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Posts tagged ‘tools’

Preservice Teachers Create Literacy Lessons with Prowise



Thanks to Harper Collins Publishers Preservice teachers from Macquarie University were able to create digital lessons in Prowise Presenter based on the many beautiful texts that Harper Collins provided for the ELB Content Creation Workshop.

ELB Education organised the Content Creation Workshop for the Preservice teachers who had already participated in the Prowise Presenter 101 course. The participants are the first University students in Australia to be provided with free Prowise Presenter Accounts for the duration of their degree courses. They will be able to create digital lessons in Prowise Presenter which they can save to their accounts and use during their practicums.

This is an opportunity that Prowise Netherlands has made available for any Preservice teacher in Australia. Macquarie University’s Department of Education Studies saw the benefit of this offer and set up accounts for their Preservice teachers. They saw the advantage of Prowise Presenter being cloud- based and deployable on any device, interactive white board or interactive flat panel that the students might encounter on their practicums.

Like all educational technologies it is important to learn how it can be successfully used in the classroom and so the Preservice teachers have been participating in Professional Learning with the ELB Team. The ELB Training Manager, an experienced classroom teacher herself demonstrated all the features of the software and acted as a coach to the new teachers in designing highly engaging lessons.

When the Education Manager at Harper Collins heard that they would be creating content to share with other Australian teachers she was keen for them to use Australian literature texts. The students therefore had access to some of the best Australian authors and illustrators including Jackie French, Libby Hathorn and Bruce Watterly

From their syllabuses the Preservice teachers identified the outcomes they wanted to address and the appropriate approach to the text. Using the Prowise Presenter software they were able to craft lesson sequences, aligning them to the syllabus and developing a range of activities for their students. They could also access the Harper Collins’ and authors’ websites and link these to the lessons.

They were able to design the learning for their students creating collaborative activities and modelling specific text features. The Preservice teachers were asked to share their content with the ever increasing community of Australian teachers creating Prowise lessons.

The Global Community of Prowise teachers has now uploaded more than 1,000, 000 teaching resources as well for teachers to access. Teachers can also use the galleries that are part of Prowise Presenter, their own files and photos or simply search and bring videos and images from YouTube.

The quality of the learning that these  teachers will be able to bring to the classroom has been enhanced through the Content Creation workshop and having access to outstanding literature texts. To learn more about free Prowise Presenter accounts or participating in a Content Creation Workshops contact as at training@elb.com.au




Maker Spaces Plus Prowise

maker-spaceThe Maker Movement is transforming learning in our schools. The Maker Movement, provides a flexible model for exploring how schools can better cultivate the interplay between student interests, peer culture, digital tools and academic success. It reimages schools as maker-centered environments with the assumption that everyone is a maker. The ultimate objective is that, with the right tools and connections, young people can develop the literacies to remake our world into a more democratic, equitable and humane place.

The Maker Movement, has embraced the research from Connected Learning focusing on how to optimize the passions associated with students’ informal learning ie the learning they experience outside of school with the formal learning they experience within school. In most research regarding effective pedagogy eg the Quality Teaching Framework, which identifies the dimension of “significance’ there is an emphasis on the importance of finding the intersections between young peoples’ interests and the mandated curriculum. Importantly students develop academic pursuits when classroom content connects to their passions.

Connected Learning was the basis of the Connected Learning Program in NSW which supported schools to connect students to real world experts from Galleries, Libraries and Museums via video conferencing and enable them to access and create high quality digital content.

Connected Classrooms can now be transformed into Maker Spaces where students actively make content, create products, invent processes, and propose new ideas. Students can be provided with places in the classroom and links to the community both off and online to engage with people who share their passions. They can have the opportunity to make meaningful contributions towards personally relevant issues, ideas, people and interests.

With Connected Learning and within Maker Spaces making, producing, experimenting, designing and building are present both physically and online, in and outside of the classroom .The resources for making should be distributed throughout the school, home and community settings. EdTech solutions can  also provide ways for students to connect beyond the walls of the classroom and to engage with experts in the fields of their passions.

The Prowise Solution supports Connected Learning and the creation of Maker Spaces. When you add Coding ,Robotics and 3D Printing you are giving students the tools to be creators and to follow their passions.

To support young makers, teachers should:

  1. Regularly engage students in making, sharing, collaborating and reflecting eg Use Prowise Presenter to create lessons which can be accessed anywhere, anytime on any device.
  2. Give feedback often to help students remake and reiterate content-specific products, processes and knowledge. E.g. using Prowise Connect teachers can readily provide feedback on the fly.
  3. Encourage students to better the lives of their peers, school and community.
  4. Play multiple roles: engaged co-creator, mentor, problem-solver, activist or networker who brings the right people and tools together.

For more information  on how we can assist you to create a Maker Space contact our Education Consultants.

Does Design Matter? Using Great Design to Teach Great Lessons

When teachers are first exposed to SMART Notebook and other visual presentation media, they love to explore all of the ‘bells and whistles’ of the software. They tend to go mad with crazy gradient backgrounds, spinning and flashing stars, adding fifty images to one page, and a myriad of unreadable (but fun) fonts, styles and sizes. OR they go the other way. Everything they have previously done on the OHP gets copied and pasted into a Notebook file, so you’re left with 12pt size black and white text that is unreadable from the back of the classroom.

Ultimately, the software is there for teachers to deliver great teaching and learning and the design of Notebook lessons (or any visual media) can beneficially or detrimentally impact on teaching and learning in the classroom. Like all forms of lesson preparation, consideration about HOW you present your information is just as important as WHAT you present. Try considering the following when developing your Notebook lessons:

1. Colours

  • The best rule when selecting colours is to keep it simple
  • Use bright, vibrant colours on title/ navigation pages and clear, high contrast, consistent colour for content pages

2. Fonts

  • Make sure your fonts are grade appropriate. Early years classes need fonts that replicate the way they are learning to form their letters. Century Gothic and Comic Sans tend to come closest to Australian handwriting scripts, or if you have a Foundation font installed on your computer appropriate to your state, consider using it.

  • Make it easy to see. Your normal font size should be about 36pt and minimum font size should be 24pt. A font size that’s appropriate for a handout is no where near big enough for projection in a normal classroom. If you can’t fit it on, you have too much information on the one page. Consider using interactive elements to layer and selectively reveal information. Also, some fonts are easier to read than others. What may be ok for a headline or title becomes tedious and difficult to read in the body of a text. Generally, ‘sans-serif’ fonts are easier to read than ‘serif’ fonts. (Serif fonts have embellishments on the letters).

  • Be consistent. Using different fonts, sizes and styles is confusing and distracting. If you are going to vary the fonts, use it for impact- sparingly.

For Notebook 10 Software:

3. Graphics

  • Is it relevant? If not, it’s distracting or confusing. Use images to illustrate ideas and develop concepts.

  • Just like text, graphics need to be readable. Can they be viewed from the back of the classroom? Is it large enough? Is the quality of the image acceptable? Does it make sense? Considering the effectiveness of images is important in getting the right message across. Which one has more impact on learning?

  • Model good practice don’t breach copyright and attribute. There are more and more websites that list images and media that are licensed under ‘Creative Commons’.  As a first port of call, these are the sites you should be accessing. Try using the Google Images ‘Advanced’ filter to find resources that have been tagged for sharing. It’s also a good idea to get into the habit of attributing work.

Hopefully these suggestions will stimulate you to consider not just the content of your lessons but how you present them in a way that’s accessible and engaging for your students. IWBs are a visual media and learning to design resources that make the most of the media can have a really positive impact on learning.

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