Wow, what a journey this has been. These past 6 weeks I have experienced an information overload, having said this I thoroughly enjoyed it and my eyes have been opened up to a whole new ICT world. ICT's are fundamental learning tools for the 21st century student. They provide a vast array of learning opportunities and tools that allow learners to make sense of the world.

I have learnt that there are vast amounts of pedagogical tools that can be very beneficial to engage learners. In 1999 Greg Kearsley and Ben Shneiderman released a paper that offered a formulaic approach to engaging learners of all ages. The learning engagement theory states that in order for meaningful learning to occur the students must relate, create and donate. The use of the pedagogical tools mentioned in this blog allow students to do this.

Depending on what class I was teaching would depend on the technologies I used. Most are appropiate for any class however some may be more usefull or more effective then others. Lets say I'm an english teacher I would opt for blogs, Podcasting, webquests, you tube and WIKIs.

As an education tool Blogs have many strong applications that include:
-student reflective journals
-class website for extra resources and sharing successes
-creative writing space

Webquest, although very time consuming, are a great tool to engage students. webquests allows students to truely engage as they are able relate create donate by using webquests. The ICT learning design suggests beginning by designing real world tasks that are messy and ill structured and webquests are perfect to use in this situation, and an example of this is Scot Aldred's webquests.

You tube allows teachers to upload their own videos and access videos that are already on there. The other advantage of using you-tube rather then, lets say a video, is that the students can access it at home and save time re-watching the video in class.

Through these past 6 weeks I have visited my peers blogs and commented on some of their postings. I enjoyed reading about how they would encorporate technology into their classrooms compared to how I would incorporate it, especially because a number of them are from a generation above myself. I found it interesting how many different ways each technology could be used. For example some people would use music as background music while others would use it as a means to write an essay about music. I have commented on the following blogs (but I couldn't remember them all)

I look forward to learning about other pedagogical tools which I can use and further enhancing my knowledge about the ones I have only recently discovered! Until next time, bye.

Voice thread

Voice thread allows you to make a range of comment types (text, drawing, voice, file upload, & video) on a video or image. I think voice thread would be a very useful ICT tool to incorporate into the classroom.

One way in which I think voice thread would be useful is for a History test. I remember when I was at school I studied modern history. We were studying WW1 and we had to do a stimulus test. The teacher supplied us with a number of different pictures which depicted different areas of WW1 which we had studied. For example one picture may have been of the enemies and another may have been a picture of people rallying in the street, and we had to write about the war in relation to the pictures. For example for the picture of the enemy we would write as much as we could about them and their involvement in the war.

So how would voice thread help? Well when I was doing the test I knew what I wanted to say but I didn't know how to put it into words sometimes. If the teacher was able to upload the images to voice thread then the students could do their test on-line and either write about the picture or speak about it. I have created a voice thread about some WW1 pictures.

File Storage

Media file is a webiste which allows you to upload files from your computer so that they can accessed by anyone. Once the file is uploaded you can link to it from a Website (Blog or WIKI) and make it available for anyone to download. MediaFire allows you to store all your files online for easy secure access and enables you to distribute large files to hundreds or thousands of people without clogging inboxes or bogging down your website. (mediafire 2009)

I didn't have any documents that I could share therefore I uploaded my course material for one of my subjects to use as an example of how teachers can use media fire. The file is 142 pages long and in order to supply each student with the course material the teacher would have to print a lot of pages! To view and access the follow clink on the folowing URL.

MediaFire 2009 accessed 18/08/09 from


SlideShare allows you to upload .ppt & .pps (PowerPoint), .pdf, .odp (OpenOffice) files to a publicly viewable space. In class a teacher may use a powerpoint and explain the powerpoint as it goes through. The teacher can then upload the powerpoint in slide share so the students can access it at home. The thing is the students might forget what the teacher said in class, but slideshare allows you to make a narration audio file and upload as well. Once the audio file is uploaded you can then sychronise the slides to your presentation. The presentation then becomes a video file that can be embedded in any online products. The opportunities this technology offers is significant as you can re-use presentations that you would normally deliver in class saving significant amounts of time and effort.

Uploading a powerpoint to slide share is very quick and easy.


WIKIPedia is a free online encyclopedia that allow anyone to contribute and/or edit. It has a tight set of guidelines/rules and moderators to keep the information accurate and avoid breaches of copyright. I has a vast amount of information which can be used as a resource for students. It is quick, exhaustive and easy to gather information and gain knowledge in subject areas. Wikipedia is often viewed as an unreliable source as it can be edited by anyone. However research has found that it is just as accurate as Encyclopaedia Britannica. Although Wikipedia contains a vast amount of informtation, it is important to push students to use a number of different sources.

I am doing an assigment for another class on creative enterprises and I found Wikipedia to be a very useful website with a vast amount of information. When typing in searches the majority of the time the first result is wikipedia. Wikipedia is easily accessed and is a good resource for students.

Wikimedia Foundation, Inc (2009)Welcome to Wikipedia. accessed 18/08/09 from


WebQuests provide a rich opportunity for learning that encourages students to extend themselves and engage in higher level learning and problem solving. Bernie Dodge (1995) defined a WebQuest as an inquiry-oriented activity in which some or all of the information that learners interact with comes from resources on the Internet.

Tens of thousands of teachers have embraced WebQuests as a way to make good use of the internet while engaging their students in the kinds of thinking that the 21st century requires. The use of ICTs are are fundamental learning tool in the 21st century. Siemens (2004) offers an interesting elearning approach with what he calls "Connectivism: a learning theory for the Digital Age".

Siemens believes that :
-Learning is a process of connecting specialized nodes or information sources.
-Learning may reside in non-human appliances.
-Nurturing and maintaining connections is needed to facilitate continual learning.
-Currency (accurate, up-to-date knowledge) is the intent of all connectivist learning activities.
(among other things)

So why would we want to use webquest? The answer is because they are engaging and enhance the learning abilities of students. I recently vistited two webquests created by Scot Aldred and Tom March. The presentation of both is well organised and easy to follow. Follow the links below to check out these webquests.

After seeing these webquests I believe that using webquests is a much more appropiate approach for 21st learners. Using a webquest would mean that students are able to create relate and donate, which acoording to Greg Kearsley & Ben Shneiderman means that the learning occur in a group context (i.e., collaborative teams) are project-based and have an outside (authentic) focus.

A good WebQuest has an authentic context and problem or task. The driving question and its problem task are messy and ill-structured with no single answer or solution. Good WebQuests require small teams of students to relate to the messy, ill-structured problem task, investigate the issues, share what individual team members have learned from their individual research and apply this new knowledge to problem and create an authentic product that can then be donated back into the real world for authentic feedback. (Dodge 2007)

When I was going through the webquests I was thinking "wow, that would take a lot of time and effort for a teacher to create" but I realised that the teachers would only have to create it once and use it again for years to come, updating it each year if need be. I thought that the teacher could incorporate a lot of the cirriculum into webquest but then I thought that the students wouldn't be getting a mixture of learning tools, which is important as students have different learning styles. Therefore it is important for a teacher to get the right balance of curriculum for their students.

During my research I came across a webquest for middle school language arts and social studies. The webquest concludes with both a short paper and a “dinner party” with students portraying chosen figures from the 1920s.

March, Tom (2004) The Learning Power of WebQuests accessed 17/08/09 from

Kearsley, G. & Shneiderman, B. (1999). Engagement Theory: A framework for technology-based teaching and learning. Retrieved August 17, 2009, from

Siemens, George (2005) Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age accessed 17/08/09 from


Rather then explain what podcasting is I have included a You-tube clip to show you what it is.

Okay so now we know what Podcasting is but how can this be incorporated into learning?
Recently I downloaded i-tunes and accessed the i-tunes store. I clicked on the podcast link and then searched for education podcasts. I found one called just vocabulary. This podcast contained a lot of free training lessons for vocabulary. I believe this podcast could be used in an english class, as it teachers basic vocabulary. The good things about podcasts is that they can be put onto students i-pods and therefore can be accessed when ever.

Prensky's (2005) article Engage or Enrage me states that there are 3 types of students. The first two groups are dealt with by schools, but the third group, the students that believe school is irrelevante are difficult to cater to. Students that are so use to their 'other life' can't stand school. I-pods are part of most students 'other life' and therefore would assist in engaging the third group in their learning.

Whilst the use of i-pods in schools is not wide spread there are a number of schools experimenting with the use of i-pods to record lessons, download and transfer files from school to home, create podcasts and send assignments and other material to teachers.

AAP (2006) Tas school first to use iPods in class; accessed 17/08/09 from

Prensky, Marc (2005) "Engage or Enrage me" what today's learners demand accessed 17/08/09 from