Tuesday, September 8, 2009


NAPCAN: "Napcan preventing child abuse take our survey"

This is something I am passionate about. I urge you all to take the survey. Together we can do something for our children and their children.... We need to spread the word and help break the communication barriers that exist.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Reflective Synopsis

E-Learning has enabled me to expand my knowledge of the applications available on the World Wide Web. The learning possibilities appear to be endless when using technological driven tools and media, with new applications being developed and released at a very fast rate. During this unit of study I have been able to explore contemporary approaches and analyse the use of a broad variety of educational technology. Throughout my learning journey I have rediscovered creativity and become aware of the importance of managing learning with interactive computer technologies. E-learning has encouraged me to share my ideas and collaborate with peers to discover new technologies on the web. In my practice as a Learning Manager, I hope to be able to construct engaging learning experiences for students who will be actively using technology to investigate, analyse, understand and communicate their knowledge both in the classroom setting and at home on their computers with their class mates.

From my research I was able to discover new ways of delivering content to students. According to the theoretical framework Productive Pedagogies (2002), learning should be engaging in intellectually challenging and relevant curriculum in a supportive environment. Having this knowledge and the ability to investigate new applications and technologies will help me bring the world of Information Communication Technology (ICT) into my classroom.

Learners and parents are demanding an education that embraces the latest technologies. Teachers need to keep up-to-date with today’s world and this means having access to digital resources in their classrooms. The Queensland Department of Education and Training’s 2007-2011 Information and Knowledge Strategic Plan outlines how classrooms are going to be transformed into digital learning classrooms through the Smart Classrooms rollout.

My role as a teacher is also changing, in that I will be expected to incorporate all the different ICT applications into my learning. This will increase the way in which we are delivering learning to students by opening up both classroom and virtual opportunities for education. It may also mean that the disengaged classroom learners, learners with a disability and learners from remote areas of the state will be given the opportunity to reconnect with learning through ICT.

With improved ICT knowledge and a real understanding of e-tools I will be able to immerse students into the technological world both in and out of the classroom using programs such as: Blogs, Mahara, Picnik, Animation/ Simulations, online Quizzes, Webquests, Slideshare, Google earth and Voice Thread.

Google Reader was my starting point, allowing me to subscribe to sites using an RSS feed that are of interest to me. Having this tool as a Leaning Manager will help teachers keep up to date with interesting information. Students will also be able to utilise this when researching on-line information about a particular project or assignment over a period of time. It will also be good for tracking 'urls' so that they can build their bibliography.

Digital portfolios will eventually get rid of the paper based formats we see in all classrooms. This modern technology will allow students to gather and keep their work in one secure place where it can be accessed from any computer. Their private portfolio can then be taken with them to new schools, workplace, university and beyond. I would think that this technology could be introduced to the students in middle primary where they could collaborate with peers and teaching staff to build their portfolio.

Security for me was a big issue. I was unsure about how secure it would be to use an application like Mediafire which allows the user to store photos, powerpoints and worksheets away from your personal hard drive to free up space. An advantage was that you could send links to other users via email to access your files without clogging in-boxes. Another advantage was that you gained a backup of your files. Not sure whether the pros outweigh the cons at this stage.

Powerpoint was a tool that I was losing interest in until I discovered slideshare. Slideshare enables you to upload presentations and transform them into smaller file sizes so they can be shared or displayed on the internet. This then becomes a library where anyone can find presentations on subjects that interest them. They can tag, download, or embed presentations into their personal blogs & websites. It brings a whole new meaning to the word powerpoint.

Voice thread is a great application that could be utilised in distance education situations because it can be accessed from any computer. It uses a collaborative approach in that it is a multimedia slide show that holds images, documents, and videos and allows people to navigate pages and leave comments in 5 ways - using voice (with a mic or telephone), text, audio file, or video.

What surprised me about my learning journey are the laws that are involved when downloading anything from the web. For example when I investigated music and pictures located on the web, most had copyright laws attached. I discovered that there are legal ways of not infringing copyright laws and one of these was through the website Creative Commons. A not-for-profit corporation dedicated to making it easier for people to share and build upon the work of others, consistent with the rules of copyright. I will be educating my students to look for copyright laws on all artistic forms of media on and off the web.

It has been noted (James Pence, nd), that many digital natives 'power down' when they come to the classroom as their world outside of school is full of technologies such as: gaming, texting, iPods, music downloads. When they arrive at school there is minimal interaction with technology therefore causing disengagement for some students. It is up to us as learning managers to keep them interested and engaged. We need to keep up-to-date with the ever changing technology driven world so that we can deliver the most effective environment for their learning capabilities.

Vygotsky's theoretical framework (1978), states that social interaction plays a fundamental role in the development of cognition. He adds that the array of skill that can be developed with adult guidance or peer collaboration exceeds what can be attained alone. By having an understanding of the following tools I will be able to engage students with blogs, slideshare, voicethread and wikis where they will be able to collaborate to gain a higher understanding of their world, they will be connected.


Pence, J. (nd). The Iowa Journal: Technology's Effect on Education. Computer citing August 18, 2009 from http://www.iptv.org/iowajournal/story.cfm/170

Queensland Department of Education. (2002). Productive Pedagogies. Curriculum Implementation Unit: Brisbane

Queensland Department of Education and Training. (2007-2011). Information and Knowledge Strategic Plan. Computer citing August 18, 2009 from http://education.qld.gov.au/strategic/planning/pdfs/infostratplanto2011.pdf

Vygotsky, L. (1978). Social Development Theory. Computer citing August 18, 2009 from http://tip.psychology.org/vygotsky.html

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Voice Thread

A VoiceThread is another web 2.0 tool that uses a collaborative approach. It is a multimedia slide show that holds images, documents, and videos and allows people to navigate pages and leave comments in 5 ways - using voice (with a mic or telephone), text, audio file, or video (VoiceThread, 2007-2009).
From a Learning Managers point of view it is very classroom friendly and a teacher can create one account and then individual identities for each student. Bearing in mind the constraints when it comes to privacy issues in regards to photos. I found it easy to use and very easy on the eye. Best of all it is free :)
Because this can be accessed from any computer it would be a great collaborative task for distance education. These students would be able to interact see photos hear voice and so on. Technology has some amazing educational qualities and this one I am sure has alot more than I have discovered in my short time exploring. Active Learning involves activity-based learning experiences: input, process, and output. These activity-based experiences take many shapes whole class involvement, teams, small groups, trios, pairs, individuals.
VoiceThreads are an activity-based experience that may take on many forms such as: talking, reading, discussing, debating, role-playing, conferring, interviewing and creating. VoiceThreads involve a process where you are interacting with other people and materials and stimulate multiple areas of the brain to act (ACU Adams Center for Teaching Excellence, 2000).


ACU Adams Center for Teaching Excellence. Computer citing. retrieved August 17, 2009 from http://www.acu.edu/cte/activelearning/whyuseal2.htm

VoiceThread (2007-2009). Computer citing. Retrieved August 17, 2009 from http://voicethread.com/about/


Kevin MacLeod(2008) runs a music website offering free downloads of his original work. He believes the benifits for him out weight the cost. Copyrights on music can be expensive especially when you need a piece for a school play , film, powerpoint or even YouTube clip. There are a lot of schools with no money, and plenty of film makers who want to have music - but can't afford to clear copyrights from the existing systems that are set up. Macleod (2008) works under the creative commons banner which you can alter to address your copyright needs. Macleod (2008) states that
if you hold tightly to your creative works, they become impossible to share. If your art isn't experienced by people, it serves no purpose in society'. There are alot of websites offering free music such as Triple J.
I didn't realise the copyright infringements with music on the web. I figured if it was on the web it was okay to download, listen and share. How wrong was I. I am now aware of this and will be ensuring that as a Learning Manager I will be educating my students to look for copyright laws on all artistic forms of media on and off the web.
I chose a song from Macleod's free music library titled "Sunshine". My daughter helped me pick the piece as she plays the piano and guitar she thought it would be a good piece to practise with. Macleod (2008) describes this as a bright piece with piano and rhythm guitar throughout also Kit and Bass in the background. I thought I could then use this in the classroom for a music lesson and have the students discover/listen to the different instruments being played.


Macleod, K. (2008). Royalty Free Music. Computer citing August 17, 2009 from http://incompetech.com/m/c/royalty-free/faq.html

File Storage

Digital media has changed and we are now storing our photos, powerpoints, worksheets to name a few. Our files are getting bigger and bigger therefore we need more storage space on our computers. File storage sites like Mediafire allows you to upload files,up to 100MB per file, and store them away from your hard drive for free. MediaFire do offer a professional package designed for professionals and business with excessive large files however a fee is charged. 'MediaFire also allows you to store all your files online for easy secure access and enables you to distribute large files to hundreds or thousands of people without clogging in-boxes or bogging down your website'(MediaFire, 2009). I think this is a great tool for anyone who has a computer as we all dislike it when our systems slow down. So by uploading our files else where we colud speed up our systems and also have another backup of our files:)
You can access some templates I have uploaded that I use for Uni at
Siemens (2005) states "Learning can reside outside of ourselves (within an organization or a database), is focused on connecting specialized information sets, and the connections that enable us to learn more are more important than our current state of knowing." Therefore students could also access secure files from any computer either in or out of school. I am yet to check weather you could use this in Education Queensland schools.


Mediafire(2009)Citing computer references. Retrieved August 17, 2009 from http://www.mediafire.com/about.php

Siemens, G.(2004) Citing computer references. Retrieved August 17, 2009 from http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/connectivism.htm

Slide Share

Slideshare is another e-tool that allows individuals & organizations to upload presentations to share their ideas, connect with others or generate ideas. This then becomes a library where anyone can find presentations on subjects that interest them. They can tag, download, or embed presentations into their personal blogs & websites.
SlideShare is the best way to get your Powerpoint out there on the web, so your ideas can be found and shared by a large audience. Not only can you upload presentations or slides to this site but it allows you to embed them into your own blog or website, share publicly or privately or join groups to connect with members who share your interests in my case everything. The following Powerpoint is from a group task with my University Colleagues on Multi-Literacy. We used this as a graphic organiser for a Oral presentation. I am yet to attach music to it and have so far found this difficult to achieve.

Slideshare has given me an insight into the world of making presentations for the Web. This site will help me to encourage and engage my students to have the confidence to make and publish presentations such as Powerpoints and YouTube Clips to the web.


Wikipedia is a free online collaborative encyclopedia. All articles have been written collaboratively by anyone who can access the Wikipedia website. When using Wikipedia you must be aware that not all information is correct as the articles and changes made become available immediately before undergoing any review, no matter if they contain an error, are somehow misguided or even patent nonsense (Wikipedia, 2009).
If used in the correct way Wikipedia can be a useful online tool for learning. Wikipedia can be a basis or a start for research in the classroom. When I am carrying out research I always have a look at Wikipedia first as I might find information that I can research further into.
Wikipedia is hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation, a non-profit organization that also hosts a range of other projects:
Commons - Free media repository, Wikinews - Free-content news, Wiktionary - Dictionary and thesaurus, Wikiquote - Collection of quotations, Wikibooks - Free textbooks and manuals, Wikisource - Free-content library, Wikispecies - Directory of species, Wikiversity - Free learning materials and activities.
There is nothing more motivating to students than having their work recognised in a public forum where what they have produced is authentic and real-world. I believe Wikipedia is an engaging basis for study and can assist in learning online for all students. Prensky (2001) states that if you cannot engage young people in education then you will enrage them. Digital Natives are used to receiving information really fast which is why Wikipedia is an engaging tool for the students of today . What do you think?

Prensky, M. (2001) Digital Natives Digital Immigrants. Retrieved July 28, 2009, from
http://marcprensky.com/writing/Prensky/Digital Navites/Digital Immigrants/Part1.pdf

Wikipedia (2009. Wikipedia About. retrieved August 16, 2009 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:About