1. Curriculum

Competency 1: Constructs and delivers challenging, meaningful, enjoyable and coherent curriculum experiences that:

  • 1.1 Encourage curiosity, experimentation, persistence and reflection
  • 1.2 Value achievement
  • 1.3 Inspire a passion for learning
  • 1.4 Foster the development of creative, analytical and organisational thinking skills
  • 1.5 Integrate learning technologies effectively to enhance student learning
  • 1.6 Contribute to language, literacy and numeracy development
  • 1.7 Cater for individual learning differences

2014 Update: Please note that the post below was written in 2010. Since that time, I have lead the implementation of the MYP framework coupled with the new Australian Curriculum in my capacity as Head of Humanities Department.


 

My strengths lie in designing creative, hands-on lessons which engage students. I use PowerPoints, Prezis, re-enactments, role plays and Online technology. Rather than just telling students, I prefer to provide visual stimulation and show examples in order to facilitate deeper learning. When planning lessons, I consult the Unit Documentation to ensure that I address the Understanding by Design “Overarching Ideas” and “Guiding Questions”.

I would like to address Competency 1.1.5, “Integrate learning technologies effectively to enhance student learning” because this has been my passion since I entered the teaching profession in 2001. My interest in IT started at an early age, growing up in a family of early adapters and then from my pre-teaching career as an IT software consultant.

I specifically created a PD website: http://thinkedu.net/blog2/web2/ to share some of my experience in using Web2 tools with my colleagues. This site also outlines how I’ve used ICT and Web2 tools in the classroom. Here I would like to focus on the following three aspects:

Classportals (Wikis and Moodle)

All my classes have their own class portal which contain all lesson materials, handouts, homework and links to online activities. Currently I use Moodle for sharing all this material, but in addition to that, I continue to create wikis, google docs or sync.in docs to make material available to my students.A collage of all my classportals

The feedback from students and parents has been consistently positive. In August 2010 I asked my Year 11 students to fill out an anonymous survey to evaluate various aspects of my teaching practice. Below is their evaluation of the Year 11 website.

Student website evaluation, Year 11, August 2010

Visits to the Year 11 website in 2009:


Powerpoints

While they are often maligned, a good PowerPoint – used in the right way – has the potential to enhance a lesson immensely.

I use PowerPoint to provide visual stimuli because I believe that most students can be classified as visual learners. Particularly in subjects like Humanities and History, it is important to illustrate concepts and ideas with photos, graphs, diagrams, drawings and cartoons. I use PowerPoints in many of my History classes for two reasons:
Providing visuals enhances my explanations and I teach in a classroom which has an interactive whiteboard; having an IWB makes it easier to incorporate ICT and PowerPoints in a lesson.

Please see the evaluations by Year 11 students below:

Using Web 2 tools to enhance lessons

Generally “Web 2 tools” is a catch-all concept for websites and programs which allow interactivity, collaboration and socialising via the internet. They offer plenty of possibilities to enhance lessons.

In collaboration with the library, I have implemented an online activity which centres on a web-based game created by UNHCR which allows students to walk in the shoes of a refugee. The students wrote diary entries and used online visual concept mapping software (‘Webspiration’) to document their research journey:

Year 8 sts reflect on using Google Docs for their projects.http://vanweringh7.wikispaces.com/Refugees2

My Year 7 website contains more examples on using Web2 tools and online activities:

Year 8 students used Google Docs to collaborate on their Asia Pacific projects. Please read their reflection on using Google Docs by clicking on the image on the right.