Option BPart 1 IntroductionAt the start of my placement I found it extremely difficult to find waysof integrating ICT effectively into my mathematics instruction and felt thatthis was due to lack of training and experience.   Because of my lack of knowledge, I foundthat I was incorporating ICT into my lesson not to enhance the curriculum butrather just too thick the box. As I have progressed through my teachingpractice I have developed a greater appreciation of the benefits of integratingICT into my classroom.What follows is an overview of the most common ICT resources that I usedthroughout my placement.

PowerPointPowerPoint is a resource that I would use on an almost daily basis.  This resource was mostly used as a way ofsupplying information to students in a fun and colourful way to increase visualimpact.  It also lessened the amount oftime I would spend with my back to the students writing on the board whichfacilitated a more discussion based classroom. I also found it a very useful way of displaying work for students to doinstead of printing out worksheets.  Mymain issue with PowerPoint is the amount of time it can take to create eachresource and I have issues with how effective is it to just have students copynotes from the slides.  I really considerPowerPoint a resource that does not enhances the curriculum but more so as analternative way of presenting information. [email protected]@school is an international classroom project that allows studentsaccess to a large amount of data easily. This form of ICT is used for teachingstatistics and is suitable for students from first to sixth year.

  I would usually break my class into groups of4 or 5 and give each group access to a laptop where they would become activelyinvolved in collecting the data about themselves and their group.  I found that when students were using daterelating to themselves or their classmates they were more inclined to thinkcritically about the data that was collected. Also, when it came to analyse and interpret the data the results mademore sense to students as the data was about them.  This is a great resource for encouragingcollaboration and mathematical discussion.  GeogebraGeogebra is a dynamic mathematics software (DMS) which can be used inthe teaching of functions, geometry, statistics, calculus, and graphing.  Using Geogebra allows students to visualisewhat solutions to abstract maths problems mean.

 I use Geogebra in my classes mainly to display graphs this allows me togenerate a lot of examples in a short period of time quickening the pace of thelesson.  I have also used it to makeconnections between algebra and the graphical representation.  I have encouraged my students to use Geogebrato explore the functions and the impact of changing individual constants withinthe function and how this transforms the graph. I have found that students have developed a deeper understanding ofalgebraic problems that without Geogebra were abstract, but through the use ofGeogebra they can physically see how any change impacts the graph.   KahootKahoot is an online learning platform where multiple choice quizzes canbe created.  The quiz is displayed eitherusing a projector or interactive whiteboard, while the students use theirmobile device to answer the questions.

 Students can either participate in the quiz individually or ingroups.     I have often used Kahoot as aform of assessing prior knowledge of my students before starting a new topicand as a revision tool at the end of a topic. I have also had students create their own quizzes to use for revisionfor other students or as a class.  Kahootis a great resource for engaging students as they see it as a treat rather thana test.

It also promotes healthy competition amongst students.  When the quiz is finished a spreadsheet isinstantly available for the teacher, which shows how each student has answeredeach question.  These results allow theteacher to identify areas of misconception and can help to direct thelesson.  One of the biggest issues I havehad with Kahoot in the maths classroom is that as points are rewarded for howquick each student can answer the question I have found that this can lead tostudents trying to answer the questions in the quickest time which can resultin students guessing the answering rather than taking the time to work themout.   Khan Academy Khan Academy is a coaching platform that I have used both in myclassroom as a means of instruction and for setting homework assignments.

  I found this especially effective for settinghomework as it allows me to see which students have done their homework andwhich have not.  It also identifies areasof difficulty which helps direct the learning. This has been a huge time saveras it has significantly decreased the amount of time spent correcting homeworkat the beginning of the lesson which has allowed us to cover more ground andmove on to more difficult problems.  Ihave noticed that since I started using Khan Academy there has been a sharpincrease in student engagement and also in student performance.

   I have experienced many challenges while trying to incorporate ICT intomy mathematical instructions  Part 21) Description of the learning activity and rationalDescriptionThis project was a revisionactivity for transition year students on the statistic curriculum from JuniorCycle.  The aim of this learning activitywas to act as a means of recapping, assessing and enhancing students’ knowledgeand understanding of statistics and their real world applications before engagingwith the leaving certificate statistics curriculum in fifth year.  This project required students to create awebsite using Google Sites in which they had to include a minimum of 4 pages includinginformation on the data handling cycle, different types of data, methods ofgraphically representing data and analysing, interpreting and drawingconclusions from data.  Students workedin groups of 4 with each student taking responsibility for completing tasks,these roles were allocated by the students themselves within each group.  This learner activity took place in four hourlong classes.RationaleThe rationale behind thisproject was to promote the use of ICT in education.

  According to thegrowing research in the area, ICT is believed to be conducive to the attainmentand retention of knowledge (Mikre,2011) and make learning more exciting forstudents (Hammond,2014) as well as offering students thetechnological literacy that will prepare them for future careers in anincreasingly technological world (Johnston,Conneely, Murchan, & Tangney, 2015; Tinio, 2003). With education in Ireland shifting to a more studentcentred learning environment (NCCA, 2014) this learningactivity gave students responsibility for their own learning (Bridge 21, 2013)which allowed me as the teacher to take on the role of facilitator.  As well as students developing their ICTskills they also developed in the areas of collaboration, presentation andcreativity amongst many other key skills (NCCA, 2014).     2)The target learnerThis learner activity wasdesigned to use with a transition year class as part of their mathematicscourse.   The range of ability in theclass was vast stretching from students who had done foundation level to higherlevel maths at Junior Cycle.

  There weretwenty-eight students in the class.  Theactivity was designed to take place over four one hour long sessions.    3) The Learning OutcomesThis aim of this projectis to deepen student knowledge of statistics, in particular the data handlingcycle. Upon completion of thistopic the following learning outcomes would be achieved:Students would be ableto:·      Understand the purpose of statistics·      Identify the different ways of collectingdata·      Identify the different types of data·      Select appropriate graphical displays tocompare different data sets·      Analyse and interpret data ·      Use Google site to create a website Though students weregiven a criterion to follow this was an open task which allowed students to becreative.  In their creation of theirwebsite students were also encouraged to incorporate videos, PowToon clips,images, text and links to other helpful websites.

   Through engagement withthis activity student’s also developed some of the Junior Cycle key skills (NCCA, 2014):·      Being creative ·      Working with others·      Communicating ·      Managing information and thinking·      Being numerate·      Being literate·      Managing myself 4) The Learning ActivitiesThis learning activitytook place over four one-hour long classes, all lessons were conducted in thecomputer room.  The learning activity wasdeveloped in conjunction with the Bridge 21 Activity Model and was broken downas follows. Class1 – The Introduction In this first lessonstudents were divided into groups of four. Each group was given a project brief which outlined the learner activityand the schedule for each class. Students were also shown a sample website to help them visualise theexpected outcome of the activity.   The students were then instructed to watch avideo which outline how to create a website using the new Google Sites https://www.

youtube.com/watch?v=Dm8nEq4jVJg.   Class2 – Preperation (investigation) / Preparation (Planning)In this lesson studentsbroke into their groups to brainstorm some ideas for their website.  Students then used their ideas from theirdivergent thinking to carry out some research.Students then refinedtheir ideas and information gather during their brainstorming session and setabout devising a plan for their website theme and content.

  The groups then constructed a list of tasksto be done, each group member was then assigned a role.  Students then completed a plan templatehighlighting the role of each group member, the schedule for each task and theresources needed. Class3 – The Main ActivityThis lesson was solelydedicated to the students creating their websites.  Each group followed the plan that they hadcompleted in the previous lesson.  Allgroups previewed their websites and after reflection carried out anyalterations that they felt were necessary.

  Class4 – The FinaleIn this lesson studentswere given the opportunity to present their website and share their experiencethroughout the task with the class. Students used the two star and a wish method to assess the othergroups.  Students then reflected on theirown personal experience through the use of a questionnaire supplied by myself.   5) Reflection on implementationAs thiswas my first time to implement this learning activity and students firstexperience with the Bridge 21 model it was a very big learning curve for myselfand students’ and as I reflect there are some aspects that I would approachdifferently.   I would develop a methodof assessing students’ skill sets perhaps using a questionnaire prior toselecting groups.

  Students were veryenthusiast at the beginning of the task but in some cases engagement dippedwhen the more practical side of the task came into play.  It was only then that I really got to knowthe skill set of individuals.  Due tothis I found I had to insert myself into some groups and allocate roles toensure that all group members were actively partaking in the task.  Some students struggled with using a PC asthey were more familiar with using mobile devices to operate online.

  As I had access to iPad’s within the school Iwas able to remove this challenge for students’.  I also feel that my project brief was toovague as students were not always sure as to what they were expected to do atdifferent stages of the task, or students not understanding their role withinthe team.Throughtheir engagement with this task students displayed their knowledge of the datahandling cycle through the content of their websites.  When they were presenting their websites,students demonstrated a deeper understanding of each stage of the data handlingcycle through describing the different pages of their websites.  I found that as students knew they were goingto be assessed not only by myself but by their classmates they were motivatedto produce their best work.

  All studentswere given a test on their knowledge of the data handling cycle prior to thelearning activity and again upon completion as a means of assessing theeffectiveness of the task.  Uponcomparison of individual results in both tests there was a clear markedincrease in student knowledge and understanding.  Overallthis was a very positive experience for both student’s and myself.  There was a lot of student engagement andbonding and a wonderful sense of comradery. Student’s were very eager to help and support each other and were veryadaptable when it came to modifying or changing roles within the group, whichis a key factor in team work.

  Throughthis project students developed an appreciation for statistics and I believethat this was due to the medium used to present the curriculum.  Students were excited and interested in learningin a non-typical classroom environment.  Ido still have concerns about time constraints and how practical it is to use four-hourlong classes to cover a small part of the strand of statistic within the mathssyllabus.   6)Discussion and analysisAccordingto the growing research in the area, ICT is believed to be conducive to theattainment and retention of knowledge (Mikre, 2011) and make learningmore exciting for students (Hammond, 2014) as well asoffering students the technological literacy that will prepare them for futurecareers in an increasingly technological world (Johnston et al., 2015; Tinio, 2003).   Through the implementation of this learningactivity I was able to conclude that students did develop a deeperunderstanding of the curriculum and were given the opportunity to be creativeand imaginative in their development of a digital artefact to present theirlearning (NCCA, 2014), while alsoenhancing technological literacy.  UsingICT as a learning tool is said to increase students engagement (Crisan, Lerman, & Winbourne, 2007) as they can seeit as a more entertaining and relaxed learning space and a step away from thetypical classroom (Johnston et al.

, 2015).  I saw this reflected in the student’sengagement with and enthusiasm about the learning activity.  Students’ showed excitement regarding thisnew method of learning in which they were free to move around the classroom andwork in groups which according to literature in this area helps students todevelop their communication skills and learn to work collaboratively (Johnston et al., 2015; Livingstone, 2012; NCCA, 2014). It has been argued that with the mathematics syllabus being so vast isit really practical for students to spend a lot of time experimenting with ICT (Crisan et al., 2007) while there isstill a huge emphasis on terminating examinations in which ICT is notexamined.

   Although I believe that thislearning activity did deepen the students’ understanding of the data handlingcycle I feel that the time taken to complete this project would not be workablewith any other year group.  7)ConclusionInconclusion although I felt that this activity went very well I fell that I needto undertake more profession development in the area to ensure that I am usingICT to enrich curriculum and the students’ engagement with the curriculum, as Istill lack confidence in using ICT.  Withthe mathematics curriculum being so vast I need to look at way to incorporateICT based learner activities in a timelier fashion as I do not think that thisparticular activity would be practical with any other year group.  Through giving students ownership of theirlearning, I seen an enhancement in students research and observational skillswith regards to both the ICT and educational components of the learneractivity.  As educators it is our role toprepare our students for the world outside of the classroom.  As we are now living in a technologicallyadvanced world it is essential that through the use of ICT in school we arepreparing students to successfully integrate into the work force.

  

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