Peer Feedback on Blog

The final element of the assessment had us forming groups to mark peer blogs, and provide feedback via a rubric. Whilst I looked forward to viewing my peers’ blogs, I felt vulnerable having anyone other than my tutor evaluate my blog. It was difficult to establish where this feeling came from.  Was it because I felt unqualified to mark a blog, therefore my peers were not qualified?  Was it because it is so subjective? What I like is not what someone else likes.  I finally adopted the view that additional feedback could only be conducive to improving my blog and that of my peers.

I opened the rubrics received from my peers with trepidation.  I was surprised to find myself grateful for their comments.  They enabled me to view my blog from a different perspective. Both peers were complimentary and offered suggestions on how they thought my blog could be improved.  I agreed with the suggestions and changed the formatting of text and images, and provided further reflection on how my thinking has changed during this unit.

Peer feedback proved invaluable in enabling deeper thinking, first with the analysis of my peers’ blogs and then the self-assessment of my own blog.  It is a skill I need to hone and be comfortable with so as to enhance and extend my students’ learning.

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Week 7 – Digital Blurring

SploderGIF

Angry Birds Sploder (Colville, 2014)

We explored digital blurring and how the activities we engage in online may spillover between our personal and professional lives.  We also looked at gaming and were tasked with creating an online game using Sploder.

Not being a gamer, I struggled to see how the skills students used playing online games at home could be beneficial in the classroom.  The creation of my Sploder, with the assistance of my children, quickly opened my mind to the potential of gaming in the classroom!

Sploder is the perfect starter program to use in the classroom.  Firstly, students do not need programming skills.  Secondly, it engages young students in using storytelling and problem solving skills to create and develop their games.  Students could also analyse and self-evaluate their completed games before turning to evaluate the games created by their peers.

Sploder’s mission statement (www.sploder.com/about.php) declares that game design uses the whole brain, from the artistic side to the analytic.  They believe that the world can be changed by creative people who use their mind to make the world better.  No doubt a clever marketing spin but it certainly supports what the inspirational Jane McGonigal says about gaming.

 Further information on Digital Blurring can be found @
the ABC and Oakleigh Consulting

Week 6 – Digital Fluency

We explored digital fluency this week, and the skills needed to participate in the digital world.  What does digital fluency mean? What skills do I and my students need to become confident users of digital technologies?

scratch

Scratch (Colville, 2014)

Despite considering myself to be digitally fluent, I found creating a Scratch animation challenging. The code writing was a source of frustration. Perseverance resulted in a “light bulb” moment that enabled me to see the potential of integrating Scratch in the classroom.

Scratch could be easily used by students who have already had exposure to gaming through simpler programs such as Sploder. The intricacies of Scratch provide a rich learning experience for students to become confident users of digital technologies.  Students can engage in critical thinking and use problem solving skills to create games. They could work in groups, using and improving their collaborative and communication skills, to develop story lines for their games. Integrating programs such as Scratch in the classroom enables students to be creative whilst developing the critical thinking skills required for life outside the classroom.

I am loving discovering new elements of the digital world and working out how they can be used in the classroom!

 Further information on Digital Fluency can be found @
ACER and The Guardian