Travelling the road of ICT teaching and eLearning

Working towards understanding how the 21st Century and learning can occur in the same space

Does building relationships help collaboration

Hey readers,

As I am working towards starting work again next week after the summer break I have been doing a little reading and watching clips around collaboration and relationships. I have chosen to do this as a way at looking towards continuously building my skills as a teacher as well as a listener.

One of the key points that kept coming to me whilst I was reading and watching was Does building relationships help collaboration in the classroom. I have always worked towards building a positive rapport with my students initially as I felt that having positivity always allowed students to feel that their opinions were valued. As I have recently learnt more about 21st Century learning and how to best implement these tools in the classroom, I have found that allowing collaboration in the classroom provides more of an opportunity to give students more self-direction and drive to do their best.

The image and clip below is of Rita Pierson in her TED Talk titled “Every Kid needs a champion”, and after watching this clip, another one of my aims for the classroom this year is to work towards encouraging all my students to build relationships with others in the room as well as myself, and I believe that way it will enable collaboration to occur naturally and provide a positive learning environment that allows everyone to succeed.


As Tracey Ezard said in her book “The Buzz” having roadblocks in our education can be viewed one of two ways. People that have a fixed mindset, will see these as having no way to overcome them. People that have a growth mindset see these as opportunities for collaboration and to work through new and inspiring ways to create learning opportunities.

What do you think, does building relationships help collaboration?

Till next time,


Who will the 21st Century Learner be?

Hey readers,

In Australia we are currently in the last 3 weeks before school goes back after our Summer break and whilst I have been enjoying the time playing with my children at the playgrounds, swimming in the pool or watching movies I am now starting to think about preparing for the beginning of school. This post I have decided to begin thinking of how and what the 21st Century learner will be like and how I can model my teaching pedagogy in best preparing these students for the future.

Whilst most students still find working along on worksheets beneficial, most are moving towards a classroom where there is more autonomy and active communication between teachers and their students. Personally, I have found in the last few years that having students stuck behind desks prohibitive to my teaching and especially their learning.

The buzz words of 21st century learning include collaboration, communication, self-regulation, attemping to solve real world problems, and knowledge construction. My aim for the beginning of this year with my classes is to build an environment where students are encouraged to work collaboratively. To do this my aim is to develop a classroom environment where students are seating in clusters rather than individually and are provided with problems that are able to be solved by working together. In saying this, we will still work to the set curriculum however with the chance for students to be fully engaged with the topic rather than being uninterested with slide after slide that I have previously worked with.

As a teacher who enjoys using technology in the classroom and always tries to find new ways in which to utilise new tools, allowing students to use these tools such as a Surface Pro or iPad to enhance their learning can only be a positive for any individual. I am looking at introducing a number of Mystery Skype sessions with my Year 7 class this year that I will hope will give the “collaboration of learning” a new meaning to my students.

Recently I read the following article that discussed how Finland is beginning to move away completely from the tradition subjects taught in a classroom, and focussing more on teaching towards an interdisciplinary format. I really like this format as it allows students of all levels to be able to work on a variety of topics with other students that have a passion for that topic. This can only be a positive for students as they will be able to work to their maximum potential with the guidance for their teachers.

Finland moving towards getting rid of all school subjects

To finish this blog post on, an awesome quote by the ever brilliant Walt Disney.


Till next time


My Journey into STEAM education = Using Skype in the Classroom

Hey readers,

To better understand my new role, I have been completing many courses in the Microsoft Educator Community focusing on ways in which to implement new technology into our curriculum. Recently I completed a short course on bringing other classes from around the world as well as having external excursions / field trips from the comfort of our own classroom using Skype as the driving tool.

Skype in the classroom takes students on the ultimate field trip

While I have used Skype personally to contact family before, I have never had the opportunity to use it as an effective educational tool. After completing the course and watching the video above, I can see so many ways in which any class can use it to its full potential. One of the things I would like to do with my classes next year is to organise a mystery skype with another class.

Using this technology in conjunction with my school’s class set of Virtual Reality I think would be a cool way to help students learn about different areas around the world.

Has anybody else used Skype in the Classroom?

Till next time


My journey into STEAM education – Learning space design inspiration

Thanks to Steve Brophy for posting this blog regarding how to develop the best learning space. As part of my new role, I will be providing students the opportunity to create and develop many new things such as learning how to use Virtual Reality, Sphero’s and Ozobot’s, Coding and also using the Abelton push devices to develop their own music. What I need to figure out is in what environment does this work best in. Using Steve’s post as an inspiration, I am hoping to create a space that encourages all students to create exciting new programs.

Source: Learning space design inspiration

What have you found to be the best learning space for your students?

Till next time


My Journey into STEAM education = How to Teach Coding Like a Granny — Joel Speranza

Hey readers,

I am sharing this post from Joel Speranza, as a way to find different ways to build upon my ideas on how to introduce STEAM education in particular coding to my students.

The digital technologies curriculum is here and everyone is trying to figure out how to teach the thing. Particularly the coding bit, that’s the steepest The post How to Teach Coding Like a Granny appeared first on Joel Speranza.

via How to Teach Coding Like a Granny — Joel Speranza

Thanks Joel for giving me the drive to try something new in working towards my goal of having an engaging and enjoyable curriculum for my students.

Till next time


How can innovation be embraced – my journey into STEAM education

Hey readers,

Following on from this week’s Aussie ED twitter chat which was based around Innovation, I had one of those light bulb moments where I started thinking about how innovation could be encouraged in my new role and where I can lead innovation for my students.

8 characteristics of the Innovators Mindset – George Couros


Using the above infographic from Geroge Couros as inspiration, each of the eight characteristics are areas in which I aim to target during this exciting stage of my role. Whilst each are individually important, my favourites are problem finders, risk – takers, creators and reflective.

Problem Finders – Risk Takers

Having students and I guess teachers who actively seek out problems to solve is an environment where innovation should thrive. Encouraging others to have a growth mindset where taking risks and solving problems to tasks that initially were only thoughts and ideas is my aim that I am wanting to build within my role.

Creators and being reflective

In developing some new initiatives in my role, such as a pop-up makerspace my main aim is to build an environment where students feel empowered to try new things and always reflect on what has been successful or not. Encouraging them to always question how they are working towards the task and could working collaboratively with others get a positive result.


With the quick wins that I have mentioned previously New Journey such as using sphero’s, lego robots and drones this I am aiming will provide ample opportunities for innovation from students and the also the necessary buy in from other staff to build upon.

Till next time


Makerspaces – My journey into STEAM education

Hey readers,

Recently I wrote about my beginning journey into the world of STEAM education at my school and what my plans were to begin the journey. This post is going to discuss why I would like to add a makerspace to our STEAM program and also developing a better understanding of what is required to set up a Makerspace.

What is a Makerspace

‘Maker’ spaces are zones of self-directed learning. Their hands-on character, coupled with the tools and raw materials that support invention, provide the ultimate workshop for the tinkerer and the perfect educational space for individuals who learn best by doing. DigiPubs – Making .

When I first knew that I was starting this program, my views around what STEAM education was for students to be able to collaborate and communicate with others, be able to design,create and problem solve. Creating a makerspace can have the ability for students at my school to do all these but also have fun in the process.

What I am planning to include

Initially, I would like to include an area for students to play with the school’s Sphero’s and Lego NXT Robots with the view to include other stations such as learning how to code with Scratch and Osmo, creating a green screen for students to experiment with video creation, learn how to use the school’s drone and also use the school’s 3D printers.

Some cool images of what other’s have created in Makerspaces



Thanks to STEM at Calrossy for the great images.

Look forward to hearing others thoughts on how to create this wonderful learning opportunity for students


Beginning of a new journey – STEAM Coordinator

My role recently at school has been transitioned where come next year I will be in charge of the STEAM program. Some people may ask what is STEAM? It is an educational term relating to Science & Technology interpreted through
Engineering & the Arts, all based in Mathematical elements. It allows learning to be delivered by educators in an integrated way, helping a deeper engagement in the five disciplines for our students. Personally, I am excited about the prospect of being able to develop capabilities in the students at my school such as critical and creative thinking, collaboration and decision making.

As it is still a relatively new concept at school, I am at a position where in planning for next year and beyond I feel I am beginning a new journey in my educational career. The big question to start is actually that – Where do I begin in planning to integrate this new journey?

Even though attending a number of conferences throughout this year has given me many ideas, it wasn’t until a meeting with Steve Brophy that I had today that has provided me with plenty of clear ideas in which I can guide my planning into the future.

Beginning this journey I aim to focus on finding ways in which I can embed STEAM focussed activities into the existing and also into the new Digital Technologies curriculum due to be implemented in 2017.

Some of the things that I aim to do in the beginning will be: –

  • Create quick wins with both staff and students so that I can build a culture of “Wow, I can do this in my class”
  • Look at ways in which the opportunity of building pop up makerspaces
  • Providing as much as possible evidence of learning from students, staff and leadership enjoying the activities
  • Provide the opportunity for staff to create and implement flipped learning into their classroom
  • Introduce the use of different tools such as Sphero into all levels of curriculum from Foundation up to Year 12

In future posts, I will be providing updates on my lessons learnt on what has worked and what hasn’t, and how I have built upon the how into the why of integrating STEAM into the curriculum.

Till next time


#WalkOn – My experiences from DigiCon16

Some many great experiences and memories from the recent DLTV – DigiCon16 conference. Starting off with an awesome keynote from Rosie and Lucy Thomas, co-founders of Project Rockit describing how their passion for creating social change helps many young people around Australia. They were such an inspiration and spoke about things that brought home many truths from my time in Secondary School.

I then attended a session based around improving my understanding in how to best use the suite of Microsoft products in an Education setting. We learnt how to use OneNote’s new function “Class Notebook”, Word’s “Text to Speech” and the most exciting tool Microsoft Forms. I can see myself using this as an excellent way to provide immediate feedback for students engagement and understanding of any topic.

Next session I attended was based around how Robotics can be used in the classroom. An area of education in which I am becoming increasingly interested in especially where I can engage students to want to learn more about coding. Whether it was using Dash and Dot, Bee-Bots or my favourite Sphero, I have discovered there are many options when deciding to implement Robotics into any educational context.

By far the most powerful and inspirational session of the day was the keynote from Steve Brophy. The main message from this keynote was about better understanding passion and ‘walking on’ to new opportunities and challenges. From this keynote, it has inspired me to #WalkOn and sign up to be a presenter at the 2017 DigiCon conference. With the support from educators such as Steve, Dean Pearman and others it has given me the confidence to stand up and walk on to this exciting experience.

My last session of the conference was to attend Teaching Computational Thinking and Coding using Scratch. Although I have heard of Scratch, I have actually never used the program in my classroom. During this session I was introduced to the many powerful tools that scratch has at its disposal. The best part about this program that I have now discovered is that it can be targeted to a wide range of students and will fully engage them into better understanding and developing their coding skills.

Thank you to all the presenters and organisers for another wonderful conference and I look forward to attending and also presenting at next years.

Till next time


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