Digital Learning News

March 27, 2014
by rcrellin
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3D Printing

Guest blogger: Penny Rowe,  Digital Learning Branch

3D printing i3D printers 2s becoming a more widely used technology in schools, with the lowering costs and strong connections to science, engineering and maths.  Quantum Victoria is taking the lead in this area and offers cutting edge professional development and student programs to guide both teachers and students through the process of using the device.  From building to using 3D printers; students and staff develop a deeper understanding of 3D modelling and printing.

Quantum Victoria was established by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development.  With a diverse team comprising of highly skilled teachers and education support staff Quantum offers workshops and training which is innovative and tailored to enhance access and learning with technology.

On March 6 and 7th Quantum Victoria held a two day professional development workshop for teachers to learn how to use a Solidoodle 3D printer, which they were then able to take away with them to install into their prospective settings.  This was made possible through a partnership grant with DEECD.   Schools were invited to participate in this initiative with the hope that they would embed this new technology across Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics within their schools.

3D printer 1 During the training teachers were guided by the highly skilled team at Quantum.  The process started with learning how to set up and calibrate the device, connect and communicate with the computer, instructing the printer what to print.  We sourced 3D models from the internet on http://www.thingiverse.com, as well as being taught how to use a range of software packages to create our own 3D models.  These included MeshMixer, OpenSCAD, SketchUP Make, and Sculptris, all of which was free to download from the internet and required various levels of skill.

It was an excellent two days of training.  All in attendance, teachers from both primary and secondary school settings, rural and metro locations, went away excited and empowered to use this device to enhance learning in their school communities.  There was rich conversation and collaboration among the participants about how the device could be used in the classroom to enhance problem solving and thinking skills and make real world connections with their students which attributed to the success of the two days.  Teachers also have an opportunity to share their ideas and lesson plans with each other through the online community established by the Quantum team.

As part of Education Week, Quantum Victoria are running Modelling and 3D Printing sessions for Years 7-9 students on 20 May. See Calendar of Free Activities for this and other events.

To find out more information about 3D printers and the programs at Quantum Victoria please contact: Soula Bennett via email at: soula.bennett@quantumvictoria.vic.edu.au or for more general information on 3D printers the Digital Learning Branch.

While not related to Victorian education – this video shows the potential of 3D printing technology, in this case to create 3D prosthetic limbs.

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December 4, 2013
by rcrellin
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Virtual, blended and flipped classrooms

The 2013 Trends in Online Learning – Virtual, Blended and Flipped Classrooms (USA) report outlines the effectiveness and impact of technology in a variety of learning modes and provides an insight into future applications of technology enabling student learning and engagement.  Key findings include:

  • Administrators are widening their scope regarding the value of online classes to include learning opportunities for administrators, teachers and other support staff in addition to students.
  • Virtual, blended and flipped learning teachers are using more digital content with their students than other teachers.
  • Online learning teachers see significant value in the role of digital tools and resources to improve student success as well as their own personal productivity.
  • Parents who have taken an online class for their own work or job training have high expectations for their child’s school to provide similar learning opportunities.
  • Students are increasingly seeing online learning as a gateway to a new education paradigm where they are in control of the learning process.

What’s happening in Victoria?

Flipped Learning

  • The 2013 Trends in Online Learning describes flipped learning as students watch videos of lectures or read content as homework, and class time is spent on project-based learning and personalised remediation.
    ‘The sign of a great student centred activity is that all students are actively discussing the concept in their own words – Verso definitely hit the mark here.   As a teacher being able to see each student’s original post and comments also offers a visibility of their learning – you can almost watch it happen!’  Steve Seddon
  • Steve Seddon from Noble Park Secondary College has been using online video to engage students as well as make more effective use of classroom and homework time. He has recently trialled Verso – a web based app that creates opportunity for student collaboration and discussion around a stimulus question, video, images, files or websites.  Read Steve’s blog post for more information.
  • Find resources for flipped learning in this FUSE package.

Virtual Learning

  • Virtual learning allows students to connect, interact, share and learn with others outside of their classroom and school using virtual conferencing tools such as Polycom, Blackboard Collaborate, Microsoft Lync and Skype. Virtual learning can be  synchronous  where all students log in at the one time in a virtual classroom, or it may be asynchronous and involve students accessing recordings of a session to access in their own time.
  • Find out more – Virtual conferencing, Connecting to learn – for students and teachers and the Vic Virtual Learning Project.

Blended Learning

 

 

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November 18, 2013
by rcrellin
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2013 eLearning Excellence Awards

The sixth eLearning Excellence Awards of the eLearning Industry Association of Victoria was held last week.  The K-12 sector had a great range of finalists with the Royal Children’s Hospital winning this category with their Create, Explore, Learn App.

Create Explore Learn at The Royal Children’s Hospital (Winner K-12 sector)

The Royal Children’s Hospital is home to some amazing animals and artworks. Can you find the 5 special features hidden in the app? Slide your fingers across the app home screen to explore the exciting world of the RCH. Once you have found all 5 zones, a button for each of them will appear on the app home screen next time you open it, so you can return to your favourite activities again and again!
The Create Explore Learn app shares the art and animals of The Royal Children’s Hospital with children all around the world. The app encourages children to create their own artworks, explore the vibrant spaces of the RCH and learn about the artists, designers, zoo keepers and divers who all play a role in making the RCH a healing space and a learning place.

 

 

Fatigue and Recovery (Finalist K-12 sector)

Developed in conjunction with preeminent  PE expert Robert Malpeli, this interactive program gives students an opportunity to be involved in an engaging story that draws out the concepts behind fatigue and recovery in elite athletes. This interactive program is a clever hybrid of linear storytelling and interactive challenges that must be completed in order to proceed.  The story is exciting and engaging, told from the first person perspective (with the student as the camera’s point of view), with lots of action, intrigue and exciting plot twists. The interactive challenges relate directly to what is happening in the plot and becomes an extension of the story itself – directly involving the student in what is happening on screen.

 

Chinese Language Learning Space (LLS) (Finalist K-12 Sector)

The Language Learning Space supports teachers and students of Chinese language in Australian schools. It contains over 300 language resources, 15 professional learning modules and over 10 hours of videos. It brokers free access to tutoring based in China, to substantial resources like The Dragon Trilogy, to Rosetta Stone and to networks. Users can upload their own resources and create learning pathways. The student section includes links to 30 curated learning challenges that conclude with a quiz and graphic novel narrative set in China. The website is a LMS meets CMS mash-up, the first of its kind produced by ESA.

Released in July 2013, the site has already received very positive responses from language teachers. The consistent feedback is that the site is unique in collating so many resources in one place and that the LLS has provided many ways of inspiring students to continue to study Chinese.

AITSL Illustrations of Practice (Finalists Community and K-12 Sectors)

The AITSL Illustrations of Practice project brings together two key national education organisations, the Australian Institute of Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) and Education Services Australia (ESA). Working closely together to realise a core AITSL remit, to support the ongoing professional learning needs of Australia’s teachers and school leaders, AITSL and ESA worked on a program to develop, quality assure and publish 240 Illustrations of Practice over a three year period from 2011 to 2013. An Illustration of Practice is a three to five minute video vignette showing authentic teacher practice at a particular Standard and focus area drawn from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers (APST).

The outcome of the project is an online professional learning experience for teachers at the AITSL web site and enables various education stakeholders to gain a powerful snapshot of current, authentic teacher practice from across the nation.

 

Presidents Award: Time Lens   (Finalist Community sector)

While not in the K-12 category, this app from Museum Victoria is a great one for students use when they visit the museum. Built by a curious curator, the Time Lens takes would-be explorers on a scavenger hunt around Melbourne Museum to discover some of the treasured objects and hidden gems of the museum’s collection.

The free Time Lens app represents a targeted way to use mobile devices to help families explore the collection objects, exhibitions and themes presented throughout the museum. Incentive and reward is provided through unlockable badges and light hearted animations, but the intent of the app is not to be an experience that takes place solely on the screen of the device, instead being a mechanism to guide families to points of interest within the museum and give them launching off points for discussion around the significance of each object.

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October 22, 2013
by rcrellin
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Digital Learning and Teaching Victoria (DLTVic)

Guest Blogger:  Joedy Wallis, ICTEV

We are pleased to announce that the merger of ICTEV and VITTA was voted on by members on Wednesday (ICTEV) and Thursday (VITTA) last week and that members accepted the motion to merge the two Victorian teacher associations to form the new association Digital Learning and Teaching Victoria (DLTVic). The new association will commence on 1 January 2014.

Thank you for your enthusiasm and support during this year for the merger.

Both organisations have a proud history of providing leadership and innovation in ICT education and we are certainly excited about the opportunities that the new organisation will be able to offer members especially in terms of preparing as for the Digital Technologies national curriculum.

We are delighted at the prospect of expanding our thinking and exploring innovation and quality education resources and networking opportunities. We are now fully engaged in developing a calendar of events including conferences and professional learning opportunities.

The knowledge is in the network and we want to build upon that to service pre-service teachers to principals in and target early years to careers.

Digital Learning and Teaching Victoria as your professional teachers’ association is set for an exciting inaugural year ahead and we have a very positive vision for the future of ICT in education for all Victorian school.  We want you on board!

How will it work? Digital Learning and Teaching Victoria will come into effect on 1 January 2014. VITTA and ICTEV are offering exactly the same membership categories and membership fees to current members who like to renew this year for 2014. Your ICTEV or VITTA renewal will automatically be rolled over to Digital Learning and Teaching Victoria on 1 January 2014.     DLTVic Membership Renewal information

Nominations for the ICTEV Educator of Year close on Friday 25 October

The ICTEV Educator of the Year award is a state award intended to recognise the importance of the work of Victorian teachers who contributing to the use of information and communication technologies in their schools.

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October 9, 2013
by rcrellin
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Innovating Pedagogy 2013

Have you heard of MOOCS, crowd learning, maker culture and geo-learning?  Do you know what they are and how they might impact on education?

Innovating pedagogy 2013 is series of reports from the Open University UK that explores new forms of teaching, learning and assessment for an interactive world, in order to guide teachers and policy makers in productive innovation. The report proposes ten innovations that are already in currency but have not yet had a profound influence on education.

Innovating pedagogy 2013 – explores the following:

  • MOOCs:  Massive open online courses
  • Badges to accredit learning: Open framework for gaining recognition of skills and achievements
  • Learning analytics: Data-driven analysis of learning activities and environments
  • Seamless learning: Connecting learning across settings, technologies and activities
  • Crowd learning:  Harnessing the local knowledge of many people
  • Digital scholarship: Scholarly practice through networked technologies
  • Geo-learning: Learning in and about locations
  • Learning from gaming:  Exploiting the power of digital games for learning
  • Maker culture: Learning by making
  • Citizen inquiry: Fusing inquiry-based learning and citizen activism
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