|Scooped by Heather Munro|
This website is a resource that could be used by students in the classroom independently or in pairs. This website covers the Colonisation of Australia to Federation (1788-1900) that this subject matter is purely interested in. It does also cover Australia before colonisation and post Federation. Colonisation has been split into seven different categories, which detail different events and consequences, such as the Australian Explorers; who moved away from the safety of the shoreline to map out Australia, the Goldrush and Bushrangers. This resource meets the required subject matter, better in some aspects than others, for example the category of Early Years, where significant people such as Governor Arthur Phillip, John Macarthur and Lachlan Macquarie can be found in detail. This website should be used in conjunction with an Indigenous source when teaching about the Colonisation because it lacks the Indigenous perspective which is an essential element to teaching this subject matter, as the Indigenous community were devastated by Colonisation. This website should also be used with another resource that provides an insight to the life of free settlers, as it only offers the perspective of convicts and doesn’t acknowledge other groups who moved over to Australia in the early years for other reasons.
The purpose of allowing students to work independently from the teacher on this website is to engage them in the development of their literacy and research skills whilst using ICT. To direct and maintain students’ engagement on task, meaningful and effective activities should be developed in order to prevent students from merely skimming the information to retrieve answers to the activities that the website has to offer. De Bono's Six Thinking Hats (The Opportunity Thinker, 2013) can be used by students to analyse the specific information provided by this website, such as the convicts section. The students will use all of the hats to comment on the treatment and wellbeing of the convicts, to sympathise and challenge the ideals held at the time; to have a better understanding of the tensions that came with Australia being settled by convicts forced into transportation.
If teachers use this website appropriately and in consultation with other resources, it can have great potential with students in broadening their knowledge on the Colonisation of Australia as well as build their self-confidence on researching and retrieving answers from the internet independently.