Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Well, what a learning journey I have had completing this, my first professional blog! My brain feels like it is overflowing with so much more information and knowledge about so many different technologies that I had never considered looking at in depth before or even heard of. So what exactly have I learnt over the past few months?

In the 21st Century, technology is a large part of society and our lives. Because technology is so relevant now, there is no argument as to why it is being emphasised more and more through curriculum documents and in education as whole. In the Queensland Technology Essential Learnings it describes how students should learn to see that technology has a place in peoples work and community. It also identifies the importance for students to explore the use of technology practices. As teachers it is our responsibility to help students to learn to use tools, technology and Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) to inquire, create and communicate, while also being able to “reflect on learning and consider the uses and impacts of technology in familiar everyday situations.” (Queensland Studies Authority, 2007b, p. 1) “Students live in a technological world where information and communication technologies (ICTs) are integral to everyday situations.” (Queensland Studies Authority, 2007a, p. 1)

This course provided me with a starting point and gave me the opportunity to actually look into and discover many familiar and new technologies. It also made me critically think about how, in my teaching practice, I could utilise these technologies to engage and help all different students, of differing learning styles and abilities to achieve learning outcomes, develop higher order thinking skills and creativity. “Applying ICTs as a tool for learning assists students to become competent, discriminating, creative and productive users of ICTs. ICTs can be integrated in a variety of ways within and across all key learning areas to support thinking, learning, collaboration and communication.” (Queensland Studies Authority, 2007a, p. 1) My somewhat ‘closed mind’ that I had when starting this course, slowly began to be opened and amazed at all the technologies that were available to me. I began to see and realise that so many different technologies would be so great and beneficial to use in the classroom because they provided for real life experiences that students can relate to and help them become life long learners.

So what technologies would I use and how would I use them to enhance student learning and make my teaching more efficient? From all the technologies that I got to experience and practice using, I do have a few favourites that I can see myself using in the classroom to make my teaching more efficient and to enhance my students’ engagement, participation and learning. My specific favourites and ones that I could see myself using in my classrooms are Voki avatars, Flickr and Wikis.

The Voki Avatars, I think are fantastic. They are fun to use and the opportunities are endless as to what characters can be created. In my classroom I would use these as a ‘co-teacher.’ Instead of me (the normal human teacher) giving tasks to students, I would create an avatar that would ‘work alongside me’ to give information and instructions to students. I could see this engaging students better and it would make them want to investigate and complete different tasks because it would be new and interesting for them.

I also loved the capabilities of Flickr. Because Flickr is an online photo management and sharing tool, this would prove to be of great use to recording educational experiences in the classroom. Students like to see what they have done and taking pictures is a way to capture their learning experiences at all different stages. Flickr would work great by having albums of different activities/units students complete. Students would have the capabilities to take pictures, upload them onto the account and then have the opportunity to also be able to add comments and descriptions of what is happening in the pictures and the purpose of them. Ultimately they are sharing their learning journey and knowledge with the class and others.

One more that I can see enhancing student learning and make my teaching more efficient is the use of Wikis. There are many ways that Wikis could be used. As a class, students could create a page to display their understandings and learning throughout a unit of work, utilising a concept similar to a KWL and add different information and questions at different stages of the unit of work. Individually, wikis could provide students with an alternative way to complete assessments such as a report. Instead of presenting their report on a poster for example, students could generate a wiki to display their project. They would be able access it at school and at home to work on it. Through wikis students will have the opportunities to add different fonts, colours, pictures, etc, to ensure that the task is more open ended and appealing.

Throughout using different ICTs in the classroom, the opportunities are endless!!! We just need to get out thinking hats on and design learning experiences that will interest our students and expose them to many different technologies that are readily available to us and our students.

By communicating and collaborating with my peers through the moodle discussion forums and our professional blogs, provided me with the opportunity to professionally collaborate my ideas and opinions, along with concerns and confusions I had. Through expressing them (in the forums and blogs), I learn that a lot of my technical difficulties, questions, fears and worries were very similar to others in the course as well. When peers commented on my professional blog entries, it was great to read their opinions of what I had done, while also providing me with extra points to consider that I would not have thought of if I had not shared my insights and learning with others. By following other peoples blogs that were doing the same course and tasks I was able to see so many different opinions and experiences that people had while learning to work and explore the many different technologies that were unfamiliar to us. It was also a great tool to inform each other of great information/sites/programs that could assist us with our understandings and learning journey.

I have learnt, and now believe that e-learning (technology supported education) enables us to take what is considered ‘normal everyday’ learning experiences and turn them into engaging, fun, interactive and hands on learning that benefits all styles of learners. Technology has a very important place in education! To be efficient and resourceful teachers, we need to be constantly practicing and experimenting with unfamiliar technologies along with applying our knowledge, experiences and different pedagogical strategies in our learning experiences. We need to embrace technology, just as I am finally learning to do myself!


Queensland Studies Authority. (2007a). Information and Communication (ICTs) Cross Curriculum Priority by the end of Grade 3. Retrieved on August 16, 2009, from

Queensland Studies Authority. (2007b). Technology Essential Learnings by the end of Grade 3. Retrieved on August 16, 2009, from

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