Thursday, August 20, 2009


Starting out with this course I felt like a digital immigrant (Pensky, 2001) as I had to adapt to the digital world and learn all these new technologies I had never even heard of before. This experience has taught me to remain calm when technologies don’t work and to research topics a little further to understand how they work.

Currently in the school where I am completing my prac, (I am sure it is a similar situation in other schools) there is only one 60minute session each week where students have access to computers. With all these great ideas I have of how to incorporate these technologies into their learning and the curriculum, it is difficult to find time for these to be taught and the students to learn, explore and play with the technologies. This is where I will have to be flexible and perhaps set tasks for the students to complete outside of the classroom and post reflections to their blogs.

I have learnt about Kearsley & Shneiderman’s (1999) Engagement Theory and how it can be applied to my pedagogy. I have found useful ways of how it can be related to the type of technology and how to apply the basic principles of Relate, Create and Donate. Kearsley & Shneiderman (1999) said that
“Engagement Theory is that students must be meaningfully engaged in learning activities through interaction with others and worthwhile tasks”
This can be done with the use of technologies.

The technologies I would like to explore further and use in my teaching to enhance students learning include:
1. Flickr
as it can be used by all different year levels across a variety of different curriculum areas. This is a great online sharing tool where students can use the photos in their work and no copyright laws will be concerned, as Flickr is covered by the Creative Commons Licence.
2. Picnic
is a photo editing tool which changes the effect of the photo. When I was exploring this tool the opportunities were endless with what you can change and I found it very engaging.
3. Classmaker quizzes
can be used for reflection at the end of the task, finding out what the students already know about the topic and checking their progress through the topic.
4. Google earth can
encourage collaborative learning, as students can explore a variety of different tools linked to the site and share their findings. It can be used as an engagement tool, following students on holiday or even to just find more information about a country.
5. Webquests links with the Learning Pyramid (ACU, 2000) as students will be putting what they are learning into practice and this has a 75% retention rate. Extension activities can also be designed for those students who are fast finishers.
6. When i was exploring YouTube
and TeacherTube I discovered a tip to help out in the classroom. If comments posted about the clip are inappropriate, save the clip to a USB and show the students that way. This will minimise the risk of inappropriate things being shown to the students.
7. Music on the web
can be used as an engagement tool or simply in the background to calm the students down during their work.
8. Voice thread
caters for all learning styles for the 21st century learner.
9. Blogs
can be used for students to develop higher order thinking, as they will be commenting and reflecting on topics requested by the teacher.
These technologies will make the teaching more effective for all learners in the class.

Throughout this blog I have collaborated with my peers face to face, through the discussion forums and comments and replies left on our blogs. An example of this is with Charissa
( I have found this experience successful, as I have been able to post comments, share my thoughts about her blog, help with questions she has asked about the technologies and basically collaborate about the blog. I feel this is a successful way for students to learn, as they can learn from each other and share ideas.

Thank you to everyone for following my blog and sharing this experience with me. I have enjoyed reading your comments and reading your ideas on the different technologies.

- Natalie

This photo was taken by Adritzz's photostream on Flickr

Reference List
ACU. (2000). Why Choose Active Learning? Retrieved August 13, 2009, from

Kearsley, G., & Shneiderman, B. (1999). Engagement Theory: A Framework for Technology-Based Teaching and Learning. Retrieved August 19, 2009, from

Pensky. (2001). Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants. Retrieved August 19, 2009, from,%20Digital%20Immigrants%20-%20Part1.pdf

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Digital Storytelling

I was unaware what a digital storytelling was, until I completed research from Primary Access (2006). Now I know more about digital storytelling and how to incorporate it into the classroom. I think this is a useful technology which can be used in the classrooms by the 21st century learners as a great literacy resource. It will engage the learners in the topic as they will be using technology which they will probably know more about it then the learning manager will.

Storytelling is used in many different cultures around the world and has been used for many centuries. An example of storytelling is in the Aboriginal Culture of dreamtime stories. Aboriginals use dreamtime stories to tell a story of how the spirits emerged and what happened before the living memory (Crystalinks, n.d.). The traditional way storytelling is used in classes with the teacher reading the book and the students sitting on the carpet listening is still used in many classrooms, including my own prac class. Although if digital storytelling was to be incorporated into the lessons, it would be a great way to engage students in the lesson, as they can relate to the technology on different levels.

Digital storytelling can be incorporated into a variety of different units as it allows the students to create a story using online sources. When using digital storytelling the copyright legislation needs to be made aware of, as most authors do not approve of their work being using without their permission (Australian Copyright Council, 2009). This is where the student’s creativity can be used to write and create a new story. Unfortunately I was unable to implement digital storytelling due to lack of class time.

When these digital stories are being completed, it is important that the safety of the child is the first priority (Australian Government, 2009). By students creating their own story using digital storytelling they will be displaying Kearsley & Shneiderman’s (1999) second principle of create. Students will be engaged and involved in creating a digital story with a sense of control, as they can create the story how they wish.

When students are creating their digital story they can develop their literacy skills. These include;
Writing skills: creating a story, proofreading, using imagination and using a variety of different words
Technical Skills: taking pictures using a digital or video camera, uploading these photos using the appropriate device and search Flickr for appropriate pictures
Speaking skills: use projection when talking, speak clear and read out story they have written

- Natalie

Reference List
Australian Copyright Council. (2009). Australian Copyright Council's Online Information Centre. Retrieved August 20, 2009, from

Australian Government. (2009). Protecting Australian Families Online. Retrieved August 20, 2009, from

Crystalinks. (n.d.). Australian Dreamtime. Retrieved August 20, 2009, from

Primary Access. (2006). Digital Storyteller. Retrieved August 20, 2009, from

Kearsley, G., & Shneiderman, B. (1999). Engagement Theory: A framework for technology-based teaching and learning. Retrieved August 19, 2009, from

WIKIs in the classroom

This unit of work is created for a year 2 class. This is a SOSE Patchwork of Memories unit and requires the students to understand what memories are, how things have changed from the past and predict what will happen in the future.

I would set up a WIKI site for the students in my class to access and use throughout the unit. Students will be using the WIKI to post their reflections about each activity and comment how they are working in their groups.

Year Level: Grade 2
Unit: Patchwork of Memories
KLA's: SOSE- Time, Continuity and Change: Changes and continuities are identifies through events, peoples contributions and the stories of local communities.

Activity 1: What is a memory?
Students will be researching using a variety of different sources to answer the question, what is a memory?

Activity 2: What are your past experiences?
In small groups students will be sharing their past experiences and relating them to feelings and our memories. Each student in the group will think of one experience to post on the WIKI by finishing the sentence; I remember when.... It made me feel....

Activity 3: What is this feeling?
This whole class activity involves the students acting out scenarios relating to feelings. The other students are to guess what experience/memory is being displayed and the emotion which accompanies it. Students will use the WIKI to answer questions about how they felt during the activity and post any new memories they can think of to display a different emotion.

Activity 4: Photo journal
This is an individual activity where students have to use their personal photos and photos from Flickr to display at least 7 different emotions. Students will be doing this on a poster and will upload a picture along with a caption to the class WIKI site. Students are to comment on each others photos and memories.

Activity 5: How things have changes over time
Students will be reflecting on how they think things have changed over time. These reflections will be posted to the classes WIKI.

Activity 6: Patchwork of Memories
With the help from their grandparent or parent, students will be creating a patchwork of memories quilt which will display these memories using certain objects. A photo of this quilt will be uploaded to the WIKI site and students will need to reflect on this experience and share any positive and negative thoughts about it.

As students are completing this task they will be displaying Oliver’s 1999 Learning Design Framework Learning Theory (AUSInfo, 2003). This is because they will be using learning resources, learning support and completing learning tasks in groups, whole class and individually, across a variety of different activities.

Please comment me of how you feel about the unit and any other comments you may have.

- Natalie

Reference List
AUSInfo. (2003). The learning design construct. Retrieved August 20, 2009, from

Animations and Simulations

I have just been dissecting a frog without getting my hands dirty or even touching a frog. I have been doing this by using animations and simulations. By using this web based tool students will be demonstrating Kearsley & Shneiderman’s (1999) second principle, create. When students are using the tool they will be learning through creativity to use their knowledge learnt as it applies to the context.

Animations and simulations are resources which can be used by schools if they have lack of resources, internet access or expenses. An animation and simulation can be created with any unit across the curriculum and allows the students to learn through technology, creativity and exploration. I think the traditional learning techniques of text books and chalk and talk are slowly disappearing, as technology is being used more in the classrooms.

A simulation activity I was looking at was Frogus,
I think it is amazing. I have ever seen anything like this before and would have preferred to do this in year 8 science class, then the real thing! This simulation is like a science lesson on the computer. This example would be a great way for the students to learn about the body parts of animals, dissection and toads/frogs. I think that this activity could be modified and my year 2 students could participate in it. The picture moves around when it is clicked and it is an interactive activity the students will be able to learn from. If students in the class have religious beliefs they can participate in a different simulation activity and will not feel left out as everyone will be using a computer, they will just be completing different activities.

- Natalie

Reference List
Froguts. (2009). Demos. Retrieved August 19, 2009, from

Kearsley, G., & Shneiderman, B. (1999). Engagement Theory: A framework for technology-based teaching and learning. Retrieved August 19, 2009, from

Students learning with and creating videos in the classroom

The only experience I have with making videos is through using my digital camera. I work at an afterschool care centre and the children love to make movies using the digital camera and then uploading them to watch them on the computer. I would love to show you some of the creative ideas they have displayed in the videos but due to privacy I am unable to do so. By observing these students it gave me an idea where I could incorporate videos and Movie Maker into the classroom.

By allowing the students to create a video they will be using Kearsley & Shneiderman’s (1999) second principle ‘create’. This will be an activity the student will be engaged in and can find creative ways to film what is required from them. This makes the learning creative and interactive for the students and can help them to understand the information.

Another way to engage students in the lesson is to use tools such as YouTube or TeacherTube. They are great video resources which can be used in the classroom. Kearsley & Shneiderman’s (1999) state in their engagement theory that
‘Technology can facilitate engagement in ways which are difficult to achieve otherwise’.

I believe this theory, as the students we are teaching are the 21st century learners and digital natives (Pensky,2001), we need to relate the learning into a way they will understand and be engaged.

By hooking the students in with a video they can learn the information through a technology they are familiar with and will engage with. If a video is viewed in the classroom it needs to be referred back to in later lessons and activities for students to make the link to where the video connects with the unit or topic.

If the school is unable to access
YouTube or TeacherTube they can always make their own video or movie using video or digital cameras.

- Natalie

Reference List

Kearsley, G., & Shneiderman, B. (1999). Engagement Theory: A framework for technology-based teaching and learning. Retrieved August 19, 2009, from

Pensky. (2001). Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants. Retrieved August 19, 2009, from,%20Digital%20Immigrants%20-%20Part1.pdf

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Flickr in the classroom

This is another technology I am not able to implement in the classroom due to lack of class time. Here are my ideas about Flickr in the classroom and how I would use it.

The year 2 students in my class have been completing their photo journals to finish of their Patchwork of Memories unit. Flickr would have been an affective tool to use with these photo journals. Students learnt about different emotions and how they can be related to their memories. The photos were displayed on a poster and a sentence was written to accompany each photo. An example sentence is; this is a happy memory of me spending time with my family in Thailand.

According to the Learning Pyramid produced by ACU (2000) when students practice what they are learning, by doing it, they will have a retention rate of 75%. This is another reason why Flickr should be used in the classroom.

When using Flickr in the classroom for the unit students will:
Step 1: Create a Flickr Account
Step 2: Upload their personal photos for each emotion they have faced. This will save parents printing out photos and cater to the Digital learners in the class
Step 3: Search for photos on the Flickr website which display emotions they do not have photos of
Step 4: Create a PowerPoint presentation where these photos are displayed
Step 5: Write a short explanation about what is happening in the photo, the emotion expresses and what the memory is

The photo on the right is showing a photo journal I created to show the students what is expected from them.

If this were to be implemented in the classroom I would assist the students throughout the process of setting up an account, uploading images and searching for images. As students are at different literacy levels in the class, some will be unable to read the information if this was done alone. I would also observe students to make sure no inappropriate images pop up and they are following the correct process.

By having students learning through technology is will aid them in future learning and engage the students in the learning process. By engaging the students and having hands on activities according to Dale’s Cone (ACU, 2000) it will be more effective than traditional teaching practices like verbal symbols.

This can also be an activity the students reflect on in their blogs!

- Natalie

Reference List

ACU. (2000). Why choose active learning? Retrieved August 13, 2009, from

Using blogs in the classroom

This is a great reflective tool which the students can take part in. I would love to design a unit of work and get the students to post reflective comments about the activities they have completed. However currently in my class there is not enough time to add this into the current unit of work, as any free time is taken by rehearsing for showcase performances.

The next unit the students will be learning about would fit in perfectly with blogging. The unit starts at the beginning of term 4 when I am completing my 2 week block. This will give enough time for blogging to be taught to the students and how to write a reflective post. This blog involves the students writing about their experiences with each activity, positive and negative comments and if they struggled with any areas.

An example activity designed from the unit of work involves students’ blogging about what they found when exploring their home environment. They are to create a table and categorise the objects into; plastic, wood, glass, metal, cloth and paper. Students will then write why they think that object is made out of that material.

Blogs not only have to be used for units of work. A blog can be incorporated into the LMS (if one is used by the class) to inform students of their homework, any extra tasks and recap of what has been taught during the day.

- Natalie

Monday, August 17, 2009

PowerPoint Quiz

When I first heard about PowerPoint Quizzes I was unsure about what they were. I did not know that you could have hyperlinks embedded into your presentation or turn your presentation into a quiz. After reading all about how to make a PowerPoint Quiz on the Internet4Classroom website (2000) I am now aware how to add these hyperlinks and modify where the mouse clicks were valid.

I have created a PowerPoint Quiz which has the same questions as the Classmaker quiz I designed earlier in my blog (refer to Classmaker Quiz blog). When students are completing this quiz they will be using their prior knowledge learnt during the lessons and using this knowledge in practice. In the PowerPoint I included bright colours and pictures to cater to learners in my class and make it engaging and inviting and not look like a ‘scary’ quiz they have to complete. Prensky (2005) discusses that if students are not engaged in the lesson, then instead of learning the information they will be frustrated and disruptive.

If I were to use online quizzes in the classroom, from my experience with this technology I would prefer to use Classmaker. This is because I find it easier to use, and the results can be tallied based upon the answers. Although by using PowerPoint it makes the quiz look more inviting, I am confused about how the learning manager will know which answers the students got right and wrong. If anyone knows the answer can they please let me know, it would be much appreciated.

This is a copy of my PowerPoint Quiz which I uploaded to MediaFire. Please have a look and share your thoughts. The images I included in this PowerPoint Quiz were found on the Flickr online photo sharing website.

- Natalie

Reference List
Brooks, S., & Byles, B. (2000). Using PowerPoint: Using buttons on a slide show. Retrieved August 18, 2009, from

Prensky, M. (2005). Engage me of Enrage Me. What today’s learners demand. Retrieved August 18, 2009, from

Yahoo 7.(2009). Flickr. Retrieved August 9, 2009, from

Learning Management Systems (LMS)

During my studies at CQU we have been using Blackboard, which is a traditional Learning Management System (LMS). It has been my first experience using a LMS and I have not had anything to compare it to. That is until now. This term we have been using Moodle instead of Blackboard. In my experience I find that Moodle is a more interactive LMS where tools can be added to engage the learners and assist them through the learning journey. Moodle also has the same content as Blackboard which includes; online tests, discussion boards, announcements, resources, readings and assignment help.

LMS are being used in schools and are called virtual classrooms. A great resource where a LMS can be set up for your class is through the Learning Place website
. LMS’s are private and can only be assessed by people who have the password and used name.

LMS can support learning as student can access their virtual classroom at home and post a question using the discussion board. Their peers or teacher can then respond to the question and give a response quicker than waiting the following day to ask it at school.

- Natalie

Blogs and Aggregators

I have been using a blog for the past 2 months now and I have learnt a lot about how this technology can be used both inside and outside of the classroom. If you are unaware what a blog is, you are reading one right now! A blog is an online journal where people can share their thoughts, ideas, experiences and write about any topic of interest (WordNet, 2009).

As we are now in the 21st Century and technology is all around us, we need to incorporate it into our daily teaching practices. These are some ideas where Blogs and Aggregators can be used:
-Students can keep a Blog when they are on their holiday. Students in the class can read all about what they are doing on their holiday and get to share the experience
-Record Keeper, where students can share their ideas on a particular topic. The mentor teacher can post a blog about a topic they are learning in class with assign tasks for the students to complete. The students can post comments about the topic and how they found completing the tasks
- Sharing ideas with other learning managers both nationally and internationally. This is where teaching strategies, lesson ideas and reflections can be shared. This is the Community of practice theory being displayed. The learning managers will be sharing information and problems which have occurred during the process (Wenger, 2004).
To help follow these Blogs the use of an Aggregator will notify you when a new post has been published. Google Reader is a great tool which can be used as an Aggregator.

These are some example I found were blogs can be used in the classroom:
- Setting tasks for students:
- Blogging about your holiday overseas to share with the students:

- Natalie

Reference List
Wenger, E. (2004). Communities of practice: a brief introduction. Retrieved August 18, 2009, from

WordNet. (2009). WordNet Search. Retrieved August 18, 2009, from


After I uploaded my images and recorded an audio comment, the first words that came out of my mouth were WOW. This is such a great and easy to use tool which can be used for numerous activities in the classroom. In my previous blog about PowerPoint’s I commented that a PowerPoint was created for Mothers Day. This would be a great tool which can be used with the same idea. The students can record their comments about their mother to accompany their photo. This can also be used by students to show creative thinking (Johnson & Lamb, 2007). Students can create a new VoiceThread and show their peers their skills in different areas. VoiceThread is an interactive and easy to follow technology which is safe for students to use.
The advantages of VoiceThread as an educational tool are that, students can be commenting on the pictures on the VoiceThread in a variety of different ways. Also the tools can cater for all learners; Video doodling and images for the Visual learners, Audio comments for the Auditory learners and hands on and interactive learning for the Kinaesthetic learners which will allowing them to try the technology themselves (VoiceThread, 2007). This supports the theory of Connectivism (Siemens, 2005) as learning take places in a variety of ways. By using VoiceThread the Learning Manager can link activities together for continual learning practices where students will use them in the future (Siemens, 2005).

This is a quick VoiceThread I created, although I have not added any audio to the presentation. This is because when it is to be used in the classroom, I would allow the students to make Audio and Visual comments about each photo. The images uploaded to the VoiceTread include photos of where water can be found. The students will be commenting on what they think the water is used for, who uses the water and where it can be found.

I hope you all enjoy this technology as much as I have!

- Natalie

Reference List
Johnson, L,. & Lamb, A. (2007). Critical and Creative Thinking - Bloom's Taxonomy. Retrieved August 18, 2009, from

Siemens, G. (2005). Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age. Retrieved August 18, 2009, from

VoiceThread. (2007). About VoiceThread. Retrieved August 18, 2009, from

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Music on the web

Just recently I learnt that music had to be purchased to be used in schools due to the copyright laws. But then it made me realise that at schools instead of using existing plays and music the students and teachers are writing their own to use in performances.

Incompetech is a great music tool which has Royalty Free Music which can be used to download. Downloading is against all copyright laws, although when using Incompetech you will be covered by the Creative Commons Agreement. The Creative Commons Agreement allows music downloaded from Incompetech to be used by everyone (Incompetech, 2009).

Incompetech offers a variety of different styles of music to be downloaded and can be incorporated into the classroom. A type of music can resemble an emotion the students should be feeling at that time. For example, Classical and Contemporary music can resemble calm, soft, soothing and relaxing emotions, where as horror music is scary and edgy music (Incompetech, 2009). The type of music listened to in the classroom can have an impact upon the classroom environment and the students in that environment.

When I was searching for music to download on Incompetech, I found this beautiful song called Atlantean Twilight by Kevin MacLeod. It is a contemporary song and made me feel relaxed and care free. After I downloaded this song I was listening to it and it made me realise how the music made me feel and the impact it had on me. I then thought about how it could be used in the classroom. This type of music I chose can be used in the classroom as background music for silent reading, creating a calm environment when students walk into the room, background music throughout the day and can accompany PowerPoint presentations.

All of these are ideas I would use in my teaching practices, as Christina Laun (2008) said that music can help the brain to work and help to remember certain things. Therefore, I feel that music is a great tool to be used in the classroom, as it can assist with the learning outcomes to be achieved. By using this Royalty Free Music it is not breaching any copyright laws and can be used by Mentor teachers in the classroom.

- Natalie

Reference List
Christina Laun. (2008). 50 Fun Ways to Maximize Your Brain Fitness. Retrieved August 17, 2009, from

Incompetech. (2009). Frequently asked Questions. Retrieved August 17, 2009, from

SlideShare with Audio File

As you can see from the previous blog, the PowerPoint presentation was not very engaging for the students .This was because I removed the caption on each slide to accompany the photo. I have now turned the caption into an audio file and the full presentation can be seen below.

When adding the narration audio file to my presentation it was a difficult process to follow and understand. Although as the hours passed and learning from my mistakes made I finally added the MP3 file to my presentation. I think this is one of the more difficult technologies to understand, as many files have to be transferred over to be added to the SlideShare presentation.

This can be used in the classroom for students who are doing presentations. If students are scared to talk in front of their peers, they can start off by putting their voice on the presentation. This can be done until the student has the self confidence to do so. I believe students should not be forced to do things they don’t want to do. This can have an impact upon their attitudes and perceptions (Marzano & Pickering, 1997) towards the topic and in future situations.

Here is the finished product! Please post any comments with feedback about what you think about my SlideShare presentation

Thank you

- Natalie

Reference List

Marzano, R., & Pickering, D., Arredondo, D., Blackburn, G., Brandt, R., Moffett, C., et al. (1997). Dimensions of Learning Teacher’s Manual. Colorado, USA: Hawker Brownlow Education.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


SlideShare is a free program which allows you to upload slideshow presentations (PowerPoint) for users to view publicly. When you create your free account you can see the presentations SlideShare users have uploaded (SlideShare, 2009).

I have uploaded a PowerPoint I used in the classroom last term. It was created with the help from the students to recap the activity and show photos of their water walk. We took photos during the water walk of where we located water in the school. To support learning, the students then got the opportunity to type a sentence to go along with the picture (can be seen in next blog). If students were not sure about what to type I applied Blooms Taxonomy (1999) of higher order thinking and asked the students questions. This made them aware of what they could write and supported them with the process.

This is what we created

In my next blog I am going to attempt to add an audio file to the PowerPoint of the students’ comments about each photo.

- Natalie

Reference List
Bloom, T. (1999). Bloom’s Taxonomy of Learning Domains. Retrieved August 14, 2009, from

SlideShare. (2009). Quick tour of SlideShare. Retrieved August 14, 2009, from

File Storage using MediaFire

Last week I completed recommended updates on my laptop. The updates were completed and my computer turned off. But then when I turned my computer back on a few hours later it said the updates failed and my laptop could not start up correctly. By this stage I was getting very worried as I had not backed up my files to a storage tool like Google Documents, Mahara or MediaFire. When my laptop was getting fixed they said they couldn’t fix it but could retrieve my documents and they saved them to a mobile external disk. This has taught me a valuable lesson to BACK UP YOUR FILES!

I have now created my free account using MediaFire and found it very easy to understand and set up. It is a great tool for keeping your files safe in the same place. This includes your files and photos being in the same file storage account.

This is a document I uploaded to share publicly. It is a template I modified to use when observing my mentor teacher in a lesson. I have been using it throughout the term and find it easy to follow and understand.

I’m sure many of us have had similar circumstances happen where we have come close to losing all our hard work by a simple mistake or technical error. This technology can be used in these circumstances to:
- Share resources with colleagues, students and the school community
- Extra back up for all documents
- Complete work from a different computer
- Keeps files safe and secure
- Sharing files amongst peers for group work
- Organises files into sub folders for images and documents
(MediaFire, 2009)

- Natalie

Reference List

MediaFire. (2009). What is MediaFire? Retrieved August 15, 2009, from

Thursday, August 13, 2009


I remember using encyclopaedias for many of my primary school projects. There was an encyclopaedia for each letter of the alphabet and it would take so long to find the information I was looking for. But today we have computers and can use WIKIPedia to find the information. WIKIPedia is a free online encyclopaedia which is available and can be edited by anyone who has internet access (Wikipedia, 2009).

As I did not have the internet when I was completing my primary schooling and most of these students will, it can help them in research they carry out. When students are researching a topic using a computer, they can compare WIKIPedia articles to other articles gathered from different search engines. By doing this they will be seeing how the information may be different, as different people have different opinions. Students can then work in groups and share what they have gathered on a certain topic. Students will also be able to look at the history icon to see how quickly the information can change and be updated.

As anyone can edit these WIKIPedia articles it needs to be made sure that the articles the students are searching for will be safe and appropriate for them to read and use in their work. When learning managers are using WIKIPedia, the class can start a new article based on a topic they are studying in the classroom. As students find research they can edit the information on the article inside and outside of the classroom. I used WIKIPedia and searched around for information on 1960 school days. The students have an interest in what school was like in the past and I have been trying to find information to assist to their learning needs. When searching I found the results to be very broad and some irrelevant to what I was searching. I modified what I was searching for and found a useful site to show the students.

- Natalie

Reference List
Wikipedia. (2009). Wikipedia about. Retrieved August 14, 2009, from

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

YouTube and TeacherTube

I have been using YouTube for many years now for research on a range of different topics. Now I have another resource to add which is TeacherTube. TeacherTube is linked with YouTube, however is a tool which can be used to download videos and is used for educational purposes.

When using TeacherTube it is a safe venue, where the videos are instructional and safe to use in the classroom. On TeacherTube the clip can be downloaded straight away by clicking the blue Download this video button (TeacherTube, 2009).

I have chosen this video as the students are currently rehearsing for their Showcase Performance at the end of the term. All the year 2 students have been learning about Patchwork of Memories and this will be their focus for their performance. The year 2 class I am currently in are doing Michael Jackson’s Thriller to resemble the rock era. To help students learn how to dance and act like Zombies I have found this Michael Jackson film clip to show the students. One of the boys in the class will be Michael Jackson and this clip will help him to learn how to move and dance. Only parts of the clip were shown to the students, it started at 5:25 and finished at 6:28 on the clip. I did not want to show the students the entire clip because it might scare them as they are only in year 2 and I only wanted to show them the dance and zombies moves.

I found it difficult to find a YouTube clip which allowed you to embed the clip. Finally I found one which allowed me to do so. I hope you enjoy watching the clip!

- Natalie

Reference List
TeacherTube. (2009). Teach the world. Retrieved August 12, 2009, from

YouTube. (2009). YouTube Broadcast yourself. Retrieved August 12, 2009, from


Wow…..that was a lot of information to process. Although most of it was refreshing my memory, as this is one technology where I actually knew what it was before I read all about it! I have had some experience with WebQuests for our SOSE course in my first year, as we had to design a WebQuest for a year level to complete. I found this very exciting to use as you could use a variety of tools, to engage the students in the task and give them roles to play along with.

WebQuests can be shared amongst school, as the WebQuest includes all the information which the students need for it to be completed. One of the issues which can occur when using WebQuests in the classroom is lack of resources. Most schools have an allocated time in the computer room each week, however 1 hour a week is not enough for students to complete a large WebQuest. This is when it would be beneficial for students to work in small groups through the WebQuest. Each student can complete a different part of the WebQuest and when students do not have access to computers they can be teaching and completing the tasks with the other members of the group.

As I have talked about in my other Blogs we are teaching the 21st century learners who are media savvy and digital natives (Pesce, 2008). For teachers using WebQuests they need to be Futures Orientated (Knight & Rowan, 2001) and teach the information in a way the students are familiar with and can relate to. WebQuests are a great tool for this as they can be done online and students can be creative in the tasks they complete. When creating a WebQuest the linking websites needs to be safe for the students to access and the information be relevant to what the WebQuest is about. Students will being applying their knowledge learnt to solve the problem the WebQuest intends.

When we were creating our WebQuest for SOSE, I was unsure how to publish it on the internet. I have leant how to publish WebQuests and this information has been every helpful, easy to follow and understand.

- Natalie

Reference List

Knight, A., & Rowan, L. (2001). Researching Futures Oriented Pedagogies. Retrieved August 12, 2009, from

Pesce, M. (2008). Those Wacky Kids. Retrieved August 12, 2009, from

Google Earth

Well, I have just been on a trip around the world! You are probably wondering how I travelled the world so quickly. Well the truth is I didn’t leave the country or even my computer to do this. It was through using Google Earth. Google Earth a tool which can be downloaded to your computer and allows you to search different countries around the world via satellite images and maps.

Google Earth can be used for educational purposes in our classroom. These may include:
  • - Locating major cities: It will allow students to learn where they are located in that country and where the country is in the world
  • - Learning about Satellites and how they are used
  • - Travel through the ocean with Google Earth Ocean Floor. It includes quizzes about the ocean animals and images of animals located in that area of the ocean
  • - The Layers on Google Earth shows students geographical points including buildings and roads
  • - Learn about the stars, planets, solar systems and galaxy using Google Sky
  • - Maps can be printed out from Google Earth and used for Geography as a mapping tool
  • - Distance between Australia and other countries around the world. It can also show how far different states are away from where the students live. This is what I used in my class early in the term, as one of the students has gone to live is Scotland for a year. The students were unaware where Scotland was, so I showed them using Google Earth. I found this tool to be more effective then using a 2 Dimensional map.

When using Google Earth the activities can be altered according to the year level and ability of the students.

By allowing the students to use this tool hands on they will be actively involved in the learning taking place and this refers back to Dale’s Cone (ACU, 2000). If Learning Managers create these ‘Direct purposeful experiences’ (ACU, 2000) for our students they will be more beneficial and effective. This is where Google Earth can come into the classroom.

Well I must be off now. I am about to become an astronaut and explore the galaxy!

- Natalie

Reference List
ACU. (2000). Why choose active learning? Retrieved August 13, 2009, from

Google. (2009). Google Earth. Retrieved August 13, 2009, from

Podcasting.....iPod broadcasting

The students today in our classrooms are all 21st century learners. A majority of these learners are media savvy and digital natives (Pesce, 2008). Podcasting is a resource, which can be used to help these learners. Podcasting gives everyone a voice to share their ideas. It can be used by students as they will be able to share their thoughts and opinions across a variety of different subject areas.

Podcasting is a great tool for virtual classrooms. Instructions can be repeated using podcasts and the students can download them to listen to at home. By recording Podcasts in the classroom it will include students who are absent for the day and also give students a chance to reflect on the lesson for the day. It can help students out with their homework or assignments, if they were distracted when something was being explained at school. The students can download the Podcast and listen to it in a place they can concentrate and take the information in.

I had no idea what a Podcast was and now have a bit of an understanding. I have had iTunes on my computer for about 4 years now and have only ever used it for music. I was unaware it could be used for Podcasting. After researching for educational Podcasts on iTunes, I have found, subscribed and viewed a few Podcasts which I have found interesting and would like to share with my students. They include; Early Years Learning Environment by Anthony Barnett (2009) and Teachers Teaching Teachers by Paul Allison and Susan Ettenheim (2009).

The Early Years Learning Environment (Barnett, 2009) Podcast discusses how a behaviour displayed by the students can be seen in many different ways. Close observation of this, can come up with many possible answers as to the reason behind the behaviour. It will show students that things can be seen in many different ways and that sometimes we need to look at the picture a little closer to understand what is going on.

Teachers Teaching Teachers (Allison & Ettenheim, 2009) is a Podcast I found very interesting. This podcast is a discussion of how traditional teachers from all different curriculum areas across the United States, are coping using technology in their classroom. They share their opinions about how they have found using technology and the positive and negative experiences they have had when using it. It shows that we are lifelong learners (Queensland Studies Authority, 2006) and sometimes the teachers need to be the students to learn this new information.

- Natalie

Reference List

Allison, P. & Ettenheim, S. (2009). Teachers Teaching Teachers. Retrieved August 12, 2009, from

Barnett, A. (2009). The Early Years Learning Environment. Retrieved August 12, 2009, from

Pesce, M. (2008). Those Wacky Kids. Retrieved August 12,2009, from
Queensland Studies Authority. (2006). Attributes of a lifelong learner. Retrieved August 12, 2009, from

Monday, August 10, 2009

ClassMaker online Quizzes

I have been exploring ClassMaker which is an online quiz service. I think it is a useful resource as a different quiz can be created for each different area covered in the classroom. It will save time for the Learning Manager as the quizzes or tests will not need to be printed out, they are automatically marked and results tallied and recorded (ClassMaker, 2009). With the beauty of technology and ClassMaker this is already done for you and the teacher can see directly which students have had trouble with what question and the topic areas. ClassMaker will give the students opportunities to practice doing quizzes to improve their skills and make the students understand how quizzes work and their purpose.

As I am currently in a year 2 class, I like how the questions can include images to help students out who learn visually. This would be great for students as they can see the questions in a different light and can help to clarify the question. John Dewey’s theory of children “learning through doing” supports the use of these quizzes, as students will be using their knowledge learnt in a different context and can lead to open ended activities used in the classroom.

As this is my first time using ClassMaker online quiz I have decided to use a pre existing maths quiz which is currently used as a hard copy test. I have only chosen a few questions to include, altered the questions and turned the quiz into multiple choice questions. This Quiz I created is for year 2 students for their mid semester reports. It will be completed at the end of semester 1 and will reflect their knowledge of information learnt during the term. This quiz will also have another hands on section which can not be completed online. When using this test in my class, some of the student’s will need extra assistance, as they have trouble reading the questions and answers. So these students would not get an advantage over other students, the teacher will observe the student completing the test and read out the questions to all students. Please have a look and even try it out
to see if you are smarter than a 2nd grader!
Username: unistudents16
Password: Noosahub
Follow the links to complete the test

For my next quiz I have decided to create a quiz to check students learning during their current unit of work Material world.


Reference List
ClassMarker. (2009). How to use. Retrieved August 10, 2009, from

Dewey, J. (2008). John Dewey’s theory. Retrieved August 10, 2009, from

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Picnik photo editing

This website is called Picnik where you can change the style of your picture. As you can see from the picture (on the left) I changed the effect to make it look old, changed it into a Polaroid and mixed the colours together to give it a smooth soft effect.

I think this would be a useful resource in the classroom as students can change an image and learn about the different effects that images can have. Reggio Emilia's Theory of using graphic art as tools can be seen in this website, as students will be exploring the different effects and creating a different picture (Brainy Child, 2009).

I found this website easy to use as the steps were simple to follow. This website is free to use, although extra effects and pictures are at cost. As you can not save the pictures to the website you will need to save it to your computer or upload it to your Flickr account.
You can save the picture to your computer by:
1. Press Prt Sc (Print Screen) which copies the page you have on your screen
2. Open a paint document and press Ctrl V(Control) or Right Click and then paste
3. The page will then be in the paint document and you can crop the picture how you like
4. Then save the document

- Natalie

Reference List
Brainy Child. (2009). Reggio Emilia Approach. Retrieved August 7, 2009, from

Picnik. (2009). Photo editing made fun. Retrieved August 7, 2009, from

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Flickr online photo sharing

I had never heard of Flickr before so this was a new opportunity for me. I have had previous experiences with Photobucket which is a similar online photo sharing and storing tool. This made it easy to set up my free account and upload photos. Flickr is great for uploading your photos to share with friends and family members who live locally and internationally. This website is free and when using the photos you don’t have to worry about copyright as you are covered by the Creative Commons Licence.

I was looking through the photos and found this amazing photo taken by Muha.
I also had a look at the other photos they have uploaded to share and was left speechless. They are beautiful and different effects have been added to each photo.

When Flickr is used in the classroom the setting needs to be set to private so the rest of the users of the website are not able to access photos uploaded by the class (For confidential and privacy reasons of the school and families). I would not allow students to search using Flickr without close supervision by a Learning Manager. This is because inappropriate pictures may come up even thought the website is used for educational purposes. If the Learning Manager is unable to watch students closely or due to lack of resources, I would create a list of possible choices for the students to use in their work. This reduces the risk of students searching and finding images not relating to the topic and students getting off task.

This is a great tool to use for Visual literacy, as moving and still images can be found on this site. It can hook the students in and link to Visual Arts using Flickrs linked website Picnik.
Picnik edits the photo and adds different effects to the photo. But I will tell you more about Picnik in my next blog.

The photos on this website are amazing and they are taken by people from all different countries around the world and they have uploaded them to share with the rest of the Flickr users.

- Natalie

Reference List
Creative Commons.(n.d.). About. Retrieved August 9, 2009, from

Muha.(2009). Untitled. Retrieved August 9, 2009, from

Photobucket.(2009). Image hosting. Retrieved August 9, 2009, from

Picnik.(2008). Photo editing made fun. Retrieved August 9, 2009, from

Yahoo 7.(2009). Flickr. Retrieved August 9, 2009, from


PowerPoint’s are an easy and organised way to display information to a certain audience. I have seen PowerPoint’s used for presentations at university, TAFE, school, group assignment presentations and in workshops. They have all been displayed in different ways and a variety of animation tools have been added along the way. When designing a PowerPoint extras can be added to each slide including animation tools, music, videos or pictures. When the PowerPoint is being designed these ‘little extras’ can be added to the PowerPoint to cater for all learners, to hook them back into the lesson and just make the presentation interesting rather than blocks of information on each slide for the students to read.

Using PowerPoint would be an effective tool to use in my classroom as I would use a variety of animations to make sure all learners are able to understand the information. Video clips can also be added into the presentation to show examples or explain it in further detail. PowerPoint’s cater for the learners with multiple intelligences (Gardner, 1983) and also the digital learners who are becoming more common in classrooms today.

I have not yet created a PowerPoint to be used in the classroom, however earlier in the year I assisted my Mentor Teacher in creating a PowerPoint for Mothers Day. It included taking photos of the children in the class and asking them what they loved about their mother. This was then compiled into a PowerPoint with the child’s photo and their comments about their mother on the same slide. Relaxing music was added to the PowerPoint to create an impact upon the Mothers. It was important that the music was not too loud or overpowering so conversation could still continue. The children also were included in the PowerPoint process and they got to choose which animation tool would start off their slide (Words and picture bouncing on screen or moving on slowly). This would be displayed on the Mothers Day afternoon in the classroom for the mothers to view.

This is one I created to show an example of what it looked like. The PowerPoint was very successful and from comments made by Mothers they said they felt very ‘valued’ and ‘special’.

During my research I found a very useful resource which I have added to my collection about tips to use when creating a PowerPoint, it is called PowerPoint Tips and Tricks. I suggest you go and have a look when creating your next PowerPoint Presentation.

I should also add that the PowerPoint music was created by the Senior School Concert band. All legal issues were covered!

- Natalie

Reference List
A Bit Better. (n.d.) PowerPoint Tips & Tricks. Retrieved August 8, 2009, from

Gardner, H. (1983). Multiple Intelligences. Retrieved August 8, 2009, from

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Voki Avatars

This voki was created at

Today I was talking with my Mentor teacher about strategies to use to engage the students into the lesson. I showed her the Voki website as I had been exploring it for this course. She was amazed by this website and found it to be a very useful and an effective tool. It would work great with younger children who are struggling to follow along with lessons and have trouble reading the information. I have decided to use Voki Avatars in my lesson next week to hook the students into their English lesson. Most students in the class have trouble with their grammar, punctuation, spelling and making their work make sense. Voki Avatars will help students with this, as their Voki will be reading out whatever is typed in.

Voki Avatars can be used in the classroom for students when they are presenting information to the class and it will give them confidence if they are too shy to talk in front of a large group of people. The delivery content of teaching in the classroom today can include more technology and tools as these resources are available to use (Aldred, 2007). These 21st century learners need to be challenged when they are in the classroom with new and exciting tools to engage them. This can be done through the use of these Voki Avatars and other useful and effective ICT’s (Waterhouse, 2005). As these resources are available we need to use them in our classroom.

- Natalie

Reference List
Aldred. (2007). Personal learning space model. Retrieved August 3, 2009, from

Voki. (2008). What is Voki. Retrieved August 3, 2009, from

Waterhouse. (2005). 21st Century Learners. Retrieved August 3, 2009, from

Monday, August 3, 2009


Setting up my E. Portfolio using Mahara was easier then I thought it would be. As our e.Portfolio are for our 2nd Task this gives me the opportunity to fiddle around with the site and see how everything works. I have learnt how to edit my profile and look at other students profiles, although have not yet uploaded any documents or put my resume on my profile.

I am a little confused at the moment. Does anyone know who can access our Mahara account? Because I don’t want to upload my resume with all my personal details and information onto it if everyone on the Mahara website can access it. I am also concerned, as after the tutorial last week with Jacqui and Linda , they informed us that we should not be putting personal information or certain photos on websites such as Facebook and Twitter. Is Mahara a safe website to use or can the Government access this site also?

It is a great idea to save certain files to your Portfolio just in case your computer crashes and these can be set to private so only you have access to them. Also with the Mahara blogs, these can also be private until you wish to post them and make them public (Mahara, 2006). These blogs could be used in the classroom as diaries for the students to use for certain tasks or each student can set up a blog with a different website and integrate the blogs into Mahara through RSS (Mahara, 2006). Mahara can be a tool used for communication between schools or teachers in the school to share resources.


Reference List
Mahara. (2006). About E-Portfolios. Retrieved August 3, 2009, from