Thursday, August 20, 2009

Reflective Synopsis

E-learning, what a learning journey this has been. E-learning has given me the opportunity to further my knowledge and understandings of the ICT world. With the continual inventions and changes of technology, we as learning managers need to keep ourselves up to date with these rapid changes within our society, so we can provide the best learning experiences for our students. We need to be able to provide them with opportunities to engage in a variety of learning tools so we can ensure students are gaining the best out of their schooling. I have now discovered a new passion for ICT's and have realised what a fantastic learning tool they can be when used correctly. I am now not so intimidated by these technologies and am looking forward to incorporating them into my learning design.

Students in the 21st Century need to be challenged, they need to be taken out of their comfort zone and have the opportunity to explore and extend their understandings. By introducing and implementing these tools in our classroom practice we are creating a whole new level of thinking for children, known as higher order thinking. According to Education Queensland, 2004 'Higher-order thinking requires students to manipulate information and ideas in ways that transform their meaning and implications.' They also believe that when the teacher is not certain what will be produced by students, they are creating an opportunity for higher order thinking. Thus 'in helping students become producers of knowledge, the teacher's main instructional task is to create activities or environments that allow them opportunities to engage in higher order thinking.' (Education Queensland, 2004) By introducing e-learning tools into the classroom the learners are exposed to a variety of new and challenging opportunities to participate in higher order thinking tasks. The approach we as learning managers take in our learning design will impact and influence the way our future generation are able to take on the world of technology and gain life long skills.

Through out this learning journey I have been able to 'test drive' many fun and engaging tools that I will be able to introduce and use in my classroom. I have been able to explore the use of many technologies and discover new and exciting ways to engage hopefully all of my learners through one tool or another. In particular I found Avatars, Google earth and The Quizzes to be most beneficial to my teaching experience at present.

A Voki Avatar has all the dimensions needed to engage and enhance one's learning. There are many uses for an avatar but in particular I feel it is a great way to disguise students. Not only can this benefit a shy student but it can also target the students who do not have as many friends and do not feel accepted by their peers. This highlights the versatility of an avatar and how it can create an identity for one and allow them to become more comfortable in their environment and maximise their learning opportunities. Marzano & Pickering, 1997 suggest that when a 'student feels accepted they usually feel better about themselves and schools, work harder and learn better.' Emphasising the need for more ICT's to be introduced and used in our learning design.

Google Earth offers students to explore 'rich geographical content, ranging from galaxies in outer space to the canyons of the ocean. ' (Google Earth, 2009) Google earth could be used in any year level. Starting from Early Childhood to offer an insight to the learners on the different views we can see things from, for example bird's eye view or even an early introduction of what our world looks like. It is a great way to incorporate fun learning experiences with a geography focus. Google Earth is the perfect way to connect and bring the real world into the classroom. According to Siemens, 2004 'connectivism provides insight into learning skills and task for learners to flourish in a digital era.'

Having the advantage of creating your own quizzes is something I feel very powerful when checking for learning. As a learning manager you can create individual tests to suit your student's needs. I think I would use this in the classroom at the end of a lesson or unit of work to check for learning and understanding of my students. This is a time consuming process but I feel it is a great way to assess outcomes. In my classroom this would be a very informal process and it would complement other assessment methods both informal and formal. A written test is not often regarded as an authentic way to monitor the progress of a student but according to Krause etal, 2003 'a standardised test can provide information about individual students' level of achievement in a specific area of learning.' This is just another way, not necessarily the most authentic but it will allow the learning manager to plan appropriately to the needs of the learner.

When using ICT's in the classroom it is vital to be aware of the privacy act that surrounds the tool you wish to use. This is something I needed to learn more about myself. After talking with lecturers and students I am now aware of the procedures needed to take when wanting to download from the net. I have also been able to collaborate with my peers throughout this learning journey and now have gained a much thorough understanding of ICT's and how to use and incorporate them in my learning design. Along with other teaching strategies, ICT's will now be a priority to achieve outcomes for my learners. With the variety of tools addressed in this task, it now allows a much more extensive way to include and engage all learners. Technology is one skill that helps create and promote life long learning.

Blog URL's i have commented on are as follows:

Google Earth. (2009). Cited on August 20. Retrieved from:

Krause, K. Etal. (2003). Educational Psychology for learning teachers. Melbourne, Australia: Thomson Publishers.

Marzano,R.J &Pickering, D.J. (1997). Dimensions of learning: Teacher???s manual. Colarado, USA: McRel.

Siemens,G. (2004). Connectives: A learning Theory for the Digital Age. Cited on August 17. Retrieved from:

The State of Queensland (Department of Education and Training) 2004. Cited on August 20. Retrieved from:

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


What an engaging tool to use in the classroom!! VoiceThread allows students to work together and interact with others. Students can 'group conversations which are collected and shared in one place from anywhere in the world.' (VoiceThread, 2007-2009) What a fantastic way to build networks and partnerships from all around the world. My main concern with voiecthread was the privacy issues, then i discovered ed.voicethread which is for use within schools. All necessary privacy acts have been carried out to ensure this is a child friendly and safe site to use.

Students are able to work collaborative to gain a better understanding and further their knowledge on particular issues. Students are also able to interact and take place in debates from around the world.

Another great site i found that can give me ideas help me incorporate voicethread in my classroom is VoiceThread 4 Education - check it out, it's great:


VoiceThread, (2007-2009). Cited on August 18. Retrieved from:

VoiceThread 4 Education. Cited on August 18. Retrieved from:

Music on the Web

Music is another fantastic way we can engage our learners. Music can create the atmosphere within a classroom and help guide the way we want people to feel. If we want a calm classroom environment we put on relaxing music, if we want people to get active we choose a fast pace piece of music.

Until a recent lecture at University i was completely oblivious to the copyrights that went with downloading music. Actually i was unaware of almost all copyrights relating to images, videos and music. I did not realise how strict this was and am extremely grateful to have this knowledge now. Like most people i would have just been downloading and using what i felt i needed to make my learning experiences better.

I found planty of music i could use in the classroom and for all different reasons. I like the idea of using music to change an activity, especially when children are completing rotation activities. However i have chosen a piece in the Children's music called - They eyes of an angel. I would use this after a lunch break with the younger years to calm them down and prepare their minds for the learning activities they are about to complete.

I like to use music in the classroom whenever possible and appropriate. I think it adds a whole new dynamic to the learning experiences and in most cases the children love it!!

I would love to here how other people use music in the classroom...


File Storage

Mediafire is a great place to store important documents or just a good place to store information, you could consider mediafire as a place to add documents for extra backup. You can upload any file onto mediafire, therefore creating more space on your own computer or USB stick. 'Digital media has changed; rich media and large documents require larger files and more storage space.' (Mediafire, 2006-2009) With the upward trend of technology we need more space on our computer and we need to know that our documents are secure when we store them.

You could use mediafire in the classroom as a place to upload and store photos from excursions and any other activities completed relating to the excursion. I would probably like to keep the information stored to the same topic. Children could then choose the excursion they wish to view on and continue to add information to this. It could be made into an ongoing journal/document where students add all the information they need to complete a final task. They can continue to refer back to the documents they have stored on mediafire.

I have started by adding my class checklist for this year. I always need to refer back to this to add information about each student. It will be a lot easier for me now to keep all the documentation relating to my class in one area. The checklist i have included is only the names of the students. For privacy rights i have not included the lists with updated information.

I think this is a great tool to introduce into the classroom as there are endless ideas and opportunities available for using mediafire.

URL for class checklis:

Mediafire, 2006-2009. Cited on August 18, retrieved from:

Monday, August 17, 2009


So i have just learnt that i may have been a little confused at the beginning of this course. I was unaware of the differences between a Wiki and Wikepedia. Wikipedia ia a free encyclopedia built collaboratively using Wiki software. (Wikipedia, 2008) It is a quick and simple way to access information on the internet. If you are using this in the classroom, students need to be made aware that not everything is correct on wikipedia as anyone can access this site and change to informaion. However wikipedia is a great starting point to find some basic information or resources needed to complete the task.

You could introduce wikipedia into the classroom by allowing students to find the initial information on their own using wikipedia and then coming together as a group and elaborating on their findings and working out the 'what next' step for the task set.

If you have any great ideas on usng Wikipedia in the classroom especially the younger years i would love you to share them with me as i am a little stuck for ways to introduce this to the younger years.

Many thanks.

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Cited on August 17. Retrieved from:


A webquest is a great way for students to complete activities using internet resources. In my previous experience with webquests they can promote higher order thinking as they are inquiry based and generally based around a problem that children have to solve or find more information about. A webquest is a good way to connect and link learners to the real world and situations that may arise.

Once a teacher has set up the webquest it is up to the student to complete the task. Students do have the freedom to finish the task at their own pace, taking pressure off slower elarners and allowing students to feel more comfortable in the learning environment. However most teachers will find that limited resources (computuers) may make it difficult for webquests to be used on a regular basis.

I personally feel that a webquest is very time consuming and after discovering many other tools throughout this course, a webqust would not be a first preference for me to use in the classroom.

Let me know if you have any tips on using webquests in the classroom......

Google Earth


Yes i have just been to Italy for lunch, what a day!! Talk about addictive - google earth is great. What a fantastic way to make children more aware about the world we live in. Through google earth children can gain an insight to how big our world is and learn about other countries. Not only can you travel around the world, it is easy to just look up an address. Siemens, 2004 states that 'technology is altering (rewiring) our brains. The tools we use define and shape our thinking.' Google Earth is a great tool to introduce to students and allow them to extend and refine their knowledge. He also acknowledges that 'how people work and function is altered when new tools are utilized.' Imagine how well a yearone class would work if they could see their house on the computer by just typing in a few words?!!

Google Earth could be used in the classroom in a numerous ways. Starting in the early years, it could be as simple as explaining what a bird's eye view is, showing what their street/house looks like from the sky. Moving into the upper years of primary, google earth is a great way to introduce a geography lesson. It is an interesting and useful tool which allows you to be the funky teacher who makes goegraphy lessons fun!! By allowing students to use google earth it broadens their awareness of what our world looks like and how far away countries are from each other. It would also be a great way to introduce time differences between countries. Google Earth provides a visual aid to demonstrate the distance between countries, making the learing experiences more meaningful by being able to see the world. According to Siemens, 2004 'connectivism provides insight into learning skills and tasks needed for learners to flourish in a digital era.' This highlighting the need for more technologies to be used in the classroom, one of those being google earth.

I would love to here how people are using using google earth in their classroom, let me know.

Well im of now to jetset around the world, i;m thinking France for dinner.........


Siemens, G. (2004) Connectivism:A Learning Theory for the Digital Age. Cited on August 17. Retrieved from: