Sunday, August 30, 2009

Prelude To 'My Reflective Synopsis'.

Have I told you exciting this technology is!

Friday, August 28, 2009

My Reflective Synopsis

My Reflective Synopsis.

Photo courtesy of:
June 12, 2009 2:58 PMby Martin Levins Workshop 2 - pictures

Throughout this course I have been engaging in and discovering 21st century technology (cited in Aldred, 2009). As a future learning manager, it will be impossible and unavoidable not to mention neglectful to ignore these ever evolving advances. My ability to connect with and excite my forthcoming student’s into lifelong learning, hinges on my ability to incorporate these newly learnt tools into my pedagogy.

Within this course I have been given ample opportunities to reflect upon and comment on these technologies; jointly on my own blog, forums, and other peer’s sites. My peers have been able to comment on my blog and vice versa.

Following are the blogs I have contributed to;

Kelly O'Shannessy
Claire's Blog

Please note that I have also commented on these tools within my blog postings.
Updated power point and slideshare combining voice...
Media Fire
Power point
Google Earth
Wiki Technology
My first avatar

When I initially commenced this course I was so excited. I knew that I had to go away for a two week period for a compulsory prac placement so I endeavoured to open up as many accounts possible before my departure. Having said that on my return I realised just how intense this course had become. It wasn’t for the fact that I didn’t enjoy, or that I felt frustrated at the material I was being bombarded with, nor because I was a digital immigrant (Prensky, 2001). It was simply because I felt that I wanted and needed to be able to explore this new technology accurately before I commented on how I would engage my students’ with it.

The principles of Gardeners Multiple Intelligence theory (nd) are; Individuals should be encouraged to use their preferred intelligences in learning. Instructional activities should appeal to different forms of intelligence. Assessment of learning should measure multiple forms of intelligence.

Technology of today has the potential to reach so many of my future learners. Its ability to adopt Gardeners theory (n.d.), will make my planning and profiling of students a creative, efficient and more enthusiastic environment for me and those of my pupils. The milieu of sites similar to Wikipedia, Wetpaint and Mahara would witness students’ ability to gauge their experiences and those of their peers in a potentially non threatening environment.

All stakeholders could also have permission through a monitored system, to engage and explore these sites to peruse the progress of these students. This is one element within the school environment where the use of technology would flourish and the capacity to break down the barriers of the current system of communication and pedagogy in learning facilities.

Am I a Digital immigrant or a Digital native (Prensky, 2001)? Well, I am definitely an immigrant. Prior to participation in this course I had only heard of power point, You tube, Wikipedia and podcasts. Thus far I had only ever used power point and You tube. Examining the extensive array of tools within this course has opened my mind up to so many possibilities of engaging my students. On my prac placement the overall sentiment from pupils I engaged with was one of frustration and complaints of boredom and sore hands from writing. This is largely due to the fact that students of today sense and process the information given to them, fundamentally different from current teaching practices (Prensky, 2001).

As a future Learning manager with the assistance of my students, the need to create Digital Native methodologies for all KLA’s, at all stages of their learning journey will be pivotal if I am to engage and not enrage these individuals (Prensky, 2001).

Equally important is the overall summary of Greg Kearsley and Ben Shneiderman’s Engagement theory which is; Relate, Create, Donate (Kearsley and Shneiderman, 1999). Learning activities need to take place collaboratively as projects which they are able to relate to the outside world around them ( Marshall, 2007). I can attest to the benefits of this type of learning, the majority of learning I have undertaken since leaving school has completely been related to my work environment, creating on the job tasks and working collaboratively with others to obtain the end results. Yes I have had projects that were individualistic in nature but it was the tasks which were team orientated that I learnt the most from, and in turn had the most satisfaction and enjoyment.

Of equal importance is Felder and Solomon’s Learning styles and Strategies concept. These styles of learners fall into the following categories of; active and reflective, sensing and intuitive, visual and verbal and sequential and global ( Felder and Solomon, 2009). I had previously undertaken this quiz and found myself to fall under the category of an ISFJ learner. With a scaffolded approach and the assistance and collaboration from teachers and peers, computer technology and the tools they employ would definitely envisage a learning environment which harnesses this type of theory. It is important to note here that Dales Cone theory (The Ablienne Christian University Adams Center for Teaching Excellence, 2000), closely follows in the footsteps of Felder and Solomon in relation to how best individuals’ retain the information which is placed before them. Ultimately though individuals must be aware of these strategies to gain their full potential.

If you have not noticed already by viewing my blog previously, the tools which I favoured mostly were that of Google Earth and a combination of power point, Slideshare and Voicethread. I thoroughly enjoyed these tools and can definitely visualise the use of them by myself and students in the very near future.

Moreover; Webquests to me, are the ultimate in creating higher order learning, and follow Olivers model of a learning design structure, which set over three stages are related to real global projects based around messy, ill-structured problem scenarios (Oliver, 1999, as cited in Aldred, 2009). Unfortunately time got the better of me in setting up my completed Webquest but I am hurriedly trying to finish this in the hope that I will have this completed for my subsequent assignment.

My one concern for all of this technology is obviously that of equity and diversity, although I was able to have use of a computer for the majority of this assessment task there were times when internet access was problematic. Tools which were a requirement to download were again successful for me apart from Skype. This was soon rectified, with access to these sessions available on request. However, there were other students at my campus who did have issues with some downloads with obvious disappointment on their part. As future learning managers we have to ensure we address these issues, especially for students from low socioeconomic backgrounds, students with disabilities or impairments, Torres strait or indigenous and those from various cultural backgrounds who may have English as a second language (Spender & Stewart, 2002, as cited in Aldred, 2009).

On reflecting overall on my experience of this course content; I must say that, although overwhelmed at times with the intensity and magnitude, I am overjoyed with my ability to adapt relatively quickly with this technology and thoroughly content with my blogs end result. I might also add I was tickled pink when my technology savvy digital native, seventeen year old daughter asked me; if you can imagine, in helping her with her IT assignment. So concluding my reflection I will leave you by stating, ‘bring it on’!


The Ablienne Christian University Adams Center for Teaching Excellence, (2000).
How does active learning work? Active learning online. Retrieved August 18, 2009, from

Aldred, S. (2009). Managing E-Learning course profile. Retrieved August 20, 2009,from CQUniversity e-courses, FAHE11001 Managing E-Learning.

Gardner, H. (n.d.). Multiple Intelligences. Retrieved August 23, 2009, from

Kearsley, G., & Shneiderman, B. (1999).
Engagement theory: A framework for
technology-based teaching and learning.
Retreived August 19, 2009, from

Marshall, M. (2007). Engagement Theory, WebCT, and academic writing in Australia, Vol. 3, Issue 2, pp. 109-115. International Journal of Education and Development using Information and Communication Technology. Retrieved August 16, 2009, from

Prensky, M. (2001). Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants. Retrived August 18, 2009, from,%20Digital%20Immigrants%20-%20Part1.pdf

Soloman, B. & Felder , R. (n.d.). Learning styles and strategies. Retrieved August 21, 2009, from

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Updated power point and slideshare combining voicethread.

Below is a copy of my "Taste Bud" PowerPoint, I have added voice to it via Voice thread. This was a little tricky to start with and I was not able to upload my PowerPoint to slideshare at first. I had to go back in and change my PowerPoint and save these slides individually and then upload again. I had fun creating it, although a little frustrating at times. I feel the end result is acceptable however I admit that the information you are going to talk about or discuss has to be collated and at your finger tips for a more professional and continual presentation. I am sure with more practice I could master this tool relatively easy and I would feel confident in incorporating this type of strategy within my classroom.

A comprehensive task/assessment for high school hospitality students to undertake would be firstly to have a tour of a industrial kitchen. I would direct them to take photos under the permission of the establishment, these images would specifically consider hygiene within the environment. Areas of example would be; personal hygiene, possible contamination of food, cross contamination of a work station (raw and cooked items on the same board), together with observation of non kitchen staff entering the kitchen and their habits (touching and eating of food, processing of orders etc).

When students arrive back at school these photos would be gathered on the school computer and uploaded into flickr for example. The students would then work in groups of three to four and create a slideshare/voicethread of these observations detailing areas of concern, and present this back to the class. The opening slide will also need to have music attached so downloading from iTunes or Incompetech, or perhaps using their own music which has been saved on their ipods would be a necessity.

This assessment has the ability to incorporate most of Gardeners theory of multiple intelligences (Birmingham City Council, 2009) which are; Kinaesthetic - Linguistic - Logical - Intrapersonal-Interpersonal - Musical - and Visual/Spatial, I have not included Naturalistic. This teaching strategy also incorporates most of the learning styles Felder and Solomon(2009), have outlined.


Birmingham City Council. (2009). Multiple intelligences, Birmingham Grid for Learning. Retrieved August 28 2009, from

Felder, R & Soloman, B. (2009). Learning styles and strategies. Retrieved August 28, 2009, from


WooHoo!! This little exercise was so much fun, sorry for the narration though; it's 1am and I'm starting to get the jitters from all the coffee! Seriously though there are so many possibilities for this technology. According to Voicethread (2009),
group conversations are collected and shared in one place from anywhere in the world. All with no software to install.

Furthermore,Waterhouse (2005, cited in Eldred, 2009) states that, 'E-learning is using information communication technologies (ICTs) to engage, enhance and extend learning in flexible and innovative ways, now and in the future'.

Voicethread is certainly a tool which has the potential to encapsulate all of those areas. According to Voicethread (2009), it is a collaborative , multimedia slide show that holds and stores images, documents, and videos and allows people to navigate pages and leave comments in five ways, using voice (with a mic or telephone), text, audio file, or video (via a webcam).

Users can draw pictures while commenting, use numerous identities, and select which remarks are revealed through moderation. VoiceThreads can even be entrenched to demonstrate and obtain comments on other websites and exported to MP3 players or DVDs to play as archival movies (Voicethread, 2009).

The possibilites are endless due to the fact that there are so many images which can be created, lending itself to multiple manipulation from the moderator and invited people. People of all ages would have tons of interactive fun, and with a scaffolded approach pupils would benefit greatly from this technology.

Ed.VoiceThread (2009), is a web-based communications system for K-12 students and teachers. This is a straightforward, influential and secure tool where the construction and collaboration of diverse applications can develop, this consists of; digital stories and documentaries, practicing and documenting verbal communication skills, investigate geography and customs, resolve math problems, or purely finding and strengthening student voices (Voicethread, 2009).

As I mentioned earlier I am slightly tired so please keep that in mind when you have a peep at my slightly quirky, somewhat random voiceover.

Here is an example of the use of a voicethread within the classroom.


Aldred, S. (2009). 21st century learners. Retrieved August 27, 2009, from CQUniversity moodle course, FAHE11001 Managing E-Learning.

Voicethread. (2009). Retrieved August 27, 2009, from <

Voicethread. (2009). Retrieved August 27, 2009, from

Voicethread. (2009). K-12 Solutions. Retrieved August 27, 2009, from>


Kearsley and Shneiderman (1998, cited in Aldred, 2009), assert that for learners to be truly engaged in their learning in an Information Communication Communication (ICT) learning environment they need to RELATE to a real-world, authentic problem scenario that is messy and ill-structured. They need to, in small teams, CREATE solutions to this problem and then DONATE the solution back into the real world.

The following project for a school based restaurant would foster Kearsley and Shneidermans relate, create, donate theory. Firstly I would have the students brainstorm ideas for the theme of the night, for example; what style of food they would be serving (country). After they had decided on the theme I would direct them to this site and have them pick out some tunes to match their theme. The music would need to be played for at least a three and a half hour period, so that would give them a big enough opening for students to be able to choose at least one possibly more, than one piece of music each.

Their ability to work as part of a team on this task is essential because we would need to make sure that the same music was not duplicated. After students have completed this task the students in the same groups have to choose one dish each for the theme night and confer with their peers what they have chosen, this in turn would be relayed back to me to make the final decision.

The students would then be given the task of pricing the menu for the night and creating menus, again to be relayed back to myself for final decision making. Following on from that the menus would need to be complied and formatted in microsoft word with one chosen piece of music embedded into it. They would then follow on and email this menu to family, teachers and other interested parties prior to the evening.

Other areas of use for students and teachers would be for projects or presentations, drama/dance classes and plays just to name a few. In lower grades especially prep to year three the calming music could be played in the background in quite time or other more upbeat tunes could be played for transitions between activities. Some of these tunes would be great to get students motivated before classes as part of their physical education requirements.

This is a piece I think would suit a theme night for a Hospitality restaurant catered for by students.
Title: Night Cave
Genre: AfricanLength: 1:50Instrumentation: Kalimba, Marimba, PercussionTempo: 104
Loose groove with a nice active bell part, and an overloud kalimba. 001 Calming, Grooving, Mystical, Relaxed (MacLeod,2008).

From what I can see this site is produced solely by one person, Kevin MacLeod. Quite amazing really and once again its all free to use.


MacLeod. K. (2008). Mediafire. Retireved August 26, 2009, from

Aldred, S. (2009). Engagement theory, Retrieved August 28, 2009, from CQUniversity moodle course, FAHE11001 Managing E-Learning.

Media Fire

MediaFire allows you to store all your files online for easy secure access and enables you to distribute large files to hundreds or thousands of people without clogging inboxes or bogging down your website.
(MediaFire, 2009).

The benefits of MediaFire is you can upload and store:

Media files and images
Free Features
Unlimited storage
Up to 100MB per file
Unlimited uploads
Unlimited downloads
Unlimited bandwidth
Image galleries
No sign up required
No software to install (MediaFire, 2009).

I found this site to be extra user friendly and was able to upload a couple of files, here is my URL

I would think apart from a great resource for teachers and other members of the public, students could also use this technology to either access their future projects or possibly be able to upload photos from there school camps and excursions.

Students written assignments could be uploaded into their free account for safe keeping, and they could also store a a copy of the resources used and websites visited just in case they were to lose their original.

Great free resource!
Cheers Loretta.


MediaFire. (2009). Retrieved August 26, 2009, from


According to Central Queensland University (2002), problem-based learning
is; both a pedagogical approach and a curriculum design methodology,simultaneously
developing higher order thinking and disciplinary knowledge bases and skills. It
places students in the active role of problem solvers (practitioners) and confronts
students with a real-world situation (ill-structured problem).

Greg Kearsley and Ben Shneidermans (1999), engagement theory of relate, create, donate would see Webquests following a problem based learning activity.

On exploring and discovering what Webquests are I have found that they are a problem based learning activity, that they can incorporate all KLA's, which can help students to become competent in the following areas:

Collecting, analysing and organising information; communicating ideas and information; planning and organising activities; solving problems; using technology and working in a team.

The tasks allocated can vary, for example; analytical; a compilation; a creative product; journalistic; persuasive; research or science based.

Generally webquests (Webquest direct, 2009), have the following sections;
A Question/Task
Developing an understanding
Individual Roles
Group Processes
Real World Feedback

Webquests can be allocated to one year level or be produced to cover many age groups.

With the help of WebQuest Direct I was able to set up an account for free. This site collects articles about WebQuests from around the world and they endeavour to develop portal for WebQuests to help teachers everywhere find out about WebQuests (Webquest direct, 2009).

This type of learning is also what Greg Kearsley and Ben Shneiderman (1999), have outlined as the attributes of the engagement theory where students must be significantly occupied in learning activities through dealings with others and meaningful tasks.

The above link will take you to the webquest I have started, do not laugh at me when I say that this is definitely still a work in progress. If you have not noticed I am trying to stay with the theme of taste buds in the hope it will lead into my second assignment. Although I am not frustrated by this technology I must admit that I wish I had more time to explore all of their potential. In between work commitments, family (members being sick, extra curricular activities),and Uni life, it is starting to take its toll!!

So the answer to the question is yes these webquests are extremely time consuming but well worth the effort, to be able to implement them into future curriculum areas is something I will endeavour to pursue. Personally speaking I would ensure my webquest is a project that could cover several KLA's at once and run over a period of no less than four weeks duration.

I would envisage the classroom setting to be filled with at least one computer for every three children, this way the students could stay in their allocated groups. More collaborative learning with children moving through the room freely with frequent talking amongst peers and minimal input from teachers.

Until next time,


Webquest Direct. ( 2009). What is a webquest. Retrieved August 26, 2009, from

Kearsley,G., & Shneiderman, B. (1999). Engagement Theory:A framework for technology-based teaching and learning. Retreieved August 26, 2009, from

Central Queensland University. ( 2002). Problem based learning. Retrieved August 27, 2009, from

Monday, August 24, 2009



Ok, I have updated this slide. Please look at my updated version incorporating voicethread.


SlideShare Inc. (2009). Retrieved August 24, 2009, from

Power point

I have created power points before but for this exercise I chose to make one covering the topic of 'taste buds'. I have included a youTube clip, sound at different stages and it is very visual. Please feel free to view this presentation in my Mahara account.

Power point presentations when done correctly can scaffold the students learning. The presentation can also be stopped or paused which allows for other activities/tasks or open ended questioning to take place.

At the end of this presentation to allow for all learner types to learn and retain information effectively I would go on to do an activity with different food items and have the students explain or describe what the food is like. For example aroma, flavour, appearance and texture.

The following site also allows you to view how to make a power point presentation, this would be a valuable activity for students to undertake and has easy to follow instructions allowing for users of a young age to create a presentation of their very own.

This fits in with Kolb’s Experiential Learning Model (Felder, Brent, 2005), and Gardners multiple intelligences theories (2006).


ACT360 Media Ltd. (2009). PowerPoint in the Classroom. Retrieved August 25, 2009, from

FELDER, R., & Brent, R. (2005). Understanding Student Differences. Retrieved August 24 2009 from,

Multiple intelligences.(2006). Accelerated learning in practice - how to develop and access multiple intelligences. Retrieved August 24, 2009, from,


Research recently completed by the Queensland University of Technology (2008), has shown that the use and interest of ePortfoloios within higher education has great potential in providing students with the skills to become life long learners both personally and professionally, it also endeavours to explicitly develop their skills.

Furthermore, the Australian learning and Teaching Council (2008) states that; 'by reflecting on their own learning and achievement, learners are encouraged to plan for their personal, academic and career development'.

According to CQUniversity (2009),the CQU ePortfolio site is based on Mahara, a fully featured electronic portfolio, weblog, resume builder and social networking system, connecting users and creating online communities. Mahara provides you with the tools to set up a personal learning and development environment.

Although I did watch the video supplied on the Universities site it wasn't until I had created my account and played around on it that I realised how easy it is to use. I have uploaded files, photos and videos. I have posted some of my blog from my other account and was able to set up some views also.

It is easy to see why this type of technology would enhance the lives and skills of students and users alike. By creating the opportunity for pupils to utilise this tool within the classroom would enable them to have access to resources and be able to see first hand comments from others which would enable them to reflect on their thoughts and those of others.

Hospitality/Home Ec students could be assigned a wiki via this site. They could follow and comment on their progression and experiences throughout the journey in the blog section, upload their coursework to the file bank and monitor their peers progress also. All of the students practical assessment pieces (cooking and sewing tasks) could be photographed and uploaded and stored within this site also. These pieces could be attached to their portfolio and used as evidence for job applications.


CQUniversity. (2009). Open source e-portfolios. Retrieved August 2009, from,

Queensland university of Technology. (2009). ePortfolio Report, 2009. Retrieved August 24, from,

Australian Learning and Teaching Council. (2009). Final report. Retrieved August 24, from,

Sunday, August 23, 2009


I did not realise that you could find the following in wikipedia: If you google wikipedia and then click on show options, the following sub headings come up.
Videos Forums

Wikipedia is also a useful site to find resources to incorporate into teaching, the students would also find this website useful for projects.

These are a couple of items I found which I will be useful in using when I go back and do my second prac in October. The students and I will be able to incorporate and use these sites in their Nutrition classes.

By: - Food

Another use for teachers would be to create school based wikis like that used in wetpaint. Moderators would be able to allow students to contribute and can set guidelines/rules to keep the information correct and avoid copyright infringements (CQUniversity, 2009). This is so important to remember because there is concern for the use of Wikipedia as a reliable source when researching for information. However, Wikipedia ( 2008), has listed some trusted sites they recommend which are;,, , and .

Technology supplies an electronic source of acquiring knowledge that provides the type of inventiveness and communication required to nurture engagement (Kearsley & Shneiderman, 1999). By asking my students to undertake tasks/homework for the week via a wiki would foster a sense of trust both for my students and for me, and create a set of skills for the students to hopefully not only engage them in their learning but direct them towards higher order learning, which will eventually flow over into every aspect of their lives.


Google. (2009). Retrieved August 24, 2009, from

Wikipedia. (2009). Welcome to wikipedia. Retrieved August 24, from (2009, June 30). Food safety basics. Podcast retrieved from

Wikipedia. (2008). Wikipedia trusted sources search . Retrieved August 28, 2009, from

Kearsley, G., & Shneiderman, B. (1999). Engagement Theory: A framework for technology-based teaching and learning. Retrieved August 28, 2009, from

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Google Earth

Google Earth
Originally uploaded by rett66

This is a photo of Emerald, Qld. Awesome or what?


WOW! I am a very visual person and I did not know what to expect when I first entered this site, and to be honest I was blown away by the imagery. To be able to see how each stage can be built upon is amazing and there are so many levels to choose from. You can search any location in the world or universe, find businesses or directions, it has a GPS, flight simulator and you can even record a tour. The technology is user friendly which lends itself to all ages and would be able to be used in History, SOSE and Geography subjects just to name a few. When I have more time available I will definitely be re-visiting this site to discover its true capabilities.

Active learning leads to effective and efficient teaching and learning and relates to Dales cone theory (Active learning online, 2000). The task I would assign my students that encompasses this theory would be to take a trip around the world in seven days. Places to visit are; Paris, Rome, Sydney, New York, Hong Kong, Auckland and London. On their trip they have to discover how many restaurants are in those cities, the distance they have travelled and also take a tour of the main streets. This information would then be compiled and presented back to the class.

Reference (2009). Google earth. Retrieved August 23, 2009, from

Active Learning Online. (2000). Why use active learning? Retrieved August 28, 2009, from


Are we engaging or enraging our students? Have you spoken to or taught students lately who seem to tune out (Prensky, 2005 ). According to Prensky (2005, cited in Aldred, 2009), 'these students are convinced that school is totally devoid of interest and totally irrelevant to their life'. Podcasting involves uploading a media file and an XML file to a podcasting server and allows students to download these to a product like iTunes and replay it on an MP3/4 player like an iPod (Aldred, 2009).

After finally being able to download itunes and viewing a couple of podcasts it is understandable how this technology would benefit students and teachers alike. There are so many categories to choose from and are so easy to download, I was able to download several resources which I will be eager to listen to at a later date. Who knows you may see me walking my dog with my ipod attached to my head in the near future. Of course the capabilities and benefits would allow students with learning difficulties to also benefit from this type of technology.

This technology is so influential the power of which certainly should not be misjudged especially if we want our pupils to be tuned in, engaged and willing to learn (Aldred, 2009). Keeping this in mind I would assign relevant data for students for their projects to listen to to give them ideas for further research. This data would need to be downloaded to their ipods or MP3 compatible devices, listened to for homework and a class discussion/debate would be held to gather their ideas on this data.


Prensky, M. (2005). Engage me or enrage me, What today’s learners demand “Today’s kids are not ADD, they’re E0E.” Retrieved August 23, 2009, from

Aldred, S. (2009). Podcasting. Retrieved August 23, 2009, from CQUniversity moodle course, FAHE 1101 Managing E-Learning.

Friday, August 21, 2009


This is a video I found on you tube, it is a quirky song about how bacteria can harm you. This will be useful in showing to students to enlighten them how bacteria is spread and what we should do to prevent contamination and bacterial growth. This application has many positives going for it and can also be used either at the start of lessons, embedded into power point presentations or even used to start discussions. I have also started uploading some more videos for use within schools on food handling practices on my wetpaint account.

Students could be directed to useful video links within my Wetpaint site, comment on these viewings and upload another video on a similar topic. I could envisage some great conversations taking place with peers on this one!

Until next time,



Winter,C. (2007, October 16). Microbes they might kill you [video]. Retrieved August 21, 2009, from


As you can see by the diagram above the most successful technique, the foundation of the cone, involves direct, purposeful learning experiences, such as hands-on or field experiences (Active learning online, 2000).

Below is the test I have created through the assistance of classmarker. I found this process to be easy and rather quick and I have a feeling that the students would find it easy to undertake. You can make the questions on varying levels and the beauty of it is that it marks the tests for you, how great and time efficient is that. When I go for my second prac placement I will ask my mentor teacher if she would be able to trial it on our pupils.


Active Learning Online. (2000). Why use active learning? Retrieved August 28, 2009, from

ClassMarker. (2005 - 2009). Retrieved August 20, 2009, from


So now I understand what the Rss symbol is on the tool bar and that it stands for Really Simple Syndication. Once I was aware of just how to use it my life has become so much simpler in terms of this course anyway, because now all of the sites I follow automatically show the activities of those sites saving me time and energy. Working smarter not harder is definitely the way to go.

This is surely the way to go and would be useful for networking with colleagues and students alike. In terms of group projects students would be able to interact with speed and efficiency on related worthwhile activities (Kearsley, G.,& Shneiderman, B. 1999, cited in Aldred, 2009).


Aldred, S. (2009). Engagement theory, CQUniversity moodle course, FAHE 1101 Managing E-Learning. (2009),


Originally uploaded by rett66

This is a photo of my daughter, with the help of piknic technology I was able to create a photo with a few additions, I then saved it into my flickr account and was able to blog it from there. If you click on the photo it will take you straight to my flickr site and you will be able to view other photos I have saved there. This was fun although I called in a fellow student to guide me through some of the steps. Ah! yes us 'digital immigrants' can be taught anything. Not bad eh!

According to Prensky (2008), 'the role of technology in our classrooms is to support the new teaching paradigm'. A useful project incorporating this type of theory would be to have students experiment with images they have taken on school excursions or sporting events, then these images would be retrieved for use in school newsletters or perhaps be able to be used in the schools website promoting technology within the school environment.


Picnik, Inc. (2008). Retrieved August 23, 2009, from

Prensky, M. (2008). The role of technology. Retrieved August 28, 2009, from

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Wiki Technology

The function of technology in our classrooms is to support the “new” pedagogy of students educating themselves with the teacher’s direction (Prensky, 2008). Wiki technology allows this 'new' pedagogy paradigm to evolve allowing students to discover, research and learn from everything that is around them.

This is my first attempt at creating a 'Wiki'. I chose to use the Wetpaint site and after exploring the site and having a play around found it incredibly easy to use. The use for this type of technology in and out of the classroom is definitely an area that I would seriously consider using.

The students could work independently or collaboratively in small groups. It also lends itself to be able to scaffold the students towards higher order learning. My first attempt has seen me give the students a task for the week, I have chosen 'Safe Food Handling Procedures' and I have also embedded a video to help out the student's towards further research of the topic.

So have a look and tell me what you think. I have just returned from my first two weeks of prac and the topic in nutrition was on food handling practices, both my mentor teacher and myself had issues with student behaviour in some of these classes, mainly pupils complaining about the amount of writing they had to do. Using this technology as a tool to engage them would certainly go some way in stemming this behaviour.



Prensky, M. (2009). The role of technology. Retrieved August 23, 2009, from

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

My first avatar

This is my first ever attempt on creating an avatar. I found this site and process to be user friendly and I had alot of fun, and a good laugh at the end result. I can see many applications for this technology within the classroom, predominantly using it as part of the hook of a lesson. I have a feeling that students would also be able to use this within their own assignments or presentations. Great visualisation and audio lending itself to enhance children with learning difficulties too!

Current technology offers students a plethora of extremely valuable tools they can use to gain knowledge of on their own (Prensky, 2008). These Vokis are so easy to create that teachers would only need to direct their pupils to the website and let them explore for themselves.

Students must create an Avatar as part of the power point presentation. This Avatar needs to have a greeting, highlight to its viewers what the topic of the presentation will be and who the presentation was made by. The last slide would have an Avatar embedded in it as well directing its viewers to the conclusion of the presentation and move them towards question time.


Oddcast Inc. (2007-2008), Retrieved August 23, from

Prensky, M. (2008). The role of technology. Retrieved August 28, 2009, from

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Engagement theory

For engaged learning to occur in a positive and productive manner all of the below have to take place, this also gives a sense of ownership to the students and by relating the project to a real life model helps the students to identify the usefulness of the work allocated. This helps to stem boredom but also gives the students valuable skills to use in future areas.

By engaged learning, we mean that all student activities involve active cognitive processes such as:

  • creating
  • problem-solving
  • reasoning
  • decision-making
  • evaluation

They must:

  1. occur in a group context (i.e., collaborative teams)
  2. are project-based
  3. have an outside (authentic) focus
One area of use within the school environment could be to give the students a task where they have to form groups and work towards delivering a menu of three courses to parents/carers and teachers. Within this task they have to show collaborative work via verbal and written (group meetings and emails or MSN). The menu has to be researched using the internet and a survey has to be made up for the clients attending this restaurant for food allergies and food requirements. Initially the class would work as one brainstorming ideas and doing the general research and survey work. Then they would splinter into their groups for the other criteria. On the morning of the restaurant students would have to allocate team members to do the different preparation for the night; eg: front of house duties or kitchen duties. On the night of the restaurant they would take it in turns to work front of house or behind the scenes in the kitchen. At the end of the meal surveys are given to the patrons to give valuable feedback to the students.

In all of my learning so far I have had great success in this model of learning and feel it has by far the most potential to achieve success with the students but also from a teachers perspective would find it useful in assessing the student in a number of areas at the same time. Making the task future oriented ensures the students are focused on what they are doing, gives them a sense of realness and pride in what they are doing.


Kearsley, G., & Shneiderman, B. (1999). Engagement theory: A framework for
technology-based teaching and learning.
Retrieved August 22, 2009, from

Saturday, August 1, 2009


Originally uploaded by rett66

Oh! Isn't he beautiful!!
This is my new nephew 1 hour old, little Noah.

Flickr is a site where you can store photos. When you join for free your entitled to use other peoples work/images, (making sure you acknowledge these images if they are copyrited).

I was able to set up my flickr account easily and proceeded to upload some of my mothers images into that account, from there I proceeded to post this photo to my blog. Yes it is that simple!

I would enable students the use of the schools digital camera to take images of their restaurant at school, images such as the mis en place for the menu, kitchen facilties, seating, images of plated food and of course the reastaurant in full operation. These images could then be uploaded and made into a slide and presented back in class time or even perhaps on an open day. This project would require and instill cooperation, motivation/engagement towards activity, enjoyment, pride in producing quality work which has the elements of the engagement theory as read on the Engagement blog (2009, June 12 ).


Engagement. (2009, June 12 ). Thoughts on engagement in activity made through observations of students after week 1. Message posted to