Hardware in classrooms –
Mobile/portable devices (e.g. smart phones & tablets) – I choose this option because they can do similar things and if you consider BYOD classrooms, not everyone may have the same device but can be similar.
What are the benefits of this hardware device?
- quick access to information
- cater to different learning styles
- creativity enhancing
What are the challenges of this hardware device?
- software maintenance (updates, licences, new purchases)
- expensive tools to purchase
- teacher training for devices
- integration planning
- different devices have slightly different working procedures – although most apps on devices work in similar ways.
- access to resources and apps (again $)
- internet availability
How does it enhance learning?
Allows for different teaching styles – student led, teacher-led and group work (Robyler & Doering, 2014, p. 167) within the classroom, therefore promoting its versatility as a teaching and learning tool.
These devices engage the learner on a different level, allowing hands-on interaction, encouraging social interaction via collaboration groups and social media. Multimedia devices like smartphones and tablets cater to different needs and learning styles
Have you discovered some good resources for the use of this device?
There is a huge amount of apps and resources available these days – depending on the type of resource needed, a simple search will find something to try:
- video capturing – camera (iMovie), video analysis software (replay).
- fitness testing – beep test, speed/time analysis software
- mind mapping – mind node, mind vector
- assessment – kahoot, quizlet, google forms
- communication – twitter, skype, facebook, g+
- collaboration – google/office docs, wiki’s
- creativity – drawings, photo collages, coding
- reference – 3D body structures, skill simulations
Affordances of classroom technologies –
The term affordance refers to the perceived and actual properties of the thing, primarily those fundamental properties that determine just how the thing could possibly be used. A chair affords (‘is for’) support and, therefore, affords sitting. A chair can also be carried. (Norman, 1988, p. 9) quoted in Bower (2008).
Portable devices have many affordances, depending on the use an alternative is often available, some of the affordances are similar to Nintendo Wii example in the reading of Morgan, Butler & Power (2007):
High definition graphics (3D/VR capable- e.g. google cardboard) and inbuilt rotation, orientation and gps changes.
The creation of personal avatars provides another level of social, personal and collaborative benefit.
Other affordances include:
- exercise (in the case of Pokemon Go)
Software in the classroom –
My thoughts about:
When should students start word processing?
I believe students should start word processing in primary school (probably upper primary), They only need to know the basics of typing (and let’s face it, most would already be on a computer). The use of word processing isn’t to take the focus away from writing skills, more to act as a presentation option (Design & Technology). Word processing would also increase the confidence of children who struggle with handwriting and get embarrassed about presenting their handwritten work, as it provides an option for them to express themselves and feel good about the end result. Although Roblyer & Doering (2014) recommend delaying word processing skills to enhance handwriting and fine motor skills, I still believe that word processing development has its own set of fine motor skills to learn, but not as a handwriting replacement (think of all those people – older- that type with one/two fingers).
Is it necessary to teach keyboarding skills?
I don’t believe that teaching keyboarding skills is necessary, as Roblyer & Doering (2014) point out, young learners are quick learners and pick up things quickly on their own. But I do see that having keyboarding skills is a benefit through schooling and life. The ability to look up and pay attention to a teacher or lecturer while typing everything down, has its benefits compared to the student struggling to type everything and then getting lost on what sentence/word they’re up to – losing focus (missing the engagement from paying attention to what is being said or delivered). Students who are able to “10-finger type” are shown to be more productive (Roblyer & Doering, 2014).
What effect does world processing have on handwriting?
If anything, the only effect should be for document presentation – given that word processing is used as an enhancement tool, not a replacement one. Though as highlighted earlier Roblyer & Doering (2014) reported that students who don’t get access to the experience of handwriting then may miss out on valuable fine-motor skills that are vital for children of an early age. If you think about the old sayings ‘practice makes perfect’ or ‘use it or lose it’, then with regard to handwriting Roblyer & Doering (2014) have indicated that due to lack of use handwriting capabilities and/or legibility can diminish.
What impact does word processing have on assessment?
This really depends on the type of assessment being done. What’s important? the content? or how it’s presented?
Word processing can speed up assessment time and feedback – which is good for both teacher and student.
Is the autocorrection of spelling a problem?
I don’t think auto-correction is a problem, again it may depend on the assessment. Auto-correction does not mean students don’t need to proof-read their work, auto-correct does make mistakes! (Roblyer & Doering, 2014). If teachers are that worried about auto-correction, the simple answer is to turn it off. What I would prefer to see is spelling and grammar correction highlighted (not just underlined) with the correct answer/option to be selected available as a pop up (similar to the Grammarly app), so that students can see their mistake, but also see how and/or why they need to fix their mistake, so that they are learning – which I think is the point in the end? to learn?
Bower, M. (2008). Affordance analysis: Matching learning tasks with learning technologies. Educational Media International, 45(1), 3-15.
Morgan, M., Butler, M. & M. Power. (2007). Evaluating ICT in education: A comparison of the affordances of the iPod, DS and Wii. In ICT: Providing choices for learners and learning. Proceedings ascilite Singapore 2007. pp. 717-726. Monash University. Retrieved from http://www.ascilite.org.au/conferences/singapore07/procs/morgan.pdf
Roblyer, M., & A. Doering. (2014). Integrating educational technology into teaching: international edition. 6th Edition. Pearson. Great Britain. United Kingdom.