Thursday, August 20, 2009

Reflective Synopsis - A reflection of all the bubbles blown on this journey.

Hi everyone,

Well, what a learning journey I have been on!

Over the past few weeks, I have investigated and experimented with the provided courseware for Managing E-Learning to successfully create a documentation of my experiences about a wide range of e-learning tools.

My journey explores how I can embed a variety of web 2 technologies into the classroom for a cohort of digital natives (Prensky, 2001) aligning them with various learning theories and frameworks such as Kearsley & Shneiderman’s, Engagement Theory (1999) to ensure the most engaging and meaningful learning experiences. I feel this is a vital course for pre service learning managers. As we need to up skill ourselves to incorporate this native language within our regular teaching delivery techniques, for students of the twenty first century to be engaged not enraged (Prensky, 2005).

Before I started this course I would call myself a digital immigrant (Prensky, 2001), although I am only nineteen years old I was never one to keep up with this fast paced technology driven world we live in. I have been taught most things scarily by my twelve year old brother who is an amazing techno savvy person, who has the capability to do many things in the future with these skills. I can now say that after learning these wonderful e-learning tools I feel not so behind, but quite capable of teaching these wonderful technologies within my own classroom. After reflecting on the various e-learning tools, I have concluded that as a future learning manager I would use the following within my classroom to enhance student learning:

  • Blogs: Promote literacy skills such as reading and writing and support collaboration amongst students, they can be used as an assessable piece of work for students beginning in upper primary to reflect on their learning journey. Like I have done within this blog.
  • RSS: Is an excellent tool for students and learning managers to constantly track information and keep updated with networks.
  • E- Portfolio / Mahara: This is a wonderful site that students particularly in senior school can utilise, as it allows them to upload and create a resume or professional portfolio. Which could be very beneficial if applying for a job application or university degree in the future.
  • Voki Avatars: Can be utilised as great hooks to a new unit or lesson. They also can be helpful for ESL students struggling with speech pronunciation.
  • Google Earth: Is a wonderful technology that students can use across a variety of KLA’s such as Geography, Maths, Science, History and many more making learning experiences exciting and real.
  • WebQuest: WebQuests are generally based upon an inquiry approach, where students work through a scaffolded framework to solve a problem or present a solution in an authentic context. They are fun engaging and useful for real life topics such as pollution. This tool can be time consuming to create but is an excellent tool to accompany a unit of work.
  • File storage / MediaFire: Is a wonderful site that allows users to upload and store numerous files safely to the Internet. It is a great resource for learning managers as it provides easy access to stored documents such as unit plans, resources and many other pieces of work. It can be incorporated within the classroom by allowing students to upload assessment task to the site and produces a URL that they can give to the learning manager to retrieve and mark the assessment. Another great paper saving program.

Throughout completion of this task I have been able to post comments on my peers blogs complying with the principles of netiquette in communication, about useful teaching ideas and resources such as Amanda has provided. I have been able to discuss problems or questions to an online forum that responds ever so quickly and have been able to enjoy creating a variety of resources when exploring these e-learning tools.

Pitler (2007) argues that technology provides the opportunity for teachers to differentiate instruction and change their classrooms into dynamic learning environments providing students the opportunity to develop higher order and creative thinking skills to become lifelong learners. This statement by Pitler (2007) summarises how I feel after completing this step in my learning journey. I now have extended my knowledge and skills about technology and can now create exciting, engaging and authentic learning experiences utilising web 2 technologies for my students and myself to become lifelong learners.

“It is today we must create the world of the future" (Roosevelt, n.d).

Until next time,


Kearsley, G. & Shneiderman, B. (1999). Engagement Theory: A framework for technology-based teaching and learning. Retrieved August 18, 2009, from

Pitler, H., Hubbell, E., Kuhn, M. & Malenoski, K (2007) Using technology with classroom instruction that works, McRel; Colorado.

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

Prensky, .(2005). Engage me or Enrage me - what today’s learners demand. Retrieved August 19, 2009, from

Rossevelt, E. (n.d). General Philosophy: Leading and learning for the 21st Century. Retrieved August 20, 2009 from

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Voice Thread

Hi everyone,

VoiceThread is a collaborative program that allows users to upload documents, images, video and music (VoiceThread, 2009). It permits users from all around the world to leave comments to your work via five different options, voice using a microphone or telephone, text, audio or video (VoiceThread, 2009). I found this program inviting with its professional appearance and simple guided steps. I enjoyed listening to others and wanted to create my own. I uploaded four images that I had already saved to my computer under, “Bubbles”. It was so quick to upload, then I posted a voice comment on the picture, using another computer as mine does not have a microphone and played a couple of sound clips that were gentle and suitable for this picture like chimes, and bubbles popping. I also included a text comment to a couple pictures to described what they were about.

Have a look at My Voice Thread.

VoiceThread is a great tool that can be used effectively in the classroom for students to work collaboratively on an assessment piece or for teacher directed purposes such as displaying a presentation to the class using the interactive whiteboard.

As my prep students are currently going to begin a unit investigating different environments, I thought i could use VoiceThread to display a variety of animals such as penguins, elephants, koala, kangaroo, dolphins, cow and chicken and together we could record the sounds that these animals make and a description of their size and appearance (with assistance from the teachers aide students could work in pairs making the sounds and descriptions for the correct animal, sounding out the animals names and checking how many sounds they got right, also the teacher can question them on where they think this animal might live and type on the appropriate image). I would then search for images of these environments and create a new presentation embedding the previous one and the students as a group would need to say which animals live in the correct environment. This could then lead us into the beginning of our unit of exploring different environments.

Kearsley & Shneiderman’s (1999) Engagement theory aligns well with my example above as students are working in a group context through brainstorming and sharing their work with the outside world. The learning is a purposeful, creative experience that allows students not only to develop their writing skills but to express how they interpret a particular image.

The only problem with this tool is the amount of time it takes to load in an EQ school because of the slow bandwidth speed. Therefore you could try and upload your presentation prior to the learning experience. Also all Internet safety must be followed as normal as this site can have inappropriate comments displayed when your presentation has finished.

Overall I think that this is another great tool that engages learners of the twenty first century and can easily be embedded within learning experiences in a variety of ways.
Until next time,


Kearsley, G. & Shneiderman, B. (1999). Engagement Theory: A framework for technology-based teaching and learning. Retrieved August 18, 2009, from

VoiceThread. (2009). VoiceThread. Retrieved August 19, 2009 from

Using Music on the Web with INCOMPETECH

Hi everyone,

Incompetech is a great website to locate royalty-free music that is covered under the Creative Commons agreement. It is one of the best ways to locate music to implement within the classroom. I found a wonderful piece of music titled, ‘Willow and the Light’ by Kevin Macleod. The instrumentation used: percussion, harp, flute and voice. It was so easy and quick to download, I listened to it and it sounded so relaxing, perfect for my Yoga sessions I carry out with my preps after lunch. I am so proud of them they thoroughly enjoy learning new moves (they know ten off by heart) and know when the music is playing there is no talking. For preps some of you may already no this can be very hard to achieve, but they do this so well.

I also use music in the classroom for the following:

  • Yoga or rest time music: As stated above using peaceful and relaxing songs is a great way to calm students down after lunch or PE.
  • Pack up time music: this can be a good motivator for students to pack up materials quickly and happily.
  • Transition music: A fast paced fun song can be used for the changing of group rotations.

Music can be incorporated for students in higher grades by allowing them to:

  • Listen to music while working
  • Incorporate music within their assessment presentations
  • Investigate music as a subject itself students could analyse pieces of work and the elements within each piece
  • Listen to how music has changed from their parents and grandparents childhood to now
  • Listen to different cultures music when exploring another country or my favourite aboriginal dream time music. Which is very popular for Queensland schools as most of them have an Aboriginal history within the school foundation. My school I am currently in have many areas of the school grounds dedicated to specific Aboriginal tribes.

Incorporating music within the classroom can be aligned to the theory of Active Learning (ACU Adams Centre for Teaching Excellence, 2000). Active Learning consists of three components input, process and output. Music used effectively within the classroom relates to the first component Input, as students are actively learning through the input of multiple senses and music assists greatly for students who learn best through an auditory learning style.
Overall I love the idea of using music to create purposeful learning experiences and I feel it is a great tool when used correctly within the classroom.
Until next time,


Macleod, K. (2008). Royalty Free Music. August 17, 2009 from

Prensky, M. (2005). Engage Me or Enrage Me - What today's learners demand. Retrieved August 16, from,

File Storage - MediaFire

Hi everyone,

Wow If only I knew about MediaFire earlier, I can not tell you the amount of times I have experienced the terror of a computer hard drive CRASH! I thought I was cursed with some technology X across my name, but now I cannot wait to upload all those massive files I have stored on my computer and categorise them into neat SAFE folders using the wonderful program MediaFire. Thank you Managing E-Learning this is such a wonderful Web 2 Technology I will definitely be using this from now on.

MediaFire not only allows you to simply upload documents, photos and much more it allows you to share them with anyone, privately or publicly (MediaFire, 2009). If you wish to share something you have uploaded there is the simple option of creating a URL to post in your blog, forums or websites.
I have uploaded one small word document for anyone to have a look at. It is just something small but maybe useful for someone. It contains a few ideas for teaching prep students the letter Qq(one of the most difficult and confusing letters in the alphabet) ideas like creating a quiz show using lots of questions ( they loved this one) and using a variety of pre cut patterned material squares for students to create a patterned quilt.

Have a look at my file: Qq Learning Experience Ideas I hope it is of some help one day!

The advantages this program has for the classroom are not only for the students but for learning managers as well.Learning managers can upload files about classroom work, (e.g. assessment tasks) for students to download both during and after school. It can also allow students to save assessment items or submit items to Media Fire so the problem of computer crashes will be limited.

This is program is wonderful for learning managers as we are constantly trying to collect useful teaching ideas. MediaFire enables users to collaborate with one and other providing learning managers the ability to share a variety of useful resources . A truly wonderful tool. If you are in an EQ school I must note to avoid slow download time due to the bandwidth speed I think it would be best to upload these files at home as I have experienced terribly slow download and upload time within my school (or this may be that technology curse).

I will be recommending this program to many family, friends and colleagues. If you have any useful teaching resources or ideas that you would like to share please I would love to hear about them.

Until next time


MediaFire. (2009). What is MediaFire? Retrieved August 18, 2009, from


Hi everyone,

SlideShare is a web based program that allows you to upload files such as adobe and PowerPoint presentations to a publicly viewable space for free (Slideshare, 2009).

I recently have uploaded a short snippet from a university group assessment PowerPoint presentation, which we previously have completed. The presentation is directed at educators about the effects assessment can have on a student’s creative expression and how educators can foster creativity within the classroom.
I have not been able to upload an MP3 narrative file to slideshare simply as I do not have the resources to do it.

I found using slideshare quite difficult as I am more familiar with Powerpoint and was disappointed that when uploading my presentation to slideshare it did not automatically incorporate the song that was attached to the presentation or any of the animations, creating a quite static and boring presentation. After my numerous attempts with slideshare I went to friends for help but they too were experiencing the same technology troubles. I continued to explore this site although quite frustrated after a lot of time had gone by and began thinking how I could incorporate this program within the classroom.

I feel that this tool would be very effective in the classroom if all resources were available and working properly. As slideshare caters for all learning styles (visual, auditory and kinasetheitc) and I think students would thoroughly enjoy making their own engaging and exciting presentations. Especially with wonderful options available such as the ability to narrate their own presentations, which is great for those who are shy. According to Sims and Biggs (as cited in Brown & Drinkwater, 2001) students are more likely to have positive learning outcomes if they engage and interact, rather than students passively receiving information. This learning tool also links to the Active Learning pedagogical framework (Input, Process,Output) by (ACU Adams Centre for Teaching Excellence, 2000). As students are receiving input through the use of narrations/music and viewing the images within the presentations. Students are completing a process that is guided by the learning manager and incorporates working with their peers to create a presentation using a variety of technology tools such as microphones. To complete the framework students publish their presentation by uploading their file to the slideshare program making it available for their peers (Output).

In conclusion I feel that slideshare could provide great value to an educational context, ensuring students can access the appropriate resources required and the learning manager ensures students are protected whilst using the site and provides learners with a scaffolded learning journey to create their masterpieces.

Until next time,


ACU Adams Centre for Teaching Excellence. (2000). How does Active Learning work? Retrieved August 14, 2009, from Active Learning Online:

Brown, A. & Drinkwater, D. (2001). Encouraging active learning with more interactive WWW designs. Retrieved August 14, 2009, from

SlideShare. (2009). About Us. Retrieved August 14, 2009, from


Hi everyone,

Wikipedia is a free online multilingual encyclopedia. Its name Wikipedia is simply derived from the words wiki (The Hawaiian term for quick) and encyclopedia. Articles inside Wikipedia have been collaboratively written by volunteers around the world who only require access to the Internet (Wikipedia, 2009). Wikipedia is a useful and effective collaborative learning tool that could be used as an excellent starting point for students in upper primary for researching information quickly.

I was always taught at school and university to never use Wikipedia as a scholarly reference. This most likely is because it can be accused of inaccurate or inconsistent information due to the ability of constant alterations by any person anywhere in the world (Wikipedia, 2009). This can suggest that scholarly information could easily have been tampered or vandalised with creating non scholarly sources.

Prensky (2006) suggests that teachers are faced with the concern that many students are using Wikipedia as their only source of data, while conducting research. After discussing with friends and colleagues I felt that to use Wikipedia effectively and safely within the classroom I would need to carefully scaffold students’ understandings through class discussions about the issues of the well known online encyclopedia. I would make it very clear that students cannot use it as a scholarly reference, due to the constant alterations and susceptibility to vandalism but to use Wikipedia as a constructive platform to find information for specific set tasks.

Wikipedia is a great encyclopedia of the twenty first century for finding information. Throughout my investigation of the site I found another fantastic tool that I can incorporate into the classroom especially for my prep class that I am currently in. It is called Wikibooks, created and edited from the Wikimedia community is just like an online library that allows you access to a variety of books (Wikibooks, 2009). Wikijunior is my favourite, it is a fantastic place to find online children’s books that have been written by a community of teachers and enthusiastic writers (Wikibooks, 2009). A great idea that a friend had shared with me is the idea of creating a class online book, this can be easily published to the site for the world to see, ensuring all references and safety precautions are appropriately catered for. This site is great as I am always looking for something that my prep class could enjoy.

I feel that the use of this tool can be viewed through a connectivist perspective (Siemens, 2005). As this theory has been developed specifically for the digital era, focusing on decisions made based upon the continual acquisition of knowledge (Siemens, 2005). Accurate and current knowledge is one of the key principles of connectivism, which may be found with the use of technology. Therefore our role as learning managers must ensure that if we permit this learning tool within the classroom students must be taught the necessary skills of how to analyse between important and unnecessary information.
Due to Wikipedia's nature allowing all members of the public to continually to update and change information it is not considered static information and I feel cannot be referred to as a scholarly reference. Students will have to use their ability to interpret and decipher what knowledge is considered appropriate or inappropriate for assigned tasks.
Until next time,


Prensky, M. (2006). Don't Bother Me Mom - I'm Learning. St. Paul, MN: Paragon House.

Siemens, G. (2005). Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age. Retrieved August 14, 2009, from http://wwww.elearnspace.or/Articles/connectivism.htm

Wikipedia. (2009). About Wikipedia. Retrieved August 14, 2009, from


Hi everyone,

A WebQuest is a purposeful and organised inquiry oriented activity, which utilises various key resources from the Internet (Dodge, 2007). It is a scaffolded learning structure that is carefully designed around a real life or hypothetical problem that students aim to solve. The creators of WebQuest’s Bernie Dodge and Tom March, propose that this type of authentic task promotes critical thinking skills to be used and developed (March, 2004).

A quality WebQuest should contain the following, to construct a guided framework that allows students scaffolding learning:

1. Introduction
2. Focus question
3. Task
4. Process
5. Resources
6. Evaluation
7. Conclusion
8. Teachers page

It is important to allow students to work through these steps at their own pace. I feel that WebQuests are most effective when students are provided the opportunity to work in small groups, which aligns with Vygotsky’s theory, whereby, learning gains are made when students work with their peers (Nichols, 2007).

WebQuests are most beneficial when the author has carefully planned and structured the learning to cater for the students individual learning needs. This can take a lot of time to create, as learning managers need to ensure the required content, curriculum (Essential Learnings), a chosen KLA or a combination of Key Learning Areas are covered to meet intended outcomes for the cohorts diverse needs. Also like most learning technologies that allow students access to the Internet, it is vital that all safety precautions are taken to ensure students are not at risk of exposure to any inappropriate material. This can be achieved by testing all hyperlinks and downloading any video files into programs such as KeepVid.

Within my first year at university I completed a course in SOSE (Studies of Society and Environments). I worked with a friend to create our first WebQuest following the above guided framework. I learnt many new things making a WebQuest, it was fun and helpful to work with someone else as ideas were bounced between us and to complete such a large task more hands made the workload easier. I would highly recommend to try to make your own WebQuest or have a look at some others. Especially take a look at the teachers page this is where most of the information about curriculum and outcomes for learners are placed to assist learning managers.

WebQuests that allow students to solve, create solutions, possibilities for real life problems such as (focus questions like e.g. The Great Barrier Reef is in danger form extinction how can you help?, or How can you help stop pollution on our planet?) which facilities all aspects of Kearsley & Shneiderman’s(1999) Engagement Theory by students working in a group context, working on a project based task and having an authentic focus.

WebQuests are truly fantastic, they are a great tool for the classroom making research and assessment tasks fun and real for the digital natives of the twenty first century (Prensky,2001). As learning managers it is our role to spend the quality time planning, ensuring that learning outcomes can be achieved by all learners and that the site is easy to navigate, fun and safe for students to use.
Until next time,


Dodge, B (2007). Web Quests. Retrieved August 12, 2009 from,

Kearsley, G., & Shneiderman, B. (1999). Engagement Theory.Retrieved August 12, 2009, from

March, T. (2004).What WebQuests Are (Really). Retrieved August 12, 2009, from

Nichols, K. (2007). What is learning? Current knowledge and theories.R. Smith, D. Lynch, & B. A. Knight, Learning Management: Transitioning teachers for national and international change (pp. 21-29). Frenchs Forest, NSW, Australia: Pearson Education Australia.

Prensky, M. (2001). Digital Native, Digital Immigrants. On the Horizon , 9 (5), 1-6.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Google Earth

Hi everyone,

Would you believe me if I had said “I have been to Paris, Canada, our house in Queensland, my cousins house in London, New York City and the Maldives all in an hour”! Your probably thinking um no, that is not possible. Well let me tell you anything is possible with Google Earth it is an amzing, addictive and fun website.

Google Earth is a fantastic educational resource for teachers and students it enables students to see images from different parts of the earth with the ability to zoom,overlay streets/roads with latitude and longitude and much more. Students can see their own backyard, expereince the Appollo landing, view sunsets all around the world and dive the ocean floor (Google Earth, 2009).

The Learning Design Framework (AusInfo, 2003) can be applied in conjunction across a variety of key learning areas (Geography, Mathematics, Science, and History) when using this e-learning tool as suggested below:

Learning Tasks
Students can investigate a variety of environments such as their own, a historical environment e.g. Rome or even the moon.

Learning Resources
Google Earth, united with other resources, can assist in students acquiring knowledge of; viewing landforms from an aerial perspective, using measurement tools such as latitude and longitude and the ability for students to zoom in on historic landmarks to view the impact from civilisation and natural disasters that have occurred over the past. This type of learning resource is also supported by the Productive Pedagogies Framework, 'Connectedness to the world' (Education Queensland, 2006). As authentic learning experiences are created when students are presented with real life challenges and connections are then made to their lives outside the classroom.

Learning Supports
Students will use the information that the resources provide to make informed judgements in conjunction with specific scaffolding from the learning manager.

Within my suggestions stated above, it is important to remember that these are just a few suggestions to think about. As the educational uses for this tool are only limited to the users imagnination, I feel that Google Earth used wisely would be an effective tool to engage and motivate learners in a variety of subjects that may generally have been taught using traditional (boring) teaching methods and it is our role as learning managers educators of the future to motivate our students through the incorporation of a variety of e-learning tools.

Until next time,

AusInfo. (2003). The Learning Design Construct. Retrieved August 16, 2009, from Learning Design:

Education Queensland. (2006). Productive Pedagogies. Brisbane, QLD, Australia: Curriculum Implementation Unit.

Google. (2009). Google Earth. Retrieved August 16, 2009, from


Hi everyone,

Podcasts are free audio or visual (VodCasts) files that you can download from the Internet, and play on your computer, transfer to an MP3 player or iPhone for ultimate portability (Department of Education & Training, 2009). There are many programs that allow you to download podcasts, one highly recommended website is iTunes. As I am not an owner of an iPod or iPhone I felt a little lost as I was trying to navigate my way through the iTunes site. After searching through the iTunes store for podcasts that sparked my interest, I simply clicked and could preview my selected podcast then by clicking once more I was instantly subscribed to that podcast. There are thousands of podcast categories to select from right at your fingertips, no matter what the topic is chances are there’s a podcast about it.

After searching through many wonderful podcasts I was beginning to love this site more and more. My computer took a while to download the program which was a little frustrating at the time but all worth it in the end. I now can see why people can be glued to their computer screens for hours, there are just so many fantastic websites like this available.
I feel like I am learning so much I get excited just looking at all the great resources I now have for my career in teaching. I found one podcast that would be suitable for my prep class it is called “The Rhyme Time Song Pre- K Hooked on Phonics”. It a great catchy song that only runs for approximately two minutes and would be great for my class as some learners are still having difficulty deciphering simple rhyming words. I can’t wait to try it in the classroom, I will have to do some more research on how I can get this song saved and upload it on the interactive whiteboard at school.

There are many ways that this tool can be incorporated within the classroom, students not only can listen and watch podcasts they can create their own either individually or in groups. Some suggestions that came to my mind were:

  • Students creating a podcast book review (assessment piece).
  • Upper primary students creating engaging storytelling podcasts for the lower grades (prep to three) to use for listening posts.
  • Students could create their own school radio show where students would need to create a radio station name and a list of topics that they could discuss (e.g. what is happening around the school) and create podcasts for listeners at home (great for parents and grandparents to hear and see what their loved ones are doing at school).
  • Learning managers could create podcasts for homework tasks the only problem with this may be students’ safety online and access to resources.

The suggestions listed above for this fantastic educational tool aligns with the Learning Engagement Theory (Kearsley & Shneiderman, 1999). This theory promotes human interaction, rather than individual interaction with a computer program. Therefore, the use of podcasting as an educational tool can be viewed through the Relate-Create-Donate approach.

Relate – Students work collaboratively and focus on effective communication, planning and social skills for a specific task.

Create – Students create a podcast for an authentic and meaningful task, such as those listed above (book review, podcasting stories for students in lower primary ect.).

Donate – Students are given the opportunity to publish and share their podcast with others (younger students, peers, loved ones) as a solution for a problem identified in the ‘create' phase. For example Teachers in years prep to three are struggling to engage their students at story time, can you help them using an e-learning tool?

As you can see this e-learning tool can be used effectively within the classroom to engage learners with something that is close to their hearts (technology as they are digital natives). But it is the responsibility of the Learning Manager to equip themselves with the skills and knowledge to acquire the appropriate technology to implement this approach into the classroom. I personally love this new tool and cannot wait to continue trying to find new ways to embed it within the classroom.

Until next time,


Department of Education & Training. (2009). Podcasts in the classroom. Retrieved August 16, 2009, from

Kearsley, G., & Shneiderman, B. (1999). Engagement Theory:. Retrieved August 12, 2009, from


Hi everyone,

“Did you see that clip on YouTube?”

I am sure most of you have heard the frequently used term YouTube, maybe in the workplace, playground or even when catching up with friends. YouTube is a world renowned site that allows registered users to view and upload video clips for the world to see.

While searching through the numerous available clips on YouTube and Teacher Tube I came across a great short snippet about the book my prep class are currently learning about ‘ Rosie’s Walk’ ( As featured below). I previewed the clip and thought that it will be a great hook to engage the learners in the Rosie’s Walk obstacle course that they will all be doing in a few weeks time. The children can watch the video carefully (ask students prior questions like - keep a look out for where and what objects Rosie sees on her walk) and as a class we could create a list of the obstacles Rosie went through on her walk. We then would use a variety of objects to create our own obstacle course (e.g. real hay, a fence to walk through).

YouTube is a wonderful site that could be incorporated within learning experiences for as young as prep to students in upper primary and senior creating their own YouTube clips.

Internet safety is vital for the use of this tool and as suggested and highly recommended by my university lectures, it is best to download and save the file to another program such as KeepVid. Then simply uploading it into the classroom, to ensure that students are not exposed to inappropriate advertisements or comments when streaming the video live. Also it can help overcome any problems with bandwidth connections within a school.
According to Gardner (as cited in Warner & Thoron, n.d.) the use of this technology within the learning design allows students to use their imagination, construct knowledge allow multiple intelligences to cross connect through opportunities when working in groups, creative work, audio learning and kinaesthetic learning through the creation of activities supporting the use of the video aid. Providing these learning experiences that allow students to transfer knowledge to applications outside the classroom context allows them to create better understandings of what is being taught (Warner & Thoron, n.d.).
I think YouTube is a great tool that can be implemented in an educational context, providing that the learning manager ensures that it is done taking all safety considerations into precaution.

Until next time,


Warner, A. & Thoron, A. (n.d.). Incorporating Technology, YouTube and Learning in the Agriscience Classroom. Retrieved August 14, 2009, from

Quizzes - ClassMarker

Hi everyone,

I have just recently signed up to another great website called
ClassMarker. This website allows users to create online quizzes for free. There are two types of accounts you can create I selected the free ‘standard’ option but you can select a ‘professional’ account that allows you more special features (for those quiz experts).

Classmarker has been designed for a variety of purposes such as business training, education, distance learning, self-study online education and recruitment (ClassMarker, 2009). ClassMarker is fantastic for registered users such as learning managers to create simple and effective online quizzes/tests for students to complete. After navigating my way through the site, which can be a bit difficult at first, but hang in there I persisted pressing buttons exploring the site and found many useful options to create a test such as:

· Multiple choice
· Multiple responses
· Free text
· True and false
· Punctuation
· Essay style

There also is the option to save tests to a question bank allowing the user to retrieve specific questions and use them again. This website assists the user/s by automatically marking, collating and graphing the results of the test/quiz taken (ClassMarker, 2009). Wonderful isn’t it!

I have made a short quiz for my prep class, a funny and fun way to record the students’ understandings of the story Rosie’s Walk by Pat Hutchins (A resource within their current unit of Environments).

Please feel free to have a look at my short quiz

Rosie's Walk.

As the students are in prep I had to read the questions aloud to the class and from their responses select an answer. You could use this tool in many ways within the classroom, students could complete quizzes by themselves, in small groups or as suggested earlier as a whole class. The class and I enjoyed this type of formative approach to assessment I found it very useful and the students explained it was “fun and different”. I feel that incorporating this tool into the classroom would be effective to enhance students cognitive/higher order thinking skills but learning managers must ensure they use the results to adapt learning experiences for individual students needs (Reid & McLoughlin, 2002).

Oliver’s learning framework centre’s itself upon the interaction between the three learning aspects of; learning tasks, resources and support (AusInfo, 2003). This framework supports the use of the quiz as a formative tool of assessment within a unit of work. The next aspect is the resources required to complete the learning tasks, resources the students have used and explored to create their understandings of ‘What is an Environment?’ and the incorporation of online quizzes used to effectively monitor the students understandings throughout the unit of work. The online quiz supports the students by displaying what they have learnt and what may need to be revisited.

Overall I have found this e-learning tool effective though it can be time consuming to setup and difficult to navigate but I continue to try and create more opportunities to embed this tool within my classroom. I believe online testing will gradually become a more visible option for class testing. Keep an eye out!
Until next time,


AusInfo. (2003). The Learning Design Construct. Retrieved August 14, 2009, from Learning Design:

ClassMarker. (2009). Free Quiz Maker for online Testing. Retrieved August 14, 2009, from

Reid, N. & McLoughlin, C. (2002). Computing Assisted Assessment: Designing online quiz questions to assess a range of cognitive skills. Retrieved August 14, 2009, from

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Image Manipulation - Picnik

Hi everyone,
Picnik is a fun and free online tool that allows users to edit and manipulate their own personal photos or other images, allowing the user to make a myriad of fun and quirky alterations using a variety of effects.
Picnik is connected with a variety of popular websites such as Flickr, MySpace and Facebook making the process of uploading your favourite images quick and easy (Picnik, 2009).

The image I have used was taken from my brother’s Facebook site. I simply uploaded the picture of my sister in law and him into my Picnik account and used a polaroid, sticker and text effect to get this awesome image.

Picnik is great it allows the editor to create unique and meaningful images using a variety of great effects. There are multiple options to choose from and a small fee will occur if you wish to upgrade to receive more effects.
You can crop and resize images for PowerPoint presentations, or other documents, apply a variety of colour effects (black and white, sepia, 1960’s vintage), post stickers and other interesting items to your image (Picnik, 2009). Once you have completed your image you can either save it to your computer, email to a friend, print, or import to one of the other popular websites mentioned earlier.
I must note Picnik is not a site that you can store your work, it is simply derived for the manipulation of images therefore follow the options listed and save your images to other web sites such as your Flickr account.

How can Picnik be incorporated into the classroom?

Easy, Picnik is a fun, easy to navigate learning tool that students of all ages can use. It can be a tool to promote knowledge skills by editing and enhancing class web pages, blogs, wiki’s, PowerPoint presentations, brochures, photo stories, greeting cards for loved ones, creating a school year book, business cards and much more.
Incorporating Picnik within the curriculum aligns with the learning design and resources aspect within Oliver‘s framework as the learning manager can effectively design learning experiences to enhance students skills to capture and edit digital images for meaningful authentic tasks such as projects on a particular topic (e.g. rainforest's, Australian landscapes, Australian native animals). The students are utilising their own images and enhancing them using the Picnik software to apply special effects to support information within the assignment making unique and individual pieces of work, much more effective then children visiting a search engine such as Google and coping and pasting images. Using this software allows students work to be authentic and meaningful.

I really enjoy using this e-learning tool, I find it a great resource and is very effective in the classroom. Give it a go!

Until next time,


AusInfo. (2003). The Learning Design Construct. Retrieved August 14, 2009, from Learning Design:

Picnik. (2009). Frequently Asked Questions. Retrieved August 14, 2009, from Picnik:


Hi everyone,

Flickr is a free online account which allows users to share and organise personal photos and videos with friends, family or even the whole world (Yahoo! Inc, 2009).

Setting up a Flickr account was a very simple process, probably the easiest and most enjoyable so far. Most likely because I thoroughly enjoy the art of photography and this site is dedicated to all those inspiring photographers from students, proud parents happy family snaps to professional artists. I could spend hours and hours searching through the wonderful categories of photos uploaded from people all around the world. It is fantastic! I especially enjoy how the genres of images to view are a jumble of alphabetised words that you simply can click on or type your own.
After multiple searches from nature, art, to fascinating abstract images I made the choice to search for bubbles. If you haven’t realised by now I love bubbles, if I were to use five words to describe them they would be fun, happiness, laughter, colourful and peaceful. Many photographers would also agree they are one of the most difficult things to photograph, making them even more enjoyable in real life. The image I have chosen above was one from the many (365,420,658 to be precise) to select from. Flickr is amazing isn’t it!

Flickr contains many brilliant features from editing, categorizing images to specific folders, the option to share photos with friends or family and my favourite linking maps to your images to show the viewer where and when you took that image. Also this allows you to see what other images have been taken from the same site. Flicker also offers the ability to create your own online photo scrapbooks, videos and framed pictures (Yahoo! Inc, 2009).

How can this fantastic tool be used in the classroom?

While exploring this site further I began thinking of the multiple practical uses this tool can have within an educational context. Students and learning managers can effectively utilise this tool across all year levels and key learning areas. Safety issues would have to be addressed before students where to access the site, protecting students from the exploitation of unsafe use of the Internet. This could be done by ensuring all students profiles are set to ‘view by family and friends only’, and allowing students who have a signed permission letter from their parents/guardians approving the use of this tool allowing students the authority to use the account.

Ideas to implement this e-learning tool.

Providing students the opportunity to take digital photos of their work (e.g. in KLA’s such as the visual arts, graphic design, manual arts, home economics, science) and incorporating other images from Flickr users around the world to create a storyline presentation for their peers and learning managers to view.

Teaching history and geography could effectively utilise this tool as teachers could show student’s images of sites around the world that they are learning and observe multiple perspectives of the chosen topic, creating a virtual field trip from your classroom. This tool aligns well with Oliver’s ICT framework theory (as cited in AusInfo, 2003) students will be given a set task or project e.g. creating a photo story about a specific genre (e.g. abstract art) incorporating the first aspect of the learning design. Students utilise resources such as Flickr inserting photographs of their own and others as visual stimulus to create their work, while the learning manger implements a safety procedures policy to provide learners a safe and supportive environment and ensure each student are allocated enough time to discuss any issues with the learning manager or peers and allowing every student the opportunity to access computers to complete the task.

Next to discuss is Picnik so keep posted for more great e-learning tools.
Until next time,


AusInfo. (2003). The Learning Design Construct. Retrieved August 14, 2009, from Learning Design:

Yahoo! Inc. (2009). Flickr. Retrieved August 16, 2009, from

Yahoo! Inc. (2009). What is Flicker? Retrieved August 16, 2009, from

Learning Management Systems

Hi everyone,

The term Learning Management Systems (LMS) was something I had never heard of before I started university. Within my first term at CQU in the course ‘Principles of University Learning’ I was introduced to our LMS Blackboard. I was amazed that there was such a thing, a single platform that delivers the foundation to all information and resources required for my studies.

As I continued to explore the site I found chat rooms to talk to peers and lecturers about any problems or queries that I might have, all it required was my user ID and password (as most LMS content are protected by password verification) and I have the basis to my information right in front of me. How wonderful!

LMS are generally used for areas such as education, therefore commonly used within universities to manage required readings, resources for assignments and courses, networking, distributing information and record keeping (E-Learning Consulting, 2008). LMS are a great source of communication for on-line distance education classes, allowing them to keep in contact and have easy access to essential information (E-Learning Consulting, 2008).

Over the past two years I have found these systems such as Blackboard and Moodle easy to navigate, useful and very effective towards my studies.
Until next time,


E-Learning Consulting. (2008). Learning management systems. Retrieved August 14, 2009 , from


Hi everyone,

PowerPoint is a brilliant tool for learning in both student and teacher directed situations. I have used PowerPoint software numerous times for school, university and work presentations. They don’t have to be a boring, painful black and white presentation with pages full of endless text.

PowerPoint’s can be exciting and engaging, fun, easy to take notes from, helpful to explain abstract concepts and they cater for a variety of learning styles.
PowerPoint used properly is a simple and engaging resource, “one of the most powerful tools for disseminating information ever known!” (Technology Tutorials, 2009).

An example of how a PowerPoint presentation can be implemented in the classroom would be using it to engage or ‘hook’ the learners at the beginning of a lesson. This can be achieved by using relevant images, videos, sound effects and animations about the focussed topic to capture the students’ attention for the task ahead. The learning manger can make it clear and understandable of what is required from the students at the beginning of the lesson by providing a schematic organiser listing what will be covered throughout the lesson.

In previous schools I have seen students create a PowerPoint presentation for their school information night and for a celebration night for a graduating class. Their slides contained photos and small video clips, importing music from the school choir into the background, creating an appealing presentation designed for a meaningful and real life situation (Kearsley & Schneiderman, 2009). I think PowerPoint’s are an excellent lifelong tool that students will use regularly.

Throughout my PowerPoint creations I have had a few challenges you may be able to relate to such as:
• Images looking blurry or small
• Text difficult to read because of the chosen font, colour or size
• Sound and animations not working on different computers

After creating more and more presentations I began to figure out these minor problems by speaking to peers or my students. Yes, we too can learn a great deal from our students. To fix those problems listed above from reoccurring I found that:
• Using images that were originally large in size are best to manage if they are needed to enlarge (photos of your own work best)
• Preview your presentation constantly by pressing F5 to see how the text looks and ensure the background colour suits the text and font chosen
• Ensure that you save your PowerPoint as PowerPoint show this will ensure that no matter what computer you are on sound and animation files will save and run accordingly.

Overall there are multiple uses for PowerPoint presentations; they are an effective tool to not only engage students, enhance knowledge, understanding and skills for a particular task but to assist learning managers with their teaching. It is an easy and fun program to navigate around and is a tool that students will use constantly.
Until next time,


Kearsley, G. & Shneiderman, B. (1999). Engagement Theory: A framework for technology-based teaching and learning. Retrieved August 13, 2009, from

Technology Tutorials. (2009). PowerPoint in the classroom. Retrieved August 12, from

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Voki Avatars

Hi everyone,

In this post I would like to share with you my thoughts about a great e-learning tool that is fun, engaging, time consuming to make as it can be addictive but very easy to incorporate in any classroom from prep to year twelve.

It is a Voki Avatar!

How do you create one?

Creating a voki avatar was a simple and free process, I joined the site and spent quite a while playing with a variety of characters from, aliens, dogs, politicians and many others. Finally settling with my character as you can see featured below, I found this website engaging and easy to navigate to produce my avatar.

Click here to have a go!

How can this tool be used in the classroom?

This tool can be useful in helping a variety of learners for a number of different reasons. I think that this tool would be an effective and engaging hook at the beginning of a new unit or an assessment task as students of today can be considered ‘digital natives’, therefore they require different methods of engagement compared to students from the past (Prensky, 2001).
As Prensky (2001) states students have been exposed to technology such as mobile phones and computers which have contributed to shorten their attention spans. Therefore as learning managers, our role must ensure that we incorporate a futures orientated pedagogy when educating our students, rather than following traditional teaching methods (Prensky, 2001).

Embedding avatars into the curriculum would align with students fast paced and technology rich society (Prensky, 2005). The use of an avatar would be an effective tool for ESL students. Especially from working with prep students, I feel avatars can be helpful to develop students’ language, reading and writing skills. Students can record their own voices and the learning manager could model when needed, enhancing students speech and pronunciation of difficult words.

Incorporating the use of voki avatars for individuals or for a class activity is an effective strategic plan to ensure student success and to enhance their learning in a futures orientated way as suggested in Oliver’s learning design framework (AusInfo, 2003).

I feel that this tool is a wonderful and engaging source that can be used within the classroom as a pedagogical tool for specific individuals or a way of engaging the whole class to ensure learning outcomes are met.
Until next time,


AusInfo. (2003). The Learning Design Construct. Retrieved August 14 , 2009, from Learning Design:

Oddcast, Inc. (2007-2008). Voki Avatars. Retrieved August 14, 2009, from

Prensky, M. (2001). Digital Native, Digital Immigrants. On the Horizon , 9 (5), 1-6.

Prensky, M. (2005). Engage Me or Enrage Me. Educause Review , 61-64.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Setting up an e.portfolio - Mahara

Hi again,

Let me share with you my findings about e-portfolio's.
An e-portfolio is an online electronic portfolio that can be used to store data such as blogs, multimedia and resumes, it contains a social networking system that allows users to connect and create online communities (Mahara, 2009).

Mahara which means to think, thinking, thought (Mahara, 2009) is a product specifically designed with the software to set up a personal learning and development environment.

How do I get a Mahara account?

To create an account with Mahara a small fee of $5.00/ per year will be required. This will allow you to store up to 100MB of produced work, that is easily accessible through any computer Internet connection anywhere and anytime, without congesting your own hard drive.

How can Mahara be incorporated into the classroom as a valuable pedagogical tool?

Mahara can be incorporated into the classroom effectively to support, engage and enhance traditional learning activities as students can use the programme as a source to demonstrate what they have achieved academically or personally using the online portfolio instead of a paper based document. Chen & Ittelson (as cited in Zubizaretta, 2009. p. 109), state that e-portfolios “imply a process of planning, keeping track of, making sense of and sharing evidence of learning and performance”. Students can use the software frequently to upload work samples, and documents that they have created to share with their peers and learning managers. It is a tool unlike a wiki where only the author can generate and publish their own personal knowledge to be viewed by others.

Providing students the opportunity to incorporate this e-learning tool within classroom would extend their knowledge skills for the wider community and workforce (ASC, 2009), for example preparing students for future requirements by creating authentic tasks (Kearsley & Schneiderman, 1999) such as a resume required for a prospective job interview or a university application.

I feel as a learning manager it is important to provide our students of the twenty first century opportunities to explore a variety of digital technologies as they have the potential to enrich learning environments engage and enhance students learning outcomes (ASC, 2009). I am looking forward to enhancing my e-portfolio that I have created with Mahara and taking my understandings to the classroom.
Until next time,


Australian Computer Society. (2009). When the learners know more than the teachers: Information Age. Retrieved August 3, 2009, from

Kearsley, G. & Shneiderman, B. (1999). Engagement Theory: A framework for technology-based teaching and learning. Retrieved August 3, 2009, from

Mahara. (2009). About: Mahara - ePortfolio System. Retrieved Aug 3, 2009, from

Zubizarreta, J. (2009). Building a Community of Practice Around E-portfolios. The Learning Portfolio: reflective practice for improving student learning. Retreived August 13, 2009 from

WIKIs are Wonderful

Hello everyone,

Wiki the Hawaiian word for quick (Cunningham, 1994 as cited by
Augar, Raitman and Zhou, 2004) is a free online resource that provides opportunities for collaboration and interaction among users anywhere in the world to add and modify content to a specific website (Wikipedia, 2009). Wiki's can be an effective pedagogical strategy, constructed for the enhancement of online collaboration and authoring from individuals or groups (Peterson, 2009).

Who can edit and add information to a wiki page?

Wiki's contian controlled security settings, the authour can set the page to only allow interested members to view and modify the site's content, or allow the page to be open for anyone anywhere in the world to post comments and change data. These security settings can only be made by the author of the wiki, allowing them the ability to control who can and cannot add or modify information to their website.

I have created my own wiki using wikispaces software. It was a simple and guided process to set up. I chose to create a space for learning managers like myself to share and combine our understandings about e-learning tools and teaching ideas to help extend and refine our knowledge for our future careers in education. Please feel free to view my wiki and share your thoughts and understandings by simply following the link below and become a member of my wiki.

Ideas for the classroom:

After the creation of my wiki, I discovered the many possible ways wiki's can be embedded into the classroom.
Wiki's can provide students and teachers the opportunity to work collaboratively reading and modifying one and another’s work.
They are an excellent and engaging tool to incorporate within a variety of tasks across all year levels and subjects. Wiki's allow students to actively participate in set tasks such as online class discussions about homework, assessment tasks or school committee problems, allowing students to take ownership and responsibility for their own learning (ACU, 2000).

Assigning group assessment tasks incorporating the wiki tool can be an effective and simple way for students to gather various information and images collaboratively. By creating a webpage about a specific topic such as an endangered animal and allowing those who are in the group to add their thoughts and ideas to the page. Students would not need to meet face to face for all group meetings as they can simply work on their own individual parts of the assignment and collaboratively share their thoughts and ideas online. Wiki's can be a great tool to prevent students from being left out or controlled by peers that generally take over the assigned task.

Using a wiki as an online school recipe book, written and illustrated by all year levels would be a great task for all students and parents to participate in. It could begin in the early years and be edited by year twelve students.

Now to reflect on how easy it is for wikis to be incorporated within the classroom it becomes apparent that it follows the framework of the Active Learning Processes (ACU, 2000).
These scaffolded steps within the active learning framework follows the input, where students are accessing a variety of sources through various senses such as visual materials (text, pictures, videos), audio (recordings, videos, avatars) and many more (ACU, 2000).
Then followed is the process where students are interacting with these resources for example an assessment task researching an endangered animal, creating a recipe book with illustrations, videos, avatars stimulating multiple parts of the brain.
In conclusion the students produce the output which would be the assessable task in which they have collabritively worked on and shown evidence of the active learning that has taken place (ACU, 2000).

There are multiple ideas that wiki's can be used to enhance students learning within the classroom to ensure student success, I have only listed a couple but would love to hear some of your own thoughts please feel free to list your comments below or visit my wiki site mentioned earlier.
Until next time,


ACU. (2000). What is Active Learning? Retrieved August 5, 2009, from

Augar, N., Raitman, R. & Zhou, W. (2004). Teaching and learning online with wikis. In R. Atkinson, C. McBeath, D. Jonas-Dwyer & R. Phillips (Eds), Beyond the comfort zone: Proceedings of the 21st ASCILITE Conference (pp. 95-104).Retrieved August 10, 2009, from

Peterson, E. (2009). Using a Wiki to Enhance Cooperative Learning in a Real Analysis Course 19 (1), Teaching Technology. Retrieved August 10, 2009, from

Wikipedia. (2009).What is a Wiki? Retrieved August 13, 2009, from

RSS Really Simple Syndication

Hi everyone,

Throughout my learning journey I am constantly discovering a variety of new acronyms such as RSS and feel as though theses terms are another language that I cannot yet fluently speak. The first time I heard “RSS/ feed aggregator” I felt lost and utterly confused, I had no idea what people were talking about.
After discussing with friends and searching the Internet I realised I have been staring at the RSS icon most of the time I made a new search on the Internet. I honestly had no idea what the icon was for and never thought to press it. Until now thanks to
Managing E-learning simple things such as a RSS defined as “Really Simple Syndication” are becoming a lot clearer and I now understand how useful that little orange button actually is.

There are many different reader programs, Google Reader is a feed reader that allows the user to subscribe and read RSS and Atom feeds from news, blogs, websites or any other allied favourites while online or offline (Gil, 2009).
Creating my own Google Reader account was a simple process as Google Reader allows me to easily monitor and retrieve information automatically and instantly from other blogs and websites that I find appealing and wish to follow.

I simply click the RSS button to subscribe and it automatically keeps me updated to my subscribed feeds. I have found this tool very useful for this assessment task and many of my additional studies, as I can easily follow any new posts made by my peers by opening one web page instead of having over twenty web sites open at a time on my task bar. This is a fantastic time saving tool for navigating your searches on the Internet!

Like Jane I too have “herded” all my e-friends and followers to one place. This is great as I like things to be kept in order and easy to access which is exactly what you can do using Google Reader, by creating category folders to make posts easier to view.

How can this be incorporated into the classroom?

Personally I feel there are multiple advantages this tool can provide to support and enhance students learning within the classroom. For example students can use this collaborative resource to approach assigned tasks such as researching a chosen country. Enabling students to collaboratively contribute to the set task and share their own thoughts and gathered findings about the countries attributes such as weather, language, foods, tourist attractions and many more without having to navigate their way to multiple web pages.

As a class, students can each create a blog to help one and another with their homework, developing deeper understandings of what is being taught at school allowing student to use higher order thinking to achieve set tasks. Kearsley & Shneiderman’s (1999) Engagement Theory discuss that technology can aid the engagement level of students when providing opportunities for collaboration amongst a community of learners, as it enhances active processes such as reasoning, problem solving and reflecting.

Learning managers can monitor each individual’s progress and answer questions through the incorporation of an RSS. This is a fantastic e-learning tool for those introverted students who sometimes struggle to get a word in during class time. Providing students a chance to become actively engaged with online discussions without having to dread the face to face contact in the classroom is an excellent basis to cater for all learners.

Until next time,


Forysthe, M.(2008). RSS Icons.Retrieved August 12,2009, from

Gil, P. (2009). What is a RSS?: Internet for Beginners. Retrieved August 12,2009, from

Kearsley, G., & Shneiderman, B. (1999). Engagement Theory: A framework for technology- based teaching and learning. Retrieved August 12, 2009, from