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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Getting there…

So this week is the final week to complete assignment 2.

I only just managed to complete the learning path for week 8 and I have to say, I’m feeling better about my new knowledge as I discover more ICT products I can see value in such as the link to this site that David introduced which allows you to present just the snippet of the You tube clip you actually want to use, instead of the entire clip! I can definitely use that and it’s been saved to my Diigo! (How much do we LOVE Diigo???)

I also bounced a few emails back and forth this week with another Uni friend who I am extremely luck to have in my PLN! Jen recommended ‘Explain Everything’ as a tool that is used in the classes she teaches in. A quick google search demonstrates this app significantly well and while I can see it being an excellent tool to use, I find myself hesitant to include it in my unit plan due to my own lack of familiarity with it. If I were to use it in my plan, I would want to purchase it and play with it first which I think is a wise move for any teacher!

I could use it to replace the google docs power point slide show I have planned for the students to use, however, I know that all four students in the group can be working on the google doc at the same time whereas I’m not sure of this function on the Explain Everything app as it seems individual to each iPad.

Either way it is definitely a tool I’ll be looking into further as the more I reflect on it’s capabilities, the more I realise that using Explain Everything would enable students to take photographs on the iPad, research their chosen historical subject on the iPad and present their information and images in a slideshow with voice over all on one device, which could be broadcast on the IWB …. neat!

I might need to adjust my unit plan I think!

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Defending or rather… Justifying my last post!

I’ve thought, or rather, reflected long and hard about my last post  in which I declared that I hated planning…..

I fear that I may have insinuated that I think planning is a worthless task, which I do not.

In an effort to justify my position, I googled (by talking to my phone- I LOVE google ‘text-to-speech!) Teachers hate planning and to my delight found A LOT of blog posts by teachers raving about this issue as well!

“Hurrah!” I thought! “I’m NOT going to be a complete failure as a teacher after all! There are others who feel the same way!!”

THIS post by frustrated teacher Jeff states that he hasn’t used a ‘formal’ lesson plan in 6 years and yet still ‘plans his ass off’ because it makes his teaching better.

I realised after reading Jeff’s post that it’s not the actual planning I hate, but the formal planning which includes all the standards and practices which prove we are covering all the requirements of the curriculum etc etc etc!

Fitting everything into templates! Bluck!

Marilyn, another teacher who describes her love/hate relationship with planning states exactly the same thing! Having planned a series of lessons that worked well and she was happy to keep – her school changed their templates………. it was harder to adapt what was in her original lesson templates to fit the new templates than it was to just re-write them……

Overwhelming sense of relief! I’m not training in the wrong profession after all!

I really hope I’m able to plan my way ,with my own templates, that I know work for me when I am a qualified teacher!

Reading this series of posts on the topic of planning was both encouraging and disheartening but eye opening none the less!

And now I can progress in my own planning, having justified my position (hopefully) and at the very least, comforting myself that I am not going to be a useless teacher just because I don’t enjoy this very important aspect of teaching………… I think………

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Massive confession….

Ok, so there’s this….

I hate planning.

I’m studying to be a teacher, I love being in the classroom and teaching and working with the students and I can respond to their needs in the moment…. but planning? Erck!

I read Courtney’s blog post titled Questionable Planning  and felt pangs for my own travel days and the adventures I had both planned and unplanned and I instantly thought of the quote by Benjamin Franklin “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail” and I felt dismal….

Failing 2 PLan 2 by acjeppo, on Flickr
Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License   by  acjeppo 

Liz reveals her thoughts that planning should be ‘a range of notes and ideas as to what could be done throughout a unit’ and then following the path that the student’s interests and questions take to further the learning experience and I couldn’t agree more!

Every time I have planned in detail the intentions of the lesson (as I have yet to actually implement a unit plan), the lesson has taken a new direction, or something had to be dropped or other areas of interest were added and as such I think that spending too much time bogged down in specific details is just a huge waste of teacher time!

The BEST lessons I taught on my last placement were planned as dot points on a sticky note. Brilliant.

Fitting my thoughts and plans into University templates is making me think teaching may not be for me…….

But then I walk into a classroom and BAM! I’m where I belong!

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Justifying ICT incorporation

Justifying ICT incorporation.

It seems a common topic for us as EDC3100 students, logically enough.

I read through this blog from Mr Croft about the RAT framework and despite our best efforts – using ICT for ICT’s sake and found myself nodding at my screen. I second guess myself all the time. Example below!

Reading this post by Wendy, which shares the nicer tube  website I thought, “cool” and tried it myself! Thanks Wendy! Brilliant when using YouTube for keeping those dreadful ads, pop ups and playlists off the screen to remove distractions from the feature clip!

And so I thought to myself – where does this fit into the RAT framework?

Does it Replace YouTube? No, it’s still a YouTube clip….

Does it Amplify the learning? Yes, I think it does…

Having thought this far, is it necessary to think further into whether it Transforms the learning? Probably not, although….. are we thinking that it transforms YouTube to Nicer Tube? Or transforms the experience from no YouTube at all to having a Nicer Tube clip…. hmmmm? I guess that would depend on the content of the clip – and whether or not that content could be presented in any other way……

A clip of a book being read for example, is surely just replacing the teacher reading the book in person……….

However, a clip of a seahorse giving birth, is an experience you simply couldn’t replicate in class…….. is it therefore transforming??

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

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What to do when Study desk is down :(

Well!

My house inspection is done so my house is spotless, I’ve walked the dogs and I’m child free! I’ve run out of excuses to avoid getting back into assignment 2…….. so I log on, only to find Study desk is down…. Pooh!

I look over what I wrote on my assignment template before I took 2 weeks off…… remembering I had the criteria section wrong so I change that …… and then I’m lost. I need to go through the learning path again to work out what to do next. Darn it!

Right, so as not to waste this valuable child free study time, what else can I do?

Read some blogs and do a few posts 🙂

The first blog I read was Kaylene’s, in which she expressed concern about lacking experience in a school setting and thus the struggle to know how to incorporate ICTs into planning.

I remember going to my first school placement – the IWB terrified me! I had no idea how to work it. My mentor was fabulous and I learnt so much after school on that first day – mostly confidence in finding my way around the laptop and IWB set up……. I learnt how to use a couple of programs (not that I remember the names of them now) and had my eyes opened to the MASSIVE amount of resources available for use on the IWB.

My biggest fear was planning lessons with NO IDEA of the available resources, ICT or otherwise and I think we are all in the same boat really.

I’ve only done one school placement before and my biggest struggle, as I’ve mentioned in a previous post, is to not let the tail (technology) wag the dog (learning outcomes). Or put another way, to ensure the ICT we incorporate into our planning is not just for the sake of using ICT to meet assignment requirements…. So Kaylene, I feel your struggle too!

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My ICT dog needs to wag its own tail!

With the time upon me to knuckle down and concentrate on assignment 2, and taking into account the feedback I got for assignment 1 – to ‘step back from specific products’, I found the picture below on this fantastic weebly blog. It is well worth a read!

This reminds me of David’s concept of ‘the tail wagging the dog’ and I always feel like I am learning something when I can see it represented differently but am able to relate it back to the way I learnt it…….. if that makes sense?

In the same vein, I found that the SAMR model represented in the blog looks very similar to the RAT framework we use to assess the worthiness of the ICT we chose to incorporate into our lessons.

I was also relieved to find a few products I was familiar with or at least had heard of listed on the blog too! Class Dojo I have seen in use in my daughter’s class and it looks fantastic, and I have also heard about Socrative and I believe it is used in my mentor’s classroom so I may actually get to see it in action! How exciting!

SO! My aim now is to use the ICTs I choose for my unit plan to meet the above list of ‘right answers’ and ensure my ICT dog wags its own tail!!

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