Friday, September 18, 2009

Movie Maker

When designing a learning experience for students it is often difficult to decide what ICT's would be the most advantageous to use. What is more, is the product readily available and is it user friendly? I am currently designing a unit plan for a class of Grade 7 students that requires them to make a video clip. I have been researching a vast amount of programs and asking fellow peers, and teachers which products they have previously used and what they think about different technologies. With such a range of responses and different points of view I decided to investigate options that focused on being user friendly and cost effective. Windows Movie Maker is one such option. This software can be downloaded off the Internet and used immediately. The following YouTube clip explains how to use Windows Movie Maker.

This YouTube clip could be a great resource to explain to students how to use Movie Maker.

Reference List

Microsoft Corporation. (2009). Windows Movie Maker 2.1 Download. Retrieved September 18, 2009, from

Movie Maker Video Editing Tutorial (2006). Retrieved September 18, 2009, from

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Reflective Synopsis

Throughout this journey I have had the opportunity to engage in a range of technologies. Through this engagement I have further developed my understanding of the operation of these technologies and their application to learning.

In classrooms, learning theories underpin the instructional design. Instructional designs require teachers to go through a series of steps to acquire information and knowledge about learners to create valuable and meaningful learning experiences. The use of learning theories is imperative to teachers when deciding how they want to teach (Marzano & Pickering, 1997).

Managing E Learning has outlined a range of theories and frameworks that can be beneficial in the design and implementation of technologies into learning experiences. I feel all these theories and frameworks share a common belief that children who are recognised and respected by their teachers and peers for their individual differences feel accepted and will actively engage in classroom activities more frequently (Ashman & Elkins, 2005).

Moreover, the Engagement Theory developed by Kearsley & Shneiderman (1999) was something I found very interesting. It implies that when designing learning experiences they should be linked to the real word (authentic), encourage collaborative learning and encourage students to be creative. All the attributes that this theory implies are aiming at student’s developing higher order thinking skills.

When experimenting with different technologies it was important to think about how it would be used and who would use it. For example, when I was thinking about Google Earth in the classroom it was apparent that this would be beneficial for the upper primary school in terms of Mathematical estimations and calculations of distance. This would not suit an early childhood setting. However, middle primary could benefit from using this when learning about space and early childhood could use this when learning about Earth and Australia. Hence, it is important to link learning design with learning theories to deliver effective pedagogical strategies that are likely to work and manage learning environments (Smith & Lynch, 2007, p 58).

Through peer involvement in my learning journey I felt a sense of comfort. Often I would read the online discussion boards and any fears or worries that I was experiencing my questions were answered. I didn’t have to ask, it appears that most students were having similar thoughts. Furthermore, I really enjoyed reading other people’s blogs. Listening to the way they write and express themselves and their views was very interesting from a literary point of view. I have been at university for a few years and this is the first time that I had the opportunity to talk in the first person, let alone read other people’s reflections. I found this a valuable experience.

My own experiences with technology have been vast. I have had opportunities and the ability to engage in many technologies over the last few years. On the other hand, there was much I didn’t know when I began this course. It was interesting reading Prensky’s article about digital natives (Prensky, 2001) and reading about 21st century learners. It is very true that to accurately understand your learner you need to understand the language and what they are talking about.

I had never heard of Voice Thread before I researched it in this course. I found this amazing and very interesting. To know there is technology out there such as this is truly a pleasure. The use of technology in the classroom appears to be ever expanding and thanks to Managing E Learning I feel that it has opened my eyes more than ever to the world around me and the endless possibilities I can offer my students as a future Learning Manager.

Reference List

Ashman, A., & Elkins, J. (2005). Educating children with diverse abilities. Frenchs Forest NSW: Pearson Prentice Hall.

Kearsley, G. & Shneiderman, B. (1999). Engagement Theory: A framework for technology-based teaching and learning. Retrieved July 16, 2009, from

Marzano, R., & Pickering, D. (1997). Dimensions of learning (2nd ed.). Auroa, America: Mid-continent Regional Educational Laboratory.

Prensky, M. (2001). Digital Natives Digital Immigrants. On the Horizon. 9(5), 1-6.

Smith, R., Lynch, D. & Knight, B. (2007). Learning management: Transitioning teachers for national and international change. Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson.

Digital Storytelling

Digital storytelling is media that students use to create a story to share. They can use music, voice and images to bring together a creative narrative. Here is an example of a grade 2 students digital story (parental consent has been provided).

(King, 2008)

From this it can be seen just how much work children put into this task. It requires them to create and write a narrative and to create pictures. This can difficult for some students who might not be very creative. A task such as this could encourage and enhance their creativity. The boy who wrote and created this story was really excited at the fact that he wrote his own story that he got to take home on a DVD. I believe this gave him a sense of achievement not only in the classroom but in the 'real world'. The pride that came with showing people and the acknowledgment he received certainly gave his self confidence a boost.

This type of learning certainly is engaging 21st century learners. Who would have thought 50 years ago we would be have the ability to create a story in such a technological way? As Kearsly & Shneiderman (1999) discuss, by students creating their own purposeful activity it encourages the student to manipulate and control their own learningwhich leads to the student being more interested and motivated. Hence, engaging in meaningful learning.

Reference List

Kearsley, G. & Shneiderman, B. (1999). Engagement Theory: A framework for technology-based teaching and learning. Retrieved July 16, 2009, from

King, M. (Author). (2008). Lost. [Digital Story]. Rockhampton, QLD, Australia.



Image Manipulation

Originally uploaded by Neet83
This is amazing!

This was a fascinating experience. Using the program Picnik, I uploaded a photo off my computer and manipulated the image to make it look so much better (Picnik, 2009). What is more, I added the photo to my Flickr account and uploaded it from there straight to my blog! When playing with these programs I had the sense of being a digital immigrant. I had never seen these programs before and found them very fascinating.

Picnik. (2009). Picnick. Retrieved August 20, 2009, from


Autumn Flood
Originally uploaded by Ed Karjala

This is a photo downloaded from Flickr straight to my blog. I found it very easy to follow directions of how to set this up. I created an account and added my blog in the send options and went browsing (Yahoo Inc, 2009).

Flickr is an online database for storing photographs with the whole world (Yahoo Inc, 2009). By storing your photos on Flickr you can share them with friends or you can share them with the world.

While I was looking around my account I noticed that one of the ways to organise photos is to place them on a world map. What an interesting way to store them. For example, if a student was doing an assessment on China they could place all the relevant images on China. This could be well used by students throughout units and years to come. Another interesting fact about Flcikr is how people comment on each others pictures and evaluate them in an artistic way. How imaginative using this to teach students about composition, contrast, colour ect. Students could take their own photos and analyse each others and even receive feedback from people all over the world if they wish.

Reference List

Yahoo Inc. (2009). Flickr. Retrieved August 20, 2009, from

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Voice Thread

I am very impressed with Voice Thread. I had never heard of this before and am very excited about such an engaging tool. Voice Thread is a conversation revolving around media. You can have an entire group discussion on one page. You can upload a file and discuss this file whilst you can see the faces of people around your monitor. There are 5 ways you can communicate while participating in a Voice Thread. Microphone, text, telephone, webacm and file upload. Such a great range of multiliteracies.

I can see how distance education could benefit from Voicethread. A teacher can show a document and engage the participants in conversation about it. Throughout the lesson students can draw, text, zoom in and out.

Reference List

Voice Thread. 2009. Voice Thread. Retrieved August 20, 2009, from

Slide Share and File Storage

Slide Share and File Storage both share the commonality of storing and sharing documents on the Internet. By now it has become apparent to me that you can store just about anything on the Internet. I can now understand why some individuals have issues about online privacy and laws.

Slideshare lets you upload Powerpoints to their website. You can then add these straight from Slideshare to your blog. I started a Slideshare account and uploaded a Powerpoint to show on my blog. Unfortunately Slideshre is saying there is an error in completing this request. Nevertheless, here is a link to my slideshare account. I found Slideshare a great resource to looking through people Powerpoints. As I have stated in my blog on Powerpoints it is crucial to grasp an understanding of how to create a decent one. This could be a great way for students to research Powerpoints and gather information for assessments.

Mediafire is a place where people can store files and images and share them with whom ever they wish. There is no limit of storage space and you can manage your own folders.

Here is a document I put onto Mediafire. I feel this would be beneficial to students who wish to share files easily. I can see how this could be great for a teacher to look at a range of documents a student has been working on rather than simply emailing them.

Reference List

Mediafire. 2009. Mediafire: Free file storage made simple. Retrieved August 20, 2009. from

Slideshare. 2009. Slideshare present yourself. Retrieved August 20, 2009. from