Digital Learning News

February 20, 2017
by rcrellin
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Support for the Digital Technologies Curriclum

The Victorian Curriculum F-10 has been designed to provide practical opportunities for students to explore the capacity of information systems to systematically and innovatively transform data into digital solutions, through the application of:

  • Systems thinking – the relationship between people, digital devices and society when developing solutions.
  • Design thinking – designs that are intuitive to users of all ages and abilities.
  • Computational thinking – the precise steps and decisions that need to be made to code a solution

Where to start

  • The Digital Technologies DigiPub provides advice about the curriculum, making links to current practice and getting to know the terminology.

Curriculum Resources

Professional Learning and events

About the Digital Technologies Curriclum

The Digital Technologies curriculum is part of the new Victorian Curriculum. The Foundation to Level 10 curriculum provides a single, coherent and comprehensive set of prescribed content and achievement standards. All government and Catholic schools are required to implement and report on the Digital Technologies curriculum from 2017.

The new curriculum area should not be confused with integrating the use of ICT across all curriculum areas.

ICT across the curriculum is about students developing digital skills and knowledge to investigate, create and collaborate across all curriculum areas. They also learn safe and responsible use in managing and operating ICT.

Digital Technologies is a specific curriculum that focuses on students thought processes in order to unravel problems, and then design and generate digital solutions.

Students will learn how computers work and how to create digital solutions for real-world problems and challenges with computational thinking, which uses systematic solutions to solve problems, part of this is developing a working knowledge of coding.

Download the fact sheet for more information.

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October 6, 2016
by rcrellin
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Wolfram software available now

mathematica-11-spikeyAll Victorian secondary schools are now able to access the Wolfram software suite, thanks to a three-year agreement made with the Department.

The Wolfram suite of products includes powerful learning tools across science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and is internationally recognised as the global industry standard for engineers, economists, scientists and mathematicians. The suite has four unique applications in the areas of computation, problem modelling, coding and more:

  • Mathematica: Computation software with a broad range of functionality including graphical, geometric, numerical, symbolic, financial and statistical computations.
  • SystemModeler: A complete physical modelling and simulation tool to explore system behaviour across multiple domains.
  • Alpha Pro: A powerful tool for finding answers through dynamic computations on built-in data, algorithms and methods.
  • Programming Lab: An environment to learn programming language and modern computational thinking.

The licence arrangement covers all school and personal devices for all secondary school teachers and students. Each product can be downloaded individually on student and teacher devices using a vic.edu.au or education.vic.gov.au email.   Find out more and get your licence here or go to the eduSTAR software catalogue and search for Wolfram.

Limited professional learning places are available for Secondary Science and Mathematics teachers on Friday 14 October in Carlton.

system-modellerprogramming-labwolfram-alphamathematica-11-spikey

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July 30, 2015
by Sandy Phillips
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The Adobe Creative Cloud for schools

With the growing interest in developing creativity amongst our students, teachers are looking for digital solutions to embed within their curriculum planning. As BYOT (Bring Your Own Technologies) and Cloud based platforms become increasingly popular across Victorian schools, it is important as a teacher to model digital literacies across all curriculum areas. Finding the right resource or software to meet student needs has always been a priority for teachers.

adobe

In the coming months the Digital Learning Branch in partnership with Adobe Education is providing great opportunities for teachers and students to explore the Adobe Creative Cloud suite of resources.

If you are using mobile devices in your classroom already jump in and try Adobe Voice and Adobe Slate. These free apps will give your students the freedom to create dynamic, beautiful multimedia presentations and webpages to share their learning.

You can find some great examples at the Adobe Education Exchange or better still upload your students work in FUSE and share their stories.

 Teacher workshops – What is possible with Adobe Creative Cloud?

Monday August 10: Two sessions 1.30 – 3.30 and 4.30 pm – 6.30pm

REGISTER FREE: http://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/what-is-possible-with-adobe-creative-cloud-tickets-17946525541

 Join Adobe as they share the possibilities of Adobe Creative Cloud in the classroom. Victorian teachers are seeing their students creativity come to life with the latest offering from Adobe Creative Cloud.

The Adobe Creative Cloud (CC) is the most up to date versions of what was the Adobe Creative Suite plus lots more. The most recent of Adobe’s industry standard web design, print, audio and video applications are available to download via CC as well as new applications like Adobe Muse and Edge Animate for great HTML website and animation without the need for coding skills.

This workshop will provide an overview of what is included in the Adobe CC and how educators & students around the world are working the CC applications to enhance the way they communicate.

To make the most of this workshop, download the trial version of Adobe Photoshop CC 2015 and Adobe Muse.

More information about Adobe Creative Cloud software can be found via:

http://www.adobe.com/au/creativecloud.html

 

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August 27, 2014
by rcrellin
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What is computational thinking?

Computational thinking is a problem-solving method that is applied to create solutions that can be implemented using digital technologies. It involves integrating strategies, such as organising data logically, breaking down problems into parts, interpreting patterns and models and designing and implementing algorithms.

Computational thinking is used when specifying and implementing algorithmic solutions to problems in Digital Technologies. For a computer to be able to process data through a series of logical and ordered steps, students must be able to take an abstract idea and break it down into defined, simple tasks that produce an outcome. This may include analysing trends in data, responding to user input under certain preconditions or predicting the outcome of a simulation (from australiancurriculum.edu.au).

Here are some DLTV resources to help you:

Algorithms: an algorithm is a description of the steps and decidsion required to solve a problem

 Algorithms

Digital Technologies – Algorithms In Plain English from Digital Learning & Teaching Vic on Vimeo.

Decomposition: to separate a complex problem into parts to allow a problem to be more easily understood.

  Decomposition

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Digital Technologies – Decompose In Plain English from Digital Learning & Teaching Vic on Vimeo.

Source: Digital Learning and Teaching Victoria

 

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August 20, 2014
by rcrellin
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National Literacy and Numeracy Week

National Literacy and Numeracy Week is running from 25 – 31 August in 2014. It is an Australian Government initiative that runs in partnership with state and territory governments.  During this week many schools run a range of fun activities for their students to help them explore literacy and numeracy.

At Huntly Primary School students are using technology to support their writing by publishing narratives, explaining concepts and peer assessment.

Some useful links:

Literacy Resources

  • FUSE packages for Early ChildhoodPrimary and Secondary students provides resources to learn about the future of books, writing and reading, create and share poetry mashups or tell people what you think, or find out what others have read.DigiPub maths
  • DigiPubs link to English resources, software, apps and classroom ideas.

Numeracy Resources

  • FUSE packages for Early ChildhoodPrimary and Secondary students will get them engaged with interactive and real life maths.
  • FUSE eBookBoxes contain lesson plans, interactive resources for AusVELS F-10 and VCE
  • DigiPubs link to Maths resources, software, apps and classroom ideas.
  • 8 Math talks to blow your mind. Mathematics gets down to work in these Ted talks, breathing life and logic into everyday problems. Prepare for math puzzlers both solved and unsolvable, and even some still waiting for solutions.

Conference – English, Arts and Technologies: Literacies for Lifelong Learning

The Australian Literacy Educator’s Association, Victoria and Australian Centre for the Moving Image annual one-day multiliteracies conference is on Friday 12 September 2014.  The conference will explore authentic learning and contemporary teaching strategies that draw upon multimodal resources and tools – from traditional multimodal texts such as picture books through to user generated moving image texts – along with some of the grammar, or codes and conventions needed to become proficient speakers, readers, viewers, writers and creators.  Find out more and register.

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June 26, 2014
by rcrellin
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Invent to Learn

Our guest blogger this week: Wendy Macpherson, Digital Learning Branch

Last week teachers from 30 DEECD schools participated in a day of hard fun and problem solving at Invent to Learn workshops across Victoria led by DrMakey Makey. Gary Stager. 

The workshops began with the case for project-based learning, making, tinkering, and engineering. Participants looked at examples of children engaged in complex problem solving with new game-changing technologies and then explored the breakthroughs in science education, and the global maker movement that are combining to create rich learning experiences.

Participants had a chance to take on the role of learner and tinker with a range of exciting new low- and high-tech construction materials that can be used with students. At the end of each workshop teachers shared how their experiences and learnings could be applied back in their schools.

The team from Warrnambool College decided they would like to expose all staff to the ideas of making, tinkering and engineering by setting up a ‘Maker Corner’ in their staffroom where staff could play and experiment with new materials

As a starting point, the team from Matthew Flinders Girls Secondary College are exploring how they can create a new hands-on technology subject that combines digital, materials and food technologies with science, engineering and mathematics. This will be the starting point as they explore how constructionist principles and an explicit focus on thinking can be applied to other subjects.

Silverton Primary School teachers resolved to take another look at Scratch (a programming language for students available on the EduStar image) and see how they could use it to program Lego constructions to respond to commands.

All teachers had fun with:

  • Soft Circuits, using conductive thread, sewable coin battery holders and felt to create wearable electronics projects.
  • Interactive Greeting cards using conductive paints
  • Makey Makeys which allow students to connect anything in the real world to computer software that respnds to keyboard input
  • Arduinos which allow student to build electronics projects using an arduino, breadboard, jumper wires, LEDs etc
  • Probot, a small robotic car that can be programmed to move and draw.
  • Turtle Art a computer drawing program inspired by Logo programming language

To helScratch  Legop you bring the new Digital Technologies curriculum to life explore these and many more ideas on the Invent to Learn Website  especially the Invent to Learn / Stuff page. Gary Stager will be returning to Victoria in August. Please contact Wendy Macpherson for further information <macpherson.wendy.w@edumail.vic.gov.au>

Gary Stager and Sylvia Martinez co authored the new book, Invent To Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom.invent to learn

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May 28, 2014
by rcrellin
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Seven ways to use technology with purpose

Lynn Davie sent this blog post to the team for discussion, as I read through I thought it was really interesting and had some good points for schools.  Lynn posed the following questions:

  • Do you agree with the author?
  • What would be on your list?

We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section.

The following post is from AJJuliani.com – Teach Different

Why are you using technology? Or more importantly, how are you using technology to better the learning in your classroom and/or school? If you are like me, then you’ve had your fair share of technology screw ups. Projects that didn’t make sense (but used the tech you wanted to bring in). Activities that were ruined by a crashing website or some technological problem. And of course you’ve probably dealt with the students, parents, and teachers that want to do things “the old way”.

In order to make sure you are using technology the right way, you must first “start with why”. If your students understand the “why” behind your technology use, then the class will have a purpose and technological glitches and issues can be worked through. If they don’t understand the “why” then any small issue could turn into a major problem.

Here are 7 ways I’ve been using technology for a purpose in my classroom and as a staff developer in my school. I’m sure there are many other ways to use tech with purpose, but these are some of my favorites!

1. To Collaborate in Real Time

Remember when Google Docs broke onto the scene? It was magic. Students writing and sharing in real-time, able to see what the other students are doing and saying, while still working on your own part of the project or activity. Flash forward 7-8 years and now “real-time collaboration” is a must for most online software. This type of technology allow project-based learning to be monitored, documented, and done outside of the school hours.

At my school we have been using Microsoft OneNote (as well as the Google products) to collaborate in real-time. Whether it is staff planning together, students working together, or a combination of both…this technology has so many learning purposes.

2. To Reflect and Share

I used to have my students journal in their marble notebooks. And during certain activities I still do (like Writer’s Bootcamp). However, what’s nice about having students journal online and share “in the cloud” is the ability for their classmates to see what they have to say.

This is why I suggest blogging throughout the year, and not just as a project. Make blogging a part of your student’s life and you’ll be able to see which topics, ideas, projects, and activities really impacted them. Sometimes it may not be what you thought…and sometimes their simple act of sharing will bring the class together in ways you never could have imagined.

3. Better Research

After I finished writing my Master’s thesis on ‘peace education in the 21st century’ I talked with my mom about her writing process in graduate school. It sounded awful… She would have to go to the library, find a resource, read almost the entire resource, make copies of the pages she wanted to use, and literally “cut it out” and “paste it on” her typewritten document.

Technology has made research simple and more time efficient. I’m not talking about typing a question into google, I’m specifically focused on searching journal databases like ERIC through places like Ebscohost. A nice search phrase will turn up hundreds of peer-reviewed results which can be sorted many different ways (such as by date or full-text article). Those articles that you choose can then be automatically scanned for your keywords, read the specific parts you want, and use what is applicable with a simple copy and paste and proper citation already set up and ready to go.

How often do we really teach students how to research in today’s world? Or do we expect them to learn on their own like we did?

4. Write and Re-Write

Using tools such as Google Docs, the new Microsoft Word, or Draft students are able to write and edit on the fly. They can get feedback from peers and teachers…and then choose whether or not to accept that feedback on their writing. Technology has changed the writing process in much the same way it has changed the research process.

The most important part of writing is the revising and editing. Yet, we often take it for granted. Instead let’s use the technology to track what types of changes students have made, and if they are making the same mistakes in their writing over and over again. That way, the “re-writing” process can have a direct impact on how much they improve and change some of their writing habits over time.

5. Make Something (that matters)

This may be my favorite way to use technology with a purpose. Students now have the ability to make movies, songs, pieces of art, websites, apps, games etc–with technology. However, too often we ask students to make something that does not matter. We ask them to make a movie or poster or presentation that has no direct impact on the world around them.

Instead, let’s challenge ourselves to start making technology matter. Make iMovies that can be uploaded to Youtube and have a purpose. Make games with a meaning. Make apps that matter. Yes, there is a time for fun and games. But if that is all we use technology for in school…then we shouldn’t be surprised when that is all students use technology for once they get out of school.

6. Keep a Digital Record

Digital portfolios are a must. Not because colleges will want and need them in the future (which is happening sooner than you think). Not because it is a cool way to show off what you’ve done in class. Digital portfolios are a must because they show learning growth.

The best way to show how much a student has learned is through a digital portfolio. You can look back over time and what they’ve created, written, and done in school. And how that work has improved (and in what ways) throughout their schooling. When students know their work will be on display and recorded, they also take pride in what they do because it will last.

Ask yourself, are you making “digital fridge art” or something worth keeping?

7. Mastery Assessments

Think about the last time you gave an assessment. I’m sure you prepared students for it during class, gave them materials to study, and supported them during the assessment. However, there were definitely a few students who struggled on this assessment. What happens next? You can either give them a re-take, give them another similar assessment, or say that is there only chance.

If you gave them a digital assessment you’d be able to see exactly which questions they got wrong in comparison to the entire class. You could see how much time they spent on the question and if the answer they chose was way off base…or close. You could tailor a new assessment based on just the problems/questions they got wrong and make sure they achieved mastery on those topics before moving forward.

Technology should change the way we do assessments forever, yet sadly many of us still give tests the same way we did 10 years ago. This is a tech purpose we can’t avoid any longer.

Innovative Teaching Challenge #5: Use technology for a purpose. The next time you use it in class make sure you explain the “why” to your students. This is an important step that we often forget to do. Also, we want to hear how you are using tech in your classrooms.

A.J. Juliani

This is the fifth post in the “Innovative Teaching Challenge” series. You can read more about the series here, or learn more about my class story in my upcoming book: Inquiry and Innovation in the Classroom: How 20% TIme, Genius Hour and PBL Drive Student Success (coming on  June 17th).

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May 7, 2014
by rcrellin
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Mathematica, computer-based math and the new era of STEM with Conrad Wolfram

Conrad Wolfram Session: Free 27 May 2:30-3:30 at Bastow

Mathematica is a powerful global computation system that can handle all the various aspects of technical computing–and beyond–in a coherent and unified way.  It is industry standard software used in the sciences, engineering, commerce, computer science and software development.

Conrad Wolfram, physicist, mathematician, businessman and technologist is Director of Strategic Development and European Co-Founder/CEO of the Wolfram group of companies. Conrad is also the world’s leading advocate for a fundamental shift of maths education to become computer-based, arguing that this is the key way to address issues in global maths education and move forward.

His widely acknowledged 2010 TED talk  laid out the rationale and roadmap for this rethink and the same year he founded computerbasedmath.org (CBM) to drive implementation of the change.  The movement is now a worldwide force in re-developing STEM curriculum and in February 2013 it was announced that Estonia would be the first partner country.

 

Wolfram Research and Mathematica Software

The Wolfram Group specializes in pushing boundaries at the intersection of computation, maths and knowledge, including making Mathematica software, the Wolfram Alpha knowledge engine (powering knowledge answers for Apple’s Siri), the Computable Document Format (CDF) standard, the newly announced Wolfram Language and forthcoming Wolfram Cloud.

Since 2011, Mathematica has been available to all Victorian DEECD secondary students and teachers via the eduSTAR image.

The importance of math to jobs, society and thinking has increased exponentially over the last few decades. Meanwhile, maths education globally has slipped backwards. Why has this chasm opened up? Computers are the key to addressing this challenge effectively – when computers do the calculating, people can work on harder questions, try more concepts, and play with a multitude of new ideas.

Conrad Wolfram will discuss his major project to build a completely new curriculum in mathematics with computer-based computation at its heart – covering the rationale for the change, how it’s being manifested and how Victoria is well placed to be at the forefront.

Who should attend Conrad Wolfram’s Session? 

Anyone with an interest in mathematics education, in particular, school leaders, teachers and teacher educators, system representatives, policy makers and education researchers should attend. This is a unique opportunity to hear from one of the leading global thinkers in mathematics education and technology here in Melbourne.

Session Details and Registration:

  • May 27, 2.30pm – 3.30pm
  • BASTOW 603-615 Queensberry Street North Melbourne
  • Register here  PLEASE NOTE: This is a free event. When you register and get to the payment section just choose credit card or invoice payment and it will progress through to a zero invoice and not require any payment.
  • A number of regional venues will also be linking to the presentation via Polycom video-conferencing.
  • Contact Peter Maggs maggs.peter.j@edumail.vic.gov.au for further information or polycom details.

OTHER MATH TED TALKS

Check out this collection of videos – 8 Math talks to blow your mind. Mathematics gets down to work in these talks, breathing life and logic into everyday problems. Prepare for math puzzlers both solved and unsolvable, and even some still waiting for solutions.

Support for schools using Mathematica

A range of resources are available to teachers on FUSE and the Digital Learning Showcase.  The Wolfram Mathematica website also has a great range of free online tutorials and support materials for teachers.   In 2013 schools from all over Victoria received Mathematica professional learning via Polycom Video conferencing.

Using Mathematica in the Classroom:

Print version: Conrad Wolfram Session

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April 24, 2014
by rcrellin
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Using Digital Tools in the Classroom – Online Professional Learning

An online professional learning program related to using a range of digital tools in the classroom has been developed to meet request from schools.

Focus areas will include:

  • Beyond classroom walls – Web conferencing (2 sessions)
  • Social media in teaching and learning (2 sessions)
  • Mobile devices across the curriculum (1 session)

You can choose one or two focus areas or take part in all 5 sessions.

Online sessions will be held on Blackboard Collaborate and will be 45-60 minutes in length.  Each focus area will run for approximately two weeks and will encourage teachers to link in with other professionals to share experience and ideas.

Participants will need to book sessions using the link below before the 20th of May, 2014.

To register for one or all of the courses click here.

For the PDF information sheet to display in your school (similar to below) please click this link – Using Digital Tools in the Classroom

For more information or enquires please contact Penny Rowe on 03 9651 3017 or email rowe.penelope.m@edumail.vic.gov.au

Webinar date/time

Focus Title

Presenter

Target audience

Wednesday, 21th May 2014, 4pm

 and

Wednesday, 28th May 2014, 4pm

Beyond Classroom Walls – Web Conferencing

These sessions will support teachers to use web/video conferencing tools such as  polycom, Lync, Skype and Blackboard collaborate and connect with other teachers outside of your school community.  This course would be very useful to those schools that have recently received a Polycom unit and would like to learn how to use it better.

Register

Anne Mirtschin, Virtual Conference Centre Coach

All school staff

Register

Thursday 5th June 2014, 4pm

 and

Thursday 12th June 2014, 4pm

Using Social Media in Teaching and Learning

These sessions will explore how social media can support and enhance teaching and learning.  This course will help teachers to develop a better understanding around using social media safely with students, exploring some of the concerns and misconceptions.  It will also help teachers who are unfamiliar with social media to learn about how it can be used for tasks such as professional networking and information gathering.

Register

 

Mel Cashin, Digital Learning Consultant

All school staff

Register

Wednesday 18th June 2014, 4pm

Mobile devices across the curriculum

This session will explore using mobile devices, such as iPads, in the classroom in creative ways.  We will consider the value and use of various apps across all curriculum areas including video, animation, recount, storytelling, and augmented reality.  There will be opportunities for discussion around how to overcome barriers such as the transfer of data, connecting, creating a multi-device environment and implications of particular apps.   

Register

 

Penny Rowe Senior Project officer, Digital Learning Branch

All school staff

Register

 

 

 

 

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November 18, 2013
by rcrellin
1 Comment

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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