Studies of Asia & ICTS


Please begin by using the comments link on this post to share your personal learning goals for this workshop.

I have the pleasure of facilitating another 2 Day workshop for the Studies of Asia group at the Victorian department of education. Lindy Stirling, State Advisor, Studies of Asia (see the Studies of Asia Wiki) has organised this session at the Clifton’s in Melbourne’s beautiful CBD.

After adding your comment, you might like to download the handouts for this 2 Day Workshop

Studies of Asia Links

Activity 1: Great examples from previous Studies of Asia Workshops

To get a sense of what we will be creating over the next two days, please explore the work created by participants in previous sessions.  Try to notice the features, strategies and benefits gained from such a learning platform.

Brainstorm what you noticed using a shared Stixy board

Activity 2: Creating your Online Platform

Fine-tuning your Blog

Added Bonus?:Web 2 Tools

Presentation Interludes

Activity 3: Look to Learn

The Tumblr Twist

To “Work the Web” for education, we need a flexible space that empowers us to easily work with rich media.  Our first stop will be Tumblr.

Full Tumblr Tutorial page – new!

Work Period

Task: Create 2 – 4 5 – 10 Look to Learn Activities for your students


Activity 3: Enrich your site with content and rich media

RSS Feeds

Other Media

Activity 4: Manage your Rich Media Links

Activity 5: The ClassPortal Twist


For Ideas & Inspiration

C E QA LL / Seek all!

Self-managed Learning Framework for students

Feedback – links!

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ISV Series – Day 2

Welcome to Day 2!

Welcome back.  I hope you’ve had a nice autumn holidays and beginning to Term 2. Also that you’ve had a chance to trial Look to Learn activities with your students and colleagues.  Today we’ll begin with a review what we learned Day 1, how you’ve gone using these resources and approaches and to share your experiences.

The day will be focused into three main parts:

  • Review, sharing and focus
  • Setting up a WordPress blog
  • Beginning to explore other Web 2 tools & environments

Review Day 1 + Use with Students / Staff

Tom’s Most Reblogged Tumblr Sources
Look to Learn Approach
Problem-Solving Local Issues
Reflection and Consolidation

Review your Tumblr site and personal notes to reflect what you want to take away from this refresher on what we have learned.  What do you want to continue using, pursuing and trialling?

Online Spaces

WordPress Blog

Participants’ Developing Blogs

3Rs Series:

Other Possible Online Environments (for Day 3 mostly)

 Web 2.0 Tools

Feedback – links!

Posted in Agenda, Look to Learn Links, workshops | Tagged | 27 Comments

ISV Series – Day 1


It’s a pleasure to be able to work with you over the year through a series of sessions.  This is a great way to take new ideas, practice with them and try them out with students and staff, then meet again to build on those skills and insights.  We will use this is the site to access the learning materials and activities for this workshop. Note that we will meet on these dates:

  • Real, Rich & Relevant – Integrating Pedagogy and ICT’s:  March 28, May 10, August 9 & October 17
  • AGQTP Leveraging Web 2.0 for Authentic Learning: March 29th, May 11th, July 18th,  August 10th & October 18th


Use the Comments link at the bottom of this post to:

  • Introduce yourself (your role at your school, previous use of ICTs for learning)


Find your name on the linked document (3Rs or AGQTP) and then start typing:

  • Your goals (what you hope to learn through this series)

Formal Introductions & De-brief

Now that we have used two techniques for leveraging ICTs / Web 2.0 tools to support learning, let’s do a face-to-face introduction and de-brief the advantages of online comments and input.

Immersion Scenario

No one has to tell us that technology is changing our culture and the lives of our students. How will it impact education?  How should what we do in schools change to best serve our purpose?  What is our purpose?

  • Presentation: Sixth Sense & Beyond?

Question: if learners have 24/7 anywhere access to information profiled just for them, what are 3 – 5 main knowledge, skills or values they will need to succeed?

Use this Stixyboard (3Rs or AGQTP) to post your ideas.

Tom’s Follow-on Presentation: Next Era Ed

Questions? De-briefs? Debates?


Getting Started: Tumblr

To “Work the Web” for education, we need a flexible space that empowers us to easily work with rich media.  Our first stop will be Tumblr.

Full Tumblr Tutorial page – new!

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Look to Learn

Online Samples


Work Period

Task: Create 2 – 4 5 – 10 Look to Learn Activities for your students

Added Bonus?:Web 2 Tools

Coming Up: Social Bookmarking

Posted in 3Rs Series, Agenda | 48 Comments

WebQuest Transformations

Welcome & Overview

I’ve found that there are two main phases to creating and participating in WebQuests.  First there is the whole immersion and information-gathering phase.  Interest is excited and the problem becomes clear so we prepare and soak up lots of new information and perspectives on some specific aspects of the issue.  Although this can sometimes feel challenging because of all the information available, generally, this first phase is an one of engaged and enthusiastic pursuit – there’s lots to learn so we get on with it.

The second phase is different.  It’s a phase we don’t often get to in our Assembly line method of schooling.  It’s the sticky part after information is acquired.  What’s to be done with it?  Do we hold it temporarily, say for an exam, and then left it go or do we want to keep at least parts of it and add it to what might be called our “knowledge.”  You’ve heard of this process many times and with a range of terminology.  Classically, it’s Piaget’s shift from assimilation to accommodation.  Others have referred to it as “construction of meaning.” It’s the “Ah-Ha!” insight that sometimes follows the “Huh?” of cognitive dissonance.  It’s the painful shift from short to long-term memory.  Bloom’s taxonomy and the information literacy processes that embody it might see it as “Synthesis,”  the putting together after of something new from the pieces derived by careful Analysis.  I have come to refer to it as the “transformation of new information into new understanding.”

The problem with this second phase is twofold:  it’s hard work and it’s idiosyncratic. The hard work is because this task is very cognitively demanding – it hurts our heads and often feels like we’re treading water, not sure if we will learn to swim or sink into confusion.  The second problem is the idiosyncratic part – if the process of “making sense” from complex new information is unique to each individual (can you imagine it being any different?), then how do we “teach” it to a big group of students, a classroom of them, for instance?  Wouldn’t it require time?  A lot of one-on-one Socratic mentoring?  How can this work with typical teacher-directed learning when the bell’s about to ring, the semester end and kids are lining up to accept their diplomas?  So it’s no wonder that 80% of WebQuests leave this pesky transformation bit off – but thus aren’t WebQuests.  By my definition:

“A WebQuest is a scaffolded learning structure that uses links to essential resources on the World Wide Web and an authentic task to motivate students’ investigation of a central, open-ended question, development of individual expertise and participation in a final group process that attempts to transform newly acquired information into a more sophisticated understanding. The best WebQuests do this in a way that inspires students to see richer thematic relationships, facilitate a contribution to the real world of learning and reflect on their own metacognitive processes.”

 So today’s challenge comes with a rare opportunity – working with a small group of teachers who have already spent two days (Day 1 and Day 2) gathering online resources and brainstorming perspectives on an appropriately complex and rich topic.  Today we will see if we can design for each topic a process that guides a group of students toward the light, to accommodation, construction of meaning, Eureka! and Ah-Ha.  One trick we have up our sleeves is that the best Group Transformation processes flow naturally from the acquisition of new information that has preceded it.  Just like a teacher working with a group of students in a WebQuest, I will be working with a group of teachers facing the same Task: given what I have learned, how do I shape it into a new understanding, representing Knowledge I didn’t have before.  The first requirement for this task is met: we have the time.  The second follows with what I hope is Socratic coaching and online resources to inspire possible solutions.

Our Works in Progress

Resources to Support WebQuest Transformations

Further Readings & Background

Transformation Sampler

Web-and-Flow Guides

Design Tools

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AGQTP / ISV Day 5 Celebration

Welcome to our Showcase Day

Over the year I have really enjoyed working with the participants in ISV’s AGQTP project on Leveraging Web 2.0 Tools for Authentic Learning.


  1. Gather Sites
  2. Reflection
  3. Showcase Presentations
  4. Next Steps in Professional Learning
  5. Feedback
  6. ClassBubbles?
  7. AGQTP Review

1. Collect your Sites

Send me an email ( including a link and brief description so that we can create a Hotlist of your fantastic sites.

2. Reflection on Your “Learning Journey”

While I gather and post the Hotlist to your sites, please take this time to reflect on your learning related to this series. At the beginning of Day 1, I asked you to post your goals for the workshop. Let’s take this opportunity to reflect on these and where this year’s journey has taken you.  You might also like to review our original Stixy brainstorm after viewing previous participants’ sites.  You could include any of these or other aspects to focus on:

  • the workshop experience,
  • Web 2.0 and pedagogies,
  • insights gained from all of us ISV support people,
  • working with colleagues here or back at school
  • the challenges and opportunities of implementing change

Write your reflection in your favourite writing software, then Post it as a Comment here.

3. Showcase


First we will take a little time to prepare our sites / presentations.  Depending on what you’ve got, you may need or want to prepare a little overview / teacher’s guide.  This could be an “About” page on your blog or a quick presentation or video. Based on your feedback, we will set group expectations.


Each school team will share their work including a discussion and feedback.

Brendan Vanderkley and Marion Nott

  • A link to the “public page” of my Year 10 Psych class on Edmodo (contains posts and responses within the private feed that have individually been marked public), showing some of the things we’ve done over the semester.
  • Edmodo – a secure social learning site/platform that incorporates many Web 2.0 teaching tools in one place.
  • A blog Marion and I have used throughout the year for sharing what we learn at your workshops with a Web 2.0 team back at school (and the wider school community)
  • PowerStudy – a fledgling class portal I’ve only just begun to work with with my classes – and which will develop over this term – on the theme of “the use and abuse of power”.
  • A stixy I used in my psych class to introduce a new unit/topic
  • “Free Technology for Teachers”: a teacher info / PD resource for teachers that covers lots of great Web 2.0 tools

Phillip Lodge

Janene Williames

Allister Rouse and Jackson Bates

Tim Hartwich and Gary Harding – Victory Lutheran College

Luke Skehan and Catherine Bellair

Lisa Field and Janet

4. Next Steps for your Professional Learning

A big part of today is gathering things together.  Besides reflecting on your learning and “packaging” your project as we’ve done, we also want to plan for the next steps in your professional learning, by reviewing what you still want to learn and do related to authentic learning with advanced ICTs.


Grab a Badge

You can now officially “badge” your sites so that others know you are indeed a “Cutting Edge-ucator.”  Copy the text below and paste it into your sidebar Text widget or anywhere on a page or post.

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5. Feedback

Please complete this feedback form so that I can improve for next year.

6. ClassBubbles?

If we have time, I’d like to share a new leaning activity tool called  ClassBubbles.  An example is online here for Next Era Ed  (use key “nexteraed”) and log-in with your own details.

7. AGQTP Review

Posted in Agenda, workshops | 18 Comments

ClassPortals 2 Day Workshop


Please begin by using the comments link on this post to introduce yourself.

After adding your comment, you might like to download handout packet for this 2 Day Workshop or Tom’s Web 2 Tools Overview handout.

Activity 1: Examples from previous Studies of Asia Workshops

To get a sense of what we will be creating over the next two days, please explore the work created by participants in previous sessions.  Try to notice the features, strategies and benefits gained from such a learning platform.

Brainstorm what you noticed using a shared Stixy board

Activity 2: Creating Your Smart Online Space

Fine-tuning your Blog

Activity 3: The ClassPortal Twist

Tom’s Intro


  • Focus on one compelling topic (with all its interesting connections to others)
  • Embody a passionate interest of the teacher and students
  • Continue in the background of class activities drawing attention when something in the real world provokes it
  • Act as a platform for things like writing, podcasts, videos, photos, cartoons, data collection, etc.
  • Make a contribution to the world’s learning



For Ideas

For Inspiration

Activity 4: Developing your ClassPortal

Look to Learn : : Learn to Look

Online Samples

Task: Create 2 – 4 Look to Learn Activities for your students

Activity 5:  Enrich your site with content and media

RSS Feeds

Other Media

Managing Links

Activity 6: CEQ•ALL – Student-managed Learning


Important – please complete this form (made with jotform)


Posted in Uncategorized | 21 Comments

WebQuest Day 2

Welcome Back to Day 2!

Today we have three main objectives:

  1. Get a clear experience / understanding of the Group Transformation phases from the Day 1 WebQuest.
  2. Draft a WebQuest on a topic of your own choosing.
  3. Make sure you have the platform & digital resources to develop the draft WebQuest.

Activity 1 – Revisiting the Group Process

To make sure you have a successful experience from the inside of a group transformation process, I’ve revised the task into this handout: School 3.0 WebQuest Group Task.  Let’s do this as a warm-up and then debrief.

Extra Inspiration for current models?

Your Versions

Sampler of Group Process Tasks Tom’s Used

Activity 2 – Drafting Your WebQuest

Use the handout from Day 1: Designing a WebQuest.  Focusing on page 2, brainstorm the big pieces of the WebQuest you could develop. At this stage you want to see the overall construct because once you start developing it, it’s easy to get stuck into a “timesuck” or bogged into details and surfing.  Let’s keep our heads-up and think “Big Picture” or you will realise the truth behind every WebQuest (it can expand to include the universe of thinking and topics).

Topics and Questions – EtherPad Brainstorming?


Activity 3:
Building / Enriching Your Smart Online Space

WordPress Support

Activity 3:
Developing Your WebQuest

Gather Resources & Perspectives

Thinking Tools


Develop your WebQuest to share a solid draft on October 13.

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WebQuests Day 1

Getting WebQuests

The following is a WebQuest designed to introduce educators to both the lived experience of a WebQuest as well as some of the challenges and opportunities we face in 21st Century schools.


“In the beginning, there was the computer, then the Internet (the Internet?).  In 1994, along came the World Wide Web.  Within 15 years a few things happened…”

Big Question

How should schools change to adapt to the 21st Century?

You have +45 minutes to immerse yourself in your role and begin addressing your task below.



Task: Given the changes in technology, how can it support school-based learning? (click to begin answering)


Task: Given expert opinions about the old and new ways of schooling, how do you think schools could / should change to suit the 21st Century? (click to begin answering)


Task: Given the changing landscape of global education, how could / should Australian schools change to suit the 21st Century? (click to begin answering)


Task: Given the new media and ways of expression, how could / should  learning be represented by Australian schools in the 21st Century? (click to begin answering)

Group Task

Now that you have been able to focus on one aspect that impacts learning and schools in this century, you need to bring this expertise together to answer the Big Question:

How should schools change to adapt to the 21st Century?

Your Team answer must include consideration of each of the four main areas.  In other words, the group response must be informed by an understanding of changes happening in the following four areas:

  • Technology
  • Pedagogy
  • Education
  • Creative Media

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creator / pedagogy / schools / technology

Your team can choose how to present your answer.  One suggestion is to create an Infographic. Here is a description of how to do it and here’s a tool you can use (Team 1, Team 2, Team 3, Team 4 or use a whiteboard wall or?).

Presentation and Feedback

Each team presents their ideas.

Debriefing and De-constructing the “WebQuest”

Use this stixyboard to brainstorm your insights into the WebQuest process

Use the Comments link at the bottom of this post to give Tom feedback on how this experience was for you.




Next Steps – Homework for next week

  1. choose a topic
  2. brainstorm its related perspectives
  3. If you have time, begin looking for resources
Posted in Activity, Agenda, WebQuests, workshops | 1 Comment

Day 5 – Showcase & CEQ•ALL


As the final day in the 5-Day Series, we 1) showcase participants’ work and 2) focus on supporting student self-managed learning.

Activity 1: Case Studies of Participants’ Work

Please use the comments link on this post to submit a URL if the one listed below is not your main site.

Real, Rich and Relevant Group

Use the Beta EtherPad to offer comments and encouragement.

Activity 2: Self-managed Learning Framework for students

C E QA LL / Seek all!

Work period reviewing / integrating student-managed learning into projects

Activity 3: Work Period & Discussion

Last chance for input and sharing as a group

  • Techniques like Diigo, Netvibes, podcasts, WordPress
  • Consider school strategic directions (WordPress installation?)

Activity 4: Reflection & Feedback

Posted in Activity, Agenda | 6 Comments

WebQuest Day

Quick Brainstorm

What are WebQuests? – stick up your thoughts


Topics and Questions

Gather Resources & Perspectives

Thinking Tools

Collaboration Platforms

Possible Sources for Real World Feedback

  • Local experts, older students, parents, community clubs, etc.
  • Technorati – Search Real Blogs & Posts –  caution  advised
  • Aardvark – Ask real people who have some expertise on a wide range of real world subjects.
  • AllExperts – post questions to real people.
  • Australian Parliament – House of Representatives

WebQuest Resources



WebQuests .9 & 1.0


Posted in Activity, Agenda, WebQuests, workshops | Leave a comment