Tuesday, August 18, 2009

WIKI's Again

Evening all,

WIKI's are a great tool in teaching students about the validity of information found on the internet. Learning about information realiability and the ease in which people can edit information on the internet.

Getting students to populate a WIKI such as Wikipedia to explore the pages that exist and find a page that needs to be written. Students can then write their own page, linking information from their page to other pages, picking mistakes in relating articles. Students will have to research the topic using accredited sources to find information that is valid. They will also have to use appropriate language, follow layout formats and write a correct and full bibliography. This task will not only help students understand how easy it is to change and edit information on sites such as Wikipedia, but also give them a sense of achievement as they will have published a page that is able to be viewed by the entire world.

Students will hopefully enjoy this task as they will be able to work together and choose any topice they like as the lesson is not the subject matter but the process involved.



PowerPoint - Again

Hey all,

I think that PowerPoint is a wonderful tool for teaching. It not only helps with giving lessons, but also provides students with a visual and audio aid in the lesson.

I have used PowerPoint a lot and the way that I have found the most fun is creating a story quiz. Have you ever read one of those books where you get to choose the outcome of the story? Well I have created a PowerPoint in the past, (and I cannot find where it has gone) where students move their way though the PowerPoint and based upon their answer, they are directed to another slide. This gives students a way to learn that is individually tailored to them, with each student having the possibility to see different slides and different information. The quiz took about 20 minuets to complete and entertained students. Once they had complete the quiz, students discussed the different paths they followed though the lesson and how these paths had helped them understand each concept involved.

What do others think of this idea? How would it fit in with your teaching style?


References: Brooks, S and Byles, B "Using PowerPoint", Internet4Classrooms, viewed 18/08/2009 http://www.internet4classrooms.com/pp_buttons_show.htm

Voice Thread


I find this to be a weird tool to use as it has so many parts that you can edit and change. I much prefere to use the tools avaliable with powerpoint when making presentations. I think that the only place that i would use this site woudl be if i didn't have acess to power point.



Royalty Free Music


Finding Royalty Free Music is a great tool to add that finishing touch to a presentation. This site is a great tool to find royalty free music. The hardest part of the site is to find the piece of music that will suit the presentation.

I have found a piece of music that would suit a presentation that is fun and actively involves student participation. Called “Future Cha Cha”, the piece is fun and up beat. I would use it as an introduction or a break piece in a presentation.



References: Royalty Free Music, 2008, viewed 18/08/2009 http://incompetech.com/m/c/royalty-free/index.html?genre=Classical

Monday, August 17, 2009

Digital Storytelling

Evening all,

"Digital kids need learning to be relevant, meaningful, and applicable now." Marco Antonio Torres

Combining audio, visual and multimedia tools, digital storytelling introduces many facets of classical learning. Letting children become the storyteller allows them to explore their imagination. Becoming the storyteller, especially in an interactive digital way, will encourage children to learn and grow as well as keeping them entertained in the material. Creative, writing, personal, speaking and technical skills are all utilized by students when creating a digital story.
Learning life skills though digital storytelling such as planning, production and presentation as well as the effective use of digital media. Digital storytelling can involve test, images, movies, audio, transitions and animation.

Allowing students to express themselves in the form of a digital story is a wonderful way to introduce them to technology and to their own stories. Creating a task in which students will be involved and hands on is essential as it will not only decrease class disruptions but also draw the best out of students as they will be working with a medium that is exciting to them.

Allowing student to discover information on their own and then present their findings to their classmates will not only instill a sense of achievement, but also pride in their work. Also, allowing students to teach other students captures the attention of the students as it is a new teaching experiance for them.

Afterall, the best digital story is passionate, relative, real and entertaining, and who knows what is realtive and entertaining for a class than a student in that class. The passion that one student conveys for a subject will also be conveyed to more students that the passion a teacher may have for that subject.

Skills learnt though being a digital storyteller are essential throughout life. I think that giving students the opportunity to show their creativity and create their own story using a digital media.

Night all,


References: Digital Storytelling. Retrieved August 17th, 2009, from http://www.lubbockisd.org/sfirenza/storytelling/#top

Media Fire

Evening all,

I found MediaFire very easy to sign up to, easy to use and so useful. This is the file that I have uploaded...


Teachers can use this tool to view students assesment rather than emails or school systems. Electronic file marking is a much better and enviromentally friendly than paper marking.



Sunday, August 16, 2009

Web Quest

I think that this would have to be one of the most time consuming and complicated tools I have looked at so far. It takes a large amount of time to try and create a learning objects, that often looks vastly different to how you intended. I don't think that I would ever attempt to use this as a learning tool as the more traditional approach suits my style much better.

The time that it takes to prepare a WebQuest is phenomenal! I don't think that enough of the curriculum could be addressed to make it an effective tool to use. Unless one WebQuest could be used for 5 or 6 classes, or recycled for multiple years, the time imput factor is to great to want to created this learning tool.

I don't like WebQuest, I don't think that I could use it, and I don't think that I ever will.


Hey Everyone,

I think that WIKIPedia is a great tool for students to use as it requires many different skills to use well. As WIKI's are readily update-able by any audience, it means that students have to be aware about the validity of the information they are reading.

I have done an exercise that involves students using WIKIPedia to look up information relating to a subject area and spot the mistakes in the WIKIPedia content. This exercise teaches students to use many different sources. The class learned that content on the internet is not always correct and to only use internet sources to extend on information gained from books.

I think that WIKIPedia is also a great place to start for assignments as it provides students with a footing as to what they want to re-search and what sort of area's they can look into on a topic.

What does everyone else think of WIKIPedia? and how have you used it?



SlideShare is an awesome tool that allows students to easily view presentations created by their teachers and teachers to easily view slides created by their students.

This was a very easy tool to use. It allows for easy sharing of presentations as well as an easy way to upload audio to a presentation. I was not able to upload to audio at this time as my microphone is not working :(

I hope that everyone else has had fun with this tool too!

Flickr Re-vistited

The students LOVE Flickr.

Being so easy to use, students can navigate around the site very easily. They had a ball editing photos, changing the colors and effects.

Using the search tool to find photos relevent to the unit of work, some students created very interesting pictures, showing their take on the topic being studied. It helped me understand the different learning types in the class though their submited photos and explanations.

This is a great tool to use at the start and end of a unit of work as you can see how students views on the topic have changed though the change in their photo submission and explanations.

Students Blogs

Asking students to create a blog is an idea that has been widely discussed within the community and especially within my school. A large number of teachers feel that it will open the students up to bullying, especially if they are posting their own idea's.

Interenet bullying is a major problem for school aged children, espcially as they are at such an inpressionable age. It has been agreed that this is not a exercise in which the students should participate as the welfare of the children is of the upmost importance.

The students have been taught about the appropriateness of what they post on the internet and are aware of copyright and plagerism laws. These two factos are important as they help students be aware of requirements when they complete assignments and such later on.

Google Earth

How could any Geography lesson be complete without Google Earth?

I spent about half an hour just plying with this program. Finding my house, my friends houses, places I have been in the world, places I want to go. It is increadible and makes me want to travel to so many places!!

Using this as a teaching tool would be quite difficult as most students would want to do what I did straight away, which is look up their house and so on. Assigning it as a homework assignment may work as students will have time to play with it and then complete the task. Using it within a set time period in the classroom may become hetic as students can easily become distracted.

Definitely something that I want to work into my lessons and as a tool to expand on the students learning experiance so far!

References: Google Earth, http://earth.google.com/


Hey all,

I think that podcasts are wonderful ways to keep up to date with information, learn new concepts and become aware of different ideas. There are many uses that Podcasts can have in the learning enviroment. Using posts created and posetd by others can be useful in exposing students to new idea's and the ideas of others. iTune also gives teachers the opportunity to create their own podcasts, giving them an easy way to update students on information.

I had a look around the internet to see what I could find on Podcasts and came across this great video on Youtube. Haveing watched this I thought it was about time to look for a podcast that would suit what I wanted. Having got side tracked in the process with a TopGear podcast, I finally made it to the educational section and have found so many inspiring podcasts.

For studnets learning another lanuage there are posts to help with french, spanish, german and so on. Biology, chemistry, maths and english all have podcasts to help students. Whether a teacher chooses to assign students a poscast to listen to or watch or the student looks for podcasts just to help their learning journey, they are very useful and can definitly make the difference in having an enjoyable learning experiance.



References: YouTube, Poscasting in plain english, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-MSL42NV3c


Morning all,

YouTube is one of the best tools to share video's and media with friends and the world. I can use videos that others have already made to emphasize the importance of a topic. It not only saves time and effort, but also adds dramatically to a presentation.

As you can see in this video, it shows just how skilled the Australian Air Force (RAAF) really are. Using footage such as this not only helps reenforce the point of technical accuracy and responsibility of their job, but also the pure beauty of some of the maneuvers they perform in the air.



Reference: YouTube, Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rFfAUHSgqWc

Saturday, August 15, 2009


Hey all,

Classmaker is a great program for teachers who don't have access to a system such as Moodle or Blackboard. The flexibility of the tests is wonderful as it allows short, essay, multiple choice, multiple response and true/false questions to be written. With tools such as random question production it also ensure that students cannot copy each other.

I made a test and asked a couple of friends to try it out for me (as I don't have a class to test it on) and they said that it was really easy to use and very straight forward. I also made another account for it and found that it was even easier than Moodle or blackboard to use for the first time (remembering how much trouble I had learning how to use the two).

I think that this is a great tool and am so happy that it is readily available to everyone, allowing teachers to assign tests in a more effective way that the old pen and paper.

See you,



Hey all,

I think that Picnik is the best photo editing application avaliable for free use. Unless you own photoshop or photoelements then there is no program out there that is as easy to use and has as many functions.


This is the photo that I have played around with and found it so easy to use. I could adjust the color, select Black and White for some sections and color for others. I was performing tasks that take alot of effor twith advanced photo programs with ease. It is and AWSOME tool.

This site is great for students to use to create their own artwork and photo adjustments.

Hope everyone else loves this site as much as I do!!



Evening all,

I LOVE Flickr!! It is so easy to use, it is so simple to navigate, and makes posting photos on the internet so easy!!


This is my beautiful pony jumping 1.45m in the championships. She has now been given her well deserved retirement.

I think that this is a great tool for students to use to share their work and get feedback from not only their class mates, but also from the internet audience.

I think its great, I've heard other peopl ehave had troubles with it but it has just worked so well for me!

Night all,


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Presentations with PowerPoint

Hey all,

The major challenge in making a presentation is the entertainment factor. If it isn't entertaining and won't keep the attention of the audience they are not going to learn the content presented. However, if the presentation provides too much entertainment, the audience will be hanging out for the next joke or effect and not pay attention to the content.

That leaves the question of what to do!?!

Well my idea was to provide a presentation that involves entertainment and information. So using an avatar such as Voki makes a good way to start... get everyone's attention. Using slide with dot points on them and elaborating on the points keeps attention on me, as the speaker and using transitions and sound effects keeps the audience entertained. I also feel that it is important to allow questions to be asked through out the presentation as this means that they won't be forgotten by the end of the presentation.

I didn't find any challanges with PowerPoint as I have used it extensivly at school, however I found that the tutorial helped me remeber many of the tools that I had forgotton. It was great to be refreshed and I have bookmarked the page so that I can use the information for future presentations.

I found that the PowerPoint tutorial was helpful and provided me with lots of ideas about how to use the full capabilities of the program. I will defiantly use PowerPoint more often in the future!!
What does everyone else think of PowerPoint?



References: PowerPoint in the Classroom, 2009. Retreived July 29, 2009 from CQUniversity e-courses, FAHE 11001 Managing E-Learning

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Avatars and Voki

Evening all,

I made a Voki, as you can see to your left. Its a horse - of course - and a talkinging one, so I choose to call him Mr. Ed. (Its a talking horse - of course)
Well, Voki... Its a little different. I think that it could be a good way to start a lesson or introduce something, however it can become over whelming if presented for to long. During a long lesson, Voki's could be used to bring attention back to the subject and wake up students from the monotony of speech.
Voki's also allow students with poor reading skills to access content provided. They also provide students with poor speech skills a way to present oral's and use voice to enhance their presentations and self-confidence.
Voki is fun, Voki is creative, Voki is interesting. Using an avatar such as Voki is a great way to enhance a lesson or introduce a new concept. Entertain students with this fun concept to create interest!

Night all,


Monday, August 10, 2009


Afternoon all,

I am not a fan of Mahara, I sturggle to use it and find it time consuming to create the views as they are have many process's involved in completing them.

It has taken me a while to work this program out. Mahara is an interesting way of creating a portfolio that can display several “view”s. These views enable the owner to display information to certain users. These views are individual pages that the owner can create to display feeds from web pages, pictures, text, and any other concepts they wish. The flexibility of Mahara enables the user to have total control of the displayed information.

Mahara can be an educational tool through its versatility and ability to display various information. A teacher can create multiple views and then allow access to students as they progress though the work, enabling them to view more information.

I am not sure that I would ever use Mahara as an educational tool or for any purpose. I find it hard to use and hard to navigate around. I don't think that it is really a suitable learning tool as it takes a large amount of time away from studying content into learning how to create the pages.

I would love to hear what everyone else thinks about it,


Sunday, August 9, 2009

Google Reader

Aggregator's are a useful tool in the Learning process as they allow students and teachers to keep track of information. When using a Blog or Wiki as a learning tool, it can be hard to keep track of updates, however using an aggregator allows information to be tracked and all persons needing updates to be kept 'in the loop'.

When asking students to create their own blog and using it as an assessment item, teachers can mark the URL's of students blogs and receive notifications of updates that students are making. Likewise, students can mark the URL's of other students and the teachers blog to allow them to keep up-to-date with their peers and the activities the teacher requests of them.

I know that I use Google Reader to keep up-to-date with what my peers are posting on their blogs as well as accessing news feeds. Google Reader makes it easy and straight forward to comment on my peers blogs and see their opinions on items. I have only used Google Reader as I try and streamline my accounts and as I already have gmail, it makes it much easier for me to use Google Reader than Bloglines. I have also found that Google Reader has many more functions than Blog Lines.

Aggregator's can also be used to receive up-to-date news and new postings on websites of interest. Keeping up with news and events is essential in today's environment, and by using a facilitator such as Google Reader makes knowing what's news much easier.

Thanks for reading,