May 13, 2014
by rcrellin
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Leaving the Earth – Mars

Our guest bloggers: Chris Tambakakis and Gene Geoffrey, Doveton College

Leaving The Earth – Mars is a cross curriculum program Soundgarage has developed for the students in Year 7 at Doveton College. The program is based in Humanities with major links to Science, Art, Music, Robotics, English, Food Technology and Drama.  The premise is simple. The world is no longer inhabitable. As a result humans must migrate to Mars where individual tribes must form a new society.  Using Design Thinking as a basis for learning and creativity students plot their own journey into a new world.  On the first day of term one the Year 7 students attend their first assembly.  At the end of the assembly this one minute film was played.

Background:
Our experience at Doveton College has shown that using a “Gaming” approach usually ensures high student engagement. The use of Imprudence Virtual World offers an opportunity to tap into the interest base of the students by using the medium of a “gaming” experience to deliver curriculum. Our Students are required to apply their ICT knowledge and skills.We use the virtual world as a tool to enhance the learning experience of students, it has given them the chance to apply their learning to “virtual” real life situations.

The program has a main focus on Civics and Citizenship. The project is designed to develop cooperative learning strategies and teaching techniques. It challenges students to solve problems in a group dynamic to achieve a desired outcome.

The project poses this problem: Unfortunately the tribes face a huge issue, the Earth has been decimated by man, and Earth is no longer livable. The only chance for survival is to leave the Earth and build new human colonies on Mars.

The goal of the project is survival of the tribe and successful resettlement on Mars.  All students are a part of an earth tribe, they will develop a tribal identity and culture. As a group they will be required to design, build and supply a space transport pod that will transport the tribe and all their needs to Mars.

Once the tribes arrive on mars the development of a new society will begin. Tribes will need to rely on their own members and member of other tribes for survival. Using an inquiry through line of Leaving the Earth – Mars all curriculum subject areas can tap into the topic and use the project as a point of reference for teaching topic related concepts.

For more information visit the blog at: http://dovetonlive.blogspot.com.au/

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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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April 9, 2014
by rcrellin
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Students leading the way

Schools can empower students to help build the capacity of their peers, staff, and the wider school community in the use of digital technologies by providing and promoting ICT leadership opportunities and by showcasing students’ digital work.

By training ICT mentors and student experts, or encouraging students to work alongside their teachers and help them learn new skills, schools give students recognition and positive attention and help them develop a positive profile as tech savvy kids.

Victorian schools are already exploring options for students to assist in the development and leadership of digital learning policies.

  • What can teachers do to encourage students to mentor and support each other and their teachers to use technology?
  • How can students contribute to the professional learning of their teachers?
  • Why would teachers involve students in planning and decision-making?
  • How can student skills and understandings in the use of technology be leveraged to supplement technical support processes already in place?
  • How do online tools and spaces support student reflection and learning?
  • How do collaborative learning spaces support students to connect, collaborate and co-create knowledge?

Competitions

  • Nominations for the 20th national iAwards are now open to all segments of the ICT industry. The iAwards honour the achievements of the student and the school through state and national exposure.
  • ACMI’s Screen It is Australia’s national film, animation and game making competition for school-aged students. Designed to encourage imagination and inventiveness in primary and secondary school students.
  • Trop Jr is a filmmaking competition and free outdoor festival for kids 15 years and younger.
  • The Australian Teachers of Media (ATOM) Awards celebrate the best of Australian and New Zealand screen content from the education sector and screen industry professionals.
  • RoboCupJunior Australia is a project-oriented educational initiative that supports local, regional and international robotic events for young students.
  • Young ICT Explorers is a technology competition for primary and secondary students to submit their best ICT project. This competition is sponsored by SAP, Group X, NICTA and Swinburne University. It aims to inspire creativity and innovation while encouraging students to consider a career in ICT.

Leadership Events

  • The Global Education Conference is a collaborative, inclusive, world-wide community initiative involving students, educators, and organizations at all levels. It will take place online from 17 – 22 November 2014.
  • The Digital Demons – Playing by the Rules program saw elite footballers and Year 9 students discuss how they can behave safely and responsibly online.
  • EcoCentre Education team members can visit schools and inspire students to reconnect with their local environment through creating, installing and monitoring nest-box homes for wildlife.
  • Adobe Youth Voices is the Adobe Foundation’s signature philanthropy initiative empowering young people to ‘Create with Purpose’.
  • Kids Congress is an award winning technology and learning conference for 9-12 year olds. The conference challenges the digital generation and their teachers to take part in fun, problem-solving workshops using cool software and technology. What’s unique about this event is that it’s run by kids, for kids.

More Resources

Kids Congress Bendigo

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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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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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November 6, 2013
by rcrellin
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Physical Education and ICT

iPads in Physical Education

Research fromLiz Weir at the ACU looks at how iPads complements the teaching of Physical Education in the Bachelor of Education (Primary) course and develops the acquisition of movement skills, concepts and strategies that enables the pre-service teacher to confidently and competently teach children in the twenty first century.

Research highlights:

  • The inclusion of ICT in the teaching and learning of physical education can improve the quality and effectiveness of a program (Collins, 2011).
  • Physical education that challenges all physical educators to think creatively, more deeply and broadly will help shape the future direction of this important school subject (Kirk, 2010).

ACHPER Conference 27 – 29 November 2013  – guest blogger Trent Brown

“The Australian Council for Health, Physical Education and Recreation (ACHPER) Victorian branch is the leading members-based professional teaching organisation focussing on the professional learning needs of health, physical and outdoor education teachers from Foundation to Year 12. In 2013 we have the pleasure of hosting the 28th National/International conference concurrently with the state conference that will see over 1200 delegates from overseas, interstate and Victoria attend sessions in a range of sessions

We have keynote addresses this year from renowned Professor of Physical Education, David Kirk (University of Bedfordshire, UK) and local Professor of Teacher Education, John Loughran (Monash University). Featured presentations include those on the Australian curriculum, Leadership in the School Environment and Next Generation Technology. In addition we have over 200 elective sessions for delegates to choose from including some fantastic sessions presented by practising primary and secondary teachers focussed on developing ICT skills in HPE teachers.

You can follow the conference through social media (Twitter – #ACHPER2013) or by following the @VicACHPER. Further information can be found out by contacting the ACHPER branch on 9274 8900 or by visiting the Council’s website or conference website.   We hope that you make this fantastic professional learning conference.

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September 11, 2013
by rcrellin
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Health & Physical Education ICT Conference

Guest blogger: Rob Malpeli

Peak Phys Ed organised and hosted a Health & Physical Education ICT Conference on Thursday 22nd August at the Manningham Function Centre (Doncaster) Over 100 delegates from Swan Hill to Stawell representing all education sectors engaged in an amazing day with educational leaders, practitioners and DEECD representatives.

Rob Malpeli & Amanda Telford, who formed Peak Phys Ed had been planning this conference for over 9 months and have surveyed teachers as to what they wanted in the ever growing area of eLearning and ICT. As a consequence they were able to tailor electives to suit teacher requests and needs, of which the top 4 were:

  • an ability to use ICT to facilitate personalised learning
  • “hands-on” practice with educational programs that encourage learning
  • more than a collection of apps, and more about ICT teaching strategies
  • Within the SAMR Model, examples of how ICT can assist task design and redesign

Some links from the day:

What tools were being shared?

  • Mobile devices are great for PE especially for filming fundamental motor skills and video analysis. Presenters and particpants shared ideas and common apps such as Coach’s Eye and ubersense.
  • Develop your own survey or quiz to quickly assess your students knowledge and understanding of the topics you are teaching or as a revision. Two popular tools were: testmoz and socrative
  • QR codes provide an easy and interesting way to provide webpages and URLs to students via tablets or phones. Generate your own QR code

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July 25, 2013
by rcrellin
1 Comment

Minecraft for Learning at Doveton College

Link to Doveton College Minecraft Blog

Guest Blogger – Gene Geoffrey

Doveton College runs a program titled Doveton Live Minecraft which currently involved 20 grade 5 students a term working in a students as teachers program. Each session we run has explicit goals and at no time do students get “free play” using the software. Our term course is designed around building co-operative team work.  At the start of each class students set and re define goals before moving into Minecraft making sure every student has a task and is participating. At the end of each class the students reflect on the team’s outcomes and efforts.  The current project is to devise a language and skills to teach Grade 3 students to use Minecraft.  We are now in the second term of this programs.

Next year it is our intention to roll out a Minecraft Inquiry based project across the G4-6 teams (180 students).  The project as we are discussing at the moment will involve students exploring a problem they devise and using Minecraft as a tool in the answer.

We are also planning to run a test experience for a vertically integrated group of students from G4 to Y9 which will hopefully involve a project with students from schools in Sydney, Indonesia, Singapore, New Zealand and PNG.

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July 17, 2013
by rcrellin
2 Comments

Learning in one of the World’s Biggest Classrooms – ISTE13!

Guest Blogger – Anne Mirtschin

The 2013 ISTE conference #iste13 was held in June in beautiful San Antonio, USA. The following statistics give some idea of the size of this conference:-

  • 13,100 registered participants representing 74 countries with 1855 international attendees
  • 373 virtual participants using Access ISTE and
  • 4500 exhibitor personnel showcasing the latest in ed tech from 49 companies
  • 1,100 presenters
  • More than half a million pieces of digital content were created during ISTE 2013

Its sheer magnitude meant that this conference can exemplify an ‘innovative and ideal’ classroom. Customized learning, catering for differing learning styles eg choices of lectures, hands on, networking, interaction, conversations, small groups, peer to peer, virtual can take place. Personal choice over the best space for learning – from lounges, cafes, ballrooms, formal classroom settings to quiet reflective spaces were provided. BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) was evident with every conceivable mobile device being used by attendees. There were doctors in the house for technical problems. Short concentration spans were catered for by IGNITE sessions where there is a high turnover of presenters and topics within the hour. Play time was allowed for in the numerous Playgrounds, Learning Station sessions on offer etc.

The keynotes set the scene for the conference. Two notable ones included the opening keynote with a leading speaker on games and the application of game-design to education, Jane McgonigalLearning is an Epic Win and the closing keynote by popular perennial ISTE presenter, Adam BellowYou Are Invited To Change the World. Jane mentioned the 10 positive emotions of playing games  (see image below) and shared some highly successful social games that included Evoke and Find the Future – game to encourage the young people back into the State Library of New York.

The trending themes/topics this year (from my perspective) were:

  • Games in Learning or Gamification of Learning
  • Mobile Learning
  • MOOCS
  • Transmedia storytelling
  • Augmented Reality
  • Flipped Classroom
  • Google glass

Some of the trending tools and apps included:

My favourite learning spaces included the Bloggers Café, the Interactive Playgrounds (interactive videoconferencing, mobile learning, digital storytelling, digital media) and the Learning (Poster). Sessions where I could interact, network, ask questions, learn on a personal basis, share conversations and enjoy ‘hands on’ activities with mentors, experts and fellow teachers.  Other favourite sessions included: 

Networking is an important element of attending a conference and there is something very special about being in the Bloggers Café, sharing conversations with many people who are brought to Australia as keynote speakers, meeting a professional network face to face and making many new friends etc. I was proud to be able to share personal involvement in global education at the Global Education Summit Global Projects for Beginners and the Flat Classroom Learning Sessions, Birds of a Feather “Global Education in the Flat Classroom” gathering and the #flatiste13 Spotlight presentation “Do You Co-create at the elementary level – Flat Classrooms Do.”

There was a strong contingent of Australian educators present and on many occasions I would mentally compare education in Australia, particularly Victoria, with that in other countries.  It is always satisfying to note that teachers in Victoria have high and ready access to technology; the teacher laptop program; the EduSTAR image for staff and students, a 1:1 policy amongst many schools and a supportive DEECD Digital Learning division with a commitment to embrace immerse technology in innovative and ‘cutting edge’ ways. Many of our teachers are using technology at the leading edge, sharing their work online and all Victorian teachers have ready access to blogging campuses, virtual classroom and conferencing software. This sets us on a par (or at the lead) with the most other countries. Centres like Quantum Victoria are at the forefront of innovation in using robotics, 3D printing, games based learning etc.

The work of our Victorian Virtual Learning and the Virtual Wimmera School is commendable. Many rural and remote schools in the USA have videoconferencing facilities. These are used to provide access to specialist subjects, expert speakers, virtual excursions etc. There did not appear to be a centralized distance learning centre with a teacher and subject base. In Victoria, most rural schools have been provided with videoconferencing equipment. There are many districts in the USA where classroom access to computers and technology is sadly lacking. The emphasis on data driven learning is of high concern to many US educators (as it is with many of our Australian educators).

Attending ISTE13 was a great opportunity, providing many networking opportunities, exposure to the latest trends in learning, technological devices, cutting edge thinking etc. Learning at ISTE13 was the theme of this week’s Tech Talk Tuesday webinar. Listen to the recording 

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