Sunday, August 16, 2009

Reflective Synopsis

Reflective Synopsis:

Everyday students of almost all ages are spending countless hours emersed in different technologies that provide them with a vast array of opportunities to have fun, be deeply engaged and learn which is essentially why all teachers should utilise these technologies within their classrooms. Many technologies allow for social networking, collaboration, interaction with meaningful and worthwhile tasks, experimental learning and even self-directed learning. The latest generation of students (K-12) have been brought up in a digital realm that they have become ‘digital natives’ in, technology is fully integrated into their lives (Green, Hannon, 2007).

Technology allows students to participate in activities that involve active cognitive processes such as creating, problem solving, reasoning, decision-making and evaluating (Kearsley, Shneiderman, 1999) which all allow students to acquire and integrate knowledge and skills effectively. If educational technologies are used as learning resources to support a particular learning experience they can potentially allow for higher order thinking, which is extremely important according to the Department of Education and Training (2004).

Now that technology has become such a phenomenon within the 21st century, teachers irrespectively need to incorporate and enhance all forms within their classroom and their learning experiences. Indeed technologies have a powerful place in instruction and the classroom (Klopfer, Osterweil, Groff, Haas, 2009). Learning experiences can be engaging and interesting without the use of technology though Kearsley and Shneiderman believe that technology can facilitate engagement in ways, which are otherwise difficult to achieve. The way the world approaches teaching and learning can be somewhat different to the way classroom teachers do, which is why it is crucial that educators seek to amalgamate these two differences and bring technology in all its forms to students within the classroom (Klopfer, Osterweil, Groff, Haas, 2009). Ignoring the need for technology only hinders the growth of a child’s education (Klopfer, Osterweil, Groff, Haas, 2009).

As previously stated there are many technologies that can be used within the classroom to more efficiently and effectively educate students. There have been many technologies over the past four weeks that I have personally looked, experimented with and engaged with. Some I perceived as beneficial within a classroom, where some I professed as irrelevant for students. Technology has changed not only the world but also the way young children think, learn and engage, which is why I am committed to using and incorporating technology into my lessons and classroom. There are many technologies that I would use throughout my lessons and within my classroom though the technologies that I have begun to use and will continually use are;
· Voki Avatars
· Interactive White Boards
· YouTube
· Animation and Stimulation
· Web Quests
All five technologies stated above have utilised within the implementation of my learning experiences.

How would I use these technologies to enhance, engage and provide adequate learning experiences for my students?
I have effectively used Voki Avatars to hook/engage my students into the learning experience. I used to Voki Avatar to introduce and detail to content of the lesson and the first activity for a planet unit. By doing this I was able to enhance the students learning because they were intrinsically motivated and engaged. Voki Avatars inevitably made my teaching more effective and worthwhile because I have full cooperation, engagement and participation from students.
An interactive white boards would probably be one of my favourite technologies. It allows me to effectively teach students, skills and knowledge through different mediums. Interactive white boards (IWB) allow me to present students with activities and tasks that effectively incorporate cognitive processes such as creating. IWB’s also allow me to provide and expose students to other forms of technology such as YouTube clips, Power Points, Web Quests and so on. Because IWB’s allow me to present students with such a variety of tasks I effectively enhance their learning’s and their experiences.
YouTube provides students with auditory and visual information much better than I can do by reading a book (this could be different depending on the class and the students learning styles and abilities). I use YouTube within my classroom to present my students with information through what they describe as a ‘fun way of learning’. YouTube enhances my students learning because it is a technology that they want to engage with – they want to me to use and teach through this technology. YouTube makes my teaching methods more efficient and effective because it inevitably reflects the needs and desires of my students.
I believe animation and stimulation technologies are one of the best. Animation and stimulation technologies are fun, easy, stimulation and interactive which is the key to engaging students according to Kearsley and Shneiderman (1999). Effectively students learning will be enhanced and improved if they are engaged and intrinsically motivated that is just a given. Animation and stimulation technologies make my teaching more efficient and effective because it allows me to create real, meaning, rich and authentic tasks for students to participate and learn through.
Web quests allow students to self-direct their own learning and move through activities at their own pace. It allows students to take control, set goals and enhance their own learning without any specific teacher instruction. Web quests give me the opportunity to create and make tasks that specifically reflects students’ knowledge and skill levels as well as tasks that are meaningful which inevitably makes my teaching more effective.

We as educators need to start/continue to explore and expand these technologies to give the educational community aspirations to grow and broaden within the classroom (Klopfer, Osterweil, Groff, Haas, 2009). Educators need to enhance and utilise e-learning technologies because that is what students are surrounded, swarmed and emersed by in the 21st century. Technology is the youths’ familiarity.


Department of Education and Training, (2004) Higher-Order Thinking. Retrieved August 13th, 2009 from

Green, H., Hannon, C, (2007) Their Space: Education for Digital Generation. Retrieved August 13th, 2009 from,

Kearsley, G., Shneiderman, B, (1999) Engagement Theory: A framework for technology- based teaching and learning. Retrieved August 2nd, 2009 from,

Klopfer, E., Osterweil, S., Groff, J., Haas, J. (2009) Using the technology of today in the classroom of today. Retrieved August 13th, 2009 from

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Small wiki unit plan

Public Wiki

Hello everyone,
This is just a very quick and small summary of a unit of work that goes for 9 weeks. It details how students can use and create a wiki.

Grade 6
The lesson outcomes/objectives:
The focus for this lesson is to introduce to the students what
· Students create their own publicly accessible wiki site (groups of three)
· Research the solar system
· Students work collaboratively to detail and add information about the solar system (students will have 1 planet they need to target as a group)
· Students need to post reflective comments on other peers blogs
Learning design ideas:
This wiki will be a progressive assessment piece that students work on through the whole unit of work. I will provide students with 3 hours a week to research and add to their blogs as a group. These blogs will also be used in conjunction with their grade 2 buddies. They will need to teach their buddies about their planet and the solar system (buddies are studying the same unit). Below is just a small unit outline that details what each lesson will target.

Lesson 1: Introduce the unit Solar system unit to students
Lesson 2: Detail the planets, have students create their own solar system on a technology program call ‘Smart Draw’ (this program is found on the internet it is free to sign up, everyone should look into it).
Lesson 3: Have students watch the solar system YouTube clip and answer solar system topic sheet reflecting the YouTube clip.
Explain the assessment to students, put students into groups of 3
Lesson 4: 75min (double) ICT lesson-Introduce students to the Wikipedia. Show students examples of Wikipedia sites relating to the solar system - detail and help student create a Wikipedia account step by step.
Lesson 5: ICT lesson – give students time to research using the internet and book their planet – give students time to play and experiment with Wikipedia.
Lesson 6: ICT lesson – Students are uploading information and adding to their wiki site.
Lesson 7: ICT lesson- have students watch the Promethean Planet podcast. Students are able to edit and add more to their Wiki page.
Lesson 8: ICT lesson- This is the last lesson for students to edit and add to their wiki pages.
Lesson 9: Give a 5-minute presentation to the class – presenting all findings about their planet. Students need to explain and show their peers their wiki site.

In this unit of work students have access to many technologies that provide students with opportunities to co-construct and collaborate knowledge as well as problem solve, create, decision make and evaluate which are the cognitive processes Kearsley and Shneiderman (1999) believe help engage students in tasks and activities.
This unit of works allows students to fulfil the highest need on Maslows (1970) hierarchy “creativity fulfilment’. This need must be met before students can effectively learn (Maslow, 1970). Because students are expected to teach others about their planet (peers and buddies) they have a retention rate of 90% according to the learning pyramid (2008). These tasks (assessment) are direct and purposeful which is the most effective teaching strategy and method according to dales cone (2000).

Thanks everyone,
Hope this has given you all some ideas,


Hall, J. (2008) The Learning Pyramid. Retrieved July 30th, 2009 from,

Kearsley, G., Shneiderman, B. (1999) Engagement Theory. Retrieved August 2nd, 2009 from,

Maslow, A. (1970) Motivation and Personality. Retrieved August 2nd, 2009 from,

The Abilene Christian University Adams Centre for Teaching Excellence, (2000). Dale’s Cone. Retrieved July 31st, 2009 from,

Digital Storytelling

Hello everyone,
I have found yet another useful technology that you could use within your classroom, have a read and see what you think.

Digital story telling

Digital story telling is a modern multimedia tool that tales through authentic methods using images, music, voice and sound (Digital Storytelling Association, n.d.). This technology allows students to create their own digital story to share with their peers, teachers and parents. I have never heard of anything like this before and I think that it would be an amazing technology to use within a unit of work. Imagine how proud the students would be, they just created their own digital story. This technology could reflect and target a few key learning areas namely, English and The Arts. I would use this type of technology in most probably in an English unit. I would have students making;
· Story maps
· Story boards
· Scripts
· Character profiles
· Stories

This type of technology allows students to fulfil their self-actualization ‘creativity’ need from Maslows (1970) hierarchy. Digital story telling also provides students with activities that involve cognitive processes such as creating, problem solving, decision-making, and evaluating (Kearsley, Shneiderman, 1999). This technology also presents students with the opportunity to work collaboratively with their peers, which Kearsley and Shneiderman (1999) classify as engaging activities.

Thanks everyone,


Digital Storytelling Association, (n.d.) Digital Storytelling. Retrieved August 13th, 2009 from,

Kearsley, G., Shneiderman, B. (1999) Engagement Theory. Retrieved August 13th, 2009 from,

Maslow, A. (1970) Motivation and Personality. Retrieved August 13th, 2009 from,

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

In class blog

Blog synopsis:

Due to insufficient time and access I haven’t been able to implement and establish a class blog that all students have access to, though this is what I would do

1. Establish a generic blog for students to access and contribute to.
2. Have students write and regularly upload their finding on their blog regarding the solar system unit students are participating in now.
3. I would allocate groups of three a plant in the solar system to investigate and research.
4. From that students would need to upload a 700-word blog that details their findings and informs others within the class about that particular planet.
5. Students will be expected to comment on each others blogs.

It will be made clear to students that they cannot use this as a communication method between peers, it is strictly for this particular assessment piece. The expectations of this task will be made clear to students before they are presented with this task.
This is what I would do to utilise blogging within my classroom though there are many other ways that this technology can be enhanced and used within a unit of work.

Extra Technologies

I have just looked at a few other technologies, they are all quite fascinating.

I have just experiences using flickr for the first time. I have uploaded and linked my first picture to Nikki so that she can use this in her blog. I also edited and uploaded Nikki’s picture onto my flickr account so that I can use it on my blog. Here is the photo I edited and uploaded onto my flickr account.

Flickr is quite simple to use and could potentially be a good resources to have access to within the classroom. If I were to use flickr in my classroom I would set up a generic account for the whole class and upload images that are relevant and reflect the information, activities and tasks that are presented to students throughout a particular unit. For instants if I was doing a unit on the solar system I would upload a picture of each planet and add a description explaining to students what it is. I would also upload pictures of stars, the moon and maybe even the Southern Cross.

Flickr in this context can be classified as a ‘learning resource’, a resource that supports learners to conduct and complete tasks and activities (Oliver, 1999). This way of using flickr in the classroom can present students with opportunities to work in social networking groups and collaborate with other students, which is one of the keys to effectively engaging students (Kearsley, Shneiderman, 1999).

I recently accessed a website called class maker that allows you to create quizzes. I made just a small quiz about planets to trial with my students. I just wanted to see how students would engage and react to a task like this. The quiz reflected a unit of work that the students were very familiar with, so that students actually made connection and link to prior learning’s.
This is the quiz that I made have a look at it.

Quizzes are learning resource - a resource that students interact with (Oliver, 1999). Quizzes can be direct purposeful experiences that specifically reflect a particular unit of work. These experiences are made direct and purposeful when teachers make links with prior and background knowledge. (The Abilene Christian University Adams Centre for Teaching Excellence, 2000)

I have just recently looked at a few different podcasts that are available on Itunes. There are many podcasts that can help enhance and teacher students’ new skills and knowledge. I subscribed to four podcasts namely
1. Pod kids Australia
2. Learning English with English Banana
3. World News for Kids
4. Promethean Planet
From watching these podcasts I have though of many in class activities that would be extremely beneficial for students. I though about creating a weekly class news program that students write and record for parents and other teachers within the school. This news segment can detail what the students have been learning and what is happening around the school. This is a good way to get students to collaborate with peers which Kearsley and Shneiderman (1999) detail as extremely important. This is also a good way to keep parents updated with student progress inside the classroom.
These podcasts present students with activities that involve active cognitive processes such as, problem solving, reasoning, decision making and evaluation which are essential if students are to be engaged (Kearsley, Shneiderman, 1999). My favourite is the world news for kids. I just think that it is a brilliant way of engaging and giving students control over their own learning. Podcasts are almost a combination of ‘learning tasks’ and ‘learning resources’ (Oliver, 1999). These podcasts are learning tasks because they present students with required tasks, and they are learning resources because they support learners to complete and conduct the tasks at hand (Oliver, 1999). Now that I am aware and familiar of these podcasts, I will definitely be subscribing to many more and utilising them within my lesson as a learning manager.

As most of us already know Wikipedia is a free, web-based and collaborative multilingual encyclopaedia, which is easily edited, changed or added to by anyone who has access to the Internet (Wikipedia, 2009). The subject that I am searching for resources and learning materials is ‘Planets’. From Wikipedia I have been able to fin these resources and learning materials:
1. Detailed summary of what a planet is -
2. Detailed summary of what the solar system is (it has links to every planet in the solar system from this students can participate in an investigation activity where they work in collaborative groups to investigate a different planet each and then they present their findings to the whole class)
3. Stars description -
4. Children can explore their own universe -
5. Students can look at some problems that the solar system has (asteroids) -

Wikipedia presents chances and opportunities for students to work collaboratively with peers i.e. number 2. Student’s collaboration and verbalisation from the example in number 2 allows them to become effectively engaged and active in the tasks and activities presented to them (Kearsley, Shneiderman, 1999). It is essential according to Kearsley and Shneiderman (1999) that students participate in meaningful and worthwhile tasks that support and reflect the unit of work. Wikipedia allows teachers to create such tasks for students. Wikipedia is classified as a ‘learning resource’ one that supports students in the completion of activities and tasks (Oliver, 1999).

Well that’s all the technologies that I will be looking at, I hope that some of the information and teaching ideas I have given come in handy for you.
Thanks everyone,


Hall, J. (2008) The Learning Pyramid. Retrieved August 10th, 2009 from,

Kearsley, G., Shneiderman, B. (1999) Engagement Theory. Retrieved August 2nd, 2009 from,

Oliver, R. (1999) Learning Design. Retrieved August 10th, 2009 from,

Wikipedia, (2009) Wikipedia. Retrieved August 13th, 2009 from,

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Type of Technologies Part 2

Greetings Everyone,

I have just worked my way through the rest of the technologies in week four.
I have come across some that are magnificent and would be extremely beneficial for students within the classroom.

RRS Feeds:
RRS – really simple syndication
RRS feeds send websites, current information and headlines straight to your desktop. This allows you to view and read issues and stories that are of interest to you. Some sites such as BBC, CNN and Sunrise hold RRS feeds that allow you to directly source information from them with the touch of one button. (Night Cats, n.d.)
RRS feeds save you time by removing the need to constantly check your favorite or important websites. RRS feeds are beneficial for teachers, they inevitably save time and hassle. Teachers are able to subscribe to certain websites that are relevant to a particular unit of work. They also keep teachers up to date with new information and ideas.

I believe that this particular technology is more relevant and beneficial for teachers rather than students. Although this technology could be beneficial for senior students to collaborate and monitor information for assessment items at the end of a unit. I believe that this technology is effectively more beneficial for teachers. I don’t see how it can be an engaging learning resource for students.

Interactive white boards:
An interactive white board otherwise known as an IWB s a large interactive projector screen that connects to a computer. Once the computer is connected the desktop screen is displayed on the boards surface where users control and work the devise with a pen on the projector screen (Wikipedia, 2009).
Interactive white boards can improve the quality of education through the use of interactive technology. It is a revolutionary active classroom, a fully integrated teaching solution (Information Technology Solutions & Innovation, n.d.) that allows us as teachers to bring learning experiences to life.
I am lucky enough to have an IWB in my classroom. I use it 99% of the time to facilitate my lesson. One of the ways that I use this technology in my classroom is to demonstrate tasks. For example I would scan a page in the handwriting book and email it to myself. I would then open it on the IWB and demonstrate how to complete that particular activity. I also use it for games and fun activities like,
When I use this technology in the classroom I automatically see an increase in engagement from the students.

According to Kearsley and Shneiderman (1999) engagement theory students must be meaningfully engaged in learning activities that are both rich and authentic. Interactive white boards effectively allow teachers to create and implement rich and authentic learning experiences that intrinsically motivate students to learn and participate in tasks and activities. Kearsley and Shneiderman (1999) emphasise collaboration among peers and a community of learners. Interactive white boards essentially allow this to happen, though from my experiences the collaboration is amongst a community of learner (whole class). Because interactive white boards present opportunities for collaboration and discussion students have the potential to retain 50% of the knowledge and skills taught in the learning experience (Hall, 2008).

Video can be used as a dynamic resource to support curricular (Griffin, 2009).
Video resources such as you tube or teacher tube are some of the best technologies to use in the classroom to enhance a particular learning experience. They allow you to explain and detail knowledge, concepts and skills that are unable to be done otherwise. Video us certainly an instructional method that generates excitement and engagement within the classroom. Video uses sight and sound, which caters for those who learn through auditory and visual methods. Video gives you the option to stop, start pause and rewind content which inevitably allows you to challenge your students to predict, debate, elaborate and demonstrate. Videos should be used alongside other resources to enhance a lesson or unit of work (Griffin, 2009). I.e.

In relation to Howard Gardeners (2002, 2008) seven intelligences video technology such as teacher tube can effectively enhance and cater for many intelligences these namely ‘picture smart’, ‘word smart’, ‘people smart’ and ‘nature smart’. Video technology in the classroom can also reflect students learning styles these being
· Active and reflective learner
· Sensing and intuitive learner
· Visual and verbal learner
· Sequential and global learner
(Felder, 2009)

Static Web:
Static websites such as FrontPage are HTML editors and website administration tools (Wikipedia, 2009). They allow people to upload and present a page to a web server, which is available to anyone who has access to the web. Static websites could be used within almost any classroom. Sites like FrontPage allow teachers to create an educational site that their students can access to research, study and explore specific content and information. The benefit of this is
· All information is relevant
· All sources are creditable
· Students only find and see what you want them to
· Specific

Static websites such as FrontPage are ‘contrived experiences’ – an experience that has been planned, carefully sourced and managed. This type of learning experience according to Dales Cone (2000) is highly effective and allows teachers to create direct and purposeful learning experiences for students to acquire and integrate knowledge and skills.

Image Manipulation:
To resize and crop images I have always used ‘Paint’. Although it was a long process and tricky one I always seemed to finally get the image to a size I wanted without it being distorted, though it may have taken me a couple of goes. Now having tried a program called ‘Picnik’ I can say that all the problems and complications I used to have with cropping and resizing a picture have gone. This program quickly and easily allowed me to change the size of my pictures without any hassle or problems. I didn’t have to do it more than once and if I made it to small I was able to undo my editing with the click of a button. The uploading process takes less than a minutes so you aren’t waiting all day to edit just one picture. Not only does this program allow you to crop and resize your picture but it also allows you to get rid of red eye and change the colour. I love this program it is just so simple and easy and now saves me a heap of time and fiddling around. This program is also free to use so I don’t see when we shouldn’t.

This is the link to my image -

Image manipulation allows students to be creative and imaginative which is extremely important if students are to effectively learn (Mazlow, 1970). This type of technology allows students to become actively involved in cognitive processes such as creating and decision making which Kearsley and Shneiderman (1999) believe to be effective ways of engaging students in learning tasks and activities.

Animation and Stimulation:
Animation and stimulation technologies are extremely interactive and fun. I tried this simulation just to experience first hand how they work and if they were effective -
I was absolutely amazed and blown away with how good these technologies actually were. It was almost like I was actually dissecting a frog. This particular stimulation gave me instructions and activities to complete as well as teaching me about the frogs anatomy at the same time. This type of technology is fun, easy, stimulating, engaging and interactive. This technology eliminates classroom restrictions and allows almost anything to become possible. It is guaranteed that I will be subscribing to animation and simulation sites because they are such a wonderful technology.

According to the learning pyramid (2008) students retention rate is 75% when they are actively participating in tasks and activities through direct practice. Animation and stimulation technologies can be classified as ‘learning tasks’ according to Oliver’s (1999) learning framework. These specific learning tasks allow students to problem solve, create, experiment and investigate which we all know leads to ‘rich and authentic’ tasks.

Google Earth:
Google Earth is a virtual globe, map and geographic information program that allows users to pinpoint and view exact positions around the world via satellite (Wikipedia, 2009). This program would be ideal for geography lessons. It’s almost like an interactive globe that allows students to see in detail specific parts of the world. I looked closely at Africa a found a flowing river on the boarders of Mali.

Google Earth is a learning resource that can effectively support students when conducting a task (Oliver, 1999). From this students are able to engage in meaningful and relevant tasks that involve problem solving, investigating, exploring and experimenting. All these cognitive processes inevitably lead to the engagement of students throughout the learning experience (Kearsley, Shneiderman, 1999).

Web Quest:

A Web Quest is an inquiry-oriented lesson format in which most or all the information that learners work with comes from the web (Dodge, 2007). Web Quests help engage students in thinking methods that the 21st century requires (Dodge, 2007). Teachers using web quests need to be sure that they are engaging in and using proper curriculum frameworks and outcomes. They need to ensure that these web quests allow students to learn at their own pace and engage in equitable information and materials that educational. Teachers must be sure that they create a web quest that is scaffolding learning and not just fun and games. These web quests must relate to the real world and present students with relevant, authentic and rich tasks. I personally know that making a web quest takes a lot of time because I have made one before. It takes a lot of consideration and also a lot o research. There is a lot that needs to be though about and considered when making a web quest, think like,
· Content
· KLA’s
· Curriculum
· Intended outcomes
Web quests are beneficial when they are made and though about deeply. They aren’t something that you can juts put together the night before. There are a lot of web quests that you can look at and even use that teachers have already made and put on the internet to share have a look at this site

Web quests allow students to successful collaborate in teams to work on ambitious projects that are meaningful to learners both in and outside of the classroom (Kearsley, Shneiderman, 1999). Web quests can effectively and appropriately present and provide activities and tasks that utilise any key learning area. Teachers are able to create worthwhile tasks for students that relate to the real world, which is essential if students are to be engaged (Kearsley, Shneiderman, 1999). Web quests are direct and purposeful experiences they provide opportunities for students to engage in hands on tasks and activities (The Abilene Christian University Adams Centre for Teaching Excellence, 2000).

Slide Share:
I attempted to use a technology program called Slide Share. This program allows you to upload power point presentations and narrations to become publicly viewable on the Internet. I have found from my experience that this type of technology is extremely confusing and hard to use. I think that it is a lot of work for such small benefits. Yes it allows you to have narration with your power point and share it with anyone but is this really all worth it. I think that students would benefit more from a power point that allows them to discuss and communicate with each other instead of a power point that feeds them information. Even if you don’t save these presentations onto a slide share account doesn’t mean that you cant re use them what happened to a USB stick or computer hard drive.

Here is the link to my slide share - I’m personally not sure that this technology could be engaging for students. This technology doesn’t essentially provide students with activities that involve active cognitive processes, which is one of the fundamental reasons that reflect students’ engagement (Kearsley, Shneiderman, 1999). Though this is my personal view feel free to reply to my posts and broaden my horizon regarding this technology.

File Storage:

This file storage technology allows you to safely store and keep files that you may need again such as power point. This technology allows you to link files to your blog or Wiki page enabling all your data to be viewed by others on the internet. This is where I stored some of my data http://ww(
I could possibly use this technology to provide students with homework – saving paper and is easily accessible from any computer. Teachers could use this to backup and safely store their data, as well as share it online with others.

As previously mentioned file storage could be used to present students with homework. Because this is accessible over the Internet and has taken a different approach to learning students could ultimately become engaged and excited about completing homework. File storage in a homework context is a ‘learning task’ – it presents students with requires tasks to complete (Oliver, 1999).

Using Music on the Web:
There is a lot of styles and types of music readily available on the web some of these being,
· African
· Blues
· Rock
· Reggae
· Latin
I use music in my classroom all the time. I play music clips from you tube and teacher tube as well as CD’s while the children are writing or working in small groups. I have found that they love it and I have observed that their concentration levels increase when it’s on. If I forget to put music on I straight away have students asking for it. I use it to relax and calm students after lunch or physical activity.

Using music on the wen is more so a ‘learning support’. Music on the web helps support teachers in the implementation of a lesson (Oliver, 1999). Learning supports are critical elements required in a learning experience especially when ICT’s re involved (Oliver, 1999). This particular support mechanism assists to engage learners in tasks through music.

Voice Thread:
I made a personal voice thread that reflected my dancing journey. I uploaded pictures of me dancing from when I was little to now. I was able to comment on each of the pictures and tell my story. It was fairly easy for me to create this voice thread, not to difficult at all. If you know what you want to say and what pictures you want to use then it can be out together very quickly.
This types of technology would be a fantastic way of showing the parents what the children have been doing in class. It shows them pictures and can tell them through a voice thread what their children have been doing and learning. This would be ideal for a prep or grade one classroom.

Voice thread technologies can be very stimulation and engaging for a learner. This technology could potentially cater for all four of Felder’s (2009) detailed learning styles. If voice thread is used in conjunction to a unit of work that has sequential steps then it will cater for ‘sequential and global learners’.
If diagrams, flow charts and pictures as well as voice stimulation are utilized throughout a voice thread presentation ‘visual and verbal’ learners will be catered for.
If voice thread poses problem-solving activities then it caters for the ‘sensing and intuitive learners’.
If activities are presented to students allowing them actively participate both individually and in groups then voice threads will cater for those who are ‘active and reflective’ learners. (Felder, 2009) A voice thread can potentially incorporate activities and learning materials like the examples provided id it is created properly.

YouTube is an online website that allows anyone to upload and view videos freely. This website can provide educational videos and screenings that can enhance students knowledge and skills. I looked for a small video that details information about Blue Whales because it is relevant to the sea unit that my students are doing now. This clip provides relevant information about the Blue Whale

I use YouTube clips all time, they are simple and easy to use and are highly effective because I connect them to my interactive white board. The children love watching these clips, I find that they listen well and sometimes even retain more information through this teaching method more than they do when I tell them or read to them

YouTube provides students with visual and auditory information this is eventually stored in ones long-term memory according to Cooper’s (1998) Cognitivism model. If YouTube clips are used as learning resources (Oliver, 1999)within a learning experience they can effectively create meaningful and worthwhile tasks and activities for students that are both rich and authentic. YouTube allows for interaction between peers if the corresponding tasks and activities warrant it. Kearsley and Shneiderman (1999) believe that students engagement comes when they are able to collaborate and work with peers on a task.


Dodge, B (2007). Web Quests. Retrieved July 30th, 2009 form,

Felder, R. (2009) Learning Styles and Strategies. Retrieved August 2nd, 2009 from,

Griffin, L (2009). Using Video in the Classroom. Retrieved July 29th, 2009 from,

Hall, J. (2008) The Learning Pyramid. Retrieved July 30th, 2009 from,

Information Technology Solutions & Innovation, (n.d.) Promethean Interactive Whiteboards. Retrieved 9th July, 2009 from,

Kearsley, G., Shneiderman, B. (1999) Engagement Theory. Retrieved August 2nd, 2009 from,

Maslow, A. (1970) Motivation and Personality. Retrieved August 2nd, 2009 from,

Night Cats (n.d.). What is RRS? Retrieved 9th July, 2009 from,

Smith, M. (2002, 2008) Howard Gardner, Multiple Intelligences and Education. Retrieved August 2nd, 2009 from,

The Abilene Christian University Adams Centre for Teaching Excellence, (2000). Dale’s Cone. Retrieved July 31st, 2009 from,

Wikipedia, (2009). Google Earth. Retrieved July 30th, 2009 from,

Wikipedia, (2009). Interactive Whiteboard. Retrieved, 9th July, 2009 from,

Wikipedia, (2009). Microsoft FrontPage. Retrieved July 29th, 2009 from,

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Types of Technologies part 1

Greetings everyone,

I have been working my way through week fours online activities and information and so far I have looked at many different yet amazing technologies that I could use in my classroom to engage and explicitly skills and knowledge to my students. The technologies that I have looked at so far are astounding and I wish I had of known about them sooner so I could utilise them in my classroom. Technologies such as 'Google Reader', 'Wikis', 'Mahara', Voki Avatars' 'Power Points', Interactive White Boards', 'Videos' and 'Flicker' are all elearning (technological) tools that will bring 21st century learning into your classroom.

'Google Reader'
What is it? A web - based aggregator capable of reading atom and RRS feeds online or offline. (Wikipedia, 2009)
Google Reader is an easy way of gathering and processing information that is of interest to you. It allows you to add subscriptions from other peoples blog sites and easily monitor and view what you wish. I have created my own Google Reader account and in my experiences using this aggregator I have been able to easily and quickly source information that interests me without searching for it. I personally think Google Reader is amazing, it creates less of a hassle for me and save me hours of time searching on the Internet.

How could I use this technology in my classroom?
I could set up a generic class Google Reader account that is accessible for all of my students. In this site I would be subscribing to educational websites and blogs with an RRS feed that contain scholarly and academic information and resources that supports the content of that particular unit of work. This would allow students to find and research information in a way that is different to normal methods (books) both individually and collaboratively. Because students in the 21st century are 'digital natives' elearning technologies such as Google Reader are essential.

Google Reader is a 'learning resource' that positively supports students to complete a presented task or activity, which reflects Oliver’s (1999) learning design framework. Google Reader is a learning resource that allows students to read and view documents, newspaper articles, web links and case studies, which are all, classified as 'learning resources'. Google Reader can enhance and enrich any task if it is used correctly - a learning resource.

Wikis are readily available to anybody that holds a wiki account. Those who have access to a wiki groups can edit and adjust the content that is written on that particular page. Wikis create many opportunities within a classroom. They allow interaction, communication, exploration and collaboration amongst students both in and outside of school. Wikis allow students to engage and co-construct their own learning with both peers and teacher. Within a unit or learning experience Wikis can be used to enhance many tasks such as, creating projects, writing reports, sharing ideas and even reflecting on their own learning.
Wikis could almost be used as assessment for a particular unit. Wikis could allow teachers to access, view and comment on students’ progress and give feedback. It also allows teachers to monitor and track how students engagement and work together on tasks. In relation to communicating and collaborating ideas between teachers Wikis are wonderful. They give teachers the ability to share and create unit plans, events, meetings etc all via the Internet.

As we already established Wikis allow and provide opportunities for students to communicate and hold group discussions via the Internet. J Halls learning pyramid (2008) details that students’ retention rate is 50% when they are involved and actively participating in group discussions like the communication methods a wiki presents. According to Oliver’s (1999) learning design framework a wiki can be classified as a 'learning resource' that supports learners when conducting tasks or activities.

Mahara is an open source e-portfolio with a flexible display framework containing 'artefacts', 'views' and 'groups'. Mahara holds a comprehensive blogging tool, which is only readily available to others when you decide to share them. Like Google reader Mahara uses RRS feeds. This technology allows students to keep in touch and communicate through messaging. The biggest advantage that I believe Mahara has for me is its ability to safely store content and data. This is comfort for me, as I know my work has been backed up and is readily available if something happens to an original.

Voki Avatars’
Voki Avatars are an effective elearning tool that provides content and information to students through different methods. They allow teachers to write exactly what they want the students to hear. In my classroom this technology would be great to engage (hook) my learners into the learning experience. Since finding out about Avatars and how they work I have used them in my classroom and already I have seen a major increase of student engagement and participation, maybe because it is completely different to contemporary teaching methods (teacher talking). This was the first Avatar that I experimented with. I found it easy to create and use.

As previously stated I would use these Voki Avatars in my classroom as a tool to hook and or engage my learners into an authentic learning task or unit of work. According to Oliver’s (1999) learning design framework Voki Avatars are 'learning supports' - a mechanism that exists from a teacher implicating it.

‘Power Points’

Microsoft Power Pont is one of the elearning technologies that I am most familiar with. I utilise this technology in the implication of my learning experiences all the time, I find it easy to use and very effective. Because 21st centaury students are ‘digital natives’ almost all of them know how to create and use Microsoft Power Point. Microsoft Power Point can add a new dimension to learning, which allows teachers to explain abstract concepts, while accommodating all learning styles, visual, kinaesthetic and auditory (Technology Tutorials, n.d.). “When it comes to enhancing students learning black boards are good, overheads are better but Power Points are the best” (Technology Tutorials, n.d.).
Power Points provide students with multiple opportunities to experiment with pictures, phonics and texts. Many positives come from using Power Point with students through there are some negatives.
· It isn’t always a simple process so student may become frustrated because they are unable to come up with a product that is what they specifically want.
· Because of all the movement and pictures that could be added to Power Point student can loose the authenticity of the task and become side tracked.
· Students who hold skills or have access to other presentation technologies may become disengaged because they have found something better.
As I previously said Power Point does have benefits, it allows students to be creative in the way that they present their knowledge, understanding and skills. Maslow (1970) believes that one of the biggest needs a student must fulfil is 'creativity' which inevitably allows them to effectively learn. Dale's Cone (2000) reveals that students who have an opportunity to work through kinaesthetic methods (hands on, creating, making) are more likely to benefit from media learning experiences. Power Point can feed students’ both visual and auditory information. According to the Cognitivism theory (1998) of learning, students need both visual and auditory information to effectively store knowledge and content in their long-term memory.
Though Power Point may not specifically help the children learn however what makes the difference is how this technology is used and incorporated into lessons to provide effective learning experiences (Poole, 2009)

‘Learning Management Systems’
A Learning Management System is a form of software developed for delivering, tracking and managing training or education. (Wikipedia, 2009) This software allows educators to distribute content, manage assessment and provide communication opportunities for peers and students directly over the Internet meaning they are virtual learning systems (Wikipedia, 2009)

There are two categorised types of learning management systems, these being ‘proprietary’ and ‘open source’. I believe these learning management systems are good for a visual learner, because they display content clearly and concisely. Though I don’t think they are beneficial for those who learn through kinaesthetic method (hands on) because these learners generally want to be told of the facts and important information and then want to be able to construct, make or involve themselves in learning through hands on activities. I personally don’t enjoy learning using this particular technology because it seem boring to me, though I do see how it could potentially be beneficial for learners within the classroom. This type of technology also allows students to actively involve themselves in learning outside of school, which is appealing to some students.

Because there is so much reading involved with this technology students according to the learning pyramid only have a 10% retention rate, which is quite poor (Hall, 2009). According yo Maslows hierarchy of needs (1970) a student must meet the self- actualization need (creativity fulfilment) before effective learning can occur. I dont believe that this type of technology allows for creativity, meaning that effective learning may not occur from the use of learning management systems such as blackboard or moodle.

I have just looked at and touched on a small amount of technologies available for us as teachers to use in our classrooms. Over the next few days I will work my way through some of the other technologies outlines in weeks fours topic ‘Teacher’s Delivery Technologies’.

Thanks everyone for reading, Ill be back to post more soon,


DR Cooper, G. (1998). Cognitivism. Retrieved July 30th, 2009 form,

Hall, J. (2008) The Learning Pyramid. Retrieved July 30th, 2009 from,

Maslow, A. (1970) Motivation and Personality. Retrieved July 30th, 2009 from,

Poole, B (2009) A Philosophy Of Instructional Technology Use For Teaching and Learning. Retrieved July 23rd, 2009 from,

Technology tutorials, (n.d.) PowerPoint in the Classroom. Retrieved July 23rd, 2009 from,

The Abilene Christian University Adams Centre for Teaching Excellence, (2000). Dale’s Cone. Retrieved July 31st, 2009 from,

Wikipedia, 2009. Google Reader. Retrieved July 22nd, 2009 from,