Saturday, December 05, 2009

Midiafire...A Virtual Filing Storage...

Media Fire is a type of tool that’s makes any file accessible anywhere. You can browse and share by having a free account so you'll always be able to manage and share your files and images at any time regardless of which computer you're using. You can post and/ or make it public to share the files or you can choose to make it private. You can save in named folders but you can also put tags on them. By doing this you don’t have to even remember where you put it! This just makes life lot easier, for teachers and educators alike- who always want to store and find resources, activities, lesson plans, letters etc. Having something like this is good as creating back-up of files.

I am not so sure how you might use this in a school setting perhaps peer assessment for high school or tertiary education… a file storage tool such as Media Fire may allow for easy sharing of documents, photos, presentations etc. amongst peers and stakeholders. Media Fire could provide easier access / sharing of resources within the second stage (Learning Resources) of Oliver’s (1999) “
Learning Design Framework” that support learners to do a required task.

Also, Media Fire could be used for Learning Managers to share educational resources with a community of Learning Managers could be developed that exceeds the schools boundaries, perhaps creating one space where such resources could be accessed.

In the past I used to email my assignment to myself to prevent losing it. Just to think of it I was already filing my ebay reciepts in my 'hotmail' to simplify my life.
Midia Fire offers more the way to go. I promise to share ...just need to make time.


Learning Management SYSTEM a virtual school

A Learning Management System (LMS) is software that enables teachers to build online courses which provide students with opportunities to gather information, collaborate and communicate. Blackboard and Moodle are both LMS.

Throughout my three years at University I have used Blackboard for many courses. Now, I find blackboard extremely easy to use. I have seen many blackboard course sites. Some of these were highly effective and became a space in which students could reflect, share thoughts, access further information and explore many different resources. Some blackboard sites were simply a means of providing further information to students. When blackboard sites are carefully designed they can be engaging and innovative learning resources.

Blackboard as a virtual school, including the ability to deliver an engaging, personalized educational experience to students. School and universities are now using blackboard for virtual learning opportunities – for opportunities to learn at their own pace and take control of their learning. Some students even feel more comfortable to ‘speak up’ and interact with other classmates and their teachers in an online setting.

By using moodle for this course has given me an insight into this Learninging Management System’s capabilities. Moodle seems to facilitate collaborative learning in a much more effective way than blackboard. Moodle encourages collaboration and aligns with Kearsley and Schneiderman’s Engagement theory which claims that learners need to engage in collaborative experiences (1999).
Using Moodle and Blackboard
· Both has features that allow it to scale to very large students or groups
· Fully online courses, while some use it simply to augment face-to-face courses (known as blended learning).
· Build richly collaborative communities of learning around their subject matter (in the social constructionist tradition).

I have to be open and ready to unlearn and re learn new skills and knowlwedge. Yesterday's opinion can sometimes no longer valid to the present.


Reference: Kearsley, G. & Shneiderman, M. (1999). Engagement Theory: A framework for technology-based teaching and learning. Retrieved Nov. 18, 2009,from

Thursday, December 03, 2009


I haven’t truly experience students saying “Our dog ate my homework Miss” but close “My baby sister ate or chewed my homework”. I have heard that said twice. I am not surprise that things happens.
After reading Makiko’s blog about classmarker I thought I must to check it up so I did.

After signing in, I played around a bit and explore the possibilities. I notice I was creating my quizzes in no time. I find it user friendly. I can think of many ways. It allow you to choose things like how many questions to display per page, are questions given in random order etc.
I like this idea to check your students understanding about a unit or can be use as formative assessments. You could design a test to suit student’s needs. The results could be used by the teacher to see which students need extra support and which students are competent with their math’s. This could also help the teacher buddy students into pairs or groups with a high achieving student and a lower achieving student in the same group, this way they could learn from their peers.

For Teachers/Learning Manager:
 I like the idea of storing your test/quizzes as well as going back to edit or add what ever you need.
 You can access it wherever there is an Internet.
 Save time and paperwork.
 Teachers can also hide the test after it has been taken so you can still see the results but your learners cannot.

For Students:
 Students will be able to access their quizzes test at home
 Great for a student who attends so many activities like sports.
 They can attend the test anywhere and finish it their own pace.
What do you think?
Cheers Mary-Ann

Image retrived December 2,2009, from:

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Scholastic!! Scholastic!

Thank you Scholastic!
I remembered clearly how my daughter loves her monthly supplies of books.She collected 'Baby Sitters Club' she used to get three amonth. It was not very expensive. My mentor teacher this year just reminded me on how good those books were.
While distributing student books that they bought through Scholastic, she mentioned how she get to have free resources from Scholastic that depending on students orders.I taught I have to check it out myself.
So I got connected and more... It allows you to set up a free class homepage that can be accessed by your students and thier parents as well. You just need to click here, and then create an account.

Creating a homepage is quite simple. I encourage teachers and educators alike to create an account and have a go. It is a good place to check out what is the latest news.
What a wonderful way to share to your parents what is happening to your classroom. There are lessons and lots of new ideas that I can use wherever you may be teaching.Just let your imagiation go. You could be teacher far far away and here is your resources.


Retrieved infrormation from:

RSS. Get it while its hot!

How I stumbled with my RSS? (most commonly translated as "Really Simple Syndication" but sometimes "Rich Site Summary") You can laugh at me. But all I can say is.. I dont know how but I stumble on it while I was clicking away. I got it!!! I can't tell you exactly how.
My excuse is I must have been very tired and excited I want to read everyone’s blog and more!! Now to my heart content I can read a feed subscription, blogs anything I like. One day I want to subcribe or follow to the tropical plants blog.Im sure there is one if not gonna do just that(blog).
The good news is I do understand how it work now that’s the main thing (pwew).

I am pleased to say that:
You can get updates from this blog via RSS.
Browser-based news readers let you catch up with your RSS feed subscriptions from any computer, whereas downloadable applications let you store them on your main computer, in the same way that you either download your e-mail using a web-based service like Hotmail.

In general you need a RSS reader and must of them are free in my case, I use Google reader because I already have one. If you click on the RSS button you can subscribe to the feed in various ways, including by dragging the URL of the feed into your news reader or by cutting and pasting the same URL into a new feed in your news reader. Most sites that offer feeds use a similar orange button, but some may just have a normal web link.

We all know that,there are so many information sources to keep up with on the internet.
Before RSS, you would have to visit each page individually to see if there was any new content. RSS works the other way round: you log in to your RSS reader and all the new stories are brought to you.You just tell your RSS reader the sites you’re interested in.

In class, as a teacher using RSS will be great tool save a lot of time searching and archiving information’s. Teachers can read students postings (unit of interest) each other’s postings, moderating students work via blogs. If the class is doing some unit that interest the student you can subscribe to the Web and skim read other postings. It can also be use as formative assessment on how students are interacting with peers, problem solving scenario to where an on how they get such information’s. I am sure you can think of more ideas. It’s limitless!!! I just think it make life easier for you as a teacher and I can just imagine students reading each others peers posting.

BBC News retrieved on December1,2009.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Podcasting and Vodcasting

Podcasting is a convenient way of automatically downloading audio or video files to your computer. You can then play this audio or video on your computer or transfer the files to a portable MP3 or video player.(ABCnet)'Podcast' generally refers to audio. 'Video Podcast' (or 'Vodcast') refers to the distribution of video files in the same manner. To be honest I didn’t understand how it works at first. So being a learner explorer that I am download podcast and experience it on hand. I t seems that the opportunities for teaching and learning are endless. It opens up ways of learning that teachers twenty years or even ten years ago may have not even imagined.
As I type my posting I am learning about galaxies and stars. Subscribing to a reputable or educational podcast is available for free. Once it’s loaded, you can listen to it straight away. I have now a subscriber of “starstuff2009” how cool is that? Note: This takes a while to load because of its size.It can be use as background.The next episode of this subscription will now automatically. That if I want to learn more about galaxies! Surely there are podcast about on anything.

Personally I would like to load as much information about tropical plants. Ow, sorry I really need to think about my future classroom! Most of us know about digital natives so they will have iPod or MP3 or similar in their pockets or bags.

In the future I want to hear myself say “today we are going to explore….. Using your iPod instead - of “boys and girls if you have any gadgets put it back in your bag!” The main thing is that our students are engage and learning. As educators we need to engage student not enrage them (Presky, 2005). Student can upload and share ideas that are relating to the any unit.

(I think some of those students in the bus today were listening to Podcast about their assignment!----I just heard NASA will send someone " to space" to patch the hole in one unit! While typing my post I have learnt so much about Galaxies, Asteroids, and NASA’s next project!)

I am sure you can think of more ideas beside Galaxies. I have to check and research if I can download about tropical plants after coffee.

Image retrived from:

Google Earth .... -0'0- How you see it...

Don’t you hate it when you going somewhere and you can’t read the map? (Googly eyes!) Some of you can relate to this…age! So forget atlases and maps - they are old school! 'Sharon's Blog' made me so excited so much resources out there to use for Science and Math.
If we go with Maths, for example, Google Earth could well be a nominated Learning Resource when creating a maths Measurement and Space Investigation using the ICT Learning Design Framework (Oliver, 1999). The Learning Task, being problem-based, would require learners to plan a trip, including the route to take and the timetable or itinerary. It is possible for this to be a solely ICT driven Investigation, with Google Earth as the main tool used by children.

It could even allow learners to give directions to an unfamiliar destination, including the use of street names and land marks thanks to the technology.
Its limitless.What do you think?


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


Just as I feel comfortable in using Powerpoint, I discover Slideshare - a place where I can upload, store and share my PowerPoint. Sharing my PowerPoint to the rest of the world can be daunting. I was interested to see after having uploaded some Powerpoint presentations that they have been viewed - I am now sharing on a global scale. I can see that this is a tool that could be used in collaborative projects with other global classrooms. Students from around the world participate in different tasks to be completed on a monthly basis. The students use a program called Slideboom which appears to be very similar to Slideshare.

Sharing, donating, creating is really what it is all about.


The Power of...PowerPoint.

I have seen many students create PowerPoint’s and deliver reports or presentations to the class using this medium. Students do enjoy creating PowerPoints, though can be distracted at times creating animations, layouts, colours and fonts rather than focussing more on the content of their presentation. Non-the-less, I find PowerPoint’s a great starting point for students to begin adding images, hyperlinks, music and animation to their written work due to the fact that the program is relatively easy to use, navigate through and find help if needed. It is a great introduction to using computers as well as what is possible with blogs and other ‘web2’ tools.

The creating process is obviously fun and engaging for students therefore different learning styles are catered for when creating and viewing a PowerPoint. Students tend to be visual learners due to the amount of exposure to TV, DVD’s, and ICT’s, therefore PowerPoint presentations meet this type of learning, (Pearce, 2007).I have seen a recent example of a PowerPoint presentation used to add images and fonts to create emphasis to different aspects of the poem.

I have found personally, PowerPoint’s are great for delivering lessons….putting up key questions or images that all can see while you discuss the topic. It is a visual cue to keep students on track and the LM can keep referring back to the various slides. The lesson key points can be put on sequential slides which are easy to work through during the lesson. It is easy to move back and forward through the slides if necessary for revision.

In combination with data projectors In the past I have use PowerPoint at church which we use as a slide for songs, future events, and it was useful for as simple as using as a picture slide. One thing I like about PowerPoint is that you could also use and index to easily track or restore your songs (anything really). PowerPoint can easily be shared through email and now Slide Share.
I was involved in creating a PowerPoint recently for an assignment were we focused on the animations and timing of text entering and departing a slide to create focus. I must admit I still don’t understand it.
YEY!! More learning to do more exploring!!!

Cheers Mary-Ann

Connectivism experience!!

Blogging to connect…
My first experience on hand external learning…Although I am a very outgoing and people person I find myself so alone in this course. My panic button is on high alert. Because I am a little wonderer and explorer, I decided to have a different blogfrom the rest of my peers but that didn’t work I need to be connected with fellow boggers to be seen and heard.

Thanks to Skype I made contact with my peers! Makiko, Jadene, and Emma . I am not forgetting you Sharon who enlighten me by posting comments on my other blog. I must say I learnt so much from my little wonder that I can now apply to this journey. I finally decided to wonder-off and join the crowd. Wow I finally felt home when I saw that I have followers and I am able to comment.

My reflection:
Dont be so surprise that there will be one of my kind in your classroom we do exist.
We can no longer personally experience and acquire learning that we need to act. So... We derive our competence from forming connections. Karen Stephenson states:
“Experience has long been considered the best teacher of knowledge. Since we cannot experience everything, other people’s experiences, and hence other people, become the surrogate for knowledge. ‘I store my knowledge in my friends’ is an axiom for collecting knowledge through collecting people (undated).”

When knowledge is abundant, the rapid evaluation of knowledge is important. Additional concerns arise from the rapid increase in information. In today’s environment, action is often needed without personal learning – that is, we need to act by drawing information outside of our primary knowledge. The ability to synthesize and recognize connections and patterns is a valuable skill.
What do you think?


My Quest for Sustainable Environment...

Using 3 R's( Reduce,Reuse,Recycle)as workable Webquest for grade four students. Note this is my SOSE assignment which I was happy to pass. I learnt more after exploring further as we do. I love the idea of adding more picture and redeveloping another Webquest for differnt Key Learning Area.

WebQuests are ideal for independent learning as well as group work and are somewhat engaging for students due to the fact that learning experiences are delivered electronically. The main benefits of a WebQuest are as follows:
• That resources and websites that would normally be accessed by students during their research have already been qualified and located within the WebQuest for students to utilise. This prevents students encountering inappropriate web sites during their research on the World Wide Web.
• It can reduce the time wasted finding suitable material and assessing whether the web site content is suitable for the unit of work.
• It allows the Learning Manager (LM) to scaffold the learning and develop concepts as students work through the various content material, questions and tasks built into the unit of work. This fits very well with Constructivist learning / teaching theories.
• Learning Frameworks such as the Dimensions of Learning can be incorporated easily as Declarative and Procedural Knowledge (learning outcomes) can be clearly stated. Activities and learning experiences that incorporate Complex Reasoning Process or that allow students to Use Knowledge Meaningfully can be incorporated into the WebQuest.
• The LM can ensure that students encounter a range of authors, opinions and the latest up-to-date research for students to access.
• Most of all the WebQuest can be created and designed in many different ways. This is my SOSE assignment WebQuest feel free to comment. I admit I have to do more wore on creating a user friendly Webquest.

Cheers Mary-Ann


WIKIs can be an effective tool for encouraging, collaboration participation, and interaction amongst peers in the classroom and as well as the learning agenda is controlled by the students. Some additional ideas for using a WIKI in the classroom include:
• Creating a class glossary in the context of a current Unit of Work
• Class book review, where students discuss a prescribed text in a WIKI
• It allow students to post their drafts to a WIKI for peer review and comments
• Creating an action plan and resource list for a class excursion of school camp
• Collaborate with a class from another country to discuss culture, climate, daily life etc.

Example of fifth grade WIKI:
From my viewpoint, one of the key features of the WIKI forum is enabling students to share ideas and contribute to others thoughts –“Communal constructivism where students and teachers are not simply engaged in developing their own information but actively involved in creating knowledge “increasing the motivation of students to learn” (Kearsley and Shneiderman, 1999), which at the same time as aligns with the first principle of connectivism, stating that “learning and knowledge rests in diversity of opinions” (Siemens, 2004). Constructivism suggests that learners create knowledge as they attempt to understand their experiences

In the past I used Wiki as a group assignment. Constructing our own virtual futuristic school was an excelarating experienced. Having work as a group of diverse background we created an amazing virtual school. Contributing and engaging ourselves on what is an idealistic school in the future made it so clear that as a group of learners we experienced authentic assessment.I like the fact that you can edit and add information at your own leisure. One of the student had to go away before our assignment was due. He was able to contribute his ideas and reflection by login in on the enternet while his on holiday.

Holmes, B., Tangney, B., Fitzgibbon, A., Savage, T, & Mehan, S. (2001).Communal constructivism: Students constructing learning for as well as with others.Retrieved Nov.25.2009.from .
Keirsley, G. & Shneiderman, B (1999) Engagment Theory: A framework for technology-based teaching and learning. Available from
Siemens, G. (2004). Connectivism: A learning theory for the digital age.Retreived Nov.25, 2009, from

Discovering Avatar….

I have discovered that there are many educational blogs and wikis that provide information about how avatars can be used in the classroom. Classroom 2.0 gave an example that used avatars, wikis and podcasts in a global classroom collaboration, again demonstrating how the components of relate-create-donate are being used in learning environments….How can they be used in an educational context?
"Avatars provide a face to the students and a face to the teacher. They provide
the human element to online teaching" - Cohen, 2007
Avatars are a way of providing anonymity for students. They are a way for students to have a mask to hide behind when presenting information as well as protecting their identity. This addresses the needs of the shy student, while also relieves parental concerns about how their child is being portrayed online.
I can’t believe Cohen’s comment that Avatar’s are better than Sykpe! So I tried to e-mail a personal message to a friend it works!! Having to design your own appearance to suit the situation can give it an effective message. I can now say there is variety of ways you could use this in a classroom situation. Assignments prompters’ I can imagine emailing students and giving instructions in a playful way.

Avatar (means) the incarnation of a Hindu deity, especially Vishnu, in human or animal form:

What do you think?

Rediscovering Maslow's Hierachy of needs...

I felt really challenged by Norman Kunc’s (1992) article on Maslow’s Hierarchy. I have mixed thoughts on this subject. On the one hand I believe in inclusion and the acceptance of all individuals for who they are and the richness, whether seen or unseen, that they bring to society and our community. On the one hand I am not sure whether our education system which is tossed around by government economic rationalism can provide the support for students with disabilities into classrooms. Surely there is some balance to be found between full inclusion and complete segregation.
Kunc, himself says that schools are a reflection of our society and so are governments. I hear his views when he speaks about the alienation those individuals, of all walks of life, experience and the need for greater levels of acceptance in our societies beyond just what achievement / success can provide. Do we not remember more fondly people who have taken the time to get to know us, have seen our potential or have provided acceptance when others haven’t? I long for a society that is more tolerant, accepting and seek deeper levels of connectedness rather than personal gain and self interest. I am now starting to understand the popularity of Face book,MSN, Skype, Blogging, etc; I see that this is a 21st century another way of being connected and belonging?
I myself comes from a close family background belonging for me is an important aspect of my personal life. I guess in an Early Childhood field it is important to ensure young students to feel that they belong (this is must in the beginning of the student schooling).
The article does highlight for me, as others have stated in the forum, the importance of acceptance through positive staff / student relationships is required for true learning to occur and for the individual student to grow as a person.


Kunc, N. (1992). The Need to Belong: Rediscovering Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Baltimore, Paul H. Brookes Publishers