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).


What is a WebQuest?

Kia Ora (Maori for hi).

A WebQuest is an internet based activity many teachers are including in their classrooms as they encourage students to use Productive Pedagogy links focusing mostly on higher order thinking skills. WebQuests are usually problem based and inquiry orientated.

WebQuests normally have a compilation of six essential components. They are
· An ‘Introduction’ which should hook the learners,
· A ‘Task’ which needs to be based on a problem and have a focus question
· ‘Resources’ which are usually internet information links
· A ‘Process’ which should step the students through the learning and assist them to complete the task
· An ‘Evaluation’ which should inform the students of what is required of them
· A ‘Conclusion’ which should assist the students in answering the focus question
· And a ‘Teachers Page’ is often included to assist teachers with what age/grade it would suit, links to standards it addresses, time it will take to complete and implementation strategies.

We designed WebQuests last year in our SOSE course. And I found not having access to a decent computer or internet access caused me to really struggle in the design of that WebQuest. Most of the work took place at a friend’s place using her computer and internet and sometimes proved inconvenient for us both. As an educator I would have to take that into consideration in relation to my students being able to have those basics at home to be able to access and complete a WebQuest that I had designed them. I wouldn’t want to hinder students learning by compiling such a task for them and then them not being able to enjoy it. I would also have to consider if they had access to those basics in class or in the school library.

I would additionally have to think about if parents want their children to work on computers at home. Many families I have spoken to don’t like their children being stuck inside interacting with themselves and the technology in front of them. They feel their children are already involved in too much computer based play and learning as it is.

I furthermore believe a lot of KLA’s would have to be covered in a WebQuest to make it a worthwhile pursuit. In classrooms a lot of the day is structured to include assemblies, 30 minutes a day fitness programs, library, religion, music and other specialist activities such as languages and drama. Include the focus on literacy and numeracy and there isn’t a lot of free class time or opportunities to include other activities. A WebQuest would have to warrant taking time from any other occurrence in the room.

Plus include the days needed to design a WebQuest and it can all be quite time consuming. The designer would have to ensure all the desired KLA’s were being covered and that outcomes for students were achievable for all. There would also have to be a set assignment task to be completed to check for learning. Additionally there would need to be research done as to what information links would be added to the WebQuest plus the designer would then need to check all the information links could be opened and didn’t open on to other unwanted links. All of this and it would need to be fun and exciting to keep the students interest.

All those considerations and I would still include WebQuests in my lesson planning. Knowing your students would dictate if your students would benefit from this different teaching approach. Although all learning styles- visual, auditory and kinaesthetic learners should have something to gain from interacting with WebQuests. The students would hopefully develop literacy skills from reading and listening to directions and information. The learners should also develop writing skills if the set assignment task included that. The students would also in turn develop technology skills such as moving a mouse, how to manoeuvre through links and sift through information on webpage links. Plus develop higher order thinking skills as they would be analysizing, criticizing and assessing rather than just cutting and pasting information.

Haere ra (bye in Maori)


Department of Education. (2002). Productive Pedagogies. Brisbane, Queensland, Australia: Curriculum Implementation Unit.

What is a WQ? Overview. (2009). Retrieved the 13th of August 2009 from WebQuest Direct.


G'day (hi in Australia).

Podcasting= Personal On Demand

A Podcast is an internet based auditory file that is sent via an RSS feed. The auditory file is sent with an ‘enclosure’ tag which can be compared to an email attachment for us less technically minded folk. Basically a person only has to choose what content and which programmes they want to download. And then once downloaded on to a device that supports an RSS feed such as an iPod, mobile or computer the person can chose to listen to the podcast when and where they like. It is the same with VodCasts except they are video files rather than auditory based files.

Podcasts can and are used for stories, self guided walking tours in museums and art galleries (imagine getting students to create their own walking tour around the school or local area!), music, radio and television shows and training and instruction giving. Just imagine the possibilities this could create in and outside of the classroom.

As stated in a previous posting my cousins are in a local high school and podcasting is now becoming a form of learning for them. I was curious as to how that could benefit them all but it is used in a way to strengthen their knowledge rather than being their only form of lesson delivery. It appears to be of great benefit to students who learn in auditory (podcasts) and visual (vodcasts) ways. One of my cousins now actually enjoys her classes as she can learn in her own style when and where she likes!

To be honest, I hadn’t used iTunes for anything other than music before. Opening the education category, again opened my eyes to a world I hadn’t seen or experienced before. I then got busy downloading on to my computer and iPod and watching and listening to these newly found sources of knowledge as I want to be considered as a 'progressive' teacher not a 'traditional' teacher of the bygone eras as suggested by Turner-Bisset.

See ya (bye in Australia).


Housley, S. (2009). What is Podcasting? Retrieved the 13th of August 2009 from Podcasting Tools: Resource For Podcasting.

Turner-Bisset, R. (2001). Expert Teaching: Knowledge and Pedagogy to Lead the Profession. London, UK: David Fulton Publishers.

Wikipedia Search

Haai (hello in Afrikaan).

Wikipedia is an internet based encyclopaedia. Wikipedia originated from Nupedia which was also a free English language encyclopaedia that was written by experts and reviewed under a formal process.

Wikipedia was developed to be multilingual and remain a free resource that has the opportunity to be edited and added to by everyone. With that freedom Wikipedia remains to be criticized for its reliability and accuracy and its ability to be referred to in assignment tasks.

As a university student I have not been as a rule, allowed to acknowledge Wikipedia as a source of information gathering. I wonder if we as educators will in turn pass on that thinking to our acceptance of it in assignment tasks we receive.

My search of Wikipedia was in relation to my class growing vegetables and I came across these resources-

· That there are different types of the plant are called the vegetable- leaves, roots, bulbs, stems of plant etc...
· The Latin meaning of ‘vegetable’ and when the term was first used in the English language
· Nutrition
· Colour pigments
· Storage
· How to tell the difference between fruit and vegetables
· Pictures
· Individual uses
· Individual history of each vegetable
· Production trends
· World Health Organisation recommendations

I would take advantage of technology to make these resources available to my students inside and outside the classroom by allowing them time on computers to look at pictures on the web and in clip art- remembering my students are still developing letter and word recognition skills in Prep. Cittadini suggests educators view each child as an individual able to construct their own learning and that we listen, observe, interact and learn from our students. I would let them guide their learning throughout our learning experiences from planting our seeds to utilising our freshly grown vegetables by reading the available information to them as they asked and required.

What do you think? What would you do?

Totsiens (byein Afrikaan).


Cittadini, S. Reggio Emilia Approach to Education. Retrieved on the 12th of March 2009 from

ClassMarker Quiz

Aloha cousins :)

WOW! Yet another great classroom resource! Malaguzzi challenges us to think outside the box and to re-think the way early childhood education is taught and this is definately a way to do it.

If I had older students this would definately be an advantage in the learning environment. For my prep students I would have to read the questions and explain the concept of true and false before they could answer the questions but I am sure they would love doing an online test like big kids. I am thinking I might even use this testing as my form of end of term assessment for them and see what words they recognise and how they go with it all. I will keep you all posted on how they go and if you want to give it a go and give me feedback here is the link-
Take our online test

Mahola, Rissa.


Edwards, C., Gandini, L. and Forman, G. (1993). The Hundred Languages of Children. USA: Ablex Publishing Corporation.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Using musIc on/from the web

Salut (French for hi).

I tend to have a more eclectic taste in music and having a racially diverse class made choosing a piece of music from the INCOMPETECH site easy for me- African and World! I wanted to see what they had available in the form of more culturally diverse music. I found a great variety of music but had trouble downloading it and then when it downloaded it took a long time to buffer to be able to play but that could be my old computer rather then the site. I love the fact that this site is free to download and able to be played to a group of people without the concern of copyright breaches because the organisation has already dealt with the Creative Commons Licence delemias for us (educators).

I had planned on adding the music to my lesson in the Gingerbread Man’s travels this week but I will have to play around with the site some more and see if I can find something else to download for my next lesson. Instead I am using a CD this week which I think will be just as entertaining and enjoyable for the children.

Other uses for music could be for-
· Setting the tone in the room while completing tasks (slow quiet music to calm students or more upbeat to motivate and re-energize students),
· Including students in the classroom (more diverse music rather than mainstream or generalized children’s music),
· The start of a lesson (the students hear a certain type of music and know it is time for a specific KLA).

P.S. Can you think of any other great ideas?


Static Websites

Hi (Germans say hi too- did you know that?)

Doing a Google search for ‘Static Websites’ bought me across a wealth of information. Although one bit of information remained clear in each page I looked at. A static website is a website or web page that doesn’t need changing or updating often. A static website is also supposed to be quick to set up and require next to no maintenance so if the information you are trying to get across to readers doesn’t need to be changed often then a static website is for you!

Most of the information I read said any individual, business or company can have a static website. Most websites usually recommended people to have an active website so the person creating the website could change the content when or how often they like with minimal fuss. That way the website could still be static if the person in charge of it decided not to update or change it very often.

So basically websites whether active or static allow people to view the information you are attempting to get across to them.

Bye (Germans also say bye!).

Static Websites. Retrieved the 13th of August 2009 from GemBiz.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


Hej (hi in Swedish).

During some research I found that Lorenzo and Ittelson sum up what an e-portfolio is quite nicely by stating that it is a personal web based collection of work, responses to ideas and work and personal reflections that can be used to show case skills and accomplishments for a variety of situations and times. They then go on to add that e-portfolios are a valuable learning and assessment tool.

The how and why would I use this in a classroom environment led me to finding out several things- The e-portfolio could contain video and audio taped interviews with students, photographs and work samples that might be used to create discussions and high light students achievements. Using an e-portfolio would benefit and lead students to developing critical reflection, collective learning and knowledge sharing as skills to be used in and out of the classroom setting. It could also assist in the development of writing and communication skills, technology literacy skills and how to use digital media.

After discovering what an e-portfolio was and how it could be used, I signed up for Mahara (our university chosen e-portfolio) and got started looking around. It was all quite painless apart from the having to pay money part. Although in the long run it may well be a good investment. I haven’t started uploading anything of great interest there yet so it could be challenging once I do. I hope to adjust my resume and put that on there soon and then I hope to start adding lesson plans and ideas. Wish me luck as I do you on this exciting adventure into the unknown.

Hejda (bye in Swedish).

Lorenzo, G. and Ittelson, J. (2005). An Overview Of E-Portfolios. Educause Learning Initiative.

Voki Avatars

Ciao (hi in Italian).

Voki avatars appear to be a love them or not type of technological tool if my uni lecture group is anything to go by. Some students used them in their group presentations which I thought was fun and great that they have mastered the power so easily. While others thought them silly and that they are very un-human (some students argued they give a human element to the lesson but aren’t we all human?). I take it from this mixed reaction that this could be the response in a ‘normal’ classroom environment.

(several people and myself couldn't get this to open properly here so hopefully the link works).

I personally feel unless I could make the voice different to my own culturally wise I probably wouldn’t use them too often. My class is a quite diverse crowd and would most likely respond well to a voice that sounded similar to their own. I wonder if I could record several students’ parents’ voices and then add that to an avatar and play it during a lesson. Please let me know if you have any ideas or suggestions on how to do this. Thanks.

Arrivederci (bye in Italian).

Powerpoints re-visited

Oi (hi in Portuguese).

My Prep students said they enjoyed the power point presentation I created for them, even though it didn’t hold their attention for long. I think it was because I personally wasn’t comfortable with the technology and felt that the lesson could have been constructed better. In hindsight I could have persevered to add music or find clearer pictures but this is all still a learning curve for me. I will hopefully learn from my mistakes along my learning journey and become a power point wiz.

Thanks Cristi for the suggestions on how to add pictures from the internet. None of the people I had spoken to had ever had such a problem and couldn’t assist me in uploading pictures other then clip art to my power point. I haven’t made any more power points for class but plan to again one day soon with this newly gained knowledge.

And in other big classroom technology advances for me-
· I have introduced signing in on the smart board when the students enter the room. Most of the students love it and some have started doing rainbow writing (writing their name over the top of itself over and over again in different colours). There are still two students who are reluctant with the process but we practice together when other students aren’t around because we all need to work on our Queensland font handwriting skills!

· I have also involved my students in working in the word function of the computers we have in our classroom. It came about as an unplanned event as I was typing up students observations for their portfolios when several students showed interest in what I was doing. I set them up and stepped them through their options of drawing lines, using shapes or typing letters in different fonts and/or colours by clicking on different areas. They truly enjoyed it and have now made it part of their ‘police’ play as they use computers!

How much fun! Wait until I introduce them to Google Earth this week (fingers crossed it works at school) on our Gingerbread Man’s trip around the world.

Tchau (bye in Portuguese).

What in the world is LMS?

Hi (hi in Romanian is the same too!).

Learning Management Systems or LMS as they are more commonly referred to on the internet are programs just like Moodle and Blackboard.

Moodle and Blackboard programs (which we all use for university so don't need an explanation) can be described as being student centred rather than teacher centred because if you look at the continuum of teaching methods you will realise we the students really do guide our own learning. With LMS programs, students can focus on the areas they want to read or participate in without having to be concerned about what everyone else is doing.

And if you look at it from a Productive Pedagogies viewpoint, programs like Moodle and Blackboard fit in the Supportive Classroom Environment column accurately as again it is student directed, self regulated and incorporates academic engagement.

The author of an article by the Australian Flexible Learning Community compared LMS to being a ‘basket’ that just about everything you need is in. That comparison sums up Blackboard and Moodle to me. What do you think?

Pa (bye in Romanian).

Continuum of Teaching Methods

Department of Education. (2002). Productive Pedagogies. Brisbane, Queensland, Australia: Curriculum Implementation Unit.

Australian Flexible Learning Community. (2004). How To Choose A Learning Management System. Retrieved the 13th of August 2009 from the Australian Flexible Learning Framework.

Interactive White Boards

Hola (hi in Spanish).

Interactive whiteboards which I know better as ‘smart boards’ have been in both of the schools I have completed practicum at. But am I any better off than a friend of mine who hasn’t had access to one in either of her prac years I couldn’t tell you.

Neither of my classroom teachers (as brilliant as they are) have embraced the technology much or taught me anything amazing using them. They have both used the ‘smart board’ to play music and DVDs and the occasional interactive games on it but I had not seen power point presentations on it until the week I did mine. I have not seen avatars or links to internet programs such as Google Earth on it so I will set myself the challenge and attempt to do that myself.

I wonder if we should be learning more about ‘smart boards’ and its various features and functions in our university lectures? Should the lecturers be teaching us using the technology we will be using in the classroom? Could we better prepared if we have played with them before stepping foot in the classroom?

Another friend (I don’t want to use names on here but they know who they are) recently returned from her holidays in another state and had visited a school there. She had the opportunity to sit in on classes where the teacher used the ‘smart board’ all day long and incorporated it into everything they did in one way or another. It was her who gave me the idea of getting students to sign in on the ‘smart board’ as it was the way the teacher she observed started her student’s day. My friend said the teachers there all got a program/CD rom to download on to their computers so they had everything at their fingertips and were able to embrace ‘smart boards’ and all their capabilities. I think that would be a wonderful thing to access as a pre service teacher so that people like myself who aren’t tech savvy (hey I only got a laptop a few months ago!) could practice and play with it before going into the classroom and attempting the whole trial and error thing in front of students and mentor teachers.

Adios (bye in Spanish).


Hei (hello in Finnish).

Now when I read video on the Moodle page in front of me, my thoughts instantly went to VHS or BETA. Some of the young people reading this will have no idea what I am talking about. It was what we used before we had DVDS!

Now after reading the topic fully I can understand they are talking about video clips that are saved in programs such as You Tube and Teacher Tube. Or better yet videos you as the Learning Manager or your students create by filming something on a digital camera or mobile phone then uploading it into a program such as Movie Maker.

I have only used movie maker once or twice and that was quite a while ago in an Art lecture last year. I remember it was quite an event for me as I am not technically minded and had a very old computer system. A quick play on my laptop now with the downloaded program (Movie Maker) and I feel confident I can make something. I might even set myself the task this week of filming the students in my class and experimenting with that during the week to create a mini movie. Of course I won’t be able to put that on here. I will have to come up with something else for that. Any suggestions?

Hei (which is also bye in Finnish).

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Image Manipulation

Ahoj (hello in Czech).

Picnik is another easy to use program that I am sure my students will love as much as I do.

Picnik allowed me to re-size, crop, change colours, resolutions and contrast as well as red eye reduction to a picture that most of us have on our computers from when we first purchased them.

I was impressed with how easy it is to do and will be incorporating it into my future powerpoint and website productions.

Nashledanou (bye in Czech).


I really did love using Picnik! I will be attempting to add these sort of collage pictures to my in class powerpoints so that my students really do need to look at what they are seeing.

They could even start taking the photos and assist in the process.

Flickr pics

Erika's picture was taken at the Gorge Waterway in Canada and
Kathy's photo is of her on her wedding day!

Flickr time :)

Flickr is an online photo storing website. I actually already had an account with Flickr as I used it to show friends and family back home in Australia what I was doing and where I was going when I lived in the USA.

I also used to upload pictures on to Photobucket as well because I never wanted to pay to be storing my photos online which meant considering storage limits.

I now store my photos on Facebook as most of my friends and family are on there and it can be made to be private so only people I want to see the pictures can view them.

Several friends have mentioned problems with creating a Flickr account as it goes through Yahoo (another account which I already had) but have persevered and uploaded some great pictures.

I uploaded my friend Erika’s (now in Canada) and Kathy’s (now in Germany) photos on to my blog with a few difficulties. I couldn't get print to go where I wanted to and couldn't get the photos side by side so if you have an hints let me know. Otherwise I'll keep playing with it to see how I go.

What is Google Earth...

Hei (hi in Norwegian).

Well, their website states that Google Earth lets you 'fly' anywhere on Earth to view satellite imagery. You can look at maps and terrain (great for Geography). You can even zoom in on 3D buildings! Basically you can see everywhere from galaxies in outer space to the canyons of the ocean.

It also goes on to add that if you download the Google Earth function (that you pay for versus the free one) you can view historical imagery from around the globe plus the ocean floor and surface data from marine experts as well as get simplified touring features with audio and voice recording.

You can even experience the Apollo landing with Google Earth!

WOW!! What an incredible resource to have access to in the classroom. Suddenly subjects like geography, history and marine studies would come to life. In Geography, classes could look at rock formations and place locations while learning about longitude and latitude. In History, the class could look at where wars occurred and the terrain they had to cross. In Marine studies, the class could use the more advanced Google Earth feature to look at the many different levels in the ocean. The ideas are really endless with such an easy to download function.

In hindsight I think this would have really engaged my students in our previous Underwater World unit of work and taken our learning to a whole new level. I will definitely be incorporating it into our multi cultural unit this term as our Gingerbread Man travels the globe.

And to make the learning and awareness of the capabilities of Google Earth more well known as well as real and relevant to them: the class could type in addresses for schools that they might have sister programs with, all their previous and current addresses, all their friends and family members addresses from all around the World etc...

Ha det (bye in Norwegian).


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

Wiki Part Two

Well after setting up mine so easily I thought I better investigate this phenomenon a bit more and I found....
Ward Cunningham first started developing the first site to be known as a ‘wiki’ in 1994 and put it online in early 1995. He originally called it ‘Wiki Wiki Web’ because he had been in Hawaii and had heard airport staff referring people to the ‘Wiki Wiki’ shuttle. ‘Wiki Wiki’ meaning quick or fast in Hawaiian.

The word ‘wiki’ can also be expanded to ‘what I know is’.

Further investigation led me to making the link between a ‘wiki’ which allows many users to edit a page or topic (working collaboratively) to Lev Vygotsky who believed that children learn through shared problem solving experiences with someone else. How remarkable that a child theorist from the early part of the century when computer technology didn’t really exist can still be used to assist our teaching strategies. Jerome Bruner can also be referred to here in reference to ‘wiki’s’ as he claims that learning should be participatory, proactive, communal and collaborative.


Brady, L. And Kennedy, K. (2009). Celebrating Student Achievement: Assessment and Reporting. Frenchs Forest, NSW, Australia: Pearson Education Australia.

Brady, L. (2006). Collaborative Learning In Action. Frenchs Forest, NSW, Australia: Pearson Education Australia.

Wonderful World of Wiki

We discussed in our university lecture group the other day that you tend to learn a skill ‘just in time’ to use it and that was exactly how it was for me with ‘wiki’. Why this sudden need, you might ask, well I was (as were many at the Noosa campus) involved in two group presentations this past week and one of my tech savvy mates decided to start our assignment on a Google document so we can all add our bits when we weren’t meeting. Great idea I thought- how clever of her! Except until I attempted to open and edit the document a few times. No good. It just wouldn’t let me do what I wanted so I thought I could let this get the better of me or I could just embrace another technical element so my ‘wiki’ was created. I even managed to email the involved parties and let them in on my technical wonderment for a change (got to embrace those successful technological moments when I can!). Sorry I didn’t post it on the forum straight away as I wanted to become comfortable with using it before I shared it with everyone.
So last week I created a ‘wiki’! Yes me! It was VERY easy- a couple of clicks of various buttons and away I went! It was almost too easy especially after watching the You Tube clip that Scot has on our learning materials.
Link here- sorry still haven’t worked out how to open You Tube clips directly on my blog yet.
My ‘wiki’ is:
‘Wiki’ is definitely an easy to use tool for me (well at least the ‘wetpaint’ one I have signed up for) and I could see it involved in the classroom environment in so many ways.
For example getting input from students on the next unit of work to undertake in class and the next excursion destination. It was brilliant for the group presentation tasks so I would definitely recommend it for that use in the classroom setting too.

Sunday, August 2, 2009


Hi again, this week I volunteered to make my first powerpoints for my class lessons. My friends and fellow educators have been making powerpoints for nearly two years now so have a great deal of experience in that area. I tried to get as many ideas and suggestions off them as I could.

My first powerpoint was to do with the vegetable garden we are creating. Most of the students in my class were unsure of which vegetables grew above and below ground. Easy I thought. Well, several hours later and I still hadn't worked out how to cut and paste pictures from the internet to my power points. I ended up using clip art. I love clip art! Next was the background but I started to realise I should of done that first as pictures started to disappear and move around. More playing around with it all and I wanted to add music. My friend made it look so easy when she did it but again more playing around with it and I was finally happy!

The other oh so simple powerpoint I volunteered to do is in regards to hospitals and it was a similar story. I commiserated with a friend and she reassures me it will get easier the more I do it. Fingers crossed they open at school on the smartboard and I will keep you posted how successful it is after my lessons.


RSS means Really Simple Syndication

Hi followers,
I have some how managed to subscribe to peoples blogs without really knowing how I did it. Just a couple clicks of a button and I did it! Me?! Could it really be that simple?
I have also now started noticed RSS functions everywhere. They are even on my private and work email accounts. Had they been there before and I just hadn't noticed? Or cared to look?
I do like the simplicity of being able to open my accounts (emails or blogs) and find the information I want has come directly to me. I could actually get to like this new technology business!
Stay tuned for the next exciting instalment of how to become a better teacher!