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Noelene Callaghan

My Blog

My Blog

it's Assessment Season

Posted on 2 April, 2013 at 4:10

It has certainly been quite some time (in my standards) since I posted a Blog. Its certainly not a reflection of how little has been occurring at school or in my studies. In fact, it is the opposite. 


Like many schools, it is time when student assessments are due. We have really been pushing the boundaries with what we are expecting from our students in IST and I will admit, that it has been absolutely worthwhile. Year 7 have been exploring the concepts associated with Digital Citizenship and using Animation software to deliver their project whereas Year 8 IST have been thrown into Project-Based Learning which is the best experience I have had to date in my teaching career.


Year 7 students have been able to create and deliver 60 second animations that identify a social and ethical issue that is associated with using the Internet and Social Networking Sites. Students created fantastic work that not only identified the issue, but suggested strategies to combat these issues. 


In year 8, students are creating year long projects that will see them create a promotional website, a promotional poster and a movie. All of these will focus on Uluru. Students will work towards creating a movie that features Uluru, and in the meantime, create promotional material that will be accessible and viewed by all students and teachers in our school. The websites so far, look great. Im really impressed. Im now working with my extension students in creating posters that incorporate Augmented Reality. Stay posted for their progress

The early steps in a Journey to complete PhD

Posted on 14 March, 2013 at 19:00

Completing a PhD is renowned of being extremely complex and time consuming, so my expectations for it to be rather simple, is incredibly unrealistic. I have dedicated over 50 hours in the last week alone re-writing my research proposal and curating my research instruments and although this process has been extremely productive and purposeful, I already know that it is one of the numerous steps that I must complete in order to re-do it all over again.


The research proposal of any research study is just as significant as the other steps in the study. That is, all of the steps in a reseach study are equally as important. If one aspect is completed incorrectly or is rushed, the rest of the process will fall on its knees. My biggest concern for my research is that I am trying to predict what the future will hold so when my research is published around 2018-2020, the data in it will still be relevant. As I am investigating the uses of social networking sites in education and I am concerned that the social networking sites that we use today will not exist in 6-8 years time. We now live in a society where digital assets are liquid and vulnerable. Perhaps this will allow future research to take place to compare the types of social networking sites schools use and how teachers are required to constantly update their own digital skills through professional learning?


I have decided to dedicate at least two hours daily to working on my PhD, as I am finding that when I am at work, I completely ignore my studies on these days. Needless to say, those days which I am not working, I am more than prepared to spend 10-15 hours working on it. I recall a conversation that I had with my supervisor - "it doesnt matter how long it takes, just at least that it is done right" - EXACTLY! And that is what I am prepared to do. I am on track for my next deadline and although I am yet to find a 'study-buddy', I am determined to find one and submit something that I am proud to call my own.

How Many People Used the Top Social Media, Apps & Services in March 2013?

Posted on 9 March, 2013 at 20:00


How Many People Use the Top Social Media, Apps & Services?

(March 2013)


Airbnb: 3 million users, 300,000 listings 20,000 users

AppGratis: 10 million users

Badoo: 172 million users

Bebo: 30 million users

Blippar: 1 million downloads 15 million users

Branchout: 30 million users

Buffer: 500,000 users

Care2: 18 million users 25 million users 55 million users

Cooliris: 3 million users+

Deezer: 26 million users

Douban: 100 million users

Dropbox: Over 100 million users, 1 billion files uploaded daily

Edmodo: 15 million users

Ebay: 100 million active users

Eskimi: 10 million users

Etsy: 20 million users, 100 million products

Evernote: 45 million users

Fab: 11 million users

Facebook: 1.06 billion monthly active users, 680 million mobile users, more than 42 million pages and 9 million apps

See Also: By The Numbers: 22 Amazing Facebook Stats

Fancy: 2 million users

Feedly: 3 million users

Flickr: 75 million users

Flipboard: 20 million users

Fotopedia: 14 million users

foursquare: 25 million users, 1 million businesses, 10.4 million monthly users

For More foursquare Coverage 6.6 million users

Giggle: 3.2 million users

Glassdoor: 14 million users

Glympse: 4 million users

Gmail: 425 million users

Goodreads: 13 million users

Gogobot: 2.5 million users

Google+: 343 million active users

For More Google+ Coverage

Groupon: 36.9 million users (Tweet this stab)

Hootsuite: 5 million users

Hotmail: 286 million users

Hulu Plus: 3 million users

iCloud: 250 million users

iHeartRadio: 20 million users

Imgur: 56 million users

Instagram: 100 million users, 4 billion photos

Kakao Talk: 70 million users

Keek: 6 million users

Kik Messenger: 30 million users

LevelUp: 1 million users

Life360: 25 million users

Line: 100 million users

LinkedIn: 200 million users

Listia: 2 million users

LockerDome: 4 million users

LoginRadius: 10 million users

MeetMe: 1 million users

MeetMoi: 3 million users

Mega: 3 million users, 125 million files uploaded 10 million users

Momo: 20 million users

Mxit: 50 million users

MyFitnessPal: 30 million users

MyHeritage: 72 million users

MyLife: 60 million users

MySpace: 25 million users

Netflix: 30 million users

Netlog: 84 million users

Nimbuzz: 100 million users

Ookbee: 3 million users

ooVoo: 70 million subscribers

Openstreetmap: 1 million users

Ortsbo: 212 million unique users 60 million users

Pandora Radio: 175 million registered users

Path: 6 million users

Paypal: 117 million users

PicMix: 8 million users, 108 million photos

Pinterest: 25 million users

For More Pinterest Coverage

Pocket: 7.4 million users

Pulse: 20 million users

qeep: 18 million users

Quora: 1.5 million monthly unique users

QQ: 700 million monthly users

Qzone: 500 million users 3 million users

Rdio: 10 million users

Reddit: 43 million users, 400 million unique visitors; 37 Billion Page Views

Renren: 100 million users

Rounds: 6 million users

Rovio (Angry Birds): 1 billion downloads, 263 million monthly active users

Runkeeper: 14 million users

Shazam: 300 million users; 5 billion tags

Shopkick: 4 million users

Sina Weibo: 503 million users

SkillPages: 8 million users

Skype: 280 million users

Slacker: 4 million monthly users

Socialcam: 56 million monthly users

Songza: 1 million users

Sonico: 55 million users

Soundcloud: 180 million monthly users

SoundHound: 100 million users

Spotify: 33 million active monthly users, 5 million paid subscribers

Square: 3 million users, 250,000 merchants

Steam: 50 million users

Stumbleupon: 25 million users, 1 billion monthly page referrals

Tagged: 330 million registered users

Tango: 80 million users

Trello: 1 million users

Truecaller: 11 million users

Tuenti: 13 million users

Tumblr: 150 million users

Twitter: 500 million total users, more than 200 million active users

For More Twitter Coverage

Viber: 175 million users

Viddy: 39 million users

Viggle: 1.8 million users

Vimeo: 12.6 million users 145,000 users 190 million users

Voxer: 70 million users

WAYN: 21 million users

Waze: 34 million users

WeChat: 300 million users

WeiXin: 100 million registered users

Wix: 25 million users

WordPress: 74 million blogs

Wrapp: 1 million users

Xing: 11 million users

Yahoo! Mail: 281 million users

Yammer: 7 million users

Yelp: 78 million users; 30 million reviews

Youtube: 800 million users, 4 billion views per day

Yummly: 7.5 million monthly users



Pedagogies associated with ICT Literacies

Posted on 9 March, 2013 at 19:15

I am putting together this comprehensive list for my research of ICT Pedagogies that we can use in a 21st Century learning environment. Some brilliant sources:


  • Peer-to-peer learning, distributed intelligence approach (Read, 2005)
  • Learner-centered instruction; student-generated content (Lee, McLoughlin, & Chan, 2006)
  • Development of digital and social competencies (Evans, 2006)
  • Blending of formal and informal learning; mobile, ubiquitous learning (Miller, 2006)
  • Peer teaching, reciprocal learning (Frydenberg, 2006)
  • Extended learning, enrichment and extension activities, personalisation of learning content (Edirisingha, Salmon, & Fothergill, 2006)
  • Peer-to-peer learning, student-generated content (Kukulska-Hulme, 2005)
  • Cross-cultural collaborative work using student-generated content (McCarty, 2005)
  • Student-generated content, collaborative writing, organising and editing content (Sener, 2007)
  • Resource-based and collaborative learning (Wenzloff, 2005)


Digital Literacies

Posted on 5 March, 2013 at 4:55

Found this and believe its relevant to my classroom (21st Century) and my research:


Digital literacy is the topic that made the ETMOOC learning space so irresistible to me… I think as educators we spout off about wanting our students to be digitally literate, but not many of us (myself included) have a firm grasp about what that actually means, and quite a number of us are still attempting to become digitally literate ourselves.


Whatever that means.


It turns out, defining digital literacy isn’t such an easy task. The etmooc community was fortunate enough to hear Doug Belshaw speak on this topic in a recent webinar. I’ve followed Doug on Twitter for quite some time, and it turns out his dissertation investigates just what is digital literacy… and his TED talk can be viewed here.


Doug explained that digital literacy is quite ambiguous, and he doesn’t have all of the answers when it comes to defining these terms. He made a point to ask, How can we define digital literacy when we don’t know what literacy is? There are over 30 definitions of digital literacy represented in one of the first texts about the topic (from Gilster, published in 1998!!), so it’s no wonder that as educators we have a difficult time trying to figure out what it is and how we can ensure our students are “digitally literate.” (Doug also pointed out that often we like to attach literate to a term in order to make it sound more important ).


Doug shared this quote from his research (Martin, 2006): “Digital literacy is a condition, not a threshold.” It changes the way we teach. It’s a relationship and represents the way we orient ourselves with the world. Digital literacy doesn’t include a sequential set of skills. There’s a lot more “messing around” involved, and it’s subjective and highly contextual. Digital literacy in a K-12 setting varies greatly from that in a collegiate setting.


From his research, Doug crafted Eight Essential Elements of Digital Literacy:




He explained each along with “soundbites” from his research to guide the discussions.


Cultural - We need to pay attention to the culture in which the literacies are situated.


Cognitive - We can’t just consider the procedural ways in which we use devices and programs. It’s the way we think when we’re using them.


Constructive - We can’t be passive consumers of technology/information. We should strive to use digital tools in reflective and appropriate ways to be constructive and be socially active.


Communicative - Digital tools and power structures change the way we communicate. An element of digital literacy is how we take command of that structure and use it to communicate effectively and contribute meaningfully.


Confident - Doug believes that in order to be a proficient user of technology, one must have the courage and confidence to dive into the unknown, take risks, make mistakes, and display confidence when “messing around” with new tools.


Creative - Doug shared this quote from his research, which, to me, said it all:


“The creative adoption of new technology requires teachers who are willing to take risks… a prescriptive curriculum, routine practices… and a tight target-setting regime, is unlikely to be helpful.” Conlon & Simpson (2003)


Critical - Digital literacy involves an understanding of how to deal with hyperspace and hypertext and understanding that it’s “not entirely read or spoken.” Can we critically evaluate the technologies we’re using?


Civic - Something I think many schools are beginning to embrace, we must use technology to improve our lives and the lives of others in our world.


There was a discussion in the session about the term “digital native” and most participants disagreed that digital natives actually existed, and instead the term “digital wisdom” was suggested as an alternative.


So, as someone who is currently working on drafting a sort of elementary “technology curriculum” for her district, based around ISTE’s NETS for Students and aligned to our content curricula, I see a great need to infuse these digital literacy elements into that plan. But, alas, how to do that when digital literacy is so “grey?” How to make a plea for these characteristics and competencies to be modeled by our teachers and administrators when due to our current state, teachers may just revolt if I ask them to veer from the script they’ve been tasked with delivering to spend time on topics and tasks that won’t be progress monitored, standardized-tested or used in their professional evaluations? Alec’s comment in the chat caused me to mutter, “Uh, yes” under my breath when I read it: “Which is where curriculum planners always get stumped by deliverables.” How can we design standards for digital literacy when we’ve proven how contextual it is? And how best to marry these digital literacy elements with the strictly enforced content area curricula our district prescribes?


All questions I shall continue to ponder.


Click here to view a fantastic digital literacy slideset shared by Doug. Check it out, and ask yourself: In my school, how do we approach these eight elements of digital literacy with our students? Teachers? Administrators? Community? If we don’t, how can we start? If you have ideas/advice/resources to share, please do so in the comments below!



This post was originally posted on my blog and my #etmooc reflections blog. For those of you who are unfamiliar with ETMOOC, check it out! This massive open online course focuses on educational technology and media. Topics of discussion include digital literacy, digital storytelling, open access, connected learning, and more. Webinars are archived and the conversations that have emerged in the various online communities are rich.

Google Apps in Education

Posted on 25 February, 2013 at 20:55

Help Desk: Google Apps

400 words

Q: How do I use Google Apps in the classroom?

Google Apps is entering the education domain and will transform the way teachers facilitate learning and the way their students collaborate and communicate in the classroom. Google Apps is revolutionising the way educators can create and deliver curriculum content. Their products permit teachers in both primary and secondary schools to remove their classroom walls, as boundaries and parameters that we have been working within are now removed.

Google Apps is more than just installing a few Apps on your iPad or Android Device, it is revolutionising the way we will email and formulate student timetables. Additionally, Google Apps have created tools that help facilitate collaborative learning in 21st century classrooms by giving access to numerous products via one login – a gmail account (this will soon be via a DEC email address as the DEC is rolling over to the Google Portal shortly).

There are 3 essential Apps that all teachers should familiarise themselves with:

Google + (Google Plus) is the hub of Google Apps. It is where individuals can access their chosen communities (teachers can create a class community for their students to access outside of class time), as well as communicate with their friends, play games and access other Apps.

Teachers can use Google Docs in the classroom to facilitate online collaboration. Although many educators have trialled (or used) Google Docs in the past, there have been significant upgrades to Google Docs permitting students who don’t have Microsoft Office installed on their PCs or Devices to access and use such programs. Additionally, everything is saved online permitting students to access their files from any computer.

Google Hangouts is an alternative to using Skype and the Collaborative Classroom. Google Hangouts permits students to communicate and collaborate in real time online with up to 10 students in other classrooms/schools, as well as with experts in your subject area in a safe learning environment. Google Hangouts is a fantastic tool which is engaging and can be customised to suit any student ability (from primary to higher ed).

Furthermore, all Google Apps are supported by the NSW DEC. For more information about Google Apps and the rollout, please go to or contact the NSW DEC to speak to your Google Champion.


Apple TV Review

Posted on 25 February, 2013 at 20:30

If you have ever thought about increasing the multimedia resources in your classroom, look no further than the Apple TV. The Apple TV is a convenient device that provides both teachers and students with endless opportunities to work collaboratively and efficiently. In addition to connecting the teachers ipad/icloud to a HDTV to stream curriculum specific videos from the Education Channel as well as from YouTube and their personal iCloud, it also connects students ipads/ipods to the HDTV allowing students to present their work quickly and easily. The Apple TV retails from $100 and its size permits teachers to share and use this resource in any classroom within the school.


The Impact of Social Media on Children, Adolescents, and Families

Posted on 23 February, 2013 at 5:10

Came across this article. Just fantastic! Its definitely going to assist me with my proposal and research!


The Impact of Social Media on Children, Adolescents, and Families

Gwenn Schurgin O'Keeffe, MD, Kathleen Clarke-Pearson, MD, Council on Communications and Media


Abstract: Using social media Web sites is among the most common activity of today's children and adolescents. Any Web site that allows social interaction is considered a social media site, including social networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter; gaming sites and virtual worlds such as Club Penguin, Second Life, and the Sims; video sites such as YouTube; and blogs. Such sites offer today's youth a portal for entertainment and communication and have grown exponentially in recent years. For this reason, it is important that parents become aware of the nature of social media sites, given that not all of them are healthy environments for children and adolescents. Pediatricians are in a unique position to help families understand these sites and to encourage healthy use and urge parents to monitor for potential problems with cyberbullying, “Facebook depression,” sexting, and exposure to inappropriate content.


Social media participation also can offer adolescents deeper benefits that extend into their view of self, community, and the world, including:

  • opportunities for community engagement through raising money for charity and volunteering for local events, including political and philanthropic events;
  • enhancement of individual and collective creativity through development and sharing of artistic and musical endeavors;
  • growth of ideas from the creation of blogs, podcasts, videos, and gaming sites;
  • expansion of one's online connections through shared interests to include others from more diverse backgrounds (such communication is an important step for all adolescents and affords the opportunity for respect, tolerance, and increased discourse about personal and global issues); and
  • fostering of one's individual identity and unique social skills.


Enhanced Learning Opportunities

Middle and high school students are using social media to connect with one another on homework and group projects. For example, Facebook and similar social media programs allow students to gather outside of class to collaborate and exchange ideas about assignments. Some schools successfully use blogs as teaching tools,12 which has the benefit of reinforcing skills in English, written expression, and creativity.



Using social media becomes a risk to adolescents more often than most adults realize. Most risks fall into the following categories: peer-to-peer; inappropriate content; lack of understanding of online privacy issues; and outside influences of third-party advertising groups.


Privacy Concerns:

The main risk to preadolescents and adolescents online today are risks from each other, risks of improper use of technology, lack of privacy, sharing too much information, or posting false information about themselves or others.28 These types of behavior put their privacy at risk.


When Internet users visit various Web sites, they can leave behind evidence of which sites they have visited. This collective, ongoing record of one's Web activity is called the “digital footprint.” One of the biggest threats to young people on social media sites is to their digital footprint and future reputations. Preadolescents and adolescents who lack an awareness of privacy issues often post inappropriate messages, pictures, and videos without understanding that “what goes online stays online.”8 As a result, future jobs and college acceptance may be put into jeopardy by inexperienced and rash clicks of the mouse. Indiscriminate Internet activity also can make children and teenagers easier for marketers and fraudsters to target.


How many hats to do you wear?

Posted on 22 February, 2013 at 21:00

This week has been a week with many conversions with many different people. And as I speak to all if these people, I realise more and more that I wear so many hats. But do not take this as a whinge or some sort of plea for help. I find that many, if not all if us, are the same. I am a wife, a mother, a teacher, a student, a soccer coach, a soccer player, a tutor, a freelance writer and the list keeps on going. And its pretty safe to say, that most of us wear many, many hats.


I was speaking to a young teacher who is having her first child, and was listening to her determination that being a mother would not interfere with her career and her desire to succeed in study and the workforce. As I listened and tried to share advice, I realised, that this young, strong, confident woman was no different to me.


We are living in a society where technology plays a huge role in our lives and as a result, we want everything. I don't know if its a selfish act or if its our society that makes us believe that we need to constantly better ourselves. So, is it ok to wear so many hats and to keep following our dreams or are we simply making our own lives more complex? What role does technology have in all of this? What role do the people around us have?


One thing is certain. Without people wearing numerous many hats, we wouldnt have an education system that is so progressive and is catering to the needs of so many individuals. Without us, our schools wouldnt be what they are today!

What is critical thinking?

Posted on 22 February, 2013 at 20:55

Defining Critical Thinking

Defining Critical Thinking is quite perplex. There are variations of definitions, some of which include specific terminology whereas others do not. Some such as Shanaz, Profetto-McGrath, Gul, Ashraf and Kauserall (2012) go further and state that educators quite easily confuse critical thinking with other terms such as ‘Problem Solving’, ‘Decision Making’, ‘Creative Thinking’, and ‘Evidence Based Practice’. This suggests that ‘critical thinking’ is more complex to those terms stated above.


It is agreed by educators that critical thinking is a central educational theme in the classroom (Saade, Morin, Tomas, 2012) and that critical thinking is a process that includes reasoning, problem solving and decision making skills to search for information that will enable us to yield more productive results (Saiz & Rivas, 2011). Critical thinking skills entails the ability(ies) of mental processes of discernment, analysis and evaluation applied to information in order to achieve a logical final understanding and/or judgement (Saade, Morin, Tomas, 2012). Stanton, et al, (2011) extend on this and state that critical thinking skills are likely to include iterative and cyclic activities, such as problem solving, development of competing hypothesis, calculating probabilities and making decisions.


Thus critical thinking is regarded as the most important skill in order to discern false, incomplete, obsolete information (Saade, Morin, Tomas, 2012) and a skilled critical thinker is the one who can acknowledge the difference between logical reasoning and personal opinion (Saade, Morin, Tomas, 2012).


Critical thinking stems from the ability of higher-order-thinking which has been linked to deep learning (deep learning can be defined as the intention to extract meaning which produces active learning processes that involve relating ideas and looking for patterns and principles on the one hand and using evidence and examining the logic of the argument on the other (Saade, Morin, Tomas, 2012). This also suggests that different learning activities lead to different levels of critical thinking (Saade, Morin, Tomas, 2012) which must be considered by educators in creating programs and developing classroom content.


So who are Critical Thinkers?

Branch (2000) states that individuals who attain the power of critical thinking are curious, open minded, systematic and analytical, they have self-esteem and are willing to search for the truth’ whereas, Demir (2011) states that critical thinking is not a random style of thinking, that those individuals with critical thinking need to examine the reasons of problems in depth, try to understand, oppose when needed and be able to look at occurrences without obsession and objectivity.


Critical Thinking and Learning

As critical thinking is at the core of most intellectual activity that involves students in learning to recognise or develop an argument, use evidence in support of that argument, draw reasoned conclusions, and use information to solve problems, educators can use tools such as promote interpreting, analysing, evaluating, explaining, sequencing, reasoning, comparing, questioning, inferring, hypothesising, appraising, testing and generalising (National Curriculum, 2013).


Maintaining Ones Professional Learning Network

Posted on 16 February, 2013 at 1:15

Maintaining Ones Professional Learning Network or Personalised Learning Network (PLN) is not as easy as one may consider. I have spent CONSIDERABLE hours into building and maintaining mine, and mine is purely for Professional purposes. I use websites and social medias to communicate to other teachers and to my students.


I blogged a little while ago that I attended the Google Apps Sydney Summit, and I dont think that I have ever left a professional development session willing to do so much in the classroom. I am, genuinly, inspired to use all of their tools in my classroom. Step 1 has been completed and that was to create a Google + and Google Sites account. Im quite proud with my Google Sites Website. It proves that this is a tool that can be used by students in the classroom - something my year 8 students are going to really enjoy. The flexibility and tools that individuals can use is exceptional and the most important part - its accessible by all students in NSWDET schools.....a winner already!


Check out my Google + Account:

Check our my Google Sites Website:

Although it's only Week 2, Bad Lessons are OK

Posted on 9 February, 2013 at 16:45

Yep....The title to this weeks Blog is correct. Its only week 2 of the school year and already I had a shocker. But thats ok....We are allowed to have bad lessons, regardless of how many years experience we have.


I met a year 7 class last week for the first time and for a while now, I have been playing an Ice Breaker game that incorporates Technology and usually brand new students LOVE this activity. Students usually embrace this game and are all eager to show me just how 'clever' they all are. The serious ones are out to show me that they know more about Technology than I do (which I secretly love).


Anyway, part of this game requires students to stand in a circle to play the game. Unfortunately 3 young boys who were all competing for my attention decided to play a little game of their own which unfortunately resulted in pushing and shoving and one student falling onto a computer.



That's right. For the first time in my teaching career - I yelled. So Loud! I was so worried about the computers that I didnt even ask the students what they were doing and why?


So, what did I do - I wrote a paragraph on the board for students to copy down into their books (in silence)......Something I hope that I do not do again this year!


Embracing digital profiles

Posted on 1 February, 2013 at 5:55

The iPad mini in the classroom

Posted on 31 January, 2013 at 21:25

The latest Apple addition – the ipad mini is creating a storm in education. This mini version of the ipad provides teachers with the opportunity to do everything that their existing DER/teacher laptop enables them to do, but in a light and more compact tool. The ipad mini is ideal for teachers who already carry a collection of resources back and forth from their faculty (and for younger students who use them for a long period of time). The ipad mini allows teachers to connect it to the projector and use it as their laptop. Additionally, it has faster internet connection that its ipad family members and has a better camera and movie making technology. The ipad mini retails from $300 and can be purchased through any Apple-approved NSW DEC institution. Compatible with the DER wireless in most schools, the ipad mini permits better use for students in group activity situations, and for for schools that have 1:1 laptops but want to also add a more mobile and flexible learning device.


Looking back on the first week of school

Posted on 31 January, 2013 at 21:15

Its the end of my first teaching week for the year and I was very quick to remember something that teachers often forget when they are on leave. And that is the amount of admin that is involved in our career. I only taught one lesson, which was actually disturbed by a practice fire drill which although necessary, it was also heartbreaking. Ive been flat out finalising programs, meeting with teachers about new ventures, updating others about professional learning I attended during the holidays, meeting new teachers and so forth.


Already my pile of 'things to do' is up nice and high and my 'to do list' is the longest it has ever been, but that's ok. I feel focused, excited and determined to introduce new technologies and 21st learning pedagogies into my school, and make kids excited about learning again!

The First Day of School

Posted on 27 January, 2013 at 19:50

I found this and I really like it. Please share and use!


When preparing for my first lesson I used to think…

  1. Explain your expectations.
  2. Establish rules.
  3. Know everyone’s names.
  4. Arrange seats to minimalise talking.
  5. Organise books.
  6. Talk about homework.
  7. Tell them what they’ll be learning.
  8. Make sure they listen.
  9. Get students working right away.
  10. Show a firm hand.


Now I think its time to create a learning culture…

  1. Ask about their expectations.
  2. Create an essential agreement.
  3. Know everyone’s story.
  4. Arrange learning spaces to encourage collaboration.
  5. Demonstrate that you value thinking.
  6. Talk about learning.
  7. Ensure they know that they own their learning.
  8. Make sure you listen.
  9. Show you’re a part of the learning community.
  10. Laugh…



What is it like? Doing a PhD?

Posted on 27 January, 2013 at 7:40

I officially started my PhD last October, and although I have completed quite a lot of work thus far (in 3 months), I still feel as though time is against me and that I have made little progress.


As you can tell by my Blog entries, I am not a full time student, nor am I a full time teacher. I am someone whom wears many, many hats and likes to do quite a lot ALL OF THE TIME. But, please dont get me wrong. I am not one to complain about the huge volume of work that I need to complete. On the contrary, I quite enjoy it.


I completed a Masters in Education in 2011 and thought that I would take a year off and relax and 'enjoy' life. Instead, I attended every professional learning session, workshop and industry open day that was available to every NSW Teacher. I learned so much last year and met so many amazing educators, that when it came to writing my application for my PhD, I knew exactly what I wanted to study and felt that had the know-how to do it. Meeting teachers from other schools, regardless if they are from a DEC or Non DEC school, rural or city school, single sex or co-ed school, we all have the same goal...and that is to help our students be excited about their learning journey. 


My learning journey is no where near complete. As I stated, I begin my PhD in October and step 1 was to organise all of the adminstrative tasks to be a member of the university. Macquarie University is a fantastic institution as much of it could be completed online and within a few keystrokes, I had access to the university's library and the most sophisticated databases around the world. I then began familiarising myself with the latest literature in social networking. As this has been a very passionate area for me and something that I can continuously immerse my students in within the classroom, this was a relatively easy task. Although my collection of readings were a couple of years old, updating it seemed relatively simple. In November, I began writing my research proposal. I am one to work in 'stints'. I will be able to do quite a lot of work for a day or two and then stop for a week and then repeat my habit. Im also very lucky that I am a nightowl and that I dont require much sleep as this is when I am able to complete a lot of work without disturbance. I have now submitted 2 drafts and although I am 'liking' the direction my research proposal is heading, I am realistic to understand that it could and probably, will change. Like the actual research, flexibility is the key...times change and so must we.


The next things that I must do is find schools who would like to participate in my study, create my research instruments and start writing my ethics applications (I have 3 to complete).


Friends and colleagues have begun asking me what the workload of a PhD is like and how I am finding the experience. Well, so far, its ok. I dont feel overwhelmed (I only feel overwhelmed at report time). I have time to research and to read and I always have time for my family and friends. So far, my personal life has not been impacted by my studies.


I believe that having a supervisor that you can trust and that is genuinly interested in assisting you makes a difference. I communicate with my supervisor mainly by email and his response time is so fast, that it allows me to maintain my momentum. He is also extremely motivating and always knows how to keep me excited about my research. If you are thinking about completing a postgraduate degree with a research component, interview the lecturers at your university first - believe me, it will make a huge difference to your own personal outcomes and goals.


Having a great support network is key to success - regardless of what you do!



What is the 'Facebook Graph' Search?

Posted on 25 January, 2013 at 7:30

Facebook introduced a new revolution system named Facebook graph search. Its simply a tool that one can use to find people who shares your interests. Facebook Inc announced to their users that it is a privacy setting that works like a news feed. Users can use this tool that help them find information’s about another's network.


The graph searches through photos of friends, restaurants your friends have been to, photos one likes, music and so forth. Its a great tool for individuals who are not experienced with Facebook as they can find what they are looking for quite easily. The Facebook graph search tool helps individuals to search and retrieve the things that he is looking for.....perfect for potential employers! what are the implications for education?

Twitter Introduced New Video Sharing Service Vine (Video)

Posted on 25 January, 2013 at 7:30

Twitter Newly introduced video sharing service named Vine. Vine is a mobile based video sharing service to share short looping videos. Everyone can share their (6 seconds or less) videos. Twitter bring the Vine application to capture your favorite motion and sounds.


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This Vine application provides the option to share 140-characters tweet or 6 second video. You can share this video in Facebook or twitter through Vine application.Vain also offer video search option based on subjects or hash tags. Vine application now support English only. This application must required iOS 5.0 or later.


Now this Vine application available on iPhone and iPad touch.


You can find more details about Vine in their official blog.