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
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
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:
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
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.
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.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
The Mozart Effect is an inclusive term signifying the transformational powers of music in health, education, and well-being. It represents the general use of music to reduce stress, depression, or anxiety; induce relaxation or sleep; activate the body; and improve memory or awareness. Innovative and experimental uses of music and sound can improve listening disorders, dyslexia, attention deficit disorder, autism, and other mental and physical disorders and injuries.
(The Mozart Effect Resource Centre, n.d).
The Mozart Effect Resource Centre,(n.d.) Frequently Asked Questions. Retieved on 18 August 2009 from:http://www.mozarteffect.com/MoreOnTME/FAQ.html
http://www.mediafire.com/file/2krzamomtnf/BLP RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT AND PRESENTATION.ppt
A very convenient way to share your files and images through just one site. I found it extremely simple to upload my file and you can instantly manage and share it from any computer. A very simple file hosting service to share files and images with your students. I found it a welcome relief that their was no software to install as my poor old computer is not coping too well. there was also a very easy sign up process.
MediaFire allows you to store all your files online for easy secure access and would enable you to distribute students' work to parents without clogging inboxes or bogging down your website. All student work could be stored and shared with parents in one convenient place.
Wikipedia is a free, multilingual encyclopedia project supported by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation.
I have undertaken a search of Wikipedia on Australian Animals and this is a list of resources I found that would support my teaching:
- Fauna of Australia
- List of exstinct animals of Australia
- Animals of Australia
- Common animals of Australia
- Invasive species in Australia
Learners should have access to different learning resources so they can use the knowledge and skills they learn anywhere not just under the supervision and support of the teacher. One way to make these resources available to students is through Interactive Whiteboards. Students are more motivated to learn. I have witnessed time and again children reluctant to research a topic out of a book. They become bored and disengaged and start behaving badly. But put an item to research up on a big screen where the information they need as at their fingertips and watch them go. What do other elearners think?
WebQuests are designed to focus on using information rather than looking for it, and to support learners' thinking at the levels of analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. The trick for the Learning Manager is in the task. A good inquiry based task has open ended questions, using clear learning objectives. This would transform the classroom to a collaborative learning environment where hopefully everyone is interested and engaged in the task at hand.
Tomorrow's workers and citizens will need to be able to grapple with ambiguity. They will need to commit themselves to a lifelong process of learning, honoring multiple perspectives and evaluating information before acting on it. Tomorrow's workers and citizens are sitting in our classrooms today.
Using WebQuests in our classrooms can help build a solid foundation that prepares them for the future ( Educational Broadcasting Corporation, 2004).
According Professor Ron Oliver, (cited in ICT Learning Design, 2009) his Model suggests beginning the learning design process by designing real-world tasks based around messy, ill-structured problem scenarios. The design of these learning tasks should be sufficiently broad enough to ensure that all learners have sufficient opportunity to engage with the key content areas.The second stage is to identify all of the resources learners will need to successfully complete the tasks. If there are insufficient resources, then these must be created by the course developer.The third stage is to design learner supports so that the learner will be able to successfully complete the tasks. This is generally known as scaffolding using the kinds of tools and interventions that are appropriate to the tasks and audience.
WebQuests are designed so students while working in groups take an active role in solving what ever problem situation they are presented with that are multi layered and messy and this is identified as Problem Based Learning (cqu, 2002).
The WebQuests that are mentioned above look and sound exactly like they were designed to fit this Model.
Educational Broadcasting Corporation (2004). Concept to Classroom, WebQuests. Reteived 18 August 2009 from:
Moodle Pilot FAHE 11001 (2009). Managing Elearning, ICT Learning Design. Retreived on 18 August 2009 from:
Tom Marsh,The Learning Power of WebQuests (2003). Ozline.com. Retreived on 18 August 2009 from:
I did not get the opportunity to use my quiz on a group of students but am sure this will happen in the near future. I developed the quiz with the help of 'Jigsaw Maths, Level 3' (Linthorne & Doolan, 2004).
There are many advantages of online quizzes they save class time, students can take the quiz any time of day, less test anxiety for some students, there is immediate feedback explaining answers and they are automatically marked on the Web. Online quizzes can also provide an effective formative learning resource for students to practice and test their knowledge base.
If you want to test your knowledge, scores in these quizzes can easily show your level and where exactly you stand. You can use these quizzes to increase your knowledge because it also corrects you if you give any wrong answers. Many online quiz sites are free to use, so you don’t need to pay anything. You can also take these quizzes any place in the world that has an internet connection. It makes them very convenient and flexible. Several real time applications and multimedia files such as video, sound and high resolution imagery can be included with them to ensure responsive, personalized and interactive learning environments. (learn effectively with online quizzes, 2009)
I have recently finished an assessment piece for SOSE titled "Where do I Live" which incorporated the use of Google Earth. Students were to find their local area along with landmarks, roads and surrounding towns and map out routes to varying locations from their home and school. I found Google Earth to be an invaluable tool for this task. I searched Youtube for an appropriate video to introduce Google Earth to my students and eventually found one that was at a level that they could comprehend. I then found out that Youtube could not be accessed in a school environment. Youtube is the third most popular site on the Web, yet school authorities block it due to child safety and security risks.
This is the URL for my chosen Youtube video.
Monday, August 17, 2009
This technology would have many uses in the classroom. Students could enhance their ICT skills by taking digital photos of excursions etc and uploading the pictures onto Flickr to share with students in other classes and schools as well as their parents.Flickr could also be used to search for pictures relevent to a classroom topic.Teachers ccould use it as a tool to engage students in visual literacy. By uploading a picture to an interactive whiteboard, students could write a creative piece based on the chosen image or alternatively they could search for images to add into their writing pieces as well as provide authentic pictures for presentations that relate to their current unit of work. Information and Communication Technologies support the development of flexibly delivered high quality learning experiences for students and Flickr is a prime example of such a learning tool.
How efficient to have this reader coming up on my google home page to be checked regularly. Its very easy to maintain your subscriptions, great sharing options and fast. This tool is fantastic I was very intimidated at first by the amount of blogs I would have to follow. Google Reader is a free web-based reader to aggregate and read all your blog (RSS) feeds. RSS is simply the best way to keep on top of everything that's going on. blogs wouldn't make sense without it. Very useful to track all those blogs where I can learn more about learning and share other people thoughts and ideas. I love the way it allows me to scan and read and share awesome posts! Other elearners can share their research with me in a split second. this is the best feature. An RSS reader allows me to do that without having to go to dozens of websites to see if they've got anything new.
Voki - Avatars could be used in the online class webpage or blog for in so many ways. How about instead of the teacher typing an intro to a lesson on self esteem how about a trendy girl verbally introducing it instead. What about:
Students creating avatars that are similar in looks or personalities and record a message that tells about themselves.
Students can exchange these avatars with e-pals either within their own setting or anywhere in the world.
Students can generate questions to ask their avatar e-pals.
ESL (English as a Second Language) students can use the speaking avatars to practice and listen to their speech. They may use the computerised voice first then record their own voice when they feel more comfortable. Writing, reading and pronunciation are all practised.
Students can create an avatar that resembles a character from a story, add a setting and give it speech. Now that looks like a 21st century learning tool.
According to Waterhouse (as cited in Elearning Design, 2009) E-learning involves improving teaching and learning using instructional strategies enhanced by technology, especially computer technology. At a very basic level e-learning is using information communication technologies (ICTs) to engage, enhance and extend learning in flexible and innovative ways, now and in the future.
Moodle Pilot, FAHE 11001 (2009). Managing Elearning, Learning Design.
Rockhampton, QLD. Australia :Central Queensland University
Saturday, July 18, 2009
I have my Wiki up and running now, and found it a very enjoyable experience. I have added some photos of my recent holiday to Sydney if anyone is interested in having a look.
Wiki and education
The Wiki is gaining traction in education, as an ideal tool for the increasing amount of collaborative work done by both students and teachers. Students might use a wiki to collaborate on a group report, compile data or share the results of their research, while faculty might use the wiki to collaboratively author the structure and curriculum of a course, and the wiki can then serve as part of each person's course web site (excerpt from my contribution to a Business 2.0 article --Stewart.mader 11:35, 14 Dec 2005 (PST).
I believe its real power lies in the fact that groups can collaboratively work on the content of the site using nothing but a standard web browser. Wikis are very easy to edit as well, the second powerful element of a wiki is its ability to keep track of the history of a document as it is revised. Since users come to one place to edit, the need to keep track of Word files and compile edits is eliminated. Each time a person makes changes to a wiki page, that revision of the content becomes the current version, and an older version is stored. Versions of the document can be compared side-by-side, and edits can be rolled back if necessary.
Through a wiki, teachers can facilitate and drive authentic, relevant learning and include common goals for collaborative activities.
"The New Writing is online writing: designing web sites, writing weblogs, and creating and managing wikis. New writers are redefining writing online, creating new forms and approaches for new audiences." (English Dept., Bemidji State University).
The Science of Spectroscopy, Using Wiki in Education (2009). Retrieved 19 July 2009 from:
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Blogs, the virtual teaching and learning environment.
I think Blogging would help students to think and write more critically. the process of writing postings would focus the students' thinking. In conventional teaching, students often rely on the teacher as the main source of ideas and critique for their work. What makes blogs useful is their interactive nature. Students are getting new perspectives from their peers that they don’t get in the classroom.
Blogging technology in education would be extremely useful for collaboration and knowledge management. Categorising and managing thoughts, whether they are from a teacher’s notes, a student's own ideas or comments from others. Encouraging students to review and revise their learning
Blogs as e-learning spaces could be used in classrooms as student communication, learning content delivery, student mentoring, young people connecting with pen pals. They could be used for educational games, or for cultural information about all countries of the world
Student blogs could be used as online learning journals as part of the education process integrating the personal aspect of a traditional learning journal with the immediate publishing capability of the web. There is an endless range of potential applications of blogging technology in education.