Tuesday, December 15, 2009

My Refective Sypnosis....

I am not happy to where I am yet....
But I am pleased to have started the journey.

The process of engaging with each of the presented e learning tools has been both challenging and rewarding.
This engagement has been enriched thanks to the contributions of other colleagues’ ideas, applications and suggestions via our professional blogging network. I am amazed at all the incredible e learning tools that are available to use in the classroom. I have developed a passion for reaching today’s learners in ways that engage them – the digital natives; particularly “as the use of ICT continues to grow globally, students will increasingly demand an education that embraces “ICT (Education Queensland, 2009). Due to this voice from students who are demanding ICTs in the classroom, I will discuss the following theories and frameworks that support the incorporation of e learning tools as a means of engaging students and enabling them to reach their potential.
There are many learning theories that are mention here but Oliver’s (1999) Learning Design Framework; Kearsley & Shneiderman’s (1999) Engagement Theory; and Siemens(2004) Connectivism Theory. These will be addressed in the context of three outstanding e learning tools that I have discovered: WebQuests, Mahara ( E Porfolio) and Blog
Firstly, WebQuests, Mahara and Blog are a fantastic tool that scaffolds learning experiences using links to purposeful resources via the Web, underpinned by an authentic task, and promote student centered learning. A well design WebQuest. Siemens’ (2004) connectivism theory; where new “connections between fields, ideas and concepts” are identified, either individually or collaboratively. Additionally, Productive Pedagogies’ higher-order thinking would be achieved as “students manipulate information.
Oliver’s (1999) Learning Design Framework parallels the implementation of a WebQuest. The learning task involves an investigation or problem to solve in relation to an open-ended question; the learning resources are largely provided via links to essential resources on the Web; and the Learning Supports are evident due to the scaffolded learning structure of a WebQuest.
Secondly, Mahara, Moodle, Scholastic, SlideShare are “collaborative, multimedia tool" that can hold images, documents, and videos. Allowing Learning Managers and educators alike to explore and store to leave comments in multiple formats. These are some of my favourites of the many e learning tools presented here. These tools could provide a powerful medium for student reflections, articulating contributions to group projects or assignments.
Sharing files and resources I find daunting experiences at first. Once I understand the concept of partnering, donating and sharing it made me realised that I am now involved and practicing in the concept of connectivism. Using Media fire or Delicious to store my resource and other important documents can make personal resources accessible and can make sharing easier.
Partnering and sharing learning from other school and classes (perhaps in a global scale) will provide students with a voice to share their learning. The thought of making their learning journey visible to parents/caregivers and other relevant stakeholders make me think that learning is about sharing. This learning reflections and contributions can all be shared in one place from anywhere in the world – without the need to install extra software. Problem solving in where to access information and resources is now accessable.
Utilizing Skype and comments through blogging made it so relevant - these tools I find are necessary for collaborative engagement, involving communication, planning and social skills – thus encompassing Kearsley and Shneiderman’s (1999) first principle ‘relate’ of the Engagement Theory. The ‘create’ component could potentially incorporate two creations: creating an assignment (for example) creating the PowerPoint or a digital story to compliment the task or an activity. Secondly, the PowerPoint and digital story both could be ‘donated’ in SlideShare or in a multitude of way, for example to parents/caregivers, peers, a community organisation, relevant stakeholders, a partnering class, or school.
Ultimately, the purpose of the customer is to create a purposeful environment, as “the authentic learning context of the assignment increases student motivation and satisfaction” (Kearsley and Shneiderman’s, 1999).
Thridly, connectivism using e learning tools have made realised that I have now “scratch the surface” of ICT and technology. There is so much to learn. I encountered a number of set-backs during my experimentations. Some of these popular ICT tools like Twitter,made me realised that I still need convincing on how I could use it effectively in the classroom. However, thanks to Skype, Email, Delivery Forum from Moodle, and suggestions on colleagues Blogs I was able to discover RSS to attach and to view my peers comments. Having to actually see who your peers/followers are it made easier to blog. This process of utilizing my networks to locate information illustrates the emergence of Siemens’ Connectivism Theory, where “the connections that enable us to learn are more important than our current state of knowing” (Siemens, 2004).
By exploring and experimenting on posting and editing process, I have been able to successfully posted and donated my own PowerPoint to SlideShare. Now I am able to utilize this tool in the classroom (see ‘SlideShare’ posting for examples).In saying that, I still need to develop various ways to incorporate ICT tools to fully engage students in their learning.
At the same time as, this theoretical perspective of Connectivism needs to be instilled into our students for developing attributes of a Lifelong Learner (QSA, 2006), as they learn to “nurture and maintain connections… needed to facilitate continual learning” (Siemens, 2004). Students today live in a different world in comparison to the industrial-age based school model (Smith, Lynch & Knight, 2007), and their social being and sense of belonging largely exist within digital social networking forums. Therefore, the inclusion of e learning tools for collaborative engagement may contribute to students’ need for acceptance and belonging at their level.
According to Maslow’s hierarchy, this need for belonging should precursor one’s achievement and mastery (Kunc, n.d.). Marzano and Pickering (1997) reflect this belief, articulating that when “attitudes and perceptions are positive (feeling accepted by teachers and peers), learning is enhanced”. However, in today’s schooling practices the hierarchy is often shifted, where “children are required… to learn their right to belong” (Kunc, n.d.).
Through listening to the students’ voice, we as educators can take a step closer to not only engaging our students through ICTs, but foster a sense of belonging and acceptance when we provide the rich experiences craved by learners inside the classroom (Prensky, 2005). The process of this developing this Reflective Blog, I have a sense of expectation. This journey has remarkably boosted my self-confidence and eagerness for utilizing e learning tools with my future learners. I am now motivated and I choose to engage them… (Prensky, 2005).

References used throughout:

Brady, L. & Kennedy, K. (2005). Celebrating Student Achievement: Assessment and Reporting.Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Prentice Hall
Education Queensland. (2009). Smart classrooms rollout to school. Brisbane, Quensland, Australia: Queensland Government
Gonzalez, C., (2004). The Role of Blended Learning in the World of Technology. Retrieved December 10, 2004 from
Google For Educators. (2009). Google Earth. Retrieved Nov. 30, 2009, from
Hartnell-Young, E. and Morris, M. (1999). Digital professional portfolios for change. Hawker Brownlow Education: Australia
Keirsley, G. & Shneiderman, B (1999) Engagment Theory: A framework for
technology-based teaching and learning. Available from http://home.sprynet.com/~gkearsley/engage.htm
Kunc, N. (n.d.) The need to belong: Rediscovering Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Retrieved November 12, 2009, from htp://normemma.com/armaslow.html
March, T (2002-2006) The 7 Red Flags. Downloaded from http://bestwebquests.com/tips/red_flags.aspMcInerney, D & McInerney V (2006) Educational Psychology. Constructing Learning. (Edition 4) Australia: Pearson Education Australia.Oliver, R. Exploring strategies for online teaching and learning. Distance Education. (1999) Vol 20 (2) p 240- 254.Prensky, M (2001) Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants. Retrieved November 2009, from http://www.marcprensky.com/writing/Prensky%20-%20Digital%20Natives,%20Digital%20Immigrants%20-%20Part1.pdfThe Learning Design Construct. Retrieved November 2009, from
Wenger, E (nd) Communities of practice. A brief introduction Retrieved November 2009 from http://www.ewenger.com/theory
Marzano, R. & Pickering, D. (1997). Dimensions of Learning: Teachers manual, 2nd Edition. Colarado, USA: Mc REL.
New Basics Branch and Queensland School Reform Longitudinal Study. (2002). Productive pedagogies classroom reflection manual. The State of Queensland: Education Queensland
Oliver, R. (1999).Exploring strategies for online teaching and learning. Distance Education, 20(2), 240-254. Retrieved Nov 3o, 2009 from
Prensky, M. (2005). “Engage me or enrage me”: What today’s learners demand. In Educause Review. Retrieved November 13, 2009 from http://www.net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/erm0553.pdf
Queensland School Curriculum Council, (2007). English essential learnings and standards. Brisbane, Qld, Australia: Author.
Queensland School Curriculum Council, (2007). Science essential learnings and standards. Brisbane, Qld, Australia: Author.
Queensland Studies Authority. (2006). The attributes of the lifelong learner. Brisbane, Queensland, Australia: Queensland Studies Authority.
Queensland Studies Authority. (2007). The QCAR Framework — aligning curriculum, assessment and reporting. Queensland: Queensland Studies Authority
Siemens, G. (2004). Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age. Retrieved November 2009, from
Smith, R., Lynch, D. & Knight, B. (2007). Learning management: Transforming teachers for national and international change. Frenchs Forest, NSW, Australia: Pearson Education Australia
WikiPedia. (2009). WikiPedia. Retrieved December 9, 2009, from
Winch, G., Johnston, R., March, P., Ljungdahl, L. & Holliday, M. (2007). Literacy: Reading, writing and children’s literature South Melbourne, Victoria: Oxford UniversityPress.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Twitter: Twit or not to twit?

Twitter scares me. For all its popularity, I thought I need to explore and have a look at it for myself satisfaction.
I think, I am in a minority on this one – ‘The feeling of connectedness’ Twitterers can get trick of the brain into thinking of having a meaningful interaction, while another part of the brain knows something crucial to human survival is missing. (I have to find the theory).
Compare to having coffee with your next-door neighbour could do more for your brain than a thousand Twitter updates. This doesn’t mean there isn’t important issues and news that can be source from twitter. While in the same argument has been going around forever, and is the same claim made about television, that doesn't make it untrue.
Again, this doesn't mean that it's not worth it and highly valuable for people to stay connected to distant family and friends, I'm just saying that it's worth a look at whether that might be lulling some folks into a false sense of "I'm connected" at the expense of real-life connections.

Ironically, services like Twitter are simultaneously leaving some people with a feeling of not being connected, by feeding the fear of not being in the loop. By elevating the importance of being "constantly updated," it amplifies the feeling of missing something if you're not checking Twitter (or Twittering) with enough frequency.

Seimen’s connectivism stated some significant trends in learning.
Many of the processes previously handled by learning theories (especially in cognitive information processing) can now be off-loaded to, or supported by, technology.
Know-how and know-what is being supplemented with know-where (the understanding of where to find knowledge needed).

I like to see twitter and its effectiveness in the classroom. I can use it as a hook- What is on twitter today or let say what people say about this??? If you are also wondering you can also twit me neth967

Cheers Mary-Ann

Siemens, G. (2004). Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age. Retreived November 7, 2009, from http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/connectivism.htm

Wikipedia and Critical Literacy

While the term 'wiki' has been credited to Cunningham (1994, as cited by Augar, Raitman and Zhou, 2004), Wikipedia was created by Wales and Sanger in 2001, to be used as a reference tool.

I use Wikipedia as a reference guide, I did not realise the other projects the Wikimedia Foundation also hosted - a dictionary/thesaurus, collection of quotations, a directory of species and a source for free textbooks and manuals to name a few.What I like about Wikipedia is that there is a lot of information readily available at your fingertips, without having to go the heavy encyclopedia of yesteryear. When using Wikipedia, it is to find out a little about a subject, before going to more authoritative sources.

As a Learning Manager/ educator in the classroom This will be a good discussion for older students by comparing source of information through the lens of ‘comparing’ and 'analyzing' which is the more reputable source. Wikipedia has good source to use bearing in mind what is the author’s back ground, reputation, values etc. Again this relates to critical literacy… ( mentioned in my previous postings).
Winch et. al (2004) described Critical Literacy as reading with knowledge of how language works; with an awareness of where the text positions the reader; with perception of ideas and values and attitudes that constitute the implicit framework of the text and out of which the text is generated.
Another way to encourage our students as readers to actively analyze texts and it offers strategies for uncovering underlying messages. Although there are many theories and approaches we can encourage our student to be critical in finding source or information, my favourite, I guess is the questioning approach. According to whom?

Cheers Mary-Ann

Winch G., et.al (2004). Literacy reading and writing and children’s literature (2nd ed.).South Melbourne,Victoria Aus: Oxford University Press.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Digital Story Telling way to go!

Digital Storytelling refers to using digital tools so that ordinary people can tell their own real-life stories. Using digital storytelling and proper application can be an effective tool . This in line with Seimen's ...through interaction with, use of, and understanding of the exponentially increasing body of knowledge, individuals are required to connect with others to share experiences and to make sense of knowledge. People need to now become part of unrealistic society and to use the technology that is available to them, (Siemens, 2005 and Lee Lafever, 2009), to access the information they need for their current situations.
Digital storytelling will connect others and perhaps creating one would be advantageous to both creators and listener/viewers as they share their experiences. Through Digital storytelling, students will be inspired to tell stories to the next generation using moving image.

I can imagine reflecting and evaluating the students learning will be a central point of gathering data on how students learn through thier experiences. This could be use as summative assessment.Students will be engage through emotive or playfulness screening by movie makers. SOSE lessons will never be the same again. I can see students, as a viewre- will be engage through emotive screening by movie makers.

As Learning Manager/ educator using special screening lessons and hands-on workshops for students and teachers can be the author of their own learning.

One example down below.



Digital story examples: Retrieved December 8,2009, from:ACMIAustralian Commision for Moving Images: http://www.acmi.net.au/digitalstorytelling.aspx

Siemens, G. (2004). Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age. Retreived November 2009, from http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/connectivism.htm

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

YouTube for ESL and classroom management?

Now that a growing majority of Internet users have broadband, you can search just about anything using YouTube and other video clip sites (Google Video, Revver, etc.) have become very popular - especially with young adults. These sites also provide English learners and classes with a new tool to improve listening skills. For an ESL (English as Second Language) students this YouTube will be ideal for them as they can hear how certain words pronounced correctly. Scientific and latin words is also a challenge for all students.

The real advantage Using You tube is - at least from a language learning point of view - is that they offer authentic examples of everyday English used by everyday people. Of course, this is the challenge as well. Students may enjoy watching these clips, but poor sound quality, pronunciation and slang can make these short videos even more difficult to understand.

On the other hand, students are attracted to the "real life" nature of these videos. By creating context for these short videos you can help your students explore a world of online English learning possibilities.

Something to ponder:

Can you write 5 examples in how you could use Youtube in the classrooms?

1.) I like to use it as a hook for example you are doing a cooking activities.

2.) As a classroom management or behavioural management?

3.) Problem solving- Then type in "how to" the YouTube clip can be as simple as "How to do"anything really.

4.) Literacy- Use a title then predict what is the content.

5.) Just given you ESL sample.

Cheers Mary-Ann

Using images through Flickr

Some creative ideas for using Flickr in the classroom:

1.) Essential Learning Math: Space

Ask students to identify shapes and the quantity of shapes in the image.
Mathematics, by the end of year 3, Space: Geometric names and properties are used to sort, describe and construct common 2D shapes, including squares, rectangles, and circles, and 3D objects, including prisms, pyramids, cones, cylinders and spheres.

Queensland Syllabus required students to locate and apply an image that represents the feelings/experiences of a character in a given text.
Justify choice of images.
Essential Learnings required students to locate and apply an image that represents the feelings/experiences of a character in a given text. Justify choice of images.

2.) English, by the end of you 5.
Reading and viewing
Reading and viewing involve using a range of strategies to interpret and appreciate written, visual and multimodal texts in personal and community contexts.

Readers and viewers use a number of active comprehension strategies to interpret texts, including activating prior knowledge, predicting, questioning, identifying main ideas, inferring, monitoring, summarising and reflecting.
So much more you can use images. I think images can use in variety of ways. Using Flicker is just one way to incorporate ICT to enhance learning .According to Winch et al., 2004,we now live in an iconic world -which require each individual to decode meaning and decoding images, applying this type of learning can only enhance deepen students understanding that when applying images an author has purpose. For students justify thier purpose for them to understand visual literacy is an important as reading written text.
Winch G., et.al (2004). Literacy reading and writing and childrens literature (2nd ed.).South Melbourne,Victoria Aus: Oxford University Press.

Mahara another E Tool concept? or more

Mahara is a fully featured electronic portfolio, weblog, resume builder and social networking system, connecting users and creating online communities. Mahara provides you with the tools to set up a personal learning and development environment. It has fa
Useful for students for the following reasons:
· Write diary entries online (Blogs) for assessment purposes.
· Upload documents and link them to certain blog entries.
· Join Groups and change privacy settings to suit student’s preference.
· Have this e-portfolio through your entire course and create different blogs with different views.
My Files:
· Allows file uploads (PDF, Word Documents, Excel Documents, Images, etc)
· This is a central place for ALL your files on your Mahara page.
· If you create a blog you can pull in different files from this repository.
My Views:
· Allows the user to made "VIEW groups". This allows them to set certain groups to certain VIEWS and blocking out others from seeing particular files/blogs.
· You may create as many different Views as you like and reuse your Artifacts, even giving them different titles for different audiences.
· Views can also be used to submit work for feedback or assessment to a Controlled Group.
My Blogs:
· Allows the user to create an 'online diary' or 'blog'.
· Each Blog can include a title, description, tags.
· You can split the blog up and create a number of POSTS in each blog OR made it one large blog There are many overlapping technologies which can be classed under different areas of learning and teaching.
There are many E tools that student can use to collaborate and communicate through the use Google sites and Google docs.
Google Sites – Can be use as Wiki or a place to organise group assignments and add comments. Google Docs - For Online collaboration can use spreadsheets and documents

In the past, I was involved in an asignment discussing and exploring the effectiveness of E Porfolio (see SlideShare Posting for more details). I understood it very well on how (older)students can create thier own and stakeholders are able to access student progress etc. By using Mahara it make it simplier because students are able to use other e tools to suit thier needs.
I was lucky enough to log in to "my Mahara" and chat to someone about it. He was just logging off . So - for group projects and assignments Mahara or Moodle its another dicision on which is better to use...posting I have to make.
This E- Tools are very much intertwine with one another. Come along with me in this thingking... dare you to get it!

Early Childhood Thinking:
Like.... dust + more dust= dirt + water =mud and more!!! mud x2 + sunlight = ?? you guess a mud brick (with careful nurturing and science with it) Then the 3 little pigs made a nice brick house... and more! Just let your childlike imagination go...
E tools in 21st century I get it I get it!!!

Mahara an Open souce Porfolio: Retrived December 6, 2009. from:http://mahara.org/features