My name is Kate and I am a freshly minted New Scheme Teacher and an education student at Southern Cross University currently completing my degree in primary education. I am also employed at two local public schools and deliver innovative learning projects and technology into the classroom whilst also managing their school blogs.
My background is in pre-school education and I have a great interest in young peoples development and how they learn. Another area of interest is technology, particularly virtual worlds, educational blogging and digital citizenship. These are powerful tools and skills that enrich and immerse students in new and innovative experiences that result in authentic and meaningful outcomes. Underpinning all my lessons is the importance that all students become responsible digital citizens through ethical and moral online behaviour whether in a shared virtual space or selecting an image to use from the Internet for a Power Point presentation.
After viewing the video Ten Trends Affecting the Field of Instructional Design by Robert Reiser Ph.D it became quite apparent to me that instructional design is a critical component of effective teaching. My practice embraces a constructivist approach as I feel the student must take ownership of his learning in order to engage meaningfully. I create the learning outline and facilitate the process but ultimately, as I have witnessed on many ocassions, the student takes the learning into areas of unintentional learning (O’Connell & Groom, 2010) and this is where I feel deeper connections and synthesis of knowledge emerge. This underlines the importance of good learning design as the learning outcome must still be the priority but through careful scaffolding the learner is equipped with the skills and resources needed to gain success in the task.
The Quality Teaching dimensions drive all my teaching practices and I am hoping that by engaging with this unit I will further develop skills in curriculum design that will enrich my pedagogy and ability to develop high quality learning programs for all my students. In term 3 I have a number of learning projects planned, the first is a Human Society and It’s Environment (HSIE) 10 week project linked to Australian history and utilising virtual technology and the second one is working with a group of high ability English Additional Language/Dialect (EAL/D) students on an enrichment project. The project deals with the real world issues facing school design in Afghanistan and Rwanda and forms connections with the Aga Khan Development Network and UNICEF. A number of students in my enrichment group are from both these countries.
O’Connell, J., & Groom, D. (2010). Virtual worlds: Learning in a changing world. Camberwell, Victoria: ACER