Thursday, August 20, 2009

My Synopsis

Before beginning this assessment task I seriously had no idea that I was able to have free access and learn so much useful information about all 18 web based tools and so many more. As now I am becoming a digital native in this ever changing 21st century, I as a soon to be teacher really needs to stay one or two steps in front of students. I will always be open to continuous learning with new resources and internet web tools giving my students the opportunity to explore with me on my journey to being a real digital native. This will further educate the students in there journey to becoming life long learners.

A digital immigrant is a Teacher who grew up and has been teaching without using technology, they prefer the pen and paper style of marking. It would be very hard for digital immigrants of today to migrate over to become a digital native. A digital native are the children of today’s generation where they are into every source of technology available to them. Their brains are designed to learn this way whereas digital immigrants who know and comprehend the traditional era of teaching will need time to learn the new way of today’s every changing world.
It is quiet scary to think that our students who are suppose to be the learners actually have a better idea of technology and web based tools and resources then the digital immigrants who are teaching our new generation of children.
The digital natives Prensky describes “are surrounded by digital media to such an extent that their very brain structures may be different from those of previous generations.” (2003)

As a framework is vital to the survival and correct management of teaching and embedding useful technologies into the classroom these are what Kearsley & Shneiderman believes should be incorporated into the engagement theory of learning.

The first principle which is the “Relate" component expresses the importance of team efforts that involve communication, planning, management and social skills.

Create is the second component that makes learning a creative, purposeful activity. Students have to define the project problem domain and focus their efforts on application of ideas to a specific context. Conducting their own projects is much more interesting to students than answering boring textbook problems.

The last principle is the donate component that stresses the value of making a useful contribution while learning. Ideally each project has an outside "customer" that the project is being conducted for.

The reason for this engagement theory framework to be possible is students want to be engaged in their learning and they comprehend more when this is evident. It is imperative that when teaching children they actually have an understanding and know this lesson and material is worthwhile being taught. Technology is far more desirable to facilitate engagement in ways which are difficult to ascertain in other areas of key learning areas.
As stated by Kearsley & Shneiderman ”engagement theory is intended to be a conceptual framework for technology-based learning and teaching.” (1999)
When talking about engaged learning it is expressed that all student activities involve active cognitive processes such as creating, problem-solving, reasoning, decision-making and evaluation. As Kearsley & Shneiderman explain “students are intrinsically motivated to learn due to the meaningful nature of the learning environment and activities.” (1999)

All of this of course depends on the resources available in schools and depending on the socio economic areas. Lets face it the last two years of school placement made me realise that this technological way of teaching can and more than likely will be a lot of wasted time. In what school has the adequate amount of computers for each child, the correct internet setup if it does not disconnect half way through a lesson. Yes in some schools they are lucky enough to have a computer lab, however more than likely going to be fighting with the rest of the school to get a chance. Smart Boards are they way to go but again if each child does not have a computer than it is more time they have to spend at home on the computer. Lets face it then you are looking at changing the face of society to becoming lazy, requires glasses and possibly obese and socially inadequate instead society could have students who are bright, bubbly, fit and can work either way with or without programs and computers in front of them.

On a brighter note, throughout my e learning journey I have enjoyed the different web based tools I have had to blog about. Before I started this course I had no idea what a blog was or what to do with it. I think creating Wikis is a great way to cut back on my workload if other teachers are also contributing. Students will be engaged in this learning as it can be made so life like.

Avatars are a great tool to engage learners, as it brings another face and voice to the classroom. Classmarker is a great tool that I will always use in my classroom. I can make a test up, it marks the students and gives them the correct answers on the spot, while still recording the time it took them and their score. I can even go back into a year later from any computer and revisit that particular test.

Mediafire is another great tool and I have started using it all ready because I am so worried that my computer may crash and never regain memory. Using this tool not only gives me piece of mind but furthermore I am able to share with other teachers or even take something from them.

Google Earth will be a great ICT tool to use for a Geography subject or even SOSE as children are able to check real life places all around the world and even find out their coordinates and this can then be incorporated with maths.

You Tube is another great tool and there is also available Teacher tube so it is full of educational resources to hook the students in.

If you require any more information on the above topics please have a look at my many blogs

As this world is changing and growing more and more with changes to technology it is imperative that as Learning Managers we keep up to date with the web based resources available especially when they are free. Not only will they cut our workload down but will give us fresh ideas in this fast paced every changing world.


Kearsley, G. & Shneiderman, B. (1999). Engagement Theory: A framework for technology-based teaching and learning. Citing computer references.
Retrieved August 19, 2009, from

Vanslyke, T (2003)

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