Saturday, August 22, 2009


I have never had such a relationship before with my computer. I go to bed with it every night and wake up to it ever morning. Who needs a partner anymore when you can spend so much time with your computer. Seriously though although I have reached my frustration levels many times during the experience.

I have enjoyed this learning journey. The use of a blog to record this journey has been rewarding. I look back over what I have done and feel I have accomplished so much in a relative short time.

I will use and share what I have learnt. I have already used one of my new found skills. I used Flicker as a slide show for children to use as stimulus while making clay insects. During this time children would stop and watch the screen making comments and conversations with peers on what they were seeing. One child yelled at me “Troy blue nama (ant)”. They were able to make connections with the images and their world. This experience was an “active learning experience” the input they are hearing and using language such as body parts, six legs, antenna. They are feeling the clay and seeing the photographs. The process involves making an insect and communicating with peers. The output is the final product should display some of the elements of an insect such as three body parts or six legs.

I used Voki as a whole class experience where children were chosen to work on the Interactive White Board (IWB) to create an avatar. Children sat eyes glued to the IWB. They assisted each other to create sentences which were typed by myself. Further lessons will have the children attempting to type and/or record their sentence.

I am planning on using VoiceThread to have the students record the stories of Elders this would be the ultimate direct meaningful experience. Family is so important to these students and so are their stories. For them to be able to capture this in a way that is not hinged on the ability to use and understand English makes the task even more meaningful.

During this assignment I visited the sites of many of my peer’s blogs. I posted comments on a few after discovering that I had to download Mozilla Firefox to be able to comment on peers blogs.

Adams Centre for Teaching Excellence, (2000), viewed 23rd of August 2009, from


Wow what an awsome way to show off your credentials. No longer do you need to update the paper portfolio you can sell yourself in a new and exciting way. I have only just touched the surface as I explored the site but I can see that I will be spending a lot of time adding to it. One of the major advantages I can see is that you can access this anywhere and at any time. It also provides the perfect tool to apply for jobs with. How much would it make you stand out from others.

As for use in the classroom. It would be useful in a mainstream senior class for a resume builder. Anyone got any ideas for its use with Indegenous ESL students?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


VoiceThread allows you to upload photos, documents or video and comment in 5 different ways. I used it to upload photos of some of my favourite sports and commented on what I do in these areas. The photos were easily uploaded and I used the computers inbuilt microphone to record my comments.

VoiceThread would be the ultimate way for children to record their stories and that of their Elders. Photographs of the past and now could be used to tell dreaming stories, talk about country and teach traditional methods of doing things. This could all be done in first language (Warlpiri).


File Storage

Media fire enables you to store, share and file files. It allows you to access files from any computer anywhere. Files can either be accessed only by the person who uploaded it or can be shared publicly.

In a school environment this site would be useful as it also means that large files such as pictures can be stored in Media Fire instead of on the schools limited storage space. Another use is for teachers to easily share resources.

At a class level it would be useful to store items for children to have access to in an ideal environment this would be both at home and school. It would allow students to collaborate on group projects.

These are a collection of my favourite personal photos


WebQuest is "A well-designed WebQuest combines research-supported theories with effective use of the Internet to promote dependable instructional practices" (March, 2003)

At first glance I was unsure as exactly what a WebQuest was. After reading through and examining the examples it became clearer to me what a WebQuest is. It is a scaffolded research tool that gives the participants the chance to answer open entered questions.

I searched the bestwebquests site for ideas of how I could use this sight with ESL children I found the chocolate cookie example which is more at the level of students at my local school. I imagine the time taken to create a WebQuest would be huge. To warrant this effort this would have to be a long ongoing experience for the students. One advantage I can see would be that for those children who attend irregularly they could just pickup where they left off.


You Tube

"YouTube is a video sharing website on which users can upload and share videos, and view them in MPEG-4 format." The site is easy to navigate however the sheer volume of videos on each topic can be overwhelming. To find the exact video to suit you needs can be time consuming. I try to view ones that have been viewed the most and have high star ratings. I also use the function that provides related videos.

As I have previously stated not all students at my local school would have seen the ocean. You tube opens a whole new under water world. Attached is one clip that I will be showing the year 4/5 class.

The use of this site would be fantastic in any classroom. Children would have access to videos from and about the whole world. This site is blocked across NT schools as a sensory measure. The potential to view inappropriate videos is their however isn't it our job as educators to give students the skills required to function in the real world and make judgment calls for themselves?


Saturday, August 15, 2009


ClassMarker is an online testing service that allows you to enter questions for an online test.There are a variety of options when making the test. It caters for questions that are true false answer through to essay answers. It allows the test writer to make comments based on a correct or incorrect answer. I will be using the attached quiz to test prior to the commencment of my unit and at the end so the results will tell me what my students have learnt.


I am familiar with PowerPoint having used it for previous assignmnets. Through the use of pictures, written text,tables, graphs and voice recording various learning styles are catered for. Visual learners will take in the pictures and print where auditory learners will engage with the spoken element.

I find Power Point to be a little bit more technical than PhotoStory and is better used with children who have had more computer experience. Power Point has many uses two ways that I would have student use is firstly as a tool that can be used to add to a verbal presentation secondly as a way students can display their knowledge on a project.


Until today I had never looked at a podcast. I download a few relevant podcasts and listened to them. Finding the most relevant podcasts to suit your lesson could be time consuming but well worth the effort as I think that this format would be engaging to students if selected carefully. Also podcasts allow you to have access to specialists in a variety of areas. Once again reenforcing the idea that the teacher is not the expert in all areas they can learn with the student.

The children I work with are disadvantaged as they have limited access to ICT's. Very few children would have access to any form of ICT. The school has interactivewhite boards in all rooms and a computer lab but due to renevations there is very limited access to this at the moment.


SlideShare enables the user to upload presentaions as well as view presentations prepared by others. I am familiar with power point as I have used it for assignments in the past. In the past I have used power points recording ability to add narrative. As I am not sure how to narrate and turn it into mp3 I will post this as is as I learn how to finish this off.

View more presentations from troygill.


Friday, August 14, 2009


Incompetech is a library of royalty free music. I found the site some what difficult to navigate. This was not helped by the fact that it kept freezing and I had to end that program. The musicI listened to I would describe as very alternative and artsie. This music could be used in the classroom for a variety of experiences including background music for photostory or power point also for music to use in dance/drama.


Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia that is written by anyone contributing to articles. Anyone can add to or edit articles. It allows the user to search for relevant articles in a variety of ways including topics and subject areas. The words in blue when clicked provide information on that specific word.

The theme for this term for the year 4/5 class is sea animals. Children could use Wikipedia at school to begin research on a variety of sea animals. It provides opportunity for every child to gain knowledge through the use of text as well as photos and diagrams. The language used in Wikipedia may overwhelm the ESL students but this could be a well scaffolded experience. Children search for preselected articles such as fish, dolphin, stingray and whale. The use of an assistant teacher to translate and the teacher explicitly teaching key concepts would benefit all students. Unfortunately the majority of students would not have access to a computer at home.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Picnik was an easy to use program that allowed me to upload and tweak photos. It allowed me to resize and crop the photo. I also changed the colour. I can see that using picnik and Flickr I could upload class photos for children to view and edit instead of using the schools limited storage

Google Earth

I have used Google Earth to a limited extent to look up places of interest. Today I took the time to explore the functions. I was happily engaged checking out places of interest, reading reviews and trying out a variety of options.

I have observed children looking up Yuendumu on Google Earth but have never looked at the tecnology as a teaching tool. I can see that it could be a source of photos that could be used by children of all ages. From Transition children working together on a interactive whiteboard to senior secondary doing independant project work and utilising the features of the resourse.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Flying fish?, originally uploaded by kartoffel.

Flickr gives you access to images its like an online photo album. You can search for images by categories. I found this program simple to use like all programs I am sure that as I use the program more I will utilise more of its features.

I can see that this would be a useful program to use in the classroom. In my context I can imagine introducing the topic sea animals on the interactive whiteboard using photos from Flickr. It would give some of the students who have not seen the ocean a visual picture of what a beach, fish, turtle etc look like.


setting the scene

When I started writing my blog I had in mind that this is a perfect opportunity to use this technology in my local school. I spend two hours a day there listeneing to children read. The school has approximately 120 enrolments from preschool to senior secondary. The majority of students are Walpiri speakers with English being a second or third language. Until this year the school was bilingual so many of the students are learning in English for the first time.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Introduction to Flynn

Voki is a online site that allows you to create Avatars (a computer character) that talk.

I will introduce Flynn to the year 4/5 class at my local school. The class is studying sea animals. English is a second or third language for these children and I believe that the use of a avatar would engage the students.

I had the opportunity to create a avatar with a year 1/2 class on their iinteractive whiteboard. They loved it. It gave them the opportunity to practice making Standard Australian English sentances.

Get a Voki now!