Monthly Archives: June 2010

Tech Talk Tuesdays and eT@lking Online in elluminate

As I am absent on long service leave and travelling Europe, there will be no Tech Talk Tuesdays until Tuesday July 13th. Dont miss this sesson though as Andrew Douch, who was the Microsoft Innovative Teacher of the World in 2009, will be our guest speaker on “Teaching and Learning without a Classroom” 3:45 – 4:45 pm Melbourne Australia time (gmt+10)

eT@lking will continue with my colleague Carole McCulloch moderating the next three session. These session will be 8-9pm on Wednesday evenings and the link to join the session will be the same for each session.

Wednesday, 23rd June Gimp Brightness and Contrast with Marian Heddesheimer. Here is the link to the recording

Workshop using Gimp: How to improve brightness and contrast in your photos using Gimp

This workshop shows some easy techniques to improve contrast and brightness to show more details in your picture using the free and open source software Gimp.You will learn how to:-
– fit an image into a window
– adjusting color levels
– adjusting color curves

We will use the software Gimp, please make sure you have it installed and running on your computer before you enter the workshop.You can download the software here.

Tuesday, June 29th e_Capability – a follow up session.

  1. What are the skills you need for ecapability?
  2. What skills do you need as an e-champion or e-leader?
  3. How do you plan to become e-capable?

This is a discussion with Coach Carole (McCulloch)

Tuesday, July 7th Game of ga mes: Clarify your goals

This is an intro to the Clarify Your Goal game, a virtual game that helps you clarify your goal and commit to your next step. You’ll, identify, clarify, and get feedback on your goal, plus help
others do the same. This is a mini-version of Clarify, which takes place online over three-to-four days. You’ll play, learn about Clarify, the JumpStart game and the Game of Games with Angelo John Lewis

eT@lking: Blogging Beyond Borders

Sue Wyatt is an amazing educator who has created the Blogging Challenge. Together with Sue Waters she organises two blogging challenges a year. In 2009, for the first challenge, they co-ordinated 101 classes and 513 individual blogs .

Sue spoke about some of the challenges given, some of the outcomes and gave examples of student posts and comments.

Listen to the recording

From the chat came the following:-

  1. brainstorming with bubblus
  2. Inpi’s blog (Portugal)
  3. Jan Smith’s blog
  4. Paul Bogush’ blog
  5. The student friends blog (which eventuated out of the first challenge)
  6. Sue Wyatt’s class blog
  7. Larry Ferlazzo blog
  8. Student Challenge Blog

Tech Talk Tuesdays: Let’s Have Fun in the Classroom

Lynette Barr spoke about her classroom use of digital learning using an interactive whiteboard, netbooks, gaming and other online tools etc with her grade 6 class. Lynette shared a great document outlining what her reading block looked like.

Here is a sample of some of the games that Lynette uses:-

Wii sports is used effectively to teach about parts of the body.

TV Game show and Big Brain Academy with the Nintendo Wii,

Playstation 2 The Big Buzz

She shared some tips on important things to remember when using technology in the classroom and some of the demonstrated improved learning outcomes.

From the chat came the following:- for green technology

Listen to the recording

eT@lking- eCapability: What is it and how do we get it?

Clint Smith, director of LearnWorks, performance design solutions, spoke on the topic of eCapability.

How do you embed eLearning?

  • teambuilding: retain teams to implement other initiatives
  • benchmarking: measure your e-progress
  • market research:  check the demand for e
  • repertoire: extend your e-Learning tools
  • planning: integrate elearning in other plans
  • upskilling: build your staff e-capability
  • support: resource e-mentors or champions
  • fund: investigate other sources or models
  • partner: make alliances to build scope
  • prepare: build e-Learner skills and awareness

Clint went on to talk about the strategic e-capabilities.

Ten top tips for getting eCapability

  1. Plan for success
  2. Lead the change
  3. Just deliver
  4. Set delivery targets
  5. Hunt in packs
  6. Use what you’ve got
  7. Look after your mates
  8. Think training delivery solutions
  9. Sell it, sell it again and again
  10. Reward performers

Listen to the recording

From the chat:-

  • A pearl of wisdom from Rob: One problem is that verbal collaboration is fleeting but online exchange is not, your contributions are permanent

Cyber Safety Awareness Week in Australia

 June 6-11 is National Cyber Security Awareness Week, an Australian Government initiative, implemented in partnership with state and territory governments, to raise awareness of smart online practices.

As part of this awareness, here are two interesting  videos for students from the Think u Know people in the UK

  1. the Jigsaw for upper primary/middle years students
  2. Consequences for middle years/ senior student

These two videos about online safety are great for parents to watch as well as children. The videos are from the UK CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre

Some reading:  


My school, Hawkesdale P12 College is excited to be one of 20 schools chosen across Victoria, to be part of the Learning  Online Cybersafety initiative, working in conjunction with members of the Department for Education and Early Childhood Development. Five year 8 students will work as a team identifying potential problems with online learning pertinent to our school.  Students will participate in two web conference sessions that will support them to take authentic action in their school. During the online sessions students will work with a cybersafety expert, discussing online safety and identifying research questions that are relevant to their school. Offline, students will gather data and information that addresses their research questions and informs their action. It is anticipated that their action will assist to influence their peers to act more responsibly in the online environment. 

Their first online session was today.

What are you doing for cyber safety awareness week? Have you read any interesting articles or viewed any videos worth sharing. Please comment below.

Tech Talk Tuesdays: Global Collaboration – Flattens classroom walls

Julie Lindsay and Vicki Davis are two innovative educators who have introduced educators around the globe  to Flat Classroom Projects. These amazing projects enable to students to work outside their classroom in virtual teams  from multiple countries. Julie’s message was “flatten your classroom and transform education”. Julie spoke about the nature of a flat classroom, the 7 steps involved in flattening the classroom, the concept of global collaboration and its power.

The Flat Classroom projects, that Julie and Vicki organise include the following

  • Flat Classroom projects
  • Digiteen
  • Netgened project
  • Eracism

Link to the recording

From the chat and whiteboard came the following:-

Tech Talk Tuesdays and eT@Lking sessions this week.

Tech Talk Tuesday

Topic: Global Collaboration:- Flattening Classrooms

Guest Presenter: Julie Lindsay of Beijing International School

Date/Time:- Tuesday, June 8th 3:45-4:45pm Melbourne Australia time (gmt+10)

Link to the session in elluminate

Synopsis of session:-  What is global collaboration and how can we use Web 2.0 tools to implement this into our curriculum to ‘flatten’ your classroom? Join Julie Lindsay as she shares Flat Classroom pedagogy, including simple steps to get started and opportunities to connect globally. Dont miss this global award winning expert who co-founded these innovative, cutting edge projects together with Vicki Davis (coolcat teacher).

About Julie Lindsay: Julie Lindsay, MA Music (La Trobe University in Melbourne), MA Educational Technology Leadership (George Washington University in Washington, DC), ADE (Apple Distinguished Educator), Member of Horizon Report Board of Advisors 2008-2010, ISTE Ambassador, co-founder of Flat Classroom Projects, Conference and Events. Currently E-Learning Coordinator at Beijing (BISS) International School, China, Julie is an enthusiastic, global-minded education leader and innovator. Originally from Melbourne, Australia over the past 13 years she has been teaching and leading the use of technology in schools in Zambia, Kuwait, Bangladesh, Qatar and now China.


Topic: eCapability – what is it? how do you get it?

Date/time: Wed June 9th from 8-9pm Melbourne Australia time (gmt+10)

Guest presenter: Clint Smith

Link to the online session in elluminate

Synopsis:- If you only have hammer, every problem looks like a nail. As educators, we often think that that the solution to getting more e-learning happening must be to train more teachers to do more e. But is that all there is to it?  Clint conducted a national survey and analysis of over 60 Australian training providers and businesses to identify the success factors for “embedding” e-learning – ie making it work, and then making it stick. There were some real surprises.  Clint will describe what it really takes for organisations to be e-capable, and suggest some tactics for fast-tracking e-learning capability at your place.

About Clint:  Clint Smith is Director of LearnWorks, Melbourne, a learning and performance design company specialising in e-learning.  An experienced consultant, facilitator, researcher and learning designer, Clint has worked in a range of training settings, including universities, training providers, businesses and government agencies. His training designs and user-friendly information products have won several national awards.

Clint’s professional focus has been on using web-based tools to enhance learning and improve organisational performance, including recent research-based guides to boosting the impact of e-learning and embedding e-learning innovation in providers and businesses. He co-designed and managed the Designing and implementing e-learning website which consistently tops Google searches. As President of ElNet, he has played an active role in the professional network’s new journal, Impact: the journal of applied research in workplace e-learning

Parent Partnerships – Final steps in transforming school communities

Techno Parents Online in Elluminate

Our goal

To offer three online elluminate sessions over a three week period to parents of students who are part of our 1:1 netbook program.

Our approach

  • Three weekly sessions were held online, on a Monday evening from 7:30-8:30pm.
  • An initial face to face meeting was held with parents/student and netbooks in the library.
  • Our first online session launch was the first day of Education Week.
  • Notes went home with the 1:1 netbook students, newsletter notices
  • User documentation was sent to those who showed interest.
  • Email contact and phone number backups for the sessions were given. Parents made use of both those means of communication

Initial reaction

  • Strong support from staff and leadership
  • Keen interest from parents, excitement, nervousness but real determination to be part of this.

What worked

  • Amazingly everything did! Parents with the help of their students were able to logon.
  • Having parents, students and staff all in one virtual classroom
  • Icebreakers eg build the snowman, make a pizza that everyone can eat
  • Sharing classroom stories
  • Having our teddy bear linkup teacher from Darwin online with us the first session, talking about how excited her students are to share an exchange with us. They have a large proportion of African students and they think that there are lots of elephants, zebras etc in Victoria. It was really interesting to hear about their mix, technology use (or lack of) etc. Created a lot of interest through the chat
  • Marg M, one of our teachers, talking about their hobby of raising macaw birds and sharing pictures with us. Made everyone relaxed, got questions started in the chat etc.
  • Using images to talk to
  • Staff learning and sharing about we are doing

Topics covered:-

  • The ultranet
  • What’s on this week
  • The maths/science classroom
  • Our biodiversity program
  • The Techno 5 class blog, homework page and asking parents to ‘add their day in a sentence”
  • Mathletics
  • Global connections
  • Cows Create Careers and Horticulture in the middle school
  • From the prep class room! Gorgeous images, great activities (mentors, dance, art etc) and wonderful use of ICT. Some of the preps were online with their parents and pointed out their work.

Faces of the preps

Ideas for further use of connections with parents in elluminate

  • Maths -Parent tutoring Keep the parents up to date with what is being done…especially with the new graphics calculators – Mathletics
  • Good way to train parents on the use of the Ultranet later in the year
  • Online Open day and night?
  • Arts – film, photography and graphic arts exhibitions
  • whole of school approaches to particular social issues such as promoting healthy relationships, positive body image, Aboriginal reconcilitation etc.  Of course student learning and stories would be great too and tuition sessions in a range of subject areas.
  • potential for kids who miss school through illness
  • From school council president
  • As long as it was in addition to in person sessions, not instead of.
  • Could hear from our student teachers
  • Ross Student: About what happens in other schools and presentations from kids
  • Maybe even if you did one/two levels at a time
  • It would be good to hear what Parents Club are doing and how we could get other parents involved

The unexpected results:-

  • Students were happy to come on the mic and talk about their day’s activities
  • The keen interest shown by parents and staff
  • My school staff were able to experience the benefits and potential of working online in a virtual classroom
  • The confidence of parents and willingness to use the chat, whiteboard and microphone.

What could be improved:-

  • advertise the agenda well ahead of time, rather than throw it all together a day or so before
  • Share an online document or encourage comments on the posts that were published on the school blog for feedback and evaluation
  • Evaluation survey needs to be set up
  • Share the responsibility of planning sessions with staff, students and parents
  • Vary the chief moderator when other staff become confident
  • Some parents did have difficulties with java errors  and could not get in – need documentation on that
  • Some parents still have dial up internet access, some have no internet access

The outcome

  • Unanimous agreement that the sessions continue on a regular basis – monthly for a start

How to advertise these sessions!

  • Individual notes to home
  • On the school blog
  • Newsletter
  • Parent buddies,each of us invite a new person each time
  • email groups

Final words from the one of the parents:

Rochelle: Thanks everyone, very elluminating!

Tracey: This is all interesting, even with Em at Prep it is interesting to see what the older kids are doing

Helen S: loved hearing about what’s happening at school and hearing from Rachel in /Darwin

Tracey: Love to hear what they are doing in the classrooms, the different technologies they are using

eT@lking: Mahara – eportfolios

Carole McCulloch was our  presenter on the topic of eportfolios, using Mahara. Carole first discussed eportolios – what they were and what we could put on them, then shared applications with us and stepped us through her eportfolio that had been set up in Mahara. Thanks Carole, a very interesting and useful session. Listen to the recording

From the chat came the following:-

Tech Talk Tuesdays: Breaking Borders with Web2.0 (Web Conferencing)

Claire Bloom presented on an inspiring topic of breaking borders with Web2.0. I recently met Claire at the recent Innovations Showcase, sat through her session and enjoyed it very much. Soon after, I met her online in a web conference leaders’ elluminate session. Claire asked me what should be done if everything went pear shaped! Well, that is exactly what happened this afternoon, when the links I tweeted, did not seem to work for those who wanted to join. Those issues were resolved, and just as I was to start the recording, our power went off……completely off. That was it no computer access, no wireless access, no telephone (we dont have mobile phone service). Rather than panic, I ran out to the orchard to try and get sufficient service to try and ring Claire. She failed to answer her mobile phone! No what! I walked back into the house and to my delight, the power was back on.

It took 10 mins to log back in and it was so good to see that Claire had started the session and those who were determined to join the session had succeeded. Claire shared stories of the  global, interactive project she set up with a school in Wellington New Zealand, using skype and elluminate.

Listen to the recording of the session.

From the chat came the following:-

Where to find global partners