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Rebecca McKinnon

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About Rebecca McKinnon

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  1. Computers: Better situated in labs or classrooms?

    Are computers best situated in classrooms or labs? There are many arguments for each side debating the pros and cons. If they are situated in labs then the lesson can be more structured, each student can have access to a computer and there does tend to be more ICT resources available to support the teacher. Unfortunately the learning can be disrupted because the students need to travel to the lab and can become unfocused. With computers in the classroom there is room for spontaneous learning with technology, and the computers can be used regularly discouraging fear of technology. Having computers in the classroom also promotes equality of use as they are more readily available to the students. It is hard to weigh the benefits of each to decide upon ONE good way. In fact, combining the two might be the ultimate solution, providing both options to the students and teachers. From Rebecca McKinnon
  2. ICT.

    I believe that ICT is very important. Gone are the days when teachers could say "Technology is important because technology is the future". The future is here and technology is used in almost every situation possible in today's society. Don't get me wrong: reading, writing and maths are still fundamental to having a good start to your career but if there is no implementation of ICT's within the classroom then those skills will be sorely lacking. Even 'simple' jobs Eg. Checkout operator require some knowledge of technology. If students aren't familiarised with technology then they will struggle more when starting their career. While having an ICT subject is important it must be considered that students who lack confidence with ICT's will generally opt to not choose these subjects as part of their subject choices. It's these people that lack confidence that should have increased time with ICT's. It doesn't have to be all *groan, groan* when ICT's are mentioned. One English class had to write a short story using proper structure etc. This part got marked but the actual piece of assessment was them telling the story (recording to cassette) with sound effects and then playing it to the class. People felt comfortable with it because it wasn't an oral in front of the class and it allowed them to experiment with technology as well as complete their English components. Rebecca
  3. The future of ICT....?

    I'm living in Queensland, Australia. Queensland recently started their Smart Classrooms Project (see education.qld.gov.au/smartclassrooms/strategy/index.html). One aspect of this project was a Computers for Teachers Trial. The government gave 1500 teachers a laptop each. To combat the lack of basic understanding there was a two-day conference/tutorial. At this the teachers were given their laptops and it was explained how to use them. The teachers were also supplied with a 24-hour free hotline number to call if they had any questions or queries. All of this did not cost the teachers or the schools anything. Now this is only on trial but so far the results have been quite good. The teachers with the laptops are more readily incorporating ICT's into their classroom because they feel more confident with their skills.
  4. Blogs and Forums: A Publishing Revolution

    I'm only new here at the forum but I thought I'd say a few things. I have to say that I believe blogs and forums to be highly educational. Even if they are used just so that students can practice their netiquette skills. Also, what needs to be taken into consideration is the sense of acheivement students can feel when they've posted something on a forum, or created a blog. I'm only nineteen, and while I knew that blogs and forums existed I only recently discovered the value of both. Forums give you the chance to share your point of view with other people about a topic. This can be used effectively within the teaching profession because forums can easily be a rich source of debate. One of the schools I visited had started a forum on their homepage for each class to respond to. The ICT administrator would post topics suggested by teachers and each class could respond or make comments to the posts. Unfortunately the idea didn't really take off but I think it would have been great if the teachers and classes had committed to it more. Blogs I find less useful but that's probably due to my contained imagination. As part of one of my ICT major courses we had to create a blog for ourselves documenting our thoughts throughout the course. Everyone posted their blog's URL on the course discussion list and we visited each others sites to make comments and ask questions. I found it really useful but I could see that the only responses I was getting were from people in my course. It was difficult to get other people to comment. There's somewhat of a stigma attached to blogs as well, it almost feels like you're intruding upon someone's thoughts but in a forum everything is open for discussion. Hopefully food for thought!
  5. Biography: Rebecca McKinnon

    I am a student at the University of Southern Queensland in Australia, studying Primary and Middle Schooling Education. I wish to join this forum to share ideas and understandings with professionals within the Education Community. I have a particular interest with ICT's as that is my Major.
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