Vanja Radisic by HC120929075532


									Vanja Radisic

                       ICT Reflection
I approached this subject from a rather practical perspective – what can I do / learn
that is relevant to my students and that I could teach them regardless of the resources
available. This attitude comes from my teaching experience this year. I’ve spent both
semesters at Victorian secondary government schools and learned many valuable
lessons including how to work with minimal access to technology.
All the items loaded in my blog are aimed at secondary art students. Although I
played with applications such as Excel (that I am familiar with due to my extensive
admin experience) and MicroWorlds 1, I found the graphics and content not appealing
to the age group / interests of the students I am teaching, so I quickly moved on. I was
particularly interested in free and pre-loaded applications such as Kompozer,
Microsoft Front Page and Movie Maker as well as the standard applications that most
schools would have in the art classroom such as Power Point and Photoshop (tools).
It was also a great pleasure to learn other applications from my fellow teacher
candidates such as Adobe Illustrator, and to think about the ways of introducing these
to my students.
I took what I’ve learned and used it in my teaching, especially with my VCE students.
Due to the lack of space and technology available in the art classroom, they usually
have all their theory lessons delivered to them verbally. This clearly suits only certain
type of learners and provides no learning experience for the others. Since my senior
class was only very small (six students in total), I took my laptop in and prepared my
classes as Power Point presentations including loads of images and movie clips. They
were able to watch, read, listen, ask, answer and discuss artworks and issues that arose
from those. Students were much more engaged and they felt that we were exchanging
ideas and sharing a learning experience. I found that they were retaining the
information much quicker and were able to understand it better, which was obvious in
their test results (there was a huge jump in marks). This makes perfect sense in terms
of Gardner’s multiple intelligences and various learning styles. It also makes sense in
terms of their world and how they have learned to communicate and share the
information on the every-day basis. In addition, I could print out the slides and give
them the notes without doing extra work, at the same time knowing that they’ve
received enough guidance and instructions.
The fact that I did this subject on-line was quite useful in my learning process not just
in terms of my time / workload management, but also in development of my
communication and problem solving skills. On the one hand I was free to access the
information and do my work at any time; on the other hand I had to ensure that all the
tasks are completed on time and try to resolve any technical issues on my own. Being
an independent learner, this learning style suits my personality. I appreciate the fact
that I can do the work whenever I like as well as the opportunity to take instructions
as little or as far as I see fit. Rather than being of follower of someone else’s learning
plan, I was constructing and following my own developmental processes. The ability
to put up an item and quickly write down what I was thinking at the time was also
quite useful in retrospect. I can see now a variety of concerns that arose as I was going
along, some concerned with the practical application of what I was doing, access to
programs etc, and others with my own lack of ability / proficiency (Adobe Illustrator)
and how to overcome it.
This type of learning is aligned with my epistemological and pedagogical believes as
well as with my subject area (method). I subscribe to Paulo Freire’s version of social
constructivism where education is seen as a way towards the liberation (on both
personal and global levels). Art and social constructivism have plenty in common
when it comes to the desired outcomes of the learning process. Both promote
problem-based learning where the teacher is a facilitator and a guide rather than being
the unquestionable authority. The emphasis is on developing knowledge, skills and
values that are transferable and relevant to the learner him/herself. ICT is a valuable
and somewhat irreplaceable tool in terms of successful curriculum delivery. However,
it terms of art and design, it has become more than just a tool – it is a new platform
for creation and exchange of ideas. I thought about my online experience and I would
like to offer my students the same opportunities in the future (as an addition not a
replacement of our face-to-face classes).
It was also interesting to work with something like the Edublog and experience
possibilities and restrains that come with it. It was great that they have many
templates to choose from, however I found it difficult not to be able to customize
them and make them look more aesthetically appealing. I’ve spent a lot of time
playing with templates, trying to make my blog look like my own, but I am still not
too happy with the result. It is interesting that something like the My Space has much
more contemporary feel to it than an Edublog, which is probable due to the user
demographics. However, if we are to get the students to join our online learning
communities, we should probable think about updating the look and feel of the
Edublog (and school’s websites that often look dull and hard to navigate despite
having only few pages).
To conclude, I enjoyed this subject on many levels and found that the online version
made perfect sense. It made me more aware as a teacher what problems I may
encounter when using ICT and Internet. I would like to create the Podcasts of my
theory classes for students who learn better by watching and listening (particularly
useful when they miss classes) and make the notes available online. In terms of
software and hardware available today, I think ICT provides an opportunity for
students to learn industry related (and relevant) skills as well as an opportunity to
have some fun and build the learning community. I don’t see blogs and websites
replacing my teaching (art is a very tactile thing) rather them being an addition to my

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