Earlier in this course I spoke about how I support the theory of constructivist learning, relying on the cognitive concepts of inquiry-based learning and social interaction. As I am teaching in an international school where the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program is run (a program which presupposes that all teaching and learning should be inquiry-based), I have a wealth of opportunities to see a constructivist educational process in practice. Reflecting on my experiences in this course I find that much of this broad theory has been continually validated. Activities such as using Spinscape spinscape as a mind-mapping tool have perfect technological integration potential for a constructivist process. As, in my classroom, I am not the source of knowledge but the leader, who guides students in subjects and areas they are interested in, mind-mapping seems to me a very appropriate learning/guiding tool.
We have recently completed a study on cycles, including the life cycle of a frog. In this process we used mind-mapping to collect knowledge from across the class and teach each other. We did this with conventional chart paper mind-mapping this year, but I can imagine how interesting it might be next time around to use a site like Spinscape to facilitate this sharing and learning.
Another tool I’ve found to be profoundly useful is the Weblist (http://weblist.me). Because, at a kindergarten level, my students accuracy and speed on a keyboard is quite low, entering urls can be a huge obstacle to working online. Weblist has allowed me to create a simple, address that all of my students know. They have a one-stop way of accessing a page where a menu of thumbnails makes it easy for them to quickly access the site we’ll be using.
I have a couple of long term goals that I want to achieve in the next years that I am teaching. One of them is to introduce more creative technological tools such as various kinds of cameras, lenses, video cameras, projectors, iPads and different kind of computers and laptops. I support the idea of variety of knowledge in learning. I want to give my students to experience these tools and create unique works.
The second goal of mine is to enhance my students learning by furthering my learning in new technologies. Therefor I applied for a workshop in September given by Apple. To be a part of this workshop I created a movie. When I successfully finish this course I will become an Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE). This will give me the opportunity to become a part of a community where K-12 instructors meet and share knowledge and experiences. I am looking forward to become a an ADE and support my students learning in a powerful way.
P.S. the password for the movie: elma