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

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
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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

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
  • 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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