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Thanks PLN team.

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I must say I feel a little sad that this great course has now come to an end. After my initial trepidation I was surprised and thrilled at how much I learnt and enjoyed. I have particularly enjoyed adding my posts at the end of each unit as a sort of diary entry on how I felt and what I learnt. I found writing about it helped me to consolidate the information in my mind and get my thoughts in order. It also made me really think about things and how they could be used in education. I beleive it has made me a more versatile and informed educator which can only be a good thing. Thanks so much to all the wonderful people who have made this course such a learning opportunity. I have and will continue to recommend it to others for their future learning.
All the very best to all other participants and hope they grew as much as I did.

Disappointed………………

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After much time spent communicating and waiting for response with regard to my Storybird I was thrilled to recieve an email from Storybird to say my story had been accepted and was now ready to be embedded into my blog and I could therefore finish my PLN course successfully. I was then disappointed to discover I was only able to embed the code which linked to the Storybird and not have the actual Storybird itself visible on my blog. I do hope it is still able to be read and enjoyed as I very much enjoyed making it.

My PLN Story …………. so far!

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Technology is a wonderful thing but sometimes you come across a situation that frustrates the life out of you! I recently created, what I believe, is a wonderful Storybird as my record of the PLN course I have almost completed (and honestly I am amazed that I was able to complete and enjoy it so much ) only to find that I was unable to embed it into my Blog. How terribly frustrating to have the work sitting there but unable to share it with the rest of the group and team. I was able to email it to my friend (the other person in my story) but there the sharing ended. Heath was very helpful (as usual) and I have now recreated my Storybird from the beginning in the public setting and hopefully will have success from here. Fingers crossed! Stay tuned.

Gaming in Education

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It certainly had never occurred to me that gaming could and perhaps should be used in classrooms as a learning tool. It is, after all, a massive part of youth culture. I was definitely one of the mentioned people who complained about the mind numbedness of such activities. Little did I know ( once again )! It makes perfect sense that modern day children are learning the “rules” of the playground and life skills via gaming, just in a different way than what we conventionally recognise. I can now see that children are obtaining worthwhile skills ( including fine motor ). They are having to problem solve, get along “socially”, decipher given information and decision make and accept consequences. All things we want and need our children to learn. This unit was very thought provoking and has certainly taught me to accept this aspect of modern day children as a positive rather than a negative. I still, however, have the concern about the addictive behaviours that gamimg can create in young people but I now recognise the educational benefits.

Having never actually played any of the games mentioned it seems you can teach a (not-so-old ) old dog new tricks. Well done again PLN!

 

Future learning – what happens next?

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This is a question I have been pondering as I near the end of this course. What will I do next – how will I continue my learning? Therefore I was thrilled to discover in Unit 10 that there are many options I can explore once Unit 12 has come and gone. I was particularly interested in the Russell Stannard TeacherTraining Videos and iTunesU and am certain I will visit these sites at the conclusion of this course.They appeared to offer things I am interested in pursuing and including links to things I have touched on during my PLN experience. This course has given me the confidence to keep learning and not to be afraid to get in and have a go.

Wasn’t fussed on screencasting and, if I’m honest, didn’t really get the point so didn’t pursue it. Sorry guys!

As a follow up from my last post, I have introduced Evernote to some secondary students to gauge their thoughts and they are loving it and using it as part of their everyday learning. They love its ease of use, mobility and efficiency. As a result I have mentioned it to one of my school leaders who is very keen to learn more as school administration is seeking a replacement for written diaries in the future. So thank you PLN team for introducing me to such a great tool.

 

 

Unit 9: Is there anything we can’t do?

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The further I get into this course the more I am changing beliefs I have held for a lifetime. I have always been a great advocate of getting information from an encyclopeadia, dictionary or other reference book ( mainly to keeps books alive )but with the world rapidly changing almost on a daily basis I can now fully understand the necessity to have some form of search engine in our lives. I truly believe there is nothing we cannot find out or about on the internet and it really does allow our young learners to have the world at their fingertips. Knowlwdge really is power and power is something we all need to survive in this modern era. I was very impressed by both Bing and DuckDuckGo – I thought they were better layed out and more organised than Google and I personally found them both easier to read. Both felt gentler on my eyes and I think it’s because they didn’t seem as cluttered and busy. I really liked the images section on Bing with just the image showing and the text hidden until clicking in the image you were interested in. Will definitely use both again!

What a great tool Evernote turned out to be. I was scared going into it because it seemed busy and complicated but 9 units on, I’m more prepared to keep clicking and exploring such tools to discover how they work. Not so long ago I would have said that students need to be able to manually organise their research and any information acquired but with such great and effective tools at their disposal and with technology only going to increase I think there is a good case for encouraging students to get and keep organised by electronic means. They still have to be able to organise this information to a certain degree by directing the information to the appropriate area but then it’s stored where it is easily accessible from many devices. I would highly recommend this tool for all secondary students who have many subjects to cater for. A great resource to refer to.

I personally got a lot out of this unit.