Module 1

I am completing an online web 2.0 course run by the Catholic Education Office. It runs for 20 weeks and covers 10 modules. I hope that I can support the staff and my school with this course and learn a few things along the way.

In Module One we were asked to explore what web 2.0 is and look at some web 2.0 tools. I already have a good understanding of web 2.0 and use a lot of the tools listed. I liked the overview and that there were videos to watch rather than huge amounts of text.

There are nine staff from my school completing the course. As the ICT leader in the school I am trying to assist everyone with the course. In this module I helped everyone sign up for a Google account. We set up Google Chrome and Google +. We enjoyed using Google + and have set up a community for our group called HF Tekkie Brekkies. We used Tekkie Brekkies in the name as we meet in the mornings twice a week to work on the course. I think Google + will be a great tool for us to share our learning. I hope that the staff I am working with will be able to see the value of social media as a tool for professional learning.

Searching for Online Content Using CC

Throughout Week 3 of the Creative Commons for K-12 Educators course I have been searching for content that I can use to teach my Year 3/4’s and the staff at my school about Creative Commons. You can see the content I found in my previous blog post.

Did you find what you were looking for?

 To begin with I used the suggested sites to search for resouces. These included:



OER Commons


I found these to be very useful and easy to use.  I had used most of them before but without specifically narrowing the search options to only show Creative Commons licensed work. I had never used OER Commons before and found this to be a useful site. I think I will be going back to that site in the future to look for resources. I also used You Tube to search for videos. I found this quite useful as you can narrow the search to only include work licensed under Creative Commons.

I found quite a few resources but would like to keep searching for more. I would like to find some videos that are suitable for students to view. It has been difficult to find any videos that sum up Creative Commons in a simple way for kids. I am thinking that a project for my class could be to make their own videos that explains Creative Commons simply.

How did you know if you could use it or not?

In most cases it was easy to identify the terms of use. Most sites had a Creative Commons license and I was able to check that license to see how I am allowed to use it. You can read more about these licenses here.

 Share what worked and what didn’t for you.

I found searching for Creative Commons work easier than I had expected. I think that from now on I will use this feature more often and I will be encouraging my students to do the same. I also tapped into my PLN to find more resources. A few people sent me links to their Diigo accounts and I discovered more sites through that. There wasn’t really anything that didn’t work for me.

Teach Someone Something With Open Content

Creative Commons
“Image used courtesy of Flickr’s jorgeandresem”

I am getting a head start on the Creative Commons for K-12 Educators course this week as I am on holidays. Week 3’s task asks us to find some content on a topic of our choice that is licensed under Creative Commons. I decided to find content on Creative Commons as I want to be able to teach my class and the staff at my school more about it.

Below is a Linkroll from Diigo with the links I have found so far. I have also made annotations in my Diigo account that highlight the Creative Commons license for each site.

Do you have any resources on Creative Commons that could be shared?

Are you really CC Savvy?

This is the post I wrote for the task in Week 2 of “Creative Commons for K-12 Educators”:

For this task I chose to teach my class about Creative Commons. The reason I am taking this course is to further my understanding of Creative Commons so that I can teach my class about it and then as ICT Leader inform the staff at my school. I teach a Year 3/4 class of 8-10 year olds. I think it is very important that my students have a grasp of Creative Commons as they use and create online content almost every day, often without a thought for the laws that apply.

Before the lesson I was wondering how they would go with the topic and how I could simplify it enough so that they could understand the content. I knew that they had very little prior knowledge except a vague understanding that Copyright protects content. Most of their understanding applied to movies and music created by organisations and famous artists. They didn’t have any understanding about Copyright or Creative Commons in relation to their own work.

My class responded really well to learning about Creative Commons. I thought they may find it boring but they were actually very interested and excited to be learning about it. I used lots of examples in the lesson to try and express how different people want to license their work with different options.

One student asked: “What happens if they don’t catch you?” This was a great question and led to a discussion about the ethics behind using other peoples work. We discussed the similarity in using online content without permission to shop lifting and not getting caught. My class agreed that taking online work without the correct permissions is not the right thing to do, even if they don’t get caught.

Some of the questions my class still have are:

  • Will they change the Copyright laws?
  • Will there be more Creative Commons symbols?
  • Who made the Copyright and Creative Commons law and when was it made?
  • Why is Copyright international?
  • How many people have been caught not following the law?
  • What if you copy a photo or music into your presentation but you don’t share it on the Internet?
  • What happens if you want to use a photo that you are not allowed to and you ask the person, but they don’t respond?

Creative Commons and Copyright is definitely a topic that my class will be revisiting. I hope that every time we create and use online content we will think about and discuss these laws. I also hope that my students might start to use the Creative Commons licensing tool to share their work.

P2PU Creative Commons Course

I have joined another online course. This one is called Creative Commons for K-12 Educators and is run by P2PU which stands for Peer to Peer University. I have had a lot more success with this course compared to some of the other MOOC’s I have signed up for. The other MOOCS have not been user friendly for Australian time zones and I don’t think my heart was really in them. This meant I dropped out fairly early on and missed out on fully appreciating MOOC’s.

I had been wanting to learn more about Copyright and Creative Commons so when the opportunity to do this free course came up I thought I’d give online learning another go.  This course has been structured in a really simple way with each week’s lessons set out concisely with clear expectations for each task.

Last week we were introduced to Creative Commons and this week’s task involved teaching my class about what I have learned so far. I told my students that I was doing this course and that part of it required me to teach them about it. I also told them why I was doing the course and how important it is that they know what Creative Commons is. My students thought it was great that I am still learning just like they are and wanted to help me do the course.

I hope that I can gain a good understanding of Creative Commons and use this knowledge to teach both my students and the staff at my school.

#etmooc Introduction

As part of the #etmooc course which is starting tomorrow we have been asked to introduce ourselves. The idea was to make a visual introduction and publish it on our blogs. I have made a Toontastic story as a way of telling you a little bit about myself. I wanted to use a creative tool that I hadn’t used before. I am hoping that Toontastic will be a fantastic tool for my class to explore further this year.



Next week #etmooc begins! I am looking forward to joining in my first MOOC – Massive Open Online Course. Etmooc will be covering a range of topics, including: connected learning, digital story telling, digital literacy, the open movement and digital citizenship. You can find more by visiting the etmooc website here. It is not too late to sign up! I will be posting about my experiences on my blog using the category and tag #etmooc. I will also be tweeting during the course using #etmooc.

November #globalclassroom chat

This month I was asked by Michael Graffin (@mgraffin) to provide the topic for the global classroom chat that takes place on Twitter. The chat is held at different times to cater for a worldwide audience. To take part all you need to do is be on twitter at the appropriate time and follow the #globalclassroom hashtag. Remember to include the hashtag if you want to comment throughout the chat.

The overarching question that I settled on is:

How can we support students to inquire into global issues that help develop empathy and compassion?

You can read more about the chat and find the dates that suit your timezone on the Global Classroom Project blog.

Opening Minds by Peter Johnston


About a month ago, while browsing through Twitter I came across the hashtag #cyberpd and a tweet by Laura Komos that encouraged people to read the book Opening Minds by Peter Johnston and join a group that was going to discuss the book in July. I decided that I would jump straight in and ordered the book. Well, the book took a long time to get to Australia and I have only recently received my copy. Even though I started behind everyone else I am still hoping to be able to keep up.

Here are the most important things that I have taken away from chapters 1-3:

Chapter One is called “Choosing Words, Choosing Worlds”. I think this sums up the first point nicely. The words we choose to use in our classrooms help to create and define the classroom worlds for our students and ourselves (page 1). It is important to remember that we as teachers have a huge role to play in shaping our classroom worlds. I loved on page 1 when Peter Johnston described a time when one of his nieces said “I need a bigger world”. This made me think, what are we doing to create a bigger world for our students?

I have been involved in a conference called PLNLEAD which looks at how to lead in a networked world. As a result most of what I am reading and learning about at the moment comes back to creating sustainable local and global connections for my class and how to encourage others to expand their “worlds” and make connections.

I think it is important to reflect on the words we use and how we can challenge our students to move forward and not stand still. The example in Chapter Two that talked about the word ‘yet’ made me think about how something as small as the word yet can make such a difference. If we challenge students to think of the areas they need to work on as areas they haven’t yet mastered instead of areas they will never understand we give students the power to influence their own learning. Just a simple shift in mindset can result in a student believing in themselves and in turn achieving what they thought they couldn’t.

In Chapter Two, Peter Johnston mentions two types of students. Those who adopt a fixed-learning frame and those who adopt a dynamic learning frame. Students who adopt the fixed-learning frame think of themselves as never being good at something or already being smart at something. Those with a dynamic-learning frame consider that if they work hard they will be able to achieve anything. We need to encourage our student to adopt a dynamic-learning frame so they can learn as much as they can and expand their “worlds”.

Chapter Three discusses the need for students to see that they are on a learning journey and to recognise how far they have come. Students who view themselves as dynamic learners realise the importance of learning from mistakes and are not afraid to get things wrong. I think it is so important for teachers to encourage students to take risks and to have a go in the safe environment of the classroom. Page 32 talks about asking the questions “What are you thinking?” and “How did you do that?” These two questions open up many possibilities for teachers to encourage students to see the power of their learning.

Term Three begins for my State tomorrow. I hope that with a new term I can bring a fresh mindset to my classroom and continue to help my students to value their learning journey as much as I value my own.

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Unit 11: Gaming

I have grown up with gaming. My family have always had the latest game console. I always liked Nintendo the best. My brother preferred Playstation. I liked Mario and all the games related to his adventures. When Nintendo released Super Mario All Stars on Wii I was so excited and bought it the day it came out. The game has so many memories associated with it, as does Donkey Kong, another Nintendo game rereleased for Wii. I am up to date with most games but I would never play most of them. I stick to fun, family style games. I prefer Wii, DS and Apple Apps.

I think gaming can have an important role in education. I know all my students have gaming consoles at home and they are at times more familiar with using iPhones and iPads than I am. We often have chats about certain app based games when my students see my iPad or iPhone. Gaming is a way to engage students, in particular, boys. I think if we can tap into some positive elements from games we will help our students learn.

I have used a website called Kerpoof with my students and have encouraged its use amongst my level (yr 1/2). Kerpoof is owned by Disney and offers lots of activities such as ‘Spell a Picture’, ‘Make a Movie’ and ‘Draw a Picture’. These activities encourage literacy skills and very effective lessons can be created around the program. The reason I think this site fits into this topic of ‘gaming’, is because throughout the site you earn coins and the students can spend coins on items to improve the site. I was amazed at how effective this was in motivating students. They were instantly engaged and wanted to earn as many coins as possible. They also talked about what to spend their coins on so they could make wise choices.

I recently came across this blog post written by Lynette Barr on her ‘Educator’s Guide To Innovation’ blog. Lynette provides some well thought out activities based on Mario Kart. It is definitely worth looking at!