Thursday, August 20, 2009

Delicious/Netiquette/Blogs/Google Reader

Delicious is a wonderfully useful tool that helps save time trying to track down and find sites that you have previously visited. By using this tool and bookmarking and tagging the website you want, it takes you straight to where you want to bew. No hassle!

Blogs are really great aslo as they allow you to keep in touch with friends/ co-workers and peers. It provides people with the opportunity to comment on what you have said whihc in turn leads into an in depth conversation. Unfortunately with blogs there is little privacy as most people are able to view what is being said and track your comments and concersations. this is very dangerous in a schol context and I think that there are other safer tools that could be used.

Google reader is a fantastic tool and saves me plenty of time. it ensures that I am able to keep track of who has posted any new comments without the hassle of having to sort through everyone's blogs individually to check for new postings.

Netiquette is really quite important and some people unfortunately take it for granted I think. Netiquette is all about being courteous to people and engaging in ethical communication.It is about proffreading what you type in such things as emails and blogs prior to sending them. This ensures that nasty comments and fights do not errupt because something was said out of context.

Movie Maker/ Feedburner

Feedburner and Movie Maker are both multimodal tools in whihc the learner can present their information. I do not think I would ever use Feedburner in my classroom, however Movie Maker I could see to be useful for students to engage in. Oliver's Learning Design Framework applies to the Movie Maker tool in the sense that it is multimoda. I feel that students would get more out of the Movie Maker tool opposed to feedburner. The movie maker tool allows students to take responsibilyt and be creative, it could be used assome form of assessment task where the teacher can gauge the students understanding.



Over the past six weeks I have engaged with various styles and types of tools that have the potential to work extremely well in classroom practices if applied properly. A list of all of the tools that I have investigated throughout my journey can be found by looking at Appendix 1. Each and every one of these tools as mentioned before has potential for enhancing student learning in some way, if used correctly and in appropriate contexts.

Using online tools such as the ones I have engaged with throughout my journey can help teachers to scaffold student learning while at the same time providing students with ownership of their work. Preferred learning styles are also catered for using these tools. This is highlighted by McInerney and McInerney when they state that a student’s engagement in a given activity is based upon how they operate as a learner (McInerney & McInerney, 2006). During my journey and through the use of one of the online tools, I discovered my own learning style. Results show that I best learn in a social context with the use of visual aids. More information on my learning style can be found by looking at my blog-

As a result of this journey, I have discovered that there are many amazing tools out there that are readily accessible depending on your requirements and preferences. Personally, I discovered that I most like blogs, PowerPoint, web quests and the Learning Place. I feel that as a learning manager you really need to find all the sources out there that are available and safe to use and then decipher through them to work out what it is that you feel most comfortable teaching and working with. You then need to identify what tools best cater for your specific group of learners’ needs. As there are so many varieties of tools available, catering for everyone’s needs is now achievable.

Blogs are something that are relatively easy to create, however do come with some safety issues. This is not a major problem however, so long as teachers initially make students aware of the safe, ethical and legal operations involved. Students need to be made aware that anything they take of someone else’s work, whether it be written text, audio or visual that the source must be recognized and reference needs to be made to where it was derived from. This is something that the teachers must continue to reinforce. Blogs are an excellent way of communication between students and can be used to provide peer evaluation. They promote students to use higher order thinking when they are commenting on other people’s blogs also (Eisner, 2000).

PowerPoint is a very basic tool compared to some other available tools; however it is still really excellent in the applications it contains. My favourite thing about PowerPoint is that you do not need the internet. This is such an advantage of this tool as some schools do not have access to the internet or they simply choose to operate using the intranet. The band width of a school is also an issue when it comes to internet and with PowerPoint this is not a concern. PowerPoint can be used in many different ways, whether it is for a presentation, assessment task or for other uses such as photo slideshows to share with friends and family. Teachers can use it to present lessons and then provide students with printouts of each slide, students can use it as an ICT component to an assessment task or they might choose to make a slideshow of recent camp photos to share with the rest of the school on parade. Whatever the use, PowerPoint is easy to navigate and almost all computers have the program today.

The Learning Place is another very valuable and worthwhile resource to incorporate into classroom practices as it caters for not only student learning but also for teacher scaffolding. Teachers are able to access a resource within this site called Blackboard. Blackboard is a tool that I use regularly at University. I do this to engage with course material that is in addition to what I learn in class and also to refer to material that I have been exposed to during class that I made need to revisit. Teachers can upload there notes from class, any additional information about assessment task etc. Options for students using this tool are endless. They have the freedom to engage in learning objects, forums, chat rooms, blogs and much more. Of these avenues all can be seen to link closely to Keirsley and Schneiderman’s Engagement Theory (1999) and also Oliver’s Learning Design Framework (Oliver, 1999). Students are engaged and working collaboratively with the help and scaffolding the teacher provides.

The final tool in which I believe to be essential in a classroom context includes web quests. Web quests are ideal for both students and teachers. I know this as I have previously created a Web quest and the associated benefits were quite clear and obvious. Teachers have the ability to plan ahead and create a web quest for students to undertake that specifically links to the work being studied. Teachers are able to scaffold the tasks and the learning within the web quest to suit the needs and ability levels of their specific group of learners. Students on the other hand have the opportunity to work with multimodal material, either individually or collaboratively with fellow peers. Not only does the site allow teachers to be specific with what information they want the students to view by adding in hyperlinks to specific web pages, they are responsible for the order in which students complete the web quest. This was teachers are assured that the students are taking all of the required steps in a sequential order which means that nothing will be forgotten or neglected.

All of the tools I have investigated and engaged with over the past six weeks have potential to work efficiently in any classroom. I feel that as Learning Manager’s of the future we need to familiarise ourselves with the available tools and be active in identifying new tools that arise with social change. We can no longer bury our heads in the sand and think that someone else will teach our students these vital tools; we need to take charge and be that person! This can be done by working collaboratively with our peers/ co-workers and engaging in discussions. As you can see in Appendix 2 this is what I have done all throughout my learning journey.

Important!! Legal, Ethical and Safe Operations.

Using the internet can be quite a scary concept to fathom at times, especially if you are not computer literate. There are many unsafe and illegal operations that occur through people using the internet. Some people know about and still choose to do these things hoping they wont be caught, others people simply aren't even aware that they are breeching such things as copyright licences. Especially in classroom contexts, teachers need to be very careful that they themslves aren't in breech of any liceneces but most of all that they aren't involving their students in illegal and unethical opertaions through using particular interent tools. This is something that teachers need to be aware of and need to consult their principals if in doubt of whether or not something is safe to use.

I have in recent times been informed of a rule that outlines you can only use 10% of a persons work at any one time and that anymore than that is illegal. this does not oocur in all cases, however, it is a very common and general rule that is always good to remember. having said that there are many unsafe tools to use on the internet, there are also a lot of safe ones too. Such sites as ones that I have previously mentioned in my Blogs including things like the Learning Place are always safe to use as they are educational and backed by the government.



This tool is one that I have become very familiar with over the past year and a half that I have been studying at Univeristy. It is a really fantastic tool for many reasons as it benefits both students and teachers/lecturers immensely. Teachers are given the option to upload new information as they please and to update the site whenever required. students on the other hand are gievn the opportunity to take charge of their own learning away from campus. This links to Keirsley and Schneiderman's Engagement Theory as students are in control of how much they engage with the materials that lectureres and teachers upload. It provides students with the opportunity also to collaborate with their fellow peers using such places as the discussion board. It is also very benefical for those students who cannot attend University on campus and who study by flex as they are able to keep up with the learning that is occuring by engaging with the resources on blackboard.


Interactive Whiteboard

Prior to commencing this course I had heard a lot about this tool, however never really understood how it worked exactly. After having it demonstrated to me in a tutorial, I can now see what everyone was talking about. This tool is great to use in classrooms as it is engaging for the students and teaches them how to use computers and the associated technology. Interactive whiteboards are basically a touch screen whiteboard that you navigate like a normal computer without having to use a mouse, instead you use a pen.
Another benefit to using this tool and incorporating it into your classroom is that you can also buy a mobile version of it called Mimio. This would be ideal for teachers who teach part time or teacher who do relief work as they can take the resource wherever they need it on a particular day. It could also be used in other professions such as in business meetings where you are presenting information to a room full of people in a seminar.

Both Oliver's Framework and Keirsley and Schneiderman's Engagement Theory would apply to this tool as it would be engaging for the students to use and view given that it is multimodal.



Weebly is a tool in which people are given the opportunity to create their very own website, relating to whatever they may choose. Although websites are fantastic options for many people and can be used for many different purposes including advertising a business or product, they are very dangerous tools. The fact that anyone can access it can be quite scary, especially if it is produced or contains anything about a minor. This thereofre means that the safety of the students who would use this tool can not be guaranteed. I personally would not use this in my classroom for this reason. I tend to feel that there are many other safer available tools that would be more beneficial for students to engage with. As with other tools that I have previously mentioned throughout my blog, this particluar tool closely aligns with Keirsley and Schneiderman's Engagement Theory as students are in total control of the information they view and produce.