In my English lesson, I used an e book for reading and comprehension. This emerging technology has opened the possibility for a large range of new learning experiences for learners because of its advantages over traditional printed textbooks. It is user friendly, has clear text and illustrations, multiple options to view the text clearly which makes reading easy.
Previously I observed that most of my traditional reading comprehension lessons ended up as teacher centred where learners' engagement was very low. The non traditional teaching and learning with ICT (e book) has brought diversity in the classroom and learners became enthusiastic to read and comprehend (Appendix 1b). During the learning session, I noticed that students were fully engaged in the tasks and classroom management was quite easier. Learners were self motivated and learning was enhanced using the e worksheet for posting their answers which helped me to provide immediate feedback of their responses.(Appendix1c)
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In L2 acquisition, new vocabulary and correct pronunciation has always been a challenge for my learners. I used electronic dictionary (installed on every computer) to support reading with understanding for low ability learners while using an e book. (Appendix 1d)
During the session, I realized that if I would have used audio narration, sound effects and animations that would have helped my learners to improve their reading comprehension skills. The reason is that these features support the text, help a learner to decode new words and they actually improve on their understanding of the text. I also encountered the problem of routine written work as few parents insisted for that. For them I took printouts of pupil's work to be sent home. For the next Time I would use my class blog as an e platform to post their answers so that parents could also view their children's work.
As the Senior Mistress of my school I shared my teaching experience with other teachers on school network. I anticipate a gradual shift from a traditional text book based reading lessons in my school to more e book usage.
English lesson for writing a book review (Appendix 2a)
Use an online comic book for writing a book review or to use the software inspiration to make the mind map about the book
I have opted for comic creator. The Comic Creator invites students to compose their own comic strips for a variety of contexts (prewriting, pre- and post reading activities, response to literature). Learners could choose backgrounds, characters, and props and compose related dialogue. The tool is easy to use, made even easier with the Comic Strip Planning Sheet, a printable PDF that learners can use to draft and revise their work before creating and printing their final comics.
It is an innovative and creative way to teach language through comics. Learners sometimes find writing a review a boring exercise. Using a comic creator would add an element of interest and fun in the learning session. Creating cartoons and comic strips is a good way to get reluctant writers write. While creating comics learners can work through the elements of fiction in a context that is fun and familiar to them. Apart from writing a review, learners could also learn the usage of speech and thought bubbles (Appendix 2b). Using such resources would enhance creativity and increase learners' collaboration and motivation. Classroom management issues may reduce due to increased level of learners' engagement in the task. Digital comics can provide an effective tool for teaching and learning and they can help learners with:
Create a Setting for a Story
I would strongly recommend the use of online comic books to make reading and writing fun for learners either independent or shared. The teacher becomes a facilitator who sets the scene and monitors learning. Student centred learning takes place using ICT resource where individual needs can be catered through peer support or task sheets.
Students are less enthusiastic in traditional writing lessons. Teaching becomes teacher centred and there is less/ no room for collaboration and peer support. Differentiation is also a challenge in conventional writing lessons.
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English class IV (appendix 3a) with a group of high ability learners to write instructions.
Use a digital microscope to make two minute video of a moving insect and write instructions accordingly or use MS word to write instructions on making a folder on desktop.
I opted for using digital microscope for instruction writing. Since not all learners learn in the same way, employing the use of gadgets in the classroom helps to cater to different learning styles. The teaching environment becomes engaging and captivating for learners. The learning experience will challenge learners as they are expected to explore the gadget and write instructions accordingly. Digital microscope is an effective tool for technology enhanced language learning which can also build a strong cross curricular link with Science while teaching movement of invertebrates.
Spontaneous images taken by a digital microscope can serve as a stimulus for talk and conversation, for making meaning in a variety of language modes and as an opportunity for sharing, telling, retelling and revisiting experiences. It provides the potential to empower and uplift learners in their learning. To maximize effectiveness, education in the 21st century has to be active, engaging and customized. Learners will develop lifelong skills of critical thinking and problem solving. Differentiation could be catered by providing appropriate challenge in the task.
I would strongly recommend using digital electronic devices to make the learning environment interesting and engaging. As we move toward a more digital society, learners are being exposed to technology and digital devices at a young age. So when they come to school, they have little or no patience for lecture-style teaching. They are seeking a high-tech, digital experience in the classroom. On the other hand using MS Word would only be the replacement of traditional way of teaching where instead of writing in exercise book, pupils would be simply typing.
Writing instructions using traditional way can turn to be a monotonous and teacher centred lesson. High ability learners who quickly complete their tasks can be challenged and actively involved in learning through process differentiation using ICT.
Digital camera (Appendix 4a)
It is used for photography, audio/ video recording. It can be used in various disciplines across the curriculum. Students acquire visual literacy skills. It can be used to enhance literacy skills like digital story boarding.
Digital camera is the most popular gadget of my class. Using a digital camera motivates learners and engages them in the task but requires a thoughtful planning for appropriate use in the classroom.
It can be used to illustrate steps in a procedure to aid in writing, use a photo prompt for writing narrative, event reporting.
Easy to use device. Manual guide is also available. Settings can be customised for quality output. 2GB memory card saves multiple images and video clips. USB cable with software enables to transfer the data easily. Rechargeable batteries provide enough backup.
No issues identified
less quantity (one camera)
taking snapshots without seeking permission
batteries were not fully charged
Discussion on netiquettes
Prior charging of batteries
Recommendation to school head for buying more (appendix 4b)
I strongly recommend it.
Using digital camera satisfies the growing list of technology standards and prepares learners for life beyond classroom. It suits different learning styles and can be used across the curriculum.
Microsoft Photo Story 3 (Appendix 5)
Photo Story 3 brings still images to life. It is an effective tool that can make acquisition of English as a second language easy and entertaining.
Photo Story is a user friendly tool within the classroom because it engages learners and adds an element of fun. The use of this software can make some really memorable moments for learners. It supports kinaesthetic learners.
It can be used in variety of ways in all content areas from sharing personal experiences to event reporting at school. Using Photo Story in the classroom is a great idea for projects and presentations.
Photo story is easy to use. It uses panning and zoom effect, voice recording and background music to create short films. This free software is sequential and can be learnt easily. In addition, PowerPoint slides can be saved as .jpeg files and then imported into Photo Story, just like a picture.
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No issues identified
Large group size
Off task situation/distraction while adding music
I strongly recommend it.
Photo Story 3 can be successfully used to enhance creativity, cater to differentiation and promote higher order thinking skills while integrating technology.
During whole class teaching session where my learners were involved in online research(Appendix 5), following e safety issues were identified,
Copying and pasting material from internet without citing the source
Students were not aware of adware and malware. Despite repeated instructions, a few clicked the pop up which created disturbance and distraction for others.
Currently there is no filter system installed in my school's computers so I have to be very vigilant during internet usage that my learners do not open any inappropriate website.
During an informal discussion, I also came to know that many of my students use e mail and have facebook accounts which they have created using fake year of birth. Using email by minors is a serious legal offense. I integrated these e safety issues in continued lessons to promote digital citizenship in my learners. They played e safety games, viewed e safety videos and created photo stories and posters using publisher to promote digital citizenship in school.
I also talked to parents in formal parent teachers meeting to monitor their children at home for safe usage of internet and specially discussed the issue of face book accounts. e safety pamphlets were also sent to parents.
I used a digital camera in a group of 5 average ability learners. They took photographs of an event in the school (Appendix 3a), transferred pictures in their folders and later made photo stories using them. During the session, following e safety issues were identified;
Students did not seek permission before taking photographs which is an offense.
They made irrelevant images and video clips for fun thus misusing the device.
There is only one digital camera in my school and every group member was eager to use the device and tried getting hold of it which resulted in mishandling. They were instructed several times to handle the device carefully as it is delicate and expensive.
To overcome these e safety issues, I introduced nethics and netiquettes to my learners. I would integrate digital citizenship issues in my regular lessons using web 2.0 tools and monitor them vigilantly to make them responsible digital natives.
As senior mistress of my school I would also like to propose my line manager (Appendix 6) to define clear photography policy of the school to promote digital citizenship.
To make a holiday plan. Learners will research using internet about weather, travel fare, hotel, currency, places of sightseeing of the selected destination. Record the information on e worksheet using MS office. Later they will make a photostory/flyers to present their holiday plan.
I will begin by discussing their personal experiences about being on a trip in circle time. Students will be given task sheets to research on internet about the selected destination and fill in the information in differentiated e worksheet. Learners will then make their holiday plans using Ms publisher or photostory
e worksheets for recording gathered information will be differentiated according to two ability(differentiation by task). High ability learners will present their plan in a photostory and others will use MS Publisher to make flyers (differentiation by outcome)
Use internet to retrieve relevant information, use MS office to record their findings, demonstrate netiquettes while retrieving information from internet( citing the resource), interpret map of a place using Google Earth, use MS photostory to make a short film of their holiday plan, use MS publisher to make flyer.
They will learn real life skills of planning and preparation for family trips. They will work collaboratively with creativity, sense of ownership and responsibility to ensure authentic research. Presenting the recorded information in different format will enhance their analytical skills. They will also gain confidence through presentation of their work.
I will bookmark the relevant websites on all computers for research. Each pair will be provided with the written instruction of the task. Internet connectivity and networking will be checked for sharing/ presentation of the work. e worksheet will be saved on desktops of each computer. I will make sure all computers are connected to the printer through networking for taking prints of students' work(flyers).I will download photostory software on all computers.
Learners will be assessed on their ability for appropriateness of the recorded information, well organized presentation of the expected outcome and to communicate their plans to the large audience.
class : grade IV (24 children)
Time: 2 sessions of 80 min each
Justify their opinion about selecting 8 important things to be taken on a foreign trip.
Research using internet about weather, travel fare, hotel , currency places of sightseeing of their selected destination
Record the information using Ms Word .
Present their plans to a wide range of audience
Assessment of Objectives:
Justify their opinion about selecting 8 important things to be taken on a foreign trip through their verbal responses.
Research using internet about weather, travel fare, hotel , currency places of sightseeing of their selected destination through their completed e worksheets.
Present their plans to a wide range of audience through their photostory (high ability ) and flyers (average ability)
Instruction sheets, e worksheets, MS Publisher, Ms Photostory 3, http://www.opodo.co.uk/, http://maps.google.com/
Pre Computer Task: (25 min)
I will ask the learners, individually, to make a list of the ten most important items to take along when going for a trip to a foreign country.
Ask the learners, in pairs, to share their lists and agree upon the eight most important things to bring along.
Feedback from pairs will be taken.
Computer Task: (45 min)
I will tell the learners that they are going to make a plan for a holiday trip during winter break. I will divide them into pairs and ask each pair to decide on a specific destination and find out a number of things about that destination using the Internet. Instruction sheets (differentiated) will be provided to them and they will search for the following things:
• Locate the destination on a world map and identify
nearby cities and neighbouring countries.
• Find the most convenient way to travel to the
• Find out the weather forecast at the destination during
the coming week.
• Find out about the local currency
• Find a nice, hotel to stay in.
• Find and agree upon five places to visit and/or sights to
see during the trip.
• Discuss and decide what to do during each of the
during the stay.
Students will research and fill in the e worksheet (differentiated) on Ms. Word saved on their desktops.
Students will take the prints of their work.
Post computer Task:
I will divide the learners into groups (2 pairs forming a group) and ask them to compare their holiday plans. Feedback from will be taken.
Continued Session on Day 2:
Learners will use the information collect in their e worksheets and present their holiday plan through photostory(high ability) and flyers (low ability).
Flyers will be printed to be displayed in the class.
Photostories will uploaded on school's blog www.beaconhousennp1.wordpress.com
I will conclude the session with learner's feedback on their experience.
In DTWICT module 1, I learnt how to plan an ICT integrated lesson effectively. Previously, while planning for an ICT lesson, I never considered following aspects;
Is technology being used just because it is there? Is it allowing me /my learners to do old things in new way? Is technology creating an engaging learning experience for my learners?
When I analysed my previous plans in the light of my experience of day 1 of DTWICT(Appendix 7 a), I found that I was only doing an old thing in a new way. For instance, publishing a piece of writing on word rather than in exercise books or using a projector instead of white board. Although these are good options to be used in the classroom but are the replacement of traditional ways of teaching and learning. Now I evaluate the use of specific ICT resource in terms of learners' engagement and positive outcomes and then plan my lesson carefully considering all pros and cons. I feel that a properly planned ICT lesson is easy to be implemented and reduces teacher's burden during implementation and helps to manage learning effectively. Learners are self engaged and are well motivated due to new ways of teaching and learning using technology. I also learnt how a thoughtful ICT integrated plan affects learning. I observed a paradigm shift in my class where my role as a teacher was to set the scene for learning, facilitate if required but vigilantly monitor learners during the learning process. However I also observed chaos in my class many times when net meeting did not work, prints could not be taken from all computers as printer was not on networking, slow internet access. All these technical issues made my lessons great disappointment for the learners and for me. I realised this happened due to ignorance in preplanning with ICT. I learnt the significance of considerate planning with ICT in module 1 of DTWICT. Now I always keep 'Plan B' to overcome the unexpected technical issues during the learning session.
As a Senior Mistress of my school, I ask my teachers to anticipate all possible concerns and issues when using ICT in their lessons. The issues can be of different nature like slow/no internet connectivity, parents' concerns etc. I also discuss software / hardware issues and their limitations with teachers and try to resolve them to the best of my ability. Most of the teachers are aware of IT helpdesk on our school's website to resolve technical issues for uninterrupted learning in classroom.
In module 1, I also learnt to use ICT as a tool for differentiation (Appendix 7b) to cater individual needs. It was a new learning for me. I was planning for differentiation but mostly it was differentiation by task where I either simplified the task for low ability learners or shortened the length. I always found it difficult to involve all abilities equally in a challenging task to meet the objectives of the learning session. I the beginning I was puzzled how to use ICT for differentiation but discussions in circle time sessions, reading, feedback from peer on one of my ICT integrated lesson enhanced my learning of using ICT for differentiation. I discovered different ways of using varied ICT resources for process and product differentiation. However, I still feel that I need to learn, explore and implement more in order to learn how to cater to individual needs effectively using ICT.
I noticed a positive change in my learners with increased use of ICT opportunities. They became independent and confident while using digital resources. Learning has taken place outside the boundaries of a conventional classroom. The use of ICT for multiple ways has improved learners' presentation skill. The untraditional way of teaching and learning through ICT has brought enthusiasm in class. Variety of e resources for instance e book, comic creator, digital devices, software like photostory, online games for teaching haiku and plurals helped to engage them in the tasks meaningfully. Even the slow learners are also enthusiastic about working with digital resources. Prior to using these all resources parents were asked for their consent (Appendix 7c). The next step that I have planned for my learners is to involve them in global collaboration projects and helping them use school blog effectively as an e platform and to use more web 2.0 tools to enhance learning using ICT. This will also strengthen the home school connection and will make communication with the parents easy as they could view their child's work online.
In DTWICT, I also learnt about e safety and digital citizenship. Earlier I did not give ample attention to this. Now I plan my lessons keeping e safety in mind and I am gradually training my learners to be well informed and responsible digital natives. However e safety awareness in my school needs attention. The unintentional digital violence is from both teachers and students side like copying and pasting material without acknowledging the source for presentation or for making students' worksheets, non availability of filters on computers, mishandling/misuse of digital devices especially digital camera. The teachers and other staff members have already signed IT policy by the institution but that does not clearly state issues related to the e safety and digital citizenship. I discuss these issues with teachers in weekly coordination meetings (in which teachers discuss their plans with me) and guide teachers to consciously work on this aspect. I also believe that parents should also be trained in this regard. I am planning to conduct a small workshop on e safety on school's upcoming Open Day (to be held in January 2013). I anticipate a gradual change in my school's environment.
DTWICT module 1 was a wonderful learning experience for me in which I have learnt many things which were new for me, implemented and evaluated my teaching to further improve. At the end of the module, I have made my action plan (Appendix 7d) which would help me to manage learning in classroom using ICT.