Ebooks vs hard copies

I read a post by a fellow student Ashleigh who questions the growing use of ebooks. Although I really love my kindle and the fact I can get a book without stepping out the door I do agree with Ashleigh as I also like to have a concrete object.  I am always a bit confused when I see children’s picture books as Ebooks, how can they look at the beautiful illustrations on a digital screen?  Maybe they can be used on a IWB but I cannot imagine how you could sit on the couch with a group of kindergarten children all peering into the little kindle screen. JK Rowling is not a fan of ebooks and has purposely set her Harry Potter ebooks price higher than a hard copy.  However after thinking about this issue of ebooks for children I came up with an obvious advantage – Children can’t rip the pages!

Villemard’s vision

Today on study desk I found a fascinating look at cartoons drawn in the early 1900’s which depict life in 2000 click here. Although the artist had some wonderful ideas on what life could be like, he had a total underestimation of technology.  I especially enjoyed the classroom scene with the students plugged into overhead head gear.  Off the subject of ICT I also quite was amused with the clothing he envisaged people of today wearing as the students were drawn in tights and knickerbockers. However in some ways  he was ahead of the time. Where was the paper – students today still rely on writing even if it is on a key board?  Were the books shown being placed in a shredder?

Is Scootle a secret?

Before this course I had never heard of Scootle unlike other students who were most excited when we were asked to investigate activities through Scootle.  This is not surprising as most things are new to me, however I have asked 3 teachers from different schools if they use Scootle and have got blank looks every time.  Upon explaining Scootle is a website containing digital resources which support the Australian curriculum they still look bewildered. I am finding this very strange, afterall teachers are the ones this website is directed to and what a fabulous information it provides. So I began to wonder how are schools missing this information?  And if there is one thing prac students can teach their mentors perhaps this is it?

Tips on not annoying the teacher

As reminded on study desk prac is now only 3 weeks away which is exciting and scary.  Although I am very comfortable in my own classroom of kindy children I have never stepped into the school world and am not sure what to expect. Luckily I have come across some great tips from a fellow student Janine who has clearly researched  this well. Although these tips for survival are common sense it is good to remind ourselves even of the simpliest acts such as ‘being punctual’ by making sure we are organised. “Be positive” is one I could also add as I had to laugh at a teacher friend’s story of a  high school student she had in her class for work experience recently. When she asked him to assist the teacher taking children to sport he replied “no, I don’t think I will as it is time for my sandwich”.  During class she became aware of the children giggling as her back was turned and discovered him bouncing a ball on their desks when she wasn’t looking. When he was caught he explained he thought she was boring them so he was livening things up for her!  Such a great helper – probably needs a few tips on how not to be annoying!

The 3D printer?

Although I have heard of a 3D printer I han’t given any thought into what it actually could do until reading Jakes blog and watching a clip on how they work.  It seems so amazing so I looked up the price to gauge whether this was something which would be as commonly used as a photocopier throughout schools in the future.  They may well be when the price drops as currently they range from $10,000 to 50,000.

I found this article  20 Amazing Creations You Can Make With 3D Printing interesting. There are somethings I cannot imagine wanting to do ie. make a 3D scan of your unborn fetus (popular in Japan).  However one I thought would be fabulous for the kindy class was 3D Figurines From Children’s Drawings.  Anyway it is all very fascinating and worth investigating asI think in the future it will become one of those devices we will wonder what life was like without it.

The need to teach digital common sense

I was directed to Justines blog  were I discovered a fantastic site which I wil keep on hand for future use – thanks Justine! This site called Common sense media  has a range of lessons for children in coping with digital literacy and citizenship in age appriopate ways.  Lessons are categorised  under grade levels and include  from prep to year 2:

  • how to make sure you are safe online
  • Keeping your information private
  • How to use emails

to the older years where lessons progress to

  • avoiding inappropriate sites
  • showing respect online
  • cyberbullying
  • strong passwords

These lesson contain lesson plans with outlines for initiating discussions, videos to watch and stories to read.

I  asked my son (now in year 8) if he has had any of these lessons over the years to which he replied he hasn’t, although the teacher did discuss cyberbullying after an incident had occurred. I think this is the problem sometimes in schools where these issues are perhaps addressed after an occurrence –  if the teacher does happens to find out.  Wouldn’t it make more sense to follow these simple lesson beforehand?



How to spend $2500 in ten minutes on apps

I just read an article in which a 5 year old boy asked his parents for their password to download a free zombie game. Unknowingly the boy then went on to rake up $2500 in ten minutes as he then ordered darts, bomb and weapons at over $100 each in order to  protect his zombies.  The parents found out a few days later when they received their credit card bill.  Luckily after pleading with Apple over this mistake the money was refunded.

This is a situation which is common and we must be aware of.  Having a credit card attached to iTunes was a mistake we also learnt from as our son had a similar incident using Dragonvale.  Although the amount was considerably less than the previous story it was still annoying to have to pay $70 for items in a dragon game.  When our son explained in tears that he had been filling up his treasure chest and did not realise he was paying we could understand how easily this can trick children. The credit card was removed from iTunes and we will only use iTunes cards from now so we don’t have this scenerio again.