Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Tamara's reflective synopsis.

I have to say that although there has been days where I have been a little frustrated with some of the technologies within this course I have learnt about some great ones that I can use in the classroom to create rich and engaging learning experience for all students. I personally had no idea there were so many fantastic, sometimes easy to use, technologies available. This course has defiantly opened my eyes up to how technology can be used in the classroom.

Two of the most valuable resources during this course were the step by step instructions on moodle and the forums. The instructions on moodle were very clear however at times I got a little confused and could not do what I was being asked. But this is where the forums really helped. For example when I was unable to embed my Quiz into my blog page I asked on the forum for help and within a short period of time someone had explained how to do it. This feedback not only helped me solve my problem but gave me a chance to communicate with others that were experiencing the same sorts of difficulties. The communication with your peers gave you a sense that you were not alone and that help was available.

Throughout our learning management course we have learnt that today's world is changing rapidly. It should then be no surprise that the way in which we learn is also changing. Teachers in classroom's today are being challenged by students who know more about technology than they do. So it is vital that teachers make an effort to stay up to date with the latest technologies available so they are able to design learning experiences that relate to students real life interests and skills. 'Lifelong learning is a key element of a new view of education' (Latham et al., 2005) and technology will certainly play a large part in students lives. For these reasons it is vital that teachers design curricula that is useful, engaging and relevant to all students needs.

Kearsley and Shneiderman's Engagement Theory (1999) suggests that students will only be meaningfully engaged in learning activities through the interaction with others and worthwhile tasks. Further to this they think that although learning can occur without technology it can facilitate engagement in ways which may be otherwise difficult to achieve. The technologies that were explored during this course, when used meaningfully and in the correct context, allow teachers to engage students in meaningful learning that connects with students real life experiences and skills.

Technologies such as Wiki's, Blogs and WebQuests, to name a few, all provide opportunities for teachers to scaffold learning experiences that encourage students to take more responsibility for their own learning and to collaborate with peers. These technologies are very consistent with the Active Learning (2000) approach where the objective is to stimulate lifetime habits of thinking. Activities are designed to encourage students to think about how as well as what they are learning and to increasingly take responsibility for their own education (2000). Wiki's, Blogs and WezQuests can offer opportunities for students to work independently within collaborative teams that provide a comfortable environment for growth and exploration of ideas and knowledge. These three technologies can also be associated very closely with Kearsley and Shneiderman (1999) engagement theory as teachers can use them to create projects 'that are meaningful to someone outside the classroom' and that are connected to the real world . For example a WebQuest may be developed where the solution to the problem involves the student's sending their idea's to their local council. These three technologies are defiantly things I would use in my classroom as I think they would allow me to create learning experience that encourage student independence, peer collaboration, engagement in activities and links to their world.

Technologies such as Voki's, Interactive Whiteboards, YouTube, Podcasts and Google Earth are tools I would defiantly use in the classroom. I think they are an excellent way to engage student's and allow the teachers to introduce knowledge and ideas in a different exciting way. YouTube, Podcasts and Google Earth allow teachers to bring things and places into the classroom that they usually could not. For example, YouTube could be used to actually show students a Tsunami and Google Earth could be used to explore a local waterway. These learning experiences would reflect Kearsley and Shneiderman's Engagemnet Theory (1999) as they facilitate a level of engagement that would otherwise have be impossible to achieve.

Another important factor I have learnt while exploring these technologies is how they can be used within collaborative teams. This was something that I especially liked as I think students are able to gain a wide range of life skills when working with peers. Most of the technologies can be used so that learning activities are completed in pairs or groups. Kearsley and Shneiderman (1999) suggest students learning is enhanced as the emphasis on communication, planning and social skills is higher within team collaborations. These technologies also allow communication between team members as well as other peers within their learning cohort and people within the community. I think this is a great way to engage learners as they are given opportunities to engage in active feedback and conversation about not only their own knowledge and understanding but that of others as well.

The following technologies are what I will defiantly use in my classroom as I believe they will enhance student learning and make my teaching more engaging and efficient.

Blogs/Wiki's- I would use these in my classroom to so that students were able to construct, display and share their work. It will also be used facilitate the sharing of knowledge and ideas, feedback and communication between fellow peers, teachers and outside facilitators.

Interactive Whiteboards- After undertaking some training I would love to use this piece of technology in my room. I think it would allow me to introduce and use a range of other technologies and resources in the classroom to create engaging learning experiences. I would also encourage students to become actively involved in using the whiteboard during learning experiences. For example getting them to move things around or explain how something works.

Quizzes- I would like to use these Quizzes in my classroom as formative pieces of assessment. They would allow me to pose questions about topics that indicate the level of understanding a students has. Although they would essentially be tests I think students would find them much more engaging and challenging compared to the normal paper based tests.

YouTube/Podcast- I already use YouTube in the classroom. I think they are an excellent way to engage learners at the beginning of the lesson or to explain something that would otherwise be hard using traditional methods, such as texts. Podcasts are something I start exploring and using. There are so many things in the classroom you could do with them and I think they would be a technology the students would really enjoy and get allot out of.

Google Earth- I already in my lesson plans for the next unit of work. I think it is a fantastic technology that can be applied and used over a variety of key learning areas. This may include mapping and griding their local area to exploring the Australian outback. It is a technology that brings the real world into the classroom and is an excellent way to engage all learners in authentic learning experiences.

WebQuests- This is defiantly a technology I would use for older students. I like the way that teachers can design and adapt them to what they want the students to learn. I also like the fact that students are given the responsibility for their own learning and that a WebQuest can bring real life problems to the classroom.

To finish off I think that technology is a great way to engage learners using a variety of exciting and fun tools. Technology brings to the classroom what students today are interacting with on a daily basis. Technology allows teachers to enhance students learning by bringing a variety of stimulus and challenges to the classroom that relate to their real life experiences and skills.


Latham, G., Blaise, M., Dole, S., Faulkner, J., Lang J., & Malone, K. (2006). Learning to teach:New times, new practices. South Melbourne, Victoria: Oxford University Press.

Kearsley, G & Shneiderman, B. (1999). Engagment Theory: A framework for technology-based teaching and learning. Retrieved July 29, 2009, from CQUniversity e-courses, FAHE11001 Acitive learning & learning diversity.

ACU Adams Center for Teaching Excellence. (2000). Active Learning Online.
Retrieved August 19, 2009 from

Slideshare File Storage

Well after about four hours I finally worked out what I was doing wrong! Guess its all part of the learning.

After I finally got the hang of it I can understand the benefit of SlideShare. It would be a great tool for teachers to use as they can share their work with others and use other peoples slide shows in the classroom. And I especially like that you can make your own adjustment to suit your class. Overall I think its a great tool for teachers and would really benefit students as their teachers would have access to some fantastic Slide shows.

The above slide show is what I used for my grade six class last year. They really enjoyed it as it was not just paper based and included some video footage on an actual Tsunami.

Tam's voice

What allot of fun VoiceThread could be in the classroom. I uploaded some photo's and made some comments which was fun. Given more time you could do so much more. This would be an excellent tool for students to use in art or expressing something they had done or learnt.

As an example for older students I would set them the task of creating a story and then telling via a voice thread. They could work in pairs or groups to create a story, make the characters/or be the characters themselves, upload the photo's and then narrate it using words or audio. It would give them a variety of choices and a chance to really use their imagination.

I think VoiceThread would really give teacher's an opportunity to create learning experiences where students work either in pairs or groups. Kearsley & Shneiderman (1999) suggest that the idea underlying engagement theory is that students must be meaningfully engaged in learning activities through interaction with others and worthwhile tasks. VoiceThread would not only encourage these interactions but also use technology to actively engage students in authentic learning experiences.


Kearsley, G & Shneiderman, B (1999). Engagment Theory: A framework for technology-based teaching and learning. Retrieved July 29, 2009, from CQUniversity e-courses, FAHE11001 Acitive learning & learning diversity.

Using Music on the web

Well I got quite a shock after reading all the information copyright. I knew that you were restricted with what you could use in presentation's/slide shows but I didn't realise it went beyond that. I think the Royalty Free music available on incompetech is really handy as you don't have to worry that your doing the wrong thing.

I think music in the classroom is great and not used enough. It can be used for educational purposes and for creating a classroom environment that is relaxing. Music I think is a great way to explore different countries and cultures. It also adds a fun element about the unit or lesson as the students can have a dance.

I downloaded a few songs that were of African origin. I think this music would be great for students to listen to in class during a unit of work on different countries. There was also other music from different origins that you could use depending on the country you were exploring. I also don't think it would hurt to have music from different countries playing in the background when appropriate so students were exposed to different cultures.


Mediafire has a couple of really great benefits. It allows you to share files with others but to also store your personal files so that if anything happened to your computer you still have all the files available via the web. This would defiantly save allot of heart ache for teachers who had built up there files and resources over a long period of time.

Mediafire also allows people to share files and images with people such as clients, partners, colleagues, customers, students, friends, and family (Mediafire, 2009). Medifire explains on its website that because digital media has changed so much large documents require larger files and more storage space. It goes on to say that MediaFire '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 (Medaifire, 2009).' I think this is also a fantastic point. As teachers over the years we are going to accumulate allot of resources and the reality is we would have to burn these files onto disk which can get lost or damaged. I think Mediafire would be a great alternative for storage and would also allow you to access older/newer files anywhere and any time via the web.

It also allows you to create files for different people and only share certain files with certain people which I think is fantastic. You can keep your professional groups and personal groups in the one place choosing who you share and collaborate with.

A fantastic tool and one I will defiantly be keeping in mind as I near my final year at uni.


Mediafire (2009). What is Mediafire? Retrieved August 20, 2009, from


I was actually surprised to read on the E-learning description that although Wikipedia allowed anyone to contribute is has a tight set of guidelines/rules and moderators that keep the information accurate and avoid breaches of copyright. I actually just had an idea in my head that you as the user needed to work out what was fact and fiction. Which is still the case to a certain degree but its is good to know that the information is monitored.

As a resource for your students I think Wikipedia would be an easy quick way to look up knowledge that they don't know or are not clear on. In the classroom I would use it to get students to research answers to questions or problems that they had rather than just telling them the answer. Wikipedia would allow students to engage in a learning activity that involved them using cognitive processes such as problem solving and evaluation to come up with a solution/answer (Kearsley & Shneiderman, 1999). Obviously time would be a factor and it could not be done all the time but when time allowed it I think it would be an excellent tool for students' to develop their research skills.

I actually used Wikipedia in my class a couple of weeks ago. We were reading a book about amphibian's and they asked me what it was. I actually was not to sure myself so we went over the computer and looked it up on Wikipedia. I looked through several sights but that was one of best as it explained it in easy direct terms. One of the students enjoyed the lesson that much she went home over the weekend and made a book about Amphibians. It was great to see that she really wanted to find out more about the topic! Plus she did a fantastic job of the book!


Kearsley, G & Shneiderman, B (1999). Engagment Theory: A framework for technology-based teaching and learning. Retrieved July 29, 2009, from CQUniversity e-courses, FAHE11001 Acitive learning & learning diversity.


WebQuests are a great way to challenge students with a problem or task that includes a driving question that has no single answer or solution. I really like WebQuests because they can be done as teams, pairs or individually and this can also be a decision made by the students. WebQuests allow students to research and apply new knowledge to a problem that often requires them to create an authentic solution to that problem. The best thing about WebQuests, if designed smartly, is that the solutions can be linked back into the real world for authentic feedback. This authentic feedback may be from government bodies, local environmental groups, zoo's and many other sources.

Personally, I really like the way WebQuests can be related to issues in the real world, that student's can connect with. Students in today's' day and age are constantly bombarded with new information and knowledge from all kinds of sources. It is therefore essential that they know that is relevant and useful and what is rubbish. Siemens Connectivism (2004)outlines that new information is continually being acquired and the ability to recognize when new information alters the landscape based on decisions made yesterday is critical. WebQuests give students' the opportunity to develop these skills by filtering out which knowledge is relevant in order to develop an authentic solution to the problem.

I think WebQuests are defiantly something that I would but only in the upper grades. I don't think students at younger levels would get the full benefits out of a WebQuest that older students' would as they would not be able to do the research that is required. The only other thing that bothers me a little about WebQuests is the actual making of them. I had to design one last year for an assessment piece and it was not very successful. However, I think with practice and more time it is defiantly a piece of technology I would like to use in the classroom to create rich learning experiences for my class.


Siemens, G (2004). Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age. Retrieved August 20, 2009, from

Google Earth

Google Earth I have always found fascinating. It is sometimes hard to imagine how you can see places all over the world while sitting in you own lounge room. Although it is not as good as going the actual place it gives you a fantastic insight. Google Earth is also a great way to bring the world into the classroom. Its is a technology that can be used in many different ways to engage students in a learning experience. Google Earth allows teachers to include the three key components of Kearsley and Shneiderman's Engagement Theory (1999) which are learning activities that occur in a group context, project-based or have an outside focus. There are so many learning experiences that can be created with the use of Google Earth. They can be group projects, mapping exercises, pair work or sessions that facilitate learning for the whole class.

I will defiantly be including Google Earth as apart of my planning over the next few months during my classes unit on Australian Animals. For example next week are we reading the book Possum Magic and using Google Earth to visit the places throughout the book. I think this will be an effective way to engage learners in the learning experience and begin to focus them on where the animals live around Australia.

As teachers in today's classroom we are faced with developing learning experiences for students whose lives are affected by technology every day. Siemens (2004) believes that technology has reorganized how we live, how we communicate, and especially how we learn. For teachers this means that tools such as Google Earth provides a real connectivism for students in the classroom as students are able to relate and engage with technology more than traditional teaching methods.

Google Earth offers teachers a range of tools they can introduce to students in the classroom. I think it provides good engagement tools for students of all ages but would be especially more useful in older grades as the students would be able to use the technology themselves.

Google Earth is a fantastic tool and I will defiantly be utilising it in my teaching.


Kearsley, G & Shneiderman, B (1999). Engagment Theory: A framework for technology-based teaching and learning. Retrieved July 29, 2009, from CQUniversity e-courses, FAHE11001 Acitive learning & learning diversity.

Siemens, G (2004). Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age. Retrieved August 20, 2009, from


Podcasts, what a fantastic technology to be able to use in the classroom. I have had iTunes for couple of years now and have never paid any attention to Poscasts but they would be a fantastic thing to use in the classroom for all year levels. A podcast is a digital media file, either audio or video, that is released episodically and downloaded via the web through software applications such as iTunes, Zune, Juice or Winamp (Wikipedia, 2009). There are so many different Podcasts you can access and in particular for teachers for Education section is fantastic. I found a series of Podcasts call 'Hooked on Phonics' and it had a variety of animated songs that went trough all the different phonics sounds. During my prac time this year I have been taking Phonics lessons every Monday. I until now not been able to find an interesting way in to introduce the new letters sounds to the class in an interesting engaging manner. I believe though, especially for younger students, these particular Pocasts would be a great hook! Podcasts allow teachers to use a variety of ways to engage student in classroom activities. When students are highly engaged in tasks they have a much greater chance of learning more and developing more positive attitudes and perceptions towards classrooms tasks (Marzano & Pickering, 2006).

Podcasts are fantastic resource for teachers and I will defiantly be using it in my classrooms. They are excellent tool to use to not only engage learners but teach them key learning outcomes in an interesting fun way.


Marzano, R., & Pickering, D., et al. (2006). Dimensions of learning teacher's manual (2nd ed.). Victoria, Australia: Hawker Brownlow Education.

Wikipedia. (2009). Podcasts. Retrieved August 20, 2009 from

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


YouTube is a great way to show students things that just can't be explained using photo's or texts. YouTube allows anybody to share online original videos via the worldwide Web. YouTube allows people to easily upload and share video clips across the Internet through websites, mobile devices, blogs, and email (YouTube, n.d.). The video I chose was a slide show on Australian Animals because my year one class is just about to start a unit on Australian Animals. I chose this video to engage the learners and get them to start thinking about the different types of Australian animals. Kearsley and Shneiderman's (1999) engagement theory suggests that although engagement can occur without the use of technology it does facilitate engagement in ways that would be otherwise difficult to achieve. I think this statement is very relevant to YouTube as students today are surrounded by technology so something that is technology based, such as a video, is going to be far more interesting than pictures of animals in a book. Secondly some subjects are more easy to explain by showing students exactly what your talking about.

I think YouTube is a fantastic tool to not only engage students but to also use through out learning experiences to explain different topics. Teachers would have to be careful how they displayed the video's and ensure that students didn't have access to other video's that may be inappropriate.


YouTube. (n.d.). YouTube company profile. Retrieved August 20, 2009, from

Kearsley, G & Shneiderman, B (1999). Engagment Theory: A framework for technology-based teaching and learning. Retrieved July 29th, 2009, from CQUniversity e-courses, FAHE11001 Acitive learning & learning diversity.


Classmaker is a great to make quizzes for the class. I think it would be something the student's would enjoy allot more than just doing paper based quizzes and the teacher could easily keep track of results as its lists who has taken the test and what they got. I did have a little trouble thought making it accessible so everyone can view it. So I will have to have a chat to a few people and try again later. I also did not get a chance to implement in the classroom. However, I based the test on Frogs though because for reading groups last week we did a small paper based quiz after the book. This would have been a much better way to engage the learners in the learning experience and provide me with some feedback on what knowledge they actually retained.

These quizzes would give students the opportunity to reflect on the knowledge they had learnt in a particular unit of work. Teachers could base the content of the quiz on what the class has covered so far. This would give the teacher an idea of not only what knowledge the students had acquired but if they could then integrate the knowledge in higher order thinking patterns that would be required for such quizzes (Marzano & Pickering, 2006).

20/08/09 update: Thank you so much Lauren for your help. Really Appreciate it! Managed to get the URL for the direct test which I have posted. Really great to have the help on the forum's for things like this.


Marzano, R., & Pickering, D., et al. (2006). Dimensions of learning: Teacher's manual (2nd ed.). Victoria, Australia: Hawker Brownlow Education.

Link to my quiz.

Animations and Simulations

Wow they are a fantastic learning tool for the classroom! Animations and Simulations offer a chance for students to interact with the learning experience rather than just read print based books and handouts. The interaction that the students experience when exploring these websites is fantastic and would be a great tool to use for most learning styles. Animations and Simulations also allow teachers to bring learning experiences into the classroom that may have otherwise been too expensive or difficult to provide. I explored one of the Animations that was based on the anatomy of a worm. On paper students would become bored and disinterested but by using the Animation students would be able to play games in labelling the worms insides and explore other information in a fun, interesting and more importantly interactive learning environment. I would defiantly think that Animations and Simulations would fit Kearsley's and Shneiderman's Engagement Theory (1999) as technology in these cases defiantly can facilitate engagement in ways which would otherwise be difficult to achieve. Students are able to explore things in these websites that would other wise not be achievable in a classroom environment.

Animations and simulations are also Web-based and can be made accessible for the students to anytime and anywhere rather being restricted to the classroom. So teachers would be able to book out computer labs so that every students would have access to their own computer. This is great as it would allow each individual student to learn at their own pace and feel comfortable in their learning environment.

Defiantly something I will keep in mind!


Kearsley, G & Shneiderman, B (1999). Engagment Theory: A framework for technology-based teaching and learning. Retrieved July 29th, 2009, from CQUniversity e-courses, FAHE11001 Acitive learning & learning diversity. hhtp://

Image Manipulation

Originally uploaded by Tam's flickrs

I thought Picnik was a great tool for the manipulation of photo's. The photo above was the original photo and the one on the right is the one I cropped, roltated and resized using Picnik. It looks much better and is allot clearer. The program makes it easier than some other programs I have tried to use in the past. I especially like the way it allows you to download the photo's to your computer so you can then use them in other applications, such as PowerPoint. I'm not quite sure if you could use it as an actual assessment task but students would certainly be able to use it as part of their overall assessment tasks. Students would really enjoy exploring the program but the teacher would have to make sure they were actually fulfilling an actual learning outcome. However, like I said the actual tool would be very useful for them to use in projects.

Gardner's Multiple Intelligence theory suggests that learners had a variety of abilities in different areas (Cheek, 2006). Picnik would be great tool to support students in the visual category who learn and are interested in learning through such as visual displays as photo's, video's, slides, flip chart's and lively picture rich textbooks. Picnik would allow these students to use and extend their abilities using this program to present their knowledge using pictures.

This program is a great program but I wonder if it would be allowed to be used by Education Queensland. This is something that would have to be double checked before teachers made it apart of their learning experiences.


Cheek, B. (2006). Multiple Intelligence. Retrieved August 17, 2009, from

Monday, August 17, 2009


Flickr I found was a very useful tool to store, share and edit photo's and video's. It is particular good as you can choose who you share your photo's with and can choose to share different groups of photo's with different groups of friends or the general community. Flickr was easy to set up however I did not like the fact I had to set up yet another email address through Yahoo. If anyone knows how to get around that please let me know! I can see how this website would be useful for students to share photo's, perhaps for art, however it think it would need to be closely monitored. Teachers would need to make sure that students are only sharing the photo's with the selected school community. It would be a good tool though for students to share photo's on particular topics however I think the lessons would need to be very carefully scaffold ed to ensure the lesson reached the specific intended learning outcomes. Flickr would be an excellent tool for older students who are doing photography to use as a portfolio. The teacher could make the portfolio an assessment piece where students were able to share and present their work to teacher's and peers. This tool would an interesting way for students to present their photo's rather than just in project books or cardboard. Through carefully scaffolded lessons teachers could use this tool to promote Active Learning within their classroom as Flickr would involve students using activity-based learning experiences that encompass an input, process, and output (2000). Input being the photo's, being involved in the process of presenting their photo's and the output of their final Flickr portfolio.

Again this is a very useful tool however students would need to be given time to get used to the tools and become familiar with the program.

Originally uploaded by uwajedi



ACU Adams Center for Teaching Excellence. (2000) Active learning online. Retrieved July 29, 2009,

Static websites

Static web pages would be a good way for teachers to present information to students about a particular topic. Static web pages display the same information for all users, providing the classical hypertext, where navigation is performed through "static" documents (Wikipedia, 2009). This means that teachers are able to create a web page that leads students through the relevant information for a particular topic. The advantages of static websites in the classroom is that they are quick and easy to put together and one copy can be shown to many students. Static websites would also be a fantastic website to use for project-oriented learning as the teacher is able to provide students with a list of topics which will help them get an idea of a possible project topics. Teachers can then include links to the actual project materials that will assist them with the their chosen topic (Kearsley & Shneiderman, 1999).

Overall they are another good tool in the classroom however teachers do have to have the technical knowledge to set up.


Wikepedia, (2009). Static web page. Retrieved on August 18th, 2009 from

Kearsley, G & Shneiderman, B (1999). Engagment Theory: A framework for technology-based teaching and learning. Retrieved July 29th, 2009, from CQUniversity e-courses, FAHE11001 Acitive learning & learning diversity. hhtp://


I have used quite a few video's since I been teaching in classrooms. I find them to be excellent tool to introduce, explain and explore topics. Video's can often show students what a book, picture or discussion can not. They are also great to engage the class as they offer a different perspective to the learning experience. For example last year I did some lesson's for a grade six class on Tsunami's. I used a PowerPoint to explain all the technical information but it was not until showing them the video of an actual Tsunami that they truly grasped the sheer size of them. From that video the class got a much better understanding and knowledge of Tsunami's and the damage they can cause. The pedagogical reasons for using video are many. They can be used for introducing a topic, problem task or to demonstrate the overall aim and goals for a topic or task. Video's are also an excellent way to 'recongnise and provide for students' individual differences' (Marzano & Pickering, 2006) and allows teachers to show introduce student's to literature from all around the world. However, it is very important that teachers using video's make them very specific to the instructional purpose of the lesson. Not just as a time filler or for entertainment purposes.

Overall video's are a fantasic tool in the classroom as long as they are used effectively.


Marzano, R., & Pickering, D., et al. (2006). Dimensions of learning teacher's manual (2nd ed.). Victoria, Australia: Hawker Brownlow Education.

Interactive whiteboard

I have to admit I have yet to have the privilege of having an Interactive Whiteboard in any of my classrooms. However, I discovered just last week that my school has one in their library that can be used by anyone. We have a unit on Australian Animals coming up and I think it would be a great tool to use in the classroom. I think the tools such as google earth would be a great way to engage the students. For example while reading the book Possum Magic you would able to bring up the actual places on the whiteboard. I think it would also be useful phonemes as well. You ask the students to drag images, add letters sounds or fill in the gap. It would be a far more engaging tool than the Isle with butchers paper that I have been using. I have also found some great activities and resources on the Internet but have been unable to bring them into the class. Interactive whiteboards are a very effective instructional strategy for students who benefit from repetition or who need to see the material presented again (U.S Education, 2008). According to the Constructivism theory learning should personalised as no two learners learn the same, have the same experiences or the same mental processing in their brains (Jonasson, 1991). Interactive whiteboards allow teachers to incorporate a range of different learning tasks and activities within their classrooms. With the right training and used within the right context learners will ultimately benefit from this educational tool as it more suits the learning style of most students in the current day and age.


U.S. Department of Education PT3 grant (U.S. Education). (2008). Interactive Whiteboards in the classroom. Retrieved August 17th, 2009

Jonasson. 1991. Constructivism. Retrieved August 17, 2009, from CQUniversity e-courses, FAHE11001 Managing E-leanring.

Learning management systems (LMS)

Learning management systems would be an excellent tool in upper primary and secondary to deliver assessment tasks for students. A learning management system (LMS) can be used for delivering, tracking and managing training and education (Wikepedia, 2009). In the classroom teachers could the LMS's to distribute assessment tasks to students. The teacher would also be able to supply students with resources needed to complete the task as well as being able to monitor their progress. In upper classes the teacher could also give the students the choice of what and when they finish certain tasks as long as they were completed by the due date. Assignments on the LMS also allows students to use other technology-based tools such as PowerPoint, Voki's and YouTube. There are several LMS's and the user would need to work out which one would best suit their particular needs.


Wikipedia (2009). Learning management systems. Retrieved August 17th, 2009, from

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Last year I used power point presentations in several lessons with my year six class. It allowed me to present information in an exciting way using various types of graphics, pictures, colours, effects and links to other websites. I found them particularly effective with the grade sixes as it was a good tool to engage them with. One PowerPoint I did in particular worked very well. It was on Tsunami's and I used the PowerPoint to guide the class through the information I had to give them about Tsunami's However because the information was presented in a different more stimulating way the class seemed to stay more engaged. PowerPoints very much facilitate Oliver's Learning Design Construct as you can design them to include all the key learning design elements which are the learning tasks, resources and support. Oliver suggests that the critical elements required in a learning design, particularly when ICT mediated include the resources learners interact with, activities learners are required to perform, and the support mechanisms provided to assist learners to engage with the tasks and resources (AUCT, 2003). For example the PowerPoint I presented to the grades six's included video's of actual Tsunamis, photo's, and interactive website explaining how they happened and other valuable information. I also used it to pose questions which we then discussed as a class. At the end I used the PowerPoint to outline the task that they needed to complete as one of the formative assessment tasks for that particular unit of work.

PowerPoint's would also be useful for students to use for their own presentations. However, the teacher would need to ensure they scaffold the learning experience to ensure that students were given the basic skills needed to effectively use PowerPoint effectively.


AUCT. (2003). The Learning Design Construct. Retrieved July 21, 2009 from

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


What an excellent tool Voki is to use in the classroom. Voki would be a fantastic way to engage learners or to use as a hook. This would be especially great with younger students. Voki could also be used to explain a task either on power point or a blog. Teachers could also allow students to use Voki in their own presentations or learning activities.

Voki would be an excellent tool to use in conjunction with the teaching theory of active learning. Active learning suggests that learners retain and transfer knowledge most efficiently through concrete activity-based experiences (2000). Which involve input from multiple sources through multiple senses (hearing, seeing, feeling, etc.). Voki is an excellent tool to use by students and teachers as it allows them to use a majority of the senses, therefor increasing knowledge retention (2000). Voki could be used in one or all the three stages of the active learning process, which includes input, process and output (2000). For example the teacher could introduce the task via a Voki as the hook. They could continue its use into the process stage allowing students to use Voki in their learning experience activities. Or they could allow students to use Voki to explain what they had learnt at the end of the experience using a Voki.

How Voki is used in the classroom would depend on the particular class but I believe it could be utilised in any classroom on many different levels. I think it would also be something students would enjoy and be interested in exploring.


ACU Adams Center for Teaching Excellence. (2000) Active learning online. Retrieved July 29, 2009,


After spending the morning setting up my e-portfolio and exploring the different tools I discovered that it is a very effective tool to share professional and personal information. However, I do think that it is a tool I would personally only use in the upper classes. It does require the user to have not only a vast variety of technology skills but also patience. Which I don't think the primary and even lower secondary would posses. Being able to share professional files with others I think is a great idea. It allows you to not only get feedback and ideas from others but to also share their ideas. The group settings allow you to pick and choose who you want to collaborate with. This is a great feature as it allows you to set up different collaborative groups. You may have certain information you only want to share with certain cohorts and this features allows you to do this. In the classroom I think e-portfolio's would tick all the boxes under the engagement theory. It allows students to become actively involved in cognitive processes 'such as creating, problem-solving, reasoning, decision-making and evaluation' (Kearsley & Shneiderman, 1999). E-portfolio's would be an excellent tool for students to display and share their work in any subject area. They would be able to use the e-portfolios every day to post reflections about their learning and understandings, assessment pieces, every day work and also personal information. E-portfolio's allow teachers to structure opportunities for students to work with peers to not only enhance academic achievement but also peer relationships (Marzano et al., 2006).

E-portfolio's allow all student's to explore and represent their work in a different and fun way. The only constraint for the teacher would be access to enough computers so student's could access their portfolio's on a daily basis. Teachers would also need to carefully scaffold sessions that explained how to use e-portfolios making sure all students gained a good understanding.


Kearsley, G & Shneiderman, B (1999). Engagment Theory: A framework for technology-based teaching and learning. Retrieved July 29th, 2009, from CQUniversity e-courses, FAHE11001 Acitive learning & learning diversity. hhtp://

Marzano, R., & Pickering, D., et al. (2006). Dimensions of learning teacher's manual (2nd ed.). Victoria, Australia: Hawker Brownlow Education.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Wow Wiki

Wiki's are yet another useful tool to communicate ideas, information and opinions. I have found them a little confusing though and I am still trying to figure out a few things. Wiki is yet another tool that teacher's are able to use in the classroom. However, teacher's would need to ensure they scaffolded the lesson so that student's have a good understanding of how a Wiki works. Once students had this understanding they could use it to display projects and collaborate with other students. The active learning pyramid (2000) shows that fifty percent of information is retained by discussion groups. Wiki provided a great platform for students to hold discussions with other students, teachers and professionals. Wiki could be used as the platform for an investigation set by the teacher that required students to work in collaborative groups to complete. These completed investigations could be forwarded onto professionals in that field for their input and opinion on the students work. By using Wiki for an investigation of this type students are engaging in learning activities that 'emphasizes team effort that involves communication, planning, management and social skills' (Kearsley & Shneiderman, 1999) as well as making the investigation a creative and purposeful task. Students would also gain a great sense of accomplishment and pride when they recieved feedback from a professinal in this field not just the teacher.

Wiki is a great tool for the classroom but I think would only be suitable for upper grade students. In order for the learning experinece to be engaging teachers would need to ensure all studetns have a clear understanding of how Wiki's work or student's would become disengaged and disinterested.


ACU Adams Center for Teaching Excellence. (2000) Active learnng online. Retrieved July 29, 2009,

Kearsley, G & Shneiderman, B (1999). Engagement Theroy: A framework for teachnology-based teaching and learning. Retrieved July 29th, 2009, from CQUniversity e-courses, FAHE 11001 Active learning & learning diversity.

Blogs and RSS

When I first started looking at all the information on the course website and going into all the different sites I was starting to get a little worried. But as I created my blog and spent some time exploring the site and using the tools it became a little more clear. Blogs are an excellent way of communicating both personal and professional information. I also like the fact that you are able to narrow down information sent to you via the RSS feeder such as google readers. Kearsley and Shneiderman's (1999) engagement theory suggests that in order for students to be meaningfully engaged in learning activities there needs to opportunities for them to experiment during self-directed learning . I found myself when setting up a blog I needed to explore the site and experiment with the tools available. For students I think this would be a very exciting tool to use as while they are building their knowledge they are also seeing the results through what they are creating. Blogs and RSS feeders would also be a fantastic tool for teachers to utilise so that students could participate in learning experiences that occur in a group context. These groups could either be within the class, school, Australia or the world. Blogs allow teachers to design learning experiences where students could participate in collaborative groups with students from the other side of the country. Apart from being educationally beneficial it would allow students to experience other cultures and ways of living.

These types of learning experiences would take time for the teacher to set up but I think it would be a very rewarding and interesting learning journey for students. Teachers would also have the opportunity to develop relationships with other teaching professionals that could last years.


Kearsley, G & Shneiderman, B (1999). Engagement Theroy: A framework for teachnology-based teaching and learning. Retrieved July 29th, 2009, from CQUniversity e-courses, FAHE 11001 Active learning & learning diversity.