Monthly Archives: July 2014

Mind Map: Why use ICTs in teaching


Here is my initial mind map. Once I got started it was easy to keep going. I chose this program ( over as I use regularly and I wanted to challenge myself.

I’m not new to mind maps – I use on a weekly basis to create a map of my thoughts and internal ‘to-do’ list. I suffer from what I describe to people as ‘thought overwhelm’ (self-diagnosed, I’m not sure it’s a legitimat condition!). I’m guilty of often taking on more than I can handle, and I become so overwhelmed by thoughts of what I should be doing that I end up really unproductive. So mind maps help me visualise what needs to be done, and I try to focus on one bubble at a time anf work through my list of stuff that needs to get done. It works great, and so does

Today I used Text 2 Mind Map, and it was really easy. Extremely easy. The text box made it so simple to add ideas or move them around. I love discovering new technology that makes life easier!

So here is my mind map for the weekly tasks:


(can be found here:

Read the rest of this entry


Classroom Resource: QuestGarden


Ok, so this one is a bit sneaky, because it’s not a new resource for me. This is a website I have used in the past, and most of my classmates have probably used it as well for EDX3280. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed creating it, and I have actually been able to use elements of it in my work in Year 2 at that school!

QuestGarden allows teachers to create webquests – guided inquiry lessons – for students. The website describes the goal of the website as:

“to create lessons that make good use of the web, engage learners in applying higher level thinking to authentic problems, and use everyone’s time well.”

In creating my webquest for EDX3280 I utilised a range of ICT applications to integrate into my quest… Voki, YouTube, Beebots, Vimeo, ispring, and online games. Students access iPads, tablets or computers to complete each quest.

Strengths/Opportunities: An interactive and interesting WebQuest has potential to hold the engagement of the students through the tasks, and become an excellent learning tool. In a team teaching situation, each class teacher could create one WebQuest to implement across the cohort, and there would be a terms worth of work created. Alternatively, there are WebQuests created by other teachers that you can utilise. There is a small subscription fee of $20 for 2 years.

Weaknesses/Limitations: The subscription is cheap, however Read the rest of this entry

Classroom Resource: Plickers


Thanks Michaella for introducing me to Plickers through her blog post titled: “QR codes to assess student learning

This is such an interesting way to use QR codes!

Teacher asks a question with up to four multiple-choice answers. Students hold up the code in a particular orientation to convey their answer to the question. Teacher scans code. Program uses the scanned data to guage student understanding, and presents the data in a cool graph (and we all know how much I love data!).

The app is free, and the codes can be downloaded and printed for free. I’m yet to download the app, so I can’t give a personal review on it, but I am excited about the possibilities.

Periodic table categorising iPad apps


Wow! So many new apps just waiting to be explored!

Mel's Blog

Whilst browsing through twitter I found a great resource developed by Mark Anderson. It is a periodic table of iPad apps. Instantly I thought this was a brilliant idea, especially for those of us who are new to apps. It is very helpful in that the periodic table matches apps to a particular category. Categories include creativity, demonstrating, collaboration, teaching, computing, learning, numeracy and literacy. I really like the categories he has provided and think this will greatly assist me when setting up my iPad for the first time. I noticed he does mention how he used Photoshop to create this so he can use it as a poster. I really like this idea and think I could do something similar down the track and add extra categories. When I am finally a teacher and working in a school I believe all staff could contribute to the periodic table…

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Classroom Resource: Glogster


I’ve used Glogster once, for another university assessment piece. I found it frustrating at first, but after some experimentation I was able to produce a creative, colourful ‘digital poster’ that included text, images, links, sounds, videos, and animations. The Glogpedia was not useful for me at a university level, but the range of subjects and ‘glog’ templates seems suitable for primary and high school students. I think students would definitely have fun with technology like this!

Teaching Digital Natives and Staying Up-To-Date with ICT


An interesting current affair story on ‘The Project’ tonight got me thinking about why it is so important to stay up-to-date with ICT (and especially online ICTs), based on the following article: Tweens, teens adept at hiding internet activities from parents, McAfee report reveals. The statistics of the original article were interesting – 70% of youths say their parents didn’t know about all of their online activities, and the same number reported to hiding their online activities. This statistic raised alarm bells, with digital immigrants and Luddites offering solutions such as suggesting youth have limited access to technology, or even removing it altogether.

In my opinion, this is not a practical solution to the problem. Technology is not an Read the rest of this entry

Classroom Resource: Storypark


This came up tonight as a suggestion on my Facebook page! Very cool! I love the idea of eportfolios for early childhood – quick and easy to keep track of photos, observations and learning stories, and the virtual aspect can help increase engagement from families. I’m definitely excited to look further into this!