Category Archives: Uncategorized

Tutorial 4-Task: iPads and Digital Stories

Key ideas from the Jones reading

  • Play based learning to enhance language development (oral and communicatioN)- a new take on traditional play with technology (“symbolic play”)
  • Review of Play school app (free) to develop oral language and reading comprehension to assist students to tell and re-tell a story in an engaging way and increase meaning making. 
  • Key to using this app is teacher scaffolding and preparation to use it to its fullest potential.
  • Using iPad technology resonated with students who had experienced touch screen technology outside of the classroom and the association with Playschool meant most kids had prior knowledge or characters and themes.
  • Interactive app, easy to navigate and provided an exciting different way of learning
  • Engaged learners meant that students worked together and made their own decision
  • Teachers need to focus on pre reading, during reading and after reading experiences to ensure that students are challenged, making connections and  creating their own meaningful stories (via their own comprehension of the texts) – this will increase literacy skills.
  • Students learnt to navigate an iPad and also see their work, reflect on their learning and show other students what they had created.
  • “This tablet technology helped the teacher to scaffold literacy learning and can be a powerful medium for meaning-making” (Jones, 2012, p. 36)

 Jones, M. (2012), iPads and kindergarten- students literacy development, SCAN, 31(4), 31-40.

How you might use this app or a similar one to develop an aspect of literacy ( could be understanding how texts work, viewing skills, speaking and listening etc.) in the classroom, as well as build technology skills for your students.

The play school art app would be a great classroom tool to help students to construct a story. Visually they could use the iPad to explore images that would help to bring the content to life (retell the story). Students would work together, speaking and listening, to create their storyboard and bring the story to life. Exploration of the construct of a story (such as needing a beginning, a middle and an end) as well as exploring characters and settings would enable students to utilise comprehension skills.

In our exploration of the app we constructed our own simple story, using the background and characters provided, adding our voices in order to create a fluid story with a clear beginning, middle and end. As the characters and settings are provided it would mean students could focus on story creation and grammatical features not on creating all characters and settings themselves. Their focus would be on visually and orally creating a new story not on their computer or drawing skills.

Toontastic app: write a short review of it in terms what is does, how easy or hard it is to use and what aspects you could use it for in your classroom.

Hard or easy:

Easy to navigate but limited by the tools you have access to on the free version. Could be hard to use for younger kids as it would be creatively restrictive.

Aspects you could use in classroom:

Overview of story content flow simple (step by step – setup, conflict, challenge, climax and resolution), this would help students to ensure their story flowed well and they focused on meaning making and grammatical features.
Being able to story with your own voice would mean students could engage more closely with their story
Emoticons for particular parts of the story means students will remain on task with the content they add to that section.
Students are able to get into the story via adding their photos or audio, which would increase engagement and peer participation.
A great activity to construct a pair lesson, where each could build on the work of the other student to create a fluid story at the end. We worked on a section each to build an entire story which worked together.


Tutorial 3-Task: Reading reflection on IWB’s

Reflect on the reading.

What seems to be the most important aspect of using an IWB that will make it a useful classroom tool for learning?

A critical component to successfully implementing the use of IWB’s in a classroom to enhance student learning is the teachers knowledge about the technology and their own skills of how best to use it. It is evident that professional development is necessary to highlight to teachers the most practical and significant ways to implement the technology in the classroom so the teacher may increase their levels of confidence using the technology for instruction. As identified by Miller et al.(2004a) in Higgins (2007) there are six common techniques or ‘manipulations’ which optimize learning and they include: drag and drop; hide and reveal; colour, shading and highlighting; matching equivalent terms; movement or animation; and immediate feedback (pp217). These techniques allow for the teaching of the content to occur differently to the traditional method of teacher directed learning (didactic) and further involve students in the teaching and learning process.

It is important to note that teachers must be aware when using the IWB’s in an interactive sense to avoid teacher centered style of delivery (Higgins, 2007, p.215). The use of IWB’s in a classroom may also provide students with a variety of visual stimuli to assist with learning and make it ‘easier to incorporate and use a range of multimedia resources in lessons such as written text, pictures, video, sound, diagrams and online websites’ (Ekhami, 2002; Johnson, 2002; Levy 2002 in Higgins 2007, p.215). Lesson’s aims and learning objectives must be the primary importance of the lesson whilst adapting resources and the use of IWB’s to optimize student learning. In essence IWB’s in the classroom may be useful to enhance learning so long as the teachers is using the technology in an appropriate manner with well designed activities and tasks which focus on student learning.

Higgins, S., G. Beauchamp, and D. Miller (2007), Reviewing the literature on interactive whiteboards, Learning, Media and technology, 32(3), 213-225.

Tutorial 3-Task IWB: Get lost in your own world through this IWB lesson




The Lost Thing- Teri and Emily team teach:

Aim: to explore the book and short film whilst contrasting the differences and similarities of the ‘Everyday World’ vs Sean Tan’s the ‘Lost thing World’.


  • Shaun Tan The Lost Thing – book and short film
  • IWB notebook file
  • Pen/markers and paper or computer design program
  • Digital camera to upload pictures once drawn
  • Computer access to upload profile

1. Having read the book and watched the short film, as a class sort and categorize the words in the list into which fits into the Everyday world and what fits into the Lost thing’s world. Have students come up to the IWB and drag words into the right side of the venn diagram, using justification for their choice. Words that overlap the two worlds can be placed in the hexagon – focus on students justifications and promoting collaborative discussion that unpacks the settings of the two literacies.


2. Working in pairs, use knowledge of the text and short film to create their own character, character profile and justification for which world this character would live in.

Setting the scene:

  • You are to create your own character, pick its world, explore the characters in the book and film and ensure you creatively imagine something new.


  • Working with a partner work together to write up a character profile: name, feelings etc. as per the table (above)
  • Once you have profiled your character draw them in the picture frame (bring them to life visually).
  • Take a digital photo of your character and create a page with the table completed and image of your created character.
  • All images to be collated and presented to the class (whole class discussion)



The IWB task we have created we believe will promote student engagement and utilise technology as “another pedagogical means to achieve teaching and learning goals”(Higgins, Beachamp & Miller, 2007, p. 217) by providing an interactive scaffold for the next activity. Using the IWB raises “the potential of developing pupils’ IWB abilities and allowing them more involvement in classroom decisions” (Higgins et al, 2007, p. 217) and this provides autonomy and promotes more engaged learning.

Higgins, S., G. Beauchamp, and D. Miller (2007), Reviewing the literature on interactive whiteboards, Learning, Media and technology, 32(3), 213-225.


Tutorial 2- Blog Task

Tasks- BLOG

Happily Blogging @ Belmore South

I read a great article which outlines a teachers use of a BLOG in her class. Below I have outlined 3 activities I found particularly useful and they include:

  1. Students put together photographic montages of the highlights of their year to be added to their farewell post on their individual blogs. They also put together an end of year photographic display for their class mascot ‘Sandy the Otter’ displaying all of the activities in which Sandy has participated in over the year.  The montage of Sandy’s activities can be viewed through the blog by students in Scotland who gifted the Otter to the class. This is great for the visual representations of learning which has occurred over the school year. It can act as a visual reminder to students of what they have achieved over the term or year.
  2. Students uploaded a video taken of the class performing a Scottish dance to be posted on the class blog. The Scottish students will then be able to see how well the Australian students understood and followed the instructions sent from Glasgow on how to perform the dance. I love the personal interaction students are having with studnets from across the world. They are able to share their experiences and class activities and gain insight into the cultural experiences happening around the world.
  3. A student is finishing her next installment of a book she is writing to be completed before the end of term. When she is happy she will post it to her blog to get comments and feedback from other students around the world. Comments from friends in high school will help her with clarity and expression and peers from primary schools in USA, India and Scotland will help with basic story lines and characterization. This activity could be used for a variety of writing assignments and encourages students to self edit prior to engaging in a peer edit.


Pericles, K. (2008). Happily blogging @ Belmore South. SCAN, 27(2), 4-6


Find 2 educational blogs you could use to model to your class as an examples of an effective blog.

Flat Rosie’s Adventures‘ is a  class blog based on the travels of a character based on a book the class read. Each student makes their own ‘Flat Rosie’ and sends her to different places around the world and has recipients write to the class about the place she visited and then sends her on for more adventures. Students then blog her adventures and new information they learn about the places she has visited.

The ‘Flat Rosie’s Adventures‘ blog is dynamic and interesting as it has pictures, video content and audio clips pertaining to the students learning about new places around the world. The blog allows students to make a personal connection with the content being taught in class through the travels of their doll and share it with others. It also allows students the opportunity to interact through the blog with students from around the world.

This style of blog could be used for any age group in primary classes as the level of research of a particular place of interest could be examined from various levels. The characters could come from any book being studied in the classroom making it relevant to the students learning.

Here is a link to the Flat Rosie’s Adventures Blog:


Primary C Class Blog is a great example of how students school work can be shared and displayed to a larger audience. The blog displays a variety of students activities and learning moments though video and picture content. The blog is a personal representation of the students learning.

This style of blog would be appropriate for any age level wishing to share their class work with a larger audience. Content can be varied displaying content from work samples to class activities on any subject and can be guided by the teacher to include more content in which students are most excited and passionate such as maths or drama.  The blog is colourful and well laid out with good written explanations of the visual content.

Here is a link to the Primary C Class Blog:

COLLECT & CREATE- Using Scoop it!

Here is a direct link to my Scoop it account which has relevant material for teaching Creative Arts in the classroom for K-6 students:

Tutorial Week 1- Task

Write a solid two to three paragraph definition of the term ‘new literacies”

New Literacies defined

The term New Literacies can be understood to include all old and new forms of communication that are to be interpreted, digested or understood by the individual seeking information on a particular topic. What we define as literacy is a constantly changing and therefore will be continually evolving to include new forms of communication and interpretations of such information such as ‘the greater use of multimodal forms of expression that include images, video, and sound with written text’ (Houtman, 2013, p.7).

The term New Literacies incorporates a large spectrum of sources such as digital media along with the traditional literacies of reading, writing and arithmetic. We must reframe our thinking of the traditional literacies and how we use them across a plethora of platforms. The accessibility of such information and the ability to which one can understand such information relies heavily on our socio cultural context which now extends beyond our own personal experiences. Our understanding of such literacies depend on how we see the world ‘depending on which discourse we are ‘in’ or ‘operating out of’ within a particular situation or context (Lankshear and Knobel, 2012, p.49). The advent of technology has been transformative to the way we access and ingest new information and also influences how and where we can access such information.

As educators we must continue to teach students how to decipher  what information comes from a reliable source and to question the credibility ad authenticity of a source. In addition we must also teach them where to access the most appropriate forms of literacy and what is the most appropriate mode of communication for different purposes. The discussion will indeed be ongoing as we continue to reframe our thinking around the term New Literacies and question our process of meaning making through our literary practices.


Houtman, E. (2013). New literacies, learning, and libraries: How can frameworks from other fields help us think about the issues? In the Library with the Lead Pipe.  Retrieved from Accessed February 14th, 2014

Lankshear, C., & Knobel, M. (2012). ‘New’literacies: technologies and values. Teknokultura. Revista de Cultura Digital y Movimientos Sociales, 9(1), 45-71.  Retrieved from Accessed February, 2014

Greenwashing and the media Youtube Clip:


Write a brief description/ review of the show and comment on what this means for teaching kids about internet and media content at school.

The video clip ‘Greenwashing’ by The Media Group is a short clip narrated by 2 puppets discussing the media concept of Greenwashing. Greenwashing  is when a company structures their advertising and branding to appear or give the perception of being more environmentally friendly without any sound evidence to indicate they are in fact taking measures to implement environmentally friendly policies and procedures.

The puppets have a great dialogue about what it means to Greewash and ways companies try to appear more environmentally friendly through various marketing schemes . The puppets lead the viewer to an informed website which looks at the ‘Seven Sins of Greenwashing’ and then perform a sketch to demonstrate the various strategies a company may use to appear more environmentally friendly when in fact their is no proof or foundation on which the facts are based.

This video is an excellent resource to help teach students the importance of critically reviewing information they receive from different sources. Students must understand motives behind the branding and marketing of certain companies and be reflective of the methods chosen so as to be discerning consumers making smarter choices. Students need to understand that advertising can be manipulative and play on peoples emotions and currently the environment and environmentally friendly products and services are of great relevance to many people so companies may use this angle to gain popularity without in fact doing anything to improve the situation. The commercial that was shown in the clip by BP Fuel was case in point.