning not being my strong point, I am now distracting myself from another huge assignment due on Monday that I haven’t had chance to start yet (ho hum!) by catching up on the week 9 learning path and getting some blogs in!

I read what Belinda had to say about how she is also working on another assignment and finds herself incorporating ICT to amplify and transform student learning.

So I guess something is beginning to stick with us through the course as I too am finding that I naturally now include ICTs in my planning in other subjects without a second thought. ICT is actually invading my thoughts!! ha ha!

I guess after a while it becomes as natural as breathing!

Great 🙂

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