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Steve Hargadon has created a Ning dedicated to discussions about the future of education (http://www.futureofeducation.com/).

In his introduction he states: This community is devoted to providing an opportunity for those who care about education to share their voices and ideas with others. It’s a place for thoughtful discussion on an incredibly important topic.

One of the most exciting features of this website, is the terrific range of free downloadable podcasts of interviews with some of today’s most innovative educators. Can I particularly recommend Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach on Educational Social Networking.  Sheryl speaks with such passion, wisdom and knowledge … and a whole lot of sense!!

Also check out the discussion forum for some very informative and thought-provoking comments.

Syllabus amendments, text lists, exam and assessment changes, new services and support materials – all are published first online  on the Board’s website. Also visit K-6 BOS at http://k6.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/.

The best way to be sure you miss nothing is to subscribe to the Board’s email news alerts – see http://news.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/index.cfm/official-notices. Email alerts are simple and free. You can subscribe to all BOS announcement or just Official Notices. Official Notices are about important Board rules, procedures and syllabus changes. The last Board Bulletin for 2008 reminded schools that from 2009 Official Notices are only published online. BOS recommends to have at least one email subscriber in each NSW school who can check for Official Notices and other important information from the Board.

As well as the email service, you can get Board news updates at-a-glance by grabbing the Board’s RSS feed for your favourite News Reader. In the righthand frame of the Official Notices page you can subscribe to every BOS news item or just the ones relevant to you.

If you like your news in quick, short bites and want to see BOS news as it happens, BOS is now sending Tweets via Twitter.com! Join the principals and teachers who are already following NewsAtBOS by visiting http://twitter.com/NewsAtBOS.

Teachers TV is a website which has hundreds of videos about education, teaching and inspiring methods of sharing knowledge – and room for you to share your own videos, photos and story ideas. Teachers TV Australia is the Australian equivalent of the successful UK initiative, Teachers TV.

The UK service, as described on their website, is a successful web and 24 hour cable television initiative providing teachers and school administrators with professional development resources that are engaging, relevant and convenient to use. Teachers TV content often features great teachers and teaching in action. Stories are focussed on classroom and school observation to illustrate how different teachers deal with challenges, ideas, problems, innovation and systems.

Teachers TV Australia entered its first phase in early 2008 and is now committed to sourcing funding to create Australian content for Australian teachers, schools and principals. Teachers TV in Britain is funded by the UK’s Department for Children, Schools and Families and produced by an external production consortium. Teachers TV in Australia is an initiative brought to Australia by Peter Sjoquist AM, the driving force behind the drug and alcohol-prevention youth event Rock Eisteddfod Challenge , now a global event.

The first phase of teacherstv.com.au demonstrates examples of locally produced programming along with video material from the UK to illustrate how a full Australian service will work. A selection of UK content was reviewed during a 3 month period by our production team and a Teachers Review Panel consisting of teachers from around the country. The aim was to ensure we selected the most relevant content for the first phase.

Users will need to create a login by registering on the site. It is free and only takes minutes. Australian teachers, school staff, educationalists and principals will be able get the most out of Teachers TV Australia by becoming a Contributor. You can be the first to know about new stories when our regular newsletter begins. Once logged in, you may also register your interest in joining the Teachers Panel or suggesting story ideas that could be made by the Teachers TV crew in the future.

The website is also accompanied by a new Free-To-Air TV Channel aimed at up-skilling teachers and improving education within Australian schools. It commenced broadcasting Monday 3rd November to Australia’s largest free-to-air market (Metropolitan Sydney). Teachers TV is about real teachers, in real classrooms achieving results and is for teachers, principals, parents and everyone with an interest in what’s going on in education. Teachers TV will be available on Channel 47 on Broadcast Australia’s digital free-to-air television trial platform known as DIGITAL FORTY FOUR and can be received by any household who currently receives digital terrestrial Television signals (via a Digital TV or a set top box).

“Whatever their level of experience, teachers will be able to tune in to Channel 47 or log on to teacherstv.com.au and view resource videos from many different areas of the curriculum. The videos show real teachers in real classrooms and how they go about implementing curriculum,” Mr Sjoquist added. Programming outlining general teaching practices and methods will also be broadcast and available to view from the website. Teachers TV will share Channel 47 with Federal Parliament and be broadcast at times when Federal Parliament is not sitting. Further details on how to receive Teachers TV and the other DIGITAL FORTY FOUR services can be found at http://www.digitalfortyfour.com.au .

teachertv

Dipity is a Web 2.0 application which allows chronological information to be entered and displayed as a timeline. It can then be shared via a blog or other website. The news headlines about our Olympics team below is an example of one your students could make. It is a ‘live’ timeline in that as events are reported, they are added to the timeline automatically. Any RSS feed can be used and I’m sure there will be heaps during the Olympics. Students could also research Olympic data from the past and enter manually … for instance, host countries, records for 100 metres, etc.

David writes:

The concept of best practice usually illicits some strong emotions from educators; what exactly is best practice.  Best practice means different things to different people.  With that in mind, here is my perspective of a framework or scaffold that can help school districts implement learning technologies appropriately.  Again, my perspective; yours might be different.  Read my blog post on this topic.

  1. Does the use of the technology support a fundamental literacy that the school believes in? For example, digital storytelling first and foremost seeks to improve the ability of students to write.
  2. Does the use of technology add value to the lesson? Does the technology extend the lesson to a place that could not be achieved unless the technology was included? For example, using the process of digital storytelling also helps students learn visual literacy skills, project management skills, network skills, and how to use media in an ethical way.
  3. How will I structure the lesson so that the technology fulfills the first two criteria? For example, the time-tested methodology of preparing a narrative, developing a script, storyboarding, locating imagery and other media, and then building and sharing the story is a truly effective methodology or framework for effective digital storytelling.  What pedagogical process will I use to structure the lesson?
  4. How do I know what I did works?  How will I assess the outcomes, both from a student perspective (did they learn what they were supposed to learn?) and from a lesson design perspective (did the technology perform as anticipated, did the pedagogical process work as intended, and did I meet Criteria 1 and 2?).  How will I use assessment data to improve what I do?

Best Practice ideas about blogging might look like this:

  • Authenticy of blog posts-focus on authentic topics
  • Teach audience and the power of writing for audience
  • Use blogging and commenting features for peer review of writing
  • Create a reading response-students read and write an interpretive blog post
  • Focus on metacognitive activities and have students reflect on learning
  • Like learning languages, start blogging young so it becomes a part of what students do
  • Involve the entire school community in blogging
  • Use blogging to establish connections and networks for learning
  • Focus on cross-curricular applications
  • Link to others to support content and create a culture of mashup
  • A goal/focus should be on student empowerment through self-expression, promoting a competitive voice and an identity
  • Take advantage of the digital nature of the medium to include other types of inforamation, repesented in podcasts, movies, graphics and hyperlinks.
  • Provide additional time to complete blog posts when computer access for certain student groups is limited or not available.
  • The teacher should model blogging by being a blogger.
  • Provide time to read and comment on other student blogs
  • Apply traditional writing skills to blog posts, no IM language
  • Consider using blog posts as an ongoing portfolio of student writing.

Read whole article at http://newtools.pbwiki.com/Best%2BPractice

Support blogging

Blogs on Educational Blogging

Brain and Cognition Blogs

Classroom Blogs

     Year 4 class blog

Individual Student Bloggers

Teacher Blogs

Professor Blogs

Principal Blogs

Administrator Blogs

Library / Librarian Blogs

Professional Development Blogs

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Student Engagement, Visual Learning and Technology: Can Interactive
Whiteboards Help?

William D. Beeland, Jr.
Abstract: The purpose of this action research study was to determine the effect of the use of interactive whiteboards as an instructional tool on student engagement. Specifically, the desire was to see if student engagement in the learning process is increased while using an interactive whiteboard to deliver instruction. In addition, an effort was made to determine if methodology impacts the level at which students are engaged in the learning environment when a whiteboard is used in the classroom. In other words, does the manner in which the whiteboard is used affect the level of student engagement? A total of ten middle school teachers and 197 students participated in the study. In each of the ten classes, the teacher presented a lesson using an interactive whiteboard. After the lesson, students were given a survey, and some students completed a questionnaire. Teachers also completed a survey and questionnaire. The results of the surveys and questionnaires indicated a strong preference for the use of interactive whiteboards in the classroom. The results will be used to make further technology spending decisions at our school.

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Especially interesting was Stephen’s analogy of a move from learning being like searching for information/knowledge through a library .. and rather today’s learning should be seen as a utility, like electricity or water – it flows in a network that we tap in to when we want it. See www.downes.ca and E-Learning 2.0 in Development (Brandon Hall Conference, San Jose, 25/9/07

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