Friday, August 21, 2009


CQ University Australia. (2009). Retrieved August 10, 2009, from FAHE11001: Managing E-Learning (Term 2, 2009):

Dodge, B. (1997). Some thougts about webquests. Retrieved August 17, 2009, from WebQuests:

Flicker. (2009, August). Retrieved August 14, 2009, from Wikipedia:

Froguts. (2009). Retrieved August 15, 2009, from Froguts:

Kearsley, G., & Shneiderman, B. (1999, May 4). Engagement Theory: A framework for technology-based teaching and learning. Retrieved August 5, 2009, from FAHE11001:

Managing E-Learning (Term 2, 2009):

Pearson Longman. (2009). Using video in the classroom. Retrieved August 12, 2009, from

Photo editing made fun. (2008). Retrieved August 15, 2009, from Picnik:

PowerPoint in the classroom. (1998-2009). Retrieved August 8, 2009, from Teachnology:

Prensky, M. (2001, October). Digital natives, digital immigrants. Vol. 9 . MCB University Press.

Static web page. (2009, July 20). Retrieved August 13, 2009, from Wikipedia:

The Abilene Christian University. (2000). Why Use Active Learning. Retrieved August 3, 2009, from Active Learning Online:

Wichita Public Schools. (2009). Interwrite schoolboards and schoolpads. Retrieved August 12, 2009, from Wichita Public Schools:


This blog we produced is also a useful tool from a professional point of view. At anytime I can come back, and refer to one of the many different e.Learning tools. But not just mine, thanks to this technology I can gather teaching ideas from my cohorts to make for a truly invaluable resource. Over these weeks I have learnt by reading other blogs, replying to comments, talking to peers and lectures that there is an exciting e.World out there.

Take for example the first few entries in my blog. I found avatars such an engaging tool I used one in an English Literacy presentation on Digital Gaming. The Avatar was at the start of my film to connect the topic to my overall question. To top it off I presented it digitally to tie in with my learnings. Another tool I have found invaluable is wikis. After seeing the YouTube video on wikis, I can definitely see this as a tool I will be using in the classroom. The thought of having information stored in a place for students and teachers to view, access and add is important to the learner. As stated by (Kearsley & Shneiderman, 1999) “all student activities involve active cognitive processes such as creating, problem-solving, reasoning, decision-making, and evaluation. In addition, students are intrinsically motivated to learn due to the meaningful nature of the learning environment and activities”.

Other tools that gained my interest were PowerPoint (however I have now converted to
Prezi) Interactive whiteboards, videos and Animations and Simulations. First of all PowerPoint is a tool that can be used so the students can present information in an assessment format or as a teacher to make a WebQuest through hyper linking. This tool is beneficial to the student because they “are used to receiving information really fast (Prensky, 2001). Also this is the same for interactive whiteboards, videos and Animations and Simulations. Prensky states that digital natives “prefer their graphics before their text rather than the opposite. They prefer random access (like hypertext). They function best when networked. They thrive on instant gratification and frequent rewards’”.

As there are many more to mention I believe the tools I have mentioned will be ever present in my class. This does not mean I will not use the other tools, it means that I feel my digital natives will get the most from these programs.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

WIKIPedia ... the new type of media?

I only discovered WIKIPedia once I started university. To myself and the world it is a global phenomenon. It is so because anyone can add their own content to it. I ride motorcycles and my model is not displayed. So, I was thinking, on my holidays I might do a write up and create a page on it. WIKIPedia can be used to gain ideas for teaching. For example I am becoming and Early Childhood Teacher and at present my students are doing a unit on recycling. By doing a search on recycling I found all this information with links to recycling. Here are some of those links:-

Types of recycling

General topics

(WIKIPedia, 2009)

On an overhead projector, I could talk about recycling to to students, go to the recycling page on WIKIPedia and look at the images and follow the links to other topics the students talk about in our discussion. Picture - WIKIPedia logo C/O WIKIPedia

Monday, August 17, 2009


What are WebQuests? A WebQuest (WQ) is an "inquiry-oriented activity in which some or all of the information that learners interact with comes from resources on the Internet, optionally supplemented" (Dodge, 1997) with hyperlinks and tasks to complete. Last year during a SOSE unit for university Aaron and I developed a WebQuest on the water cycle. This WQ was an adventure based with you being a national park ranger in Australia finding how and why it is important to conserve water. The WQ was made by using a PowerPoint and linking the slides together with hyperlinks to different information websites, activities, games and assessment. The method used in delivering the questions was from TELSTAR. TELSTAR offers a powerful and stimulating structure for teachers and students to learn together in well-defined phases of learning:

  • TUNE IN - to the issue or theme being studied

  • EXPLORE - students' knowledge, attitudes and questions, as well as the methodology to be adopted

  • LOOK - for information

  • SORT - the information

  • TEST - the information using the hypothesis developed in the explore phase

  • ACT - upon the learnings of the unit

  • REFLECT - upon the learning of the unit

Using WQs as a teaching tool is a very engaging activity for students compared to traditional teaching. Traditional teaching involves students and teachers looking up information in books and websites at random - which can take a long time if you are sent on a link to a different focus. But with WQs students can travel at their own pace and can go back to find information on their topic by clicking on different links. It takes the guess work out for the students to find appropriate website. On the downside the teacher has to find the relevant material for the WQ which takes a great deal of time. Preparing the WQ by looking up appropriate site and linking them to essential learnings in the curriculum can be hard where as traditional teaching is more straight down the line. However a positive for this the teacher can keep a copy of the WQ and use it for new classes or share with other learning managers. Picture - Webquests C/O WebQuests in Social Studies

Google Earth

"Google Earth is a virtual globe, map and geographic information program that maps the Earth by the superimposition of images obtained from satellite imagery, aerial photography" (Wikipedia, 2009). I have been using Google Earth for a few years now and I enjoy its technology and how we can see the world from a bird eye view. It is a lot more informative than the old rotating globes you used to get in the classrooms of yesteryear. As for myself, I use this technology in conjunction with Google Maps to see places I want to go to, where I have been and where my friends live. In a teaching sense you could use this technology if your class is learning about different countries or cultures. You could have a list a famous land marks and capital cities and ask for their co-ordinates which would be a great activity in Maths for mapping. The limits are endless. Picture - 36 Danastas Avenue, Eimeo C/O Google Maps

Sunday, August 16, 2009


A podcast is "a series of digital media files, either audio or video, that is released episodically and downloaded through web syndication" (Wikipedia, 2009). These are usually downloaded to a media player like itunes where it can be synced onto a portable media device like an MP3 player or Ipod. One such program that is great tool for looking up podcasts is itunes. Itunes stores and itemises you digital media as well as a server for locating podcast. In the store section of itunes you can find all different types of categories that contain different genres. They range from Arts to Education to Video and TV. In the Education category you can find many different examples of educational podcasts. One such podcast I have been subscribing to is Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips to Better Writing (GG) goes through everyday grammar problems that are in today's society. It gives an example of when it has been displayed incorrectly and gives tips on how to rectify it. This podcast is useful for a teacher to brush up on their own grammar skills or to learn something new and exciting. As for students this podcast could help out the high school or university student understand and use grammar better. To use this in a classroom setting you could get the students to find an educational podcast listed in the itunes store, download it and in a small group they can explain to the class what it is about. The students could then design a their own podcast based on their previously chosen podcast to follow up the learning experience. Once again they can work in groups and collaboration with the teacher to design, write and record their podcast like mentioned in Kearsly and Shneidermans (1999) engagement theory framework. Picture - Ipod C/O

YouTube, I Tube, we all Tube, for YouTube!

As an old hat of YouTube (I think I started back in 2005) I believe it is great way to show visual media. Whilst teaching abroad I found it a great way to showcase my adventures. I also found it great to look up things I am interested in. As well as YouTube, TeacherTube is another form of visual learning site. This site is more directed in the educational side of visual information. Having used both YouTube and TeacherTube in the past for assignments and personal use I would say that these are both very engaging tools that can be a hook and stress a point to students. For example as a teaching tool, my year 1 class are looking at recycling and are focusing on plastic bag use. The video can introduce the topic of using plastic bags and questing on what the students saw and what they could do to reduce using plastic bags can be obtained from this short clip. As this clip has been done with clay animation, I believe that the students will be engaged both by the characters and the length of the video. These videos can cater to the audio and visual learners. As an assessment piece the students could perhaps create their own YouTube/TeacherTube home page and make there very own video on recycling and post it to show their families. Picture - YouTube logo C/O YouTube