A Teacher of Technology in Education

Web 2.0 Course

Final Course Reflection 🙂

Here I am, at the final course reflection of the Web 2.0 online course I have explored throughout Semester 1 this year.


I absolutely love this way of learning, I encourage this way of learning with my own two daughters, yes they need scaffolding, but as I watch my girls go through their learning, exploring, refining, evaluating journey in their education (they are in middle and upper primary levels) I can look through their actions as to what my students may be thinking, wanting, exploring as well. It is such a great window for me to look through.I really enjoyed watching the video ‘eLearning with the iLe@rn Model’. I will definitely be using this video for further staff meetings/professional learning meetings with staff at my school or with parents. I also believe this video would be perfect to show students in senior primary level.

It still amazes me when my girls come to my husband and I and say things like ‘ wow look at the rainbow, why do we see a rainbow, well I am going to find out….. I have seen a rainbow at  home in the bathroom……’ then my youngest daughter will go off and research on either you tube or ask ‘Google’ to help her find out, next I watch as she tries to get out her own science equipment ( science is big in our family as my husband was a scientist turned computer scientist).  All without me or my husband trying to tell her what to do or how to do it.  She had the ‘tools’ computer, internet, microscope, sunshine, mirror, all ‘tools’ around  her. She just used them in different ways to satisfy her curiosity as to the big question ‘WHY do we see a rainbow….’  It is not about my daughter wanting to use the computer… it is about her wanting to know how things work, natural curiosity in children :)

My daughter did use different skills from the iLe@rn model, she

*questioned – why do we see a rainbow?

*reflected – after viewing on youtube she was thinking further about the ‘how’ of how a rainbow is created and why it is visible sometimes

*creative thinking – she looked around at home to see if she could see the rainbow again in the bathroom, what is causing the rainbow to be seen inside, how to replicate that again using a mirror, lights, sunlight

*critical thinking – she then went back to the you tube videos watched them again and had another go at replicating a rainbow at home!

She then wanted to share her learning with her teacher and class mates so she made a slideshow about her learning, printed it out herself, went and laminated it as well and then took it to school! Amazing. This was all due to her curiosity with rainbows from seeing many of them as we travel around in the car a fair bit to see our family!


The  Digital Taxonomy map is an excellent map and one that I am wanting a copy of to put next to my planning. It would be an excellent document for teachers to have when they plan as well.  I have seen the Digital Taxonomy before but I haven’t seen the  Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy Map before. Thanks so very much for sharing this with us! Is this available for us to use in schools?

I found this great explanation from Bloom’s Taxonomy Blooms Digitally  very enlightening. It has given me a much greater explanation of the ‘low order and high order thinking skills’ and how digital technology fits within. Great reading for all educators!!

By Andrew Churches, April 1, 2008  http://edweb.sdsu.edu/courses/EDTEC470/sp09/5/bloomstaxanomy.html   ’Blooms Taxonomy’ where he states “In the 1990′s, a former student of Bloom, Lorin Anderson, revised Bloom’s Taxonomy and published this- Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy in 2001.Key to this is the use of verbs rather than nouns for each of the categories and a rearrangement of the sequence within the taxonomy…”

I found the examples for all the categories and sub categories VERY useful. I can look through these as I sit here beginning my planning for Semester Two and where my teaching is geared to… what are my students going to be using… HIGH or LOW order thinking skills?  What an excellent reflection tool to use at the end of a Semester or Term or unit of work ! I can see how these categories and sub categories could be added to our school inquiry planner which would put it at the forefront of thinking when planning units of work for our students!!  I will now go and reassess the inquiry planners that my school use to see if any of these higher and lower order thinking skills are represented or how they could be represented in the future planning?

Thanks so very much for pointing me to this great tool. It is one that will be very useful for me going forward.

In regards to other tools such as ‘Picasa, Second Life or Glogster’ these are all great tools, however in the primary sector I work in, the tool ‘Second Life’ is not one that I would be comfortable to use.  It truly is a High order thinking skill’ as many components of this ‘virtual world’ relies on ‘creating, designing, manipulating’.  Higher order technology skills as well.

Glogster is a great tool to bring together student learning and understanding at the end of a unit. It could quite easily fit in under ‘analysing and evaluating’. I have seen this used by a number of educators on their blogs such as ‘Kathleen Morris’ Year 4 class blog as an evaluation of their Term Two.


In conclusion to this Web 2.0 course, I have thoroughly enjoyed working through the different Modules and have learnt about a variety of new tools, reflected on tools I use, revisited tools I have begun to use but have not used in a while.

The main point I have learnt as I worked through this course is how many tools I do just ‘skim over’ touch the surface, dip my toes in, but not in any great depth go into.  I have vowed to get back into using some of the tools I really enjoy using, but get out of my comfort zone and use them indepth in my planning and with my students.
I thoroughly enjoyed revisiting ‘Delicious bookmarking site’,  Glogster, Google Apps/Docs, Blogging, Animoto,Twitter (my all time fave) , Digital Storytelling. I feel now that I am ready to move on in my teaching and learning as I have the lucky role of being the ICT Teacher and the students at my school absolutely LOVE ICT!!

I really like the reflection from ‘Anthony Speranza‘ as part of his school participating in this course, they met regularly through ‘Teckie Brekkie” sessions with all the different teachers who participated in this course.   Having this collaboration, discussion, reflection would be great to model for future teachers in our school completing in this course.  In my school I have had the ability to participate in professional dialogue on all things ICT particularly this Web 2.0 Course with a colleauge completing this course Sarah @sarah_duf . Since working through this course, we have worked through joining VPP (Volumne Purchase Pricing) for apps for our apple products, we have also worked through with the amazing help of CEOM staff Celia Coffa @ccoffa to set up Google Apps for Education.  This is VERY exciting!!
To conclude, participating in this course has given me
*loads of resources,
*links and professional learning at my fingertips
*ideas and suggestions to present to my staff
*tools to revisit and reuse as part of my teaching repertoire
*reflection on where I am currently in my thinking and planning
*re-evaluating my own planning attempting to incorporate tools by introducing ‘blogging’ to my students, through modelling professional writing, scaffolding, sharing, documenting and giving authentic reasons for blogging.  I am starting by transferring my resources from our school intranet web links to my school blog. From there I am introducing my students to the different tools that we will be exploring next Semester. I also want my students to work through a series of ‘Self Directed Learning Tasks’ my hooking them in with ‘the possibilities’ This started at the end of term 2 by introducing students to ‘Google SketchUp’.  From there I will ask students to explore this 3D tool. “The possibilities are endless

I feel invigorated to get going, get moving, get my students going, invigorate the staff at my school to look deeper into the web 2.0 tools they are using or more than likely utilize the skills and tools my students already possess in their “Digital World”. Yeah!! :) 🙂


Module 10 – Learning Communities -wikis, nings etc

Hello Once Again,

In a professional level I have used wikis and nings once again in a very limited way.

About 3 ago I subscribed to  http://guidetoinnovation.ning.com/ Guide to Innovation Ning. I explore this Ning at times to review Eluminate sessions that have occurred as many of them occur during my work time, however having the opportunity to review them in my own time is excellent professional learning related to my own needs and interests. I shared this site with teachers at my school back in 2010 and they decided to join as well. However, that is where it stayed.  Following on from this, a former colleague set up a Ning just for our staff to encourage staff to explore Nings.  It started off ok, a few ideas came up, but then that teacher left and the Ning is now non existent!!

Following on from that, as I was working at my current school in a greater capacity, I was invited to join the Wiki for teachers in the zone or area to connect me with ICT educators in my area.  It was great, after our 3 monthly (Termly) meetings, minutes went up, resources and links to presentations from that meeting were up and a list of contacts for me to connect with.

The other Ning I follow is ‘Classroom 2.0′ the amount of wonderful professional reading, sites, links etc is huge!!  Everyday in my inbox there is something new and exciting.  To the point I was getting so much that I had to modify my receiving of notifications as it was filling up my inbox!

Then along came ICON- (Integrated Catholic Online Network) along came ICON coaches. They also set up Wikis, again a place to connect, share etc.  Again further info about current thinking, links to presentations from previous meetings/sessions.  A central location for finding info.

There is great fear in the ‘online collaborative spaces’ for some educators.

I do like the use of youtube videos to explain what these new web 2.0 tools are as teachers are very visual learners, and the explanations are great in simple terms to put into context what these tools are and how they can be used.

Again the point I keep referring to is technology and Web 2.0 are tools, they do not replace the teaching, they are meant to enhance teaching and learning for teachers and students.  However there is some learning by teachers that does need to be done. There also needs to be more self directed learning by staff, gone are the days that PL is all one way presenter lead. Professional learning should be about the learner wanting to learn, explore, ‘dip the toe in’ just as we expect the students to.

As an ICT leader I find most of my learning comes from my own direction, interest and research. Waiting for others to teach me is not how I  best learn. I am curious by nature and have found a wealth of information to assist me right there on the Internet. Just as I expect my students to do, I do as well!!  I have not waited till Professional Learning is ‘given’ to me, however it is great to attend PL to reiterate I am on the right path!!

Google Sites/Google Apps:
I have had a look at the information about Google Sites: I can see loads of potential for schools, the main being collaborative and cloud based. Schools tend to have most documents located on school servers ( required for security and privacy) however, there are times when co-teachers, level teachers etc are required to complete a document. Currently at my school this is done via email or hard copy print out.

A colleague and I have trialled Google Apps with our Learning Support staff to document their observations while working with certain students in our school.  The Learning support staff have all been gifted an iPad with an iTunes card and a contract to say they are to locate/source apps that they feel will assist the students they are working with. They are to also record their observations/activities completed after each session.  Trying to find time in the busy day to do this recording has proved difficult hence the decision to try web based Google Apps. LS staff can then use their iPad to document their observations etc which can then be added to the school server at the end of the week or month or term as Google Docs is able to be exported as a word doc. The trial is continuing and next term after our winter break I will sit down with the LS staff to review this process.

Also I have gone ahead and subscribed our school to Google Apps for Education and am  hoping the experience of the Learning Support Staff will give the rest of the staff some feedback about how using this type of Web tool can support teaching.
Another reason for going ahead with Google Apps for Ed is due to a student in the upper primary class not having any Microsoft programs on their home computer so is having difficulty completing any work at home or creating any work to share at school.  This student is currently using Google Docs/Apps, however due to the age limit being 13 and over, I do not want this student to be using Google at school as they are under the age based on the terms and conditions of Google.

It is one area that schools will continually face as more and more families at home use alternatives to MS Office, however as schools we need to have other alternatives or tools that students can use so not to to impact negatively on their learning. It is the learning NOT the tool that  should be the focus!!

Will reflect back here once we have looked at this as a school/staff/students!!

Should be interesting :)


Module 10 Learning Communities, Constructing Knowledge Together in Wikis

Howdy Once Again,

This module made me stop and think about the different wikis I follow, what is the purpose of me following those wikis, how valuable is that wiki and where can I go from here with those wikis?
I am introducing blogging to a number of classes next Semester, however now looking at the links on the Module 10 page, for some activities I have planned through my ICT lessons, maybe wikis might be better. I will look into that further when I do more planning and re planning next week ( just the thing for winter school holidays)!

The wikis I have joined a few years ago are: Classroom 2.0. This has been an invaluable resource, the regular updates, quality, in-depth posts from contributors has always given me many valuable resources etc.  Once again though, I have only skimmed the surface of what a ‘wiki’ is and how it can be useful. I am using it in a one dimensional way, the wiki out to me. I am not contributing to these wikis at present. I have commented on some over the past year, but that is as far as I have gone. Not very transformative!

The other wikis I have joined are: Teach Meet Melbourne 
Thanks to Celia Coffa @ccoffa I have been able to connect with other ICT educators. This wiki has great links to presenters from previous Teach Meets that I have not been able to attend.

Module 9

Hi Everyone;

Glad to get to Module 9, nearly there, just like the last day of Term, the end nearly here and that sense of completion is HERE!!!

Having a good look at the different tools related to social networks in this module, I am happy to say that I have been using Twitter and Linked In for a couple of years now! I do not use Facebook for my own personal and professional and digital footprint reasons.

Scootle :
Scootle is an excellent resource, one that aim to come back to every time I plan for my next unit of work over the holiday break!!
At the May Melbourne Teach Meet one of the presenters was Lou Bowe who is Senior Digital Educational Analyst at Education Services Australia www.scootle.edu.au and she spoke about how Scootle has resources that can enhance the Australian Curriculum. This did remind me to check in with this wonderful resource more often. I would like to see the uptake of use at my school with this resource.  Something that teachers at my previous school did on their end of term Inquiry planning day did was they looked at digital resources such as Scootle and added them into their Inquiry Planner (if they fitted) so they could be used by students.
I would love to know how other schools use Scootle? I will have a read of other participants responses to give me some ideas to bring back to my current school!!

Reflective Question:

 Can you identify any Web 2.0 features of Scootle?
Are you interested in reading other teachers comments on resources or sharing learning paths?

Having but a little look at Scootle, the web 2.0 features that I could see are the collaborative features inbuilt into the site. I really like the  new feature called ‘Scootle Community’. As educators this is a wonderful way of collaborating, connecting and sharing/discussing all things related to our profession. I am going to look into it a bit further.

Many of these learning paths I have used on my ‘myclasses’ pages,  the students last year really enjoyed the ‘Sovereign Hill’ interactive. We went to Sovereign Hill as a WHOLE SCHOOl last year, it was an incredible way  of exploring Australian History as a whole school!  To expand on this great experience, I wanted the students to explore the ‘virtual’ Sovereign Hill’ learning path. The kids loved it!!  The class teachers also used the resource in their classrooms, and as a whole class Year 3 & 4 students, they explored the resource in the ICT Lab.  Basically putting their learning and ICT skills together exploring this resource prior to our excursion then as a follow up post excursion!

I need more time to explore the potential of this wonderful resource. I just wish it was easier to get into, navigate and locate the resources for my students and staff at my school.

As for the 2nd reflective question, yes I am interested in reading other teacher comments, any feedback, tips, reflections is always useful when searching the goldfield for resources. Having a fellow educator give some insights is a very useful tool, teachers do prefer another educator’s thoughts rather than solely relying on the ‘advertised comments’ of the producers or creators of other web tools who have a sole aim of promoting their own resources (for us to purchase!!)

Twitter has best social  network for me in my professional life. Ever since joining after hearing my former colleague Nathan Jones @elearnjones encouraged me to join, I have not looked back!!  This is the first place I look now for resources, contacts, ask questions, all professional related to my role in ICT.  I have so many contacts from people I know in the ‘real world’ to colleagues in my sector to contacts all around the world.

I have Twitter on my computer and on my personal phone, I check it a few times a day!!  I am still to work out how to use ‘Tweet Deck’ which I think will help me organise my twitter contacts!

In the future I would love to set up a Twitter account for our school community to send out updates, information, links, events etc!

Just last night  Hamish Curry @hamishcurry from State Library Victoria, tweeted about an upcoming kids workshop based on ‘MineCraft’. Well how perfect for me!! My daughters have just gotten into Minecraft and after hearing some of my students chatting over the past year thought it would be great to head off to this workshop! Hamish replied instantly, I signed up and whola we have got our first school holiday activity booked in!!

I met Hamish last year when he presented a workshop session for ICT leaders in my zone and he spoke about lots of web 2.0 tools and Twitter was one of the main ones he encouraged teachers to use to connect to a PLT with! I also attended the Melbourne Teach Meet at State Library Victoria in May. What a wonderful resource under our nose and am so happy to be taking my daughters there! My oldest daughter went there a couple of years ago for an excursion and she is very happy to be going again to learn all things Minecraft!!

At work I mentioned to a couple of students and parents whom I know are keen Minecrafters, they are keen to attend! The first question they asked was, ‘How did you hear about it” I said ‘Twitter’. Here is a classic example of how I have used it in my work!! Sharing what I hear with my students!!

As for second life, I have not explored this at all, guess there are so many tools that can be explored at any one time plus get through report writing for almost 300 students plus have a life!!!  If I had a second life…. hmmm the possibilities!!

Linked In:
I have used Linked In for a couple of years, but in a very superficial way! Basically to follow others, connect with other professionals in my area of ICT. I am still yet to get a full handle on this tool. As for in my ICT lessons, I would not use this tool, this am keeping strictly professional!

Overall looking at all these different social media tools, there are great options for all of them, my main problem is keeping up with all the different passwords for these :) There is potential in all these tools, however they need to fit into or enhance my work, life, teaching, learning.

Guess I am continually learning, but I do feel I need to delve further rather than just sign up to lots of tools and not really expand on their uses.

At my school not as many web tools are used, next Semester I am wanting to learn more about what tools are currently being used, how they are being used and possibly introduce a few of these tools I have used/learnt about to support the great things already going on at my school.

Well, that is the plan :)

Cheerio Raff


Module 8

Hi Everyone,

Time has gotten away from me with reports, reports and reports. Crazy time of the year!! I don’t even know where the month of June  has gone. I was eagerly awaiting a long weekend back at the beginning of June; yet somehow I have arrived at the last day of term ready for our 2 week Melbourne winter holiday break (Yeah!!)

Back to Web 2.0 course, having a good look at the Module about managing my flow of information on the Internet, I can honestly say that I have not really gotten into RSS feeds. I have since discovered that Google Reader is to be discontinued at the end of this month. Hence little time for me to explore let alone trial it in my classroom.

I have  add news feeds to my most popular news sites http://www.theage.com andhttp://www.abc.net.au and do occacionally go into them to read the latest updates from those sites, however I still use the old fashioned way of going to the actual site and viewing the ‘latest news’ of ‘tomorrow’s weather’!

As an ICT teacher I am not sure how I could use RSS feeds in my classroom. I feel they would be of benefit more to me professionally to get updates to my most visited sites.

I did see this on Twitter the other day @curosa mentioned “Life after Google Reader: GigaOM’s Guide to the best options”  which looks at the other options out there:

This might be something else for me to investigate in the future, however I don’t feel I have the need for this at the moment :)

Cheers Raff :)


Module 7: Building Online communities

Hi All,

Yesterday I attended (for the first time) the ICTEV 2013 State Conference. Wow it was fantastic!!

I had been wanting to attend for a while now but with other family commitments, well this year I managed to leave the family all asleep early Saturday morning while I ‘escaped’ to the world of other ICT Leaders from across Victoria to the amazing learning spaces at Melbourne Grammar.

There were so many fabulous presenters, I wish I could have attended all the different sessions as they all had great things I wanted to know more about.  One of the sessions I attended was ‘ Are You a Curator? You Should Be… ‘ By John Pearce.  @mrpbps I had heard John speak last week at  ’Teach Meet Melb’ he demonstrated passion, enthusiasm, drive, excitement in ICT (  he couldn’t stand still he just wanted to share all the info in his head with us all!!) I was thrilled to be in his session again yesterday! http://johnp.wordpress.com/online-presentations/

Delicious is one online bookmarking site I have been using for a number of years.  I come back to it every now and again, I loved when it had ‘stacks’ and those stacks could be shared, but.. that feature is no longer available.  I wrote a post about ‘Bookmarking’ sites when I was leaving my previous school and my thoughts then…

However, after attending yesterday’s Conference, i have come away renewed in my interest of finding ways of making resources available on my different devices and Diigo was presented by John.  I have set up a ‘school’ diigo account.

There are many ways I can already see that this may benefit me and the school community I work in:

1. A central place to put links eg: after our Cybersafety Session with Susan McLean last week, parents were keen to have links and resources Susan shared. I have put them in the school newsletter, however there are links that are just for ‘parents’ so this may be an alternative…

2. A place for my students to go to for specific tasks I set and resources students need.

3. I loved the suggestion John made yesterday… ‘Ask students to go research on the topic of ….. ask them to find any further resources on the net… they can add those resources to the Diigo list, enabling students to be the finders of resources not just the user of resources specified by the teacher….’  That is taking one step further. I love it!!  Now gotta learn about it!!

4. A place for the different communities in our school to share the one area to collate and curate resources which are shared across different areas

5. An area for our students to collect, reflect and add to regardless of their Year Level or class?

6. Professional Learning area for staff – a place to share great new tools, resources, links found when staff go to PD

Back to learning about Diigo

Cheerio Raff

Module 6: Exploring photos and videos on the web

Hi All,

I had actually completed these activities exploring and using ‘Picasa’ but have finally gotten some time to document my learning.

I really enjoyed exploring the use if Picasa.  I have used a variety of different photo editing programs over the years such as ‘Photoshop Elements’, Photo Story, Paint to name a few.  Picasa has got some great features that would be very useful at school.  The students in the senior primary level document the years of their primary school and this might be a great way to add quite a few photos together to create some collages into their ‘Memory Books’ (note to self: talk to senior teachers about this).

I like the way that photos are easily added, moved and the special effects that can be created.  I am of the belief that original photos should be used whenever possible and permission sought if using a photo that either belongs to or has someone else in it. Which is a huge component of our ‘Cybersafety’ focus at my school.

Here is a little one I had a go at creating with my family showing some of the great vegetables we are growing and some of the dishes we have made and shared. Enjoy!!

Food Glorious Food

Ok, now time to get into nitty gritty Web 2.0.

Module 5  (Creating and Communicating Online)

 using1: Mind Mapping Software 2: Glogs such as Glogster 3: Presentation software such as Prezi.

I have explore 2 /3 of these, however I have not used Glogster before commencing this course.  Last year with my colleague Sarah, I got to explore another mind mapping software ‘ Poplet’ on the iPad. Sarah instructed her Year 5 students to create a ‘mind map’ based on their planning/preparation for their  ‘advertising’ unit the senior classes were working on.  Students used ‘Poplet’ to record their ideas, they then emailed that poplet to the school email account. Sarah then downloaded them onto our school server. The students then located their own poplet, inserted it into their Digital Portfolio along with their item they were creating/designing.  It was an interesting exercise.

I had not used poplet itself before, however I have used for many years program such as Kidspiration and Inspiration to create mind maps, prior to the ‘technology age’ I’ve used mind maps which were already created in the good old ‘timesavers’ black line masters books.

Thinking about it now, how could I use this type of ‘tool’ take ‘Mind Maps’ to the next level rather than simply be a ‘substitution’ for what is already being done/created.
Looking at the SAMR model based on apps here: interestingly as I thought, Poplet comes into the ‘substitution’ area.  This is one educators view of this app however as educators, we are always on the lookout of how to do something we know and are familiar with BUT in an alternative way using ‘current’ technology /devices/apps eg: iPad.  I guess this does reflect the ‘substitution’ phase in SAMR.  My thoughts anyway!!

Next time I may explore the students adding video, photographs, self-reflection, original video/audio and have an audience to view their ‘mindmap’.  Something I do not get enough time to do in 45 once a week session :(.

Bubbl.US was great, I enjoyed using it, again it is another ‘substitution’.  I would like to research further before asking students to use it. How can I take it further…..  how can I make it ‘work’ at my school? What technology is required? Would students be interested in using it as an alternative to ‘Kidspiration/Inspiration’, how can our students collaborate to create a mind map what is the purpose???  Hmmm so many questions!!!

For now here is the ‘Bubbl.US’ I created about Web 2.0 @ my school.


Glogster: This was another great Web 2.0 tool that I have heard lots about, seen lots of them but never explored myself.  I had a go, created (yet another) account and had a play.  I do think this is geared more for upper primary and certainly secondary students.
Again this requires teachers to set up accounts, passwords etc. Students may enjoy the visuals, 3D effects and ability to add a variety of media in a ‘poster type’ format.  Again I have only had a little play and would need more time to explore it with my students and teachers.  I do like the fact that the ‘Glog’ is altogether on a ‘page’ so to speak and does not go on for ever and ever.  It can be a complete unit of work put together yet showing skill in a variety of different tools, media etc.

Here is the one I had a go at : (hmm lots to learn still though)

Prezi: At my previous school one school closure day, our principal and Learning and Teaching coordinator introduced us to Prezi.  As a staff we all signed up to an ‘educator’s account.  We then went in to look at the Models of Contemporary Learning and all the links that have been set up for educators in a ‘prezi’.  It was an ‘wow’ moment!!  We were thrown in head first to explore the resources that our area leaders had created in this new format!!  As we were all ‘encouraged’ to locate specific content  on a ‘prezi’ it was this mode of delivery that gave teachers at my previous school the scope and new interest in the ‘prezi’ format.  Many of us went home to play with it as an alternative to ‘PowerPoint’.  So much so senior teachers introduced it to their students, needless to say the students loved it!!!

Now the down side,  Prezi requires users to be 18 years of age or older to create and upload content ,
Thankfully there are wonderful educators out there so keen to share their research – Here is a  review of Prezi for educators by Kathleen Morris ‘Teach Gen Now’ blog.

Last year at our Curriculum Parent Information Night, I created a very simple ‘Prezi’ which I shared with our parents. It was very well received as an ‘alternative’ to Power Point’ slideshow! Check it out: (Note to self: I must get back to creating some Prezi’s for my students, I have forgotten about it!!)
Note: Prezi is not able to be viewed in a WordPress blog! There are ways around it but… I must investigate further.

Click here to view my prezie ( hope it works!!)

Module 4:
Digital Storytelling: Podcasts, Vodcasts, Videos & Web 2.0

Today I have begun exploring the different activities in Module 4.
This will be exciting as I am wanting to work with some of my senior students this Term on ‘Digital Story Telling’

This area lends itself perfectly to my work as an ICT Teacher. Giving students the ‘tools’, scaffolding ideas, planning and preparation, then using a variety of ‘digital tools’ to put their ideas together.

Students can then use these tools in a variety of learning activities back in their own classrooms.

Storytelling is not a new phenomenon in education. I remember way back when I began teaching over 20 years ago, my first Year 6 class, I used storyboarding in a variety of my lessons, students working either independently or in cooperative groups. I used this type of activity as an assessment tool for a unit of work or inquiry work.

Now 20 or so years later, the same skills, strategies, processes I still use however the ‘tools’ are different for our digital world.

I would like to explore ‘Digital Storytelling’ with my senior students Year 4-6 at some stage this year.
Our students have access to a variety of  ‘tools, software, equipment, devices’ giving them the strategies and skills to put their ideas/thoughts/plans into a digital form will be an interesting journey.

Through my work as an ICT Teacher I have worked on ‘open ended’ activities’ as I only see the students once a week, completing tasks that could take a decent session is not possible in a 40 minute lesson.  Hence creating activities that students are able to explore based on their thoughts and ideas, adding to them on a weekly basis.

By the end of the term all this planning, preparation, editing etc will culminate in a piece of work that can be used as an assessment piece, sharing piece, learning with other students piece or shared.

My ideas so far, our school is having a whole school focus on ‘Sustainability’ this term Prep – Year 6.
Blogging is being explored in a variety of year levels, this leads to a perfect way for our students to showcase (down the track) their learning in a digital story format such as a podcast, animoto or photostory.

This is a HUGE area, an exciting area and a multi layered area for students and teachers to get their heads around.  Glad I have already done loads of work in Term One on Cybersafety which underpins this next stage of taking student work out to the world through blogging!!

I began exploring Animoto, Smile Box,  at my previous school creating some simple videos based on school events eg: Italian DayTwilight SportsChristmas Carols, as my way of learning how to create videos to put up on a blog.  It was great experience!!!

I wonder what types of digital story telling my students have explored or would like to explore? Chatting with the students, gaining their feedback always inspires me to consider out of the box ideas…
Using a ‘backward planning’ method I will outline what I am looking for at the end of the unit/term/activity- typically I look for a purposeful activity eg: create your dream playground area, or ideal house or sporting area etc.

Next I will use a ‘hook’ to hook them in eg: videos, photos, animations.
After that I will look for videos/tutorials for students to work through at their own pace/skill level.
I will also share with my students a ‘rubric’ that I have created to give students an idea of what I am looking for and to reflect on their own learning.

In ICT I find students have such varied experiences, as a teacher I need to cater for these student needs as much as I can to ensure their learning experience is not a wasted one week in week out in my ICT classes.

Last year in both the schools I worked at, I introduced ‘Google SketchUp’.  I wanted to ‘engage, inspire, hook’ my students in.  It was a great journey one where the students particularly the girls thoroughly enjoyed!!
Check out how I did it here: 
What I loved the most about putting this process up on my blog for the students was that they were given the ‘scaffolds’ support and guidance, they were also given a chance to explore, create, edit, modify and finally reflect  on their learning. The students absolutely loved it!!

I am working on trying to incorporate some ‘digital storytelling’ ideas using photos/video/audio to tie into ‘Sustainability’.
Will let you know how it goes!
Would love ANY ideas you have !!

Cheerio Raff 🙂


Creating & collaborating with online applications


ACTIVITY 1 & 2 Introducing Google Docs

Over the past week I have begun exploring how to add ‘Google Docs’ to my ‘Google’ account.  I have downloaded ‘Google Drive’ onto my computer, uploaded and downloaded a variety of documents both at home and at school and it works beautifully YEAH!!  It is so easy to use, a great way to back up documents to the cloud to access anywhere any time.  Pity I have not utilised this earlier!!  Again brings me to the point I hear educators saying all the time ‘there’s too many things to learn’.  I agree there are heaps of new tools to learn, but for me it is just adding to the tools I already use, just streamlining them somewhat!

I can see the future possibility in my school of using Google Docs between staff and maybe also students in the future?
I have also this weekend explored ‘Edmodo’ which is fantastic!! (more on that later)

I need to spend more time investigating this and Google Docs.
Over the weekend I have downloaded the google docs app for my phone and also on my computer. WOW fantastic!!!  I am loving being able to save my work on both drives, review them etc.

I am in the process now of exploring Google Drive, how it is similar/different to Office 2010. How wonderful it would be if staff could upload documents that need to be reviewed by all onto a Google docs shared space, then edit and upload again!
My greatest joy is possibility of having less email in my ‘inbox’ and greater documents/comments/feedback online.  I can’t wait for that time!!

Well, watching the videos about Google Docs brings home my hopes and dreams for using this ‘cloud technology’ in my school and with my students!  I particularly like the 2nd video where teachers talk about the collaborative aspects of Google Docs.  Even though it did look more secondary based, I can well see how this could work with the Year 5/6 level in my school. They are regularly working on collaborative projects especially part of Inquiry. I can see Google Docs as an extension of the great work already happening in this level for collaborative activities!

I will ask a colleague  who teaches in the Senior Primary level if her students could ‘trial’ using Google Docs /Drive as part of Inquiry next term?  It would be great to have feedback from the students as well as the staff !!


Atomic Learning. Having a bit of a look through the Atomic Learning Webpage and Blog, it is very interesting that this type of program has been created. There obviously is a need for high quality professional learning to assist schools/staff to move forward with their integration of devices.  It takes much more than simply ‘purchasing’ the hardware.  Empowering staff to embed the technology in their teaching in learning MUST go hand in hand with supplying schools/staff with the technology!

I am wanting to find out more about Atomic Learning and if as a school or diocese we have access to the Atomic Learning professional learning as I can see the potential in my current school!

Back to Google Docs/ Google Apps/Google Drive.
I have had loads of fun this past week having Google Docs and Google Drive synced on my MAC and my iphone. Cool stuff!.. I am saving my work from school on Google Drive and can access it either on my ipad/iphone or my MAC without having to be connected to the server at school!!

I am wanting to investigate how I can upload some student tasks that students  and / or staff can access themselves to complete for me as a trial. Hmm am still thinking about that. Will watch a few more youtube videos and then discuss with the senior teachers ( will use them as a start point possibly?)

Will explore that in the next couple of activities.

Last Friday 15th March, a colleague and I were exploring with Google Docs. We wanted to see if this type of product would be useful in future activities we both have planned for staff meetings and PLT meetings (Professional Learning Team ). I decided to create another gmail account just for my current place of employment. My colleague and I had a good play around and found how to share & edit a document. It was excitement all around in the teacher planning room !!  Then one of the learning support staff entered as she has been wanting to use her new iPad for taking anecdotal records of students in the certain proforma that is used but she couldn’t access the server for the saved MS Word document.  Well as soon as we could we signed up our learning support colleague to gmail and then shared a document for her. Wow there were high fives going all round.

It was like we had made the discovery of the century as we could all see the possibilities of having such a product (google docs) on a variety of devices and how easily it can be accessed and shared.

Our goal now is to trial this with a number of learning support staff and see if they can create their anecdotal records.
The most useful feature of google docs that my colleague and I found is the option to export the google docs and open and save it as a regular MS Word document which is required for record keeping.

Ahh that moment when through the dark grey clouds a sliver lining has finally been discovered to a continual problem of how to access or save documents using the iPad device saving back to our server.

I am now looking and reviewing ‘Google Docs’ in plain English youtube videos as it gives an excellent overview of what Google docs are about especially for our newer staff and not as tech savvy staff.

This has been a great module and I have really enjoyed getting my teeth into Google Docs.
Now the fun part.. how to share this excitement and share the possibilities with the rest of my staff 🙂


Module 2 – Reflections: 

Exploring the use of blogs in K -12 learning spaces

About 3 years ago, in my previous role as an exec member of our e-Learning network, I presented to staff a variety of blogs that had been created by teachers. I came across 2 types of blogs, teacher reflection blogs and classroom teacher/student blogs.  Again the focus was PURPOSE. Each one had a different purpose, teachers reflecting on professional learning, a way of showcasing, documenting, reflecting, sharing their journey. I was interested in ICT Teacher blogs and how they incorporate ICT in their teaching and learning.  I came across Kathleen Morris’ class blog.  I was thrilled to see how Kathleen was incorporating technology into her classroom. I was also interested in her professional blog for like minded educators. She is so willing to share her ideas, resources and I have emailed and contacted her numerous times and she has been so gracious with her help and ideas.

Having this personalised element to a blog space is wonderful. Having this interaction, being able to follow Kathleen and others in Twitter has expanded my walls of connection.


I am glad to see that this video ‘Blogs In Plain English‘ has been placed here for teachers to use as I have used this video as an introduction to blogging with staff, students and parents at my previous school. It was a great intro to blogging in great kid speak! ( Also adult speak too). I liken it to an online newspaper, snippets of news, the most recent added at the top.  Students may need a visual example as this type of web 2.0 tool is not linear like a narrative.  Also there is a great deal of new vocabulary for students to learn eg: post, links, pages, comments etc.  Having a bank of vocab and adding to it may be of use with students and teachers.  Like learning a new language or software program, vocab familiarity is very important to get a handle on!

I will be sharing this video to parents when we launch ‘blogging’ across the school I work at. It will be interesting to collect some data about the parents of our students? Who uses blogs regularly? Who curates their own blog? Are there any students who currently blog? What are they blogging about?

I really like the work that Kathleen Morris has done to prepare her students well before they are able to ‘blog’.  She has used the term ‘Educational Blogging’. Fantastic sharing of resources for teachers out there willing to give it a go.

The one area that interests me the most is ‘Cybersafety’.  This MUST go hand in hand with preparation f or using ANY web 2.0 tool.


I had started this blog in Mid 2011, however I would like to utilise more of the features and tools.  One area that I am trying to work out  while working through this Web 2.0 online course is:
1. How to add different posts to different pages I have created?
2. Is it better to have a blog with ‘static’ pages and ‘post’ to the main page of the ‘blog’?
3. What are your thoughts on starting a new blog each year with new group of students?
I guess I have lots of wonderings at the moment as I don’t have a class of my own and I only see each of the 12 classes I teach once a week and going forward having ‘class blogs’ would be more relevant/dynamic?

I have sent up a school blog for my students in different tab pages for different year levels. You can check it out here. I am working on using this tool as part of my teaching once our current ‘Intranet’ (myclasses) ceases to exist in my education sector.
However, I am not convinced it is the best way… at the moment it is very linear… ie more like a list of sites for students.. which is what I am wanting for at the moment as the kids are ALWAYS  asking… what is that website?  How can I access it at home?

However… I want to make it more a collaborative blog, interaction from my students, parents and teachers. Hmmm still thinking if this web 2.0 tool is the best. Or… I have com across….
Again lots of questions…


There are a number of very keen staff members at my school who wish to start blogging with their students. Looking at the ‘Blogger’ platform compared to the ‘Global 2’ platform which I have been using, Blogger seems great as well.  Looking further ahead, if as a school we down the track of using ‘Google Docs’ would having class blogs in the same platform be of benefit?

At the moment I am going to further explore some of the great Web 2.0 tools to imbed into my blog to make them more, interesting, creative, interactive etc for my students.


2013 Semester 1

Here I go, launching into this new Web 2.0 Online Course.

Module 1 – Reflections:


I have looked through the Web 2.0 YouTube videos, reflecting on the amazing changes that have occurred in technology, the incredible changes these advances have made in my own teaching in learning over the past 20 years as an Educator..

Having been an ICT teacher since 2001, I have used, taught, shared, learnt a great deal through the use of technology. However it had been very linear, not connected other than through email. Then in early 2011 I attended Professional Learning where I met up with a former collegue  Nathan Jones (@elearnjones). He was sharing the great things he was doing with his Year 5/6 students. He was participating in an iPad trial  http://theipad2011.webs.com/ with his students and he was sharing the very interesting ways he was exploring this new device. He also shared how he was sharing this new learning online using a variety of Web 2.0 tools. He said the best  tool he found to ‘connect’ to other educators was ‘Twitter’. Well, that was enough for me, I went home and signed up straight away.  I too wanted a way to connect to other educators online and thought ‘Twitter’ would be a fantastic medium to learn from others passionate about Technology in Education.

Well, I haven’t looked back, Nathan was the first person I followed and now I have lots of followers and am following lots of education related people/organisations. I love the way I can get quick, short replies from literally hundreds of Twitterers around the world!!

Other Web 2.0 tools that I have explored since then I have documented on a previous post here about another very inspirational educator : Kathleen Morris. Way back in 2010 I came across her blog documenting her blogging journey with her then Year 2 students. I absolutely loved that medium of student interaction with each other and others around the world. Kathleen really did inspire me and I went back to my school and shared with the Eastern Zone ELearning network about this great new medium called ‘Blogging’ I had been reading a variety of blogs on the internet, however until 2011 I had not ventured into blogging myself.  Kathleen’s blog http://primarytech.global2.vic.edu.au/ has a huge variety of support, documentation, tips and tricks for teachers who are wanting to use/start blogging with their students.

I would never have known about all the great things both Nathan, Kathleen and a variety of other educators are doing in their classrooms. Let alone be able to view and use their resources, great ideas etc without the ‘collaboration’ and ‘sharing’ that is part of  this Web 2.0 development in technology particularly Twitter.  I just love being able to use the variety of URL shorteners, what a great invention!!

The best thing I love is the sharing, collaborating nature of using Twitter. I know there are many,  many more tools out there for me to explore, but I am thoroughly enjoying learning  from my fellow twitter educators. 🙂


The top 100 Web Tools  http://c4lpt.co.uk/top100tools/ is an interesting list. From an observational point of view, which of these do I use personally which ones do I use professionally, which ones have I not even explored yet. I use on a fairly regular basis 20 out of the top 100 tools listed. Thinking about it, as an ICT educator, should I be using more of these tools?

Which of these tools do my students use in their learning?
What tools would my students like to use at school that they are not currently using?
Which tools are relevant for my primary ‘under age 11’ students? This question is one that I consider very carefully prior to using any tools as I want to model safe and responsible use of technology.
Allowing my students to….
*sign up to sites that are age appropriate, I always check the age limit and have a good read of the terms and conditions

*Always ask students to ask permission from their parents if they wish to sign up to anything
*Encourage students to view the ‘terms and conditions’ of sites
*Use their school username and password/email address for only school appropriate sites/resources

That is an interesting question. I would like to investigate this further throughout the year.


As a Google/Google Chrome/gmail  user, I was really interested to see the iGoogle feature. I had signed up for it ages ago but never really used the features.  Now hearing that Google is not continuing with iGoogle and focusing more on Google Docs/Apps, I guess I can see the logic in that. (they have to make money somehow I guess!)
I have not yet made the transition to Google Docs preferring to carry around all my files in a portable HD.  I have downloaded Evernote & onenote, made an attempt to work out how to best manage them and am looking to try one for my work documents so I can access them ‘anywhere, anytime’.  I do use dropbox however this has a limited space capacity and not sure if I am ready to purchase more ‘cloud space’.

Think I will investigate Google Docs further as a real option (and keep a copy on my external HD, just incase!!).  I can see real potential in schools to go down this ‘cloud’ storage, makes life easier if one is out at Professional Learning, and needing a copy of say the ICT Policy or a policy document or access to any files, how simple and easy!!

Having my basic work files on my dropbox is great as I can access them on my different devices.  I wonder how many staff at my school use ‘cloud’ storage?
This would make for a good activity at a PLT!  I would love to know what other participants are using for their ‘cloud’ storage? What are the successes, what are the challenges?  Are students using this type of storage for their files? Can teachers/parents access them?
This is the way of the future…. what an interesting ride….. wonder 5 years from now…… will it be all standard us educators and students using cloud technology?


Tonight I have been exploring ‘Google Apps’For Education. I have been using lots of the different Google products but….. have not yet ventured down this path. Well I wanT to explore them and see where they fit into my learning and teaching and also where they fit in with students possibly in the future?

I will start by using google ‘drive’ to upload some of my frequently used documents so I can access them ‘anywhere anytime’ eg: timetable /yard duty timetable/ liturgical calendar/ work program template /school calendar of dates.

It is a wonderful way of accessing your documentation without have to carry around USB’s, hard drives or having to be at school to access the school teacher network. It will be interesting to see at the end of Term One this year, how often I have used Google ‘Drive’, what types of documents I use  on a frequent basis. I will also begin to investigate ways my students can upload their work for me so I can access their work away from the school network.  Lots of questions at the moment and hopefully will have some answers as the year progresses!!



Comments on: "Web 2.0 Course" (10)

  1. Raff,
    I totally agree with your feelings about twitter and blogging and how inspirational they can be. Another thing I am finding is how we can use tweets or blog posts to help clarify our thinking, by exposing our thoughts, our wonderings, we can gain greater insights and continue to develop our ideas. The sharing of ideas, concerns, successes and failures can be very powerful. Looking forward to reading more of your insights.

    • Hi Celia,
      Thanks so much for your comment and your time today. It was such a great discussion and I’ve lots already! After speaking with you today, a couple of teachers came up to me and said ‘we want to try blogging’! WOW, fantastic. Time to call Verona for a followup session. I think it would be very powerful Verona to hear the successes and failures of our attempts at blogging since her last visit. It will be interesting to hear what new ideas, visions, goals our staff have now in terms of blogging. The most important step out of all of this must be ‘purpose’. It is such a key word. Rachel summed it up beautifully today saying “…. I’m still learning…” a very powerful statement for educators and students to hear. I can’t wait to see what your students begin to document on their school/class/student blogs.

      Look forward to lots more discussions to help put out there what I have in my mind, my wonderings and my thoughts.
      Thanks again

  2. Hi Raff,
    Thanks for sharing your insights. I loved your use of two words in particular in your blog…share and connect. How powerful these are! Ewan McKintosh says that “the most effective teaching requires the most effective collaboration.” and you say this so beautifully in your post.
    Keep ‘em coming

    • Hi Dean,
      Great chatting today, wonderful professional dialogue, it was wonderful to get my ideas/thoughts/work out of my head and into the world. Having the opportunity to discus with like minded professionals like yourself makes all the wonderings, difficulties, challenges worth it. I am buzzing with ideas of how to really connect with my staff and students. I really do want the staff and students to be part of this amazing collaborative, connected world and I hope this Web 2.0 online course journey will help to guide us all along.
      Cheers and thanks

  3. Sarah Duffy said:

    Hey Raff,
    Thanks for your great example of blogging your thoughts and wonderings to this fledgling blogger!!
    I appreciate and agree with your comments about needing to carefully consider:
    “Which tools are relevant for my primary ‘under age 11′ students? This question is one that I consider very carefully prior to using any tools as I want to model safe and responsible use of technology.”
    Here’s to being connected!!

  4. Hi Raff,
    I found this and thought it might interest you.


    Also great work on the reflections.

  5. Jan Hendry said:

    Hi Raff,
    I was working on my Module 2 activities today and I was looking at other participants reflections. I was reading your reflection and I came to your School Blog link which of course I clicked on. I think what you have created is fantastic. The way you have divided your blog into Year levels is very clear and I’m sure that each year level and their teachers will find it very helpful. Thanks again for all your support for me during this journey.

    • Hi Jan,
      thanks so much for dropping by my blog. I thought of creating a school blog with all the links I tend to use as once myclasses does disappear, I won’t lose all the links I have on my ICT page!! It is also my way of having a bit of a program from Prep-6 of sites that are developmental. I’ve still got heaps to do to update it as I have not yet shown it to the kids and teachers. It is taking MUCH longer than I thought!!
      Your blog is looking great so far, it is true as you say, this is a whole new medium even for us who have used technology for many years in our teaching!
      Have a great day!!

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