My unit resembles one of the ugly step-sisters trying to squeeze into Cinderella’s shoe!
So we learn by making mistakes. A difficult and costly path to follow but one I have taken. I am notorious for having to do something wrong to get it right and I was true to form. In my enthusiasm in unlocking the world of ICT I have mistaken ICT-rich for ICT-saturation in my Year 6 science unit on Natural Disasters. Because I am personally on an exiting ICT learning/discovery journey I have therefore entirely focussed my unit on the students’ learning new ICT and completely left out the science content descriptors from my unit and how the ICT aligns to them and what the students are supposed to be learning. So, basically I had a unit on ICT and nothing on Natural Disasters ! I have also totally missed the point how ICT can be transforming for teachers, not just students.
HINDSIGHT. One word that is such a horrible experience but one that should be turned into a positive learning experience. Although right now I would rather chuck a temper tantrum and toss in the towel. The joys of finding information on the internet, finding too much and trying to mash it all into a size too small in the excitement and pride of demonstrating ‘hey look what I have learned’. So after a chat with my kiddlywinks, I now aware that while all the wonderful ICT I implemented is new to ME, it is old news for THEM. They have already learned how to use these tools so I did not need to explicitly teach them or even focus on them, or use so many of them. HINDSIGHT.
I was so proud too to find several existing units online and learn from these ideas and make my own tweaks to what, I thought, was an engaging and educational unit. As I now try to fill in the missing content descriptors and match them up to learning experiences I am just realizing that they are not ‘alignable’ (yes marker, I think you’ve invented a new word). And another huge mistake was using a variety of science and geography units for reference – the subject areas do overlap and are complementary but I have used geography and literacy content descriptors to design my science activities. So after beating myself over the head and kicking myself in the butt, *lightbulb moment* I finally understand what is meant by an integrated unit. In (unsuccessfully) trying to create a unit focussed on science descriptors I have actually designed an integrated literacy, geography and science (and ICT???) unit – and looking at these subject areas’ content descriptors, there is alignment.
So, not EVERYTHING in the classroom has to be complicatedly conducted as an assessment piece using ICT – there is nothing wrong with simple group or class discussions to achieve the same aim. The difficultly now lies in taking a step back, regrouping myself and my emotions (fear of failure) and march onto assignment 3. I would personally like to thank Barb (Messsenger) and other members of EDC3100 (Facebook) for their support!