Thursday, August 20, 2009


Over the last couple of weeks I have created an account with about 10 different sites. In the beginning of this assignment I thought okay I’m not that long out of school how much more can there really be? A lot I discovered, there is a whole new world out there I didn’t even know about. As students are digital natives, we as teachers need to try and be one-step ahead to keep the students engaged in school, which means leaving our comfort zones and joining the students on the technological roller coaster. As Prensky (2005) states “if you cannot engage young people in education you will enrage them”.

Throughout this assignment I have discovered some amazing tools that I will be using in my classroom they are:

Really Simple Syndicate –
When students are working in-group activities, they have the opportunity to add their peers blog addresses and keep in contact therefore provide new ideas for the activity. To ensure the students privacy and safety the learning manager is able to access the RSS and monitor the progress.
Avatars –
In school this can be used to engage the students in a lesson or unit of work. The learning manager is also able to teach the students how to use the tool giving them the ability to introduce this tool into their own work.
PowerPoint –
Can be published on to SlideShare after being presented in the classroom therefore students are able to access it again in their own time.
Picnik –
The students could put together photos taken on an excursion and they then have to customise them in picnik showing their ability to manipulate photos using different editing tools.
Quizzes –
Learning mangers are able to set quizzes for the students to complete for homework. An advantage to the learning manager is that the quizzes can be over and over, and can be changed accordingly.
Google Earth –
This can be used in a range of studies such and maths with time differences and geography. It can also be used for investigating the ocean floor

As there is such a big workload when creating these databases, mediafire is a great way to store them once they have been implemented to use with again and again. By storing them on Mediafire you are able to take them with you to different schools and make any appropriate changes if necessary and depending on the key learning area.

The first of the engagement theory is the relate stage which means it emphasises team efforts and morale that involve communication, thinking and working interdependently, planning and management and using social skills.

Creating is the second part of the framework, this has been designed to make learning a creative and purposeful activity. An example of this in the classroom could be students following a webquest which for the evaluation stage the students need to present their findings to an authority figure.

The final stage of the framework is known as the donating stage. This stresses the value of making a useful and adequate contribution to the students learning. Referring again to the webquest students are given a real life problem to solve, when solution has been made the outcome is one that could be used to solve the problem. (Kearsley & Shneiderma,1999)

I personally feel that technology plays an important part in students learning and should be taught in all schools, however this is just not possible. The majority of State Schools that students attend do not have adequate technological facilities to give their students the advantages that Private Schools have. For learning Managers to be able to implement and teach these new web based tools, sufficient training needs to be provided to ensure that students and teachers are both adequately educated.

One of the major obstacles schools need to overcome when implementing these tools is the security on school computers. Yes it is there to protect students from predators and explicit content, however with these security measures in place it also puts restrictions on these educational tools.

Throughout my elearning journey I have learnt some amazing internet based tools. I feel that they are an amazing way to get the students engaged in the classroom, giving them the opportunity to power up when they come to school rather than power down. Throughout my teaching I am hoping to be able to implement these tools to my students with the help of appropriate and adequate resources.

Reference List
R. Kayne, 2009 what is a Computer Avatar?

Kearsley, B & Shneiderman, B, Engagement Theory: A framework for technology-based teaching and learning

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


A podcast is described as an audio file archived on the Internet in such a way that it can be automatically accessed by a personal computer, downloaded and transferred to a portable MP3 player such as an ipod. In order to use this tool you need to have software that will play mp3 files. Once an appropriate podcast has been sourced, it can be manually downloaded to the mp3 player. One down side to podcasts is that schools operating behind fire walls may not be able to take advantage of subscription services and many schools block the downloading of mp3 files.

I recently tried to download itunes on to my computer but was unsuccessful as I was advised it was going to 21 hours to download. I then found a friend that already had it on their computer and used theirs. I viewed a podcast on reading comprehension called stories for kids. The students listen to a narrator reading the story and at the end of the story they supply sample question for you to ask the students. This is a great tool to use, however the story I listened to the lady was speaking in a very monotone voice and I found it hard to concentrate.

Podcasts can be created from original material by students and teachers or existing audio files can be downloaded for classroom use. Creating a podcast allows students to share learning experiences. It provides them with a world-wide audience that makes learning meaningful and assessment authentic. Teachers can use the technology to provide additional and revision material to students to download and review at a time that suits them.

Department of Education & Training, Podcasts in the Classroom, 2009, viewed on 20 August 2009,


With VoiceThread, group conversations are collected and shared in one place from anywhere in the world. It is a site where you can upload almost any digital media ranging from a photos to a PowerPoint presentations and share them online. A VoiceThread is a collaborative, multimedia slide show that holds images, documents, and videos and allows people to navigate pages and leave comments in 5 ways - using voice, text, audio file, or video. It was quick and easy to setup the account and all that was required was an e-mail address and an user-created password.

Voice thread can be called a slide show with commentaries by voice, text, audio, or video. There is a feature called video doodling, where you can actually draw on the picture itself. This web site aims to get students thinking and working collaboratively in and out of the classroom.

Exploring Technology, What's a voice thread?, 2008, viewed on 20 August 2009,

Using music on the Web

Music has the ability to greatly affect our feelings and energy levels, without even thinking about it, we use music to create desired moods and to make us happy, to enjoy movement and dance, to bring back powerful memories, to help us relax and focus. Music is a powerful tool for our personal expression within our daily lives it helps set the scene for many important experiences.

How is it that for most people music is a powerful part of their personal life and yet when we go to work or school we turn it off? The intentional use of music in the classroom enables the learning manager to set the scene and learning atmosphere to enhance our teaching and learning activities. Music, one of the joys of life, can be one of the joys of learning as well. There are several techniques such as attention, attitude and atmosphere, learning information and personal expression. With these techniques the learning manager can orchestrate a classroom environment that is rich and resonant and provide learners with a symphony of learning opportunities and a sound education.It has also been found that listening to background music while completing school work increases attention levels, improves retention and memory, extend focused learning time and expand thinking skills.

The piece of music I downloaded is called Down Home Rockin by Kevin MacLeod. It is classified as Rock and includes Drums, Bass Guitar and Piano.

Music and Learning: Integrating Music in the Classroom, 1995, Viewed on 20 August 2009,


Mediafire is a web site that has been created which allows you to store larger documents and files. Mediafire allows you to store all your files online for easy secure access and enable you to distribute large files to thousands of people without clogging in boxes or slowing does your computer.

As my computer is getting rather close to crashing this is a great website to store all my files, it is secure and I am able to retrieve them at anytime. I can even share any I find interesting with the rest of the world. In schools learning managers can show their students how to set up an account, by doing this students are able upload work being completed at school to Mediafire and then access it at home.

MediaFire Free file hosting made simple, What is mediafire, 2009, Viewed on 20 August 2009,

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


SlideShare is the world's largest community for sharing presentations. Individuals and organisations upload presentations to share their ideas, connect with others, and generate leads for their businesses and provide ICT's for education. Anyone can find presentations on topics that interest them. They can tag, download, or embed presentations into their own blogs and websites. Uploads put on to slideshare can be nominated to be viewed publicly or privately.

This is a great tool for learning managers to use in schools as they can find PowerPoint presentations suited to their topics and display them for their students to see. This site can also be used by the students to research a given topic and view PowerPoint's posted by people and educators around the world.

I have tried to create a narration audio for my presentation, however unfortunately I was unsuccessful as the microphone on my computer no longer works. I can however see how the narration audio would be a great advantage to those viewing the presentation.

Google Earth

Google Earth is an online tool that displays satellite images of varying resolution of the Earth's surface, this allows users to visually see things like cities and houses looking perpendicularly down or at an oblique angle. A newer version on Google Earth was introduced in 2009 which alloes users to zoom below the surface of the ocean and study the underwater depth in the third dimension of a lake or ocean floor. Through Google earth you are now also able to view the Moon and Mars in 3D.

It can be used in Maths when the students are learning about time differences throughout the world as it Google earth shows what time it is as different locations. In Science it can be used in great depth as you are able to view the Moon and Mars if doing a lesson on planets, you can go under water in order to learn about waves and the ocean floor. The implications for geography and social studies lessons are clear. Students can locate their own house or school, then zoom out to find their state, then country and continent, and finally, their planet. It is also an extremely powerful teaching tool to be able to visit all of the sites that students are studying. For example when students learn about the pyramids of ancient Egypt, they can actually see the pyramids. There is a 3D structure option that allows the children to understand the shape of the pyramids, and with the ruler tool they can measure the distance from the top of a pyramid to the ground or from one to another.

Google Earth can be used accross all KLA's as well. Earth Outreach provides connections to files that showcase environmental degradation and more. There are many downloadable tours available from the Google Earth Gallery, which provide an easy-to-use format for students and teachers to explore everything from the solar system to the under water world. With a bit of online exploration, a teacher could find a premade tour to teach just about anything, what isn’t already available could be made by the students.

Wikipedia the free encylopida, Google earth, 209, Viewed on 19 August 2009,

Connections, Google Earth in the Elementary Classroom, 2009, viewed on 18 August 2009,