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Technology…Amirite

Question time..

So, let’s have a look over, and address, some of the issues raised in my previous blog “To be (useful) or not to be (useful)?’    Here we go…

‘… it might still be difficult to implement because if the kids are so impaired that they require additional program support, they’ll more than likely need some kind of supervision.’

Yes, an excellent point here. No child, special needs or not, can be left in a room alone at school without supervision, plain and simple. There are all kinds of safety and potential issues surrounding such a situation, not to mention all the rules and regulations that accompany it. As the program itself contains a specialist teacher aide (granted a digital version of them) all the content, learning and pedagogy provided by this course are done through this online connection. Due to the nature of this program and the actual learning being achieved, supervising adults could be in the form of a parent or guardian and volunteers or teaching assistants that are not specifically HPE trained. All that is minimally required is the adult presence in the room –potentially (depending on the type and severity of disability), unrelated work or marking could be completed at the same time.

‘Also, how do you choose who can get involved in the program?’

In terms of school, anyone who wants to get on board! Student-wise, kids who express an interest in the program or who are recommended by their teachers or school community would be perfect candidates. This program is not exclusive to one disability or another, however students must undergo proper diagnostic procedures, in particular possess limitations surrounding coordination and physical movement. The program will be a whole lot of fun and will attract a whole lot of attention, making these parameters essential to ensure the program is used by and assists students who need it most.

‘Is it an intervention or a last resort type of thing? ’

Due to the flexible nature and ability to manipulate all key elements of the program, it can be used at any stage. However, it must be noted that it is not therapy focused therefore is not intended to replace any external therapy/work the child requires. Instead, it is ideally meant as an extra support to work alongside HPE – again it’s not intended to replace the entire subject.

‘Having that competitive aspect or connection might work as a good goal?’

I think this will come down to the specific requirements, ability and objectives of each students and their paired buddy (tutor). In some situations it may be an excellent incentive to link up with other students and compete, however in other situations it may be detrimental to the student’s movement journey.

It will also depend on the ability of the tutor/s to link two students of similar ability levels. It may simply not be an appropriate match between students who can get online (or have classes) at the same time.

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It Exists!

Well today is my last blog. This is it the end of a journey and what a journey it has been. We started with a simple idea and now many weeks later that idea is a really thing!

Today I had an opportunity to pitch my idea to a panel and an audience of PE teachers and the feedback I received was amazing! They said that the simplicity of the idea was great and the fact that I don’t need any type of funding makes it a viable idea right now. So I have done it, as of today the YouTube channel Teach-a-Teacher is up and running. For now the updates will be slow when I find videos that have helped me plan a lesson I will add them to a playlist. Because I am still at uni I’m not yet teaching full time so there won’t be massive amounts of activity for a while. For now there is just one Playlist and that is for badminton they are videos I have used to help me plan lessons on prac. Obviously this isn’t too helpful for anyone teaching anything other than Badminton so this is where you come in. I would like you to direct message the YouTube channel with one video that helped you teach a sport you have had to teach on prac. Assuming they are appropriate the videos will form the beginning of a playlist for that sport.

Thank you for keeping up with my blogs and being with me for this journey. It’s really exciting for this idea to become a reality and with your help it can be more than that it can be something that really makes a difference to teachers. So get on board and we can make something great.

Problems to be solved

Hi everyone just a quick one today. Here is a little graphic that gives some evidence to show why my idea is needed by teachers.

Untitled Infographic

Bussiness Business Bussiness Numbers Numbers Numbers

Welcome everyone, I think I’ve got it! Last time I left you with a problem and between now and then I think I have found a solution. So the problem was that I didn’t have the expertise to pick videos for the channel in subject areas outside of PE and the answer is simple. Use other peoples’ expertise, I think that the best way to ensure the videos are going to be relevant is to have a few teachers from other areas also helping select videos for the channel. So that’s one detail sorted out. Now there is a few more things that I need to tell you all about because so far I haven’t given too much detail on haw the channel will actually run.  So far you know that there is going to be a YouTube channel and it will have videos helping teachers in all subject areas and you now know those videos will be chosen by a group of teachers. But other than that you don’t know how it is going to work. There isn’t too much to add but I feel like you should know the criteria that will be used to choose the videos. So here it goes First of all the video needs to be good quality no one likes to watch a video shot with a camera that cant show you the detail you need this will be especially true for the videos in the PE playlists. Next the videos need to be from a reliable resource, It’s no good having video to teach you about a subject if the video is telling you the wrong thing. To ensure that this happens  I’m going to try and stick to quite popular channels this makes it less likely that they are presenting false information. As a double measure the people adding the videos will be adding videos for their field so they have a good idea on what is right and wrong. The next criteria isn’t as important but are all aimed towards making using the channel an enjoyable experience. This is to try and make the videos as enjoyable as possible because this site is about learning and having a boring uninteresting video to learn from is going to make that process harder.

So that is how the videos are going to be chosen, but finding them will be up to you guys. Obviously I and the people helping me will do our bit but we cant find everything. So people can suggest videos they find to the channel and we will check them out and decide according to our criteria if they are appropriate for the channel.  If you see any other problems that I am not addressing please let me know in the comments.

How Hard Could It Be?

Hello again everyone. It’s been a while but I’m back. Last time we talked about my solution to the problem facing teachers around Australia. Just as a refresher teachers are spending a lot of time out side of class learning content and planning lessons. It is my aim to cut down this time by providing a more efficient way of learning the content. My solution? YouTube! For the simple reasons that it is already a really popular platform meaning there shouldn’t be any IT issues in getting it running or for teachers using it, most of them already know how to use the site. Another great reason to use YouTube especially for a Uni student like me is that it is free to set up. I won’t have to pay for a domain or hire someone to design the website for me. All these things make the idea seem pretty fool proof but there are a few issues that need sorting out. For now I see a few problems. The first one I see is that some channels may not be happy about their videos being put in another place. I don’t think that it will be a big problem, most channels would welcome the opportunity for more views but some channels might not want there video being spread. I think that this can be solved pretty simply. Asking for permission before the video gets added will make sure that the channels know that the video is going up on this channel and if they have a problem the video doesn’t get added. The next problem is the content that actually gets added. As a PE teacher it is fairly easy to choose videos for the PE section of the channel but I don’t have the same expertise in other subject areas so how do I know what I’m adding is a reliable resource. I haven’t figured out how to solve that one yet but it’s the only real problem I see at the moment. So if you have any ideas let me know I’m all ears.

A festival of ideas, LAHTAS keynote speech

Firstly, thank you and welcome guests to this festival of ideas.  It’s great to be here at this prestigious location and it was an honor to be a keynote speaker at this event.  My great idea concerns the teaching technique of the flipped classroom. Where you can flip the traditional thought of teaching as you can see from the screen.  My idea is a web based program with app capabilities to assist this.  Students will have access to class resources and videos from their teachers, and an ease of communication between their teachers.  It also allows for video editing capabilities for the teacher with in application saving and uploading.  For marketing sake I’ve called it Learn at Home, Teach at School, or LAHTAS for short.

Doing some quick searches on the internet, there didn’t seem to be a dedicated application to a flipped classroom.  Many sites suggested the 10 best apps to aid a flipped classroom based on what teachers themselves use.  Some of these applications included, Dropbox, Blackboard and probably the most used application is YouTube.

What makes LAHTAS stand out from the competitors is the ability to draw upon previous program features with some its own key features.  To start off, there is an ability for students to be in contact with the teachers 24/7 with an instant message system.  They will be able to receive immediate feedback on key learning points from the videos or class topics.  Secondly, as most if not all devices now contain a camera, teachers are able to create, edit and share their videos within the system.  There would be no need for third party programs to save separate files in different locations, it would all be done in a ‘cloud’ like feature.

Engaging in professional discussion with my fellow BHSPE colleagues, there was a mutual agreeance on how beneficial having everything in one place was.  The fact that students when studying for exams and doing homework tasks are able to access class resources at home is a valuable asset.  In terms of the cloud feature, they thought this would be very beneficial for assessment pieces, this is something which I didn’t consider.  It was suggested that the students are able to upload their submissions, rather than a hard copy, allows them to gain feedback comments online from their teacher and then utilising the instant messenger feature to clarify any comments or questions.  This would be a quicker and easier way than handing back a hard copy of their reviewed assessment then having to wait for the next lesson to gain clarification.

In closing, this product I believe has many beneficial qualities for both teachers and students.  The ability of teachers having their students arriving to class with the key topics already learnt can lead to enhanced learning opportunities.  For example, teachers could then bridge the gap between the theory and prac barriers in HPE.  If students were to have prior knowledge on training principles for example, they could then use their class time to demonstrate and get hands on experience with the activities and create further class discussion.

Once again I would like to thank you for your time, and I hope you enjoy the rest of the festival.

Under The Scope

Our hard-wired stress response is designed to give us the quick burst of heightened alertness and energy needed to perform our best. But stress isn’t all good. When activated too long or too often, stress can damage virtually every part of our body. As is noted life is always full of stressful situations, for teachers it is a well known fact but why not do something about it.

Being a HPE and Science teacher in training, I like to look closely at how things work or effect the body which is what this video does perfectly. This visual representation of the body suffering from stress is enough to make anyone spring into action and want to help deal with the problem. I mean how many teachers did we all know and see growing up who were bald….was it due to stress perhaps? All I know is that I want to keep my hair!

Below, Sharon Horesh Bergquist gives us a look at what goes on inside our body when we are chronically stressed.


Ironing Out the Creases

purewow-ironing-830x524After coming up with this “good idea” and thinking it would be perfect to integrate into a schooling environment, I thought I should ask others, especially those who are already working in it. Prac is only a small glimpse and all I have to go off, so I decided to take the time and chat with my fellow prac partner and supervising teacher about the issue to see what they thought of my ideas practicality.

Issues:

  • It was noted that there was no accountability for students who may be in a lower S.E.S and their ability to perches the program which was the initial idea. All student would have to buy and upload onto their computers at home. This made me change the focus, targeting specifically schools that supply laptops to all students from 7-12.
  • The program lacked basic and necessary programs most importantly some form of word, PowerPoint etc. This was thought of as a great opportunity to approach Microsoft and see if they would like to allow the use of their programs to be sold alongside mine which would then work together. The cost as a result would change from the initial $30 per computer to $60, however the majority of the cost would be to perches Microsoft. However, if the school computers already have Word, the price would be halved, only covering the cost of my system.
  • Monitoring the site, if there is communication between students and teachers/student and student then there must be some way of making sure it is safe from bullying. This was where a logging system could come into play keeping all chat content that cannot be deleted or hidden, this would be accessible to teachers/principles if necessary.

Good Points:

  • School wide method of handing in assignments, all student can submit online through the system depending on what the assignment is. If they are late, the option closes off and then they need to hand it in in person with reasons as to why they did not complete their work.
  • There is a student and teacher version which is very important to help with unit flow and sharing of relevant information.
  • Communication aspect cane be used to talk about subject specific content and to those in the same subject/teacher to ask for help outside of school.
  • Access to ACARA/Australian curriculum and sharing of information easily to all teachers would be a great thing. Having it on tap and being able to share with others is great when under pressure and you need help.

Prac Partner: “I saw that you initially started with looking at teacher stress and work load in previous blogs. I think the way you are approaching this is really good through the features of the system. This looks like it has adapted from a bit more from your idea into a way to make school for teachers easier, allowing more time to focus on education.”

For a detail explanation from start to finish – stay tuned, finished product reviled soon!

To be (useful) or not to be (useful)?

Before I delved further into the design process, I decided to road test my idea – to get a bit of a feel for how the teaching community would receive Hii skills and see if they flagged any aspects that might raise potential issues. I decided to get opinions from 3 different types of people from the pedagogical community; people who taught, people who teach, and people who will teach.

First up was my grandfather (funnily enough, he supervised and lectured many of my current lecturers/supervisors) who has 40 odd years of HPE teaching under his belt. After giving him an explanation and background on Hii Skills and the motivations behind it, he responded with the following:

Well when I was teaching kids like that generally weren’t included much, if at all. To say lack of teacher aides these days is an issue is nothing in comparison to what we had to work with! Larger classes and less of all this specialized equipment you lot seem to have, made it virtually impossible to make sure the less able kids were getting the same quality of education. And on top of that, sitting on the sidelines because of inability or bad behaviour hardly makes for a fun time. So in that regard, finding a way to include the kids with staffing limitations is a step in the right direction. As an old fart, I had a bit of trouble following all the technical aspects of the plan. But one-on-one attention with good rapport will never go astray in any area of teaching. So if you can get all the …bits to work, then I can’t see why it wouldn’t do the trick’.

So that looks like a big thumbs up to the motivations behind this big idea!

Next up was a full-time HPE teacher from my current prac school.

‘In this particular school, we don’t have too many cases of kids with disabilities, intellectual or physical. You will find the occasional kid with mild ASD or ADHD, but I think you’d find – as we do – that they’re high level functioning enough to include in class normally. But you’re right in identifying the resourcing as an issue, it really is a major problem, so I like where the idea is going in trying to address that. I will mention though, that it might still be difficult to implement because if the kids are so impaired that they require additional program support, they’ll more than likely need some kind of supervision. Also, how do you choose who can get involved in the program? Is it an intervention or a last resort type of thing? ’

And finally in true Gen Y fashion, I sent out messages via Facebook to 4 pre-service teachers asking their opinions. Below are some highlights of their responses:

“Identified a good niche….”

“As aspiring teachers we know that there’s a huge variation of learning needs in each class that must be catered to. If I had this extra support I guess it’d take the nervousness and pressure off a bit.”

“Kids love it when I involve games in my lessons. Same goes for when I include technology. So double bonus using them together. The kids will love it!”

“Would it be possible for students to play against other students of similar levels in from different schools? Having that competitive aspect or connection might work as a good goal?”

“It would be a good opportunity in rural settings where HPE teachers are not specialized in disability education. I guess all they’d need was a connection to the tutor and the kids get the individual attention they need.”

Personalized and inclusive without relying on massive amounts of contact numbers and hours (expertise and money)”

 

So as we can see, there are a fair few points of interests and valid concerns have been raised in the interviews above. Unfortunately though, in the absence of time (and space), you’ll have to wait until the next blog to see these issues addressed.

Stay tuned…

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