Category Archives: awards

The Eddies Awards

finalist lifetime achievement
The Eddies awards are current for 2013. These awards highlight the great work of educators and enable further connections, provide resources and new things to read and apps to try.

It was with great surprise that I noticed that I had been nominated for the Lifetime Achievement award. I have no idea who my nominator is but wish to sincerely thank them and all the people who have voted for me so far.  If you would like to vote in these awards, goto the Awards site. If you don’t wish to be involved in the voting process, take note of the categories, research the nominations,  explore further and return again to the award nominees page these become a rich learning resource.

If you would care to vote for me, please go to the Lifetime Achievement page, register for lislty and tick my nomination. However there are many, many worthy nominees for the same award many of whom are my personal heroes.

May I also suggest voting for HLW World Skypers group in the Best Use of Social Networking and the Global Classroom Project for the best use of wikis in education (as I am also an active member of both of these)

Congratulations to all who were nominated and to all of you who keep pioneering in the exciting world of technology and networking.


The Netgened Project for newbies

Netgened in a wordle

As part of my Innovator of the Month Award, I shall be writing about some of the innovative projects that I am involved in. Please note that the current netgened project is work in progress, so keep checking out the wiki to see how it transforms. (The above wordle summarizes this post in a word cloud.)

The Flat Classroom Projects were founded by Julie Lindsay and Vicki Davis. There a variety of different projects, aimed at all school year levels . These projects are great to get involved in, especially as many educators prefer to join in existing and established global projects where :-

  1. The pressure of organizing is on the shoulders of experienced technology users and project managers.
  2. Risk taking is shared in a caring environment.
  3. A global network of educators, with similar interests and passions, can be tapped into and extended/maintained beyond the project itself.
  4. The Flat Classroom projects come with an amazing support base and a history of more than 5 years of learning and sharing collaboratively. Previous projects can still be explored and researched. There is a comprehensive teachers guide.
  5. There is full support from weekly online meetings to boot camps, keynote speakers, student project managers, teacher mentors, a social networking site for teachers and for students/teachers.
  6. There are expert advisors from across the globe for students and experienced expert teacher mentors for new teachers and much, much more
  7. Any issues and challenges that do arise especially when students, different cultures, religions and ideologies are involved are worked through with the teacher cohort. There is no feelings of blame if netiquette rules are breached, just teachable moments that are shared and solved collaboratively.
  8. Allowances for differing time zones and school years etc with some projects being offered several times per year.

The netgened project is aimed at senior students. Following is what it looks like from the student point of view:-

  1. Students socialize on the Flat Classroom Projects ning with teachers and expert advisors. They get to know each other, (especially their own team members) and enter into conversations.
  2. Each class or student is asked to prepare a handshake to introduce themselves. This could include details about their school, culture, passions, interest in the project etc.
  3. Students are grouped  in teams, preferably in interest groups on one element of the latest ­Horizon Report  and one of the netgened norms as outlined in Dan Tapscott’s book Grown Up Digital. Each team has up to 5 members mixed across the schools involved. They no longer work within their clqssroom but beyond into the amazing flattened classroom that technology enables.
  4. Each mixed group of students researches their topic and summarizes their findings on a wiki page eg Game Based Learning
  5. There are student project managers for each group.
  6. They then individually create a movie or multimedia product that portrays their topic. This movie must include an outsourced clip from a student in another school or country. The student requests go up on the wiki and the video clips uploaded to the ning page, for students to grab and add to their movie. The final movie is added to the wiki. This movie is then judged by a panel of global judges and the winners are announced in a special webinar with all encouraged to attend.
  7. It finally concludes with a student summit. Each student individually presents and summarizes their learning in a Blackboard Collaborate webinar, which is publicized globally and interested students and educators are invited to attend and participate in these summits. They are recorded and recording links are added to the wiki. This aspect pushes students well beyond their comfort zones, but gives them a real sense of achievement when they have completed it.

From the teacher point of view

  1. Teachers are required to attend weekly online meetings and if they cannot attend, are asked to listen to the recording.
  2. Bootcamps are held on a number of the online tools that are used, so that teachers can feel comfortable with these tools and learn how to use them effectively. They are recorded and links can be found on the wiki.
  3. The workflow schedule is found on the wiki and trello is also being used for workflows, prompts and scheduling reminders.
  4. Teachers add their students to a team grid on a google document, ensuring that students are spread across schools and countries.
  5. Teachers are on virtual duty to ensure that students are working in an educational setting
  6. Teachers are encouraged to be expert advisors and look after a student group(s).
  7. A google group is used for updates, questions, queries etc amongst the teachers involved.

The challenges

  1. The steep learning curve required for successful use of tools by both teachers and students
  2. Using different assessment criteria – now working with concepts of collaboration, connections, multi-media etc
  3. Students who do not follow appropriate netiquette and digital citizenship protocols
  4. Time zones
  5. Holidays, festivals, extra curricular activites – especially when many countries and schools are involved. (Every effort is made to accommodate everyone)

The tools used include: a ning, wiki, google groups, trello for workflow schedules, timebridge (for planning online meetings that will suit the majority), diigo for bookmarking, twitter, movie making software, powerpoint  for student presentations in summits, blackboard collaborate for online meetings, student summits; skype for classes that may wish to videoconference each other  etc and more

What do students learn?

  1. To  use technological tools innovatively for connecting, collaborating, creating and celebrating on a global basis. These skills will be necessary in the work force that is increasingly globalized.
  2. Netiquetts and digital citizenship
  3. Plaguraism, copyright and creative commons
  4. The use of hypertext language and other digital literacies
  5. They explore the impact of the latest technologies for education, their classrooms and global communities. The website that is built collaboratively contains knowledge, resources , case studies, experiences  and summaries for interested educators
  6. They become aware of other cultures, religions, expectations and global experiences
  7. They work in an environment alongside teachers, experts, other students and global community members
  8. Real time commitments and work schedules
  9. They establish a learning network of their own which can be taken beyond the project.
  10. Students and teachers are given the opportunity to attend a Flat Classroom Conference every second year and a Flat Classroom workshop on the alternate year. These have been held in Dohar, Qatar, Mumbai, India and Beijing, China.

Have you been involved in the netgened project or other Flat Classroom projects? What have I missed? What else do you need to know. Please email any questions to and they shall be answered.

(Read more from the Flat Classroom book by Julie and Vicki)

Innovator of the Month

To my delight  I have been named Innovator of the month at Innovate Here for DEECD (our Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. This is a new initiative and is dedicated to discovering, connecting and helping others to get started with new and innovative ideas/practices for learning both within and beyond the classroom.

This set me thinking about

  1. the nature and meaning of innovation
  2. why innovation is so important especially in education
  3. why might I be considered innovative.

For me innovation can be seen as

  1. The creation of a new invention, product or process  or
  2. Using existing products/processes in new and different ways to create a more effective and/or efficient way of doing things

This would place me in the second category as my passion is to use tehnology and new emerging tools to empower learning for students. Teaching in a small rural prep to year 12 school, Hawkesdale P12 College, means that students tend to be geographically and culturally isolated. However the  use of technology means that our students and staff can be at the centre of the globe, learning from and with others both synchronously and asynchronously.

This means that learning spaces are changing significantly from the traditional classroom space. They are moving from physical to  virtual, from local to global, from class based to community based and becoming available 24/7.  The networking capabilities that web2.0 tools enable connection, collaboration and the ability to  create products that can be global in nature.

As needs arise it is necessary to experiment with online tools that can address that need. Over the past five years, I have been fortunate to establish a fantastic network. With a  supportivenetwork it is possible to work together as a collective brain to push innovation further, push the tools beyond the boundaries and experiment with students on best learning practise. There have been so many amazing projects that my classes have been involved in but below are some that we are working on this year. They include:-

  1. Lunch with an author – lunchtime classes between students who are passionate about writing with an author from New York,  Christopher Herz who is passionate about encouraging the young to write.
  2. Blending classes that consist of my ICT classes with Lorraine Leo’s class in Boston, USA, with interested parents and community members eg a university professor from Japan who is involved with global Scratch projects
  3. Using moodle for forums, discussions and created movies with a group of university students from Japan who are learning English as part of the university degree
  4. the K-2 Building Bridges project which is a trial project for the Flat Classroom projects, 2012 connecting young classes and creating collaborative projects. Can we do it with pre-school and the early years?
  5. Learning about different cultures with a class from Malaysia

Further posts will give greater detail to these projects. What do you see as innovation especially in relation to education? Who do you see as being innovative? What innovative projects have you been involved in? But most importantly, what questions do you have of me? Please email your questions to me, this month, at

and your questions will be formally answered and shared via blog posts and the InnovateHere website.

Excited to be nominated for Edublogs Awards 2011

Having just survived a couple of busy and challenging weeks, it was with some amazement but also pride and humility, that twitter alerted me to the fact that  my work  has been nominated for the edublogs awards under the following categories.  Before you look at those categories I wish to sincerely thank the colleagues who have  nominated me. It really made my day to hear on twitter of the nominations. If you would like to, please vote for the following but also check out the other wonderful nominations and consider them as well. These nominations offer a treasure trove of wonderful online work by global colleagues.

  1. Best Open PD/conference – Tech Talk Tuesdays
  2. Best Teacher Blog – On an eJourney with Generation Y
  3. And perhaps the most precious and special of all – Lifetime Achievement nomination (especially when you read the list of amazing people nominated)
  4. Best Open PD/conference – The Australia Series - of which Tech Talk Tuesdays is a component

Thank you in advance for your support, the amazing network that I am part of and for any of you who may wish to vote for any of the above. Congratulations to all nominees!

Shortlisted for Edublogs Awards 2010

I am proud to be shortlisted for two Edublogs Awards and so is one of my student bloggers. If you have time and enjoy our work, we would love you to vote for us. Here is the link to go to and the title of the blog or webinar is beside it.

  1. Best Student Blog – dhugsy
  2. Best Teacher Blog - On an e-Journey with Generation Y
  3. Best Educational Webinar Series – Tech Talk Tuesdays

Thanks, this means a lot!

The Edublogs Awards 2010 – Honoured to be part of them!

It was with great delight that I read first of the  nominations for my teacher blog and the weekly webinar series that I co-ordinate – Tech Talk Tuesdays. It is wonderful to think that people acknowledge that this work is of value and ensures its continuation.

Thank you to

  1. to all who nominated either of these sites
  2. the Virtual Web Conference Centre through Innovations and Next Practise who sponsor Tech Talk Tuesdays
  3. to you my readers, supporters and the fantastic participants who attend Tech Talk Tuesdays
  4. Edublogs for making these opportunities possible

It was with even greater delight that I read both had been shortlisted for this year’s Edublogs Awards 2010. However, the greatest joy was discovering that myyear 11 IT student, Dhugsy had also been shortlisted. All the best Dhugsy – your work is fantastic!

If you have time and if you enjoy our work, please vote for us by going to the following links.

  1. Best Student Blogdhugsy
  2. Best Teacher Blog - On an e-Journey with Generation Y
  3. Best Educational Webinar SeriesTech Talk Tuesdays

Nominations for the Edublogs Awards 2010

As always, leaving things to the last minute, I do want to nominate a few sites for the edublogs awards for 2010, as there are some people and sites that I have found valuable and useful. There are many other people, blogs and online sites that I love to read and use, but some of these have already been nominated several times.

  1. Best individual blog Cool Cat Teacher blog with Vicki Davis or
  2. Best librarian / library blog  What a Bright Idea! with Judith Way
  3. Best student blog - Dhugsy
  4. Best Teacher Blog – Techno Science – with Britt Gow
  5. Best Educational Wiki – the Flat Classroom Projects or
  6. Best educational use of a social network – Classroom2.0 or
  7. Best educational podcast – Douchy’s Biology Podcasts or
  8. The best educational use of a Virtual World – Quest Atlantis or
  9. Lifetime Achiever - Steve Hargadon or

Congratulations to any who have been nominated! If you would like to nominate from a wide number of categories, see the The Edublogs Awards

A treat for Teachers on World Teachers Day

Geraldine Doogue Master of Ceremonies (ABC fame) and me

(With Geraldine Doogue, the Master of Ceremonies, of ABC fame)

 An inspiring couple of days were held in Canberra, as Australia celebrated World Teachers Day. Award winning educationalists – teachers, principals,  SSO staff and schools and communities representatives were brought together for the Australian Excellence in Teaching Awards. This successful event was organized by Teaching Australia.


  • awards ceremony at the magnificent Parliament House on Capital Hill in Canberra

roof top

  • shaking hands with the deputy Prime Minister, Federal Minister for Education, Julia Gillard
  • meeting face to face my twitter friend @kimpericles - It is always special to meet online friends and Kim was no exception. Kim does some amazing work with her class, especially in relation to gaming.

kim and me1


  • discovering that @adrian_camm was there and had won both a highladriany commended teaching award, plus the Minister for Education’s new award – Excellence in ICT
  • meeting and connecting with so many amazing educationalists who are achieving astounding outcomes with students
  • the professional exchange with activities organized by Eric Frangenheim, pushing our use of Thinking Skills
Eric Frangenheim

Eric encouraging us to continue innovation

  • the dinner at the recently opened National Portrait Gallery with guest speaker
portrait gallery

At the National Portrait Gallery

  • the closing presentation by the highly innovative and successful teacher, Andrew Douch
andrew douch

Andrew Douch - MS World Innovative Teacher of the Year


  • plane being 60 mins late taking off in Melbourne due to malfunction

Thank you to Teaching Australia representatives who made our visit memborable and enjoyable. All was superbly organised, we were made to feel special, yet encouraged to further our connections and continue on the innovative work.

The kids from the bush are off to Awards in Town

How exciting is this? Vicki Davis and Julie Lindsay, in conjunction with Don Tapscott and the NetGenEd project announce the awards ceremony in OpenSim on April 20, by invitation only. All Flat Classroom related project participants are invited to attend.  Net generation education project to hold first of its kind closing ceremonies, April 20, 2009 at 10 am edt on reactiongrid, an opensim virtual world .The students from the ‘bush’ of Australia, Hawkesdale P12 College, have received this invitation to attend the closing awards ceremony in opensim for our amazing netgened project:-

Vicki Davis and Julie Lindsay

in conjunction with

Don Tapscott and the Netgened project

request the pleasure of the company of

The Netgened students of Hawkesdale P12 College

To  the very first of its kind

Closing Award Ceremonies

April 20th 2009,
 10am EST (USA)

Where: On reactiongrid
Opensim virtual world

We hope that some of us can attend in our best avatar gowns/suits, despite the late hour of the night or early hour of the morning for the students in the land ‘down under’. Roll out that red carpet…..!

Here  is the press release for the big event, per kind favour of Vicki Davis and published with her permission.

Unique Opportunity for Journalists to be Mentored  by NetGen Students from Around the World in the Creation of their Avatar

Toronto, Ontario, April 6th, 2009 – Don Tapscott, best selling Author and Chairman of nGenera Insight, and Flat Classroom Project teachers, Vicki Davis and Julie Lindsay, today announce the closing ceremonies of their collaborative project, The Net Generation Education Project (NetGen Ed), to be held on April 20, 2009 at 10 am EDT on ReactionGrid, an OpenSim virtual world. This first of its kind awards show will bring together students, teachers, and educators from around the world to recognize the best videos from the project as well as the winner of the Grown Up Digital Net Gen Education Challenge. The event is jointly sponsored by nGenera Corporation, ReactionGrid, and Flat Classroom Projects and will provide an opportunity to showcase Open Source Virtual World Capabilities.

The event, which is invitation only, will be made available to students, teachers, and educators involved in the NetGen Ed, Flat Classroom, and Digiteen projects as well as select members of the press, and educational bloggers.  Journalists and Educators wishing to attend the event will have the unique opportunity to be mentored by NetGen Ed students and ReactionGrid volunteers on the setting up of their avatars and movement in OpenSim. This partnership will provide first hand insight into the many talents of the Net Generation and continue to build upon the collaborative theme of the project.

The awards show will be recorded and streamed from a NetGen Ed website hosted by nGenera and will be hosted live within ReactionGrid on the F.L.A.T.S. (Flat Learning Area for Teaching &Sharing.) 

The event is the culmination of an eight week project studying emerging technology trends and how education must be transformed to reach students based upon the eight NetGen norms, as shared in Don Tapscott’s book, Grown Up Digital. Throughout the project’s duration students from countries such as Australia, India, Qatar and the United States have been collaborating together via the internet – writing a wiki report, creating videos, and discussing trends with Don Tapscott on the Grown Up Digital Ning, an educational network set up for the project, and participating in live webinars with Discovery Educator Network about movie making and digital storytelling.  To promote increased inclusivity, the ning, as well as partnerships with the Discovery Educator Network and Classroom 2.0, have provided forums for students, parents, professionals and educators not directly involved in the project to engage in a global dialogue on learning and the future face of education. All NetGen Ed student video entries will be considered as part of the Grown Up Digital Net Gen Education Challenge, a video contest presented by nGenera. The contest, which was first announced on the CBC series “Canada’s Next Great Prime Minister,” challenges people from around the world to provide their “next great answer” via video submission as to what they would do to change the education system. The grand prize winner, which will be announced during the April 20th awards show, will receive scholarship money as well as a private webinar with Don Tapscott.

For more information on the NetGen Education Project and the Grown Up Digital Net Gen Education Challenge, please visit: or

Virtual seating for the event is limited to 200 participants. For media inquiries or to request an invitation to attend,

 Joanna Griffiths, Marketing and Communications Manager

The Tapscott Group  Phone: 416-830-1664   email:

A Proud Day!

Mr Myer and me, with a framed certificate of the award.

Mr Myer and me, with a framed certificate of the award.

Several weeks ago, I attended the annual general meeting of the Country Education Project Victoria (CEP). A new scholarship kindly sponsored by Bailleu Myer was offered this year, for the first time,  for Rural Education Leadership. The three finalists were invited to the meeting to await the announcement of the winner. I was so proud to be named the winning recipient. Unfortunately, Mr Myer had to leave the meeting immediately for another appointment, so a photo shoot had to be organized for a later date.

So this morning, I caught the train to Melbourne and met Phil Brown from CEP, who kindly drove me to the home and offices of Mr Bailleu Myer. Mr Myer was a very kind host, showing us true country hospitatlity giving us a cup of tea, a slice of home made lemon hedgehog and who sat and talked to us for nearly an hour. He is very passionate about a fair and equal education for all Australians, especially for the country students and our indigeneous counterparts who live in the outback or who live a good distance from major towns. He questioned us as to our approaches in attempting to solve these problems and an interesting discussion eventuated.

I loved hearing about his mother who owned the Queenscliff hotel. When in the early 1900’s, the telephone was introduced, his mother could see no need for a telephone as she had servants, the post, transport of kind etc. However, when she died she had one of the largest of telephone bills. Mr Myer could see no need for computers until recently and now he has five. A truly wonderful, fascinating gentleman.

After our photo shoot, he wanted to know how I would use the generous amount of money. It is to be used for personal development. I would love to continue to make Asian connections as their time zone is so close to ours and we can work together in synchronous timing. As I have seen so many powerful learning outcomes stemming from the flatclassroom project, I really want to attend the mini conference in February next year, in Mumbai. My interest, is to continue working on synchronous and asynchronous means of connecting with other classes, working towards a virtual classroom and incorporating the best tools for learning in the digital age. The goal is to then share it particularly with my fellow country counterparts to enable country students to get the best possible education.

 I wish to sincerely thank the generousity of Mr Bailleu Myer in providing this scholarship and the Country Education Project for their role in its provision.