My first post. My first leap into the deep. I’m Angela Ryall and I’m a stage one teacher at a school in Western Sydney. I knew I wanted to be a teacher from very early on and this is a little bit of my journey…
What’s my context?
Before teaching I took a gap year and I worked in a school in England. It was there I fell in love with the profession and decided it was for me. Fast forward a couple of years and here I am.
I’m currently teaching Stage One at a next generation school which has a vision of doing things differently. Instead of key learning areas our school is focused on pillars of learning which are based on the general capabilities. The aim being to develop students who are ready to solve any problem of the future not merely “jobs of the future.” We, as a staff team, don’t have all the answers, we are learning together and also failing together. If you would like to follow the journey you can find the school at @stlukesmp
So where does the digital age fit in?
I’ve been fortunate enough to work in schools that are very well equipped for the digital age. In my current position one of our pillars is to ensure our students are “digitally literate.” What does that entail? Well digital citizenship is at the core which was thought provoking when reading the article on digital natives by Marc Prensky (2001) through the module. The term digital native really appealed to me as I wrapped my head around my students and where they will be at the end of their 15 year learning journey. How can we teach students that they have a digital footprint when a parent may have already created a footprint for them from the day of their birth? These students will be on the internet more than they will ever read a book and personally I found this was highlighted well in Prensky’s article.
My personal aims
I came into the course open minded with an understanding that teachers need to be learners themselves. Already I’ve gained an understanding of digital repositories and how they are forming an integral part of our lives. I hope to form a clear link between my current context and how I can create personalised learning journeys through digital means for each child. What does that look like? I’m not exactly sure yet! How does that fit in the early years with a focus on literacy and numeracy? I’m not sure on that yet either!
What challenges are you hoping to meet?
I’m hoping the juggle of full time work and fitting study in is successful and that I meet my own personal challenge of continuing to grow and learn in my teaching journey. Personally, I’m challenged to understand the differences between schooling contexts. How can one school have access to robotics equipment while another has access to 5 desktops computer in an IT room? What steps can even put in place so every child has the opportunity to be digitally literate in our changing world? Additionally, and perhaps why I have chosen the book I have, I am challenged by the fact we place six and seven year olds in learning spaces with little play based learning. How can we change our teaching and learn through play?
Prensky, M. (2001) Digital natives, digital immigrants