ICTs in practice week 2


I’ve been struggling to find time to write in my blog at the minute. I’ve been busy juggling planning for lessons, Uni assignments, marking formative work we are doing in class, family time and preparing for an exam in one of my subjects arghh… I can’t wait for a break in the holidays!!

ICTs have been an integral part of my day-to-day work on this prac as my mentor (the school for the most part) is a Google school. Coincidently I chose to use Google Classroom for my Study Desk on my website in Assignment 3. I actually stubbled upon Google Classroom through ICT networking in EDC3100. In week 1, we were asked to engage in experimenting with new platforms in relation to Assignment 3 and I signed up with Feedly and Twitter. I followed some education related people and feeds and a few weeks later on of my Feedly, someone I started following “Free Technology for Teachers” Richard Byrne, posted something  about Google Classroom (which I didn’t even know existed). I tried accessing it but I needed to be part of a school or institution to sign up so I couldn’t. A few weeks later, in another post, he commented that Google Classroom has just been made accessible to anyone for free and so I jumped on and checked it out. On Twitter, around the same time, I started following @alicekeeler who wrote a book 50 Things You Can Do With Google Classroom ,she posts different ideas for using Google Classroom and all Google’s associated Apps. Engaging in new platforms and building professional networks was a positive and practical experience for me: (1) I never would have known about Google Classroom; (2) I gained insight into innovative aways to use it!!

On Prac it’s been great to see how Google Classroom can be used in practice. I used it in my assignment as I wanted to have a novel analysis discussion take place online as well as in the classroom,  in the hope that I could contribute to the discussion and help consolidate and build on students’ knowledge. The way that a Google school is set up is that all the staff and students have Gmail accounts, they use Google Drive and each teacher, if they choose, uses Google Classroom. It allows the teacher to post attachments, resources, assignment information in digital form as well as handing out a hard copy in class. If the teacher shares a formative piece of work for example, the teacher has access and can see each students documents, provide feedback and check whether or not they are doing what they are supposed to be doing during the lesson. Tracking students progress and monitoring where they are at is easy, accessible and organised. I can see many benefits of using a platform like this in the future and after using it on this prac for the last few weeks I feel confident working with Google Classroom or a similar digital platform in the future.

Below is an example of something I posted for students at the end of a lesson, the aim  was to clarify where they should be up to by next lesson and also a point of reference for myself. It allows me to explain at the end of the lesson “If you are not sure what you are required to have completed by next lesson, please have a look on Classroom”

Google classroom

Thanks for reading.



Learning from my experience


Week one is over and it went well. All lessons at this school are double’s (80 mins), which is great, it allows plenty of time get into particular concepts and really drill down into them. It’s been a week of late nights, but that is to be expected, with some rewarding learning experiences as a result. The fact that I have 2 x Year 10 and 2 x Year 11 classes all doing the same work at the same stages, gives me the opportunity to teach everything twice and change my approach if needed. It also allows me to teach the second class with more confidence as I’m much more familiar with the material. I taught a few double lessons of both R&J and TKAM.

R&J was fun. First, I provided a bit of context for the play and to help give students an appreciation of the language in Shakespeare, I assigned them into roles and they read some scenes aloud. I was surprised how much they got into it and they all seemed to have fun. Next, I discussed key themes, plot and had them do a character analysis exercise using a character in Act 1 Scene1.

With the Year 11s, I helped frame part 1 of TKAM to set them up for part 2 which they are reading now. We had a conversation about key themes and I picked out some quotes from each chapter to demonstrate some literary techniques (imagery, symbolism etc) – related them to themes – and explained how we might build on this in part 2 of the novel (the court case). They will be doing a summative assessment after I’m gone in which they are required to write an essay, using key themes and discussing literary techniques, questions TBA. Over the weekend I need to work out how I’m going to teach these texts for the next 2 weeks (I’ve been given free range).

Today we worked out an assessment piece for R&J. Students will write a script for part of a scene, with Director’s notes and include a folio/PP that explains props, costumes etc. used to create meaning. I won’t have time to go through the whole play, so I’ve picked out some key scenes to focus on, now I just need to think of how to teach it…

TKAM, I will continue with conversations about the text and start getting them to complete some tasks that involve identifying quotes, relating them to key themes and explaining their significance to the text.

As far as ICTs go I haven’t used anything new or special (I haven’t had a chance) but it is a Google school so creating ,sharing and providing instructions using something similar to Study Desk is how they operate day-to-day.

I would love to hear from anyone who might have some interesting suggestions for how to teach R&J to Year 10s in a fun and engaging way.

The feedback I’ve received so far has been fantastic and I hope the next two weeks go this smoothly. I hope everyone is having fun and a good experience wherever you may be…

All the best Chris.

Professional Experience

Retrieved from Pinterest, https://au.pinterest.com/pin/300826450080530009/,  22 May 2017.


Day 1 is in the books and it was great!

This school is much different to my previous placements (I’m an online student in SA and I have to organise my own placements). The last few placements I wanted to challenge myself and put my behaviour management strategies to the test, so I picked schools in low SES areas and told myself that ‘If I can’t handle this I shouldn’t be teaching.’ This time I wanted to see the other side of the coin, and so, I picked a school that performs quite well academically, is in a higher SES area and with not as many radical behaviour issues. The difference in the learning BLEW ME AWAY in this school compared to some of the other schools I’ve experienced. It was a great surprise and motivating but the reality is I will most likely not end up in a school like this, however, I feel as though I will learn a lot from some of these teachers, who are all exceptional from what I’ve seen and heard so far. My mentor teacher is great and I think she is going to be invaluable for my own PD. I have two Year 10 and three Year 11 English classes (one is an essential English). All the students and staff have been lovely and welcoming which is a great feeling when you first rock up and you’re a bit nervous. I’m really interested in the concept of “Transformation” that they use in English. The idea is to take a text and transform it into another text. For example, take a poem – take one of the characters – write a personal diary entry from a his/her perspective OR take a theme or line in a poem – create a advertisement or feature article that explores that theme or line. With the Year 10’s we are looking at Shakespeare “Romeo and Juliet” and one of these transformative tasks. In Year 11 – To Kill A Mockingbird and a transformative task and in Essentials  we are reading “The wave” and doing some basic analysis, for now anyway. I will certainly have the opportunity to use ICTs as they are a Google school (they use Google Classroom in all classes). Today was pretty much just observing and small group work for me to get to know the kids a little bit and I’m starting to work out some lessons for later in the week which should be interesting. I’m looking forward to seeing what the next few weeks will bring. Thought I best write a quick post as I’ve been out of action for the last two weeks trying to tidy up the mountain of work which is now growing as I start my prac.

All the best.


This is a quick brainstorm exercise with some of the things that I ask myself before planning a lesson and some of the things I try to remember when teaching a lesson.

It’s by no means exhaustive – simply a start.


New Mind Map

The main things I’ve learnt are:


Remember to take my time;


Ensure instructions and intentions for the lesson are clear;


Be sure to have everyone’s attention before explaining anything;


Try my best – not all lessons are perfect and improvements can always be made – don’t stress if it doesn’t go as well as expected as there will be other opportunities to try it in another way in the future.


What mid-semester break???

Retrieved from Flickr, 30 April 2017.


This is the end of the first week back after the so-called mid-semester break.

Does anyone actually get a break in that period?

It just involved completing 3 more Assignments for me and thank God they are over and done with.

Anyway, I thought, why not write a quick reflection on where I’m at now in this course. The first assignment did not go so well, I passed but wasn’t happy with my result. I totally misunderstood the task. Although I new that Assignment 1, 2 & 3 were all linked, for some reason I was under the impression that in the table in part 1 we just had to put in ‘suggested’ learning activities that align with, and making sure we covered ‘all’, the ICT components of the particular syllabus. I did that but not in a cohesive way – as if it were one unit – I just assigned random learning experiences ensuring that I covered all the ICTs in the syllabus on the notion that I was demonstrating ICT syllabus alignment NOT aligning a cohesive unit of work – note to self – never do that again. Hopefully I will redeem myself in Assignment 2 which is all done and dusted now.

In Assignment 2, I certainly learned a lot about all the different options available relating to ICTs and learning (quite surprised actually) but I think there are quite a few that are actually counter-productive also. At times I thought ‘this is cool and might work’ but then after thinking about it some more I would ask myself the question ‘couldn’t I have just done that without ICTs?’ Differentiating between what looks cool, might be fun/interesting and is actually beneficial to learning are very different things. One thing that I came across and thought could be really transformative was the Virtual Reality (VR) options out there. Not very practical and/or affordable at the moment for most schools but I’m sure this will become a big part of learning in the future. Imagine teaching History and allowing students to actually visit the place or time period you are studying in VR – check it out really mind blowing stuff.

Looking forward now to Assignment 3 – I’ve picked a website to use (WIX) but I’m not sure exactly how I’m going to make it interactive just yet. My unit is Year 10 English and I don’t know whether an avatar is appropriate for this year level??

I would have though it would be more suited to younger year levels??

Would love to do something like this if only I knew how…

I’m enjoying the ‘process’ of creating a website so far, I just need to make sure I’m decisive –  I tend to waste a lot of time not making decisions in relation to trivial components of the task that don’t matter.

All the best.


Be creative…

Directed by: Daniel Martínez Lara & Rafa Cano Méndez
Produced by: Daniel Martínez Lara & Nicolás Matji
Music by: Oscar Araujo
Production Manager: Eva Márquez Matías
Sound by: Aleix Vila

Preproduction Team:
Daniel Martínez Lara
Rafa Cano Méndez
Abel Tébar
Albert Papaseit
Esteban Errando
Pedro Florido
Miguel Ángel Bellot
Jose Molina
Claudio Espinar

Retrieved from Youtube, 9 April 2017.

Don’t let life get you down – it’s Sunday…


Retrieved from Pixabay.com, 8 April 2017.


This is what the Diigo ‘post to blog’ function in Diigo tools looks like. I created a folder a few weeks ago and have been bookmarking links each week. This function could be used in the classroom by the teacher and by students. Students can document their research by annotating and bookmarking links and the teacher can share folders with instructions for tasks and avoid having to explain the same thing over and over again. I’m pretty sure you would be able to share a link to the home page of a wiki as well. Below is weeks 1 to 6:

Posted from Diigo. The rest of EDC3100 Weeks 1 to 6 group favorite links are here.

New Experiences

Retrieved from Pixabay.com, 8 April 2017.

Hello again,

This week I’ve been trying to catch up on assignment work as I seemed to have gotten a bit carried away with all this technology, much like evansclan2002 explains her post (a great read by the way).

It is interesting to think about:

“How much time is spent using ICTs vs how much time is spent productively using ICTs?”

in relation to students and people and society in general. Coincidently, listening to a podcast while driving to the dentist this morning, a conversation came up about boredom and how we use technology to escape it, check it out @ 1hr, 10 mins and 15 secs if you are interested.


I created an account on edublog and wikispaces (for free) because I thought to myself:

“All this talk about using blogs/wiki’s in the classroom it might actually be worth understanding how to use them.”

Safe to say that it was a great little thought experiment and I can’t wait to use both in the future. Writing this blog has been beneficial, the edublog system is very similar ( but with a lot more features), having this experience made it easy to navigate my way around. I now see the practical relevance of being immersed in ICTs and ICT Pedagogy, even if it means falling behind a little bit, as Al explains in his blog, you can never have too many tools in your tool belt.

I like the idea of collaborative learning with a wiki and love the fact that the teacher can: post instructions and messages; comment on students’ posts; monitor students’ posts and provide feedback; upload content; monitor activity and much more. The students collaborate and share ideas interacting almost like they would on a social media platform but for learning. The idea of using a wiki for ‘flipped learning’ as explained here is a great idea. Rather than waisting time during lesson covering LOTS and teaching basic concepts using PP, they can be uploaded to the wiki, students have access to them at all times and become responsible for their own learning. It leaves more time during the lesson for the ‘doing’ (transforming knowledge).

Thanks for reading.

History Links

Retrieved from: Indigenous instyle, http://www.indigenousinstyle.com.au/australian-aboriginal-map/, 3 April 2017.

For anyone interested (Faye as promised), here are some links to various websites History people might find useful, they are by no means organised but I’m in the process of Diigo-ing them.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History links:
















Australian History links:













Some ICTs blogs for History:



Some film for History:




Some random History:







































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