Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Blogs On Demand (Publishers)

I have not had the opportunity to establish a class Blog yet but will be implementing this great learning tool early next term. As future classroom teachers we should be prepared to design effective learning environments and experiences supported by technology to maximise student learning. To become fully literate in today’s world, students must become empowered to succeed. By providing our digital natives with opportunities to learn in ways that they are familiar and comfortable with, they will be more engaged in the learning process. Blogs give students a real audience to write to and a collaborative environment where they can give and receive feedback. Also students don't tend to write unless they have to. Blogs are one way to change that.
A blog is a great way for students to complete journal assignments, placing their responses online gives you ready access to these journals. It also allows other students to see what their classmates have written and creates collaborative learning. Blogs with a commenting feature allow you and other students to respond to journal postings, which only enhances collaboration.
Several students can work together on a blog centred on a single topic or assignment. Using a blog extends the collaborative space outside the classroom, allowing students to work together across time and space. At the same time, the blog records the process of collaboration, allowing teachers to observe, comment, and intervene as needed while allowing students to reflect on the process at the end of the assignment.
A class blog would be a quick and easy way to create a homepage for the class, one that will allow you to post important reminders and notices, reflections or summaries of class discussion, and links that reflect and inform the class readings (Blogs as writing practice, n.d.) Retrieved 1 September 2009, from:

Monday, August 31, 2009

Power Point Quizz

National Institute
of Environmental
Health Sciences

Hi fellow elearners,
I now have a new computer so my elearning adventure is far less torturous then it was.
That was a lot of fun to do, I have a later version of Powerpoint (Microsoft Office 2007), which initially caused some confusion and a fair bit of searching, but once I had worked out what was required it became a breeze. This version is very user friendly.Students could easily produce media rich as well as automated presentations with this software. I believe the visual aspect of a presentation makes it very appealing to young learners.
I enjoyed creating my Optical Quizz and hope to share an extended version with my class before the end of term.
The URL for my quizz is:

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Over the last six weeks I have investigated many different e-learning tools and how they can be incorporated into the classroom to assist students in their learning journey. I have analysed all of the technologies with respect to the conceptual frameworks and learning theories outlined in our learning environment. Initially I found the sheer volume of work rather intimidating, but looking back, I can see just how far I have come in my learning journey. Following fellow e-learners blog postings was initially a great way to stay abreast of everyone’s experiences. But then it became impossible to keep track of them all. There is a huge amount of people undertaking this course. But I did find the opinions and thoughts of peers invaluable when evaluating new information and the collaborative element in blogging made me feel that I was on the right path.
Another aspect I have come to see is that technology is ever changing and there are always new and exciting applications out there and we cannot hope to be on top of it all. As future teachers the trick is to know the technology we choose to use in our classroom well enough to use it to its full potential. The best way to engage the learner of the 21st century is to develop our knowledge base of Web 2.0 technologies. According to (Kearsley and Shneiderman, 1999) students, who are interested and engaged in their learning, are far less likely to cause problems. And problem behavior is a major issue in our schools today.
As stated by (Prensky, 2001) a huge fundamentally change has taken place, the arrival of the digital age and there is absolutely no going back. Today’s student is growing up surrounded by and immersed in technology but our classrooms are still catering to industrial age learners and these digital natives come to school and have to power down or put differently fight boredom until they can get back to their videogames, mp3 players and mobile phones and power up again.
According to (Prensky, 2001) students today think and process information fundamentally differently from their predecessors. As a digital immigrant I have a huge responsibility to learn as much as I can about what is available so I am equipped to teach the digital natives that will be sitting in my classroom hoping to be engaged and this course is my first step in that direction.
(Seimens, 2004) Connectivism presents a model of learning that is no longer an internal, individualistic activity. How people work and function is altered when new tools are utilised. Education needs to catch up with the new learning tools and the environmental changes.

I envision using most of the ICT tools covered in this course, they all have a place in the modern classroom. I believe these tools will increase the efficiency and effectiveness of my teaching. One of my favourite learning tools I have analysed is the WebQuest. I believe it is the whole package so to speak. A WebQuest is an inquiry based online tool for learning. I will certainly be using WebQuests in my teaching to help build a solid foundation that prepares students for the future as they are based on the learning theories of inquiry and constructivism and incorporate cooperative and collaborative learning (Educational Broadcasting Corporation, 2004).
I will be bringing the power of wiki to my learning process. Wiki provides opportunities for teachers to post lessons and edit students work online, allowing more transparency to parents. Links to relevant websites, animations, presentations with audio, podcasts, assignments, Teachertube videos, links to quizzes, and interactive educational games all introduced with the aid of a Voki. These are just some of the ways to incorporate Wiki in the classroom as well as providing valuable feedback to my learners. This frees me up to coach and monitor my learners progress as they develop essential learning skills for this modern era. Having developed my skills in the use of some of the media/technologies, these materials can also be uploaded and accessed easily at any time. I feel I will be able to use them to make myself a more effective teacher.
My students will also be able to access lectures or summaries delivered through an audio file distributed online or offline in the form of a podcast which they can listen to whenever and wherever they get the opportunity. This will help them revise and understand new concepts at their own pace. Another very effective learning tool is the one we are being assessed on through this course, a Blog. They are as effective as a Wiki and can obviously accommodate all the same media technologies that a Wiki can.
I was certainly intimidated by the Blog technology initially but have found it to be a most enjoyable and informative learning journey. A large part of my learning journey has been following fellow e-learners blogs and the Google RSS reader certainly made this task more manageable.

I have left comments on;
Anita’s Voki Blog:
Jess’s WebQuest Blog:
Kay’s Voicethread Blog:
Kay's music in the classroom Blog:
http://kaysassessment.blogspot.com/2009/08/using-music-on-web.html .


Educational Broadcasting Corporation, (2004). Concept to Classroom, WebQuests. Retrieved on 21 August from:
Kearsley G., & Shneiderman B. (1999), Engagement Theory: A framework for technology-based teaching and learning. Retrieved on 21 August, 2009 from:
Prensky, M. (2001). Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants. Retrieved 19 August, 2009 from: http://www.marcprensky.com/writing/Prensky%20%20Digital%20Natives,%20Digital%20Immigrants%20-%20Part1.pdf
Siemens G. (2004). Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age. Retrieved on 21August, 2009 from:

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


I believe Podcasts have a solid role to play in the modern classroom. Students could create a Podcast based on research of a topic as a class project. This could be published to the web to connect to a wider audience. Contributing to authentic learning outcomes as they provide a world wide audience. Learning becomes meaningful and hopefully our 21st century learners will be more motivated by this educational technology.
this sits well within Kearsley and Shneiderman's Engagement theory which is based on the idea of creating successful collaborative teams that work on ambitious projects that are meaningful to someone outside the classroom (cited in Moodle Pilot FAHE 11001, 2009).
Also existing Podcasts can be downloaded for classroom use . Teachers can use the technology to provide learning experiences to students to download and access at a later time and place. These audio files can be downloaded to a personal computer or a portable handheld device and accessed anytime anywhere.The flexibility that they offer makes podcasting a valuable educational tool and goes a long way in forming engageing, authentic learning experiences.

Because school resources for new purchases are always limited Podcasting is also cost efficient as well. A microphone is all that is needed to get started and there are free audio editing software programs available.

Moodle Pilot FAHE 11001 (2009). Managing Elearning, Active Learning.

Google Earth

I found Google earth to be priceless. What a wonderful teaching tool to have access to. SOSE has never looked this good.
Google's satellite imagery-based mapping puts the whole world on a student's computer. It enables students to "fly" from space to street level to find geographic information and explore places around the world. Like a video game and a search engine rolled into one, Earth is basically a 3D model of the entire planet that lets you grab, spin and zoom down into any place on Earth. You can tour distant cities, view realistic 3D buildings, and even show students sunset around the world.
Students can also use Google Earth to explore topics like the progress of human civilization, the growth of cities, the impact of civilization on the natural environment, and the impact of natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina. Students can recreate entire ancient cities. The only limit to Google Earth's classroom uses is your imagination (Google for Educators, 2009).
I have just finished a SOSE assignment titled 'Where Do I Live? Students access Google Earth, type in their address and zoom in to find their house as well as land marks and places of interest to them. Students then discover what else is in there local area. Their are endless ways that Google Earth could be used in the classroom. You can capture the wonder of the universe without leaving your classroom.
Retreived on 18 August, 2009 from:


Wow that was a process and a half. I didn't think I was going to get through it all for a while, but I assume that it can only get easier now that I am more familiar with it all. Having said that it is a wonderful teaching tool that will certainly have its place in the 21st century classroom.

I have used a Powerpoint I created for 'Building Learning Partnerships'. The task was to develop a resource to contribute to student resilience. I chose to address students' self esteem and created a board game to this end. This is my board game introduction to a class of students. Made all the more interesting with the addition of Slidecast.

Slideshare could be used to introduce a unit of work for the term, a book report or an end of year summary. It adds a new element to Powerpoint Presentations you could develop a Powerpoint on any subject you choose there is limitless possiblilties to what you could create.

Slideshare could also be used to display student work on the Internet to share their work with parents, another plus would be cutting down on printing costs.

It is the teachers job to motivate students because, without motivation, there is no learning. I believe Slideshare used as a teaching tool represents an opportunity to motivate students and facilitate learning.


That was a lot of fun and easy to use as well. I created a presentation to explain about a game board I have created to build self esteem. It was particularly directed at special education students but could be used by anyone to build their resilience. This technology would be a hit in any classroom. Students could upload their Powerpoint Presentations and add VoiceThread. Students with a visual impairment or some physical impairments or students that are disengaged for whatever reason could use this technology instead of the more usual writing tasks.