Tuesday, November 10, 2009

History of the Internet

Found this great video about the history of the Internet, following is an interesting (albeit sexist) video about future predictions in 1969.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Pencil - Free Animation Software

Pencil is a free software tool for creating hand drawn animations. It is free and very easy to use. Visit their website for download and examples of its potential.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Quest Atlantis

Following on from the success of SuperClubs Plus, another social networking site for students aged 9 - 16 years is called Quest Atlantis.
"Quest Atlantis is a virtual reality software program created by Indiana University professor Dr. Sasha Barab. Virtual Reality Software is a software program that creates a three dimensional world with multi-user environment. This particular program, Quest Atlantis, includes games and a story line to assist children with both reading and decision making. This particular model places students in the role of junior scientists, political advisors, business managers, and national park rangers. Students tackle a variety of subjects trying to solve problems in this virtual world.
The greatest results have been seen in students who are the poorest performing readers and with disadvantaged students. These students are typically the hardest to reach, and the program has given them incentives and rewards for their work. These students often do not enjoy school but now have great interest due to this interactive world. The game style approach appeals to the students and keeps their interest." Courtesy Wired Educator

Friday, October 16, 2009

Meet my CyberTwin

I remember a computer program on my Apple II in the eighties called ELIZA. She was an artificial intelligence simulator that you could converse with. Click here to revisit this old program.

Well, now you can create a version of yourself...

Busy, unavailable or just relaxing - then let your CyberTwin do the work for you! A CyberTwin is an artificial intelligence character that functions on your behalf. You can train your CyberTwin to be just like you and represent you online.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

SuperClubsPLUS Update

At the beginning of August, I wrote a post about signing my class up for SuperClubsPLUS. After the initial success with my own class, I now have all of our five 3/4 classes signed up and the response from the students has been overwhelming. This initiative has been an amazing success and I cannot recommend it enough! There is so much to offer to students, both in learning about web 2.0 technologies and general ICT skills. Here is an article I have written for the next ICTEV journal:

SuperClubsPLUS -

Here are some videos about SuperClubsPLUS:

ABC News coverage of SuperClubsPLUS Australia from Martyn Wild on Vimeo.

Super Cool SuperClubsPLUS! from Martyn Wild on Vimeo.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Wireless Electricity

As a technology enthusiast I realise the need for electricity and access to it. I have many cables running under my desk and an array of power boards, just about any new gadget requires electricity either to run it or charge it - and a cable and powerpoint as well! As an educator, I see huge tangled messes of cables in all classrooms that have computers.
I love having a wireless mouse and keyboard, but have often thought wouldn't it be great to have wireless electricity. I once told someone and they said it was impossible. Check this out...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Staff Meeting Presentation using Prezi.com

Here is a presentation I did the other day using prezi.com - a great presentation tool:

from prezi.com

The three video links are here - I don't think the links work on this embedded presentation:

Video 1

Video 2

Video 3

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Another inspiring talk

This talk is about the power of communication technology to enable global change.

SuperClubs Plus

I have just signed up my grade to Super Clubs Plus and I am most impressed. Super Clubs Plus is a closed online community for students, where kids can join to safely talk in club forums, build Home Pages and get help with their homework. As you can see (VELS documents below), it covers many areas of each states curriculum comprehensively. Students have to earn stars and badges as they progress by initially completing a cybersafety quiz to get their first star. Once earned, students can build their homepage (like a website) and can also choose one of their pages to be a blog. They can email, visit kids from all over the world's homepages, leave comments, join a great range of clubs (in doing so can earn badges) and join on 'hotseat' forums with authors and many other exciting and engaging people.

VELSwithstars -

StarswithVIC -

Click here to see some kids from England talking about their experiences with Super Clubs Plus.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Xtranormal | Text-to-Movie

Xtranormal is website where kids can create simple animated movies. Students choose their characters and type in the dialogue, in minutes they have created a simple animated movie. Here is one I made:

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

New Cyber Safety Website for Australian Schools

After a two week holiday, I am back online and looking forward to posting more ICT information for my readers!

The Australian Government has just created a brand new website called Cybersmart:

"Cybersmart provides activities, resources and practical advice to help young kids, kids, teens and parents safely enjoy the online world.

Cybersmart also offers training and resources for schools and materials for library staff.

Developed by the Australian Communications and Media Authority, Cybersmart is part of the Australian Government’s cybersafety program."

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Fantastic sites for kids

I have been using the website, "Tutpup" with my kids and it has been an overwhelming success. They can practise their quick response to basic number concepts, times tables and spelling. The reason why it is so successful, is that the kids compete with other kids from all over the world or with someone on the computer next to them. Children can create their own account at home or, as I have done, a class account can be created and you can track their progress. If you are trying to find a fun way for kids to practise their maths skills, then I thoroughly recommend this website.
Note: It is still in beta (prototype) stage.

Another website worth visiting is Tikatok, a place where children can create and share online storybooks. One interesting feature is, for a fee, they will publish the student's book and send it professionaly bound.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Sir Ken Robinson in Australia

As you may or may not know, I really am a fan of Sir Ken Robinson - an expert in creativity and educational reform. Well, he has been in Australia and interviewed on one of our most respected current affairs shows. The interviews were aired over two nights and these are the links:

Definitely worth a look!

Cyberbullying - digizen.org

I came across this website the other day called digizen.org and I was impressed by the section on cyberbullying. There are videos and plenty of resources for teachers to discuss this isuee with their students. You can watch the main video and then see the individual interviews with the characters, powerful stuff. This site is aimed at upper primary and lower secondary students.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Robin Hood Primary School

There is a school in Birmingham, England called Robin Hood Primary School that does some fantastic things with ICT education. Have a look at this video and then visit their website.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Learning beyond the boundries of the classroom

I would like to write a post about my class blog. It has been almost half a year since I started it and feel it is time to reflect on a few things:

Why did I create it?
As ICT education is a real passion, I wanted to find a way to provide my students with access to learning via technology beyond the classroom wall. I also thought it would complement our home learning program by providing engaging and enjoyable activities that support a range of learning areas. It was also a way to share the student's work with the community via the Internet.

How has it been recieved?
I have had many parents provide postive feedback about the blog. It has been wonderful to see comments by relatives of the students who live far from the school, but through the blog have a portal to their learning. The children enjoy the challenges and activites that cover all learning areas. As we are a global community, the responses from children overseas has been rewarding.

Where to next?
I teach a grade 3/4 class and am pleased that three of my grade 4 boys have created their own blogs. A grade 4 girl from another class has decided that they need their own blog and I have assisted her in creating one. I hope this trend continues, however from this experience I would like all my students to eventually use a blog to document their learning.

Check out the latest puzzle on my class blog - it is a real beauty!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Local animation and web development company

Came across a company called, touchmypixel, that is a Melbourne based game and website developer. They have created a game called, "Scary Girl" and is well worth a look. The graphics are amazing! Have a look at their other projects as well.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A great talk

This was a video recommended by a fellow State Council member, Rob Rankin, from a Twitter post.
"An inspirational man!!! Watch Benjamin Zander before taking your next class."
Thanks, Rob!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

ICTEV State Conference 2009

Congratulations to all for another great conference yesterday! Our keynote speaker, Bruce Dixon (director of Ideaslab), was truly a great speaker and got everyone inspired for the fantastic range of presentations that followed. Although a bit cold and windy, there was plenty of great coffee and hot food throughout the day! It was five years ago that I was nominated to be on the State Council of ICTEV and I feel really proud to be part of such a great teacher's association. I hope all who came to the conference had a great day and we all look forward to ICTEV hosting the National Conference, ACEC2010, in April!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Very clever...

 HEMA is a Dutch department store. The first store opened on November 4, 1926, in Amsterdam . Now there are 150 stores all over the Netherlands. Take a look at HEMA's product page. You can't order anything and it's in Dutch, but just wait a couple of seconds and watch what happens.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Sir Ken Robinson - newest talk

I really connect with Sir Ken's philosophies and once again found his talk engaging. I have just purchased the book he is talking about, "The Element", using Fishpond - a great local book buying website.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Art Project and Tumblr

About two weeks ago my grade 3/4 class and another were involved in a project with some students from RMIT (The Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology). Their project was about endangered animals and students using art to represent their thought about how they might adapt to changing environments. The project, ArtAptation, uses a new blogging application (well new to me!) called Tumblr. Please take a moment to see the wonderful work these students did, but also check out Tumblr - I think I would like to use it for my next blogging project!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Animation from Buenos Aires

I came across this website a while ago and thought the animation was just outstanding, not to mention bloody amazing! The website, Blublu, has some fascinating links. So, here it is:

MUTO a wall-painted animation by BLU from blu on Vimeo.

The video sharing site, Vimeo, has some fantastic videos covering a range of topics from stop-motion animation, time-lapse videos and some other fantastic creations!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Our school's video sharing website using Fliggo

I am very excited about Fliggo, a place where you can create your own video sharing sites. I have created one for the students at our school to share the animations they make at school and at home. The site is called Animation@PHPS and all videos and comments are moderated by me, so no nasties getting through!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A selection of maths websites

I have found a selection of quite useful maths websites:

Math Playground - has a selection of games as well as instructional videos.

Math.tv - has a lot of useful videos, although mainly for secondary maths

IXL - Another site full of useful games, etc

Note: These sites are from the USA, so some of the activities around money and measurement may not be relevant to Australian school children


Just a quick one here. If you want conduct a web conference for your school or classroom then check out Dimdim a free web conferencing tool.

2009 Innovation Showcase

Yesterday, I went to the 2009 Innovation Showcase at the Palladium, Crown Casino. This yearly conference is organised by the state government. It was a fantastic day and the keynote speakers (Jason Smith, co-founder of TeacherTube, and Martin Westwell, Director of the Flinders Centre for Science Education in the 21st Century) were extremely engaging.
I found out lots of new things at the conference and will endeavour to showcase them in future posts. To start of with I learnt about a Ning, a place where you can create your own social network. So have a look at the Educator's Guide to Innovation Ning and find out all about the Innovation Showcase.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Teaching Animation Techniques

I don't need to go on about my love for animation if you are familiar with my blog, and if you are not - I think animation is great for education. Recently I had a well-known animator, Anthony Lawrence, visit our school for a session with our grade 3/4 unit. One thing he said sticks in my mind, it was...

"Animation is all about problem solving."

So, as I have been trying to inspire animation I have some things to share!

Firstly, this one is from Aniboom - my kids loved it! Unfortunately I tried to imbed this video but there problems with their new format that make it slightly imperfect. I must admit I am a perfectionanist when it comes to this kind of thing - if it is worth watching...so here is the link:

A great animation about animation!

Secondly... I would love for all my kids to do clay-mation projects, but time and technology are in short supply. So, I showed this next video to my kids as a way of saying; "Hey, you don't need lots of colour and a huge story..."
Well, maybe when you watch you will see what I mean.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Another gem from TED

This is an amazing documentry that only goes for six minutes. It is about the OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) program in Columbia.

I have had problems fitting this video in and so click here to go to the website and see it full screen.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The future of education...a timely reminder

I do not often get philosophical on this blog, but with the first installment of the national testing today I feel it necessary to replay an insipirational talk I used in one of my earliest posts! So, as the first day of the Australian NAPLAN, a country wide test for years 3 and 5 in primary school and years 7 and 9 in secondary school, on literacy and numeracy was implemented I wanted to play this video, because my question is how do we assess creativity and is it important in education, now and in the future?

"Sir Ken Robinson makes an entertaining and profoundly moving case for creating an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines) creativity. He challenges the way we're educating our children. He champions a radical rethink of our school systems, to cultivate creativity and acknowledge multiple types of intelligence."


I was fortunate to be contacted from the business development team at Docstoc.com. They offer a 'complete blogger's toolkit' and here is a brief of their tools:

"Tool #1:  The first of these is the Docstoc Embed, which has been used by HuffPo, NYTimes and Atlantic Monthly to name a few. 

Tool #2: Our newest tool is called Docshots and it turns any document link into a hoverable link that enables a feature-rich pop-up window.  It is great for incorporating documents of any kind into a post without consuming site real estate. 

Tool #3: Finally, we are also thrilled to announce our recent partnership with Lizzer, a great new bookmarklet that makes it easy to insert links and embed a variety of content (i.e. Docstoc Documents) into your blog posts or web-based email.  Lizzer also lets you use your Docstoc account login information to easily access and embed all of your saved Docstoc Documents wherever you are on the web."

As an example, here is a 15 page booklet I wrote a couple of years back for students to create digital portfolios using PowerPoint - still quite useful!
Digital Portfolios -

Pivot, Droidz and Shapeshifter

Pivot and Droidz

My fascination with animation and providing opportunities for students to express themselves in this genre continues. I have mentioned in previous posts about the stick figure animation program, Pivot. This free download is a great introduction to animation techniques for all ages. In previous posts I have explained how a Pivot animation can be turned into a movie file (see my 50th post for an example of this).
The latest news is about a website called droidz.org. This site has thousands of pivot figures and items that can be inserted into a pivot animation. Note: some of the figures and shared animations are extremely violent, so this site really is for more senior students (even though I found out about it from my grade 4 students!)


I have previously mentioned the fantastic site, Aniboom. As well as the amazing creations that are posted on this site, there is a section for creating animations as well. This is an online program called, Shapeshifter. Using only four geometric shapes, using this program can create some amazing animations. This would be a great stepping stone from Pivot to Flash animation. I would thoroughly recommend this one for students moving on from Pivot.

Monday, May 11, 2009


I found another document sharing website, Scribd. There are plenty of interesting documents covering a huge range of topics. I put one on my class blog as a reading activity. Here is an example of a document that has some useful ICT links (click on the box in the top right hand corner to see full size):

ICT in the Junior School ICT in the Junior School sharpjacqui Presentation on tools, software and Websites you could use for ICT in the Junior School. (5yrs - 7yrs)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

RSS web feeds

Have you seen this image on websites, blogs, etc? This is a RSS web feed button. It enables you to get the latest posts and news from your favourite blogs, news sites, video and audio sites.
This video is a great start to help understand RSS feeds...

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Free Rice

There is a website, Free Rice, in which students can have a go at a range of multiple choice questions on a variety of subjects. For every correct answer 10 grains of rice are donated through United Nations World Food Program. This website is well worth a look and it is great for kids because they can actually see the rice they earn piling up!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

History and Technology

I was having a look at the revamped Teacher Tube site (it now includes audio, documents, photos and blogs) and found this animation about the Bayeux Tapestry. It is not really a tapestry but an embroidered cloth that is 70m long and tells the story of 1066 Norman invasion of England. At school, our children are looking at animation as part of our unit of inquiry, "Our World through Media". I really like the way something so historical can be made more accessible to a new generation through the use of technology!

This video can also be seen on YouTube.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

ICTEV 2009 Conference

As I have just been to an ICTEV meeting I thought it was timely to put out a reminder about our state conference, "ICT for Tomorrow's Learning". This will be held at Melbourne Grammar, on Saturday May 30th. This will be ICTEV's 30th conference and the theme is weaving ICT into all areas of education. Check out the website and have a look at the conference program and details!


I met with a representative from StudyTech, a company that works with school to improve their ICT network and technical challenges.
"For Studytech, education is not a branch or a sideline, but the focus of our entire business. StudyTech exists to respond to the needs of students, educators and the wider education community with the understanding that reliable results, useful innovation and fixed costs translate into exciting outcomes for the end user...the teacher AND student.Having spent years working in the school system, we understand the school culture, its needs, including the inherent frustrations and joys! "
I would recommend having a look at their website. They have been involved in some fascinating projects and the implentation of a MOE (Managed Operating Environment) could a solution for many schools.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Scratch Day - May 16th

I have mentioned Scratch in previous posts, so I thought it important to acknowledge Scratch Day on May 16th:

"Meet, share, and learn with Boston-area Scratchers at Scratch Day MIT!

Participate in hands-on workshops, exhibit your favorite Scratch projects, and share ideas with members of the MIT Scratch Team. We'll be organizing sessions on getting started with Scratch, integrating Scratch into classrooms, controlling Scratch with sensors, and more. Scratchers of all ages and levels of experience are welcome!

Online registration is now available at http://sdmit.scratch.mit.edu"

From the Scratch Website

Find out where events are being held all over the world, click here.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Google SketchUp - Project Spectrum

I decided to write this post about the application, Google SketchUp. This is a 3D graphics creator that is a free download. SketchUp is related to Google Earth and you able to see 3D sketches of famous buildings as well as creating your own. SketchUp can be used in upper primary (elementary) and all through seconday school.

The main reason for this post is to inform you all about Project Spectrum. It is a project to provide people with Austism an avenue for creativity. The educators section provides plenty of information. This is from the site:

"Project Spectrum was created to give people with autism the opportunity to express their creativity and develop a life skill using Google SketchUp 3D modeling software.
The idea for Project Spectrum originated when we began getting phone calls and emails from users telling us about how much kids on the autism spectrum were enjoying SketchUp. As the calls kept coming in, we learned that people with autism tend to be visually and spatially gifted—that, in fact, they think in pictures. When people with these gifts get their hands on powerful, easy-to-use 3D design software like SketchUp, sparks tend to fly."

My (current) favourite gadget - part 2

I purchased a "Flip" camera to trial in the classroom. Well, I am very happy with it indeed. It takes up to 60 minutes of great quality video and is extremely easy to use. When you have finished filming, just press a button and the USB connection flips out. Once connected to the computer, the software gives you plenty of options, such as saving the selected video to file or editing the footage.

Friday, April 24, 2009

The 50th Post!

I thought the best way to celebrate the 50th post for ICT Tim's Blog was to include a piece of work created using ICT by one of my students. Enjoy...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Anthony Lawrence - Animator

Today we had an incursion from a famous Australian animator, Anthony Lawrence, to talk about his work to our grade 3/4 students. He showed the students the many elements in creating backgrounds, the staging of the animation and puppet creation. It was an inspiring presentation and the children are now keen to create their own. You can have a look at a range of his animations on his website in the Animation Gallery.

Here is one of his first animations, "Looking for Horses" 2002 (Direction/Photography/Animation by Anthony Lawrence Written by Chrissie McMahon Awarded Special Distinction 2002 Annecy International Animation Festival):

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A slight change!

Don't worry, there is nothing wrong with your screen. I have slightly changed the  colour scheme of the blog as a celebration towards post number 50. Let me know what you think...

...and for those who have never seen my blog before, it used to be kind of green.

My (current) favourite gadget - Part 1

I am absolutely loving my wireless laptop modem.

As a Victorian State School teacher, a lot of websites are blocked by our education department. I do not necessarily disagree with that, however it is useful to be able to show clips from Youtube and using Google images (both one of many blocked sites). Having a wireless modem for my laptop has been fantastic, as I can access anything on the Internet that would normally be blocked. We are doing a unit that has an animation aspect to it this term and was able to show some of the amazing animations from Aniboom, a website that is blocked by the department.

Also, I have been very impressed with the speed. I normally use ADSL at home and thought wireless would be a lot less slower, however I hardly notice the difference. A good indication of speed is watching a video at a video sharing site (see list of links in right hand column).

Note: Altough the image is of an Optus modem (which I use), I do not promote any particular ISP it is just I have all my other connections with the one company - and thus a better deal.

Scratch Success

I introduced 'Scratch' today with my grade 3/4 students and decided the best way to begin was to let them explore the website and see what other children have created. They were to look at least five 'Scratch' creations and evaluate them:

What was it about?

What could you do with it?

What did you think of it?

Well, they were really into it and had a great time looking at the great range and variety of creations on the website. They are now all really keen to learn how to use the program.

There are some great resources and 'how to' videos in the support section of the website, but here is a great video to introduce programming with 'Scratch':

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Scratch Update

In a previous post, I introduced the free programming language for students called "Scratch". This free download was created by Mitch Resnick, from the MIT Media Lab. As I am about to introduce this to my students, I have included this video about the program:

I will be posting about how my students go...stay tuned!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Web Browsers

I am trialling a new web browser, Opera, and am very impressed with it so far. I was using Mozilla Firefox, but for some strange reason it does not work with my Optus wireless modem on my laptop. Although I have no major problems with Internet Explorer, I have found that other browsers work better when creating blogs and viewing videos. So if you are using Opera or another web browser leave a comment on what you think.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Brainstorming Tool - bubbl.us

If you want free brainstorming or mindmapping tool then take a look at bubbl.us It is free to use and if you register you can upload share your maps. Here is just a brief example:

The Hat

As term two is about to begin (for Victorian teachers anyway) I have found this free download call The Hat. It is a fun way for selecting partners for activities or for choosing individual children for particular classroom roles. I might use it for randomly seating students at the beginning of the term.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Another photo sharing website

Found BubbleShare, another convenient way to share your photos. Here are some pics from my holiday to Adelaide as an example.

BubbleShare: Share photos - Play some Online Games.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Useful application - hott notes

Hott Notes is a great application for putting virtual sticky notes on your desktop. It is completely free and I use it a great deal - I do tend forget things!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Although on holiday...

If you want a different (and fun) way to share your holiday pictures, visit Slide - I used it to create this montage of images from my trip to Apollo Bay.

Positive opinions on video games and children

I found this article (Games 'valuable learning tool') in "The Age" (a popular Melbourne newspaper), April 9th 2009. I certainly agree that video games, in moderation of course, can be beneficial to children. With new platforms, like the Wii, there are more opportunities for interaction amongst young users. The article is based on the research by Don and Patricia Edgar, who are authorities on children's media, education and social trends. Their discussion paper, "Television, Digital Media and children’s learning" is a fascinating read! They wrote the paper by invitation from the VCAA (The Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority) about the potential of media technology to improve children’s learning.

...and then there is this:

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Technology News

"THE Federal Government has announced the "largest infrastructure decision in Australia's history" after deciding not to award the national broadband network contract to a company.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said the Government would lead the development of a national fibre-to-the-home broadband network up to "100 times faster than what many people use now".

The ambitious project will take up to eight years, cost $43 billion, create tens of thousands of jobs and will see fibre-optic cable laid out to individual houses.

The fibre-optic network, providing speeds of up to 100 megabits per second, will cover 90 per cent of Australians, while the rest will have access to a mix of wireless and satellite connections."

text courtesy news.com.au


Sunday, April 5, 2009

One year to go...

In 365 days it will be the opening of ACEC2010. To celebrate I have found a video with a range of clips from the movie 2010, an adaptation of the Arthur C. Clarke book. For entertainment purposes only...

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Pivot Animation - Save as a movie file

As previously mentioned I use Pivot Animation with my students - a great introduction to animation skills. Here are some useful tips...

Save your Pivot animation as a movie file:
  • When you go to save the animation there will be options down the bottom - choose the "Save as type" option and then choose the "Gif" option. Save the file.
  • You can now edit and put together your animations using Movie Maker

Insert a background:

  • Choose the "file" option from the top left. Now choose the "load background" option. If you want to use more than one background - save each seperate a animation as a gif file and then put them all together using Movie Maker or other video editing software.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Hole in the wall project

Speaking at LIFT 2007, Sugata Mitra talks about his Hole in the Wall project. Young kids in this project figured out how to use a PC on their own -- and then taught other kids. He asks, what else can children teach themselves?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

ACEC2010 - Social Activities

As part of my role on the organising committee for the National Conference (ACEC2010) is organising social activities for the participants. I have created a blog, Melbourne ACEC2010, to promote social ideas around Melbourne.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

The Ultranet

Here in Victoria the schools are taking on a new ICT initiative, the Ultranet program. From the Victorian Government Website:

"The Ultranet is a student centred electronic learning environment that supports high quality learning and teaching, connects students, teachers and parents and enables efficient knowledge transfer. It will establish a schools environment for the future that improves the educational outcomes of all Victorians."

The question is, are schools ready? This diagram is also from that website.

Would love to hear from schools in Victoria about their thoughts and experiences.

Fantastic Animation Website

Hi all, as you may have guessed - I have a real passion for animation and especially the learning in ICT that it promotes. Please take the time to check out this website, StopMotionAnimation, and make sure you click on the "links" option - a brilliant resource! Also, please checkout the "handbook" link, once again some fabulous resources there too!

Monday, March 30, 2009


Have you used "Bamzooki" with your kids yet? This free downloadable program is produced by the BBC in the UK. Students can create online creatures that use a range of mathematical and problem solving techniques. Students can then test their creations in a range of activities. This program really promotes high-level thinking.

Robin Hood Primary School

I found a wesbite for the school, Robin Hood Primary School in Leeds, England. I really recommend having a look at what they are doing with ICT education. I really like the "Connecting Classrooms" link they have and hope to set up communication with my class here.

Please also check out this video about ICT excellence at this school.

If you know of any great school websites from around the world, please let me know.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A funny animation

I must confess I am a bit tired at the moment, bad cold, end of term, building works, etc - so, I found this funny on Aniboom... thought we could all do with a laugh!

Watch more cool animation and creative cartoons at aniBoom

VELS: Concept and Skills Charts

I have included a link to a useful overview of ICT in the Victorian Curriculum - Victorian Essential Learning Standards (VELS):

Concept and Skills in ICT

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Future of Learning Spaces

I found this slide show on SlideShare, titled "School Design: Be the Change...". It was produced by an ESL teacher at Middle School in Eastern Oregon, USA. As my school is about to undergo major building works I found this presentation of great interest.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Great Online Activities

I recently found this website, Read - Write - Think by the International Reading Association. There are great number of online activities to support literacy. I really recommend you take a moment to scroll through the range of activities.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


I really want to promote (and thank) Adam Bowman for his fantastic creativity. He makes fantastic gadgets or widgets (the fun bits on the side or bottom of blogs) and his skill is amazing! The stingray at the bottom of my blog is one if his.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Creative Genius (or thinking about the high flyers)

I saw this video on TED:"Ideas worth spreading" and a colleague of mine was most impressed, he immediately thought of highly gifted children and their, sometimes, difficulties dealing with their particular genius. I am passionate about ICT education and believe their are many, extremely gifted children who are capable of amazing things with technology. If you are a teacher who has taught such a child or are teaching one now - this will get you thinking!

Animation Program

I really enjoying the creativity that ICT lends itself to, especially animation. Pivot is a program (free download) I have used for many years. It is still on of the best introductory programs that exposes kids to the elements of animation. However, I was interested in other ways to expose kids to animation techniques that were free. Of course you can do animation using PowerPoint, the animation function is quite a good way to teach children basic animation techniques. I still wanted to find something else. I found this the other day, FluxTime Studio, and am trialling it at the moment.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

For the parents

This is one of the most powerful talks I have ever heard and I really recommend you take the time to watch! I have suggested the parents of my students view this to inform and inspire!

Emerging Technologies

Thought this was fascinating and I am thinking about the implications for education.

This one is definitely worth a look. I can imagine the potential of these for early years education!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Imbedding Slideshows

One of my grade 3 students presented a PowerPoint slideshow on Art Deco buildings in New York. I wanted a way to share this on our class blog and found this free application, Slideshare.

Monday, March 9, 2009

USB Wristbands

When I was at the ACEC2008 conference last year in Canberra, we gave out 1GB USB wristbands to anyone who registered interest in the ACEC2010 conference here in Melbourne. They were a great hit.
I would like to sell them at our school for our upper primary students. I think they are a great way for kids to keep their information and not lose them!
I have some websites here that I am investigating - although am still trying to find out if they have kid sizes. Please let me know if you use them or know anymore information.

Promotional USB.com.au

AAC ID Solutions

USB Direct.com.au

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Wordle - Word fun website

I found a website that allows students to enter keywords around a subject or topic. The "Wordle" website then lets the kids create fancy word clouds. Students can then tweak them with a range of nifty editing tools.
Here is one I made quickly:
Wordle: ICT

Monday, March 2, 2009

Interesting Blog

Just stumbled across this blog "Classroom 2.0", a social network for those interested in Web 2.0 and collaborative technologies in the classroom. They have plenty of useful links and live video presentations.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Firefox vs Internet Explorer

I just noticed that one of my widgets, "Countdown to ACEC2010", does not work with Internet Explorer. I recommend viewing and creating blogs using Mozilla Firefox (free and easy to download). One thing I have noticed is that when using Edumail (Victorian Education Department email service) firefox does not automatically create links when entering URLs in your emails, IE does. I now use IE for edumail and firefox for just about everything else.
What are your thoughts on different browsers and their pros and cons?

Comic Strips

I found this website (stripgenerator.com) about a year ago. My kids used it last year and they loved it. You don't have to register to create comic strips. I recommend not letting younger school children access the posting area as some of the comics shared can be a little risque! Use this link to go straight to the editing window. Students can not save their work but are able to print them out at the end of a session. Of course, older students can register and set up their own blog to save their comic strips.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

The seven-year-old bloggers

This article is about children as young as seven creating their own blogs in England. I have a class blog at the moment, but think it is exciting to see students in primary school creating their own.

Video Games in Education - Update

A website in Scotland, ICT in Education, has a whole section dedicated to games-based learning.

Scratch Update

This video from Ideas For Life TV is a documentary about how Scratch is being used in a school in England. It also has Mitch Resnick talking about the use of this application. Very interesting!

Mitchel Resnick and Scratch

When I was at the ACEC2008 National Conference in Canberra last year, one of the keynote speakers was Mitchel Resnick.

"Mitchel Resnick is LEGO Papert Professor of Learning Research, Director of the Okawa Center, and Director of the Lifelong Kindergarten group at the MIT Media Lab. Resnick's research group has developed a variety of educational tools that engage people in new types of design activities and learning experiences, including the "programmable bricks" that were the basis for the award-winning LEGO Mindstorms and StarLogo software. He co-founded the Computer Clubhouse, an award-winning network of learning centers for youth from under-served communities.

Resnick's group has developed a new programming language, called Scratch, that makes it easier for kids to create their own animated stories, video games, and interactive art. Resnick is also involved in the next generation of Programmable Bricks and in the $100 laptop project."

Courtesy Wikipedia article "Mitchel Resnick"

I hope to use Scratch with my class this year - will let you know how it goes!

Click here to view a video of Mitchel Resnick speaking about creativity