Technology in Early Childhood Family Education Classrooms

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Minnetonka uses technology, including SMART Boards, in its ECFE classrooms

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Moving at the Speed of Creativity | Create an All-iPad Class Radio Show with AudioBoo, Bossjock, GoodReader, & SoundCloud

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RT @saccochris: Create an all iPad class radio show with Audioboo #edtech #techcoach #ipadchat http://t.co/0qMx63fUiF

Jodie O’Brien‘s insight:

Wow, what an excellent idea!!!!

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10 Ways To Start Using Skype In The Classroom – Edudemic

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Using Skype in the classroom shouldn’t be a daunting task. In fact, it’s a simple and effective education tool that not enough students get to try out!

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Scratch Extension Activity Week 4 & 5

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This week I have tried to complete some extension activities using the Scratch Program.  This has been interesting and frustrating at the same time.  After completing the Etch-a-Sketch programming last week I decided to move forward with this idea and build an extension activity encompassing the foundations of Scratch while also finding a new way to make an design or concept become a visual reality.  In order for me to make this happen, I attempted to find engaging ideas from many different websites.

One was called Scratch Ed (n.d.), it has some great creative designs elements which I utilised in the way I planned and designed my Scratch Program.  My idea was to extend the program from a simple etch-a-sketch game to getting the sprite to draw continuously, change colour itself and change the width of the pen ink.  This idea really didn’t turn out the way I envisioned it would, I struggled to get this work.  After trying many ways I decided to log into the Learning Place to seek advice on how to get this to work. I found a blog written by ICT teacher Kristine Kopelke (2013) about her experiences with using Scratch 2.0 in her classroom.  She discussed how her students from grade 2 to grade 6 interacted with the program from beginning with absolutely having no experience to having these same students designing sharks to chase fish by the end of the session (Kopelke, 2013).  Reading her blogs associated with this program, encouraged me to persist with the program and eventually I saw some results.

Through my engagement with Scratch I have found it has a strong potential for teachers to interconnect design with the draft Australian Curriculum Aims and Contexts (2013). Scratch manages to provide a foundation to encourage a deeper knowledge and understanding towards the design and technologies content elements.  Implementing this program in classrooms will also enhance students ability to produce, design and evaluate innovative their own technological programs while also increasing their manual dexterity and hand-eye coordination (Australian Curriculum Assessment & Reporting Authority, 2013).

As a perspective educator, I feel that I have learnt more about the ideologies and importance associated with the implementation of the draft technologies curriculum into everyday teaching practices.  In amongst the drama of adapting Scratch to my envisioned idea and limited programming skills I have come to realise the technology definitely has an important place in the current teaching and learning environment.  Technology is really seen as the art of design, creation and program manipulation and without recognising it we utilise technology everyday through the interaction with computers right through to answering the phone.  We as educators need to continue to embrace the many technological advances and continue to develop our skills to ensure that our prospective students attain the best facilitation to encourage their own personal development.

Australian Curriculum Assessment Reporting Authority. (2013) Draft Australian Curriculum: Technologies.  Retrieved March, 5, 2013 from http://consultation.australiancurriculum.edu.au/Static/docs/Technologies/Draft%20Australian%20Curriculum%20Technologies%20-%20February%202013.pdf

Scratch Ed. (n.d.).  Featured resources.  Retrieved March, 25, 2013 from http://scratched.media.mit.edu/resources

Kopelke, K. (2013).  Scratch and learn.  Retrieved March, 25, 2013 from https://staff.learningplace.eq.edu.au/blog/2fa60529-04ac-4f88-9b06-a5eaa3a0bcfc/Scratch-and-Learn1.aspx

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My attempt at using ‘Scratch’

My attempt at using 'Scratch'

This is a picture of my first attempt of extending on my initial Scratch activity.

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Scratch Activities Week One – Three

Well we are now moving into Week 4 of my final semester of University and we have been asked to blog post about our interactions with a program called Scratch.  Earlier today I uploaded a you tube clip outlining the basics required for all students and their teachers to utilise and connect with this program. 

Scratch, is a great program for teaching children important technological skills, such as but not limited to using a mouse and recognising symbols.  It also helps to enhance students literacy skills through the selection of different movements to decide which way Scratch the Cat will move.  Scratch connects with the aims of the Australian Curriculum by providing students the opportunity to design and create within the design and technologies knowledge and understanding (Australian Curriculum Assessment & Reporting Authority, 2013).  

While attempting to complete the different activities using Scratch the first being to make the cat meow.  Initially, as I was not completely familiar with the program I was unsure how to make the cat move.  After a number of attempts I managed to make the cat meow, dance, change backgrounds and develop new “sprites” or icons (Sprites are what Scratch refers to as the icons).

Scratch, opens up many opportunities for all students to create, design and simply have fun.  Without realising it students are strongly engaging with technology and building interesting and exciting things to enhance their learning skills.

I hope this posting gets you all thinking about the benefits of Scratch in a classroom environment.

Jodie

   

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Scratch Tutorial

This is a you tube clip, providing a brief outline of how to use Scratch.

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