Connecting Learning

Barwon South Western eLearning Conference presentation Sept 2008

My beliefs
I need to prepare my students for lifelong learning and, as an educator; this means that I, too, must develop new ways of teaching. Information is reaching us in ways that hadn't been invented as little as fifteen years ago and, as students are swamped by masses of information from sources across the globe, it is my responsibility to prepare them for this real world.

Young people today have learnt very little digital literacy from schools. The scaling up of digital literacy is left largely to entertainment and software providers and those that want to compete on the general retail market.

Over the last 10 years we have moved to a position in which a literacy curriculum that ignores on-screen writing is an impoverished one, so rapid has been the pace of change.

Globalisation has placed new demands on the kinds of literacies needed in the workplace and in everyday life.

More resources and information on 21st Century Learning can be found at: - As part of a project with 3 other educators we developed this site - 21st century classroom


I took leave during 2007 and taught ESL in Uijeongbu, South Korea (Northern outskirts of Seoul).

A diary of my experience can be found at
My classroom work in South Korea can be found in the earlier published areas of - I have continued to use this blog during 2008.

While overseas I tested out first hand the "Globalised World" theory - can we really communicate world wide simply, easily, anywhere and anytime - YES it is really TRUE!

Through my desire to work globally and my lack of technical support at my overseas school (due to my lack of Korean Language) I was forced to look at Web2 resources and found them wonderfully engaging, thought provoking and educational.

Much of my Web 2 work can be found at Portaportal 2007 -
Below is a cut and paste of a wide range of online resources that I used- many of these resources are on my classblog at

In 2007 I also did my first global classroom wiki project at I also tampered with online calendars and google pages through global classroom projects.

Online Photo and Video Resources:
  • Picasa - online photo albumGail & Johns Korean
  • TeachertubeGails class videos -
  • Vi.sualize.usInternet Photo
  • CyworldKorean online picture album -
  • Bubblesharephoto & video albums -
  • rockyouClass slideshows -
  • SlideshareOnline photo & video
  • SlideDevelop slideshow &
  • Keepviddownloader for
  • Downloadthisvideodownloader for
  • flickronline photo
  • Voicethreaddigitalstories with voice
  • Google images

Other Online resources
  • del.icio.usGail's dumping ground for
  • Help group for classblogmeisterYahoo help
  • PageflakesPersonalised
  • facebookSocial
  • Evocaonline voice
  • My SpaceSocial
  • GabcastOnline calling
  • Google Docsused for sharing with
  • Google CalendarUsed for sharing project
  • Yackpackgroup meeting
  • Our Media siteused for
  • PodcastpeopleStudents can log in and
  • Google page creatorMake
  • Google readercollects subscriptions to
  • Youtube
  • Cluster MapBlog visitor
  • Citation machineHelps cite

Free Software:
  • Stoik Video ConverterReduces file size & connects files
  • Stoik CapturerDV video
  • Skypeinternet
  • PowergramoFree skype
  • VLC media playerfree player-many
  • FLV portable
  • PowergramoSkype
  • Free Stop


In Feb 2008 I returned to Geelong High School.
Semester one:
1. I continued to use my 2007 blog but called it 2007/2008 once back at Geelong High School - every class during semester one had a blog. My challenge was to explore - how could I use blogs in every class I had:

2. Developed classroom wikis for a number of my classes - this included taking part in the global "Horizon" project as peer mentors.

3. I continue to have trouble using web 2 resources through the educache and hence trialed a "Ning" to upload student work and publish - initially only using my ning as a holding ground for student published work ready to be uploaded to student blogs.

4. I craved a richer professional development for myself (during 2007 I was continually challenged and in a state of learning) and found that once I was back in Australia my needs had changed - I discovered"Twitter" - or Twitter gives me connections to global communication and learning in a different way.

Semester two:
Developed a second ning for my 2 year 7 classes to share.
Students make avatars to use as their picture on the ning - it is a social network were students can upload video, pictures and sound. They can request friends wthin the network, leave comments and develop their own pages.
Note: Teachers can click "BAN" at any time and the student will be removed and all reference to work comments etc - they can also be easily unband.
Term 4 I will be invovled in my own Action Research on using online environments to improve critical literacy and encourage creativity.

The Classroom

Social Environments

Future Trends

WWW Extras

Justifying Blogging