October 29, 2014
by Sandy Phillips

2 Virtual Conferences for students – Cyberbullying and Security

Virtual Cybersmart Online Presentation – Cyberbullying

Date/time:    Thursday 13 November 2014, 10 am – 10.40 am

Audience:           Years 4, 5 and 6 students.

Register here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/vccyberbullying

Once you register you will be sent the details of the event including the link to enter the virtual room.


Virtual Cybersmart Online Presentation – Cyber Security

Date/time: Thursday 4 December 2014, 10 am – 10.40 am.

Audience:   Years 4, 5 and 6 students.

Register here:https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/vcsecurity

To access the support of your Virtual Coach go to: http://global2.vic.edu.au/?p=3534

Once you register you will be sent the details of the event including the link to enter the virtual room.

October 22, 2014
by Jillian Brown

New Pedagogies for Deep Learning – a Global Partnership

Across Victoria, a number of schools are involved in the New Pedagogies for Deep Learning program. This exciting program is a global partnership that focuses on implementing deep learning goals across whole education systems to enable new pedagogies accelerated by technology. The New Pedagogies for Deep Learning initiative brings together 1,000 schools from ten countries. In Australia, participating schools comprise 79 from Victoria and 21 schools from Tasmania. The measures for deep learning are built around six competencies – collaboration, creativity, citizenship, communication, critical thinking, and character. Since the commencement of the program schools have been working to determine the path to engage students to develop skills to be lifelong learners; creative, connected and collaborative problem solvers who can successfully participate and innovate in our increasingly connected world. Schools are defining their approaches to develop deep learning competencies that go beyond 21st Century skills and work towards design and practice in teaching and learning that will lead to more successful futures for students.


One of the key global leaders of the New Pedagogies project is Michael Fullan. Michael advises policymakers and local leaders around the world in helping to enrich and enhance every child’s learning experience. A prolific award-wining author, Michael received the order of Canada in 2012. He holds honorary doctorates from several universities. Michael’s work on educational reform has led to improvements in literacy, numeracy and school graduation rates, while closing gap at schools to impoverished areas.  

A great opportunity to hear Michael Fullan is coming up at ACMI on Wednesday 29th October. Michael will be at presenting on ‘New Pedagogies for Deep Learning – a Global Partnership’, along with Tony Mackay, MC. This session commences at 9:30am and concludes at approximately 11:30am. Morning tea is provided after the session. This session is designed for school leaders and teachers who are striving to develop learning experiences that go beyond the surface and identify a framework for deep learning competencies.

To register for this event, please visit https://www.acmi.net.au/education/teacher-programs-resources/new-pedagogies-for-deep-learning/

For more information, see: www.education.vic.gov.au/school/teachers/support/Pages/deeplearning.aspx or contact Digital Learning at digital.learning@edumail.vic.gov.au


October 8, 2014
by Jillian Brown

Autodesk Inventor and Mudbox

Our Guest blogger, Carlin Grieve, is Science Coordinator and IT Manager at Epping Secondary College

For several years I had been trying to get anything 3D into the school but faced two problems that seem to exist at most secondary schools: staff capacity and the cost of professional software. Although there are free software solutions available like Blender, GIMP, etc. the steep learning curve of these programs was too daunting for staff and trial groups of students. This was mainly due to the user interfaces (UI) being overly complex with too many buttons & options. Not only did this turn staff away from the thought of 3D at secondary schools, but also disengaged students because they didn’t get an immediate result. This created a wall I couldn’t seem to get past, with funds already allocated to other areas of the school.

However, Autodesk Inventor & Mudbox offer a tool that is easier to use with polished UI’s and design features such as basic functions at the forefront, which impacts greatly on the functionality and usability of these 3D tools. When Autodesk made their licences free for schools, this overcame the issue of funding, and also removed the risk for schools. The combination of this free licence with the free licence they already give students to continue working on skills and projects at home offered a brilliant solution.

In terms of content, a number of projects exist on the Autodesk Digital STEAM workshop with lesson plans & tutorials to help both the students and staff. At our school we also plan to create our own content. Although still in the very early stages, appropriate resources will be developed over the remainder of the year to support students and staff. Here at Epping Secondary College, we plan to use this software in the following ways:

Autodesk 3ds Max & Autodesk Mudbox

  • Create custom models & animations for the Programming elective teaching Unity3D (www.unity3d.com). This replaces purchased models, and will help tie art and digital technologies curriculum together.


  • Science (Other) – currently investigating how 3D Scanned objects will work in this software or if Autodesk Meshmixer still works just as well.

Autodesk Inventor

  • Science Year 7/8 – Gears
    • Designing gears, 3D printing the student’s gears with compatibility with the old Lego Technic sets the school has.
    • Integration activity: printing Gears and describing how they work.
    • Mainstream: designing gears, printing Gears, describing how they work in detail.
    • Extension: designing gears with specific gear ratios, printing gears, measuring gear ratios.autodesk
  • Technology
    • Draw designs of products to be made in the workshop.


Worth noting is that I have no official training when it comes to 3D modelling and CAD drawing and I am definitely no expert. I am all self-taught and access tutorials found around the web. This goes to show that no matter what your teaching method or background, anybody can be trained in this software and should make the effort to really give students the best chance they can.

October 8, 2014
by Jillian Brown

Getting started with Autodesk Inventor

This week’s Guest Blogger is Renee Howell from Kyabram P-12 College

I have been teaching a year 9 elective class called ‘F1 in Schools’ for the past three years. Most schools run the ‘F1 in Schools’ program as an extracurricular activity but the program has so many benefits to the students that our Principal gives us class time to run the program. I have run this program with high achieving students, integration students and disengaged students. The biggest triumph I have experienced in this program was when a student in Year 9 (who never did homework, never followed anything through to its conclusion and had never been away on a school camp before) stayed up until 4am the night before the competition to complete the team’s portfolio. This team went on to win Best Portfolio in the state. This remains my best teaching moment despite having taken a team through to the National Finals and other various triumphs. Every student that goes through the F1 program learns something different. For some it is how to speak to someone in a professional way, for others it is how to design the fastest F1 car in the state. Other students learn to stand by their work and how to talk about their strengths.

When I was first asked to teach this class our school was using a 3D modelling program called CATIA. I was handed a huge folder which was to become my “bible”. I am no computer whiz, so when I first looked at the program I experienced quite a few moments of “how on earth am I going to learn all this”. It took me and the students I was teaching almost 6 months to master the controls, with many frustrations and hold ups. The great thing about this was my F1 students and I became learning partners. We explored the program together and the design process together, they became the experts. At the end of last year our school swapped over to Autodesk Inventor. My initial thought was “here we go again, another 6 months hard work to learn a new program…”. However, I found Autodesk Inventor to be much more user friendly. My new group of F1 students were able to begin designing cars and objects within an hour. The in-program tutorial (create a water bottle) walks you through all the basic commands, there’s even little videos if you can’t follow the written instructions.


Even better is the series of Youtube videos that show you everything you could possibly need to know about designing an F1 car, from design concept right through to how to produce a 3D image of the car. Here’s the link:


These videos are in little 5 minute tutorials.  I was so excited to find that my students (and myself) had expert help that we could watch over and over if we needed to. Together my students and I learned to use Autodesk Inventor quickly and easily! I have the training series saved to my favourites and regularly go back to it.autodesk2

Now that we have the basics down (and a shiny new 3D printer thanks to Quantum Victoria) I am looking into ways to integrate this technology into my other classes, so far we have been using the 123D Creature App on Ipad to design some aliens to fit into an ecosystem in Year 7 Science. I’ll let you know how it goes.


For more information on Autodesk, see http://diglearning.global2.vic.edu.au/files/2013/12/DTF_flyer_v2-1p8kblg.pdf

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