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


According to Dodge (2007) a WebQuest is an inquiry-oriented lesson design in which most or all the information that learners work with comes from the web. The model was developed by Bernie Dodge and Tom March at San Diego State University in February, 1995. Teachers and educators from all over the world have embraced WebQuests as a way to create excellent use of the internet while engaging their students in the kinds of thinking that the 21st century learner requires.
Authentic WebQuests are a scaffolded web structure that uses links to resources on the World Wide Web and a authentic task to stimulate students exploration of an open ended question (March, 2007).
A webquest task should have a connection to the real world, be real and relevant. The Productive Pedagogies framework states that lessons should have "value and meaning beyond the instructional context, making a connection to the wider social context within which students live" (Queensland Department of Education,2002).
Last year I created a WebQuest with a fellow colleague for the first time aimed at grade 2 students about 'Why are the frogs disappearing from our local area?. Students where required to investigate the causes of their disappearance. They then had to design a sustainable environment suitable for frogs to live. One of the last tasks was to report their findings and concerns to the wider community such as the local government. Throughout the webquest specific links were set up to guide the students investigations through the World Wide Web and Word Documents. We did find the process was very time consuming however well worth the effort to set up. There is also a bank of webquests on the internet to explore and use.

Dodge, B (2007)Research About WebQuests. Department of Educational Technology, San Diego State University. Retrieved on August 16, 2009 from http://www.webquest.org/index-research.php
March, T. (2003)The Learning Power of WebQuests. Association for Supervision and Curricculum Development. retrieved August 16, 2009 from http://coe.nevada.edu/nstrudler/MarchWQ03.pdf
Queensland Department of Education.(2002). Productive Pedagogies: Classroom reflection manual. Retrieved August 16, 2009 from http://education.qld.gov.au/public_media/reportscurriculum-framework/productive-pedagogies/

Google Earth

What an amazing tool for learning in all areas of education. I have been a user of Google Earth for 2 years now and love it. My children love google sky and spend hours looking at their planets. We can explore the earth, sky and now under the ocean. According to Google Earth (2009) your computer becomes a window to anywhere, allowing you to view high-resolution aerial and satellite imagery, photos, elevation terrain, road and street labels, business listings, and more. Here are five cool things you can do with google earth:
1. View an image of your home, school or any place on Earth
2. Tour the world
3. Get driving directions from one place to another and fly (follow) the route
4. View other cool locations and features created by other Google Earth users
5. View 3D terrain of a place
The possibilities of google earth are endless for the classroom setting. You could use this e-tool in units such as:
Under the Ocean: You can fly and navigate under the ocean and explore underwater terrain. You can also display the ocean surface.
Our place in space: Explore the solar system and planets such as Mars - View imagery and terrain of the red planet. The following YouTube clip gives you a short insight into google sky:

Kearsley and Shneiderman (1998) state "the fundamental idea underlying engagement theory is that students must be meaningfully engaged in learning activities through interaction with others and worthwhile tasks’. They believe that technology such as Google earth can assist engagement in ways which are hard to accomplish otherwise.

Enjoy your flight

Kearsley.G & Shneiderman.B (1998).Engagement Theory:A framework for technology-based teaching and learning. Computer citing 15 August, 2009 from http://home.sprynet.com/~gkearsley/engage.htm

Saturday, August 15, 2009


Podcasts and Vodcasts are so popular these days in our busy world. Postcasting means we do not have to rely on tradtional media such as the television or radio at set times to listen to shows. The following YouTube by Lee Lefever explains podasts in the simplest terms:

I was not sure how Podcasts worked until I saw this YouTube clip. I now have an understanding of how podasts/vodcasts are either a audio or video file that is uploaded and then downloaded from anywhere at anytime for playback on a computer or any other playback device such as a ipod/mp3 player. I have since subscribed to various Podcasts relating to Education K-12.
According to a study by Stansbury (2008) of existing research it has been found that multimodal learning supports a notion that already has begun to transform instruction in schools across the globe. Multimodal learning uses different modes and strategies that cater to individual learners' needs and capabilities.
Hooked on Phonics is a Vodcast which could be used as a different form of teaching to introduce new letters and sounds in a Prep classroom. This would be an engaging tool that the students could see and hear. This could be used along side other forms of teaching the sounds in class therefore making it a multimodal way of learning phonics.

Stansbury, M (2008)Analysis: How multimedia can improve learning. Computer references cited 15 August, 2009 at http://www.eschoolnews.com/news/top-news/?i=53243

Friday, August 14, 2009


YouTube and TeacherTube are phenomenons that continue to engage us online. YouTube and TeacherTube allow you to watch, make, upload, embed or download video/s on the internet. It is a good idea to think of video in two separate ways when using them in a classroom for teaching. Firstly 'technical' aspects of the video and how it is developed and distributed. Secondly 'pedagogical' relates to how you make it available to your students and how you use it. Videos can be used in a variety of ways such as to introduce a topic or explain different points of view. I think the possibilities are endless when it comes to using videos in class and with added music or sound they can be very engaging as long as they are kept short.
According to Kearsley and Shneiderman state that engagement theory for technology based teaching and learning places a great deal of emphasis on providing an authentic setting for learning. For students to be totally immersed and engaged in ICT learning environment they must be able to 'relate' to a real-world, authentic problem based scenario. They also need to, in small teams, 'create' solutions to this problem and then 'donate' the solution back into the real world. Students would be able to work in small groups to design, plan, problem-solve and make a authentic YouTube clip that relates to the unit task.
The following YouTube video could be used in class to teach students about the World Wide Web (www). I believe this video is real and relevant to students learning about technology and ICT's. I showed this video to my own children who are in grade 3, they were blown away about what they learnt. They surf the net on a daily basis, however, had no idea of where the information was coming from. This clip explained everything in plain English. It is a short explanation of what makes the World Wide Web work: browsers, packets, servers and links. I have used the 'keepvid' tool to save it to my computer and believe this should be shown to students from Grade 1 upwards. You may even learn something yourself.
Enjoy :)

Kearsley.G & Shneiderman.B (1998).Engagement Theory:A framework for technology-based teaching and learning. Computer citing 14 August, 2009 from http://home.sprynet.com/~gkearsley/engage.htm


Multiple Choice Quizzes offer the Learning Manager a number of advantages in the classroom. Some of these advantages include dismissing the use of paper based tests and offering the students a formative learning resource online. You can also structure these tests so the students can practice as many times as you like, this allows some students to be or become successful. Good and Brophy (1990,p.187) state that "practicing or rehearsing improves retention especially when it is distributed practice. By distributing practices the learner associates the material with many different contexts rather than the one context afforded by mass practice"
Oliver (1999) designed a learning framework which describes the best way for students to learn online. There are three elements that can guide the learning experience for students, particularly ICT learning experiences. These three element include: learning tasks, resources and support. Online quizzes can offer all of these elements provided the Learning Manager has appropriately designed the quizzes according to the particular unit.
The fantastic thing I believe about online testing is that they can be marked online automatically, saving the Learning Manager valuable time at home painstakingly marking. As I am currently in a Prep class I am not sure how I would be able to use this tool in class as a lot of my students cannot read. I did design a quiz as a chance to see how easy it was to prepare just click on the link if you dare Take our online test
I will however be able to use this online assessment tool for future classes in the lower and upper primary grades.

Good, T. L., Brophy, J. E. (1990). Educational psychology: A realistic approach. (4th ed.).White Plains, NY: Longman. Retrieved 14 August, 2009 from http://www.usask.ca/education/coursework/802papers/mergel/brenda.htm

Oliver, R. (1999). Exploring Strategies for Online Teaching and Learning. Distance Education, 20, (2), 240-254. Retrieved 14 August, 2009 from www.learningdesigns.uow.edu.au/project/learn_design.htm

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Animations and Simulations

Well I have just finished my first "initial observations" of a bullfrog without feeling sick. Basically I dissected the froggy in cyber space! This simulation is found at http://www.froguts.com/flash_content/index.html and is one of the many online simulations from this site you can bring into your classroom depending upon the age of your student to enhance learning in biology and the environment. I did show this to my 8yr old son who was really engaged and managed to find all the organs with ease, he thought it was so cool.
According to Howard Gardner(1975) multiple intelligences is a theory that caters for students of various learning abilities. He goes on to state that there are eight different intelligences including: Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic. By using these simulations and animations you would be fulfilling the needs of most learners.
'Explore Learning' also offers the world's largest library of interactive online simulations for math and science education. They call these simulations Gizmos. All these simulations and animations encourage students to use exploration and inquiry. They can be a stimulating tool for small group work, individual exploration, and whole class instruction using an LCD projector or interactive whiteboard. Being web-based they can be accessible not only in the classroom but anywhere there is internet connection. Can you imagine dissecting a frog using McDonalds WiFi connection? :) The possibilities are endless.

Gardner, H.(1975).Multiple Intelligences: Accelerated learning in practice - how to develop and access multiple intelligences. Retrieved 11 August, 2009 from http://www.gp-training.net/training/educational_theory/multint/multint.htm

Ken Robinson talks creativity

Sir Ken Robinson is a fantastic speaker this is a must watch for everyone :)

Image Manipulation and Picnik

It is like the heavens are opening up, behind one door is another and so I keep finding more and more toys to play with on the internet :) Wow I thought these programs were kept secret for the professionals. What am I talking about its official I am now a professional photographer. I can actually turn any photo into a creative work of art. Gone are the days of cutting peoples heads off, 'Hey I will just go to Picnik and find one'. Oh and who needs a facelift? I will just erase the wrinkles at the click of my mouse, could it be that simple? Well my friends I am here to inform you it is.
Picnik is a team of entrepreneurs and software developers who are dedicated to produce 'real software for real people'. Upon entering the Picnik site this is obvious as it is very user friendly and the graphics are very nice on the eye. You instantly feel creative and as long as you know how to upload a photo you are in business.
Creativity expert Sir Ken Robinson challenges the way we're educating our children. He wants a radical rethink of our school systems, to cultivate creativity and acknowledge multiple types of intelligence. He argues that it's because we've been educated to become good workers, rather than creative thinkers (TED, 2006). Using tools like this in the classroom or encouraging our students to use these at home can unleash creativity and create an exciting learning environment.
I uploaded a photo that I took of my children on NYE from the NSW Parliament. I turned it into a Polaroid style photo and smudged out the edges to make it all that like bit more crazy. After changing the photo I felt instantly creative and felt the need to get out the camera and take some more to see how I could manipulate them on this site.
Check it out at www.picnik.com

TED Conferences (nd). Sir Ken Robinson: Creativity expert. Retrieved 11 August, 2009 from http://www.ted.com/speakers/sir_ken_robinson.html

Flickr and Creative Commons

A Rainbow Sunset
Originally uploaded by Senrab4
I love Flickr and all it has to offer. It is very easy to use although for a digital immigrant (Prensky, 2001) as there are not a lot of instructions to follow. I think you just need the courage to have a look around the site .You can use Flickr to organize your photos, share your photos with friends and family online, form a group, look at other peoples photos and creativity.
There is so much content available on this site and the images are endless. Take a look at the beautiful sunset taken at the old pier Bridport, Tasmania uploaded by Senrab4. To get this photo I searched sunsets and up they popped, of course you must be aware of copyright when you are using someones photo.
Creative Commons is a non-profit organisation that offers online users flexible copyright management tools for original work. They offer a variety of licences that creators can apply to manage their copyright in the online environment. Each tool offers its own specific protections and freedoms. The tools available are all free and take the hassle out of the traditional copyright laws (Creative Commons, nd).
One thing is for sure I will be spending my spare time trying to upload all my photos onto this storage space to free my computer memory, although unless I pay the $24.95 per month I will be only allowed to upload 100MB per month.
I am not sure whether you could access this program within Education Queensland Schools however as a Learning Manager I will be keeping my eye on this site as there are so many creative photos that I will be sure to use in my class, of course using the correct copyright laws.

Take a look


Creative Commons Australia and the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation. (nd) Retrieved 10 August, 2009 from http://creativecommons.org.au/about

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

Monday, August 10, 2009


Did someone say Powerpoint? This has become the new 'it' word around Uni and you cannot possibly get through a presentation without the backup from one. The question is are they a distraction or a tool to use during teaching/ presentations. I think the answer lies within the individuals learning style.
Felder(nd) states that "students take in and process information in different ways: by seeing and hearing, reflecting and acting, reasoning logically and intuitively, analyzing and visualizing". To overcome these different learning styles the educator needs to find a balance of teaching methods such as; verbal, using ICT's, books, videos, authentic assessments etc. If this balance is achieved, students will be taught partly in a manner they prefer, which leads to an increased comfort level and willingness to learn. Therefore a happy classroom environment :) So yes powerpoints do have a place in education as well as the workplace.
Personally I found this powerpoint tutorial boring so I skimmed through the process partly because I am an avid user of the powerpoint already and wasn't really learning any new tricks, it did however remind me of the process. I think this tutorial would be a great tool to use for the beginner and will keep it on hand to use as a future Learning Manager.
It is fine to know how to use all the incredible features of a powerpoint however you also need to be educated in how and when to use them. As too many fade in and outs and twist and turns could have the audience going batty. My experience with using powerpoints is to hook the audience in at the start with a clip, avatar,caption or picture then progress through the slides with minimal text so as not to take away from the speaker. The powerpoint can act as a reminder tool for the speaker and also give the audience the key topics of discussion.
Personally I love the odd powerpoint and I think they are a great way to teach the visual students in our classroom which is probably all of them. You can check out the powerpoint tutorial at: http://www.actden.com/pp/
Best of luck

Felder. R (nd) Learning Styles. Retrieved 11 August, 2009 from http://www4.ncsu.edu/unity/lockers/users/f/felder/public/Learning_Styles.html

Saturday, August 1, 2009

E-Portfolio Mahara

Mahara: to think, thinking and thought. Well I am still doing that and although I may have been one of the few who had no trouble setting up her E-portfolio I did forget one important step.....Bookmark the link......oooopps. So after smooth sailing I hit my first speed hump :( I did manage to recover after a history search and a few clicks of the button I was back in action :)
From what I can gather about Mahara is that it is a type of electronic portfolio that you can use for networking, a resume builder, online communities (collaboration)and a place to store some of your special work that you have developed, a little like an art folio. This online portfolio allows you to store up to 100MB. As this is open source software it must be hosted by a sever - NetSpot an Australian owned business who specialise in educational Web hosting. 100MB of storage will set you back $5 per year :0
Prensky (2001) states that Digital natives have spent their entire lives surrounded by and using computers, video games, digital music players, video cams, mobile phones, and all the other toys and tools of the digital age. Hence the reason why we as Learning Managers need to keep up to date with e-tools such as Mahara. Maraha would be great to use for student portfolios. Students/Teachers would be able to gather work from the student and upload into their portfolio from their first year at school and transfered to different schools even through to University and beyond. This would take over the need to have hard copy portfolios that tend to take up so much office space in schools. My only thought with this would be who would over see the portfolios ? Would the schools ? I think it is a possibility of the future one that I am excited about.
Until next time

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

Voki Avatars

Hi all,
Well I never new I could have so much fun with a virtual person her name is Sam. My children even sent their cousin a koala- gram for his birthday using this application. Which was very user friendly considering they are only 8 years old. The Voki website is great and of course free, so it is a great place to start and learn about this E-tool. I realised you can only add a small amount of text to the application so I went searching for another application. I discovered Oddcast another E-tool application that is not free. I did sign up knowing that I would get 15 days free subscription and then I could cancel before I was charged the $20US per month. This particular one gives you alot more variety and you can add alot more text. This site is definately worth a look at www.oddcast.com .
Voki Avatars definatley have a place in educating digital natives (students) of today as promotes a sense of connecting with their virtual world. They can also add to the engagement of online learning for these students who are becoming more and more a networked student. Connectivism according to Siemens (2005) discusses how students of today are learning more through their network of other learners on line. These students are connected through online E-tools and can share information via these sites. Voki Avatars could be used in the virtual classroom site as the teacher or instructor to help facilitate the learning journey.
Bye for now

Siemens (2005) Connectivim: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age. Retrieved 2 August, 2009 from http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/connectivism.htm

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Wiki's and more....

Okay so I now have a WIKI page something I didn't know existed until now. I was unaware of this collaborative tool that can be used for a variety of things but mainly as a database for creating, browsing and searching through information. Wiki pages can be created, updated and hyper linked at the touch of a button. Many wikis are open to alteration by the general public or registered users. Many edits can be made in 'real-time' and appear almost instantly online. Information can be added, changed or deleted depending on your user settings for that particular Wiki.
I have made my Wiki private for now as I am taking baby steps in this process. I have sent out a few invites which will give them access to add information. I have called my wiki E-Learning for Dummies (for obvious reasons) and have started adding Youtube clips and links to sites that have information relating to E-tools and useful websites. I hope overtime I will continue adding information and invite others to collaborate with me and keep this wiki as a databases of e-learning tools.
Wiki's could be used in so many different ways in a classroom or school setting. According to Marzano (p.189, 1997) the challenge is to engage learners in using knowledge in a context that is meaningful to them. As the students of today are digital natives it makes sense to integrate a Wiki into lessons throughout the year. Students could engage in the wiki both in and out of school hours. It would become a group task that they all share and contribute to. The students could then do research and add information relating to task such as an excursion, recycling, weather, mini-beasts and so on. Because the task then becomes real and relevant the students are more likely to have higher levels of engagement. I am definitely having higher levels of engagement because I just want to play with it all the time and add content. Time will only tell......

Marzano. R.J., & Pickering. D.J. (1997). Dimensions of Learning - Teachers Manual (2nd ed.)Denver, Co: Mid-Continet Regional Education Laboratory.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Google Reader

I finally worked out what an RSS feeder was - 'Really simple Syndication'. Basically it helps us keep up with new information that is happening on the web, and let's face it there is a lot going on.
One way of dealing with all this as I have just discovered is the use of Google reader :) So from what I can gather is that, instead of using all my time to look at sites individually to see if they have any new postings that interest me, I can subscribe which links these sites and my Google Reader account. I can then access and read all these new postings from one page. It also allows me to mark or tag which ones I have read, highlight others which I have found interesting and email to other connections I have. As this was my first encounter with Google Reader I found it to be user friendly and if you have experience with email accounts I found this application very similar.
I have been thinking of a way I would use this in the classroom and as I am currently teaching Prep I find this difficult. One way I thought of (maybe not for Prep) would be to use this as a tool for monitoring my students' blog posts. I am not aware of any other tools that you would you for this ? I am sure there are a bundle of them out there, I am just not aware. Can anyone tell me?
You can access Google reader by pasting the following link in your browser
Till next time 'Blog it'

21st Centuary Learning

Wow I have been blown away with 21st century learning. The more I fumble my way through this learning journey, I seem to feel so left behind in this innovative world.
I think for us as a nation it is not that we have had our head buried in the sand it is the fact we a fairly young country and the infrastructure has been put in place only to be super succeeded over and over. I am sure the government bodies and private enterprise are trying their best to fix the problem but the world and its technologies are changing so fast that they cannot keep up. Also our population is only small compared to those countries that are so techno savvy.
Even though there is so much technology out there and we are unable to access some of it in the classroom we must continue to teach our students the fundamentals of literacy so they can learn how to read and validate the information they will receive from the net in the future.
I am pleased to say that I am actually becoming a 'Computer Nerd'.

Monday, July 13, 2009

As I sit here wondering where it all started on my technological journey I realise I have been on that journey since the 70's when Dad brought home a 6" Movie Camera..... I would help him edit and cut our home movies and also be in charge of the rewind and pause lever when the whole family came together to watch them on the kitchen wall, complete with no sound and the flicker of dust throughout the film. Just like the old surf movies at the local hall :) After that came the push button phone that attached to the wall, VCR player and Microwave, I figured we must have been rich to have all this new upmarket stuff.... Then in grade 7/8 we got introduced to a computer at school. I think the teachers were even scared of the technology. We had to learn all these codes and then type them in using the absolute correct sequence such as :://a*_//{ } and so on to get some sort of reaction out of the box and believe me it was a box with a tiny little black and white screen... Not sure if I learned anything other than how to turn it on and off to be honest.
So here I am now I have a flat screen computer, which I sit in front of everyday full of so many programs I wonder how my brain keeps up. There is Word, Excel, Internet,Google, Face book, Twitter, Skype, My space, Email, VOIP ..... aaaaahhhhhhhh
I am lost without my Ipod, CD player, Digital 40" Flat Screen, DVD, portable DVD, Play station, Wii, DS lite, Mobile Phone with internet access the list goes on and on...I have become so immersed in technology of the 21st century I don't know if I would cope without it..... So if your game come with me as we check out even more technology that is appearing and being upgraded almost everyday...