October 28

This week in eLearning

Phew… the end of another manic week, and it just doesn’t stop.
We had an interesting session on Tuesday for the Tech Tasters with Pat McGarry inspiring us as to what we can achieve, not only with iPads, but a range of 1:1 technology.
Full details are on the iPad project blog here
With some links to amazing resources.
The Year 7 iPad trial has begun at Beaui with 7W and we have had sessions in basics – Thanks Dave – and some Digital Citizenship and safety. If you would like to see what the kids get up to as they explore these devices check out our blog

We are quickly heading towards our ratio of 1:1 devices from Years 9 – 12, and by the end of the year there will be over 500 new devices across the 3 campuses, so needless to say the technicians are very busy setting them all up. They have also upgraded the wireless network installing new Wireless Access Points (WAPs) across the college, which should see an improvement in connectivity. If you know of a dead spot lease let me know and I will pass this on to the techs to try to improve it.

Please make sure you check each notebook, netbook etc before and after use by your students so we can check any damage, and follow up immediately. Try to get into the habit of each student using the same device, this will make it faster to log on, as well as assisting follow up of damage. Keep a list of who uses which – I have a template which I can send out if needed.

Make sure you check out the new Edustar software on these devices, and on the new teacher notebooks. There is Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements, which means all students have access to these powerful tools. Take some time and check out the other stuff… and ask if you would like a specific software PD , either individually, small group/domain based or whole school/campus.

Edumail is still a pain for many people – if you are still having issues (or know of someone having issues, as they can’t get this mail) let Wayne know as he is dealing with the department.

Thank you once again to Sharon and Ingrid for providing some great eLearning PD this week. Ben has offered to run PD for anyone interested in developing a wiki or Facebook group for their students. Let him know if you are interested, and he will work out a date and time.

I am looking for interested people who would like to participate in a trial of eLearning Peer Coaches, email me an expression of interest… no special skills required.

Our eLearning Vision, as decided by you
Sandringham College provides access to an innovative curriculum which connects and engages learners every hour of every day.

The wordle (http://www.wordle.net/) your feedback on the College vision generated is the banner on this blog.

A Question for you to think about this week…. Are we as educators really using the technology available to transform learning…. Or enhance it?

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June 16

Developing our eLearning Vision

I know this has been a while in coming, since I collected the information last year… but we shall wipe off last year, and continue on now…. The feedback on our eLearning Vision, wants and needs for the DER funding as well as looking at where we are on the eLearning Matrix has been put together… and ready for your further feedback and information. A huge thank you to the Domain teams across the College who put their responses in to me. We listened to your feedback on where you felt we needed to put more hardware etc, and have taken this into account when allocating funding for purchases.

Today I would like to focus on our vision, and further defining it. I feel it is important for everyone to have a say in developing our eLearning Vision, so we are all agreed and heading in the same direction. It was interesting as I was coallating all of the information, thoughts and words that I felt similar words and issues kept coming to the surface. So I put all of the words… in their raw form, into Wordle and came up with this

Our eLearning Vision

Our eLearning Vision

There are a few brief statements that immediately spring to my mind when I see this word cloud of our vision for eLearning…. but I would like to hear your thoughts. If you could just reply to this post with either a group or individual statement, based on these words/image as to the eLearning Vision for Sandringham College, please include your name and campus.

Looking forward to sharing your thoughts.

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June 13

eLearning update

The time has come…. when we got the iPads into the College last year we made the decision to allow staff to have some play time with the them, and develop strategies and plans with how they could be used in the classroom…
If you have used an iPad for any amount of time would you please take a few minutes to complete this short survey


iPads in Education – and the iCloud

I was fortunate to spend time on Friday and over the long weekend participating in the Flexible Learning Network’s eRealite conference. Many areas of eLearning were covered including a look at the Horizon Report – as well as exploring a range of tools and applications, issues and concerns which face educators and the use of eLearning in a number of situations.

Using audio as formative assessment…

Digital Artists Competition

The Horizon Report is a report put out each year which looks at emerging trends in the digital age. It has been fascinating over the past few years watching what I have read in the reports come to reality. In this year’s reports the trends looking at less than a year for widespread adoption are electronic books and mobile devices. Two to three years to adoption – augmented reality (overlaying the real and the digital world) and Game based learning. Four to five years to adoption sees gesture based computing and learning analytics



And some other things to be thinking about….

What you have missed in education discussions if you were not on Twitter

Leveraging Social networking in the classroom


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November 16

Ultranet V2

On November 3 and 4 the Ultranet Lead Users and Prin team from the college met up with other schools teams and the Ultranet coaches for training in the new release features of the Ultranet.
It is looking good. Great to have some more design features such as themes for different pages, and the ability to use CSS (a way to add code to your pages to give them a more individual feel). The Learning tasks appeared to work well, but as we don’t get students onto it until next year it was a little frustrating.

The electronic copy of the release 2 book, with all of the details is HERE – Ultranet Release 2
In August we were introduced to the first release of the Ultranet, and were able to set up a range of different spaces for different purposes and aims: personal, peer sharing and student sharing. The new version of the Ultranet has added enhancements to those pages as well as some new areas.

The Learning tasks area gives teachers the opportunity to set up courses with a range of features. These can be set up in the “planning” space which only the teacher can see, much like an electronic chronicle. These “classes” can then be shared with your own classes. In 2010 only homegroups are being added, so you can’t see the next step unless you teach your homegroup. All of the rest of the classes will be added next year. This is frustrating, but we have to work within the timelines.

The other new feature is the addition of parent spaces. Parents will be able to access the Ultranet, and have at their fingertips information about their child’s timetable and when learning tasks are due etc.

There are many other features, and I would strongly suggest jumping in and getting familliar, as it is an expectation that you will have Learning tasks etc up there for your students. You can find a heap of helpful information on the Support Site by using the Cogwheel which pops up along the bottom of the Ultranet page.

The Cogwheel to Support site

The Cogwheel to Support site

Many teachers across the state have already embraced the sharing nature of Web 2.0 and the Ultranet, and have created spaces for sharing curriculum ideas and innovations with other like minded teachers. For example there are Design spaces set up for VCE classes in outdoor Ed, Maths etc as well as VELs groups looking at Metals, LOTE, Maths, Textiles, Science Twitter users, iPad users etc. Just do a search for your subject or group interest and you will find a space you may like to join… there are nearly 8,000 Design spaces already, or you can create your own. Some spaces are open or restricted, which means you can join them. Private spaces don’t show up on the list, and you would need to be invited to.

Our timeline is to have all teachers using the Ultranet over the rest of 2010, and developing their courses for 2011. Students will then access the Ultranet through Term 1 2011. Together there will no doubt be some fun and games as we all work our way through it, but there needs to be some content on the Ultranet before we invite parents on in Term 2 2011. By that time, no doubt, there will be parents waiting to see what all the hype is about, and having heard about it from earlier release schools who already have content on their Ultranet spaces. 

Looking forward to seeing what we can create.

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November 10

I’m back

I am just wiping 2010 off … after the ACEC conference things moved along very quickly…. Looking to a brighter 2011, with more posting and blogging…and getting to more online and face to face conferences etc. I have been back at work for a week, after 6 months out of action, and boy it doesn’t take long for a digital footprint to shrink!!! It was heartening to see the Redback Project has notched up over 1000 visitors over the past 12 months 🙂

Feeling out of the loop as an Ultranet Lead User, it was good to be on deck for the second release training. I have been spending some time setting up Learning Tasks, however, we won’t have students added to the Ultranet until next year (as all of our senior classes are specialist/electives and not home group based) it can be a bit frustrating. The feedback on Twitter is others are feeling the same way.
We are having a Head Start program, starting the year 11s off with their Year 12 classes, it would have been great to spend some of that time adding students, and getting them familliar with the Ultranet, so we can get straight into content next year. So… I am setting up the class spaces on Moodle and my Design tech wiki as well. My Teaching area is textiles – VCE Design Technology and VET Fashion. Yes doing the same thing on 3 different sites, but from experience I know it it better to err on the side of caution with technology, and always have a backup plan!!!

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