Digital Learning News

September 9, 2014
by rcrellin
0 comments

iPads for Learning: online professional learning registration

The Department’s Virtual Conference Centre is providing four iPads for Learning short courses for teachers and leaders who are using iPads in their teaching and learipads3ning. Each short course will contain three sessions, with each one hour session building upon the previous session’s learning. Each course focuses on a different aspect of using iPads:

Two courses, iPads for New Users and Publishing with iPads,  are open now for registration. Short Course 1: iPads for new users     Click here to register for this course      Short Course 2: Publishing with iPads  Click here to register for this course

The short courses will be facilitated by Andrew Del Mastro. Andrew is a member of the Apple Consultant’s Network trained to deliver Apple PD (APD). Scroll down to see how to connect.

Short Course 1: iPads for new users     Click here to register for this course     

 Session One: Introduction to the iPad
 Date: Wednesday 8th October 2014
 Time: 3.45 p.m.
 Content: This session will introduce participants to the basics including; how to navigate your iPad, how to organise Apps, how to download content, and how to setup your iPad in the Settings area. Setting up Mail and Calendars will also be demonstrated as with other tips and tricks to ensure you’re on the way to using your iPad effectively.

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 Session1BACKCHANNEL –http://todaysmeet.com/intro6184101
 Session Two: Ready to Start Creating
 Date: Wednesday 15th October 2014
 Time: 3.45 p.m.
This session will look at creating and storing content including how to manage photos, videos, documents and music. Cloud storage and sharing will also be discussed as well as how to use iCloud to back up your device.

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BACKCHANNEL –  http://todaysmeet.com/create6184101

 Session Three: Ready to Start Exploring Content
 Date: Wednesday 29th October 2014
 Time: 3.45 p.m.
This session will explore the rich ecosystem of digital content including how to discover great content including apps, digital teaching resources, online teaching materials and other useful resources.

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Session 3

BACKCHANNEL –  http://todaysmeet.com/explore6184101

 Short Course 2: Publishing with iPads

Click here to register for this course

Session One: Introduction to iBooks Author
Date: Thursday 16th October 2014
Time: 3.45 p.m.
Content: This session will introduce participants to iBooks Author the most powerful digital publishing tool available. The basics will be covered including how to lay out a book, adding text, video and images as well as saving and sharing your work. The session will also contain an introduction to building interactive widgets.
Required: iBooks Author for Mac
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Participant Connection URL 

Session Two: iBooks Author: The Next Level
Date: Thursday 23rd October 2014
Time: 3.45 p.m.
Content: This session will delve into tips and tricks and how to supply your end user with an immersive interactive experience. From using hidden pop-ups to creating colour pallets and master pages this session will look at the fundamentals of designing a truly interactive book including all of the interactive widgets contained within iBooks Author as well as the website bookry.com. This session will also include information on how to publish you book to the iTunes Book store.
Required: iBooks Author for Mac
Optional: Free account at bookry.com
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Participant Connection URL

Session Three: iBooks Author: Custom Widgets and iTunes U
Date: Thursday 30th October 2014
Time: 3.45 p.m.
Content: This session will focus on the software iAd Producer and Book Widgets. This software allows users to create custom interactive widgets. iAd Producer allows the user to build widgets from scratch without any coding required while Book Widgets offers a large selection of templates to follow. This session will conclude with an introduction to iTunes U and how it could be used to distribute your iBooks and other content.
Required: iBooks Author for Mac
Optional: iAd Producer and Book Widgets
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Participant Connection URL

These short courses will contain three sessions, with each one hour session building upon the previous session’s learning. All of the courses will be supported with materials accessible via the Department’s iTunes U campus. Each session will require access to the Virtual Conference Centre tool being used for the session; an iPad with the latest iOS installed and some sessions may require additional resources as indicated.

Andrew has designed ongoing Professional Learning programs for Primary and Secondary Schools looking to integrate technology into their teaching and learning practice. With a focus on using new digital tools to produce engaging communications Andrew facilitates a hands on approach to learning. Andrew has also produced multi-touch books for Disney Australia and the AFL Players association.Resources:

Contact: digital.learning@edumail.vic.gov.au

Download this information as a PDF  iPads_for_Learning_Short_Courses

 

September 3, 2014
by Jillian Brown
0 comments

Polycom Possibilities

Our Guest Blogger this week is Simon Trembath, Digital Learning Coach, Cardross PS

We were very excited when we found out that we were fortunate enough to receive a Polycom video conferencing unit earlier this term.  As an isolated school 550km north west of Melbourne we began to have visions of all the amazing things that we could achieve with this fantastic piece of technology.  When the magical day arrived and the unit was installed we all gathered around and marveled at the clarity of the screen and the ease at which we could move the camera.  But then we asked the question “who should we call?”  It was something that we grappled with for quite a few weeks. 

During this time our Principal started to use the unit to conference with nearby schools (approx. 50km away) that also received a unit.  This proved to be a fantastic use of our Polycom as it allowed our Principal to connect and collaborate with other schools without having to leave our school saving massive amounts of travel time. However, classroom teachers were still were not using the Polycom unit effectively with students.  We tried a test call to Japan to practice maneuvering a camera on the other side of the world and looked in on random lobbies across the world.  The kids loved it but there was not a lot of real learning going on.  After discussions about how we could utilize this with our students we were fortunate to be involved in a professional learning opportuntity that showed us how we could get our kids truly involved with the use of our Polycom.

SeeShareShapeOne of the key websites that we were directed to was www.seeshareshape.com.au. This website is run by Electroboard who many schools would be familiar with if they have Smartboards in their school.  Electroboard has a dedicated team of presenters who create amazing learning opportunities for students using video conferencing as tool to connect teachers and students from all across the country.  On the site teachers have access to a calendar of events, which outline the topics that are going to be covered and connects the event to Australian Curriculum standards.

Our experiences with these sessions have been amazing.  All of our students from grades P – 6 have since been involved in a number of these sessions.  They have connected with schools from across the country and had the chance to work with some great people.  Recently our grade 4 – 6 students worked with well-known Australian author Rod Clement.  The students had the opportunity to talk to Rod about his writing process and were so excited when they received a set of signed books from Rod’s publisher Harper Collins.  This opportunity would not have been possible without our Polycom unit.  This experience is just one of the many that our students are now enjoying.  Our Polycom unit has become a hot commodity in our school and it is always in demand.  Staff have also used the Polycom unit to engage in professional learning opportunities.  We recently connected with world renowned educational researcher Yong Zhao through a Bastow Institute event.  To have our whole staff listen to Yong and discuss education with him was a truly amazing experience and the best part was it cost our school nothing!  If we all have to travel to Melbourne to take part in this event it would have cost our school thousands!  Thank you Polycom.

We certainly don’t think that we have got it completely right yet, but we think that we are heading in the right direction.  The Polycom unit is enabling our students to view their education as that which extends beyond their own school walls.  In a lot of schools I see Polycom units tucked away in staff rooms or places that aren’t accessible for a whole class.  This is unfortunate, so here are my tips for increasing your Polycom use in your school:

  • Have your unit in a prominent place where a class can comfortably sit in front of the unit.
  • Undertake professional learning so that all staff know how to control the Polycom
  • Visit www.seeshareshape.com.au and check out the Virtual Excursions page.
  • Have a Polycom timetable in your staff room so that double bookings don’t occur.
  • Involve your students in looking at the opportunities and try to connect it to what they are currently working on in class.

We have implemented this within our school and we have found it very successful.  The Polycom unit is an excellent piece of technology so be sure to make the most of it.

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