As part of my role at Flinders I have been asked to look in to the Teacher Resource Center – that’s the library that pre-service teachers have their disposal to help them on prac. As a result I’ve been reading through and requesting the purchase of a number of excellent books that I thought I might share with you here. I have to point out that these will be my opinions not the Unis! I’ll do a couple of texts a week and tell you what they are, why I like them and how they might help as you introduce more technologies into your curriculum. Of course, I won’t be able to do so without mentioning National Professional Standards and potential curriculum links either 😉 In return, If you have these books and have opions to share about them please use the comments below to let us know your thoughts. In addition, if you have any other recommendations that might be useful to us (both here at Flinders and to the readers of this blog) please share those too 🙂
The first two books I’m going to write about come from Curriculum Press.edu.au and are in a series called “Action Stations“. The books are accompanied by a companion website which you can access right now. On it you’ll find sample pages of the content I’m about to describe that might help you to see what I do – an outstanding resource!
Digital Storytelling by Adam Price and Richard Lambert
This, in my opinion, is an incredibly practical book. It contains a brief introduction to Digital Story Telling, explaining why and when you could use it in your classroom to enhance learning and teaching and also briefly addresses the question of how you can “make time” to do so. The learning outcomes listed on Page 5 of the book are not linked to the Australian Curriculum but talk in more general terms. They point out the “Social and Personal Learning” as well as the “Discipline based Skills” that can be met using this medium.
When you line up the process of Digital Storytelling to the Australian Curriculum you will find that it becomes an invaluable tool to meet several skills and content areas. For example, it helps students to fulfil the ICT cross capability in any subject as well as the following areas I have quickly identified from the 4 Aus Curric subjects we are working with (there will be more I’m sure!):
Text structure and Organization
Any of the content descriptions involving: Understanding concepts about print and screen, including how books, film and simple digital textswork, and know some features of print, for example directionality
Explanation and communication
Use the digital story as a way for your students to construct a “narrative about the past” Get them to incorporate source materials as you move up the years.
|How about using the digital story to ask students to locate numeracy in everyday life? Here are some examples from students at Flinders University||Share observations and ideasWouldn’t a digital story be great for that?|
Responding to Literature.
Digital story telling or VodCasts (as we sometimes like to call them at Seconary level) are another medium through which students can share what they have discovered about a text in an interesting way.
|Use a range of communication forms (oral, graphic, written) and digital technologiesIt’s there in black and white… How easy would Digital Stories help you here?||Ask your students to create stories of their knowledge of shape, algebra or any other concept. These can then be evaluated by others in the group and used for Assessment for Learning.||Ask students to create a story about how Science is affecting our every day lives|
Students are asked to create texts using software right from the foundation stage, they then have to show the capacity to edit and modify these texts
Chronology, terms and concepts
Why not use the digital story to get things in order? Have them explain their choices as they go.
|Ask them to create a documentary explaining a scientific concept.|
Cool Tools for the Connected Classroom by Anne Mirtschin
Now this book, in my opinion, is an even better resource as it spends just over 20 pages going through what it describes as the “Teacher Essentials”. These are a fantastic place to start if you’re new or a little nervous about using ICT in the classroom. These essentials include information on:
- What does a 21st Century Classroom look, Feel and Sound like?
- Getting Started with Cool Tools
- Types of Tools: An overview of learning networks (some great info here about Twitter and PLNs)
- The importance of Global Education and Global Projects
- The Virtual Classroom
- Digital Citizenship (V. Important!)
- Copyright ( helping you to make sure you’re working inside the law)
- Cyber Safety
- Critical Literacies of the 21st Century
After these fantastic overviews and insights – which will really help build your confidence in operating in the world we really need to in our classrooms you are given a further 4 chapters on tools. There are plenty of them, all free and available online and they come with lesson ideas ready prepared! They are divided into sections such as Tools for Connecting, Tools for Communicating, Tools for Creating and Assessment. Each section pointing you at new tools to help you achieve each area. Included are lessons and tips which involve tools like:
- Online Polling
- Wordle and
A really fantastic resource for someone who is new to using educational technology in their classroom, wants to learn more about how to do safely or is looking for ideas to get those tools to work effectively in their classroom.