Monday, September 14, 2009

Digital Storytelling

Digital story telling improves the effectiveness of storytelling by incorporating valuable technical skills, high levels of student engagement, expanding the audience for student stories and enhancing critical thinking, expository writing and media literacy skills in students (Ohler, 2006). An example of it could implemented into a unit on bullying. Following is a small segment of a unit that (it has been made for year 7 students) has been designed around the Engagement Theory by Kearsley and Shneiderman (1998).

Have the principle present in the class (hook to the unit). Show learners a variety of recent media articles on the horrific, and inclining amount of bullying and fights in schools, with the most recent, the death of a year 9 boy in New South Wales. As bullying is a large problem at the school these learners are currently at, have the principle state that similar cases have been happening within their school and he is relying on them to help him prevent this behaviour. This specifically fits into the RELATE component of the Learning Engagement Theory.

Learners would then be divided into small groups of three (learning collaboratively), and given a scenario which they were to portray and deal with through a digital story whilst incorporating feeling and emotion in the audience, and putting across the important message intended (CREATE). In this they may use photos, music and text; however, they must keep it effective and engaging to the audience. These will be shown, one per week, on assembly as a means to stop bullying in the school. This fulfils the DONATE aspect of the Engagement Theory.


Reference List

Kearsley, G., & Shneiderman, B. (1998). Engagement Theory:A framework for technology-based teaching and learning. Retrieved September 1, 2009 from

Ohler, J. (2006). Educational Leadership. The World of Digital Storytelling, 63(4) 44-47. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development: Virginia.

Student Centred Technologies: Blogs

Given that a class was available to participate in a learning experience involving blogs, I would divide learners into small groups and then have them set up a blog in which they would be required to use for many, if not all science experiments.
The unit that this blog idea would be based around is from the essential learning, Life and Living; specifically about how fungi grows (science experiement). Learners would first brainstorm about where fungi grows, and ask questions detailing what they would like to learn more about. Declarative and procedural knowledge would be built. Groups will then do an experiment trying to grow their own fungi. Each group will keep their experiment in a different environment or use a different food, and the variations will be used to help make predictions about which one may grow fungi faster and why.

Click here to see the science experiment.

Each group will take a photo of their experiment, and post it to their blog. Along with this they will record the purpose of the experiment, and their predictions. Each day, the learners will (as a group) be required to take a photo, and blog any changes made to the experiment and a possible justification. Included in this will be variations such as weather changes (e.g. perhaps a very humid day excelled the growth of the fungi)and the type of fungi (s) they think may be growing.

Learners must also read and comment on other groups blogs, posting their thoughts and predictions to cohorts pages.


Fogel, R. (1999). The Mushroom Club: Try Growing Your Own Molds in a Moist Chamber!!! Retrieved September 1, 2009 from

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Reflective Synopsis

Technology; the future of education.

In the last two decades, technology has restructured the way humans live, communicate, and learn (Siemen, 2004). Therefore, it is the responsibility of today’s teachers to produce learners which will be able to subsist in the global information-based economy that is emerging (Brand, 1997). This means that not only is the integration of technology fundamental to achieve this, but also means that teachers must know how to effectively integrate these technologies into their classrooms (Brand, 1997). CQUniversity has recognised both the urgency and significance of this education need in teachers by making the Managing eLearning subject a compulsory part of the Bachelor of Learning Management course.

During this subject, a variety of technologies were investigated and analysed using specific frameworks and learning theories to gain an insight into their effectiveness when using them as an educational tool in teaching. The entire list of technologies investigated all resulted in being beneficial to help learners achieve outcomes and each promoted different types of learning. Although some technologies may have wider uses across Key Learning Areas, each technology analysed proved that they are capable of and have to potential to facilitate highly engaging, collaborative, meaningful, authentic tasks that promote deep learning.

In addition to this, the concept of Connectivism was explored through the requirement of having to actively participate in online discussions and forums, and read and comment colleagues’ blogs. This resulted in students having to network with, rely on and learn from these connections being made with other students who also attended CQUniversity campus’s in various locations across Australia (Siemen, 2004). The following are technologies which will be incorporated into future learning experiences due to their effective, fun and engaging nature.

Google Earth

Vokis have the potential to make teaching more efficient and enhance student learning by acting as the initial ‘hook’ to begin the learning process. Through putting Vokis into role play of a specific character, an authentic feel is given to learning tasks. This is beneficial to learners as learning is enhanced when the task has a degree of authenticity to it (Herrington, Oliver & Reeves, 2002). Another technology which has to the potential to facilitate authentic learning experiences is Google Earth.

Google Earth has such a versatile nature; it can be used across various Key Learning Areas and is fun and engaging. Google Earth could be used as the centre for many learning activities, including maths (longitude and latitude co-ordinates), science, SOSE and technology. This educational tool would also enhance learning in students through its authenticity (Herrington, Oliver & Reeves, 2002).

YouTube is a technology that all students love; perhaps not as an educational tool, but as a fun website to go on to research anything of desire. A sample of the benefits of using YouTube in the classroom is enhanced learning outcomes through high engagement levels and enriched and more productive learning environments (Burke, Snyder & Rager, 2009). In addition to this technology is the WebQuest; it too significantly enhances learning in the classroom and can be used across a variety of Key Learning Areas.

WebQuests are fun educational tools which facilitate engaging learning experiences across almost any Key Learning Area. They enhance learning by inspiring critical thinking in learners and are seen as a powerful new tool in the education industry (Vidoni & Madduz, 2002). They also have the ability to facilitate comprehensive learning experiences that promote higher order thinking (Zeng, et al., 2004).

Technological development generally means change and it happens everyday (McCain & Jukes, n.d.); the implications that this has on educators of now and the future is that there is a need for flexibility and life long learning. After all, it is the responsibility of today’s teachers to produce learners which will be able to subsist in the global information-based economy that is emerging (Brand, 1997).

Reference List

Brand, G, A. (1997). Journal of Staff Development, 19(1). Retrieved August 20, 2009 from

Burke, S, C., Snyder, S., & Rager, R, C. (2009). The Internet Journal of Allied Health Sciences and Practice: An Assessment of Faculty Usage of YouTube as a Teaching Resource, 7(1). Retrieved August 20, 2009 from

Herrington, J., Oliver, R., & Reeves, T, C. (2002). Patterns of Engagement in Authentic Online Learning Environments. Retrieved August 20, 2009 from

McCain, T,D, E., & Jukes, I. (n.d.). Windows on the future: education in the age of technology. Retrieved August 20, 2009 from

Siemen, G. (2004). Connectivsm: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age. Retrieved August 20, 2009 from

Vidoni, K, L., & Maddux, C, D. (2002). Computers in the schools: WebQuests- Can They Be Used to Improve Critical Thinking Skills in Students? 19(1) 101-107. Nevada:USA

Zheng, R., Stucky, B., McAlack, M., Menchana, M., & Stoddart, S. (2004). WebQuest learning as perceived by higher-education learners, 49(4). Retrieved August 20, 2009 from

Voice Thread

Through spending much time thinking about what the point of Voice Thread is, I have come to the conclusion that it is actually a fantastic collaborative learning tool! I was quite unsure about what to put up there so I uploaded a random photo with quite bad balance. In doing this I hope to generate a conversation around the technical components, as such, of the photo.

Voice Thread could also be used in the classroom not only to generate collaborative learning about a certain topic, but also to enhance learner’s skills around computer technology through, for example, using a telephone to make a comment on Voice Thread.

This type of learning would conform to the constructivist learning theory through learners interpreting the picture(s) based on their own prior experiences, mental structures and beliefs (Steinmetz & Nahrstedt, n.d.).


Reference List

Steinmetz, R., & Nahrstedt, K. (n.d.). Multimedia Applications. Retrieved August 20, 2009 from


This quiz site is great- conducting quizzes on the computer would be near impossible without technologies like this, it is fantastic. The context I have used this technology in is as follows.

The unit I am currently doing with my learners is on dinosaurs and some of the declarative learning outcomes need a simple form of assessment; this technology is the answer to my dilemma! Simple outcomes such as knowing why dinosaurs are extinct and different random but important dinosaur-facts have been tested through this quiz. Click here to take it.

Online quizzes in education assist with catering to every learners needs through being available 24 hours a day; this means that learners can take the quiz when they feel they have the content knowledge and are ready to take it. This gives them the freedom to control their learning (Quinn & Reid, 2003).


Reference List

Quinn, D., & Reid, I. (2003). Using innovative online quizzes to assist learning. Retrieved August 20, 2009 from

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Incomptech is a good teaching resource as it enables you to have music of some sort on in the classroom without worrying about royalties and legalities; after all, those are worries a teacher in action simply does not need! The piece of music I just downloaded from Incomptech is called Dances and Dames by Kevin Macleod. The genre of it is Jazz. It is slow and mysterious with many different musical instruments.

I would use a piece of music like this in my classroom in KLA: Music. I have chosen this due to the use of instruments in the song. The learning experience involves the learners sitting in a circle with a different musical instrument each. I will then give each learner 15 seconds to have a turn at playing their instrument and the class must listen carefully to the sound it makes. Once each learner has had a go at this, they will listen to the piece and try to identify the instruments used within it. Learners will then play their instruments again, listen to the music piece again and further discuss the types of instruments they can hear in the piece, including those which will not be in the circle, e.g. drum set and piano.

This lesson would be extremely engaging and effective as the learners would be involved in a direct, purposeful learning experience thanks to its hands-on nature (ACU Adams Centre for Teaching Excellence, 2000).


Reference List

Abeline Christian University Adam Centre for Teaching Excellence. (2000). Learning Pyramid (learning retention). Retrieved August 19, 2009 from


Mediafire; what a useful technology! The content uploaded onto here can be accessed from any computer at any time; this means no more relying on USB sticks (that can break and get lost) and e-mails (easy to accidentally type the wrong e-mail address in, or have the attachment not open!). The following are examples of various Mediafire uses in an educational context.

The teacher may use Mediafire to back up important information such as report cards and learning portfolios. This means they are safe and can be edited from any computer at any time. Teachers may also use Mediafire as a way to transport documents to and from school (work sheets, homework etc.). Learners may use Mediafire to upload their homework onto rather then, or as well as, relying on email or USB. Mediafire could also be used as a collaborative education tool; if learners were doing a PowerPoint (for example) in group work, they could each have the same login and password, and simply load it back onto Mediafire once they have edited their part of the presentation.

The file I have uploaded is an LEP template; something I believe is worthwhile being able to access from any computer at anytime as a BLM student.

Comments are welcome.



Here is a list of resources which won’t support the learning in my webquest, as this WebQuest is technology based- however, these pages should assist with ‘sparking’ entertainment ideas.

Future Entertainment
Queen Elizabeth Youth Centre
National Youth Centre

These are just an example to get them thinking. Wikipedia is available to all learners at all times both in school and on computers outside of school. Wikipedia is a fantastic tool to give a rounded, ‘in-a-nut-shell’ description/explanation of something without all the technical terms. It has been difficult to use the Wikipedia as an educational tool in this context as it is not really suited. Wikipedia would be a great educational tool when completing other WebQuests, for example, ones based around KLA: SOSE.

Comments are welcome.



WebQuests are a fantastic teaching tool, especially for KLA: SOSE where inquiry methods are used. They are engaging and can facilitate deep learning experiences using high-level thinking and problem solving skills (Russell, et al., 2008). Additionally, learner’s information technology and information literacy skills are also improved when completing a WebQuest (Russell, et al., 2008).

The implication that teachers may face when using this technology in their classrooms is reaching a number of KLA’s through the one learning experience. Another implication teachers may face is having enough computers for all learners to be on the computer at once. WebQuests differ to that of the traditional approach to teaching in various ways; using a webquest to complete a SOSE unit is completely opposite to the traditional ways of teaching in the fact that there is no library or text book necessary to complete it. Using a WebQuest to complete a technology activity is also different to the traditional teaching way in the fact that technology can often be seen as the construction of an object and the process which goes with it. A WebQuest can be used here to create a model on the computer along with the relevant documentation required.

Click here to see my WebQuest. It has been designed for learners in year 9.

This WebQuest has been designed in accordance with the Engagement Theory framework. It’s purpose is to engage the learners in a meaningful experiences that relates to them and their friends on a personal level of interest (Kearsley & Shneiderman, 1998). It has authentic links to the real world through news paper articles on the ‘problem’, making the learning experience more real. This task is also similar to that of a constructivist approach in the way that it has a meaningful, authentic touch to it (Kearsley & Shneiderman, 1998). Additionally, this WebQuest has been designed for groups of three (collaborative learning), are project-based and have an authentic/outside focus; the three primary factors that accomplish engagement (Kearsley & Shneiderman, 1998).


Reference list

Kearsley, G., & Sheiderman, B. (1998). Engagement Theory: A framework for technology-based teaching and learning. Retrieved August 13, 2009 from

Russell, C,K., Burchum, J,R., Likes, W,M., Jacob, S., Graff, J,C., Driscoll, C., Britt, T., Adymy, C., & Cowan, P. (2008) Webquests: creating engaging, student-centred, constructivist learning experiences, 26(2):78-87. Retrieved August 19, 2009 from


SlideShare is a technology used to upload PowerPoints onto the internet which also enables sound/voice overs to sound as the PowerPoint is played; this is called a SlideCast. I believe that this technology is great in circumstances where a PowerPoint presentation is a necessary tool to deliver the content needed; however, creating, uploading, adding a voice over to and embedding a presentation in a blog can be a lengthy process. This brings me to the thought that unless the tool will have significant benefits to the learner’s learning, it may be an activity which time could have been better spent elsewhere. The following is an example where using the SlideShare/SlideCast technology could be extremely useful.

During an art, science experiment or cooking class, a SlideCast could be used to demonstrate, with both visual and audio cues, how to do something. Take a visual art lesson for example; the class of learners may be drawing the same picture (individually) and need step-by-step instructions. The SlideCast technology could assist learning here by providing a picture of the next step (teacher could take photos of her/his own picture as a new part was added), and a voice over explaining exactly how to do the next step. This would allow the teacher to spend more time going around and assisting the learners, as the teacher would not have to draw their picture and manage the class at the same time.

Through closer analysis of this technology using the Learning Pyramid, using this as a general tool has only a 20% learning retention rate. However, when using it in the same context as above, the learning retention rate is increased to approximately 75% (Abeline Christian University ACU Adams Centre for Teaching Excellence, 2000). This, according to Siedman, is significant as retention in education is now more important then ever due to the increase of importance in higher education down the line (Siedman, 2005).


Reference List

Abeline Christian University Adam Centre for Teaching Excellence. (2000). Learning Pyramid (learning retention). Retrieved August 19, 2009 from

Seidman, A. (2005). College Student Retention: Formula for Student Success. Westport, CT: American Council on Education.



Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Google Earth

Google Earth is a fantastic tool, especially for educational purposes. Using Google Earth facilitates the opportunity for students to participate in authentic learning experiences as they are able to see the world as if they themselves are in the chosen location (Marzano, et al., 1997). This technology could be used in several ways in the classroom, the following is simply one of the various ways Google Earth could be used in the classroom.

In groups of three, learners will receive a secret envelope with a longitude and latitude measurement. They are to find this location, take a picture of it and paste it into Microsoft Word. They must then record the location next to the picture and the weather. They are to then use Google to research the location, and create a paragraph of interesting facts about that location. Each group will then present their location to the class.

This technology, Google Earth, is compatible with Kearsley and Shneiderman’s Engagement Theory due to its engaging, authentic, and in this case, collaborative nature (Kearsley & Shneiderman, 1998). Although this specific activity is not meaningful to someone outside the classroom, it is meaningful to learners inside the classroom as learners are required to donate their findings to their class. This increases the compatibility of Google Earth with the Engagement Theory (Kearsley & Shneiderman, 1998).


Reference List

Kearsley, G., & Sheiderman, B. (1998). Engagement Theory: A framework for technology-based teaching and learning. Retrieved August 13, 2009 from

Marzano, R, J., Pickering, D, J., Arredondo, D, E., Blackburn, G, J., Brandt, R, S., Moffett, C, A., Paynter, D, E., Pollock, J, E., & Whisler, J, S. (1997). Dimensions of Learning Teachers Manual (2nd ed.). Victoria, Australia: Hawker Brownlow Education.


Podcasts are audio or video digital media files that are released in episodes. They are downloaded through a web syndication using iTunes, Zune, Juice or Winamp. These have access to a centralised web feed which they use to automatically download any newly released podcasts which the user is subscribed to. This means that in an educational context, the following uses of podcasts would be extremely useful:

- Lecture notes; this would enable learners to listen to everything the lecturer is saying, rather then screening what they are saying and missing out on a lot of important content due to writing the last thing they said.
- To facilitate highly motivated or gifted learners with the chance to gain extra content.
- Facilitate the opportunity for guest speakers to have a ‘guest speak’ from somewhere else in the world.
- To allow for larger distribution of a guest talk to learners and the opportunity to watch it more than once.
- Homework

(Norman, 2004)

The podcast that I have downloaded is from the Hooked on Phonics series- “The O Song Kindergarten”. It is fun, it is catchy and it has great motion pictures that go with it. Whilst learners are learning about the letter O in words during school, why not send it home with them to watch and listen to on their ipods? After all, learning should never simply be confined to the classroom, a whiteboard and a marker (Moodle, 2009). Additionally, using a podcast in this context conforms to the multimodal learning instruction by catering to more learner-needs as a result of being able to watch, listen to and learn from the podcast anywhere, at any given time (Stansbury, n.d.). It also conforms to a multimodal form of learning through the use of technology. However, with the good must come the bad; access and equity. Technology access is fundamental to learning through podcasts and unfortunately, the learners without access to computers, ipods or internet outside of school will be severely disadvantaged by this. After all, education cannot exist when it is only available to a sample of students (Spender & Stewart 2002).


Reference List

Moodle. (2009). The Big Picture: Conceptual ICT Learning Design. Retrieved August 13, 2009 from

Norman, D. (2004). Podcasting for Education. Retrieved August 13, 2009 from

Spender, D., & Strewart, F. (2002). Embracing e-Learning in Australian Schools. Retrieved August 13, 2009 from

Stansbury, M. (n.d.). Analysis: How multimedia can improve learning. Retrieved August 13, 2009 from

YouTube & TeacherTube

YouTube and TeacherTube are websites which have videos on them that have been uploaded by members of the two sites. Anyone can be a member and upload a video onto these sites and the uploading process is quite simple. However, the two are different in the fact that YouTube has many types of videos on it, including potentially dangerous or harmful footage for children. TeacherTube, on the other hand is a useful educational resource for teachers as it has been created to assist with educating learners about a topic in a fun and interactive way. The video I have chosen has been made about multiplication; specifically nine-times-tables.

9 Multiplication Tables HipHop Music Video

Shared via AddThis

This video is fun, entertaining and age appropriate. Musically, hip-hop is extremely popular amongst learners from middle school upwards and are likely to therefore be engaged by this music clip. Although short videos can be used for many educational uses in the classroom, this one has been chosen primarily as a ‘hook’ due to its fun and entertaining nature; I believe it would engage all learners instantly. Once the nine-times-tables have been introduced by this clip, I would then begin the body of my maths lesson.

For the use of an educational video in this context, the Dimensions of Learning Manual is the chosen framework for the analysis of this technology. Learning is enhanced when it is appealing, cool, engaging and fun (Wolfe and Carroll, 2003), and using videos in education which encompass all of the above qualities is likely to result in just that; an engaged class. By facilitating quality hooks in lessons, learners attitudes and perceptions towards the task are also likely to be positively altered allowing for more effective learning to occur (Marzano, et al., 1997).


Reference List

Marzano, R, J., Pickering, D, J., Arredondo, D, E., Blackburn, G, J., Brandt, R, S., Moffett, C, A., Paynter, D, E., Pollock, J, E., & Whisler, J, S. (1997). Dimensions of Learning Teachers Manual (2nd ed.). Victoria, Australia: Hawker Brownlow Education.

Wolfe, K., & Caroll, J, B. (2003). Ideas at Work. Hooks and Anchors in Youth Development Program Delivery, (41)4

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


picnikfile_UGxtWd, originally uploaded by nicole__rachel.

Picnik is a wonderful resource and could be a great educational tool, especially for high-school learners in a visual art or photography class. Through analysing this application with the Abraham Maslow Hierarchy of Needs framework, it can be seen that the Picnik application fits into education under the ‘Self-Actualisation’ aspect of the learning theory. This is evident in the following idea of a possible use in a visual art context.

Learners are to attain a photo, and represent it in as many ways as possible using Picnik (premium) as the editing tool. Learners could then justify their editing to each photo and discuss how what they did represents the chosen ‘spin’ on each copy of the photo. This would be a fun, creative activity that I’m sure all learners would highly enjoy participating in.

This form of learning experience gives learners the chance to be both creative and to fulfil their inner talent (given that their inner talent was visual art of some form- this is simply an example). This conforms to the Self-Actualisation need through facilitating opportunity for the development of visual-art ability within learners (Kunc, 1992).

Above: The photo above is of my friend and I. It is simply an example of what I did on Picnik, not of the suggested educational use for the application.


Reference List

Kunc, N. (1992). The Need to Belong: Rediscovering Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Retrieved August 12, 2009 from


Sarah, originally uploaded by nicole__rachel.

As an avid user of Facebook, learning how to use Flickr was extremely easy as the uploading process is very similar to Facebook. The photo above is of a friend/colleague of mine, Sarah (gorgeous isn’t she!). This technology probably would not be seen as an ‘education tool’ as such, but could definitely be used to make life easier when tasks involve photos and/or videos in the classroom. Learners could simply upload their photo’s onto Flickr which they need to use at school rather than relying on a USB or email. Additionally, teachers could post photos of excursions and events onto Flickr for learners to show their families and friends outside of school.


Mahara and PowerPoint


Mahara is a social networking application, but is also an ePortfolio. Mahara can be used to blog, store data and content and may also facilitate learning experiences through it having sections where one’s view of a topic can be posted onto their profile (if the user allows it). This could be used to generate educational discussions online. A major advantage of this technology is that like other blogging sites, Mahara has RSS feeds and therefore, in this scenario where it could be used as an educational tool, learners wouldn’t have to search for the page they were commenting on all over again.


The purpose of the PowerPoint I have made is to educate learners on the famous Frilled-Neck Lizard. The colours used in it are bright, there’s movement, the photo’s and words have been kept to a minimal. I tried to imbed it in this blog, but it didn't work.

However, in the analysis of this technology being used as an educational tool (using framework: Dale’s Cone), it was discovered that the PowerPoint technology did not facilitate a large amount of active learning. In fact, verbal symbols, visual symbols and still pictures were rated as the least effective type of learning on Dale’s Cone of active learning. Given that PowerPoint is the most prevalent form of technology found in classrooms (Young, 2004), perhaps educators might benefit from looking elsewhere for interactive, engaging ways of delivering content with technology.

Additionally, students of a university have reported that overhead projectors and chalkboards are much more engaging than a PowerPoint because there is movement in the classroom, they can be drawn on (which adds a higher degree of interaction) and the lights are on, making it easier to stay awake during a class (Young, 2004).


Reference List

Young, J, R. (2004). When Good Technology Means Bad Teaching. The Chronicle of Higher Education: Information Technology, 51(12), 21.

Sunday, August 2, 2009


Voki’s are a fun tool. They are quick and easy to make, and are also easy to use. They may also be used in many situations, such as the introductory or conclusion to a topic or even a voice welcoming somebody onto a website.

Educational uses for Voki’s are many and varied. They can be used with younger kids who can use computers, but cannot yet read. Similarly, they may also be used with older learners who have difficulties with reading. Additionally, some people are using Voki’s to teach learners another language. Another Voki possibility is using it to be the ‘hook’ of a lesson. An example of this is as follows.

As part of a KLA: Technology assignment, learners could be required to have some sort of mission, eg. create a new entertainment venue for youth on the Sunshine Coast. All learners would know Bob Abbot is the Sunshine Coast’s Mayor; therefore, the Voki in this is a character playing the role of Bob Abbot; he is telling them their mission. They are his employees at the council and he is their boss; he is being used as the initial form of engagement for the learners. Upon finishing this assignment, learners may then, if they like, send their idea to Bob Abbot.

This is obviously just an idea, however, the point being put across is that Voki’s can be used to create ‘authentic’ and ‘real’ learning experiences. The learning experience that I have specifically created here conforms to the engagement learning theory. In my opinion, the majority of educational experiences involving Voki’s will follow along the lines of the engagement theory as they are used to a humanly element to tasks (Dyer, n.d.). The element of ‘fun’ that Voki’s add to projects may help to intrinsically motivate learners to participate in learning experiences as a result of the authentic nature of the task and the learning environment (Kearsely & Shneiderman, n.d.).



Dyer, A, K. (n.d.) Voki- Avators in Education. Retrieved August 3, 2009 from

Kearsely, G., & Shneiderman, B. (n.d.). Engagement Theory: A framework for technology-based teaching and learning. Retrieved August 3, 2009 from

RS.. what??

When I first began this course, I hadn’t of ever heard of an RSS nor did I know what the abbreviation stood for- which I now know is a Really Simple Syndication (RSS). However, upon learning about this application it is easy to see why so many people take full advantage of it- what a great way to send out homework!! An example of how this application could be used in a classroom context is as follows.

Being up-to-date with world news is important and learning about daily news in the classroom as an English/SOSE activity can be made quick and easy by subscribing to world or local news through an RSS feed. Learners’ could have a Google reader account whereby each morning, in small groups, learners choose a news article to read, learn about and remember. The small groups then represent this information to the class, educating their cohort of the event. This keeps learners up-to-date, builds on public speaking skills and does so extremely fast thanks to RSS feeds!

An additional way to use an RSS feed is during an assignment in which learners can subscribe to sites which contain content of significance to them and allows them to keep updated effectively and efficiently. Or, in terms of keeping updated with regard to an assignment, learners can subscribe to a feed relating to assignment criteria and alterations to task e.g. due date etc.

This technology (RSS) can be analysed using a variety of frameworks, however, the classroom-idea suggested involves collaboration and therefore a constructivist approach will be utilised as the framework in analysing RSS feeds as an education tool. RSS feeds also have a strong social and community foundation (Duffy, & Bruns, 2006). This is because RSS feeds permit syndication of content to thousands of people around the world, expanding much further than the initial publication location (Duffy & Bruns, 2006). Evidently, this application is easily classified into that of the ‘social learning’ theories; constructivism being one of these (Duffy & Bruns, 2006).


Reference List

Duffy, P. & Bruns, A. (2006). The Use of Blogs, Wikis and RSS in Education: A Conversation of Possibilities. Retrieved August 3, 2009 from

WIKIs- a fantastic technology for education

The WIKI technology is fantastic. It can be read and edited by any person, at any time, anywhere in the world. Many creative projects, assignments and class tasks can be facilitated using the WIKI technology. A sample of projects/assignments which could be used in the classroom are as follows:

The first task is based on KLA: English. The cohort could be divided into pairs, or groups of three. They may then be required to write a creative story, or research a specific topic/person/question. Once the learners have finished, another group is to edit it (as a group) fixing up errors and omissions, and adding any additional information they felt was relevant to the WIKI. Each group will go through this process with their WIKIs. This could also be done using a script; each group has a scene which they are to write collaboratively. The same editing process could be used, resulting in a collaboratively written script.

The WIKI technology, in an educational context, is an effective tool when using the constructivist approach to learning as collaboration is required in most tasks (Notari, n.d.). In further analysis of this technology form, it can be seen that WIKIs can be used to aid one in constructing the meaning generated from the content on a WIKI through personalised, easy-to-read knowledge bases (Jonassen, Peck and Wilson, 1999). WIKIs also conform to the Constructivist theory though the learner’s active role in their own construction of knowledge (Boulos, Mamaba and Wheeler, 2006).

Overall, a WIKI encompasses easy participation, generally reliable content on a small or large (even universal) scale, broadened access to information within a topic/subject, social interaction and collaborative progression and growth over time which can be used to build on knowledge for continuos learning (Schwartz, Clark, Cossarin, & Rudolph, 2004).


Reference List

Boulos, M.N.K., Maramba, I., & Wheeler, S. (2006). Wikis, blogs and podcasts: A new generation of Webbased tools for virtual collaborative clinical practice and education. Retrieved August 3, 2009 from

Jonassen, D.H., Peck, K.L., & Wilson, B.G. (1999). Learning with technology: A constructivist perspective. Columbus, OH: Prentice Hall

Notari, M. (n.d.) How to Use a Wiki in Education: ‘Wiki based Effective Constructive Learning’. Retrieved August 3, 2009 from

Schwartz, L., Clark, S., Cossarin, M. & Rudolph, J. (2004). Educational wikis: Features and selection criteria. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning. Retrieved August 3,
2009 from

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

My experiences and what I have done (so far)..

Wow.. I have learnt so much from this course- Google has so many useful applications!

As a 'digital native' I had heard of podcasts but had no real idea as to what they were or why they exist- this was also similar with blogs and wiki's. Before this, my understanding of a 'wiki' was limited to wikipedia- an information resource which was not deemed reliable or accurate and therefore could not be used as a reference in an assignment (Bolous, Maramba & Wheeler, 2006); this meant I didn't want anything to do with them.

However, through doing the Managing e.Learning course, I have learnt that these applications can be used as educational tools that have the potential to enhance learner-teacher and learner-learner interaction (Bonk & King, 1998). Other educators also believe that electronic learning environments can be used as a tool to enhance collaborative learning as many of the applications require group interaction (Harasim, 1990).

As this activity requires you to discuss what you have done and your experiences, it leaves me with little to say as the only experiences I have had with RSS, podcasts, wiki's and blogs is what I have learnt and done on here in the last five minutes. However, in these last five minutes my learnings have been valuable; when used effectively, blogs, podcasts and wiki's have the potential to dramatically enhance students' learning experiences by increased engagement levels and collaboration in an electronic learning environment (Bolous, Maramba & Wheeler, 2006).



Bonk, C, J. & King, K, S. (1998). Electronic Collaborators: Learner-Centered Technologies for Literacy, Apprenticeship, and Discourse. Retrieved July 30, 2009 from,+Apprenticeship,+and+Discourse&lr=

Boulos, M, N, K., Maramba, I. & Wheeler, S. (2006). Wikis, blogs and podcasts: a new generation of Web-based tools for virtual collaborative clinical practice and education. Retrieved July 30, 2009 from

Harasim, L, M. (1990). Online Education. Retrieved July 30, 2009 from,+Apprenticeship,+and+Discourse&lr=

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Active Learning

Active Learning – Week 2
Activity 1

These are the results achieved from the Learning with Technology Quiz. Through current practice, it has been observed that collaboration, rather than individual practice, is the preferred form of grouping when doing tasks. This is a positive aspect of the current instructional design as it increases student motivation to learn (Kearsley & Shneiderman, n.d.). Although computer and mobile access is readily available in the room, learners generally collaborate through face-to-face contact whilst at school rather than through blogs, or popular socialising sites such as Facebook or Myspace. In this digital age, however, promoting collaboration through technological forms is positively associated with interactive learning (Kearsley & Shneiderman, n.d.). This is something which should definitely be promoted in future instructional designs.

Activity 2
SOSE (uni)- 3

SCIENCE (uni)- 6

MATHS (uni)- 8

ENGLISH (uni)-6

ENGLISH (high school)- 4

HOSPITALITY (high school)- 8

MATHS (high school)-3

HEALTH (uni)- 5

Total Score- 5.375

This is my score for my overall learning experiences in according with Dale’s Cone (learning effectiveness). According to the ratings I have just escaped being ‘unlucky’ in learning, but certainly do not reach where learning experiences are supposed to be in terms of interactive learning. Despite a sample of learning experiences rating 7 or higher, I would strongly agree with this rating overall; the bad certainly outnumber the good.

Activity 3
According to this quiz, I am an active learner and although I have never noticed; it is so true that I learn a whole lot more when my class mates discuss their interpretations of the task/content together in small groups! I find it very effective.
I definitely am a sensing learner! I hate learning about things that have no connection to the real world and I know that’s a bad thing, but I cannot help but think it’s meaningless. I am a perfectionist and analyse every detail when I am working something out; this also conforms to the sensing learner type definition.
The tip for verbal learners was good- I already do this for myself all the time anyway!
And once again, the quiz was right with the sequential learning- I need step-by-step instructions otherwise my mind is unorganised and I get really frustrated!
This quiz taught me things about myself that I sort of knew, but didn’t if that makes sense? It was a really good quiz- knows me better then I know myself!

Hello Everybody :)

Hi my name is Nicole Miller. I am 19, I live in Noosa and this is my E-learning blog! :)

I'm pretty unsure about this whole 'blogging' thing despite being an avid user of facebook. This is my first time on Blogger and I have created this blog specifically for the Managing E-learning course. Soon I will be posting activity one on here and look forward to talking to you all about the topic content on here :)

Thanks- Nic.