Friday, August 21, 2009

My Synopsis

Jerome Bruner’s constant thoughts were that education is a process of discovery and that if students could pursue concepts and ideas on their own they would gain a better understanding. Teachers could then engage students in lively conversations and guide them when necessary so they could build their own knowledge rather than be taught which is ideally how we would like our students of today to be. The technology tools we have embraced in this course lead me to believe that Bruner’s thoughts could actually occur in the classroom. All of them take time to discover and be explored and I myself definitely have a better understanding and awareness of them now then six weeks ago but I still have a long way to go.

My personal attitudes and perceptions of this course were not positive at the beginning which I felt was not a good trait for a lifelong learner and future educator. Although the more I got into the course and the tools the more I found myself enjoying it. I must consider this when I am in the classroom because as Lev Vygotsky’s theory reminds us- even though each of us are individuals, my students mental development (thought, language and reasoning process) is a result of his or her environment that they are in. Vygotsky’s theory states these abilities are thought to develop through social interactions with others (especially adults) and therefore represent the shared knowledge. I need to ensure my classroom is an encouraging environment to learn all KLA’s in.

The Early Years Curriculum Guidelines suggest that the Prep to Grade 3 curriculum is based on active learning and incorporates real-life situations, investigation and play. With that in consideration I plan on using several of the technological tools we have learnt about in my next few weeks of practicum. I enjoy using the interactive white board in the classroom and plan to incorporate that into more of my lessons. I have found the interactive whiteboard engages the students as they are mostly visual learners and it also allows them to actively participate and demonstrate their learning to themselves and others. My proposed activities will include the signing in on the board each morning as they really love that, sequencing activities with our garden theme as well as bar graphs and measurement.

Plus I hope to persevere in creating power points and Voki avatars as I feel they could be very useful learning tools for my Prep students. I just need to continue to challenge myself in the creation of them. The EYCG suggests it is the adult’s role to facilitate, scaffold and monitor learning so with that in mind I would also love to incorporate WebQuests, blogs and the interactive quizzes into my classroom teaching. Obviously most of mine would be pictorially presented and I would only be able to be with one or two students at a time to allow for learning to occur but I feel several of my students would enjoy the challenge of attempting ‘a big kids’ task.

In summary, Hargreaves writes we are in the knowledge era and we as educators need to build more networks and partnerships on a local and global scale if we want to succeed. I personally feel this course has opened up communication between me and my peers across the state plus brought attention and more information gathering from people locally and on the other side of the world. As we all know knowledge can very quickly become redundant; practices that once worked have to be abandoned and replaced and we will all need considerable help and support to become better informed teachers today and in the future. I plan to continue to be involved in conversations outside my group of friends and family via RSS feeds to blogs, emails and by joining a group of teachers teaching teachers about technology ( so that I can be constantly updated in new and exciting topics and tools on offer here and overseas.


Early Years Curriculum Guidelines. Retrieved from the Queensland Studies Authority on the 24th of July 2009. http://www.qsa.qld.

Hargreaves, D. ( 1998). Creative Professionalism: The Role of Teachers in the Knowledge Society. London, England; Demos.

Hollyman, D. Jerome Bruner: A Web Overview. Retrieved the 12th of March 2009 from

Mergel, B. (1998). Instructional Design and Learning Theory. Retrieved the 24th of July 2009 from

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Goedendag (hello in Dutch).

You Tube really doesn’t an introduction as most people have seen at least one clip from the service. In classrooms we as educators need to be aware that offensive comments haven’t been added to the clips we chose to use to assist in engaging our student’s interest. We also need to make our students aware of the fact that people do post comments and prepare them for the worst to be said. Because if they in turn go home and chose to show their friends and family the clip they have seen in class and it now has a nasty comment attached to it then you can imagine the phone calls you may receive.

My only other pitfall is just how many YouTube clips are on the site. I was looking for a basic clip to introduce planting seeds to my students but my search found quite a few which I of course had to watch through to ensure no bad language was used (which surprisingly was in a couple of them) and that the clip covered the content I wanted.

Kearsley and Shneiderman state that 'Engagement Theory' is planned to be a framework for technology based learning and teaching and other than those pitfalls I do believe You Tube clips can do just that by enhancing a lesson. The students could gain interest in a topic they might not have had any attraction to beforehand or it could reinforce knowledge they already had.

This is a clip by a teacher as to how to plant seeds. She actually has a few clips so I might use hers again in future lessons too if they cover the content I want.

Tot ziens (bye in Dutch).


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

Aggregators and Blogs- what are they?

Marhaba (hello in Arabic).

Aggregators are basically like your own personal newspaper. You subscribe to what you want to read and it comes to you. This sort of device would be great in a classroom environment as students wouldn’t have to go out searching for information because once it is all set up- it comes to them. It is easy to unsubscribe to too. Aggregators are definitely one of my favourite online tools now!

And I probably should have written about blogs first but I guess now is better than never. A blog is an online journal device. I still prefer the hand written type myself but I have no complaints with the creation of this blog because it was so simple to do. A couple of clicks and ‘ta da’ there it was. This blog has been great to use as a reflection tool. I would never have believed that I was capable of learning about so many technology tools in such a short time. Although in hindsight it would have been nicer to of done two or three each week rather than all at once in one topic heading but that probably comes back to my time management. It has also been incredible reading and commenting on other peoples blogs as their journey is technically the same as my own, their interpretation is different.

Jennifer Moon states that learning journals come in many different guises (including blogs) and can be utilised to fulfil different purposes. She also says that the writing usually accompanies a programme of learning and that learning journals are a means of facilitating the learning or assessing it. John Dewey's research supports this form of learning as it allows students to engage with and enlargen their educational experience while also allowing them to think and reflect on this learning. Which I guess is what we have done here (university students and their blogs) and can in turn pass on as a teaching strategy to use in our classrooms.

I believe some students would enjoy doing this (a blog) to record their thoughts and ideas while others might still prefer the hand written type of journal. Students could be creative by adding online tools as we have done with ours and teach others how to use them. It would be interesting to give them a set topic to discuss, interpret and record their ideas and thoughts although as educators we would definitely have to consider security and safety concerns.

Ma'a Assalama (bye in Arabic).


Moon, J. (2008). Learning Journals and Logs, Reflective Diaries.UCD Dublin: Centre for Teaching and Learning.

Smith, M.K. (2001). John Dewey and informal Education.
http:// www. /thinkers/et-dewey.htm

Retrieved from Wikipedia on August 20th, 2009.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Mambo (hello in the Congo).

Well, for some reason I can't seem to get my VoiceThread to open directly here or even hyperlink but hopefully you can cut and paste into a new page and get it there. I don't have a microphone so couldn't record my voice but I did type a message for each picture I chose. I did mine in relation to a holiday I took in Europe last year to visit friends.

What a wonderful technological tool to introduce students to. Students could chose to do their voicethreads on many different topics as the options are really quite endless- their holidays, a book or poem they had read and their intepretation of it in pictures and comments, their own or class stories and poems, and even independent or class art works. A lovely Curtis and Carter quote can add to this nicely by stating their personal belief 'that we are expanding our vision of what is possible'.

Mambo (which is also goodbye in Congo).


D. Curtis and M. Carter. (2003). Designing for Living and Learning: Transforming Early Childhood Environments. St Paul. MN. USA: Redleaf Press.


C’kemi (hi in Albanian).

Slide share is an online storing site for power point presentations. Anyone can upload and have their presentations available for others to see and download on to their blogs and websites. This technological tool would be great to use in the classroom as you can find any topic you like on there and it would be a great introduction to students who are just learning about the world of power points (such as myself).

Mine uploaded very easily on to the site and I even got it to embed in my blog. Although I somehow did it twice and changed the layout of this first page of my blog but that is easily rectified if you scroll down to look at older blogs. Oops! Any suggestions or help to re-set this first page would be much appreciated.

Mirupafshim (bye in Albanian)


Above Or Below Ground

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

File Storage using MediaFire

Konnichi wa (hello in Japanese).

WOW yet again! What an incrediblely easy site to manipulate and manouever and for free too. I had absolutely no trouble creating a free account and adding what files I wanted to add which means it would be just as easy for students.

This site would be great for students who are moving schools or changing to high school so they could keep their online and computer work without it having to be stored in an email account. It would also be good as an extra back up in case any of the school systems were too crash and lose work (hopefully that would never happen but you never know).

I have uploaded a powerpoint and a document. Feel free to take a look and make any suggestions.

Sayounara (bye in Japanese).