Reflections on my peers’ feedback

Rebecca's feedback

Rebecca’s feedback

This pre-service teacher did not enjoy receiving feedback involving marks. My reaction to criticism was an experience in itself!  Unconsciously I skim read the suggestions, felt the pain then re-assessed my position and understanding.   That process took two or three days of internal dialogue and was unsettling.

My blog needed to flow better.  I reached that understanding after marking Beck’s well considered reflections. I re-read my blog and could see where changes were necessary. Yes, I do need to keep a close eye on my transitions between ideas so that a paragraph has coherence from beginning to end. Including videos and images in that flow required my full concentration, together with keeping sentences grammatically correct.

My learning about blog design was helped by viewing Mel’s blog.  I recognize that familiarizing myself with Word Press and customization of blogs is the answer to effective design.  I anticipate some visual changes there, time permitting.  To align text and images, give contrast in colours and add repetition does make for a pleasing experience for the reader.

Melanie's feedback

Melanie’s feedback

Making feedback pleasing is not the point of teaching.  I now recognize this and also realize the importance of careful wording to the student to make certain that the information is considered by them and not ignored.




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Becoming a global citizen

Being a global citizen is feasible with digital technology helping us to gain ideas, contacts, resources and support.  There are many lesson ideas to be found from researching global citizenship and life- long learning. The Earth Day Network 2014 gives one example of a task.  I imagine students would enjoy researching global issues close to their interests.  Hopefully they would then act, making their passion to contribute to building a better World, their reality.

My research for Australian stories took me to Zonta International Clubs.  These clubs are making a difference to mortality rates amongst young mothers.  The lessons learnt from conversations between the clubs’ ‘students’ and other concerned volunteers are likely to spark more responsible behavior than any formal classroom lesson.  The following video demonstrates volunteers’ commitment.  While the video editing is questionable, the teamwork and sense of a common purpose comes across loud and clear.  

The ‘bigger picture’ of learning has been recognized and changes are being made to the Australium curriculum inline with global thinking.   Life-long learning embraces the many skills needed in life; learning to live together, being active, being able to relax and learning to be wise.  Any lesson that can incorporate some of the four pillars of education is going to be worthwhile.


Zontabnebfast’s channel.  (2012, February12).  Zonta Birthing        Kits 2011 (short).m4v [Video file].  Retrieved from  

Zhou, N. (2005). Four ‘Pillars of Learning’ for the   Reorientation and Reorganization of Curriculum: Reflections and Discussions . Retrieved from















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Programming with Scratch

We students created an animation using the technology Scratch.  In the process, as I instructed my ‘sprite’ to rotate, travel in any direction and speak, I realized I was computer programming, me?!  In his Tedtalk, Nicholas Negroponte says emphatically, “learn to programme“. Using Scratch, teachers and students can do just that while also developing nine learning skills.

Simple computer programming

Simple computer programming

Moving the sprite up, down, backwards or forwards meant understanding x and y axis.  Students could create cause and effect between two sprites, adding music or emotion.  Their animations can grow to be as complex as their knowledge permits.  It’s a multi-layered learning experience.

This short animation (by a generation X user) is the outcome of eight hours work becoming familiar with Scratch’s software. It was a steep learning curve. However, the reward is evident in learning to programme.  Another use of Scratch is as a summative assessment tool.  Here is an animation from a peer involving maths sums which could potentially change as the school year progresses.

Interestingly, the Australian Curriculum (A.C.) stakeholders anticipate Scratch being part of the A.C., involving algorithms. For my part, I would embrace and use this technology with it’s valuable learning potential.


Negroponte, N.  (2007, December).  One Laptop per Child, two years on.  Retrieved from

Cowman, R.  (2014, April).  EDP101 – Task 6 [Animation]. Retrieved from

Assessment and Reporting Authority [ACARA].  (2013, November).  Digital Technologies Update.  Retrieved from

Betcher, C.  (2010, October).  Scratch sprite [Image].  Retrieved from






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Websearching for pins.

Here is a collection of pins showing the many different modes used to access information on the internet. Web-searching for quality information that is pleasing to the eye as well as informative was the task; making a Pinterest pinboard.

How to attract the viewer, making a Pinboard that is visually pleasing and compelling to the reader is the art.  Sparking interest from peers so they want to read more, prompts action to click on the linked website.  There lies the value; researching, constructing and communicating about each other’s pinboards.  Pinboards are also an information storage site where evaluation of that information can take place, discarding and adding to ensure quality.

What did I learn?  Emotionally I became quite detached through sheer overload of information.  Would a child’s skills in web-searching grow by building a Pinterest board?  I believe not; they would become distracted and overwhelmed by information and lose direction.  The lesson’s objective could easily be lost.

Excessive information

The relationship between a large volume of information and decision making


However, with a free reign to visit many pinterest boards, children could build a library of information which is empowering. An earlier lesson could be in being a young professional on the internet, knowing your own ethical values. My discovery of some inappropriate pins alerted me to the need for ethical displaying of information.


Where do I start?



Mcleod, S.  (2008, May).  Information overload  [Image].

Nicolas, J.  (2014, January).  Jose.  [Image].  Retrieved from

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Promoting cybersafety

Being Digitally Secure

Being Digitally Secure

Students can be protected from the destructive elements on the internet.  The danger is alarmism, though  I believe older students are mostly savvy enough to make wise choices as reported recently.  At what age children are given permission to freely surf the internet will depend on their maturity.

It is social media which exposes children.  Our eight year old knows not to put her favourite photo of herself on the internet, advice she heard at school.  I would n’t encourage any primary student to get involved on social media, some already are.  This quirky video gets the message across in understanding the risks of posting too much information.


If students were becoming confident to the point of clicking on software options or buying products, then must be the time to give responsibility to students in monitoring one another’s activity online.  Nominating one or two ‘computer experts’ may be the answer to incorporate agreement within the classroom environment.  Trusted team players can become their ‘teacher’s eyes’ and alert their peers (and teacher) to applying the brakes against potential hazards.  A win-win situation agreed upon where those ‘experts’ have exclusive access to technology to develop their own interests would seem fair and ethical. Each term, new experts could be nominated.


Who is the expert watching for hazards?




Laptop handshake [Image].  Retrieved from

Teenagers say goodbye to Facebook and hello to messenger apps.  (2013, November).  The Guardian.  Retrieved from

Bravehearts,  (2011, May).  Are you Cyber Safe?  [Video file].  Retrieved from

Lupuca, (2008, June).  Three children with laptop [Image].  Retrieved from




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Making an infograph

Making an infograph using Pictochart was satisfying on the grounds that it was my creation.  Using the global digital divide as our content, there were some interesting projects online with relevant photographs to be discovered.


An Australian with a laptop

Yes, digitally enhanced technology does generate motivation in the user.

An eleven or twelve year old could research content data from current projects such as the World Internet Project (WIP) reporting on the Internet in Australia. Becoming technologically fluent with Pictochart would require several afternoons on task.  Then, presenting data graphically is another skill which requires some thought and planning.   Finally, finding succinct text, giving enough relevant information to explain the graphics is another lesson.  To talk about the final artefact with one’s peers and invite questions would add verbal communication skills to the lesson plan.

The process of creating an infograph that draws the viewer to want to understand the content is a useful one.  There are choices to be made in templates, colours and the use of symbols and effects.  There aren’t many projects that can combine maths, English, art, spatial awareness, deep thinking and current worldly issues. Creating a perfect product was n’t my goal with this infograph as you’ll see.

 A solution to the Digital Divide

A solution to the Digital Divide



Free laptops bridge digital divide.  (2013, November 21).  The Sydney Morning Herald.  Retrieved from

OLPCA.  (2013).  Aboriginal child with XO laptop [Image].  Retrieved from from












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Games have a greater purpose

Gaming has a greater purpose than I appreciated prior to this course.  My seven year old chatted away about the characters Batman and Wild Style giving me their spelling voluntarily as we drove to school today.  He gave a scene, “The Wild West” and I anticipate a story, based on his gaming experience, to be his writing at school this week (ACARA, 2013, ACELT1582). Rather than responding to literature he was responding to technology.  Could there be a new English content description involving characters from computer games?

Motivating heroes

Motivating heroes

Designing games uses cognitive skills such as system thinking and technological fluency. I have observed and felt the motivation of designing and planning, and then the reward, playing my game.  There would be a time and place for gaming, perhaps towards the end of the day.  Socially I find them destructive; people become obsessive towards the gaming experience, a view not held by everyone.

When children CREATE their own game, the learning value is enhanced tenfold.  Here is an example using Sploder’s Platformer game creator of a nine and seven year old’s work.  The nine year old loved planning, her brother delighted in dragging up many “enemies and hazards”; it is hectic but fun. This is a lesson plan involving  Sploder’s technology.


Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority [ACARA].  (2013).  The Australian Curriculum.                 Retrievedfrom

Hawk, T.  (2008, July).  You and What Army?  [Image].  Retrieved from





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