Welcome.

Come with me on a journey where we will explore, investigate, manipulate and interact with some familiar and some not so familiar Teacher Delivery Technologies.

On the way ask yourself:-
- how can this tool be used to support what and how students learn?
- does this tool meet individual learning needs?
- does this tool allow student's to develop higher order skills and creativity?

This Blog - Transforming Student Learning aims to comprehensively explore a range of delivery technologies that are presented throughout the FAHE11001 E-Learning courseware. A systematic attempt to develop skills, knowledge and ability that is required to exploit the potential for E-Learning Education will be made evident via regular Blog Posts. To conclude, a reflective synopsis will clearnly indicate which technologies I would use and how I would use them to enhance learning.

Please feel free to be critical of my posts as I work may way through these tools, but be kind as I am only a "Digital Immigrant"! (Prensky, 2001)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Reference List

Posted by Wendy Hargreaves at Friday, August 21, 2009
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Animation Factory. (2009). Powerpoint Backgrounds, Retrieved August 19, 2009 from http://www.animationfactory.com/en/powerpoint_backgrounds.html?cid=E5

Bereiter, C., & Scardamalia, M. (1984). Teachability of reflective processes in written composition. Cognitive Science, 8, 173-190.

Brainy Betty. (2009). Free education powerpoints, Retrieved August 19. 2009 from http://www.brainybetty.com/educators2.htm

Cho, Kyoo-Lak & Jonassen, D. (2002) The Effects of Argumentation Scaffolds on Argumentation and Problem Solving. ETR&D, Vol. 50, No. 3.

Di Milia, L 2007, 'Benefiting from Multiple-Choice Exams: The positive impact of answer switching', Educational Psychology, vol. 27, no. 5, pp. 607-615. – Retrieved August 19, 2009 from:
http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/section?content=a776602285&fulltext=713240928

Electronic portfolio. (2009, August 16). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved August 16, 2009, from
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Electronic_portfolio&oldid=308376309

Helminstine, A. (2009). Baking soda and vinegar - Erupting volcano. Retrieved August 19, 2009 from http://video.about.com/chemistry/Erupting-Volcano.htm.

Kearsley, G., & Shneiderman, B. (1999). Engagement theory: A framework for technology- based teaching and learning. Retrieved August 19, 2009, from http://home.sprynet.com/~gkearsley/engage.htm

Mahara. (2009). About Mahara. Retrieved August 16, 2009 from http://mahara.org/about

March, T. (2003). What webquests are (really). Retrieved August 18, 2009 from http://bestwebquests.com/what_webquests_are.asp

Microsoft Education. (2007). Microsoft office powerpoint. Retrieved August 12, 2009, http://www.microsoft.com/Education/PowerPoint.mspx

Ngeow, K. & Kong, Y. (2001). Learning To Learn: Preparing Teachers and Students for Problem-Based Learning. ERIC Digest. [ED 457 524]

Nichols, S. (2009, March 20) Sony strikes book deal with Google. Itnews for Business. Retrieved August 10, 2009 from
http://www.itnews.com.au/News/140502,sony-strikes-book-deal-with-google.aspx

Prensky, M. (2001). "Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants". Retrieved August 19, 2009, from http://ducause.edu/ir/library/pdf/erm0553.pdf

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Videos

Posted by Wendy Hargreaves at Tuesday, August 18, 2009
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With classrooms having limited numbers of computers for example, most classrooms have a video player or access to one. They still serve as a very worthwhile tool to engage students both as a whole class or as collaborative working groups who may be researching a topic for a class project. The following link serves as a great tool to demonstrate making a volcano to a class for a science experiment for lower grades. Videos take the attention away from the teacher and allows the students to focus on instruction from a third party.

Making a volcano: http://video.about.com/chemistry/Erupting-Volcano.htm

21st Century learning - Yet another example

Posted by Wendy Hargreaves at Tuesday, August 18, 2009
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Sony strikes book deal with Google

By Shaun NicholsMar 20, 2009 3:46 PM

Sony has landed a deal with Google to provide more than 500,000 book titles for the Sony Reader Digital Book. The company said that the content will be offered through Sony's eBook Store service and will consist of public domain titles from Google's book archiving efforts. Users can access the collection through their PCs or through Sony's PRS-505 and PRS-700 Reader devices.The move will see the eBook Store's collection of books rocket to more than 600,000 titles available for download."We have focused our efforts on offering an open platform and making it easy to find as much content as possible, from our store or others, whether that content is purchased, borrowed or free,” said Steve Haber, president of Sony's the digital reading business division."Working with Google, we can offer book lovers another avenue for free books while still providing a seamless experience from our store."The move could also help Sony in its competition with the Amazon Kindle 2. The Kindle has garnered widespread attention in recent weeks both to the release of the new Kindle II model and a patent battle with the owners of the Discovery Channel.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Reflective Synopsis

Posted by Wendy Hargreaves at Wednesday, August 12, 2009
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During the 20th century, teachers were considered to be the fountains of all knowledge. These were the people who had read the books and knew a great deal about the world. Teachers were the people who opened the doors to the world to their students and showed the next generation what was possible. Now in the 21st century life is very different.

Prenksy (2001) refers to today’s students’ as “digital natives”, and today’s educators as “digital immigrants”. Teachers are working with students whose entire lives have been immersed in the 21st century media culture. Today’s students are digital learners – they literally take in the world via the filter of computing devices: the cellular phones, handheld gaming devices, PDAs, and laptops they take everywhere, plus the computers, TVs, and game consoles at home.
Despite these significant changes in the world around us our purpose as educators has not changed. The purpose of education is to enable our students to reach their full potential as human beings, individually and as members of society. What has changed is our role. The role of the learning manager has changed from opening doors to helping students make sense of the superabundance of information they now have.

McInerney and McInerney (2006, p. 3) suggest “Cognitive psychology in general, and learning theories derived from cognitive psychology in particular, have become very important in helping to explain effective learning and its relationship to effective teaching.” McInerney and McInerney (2006, p. 3) suggest “Effective teaching occurs when individuals construct their own understandings.” This fits nicely with Kearsley and Schneiderman (1998) Engagement Theory. Kearsley and Schneiderman (1998, p. 5) suggest “Engagement theory is presented as a model for learning in technology-based environments which synthesizes many elements from past theories of learning. The major premise is that students must be engaged in their course work in order for effective learning to occur.” The Engagement Theory uses three primary means to accomplish engagement:
1. An emphasis on collaborative efforts
2. Project-based assignments
3. Non-academic focus


It maybe at this point a learning manager may ask how can put this into practice. Oliver (1999) a researcher in ICT developed an ICT Learning design framework in which learning experiences using ICT’s can be framed using three essential processes:
1. Learning tasks that learners are required to do.
2. Learning resources that support learners to conduct the task.
3. Learning support mechanisms that exist from a teacher implementing them.

Oliver’s framework helps guide the learning manager design a learning experience for students, particularly ICT mediated learning experiences.

Learning tasks
The learning design framework suggests learning tasks should be problems, investigations, projects or role plays. McCain suggests that by giving students problems to solve, it engages the mind, teases and tempts the brain to find a solution. Giving students problems to solve presents them with an unfinished picture that ‘begs to be completed and that draws them into the task.’ He uses role-play extensively in his classes to present new tasks. The benefits abound. First, by taking on a role of a business or community person, students begin to get the perspective of people from outside the school system. Second, when in role play, students do not have access to his teacher expertise and when he is in teacher mode, they no longer have access to the business person, so learning to ask the right questions at the right time is paramount.

Learning Resources
While working through the Teacher Delivery Technologies we have been introduced to a number of new generation Internet and digital technologies. These technologies have the potential to transform learning as never before, and to engage our learners in collaborative learning. Something that emerged while manipulating these technologies is that apart from Eportfolios through Mahara (which cost $5.00) every tool we used was free. These new technologies are increasingly less expensive and accessible to more and more people every day making our job as learning managers better every day. So what did we explore? What tools could be used in my classroom? What tools would not be utilised?
Tools explored: Blogs, Wiki’s, e.Portfolio’s,Voki Avatars, Powerpoints, interactive whiteboards, videos, static websites, flikr, picnic, animations & simulations, quizzes, you tube, podcasting, google earth, webquests, wikipedia, slideshare, file storage, music on web, voice thread.

Tools to be used: All of the above.

Tools that would not be utilised: None of the above.

Each and every one of these tools could be used by themselves or simultaneously to enhance a learning experience and each have there role to play in engaging our diverse range of learners that exist within our classrooms. These tools not only reshape learning but reshape the relationship between teacher and student and in so doing enrich our students with a global economy skill (Reich and Daccord, 2006).

As a soon to be professional learning manager I am always seeking out resources to add to my collection to deliver better lessons, encourage more conversation within the classroom and to expose my students to the real world. Those of us who have actively engaged in exploring these tools have now enriched our resource toolbox with tools for our students in the classrooms today – 21st century learners.

Learning support mechanisms.
Reich and Daccord (2006) explain Picaso said, “computers are useless; they can only give you answers” great teaching is driven by great questions that scaffold student learning to higher realms. With these great technological tools learning managers can expand classroom conversations in all directions. Geographically, students can talk at school, at home, in the library, on the sportsfield. Students can converse with their school friends, or their peers around the world. We can now give them the tools to communicate with experts in the community anywhere anytime. WOW, who said teaching is boring!



Reference List

Boyes, L. (2007). Education today, Minnis Journals Pty Ltd. Retrieved August
19, 2009 from
http://www.minniscomms.com.au/educationtoday/articles.php?articleid=20

Kearsley, G., & Shneiderman, B. (1999). Engagement theory: A framework for
technology- based teaching and learning. Retrieved August 19, 2009, from
http://home.sprynet.com/~gkearsley/engage.htm

McInerney, D.M., & McInerney, V. (2006). Educational psychology, Frenchs
Forest, New South Wales, Australia: Pearson Education Australia.

Oliver, R. (1999). Learning designs: Products of the AUTC project on ICT
-based learning design. Retrieved August 20, 2009, from
http://wwwlearningdesings.uow.edu.au/project.index.htm

Prensky, M. (2001). "Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants". Retrieved August
19, 2009, from http://ducause.edu/ir/library/pdf/erm0553.pdf

Reich, J., & Daccord, T. (2008). Best ideas for teaching with technology: A
practical guide for teachers, by teachers, New York: M.E. Sharpe, Inc.

Coming to the end - Teacher Delivery Technologies

Posted by Wendy Hargreaves at Wednesday, August 12, 2009
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I am coming to the end of Teacher Delivery Technology tools am feeling exhausted. I now have what it feels like a million usernames and passwords but have experienced some tools that in the past have not accessed for a range of reasons; mostly fear, time, unaware they existed etc, etc. I ahve found this to be a very worthwhile exercise.

EPortfolio

Posted by Wendy Hargreaves at Wednesday, August 12, 2009
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An electronic portfolio or eportfolio is a generic term encompassing as wide a range of types and products as there are reasons for using them.

Wikipedia contributors (2009) suggest "There are three main types of e-portfolios, although they may be referred to using different terms: developmental (e.g., working), reflective (e.g., learning), and representational (e.g., showcase).
  1. A developmental e-portfolio is a record of things that the owner has done over a period of time, and may be directly tied to learner outcomes or rubrics.
  2. A reflective e-portfolio includes personal reflection on the content and what it means for the owner's development.
  3. A representational e-portfolio shows the owner's achievements in relation to particular work or developmental goals and is, therefore, selective. When it is used for job application it is sometimes called Career portfolio.

These three main types may be mixed to achieve different learning, personal, or work-related outcomes with the e-portfolio owner usually being the person who determines access levels.

Drivers and Trends towards ePortfolios:

  • widening participation
  • supports lifelong learning
  • employability and skills
  • internationalisation
  • retention

Purposes of ePortfolios:

  • supports learning processes such as researching information presentation, reflection, collaboration, planning, compiling evidence and giving and receiving feedback.
  • application is towards education and employment.
  • assessment for work-based learning, for feedback and withing evidence-based disciplines.

Different perspectives of ePortfolios:

  • learner perspectives
  • practitioner perspectives
  • employer perspectives
  • professional body perspectives
  • institutional perspectives including the role of the community practitioner

Great Links - worth a look:

ePortfolios Information Sheet for VET Teachers: http://www.eportfolios.net.au/images/VETbrochure_teachers.pdf

Effective practice with eportfolios:

http://www.jisc.ac.uk/whatwedo/themes/elearning/eportfolios/effectivepracticeeportfolios.aspx

Whats different about Mahara? (http://mahara.org/about)

A first guiding principle with the development of the Mahara ePortfolio system is that it is learner centred – a form of Personal Learning Environment. This is in contrast to the more institution-centric Learning Management System (LMS). Mahara is a stand-alone system that can be integrated into a wider virtual learning framework. Unlike some pundits, Mahara (2009)believe the Learning Management System remains a highly useful application for delivering learning. Mahara (2009) also believe the overall environment can be enhanced and complemented by a learner-centred personal learning environment such as Mahara. Pan-institutional learner communities can also be encouraged using Mahara. Mahara’s architecture is inspired by the modular, extensible architecture of Moodle. The Mahara team has also been heavily involved in the Moodle community, with recent work mostly focused on Moodle Networks. Similarly, Mahara systems can be networked together as well having single sign-on from Moodle 1.9 upwards. In a sense, we see Mahara as a ‘sister’ application although the two systems are not required to go together. Going forward, Mahara will continue to evolve as a ‘pluggable’, modular ePortfolio system designed to leverage Web 2.0 web services and built with interoperability in mind.

What makes Mahara different from other ePortfolio systems is that you control which items and what information (Artefacts) within your ePortfolio other users see. You can have as many views as you like, each with different Artefacts, and intended purposes and audience. Your audience, or the people you wish to give access to your View, can be added as individuals or as a member of a Group or Community.

Mahara features:

  • File repository - allows users to create folder and sub folders, upload multiple files quickly and efficiently, give each file a name and description, manage thier file allocation quota, agree to copyright disclaimer.
  • Blogs - A comprehensive blogging tool where blogs and blog postings are considered Artefacts and may be added to a View.
  • Social Networking - Users can create and maintain a list of friends within the system.
  • Resume Builder - Allows users to create digital CV's by entering information into a variety of optional fields.
  • Profile Information - Allows users to share details through a variety of optional fields.
  • Adminstration - Users are able to customise Mahara via a number of configuration settings.

Mahara would be a fantastic tool to facilitate all aspects of engagement - Engagement Theory (Kearsley & Sneiderman, 1999).

Powerpoint

Posted by Wendy Hargreaves at Wednesday, August 12, 2009
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Microsoft Powerpoint (http://www.microsoft.com/Education/PowerPoint.mspx) explains that teachers/learning managers can "Create compelling presentations with the Microsoft Office PowerPoint presentation graphics program. The world's most popular presentation tool in education now has even more to offer. PowerPoint helps students and lecturers communicate effectively with their audiences." Powerpoint may help learning managers to increase productivley and improve collaboration through implementing the use of Powerpoints within their classroom.



Great Education Powerpoint templates - Need to pay a subscription: http://www.animationfactory.com/en/search/index.html












Free Powerpoint templates : http://www.brainybetty.com/educators2.htm








Other Free Stuff to enhance your PowerPoints:

Music on Web

Posted by Wendy Hargreaves at Wednesday, August 12, 2009
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Checked out INCOMPETECH and downloaded a track. Not a huge range to choose from but extrmely quick and easy to download. I am sure there would be something there I could use to link to powerpoint for example to link in students. Most people now have an IPOD with a huge range of music already downloaded I am not sure how much I would access INCOMPETECH.

File Storage

Posted by Wendy Hargreaves at Wednesday, August 12, 2009
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Media Fire serves as a file hosting service to share files and images with others whether that be peers, professionals, friends, students etc. There is no storage limits and could be utilised for those wanting to free up disk space for example.

The following file is a lesson plan produced for a Multiliteracies Assessment: http://www.mediafire.com/?sharekey=14e115b801a609a524a64199ac7f73e5e04e75f6e8ebb871

Personally I would prefer to save on USB, however for students this would serve as a useful storage point for their in-class projects for example. All that is needed is a email and password and is very simple and quick to use and download.

Slideshare

Posted by Wendy Hargreaves at Wednesday, August 12, 2009
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with audio




This process was not very successful and would like some more time to experiment with this tool. I can see the benefit of adding audio and music to powerpoint to engage learners.

Web Quests

Posted by Wendy Hargreaves at Wednesday, August 12, 2009
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"WebQuest," as defined by Tom March, circa 2003

"A WebQuest is a scaffolded learning structure that uses links to essential resources on the World Wide Web and an authentic task to motivate students’ investigation of a central, open-ended question, development of individual expertise and participation in a final group process that attempts to transform newly acquired information into a more sophisticated understanding. The best WebQuests do this in a way that inspires students to see richer thematic relationships, facilitate a contribution to the real world of learning and reflect on their own metacognitive processes."


Best Webquest .com has some exceptional advice, ideas etc http://bestwebquests.com/what_webquests_are.asp


Webquests use Web resources to scaffold student learning and in so doing fit perfectly within Kearsley & Schneidermans (1999) Engagement Theory utilising multiple intelligences and automaticall assumes higher order thinking.

Underpinning the WebQuest model is an aspect of cognitive psychology that says that if we want people who may be new to an endeavor to perform at more expert levels, we should examine what experts do and then prompt novices through a similar experience. The classic example of this approach is the writing process. Rather than ask elementary school students to write to the theme "How I spent my summer vacation," we might ask them to brainstorm, draw pictures, list, or free associate before helping them think about an audience and the descriptive details surrounding one particular incident. This prompting learners to perform beyond their current cognitive skill set is known as scaffolding or procedural facilitation and has been shown to positively affect student achievement (Bereiter and Scardamalia, 1984; March, 1993). Scaffolds are "temporary frameworks to support student performance beyond their capacities…" (Cho & Jonassen, 2002). Examples of scaffolding are "activities that help students develop the right mindset, engage students with the problem, divide activities into manageable tasks, and direct students' attention to essential aspects of the learning goals" (Ngeow & Kong, 2001). Given ongoing practice tackling advanced intellectual tasks in this way, the level of support is "faded" as the skills are internalized.

Such scaffolding is at the heart of the WebQuest model as defined above. In fact, the integrated scaffolding of specific research-based strategies is "what happens" in the mysterious "black box" of transformation. The main strategies that WebQuests prompt are:

Motivation Theory
Questioning - Schema Theory
Constructivism
Differentiated Learning
Situated Learning
Thematic Instruction
Authentic Assessment
Overt Metacognition
Learner-centered psychological principles

Last year for SOSE me and a fellow student had the opportunity to create a Webquest based on a SOSE unit for a Year 2 class. This was an exceptionally rewarding experience as to date I have found WEBQUESTS to be the most beneficial tool to engage students. It was called Water Warriors and were given a problem based task to research - Water conservation. For the life of me I cannot locate the link but have managed to find a similar WEBQUEST which has been designed with similiar outcomes. http://www.scu.edu.au/schools/edu/ICT/student_pages/RousWater/HSIEunits/Water_past_present_future/brei_darby_waterpast_seq4/index.html

Yes it took alot of preparation, planning and implementation however every great Unit of work does.

Google Earth

Posted by Wendy Hargreaves at Wednesday, August 12, 2009
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Google Earth is absolutely an amazing tool to utilise within the classroom. Davidson a teacher from Discovery Education Network believes "It has been a long time since a technology application got the eye-popping reaction from teachers that Google Earth gets. Inserting videos into PowerPoint was the last comparable roar. Which makes perfect sense. With Google Earth, the earth itself becomes a video. It spins and twirls with an interactive terrain, astonishingly detailed. Kids zoom in on the arena of the Coliseum or the Louisiana river delta. I watched sixth grade California public school teacher Ray Hernandez's students insert a video on the American Revolution from unitedstreaming onto the site at Bunker Hill .

Dennis Wong's 5th graders overlaid their photos onto their family country of origin and created a truly relevant flying world tour. Both exercises created savable files, an incredibly important feature. Ray's kids' work can be shared on the Internet with his Discovery Educator Network nationwide. Mr. Wong's work remains safely accessible only on his hard drive for use all year in his room. Google Earth enables teachers and communities to easily create tremendous collections of work integrating video, 3D buildings, photos, podcasts, or NPR stories . Teacher and students will travel the real earth of explorations, migrations, heroes and history and share new instruction growing on the planet itself. Hall Davidson Director, Discovery Educator Network."

Here are some other ideas for taken from (http://www.google.com/educators/p_earth.html) using Google Earth in your classroom:

How about this: You tube clip of landing on the moon: http://earth.google.com/moon/index.html#utm_campaign=en&utm_medium=earthhpp&utm_source=en-earthhpp-na-us-moon



Another tool that could easily be utilised as an initial tool to engage students in a project based, authentic focus that could occur in a group context/collaborative team - (Kearsley & Schneiderman 1999, p. 1).

Animations and Simulations

Posted by Wendy Hargreaves at Wednesday, August 12, 2009
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In Winter 2009 (p. 24-25) CQUniversity 'Be what you are. What you become' magazine Boyd explains "The defence, health, natural resources and aviation industries are already incorporating simulation into their training regimes." Boyd (2009, p. 25) explains "There is ongoing research into what types of learners prefer games and simulations." Pace a CQUniversity senior multimedia lecturer says he has heard of "medical faculties using Second Life to stimulate patient consultations and arts students constructing virtual sets, creating characters, and putting on a virtual performance for an audience." Interest article worth a look. The three-dimensional technology of simulations provides unique possibilities in education. It enables users to visualise the processes and problems in a precise and attractive way.

Animations are probably the best medium to demonstrate processes and phenomena in motion. The widely adopted Macromedia Flash technology for both off-line and on-line delivery creates many educational possibilities, ranging from the creation of simple, demonstrational animations, through complete cartoon films to interactive simulations or advanced educational games. All these possibilities have been fully exploited by our talented illustrators and animators, who have been inspired by our educational multimedia authors. These assets simply cannot be over-estimated!




The following article relates to Early Childhood Education and the use of Digital art and Animation for learning - http://www.finncragg.com/TeacherResources/DigitalArtAndAnimationInEarlyEd.pdf

Quizzes

Posted by Wendy Hargreaves at Wednesday, August 12, 2009
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A number of debates surround the use of multiple-choice assessment, including: whether multiple-choice assessment fosters surface or deep approaches to learning (Struyen et al.,2005; Williams & Clark, 2004), the number of response items to include (Rodriguez, 2005), the appropriate positioning of correct item options (Attali & Bar-Hillel, 2003), and the role of student preparation prior to assessment (Wallace & Williams, 2003). These are important issues aimed towards ensuring that these assessments are reliable and valid. Less attention has been given to what should a student do when faced with the dilemma of choosing the correct answer.



Summary of findings:

The extent and benefit of answer switching when completing multiple-choice exams was investigatedin an undergraduate course (n = 1,152) and a postgraduate course (n = 1,624). Answerswitching was identified in 1.7% and 2.4% of cases, respectively. In both samples, more than halfthe participants changed at least one answer and, of these, approximately 50% increased their testscore and 25% decreased their test score. Significant gender differences were not found, but maleswere less likely to switch. Multivariate analysis indicated no significant differences in answer switching behaviour between Australian and international students. Univariate tests, however, suggested that international students made more right to wrong (p <.05) and wrong to wrong (p <.02) switches. The results also suggested that better students were more likely to switch from a wrong to a right answer, and to make significantly fewer right to wrong (p < .001) switches.

Static Website - Web 2.0 Technologies

Posted by Wendy Hargreaves at Wednesday, August 12, 2009
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Most websites are static websites. They are created and delivered by a web designer and maintained by a webmaster. They can contain all sorts of content such as Flash, JavaScript, PHP, CGI etc. but can only be updated by someone with a working knowledge of HTML and the ability to use software such as Dreamweaver. Eyelid productions (2009) explain that Static Websites are relatively inexpensive to produce compared to websites which run from a data base but can be costly to maintain. However, if a website only requires an occasional update (once or twice a year) a static website is a cost effective solution.

(http://www.discoveringegypt.com/) is an Education Website discovering ancient Egypt. It was written for children and schools as a teaching aid. Subjects - Pyramids, Temples, Kings/Queens and Hieroglyphics (download Gifs and write your name in the ancient script) Plus free screen savers. This site has received the Discovery Channel - Schools Awards, Encyclopaedia Britannica Award. The BBC Education Webguide, says: "This web site is presented in a simple-to-use format." "The site is well illustrated and contains many photographs as well as information." "The graphics are excellent and the site is very accessible." Designed and maintained by Mark Millmore

Flickr

Posted by Wendy Hargreaves at Wednesday, August 12, 2009
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Just downloaded some shots of my son Fergus taken by my Sister in law a few weeks ago. Found this an extremely easy and quick process. Put them into a set, viewed them in 'photo stream', looked at archives which listed when photo was taken. This would be an extremely useful tool if updating photo albums etc. (If anyone still does this) Tried to find some people from our course that had uploaded some photos but had no luck. Tried for Ali Black our lecturer, but was not a member that I could find but found another Ali Black.... here is one of her photo's with a description below.


This is the most fun slash meanest cat you will ever meet. I love him, but at the moment this picture was taken, he was in a head lock because he was trying to bite Suzie.

Flikr is a great place to store photos rather than taking up valuable MB on USB's or hard drives. Great having a central storage point where you can archive, set up sets, tags and view photo streams. It is just a shame it has a monthly download limit. Here is photo my Fergus that was edited in Picnic.

Fergus 1

You tube

Posted by Wendy Hargreaves at Wednesday, August 12, 2009
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Up until roughly 18 months ago I had thought You tube was spealt UTube and although I was hearing alot about it from fellow students I really had no idea what is was. What a difference 18 months makes. Wikipedia contributors (2009) describe YouTube as a video sharing website on which users can upload and share videos. Three former PayPal employees created YouTube in February 2005.[2] In November 2006, YouTube, LLC was bought by Google Inc. for $1.65 billion, and is now operated as a subsidiary of Google. The company is based in San Bruno, California, and uses Adobe Flash Video technology to display a wide variety of user-generated video content, including movie clips, TV clips, and music videos, as well as amateur content such as video blogging and short original videos.

You Tube Ideas for your classroom:
If you are teaching in Highschool, chances are some students in your classrooms may be watching and enjoying You Tube in their spare time. Take advantage of their interest and practice important critial thinking and literacy skills by having them make and edit their own videos that deal with important socail, economic, and political topics. After viewing examples of online public service announcements, students could probe the multiple meanings of these video texts by asking challenging, open-ended questions. They could then use their responses and a Persuasion Map tool to write for their own Public service announcement. Students could then create a short video clip and use Windows Movie Maker to edit their videos.

You Tube - Public Service Announcment Example follows:

Generation Y spending less time online

Posted by Wendy Hargreaves at Wednesday, August 12, 2009
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Nine News published the following article on July 14, 2009 http://news.ninemsn.com.au/natinal/837089/gen-7-spending-less-time-onlines

Young adults riding on a "new nostalgia" are turning away from online communication and craving more time face-to-face, a study has found. The survey of 1600 Australians aged 16-30 found that young people now yearn for less complex times, simplifying their lifestyles as they feel the economic crisis pinch.

Young people spend 30 minutes a week less online than last year and increasingly prefer to stay at home rather than go out to noisy nightclubs, said the study by marketing agency Lifelounge. "Young people want more connections with their friends that aren't digital, that are tangible," Lifelounge chief Dion Appel was quoted as saying in The Australian. "They're starting to question the authenticity of social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. "They want technology to assist rather than dominate the way they communicate."

What do you think of these findings? Are young people simplifying their lives?

FYI :
Baby Boomers - Born before 1960's (dates are controversal)
Generation X - Born between 1960's and late 1970's ('Baby Bust' generation due to drop in birth rates)
Generation Y - Born 1980's to late 1990's ( Millenium Generation, usually offspring of Baby boomers)
Generation Z - Born 2000's ...... (Generation i, Internet generation, Net generation, not even in dictionary yet)

The author of the following You Tube video introduces Generation C - Amazingly accurate in his portrayal of Generations.





This article is worth viewing: "The generation Z connection: teaching information literacy to the newest net generation." http://goliath.ecnext.com/coms2/gi_0199-5289198/The-generation-Z-connection-teaching.html

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Wikis

Posted by Wendy Hargreaves at Tuesday, August 11, 2009
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This is a link to the very first Wiki site I completed for assessment. This was created in Wetpaint. http://guidetofirstpenance.wetpaint.com/ For a first attempt it was extremely time consuming however I was happy with the end products. Had a couple of problems with layout of contents but have since completed another Wiki again in Wetpaint and have ironed out all the problems.

'Guide to First Penance" was created for an age cohort undergoing the Reconciliation of Penance at their local Catholic Primary School. The Parish had their own workbook which formed as a guide to both parents and children. Within any Catholic School school there is of course additional lessons assigned for such an important ritual - Reconciliation of Penance. This wiki site was designed to be presented to the students undertaking the 10 week long preparation in conjunction with the Parish resource book. It was designed to be a self paced learning tool with plenty of opportunity for feedback, questions or concerns. There were interactive quizzes, games etc to engage the students thinking.


Why did I use a wiki site to engage my learners?

A Wet paint website is built on the power of collaborative thinking. At Wet paint you can create websites that mix all the best features of wikis, blogs, forums and social networks into a rich, user-generated community based around the whatever-it-is that rocks your socks. A social website that’s so easy to use, anyone can participate.


If you are interested take a look at Wetpaint the link is below. There is a section where teachers can submit how they use wikies in their class: http://wikisineducation.wetpaint.com/page/How+we+use+wikis+in+class

Wikis encourage group social interaction and collaboration and support asynchronous communication allowing users to contribute at a time, and from a place that suits them. Many students find that their learning is most effective when they are actively involved in the construction of their knowledge.

On my travels I found this interesting article. Augar, N., Raitman, R. & Zhou, W. (2004). Beyond the comfort zone: Proceedings of the 21st ASCILITE Conference. This paper presents wikis as a useful tool for facilitating online education. Basic wiki functionality is outlined and different wikis are reviewed to highlight the features that make them a valuable technology for teaching and learning online. http://www.ascilite.org.au/conferences/perth04/procs/augar.html

Wikipedia

Posted by Wendy Hargreaves at Tuesday, August 11, 2009
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Researching for assignments Wikipedia has rarely failed me. At University we are constantly told not to reference from Wikipedia which I can agree with how ever I find the 'References' particularly useful. Universal ISBN numbers are 9/10 times provided, some journal articles or websites with URL links can also be provided. The 'External Links' and 'See also' sections found at the foot of the page can also be relevant and highly useful. For ESL learners Wikipedia is made available in a large number of languages.

Wikipedia contribtors (2009) [URL: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Wikipedia&oldid=307125796] state "Wikipedia is a free,[5] web-based and collaborative multilingual encyclopedia, born in the project supported by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation. Its name is a portmanteau of the words wiki (a technology for creating collaborative websites, from the Hawaiian word wiki, meaning "quick") and encyclopedia. Wikipedia's 13 million articles (2.9 million in English) have been written collaboratively by volunteers around the world, and almost all of its articles can be edited by anyone who can access the Wikipedia website.[6] Launched in 2001 by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger,[7] it is currently the largest and most popular general reference work on the Internet.[3][8][9][10]"

For middle school upwards Wikippedia would be a perfect place for students to start when researching for a project because it is basically an online encyclopedia which means it is linked to the real world.

Subject area: Water Conservation
Problem: To reduce school water consumption by 10%.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_conservation

Water conservation refers to reducing the usage of water and reclycling of waste water for different purposes like cleaning , manufacturing , agriculture etc.

Contents
1 Water Saving Technology
2 Agriculture
3 Water Efficiency
4 Minimum Water Network Target and Design
5 See also
6 References
7 Sources
8 External links

In reading through the contents there are a number of valuable areas that would be worth exploring. The Water Efficiency secton highlights a 'main article' for further reading with appropriate references.

Water Efficiency
Main article: Water efficiency

Water efficiency can be defined as the accomplishment of a function, task, process, or result with the minimal amount of water feasible, or an indicator of the relationships between the amount of water needed for a specific purpose and the amount of water used, occupied or delivered. [2]

As you can see the 'External links' is comprehensive offering links and some valuable and credible points of reference for further investigation.

Water Efficiency Magazine, The Journal for Water Conservation Professionals]
Simple Ways to Conserve Water at Home
Conserve Water In And Around The Home
Drought and water-saving tips from the British Red Cross
Water Conservation (WQIC topic area)
The Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE)
H2O Conserve Water Footprint Calculator
Water Conserve: Water Conservation Portal
water "Drought"
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_conservation"

Wikipedia have a number of 'sister projects which may serve as highly effective tools for research:
Definitions from Wiktionary
Textbooks from Wikibooks
Quotations from Wikiquote
Source texts from Wikisource
Images and media from Commons
News stories from Wikinews
Learning resources from Wikiversity

Cyber-Safety in Schools

Posted by Wendy Hargreaves at Tuesday, August 11, 2009
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The Ministars Media Centre http://www.deewr.gov.au/Ministers/Gillard/Media/Releases/Pages/Article_090803_074909.aspx released the following

The Hon Julia Gillard MP
Minister for Education. Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations
Minister for Social Inclusion
Deputy Prime Minister

2 August, 2009 Joint Media Release

$3 million for National Pilot to increase Cyber-Safety in Schools

Joint Media Release with The Hon Kate Ellis MP, Minister for Early Childhood Education, Child Care and Youth, Minister for Sport. The Minister for Education, Julia Gillard and Minister for Youth, Kate Ellis today announced a $3 million national pilot project aimed at addressing cyber-bullying in Australian schools. The Rudd Government is deeply concerned at the emergence of cyber-bullying in our schools and the impact it is having on students.

At least 150 schools across Australia will be involved in the pilot program which will be developed and conducted by the Alannah and Madeline Foundation (AMF). It will help confront safety issues in e-communications, including cyber-bullying and examine the effectiveness of existing cyber-safety programs in schools. Government and non-government schools in urban, rural and remote Australia will participate in the pilot which will run until 30 April 2010.

Research recently released by the Government shows that the prevalence and impact of covert bullying in Australian schools is under-reported and there has been a concerning increase in cyber-bullying. The Rudd Government takes bullying and violence very seriously and believes student wellbeing and safety are essential for academic and social development.

The Australian Covert Bullying Prevalence Study and Behind the Scenes: Insights into the Human Dimension of Covert Bullying, provide valuable insights into the changing nature of bullying. This research shows that with the emergence of new technologies, cyber bullying after school has become a serious issue for many young people. The need to incorporate guidance for schools to respond to cyber bullying, other forms of covert bullying and aggression has been identified with the help of these two studies. Working in partnership with students, parents and schools the Rudd Government is committed to generating better outcomes for all students in a safe school environment free from any form of bullying or harassment. The Rudd Government believes there is a real need for parents and teachers to establish effective relationships to ensure a seamless transition from school to home in the hope of eliminating young people’s anxiety about being bullied in either setting.

The Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, has also recently announced a new Youth Advisory Group made up of 305 young Australians to advise Government on online issues such as cyber-bullying. The group is part of the Rudd Government's $125.8 million cyber-safety plan. The Rudd Government also funds initiatives to promote a positive whole-school culture that focuses on the academic needs of students, as well as their social and emotional learning. These initiatives include promoting safe school initiatives to address bullying and violence in schools and boosting parental engagement in education through the Family School Partnerships Framework.

Following the pilot, the AMF will provide a report to the Government on the findings and put forward recommendations. The pilot’s outcomes will also be assessed as part of an independent evaluation and taken into account in the Government’s review of the National Safe Schools Framework (NSSF), which is scheduled for completion in June 2010.

Further information about the current NSSF and the review is at www.safeschools.deewr.gov.au

Interactive Whiteboards

Posted by Wendy Hargreaves at Tuesday, August 11, 2009
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Interactive Whiteboards are something I have heard about but unfortunately have no hands on experience with them so again I googled. What did I find? Some useful tips for teachers from teachers Make sure your lesson is interactive.Think about where it is appropriate to make pages, or slides, interactive. This could involve children coming out to manipulate some text or a diagram, or typing directly into the PC/laptop. A good, whizzy maths game with things flying around and going bang at the beginning of a numeracy lesson, will certainly get your children's attention Images are powerful learning tools. The software which runs on your board will allow you to import saved images from your computer or copy and paste images from the web. I try to start every lesson with an image which the children can make some kind of emotional connection Having the laptop or PC connected to your board online is a must. There is now an extensive range of whiteboard resources available online. Some examples can be see below.

Different learning requires different resources, not all of which suit the whiteboard software alone. Websites, text documents, multimedia files, CD-ROMs and DVDs can all enhance the learning experience. By adding hyperlinks within your main whiteboard software you can move between websites, programmes or media by simply clicking on an icon Video and audio A port will be installed next to your board to allow you to attach your video player to the board and could you be used for Teachers' TV programmes and clips. Many can be incorporated into whiteboard presentations and can really clarify difficult points. Clips from your own digital video camera can also be easily incorporated Using digital video cameras, voting systems and scanners with your whiteboard can take your lessons to very exciting places. Document cameras, or visualisers, are extremely powerful when used with a whiteboard. They project anything placed under them onto the board, so children's work, a text book or even a woodlouse is immediately visible to all in amazing detail Here are some fantastic classroom resources I found from online:

Edna.edu.au - provide a huge range of interactive whiteboard resources. http://www.edna.edu.au/edna/go/schooled/school_theme_pages/iwb


Possum Magic the Online Project is for teachers and students who want to help celebrate this wonderful book. You can join in and participate anytime. http://www.ozprojects.edu.au/course/view.php?id=17

This Berenstain Bears online activity is an interactive cloze exercise where children write a story choosing objects visually. The story is several screens long. When the story is completed it can be read out loud, printed or shared with a friend. http://pbskids.org/berenstainbears/games/story/index.html

Finally does the Interactive Whiteboard fit in the following frameworks? Engagement Theory (Kearsley and Schneiderman,1998) - can content be linked to real world? YES - Can it be presented as a problem? YES - Can solutions be created from content? YES - Can they Donate it back to the real world? YES Learning Design Framework (Oliver, 1999) - Could the tasks be presented to students as problems, investigations, projects or role plays? YES - Are there learning resources linked to task such as books, weblinks, case studies etc? YES - Could content provide scaffolding via, strategies, templates etc? YES - Could content be provided in the way of quizzes, simulations, models, databases, tutorials? YES


video

Learning Management Systems (LMS)

Posted by Wendy Hargreaves at Tuesday, August 11, 2009
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Having only experienced University subjects through Blackboard I went on a trail of research to find out more about Learning Management Systems. I found this interesting and extremely informative article which details the pros, the cons, learning design, effective implementation strategies and ehaps more. I have attached a link for you all to have a read: http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/lms.htm

The conclusion of the artice notes "The very notion of “managing learning” conflicts with how people are actually learning today. Outside of primary and secondary school, most of our learning falls into the “topping up what we know” category. As a result, we need tools that allow for rapid creation and breakdown. Searching Google, blogs, and wikis has a very quick learning structure creation and breakdown. An LMS has a long creation/breakdown process (and once the learning structure has been broken down (i.e. end of course), it is no longer accessible to learners). LMS' still view learners as canisters to be filled with content – this is particularly relevant in light of the heavy emphasis on object repositories for learning. Essentially, most LMS platforms are attempting to shape the future of learning to fit into the structure of their systems, even though most learning today is informal and connectionist in nature."

This article adds some interesting points I was not aware of. What are your thoughts of this tool for your classroom to engage learners? Could it fit within the Lerning desing framework of Oliver (1999, is it problem based?

Voki Avatars

Posted by Wendy Hargreaves at Tuesday, August 11, 2009
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Dyer from http://www.squidoo.com/voki gives the discription of a A Voki as a talking voice character, a computer-generated version of oneself. The more generic term for a Voki is a speaking avatar, a digital representation of a person or being. Teachers and educators are discovering some of the unique roles these speaking avatars can play in education particularly in the online classroom.For teachers these speaking avatars can add a more "human" element to the online class website or blog. It is especially useful for those of us who may not be all that great with video taping or vodcasting.


You can customize your Voki to look like you or take on the identity of lots of other types of characters--animals, monsters, anime etc.You can even have your Voki speak with your own voice by adding your voice with a microphone, upload, or by phone.

In the classrom you could use a voki avatar to introduce the course or topics. It can also be used to aid in instructing those who are more audio/visual learners. Voki is also a great way to get shy students involved or to share comments with students in other countries. A great tool to reach a diverse range of learners.

Have a look at a Voki Avatar created with my own voice for a current piece of assessment.





Get a Voki now!

Bloggs

Posted by Wendy Hargreaves at Tuesday, August 11, 2009
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Wise Geek (2009 http://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-blogs.htm explains If you've been surfing the web for the past year or five, you've undoubtedly heard of "blogs" or weblogs. These personal Internet journals have taken the Internet by storm. Frequently updated and written in a personal tone, a blog is a diary or journal where the writer or "blogger" will write her observations on the world or provide links to useful websites. Different bloggers write about different themes, sort of like a newspaper columnist but with no specialized training necessary.

The first blog is said also to have been the first website in 1992. Blogs didn't really start to take off until the late nineties, however, and they gained in popularity after 2000. Early blogs were mostly lists of recommended links with some commentary. Since then, they've evolved to something different. Now anyone who fancies himself a writer, and even some people who don't, has a blog on the Internet. Thanks to easy-to-use programs and websites, the most technically challenged person can get a blog online. This isn't a bad thing, as there's something out there for everyone.

Blogs have become so mainstream that the word "blog" was Merriam-Webster's word of the year in 2004. It has even become a category on the hit television game show, Jeopardy. Families now use blogs to keep in touch and teachers assign blogs as writing assignments. "Newsweek" magazine even recommends a few notable blogs each week to its readers.

Following are some ideas you may like to try in your classroom:

  • Put a prompt up to appear a couple of days through the week on your classroom blog and have your students respond to it by a certain day. Ask them to also comment on one of their classmates ideas, drawing a name from a hat or rotating to be sure that all students receive a comment from someone.

  • Appoint a weekly blog team in your classroom to write that week’s blog entry, describing the events of the week in Class 1B for example. Invite mums and dads to comment. This would be a great idea and tool for Year 1 -3.
  • Practice good reading strategies and check comprehension by asking students to respond to an assigned reading, reflecting on how it applies to their own experience.

  • Post a statement with no supporting facts. Ask students to find facts to support or refute the opinion, using links to reliable web sites and their own persuasive explanations. This could work well for environmental issues, political issues, or any topic that is debatable.

  • Post a link to a web site related to a topic your are studying and invite students to give their personal evaluation: Does the site show bias? Does it seem well-researched? Is it a reliable source?

  • Post a link to a current events story and ask students to comment on its implications in your local community or their own lives. Even young students can respond to stories from the local paper’s online pages.

A number of these tasks have been designed to relate to the real-world, and what I classify as authentic tasks that require children to work collaboratively with their peers in small allocated groups to "create" and "donate" (Kearsley & Schneidman, 1998). The majority of these ideas link nicely with the ICT Learning Design framework designed by Oliver (1999). Each task is linked to a real-world task, that caters for a range of diverse learners that is "sufficiently broad enough to ensure that all learners have sufficient opportunity" to engage with the task and have the necessary resources to complete the task.

If you get some time have a look at some already established education blogs for the early childhood focus:


Have tour say. Follow the following link and view some amazing educational blogs. You can even vote for 2009 Bloggers choice awards : http://bloggerschoiceawards.com/categories/17

Emoticons and Smilieys 101

Posted by Wendy Hargreaves at Tuesday, August 11, 2009
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It was no surprise to me that after undertaking the tech savvy quiz I needed to brush up my knowledge. Having been inquisitive as to what some abbreviations meant I of course 'googled' emoticons' and found a useful site: http://netforbeginners.about.com/cs/netiquette101/a/bl_emoticons101_2.htm

Gill (2009) explains that Emoticons are "emotional icons" for messaging. Also known as "smileys", these modern-day glyph shapes are used to add emotion and style to email. Emoticons, when used well, can add the subtleties of vocal inflection, facial expression, and body language to a written note.Emoticon use is actually quite simple: you type simple keyboard characters and view the majority of these shapes sideways. It is particularly useful when the mood of your written message could be easily misconstrued.

FYI - The classic "smiley" :) emoticon was created in 1982 by Scott Fahlman. The following is a beginners list of some popular emotional icons - remember to tilt your head sideways. Vist the site for a more exhaustive list.

:-) I am smiling in a classic way
:P I am sticking out my tongue
:^P I am sticking out tongue, and I have a nose
B^P I am sticking out tongue, and I have sunglasses
:{ I am having a hard time
;-) Winking at you
;( I am crying
:-D I am laughing happily
@}->-- Rose for you (to show affection)
^o I am snoring
>:-( I am annoyed
C):-) I am a cowboy
C=:-) I am a chef
o{-<]: I am skateboarder
:( ) I have a big mouth.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Education in the 21st Century.

Posted by Wendy Hargreaves at Saturday, August 08, 2009
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Prensky (2001, p. 1) advised me that I am a "Digital Immigrant", however the children within our classrooms today are "Digital Natives" and are all "Native speakers" of the digital language of computers, video games and the Internet. To be an effective Learning Manager in the 21st century we need to embrace E-Learning and learn to talk the talk, walk the walk and effectively learn to speak the same language as the "Digital Native".

Researching for another assignment I came across an article published in the Curriculum Corporation - Winter 2006. Susan Mann wrote how sceptical an 'education official' was in providing technology for schools describing it as an "expensive fad".

Mann (2006, p. 3) writes "In its defence, and recognising that an essential component of facilitating learning is being able to understand the learners, I outlined my fourteen-year-old son's relationship with technology. In Year 9, his life is characterised by immediate communication via instant messenger, mobile phone, phone conversations or text messaging. He has no trouble watching television while simultaneously browsing the Internet, listening to music on his Ipod and communicating with friends, much to the amazement of his technically challenged parents. He plays computer games, sleeps with his mobile phone and recently was found in a neighbour's house tapping into the wireless network as our Internet cable wasn't working. For me, the bicycle was a symbol of my childhood independence. For him, it is the Internet. And my son is no different from his peers. Raised on a steady diet of digital technologies, their notions of literacy, intelligence and friendship are being shaped by technology. When they go to school, they expect the same technology-rich environment as they encounter at home."

To "Engage and Enrage" (Prensky, 2005) students, for me, it is not just a matter of introducing new technology into the classroom but rather reform is needed into Curriculum, pedagogy, organisational structures and technology for our schools in the 21st century.

Presently, we have new research into how and what makes children learn. This together with refined Learning Frameworks and theories of learning by the following: have Learning Managers today the tricks and tools of the trade to engage our 21st century learners:

  • Kearsley & Schneiderman (1999) - "Engagement Theory: A framework for technologically-based teaching and learning; and
  • Cronje (2009) - "Towards Integrating Objectivism and Constructivism"

Combined with brain research, effective frameworks and theories give Learning Managers the tricks and tools required to engage our 21st century learners.

 

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