Category Archives: professional devlpt

A Classroom without Walls – Google Teacher Academy Application

Educators in Australia are being given an opportunity to be certified as Google Teachers in an Academy that is coming to Sydney in March. Part of this process is to make a 1 minute video showing on either “Motivation and Learning” or “Classroom Innovation.”

I wish to thank @edsaid for telling me how to add videos to my wordpress blog. It is to much appreciated and I will now be able to add more engaging features to my posts with this knowledge.

Here is my movie reflecting some of the connections, global interactions and collaboration that has taken place beyond our classroom walls. It is very difficult to summarize in 1 minute some of the amazing activities that we have been involved in, but it gives the viewer a glimpse and hopefully a taste for more. If you are interested in applying, check out the Google Academy. Thank you to my wonderful personal learning network and global colleagues.

Vodpod videos no longer available.


Special thanks go to:-

  • Zainuddin Zakariah and his IT class, SJK Taman Burkitt Maluri, Secondary School, Kuala Lumpur
  • Veronica Woo, SMK Poi Lam Sschool, Ipoh, Malaysia
  • Lorraine Leo, Massachusetts, USA
  • Alex Gustad, fellow staff and students, American School of Bombay
  • Purti Singh and her class from India

I also wish to sincerely thank Edna alias @whatedsaid for telling me how to add videos to my wordpress blog. It is so much appreciated and I will now be able to add more engaging features to my posts with this knowledge.



It all started with an idea of Jess McCulloch and was fully supported by me, that we apply for professional leave to research “Laying the eplanks in a web2.0 school”. That idea has taken us on a rather incredulous journey, whereby our staff after taking ‘baby steps’ are embracing the use of web2.0 tools wholeheartedly. One of the reasons for this success was our “Walk In Walk Out Wednesdays”, where staff can come into the computer lab for an hour after school and seek advice for any computer related issues. Staff from neighbouring schools have also taken up this option. However, they ‘Drive In Drive Out’!

Now look where those planks have led us………………… “Talk It Tuesdays” with Knowledge Bank, hosted by Tamara Carpenter.

Talk-It Tuesdays are informal online gatherings for educators interested in using social media, or Web 2.0 tools, in their work. These collaborative sessions take place every second Tuesday and will focus on:

• Sharing stories of what we are experimenting with and learning about
• Teaching each other about what we’re finding useful and exciting
• Listening to each other’s experiences
• Connecting people, tools and ideas
• Helping each other sort out problems and get started

Everyone is welcome, the format will be open, respectful and flexible, and there is no prerequisite knowledge for attending. You can drop-in for part or all of the session. You are equally welcome if you are the greatest Web 2.0 Whizz ever, or just trying to find out ‘What it’s all about.’ The sessions will be loosely facilitated by Anne Mirtschin, Jess McCulloch and Tamara Carpenter.

The first session is Tuesday 14 October at 3.30pm

Register your interest at Knowledge Bank.

It is hoped that Jess can make it today all the way from Nanjing, China (riding her eplank, of course!)

Getting staff on board web2.0 cont…..

Jess McCulloch  and I have 20 days teacher professional leave in 2008, to look at ‘laying the eplanks for a virtual classroom. Today, we used one of those days for reflection, planning and builiding up our resources. Now that blogging has become established amongst our students, we looked at getting staff on board web2.0
Lengthy discussion followed. Should we aim for 100%, 75%, 50% staff usage of web2.0?


  • At a recent teaching and learning meeting, it was recognised that some staff may see no need, nor have time to learn and introduce it into their classroom curriculum. This applies especially at senior levels, where there is a set curriculum to adhere to, SATs to complete and exams to be sat.
  • Some staff including the physical education staff saw no real need. (We, of course, could argue against this, but there is no point at this stage.)
  • It is too hard and time consuming to take on board
  • They feel they have ‘missed their opportunity’ to come on board, and will never catch up now.
  • Don’t know where to start and then, what to do with the tools.

Current uses of ICT and Web2.0

  • All our teaching staff have registered for a social bookmarking account as they can see a ‘need’ to have such an account.  So, we do have 100% use of web2.0 for this use, (if it is used at all).
  • most communications are by email and all our reports are completed on a computer, using the software markbooks.
  • An intranet has just been set up by our technician using MS Sharepoint
  • All teaching staff, but one retired part-timer, have a personal laptop, leased through the department.
  • 80% or our primary school staff, are blogging and have got involved in global projects.
  • 50% of our total 34-12 staff have created blogs with most posting now.
  • A grade 6 classroom blog has been set up
  • One aide has commenced blogging
  • Other office staff, science lab assistants, library assistants and other SSO staff are showing interest and have asked for after school pd sessions etc
  • It has taken ‘baby’ steps to gradually get staff on board. The air of excitement and notable keenness  of students using blogging has created an interest in other staff, and allowed them to see a need, niche and use for blogging.
    What we need to do:

  • Continue with 10 minute spot pd’s at staff meetings
  • ‘Walk in walk out’ Wednesdays (offer our time for 1 hour after school, for staff to come in with any questions, concerns, needs or just to have time to work on computers and leave at any time)
  • Approach staff on an individual basis to seek out their needs, inhibitions and potential uses.
  • Direct staff to possible social networks who may be able to help them use these tools
  • Encourage participation in global projects.
  • Set up resources, links and tutorials including podcasts on our school intranet








An online PD session

Simon, our cluster co-ordinator reminded me that the education channel had their online conference on Tue, Wed and Thur. I had missed seeing this somehow and decided to register for it late yesterday afternoon. As my easiest day at school is a Thursday, I had some time to logon and listen. By the time I downloaded the new update for Elluminate, the first session had finished.

So I missed recess and sat at my desk and joined in the second session. I really liked what I saw and wanted to particpate in any voting categories but I could not find the pen. Despite asking via the chat option where it was, I discovered that I, alone did not have one due to some glitch. Anyway I listened and watched for 40 mins or so. To my surprise I won the Canon digital camera that had been offered as a prize to one of the participants. The session was What does powerful learning look like? with Jason Callaghan. At 12:00 the final session took place. This was a very interesting session by Cameron Ball on Open Source Software leading network change. I decided to fill in the online survey form and was pleased to find that I had earned an iTunes voucher.

I decided to try logging on to the voicethread that JoNelle had invited me to join. Four grade four students came with me and we tried to upload their little self images that they had created in MS Paint and record them speaking about their hobbies and interests. Leki was first and even though it seemed to upload and save her image and also record her voice, it failed to upload so I do not know what we did wrong. A pleading email has gone off to JoNelle for help and advice.

Next, I worked with grade 6s, only to find that at the end of the session, our server was full and would not allow us to save any work. Even on the desktop we had problems. The three boys who had had to redo a lot of theirs as they had difficulty retrieving their last copy, were very frustrated. They had done such a great job, and in fact, one of them said he had never worked so hard in a lesson. We will see what tomorrow brings. The technicians are in tomorrow so I hope we can sort it out.