Why should we integrate technology?

Integrating Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) into the classroom provides students with opportunities to engage in learning with ICT and therefore develop competence in using (ICT). Students learn how to“… access, create and communicate information and ideas, solve problems and work collaboratively in all learning areas at school, and in their lives beyond school…” Australian Curriculum and Assessment Reporting Authority (2016).

I subscribed to Simon Haughton’s website today as another pre-service educator recommended Simon’s website in our University Diigo group. Simon’s post – Thoughts on creating a child-led ICT/Computing curriculum is very informative in regards to implementing independent projects in the classroom. Thanks for the tips! I look forward to learning more from your website Simon.

While the rest of us may feel like we are still catching up with technology, the big wide world of ICT continues to advance at a rapid rate. Now is not the time to be stuck with a fixed mindset. How do we keep up? It has to start with education. As educators, we will guide students in learning and contribute to preparing them for a future where they will inevitably continue to be immersed in technology all the way through their further education and employment.

With nineteen months of University studies to go, three more practicum placements, and a four-week internship… I am excited about the journey ahead.


Australian Curriculum and Assessment Reporting Authority (2016). Information and Communication Technology (ICT) capability. Retrieved April 26, 2016, from http://v7-5.australiancurriculum.edu.au/generalcapabilities/information-and-communication-technology-capability/introduction/introduction

[Image] retrieved April 26, 2016 from http://www.easyassistmedia.com/how-to-integrate-your-marketing-channels/


Digital tools for the classroom

Digital toolsEdmodo, Google Classroom, Projeqt, ClassDojo … I have not used any of these myself so I am unable to comment on them; however, I want to immerse myself in the process of integrating technology with a growth mindset. This will help me throughout my journey as a pre-service educator; and I am sure it will transform my pre-service practicum planning and assessments. I conducted a Google search in effort to learn more about the different websites and Apps that are currently available to integrate a ‘collaborative online classroom’ – into the classroom.

 Edmodo, Google Classroom, Projeqt, ClassDojo … What do other educators think of these?


I enjoyed reading:

25 Teaching Tools For The Digital Classroom by Mike Acedo at TeachThought.

Google Classroom vs Edmodo by Kimberly Mattina at The Tech Lady.

Edmodo vs. Google Classroom by Las clases de Stilson.

Google Classroom – 4 months in by Keith Rispin.

Student Projeqts by Gemma O’Dwyer at Ms. O’Dwyers College Blog.

These two blogs offer different perspectives of ClassDojo:

Class Dojo by Dan Rice at Adirondack Education Technology

Thinking About Classroom Dojo – Why Not Just Tase Your Kids Instead? by Karen Langdon at Teaching Ace.

I recommend reading the comments if you have the time.

[Image] retrieved April 26, 2016 from http://news.filehippo.com/2013/07/digital-tools-encourage-sharing-and-collaboration-in-classrooms/

DIY iPad charging station

You can pay hundreds of dollars for ‘commercial’ iPad charging stations and USB charging docks or you can create one for as little as $50.00 (AUD).

We have several devices at home so I wanted to create a ‘one stop charging spot’ where we can charge multiple devices simultaneously.

I searched through some online stores that are mostly located overseas and when you have to consider the purchase price, plus freight and taxes… I was stunned to say the least! You can buy USB port chargers but the ones that I have seen are not (yet) designed to ‘isolate’ the power or enable you to switch the chargers off individually when they not in use.

There had to be an easier and more affordable way to store and charge multiple devices in one place simultaneously. To my surprise, I found everything I needed for a modest budget at my local Officeworks and Bunnings Warehouse stores.

My DIY iPad charging station holds 4 mini or standard sized iPads. I purchased:

  • a brochure holder for $27.38 (Officeworks – deflect-O 2 Tier A4 Brochure Holder)
  • a packet of curly cable ties $4.88 (Officeworks – Wrapt Up Screw Clamps Small 3 Pack) and
  • a power board $20.90 (Bunnings Warehouse – Arlec 1.8m Lead Powerboard Surge Protect) with and individual switches.
  • Total $53.16 (AUD)

I found some clever ideas that other people have shared such as dish strainers, magazine racks, document holders and storage tubs. You can find some more great tips to build an iPad charging station on a budget here.

                                 [iPad station]                                 [DIY charging rack]

Images retrieved April 24, 2016 from:

[Brochure holder] http://www.officeworks.com.au/shop/officeworks/p/deflect-o-2-tier-a4-brochure-holder-portrait-jp77865

[Wrapt up screw clamps] http://www.officeworks.com.au/shop/officeworks/p/wrapt-up-screw-clamps-small-3-pack-crcmscs

[Powerboard] http://www.bunnings.com.au/arlec-1-8m-lead-powerboard-surge-protect_p4331134

[DIY charging rack] https://au.pinterest.com/pin/64105994669152836/

[iPad station] https://au.pinterest.com/pin/485755509781973737/

Integrating Technology into the classroom

Aditi Rao from TeachBytes developed this wonderfully efficient chart to highlight the key differences between ‘using technology’ and ‘technology integration’ in the classroom. Check out Aditi’s chart here for a concise and visual distinction between the use of technology and the integration of technology.

As a pre-service educator, I am currently undertaking studies in ICT and I am grateful for resources like this. This is a fantastic visual self-checker to have on hand to be mindful of how I implement and integrate technology in my classroom.

Is the use of technology in the classroom…

  • planned and purposeful?
  • a part of our routine?
  • supporting the learning objects and curriculum goals?
  • engaging the students in the content for learning?
  • mostly used by students?
  • developing or creating the students’ thinking processes?
  • facilitating more learning time and less instructional time?
  • encouraging higher-order thinking strategies?
  • facilitating collaborative learning?
  • facilitating activities that would have been difficult or impossible?
  • constructing and building knowledge?
  • essential for learning activities? (Rao, 2013)


[Image] Pupils at a secondary school in Worcestershire. Photograph: Alamy. Retrieved April 22, 2016 from http://www.theguardian.com/education/mortarboard/2012/nov/13/ict-computing

GeogSpace – Geography

GeogSpace was developed for teachers by teachers from the Australian Teachers Association with the support of Education Services Australia.

The GeogSpace website is loaded with relevant information, tools and resources “…designed to provide materials to support primary and secondary teachers in implementing the Australian Curriculum: Geography.” (GeoSpace, 2016).

With two unit planning assignments under construction, I sought inspiration from Scootle which directed me to GeogSpace. If you’re looking for some inspiration, this is a great place to start.

GeogSpace logo

GeogSpace comprises two major resource sections, Core units and Support units.

Core units comprise illustrations of practice for stages of schooling described in the Australian Curriculum: Geography. The illustrations are provided for:

Core units have three sections for each of the stages of schooling:

  • The illustrations are designed to provide classroom-ready ideas and resources that reflect the dynamism of this exciting learning area. Each illustration is linked to the Australian Curriculum: Geography and provides opportunities for students to actively engage in learning, whether it be through undertaking class research, practical activities, field investigations or through taking local action.
  • Key understandings
  • Inquiry and skills
  • Exemplars

Support units provide illustrations of practice designed to support teachers’ professional learning and provide guidance, information and resources in eight areas of geographical education:

Studying Infographic

The Best (and Worst) Study Habits … Maximise Your Learning Potential, Make Studying Count.” Okay, you’ve caught my attention!

I would love to use this infographic for unit planning. As a pre-service educator, I have learnt that students learn in different ways that are unique to their personality and learning style.

This infographic makes reference to four types of learners: visual, kinesthetic, read-write and auditory learners.

How do we identify what ‘type of learner’ a student is?

When it comes to unit planning and lesson plans, we need to cater for each type of learner. I believe by incorporating ICT into the classroom, we can TRANSFORM certain elements of classroom instruction and student learning in new ways. ICT can be used to create new or enhanced opportunities to make the curriculum more accessible to students.

Image retrieved Aril 18, 2016 from http://elearninginfographics.com/how-to-make-studying-count-infographic/



Tips for procrastinators

Managing to work on multiple assignments is a bit like a juggling act. They say juggling requires balance, determination and lots of practice.

Just like Sarah and Summer, I can be a procrastinator… If procrastinating was an Olympic sport, I’m sure we could all be great contenders for a medal!


I have identified a few ‘distractions’ that feed procrastination and I’ve come up with a few tips to beat it:

  1. Delete all unnecessary subscriptions from your email account. Seriously, I ordered Pizza once and suddenly I am receiving regular offers to buy more Pizza… Hit it! (Unsubscribe)
  2. Remove Facebook from your homepage because when you see that tempting little icon, it literally reminds you to check up on your world of Facebook. When remove the ‘reminder’ you’ll be less likely to waste your study time scrolling through the newsfeed.
  3. Drink more water and keep a water bottle near your ‘study spot’ to remind you to drink it. This will help you feel refreshed, stay alert and reduce the risk of those nasty dehydration headaches.
  4. Buy a student diary and start journaling. Write down the amount of hours you have studied each day, write ‘to do’ lists and check off each task as you complete it. Fill in all of your assignment due dates and write reminders in the week before to keep track of looming assignment submission dates.
  5. Download a Desktop Calendar to help you stay on track similarly to a diary. “It’s very convenient and useful… (and can) help you manage appointments, to-do lists, schedules, and more…” (Desktop Calendar, 2016). You can easily adjust the calendar to fit a section of your screen to leave space for your files.

Try some of these tips for yourself…

Image retrieved April, 18, 2016 from http://www.pincaption.com/images/Facebook-Comments/funny-cartoon-dory-nemo-caption-i-have-so-much-to-do-oh-look-facebook/2787