Technology and Transformation
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Thing 12 | 23 Things for Research

Thing 12 | 23 Things for Research | Technology and Transformation |
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Online course supporting students, researchers and university staff to develop knowledge and use of social media for professional purposes.

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TeachersFirst: The web resource by teachers, for teachers

TeachersFirst: The web resource by teachers, for teachers | Technology and Transformation |
TeachersFirst is Thinking Teachers, Teaching Thinkers.
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Teacher resource for accessing information about Web 2.0 tools.

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The 100 Best Web 2.0 Classroom Tools Chosen By You | Edudemic | Diigo

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An extensive list of Web 2.0 tools to investigate further

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Storybird - About

Storybird - About | Technology and Transformation |
Sandy Shannon's curator insight, August 11, 2013 2:51 AM

Story bird is an online community of artists, writers and readers. Artists upload their work and individuals create and share stories they have written using these images as inspiration. Teachers are able to create a class space and can assign tasks to students.

Writing tasks using this tool may be completely open ended, where students choose images that have meaning for them and create a story or directed in some form i.e. students are given a theme or format that must be used. Students can also be given a set of images in Story bird that they then need to tie together in some way. In my view creating links between images or finding inspiration in an image is a valid creative process that requires the writer to make use what they have in ways they may not have considered otherwise.

This activity requires students to construct their own links and meaning from the images and is therefore based in constructivist learning principles. Story bird also allows users to invite collaborators from their class list or from the outside Story bird membership allowing for socially constructed meanings.

Technology modifies the task by providing easy access to a growing assortment of images and online collaboration between students.

The task is redefined when students share their stories with the online community and receive real time feedback on their stories neither of which would be possible without the use of technology to support this type of sharing. Writers are also able to follow the artists of their favourite illustrations while writers can gather following readers who love their stories, creating a social network within this site.

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Prezi - Ideas matter.

Prezi - Ideas matter. | Technology and Transformation |
Prezi is a cloud based presentation software that opens up a new world between whiteboards and slides. The zoomable canvas makes it fun to explore ideas and the connections between them.

Via Brett Taylor
Brett Taylor's curator insight, August 12, 2013 8:13 PM

Funnily enough, I was first attracted to Prezi by the name – an Australian-sounding nickname for a presentation tool that was touted as a PowerPoint alternative and more just had to be investigated.


In essence, Prezi is PowerPoint or Keynote - only the single slide you use can be as geographically large as you would like and operate on three layers if desired.


It can cope with a variety of text options, images as backgrounds or features, embedded video but uniquely, it allows the educator to take the learner – even though the learner is perhaps the one driving the session – on a journey of interest across and through content using a multi-point zoomable canvas as the slide.


Further, and this is where it potentially surpasses other presentation tools, it allows real-time collaborative opportunities on both traditional presentations and mind-mapping style outputs – just the constructivist pedagogical space one wishes to be working within.


For me, this is the area where Prezi can afford a significant boost into constructivist teaching and learning and move learner interaction into the transformational end of the SAMR model of Puentedura, which as Loader (2012) notes, “defines a system which you can use to measure your application of technology, or it’s level of use”.


In the community and workplace sector, Prezi has become a common tool for a range of learning activities. From a simple augmented approach whereby health-related content is presented as a visual treatment flowchart for patients through to true collaborative operations that enables department heads and board members to co-create in real time a redefined version of an annual report that will be showcased to members and supporters, Prezi has the scope to offer learning and teaching opportunities across the levels of the SAMR model, but particularly, utilising the sharing options and collaborative features, within the modification and redefinition levels.


Significantly, as Lee and McLoughlin (2011) state, technology in and of itself will not revolutionise education (p. 21), so the effective use of Prezi in the generation of desired learning outcomes is very much dependent on an educator who is aware of 21st Century educational practice and who can contextualise learning to the degree required by both the learner and eventual industry field of practice.


Lee M. J. W. and McLoughlin, C. (2011). Web 2.0-based e-learning. Applying Social Informatics for Tertiary Teaching. Retrieved from


Loader, D. (2012). Applying the SAMR model into education. Adobe Education Leaders. Retrieved from

Brett Taylor's comment, August 13, 2013 5:09 AM
The free Prezi account available allows you pretty much full functionality, excepting some features such as logo change, but your Prezis will be public - worth the time to experiment with this tool I think.
Justine Crompton's comment, August 17, 2013 4:52 AM
The globalisation of business now requires employees to collaborate over vast geographic distances. Teaching our students to use Prezi to create and present collaboratively or independently would equip them with ICT skills to enable them to enter this workforce work ready. I imagine much of the learning in using Prezi would be transferrable to other applications. Working with students from another school could promotes the social side of ICT use. Definitely a tool to redefine tasks.
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ShowMe - The Online Learning Community

ShowMe - The Online Learning Community | Technology and Transformation |
ShowMe is an open online learning community where anyone can learn and teach any topic. Our iPad app lets you easily create and share video lessons.
Sandy Shannon's curator insight, July 28, 2013 12:31 AM



Show me is an iPad app that allows users to create mini tutorials by writing on the screen with their fingers or stylus while recording their voice. It also allows users to insert photographs and images sourced from the web. Teachers and students can create accounts and access and share lessons via the website, email, Facebook and Twitter. Lessons can also be embedded in blogs. It is very similar to another app and learning community, Educreations

Developing basic literacy and numeracy skills is a vital and necessary goal of education (MCEETYA 2008) and finding ways to engage students in meaningful practice to consolidate this learning is a challenge teachers face every day.

In my view this type of application lends itself most readily to learning activities based on cognitivist principles.  The examples I have found by browsing the site and searching for examples in blogs confirm this perception. Apart from the obvious advantages of allowing students to review teacher created lessons as many times as needed, once students have been taught a particular rule or process they can consolidate their knowledge by acting as a teacher and creating their own mini lesson using ShowMe (or Educreations).  Creating their own lesson requires students to think carefully about how they will present the information clearly, which examples are best and their use of metalanguage. Students are learning by teaching.

The task of explaining their understanding is transformed at the Modification level by the use of technology to record, replay and shares these tutorials with other students within their class. There is a social constructivist element at work at this level as students are able to receive feedback on their lessons from their peers and use this to modify and improve their lesson/ presentation. This task is redefined and given further significance when students are able to participate in and contribute to online communities of learners.

This is where I noticed the greatest difference between Educreations and ShowMe. From my ( very amateur) explorations it appears that ShowMe is a more open community that allows uses to like, follow and comment on other users presentations within the ShowMe community where as Educreations allow users to Like via Facebook and Tweet.

Both allow teachers to create student accounts and monitor student’s interaction within the community. In my context I would need to be very sure about exactly how these systems worked before creating student accounts.



Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians. (2008,). MCEECDYA | Redirect. Retrieved July 7, 2013, from,25979.html

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Using SAMR to Teach Above the Line

Using SAMR to Teach Above the Line | Technology and Transformation |
The SAMR model is a useful tool for helping teachers think about their own tech use as they begin to make small shifts in the design and implementation of technology driven learning experiences t...
Sandy Shannon's curator insight, August 4, 2013 4:16 AM

This blog posting by Susan Oxnevad is guided by Puentedura’s Questions and Transitions ( 2012)  and provides a blue print for how transformation might be achieved using readily available tools  i.e. a Wiki.


I was particularly interested in this learning activity because I saw it’s potential for allowing students to develop their own deep and rich understanding of words and through doing so also deepen their understanding of the topic or theme being studied.  


I imagined this activity would follow on from, or complement, explicit vocabulary instruction sequences such as those outlined by Marzano ( 2004  ) and Beck et al ( 2002  ) as well as specific content lessons that would be grounded in cognitivist learning theories.


 In the activity outlined by Susan Oxenvad, students are supported to use images to explore the subtle nuances of a word and link it in meaningful ways to a topic they are currently studying. This is an open ended task that supports students to construct their own interpretation of the word and their own individual links between the word and the topic. Posting their work to a wiki where peers comment on each other’s work and benefit from the insights of their peers simultaneously moves the activity “up the ladder” to  modification and into the sphere of social constructivism.


(I believe she has also modified the delivery of the task by providing students with a digital tool kit for understanding the task and providing students with a Digital Differentiation board ( created in thinglink which provides students with choices of search engines and tools to suit their learning style and needs.)


At the modification level, there are options in my context for providing students with an online collaborative space to share their work with classmates. The Learning Place offers the most readily available space for students to share and post their work either within in a Virtual Classroom or pages within an EdStudio (with the discussion function enabled).


The Learning Place's  Student Channel has opened up possibilities for students to share their work either as a presentation or interactive session via webconferencing  with other students across the state. The construction of this webconference would require students to work collaboratively to construct the best presentation of their ideas, an activity that draws upon social constructivist theories of learning.The task is redefined at students are able to interact via a range of modalities with an wide audience of their peers, in real time. 





Susan has based her learning project on a flexible wiki project 25 Australian Moods ( Betcher, 2010) )  which is constructed around the theme of Australia.



Beck, I. L., McKeown, M. G., & Kucan, L. (2002). Bringing words to life: robust vocabulary instruction. New York: Guilford Press.


Betcher, C. (2010, August 26). Redesigning Learning Tasks: Part 3 | Betchablog. Betchablog | education + technology + ideas. Retrieved August 8, 2013, from


R.J. Marzano. Building Background Knowledge for Academic Achievement: Research on What Works in Schools. Alexandria, VA: ASCD, 2004

Puentedura, R. (2012, August 23). Ruben R. Puentedura's Weblog: The SAMR Model: Background and Exemplars. Hippasus. Retrieved July 21, 2013, from



Elena Keating's curator insight, August 12, 2013 9:35 PM

This sounds like just what I need to implement an interactive collaborative and constructivist classroom that allows for differentiation and explicit teaching according to needs.

Justine Crompton's comment, August 17, 2013 1:39 AM
An interesting blog posting. I work in a school which requires me too provide professional development opportunities for other teachers, mostly in the areas of curriculum implementation, resourcing and technology. I would find teaching staff how to strive for more effective technology integration by using the SAMR framework doable because it is simple and easy to understand. Helping teachers identify what they are already implementing at the various levels would aid confidence that they are capable of working at all levels. Guiding teachers within year level cohorts to examine units of works to modify and redefine activities where possible would promote constructivist learning by teachers. The SAMR example presented visually within the blog is something that could be presented to students as well as teachers as part of the learning cycle.
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TILE-SIG Feature: Using Apps to Facilitate Vocabulary Learning

TILE-SIG Feature: Using Apps to Facilitate Vocabulary Learning | Technology and Transformation |
Your source for news from the world of literacy
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Apps that support collaborative construction and sharing of vocabulary knowledge

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World Language Students Are Poppleting

World Language Students Are Poppleting | Technology and Transformation |
6th graders are studying Health and Illness related vocabulary in Ms. Piragene's Portuguese class. How do we learn vocabulary of a second, third or fourth language best?  As a class, we discussed d...
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This blog demonstrates the use of  Popplet to transform learning. The writer makes clear links to the SAMR model as students use this tool to build and share understandings.

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Department of Education, Training and Employment

Department of Education, Training and Employment | Technology and Transformation |
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The Learning Place is currently trialling Student Channel. It will provide a platform for live educational programs for students via webconference. Some of these programs are run by teachers and expert guests ( as in the Online Literature Festival) others are run by student for students.


Participating in a live webconference with an author, particularly a very well-known author, provides students with the opportunity to interact with an expert in their field and to collaborate with others students across the state.


Creating a webconference and presenting it to other students in a live session across the state provides students with an authentic audience and purpose for learning. I imagine students would work in groups or as a class to put together a presentation or interactive session for students at other schools. Learning is redefined through the use of this Learning Place tool as students present to or work with students from other schools in real time regardless of physical location. Students from physically distant schools may also collaborate to produce a session together, which they then co present. From my experience with co-designing and co- presenting web conferences I know that this is possible. The Elluminate software allows users to upload PP presentations and work with and save a shared whiteboard. Users are also able to application share documents from other applications and collaboratively discuss and change the document then save it individually.


Through Student Channel there is potential for students to produce jointly constructed understanding around almost any topic or curriculum area and share this with other students in real time regardless of location. Yet another example of the symbiotic relationship between social constructivism and the transformation of learning with technology.


An example of this is the “ Fun with Powerpoint” webconference where students in upper primary will run an instructional session as a “ how to” for younger students. They have probably trialled their session with younger students at their own school and,through Student Channel, now have the ability to reach a wider audience.


The fact that most EQ schools are following the C2C units increases opportunities for these types of interactions between students. Many students are investigating the same topic at the same time of the year. Book week also provides a shared context for these types of collaborations.


This tool is already being used in this capacity. There are several sessions around Book week and C2C focus texts( for different ages) where students are invited to participate in a Reader’s Cup style Quiz. I am unsure of the exact format this would take. I am assuming that students at the host school will create the quiz questions and that the competition is between the other schools. In this case scenario the questions would need to be Yes/No or short answer questions where correct or incorrect answers are quickly identified.

Students at the host school are participating in discussions around compiling and evaluating questions which increases their level of thinking as they construct the questions together. Students at participating schools are engaging in collaboration but are not necessarily constructing knowledge in ways that would be associated with social constructivist principles.


This is only one example and student led online discussions don’t necessarily need to follow a quiz format. The Teacher Participation Guide for webconferences includes (in Appendix 1) a Bloom’s Taxonomy Guide to questions which I believe has been constructed to support students and teachers to ensure the quality of questions leads to substantive conversations that requires higher order thinking and genuine engagement with the topic or text.


In conclusion giving students a tool such as Elluminate provides many exciting opportunities for collaboration and the joint construction of understandings about the world, regardless of location, as well as transforming tasks by providing access to authentic audiences.


DRAFT - posted for save keeping : )

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Department of Education, Training and Employment: Learning Object - Direct a Robot: which way?

Department of Education, Training and Employment: Learning Object - Direct a Robot: which way? | Technology and Transformation |

Via Kylie Joyce
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Kylie’s post started me thinking about the current limitations and the future possibilities of learning objects to facilitate socially constructed learning and redefinition of tasks. I was intrigued by the idea of Learning Objects with the capacity to allow for redefinition of a task although I suppose in a another context this might be called gaming ?

In the digital environment this learning object is an individual task. When students discuss the choices and options as a class while interacting with the learning object they are provided with opportunities to construct understandings together. Is there a way to embed this type of socially constructivist learning into Learning Objects?

I began to consider the possibilities of combining Learning Objects with the capabilities of tools such as “ Voice Thread”. This would open up possibilities for discussions between students to occur within the digital environment and regardless of their physical location. While working in a Learning Object (that supports students to discover their own solutions) students might record their thinking or explain what they did to solve the problem. As other students work with the Learning Object they could choose to listen to advice from their peers (previous or current participants). They might even be able to rate the usefulness of a peers advice (to provide feedback to that student). This peer advice could conceivably take the place of the automated responses that are programmed into the Learning Object

The task is redefined as learners share advice and justifications regardless of their physical location or the time they are participating. Providing options for feedback about the usefulness of the advice given also allows for a bank of most useful posts, chosen by the students themselves, to be compiled and accessed. 

Kylie Joyce's curator insight, August 10, 2013 4:10 AM

This learning object is one of the resources available as part of the online curriculum resources for Year 2 Maths provided by Education Queensland. As with many of the learning objects that I have looked at, at first glance, it would seem to be categorised as an augmentative online task. Students need to decide which direction and for how many paces the robot needs to move in order to collect samples from a moon-like environment. Obstacles need to be avoided along the way. Students need to use logical thinking and problem solve to complete the mission properly. When doing this activity individually, it can be linked to cognitive learning theory as the students construct knoweldge from past experiences (Asia e University), that is that they are able to alter their solutions to the task from experiencing suggestions that aren't successful. I observed this learning object being used at the transformational (modification) level in a year 2/3 class. The students engaged in in-depth discussion during and after each attempt to complete each mission, making suggestions,explaining their reasoning, asking for the help grid to be displayed so they could confirm or rethink their solutions. The interaction between the students during this process was mostly student-guided. Providing this task in an interactive environment and the resulting discussion during this task, allowed for significant task redesign as the focus moved from students successfully completing the task to justification of suggested solutions. This has opened my eyes as to how many learning objects can be used as transformational learning tasks depending on how the task is presented.


Asia e University, Learning theories-cognitive learning theories chapter 5, p. 127, viewed 10th August 2013,

Brett Taylor's comment, August 12, 2013 7:01 PM
I'm a big fan of the use of suitable gaming opportunities as a means to promote "serious" learnings. Too often, especially in the adult learning environment, we remove the fun element that is inherent in younger educational activities - time to revisit gaming as a constructive adult learning tool.
Brett Taylor's curator insight, August 12, 2013 7:05 PM

The whole notion of gaming as a valid learning tool has been challenged so often in the adult environment in which I am involved such that the majority of activities have lost what elements of fun and semi-competitiveness they may have had.


Adults like to enjoy the learning process too and perhaps it is time to engage in the serious game concept more fully for this audience.

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Turning Students Into Teachers

Turning Students Into Teachers | Technology and Transformation |
The best way to learn anything is to teach it to someone else . Isn't that what you've always been told? It's true ... and also a great philosophy to apply in…

Via Kylie Joyce
Jesse Soininen's comment, August 20, 2013 3:20 PM
I just love your curated picks. Wonder and awe
Begoña Iturgaitz's curator insight, August 26, 2013 6:28 AM

Crystal clear. I truly cannot understand why we don't make any profit of this at schools. As a related issue, also absolutely worthy for  those high skilled learners at our own schools, instead of searching only  for individual gateways.

Randall Crosby's curator insight, September 29, 2013 4:17 PM

Let our kids teach. They will learn more.

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Project Noah

Get Project Noah on the App Store. See screenshots and ratings, and read customer reviews.
Sandy Shannon's curator insight, August 3, 2013 9:58 PM

Project Noah provides a web based platform for individuals or groups in any location to share their observations of the natural world and collect important data about biodiversity on a global scale. The project also includes a mobile app for iPhone (  ) and Android mobile devices which provides a field guide and allows users to organise their missions and upload contributions easily.  Interested individuals may choose to contribute to a variety of missions which may be based around a particular animal or plant, or a location. The overarching goal of the Project is “to help the mobile masses share their encounters with nature, we are building a powerful force for crowdsourcing ecological data collection and an important educational tool for wildlife awareness and preservation.”

In considering the value of this artefact in my context I must first consider its relevance within the required curriculum. The Australian Curriculum (ACARA, 2013) positions Science as a way of understanding our world and frames it as a “collaborative and creative human endeavour”.   The aim is to foster student’s a natural curiosity about the world and humans place within it as well as an understanding of scientific methods so they are able to think critically about issues at local , national and global levels. In my view participation in the online collaboration afforded by Project Noah supports these big picture goals for learning in the subject area of Science.

Within the sub-strand of Biological Sciences Years 3 and 4 students classify living and non-living thing according to their observable features and investigate the ways living things depend on each other and the environment to survive.  Many Science units in these years involve students investigating and documenting plants and animals found within the school grounds.  The “ Global Schoolyard BioBlitz” Mission ( within Project Noah) offers students the opportunity to add “ spottings”  from these local investigations to the “ spottings” of a global network of students who are also documenting their own school grounds.  Participants upload an image, location reference ( google maps)  and a description of the organism and where it was found. Students are able to comment on each other’s photographs and information as well as receive feedback and ID suggestions from nature enthusiasts and experts in their field.

I can see that successful learning around this app and website would involve activities influenced by both constructivist and cognitivist learning theories. In order to successfully communicate their “ spottings” students would need to be taught the conventions of communicating scientific observations ( this links with the Australian Curriculum’s Science enquiry skills sub-strand of Communicating ( ACARA, 2013) and this could be done most effectively using cognitivist strategies to explicitly teach the process of communicating observations clearly and build students specialist vocabulary. Behaviourist methods such as flashcards/drill and practise may also be used to consolidate students understanding of vocabulary and basic concepts.

Having considered Communication within the field of Science I can now go on to the view this artefact in light of its value in supporting more general capabilities of life long learners and active citizens as defined by The Melbourne Declaration on the Educational Goals for Young Australians (MCEETYA 2008). The declaration states that “ Confident and creative individuals have a sense of optimism about their lives and the future”. Communicating effectively at a global level with an authentic audience supports student’s engagement with the world as global citizens and fosters a sense of belonging and working as a team working toward positive change.

The collective and collaborative nature of the project also allows for constructivist learning as participants around the globe work together to construct a comprehensive and searchable catalogue of the natural world from their personal observations. There are also experts and nature enthusiasts who lend their expertise in identifying plant and animal “spottings“ posted by others . I found a fantastic example of this on one of the Global Schoolyard BioBlitz postings where a student had posted an image of a larva as Unknown. An expert in lady beetles from another part of the country had then posted a comment identifying the larva as belonging to a particular species of the beetle. There are also detailed discussions and sharing of “ spottings” between participants. The project uses the term “ citizen scientists”  when referring to its contributors which gives equal value to all contributions and highlights that anyone can contribute to this scientific endeavour. This artefact also allows participants to create or join interest groups ( or Missions) and begin to specialise and deepen their knowledge in those areas.

At an Augmentation level the iPhone app ( I installed it on my iPad and it works! ) includes a field guide which allows users to search by location and type of organism. This feature would allow students an immediate reference when documenting or identifying their “ spottings”.

At a Transformative level, redefinition occurs as students add to the knowledge base provided by the collective “spottings” of the global Project Noah community and collaborate with experts and enthusiasts in this field. Such collaboration, discussion and cataloguing would not be possible without technology. The local task of documenting the life forms in our school grounds has been transformed into a collaborative, global activity which contributes in a meaningful way to improve our knowledge of the world around us and our place within it.


ACARA. (n.d.). The Australian Curriculum v5.0 . The Australian Curriculum v5.0 . Retrieved August 4, 2013, from

Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians. (2008,). MCEECDYA | Redirect. Retrieved July 7, 2013, from,25979.html