Topic 7: Digital Blur & Gamification

In the modern world, the line between the real world and digital technology can often be distorted, evolving the way we experience our daily life. As digital technology becomes heavily incorporated into our lives, it is necessary to harness transferable skills that assists in both personal and professional lives. Digital blurring implies that skills utilised in your personal life are also able to be applied to other aspects of our lives, particularly professionally and educationally.

This week I explored the benefits of gaming and how it can be integrated as a learning tool/resource in the classroom. In particular, I was excited and amazed when I came across a game called SimCityEDU: Pollution Challenge. In SimCity EDU: Pollution Challenge, students are tasked with complex missions surrounding environmental impact. Such tasks requires the player to enhance their problem solving and critical thinking skills whilst gaining digital literacy and fluency. SimCityEDU allows students to investigate the significance and repercussions regarding human impact on the environment via a fun, collaborative and interactive manner.

I found that the assimilation of such educational games into the classroom provides the potential to transform lesson plans, designed to engage the student’s interest and interactions; whilst enriching their learning experience overall.

References

http://switchautomation.com/trend-talk-pitch-off-the-digital-physical-blur/ [Image]

http://knowledgeempowered.com/gamification-of-education/ [Image]

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Topic 6: Digital Fluency

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This week I learnt about the importance of teaching students to become digitally fluent. So what does it mean to be digitally fluent?

Being knowledgeable in digital technologies does not constitute digital fluency. One must also learn to effectively communicate, create, design, discover and interpret in a digital world. It is understood that digital fluency is derived from exploring, inquiring and playing with digital technologies which encourages meaningful learning experiences.

Therefore, the best way to become digitally fluent is by having the opportunity to experience digital technology first hand. With this in mind, I believe it is imperative that all students are exposed to the applications of digital technology, in order to develop the core skills required to successfully enter higher education, the workforce and the world in general.

Utilising digital technology in the classroom would encourage students to embrace a technology rich education. For example, tasking students in either an individual or collaborative context to create a simple game using the command based animation Scratch, would require critical and creative thinking whilst also expanding and demonstrating their digital knowledge and fluency.

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It is the responsibility of pre-service teachers to acquire and maintain digital fluency in its ever changing landscape, to ensure next generation teachers are competent in providing a digitally enriched education for students in its relevant context.

 

References

http://scratched.media.mit.edu/resources/new-book-available-learning-scrath-beginners-guide-computer-programming-kids [Image]

http://langwitches.org/blog/2013/02/18/skilled-literate-fluent-in-the-digital-world/ [Image]

Topic 5: Using Pinterest in the Classroom

The inception of the digital era revolutionised the mode of information delivery. Pre-digital era relied heavily on the media, where information was relayed passively through television, radio and newspaper. The rise of digital technologies and social networking meant that information is now consumed via more interactive and engaging methods.

This week I explored Pinterest and its uses.

Pinterest is a social networking site that allows users to create themed virtual pinboards. With 70 million users worldwide, Pinterest has recently emerged as a popular educational tool amongst teachers and students.

The concept of Pinterest has enabled teachers to utilise pinboards for lesson/resource ideas, organisational tips, classroom displays, and student collaboration (groupwork). By incorporating tailored learning activities, Pinterest creates an interesting and engaging environment in class, whilst providing an opportunity for teachers to better understand their students interests.

In an era where an abundance of information delivery methods are available, it is important to understand how to analyse and decipher different concepts and frameworks, in order to discard any unreliable or untrustworthy sources effectively. By critically evaluating the credibility of information sources, and assessing its relevance to the classroom, teachers will be able to increase the efficacy of their lesson plans and provide accurate information to their students.

 

 

Follow me on Pinterest –

 

References

Pinterest has 70 million users (10/07/2013) Retrieved April 6, 2014 from http://semiocast.com/en/publications/2013_07_10_Pinterest_has_70_million_users

http://buckalewbytes.edublogs.org/files/2014/02/Pinterest-in-the-Classroom-1csawze.jpg [Image]

http://www.mdgadvertising.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/news-consumption-in-2013-cutoff.jpg [Image]

Topic 4: Digital Divide

As we witness and experience digital technology evolving right in front of our eyes, it is easy to forget those who are disconnected and left behind by the digital divide.

As technology has evolved, it has become an essential part of living in this world. But not everyone has had this opportunity and a digital divide has been created amongst society.

The digital divide is defined by the disparity of access, knowledge and education of digital technologies.

Parents, employers and the wider community expect the education system to produce technologically fluent students and that schools bridge the digital divide between what the parents can afford and what they would like their children to experience or be fluent in (Howell, 2012).

Therefore, as a teacher, it is imperative that digital technologies are incorporated into lessons and learning activities to ensure expectations are met and all students regardless of background achieve a high quality, digitally rich education so they are well prepared for the digital world.

Digital Divide - Infographic

 

References

Howell, J. (2012) Teaching with ICT – Digital Pedagogies for Collaboration and Creativity. Melbourne: Oxford University Press.  

http://blogs.swa-jkt.com/swa/10848/files/2013/11/image_gallery.png [Image]

Topic 3: Digital Security – Online Scams

I was shocked to read that online scammers were exploiting the recent mystery of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 by enticing unsuspicious victims with their malicious phishing scam.

So what is a scam exactly?

An online scam is a fraudulent attempt to obtain something of value, usually money from an unsuspecting victim.

Online scams come in many different forms. In this instance, the scam is spread via various social media platforms. You are then redirected to an unfamiliar website to watch a “breaking news” video. Once you play the video, you are permitting access for malicious software (malware) onto your device.  Malware can disrupt operation, gather personal information such as password and banking details and can be easily spread to further devices. For some helpful tips on how to protect yourself online refer to the following ScamWatch link.

http://www.scamwatch.gov.au/content/index.phtml/tag/howtoprotectyourself

Whilst the internet provides a range of benefits, everyone including young children and teenagers in particular need to be educated of the potential dangers lurking in the cyber world. Students expect that their schooling, like the non-schooling part of their lives, will be rich with digital technologies (Howell, 2012). Therefore as teachers, we must be diligent by understanding and educating ourselves about online safety and use online tools made available to help educate our students.

The following link contains a fun and informative video about internet safety for young children.

http://www.cybersmart.gov.au/young%20kids/visit-hectors-world/computer-security/oops.aspx

References

Howell, J. (2012) Teaching with ICT – Digital Pedagogies for Collaboration and Creativity. Melbourne: Oxford University Press.  

Scammers using videos of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 to spread malware (n.d) Retrieved March 23, 2014 from http://www.scamwatch.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/1131829

http://grahamcluley.com/2014/03/malaysia-airline-flight-mh370-scam/  [Image]

http://mytechworld.azurewebsites.net/2013/03/facebook-an-alternative-to-cold-call-virus-scams/ [Image]

http://www.acespyreview.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Child-Computer-Monitoring.jpg [Image]