Saturday, 19 November 2011

Course Reflection and Feedback

iLE@RN-t much on this journey!

I can’t believe it’s just about over *wipes an imaginary tear* Here we go…

To be completely honest, I did think the ‘e’ in eLearning stood for electronic…and was majorly confused when the video ‘eLearning with the iLE@RN Model’ said that computers were not the focus. However, after watching, I felt like my eyes were truly opened to the possibilities, responsibilities and challenges that came with using technology in the classroom. That my students learn best when their learning is meaningful, engaging and challenging. That technology IS NOT the focus, but merely tools to help us as educators teach the children as best we can.

Whenever I look for resources to aid my professional development, I love things that are succinct, useful and can be understood and used as soon as you pick it up. Introducing the ‘Bloom's digital taxonomy map’ by Andrew Churches. He has taken a Bloom’s Taxonomy matrix and has added the programs/skills that would enable higher-order thinking to occur. Succinct, useful, easily understood…PERFECT. He has taken the old and added the new for us. I think Second Life would fit in anyone of Bloom’s domains and the learning there is just so rounded. I would possibly put in analysing as you need to see the relationships between ideas. I also believe programs like Glogster and Prezi require students to use higher-order thinking.   

I have thoroughly enjoyed doing this web 2.0 course. Not only did I learn and experiment with a whole new arsenal of web 2.0 tools, it also enabled me to have some important professional discussions. I’ve heard about other teacher’s ideas, and have even made an educator friend overseas (hi Cece). Overall a very worthwhile experience. If I could give any advice…don’t start in term 4…too many things happening. Oh, that and if you can – have a small group working on the same things. The discussion that comes from it is invaluable.

To whomever decided to read my blogs, and follow me on this journey…thanks for the company and the support.

Row…over and out J

Module 10

To Wiki or Ning? That is the question!

Wikis…Nings…what is the difference…is there a difference? For this module, I decided to visit my colleagues’ meeting point to do this module altogether. After a 15 minute conversation on different examples we’ve seen and experienced, I think I know the difference.

The focus of a wiki is the topic. Random individuals join together to collate information on a topic. On the other hand, the focus of a ning is more on building community rather than building a reference site. Nings are a wonderful tool for teachers to let each other know some great resources or a collective place where expertise from around the world is abundant. Wikis may be used quite creatively in the classroom where groups of children are working on the one topic - adding as much information as they can to make a more detailed resource. I think both of these are versatile tools for students AND teachers.

How can Web 2.0 assist in improving learning outcomes for all students?
It has become very obvious that the world our students grow up in is very different to the world that we grew up in. We live in a society where information is available anytime, anywhere. Where everything is exciting, loud, colourful. Sound and engagement never stops. Yet, we expect them to learn in a quiet classroom with a pencil and a book? The tides are turning, where teachers are learning to use tools that can engage children in the classroom. Tools that help us differentiate the curriculum for them and enable them to use their own skills and talents that previously may not have been evident…thus making learning more meaningful, motivating, challenging, and enjoyable.

BOOM! One more of these babies to go!

Module 9


I’mm baaack! After a month full of illness, reports and life in general going pear-shaped, I’m back to finish off this Web 2.0 course.

My school has been a fan of Scootle for years. I, however, managed to evade the bandwagon until today. Scootle is amazing. The best part – for me – is the fact that there are learning objects that are based on the Australian Curriculum. It is also super duper easy to use due to the organisation of the site – by subject, grade, strand and then indicators. In my classroom, I can see this being a versatile tool in, for example, my maths groups. They even enable the teacher to create learning paths for their students, aiding in differentiation of the curriculum.
I am quite experienced when it comes to social networking, having both a Facebook and a twitter account. However, I was shocked to find out that a numberof children in my year 2 class has a Facebook account. It is obvious that their parents were not aware/were not too concerned about the fact that they are younger than, the required age of, 13. I guess that is one of my main concerns – if WE do not teach them about cyber safety and privacy, who will?

My colleagues have been raving about Second Life, so purely out of curiosity I decided to check it out. The possibilities of where this program can take people are mind-blowing. After watching the video ‘Education in Second Life: Explore the Possibilities’ my mind was buzzing with ideas on integrating this into my classroom. We have units exploring the past, different countries, different environments…this would make learning, so much more motivating. However, I do feel like it is more suited for older students. I think I need to look more into this one.

1 down, 2 to go!

Friday, 21 October 2011

Module 8

Syndication made really simple!

RSS is a site where material from multiple other sites is made available under one site. The idea for this is brilliant, but it also has the potential to be disastrous as there is a lot of information that could be sent to one location. After joining ‘Google Reader’, I was pleasantly surprised to find that they organise these sites for you so that you are not drowned with new updates. This would definitely make it easier to keep up to date with recent blogs, podcasts, news feeds or upcoming events. It would also save time and sanity to view all of these updates without visiting each individual site.

This is probably completely irrelevant, but due to Google Reader’s update…I subscribed to YouTube and one of the updates mentioned a TED advertising challenge called ‘Ads Worth Spreading’. is the site where all of the winners are. From the red link up the top ‘viral hits’ has become my new obsession. Watch ONLY if you have some spare time available. On page 2 ‘piano stairs’, ‘extreme sheep LED’ and ‘T-mobile dance’ are highly recommended for a feel good factor.

Booyah, module 9 here I come!

Module 7

Delicious is oh so yummy!

Delicious is an online bookmarking site that not only helps you organise and keep ALL of your bookmarks in one location, but it also enables you to see the other bookmarks that others have saved that you may be interested in. This is a fabulous idea. When I moved from my year 4 classroom to my current year 2 classroom, I lost 3 years worth of site bookmarking. This will help me organise my bookmarks not only with my work computer, but home one as well. I did have a few issues while trying to use the site on Internet Explorer, so I tried it with Firefox, and ta daaa, issues solved. I can see this site becoming a best friend.

In regards to my blog replying, had a few initial troubles leaving a post – it didn’t want to accept it, figured it out in the end.

Yay, module 7 done. Starting to feel a pretty bad cold coming on, so I'm going to try and pump as many of these modules out as I can.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Module 6

Privacy and Copyright – concerning stuff!

The first site I looked at was ‘Flickr’. I can confidently say that I am VERY experienced in uploading photos to my Facebook, but it was nice to see what another site had to offer. I loved the fact that I could upload my videos WITH my photos and keep them in one collection. However, personally, I would find uploading photos to two social network sites to take too much effort. For the classroom on the other hand, I can find lots of potential. This would be a fantastic tool to keep excursion, mass and classroom photos on. As well as, a place children could add photos of their own achievements or celebrations like sports or birthday parties. Like most people, I worry about the welfare of my students and the privacy that is provided by these sites. I did like, however, that you could choose to ONLY have your friends view the photos as opposed to making them public. Oh, if you are interested, here is the link to the photos I have posted on Flickr.

Copyright Laws really confuse me, so I was very glad when I discovered this site This site is so useful and provides you with the facts of what is acceptable so that we do not breach copyright laws. I thought it was awesome that they provide a special link to information sheets for schools. This is something that I will definitely need to read up and familiarise myself with.

Creative Commons is a BRILLIANT idea. They provide “a free, public, and standardized infrastructure that creates a balance between the reality of the Internet and the reality of copyright laws”. This is something that I will need to have a thorough look through and may be just what I need when trying to teach my class about acceptable use. FYI – Flickr has a fantastic collection of Creative Commons material.

Woohoo, half way done! See you again for Module 7.

Module 5

Smooth sailing to this point…but this one was a doozy!

Man, was this one loooong module. Ok, let’s start with ‘’ In my classroom, I’m very fond of making a brainstorm or two on my board. is an online brainstorm program. It is simple enough to use, and I can see it definitely being motivating to see bold, beautiful coloured boxes containing the information you need. I guess my only criticism would be – is this program going to save me time when I am doing a class brainstorm in my lesson…probably not. Could the children use it when they have to brainstorm individually…absolutely. I think this would make a great assessment tool to see if the child knows how certain aspects are interrelated to each other.

Glogster helps to create online posters. I was pumped to try it out when I saw how awesome the examples looked. Then came the sad realisation, that I am nowhere near creative enough to add all the elements the examples did. The site and each element took a little bit of getting used to, but once I got the hang of it, I started enjoying myself. I can definitely see this being an asset to children in the classroom – making the presentation of their work so much more hi-tech and motivating for them. Here is my simple example of my glog. I have incorporated my brainstorm in there too. Warning, it’s pretty boring.

Finally, ‘Prezi’ – an online presentation – taking PowerPoint to a new level. Creating the presentation was easy enough. The tutorials that Prezi provide are simple, straightforward and step-by-step (just what I needed). Classroom wise, I can see this program resonating the same response as ‘’. Is it going to save me time…probably not. Will it assist in my lessons being more motivating…absolutely. Can I see this being used by the children to assist in their learning…yes. Similar to Glogster, I can see the children working on a task and presenting it via the web. Oh, here is my (again) simple example of what Prezi can do.

Hmmm, I think that was all. I’m starting to see double and my take-away container of Skittles is starting to look pretty thin. Until next module…

Monday, 17 October 2011

Module 4

Taking storytelling to a whole new level

Yay, the module I actually have previous experience with! Due to having a few i-items (iPhone and iPod), I’ve become quite accustomed to using iTunes. However, before today, the only podcasts I had ever listened to were Twilight based (don’t judge!). I find that my little ones use digital storytelling quite a fair bit. ‘KidPix’ is a program where they get the opportunity to create a picture then write a caption underneath. ‘Photostory’ is similar, but instead of creating their own picture, they use photos, write captions AND narrate. Both these programs then turn the child’s creation into a slideshow. ‘Audacity’ is fantastic for children to narrate a story and is especially useful to show a child that they read like a robot (or in teacher speak – need to improve their fluency, tone and expression).

I’ve found another site I can see myself becoming a little obsessed with – ‘Storynory – free Audio stories for kids’. I can see it now, guided reading time, class story time…my cherubs will love it!

I LOVE YOUTUBE! So versatile, so entertaining, so awesome! I use YouTube to introduce units, sum up ideas, get music to meditate, inspiration/instruction for artworks, motivation (refer to recycling clip below). I also use YouTube to watch pedagogical videos for my own learning – like ‘TEDtalksDirector’. Oh and I also like BTN (behind the news) for initiating a lesson or even just explaining what’s going on in the world.

I’m going to leave you with a clip that I used to initiate last term's focus on ‘Being Environmentally Friendly’. My kids are OBSESSED with this song. Even after the term ended, this is still a favoured ‘clean-up-the-classroom' song. It is Tag Your Green Machine by nicepeter.

Module 3

Google Docs…where have you been all my life?

In May I went to a ‘TeachMeet’ inservice which was all about sharing our technological ideas and findings with other teachers (K-12) – this is where I first heard about Google Docs.

Watching ‘Google docs in Plain English’ by commoncraft was a great introduction to the potential of Google docs. I went onto the recommended ‘Atomic Learning’ website and was concerned, to say the least, that the ‘Google docs – a focus on documents training’ tutorials took 1 hour and 13 minutes. I became less concerned when I found out that they were broken into 1-5 minute clips :D    Everything from there was easy enough - the creation of the document, the editing of the document and the sharing of the document. I liked how the creator had the option to choose if the collaborator/s could ‘edit’ or ‘view’. I especially appreciated the fact that the permissions could be restricted as well.

If only I had this in uni! Doing those rubbish group work assignments where everyone had to meet up at the same unsuitable time would have been limited! Relating to the classroom though…I can see this being AMAZING for older children who do a lot of group work especially high school however, I think the only limitation is with the younger children who don’t necessarily work as collaboratively. Saying that though, brainstorming just became a whooole lot more motivating. I think personally, I will find this site most beneficial for my professional self – the one who creates worksheets, then alters and resaves, then saves to flash disk…etc. Google docs has potentially just become my new best friend!

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Module 2

Basic Blogging – if I can do it, anyone can!

Through ICT staff inservices, I had heard of what a blog was however, before Web 2.0, had never been successful in creating one by myself.

After visiting the site ‘Blogging Basics: Creating Student Journals on the Web’ by Lorrie Jackson, I’ve been given a multitude of ideas on how I can include blogging in my classroom. Whether it be - in guided reading to review a book they are reading (aka ‘boys blogging books’), an open-ended maths task, writing their own prayers of praise (creation),  argue their point of view in exposition or even asking questions at the initiation of a science unit. The possibilities seem endless.

After having an ‘epic-fail’ first blogging experience, I was pleasantly surprised to find ‘Blogger’ relatively easy to use. The only issue I seemed to have was my own indecision as to the colours and fonts to use…I have already mentioned my procrastination previously.  

Module 2 – Check

Module 3…Bring it on!

Module 1

Whoa, it’s Row FINALLY on Web 2.0

Hello Hello, my name is Rowena Hendriks and I am a primary teacher at St Lukes Primary School. I am currently in my 5th year of teaching and I teach year 2 (after 3 years of teaching year 4). I signed up for 2.0 for two reasons…
1) To advance my technological skills and equip myself with new, exciting and ever-evolving Internet-based resources…AND...
2) The majority of my colleagues have already completed it and I thought it would be an awesome time to stop procrastinating.

After watching the introductory YouTube vids, I am excited about the shift in thinking and the opportunities that now arise. Saying that though, I'm also daunted by the vast quantity of resources that have arisen. It seems to be, that if we don't do courses like these, then major advancements and these opportunities will pass us by.  Going through Jane Hart’s ‘toolbox for learning professionals’, I was excited to find out that I’ve heard-of and even  used some of these e-resources before. Who knows, maybe this Web 2.0 course is more achievable than I thought.  

Anyways, here goes nothing…module 1 over and out!