Thursday, August 20, 2009

My Synopsis

Before beginning this assessment task I seriously had no idea that I was able to have free access and learn so much useful information about all 18 web based tools and so many more. As now I am becoming a digital native in this ever changing 21st century, I as a soon to be teacher really needs to stay one or two steps in front of students. I will always be open to continuous learning with new resources and internet web tools giving my students the opportunity to explore with me on my journey to being a real digital native. This will further educate the students in there journey to becoming life long learners.

A digital immigrant is a Teacher who grew up and has been teaching without using technology, they prefer the pen and paper style of marking. It would be very hard for digital immigrants of today to migrate over to become a digital native. A digital native are the children of today’s generation where they are into every source of technology available to them. Their brains are designed to learn this way whereas digital immigrants who know and comprehend the traditional era of teaching will need time to learn the new way of today’s every changing world.
It is quiet scary to think that our students who are suppose to be the learners actually have a better idea of technology and web based tools and resources then the digital immigrants who are teaching our new generation of children.
The digital natives Prensky describes “are surrounded by digital media to such an extent that their very brain structures may be different from those of previous generations.” (2003)

As a framework is vital to the survival and correct management of teaching and embedding useful technologies into the classroom these are what Kearsley & Shneiderman believes should be incorporated into the engagement theory of learning.

The first principle which is the “Relate" component expresses the importance of team efforts that involve communication, planning, management and social skills.

Create is the second component that makes learning a creative, purposeful activity. Students have to define the project problem domain and focus their efforts on application of ideas to a specific context. Conducting their own projects is much more interesting to students than answering boring textbook problems.

The last principle is the donate component that stresses the value of making a useful contribution while learning. Ideally each project has an outside "customer" that the project is being conducted for.

The reason for this engagement theory framework to be possible is students want to be engaged in their learning and they comprehend more when this is evident. It is imperative that when teaching children they actually have an understanding and know this lesson and material is worthwhile being taught. Technology is far more desirable to facilitate engagement in ways which are difficult to ascertain in other areas of key learning areas.
As stated by Kearsley & Shneiderman ”engagement theory is intended to be a conceptual framework for technology-based learning and teaching.” (1999)
When talking about engaged learning it is expressed that all student activities involve active cognitive processes such as creating, problem-solving, reasoning, decision-making and evaluation. As Kearsley & Shneiderman explain “students are intrinsically motivated to learn due to the meaningful nature of the learning environment and activities.” (1999)

All of this of course depends on the resources available in schools and depending on the socio economic areas. Lets face it the last two years of school placement made me realise that this technological way of teaching can and more than likely will be a lot of wasted time. In what school has the adequate amount of computers for each child, the correct internet setup if it does not disconnect half way through a lesson. Yes in some schools they are lucky enough to have a computer lab, however more than likely going to be fighting with the rest of the school to get a chance. Smart Boards are they way to go but again if each child does not have a computer than it is more time they have to spend at home on the computer. Lets face it then you are looking at changing the face of society to becoming lazy, requires glasses and possibly obese and socially inadequate instead society could have students who are bright, bubbly, fit and can work either way with or without programs and computers in front of them.

On a brighter note, throughout my e learning journey I have enjoyed the different web based tools I have had to blog about. Before I started this course I had no idea what a blog was or what to do with it. I think creating Wikis is a great way to cut back on my workload if other teachers are also contributing. Students will be engaged in this learning as it can be made so life like.

Avatars are a great tool to engage learners, as it brings another face and voice to the classroom. Classmarker is a great tool that I will always use in my classroom. I can make a test up, it marks the students and gives them the correct answers on the spot, while still recording the time it took them and their score. I can even go back into a year later from any computer and revisit that particular test.

Mediafire is another great tool and I have started using it all ready because I am so worried that my computer may crash and never regain memory. Using this tool not only gives me piece of mind but furthermore I am able to share with other teachers or even take something from them.

Google Earth will be a great ICT tool to use for a Geography subject or even SOSE as children are able to check real life places all around the world and even find out their coordinates and this can then be incorporated with maths.

You Tube is another great tool and there is also available Teacher tube so it is full of educational resources to hook the students in.

If you require any more information on the above topics please have a look at my many blogs

As this world is changing and growing more and more with changes to technology it is imperative that as Learning Managers we keep up to date with the web based resources available especially when they are free. Not only will they cut our workload down but will give us fresh ideas in this fast paced every changing world.


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

Vanslyke, T (2003)
Voicethread is the new way of talking to each other and then being able to draw and add things their are five choices example typing, microphone etc.

You can zoom in on photos and be able to move the mouse around which will then move around like a virtual tour of that photo.

This is going to be such a great tool to use, it is free and easy to use and understand. Teachers can use this facility and incorporate the teaching and learning of this into lessons so that both teacher and student can learn and experiment using the smart board so all can see. Voicethread can be used across all KLAs to possibly introduce a new way of learning for if the class is used to the traditional style of teaching. The new way of teaching using the framework by relating, creating and then donating a topic or unit of work for children to sort through.

VoiceThreads might best be described as interactive media albums. They are essentially online slide shows of images, documents, or videos that enable viewers to comment on any slide (or at any point in the video) by typing, recording an audio or video comment, or drawing on the image itself. Teachers have been early adopters of the easy-to-learn technology. (The George Lucas Educational Foundation, 2009)

The George Lucas Educational Foundation, 2009, retrieved 19th August 2009, from

Music is the best in Classrooms

In the popular film School of Rock, Jack Black, who is a substitute teacher in a fifth grade class, introduces music to the learning for his students as they really were not interested in having any fun and abide rules at all times. Jack was really upset to see this happening (little kids not having any joy in life) so he decided to bring his electric guitar in and sing a well know Led Zebblin song and showed the students how they could still learn through music.

In my classroom today my Teacher will not go a day without making sure music is put on during reading time with real classical slow music to wind children down. When it is drama time children will have fast pace rock and roll however need to be very careful of the lyrics.

I was blowen away in a lecturer a few weeks ago when we were discussing about plagarism and how easy it is to break copyright rules. By simply playing a burnt CD in a school could see you being charged for plagarism. Because I have not bought the rights to be allowed to play this to my students. This is why limewire and other programs were made illegal.

But why are CD and DVD burners still being installed in our hard drives?

My classroom will always have music on at special times of the day. Along my journey I have started collecting CD's from different countries like Ireland, Venice, Germany so when it is time for me to play them maybe even to help with my unit of work if we are talking of cultures or countries which would fit in perfectly.
Music sets the mood, it is a natural thing to listen to and so many talented people learn through listening and singing to lyrics.
Babies and Toddlers learn the differences between fast and slow moves with their body just by listening to the beat of the music. This also has a massive impact of the gross motor skills and thier co ordination which teaches them for a life time.

I have selected this piece of music that I liked when looking through Incompetech
consisting of and getting children to hear for the sounds of guitar, bass, kit, saxes and piano. This music is a 1950's era peppy rock piece with a nice brushed drum work. Piano solo is sort of bluesy. It is bouncy, bright and uplifting.

File Storage (to store files maybe)

Mediafire seems to be the file storage of the technological era. I am not sure of how secure this site actually is however it would be an incrediable answer for people that have computer dramas. Like when you are half way through an assignment and your computer just crashes, by uploading your assessment or any other piece of work to mediafire you are able to pick it up anywhere in the world through the internet. What a great back up plan for any dramas that you may encounter!!

Mediafire has been designed to store and share files and pictures, music and videos into either secure folders or to view with the public or selected users. What a great communication resource for working methodology. Teachers across the year level can share jobs to half the work load by each doing one or two of the units of work needed for the term of school.

This is a free downloadable resource that I will be using from now on to save me from stressing over whether my computer will wake up and turn on everymorning or have I lost everything.

slideshare how cool!!

Well, this was a very painful process to get through. Thanks Technology!!

Anyway on a better note slideshare is going to be a great resource tool to use in the classroom. Teachers and Learning Managers will be able to invite their friends and collegues to have a look and view and use their powerpoints, word etc. It is a great way to not have to use usb's anymore or email a link to each other. The new way of technology is looking up.

Slideshare could be a great way to embed units of work or even key learning areas across the year level by all teachers in that particular grade sharing the work load by each doing a unit or subject each.

Wikipedia Oh Dear!!!

I am really not sure why we are being told to investigate and use this resource, dont get me wrong it can be a great resource however it also can really confuse children and even adults if they are not sure of slightly what something means.

Wikipedia is open to the wide world web meaning it is open to every human that has access to the internet. As a university student the very first start to my first term I was told by a lecturer never ever rely or use Wikipedia you must always refer to a viable source such as org, edu website.

Wikipedia is useful due to the links that they have in a word example if I look up what my class is currently working on (inventors) I type in thomas eddison I then get up the information for him and come across the word in blue (inventors) if I click on that link it takes me to a new screen that defines inventors for me.

Learning Matters! so should Wikipedia be used as a viable source in the classroom? I am not convinced however someone throughout these blogs may change my mind.

WebQuests how educational are they?

WebQuests have been designed for a new style and way of teaching and giving students the opportunity to learn in a new way. Students are able to work individually or small groups to complete the WebQuest designed by their Teacher / Learning Manager.

Learning Managers must make sure that when designing a WebQuest that Key Learning Areas are being incorporated and covered. Usually literacy, maths, ICT and science or SOSE are being implemented in the WebQuest. It is vitally important that Ways or Working, Knowledge and Understanding and also Assessment is evident in these quests.

For an assessment on Studies of Society and the Environment a partner and I had to create our own webquest suitable for the year level we were teaching at school.
This was a great way for us as university students to be able to create and embed this into our classrooms, trying it out on a few students who were really hook.

We created it on Energy Efficient and green house emissions, the children were designing their own houses, given choices with crops, landmarks, animals and different choices on what their house would be made out of. Students then had to create a birds eye view on A3 landscape paper what their houses look like and an assessment was designed for the end of the WebQuest. We had links to all relevant information and restrict the pages the students were allowed to view.

This is a great web based tool for Teachers to design a framework including the essential learnings to incorporate this into the classroom. As March 2003 states "Scaffolding is used to implement such approaches as constructivist strategies, differentiated learning, situated learning, thematic instruction, and authentic assessment".

The two WebQuests that I have viewed today Steven and Tom's were very different. I really think that Steven's would be more practical and will hook the students into his webquest because they have group roles and they have to pretend to be all these different characters (builders, environmentalists etc) and then have to present the whole presentation to the "President" who will assess them.
This teachers children to work collaboratively in groups, thinking and working interdepentley and job sharing within the groups.


March, T (2003) sighted
Retrieved 19th August, 2009.

2003 by Tom March

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Podcasts what the..

Before this assignment and after making myself get on the internet and search for all of these useful web tools I have found Podcasts to be really different.

I really had know idea that you could do all of this teaching by letting children and teachers sit and listen on the computer to the podcasts. However when I was downloading the k to 12 educational podcasts I did find the Stories for kids (learning comprehension) was really boring and painful. I could just imagine children loosing focus listening to the boring monotone reader of this book. Where was the fun and change of voice for each character, BORING!!
I myself am a visual learner and know that I would have no chance watching and comprehending what was being read to me and only seeing on picture in the whole entire story. Then the questions at the end of course were comprehension but could have been changed a little to make it more interesting.

On a positive note Podcasts used correctly can be a very useful resource for teachers to have. They would be able to create and share their casts to other people around the world.

Podcasts can be created from original material by students and teachers or existing audio files can be downloaded for classroom use.

Creating a podcast allows students to share learning experiences. It provides them with a world-wide audience that makes learning meaningful and assessment authentic. Teachers can use the technology to provide additional and revision material to students to download and review at a time that suits them. The flexibility that such time-shifting offers makes podcasting a valuable educational tool.

Reference List:
Education Training and Employment, 2009, retrieved 19th August, 2009, sigthed on

Google Earth - Oh my Goodness!!!

I can see where I live how cool is that!! Except when I looked it was night time so I could not see anything except a black screen.

Google Earth is a free, downloadable application that works as a browser for all sorts of information on Earth. It uses satellite imagery to grab, spin, pan, tilt
and zoom down to any place on Earth.

Students can explore every corner of the globe, measure distances, create their own virtual tours, and share their tours with others. You can also create and download layers of information and view them in geographic context. (WestED n.d.)

Endless reasons for using google earth for students, here are some I have listed:
• study natural and political maps
• learn map reading and navigation
• visually explore historical, news, and census data
• annotate locations and share with others
• create their own 3D models to overlay on maps
• download geographically-referenced information created by others. (WestED n.d.)

When I google earthed my house I really thought it was going to be an updated satelite giving me the information, but was really disappointed it was not the case as we have been recently been doing renovations to the yard and our new fence is not yet visible on google earth.

WestEd, n.d. sighted on 19th August, 2009 on

YouTube How Fantastic you can go all over the world!

Before I really understood what you tube was all about I was actually spelling it u-tube in google and was trying to work out why it would never come up. Now I know!

This is such a new way of hooking students in either for a 5 minute filler or a quick hook to the introduction of a lesson. It just goes to show how sitting in a classroom you can manage to take the students all the way across the other side of the world just by sitting in their seats.

Teachers and Learning Managers do however need to be very careful and NEVER show a youtube clip live without ever viewing it in private before, incase of any problems such as explicit language or scenes. Teacher tube is another great resource that can be great for Teachers and Learning Managers to share clips and download clips that they believe will be useful in the classroom.

Teachers always need to make sure before showing the clip they need to make sure it is fully buffered before they try and watch it with the class or it will cause class disruption while trying to load and could be hard to bring class back on task.

Youtube is a great resource to be able to have in the classroom as all you need to do is think of a topic and type what you would like the children to watch a clip about in the search menu and then all the searches will come up.

Today I searched for a clip about what my current year 4 class are doing in their unit. Inventors and inventions is the unit of work they are currently working on. A clip on Thomas Eddison - inventor of the light bulb is a very interesting and a great hook for the students to watch for the commencement to the unit of work.
Will keep you all posted how it all goes.

Classmarker No more pens or paper!!!

What a new way of saving time and money on the resources and cost of paper and ink to mark students work in the classroom.

There are so many choices to make when using classmarker such as multiple choice,multiple responses, free text, true and false answers, punctuation and essay style assessment.

There are two types of Classmarker one which is the simple basic one for beginners and the other is for professional workers requiring more indepth responses to answers for adult employees or university students. Classmarker has been designed not only for Teachers in the classroom to create quizzes for their students but further more for businesses giving aptitude tests, external uses, long distance education programs and much more. (Classmarker, 2009)

This is going to be a great tool to implement for teachers and Learning Managers to save time and all they need to do is register their students free of charge with a password to allow them access.

The resources for this program are amazing as the students can be given the correct information to incorrect answers on the spot so they understand where they went wrong. The results will then be recorded against the students name and is then more than likely able to be put into a assessment bank to keep track of the cohort. Learning Managers are then able to further see the duration of time taken for the test. Teachers have the option to save these tests so they can be used again and again.

While experiencing this wonderful useful resource I was able to create my own quick quiz on exploring the different noises animals make in a multiple choice quiz.
I look forward to implementing this resource for the end of my unit that I am currently working on in my second year classroom placement.

Picnik Awesome!!!

Picnik is a free web based photo tool resource that is fairly user friendly.

Picnik is a powerful photo editing tool that allows you to pull pictures in from all the major photo sharing sites as well as directly from your computer such as facebook, myspace and twitter. It is completely web-based and therefore doesn't require any downloads or specific operating system.

It would be a very valuable tool to have in the classroom for teaching students about the different things it has example cropping, resizing, special effects, backgrounds, colour correction and so much more. One classroom application of a tool such as Picnik would be to touch-up images before including them on your classroom website.

Picnik is a great new way of creating and changing current photos (like photoshop) however it seems to be so much more simpler. The web page itself is a great hook in itself as it is full of colour and nice big writing and pictures to add to the affectiveness.

This will be a resource that I will be impleenting for such units of work (grandparents day) and to give students who may not be so interested in school work the opportunity to do something they enjoy.


Flickr how cool is that! I actually had to get off this site as I kept looking for new pictures to add but knew if I didn't I would not get the rest of this assignment completed.

Flickr is a great tool for children to be able to upload pictures for presentation needs or simply checking and sharing with other students what they have discovered or photographed.

Flickr’s use in education settings is not without concern. This is a huge open system with users uploading any and all types of imagery. Especially in schools, caution should be used when searching specific topics and a discussion with students about what should take place when inappropriate imagery is located must be spoken about before flickr is used. It may be a case of being closely monitored at school only as alot of filters are in place in school computers to stop inappropriate items to be discovered. (

Jakes online states Flickr contains imagery that can be used in every aspect of teaching to help develop visual literacy skills, and in the process, help students understand intellectual property rights, while contributing greatly to a host of learning applications.

Flickr is associated with RSS and is mainframed by a yahoo account. This program may not be the correct one in the classroom for children to learn about as there are alot of risks associated to this web resource.


PowerPoint is a high-powered software tool used for presenting information in a dynamic slide show format. Text, charts, graphs, sound effects and video are just some of the elements PowerPoint can incorporate into your presentations with ease.

Whether it is being used in a business presentation, school meeting or simply in the classroom for teaching the audience will remain engaged in the animation that can be created on powerpoint having a very powerful affect on your targated audience.

A perfect way to implement this framework in the classroom is to have children create their own masterpiece for maybe a short story and then a dance they may have created together as a group for assessment.
Movie Maker is compatible with power point so children are able to incorporate that into their show and present it to be assessed.

This resource is going to be useful for students in their employment days and they will need to use this valuable tool throughtout their school and university time.
Children are given options when creating their own powerpoints to engage their audiences with different animations and colour schemes.

This is such a purposeful resource and I will be definatley implementing this both with my students and for creating employment opportunities when applying for my first position with a school.

Voki / Avatars oh yeah

Voki is the program that creates avatars. Avatars are such a great tool to have in the classroom being a resource that can be fun and a new way of teaching.

Avatars are going to be such a great resource in the classroom with hooking children in to a topic of interest. It is not only amusing but shy children or lowel level students have a chance of progressing in a particular area by using the avatar to express their thoughts and knowledge.
The character on an avatar can be changed to keep the students engaged and wanting to know more.

Avartars can work for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and never take sick days. Their background, language, clothes can be customised to create a fun display depending on the subject.

I am definatley implementing avatars into my classroom to make it a fun environment for children to learn.

Get a Voki now!

Mahara, Mahara, Mahara

How great is Mahara, all you need to do is sign up and pay $5 and away you go. There is so much sourceful, useful information that children and teachers are able to have access through either at school or at home.

Mahara is a fully featured eportfolio, weblog, resume builder and social networking system, connecting users and creating online communities. Mahara provides you with the tools to set up a personal learning and development environment. (

Mahara has been designed to be a useful resource ICT tool, especially in the classroom an example of Mahara is it could be used in schools depending on the availability of internet connection and computers by using it as a discussion forum for a specific topic that the Teacher may place on the eportfolio. Students are then able to go home and research on the internet their particular topic and post it on the mahara eportfolio for other students who have access the opportunity to view and comment on it.

The Life of Wetpaint (Wiki)

Wow I created my own wiki. I created my wiki using Wetpaint and feel that it could be a useful tool in the classroom. The cohort could be involved in the making and creating of a particular topic that students may be looking at for a unit of work. Photos can be added and even sorted into photo albums. Students are able to log in and create new pages outside of school, could be useful for homework.

Strict security measures are in place to protect who can see and share the information on the wiki pages. This must be authorised by the creator of the wiki pages and members can be invited or join.

As educause explain wikis offer a powerful yet flexible collaborative communication
tool for developing content-specific Web sites. Because wikis grow and evolve as a direct result of people adding material to the site, they can address a variety of pedagogical needs—student
involvement, group activities, and so on. Since wikis reside on the Internet, students can access and participate from any location, provided they have Internet access.
Wikis are also creative and incorporate sound, movies and pictures and could become a simple tool to create multimedia presentations and simple digital stories.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

google reader

Google Reader is a RSS which is a good form of sourceful information filtered when looking up using key words for example "education". It can be a useful tool in the classroom as rss is a filtered safe internet site and can be monitored closely by educators and it also has links to useful internet sites that can be uploaded by teachers.

RSS is short for 'Really Simple Syndication' but sometimes known as 'Rich Site Summary' which is a family of web fed formats used to publish frequently up dated blogs. RSS could be used in schools for students and teachers to be able to keep up to date on the specific web pages and current news events that they are interested in.

RSS users have the advantage of security by not having to search for their favourite websites and signing up for newsletters, saving them time and making it very convient for them.
I have found a great link that has all information required for all information necessary on RSS and the positive reasons to have it in the classroom or office.