Thursday, August 20, 2009

My Reflective Synopsis....


E-Learning is electronicly-based training, that can be CD-ROM based, network based, Intranet or Internet based, which could include text, video, audio, animation, powerpoint and slideshare with new software and programs becoming available every minute. It is a hands on self-paced learning tool that can be implemented into the classroom for effective engaged teaching. These effective Learning tools can be utilised throughout the Curriculum in all KLA's (2007)along with the in school Frameworks which go along with many theorists.

The purpose of this Blog is to map out the advantages of implementing them within all Curriculum areas in the classroom whilst still meeting criteria that is set out with the Queensland Studies Authority and Queensland Education.

Many theorists like Kearsley and Shneiderman (1998), Oliver (1999) and Prensky (2005) all agree that in using the Engagement Theory which is a conceptual framework for technology based learning and teaching through interactive meaningful and relevant activities that are linked to the real word will facilitate engagement. Whether they are Digital Natives or Digital immigrants (Prensky 2001).

The many and varied topics of technologies that have been researched and some tested within the classroom, throughout this Blog will inform you on how they can be implemented in the classroom regardless of subject, age, year level, cultural background, learning ability and even limited accessability to some technologies. However, most but not all of these technologies do require access to the internet.

In using a Blog to reflect and demonstrate my learning and research of these technologies has enhanced my understanding and knowledge whilst using my critical thinking skills and creative skills. I have been encouraged to think about my thinking whilst practicing higher order thinking in my ideas and lesson activities to ensure my students will be engaged throughout a lesson that is presented when using these applications, like; Will my students be able to distinguish between ......, Will they be confident in trying self-directed learning after ....... and so on.

Throughout the varied technologies I have indicated that by utilising some or most of these technologies you can create a virtual classroom, that will faciliate engagement throughout the lessons and enable the students to fulfill the curriculum requirements whilst developing their Literacy and thinking skills, becoming analytical, critical and creative thinkers (Marzano, 1997) and building their confidence and self-esteem. All of this builds to a confident happy student who will envelope learning and knowledge building.

I have also indicated in some of the applications how the Essential Learnings(QSA,2007), Learning Designs and Problem based Learning Methodologies (CQU, 2002) are incorporated into each lesson. I have also commented and noted on other students Blogs regarding some of their ideas and suggestions.

I found Kerri Norman's suggestions on Blogs in the Classroom very interesting, she suggests; the use of avatars, along with uploaded videos, handouts and quizzes that could be all to one task along with homework tasks to be completed. Kellie Stephens also had some great ideas and suggestions on using Powerpoint Buttons and quizzes. She suggested to import a quiz into a powerpoint and and have the quiz at the end of a powerpoint that holds all required information. I will have to try that one.

I had no idea the amount of programs and free ones that are out there in cyber world. Discovering the many engaging and interactive uses these applications can play in the classroom for a more effective teaching approach is mind boggling. I originally thought that it would be limited to what you could do in the classroom with some of these applications but my eyes have been opened and my mind is beginning to tick. I have no doubt that using a lot more technology within the curriculum will definately engage and encourage higher learning and enthusiasm towards learning in the classroom. Particulary the remote Indigenous communities, this approach to learning and teaching will bring a renewed energy to the classroom and attendance as long as they are related to real world activities and also to themselves. These kids do not have a big opportunity to engage and experiment with these types of tools, so implementing them into the classrooms will invigorate their attitiude in the right direction.

I am looking forward to using and testing a lot of these ideas and technologies in the classroom, I have enjoyed my time researching and learning about these not so new technologies although sometimes may have been frustrating and I have ended up yelling at the computer, I have a new attitude towards technology and it's uses. Wouldn't it be great to have a wiki that is dedicated to different uses and lesson plan ideas for these technologies that could be shared, hmmm just might set my Wiki up for that.

Thanks Wendy.


Central Queensland University. (2002). Problem-based Learning. Retrieved on August 17, from

Kearsley, G & Shneiderman, B. (1998). Engagement Theory. Retrieved August 20, from,

Marzano,R., Pickering, D., Arredondo,D., Blackburn, G., Brandt, R., Moffett, C., Paynter, D., Pollock, J. & Whisler, J. (1997). Dimensions of Learning, teacher's Manual. Colorada. McREL.

Oliver, R. (1999). Exploring strategies for on-line teaching and learning. Distance Education, 20(2), 240-254.

Prensky, M. (2005). Engage Me or Enrage Me - What today's learners demand. Retrieved August 20, from,

Prensky, M. (2001). Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants. Retrieved August 20, from,,%20Digital%20Immigrants%

Queensland Studies Authoriy (QSA), Queensdland Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Framework (2007), Essential Learnings. Retrieved August 20, from

Image: created by Wendy Gaines on

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Digital Storytelling

What is Digital Storytelling?

From what I have learnt from the site indicated for us to view I have found that Digital storytelling is oral storytelling combined with the use of modern multimedia tools to help deliver tales using images, sound, music, and voice. It brings out the creators views and perspectives of a certain story that is being relayed to an audience.
These stories begin in the old traditional way of being written on paper or orally spoken then are transformed into a digital format through the use of computers and digital cameras.

During this process the Essential Learnings are used througout the learning process, the students;

Construct a story
Sequence and Summarize
Edit and Proofread
Use descriptive words
Use words to create imagery

Show clear expression and enunciation
Learn projecting and phrasing
Communicate ideas
Engage the audience
Match images with voice
Match music with script


Technical Skills
Personal Development Skills
Implement DS software
Use a digital camera/video camera
Scan pictures and objects
Record voice and music
Import Internet Images

Enhance self-confidence
Build community
Establish observational skills
Develop social skills

Dyck, Brenda. "Digital Storytelling: Igniting New Life into Writing." Classroom Connect Newsletter (2005): 16-17.

What a great concept, What a great way to encourage writing and creativeness in the classroom. Using these skills would cover most of Gardener's Multiple Intelligences and learning styles (2003) for learning, bringing certain confidence to any student in the classroom.

This Learning Tool could be used in many ways, documenting a field trip is a great collobrative learning lesson, telling their own story if they are from a different country, an ancestry / family Tree documentation, one example that I remembered was from one of my earlier Blogs was the story told by the students from Aurukun school - "Voices from the Cape part 1 & 2" (click on the story below)

Prensky (2001) states that digital immigrants find it difficult to engage with technology, but this was not the case with Aurukun as you will see once you view the storyclip. Prensky (2005) also states that students are challenging us to engage them not to enrage them, and this is what Aurukun school and community recognised and came up with a framework design that Kearsley and Shneiderman (1998) refer to; a framework for technology-based teaching and learning set about engaging them by trying something different but something that was real, relevant, self-directed, full of self-discovery that was about them and involved cognitive processes such as creating, problem-solving, reasoning,decision making and evaluation . The staff and trainers engaged in using another Learning Design Framework (Oliver 1999) which consisted of Learning support, Learning Tasks and Learning Resources; the trainers to train, what was expected of them to make - a story about themselves and the equipment to be utilised.

I have always wondered how to make these storytelling videos, first you must have a video, mine I think is a little old. It would be great to see the many personalities of all the students come through and possibly those who are normally quiet may show a new view of themselves. A great colloborative learning tool with lots of fun.



Gardener, H. (1983). Howard Gardener's multiple intelligences. Retrieved August 20, from,

Kearsley, G & Shneiderman, B. (1998). Engagement Theory. Retrieved August 20, from,

Oliver, R. (1999). Exploring strategies for on-line teaching and learning. Distance Education, 20(2), 240-254.

Prensky, M. (2005). Engage Me or Enrage Me - What today's learners demand. Retrieved August 20, from,

Prensky, M. (2001). Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants. Retrieved August 20, from,,%20Digital%20Immigrants%

Queensland Studies Authoriy (QSA), Queensdland Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Framework (2007), Essential Learnings. Retrieved August 20, from


Blogs; hmmm with my limited experience but enthusiam about Blogs, I trust students would jump at the chance to have their own personal Blog. Having limited access to computers and time of course in schools, it may be a little difficult and knowing that not all students have access to a computer and the internet at home is another stumbling step.
First students would need to be aware of ethical and legal issues surrounding the internet and the copyright aspect when using images, music, videos etc from the internet or from home, an introduction to sites the Creative Commons agreement site and then list some of the sites that are loyalty free and freee from copyright.

The way I believe would be a great way for students to begin once they have set up a Blog page and it is only visible to the Teacher and other school staff and students, I would begin with them giving an introduction of themselves, possibly a backgound look at them as a person, uploading a photo of themselves and family if they wish and then writing a reflective goals outlook of where they want to go, how they would get there and what they would need to do to reach that goal.

Once they are familiar with their way around their blog and can comment on others, using it again a as a reflective tool on what they have learnt today in class, why, what was interesting and what was not, and how it could be better next time, and possibly some new questions they would like answered. What a great way for a teacher to get a perspective on where each particular student is at and where they need to go to keep them engaged.

A Blog could also be used as an information dump for assessments and other authentic tasks. Placing their views and researched information about a particular subject (like; ANZAC day), add some photos of real ANZACs or possibly someone from their family. Then students could comment and check out each others to see what they have found and this could be then used as a collaborative learning tool. These particular posts could also be publicised for access to other schools and educators also. Possibly two or more schools around the state, country or world could possibly link up to use their Blogs as a learning tool of what is happening in their area and school and their views on particular topics etc it is endless of what could be done.

I think there are many ways to use a Blog as I am discovering myself. One day we hope to have all students within access of a computer and the internet in the classroom more and more.

The use of Buttons on your PowerPoint

image from
(click on the link to view my button powerpoint quiz)

This activity began with many frustrations and hair pulling, as I could not find my action buttons located in the PowerPoint program, with much searching and thowing hands in the air, I decided to try "help", yeah finally found where these buttons are hidden away, they are actually just shapes, but they can be used as a button. Setting up the PowerPoint was considerably easy as I have done many of these before, using buttons is a new experience and once I got the hang of it, I was off and running. I only created a simple slideshow using buttons going one way, but I did manage to have them make a sound when clicked on, that is so cool!.

What a great way to make your slideshows look more proffessional and fun for the kids. In the classroom, I think the students would love to create their own and they would come up with quite a few varieties. Making things fun and engaging (Prensky 2005) will keep our students no matter how much of a digital native (Prensky 2001) they may or may not be, it will keep them thinking and coming up with new ideas and let them think outside the box. Who knows we may learn a few more things from them.



Prensky, M. (2005). Engage Me or Enrage Me - What today's learners demand. Retrieved August 19, from,

Prensky, M. (2001). Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants. Retrieved August 19, from,,%20Digital%20Immigrants%

Mahara Portfolio

Wow what a site...... Another one to add to my growing list. Well I found this site a little confusing at first, trying to navigatge my way around, first I had trouble logging in, as I couldn't remember what usename I had used (I have so many) I finally got through and managed to enter data into my profile. My next step was to enter a view. Well this was the most frustrating part, it took me about 20 mins to finally get one up and running after realising I had to actually write one not upload one. I also managed to upload a photo from my computer with ease I must say, Whew, glad for that. Putting my views up for public view was reasonably easy, having to trawl through all the names was a little tedious though. After entering 2 views I then returned to moodle and followed the instructions to head to the website to view more about the Mahara site and how to use it effectively. Boy, if only I had seen this first it would've made things so much easier and faster and less stressful, and believe me I don't need anymore of that.

Anyway after going through these tutorials, I was able to go back and fix a few things up and look for friends and mangaged to join a group as well. I'm pretty proud of myself to be able to have completed that.

In the classroom I could see a great way to have students and Teachers introducing themselves to each other before the year starts and also enabling a Teacher to advise all students what is upcoming on the calender for the term and setting out authentics tasks that are to be completed during the term on their unit of work. These could be used for collaborative tasks or reflections between students whilst working on them. A great place to store all students work that has been completed also and have them ready for jobs by using the resume section.
Being able to keep the portfolio within a group and not for public sharing is a great way to keep track of students work and progress. I am curious at what others have thought about this site.


What a great tool. I have chosen random images from my photo album. The first is an Indian Rock garden in its first stages, the second are toy dinosaurs and lions in a rock garden, the third is my son doing archery.
A great way to have different thoughts, perspectives from students with particular pictures. From here a story could be written about the subject, a story line, what happened before/after, how does a picture make you feel?, why? and what emotions do they bring forth. It could be used as a history project, each student can research something about the photo and add this comment to the page about what happened etc. Students could write a statement about the subject, write a poem, add music, there are so many options. Another great learning tool for the Digital age for engaging students, as Siemens (2004) states the diversity of opinions rests in knowledge and learning. Having the students give their own opinion and ideas to a simple image brings about a great debate of how it is perceived in others eyes and why, does it come back to prior knowledge or their life experience?
Would love to get the opportunity to use this in the classroom.

Wendy Gaines.

Siemens, G. (2004). Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age. Retrieved August 20, 2009, from .


Royalty Free music on the web. Wow what a great site. Isn't it great to find something you can use for free. As we all know that using music in our powerpoints, movie videos etc are all subjected to copy right unless we have gone through the correct channels to have permission to use a piece of music for a certain purpose at a certain time which can cost most of the time. On the Incomptech site the Creative Commons agreement allows the use of the particular music that is available on this site for free. Kevin McLeod writes all the music and produces them all except where stated like Beethoven etc. He believes some music should be free for those who cannot afford to pay for the use of music composed by others, like schools and movie makers etc. However, you can choose to give a donation to use his music and there are some pieces that he has compiled that do have a price on them. He has a large variety of music available which is set out in catergories and also has links to others sites similiar to his.

What a great way to have access to music that can be used in the classrooms; like Drama / Dance, powerpoint presentations, movie making, or just a soothing backdrop whilst students are working. Prep and and some year 1-2 grades still have a quiet time when they return to the classrooms after lunch break, heads are layed on desks for a rest and calming effect with calming soothing music played in the background.

The piece I chose was called "Winter Selections" by Kevin McLeod. It is a piece played via 3 ipods with bops and balls but it is a very soothing calming piano piece. It could be used in a play where the snow is falling lightly or used in a Dance piece like finding your way through a forest where fairies can be found. There are many ways you can use a particular piece of music, depends on the way you use it and your imagination. I love all types of music, well except for the rap music and techno. But music is a great way to reach some children in the classroom, especially some special needs kids, Autistic kids and others who are musical learners or those who just love music.

MediaFire - File storage

MediaFire is a File storage located on the web. It enables you to upload large files or photographs for storage rather than keeping them in your inbox or on your computer. This storage facility enables you to access them wherever you are on any computer as long as you have internet access. They also enable you to share your files either privately between selected clients/friends or publicly to anyone. They are also able to download your files.
I found this storage place a great place and believe it can be utilised in the classroom in many different ways. This file storage could be used for students either uploading homework or assignments or projects instead of emailing to teacher etc, or they can be in reverse, the Teacher could also have a file for students to work on from home, like homework or information they require to access for assignments or projects.
Lessons could be downloaded for those who are away on holidays or unable to get to school due to imobility or an inability to attend under special circumstances. Possibly a sharing of information gathered or outcomes between different schools and students across the world. The uses are endless.
I have included a URL for one of my files that I have uploaded on MediaFire, feel free to check it out, it is a Science project I did.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Another site to sign up too. Whew I am loosing track of all these sites, good thing I have a little black book to note them in.... Anyway entering this site was easy enough, and signing up. I encountered a small problem when uploading a PowerPoint to the site, it took soooo long, and when I tried to go back and preview it, I could not find it, so I began to upload it again and it took another 20 mins, thought this was taking a little too long so I had a play around the site and found that it actually had uploaded and I was then able to preview it. Then came the challenge of embedding it into my blog, I followed the instructions by using the "embed" code but that took a whole page so I decided to go via posting it through Blogger from the bottom of the page. This worked a treat.
The Audio on the other hand I could not get to work. I downloaded a free program called "Audacity" from the Web. The first test I did, worked well although very low volume, so I tried turning up the volume and repeating a test again and again and again. Could not get this to work at all. I was getting very frustrated at this stage. After playing with this for at least half an hour I chose to move on and plan to play with it at a later date when I have more time (yeah right...sparetime..) anyway I shall put it down to another experience I have had with another program, one of many. How unfortunate I could not get it to work.
I believe these too programs could work well together for students once the teething problems have been ironed out. Not only for students to use and experiment with but for teachers presentations. Another engaging effective way of teaching and/or learning tool.


Wikipedias have a wide range of uses. They are available in many languages and cover all KLA's. Anyone can add or delete information within these pages, just like a Wiki. Although Wikipedia is not considered an educational reference for information, however it can still be used in the classroom.
Wikipedias can be created for use in the classroom but would need to be monitored closely by the Teacher. However, it would be more useful as a learning tool rather than just a contribution learning tool. On the Wikipedia you have many choices of what can be done with them, like, going to other related links, locating photos that are related to the information. There is a community portal, a help desk, a Wikisource, Wikibooks, Wikionary and one that is very useful for all ages, Wikiversity. Wikiversity is an open learning form where learning resources and projects can be found and used it also includes professional and informal training. A great resource for collaborative learning.


WebQuests are an inquiry-oriented lesson format in which most or all the information that learners work with comes from the web. These WebQuests can be set up and organised by teachers or they can be WebQuests that are already situated on the web. Most of the Educational ones are found in the Learning Place which would be accessible to all schools.
My experience with WebQuests has been limited but I have managed to create 2 of my own for assignments during my BLM course. I have found them interesting and a great source as an interactive and engaging learning tools (Prensky 2005) whether students are Digital Natives or immigrants (Prensky 2001).
They can be time consuming when setting up, especially when you are not really familiar with the program, although there are plenty of web sites out there to help you begin one. is a great site for beginners, easy instructions and layouts. The many features and designs that can be used is nearly endless, it is only limited to your own imagination and creativeness.
Students could also create their own as an authentic assessment for whatever they are working on in their unit of work. WebQuests are usefeul throughout all KLA's, and year grades. The Essential Learnings (2007) can be incorporated within the WebQuests. Such as a SOSE project on Global environments (QSA 2007) - The effects Global Warming for Penguins in the Antartic; which would include land formations, climate zones and so on, which is real world related which goes along with Kearsley and Shneiderman's (1998) Engagement Theory. The Webquest would include a lot of higher order thinking and questions (Blooms Taxonomy).
In the classroom, a WebQuest is an effective source of particular information that has been previously chosen for students to locate and answer questions. This tool can be linked to a Wiki for placing all their researched information for class sharing. A WebQuest could be used as the first port of call so to speak for the begining of a Unit of Work in each term. It can be set out use to cover all the curriculum requirements for the term, it would need to be scaffolded in a way that other resources can be incorporated but can still be used mostly throughout the term.

Below is a video on What is a WebQuest for furhter information.


Kearsley, G & Shneiderman, B. (1998). Engagement Theory. Retrieved August 18, from,

Prensky, M. (2005). Engage Me or Enrage Me - What today's learners demand. Retrieved August 18, from,

Prensky, M. (2001). Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants. Retrieved August 18, from,,%20Digital%20Immigrants%

Queensland Studies Authoriy (QSA), Queensdland Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Framework (2007), Essential Learnings. Retrieved August 18, from
This is a captured picture through Google Earth of where I used to live in Edmonton Cairns.

Google Earth is a great interactive learning tool for the classroom. It can be utilised throughout all KLA's. Google Earth also has an area where you can use for educational purposes so that you may set up a virtual learning classroom. Google Earth has many features from longitute/latitude street views, distance calculations, contour views to being able to go under the sea to view the layers of the seabedetc. Google Earth is a great way to take students to another country, city or area without leaving the classroom. A great way for locating places without using the old way of an atlas. This 3D view is an excellent form of learning for recognising where every country is relation to each other as an atlas does not show this. Students will be able to see how close we actually are from another country. Great use of finding the compass points for the younger years as well.


When I first saw or rather heard Podcasting I was a little confused as I confused Podcasting with Vodcasts. So when I subscribed to a few of the Eductional Podcasts on itunes and listened to a couple of them, I was expecting to actually see the speaker etc. I was a little disappointed but then I thought well yes we could use these in the classroom. These Podcasts could be used as a collaborative or individual interactive learning tool. Connecting an ipod up to several earphones for collaborative learning can encourage students to work together engagingly(Prensky 2005) on a project, with all resources available nearby. This could be a set task of gathering information, answering a key question and following on research from other resources.

These Podcasts could be set up for a variety of learning levels for individual students in the class. For example students who are fast finishers could be working together on a particular project that has been specifically set up for them at a higher learning level and so on. For the Visual Learners (Gardeners Learning Styles 1983) I would be a little concerned, possibly the Learning Design Module (Oliver 1999) or Framework (Kearsley & Shneiderman 1998) would need to be modified to using the podcast as simple higher order questions, and small amounts of information and direction for further research to be found in other resources that would be suitable to their learning style which would ensure their success in completing the task. There is also the possibility of pairing Visual Learners with Audio Learners (Gardener's Learning Styles 1983) for peer learning/teaching. Podcasts in the classroom would need to be engaging and real-world related as Kearsley and Shneiderman (1998) indicate when working with ICTs and ensuring the Authentic tasks are engaging with a problem -based learning approach. This would also work for the younger grades also, or a book reading could be possible, with a task set out for drawing /creating the pictures to the story or a music podcast for these grades used with other resources could also be a engaging effective teaching tool.


Gardener, H. (1983). Howard Gardener's multiple intelligences. Retrieved August 18, from,

Kearsley, G & Shneiderman, B. (1998). Engagement Theory. Retrieved August 18, from,

Oliver, R. (1999). Exploring strategies for on-line teaching and learning. Distance Education, 20(2), 240-254.

Prensky, M. (2005). Engage Me or Enrage Me - What today's learners demand. Retrieved August 18, from,

Monday, August 17, 2009

PowerPoint (my powerpoint)

Whilst watching the PowerPoint Tutorial I found it was a little tedious, boring and outdated, and very long. However it did have great step by step instructions which were easy to follow and read. Most of these steps I have used before which have been self taught. There were a few new ones that I was not aware of, and tried to have a go with them, but became a little frustrated with when they did not work, maybe I will try a little later.

The PowerPoint above was created during a TAFE course in 2007. Looking back on it now and watching for the first time in a long time and knowing what I know now, I have noticed a few changes that would need to be made, in regards to the different Learning Styles and Multiple Intelligences by Howard Gardener (1983). I could have used pictures as a visual cue when asking the questions on slide 3 to cater for visual learners. I found it easy to insert music (which I am also aware now is a copyright breach) into the slide and was able to experiment with the transitions and note taking at the bottom of the screen for my own use whilst presenting the slideshow, which was very helpful. I loved the many colours/ backgrounds and designs that could be used although some of them are getting quite boring and outdated now. My biggest challenge is to insert a video into a PowerPoint, which I have not managed to do as yet, but there is still time. I also found it difficult to insert my slideshow into this Blog, and as you can see, I ddin't manage to quite do it, I have only managed to insert the URL where I have downloaded to a website called once you click on the URL above, it will take you to the slideshow, hopefully the music will play also.

PowerPoint is a great way to engage (Prensky 2005) students in the classroom but only I think as a small part of a lesson. It can be used by way of introducing information, displaying images, asking questions, with or without sound/music. Depending on the type of an impact you wish to give. It also is great way to give instructions for students to follow like a Procedural text. PowerPoints could be used in reverse also, having students create their own power points as an Authentic task with problem based Learning (2002) by portray a story that solves a problem, a procedure, an assessment / assignment and so on. There are endless ways to use PowerPoint and it is simple for most students to use and follow. PowerPoint can also be an introduction for digital immigrants (Prensky 2001) to ICT's.



Central Queensland University. (2002). Problem-based Learning. Retrieved on August 17, from

Gardener, H. (1983). Howard Gardener's multiple intelligences. Retrieved August 20, from,

Prensky, M. (2005). Engage Me or Enrage Me - What today's learners demand. Retrieved August 17, from,

Prensky, M. (2001). Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants. Retrieved August 17, from,,%20Digital%20Immigrants%

Friday, August 14, 2009

YouTube and TeacherTube

The YouTube (below) that I have chosen is called "Visual Literacy" by deloKarl.
This clip we used in a presentation on Literacy - "Visual Literacy". It displays very little words therefore concentrating on the visual aspect. It enables the watcher to visualise their emotions and explanations. They are able to use their prior knowledge and/or their own experience when looking at the images that are flashed across the screen. It depicts images, which is a form of Literacy, this language has no barriers as there are no words in an image. The old adage of "A picture says a thousand words".

This clip could be utilised in the classroom when explaining Visual Literacy or it could be used in the sense of writing a reflective story about what they see. What did you feel?, why do you think you felt that way? Do you think your prior life experiences help you come to this conclusion and why. It could be used through a pedagogical approach of problem-based learning (CQU 2002), by using real world images for enagement and relatation as Kearsley and Shneiderman (1998) indicate. The task could be set as How would fix this problem?, and so on.

Students could create one of their own by using their own photos of their life, or History - SOSE. e.g. The First World War, sequence of events incorporating the Essential learnings (2007) within the lesson, like the audience aimed at, Time, continuity and Change. It could be a visual instruction manual, a visual and auditory letter or form of contact with other students across the globe; -what an Australian classroom looks and sounds like and what other countries look and sound like. Learning about different cultures. Taking students to another part of the world without leaving their classroom.

YouTubes can be utilised in the classrooms in many ways as an effective learning tool, in all KLA's. It could also be used in a way of a formative and summative assessment.

This effective learning tool could be used as a means to keep students engaged in learning especially those where low attendance is encountered for example Indigenous communities as Aurukun in the Far North used Video Cameras , Digital Cameras and microphones to engage these digital immigrant (Prensky 2001) students and encouraged a higher attendance in school and getting them to create a story about them and their lives. You can see these videos on ABC site called "Voices from the Cape part 1 & 2" (click on the link if you wish to watch). This effective teaching encouraged students to return to the classroom and had the approval of the school and the community which is essential. The students were proud and gained self esteem, confidence and were happy to attend school, which is the outcome that we want. These students were then used as an example to other local communities to show "Look at us, look what we can do" and surprisingly to all involved their literacy skills were much higher than what most people would expect, I know I was certainly surprised at the level of their knowledge, knowing that their attendance is mostly non existant.

It is a very interesting watch and makes you think about what you can do and how to engage students in a more effective way.

Thanks Wendy.

The video above of Kung Fu Panda and Jack Black is an interview which I used last term in the classroom as an example and a hook for a lesson conducted with a year 2/3 composite class in a Toys/ Puppets integrated Unit. Throughout the term the students were to continually analyse and create puppets and toys for a particular audience by way of following a "Procedure" and the use of technology / ICT - incorporating this procedure into a power point and embedding their step by step photos of how to make their chosen toy or puppet. They were also required to make a toy for a prep buddy in which they would be required to conduct an interview with. I utilised this particular YouTube video as an example which we talked about how it was conducted, it's purpose and were the questions clear and were they satisfactorily answered, the position of both parties, voice projection and suitable questions and follow ups of questions answered. We then practiced some pre-prepared interviews between class members, they also were given the opportunity to make up their own and perform them in front of the class if they wished (which they all did with great enthusiasm). The students were not only thoroughly engaged with the video but also through the whole lesson. They conducted their interviews with professionalism and maturity. They were able to gather information required for a suitable toy to be created that was age appropraite, safe which included movement; push or pull.

So in conclusion of the use of Vidoes in the classroom as a learning /teaching tool, I believe is a engaging and effective way to engage the students provided it is appropriate to the subject and cohorts involved.

Thanks Wendy.


Central Queensland University. (2002). Problem-based Learning. Retrieved on August 17, from

Kearsley, G & Shneiderman, B. (1998). Engagement Theory. Retrieved August 14, from,

Prensky, M. (2005). Engage Me or Enrage Me - What today's learners demand. Retrieved August 14, from,

Prensky, M. (2001). Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants. Retrieved August 14, from,,%20Digital%20Immigrants%

Queensland Studies Authoriy (QSA), Queensdland Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Framework (2007), Essential Learnings. Retrieved August 14, from

Online testing Create online quizzes free quiz maker ClassMarker

Online testing Create online quizzes free quiz maker ClassMarker

Well what an interesting site this is. I was a little lost at first but I eventually got it. I haven't spent a lot of time on it, but what a great way to engae your students instead of using the old boring paper tests. These tests could be used as a fast finishers or free time challenges to test their own knowledge or refine their own knowledge. Possibly also a whole class test, although a computer lab would be required. The idea of homework is a great idea as well, as long as ALL students have access to the internet. you coould use these tests as a gathering of information to a bigger question at the completion and then have students write an report or create a poster on what they have learnt about through answering the questions in the test.
What a great tool!. It would be great if you could import a vriety of pictures into the test as well, I noticed you could import a URL site address, but does this allow more than one?.... as for our Visual learner this would be a great advantage to them, this I feel would keep most students engaged and effective with all years as they can be modified to fit a theme, age - your questions and so on. For those Low Literacy Learners; importing pictures would be great but I think paring a LL student with a high Literacy Learner would be a great peer learning activity. I could go on and on for ideas of ways this particular program could be used in the classroom. I have tested this on a few students (friends kids) and they seemed to enjoy it, their comments were, it was better than tests on paper as sometimes they feel nervous and they can't remember the answers, where this was a more fun way and the word "test" didn't come into it. Another comment was if it had pictures in it, it would be even better.
so have a go at my small maths test if you dare. Sorry that it is not really exciting at this stage, but I hope to build on that at a later date. Thanks Wendy (click on URL)

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Jake at Duck Pond - Picnik

J at Duck Pond
Originally uploaded by wen33

Upon entering Picnik site, I was surprised to find that you could actually play with your photos on the web, as I have never experienced this before. Looking at some of the things you can do, it is fairly limited unless you upgrade which costs money, which may not keep students engaged for too long. It is a shame but still it is one application that students could expreiment with and see what they come up with, like making a collage of your pictures but only a limited number of photos involved.

The photo that I used here today is of my son Jake at a local Duck Pond. I have cropped and brought my son in closer but also bringing the effect of the trees in as well. I have added some warmth to the picture which accentuates the shadows on the water and the tree trunks, I have also brightened the colour a little to enhance the shades of the colours to be brighter. This brings the foreground colours forward and also gives a more 3d look to all the subjects in the picture. I was happy with the way the photo turned out. I love playing with my photos this way, I am familiar with these types of programs, as I use Picasa on my home computer all the time to enhance my photos if need be or just to play with some of them to make them a little different.

I can see how this application could be implemented into the classroom, having students experiemnt with manipulating colour, hue, warmth and size links to the cuuriculum framework in ICTs. Being able to link and save these creations to other programs and applications is a plus, like; Facebook, Twitter, your computer, Emails, Picasa and Flickr is great. You can read a little more about Flickr in my Blog.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

Flickr photo upload

This site was a little complexing to me to use, I found that there was not a lot of information or steps to follow and wasn't to sure where to start and what to do, after navigating around the site I soon began to realise that it is a lot like a lot of other upload photo sites on the internet, although it is limited in what you can do unless you pay to upgrade which becomes a bit of a nuisances sometimes. I managed to download some photos from my albums and some from the internet. I also tried connecting my Flickr account with my Blog to upload a photo that I liked, went through the steps but unsure how that went as I did not see my picture on my Blog page so more investigating I think is to be done..... I am not sure how this site would be beneficial in the classroom, a lot of training and explanation would be needed to the students who are not digital natives, rather a digital immigrant instead (Prensky 2001) like myself. Although I will not write it off entirely as I am sure there will be someway I could use it in the classroom as Picasa - another photo enhancer / album program.
I am confused and disappointed, as I cannot seem to upload a photo through this site, although I have managed somehow to upload a hyperlink as such to Flickr. Still trying to work this one out.
Wendy Gaines.


Prensky, M. (2001). Digital Natives Digital Immigrants. Retrieved August 8, from,,%20Digital%20Immigrants%

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Voki Avatar

Wow! what a great tool to use in the classroom, I belive this is the best and fastest way to "engage and not enrage" (Prensky 2001) students in the classroom when transitioning from one subject to another. This could be used in so many different ways, for example having the students use as an introduction tool with each other and the teacher. Have students create their own for on-line assignments and so much more. I had so much fun with creating my very first Voki, I giggled and laughed so much in the computer lab, my friends were beginning to wonder what I was doing, when they realised I was in theVoki page, they knew..... I will try to use this tool within my power point next week for year 3. Following the steps were quite easy except on how to embed my new character into my Blog, needed a little help there. My learning style - Visual, sometimes stops me from following some steps if I don't have specific step by step with images, that are clear an concise. But I am sure most students will find it fun, engaging and interesting. I hope to use these more often.

I showed my Voki to my 10 year old son and he just laughed and thought it was silly, hmmm was it because it was a little unusual looking or was it the voice, it does sound a little strange, but the moment I said to him that he could create one himself, he changed his tune, so I showed him what to do and he loved it, he wanted to make a few more, but we will leave that for another day. He liked the fact that he could change the characteristics of the Voki to whatever he liked according to the choices. He wasn't impressed by the voices especially the Australian accent, which I tend to agree, didn't sound aussie to me. But he did have fun and would love to show his friends at school.


Prensky, M. (2005). Engage Me or Enrage Me - What today's learners demand. Retrieved August 5, from,