Thursday, August 20, 2009

Reflective Synopsis

My e.Learning journey has been a definite ride. From the day we had our first lecture, I remember sitting there thinking that there was no way in the world that I was going to be able to complete this course, but here I am, and to tell you the truth, I had a lot of fun and learned so much.

There were a few challenges that I faced, but I overcame them. As I am not in a school placement this year, it makes it difficult for me to picture in a classroom environment as my past learning experiences as a prac student, there were no ICT implementation for the students learning what so ever. Sad I know, but with all of us now competent in many different e.Leaning tools, I think that times are going to change.

‘In a world of interactive gadgetry, the following opinions succinctly demonstrate the conflicting attitudes toward interactivity and the conundrum that confronts the implementation of computer-enhanced learning (CEL) environments(Sims, 2009).’The learners can use the e.Learing tools to assist with their learning’s. The learning that occurs in working with the problem enables students to develop new knowledge, as well as further consolidate their existing skills and knowledge (Sims, 2009).

By implementing ICTs into the learning experiences, the students are able to be engaged in the learning’s as it steers away from text book learning. It is suggested that online learning offers a greater contextual environment than that of the classroom (Kupritz, 2009). I think that online learning provides a variety of resources that the learners would really enjoy.

This assessment task was really informative and I have learned so many new tools to use. I cannot wait to incorporate Avatars and Picnik into the learning environment. I also think that GoogleEarth is a fantastic tool with a variety of safe educational learning devices.

I think that Wiki pages are a great idea for individual learning as with the quizzes to monitor the student’s answers and where they are at in the educational point of view. All of the sites that were explored all had some great qualities about them; but the only thing that worried me was privacy issues. Then I began to think, we are trying to control sites and protect the students in the school environment, but the responsibility does at the end of the day rely on the students. As they do have access to other technologies and can access inappropriate sites etc. on their own accord, however, we are in a way hindering their possible education by not allowing the students to access some valuable sources of information that is available to us.

As all students in Australia are entitled to an education, if Uncle Ernie’s holistic approach to Indigenous education were to be installed in all schools, and all grades, and all classrooms; and all students were aware and built a respect for Indigenous Australians, then the Australian population would be aware of the issues faced and hopefully inturn build a respect and form non racist and prejudice approach to these Natives. If we as Learning Managers begin to adopt this holistic approach and steer clear of Western views, to truly understand the culture that is embedded in the history of our country.

By looking at other blogs, I really got the hang of this task. I will take away so many tools and implement them in the classroom environment. I look forward to keeping you posted on other online adventures

Kupritz, V. (2009). The Medium is the Message. Viewed on 21/08/09 from:

Sims, R. (2009) The interactive conundrum I: Interactive constructs and learning theory. Viewed on 20/08/09 from:

Hi all,
I can remember when I was at school and I used to have to carry a floppy disc around to access files, now SlideShare allows you to save it and upload it for others to also view. ‘SlideShare is the world's largest community for sharing presentations.- Individuals & organizations upload presentations to share their ideas, connect with others, and generate leads for their businesses.- Anyone can find presentations on topics that interest them. They can tag, download, or embed presentations into their own blogs & websites (NewsAlbum, 2008).’

When applied to the classroom environment, SlideShare would be useful to display visual demonstrations of a Varity of different topics. It could be incorporated and used as a learning tool with almost any topic. You could also upload digital photos taken in the classroom and create learning journeys for the students to view.

I found SlideShare to be difficult to understand and did not really find it engaging. I think that it is a good tool to use though as you can use other slides or create your own. I found a slide about natural disasters and I thought that is was well set out. When uploading my own files from PowerPoint, I could not get the audio to work. This frustrated me as I finally worked out how to do all of these new effects and it did not work on my SlideShare. I think that I need a little more practice.

Well, I’m off for now.



NewsAlbum (2008) What is Slideshare where? Viewed on 20/08/09 from:


Hi all,
Voice threads are like online media albums. They are basically an online slide show of videos, voice recordings, images or other documents that enables viewers to comment on the thread (Weir, 2009). VoiceThreads has recently created a place;; which allows teachers and educators and students to join this secure site to give them access to this online learning tool. Teachers can use VoiceThread to publish or keep private or even add to their own personal site.

Voicethreard could be used in the classroom in a variety of different ways. I would use it for assessment pieces, to document learning experiences, for the children to access and show parents, to exchange with threads overseas by commenting on their threads. Although I found it hard to access appropriate images to display, in the classroom situation, you could upload photos of any learning experience that was completed and have the students comment on their work. This gives the students ownership of their learning’s.

The engagement theory (Kearsley, 1999) explains how tools just like this could be used to allow the students to be creative and explore by engaging their learning students. I am looking forward to trialling this tool with my class as I had never even heard of it, so implementing it should be a challenge, yet rewarding.
Wish me luck,

Kearsley, G., & Shneiderman, B. (1999). Engagement Theory:. Retrieved August 18th, 2009, from

Weir, L. (2009). VoiceThread Extends the Classroom with Interactive Multimedia Albums. Viewed on 19/08/09 from:

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Music on the Web

Hi all,
I just completed downloading music from incompetech. This e-learning tool provides music that is able to be played as it agrees with the terms of the Creative Commons Agreement (2009). Music that is downloaded off such sites as Limewire does not usually have copywrite on their files as it is not the original work from the original artist. Incompetech on the other hand is a learning tool that can be used without worrying about laws and regulations as all of its music downloads are original pieces.

This is great to use in the classroom, and when I was searching, I could not find any lyrics in the music created. This is great as sometimes lyrics take different mearning to different people and could offend students if used in a classroom situation. I would implement this tool during pack up time, reflective writing, reading and dance/drama because there are many different beats to choose from and moods to set.

As far as engaging the students is concerned, the learners in my class tend to rathersongs rather than percussions. Therefore, the learning manager plays video clips and songs from youtube. An example of this is the song Where is the love, by The Black Eyed Peas (2007).

Well that is my adventure by exploring music on the web,


Creative Commons Agreement (2009). Viewed on 18/08/09 from:

The Black Eyed Peas (2007) Where is the Love? Viewed on 05/08/09 from:

File Storage

My Shape Fun worksheet.

Today i played around with File Storage. I used a free tool called Media Fire. Here, I can upload files to my account and save them. I can then use the URL that it gives me to then transfer my files for access to blogs and wiki pages. I found this tool a very practical tool as I can store all of my work to it and then publish it. ‘Creating a free account lets you easily manage and share all of the files and images you upload to MediaFire at any time from any computer just by logging in to your account (Mediafire, 2009).’
If I were to use this e-learning tool at school, I would need to ensure that all of the students work that was being uploaded disclosed no private information or pictures that would breach confidentiality. As the URLs can be used and accessed by people all around the world, it is a risky tool, yet can have its advantages. I believe it is a good idea to store your work so that it can be accessed anywhere that has the internet, however, once uploaded; anyone can download this and have their very own copy.
As long as no private information was to be disclosed, I believe that it would be fine to use in a classroom situation. The items uploaded can be organised into different files and folders, just like a hard copy; only the files are stored and will always be able to be accessed. I think that this is great for learning managers to use to store their work.
In a classroom scenario, the learning manager could upload different files onto the account and then post them so that the students can access them from home or wherever they have access to a computer. This is also a great tool to use to ensure that parents are informed of the learning’s the students are making and allows for others to access the information for their own personal use.
File storage on the internet links to the ICT Learning Design Model as it uses the three strategies (Ausinfo, 2003).
Learning Tasks: The learners will have clear understanding of the requirements
Learning Resources: The students all have access to the files in and out of school hours.
Learning Supports: The learning manager will be able to upload additional learning experiences to ensure all students are being challenged.
I really want to take photos (with parental permission)of the students completing their cultural stalls and dances and upload them onto my MediaFire so that the parents who are unable to attend the presentation are able to have an insight into their child’s learning’s. I do have mixed feelings about this e-learning tool however, it is great to have a place where files can be accessed at all times and I can control who accesses them. I cant wait to implement this learning tool in the classroom and see what feedback I get from the parents.
Shall let you know

Ausinfo (2003). The Learning Design Construct. Viewed on 18/08/09 from:
Mediafire. (2009). What are the benefits of creating a free Mediafire account? Viewed on 18/08/09 from:,1


Wikipedia is a free web based encyclopaedia written by volunteers from all around the world. Almost all Wikipedia articles are able to be adapted by users (Wikipedia, 2009). The problem with this being that it is not a reliable source for information as anyone can go on an edit the topic to talk about anything they wish. Because anyone can access editing rights on Wikipedia pages, it makes it a hot topic of discussion on education as to weather Wikipedia is useful for learning or just a hindrance.

I have used Wikipedia many times before as I found this e-learning tool to be a very quick and simple way to gather an understanding of a topic. The thing is that I am very weary of what I believe, but I do use this site to gather a basic understanding.
I remember back when I was a little girl and we had the Britannica Encyclopaedia collection. Before the internet was available at the drop of a hat, I used to have to research by looking things up in the good old hard cover encyclopaedia. This became frustrating because there was only one section on the subject and if I wanted additional information, off I had to ride on my bike to the public library.

Now that Wikipedia is available to me with ease, I tend to opt for that option. However, I think that if it were to be used in the classroom environment, then the students would need to be aware of how it is not an academic resource. 'Because Wikipedia is open to collaborative editing and can be edited anonymously, assessments of its reliability usually include examinations of how quickly false or misleading information is removed (Wikipedia, 2009).'

A few weeks ago, a studetn in the class came up to me and told me that people live on mars. I asked her how she received this information and she went on to tell me she got it from Wikipedia. The site she received it from looked professional and like it was a reliable resource, however it opened a large discussion with the rest of the class questioning different websites reliability. Now I don’t think those year sevens will enter their high school years relying on Wikipedia.

Until next time,


Wikipedia (2009) Reliability of Wikipedia. Viewed on 18/08/09 from:

Wikipedia (2009) Wikipedia. Viewed on 18/08/09 from:

Google Earth

Google Earth allows you to go anywhere in the world to view by satellite images. I began my google earth adventure by typing my street address, and in the click of a mouse, I was able to select the country, state and area which I lived in and take a virtual tour around the world and was able to see an accurate picture of my house from a satellite view. I began thinking of how useful this tool would be to grasp the concept of latitude and longitude and also to get an idea of earth and where each country is situated.
Google Earth would be a great e-learning tool to use to show the students East and West Timor when discussing globalisation. You could demonstrate to the learners how one side of the island is “rich” and the other “poor.” They would visually be able to see the difference and then lead to further discussion about globalisation. I thought that this could be implemented in the classroom using the Learning Design Framework (AusInfo, 2003) by the learning tasks, learning resources and learning supports.

Learning Tasks: The students can research their own houses and see paths and routes to take to get from one destination to another. Learning tasks could be related back to their cultural assessment task where they can visually see what the land of their country of study looks like. Setting this purposeful task allows the learners to achieve many outcomes. This also relates to the Productive Pedagogies as the learning manager will be implementing strategies in relation to what is being taught and by accommodating for different learning styles (Education Queensland, 2006).
Learning Resources: The students would be offered a variety of resources to use to gather information and understanding of their country. The use of Google Earth also allows the students to address other KLA’s such as mathematics, science, social science and technology. The learners are able to learn latitude and longitude and geometry.
Learning Supports: the learning manager has the responsibility of scaffolding the learning experience to meet the outcomes, however the learners have the task and resources available to make judgements and conclusions of their understandings using this e-learning tool.
It would also be interesting to trace global landmarks on Google Earth as most students may have heard of different wonders of the world, but never really had the visual literacy to back up the knowledge they have had created.
Until next time,


AusInfo. (2003). The Learning Design Construct. Viewed on 08/08/09 from:

Education Queensland (2006). Productive Pedagogies. Viewed on 18/08/09 from:


Podcasting…what is it and how is it used? ‘Podcasts are audio files that are automatically delivered directly to your desktop computer, and can be transferred to your iPod or other MP3 player. You typically subscribe to podcasts using "podcatcher" software (PCATRC, 2009).’I used iTunes as my podcatcher. Podcasts don’t have to be downloaded onto an iPod or MP3 player. Students can just view their podcast from their computer if they do not have access to this equipment. There is also another tool called video podcatching, where the same principle applies as the audio podcasting, but with videos. This is different from YouTube as it can be easily downloaded to your computer and uploaded to transportable devices such as an MP3 player.
Call me lucky, but all of the students in my class actually own MP3 players, so I have that advantage.
About three weeks ago, I was sitting in on a class and the classroom teacher was getting frustrated with one of the students distracting other students from quiet working as he liked to work with noise. The teacher turned around and told the student that if he needed to work with noise to bring an iPod into class instead of distracting others. My initial thoughts were oh bad move. Over half of the class instantly put up their hands and asked if that was the case were they able to get their iPods out of their bag. The teacher had a regretting look on her face but agreed. It was not until last week when I caught up with her and asked her what her reasoning’s were for this learning strategy and she advised me that she realised for the first time in her teaching life that some students need silence when doing independent work and others need noise to keep them busy.
The students all bought in their iPods/MP3 players and began podcasting songs and music to each other. It was here that I realised how effective podcasting could actually be. As previously mentioned, my class are learning about Aboriginal cultures and other countries around the world. I then found a podcast from a school in Hawaii. It came to me that the students could follow these casts to learn more about their cultures and find other countries that have podcasting implemented in schools to allow their questions to be answered. We as a class could then podcast to these schools. I am yet to implement this idea, but I am really looking forward to it.
I think that I could set up a class profile on the computer for the students to access that contains video footage of science experiments and other learning experiences for them to later refer to.
By creating these podcasts, the students are able to share their learning experiences. It provides them with a global audience which then makes the learning meaningful and the assessment authentic (Department of Education and Training Western Australia, 2009). Podcasts align with the learning engagement theory as the students relate, create and donate.
Relate: As the students work together to create their podcast, they will have to plan and manage the delivery and also communicate their ideas to develop one plan of action.
Create: As the students are creating their podcast, they will have an audience that will view their casts, so they have a purpose and meaning to complete the task.
Donate: As the students will receive castings from other schools around the world, they are donating their views in hopeful exchange of others.
(Kearsley & Shneiderman, 1999).

This tool would be extremely effective if the correct pedagogical approaches were addressed with desired outcomes to achieve. It is in the hands of the learning manager to assure that the correct use of technology is available and the students are taught how to use the program. Although I found this Podcasting task a little difficult to work out, I think that with a little more practice, I will be able to teach the students how it exactly works.
Podcatcher later,


Department of Education and Training Western Australia. (2009). Podcasts in the Classroom. Viewed on 16/08/09 from:

Kearsley, G., & Shneiderman, B. (1999). Engagement Theory. Viewed on 12/08/09 from:

Palomar College Academic Technology Resource Centre (2009). Podcasting. Viewed on 18/08/09 from:


Many times in the last few years I have been requested to access a variety of YouTube clips. YouTube ‘is a video sharing website on which users can upload and share videos (Wikipedia, 2009). It can be used for both personal and educational purposes and anyone can upload any video or visual slide show that they wish. When I was thinking about how I could implement YouTube clips into the classroom, I began to think of safety issues that could arise from this online tool. This free video site allows users to view chosen videos and comment on them. This could possibly pose a problem as if the learning manager were to access the YouTube clip and then replay it for the students to watch; offensive comments may have been added. In order to assure this does not occur, a program called NetVid can be downloaded. NetVid allows you to download videos to your account and replay them at any time. This assures that the net safety issues are not a problem when utilizing YouTube’s features.

How could YouTube be used in a classroom environment?

Just like YouTube, TeacherTube allows you to access videos. The difference being that TeacherTube focuses on educational resources that may be used in the classroom (Wikipedia, 2009). I explored both of these sites and found a fantastic video on YouTube that goes through a slide show of Australian Aboriginals. Although I am not in a school placement this year, I am volunteering in a year seven class. They are learning about the world around them and the students are all in different groups to represent a country where they have to research different cultures. To ensure the students understand what they are doing, the learning manager is completing the learning experiences they need to do in their groups for assessment as a whole class activity. For the class activities, they are looking at Australian Aboriginals culture so they are familiar of the processes they need to go through to achieve the assessment for their assigned countries.

With this in mind, I though that it would be great to find a clip that would be used at the very beginning of the unit as a hook to engage the learners. The YouTube video that I have chosen gives an overview of all of the cultural characteristics that we will be looking at as a class for the unit. It demonstrates Aboriginal food, dance, art, clothing, rituals, communities, housing, weapons, tools and climate. By giving the students an overview, it allows them to see where they are headed in their learning journey and can then relate their learning’s about Aboriginal culture to their assigned countries.

YouTube is also great to use when wanting to show students things that cannot be experienced or witnessed in the school environment. Using my idea of incorporating YouTube into the classroom, I am embedding Aboriginal Indigenous perspectives.
‘Appropriate inclusion of Indigenous perspectives within the whole school
environment requires processes and practices to be embedded within four
distinct areas of the school, which will be described further in this document:
1. personal and professional accountability
2. organisational environment
3. community partnerships
4. curriculum and pedagogy.
(Queensland Government, 2009).’

YouTube and TeacherTube are great tools to use to assure the students have the best opportunities to understand the learning tasks. As long as they are applied in a safe way with net security and educational outcomes, then the students will reap the benefits.
Yell, I’m off to research Pod casting.
Wish me luck

Queensland Government (2009) Embedding Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander perspectives in schools. Viewed on 18/08/09 from:

Wikipedia, (2009). Youtube. Viewed on 18/08/09 from:

Quizzes with ClassMarker

Hi all,

Today I was playing around with ClassMarker (2009), and creating quizzes. ClassMarker is a free online resource used to create and complete quizzes. It is great as it completes the making for you and has many options that you can choose from to display answers and create the quizzes (ClassMarker, 2009). In the classroom environment, sometimes it gets a little too busy to sit down and discuss with each child how they are going with their work and what they do not understand. Testing and quizzing has been around for many years, but ClassMarker allows the learners to be able to complete the quiz and have the correct answers displayed in front of them and the option to resit the test.

It is a great tool to use to see where the learners are at and what their comprehension is like. ClassMarker offers instant feedback to the students and would be a great revision tool. Currently, the year seven students at my school are learning about natural and processed resources and where they are situated in the world. This large unit can seem to be a lot for the students to take on board. Although the learning experiences built on their previous knowledge, it would be great to know what information the actually take in. by creating an online quiz about the topics we have so far covered, this would allow the learning manager to see what the students find difficult and can then go back and touch up on misconception. The learners can also use this as a study tool or a reflection on the unit.

Quizzes could also be created prior to beginning a unit to find out what each learner’s prior knowledge is and their depth of understanding. ClassMarker allows uses to create all different quizzes including:

  • Multiple choice questions
  • Multiple correct questions
  • True or false questions
  • Free text (where the learners write the answers in)
  • Essay format

(ClassMarker, 2009).

Although ClassMarker creates fantastic opportunities for use in classroom activities, I found it difficult for others to access, so I think that I need to play around with it a little more to figure that one out. Apart from that, what a great resource.

Until next time,


ClassMarker (2009), F.A.Q. Viewed on 18/08/09 from:


Hi all,

Playing around with Picnik was the most fun that I have ever had on a computer. Picnik is a fun, free program to use to upload and edit the photos similar to Flickr, except it offers a variety of effects. ‘It’s the easiest way on the Web to fix underexposed photos, remove red-eye, or apply effects to your photos (kaylee-photography, 2009).’ I set up my very own account and really admired how it was completely private with access accepted only by the user.
If you are lacking photo editing expertise then Picnik is just what you are looking for. I found it extremely simple to use and that is a lot said because, I tend to have difficulty with computer programs, but I must say, oh how I am improving. Picnik allows you to add that special touch to personal photos or other photos you find on the web. It involves such tools as removing red-eye, cropping, resizing, creating boarders, adding text, changing colours, adding stamps and many more. You can also add your edited picnic photos to your Flickr account. It is as simple as clicking a button. The tools are very simple to use and can easily be removed to begin again. This amusing image manipulation could not only be used for leisure, but also implemented for educational purposes.

How could I use Picnik with my learning experiences?

The learning manager could incorporate Picnik into many learning experiences to engage the learners using Oliver’s Learning Theory (AusInfo, 2003).

I think that the resourse phase of this learning theory would really sit well with Picnik as students can edit their photos for their magazines that they are creating. By cropping, resizing and adding other features, the students have the resources to get the desired result they personally want to achieve. After all, isn’t creativity and personal expression important?

The students can create postcards with Picnik and tie it into many KLAs by incorporating the use of many different ICTs. The students could upload photos taken of them in class and edit the photos and create postcards of brochures or invitations for many different topics, and at any primary school age (Bunder, E, 2009). Click here to access a website that I found which has some great ideas on how to use Picnik for educational purposes.

I am getting addicted to Picnik and think that I will continue to use it for personal and profession purposes. It is a great idea and I am so grateful that it is so simple to operate. Well, I’m off to continue uploading and editing.

Until next time,


AusInfo. (2003). The Learning Design Construct. Retrieved July 24, 2009, from Learning Design:

Bunder, E.; Cline, E.; Ennis, C. et. Al. (2009) Picnik. Viewed on 17/08/09 from:

Kaylee-photography (2009). Picnik: What is it and how does it work? Viewed on 18/08/09 from:

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Hi all,

I have just uploaded this photo from a Flickr account that I set up today. Flickr is a place where you can store, sought, search and share your very own photos. It offers a place for you to store your photos and create stories with them (Flickr, 2009). As I have always had a passion for photography, I think that Flickr offers valuable tools that can be used for educational and personal experiences. 'Flickr is an online photo management and sharing application. Its primary goals are to help people make photos available to those who matter to them, and to enable new ways of organizing pictures (O'Reilly, 2009).'

When I first signed up to Flickr, I began to upload some of my favourite photos of family members and realised how much editing you can do to achieve whatever desired outcome you wish. I made some photos black and white with one feature colour to attract the objects I wanted to focus attention on. It was here that I began thinking how useful this tool could be in the classroom environment to create photo stories and store memories of activities.

When I first signed up, I noted that there was a privacy question that asked you wanted your profile set to private or viewed by the public. This made me begin thinking about privacy acts and copy write acts in schools and how important it is to have permission from parents to display, store and share photos of the students.

The use of Flickr in the classroom.

Eventually, when I get around to finding a purposeful reason to implement Flickr into my lessons, I will need to definitely assure that all students’ profiles are set to private view only by invited and accepted friends and family members. The students will also be required to have signed permission forms from their parents to ensure that net safety standards are maintained.

Flickr is a great idea to put forward to the students. It allows all learners to advance their ICT skills and use digital cameras to capture their learning experiences and reflect on their learning’s. if the students were to complete science experiments, they could have many photos of each step they took to create the experiment and then create a photo story to reflect on their learnings. Studetns could also create photo stories before activities are done using photos on the internet to predict outcomes. Not only could the students use this for science, but across all learning areas.

Learning Managers need to watch out that the students are on safe sites when accessing photos to ensure their net safety is at high priority at all times. Early childhood students could also use Flickr with assistance from parents and teachers to upload photos for show and tell and to save photos of different animals or surroundings corresponding to the learning activities they are completing in class.

‘Photos from photo sharing sites such as Flickr are a great way to encourage students to write. Providing a word bank can allow students support with challenging vocabulary and it allows them to either copy by typing or cut and paste the text into their response (Accessible Educational Technology, 2008).’

Flickr relates well with Oliver’s ICT framework (AusInfo, 2003), because the students will be given a task to complete and they could use the photos to create a visual slideshow to share with their peers to create a reflection of the learning journey that they have undertaken. The Learning Manager of course has the responsibility of informing the students of the net safety rules and organising activities to ensure the students understand the importance of safety and the internet. As Flickr can be set to private, I find think that it would be a great pedagogical tool to use in the classroom.


Ausinfo. (2003). The learning design construct. Viewed on 28/07/09 from:

Flickr (2009). General Flickr Questions. Viewed on 12/08/09 from:

O’Reilly, N. (2009) What is Flickr? Viewed on 12/08/09 from:

PowerPoint Presentations

When I began playing with PowerPoint, I recognised how little I knew about it. Reminiscing back to my primary school years, I began to reflect on the knowledge that I had learned and the presentations that I used to create. As I only had a basic understanding of how to operate PowerPoint, I fiddled around with other features. I then taught myself how to use the upgraded version of PowerPoint (because we all know how often there are upgrades released). I researched this application in Google to give me a head start on the new and improved POWERPOINT!

My prior memory of it really just linked to boring, informative lecture presentations with a coloured background filled with text. I really wanted to explore possible engaging features that PowerPoint could offer. My new and improved presentation involves hyperlinks, timed entrance and exits of text, sound, moving objects, pictures and finally colourful and engaging slides. It was when I was looking at my exciting new work that I began to realise how distracting my presentation actually was. This came as a challenge to me and the presentation that I had created for students in my class really not only was engaging, but may have been too busy and distract meaning away and cloud the outcome that I was trying to achieve.

How would I use PowerPoint in the classroom?

‘Other than learning the intricacies of PowerPoint as a program, PowerPoint can form the basis or media to create quick interactive classroom aids in the form of presentations, slide-shows, quizzes, etc. These classrooms can be both virtual and traditional - PowerPoint content can be easily exchanged, edited and evolved to enliven a collaborative environment (Bajaj, 2009).’
My PowerPoint presentation involved slide shows of the students vocabulary words that they needed to learn. I ran the slide along with some pictures and definitions of the words so that the students could see the words and their corresponding meaning also with a visual representation of the words. I then created memory cards with a printout of the slides and used them for the students to match up the definitions with the words and their visual representation. This would allow the students to become engaged whilst still achieving the outcomes that I was aiming to achieve. An extension activity could have involved the students creating their own PowerPoint presentation with the words they still had difficulty with so that they could remember the meaning and spelling. I received this idea whilst looking up Ideas for using PowerPoint in a classroom (Christie, 2009).
Although PowerPoint presentations can be informative and engaging, I think that there is a fine line between the presentations being engaging and distracting. In my original presentation, I found that my eyes were wondering away from the text and focusing on busy pictures. In a classroom situation, the PowerPoint presentation could engage students and showcase ideas in presentation form, but if too busy, could lead them away from achieving the desired outcome.


Bajaj, G. (2009) Learning PowerPoint. Viewed on 05/08/09 from:

Christie, A. (2009) Ideas for using PowerPoint in a classroom. Viewed on 06/08/09 from:

Voki Avatars

Monday, August 17, 2009

Voki Avatars

AhVoki Adventures

So I have been playing around with Voki Avatars for the last hour and a half and I am completely in love with this site. I think that small things really do amuse small minds. I could have fun on this site for hours on end. I never knew that something that seemed do technical could actually be so easy to understand. I was engaged and really wanted to know more about these avatars. ‘Avatars are fictional characters inside the computer…a virtual person (Winslow, 2009).’ I think that avatars could allow children to develop a friendship with technology. When exploring Voki for my own personal pleasure, it came to me that the images that I was creating was what I aspired to be and my avatars created the good qualities that I see in myself. I believe that this is a very positive thing.

How could avatars be used in the classroom?

There are many positive outcomes that could be used with the use of avatars.

  • The Learning Manager could create an avatar of him/herself so the students interact with a teacher like figure.
  • This could also be used with an assistant teacher.
  • The avatar could direct the learners to the task that is at hand.
  • The students could create their own avatars to represent themselves or what they aspire to be.

When researching the current use of avatars in classrooms, I came across an interesting article from Lance Winslow (2009), where he suggested that avatars can be used for teaching in overloaded classrooms and also as a homework buddy. He went on to also suggest that these avatars that the students create can really assist them to develop their self esteem. For example, if they grow up without a father figure, their avatar could represent a male authority figure that may guide them through their education. I found this to be extremely interesting.

As the majority of online learning is designed to be asynchronous, the virtual environment that avatars assist the students to develop a rich understanding of the pedagogies in place by engaging them in a variety of different ways and offering different communication tools, rather than just plain slides or text boxes to read (NISOD, 2009). I really enjoyed this task and believe that the students would have a ball with avatars and also really listen to the avatars and be on board with activities if the Learning Manager were to use them in learning tasks.


The National Institute for Staff and Overseas Development. (NISOD) (2009). The virtual frontier: engaging students in a three-dimensional online learning environment. Viewed on 16/08/09 from:

Wislow, L. (2009). What are avatars and why should they be used for eLearning for kids? Viewed on 15/08/09 from:

Setting up my e.Portfolio

So, I have now created a Mahara account and have been having a play around with it to get an understanding of how it works and how the children would feel. I realised how useful it actually is. This e-portfolio can be used many different ways and is a base to not only storer information and work, but to network with others and display interests and personal goals. As Mahara is an open source electronic porfile, it has the ablility to provide the users with the opportunity to create a professional and personal learning journal. It seems like it would be a user orientated lifelong learning application and provides technologically rich and personalised learning (Brown, 2007).

How can it be used in the classroom?

· ‘A ‘learning portfolio’, which documents a student’s learning over time;
· A ‘credential portfolio’, which is used for registration or certification purposes;
· A ‘showcase portfolio’, which students can usewhen applying for employment positions (Butler, 2006).’
When playing around with my Mahara account, I realised how useful this would be to create these accounts for my studetns to showcase to their parents and network about learnings with their friends and teachers. As students really enjoy showcasing their work, Mahara is a great tool to offer the students.


Anderson, B. (2007). Showcasing Mahara: a newopen source e-portfolio. Viewed on 17/08/09 from:

Butler, P. (2006). A review of the literature on portfolios and electronic portfolios. Massey University
College of Education. Available from:

Classroom 2.0 (2009). Whats the best platform to showcase students work? Viewed on 18/08/09 from:



When assigned to create a Wiki page and explore Wikipedia, I was very excited as I have already used this learning tool. Last year, I was placed in a year seven class and created a Wiki page to teach the learners about genetic engineering as an online tool for the students to complete. It was great and had quizzes and attachments to other sites for further reading and I found it to be similar to blogging, however I used it as a more professional tool.

A Wiki is commonly utilised as software that allows the users to create their own webpage and contains many features such as hyperlinks (What is a Wiki, 2002). Wikipedia, unlike other encyclopaedia is free and written by the people (Papageorge, 2006). Some Wiki pages have settings to allow access from any online user and these uses are entitled to make any changes to the Wiki without authorisation, making it an unreliable source for information. This means that Wikis are not necessarily factual and are seen to sometimes contain very biased opinions (Papageorge, 2006).

How could Wikis be used in the classroom?

Well Wikis can actually be very useful if used correctly. The Learning Manager could set up an online virtual classroom and add to this by using a Wiki. The students could access this site from home and complete the activities or complete online learning activities that the Learning Manager has set up as a hyperlink on the topics. Wikis can be used to connect students, teachers and parents to classroom learning’s and could be used to share ideas about school initiatives (Wikis in Education, 2009).

Wikis can be also used as an introduction to subjects and set up to be only accessed by the learners in the classroom and I figured out a way to ensure that the students can only view the site and complete the activities and the Learning Manager is the only member authorised to make changes to the site and can also view what students are completing what activities on the site. Educational Wikis give students a chance to connect with each other and communicate ideas and further their learning’s. The Engagement theory once again hits the nail on the head when it talks about collaboration. Wikis can be used to gather ideas for group assignments. The learners have the opportunity to speak out. If the students can use Wiki pages to collaborate and add on ideas, then this could be used as the communication backbone needed for the students to develop skills and use different ideas to get the task done (Kearsley & Shneiderman, 1999).

I found Wiki very easy to use and create. I think that with pedagogy behind the activities, that the learners would really be engaged in this technology tool. After all, when students are engaged, the road to learning is made…just a thought.

Have a look at my wiki page at:


Educational Wikis (2009). Viewed on 02/08/09 from:

Papageorge, V. (2002). Wikipedia proves to be unreliable. Viewed on 02/08/09 from:

What is a Wiki? (2002). Viewed on 15/08/09 from:

Wikis in Education (2009). Viewed on 13/08/09 from:

RSS -- Really Simple Sindication

RSS – Rich Site Summary or Really Simple Syndication

When I first began to research what a RSS was and what it could be used for, I initially thought that it would be a tool that I would just trial and never really understand. After numerous hours playing around with this, I recognised how useful it actually is. The Really Simple Syndication ‘provides news updates from a website in a simple form for your computer. You read these files in a program called an aggregator, which collects news from various websites and provides it to you in a simple form,’ (Swartz, 2009).

For many years now, the little orange button has been staring me and it has never crossed my mind what it was actually used for. Now that I know, it is just a click away for me to save and follow anything on the web. After following many sites using this aggregator, I am easily informed of new information that I can access and look at rather than having to remember where I saw that site that interested me. This allows me to be updated for changing web content (What is RSS? RSS explained, 2008).

How can this be used in the classroom?

My initial thought was that RSS feeds would not really apply to the students, but oh how I was proven wrong. When researching and playing around with this, I realised how the students could have the opportunity to follow sites they are researching for classroom work or sporting sites to follow all of the updates. Whilst looking for schools using RSS aggregators, I came across the website for Fairmount Senior High School (2009). The school website had links for all of the students to save useful sites to their RSS to ensure their assignments were correct and their students were all able to keep updated with classroom work and activities happening in the school.

It came to me that there are so many ways for this simple tool to be used effectively whilst also engaging the students. The Engagement Theory (Kearsley & Shneiderman, 1999) relate, create and donate in the learning activities. RSS could assist students to plan, communicate and manage their work online by constantly being aware of updates that are happening. The mind really does boggle when you think of possibilities. I found this tool very useful and I can see myself using this to assist me with my university studies and in the future with my teaching.


Fairmount Senior High School (2009). What is RSS? Viewed on 17/08/09 from:

Kearsley, G. & Shneiderman, B. (1999) Engagement Theory: A framework for technology-based teaching and learning. Viewed on 19/08/09 from:

Swartz, A. (2009) RSS info. Viewed on 03/08/09 from:

What is RSS? RSS explained (2008). Viewed on 05/08/09 from:

Sunday, August 16, 2009

My name is Amy Kennedy and I am currently studying Bachelor of Learning Management at the Central Queensland University at the Noosa campus. I am not the best at dealing with technological advances and I am not the biggest fan of computers, but so far so good. I am eager to learn more and am open to discovering different tools to use in the classroom. After all, I need to engage the learners, and I think that with the correct pedagogy in place, that I will be able to not only provide enriched learning tasks, but to also connect with the learners and give them opportunities to learn using tools they understand and relate to. I am looking forward to sharing all of my online learnings with you all.
I will keep you posted