Reading Eggs – Evaluation Matrix

Name of teaching resource:

Reading Eggs

Weblink (if web based)

http://app.readingeggs.com/students/8011550/program

(as this is a log-in website, I have attached screenshots of the specific pages I used).

Who should this digital teaching resource be used with? (ie year/grade)

Kindergarten.

How should it be used? (e.g. individual, whole class)

Reading Eggs is most effectively used individually, as it has varying levels of difficulty. The site is highly interactive and requires the child to respond to the program in order to progress through the stages of learning. In a group learning environment, students would not have the ability to set the pace for their learning.

Which subject or learning area would it be most appropriate to use in?

Reading.

Identify the strengths of this teaching resource

·         Students are able to progress through stages at their own pace

·         Interactive site, allowing students to be actively involved

·         Positive reinforcement- visually and verbally

·         Vibrant site, engaging the students and making it a fun experience

·         Highly repetitive, assisting students with retaining what they have learnt

·         Students are able to see their improvement as they progress through the stages, engaging their motivation and is also positive reinforcement.

·         Highlights strengths and weaknesses

·         Easy navigation

Identify any weaknesses of this teaching resource

·         Requires payment to use the site

·         Restricted to individual use

·         Need internet access

Explain any ideas you may have for further use of this teaching resource

Reading Eggs may also be used for Mathematics and Spelling, as the site has separate learning areas. The resource may also be used at home, allowing students to progress further with their reading abilities. However, this is dependent upon internet access and Reading Eggs site fees.

Students have their individual home page.

Students have their individual home page.

Screenshot (33)

Students progress through varying levels of difficulty.

Students are asked to identify the letter 'm'.

Students are asked to identify the letter ‘m’.

Students are asked to identify which animal begins with 'm'.

Students are asked to identify which animal begins with ‘m’.

Students complete different words by changing a singe letter.

Students complete different words by changing a singe letter.

Students learn how to form words from single letters.

Students learn how to form words from merging syllables.

Students sound out the individual bubbles.

Students sound out the individual bubbles.

Students sound out the full word, and identify the word from three options.

Students sound out the full word, and identify the word from three options.

Students repetitively identify the word 'fish'.

Students repetitively identify the word ‘fish’.

Students learn to distinguish between the different words.

Students learn to distinguish between the different words.

Students learn to sound out words.

Students learn to sound out words.

Students sound out the word 'pin'.

Students sound out the word ‘pin’.

Students sound out the word 'pin'.

Students sound out the word ‘pin’.

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Pinterest – Evaluation Matrix

Name of teaching resource

Pinterest.

Weblink (if web based)

https://www.pinterest.com/emma_rox_ur_sox/spelling-grade-four/

Who should this digital teaching resource be used with? (ie year/grade)

Grade four.

How should it be used? (e.g. individual, whole class)

Whole class. Pinterest may act as a template for lesson structures and ideas.

Which subject or learning area would it be most appropriate to use in?

Spelling.

Identify the strengths of this teaching resource

·         Provides a source of inspiration for lesson planning, providing fun and interactive ideas.

·         Easy to navigate and search for appropriate pins.

·         Structured boards to store saved pins in a readily accessible file.

·         Provides a network for teachers, allowing educators to swap ideas. (Singer, 2014). This may help keep lessons new and interesting, assisting in engagement and motivation.

·         Able to collate variety of information.

·         Fun and engaging ideas and presentation for students.

·         There is a large variety of different topics on Pinterest, categorised accordingly to ensure efficiency.

Identify any weaknesses of this teaching resource

·         As it is not an academic site, teachers must be vigilant when choosing dependable sources.

·         Web-based, limiting access to internet users.

Explain any ideas you may have for further use of this teaching resource

·         It can be used as an aid for students with individual research assignments. Teachers can pin appropriate posts to an allocated board, allowing the students to have access to readily available sites and information. This allows them to work independently, whilst we ensure they are learning from reliable sources.

·         Students could create their own boards on Pinterest, relevant to a topic chosen by the teacher.

References

Singer, G. (2014). Five top tips on using Pinterest for Primary School Teachers. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/teacher-blog/2014/mar/13/top-tips-pinterest-primary-school-teachers

Digital Fluency

I discovered that through the use of creative activities, there will be less teacher-led learning and more collaborative, peer-supported learning. For example, allowing children to work in a group environment, such as a group research assignment, encourages the students to work as a team and learn from each other. I agree that creative activities will increase learning. Students often learn through teaching their peers, as they are simultaneously explaining and reiterating to themselves, as they are explaining to one another. (McDevitt, Ormrod, Cupit, Chandler, & Aloa, 2013). I believe this will create positive results for the students, as through my personal learning experiences, I always found it was extremely helpful to learn in small groups. Often I learnt a lot from my peers, as we would think of different answers to one another, hence we broadened our learning and range of thinking.

Collaborative Learning

(Wagner, 2013). Collaborative learning benefits all students involved.

(Candler, 2013).

(Candler, 2013). Students learning together in small groups.

I learnt that experimental activity allows students to discover how to make something work. (Howell, 2012). I now comprehend the importance of letting children experiment throughout their learning. For example, by allowing students to experiment with Microsoft Excel, they would be able to discover how to make the program work. This has taught me the importance of allowing students to teach themselves, as opposed to being instructed constantly.

(Candler, 2013).

(Candler, 2013). Students engaging in experimental activity.

I learnt that the main objective for primary teachers is to consolidate and build upon previous skills in order to develop digital fluency. (Howell, 2012). For example, word processing is one of the core basic skills students will continually use throughout their schooling. (Howell, 2012). We need to allow students to engage in purposeful activities to build upon their prior skills. I am thrilled I learnt how to incorporate these activities into lessons effortlessly, (for example, particular formatting required for assignments) as I feel it will make me a better teacher.

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(ICOMPUTEUK, 2014). Purposeful activities allow students to build upon prior skills.

References

Candler, L. (2013). Corkboard Connections. Retrieved from http://corkboardconnections.blogspot.com.au/2013/10/tips-for-grading-cooperative-learning.html

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

ICOMPUTEUK. (2014). Primary Computing: Classroom Tips and Advice. Retrieved from http://www.icompute-uk.com/news/primary-computing-teaching-tips/

McDevitt, T.M., Ormrod, J.E., Cupit. G., Chandler, M., & Aloa, V. (2013). Child Development and Education. Frenchs Forest, Australia: Pearson Australia.

TCSGlobal. (2015, February 10). TCS goIT: Creating Digital Fluency Among Students in US & Canada. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWsFDbr8SE8

Wagner, S. (2013). Wikis: Creating Collaborative Learning Spaces. Retrieved from http://wikiscreatingcollaborativelearningspaces.pbworks.com/w/page/63007342/FrontPage

Participation and the Digital Divide

I found this topic rather interesting because I was able to relate to my learning experience, as I have two younger siblings who were born into the twenty-first century. I was aware that the current generation of children are digital natives and are surrounded by technology every day. However, I now understand that their attitude towards technology carries over to their schooling. I now believe that as a result of an over exposure to technology at home, many children are dependent upon technology in the classroom to engage their mind and assist their focus towards learning. For example, a child may find it hard to concentrate and absorb information from a text book. However, if the teacher were to provide the text in the form of a PowerPoint presentation, it may engage the students and encourage their participation throughout the lesson. I agree completely that students need to develop digital fluency to prepare themselves for the real world. (Howell, 2012). It is our responsibility to prepare our students to be successful later in life, therefore, developing their technological skills.

(Agcocorp, 2015).

(Agcocorp, 2015). Technology is a major aspect of the majority of careers today.

(Tintup.com, 2015).

(Tintup.com, 2015). The use of technology encourages student participation throughout lessons.

I was against technology throughout learning. In school I would prefer a textbook and pen over a laptop. After studying this topic, I now understand technology’s importance. If we were to refrain from using technology in our lessons, we would be hindering the student’s abilities, which they ultimately need in life (for example, word processing, research skills).

According to Bentley (2014) one in five Australians are not accessing the internet. I was oblivious to this digital divide, and I now understand it is vital for educators to bridge the gap among students. We need to ensure students have adequate access to technology at school. For example, scheduled lessons in a computer room. Teaching students core skills will strengthen their fluency, particularly disadvantaged students.

(Belfastgms.org, 2015).

(Belfastgms.org, 2015). It is essential for teachers to help bridge the gap among students, by allowing access to technology throughout lessons.

References

Agcocorp.com. (2015). Information Technology Jobs. Retrieved from http://careers.agcocorp.com/go/Information-Technology-Jobs/378172/

Belfastgms.org. (2015). ICT. Retrieved from http://belfastgms.org/site/learning/school-curriculum/ict/

Bentley, P. (2014). Lack of Affordable Broadband Creating ‘Digital Divide’. Retrieved from http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-07-02/bridging-the-digital-divide/5566644

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

Ligge,O. (2012, February 23). The Digital Divide in Education. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1YLPL0KOWE

Tintup.com. (2015). Media. Retrieved from https://www.tintup.com/media

What is a Digital World?

Prior to my studies, I had not heard of the term digital pedagogy. I found reading Child Development and Education (McDevitt, Ormrod, Cupit, Chandler, & Aloa, 2013), to be quite informative, as it was introducing me to a new concept where technology was the main focus.  I agree that it is necessary for teachers to develop a digital pedagogy, as technology will be a useful tool throughout the classroom. My understanding of this has increased drastically over the course of reading chapter one (Howell, 2012). I previously believed that technology was a distraction for children in the classroom. I now understand that technology not only serves as a useful tool for teachers (for example, PowerPoint presentations); but it also increases motivation and engagement in students. (Howell, 2012).

(Shewmaker, 2015).

(Shewmaker, 2015). Students benefit from collaborative learning.

(Noschese, 2010).

(Noschese, 2010). Technology is a useful tool in the classroom. Students are enthusiastic about their learning with technology.

The disconnection between what students want and what they are receiving is significant. Student frustration is rising. (Prensky, 2008). I was surprised at this, as I thought children merely used technology for entertainment purposes. Through learning that the majority of students want technology to be used in their lessons, it has taught me that when I become an educator, I must incorporate technology into my teachings. I feel that this will enable me to connect more with my students and maintain their attention. This excites me greatly, as I feel that through using technology as a teaching tool it will enhance the students’ grades, and increase their desire to learn. I believe that the digitally native students learn differently to previous generations, as they are constantly surrounded by technology. I believe students would yield much better results by learning in a digitally developed classroom, rather than reading from a text book. For example, through the use of PowerPoint presentations, interactive smart boards and eBooks. I now understand that our teaching methods need to adapt, in order to accommodate emerging technologies. (McDevitt, Ormrod, Cupit, Chandler, & Aloa, 2013).

(Hollis, 2013).

(Hollis, 2013). The use of technology increases engagement in the students.

(Creoculture, 2014).

(Creocultura, 2014). Today’s students are digital natives- constantly surrounded by technology at home.

References

Hollis, J. (2013). Teachers Love Smart Boards: Smart Board Article: Boards Get Brains, Chalk Vanishes. Retrieved from http://teacherslovesmartboards.com/2008/03/smart-board-art.html/

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

McLeod, S. (2012, December 17). Education in a Digital World. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JfA2Th1HlEE&feature=youtu.be

McDevitt, T.M., Ormrod, J.E., Cupit. G., Chandler, M., & Aloa, V. (2013). Child Development and Education. Frenchs Forest, Australia: Pearson Australia.

Noschese, F. (2010). Action-Reaction: Reflections on the Dynamics of Teaching. Retrieved from https://fnoschese.wordpress.com/2010/08/06/the-2-interactive-whiteboard/

Prensky, M. (2008). The 21st-Century Digital Learner: How Tech-Obsessed iKids Would Improve our Schools. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/ikid-digital-learner-technology-2008

Shewmaker, J.W. (2015). Children and Technology: Benefits and Challenges. Retrieved from http://jennifershewmaker.com/2015/04/06/children-and-technology-benefits-challenges-and-tips/