Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea 2013

This year, we attempted to hold our biggest morning tea by including our whole school!

There were over 700 participants, and our school photo was fortunately included in this year’s youtube.


Final (part 2) of Unit 7 :)

Greetings everyone!

This is my last assignment!! Yipppeeeee!!! (not that I hadn’t enjoyed the experience)

I have found that with all these new online tools and constantly developing new ways of communicating, sharing and learning…I suffer from the frustration of the lack of time and opportunity to explore tools, to develop, master and discover all they have to offer.

Time seems to be my one and only issue…BUT it is a BIG ISSUE for me.

And as I submit my final assignment…I would like to THANK every single person on this journey through the VicPLN. You have all been WONDERFUL.

I hope you find this screencast that I have made, helpful.

Part 1 of: Unit 7

I had a little trouble whilst I was making my ToonDoo presentation  😦

My computer decided to have a little break down and it wouldn’t allow me to save!!

Therefore, I thought that I should finally embed what I have managed to put together before anything else goes wrong (please note that this is only part of Unit 7)…I hope you like it.

Actually…only a link to my ToonDoo Book is possible. (sorry for any inconvenience)

Unit 6

Assessing your digital fluency

Completed Survey  🙂

I have learned a number of new skills and have learned to use a number of new tools via the VicPLN. Facebook, Twitter, Evernote, WordPress and a few others. All of which I was non-literate and now I feel that I have achieved ‘Literacy’ level.

But I would love to be at a level of ‘Fluency’. The tutorials that are provided for us are a perfect way to learn how (Thank-you for these tutorials, they are extremely helpful)

My attitude to online citizenship is the same attitude that I like to share and show whenever I am out in public.

Trying to be respectful and mindful are all attitudes that I hope to always demonstrate (that’s just the way I am)

The way that I manage my privacy is to not  provide personal information online. My  privacy and reputation is not really an issue for me. I am always conscience of the fact that whatever I post online is out there for anyone to see. I question myself, ‘do I care if anyone sees this?‘ the answer would have to be a definite no, otherwise, I just don’t put it online, simple (yet an effective way to protect our privacy and reputation).

I have tracked down my 17 year old niece. She is currently doing year 12.

And I had put forward to her, questions from Unit 6.

Question 1. What is your attitude to privacy online, are you concerned about your online reputation and do you take steps to protect your privacy?

Answer: “Yes, I take steps to protecting my privacy by putting all my settings onto private. And I only accept people that I know as friends on my Facebook.

Question 2. What tools do you use to stay in touch? And do you have a multiple personae?

Answer: “I use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, email and messaging on my mobile phone (a Samsung Galaxy). We use Edmodo only for school.  What you see of me is what you get, I only have one personae online”

Question 3. How would you feel about using the same tool for your personal life and for your learning?

Answer: “I use Edmodo only for school. I reckon I wouldn’t use Edmodo for private life because it really doesn’t have the features as FB does and not many people know about it. But it’s easier if I used it for school only cause it’s easier to communicate with the teachers and submit any assignments in.”


Considering digital fluency and citizenship, I strongly feel that it is the educators responsibility to teach, instruct, demonstrate, inform, emphasise  and encourage students in the responsible use of these very powerful tools.

I don’t think that this should be limited to the tools that we encourage students to use, we should definitely be teaching responsible use of Facebook BUT at an appropriate age. We don’t teach 13 or 14 year olds how to drive (subject to debate), because they are not old enough or mature enough to handle the responsibility and the implications of such a tool (i.e. a car) just like they are not old enough and mature enough to handle the responsibility of a powerful tool such as Facebook. Yes, I see Facebook as a powerful tool where we have discovered can have serious consequences when used irresponsibly. Perhaps I am getting a little carried away, I see that youngsters are using Facebook and other online tools, therefore,  educators should be doing all they can to ensure that students are given the best advice (a simple analogy: a child first hold a grown ups’ hand when they learn to cross the street…then they can use a crossing… independently walk safely…some will just run across the street and not look both ways, but it is our responsibility to show them how to walk and cross that street correctly…safely.) I could go on and on and on.

I feel that modelling responsible behaviour using Edmodo would be a positive step.

I feel that my progression with technology has been positive. Although I feel that I am still very much literate, I hope to become fluent. It has changed the way I learn and shaped my professional practice by allowing me to communicate and network with others via tools that I was not familiar with (if it wasn’t for the PLN, I would not have joined Facebook, Twitter or even Edmodo) I am grateful for being given the opportunity and a reason to enter the online community.

The impact of technology on us citizens has had a positive and negative effect.

As with anything in this world, I have found it quite sad at times at what this technology’s effect has had. Hand written notes sent in the mail are a rare and yet endearing item to receive. And yet, being able to link with someone on the other side of the world is amazing!

A letter or a click?

The use of technology in learning is essential. Unfortunately, technology is moving so fast that educators sometimes tend to fall behind in modelling the use of this technology. Educators need to try to keep at least one step ahead of the students, in order to guide them correctly.

My chosen 5 Characteristics of an effective learner:

1. curious: I have found that being curious about a topic has had me searching for answers and discovering new things.

2. passionate: Being passionate about something, would also have me investigating and searching.

3. multitask: I have been able to have a number of websites up at one time, alongside some books and corresponding with colleagues (a feat that I’m sure I would not impress those who are I.T. Geniuses)

4. organised: learning how to incorporate tools that help us keep all of our new found information organised and easily recalled and retrieved.

5. sharing: I feel that sharing is a wonderful way of becoming an effective learner as it leads to others sharing right back with us, thus giving us access to further new resources and information.


I predict that the way that technology will change the way we learn in the future is possibly… not much different than what we have today (I suppose that shows that I really can’t think too far into the future and that I’m not very imaginative) But I don’t think that the classroom would ever become obsolete as education is not the only thing we need to learn, a sense of community and our social skills could really only be obtained if and when we are in the company of others.

Unit 5

1. Search

The first task had involved, picking one term that students may need to search at school and to then compare results offered by different search engines. The term that I have chosen is a topic that is covered by our year 5 Students: Natural Disasters

Google; gave me a drop down option via auto suggest : ‘Natural Disasters for Kids’

DuckDuckGo; did not give me a drop down option for kids (I had to type it in)

Bing; also gave me an auto suggest with the option of ‘Natural Disasters for Kids’

InstaGrok; could not give me any options for ‘Natural Disasters for Kids’ but it was able to give me the general ‘Natural Disasters’.

2. Evaluating resources

A web resource which I trust is:

This site contains a calendar of events in which I rely on to obtain information re: upcoming events throughout the year.

I have chosen this site because I feel that it is so obvious and clear that this is a reliable.

I know that this is a reliable site because it contains .gov in the URL (Uniform Resource Locater, internet address)

It contains contact details, it has links to other sites, I can see no spelling errors, this site is easily found, it has relevant and up to date information, I found that this site ticks all the correct boxes (so to speak)…

… (Oh No!…I actually just checked the site to ensure accuracy. To do this, I checked the date for Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea, and to my  disappointment 😦  , it had the date of 28th of May, when this year it is Officially 23rd May, as I have discovered on the ‘Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea’ site. Well, what does this mean??? I suppose this means that just because we believe a site to be true and accurate, it’s always best to check a different resource to ensure the results are consistent and are as accurate as possible) I have certainly learnt that relying on one source of information is not very reassuring and has left me questioning other information and their sources.

Unit 4

Unit 4 – the task
With my serious hat on, the online service that I have chosen is Evernote (an online tool that I have already signed up to).
The ‘Terms of Services’ Page and the ‘Privacy Policy’ are very easily located on Evernote.
After having selected a random piece of each of these documents, I feel that they are trying to give the impression that the information is clear and straight forward language but I’m afraid that I don’t comprehend it very well and like all other documents, I usually just skim along reading it and only stop if something sticks out like a sore thumb! (I do try to understand it all but…what can I say…I don’t really understand what it REALLY means)
One thing that surprises me about Evernote, is that your personal information and contents may be shared! This really doesn’t bother me at all because I have always believed that whatever you type in on your computer you need to be prepared and know that it is possible for anyone to view what you have posted. You need to be comfortable enough with the content that if it is viewed by others, you wouldn’t care any way.
The policies on Evernote are extremely long and appear to thoroughly cover all necessary questions that someone might think of asking. I did not read the whole thing. Like most documents, it does become very boring after the first few paragraphs. And of course, like most things, I did not read the fine print nor the entire policy. I know that I should but I never seem to be able to get focused and tend to sometimes (i.e. most times) skim through just to be able to say, “yes, I have read through the policy”

With Evernote, you are able to back up or export your data…
“Your Data is Portable
There is no data-lock in Evernote. We are committed to making it easy for you to get all of your data into, and out of, Evernote at any time. Our desktop software lets you export all of your notes and content in human-readable HTML as well as a fully documented machine-readable XML format. We also have a full, free API that lets you access all of your data. Our philosophy is that if you’re confident that you can leave Evernote at any time, then you’ll be confident enough to want to stay.” (Extracted from The Evernote Blog 18th April 2013)

Through the settings option, you are able to deactivate your account.
After having a little and yet a useful experience with the use of Evernote, I have already recommended its use to another work colleague. I feel that Evernote is a very useful tool…but I know that I am still at a level of discovery and I have a lot more to learn and to discover about Evernote. But I have been fascinated and inspired by capabilities in what Evernote has to offer.
Evernote’s usefulness tends to override the terms, policies, conditions etc., etc., etc.. If we had to look at every aspect of every tool, I’m afraid that that is all that we would do, we would be too afraid and to cautious to sign up to anything. But instead, we skip all the formalities, look at a tool for whatever it may be good for, and sign up usually WITHOUT even having a look or a good look at the policies but mainly based on recommendations by friends, colleagues or other users.

Evaluation of an online tool:

After having a brief look at ‘Xtranormal’, the graphics seemed to be more appropriate for older children. I also had a quick look at Storybird and my personal opinion is that I did not find it as colourful as ToonDoo.

So I had chosen to use the tool ToonDoo as part of Unit 4.

I have created a short, light hearted  cartoon strip, I hope you like it.

dog up a tree

My review  of ToonDoo is as follows; ToonDoo is a free tool but you can also have a subscription where you are able to get a lot more options.  This tool requires you to login with a username and password (I tried to go back to review the registration requirements but due to the system remembering my details, it would no longer give me the option to go back as new user…and I couldn’t quite remember all the details).

There is an option of Private ToonDoo Spaces, which is a secure option for schools and educational institutions and then there is the Public ToonDoo, where individuals sign up to. This could be set as private, to share with friends or made public. Again I see the potential of this being such a positive tool but like all things on the internet, online or in a cloud nothing is ever really secure and so we should use this tool with care.

I could see this tool mostly being used in a classroom setting and for those of us who would like to express ourselves visually.

This tool would be wonderful in a classroom setting. Students would able to show reflections of excursions, they could demonstrate steps to an activity, a book review etc., etc., in a cartoon form. They are able to pick settings, backgrounds, write in the dialogue etc. there is an endless use of this tool in a very positive and entertaining way. It offers social network settings  for classrooms at a rate of 10c per user per month.

This could change the way in which students hand in assignments. For example, a student may need to write a reflection of an excursion that had gone to. With ToonDoo, the student would be able to show and write their reflection in a much more entertaining way. ToonDoo fits in the SAMR model of assessment for example,  Substitution, Augmentation,  Modification and Redefinition all can be applied by the use of the tool ToonDoo in a presentation of a Book Report.

ToonDoo is easy to share and to embed.

A fun and entertaining tool 🙂  🙂

My continued reflection of Unit 3…

The way I feel about online professional communities is, that I can see how this way of communicating, sharing and discussing can be of benefit (i.e. not needing to worry about travel, time and distance etc.)  But I also like the interaction and social aspect of meeting, greeting and discussing things face to face. The role in which this may play for me in education is that I feel that we can pretty much have the best of both worlds, i.e. we can communicate and network via all these wonderful tools e.g. Facebook and we can also make an effort into attending  meetings and workshops, allowing us to get a different perspective  (and a little fresh air 🙂  )

I found that the tools that were suggested to us were not only interesting but also entertaining. I have never used Twitter or Facebook before. So when I first joined Twitter,  I had attempted to send a Twitter to ‘QandA’ and to my disappointment, I did not see it run across the screen like so many others I had seen. The concept of someone not seeing or listening to what I had to say saddened and disappointed me although I now do understand that not all Twitters are possible to see or to display (there are just too many)

I found that I much prefer to use Facebook. I do not find Facebook as fast paced as Twitter. Although,  at first I found that I was a little slow in adding to a conversation. By the time I had a thought or response, people were already on another topic! (Both on Facebook and Twitter) I am pleased to say that I think that I am getting a little better at it.

I work in a Primary School Campus and Facebook is not blocked for Staff but students do not have access.

Using Facebook, Twitter or Google Plus have positive aspects in communicating and collaborating with colleagues. You may have a thought, idea or want to share some newfound information  which could then be immediately communicated to your colleagues via any of these tools. An instantaneous and exciting form of communication (especially if you want to share something new that you have discovered and feel that you must share immediately) 🙂 🙂

Please also see earlier reflections re: Unit 3 (there are 3 other posts re: Unit 3 after the 2 Youtube posts)