Thursday, August 20, 2009

Reflective Synopsis

Throughout this unit of work, I have had many near-break downs, many happy moments, and a whole lot of learning. I think I will be able to walk away from this course at the end of the term happy that I have achieved my goals - to have added something to the list of things I can do.

I believe that all of the tasks we were given for this assessment can be utilised effectively in the classroom. From simple tasks such as image manipulation to the more complicated like pod casting and google earth, teachers can engage their learners on a whole other level with this sort of technology. Sure some of the tasks we were given were quite tedious, such as PowerPoint's and web quests, but the majority of the tasks were easy to understand. And best of all, they were all free, which doesn't put the teacher (or student) out of pocket.

The world around us is constantly changing, and if we wish to continue to grow and learn, we need to evolve with it. Every day new things are created that will make our lives 'easier'(but are also sometimes just a complete headache), and we are the generation that will be creating more and more of these objects, to help the everyday person. These types of tasks will be the next phase of our lives, and we need to begin to utilise these resources, and grow.

As with everything, there is always drawbacks. The major drawback with this kind of technology, is that availability that it is to our students. When they are at school, the majority of schools have adequate computer facilities, but what about when they are at home? Many homes do not have computers, and if they do, some do not have an Internet connection. Not all families can afford these types of luxuries, and yes, they are a luxury. Also, not every person has an iPod. They are extremely common, but not many 10 year old children have one (well I certainly know I did not have one, but then again, they weren't really out then, and that was only 9 years ago!). We need to take into consideration the different learners we have in our classroom, and also our resources. If you are teaching at a school that has minimal computers, and a very limited Internet connection, you are not going to be able to complete a lot of the tasks that we have been lucky enough to complete for the past 6 weeks. We need to cater to not only our learners' needs, but also the materials and resources we have within our own reach.

Although there is this drawback, the biggest benefit that I can gather from this material, is the impact on our carbon footprint these kind of activities have. Using solely the Internet, we almost completely eliminate any use of paper. This is something that will probably come in handy to us in years to come.

And always remember:

Stop having fun, this is meant to be educational.
Until next time,

Podcasting & Google Earth

Even though it took me a bit of time to finally get around to completing these two activities, I have now done them, and how many possibilities there could be to use them in the classroom!

They are both an excellent little tool to have handy to you. Firstly, Google Earth. This tool could be great if you were teaching your students about geography or sea beds, or something along those lines. Using google earth would actually get the learner to become interactive with the information they are learning about. This would benefit the hands-on learner as well.

With podcasting you would be able to utilise this program as well with regards to teaching lessons. I have not gone too in-depth with the podcasting, as it still confuses me quite a bit, but if there is a way to add your own video onto the website (which I'm sure there is), you could quite easily create your own little carry around lesson for your students. If any student was ever away, or did not fully understand what was taught throughout the lesson, and require some further help, simply by posting your podcast onto the website, you have a video that they can access 24/7.

Obviously, the limitations with these programs are still there. For example, if your school only has a very limited access to the Internet, google earth is something that may not be available to you. Also, the students within your classroom may not have access to tools such as the Internet and an i-pod when they are at home, therefore completely eliminating the option of a podcast.

With all great inventions, there are obviously limitations. If you can look past these limitations and maybe work out an alternative for your learners, these two programs can be utilised effectively within the classroom, if you wish.

Voice Thread

Wasn't this a brilliant idea someone had! I honestly had no idea that we had that kind of technology available to us to use every day, FOR FREE!!!!! Here is the link for the quick little voice thread I made. This could be used so well in the classroom. For example, if you were to take a class for SOSE and you were doing a unit on poverty, or something along those lines, you could easily throw together a few photo's of children/adults living in poverty and let all of the students see the photo's together, using the Internet.

Also, another way you could utilise this technology, would be if you were doing distance education. Once a week, or something along those lines, you could arrange for the student to have a class with you over the Internet.

The possibilities are endless with this kind of technology. It's all at your finger tips and it's all ready for you to use, you just have to get around to using it.


Downloading music is an extremely common occurrence in this day and age. My youngest sister is 12 and she knows how to download music (she even showed me how to do it, and I'm only 19!). Because almost every man and his dog knows how to utilise this tool, people (especially the younger generation, who will be growing up with this surrounding them) need to understand that music does have copyright issues, and that we need to abide by these, and to not break the law'.

Having a website such as Incompetech is a great idea, as it gives people an understanding of what music they can download without breaking any rules.

I downloaded a song and it was extremely easy to complete, I had absolutely no problems at all. Knowing that this kind of website is so easily accessible to the majority of people is a great thing. When teaching children about breaking the rules, or even about being safe when using the Internet, using this kind of website would be a great idea to introduce them to copyright laws, etc.

File Storage

Here is the URL for the link that I posted. I have only just purchased a new computer, and I have not yet got around to putting all of my old files onto this one, so I don't actually have anything very interesting to share. The only other file I have on here (besides Uni stuff) was a recipe for a lemon cheesecake, so I thought I would share it :)
I think file storage would be an excellent idea for teachers to use in the classroom, and even amongst teachers. You could utilise it amongst teachers if you had some information that another teacher wanted, or there was a letter you wanted sent out to everyone, and instead of creating a large carbon footprint, you could just put it on the Internet and give everyone the website to get it from. This would be a great little tool to have access to.
Using it within the classroom would also be beneficial. If, for example, a student was absent for the week from class, instead of giving them a big pile of paper to catch up on, you could save it all to one document, and give them the URL to find it from. This would, yet again, impact on your carbon footprint, and simply make it a lot easier for the student to gain access to the information they require.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


"Wikipedia is a free Web-based encyclopedia, that is collaboratively edited by countless individuals around the globe. As an encyclopedia, it consists of individual entries on a single subject (Wiki pages) that are densely hyperlinked to related content (using Wikilinks). Wikipedia’s links are a special case of the general hyperlinks that connect the World Wide Web." (Berlin, et al. 2008)
Within the search field for Wikipedia, I typed Education. I thought this would be the most broad field to undertake a search.
I came up with the following results:
  • Systems of formal education
  • Primary education
  • Secondary education
  • Higher education
  • Adult education
  • Alternative education
  • Indigenous education
  • Curriculum
  • Learning modalities
  • Teaching
  • Technology
  • Educational theories
  • Economics

And the list goes on.

With regards to wikipedia, I think it is an excellent tool for learners to get an understanding of a subject, but not an effective tool to use for assignments, etc. Wikipedia has an area where you can edit what is written, which I believe, although effective if you want to put your two cents into the topic, also highly wrong for use on such an information-based website.

If the website allows anyone to put information on the site, who knows what information that is given is fact or fiction.

I would encourage students to search Wikipedia for a sample of what they are competing their assessment on (if they have limited prior knowledge, etc.), but I would not encourage them to base their whole assignment's research solely on Wikipedia, they need to back up their evidence and prove that what they have found in Wikipedia, is what they have also found from other sources.

Web Quest

"A well-designed Web Quest combines research-supported theories with effective use of the Internet to promote dependable instructional practices." (March, T. 2003)

Web Quests, if used correctly, are an engaging and challenging experience for learners. They open the learners thinking and engage them through interesting and relevant material. I have completed a web quest for another subject in my first year of my degree, and I found it quite enjoyable, but time consuming at the same time.

I believe that if a teacher had the time to complete a web quest, it could be used so well in the classroom. You would be able to have the students working at their own pace, on a task that you have created yourself. The only real constraint of a web quest is the amount of time it takes to create one.

As I have made one already, I understand the time it takes to complete, even just a simple web quest. And even when you think you have completed it, the amount of links that are needed, etc. can be quite daunting for teachers who are not extremely technological savvy.

If the teacher did have enough free time to complete something like a web quest, and they did have the right classroom environment/computer lab to complete a full class activity, a web quest could be utilised effectively.

There are just so many constraints with a web quest.


I am slowly making my way through the extremely long list of things we need to complete for our blog. Now I am up to the part where I complete a quiz of my own.

You can find my quiz through the following URL:

I only made a very short and sweet quiz with only two questions, as I thought we just needed to show that we can actually complete a quiz and we know how to navigate our way around the Class Marker website.

I found the quiz really quite easy to make. The explanations were very simple and straight forward, and the website was easy to navigate around. I believe that using a website such as Class Marker to create quizzes for your students would be an excellent idea. You only need to know what the questions are going to be for the quiz, and all of the rest is done for you. All you do is sit back, type the questions, and all of the formatting, etc. is completed automatically (I'm not sure about anyone else, but I have made a quiz before, and sitting down putting in all of the tick boxes was extremely boring, and this great website did it all for me).

I would have loved to create a quiz to show to my class and to reflect on that for you all, but I am not doing prac this term, so it was a little difficult for me to complete this activity. So instead I sat down with my 12 year old sister (she's currently half way through grade 7, almost at high school!) and we made a quiz together. She came up with the same idea's as I did, that the website was excellent in itself. We made a simple quiz that used multiple choice and free text. The only problem we came across with the free text was that if the child that was completing the test was a poor speller, or something along those lines, it would be extremely difficult for them to complete the free text section of the test.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


As you can see, I have finally worked out how to post other people's pictures from Flickr onto my blog!

I came across a bit of a error when I was posting these photos. When I was trying to post some of these photo's, I found out that not all of the photo's can be posted onto a blog. If you look down to the post titled 'My Journey', you will see that there are still some links to some photo's. These are the photo's that I would like you all to see, but I cannot work out how to attach them to my blog. If anyone has shed any light on this issue, if you could tell me, that would be great!

With regards to utilising Flickr in the classroom, I think flickr would be a valuable tool to use. Flickr could help engage the learners of your classroom if you went onto the topic of family, history, war, overseas, poverty and many many others. The amount of pictures that you can gather from Flickr is amazing, there is millions of images available for all to see. This little website would be a great tool to utilise if you had an overhead projector in your classroom and could broadcast these images for all the students to see.

Flickr would also be beneficial to use within a power point presentation, if you were wishing to put pictures on it. If you were doing some sort of dramatic presentation, and you really wanted to hit home with violence, poverty, etc. you could gather images from Flickr that really pull all the right heart strings.

All in all, I think Flickr would be a great tool to utilise within the classroom.

New Zealand


Interactive Whiteboard Demonstration

When looking through the interactive whiteboard presentation, I thought I would post a different video I found on You Tube. I thought this video was rather good at explaining the concept of interactive whiteboards. I also thought that an Interactive Whiteboard would be an excellent idea to have in your classroom (if possible).

With regards to my personal opinion about interactive whiteboards, I think that they are an excellent too to have available to you in the classroom. You can not only do the normal things you would during the school day (writing down spelling words, math sums, etc.) but you can also engage your learners through the use of movement with just the touch of a button.

One of the main points that I find extremely interesting and useful for teachers is the fact that you can save the work that was completed during the day and give it to students that were absent. I believe this tool would be extremely useful for teachers because they do not have to remember work that was completed a day ago (or sometimes even a week ago) and there is a simple worksheet to follow for the student. The classroom teacher can even go one step further and have a worksheet page to hand to the student, and have an answer sheet that you may give to the student the same day, or the next day, which has all of the working completed within the class and the correct answers. This would be extremely helpful not only to the classroom teacher, but also to the student, as they can see where other students in the class are coming from and where they are going wrong, which may also be where the absent student is struggling with concepts, etc.

Other ways that you can use the interactive whiteboard in the classroom are as follows:

  • Save lessons to present to students who were absent
  • Create video files to teach a software application, a lesson, or as a review to be posted to the server or web. Example- How to create a graph in Excel or hoe to burn a projects to Cd's
  • Use the built in maps to teach continents, oceans, countries, or states and capitals.
  • Present presentations created by student or teacher
  • Have students create e-folios including samples of their work and narration
  • Digital storytelling
  • Teach whole group computer or keyboarding skills
  • Brainstorming
  • Take notes directly into PowerPoint presentations
  • Reinforce skills by using on-line interactive web sites
  • Creating a project calendar
  • Teach editing skills using editing marks
  • Use in the 6 trait writing process
  • Use highlighter tool to highlight nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc.
  • Use it with Kidspiration or Inspiration
  • Teaching students how to navigate the Internet
  • Illustrate and write a book as a class. Use the record feature to narrate the text.
  • Use the Inter write software to create lessons in advance at home or at school. Then save them for future use or to be shared with other teachers
  • Diagramming activities
  • Teaching steps to a math problem.
  • Have students share projects during Parent/Teacher/Student conferences
  • Graphics and charts with ESL learners and special ed students.
  • Teaching vocabulary
  • Electronic Word Wall
  • End each day by having students write one thing that they learned

(Resource materials and Technology Centre for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Interactive Whiteboards in the Classroom, 2008,, viewed 1 August 2009)

The following is the video I found in You Tube:

(Boomerpetway, Interactive Whiteboard, 2007,, viewed 5 August 2009)

I believe that utilising a tool such as a video within the classroom is an excellent idea. The video takes some of the focus off the teacher, allows the students to view something different from the norm (teacher standing in front of the class and talking), and being the technology-based learners that students are now-days, video's get onto their level and engage with their way of thinking, etc.

My Journey

Wow! There is so much about the Internet that I am now learning that I had no idea existed before!

I am still struggling a little bit with the amount of content we have to cover just for assignment one (I am still working through 4.An Introduction to Teacher's Delivery Technologies, naughty I know!). There is so much information, I sometimes feel like my brain is going to explode!

One thing I did work out (which may have been obvious, but it took me a while to understand) was that when I was starting some stuff within Picnik, I had no idea how it all related to our blog (except for touching up some of our photo's to make us look even more gorgeous =]), until I started on my Flickr account. The photo's I have made very pretty (I am not very creative, so all I did was whitened my teeth =]) I uploaded on Flickr and I will now post on my blog. Because I am horrible for taking photo's, I have barely no nice ones of myself, my family, etc. so I thought to fill in the gaps a little bit, I would just use some of the photo's already posted by other people.

I thought I would make the theme something along the lines of, 'Where I have been & what is important to me'. I chose this because I thought it was extremely broad and I would be able to find plenty of photo's surrounding things that are important to me (such as family and music) and places I have been (my parents have quite a travelling bug and we have travelled to Bali, Thailand, New Zealand, Singapore and Kuala Lumpar). Although I found that some of the photo's were kind of just pictures of landscapes, etc. there were some good photo's that actually did remind me of these amazing places.

Well I well get a wriggle on and post some of these photo's for you guys.

Just a quick photo of my boyfriend Matthew and I, just to show that I can use Picnik and I can change the effects on pictures and add frames.

Just a photo I decided to change to black and white.

Sorry, but I'm sure how I can save the photo's that other people have taken, so I thought I would just add the link for them!

Also, the photo behind my blogs title is something I had a little play with on Picnik.