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

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Image Manipulation

I have signed up and uploaded my Flickr page onto Picnik. Picnik is an image editor which makes your photos fantastic with easy to use editing tools. It lets you modify with a myriad of different options. It also allows you to get creative with tons of effects, fonts, shapes, and frames. It's fast, easy, and fun (Photo editing made fun, 2008). For example I picked out an image of my dog (Boxer - the mini foxy) by linking my Flickr page and made him look better by sharpening the image, playing with the contrast, cropping it down and resizing it. Picnik is a wonderful free tool you could implement in the classroom setting. As mentioned in FAHE11001 (2009) "Image files can come in many forms and file sizes. If you wish to place images on a Website then you will need to consider ways of reducing the file and physical size of some images so that they will display quickly and be the right size for the page". By using this free program with the help of Flickr or any other photo sharing program that is associated with Picnik your class can upload their photo's for a PowerPoint presentation or wiki via their free photo account and...
  • Crop, resize, and rotate in real-time

  • Use special effects, from artsy to fun

  • Produce results fast, right in their browser

  • Add in fonts and top-quality type tool

  • Manipulate shapes from hand-picked designers

  • Which will work on Mac, Windows, and Linux

  • And best of all no download required, nothing to install

Picture - B0xer the wonder Pup C/O Philip Gray and Picnik


Okay......... That was a little confusing but I got there. "Multiple Choice Quizzes (MCQs) offer a number of advantages for teachers which include the ability to make paper-based quizzes available and automatically marked on the Web. MCQs can also provide an effective formative learning resource for students to practice and test their knowledge base (FAHE11001, 2009)". In my first year of university we did courses called Principles of University Learning and Learning Management. Each week we had to read a text and answer a series of MCQs. I found this hard and was scared each time I did the test. This was particularly so for Learning Management as it only gave you one hour. However by having the tests online, you were surrounded in the comfort of you own home (good for some) and you had access to learning materials such as the Internet and books (this was an open book test) to help you along. MCQs can be beneficial to the student groups of today and the future but I can only see it work for older students that understand the ramifications of their actions. I do not see younger students taking these more seriously. But you have to be aware of the pressure it anxiety it may cause the student. As I have a year 1 class I did not bother to try this test because of their limited computer skills, time constraints and Internet access. From a teacher point of view you get to write exactly what questions you would like to ask from the material you have covered in class. The student can do practice tests to further their knowledge and find out where their gaps in learning are. Also, students can do the tests at home (if permitting) and feel more comfortable and not under so much pressure. For and example of a test I created a year 1 level test you are most welcome to try.
Take our online test
Picture - Quizzes C/O IB Chemistry

Animations and Simulations

Wow... This was interesting and engaging. It is clear to see that Animations and Simulations offer huge advantages over text when it comes to interacting with topics such as the Bullfrog dissection (Froguts, 2009) . The virtual experience was very so enthralling an interesting without having the hassles to find a Bullfrog, euthanize it, get tool for dissecting and find a text on how to dissect the creature. This set up is clean, clear and informative which can be viewed time and time again. The marvellous thing about this is it put you in the seat of dissecting where you have to identify and "do" the tasks. This can be particular beneficial to all types of learners. The learner gets to hear the information by the virtual classroom teacher, see the information displayed in front of them and do what is asked by using the tool bar on the side of the screen. It suits all types of learning styles. However this does come at a cost and they are limited to what you can teach your learners. But if this is the way of the future, bring it on. It was fun for me and will be for the learner. Picture - Screenshot of Froguts (c)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Flickr ... no not the dolphin!

I have just downloaded Flickr and uploaded some digital photos. As suggested by Flicker, (2009) "Flickr is an image and video hosting website, web services suite, and online community platform. In addition to being a popular website for users to share personal photographs, the service is widely used by bloggers as a photo repository. Upon joining Flickr it asked me to add any contacts and I picked my yahoo account. It did an automatic search of my email account and I found that I had a few friends that I worked with me in China. It was great to see what they have been doing and experiencing through there own eyes. I went into one of my old work colleagues pages and found a picture of the Pearl Tower in Shanghai at nightime aboard a river ferry. This brought back memories of when I used to go on my monthly visits to Shanghai and what an incredable experience it was. This was an easy experience that could be used in the classroom. For example you could get the children to take a digital camera home for "A day in the life of" activity. The students can take pictures and document what they had done over a weekend and write a little caption under the picture they uploaded on Flickr. This would be an engaging experience for all the students as well as a getting to know each other activity. Picture - Shanghai Pearl Tower at night C/O Steven Milward

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Static websites

The term "static websites" sounds pretty straight forward - as stated from Static web page, (2009) "it is a web page that always comprises the same information in response to all download requests from all users. It displays the same information for all users, from all contexts, providing the classical hypertext, where navigation is performed through "static" documents". There are many advantages and disadvantages to this: -

  • Quick and easy to put together, even by someone who doesn't have much experience.

  • Ideal for demonstrating how a site will look.

  • Cache friendly, one copy can be shown to many people.


  • Difficult to maintain when a site gets large.

  • Difficult to keep consistent and up to date.

  • Offers little visitor personalization (all would have to be client side).

(Wikipedia, 2009)

But as there are advantages and disadvantages there will always be a need for static websites. There were the building blocks for my learning when I started and they could be used in the classroom for gathering information on student assignments. There will be a time where wiki's and interactive sites may take over but I believe static websites still play an important role to e.learning. Picture - blog vs static websites C/O Langwitches Blog

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Video (killed the radio star)

Video killed the radio star! That is true to me and to most of my students. Most students of today prefer audio-visual than just audio. Video can be a useful tool in the classroom. Audio-visual material at the start of a lesson can be an engaging and beneficial tool. I have seen it used in our tutes at university, I have seen it used by teachers in school, I have seen it used in the course and I have used it myself. Sites like YouTube and Teacher Tube are good short video sites that can be harnessed as learning tools for your students. The important tip when using videos is not to have them go for too long. They need to be played for only a short time as to keep the students engaged and interested in the topic. While watching television and video is often seen as a passive viewing experience, there are ways to turn it into a platform for student interaction.

Here are some general teaching strategies that enhance the use of video materials in your classroom by targeting specific skill sets.

With picture and audio on:

  • Use the pause control to stop a scene and have students predict what will happen next.

  • Use the pause control to stop after a particular line of dialogue and have students predict the next line.

With audio off:

  • Have students predict the situation and characterizations based on viewing an entire scene without the sound.

  • Have students predict lines of dialogue after viewing an entire scene without the sound.

  • Have students predict individual lines of dialogue by using the pause button to stop the scene.

With picture off:

  • Have students predict the situation and characterizations by listening to the soundtrack without watching the picture.

  • Viewing Comprehension

  • You can check students' understanding of the situation and characters in the following ways:

Before watching:

  • Give students specific things to look and listen for before they watch a scene.

While watching:

  • Freeze-frame the scene by using the pause button and check students' understanding.

  • While watching or after watching:

  • Have students answer comprehension questions you devise.

After watching:

  • Give students cloze scripts and have them fill in missing words in dialog lines.

  • Listening Practice

  • Have students focus on the dialogue contained in a scene by listening for particular vocabulary words, structures, or functional expressions.

TV Dictation:

  • Have students write dialogue lines as they view them, using the pause control to stop the scene after each line,

Cloze Scripts:

  • As students view a scene, have them fill in missing words in a cloze script you have created.

  • Speaking Practice

Role Plays:

  • Have students role play a scene, practicing the lines of dialogue for correct intonation and emphasis.

On-Location Interviews:

  • Have students circulate around the classroom and interview each other using questions contained in the video segment. Students can then report to the class about their interviews.

Information Gap:

  • Have half the class see a segment without audio and the other half hear it without the picture. Students from each half of the class then pair up, talk about the situation and characters, and act out the scene.

Strip Dialogue Scenes:

  • Write dialogue lines on separate strips of paper, distribute them randomly, and have students recreate the scene by putting the lines together.


  • Have students discuss the scene, plot and characters' actions, thoughts, and feelings.

  • Have students think about what the characters in the scene are thinking but not saying. Students can create these interior monologues, present them to the class, and discuss any varying opinions about characters' inner thoughts during the scene.

  • Have students tell which characters they identify with and explain why.

(Pearson Longman, 2009)

Picture - Teacher Tube C/O Andrew Leggett

IWB's Interactive whiteboards

I have just viewed the YouTube presentation by eSN TechWatch: Interactive Whiteboards: Boon or Boondoggle which was a little technical and heavy to watch but yet informative. I also just watched MIT sketching which I found really engaging and entertaining. Wow......when will these come into our Mackay schools!! I recall on the first presentation that 1/3 of schools in the US have them in their classrooms and 1/2 of schools in the UK have them in their classrooms. I would like to know what percentage of schools have this technology in Australia and when is my class getting one. By watching the MIT sketching. I myself as a teacher found this engaging and I was thinking how great this tool would be to use in the classroom setting. In my last post about PowerPoint's used with projectors was great but this just blows it out of the water. Interactive whiteboards as stated by Wichita Public Schools, (2009) say, "interactive whiteboards (IWB) allow teachers to record their instruction and post the material for review by students at a later time. This can be a very effective instructional strategy for students who benefit from repetition, who need to see the material presented again, for students who are absent from school, for struggling learners, and for review for examinations". To use this in my own class would be a great advantage to my learners - especially my students that have a short attention span. The IWB can be used in many different ways. As listed by the Wichita Public Schools, (2009) the IWB's:
  • Save lessons to present to students who were absent
  • Create video files to teach a software application, a lesson, or as a review to be posted to the server or web. Example- How to create a graph in Excel or hoe to burn a projects to Cd's
  • Use the built in maps to teach continents, oceans, countries, or states and capitals.
  • Present presentations created by student or teacher
  • Have students create e-folios including samples of their work and narration
  • Digital storytelling
  • Teach whole group computer or keyboarding skills
  • Brainstorming
  • Take notes directly into PowerPoint presentations
  • Reinforce skills by using on-line interactive web sites
  • Creating a project calendar
  • Teach editing skills using editing marks
  • Use in the 6 trait writing process
  • Use highlighter tool to highlight nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc.
  • Use it with Kidspiration or Inspiration
  • Teaching students how to navigate the Internet
  • Illustrate and write a book as a class. Use the record feature to narrate the text.
  • Use the Interwrite software to create lessons in advance at home or at school. Then save them for future use or to be shared with other teachers
  • Diagramming activities
  • Teaching steps to a math problem.
  • Have students share projects during Parent/Teacher/Student conferences
  • Graphics and charts with ESL learners and special ed students.
  • Teaching vocabulary
  • Electronic Word Wall
  • End each day by having students write one thing that they learned

Yes, there are negative and as they said in the first YouTube clip a good teacher can engage all students no matter where they are, I believe having a tool like this is a good push in the right direction..........where do I get one?

Picture - Children using an interactive whiteboard C/O Susan stone

Monday, August 10, 2009


LMS or Learning management systems as quoted in CQ University Australia, (2009) "offer a single platform that delivers content, manages assessment, provides communication forums and virtual collaboration spaces for students". For example I found this all new to me when I came to university in 2008. Instead of coming to long lectures that I had imagined in my head, I found that we had ISL's conferences and Blackboards to use. At first this was a little hard for me to take in coming from a digital immigrants point of view but as the weeks progressed I found it more beneficial. It became apparent that you could access information anytime, anywhere (provided you had an Internet connection) and on anyone of your subjects. This became very handy to me as you could do readings via the Internet, with links from your subjects library page. You could also explore further readings through the use of journals, PowerPoint's and hyperlinks. Now while doing this course on e.Learning I am learning a new form of LMS. As I was skeptical at first I believe that this system is easier to navigate that Blackboard. It seems more user friendly and links together easier because of the format. But as there are positive there has to be negatives. The problem I see with LMS is this is no inter-personal touch - it is all cold. You need to have face to face contact instead of being locked in a room or office. If you need to ask a question you cannot get an instant response. You have to post a thread or email. Maybe because we live in such a fast paced world I need a fast response - that is what this technology has brought, we thrive on speed. Last of all (and this may be trivial) is that all the cost is put back on the learner. The student has to spend all this money on a course and then has to sit at home, use his own resources (computer, printer, paper, Internet, etc.) to look at a screen. I do believe this is the way of the future but it is making us into intellectual hermits. Picture - College student at computer C/O superstock images

Friday, August 7, 2009


Hi there, I just finished looking at the tutorial on PowerPoint (PP). A bit old eh? I did not learn that version of PP. I found a better tutorial on YouTube. It was called PowerPoint 2007 Demo: Create a basic presentation quickly by DemoTrainer (2008). I started teaching myself last year with the 2007 version on office and I found it easy to navigate and I was just a novice!! I think it was easy for me because of the format of the program. By having tabulations with main topics it made it simple to find what I wanted to do. My only main challenges I have found with PP is getting objects to zoom in across the screen one by one as I have seen on other PP. I am interested to learn how to do this but with universtiy assignments ever present I believe I do not have the time to learn this yet. Maybe over my holidays!!! Over my time at university I have been using PP for group presentations and for lesson at school. My first experience was doing a survey of people on why they wanted to become a teacher? This presentation went successfully due to the features of adding graphs, charts, images and video (hyperlinked) into the presentation. I have also used it last year for my lessons in class. One such lesson I used it on was for multiplication for a group of year 4 students. I had a series of slides that had algorithms and arrays on them. I would proceed to display the slide through a projector onto the whiteboard via a laptop. I would begin by braking down the sum by showing it in an array form. I would ask the students to come up and circle on the whiteboard the amounts we were after to solve the algorithm. The students found this engaging and enjoyed doing this. By using this form of technology it catered for the visual and kinesthetic learners. From a teachers point of view it saves on drawing heaps of dots on the board. It could be easily modified and stored for future use - which was for my case. I also used it to do co-ordination and mapping. For example I would display a map of the classroom in a grid projected onto the whiteboard. On the 'Y' axis I would have letters. On the 'X' axis I would have numbers. I talk about how co-ordination would work and show the students by doing an example on the projection. I would then let the students try it for themselves. Once againg this was a good base for a template and could be easily modified for different activies. As stated in PowerPoint in the classroom,(2009) "PowerPoint is a wonderful tool for learning in both a student and teacher-directed situation. It can add a new dimension to learning allowing teachers to explain abstract concepts, while accommodating all learning styles". Picture - Co-ordination, C/O Philip Gray, 2008

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Hello again! I have now made and e.portfolio and I am pleased that I got it first go! So what is an e.portfolio I hear some people ask? An e.porfolio is like an electronic resume/CV. It can also contain your personal weblog, social networking systems and electronic files (photos and text) and hyperlinks. Or as stated in is a "user centred environment with a permissions framework that enables different views to be easily managed". In terms of a learning tool for myself and students I could see this as a stepping stone to tomorrows digital world. I believe that once I have finished my BLM degree, having a e.portfolio will be a valuable tool to show case my expertise all in one easy location. With a simple wifi internet connection and portable media device I could show possible employers my full learning history and capabilities. This too can be valuable for my future students. By giving them lessons on how to use an e.portfolio you are enabling them to start to gather information in one place that can be precious to an aggresive work force in the future. A good example of this would be in China or India where a single job could have hundreds of applicants. By having an e.portfolio you could show case your talents and leave a lasting impression that may get them that job.
Picture - Job line up - Shanghai Human Resource Exchange Centre 21 March 2009

Monday, August 3, 2009


I have just watched the YouTube video on Wiki's in Plain English and created my own wike entitled e-Learning Wiki (very creative name ... I know!). So what is a wiki? As stated by the University of Leads a wiki is a form of web technology that allows a web site to be collaboratively constructed and edited with no specialist tools and very little technical know-how. Learning and teaching a wiki can offer students and educators a more active, participative relationship with web based materials. To view my very own wiki it can be found by clicking this link.

I found the YouTube video very helpful in understanding on how wiki's work. I guess this is because I am a visual learner. I hope anyone else out there reading this also found this helpful in explaining this to them. Once again the technology of wiki's is new to me but I could see this as a useful tool in teaching. For example if you were going have a learning journey about Australia you could split your class into groups to cover each state and territory. The students could find information on the criteria you have set and post the information on the wiki. This is a good tool as each week you could have a different aspect to look at and the students can add and edit the information they have gathered and view their peers work. From a teachers point of view you can monitor the students work and cretic it as it progresses and clarify any questions.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Voki Avatars

Wow... this is fun! I have created my first Voki Avatar and it was an awesome experience - but also a great time waster. But in saying that I have already experimented using a Voki for an up-comming assignment and upon showing my colleagues they were quite impressed. I believe that avatars can be a useful tool to engage students in the e-learning world. For example, an avatar can be used for a hook for introducing a topic to the students for an electronic based assignment. The vibrant colours, moving images and speach instead of text all relate to engaging the learner. As suggested by The Abilene Christian University, (2000) active Learning Online the input from multiple sources through multiple senses such hearing, seeing, feeling can make learning effective. With that in mind the student can design their own appropriate avatar that is relevant to their topic. With the relevant avatar designed, it can relay information to the viewer which gets engaged with the topic because of the image and sounds comming from it. This can be effective with today's learner as most are considered digital natives. Digital natives are used to recieveing information fast and prefer to see graphics instead of text as stated by Marc Prensky (2001).