March 27, 2015
by Jillian Brown

Great Coding Webinars for Teachers


As part of the Great Victorian Coding Challenge for Education Week, 2015, a series of webinars will be delivered by school-based coding experts during Term 2. These webinars will take place on Blackboard Collaborate. Each webinar will be short, easy-to-follow, and will give teachers the chance to test their own skills and ask questions before attempting the challenge with their class.

The webinars will offer an introduction to Scratch by walking teachers through the three different challenges, providing tips for introducing the program to children and suggesting ways in which the challenge can be incorporated into the existing curriculum.

All teachers who attend a webinar as part of the Great Victorian Coding Challenge will receive a Certificate of Professional Development.

There are three upcoming webinars to choose from:

Further information about the webinars will be sent directly to all teachers who register their students to take part in the Challenge.

March 24, 2015
by Jillian Brown

The Great Victorian Coding Challenge


Get involved, intrigued and inspired by maths during Education Week from 17-23 May 2015.

Take part in The Great Victorian Coding Challenge in the lead-up to Education Week this year and bring maths to life in your classroom.

Using the simple software Scratch already installed on government-school computers, students can create and animate their very own characters and games, and have the chance to win a full-day excursion to specialist maths and science centre Quantum Victoria.

There’s plenty of support for teachers with no knowledge of coding, including short webinars, online resources and ideas for classroom activities.

Registrations are now open. For further information and to register your class, see: The Great Victorian Coding Challenge

To explore Scratch, see: Scratch – Imagine, Program, Share

To watch primary schools use Scratch for game creation, see: FUSE – Using Scratch in primary school

To be inspired by things you can do with Scratch as well as some of the many benefits of learning to code, see: Mitch Resnick: Let’s teach kids to code.

For more information, visit  

Queries about Education Week may be emailed to:

March 24, 2015
by Jillian Brown

iPads for Learning Professional Learning Program – facilitated through Polycom and MS Lync

The Department of Education and Training’s Virtual Conference Centre is providing eight iPads for Learning Online Professional Learning sessions in Term 2.Capture

These sessions are for teachers and leaders who are using iPads in their teaching and learning with sessions including:

All sessions will be available via the Department’s Polycom and MS Lync services.

Recording of the sessions will be made available to non government schools who contact

Participants can select any number of sessions to attend.

Further information, including an outline of the short courses and registration links can be located here.


March 17, 2015
by Jillian Brown

ICT Planning Workshops for School Leaders – Term 1 and Term 2

The appropriate use of technology to support pedagogy, school improvement and transformation is critical to its success. Transformation of learning and teaching requires more than provision of the tools – it requires ongoing support, professional learning, research, leadership and guidance. DET Digital Learning Branch and Information Technology Division is now offering full-day workshops to support school leadership teams through the process of developing a long-term school ICT Plan that:

  • addresses the learning and teaching goals of the school
  • develops a sustainable ICT plan that meets the needs of the school community
  • ensures a coherent team approach to ICT planning involving school leaders, learning technologies leaders, curriculum leaders and technical support staff.


ICT Planning ToolICTplanning2

The basis of the day involves stepping participants through the DET Online ICT Planning Tool that enables  the school to produce a customised ICT Plan that brings together SIPS data, the school learning and teaching  goals and budgetary considerations.

Principals, Learning Technologies Coordinators and Specialist technicians can access the tool using the link below:

 (Department credentials required to login)


 Benefits of attending an ICT Planning Workshop?

View the short video below where school leaders who attended ICT Planning Workshops last year talk about the benefits of the workshop day and the online ICT Planning Tool:


Who Should Attend?

This is a workshop for school leaders. It may involve ICT or Curriculum co-ordinators or classroom teachers involved in their schools ICT planning. Whilst a school technician may accompany a school leader, the school technician should not attend as their schools only representative.


Term One ICT Planning Workshops

March 24, 9.30am – 4.00pm: Truganina South Primary School

Workshop Registration Link:


March 26, 9.30am – 4.00pm: Bayswater Primary School

Workshop Registration Link:


Term Two ICT Planning Workshops

April 21, 9.30am – 4.00pm: Debney Meadows Primary School (Flemington)

Workshop Registration Link:


April 28, 9.30am – 4.00pm: SEVR Regional Office (Dandenong)

Workshop Registration Link:


NOTE: All Workshop Registration links can also be found at:


Foe further information, please email Peter Maggs






March 11, 2015
by Jillian Brown

Exciting Global Project Opportunity: Students taking action to improve their learning environments


The Australasian ‘New Pedagogies for Deep Learning’ ( cluster is a group of schools in Victoria, Tasmania and New Zealand who are committed to finding ways in which to give their students opportunities for deep learning experiences.

The cluster has developed a project to engage students from across the globe in authentic action research, which you can be part of.

The purpose of the project is to get students and teachers examining their learning environments and taking action to make them better places to learn and work in.   We all know the importance of quality learning spaces for our students but how much of our understanding is based on research and evidence and how much input do students have into designing their learning space?

This global challenge asks teachers and students to think about light and sound in their learning spaces can be optimised for improved learning potential.

npdl3 This opportunity also gives participating schools a common a reference to discuss when thinking about the process of creating deep learning experiences.

Students in classes around the world will be guided through a 4 week Collaborative Inquiry Cycle where they measure light and sound levels in their classrooms, collect data about their learning spaces, research some ways to improve their learning environments, put their ideas into action and then report back on their findings. This project is based loosely on the work of Dr Stephen Heppell and his Learnometer project

Students will be encouraged to collect audio, video and photographic evidence about their classrooms and share it via a Google Doc and a Google Slide show. (Please ensure that your permission forms are up to date and allow for sharing of images on the internet)

The students will be encouraged to find, use and share digital tools that support their investigation, such as decibel readers and lux meters.
Teachers can participate in weekly webinars and be guided through the 4 week Inquiry Cycle

Week 1 – 11th March, 3.45pm (Melbourne): Find out about how students in classrooms around the world can work together to influence the quality of their learning environments. Find out how your students can use digital tools to assess aspects of their learning environment and share their findings.

Week 2 – 18th March, 3.45pm (Melbourne): Find out how you can support your students to look at the results of their investigation and using the latest research, design a change to their learning environment that will improve the effect of light or sound.

Week 3 – 25th March, 3.45pm (Melbourne): Find out how to help your students get busy and make the changes to the learning environments within schools.

Week 4 – 15th April, 3.45pm (Melbourne): This week’s webinar helps teachers to bring together all the work that has been undertaken and examine the difference it has made within their schools.

Week 5 – TBC: This week’s informal webinar gives teachers a chance to celebrate their work on the Global Challenge and to give us feedback on what worked and what we can do better next time


It could involve one classroom with a handful of students or many classrooms across the school.  The most important part is to be involved as the key learning for teachers and students in this project with be through joining in the process with other schools.
The project kicks off on Wednesday 11th March with a webinar at 3.45pm Australia Eastern Daylight Savings Time. Join us to find out more about the project and how you can get involved. The link to a recording of the webinar  will be tweeted out using #npdl and #globalchallenge hashtags

It will be a great way for you and your students to not only find out more about your own learning environments, but also to share and learn with others across the globe.

Project resources can be downloaded from this link

Please contact Marc Blanks ( Wendy Macpherson ( if you have any questions.

March 6, 2015
by Jillian Brown

iTunes U for schools

One of the device choices for schools undertaking a 1-to-1 program is an iPad, using a variety of apps and the potential of bulk purchasing iBooks for students.

One of the challenges for educators has been to connect the content and the learning.

Courses developed through the Apple Course Manager are one way to do this.


Some examples of Courses created include:

Antarctica – Years 5/6 – Croydon Hills PS

Year 8 Science – Energy- Ringwood SC

Year 7 English – Albert Park College


Globally, schools are presenting and sharing their courses on iTunes U K-12 (part of the iTunes Store)

Here are some great Australian examples iTunes U Australian Curriculum collection

There are many teachers who have created courses who are not making them public and are sharing them directly via a link with their students.

This is possible but there are limitations around course numbers (max 12) or the amount of people you can share your courses with (50 people).

These limitations can be removed if teachers become affiliated with an iTunes U Campus. They can still keep their content behind the scenes but they will be able to share the link more broadly.

There are two ways that teachers can be affiliated.

A school can set up and manage their own iTunes U Campus on the iTunes U public site as these schools have done

John Monash Science School

Keilor Views PS

Wonga Park PS

Victorian Government schools can affiliate themselves through the

Department’s iTunes U Campus 

To affiliate your account, send your Apple ID to your institution’s (DET’s)  iTunes U Public Site Manager administrator and request that the administrator add you as a contributor to the site at

Teachers must:

  • use their school email address eg Edumail to create their Apple ID for the courses that they develop for their students. This will allow us to identify you as teachers for the campus and It also keeps a teacher’s professional content separate from their personal content. (Always a good idea)

For further help go to

March 2, 2015
by Jillian Brown

A Course to Student Blogging

Whether you are new to blogging, or want a refresher on all of the features that blogging can offer, there is a great opportunity to join Edublogs for a four week crash-course as they guide you through the process of blogging with students.

This course covers:

  • Setting up class and student blogs
  • Teaching quality comments and posts
  • Working with widgets
  • Images, copyright, and creative commons
  • Connecting with other classes
  • Tons more!

Initially, part of the Teacher Blogging Challenge of 2015, which has now closed, this four week course is still open to educators to participate at their own pace. Go to go to:

130829 DEECD-508

Edublogs affirms that the main reasons why educators use blogs include:

  • Share information and class news with parents, family and caregivers.
  • Provide students with a way to access assignments, homework, resources and information about their class online.
  • For global collaboration and authentic audience.
  • To inspire and motivate students.
  • The benefits of class blogging include:
  • Blogging opens up the possibilities of audience in new ways. When students are writing or publishing for an audience other the teacher, it impacts how they view what they are doing and the intrinsic motivation they have.
  • Students love seeing their work on the Internet and adore getting comments from people. It motivates them to write as it gives them an audience that is real.  The blog opens up a whole new world of people who can offer encouragement and feedback.
  • The blogging experience forces the students to do more reflection on their learning and allows them to showcase products they have produced with online tools.
  • Blogging provides an authentic educational experience, where what they write is not only seen and commented on by their teacher, but by their peers and the “public.” For most students, it’s a bit of extra motivation knowing their peers will see their work.
  • There is an authentic audience – a global audience – one that is willing to connect, share, challenge, discuss and communicate with classes. This audience can provide further information, opinions, suggest resources, seek answers to questions and so on which pushes blogging further.
  • Blogging develops a learning network. Exercise books etc need not be pushed and crumpled in school lockers only to be placed in the rubbish bins at the end of the school year, but student work is out there for their school lives.

For more information on blogging with students, visit edublogs.

To create your first blog, visit Global2.

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