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‘Learning and Teaching Tools’ Category

  1. Penguin PD Day

    April 19, 2011 by Lynn

    On Tuesday 29th March I, along with about 150 other people, attended a professional develolpment day hosted by the Penguin Group at The Wheeler Centre in Melbourne. The day was listed as “a fun and informative day full of special guests, books and resources” and certainly lived up to this. The first presenter was Dr Susan La Marca (amongst other things editor of Viewpoint and SLAV’s FYI) who spoke about the units of work that she has created for the Secondary Classroom (also available to us on CD) based on a number of novels currently available. Susan spoke of four books in particular ‘Thai-riffic’ (more on this later, ‘Big River, Little Fish’, ‘The Reluctant Fundamentalist’ and ‘Between Shades of Grey’ – giving us ideas on themes, activities, focus areas and assessment tasks. The CD contains 36 units of work in total and judging by the information given to us on these four the rest should be just as engaging.

    Tony Palmer (author of ‘Break of Day’ and ‘Valley of Blood and Gold’) then chatted about his work as an author, and illustrator prior to this, giving us an insight in his research into background material for his books.

    Cam Salton (Pearson’s English publisher and former teacher himself) spoke about “The Australian Curriculum – what does it mean for you?” – directing us to the ACARA website for updates and http://www.pearsonplaces.com.au for a selection of resources.

    The fourth presenter of the day was Tye Cattanach, who presented two sessions – “Developing a Reading Culture” and “iPads, E-Readers and Electronic Whiteboards – new technolgies for encouring reading”. Tye is the Library Manager at Manor Lakes P-12 Specialist College where they are fortunate to be part of a number of 1:1 new technology trials through the DEECD. She has also been responsible for implementing the use of iPads and other new technologies to encourage reader engagement at her college and she spoke of this in more detail. Book trailers are used extensively and students are encouraged to create and share their own – sites such as ‘Book trailers for all’ and the ‘Center for digital storytelling’ were some of those mentioned. Tye spoke of how the use of iPads as eReaders were a great choice for engaging students as they could be used for text exploration (dictionary, zoom, notes), changing font settings, etc. catered for student abilities, visually exciting and interactive (student engagement), they are also portable bookshelves. (I did speak further with Tye at the end of the day regarding the iPads in more detail where she explained the downloading issues onto the iPads and also some of the sites she uses to source eBooks – I have collated this information together with information from other sources to be put on the ‘Sharing eLearning at MESC’ wiki.

    Oliver Phommavanh (author of ‘Thai-riffic’ mentioned earlier) was our entertaining final presenter of the day. Oliver delighted us all with his stories of growing up as a member of a Thai family in Sydney with many of these antics making it into his first novel. Oliver is not only an author but also a primary school teacher and comedian whose first novel is certainly one to make all students laugh – and me too!


  2. Week 6 – Learning and Teaching Tools 2

    June 7, 2010 by Lynn

    It’s been a busy week outside the library with mid-year exams, work experience, careers program, and report writing about to start, and a busy week of PLN learning as well.  So many resources to assess this week and to find a favourite was very hard – where to start?

    Digital Learning Objects in FUSE – overwhelming with an a-z of resources from Aaron Baddeley to Mabo to Zart Art

    Edmodo – similar to the DayMap LMS tool we currently use and perhaps what the Ultranet will be providing for us?

    TeacherTube, edublogs tv, YouTube – who has time to watch television when you have access to these resources

    iTunesU – ingenious way of getting information out to students who are ‘on the go’ – perhaps whilst tackling the weekly ironing I should be listening to “Italian for beginners” instead of Cliff Richard on my ipod!

    Shelfari and LibraryThing – for the likes of me who are always lending out books and forgetting who has them – not a good idea when your daughter wants to read it – now who did borrow that copy of “Alice I have been”?

    100 Incredible and Educational Virtual Tours You Don’t Want to Miss, eField trips, Google Lit Trips – maybe I’ll empty the ‘world trip’ piggybank and buy some chocolate to eat as I work my way through all these from the comfort of home, especially after the tour of Hershey’s.  I did keep checking back on the cranberry bog ‘livecam’ but not much happening this time of year and I always thought they grew on bushes like berries!

    Poll Daddy, Google Forms, Survey Monkey – currently working on a survey on the use of ‘Wikis, Nings & Blogs in the Classroom’  – really had to get the thinking cap on with this one with help from fellow PLN’er and psychology teacher (ie survey expert) Marion and trial a couple of versions ourselves – will post a separate blog/twitter with the link shortly.

    Digital Learning Objects and Virtual Excursions from the SLV – suitable for subjects from Art to Medieval History to Science – hang on must remember to save some chocolate when previewing these too!

    So which was my favourite discovery of the week – well I’d have to say the virtual tours (all of them) which took me to other worlds both in time and distance, and all for the price of a chocolate bar!  Another rewarding week of learning and teaching.


  3. Week 4 – Learning and Teaching Tools 1b

    May 24, 2010 by Lynn

    This week went so quickly with so much to explore that I feel I’ve only just touched the surface of many of these resources and will need to spend alot more time on fully exploring them before I can see their true potential. 

    The use of eBooks is a growing issue and according to this article  I appear to be in the right category for using one!  I would be interested in finding out more about how other school libraries are using them.  We have purchased a Kindle and many staff have borrowed it prior to deciding whether to purchase their own.  I do like the portability of it and the ease of downloading content (albeit Amazon books) but there is still nothing like the smell and touch of a page in your book.  I’m also quite happy to lend one of my books to friends, but would not lend my entire collection at once by giving them my Kindle!

    Moodle is an open source learning management system that supports learning communities with a range of activies and resources.  A great starting point, for smaller school communities, into the world of ICT with a fabulous array of learning tools.  There are some great activities to engage students in their learning and bring some fun into the classroom.

    Evernote is an organisational tool which allows you to ‘save ideas, things you see and things you like’ when browsing on your computer.  You are then able to find them again, from any computer or device that you use.  Information can be categorized and index for ease of use – bit like an online filing cabinet only smaller!  Definately a tool that I would use along with Wallwisher.


  4. Week 4 – Learning and Teaching Tools 1a

    May 24, 2010 by Lynn

    What a busy week this has been for learning – lots of new resources too. 

    FUSE – Learning and teaching content and will obviously have to spend a lot more time exploring it’s many resources. 

     Google Sites (creating websites) is not something that I would use but I could perhaps see it as being a useful tool for family wanting to share information (wonder if I could re-do the family tree using this now I think about it – something to explore). 

    Google Docs was very interesting and something that I’m keen to use more, especially if it means I can forget about learning Excel! I was fortunate to attend Jenny Luca’s Elluminate session this week about Google Docs and this really helped in my understanding of how it can be used and I also gained some new ‘friends’ who were also attending. 

    Google for Educators is another site to show staff,  Google Earth and Google Maps are used already but Google Lit Trips is a great idea.  

    Flickr I have used before for sourcing images (particularly Creative Commons images) but this time I uploaded a few photos as well. 

    Wallwisher, Gliffy, bubbl.us and Essay Map were all new to me but I can see myself using some of these straight away.  I had fun showing them to some students today and  will also show them in one of my ICTuesday sessions for staff.


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