Wednesday, July 29, 2009


The Classmarker site seems like a great tool for teachers, but could also be used by students as well.
This site was easy to use, contained simple, plain English instructions and appears to have a wide range of uses. Being able to create a range of quiz's from multiple choice, to true/false and free text gave me an abundance of ideas and I am sure that in my future career, using this tool, I could create a quiz for any occasion. As I have had no teaching experience, I opted to go for a simple numeracy test, and used it to test my 4 year old nephew, who surprised me with all that he knew. He seemed quite excited to be using the computer and was only too happy to take the quiz, and to my surprise, my sister informed me that he is actually quite competent with the computer. It goes to show that kids are starting to utilise the Internet from such a young age, no wonder they are screaming out for these types of tools to be included in their curriculum.

Using this type of ICT also provides teachers the ability to set homework using Blogs or WIKI's. A link to the quiz can be posted to the page and students can undertake these quiz's within a set amount of time, if required. Teachers can monitor their students results within the Statistics page of the Classmarker site. Tests can also be set in other languages meaning that this tool can be used by LOTE teachers also.


Classmarker (2005-2009).
Retrieved July 29, 2009, from

TeacherTube & YouTube

The TeacherTube video I chose is created by a student, who is conducting a simple yet effective and engaging science experiment. As I am intrigued and excited by science, I chose this as a video that would compliment my future teaching.

I would definitely
use this kind of task in my classroom as it is, in my opinion, a perfect activity for Engaged Learning (Kearsley & Schneiderman, 1999) . It involves students being creative, evaluating and problem solving. It is something that could be incorporated into the daily learning of students of all ages. These video's could be used to work alone, in pairs and groups. They can be used for all subjects from science to drama, the possibilities are endless. Having students create a project that is then displayed in a public forum on the web for their peers to see, may see students more motivated to produce their best standard of work, as it will be available for the world to see. It may also encourage students who have inhibitions regarding public speaking to overcome this, thus preparing and encouraging them to be life long learners. As future educators, it is in my opinion, our responsibility to establish a solid foundation for our students to grow on. By encouraging and refining skills that are necessary for our students to become life long learners, we are certainly on the right track.
I must say, as I am progressing through the activities outlined in this course, I am quickly finding that I may need to refine my skills on effectively searching these kinds of sites. I have never used about 90% of the ICT's listed in this course, and when I conduct my searches, I need to sift through a lot of irrelevant items to get to what I am after. But as I have stated before, this itself is a lesson, as I will now ensure that my students are well prepared and educated in effective researching when using the Internet.


Kearsley, G. & Shneiderman, B. (1999) Engagement Theory: A framework for technology based teaching and learning. Retrieved July 4, 2009, from

Student Science Experiment - Tea Bags. ( 2007, June 14). [Video]. Retrieved July 29, 2009, from

Picnik - Image Manipulation

Jimmy and me
Originally uploaded by Kelly Wilkins
Excuse me for bragging, but I just had to upload the photo of me with my favourite Aussie musician, Jimmy Barnes.
Using Picnic was not a smooth process for me. I am not sure whether it was just my computer or whether it was the actual site, but I found the site slow, and I actually restarted my computer to check if it was a fault with my computer, however, once restarted I still found the site slow. For the benefit of the assessment, I am judging this site on the concept rather than the performance and I can certainly see how fantastic this concept is. Other than the performance frustrations, this was actually really fun to do. I was certainly engaged. Students need a bit of a break from the more intense classroom activities every now and then, and incorporating this kind of activity into my students learning activities would make it more fun, whilst still developing some valuable skills. Just like in this course, once the fun has been had, by changing the photo, students can then link to a blog or Wiki which is teaching them how to utilise all of these tools together. It would be a simple yet effective collaborative learning exercise. Students could work in pairs, and then use their RSS' to monitor their peers work. As suggested in Engagement Theory: A framework for technology-based teaching and learning (Kearsley & Schneiderman, 1999) "Ideally, students can complete a number of brief group activities with different partners in the first few classes so they can make a good choice of team members for full scale projects. In this context, students need to be sensitized to issues such as gender/racial bias, personality conflicts and different work habits."
By completing this one simple activity, students are actually learning a lot more then just how to manipulate a photo. As stated above, working with others teaches students a number of valuable skills required to help them become life long learners.


Kearsley, G. & Shneiderman, B. (1999) Engagement Theory: A framework for technology based teaching and learning. Retrieved July 4, 2009, from

Picnik (2009) Retrieved July 29, 2009, from


As a high school student, I found PowerPoint presentations very useful and helpful with regards to my learning style. They were engaging and informative, and always presented in a way that I could understand. When I entered the site PowerPoint in the Classroom, I was slightly disappointed. This tutorial on creating PowerPoint's was cheesy and at times annoying. I am all for engaging people, but this was a bit overboard. I can certainly see the humour in it, however I would have preferred a bit less 'fluff' to sift through to get to the actual information. However, the experience I had with this tutorial is certainly a lesson learned for myself as a teacher. We want to engage our students, but we do not want to go too far and come across as patronising. We do not want to lose the information we are trying to present to all the bells and whistles added to the presentation. As a teacher, I would love to keep up to date with my students and know what makes them tick, know their interests and be able to include some of these in the classroom. This is where PowerPoint's would come in handy. I could edit my PowerPoint accordingly by adding pictures, sounds and charts which will help keep my students attention. By adding these tools to a PowerPoint presentation based on the popular culture at the time, I am sure that my students would be engaged and entertained, and are therefore sure to take in the information I am trying to teach. It takes away the 'slave to the textbook' idea that many students may have regarding their teachers.


PowerPoint in the Classroom, 2009. Retrieved July 29, 2009 from

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Flickr & Wikipedia, Friend or Foe????

Originally uploaded by Sarah M Stewart
When asked to use an image from Flickr and upload it to our blog, of course the first thing I searched for was E-Learning. Although it was simple enough to scroll through until I found what I was particularly looking for, I found that with this website, as with other sites that are open to the public, there is a lot of information that I felt really did not belong in my search results. This is one of the only negatives about using these sites. If someone wants to be a menace they can tag their photo to come up in irrelevant searches. Its almost got a bit of an 'honesty box' feel to it, where the organisers of this website are trusting that people will 'do the right thing' and only place their photo's into categories that are relevant. Perhaps there could be more responsibility on the websites creators to monitor this, particularly if we are going to recommend Boldthese websites to our students to use. I have the same feelings regarding Wikipedia. This site actually cautions people about citing it, with particular reference to academic work. It even suggest that some educators will not allow references or citations from Wikipedia. In saying this, I still believe it has it's place in our classrooms. There are many great tools within this site. What I absolutely love about Wikipedia is the links within the text provided. This makes it easy for students to look further into an explanation provided without having to conduct a new search. I find that researching an assessment is quite time consuming, so to be able to have a quick and easy link provided to gain further knowledge is fantastic. Not only does Wikipedia provide these fantastic tools, but it also provides a section called the Village Pump which "is used to discuss the technical issues, policies, and operations of Wikipedia"(Wikipedia, 2009) Within this section, there is a link to provide information on how to properly reference Wikipedia. Proper referencing is a very important part of any assessment, so for students to receive this help is a great plus. All in all, I believe that Wikipedia could certainly be used to help gather information and provides a good start to researching. I would simply inform my students of the cautions that Wikipedia itself provides, and let them decide how they intend to use it. After all, these are all lessons they are meant to learn as part of their academic journey.


A caution before citing Wikipedia, (2009, April 16) In Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved July 29, 2009, from

Flickr, Retrieved July 28, 2009, from

Village Pump, (2009, April 14) In
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved July 29, 2009, from

Online Learning - RSS Aggregators

Online learning and ICT's are certainly opening my eyes to a whole new world that was passing me by. I recently set up what is called an RSS aggregator.
In setting up my own RSS, I found that being a Digital Immigrant meant that these things certainly did not come naturally, however they are simple enough to navigate around, and I am sure with time and practice, any novice could easily become an expert.
RSS - Really Simple Syndication, could help in the classroom in two ways:-
1) It is a simple and effective way for teacher's to monitor student's work 'at a glance' and it is also a great way for student's to keep up with each other in the learning environment. This would certainly help to have peers making a contribution to each others work. I believe that at any age or level of education, most people would feel a certain amount of added pressure to do well if their peers were able to view their work, so this could certainly result in a higher standard of work from students.
2) RSS could be used in a way that could possibly help combat cyber bullying. If teachers and parents all aim to get educated on how to use these Really Simple Syndicators, then they can get more involved in what their students/children are up to on the Web, and ensure that they are using it legitimately and lawfully.

RSS aggregators also give students easy access to further readings. Students can subscribe to educational blogs that their teachers have set out as part of the course curriculum. It is agreed in the report, Effective use of information and communication technology (ICT) to enhance learning for disadvantaged school students, that ICT's "provide access to data bases, websites and discussions that were previously unavailable." ( Blackmore et al, 2003) They are also a way that we can speak our students' language, "Teachers today have to learn to communicate in the language and style of their students" (Prensky, 2001) RSS aggraegators give students these exact opportunities. They can also fulfil the Relate-create-donate component of Kearsley & Shneiderman's Engagement Theory as they:-
"1. occur in a group context
2. are project based
3. have an outside (authentic) focus." (Kearsley & Shneiderman, 1999)
RSS aggregators are an excellent example of how ICT's can benefit and are an integral part of today's classrooms.


Blackmore, J., Hardcastle, L., Esme, B., & Janet, O. (2003). Effective use of information and communication technology to enchance learning for disadvantages students. Commonwealth of Australia. Retreived August 14th, 2009, from

Kearsley, G. & Shneiderman, B. (1999) Engagement Theory: A framework for technology based teaching and learning. Retrieved July 4, 2009, from

Prensky, M. (2001) Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants. Retrieved July 04, 2009, from Natives/DigitalImmigrants/Part1.pdf

Learning Design

Learning Design has been a very interesting module. Presnky's article on Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants has, in my opinion, hit the nail on the head in outlining that there is a gap between our teachers and students these days. As Presnky (2001) states, "today's students think and process information fundamentally differently from their predecessors." If this is the case, then it is imperative that our teachers 'catch up' with our students. Today's teachers can accept that there is a gap, and become Digital Immigrants, or they can continue using the same teaching styles and remain Digitally Ignorant. Prensky(2001) states "Smart adult immigrants accept that they don't know about their new world and take advantage of their kids to help them learn and integrate."
Our course, Manging E-learning, is a course which is set out to try and bridge the gap between our Teachers and Students. It is presenting us with various tools that we can all take with us in our careers as teachers, or any career for that matter, as it is aimed to get us back in touch with the 'e-world' and therefore 'keep up' with our students.
The issue of Cyber safety is a complex one. How do we tackle this issue in our learning environments? I certainly do not have all the answers, but being aware of this issue instead of pretending it does not happen is certainly a start. At this point in time the only way that I can see us tackling this problem is to ensure that the ICT's that our students are using are being monitored correctly. We would certainly need to work with parents on these issues. Aggregators could certainly play a part in this, as it would help teachers monitor what is being written on any Blogs, WIKI's etc that have been tasked to students. As for outside of the classroom, as previously stated, teachers need to try and work with parents. Schools could hold information nights for parents and offer to teach them all about ways that they can monitor and get more involved in their children's Internet use.
This then brings us to the Access and Equity section of our module. Of course there will be families out there that do not have access to the Internet and all it has to offer due to their socio-economic situation.
When asked what I would do with a magic wand to try and fix the problems that face some of our disadvantaged students, my first thought was funding. Its a given that if all schools were allocated the same amount of funding, there would not be these differences and disadvantages. The second is educating. We need to educate the 'powers that be' in how important online learning is for today's students. As spoken about in the Web 2.0Technologies section of our module, with all that the World Wide Web has to offer, for eg. students able to access various volumes of encyclopedia's, books and even the opinion of an overseas university professor, would it not be a more financially viable decision to buy the computers rather then the textbooks? It would not surprise me, if in the not too distant future, the majority of text books are accessed online anyway.

The Engagement Theory was another topic that really interested me. I absolutely agree with the opinions presented in the report 'Engage Me or Enrage Me',(Prensky 2005) however there was one point in this article that did make me ask myself whether we are going too far down the path of making sure that our students are constantly engaged, and missing one key lesson in life. Prensky (2005) says that "In school..rather then being empowered to choose what they want....and to see what interests them....and to create their own personalized identity.....-as they are in the rest of their lives- in school, they must eat what they are served." It is a fact of life, that sometimes, you must just 'eat what you are served'. When discussing the topic of engaging our students, I believe that we still need to be mindful of teaching them the basic respect and discipline that they will need to get through the rest of their lives. There are going to be times when something they are required to do does not fully engage them, but should they then just walk out on it or refuse to participate? There seems to be, in my opinion, a fine line between constantly ensuring our students are engaged, and preparing them for the 'real world'. However, if we do not begin by engaging them, we will not have the opportunity to teach them anything, including respect and discipline.


CQUniversity Australia (2009, T2) FAHE 11001 - Managing E-Learning. Rockhapmton, QLD, Australia: Author.

Prensky, M. (2005) Engage Me or Enrage Me - What today's learners demand. Retrieved July 3, 2009, from

, M. (2001) Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants. Retreived July 3, 2009, from - Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants - Part1.pdf

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Welcome to My Blog

Hi There,
Welcome to my blog. I hope I get the hang of this soon, as at the moment it all seems very confusing, but I am looking forward to learning as I go.