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Jane Hunter speaks with Vanessa Pirotta, a PhD student at Macquarie University in Sydney about her recent victory in the Australian final of the British Council’s FameLab; an annual event recognised as the leading science communication competition in the world, which attracts early career researchers to explain a scientific concept to a general audience in just three minutes. In this issue’s cover story, Jane explores Vanessa’s research to find out more about how experts from the STEM disciplines can support learning in schools.

18 SCREEN TIME MYTHS Peter West, Director of eLearning at Saint Stephen’s College in Australia, looks at the myth around the amount of time a child spends in front of a screen being an issue as opposed to the type and quality of the material on the screen.

32 WHAT IS YOUR ONLINE PERSONA? DIGITAL CITIZENSHIP FOR TEACHERS Helen Kardiasmenos, a primary school teacher and digital leader in Sydney, looks at three important questions every teacher should consider with regard to being an effective digital citizen.

54 AUSTRALIAN SCHOOLS ALREADY FOCUSED ON THE FUTURE! Across Australia, there are many schools and teachers demonstrating


outstanding leadership and practices who should be celebrated for their expertise. Identifying these practices and effectively sharing that knowledge is a significant strategy to evolve education.


56 TEACHING TOOLS How can you use research and digital technology to create change in mathematics and STEM?

60 GET CONNECTED How do we lead academic innovation through technology?

Mal Lee and Roger Broadie look at the role digitally connected families of the world have played over the last two decades in leading digital education.

24 PLUGGED IN Brett Salakas draws on the international hit TV show The Walking Dead to illustrate a paradigm shift from traditional to next generation education models.

36 OFFICE SPACE How can you accommodate part-time staff more quickly and effectively in school timetables?

40 NEXT STEP Shelly Kinash examines why accessible education needs to be more than a tick-box exercise.

44 LET’S TALK PEDAGOGY Author, journalist, editor and former educator living in Austin, Texas, Leah Anne Levy, looks at the difference between STEM and maker education.

48 PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT Peter West examines the growing need for consistency in technologyenhanced learning.

FROM THE EDITOR something like an Olympic or Commonwealth Games and you would, without exaggeration, not be far from the mark. Over the next few days, the level and quality of the events in which students participated was incredible.


EDITOR John Bigelow EMAIL SUBEDITORS Helen Sist, Ged McMahon

CONTRIBUTORS Jane Hunter, Peter West, Helen Kardiasmenos, Brett Salakas, Caroline Linne, Lora Bance, Keith Roberts, Mal Lee, Roger Broadie, Shelly Kinash, Akshay Sahay, Sue Beveridge, Matt Lambert, Chris Cooper, Jonathan Powles, Leah Levy, Matt Lambert


Keith Rozairo PHONE 1300 300 552 EMAIL

John Bigelow


recently had the pleasure of joining the Destination Imagination (DI) team, led by the Australian affiliate Director Jackie Slaverio, for the DI global finals in Knoxville, Tennessee, in the US. For those readers who are not familiar with the Destination Imagination program, it is a fun, hands-on system of learning that fosters students’ creativity, courage and curiosity through open-ended academic challenges in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), fine arts and service learning. The participants learn patience, flexibility, persistence, ethics, respect for others and their ideas, and the collaborative problem-solving process. Since its inception back in 1982, DI, a non-profit organisation, has impacted more than 1.5 million participants. Today, more than 150,000 students participate in the Destination Imagination program each year, with the support of more than 38,000 volunteers worldwide. Through collaborations with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), 3M, Disney, Motorola Solutions Foundation, Oracle Academy, Mayo Clinic, Project Management Institute Educational Foundation, ShareSpace Foundation, PCG Education, National Geographic, U.S. Space & Rocket Center, Partnership for 21st Century Learning and other industry organisations, DI has been able to continue inspiring and engaging its participants for more than 30 years. With the support of Jaycar, along with Jackie and Bob who run the Australian DI affiliate, I was able to join students from five Australian schools who had been chosen to represent Australia at the global finals. I had imagined something akin to a typical school science fair where students were divided into groups and given some challenges to solve, which they would then be judged on and so on. What I encountered upon entering the Thompson-Bowling Area for the opening ceremony at the University of Tennessee was so far beyond my expectations it is quite literally difficult to put into words. Imagine the opening ceremony for

Jonathan Rudolph

PHONE 1300 300 552 EMAIL


PHONE 1300 300 552 EMAIL $57 AUD per annum inside Australia


PHONE 1300 300 552 EMAIL


ABN 56 606 919463

Level 1, 34 Joseph St, Blackburn, Victoria 3130 PHONE 1300 300 552 EMAIL WEBSITE


The publisher takes due care in the preparation of this magazine and takes all reasonable precautions and makes all reasonable effort to ensure the accuracy of material contained in this publication, but is not liable for any mistake, misprint or omission. The publisher does not assume any responsibility or liability for any loss or damage which may result from any inaccuracy or omission in this publication, or from the use of information contained herein. The publisher makes no warranty, express or implied with respect to any of the material contained herein. The contents of this magazine may not be reproduced in ANY form in whole OR in part without WRITTEN permission from the publisher. Reproduction includes copying, photocopying, translation or reduced to any electronic medium or machine-readable form.


 Level 1, 34 Joseph St, Blackburn, Victoria 3130  1300 300 552 




The grandeur and spectacle of the various events across the four days of the competition was equally impressive. Students had the chance to attend things like a STEM expo featuring exhibits from names like NASA and Space Camp, a host of amazing workshops at no charge, a block party featuring live DJs and bands, a costume ball and an equally amazing closing ceremony. What I found most impressive, however, was the quality of the projects that students from around the world had prepared as part of the competition. In speaking with the Australian teams across the course of the events, it quickly became obvious that the entire experience transcended the obvious learning that came from being part of a STEM competition. Yes, the students achieved value learning outcomes across the various disciplines in which they competed across the year leading up to the finals. However, of equal importance were the lessons that came from being part of an international event. During our conversations, students spoke about the confidence they had gained from having to travel to another country and perform in front of a global audience. They spoke about having to learn to function in a team, to listen to and work with other people’s ideas. They spoke with enthusiasm about learning problem-solving skills, the ability to think through situations and challenges and develop workarounds on the fly and, equally importantly, they spoke about the insights that came from meeting students from other countries and cultures and learning about how they had approached the same challenges set before the Australian students. The Australian curriculum has been designed to teach students a wide range of very important skills. However, some skills just cannot be learned in the classroom. These are incredibly important life skills that help students be better people. It is my solemn belief that events like Destination Imagination, that have the power to engage students in critical STEM skills while also imparting valuable interpersonal skills, life lessons and social skills, should be an invaluable part of any school’s curriculum. Over the next few months, we will be presenting a video series showing the journey of the Australian teams competing in Tennessee at the global finals. I would encourage you to keep an eye out for the videos which will appear on our website and check out DI (www. It is a competition that is open to any school around the country and is an invaluable experience for every student who participates. n

Education is changing and Edval is changing too!

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he flipped classroom

educators to shift the lower end

that provides teachers with an

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of Bloom’s taxonomy out of the

online learning and assessment

2015). The Education Perfect platform

identified as a

classroom (Sams & Bergmann, 2013),

platform for Languages, English,

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pedagogical pathway

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adding an element of gamification

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platform includes content to suit the

by awarding the students points for

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difficult activities. By completing a

Australian Curriculum, as well as the

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them onto a school-wide and global

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and Victoria.

scoreboard. By introducing the idea

(Bergmann & Sams, 2014). The

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flipped classroom is an active,

Bloom’s outside the classroom without

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kinds of activities, students may be

student-centred approach that was

their teacher, reserving time spent in

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more willing to share their expertise as

formed to increase the quality of

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learner-centered approaches where

it is an area that they are passionate

face-to-face time spent in classrooms

thinking including creating, evaluating,

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and motivated about. This is evident

(Ozdamli & Asiksoy, 2016).

analysing and applying (See & Conry,

or her appropriate level and pace

as when the students become

2014). These activities usually take a

based on their actual existing skills

passionate, they will be inspired to

Flipped learning allows teachers to

longer period of time to complete and

and knowledge.

play and then go discuss, modify,

provide their students with:

often require the support and input of

Flexible learning environments:

the classroom teacher. The ‘traditional’

to easily assign students work to

about the game that they are playing

where they are able to implement a

classroom model sees students often

complete before they arrive in class.

with others (Gee, 2012).

variety of learning models, physically

take notes from the board or read

This introduces concepts to the

rearrange the learning space (as well

information before completing project

students outside of the classroom

are able to analyse the detailed data

as the digital learning space) and

tasks at home. Flipping this process

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provide students with a choice of when

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flipped classroom model. The Smart

how the students have interacted

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to be explored where students feel

Lessons produced by the Education

with this material. This will help to

information needed.

safe and supported. Subjects that

Perfect Content Team introduce the

guide the teacher on how to start

Learning culture shift: the culture

consist of educational content that

concepts to students in a variety

the lesson where the students will

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be further exploring this content.

teacher-centred to a student-centred

Bloom’s taxonomy are those that may

keywords highlighted, short videos

Through the mastery model, most

approach where the teacher goes from

benefit the most from a shift towards

or a combination of both. After

students should have been able to

the ‘sage on the stage’ to the ‘guide

the flipped classroom model of

students have been introduced to the

develop a grasp of the content by

on the side’.

teaching (Sams & Bergmann, 2013).

content, the platform assesses their

completing the Smart Lesson and,

understanding of this through a range

therefore, the class should be able to


Intentional content: the flipped

With the advances in technology

Education Perfect has been

Education Perfect allows teachers

of games and point scoring into these

research and explicate everything

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classroom needs a teacher who is

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shifting toolbox that will help them

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content that can be explored outside

to change the shape of education

students are only able to move

the classroom. This will maximise

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forward once they have mastered

classroom model, class time is now

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experience (Albert & Beatty, 2014).

each section.

able to involve more problem solving,

explore other learning strategies such

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to educators today enables them

education has been linked to higher

it be in practical work or research

Professional educators: teachers need

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to be reflective and collaborative when

more advanced content, the tools

positive affect, engagement, deep

with their teacher as a mentor rather

implementing the flipped classroom

for constructing and sharing created

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than provider. Collaboration and

model. The role of the teacher shifts

products, as well as opportunity to

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group work become the norm with the

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develop critical and creative thinking

where they mentor the students.

skills (Siegle, 2013).

(Hamdan, McKnight, McKnight & Arfstrom, 2013) The implementation of a flipped classroom model also allows


For those who are looking to

The mastery-approach to

It has been found that when

After introducing the flipped

creation and investigation – whether

whole class working together towards

students realise that it is the process

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explore flipping their classroom,

understanding and expertise in a

Education Perfect (www.

particular field that they are studying,

a free teacher login by visiting

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EduTECH Australia 2018 7-8 June 2018 International Convention Centre, Sydney EduTECH is Australasia’s largest annual education technology conference and exhibition. In 2018, EduTECH will host a multitude of conferences and masterclasses attended by over

• Access the very best speakers from

ideas are shared, new learning

achievements with the delegates. The

Australia and around the world.

technologies are unveiled and

conference will be held at the Twin

collaborations form that will impact

Waters Resort, Sunshine Coast QLD on

classrooms everywhere. Claim your seat

Thursday 16, Friday 17 and Saturday 18

• Discuss, debate and take away

at the table among education’s most

August 2018.

implementable outcomes.

innovative change agents. You’ll have

• Share ideas, successes and challenges.

• This is a second-to-none networking opportunity. • Tailor-make your own experience

more than 1,000 opportunities to create

Conference Overview

the learning path that works best for you

The conference is focused on school

and covers what’s important to you.

leaders and leading teachers striving to

8,000+ educators, as well as hosting

and choose from eight large

Immerse yourself in powerful ideas and

offer the highest quality programs in:

an official event dinner for 800 guests,

congresses, with multiple streams,

inspirational speakers, while connecting

• mentoring and coaching in a leading

250+ exhibitors and free seminars for

plus focused breakout sessions,

with innovative educators who share

exhibition visitors.

masterclasses and interactive

your passion for transformative learning.

exhibition seminars and displays

Save the date for ISTE 2018!

(not to mention hours of networking

For more information visit https://


EduTECH is the only event that brings together the entire education and training sector (primary, secondary, tertiary and workplace learning) plus libraries,

by meeting with suppliers in one

renowned speakers all under one roof.

place, at one time.

As a delegate, you can choose

leading digital school • digital technology and numeracy in a leading digital school • digital technology assisting students

• See what is on offer and save time

government, suppliers and world-

digital school • digital technology and literacy in a

with disabilities in a leading

Visit for

2018 Leading a Digital School Conference

Developing the themes:

more information.

digital school.

16-18 August 2018

The conference is structured around four

streams designed for your role,

Twin Waters Resort, Sunshine Coast

perspectives on leadership:

ensuring you get the most out of your


• mentoring and coaching • digital technology and literacy

from a wide variety of conference

professional development investment.

ISTE 2018

Are you a digital leader in your

Furthermore, EduTECH works with

24-27 June 2018

school interested in all forms of

• digital technology and numeracy

industry to subsidise registration

Chicago, USA

digital leadership?

• digital technology, literacy

costs to make the conference an

Where Inspired Learning Begins

We are very interested in you presenting

affordable and accessible investment in

Unbelievable things happen at the ISTE

at our 2018 Leading a Digital School

your learning.

Conference & Expo. Groundbreaking

Conference to share your work and


and numeracy and students with disabilities. Calling Presenters: If you would like to


(If you have already completed the online course, please contact us for a special offer) On Day One of the conference, delegates will delve deeply into practical, hands-on workshops we are calling Cohorts (The Individual Space). In each Cohort you will work with a Flipped Learning certified trainer across a number of session times (four hours in total) to create handson, practical resources to take back to school with you and use immediately. The Cohort sessions to choose from are: • Cohort 1: Masterclass for Leadership & Professional Developers, with Jon Bergmann. • Cohort 2: First-year Flippers, with Aimee Shackleton. • Cohort 3: Flipped Mastery in Maths and Science, with Steve Griffiths and Stephen Crapnell. • Cohort 4: Flipping Humanities, with Ryan Gill. • Cohort 5: Flipping the Primary Classroom, with Matt Burns. • Cohort 6: Are you ready? Preparing our students for learning, with Kirsten Schliephake and Barbara Macfarlan. • Cohort 7: But do I really need to know this?, with Sophie Karanicolas. • Cohort 8: Gamification in the flipped classroom – Making mastery learning explicit and

The theme for this year’s

• Grant Jones

Leading a Digital School Conference,

conference is Teaching literacy |

• Aaron Davis

please email to for

Teaching numeracy – with the support

• Lisa Connell and Chris Drake.

On Day Two you will select from

more information.

of digital technology.

For more information visit

sessions that will focus on the Group

Space (The Extra Time in Class).

know more about presenting at the 2018

This conference has selected as

effective, with Pete Whiting.

Some topics will include: Mastery,

its keynote speaker and presenters a

The K-12 Digital Classroom Practice Conference

group of teachers highly skilled and experienced in using digital technology

FlipCon Australia 2018

Science/Maths, English/Art/Language,

31 August 2018

to support literacy and numeracy

14-15 September 2018

Primary, Tech Tools, In-Flipping,

Melbourne Convention & Exhibition

teaching programs.

Monash College (Monash University),

Gamification, PBL, Inquiry Learning

Collins Street Centre, Melbourne

with Jon Bergmann.


The conference program offers

Active Learning, New Flippers,

The Keynote speakers at this

Where Inspired Learning Begins

skills-based sessions, so come

In 2018 we will “Flip FlipCon”

The K-12 Digital Classroom Practice

prepared to roll your sleeves up to

Prior to attending FlipCon, delegates will

conference will include:

Conference is one of the parallel

learn new transferable skills that will lift

have access to a 10-hour online training

• Jon Bergmann

conferences being run under the National

your literacy and numeracy teaching to

and certification course – Flipped

• Peter Wagstaff

Education Summit banner.

even greater heights.

Learning Certification Level 1. This will

• Errol St.Clair Smith.

Sessions will be presented by:

provide you with fantastic learning,

co-located at the venue and is the

• Anthony Speranza

ideas and practical advice before

For more information visit

exhibition component of the event.

• Aimee Shackleton

attending the face-to-face conference. n

The Education Show will be






It was – as most are aware – an

families and supporting children’s

The digitally connected families of the

Critically, it is also time to

world over the last two decades have

understand that those families

informal education, largely self-

independent learning because of their

played a remarkably successful, yet

employed, unwittingly but naturally,

directed, highly individualised, where

own drive to do so, often battling

largely unseen, lead role in the young’s

a laissez faire model of digital

the learning was invariably non-

education authority regulations

learning with digital education.

education. It was, and remains today,

linear, seemingly chaotic, dynamic,

and systems.

fundamentally different to the highly

undertaken in context and just in time.

personal mobile technologies on the

controlled, structured and linear

It was an approach the young found

schooling and government, the young

digital education of the world’s young

approach used by most schools.

highly appealing, exciting, relevant

and their families took charge of

between 1993 – the advent of the

Importantly, they used an approach

and intrinsically motivating. From

their learning with digital technology,

World Wide Web – and 2016, the lead

appropriate for an exponentially

the outset, the learning took place

continually growing their capability

role of the family became increasingly

evolving digital, socially networked

24/7/365 and, by the early 2000s,

as the technology grew in power

apparent. It was the young, with their

and connected world. Schools, in

the evolving technology allowed it to

and sophistication. Internet uptake

families, that primarily provided the

comparison, used a teaching model

happen anywhere, anytime.

figures globally reveal the families of

requisite technology, support and

from the Industrial Age, within

education, not the schools.

linear hierarchical organisations

role of the young and the family was

2002; Lee & Winzenried, 2009). In

that struggled to accommodate the

bolstered by the schools’ insularity,

1999, a comprehensive study of the

accelerating digital evolution.

their worldwide retreat to behind their

use of computers in Australian schools

cyber walls and their purported desire

concluded that the majority of the

In researching the impact of

In 2016, 3.4 billion plus people (ITU, 2016), nearly half the world’s population, were digitally connected,

The digital education of the young

Ironically, from the early 90s, the

Free of the controls of formal

the young led the way (Allen & Raine,

which is on trend to reach 70

occurred primarily outside the school

to protect children from the dangers

students who have the basic skills

percent by 2022 (Meeker, 2017).

walls. It took place within a market-

of the internet. The young and their

developed them at home (Meredyth

Over a billion were young people

driven, naturally evolving environment

families were left by default to fend

et al, 1999). That was happening

(Futuresource, 2017).

where government had no voice and

for themselves in the 80 percent of

naturally and largely unseen globally.

provided no support. For the young,

learning time available annually outside

mainly mobile, digital technology in

it enabled learning from incidental

the school walls.

schools. Rather, their understanding

opportunistic moments to, in some

was acquired in the developed,

cases, very focused and intense self-

schools still work behind those walls,

so too did their parents, as they used

developing and underdeveloped

driven learning. It was the young who

not recognising, supporting or building

the technology more in their work

worlds with the money and support

took control of their learning. Critically,

upon the out-of-school learning with

and came to rely on increasingly

of their families. It is time the world

it was the parents who believed in

digital technology. Indeed, France, as

sophisticated mobile technology.

– and particularly the parents, the

the educational importance of digital

late as 2017, reinforced its ban on the

young themselves, educators, policy

technology for their children who

school use of smartphones, reaffirming

study entitled The Networked Family

makers, governments and the media

funded the technology and connectivity

schooling’s general insularity.

(Wellman et al, 2008) which noted the

– recognises and builds upon that

and empowered, trusted and supported

remarkable contribution.

their children’s largely unfettered use.

Few learned to use their current,

Tellingly today, many if not most

The schools that are notable exceptions to this are engaging with

As the young evolved their digital capability and facility to readily use all manner of current technologies,

In 2008, Pew Internet released a

US had reached the stage where the new norm was for all within the family



They created a learning environment


where the new norm was for all the

The way forward, as we address in a

family to naturally, almost unwittingly,

forthcoming publication on the Digitally

contribute to the ongoing digital

Connected Family, entails some

learning of all members. How often

major rethinking.

does one hear, “Dad, you can do it easier this way?” In the decade after the release

For that to occur, governments and educators must recognise that for 20-plus years – at no expense to

of the iPhone and touchscreen

government – the digitally connected

technology, the educational capability

families of the world have played the

and leadership of the digitally

lead role on the digital education of

connected families grew at pace. As

the world’s young, and are on trend to

parents normalised the use of digital,

continue to do so, regardless of what

became more digitally empowered,

governments or schools might do

embraced the mobile revolution and

or desire.

better understood the need for family

In 1993, schools were given a

cybersafety, so the gap between the

monopoly of digital education. Since

digital education provided in and out of

then, billions have been spent by

the schools grew – with most schools

governments supporting a monopoly

lagging ever further behind.

where learning with the digital

The capability and lead role of the

technology provided by the schools in

digitally connected families of the world

2016 markedly lagged behind that of

was evidenced in the last three to four

the families and the rising societal norm

years of the period when pre-primary

and this is on trend for the divide to

children from as young as two and

widen at pace.

three embraced mobile touchscreen

While the digitally connected

technology. As the 2015 European

families of the world have been able

Commission study (Chaubron, 2015)

to successfully normalise the use of

use of digital technology. They were

eminent observers interviewed in the

of 11 European nations attests, the

digital technology with a billion plus

working within a digital and socially

research, had concerns about the title

families of the young very successfully

young people, few schools in 2016 had

networked mindset, normalising

‘networked family’, believing it did

guided their children’s learning with the

succeeded in normalising its use. It is a

the use of all manner of digital

not fully capture the essence of the

technology. They, like the other digitally

reality governments and educators need

technologies in nearly every facet of

development. The strong preference

connected families of the world, led the

to better understand. n

their lives.

was for the term ‘digitally connected

learning, well before most schools and

to base their lives around the everyday

The authors, and the 50-plus

According to the study, “…this

families’, in that there were three key

decision makers understood that the

survey finds that couples use their

components, that together generated

pre-primary children of the developed


phones to connect and coordinate

all manner of synergies:

and increasingly the developing world

their lives, especially if they have

• the ‘digital’ that made it all possible

would enter formal schooling having

children at home. American spouses

• the ‘connected’ that linked the

normalised the use of digital technology. We are not suggesting for a

For a full list of references, email

Mal Lee is a former director of schools, secondary college principal,

often go their separate ways during

family to the networked world, and

the day, but remain connected by

which allowed both the nuclear

moment that everything was or is

author and educational consultant. He

cell phones and to some extent by

and extended family to employ the

perfect with digital and digitally based

has written extensively on the impact

internet communications. When

technology in all facets of their

education provided by the digitally

of technology and the evolution

they return home, they often have

lives when desired

connected families of the world. There

of schooling.

shared moments of exploration

• the ‘family’, where all (children,

was – and is – much that needed to

technology company director and now

Roger Broadie has wide

and entertainment on the Internet”

parents, grandparents) enhanced

be done to improve the model. What,

experience helping schools get the

(Wellman et al, 2008).

each other’s digital learning

however, was apparent was that a

maximum impact on learning from

and capability.

naturally evolving global development,

technology. He is the Naace Lead for

The Pew findings, coming as they did around the time of the release

Digitally connected families are thus

a megatrend the likes of which the

the 3rd Millennium Learning Award.

of the iPhone in 2007, correspond

those where the parents and children

world had never seen, had successfully

In his 30-plus years of working

with our own, which saw those

use the evolving suite of digital

readied the peoples of the world to

at the forefront of technology in

families becoming the norm across

technologies naturally in every desired

use digital technology every day in

education, he has worked with a huge

the developed, and increasingly the

facet of their lives, that employ a digital

their lives had the potential – with

range of leading schools, education

developing, world in the 2007–

mindset and which have, or nearly

astute support – to take their digital

organisations and policymakers in the

2009 period.

have, normalised the use of digital.

understanding to an even higher plane.

UK and Europe.


Teaching Kids to Learn... by Teaching Kids to Code




The amount of time a child spends in

biggest health concern for kids,

time without these problems, it just

front of a screen is not the problem.

parents say.

takes knowledge, planning and effort.

The type and quality of the material on the screen is the problem. Would we complain about a child who spends six hours each day reading books? Possibly. If the six hours was spent reading trashy novels, it may be a problem. If it was six hours

• Too much screen time creates health risk for children. • Research links children’s

It takes adults to guide and modify a child’s behaviour if necessary. After all, that is also what parents and schools

• have good interpersonal relationships and lots of ‘normal’ friends • have plenty of interests outside of screens, including sports, cultural activities and so on

psychological problems to

do – help children develop positive

• have excellent communication skills

prolonged screen time.

habits that are needed for life rather

• have plenty of knowledge in many

• Lack of exercise leads to

than simply allowing them to do what

unhealthy lifestyles.

they want; habits such as resilience,

of areas and can converse well with adults

self-regulation, social skills, getting

• do not have posture problems

means too much screen time

enough sleep, getting enough exercise

• do not generally have lack of sleep

for kids.

and so on. There is a big list.

but, if they do occasionally it is

spent reading the works of the great

• Devices in schools and at home

philosophers or scientific research, then it is not a problem. One enhances the mind; the other may not.

Yet these headlines make an

In the past, guiding children to develop

because they are working hard,

Screen time is similar, as a screen,

assumption. They assume that the

into well-rounded people was a part of

for example, on exam revision, a

like a book, is simply a window

situation is black and white; that their

good parenting and good schooling.

into another world of information.

headline and a positive outcome are

What has changed? Adding technology

It can allow a child to interact with

mutually exclusive; that if you have a

should not change anything.

great minds and ideas, or it can be a

lot of screen time, then you must have:

distraction. Frank Lloyd Wright said,

• social problems

am a father of three daughters and I am

are generalisations that are designed

“Television is chewing gum for the

• posture problems

a teacher. This is not just uninformed

to attract attention and feed a fear of

eyes.” In some cases, computer

• insufficient exercise and obesity

theory. I also lead eLearning in a high

something new. They may be true in

screens can be chewing gum for the

• lethargy

tech K12 school where I can introduce

situations where technology has not

brain, but only if parents and teachers

• addiction to games, internet videos

you to many students who use screens

been introduced properly into a school,

a lot who:

or where parents feel overwhelmed, but

allow it to be.

and so on

For those who may be wondering, I

dance final or music exam • are not lethargic and in fact try to fit more into a day than many adults. The headlines mentioned previously

Yet we get headlines such as:

• lack of sleep.

• are successful academically

they are not true everywhere. Perhaps

• Too much screen time is

You can have lots of positive screen

• are fit and healthy

the authors of those headlines should



visit schools where technology works

Good teachers also know what

There are many sites that provide

computers. In fact, they are one of

and families where technology is used

students are doing. Students who

guidelines and support for parents,

the final pieces of the puzzle. There

but is not a problem to determine what

may be distracted should be in a

such as Internet Safe Education (https://

are many articles about successfully

should be done, rather than focusing

location where their screen is visible;, The

developing technology-enhanced

on the situations where technology

they should not be in the back corner

Allanah & Madeline Foundation (https://

learning in school and there are

enables poor outcomes.

of a room. Students in classes of, iParent (https://www.

known solutions.

active teachers are rarely off task with

their computer.

iparent) and ThinkUKnow (https://www.

What Else?

There are so many other negative

Does it take extra planning and effort to guide children now that technology is in the world? Yes, but

Students in some schools bypass

kids are kids and adults are adults. It is

school-filtered Internet access by

They help parents set guidelines

points raised about screen time that

the job of parents and schools to guide

connecting to their phone’s Internet, a

and boundaries.

can be refuted, yet space here does not

children to become well-rounded and

process called tethering or hotspotting.

successful adults. We had better get

Good schools are aware of this.

Hours in Front of a Screen

it right as the technology is not going

Students at my school know this is

Long hours without a break in front

away. If we do not teach children at

not allowed and that it has negative

of any screen is not good. Children


school and throughout their younger

consequences. We actively look for

need to know this. Ensure it does not

Technology is not going away and it

years to be the masters of technology,

student hotspots, therefore, their use

happen at home. After all, who is the

continues to improve our lives. We

when will they learn? When they

is rare.

adult and who is the child? Can it

must be more than the ostrich with its

cause arguments and tension? Yes,

head in the sand ignoring it. Children

Ensuring Internet Content is Appropriate (at Home)

particularly at the start. However,

and screens are just another phase and

problems generally disappear once the

good parenting and teaching allow the

their brain when they leave school and

Parents have many resources at their

rules become the norm.

problems to be overcome. We need

everything will be okay? Really?

disposal, including ‘rules’ for the use

graduate school and are at TAFE or university? When they get a job? Do we expect a switch will just flick in

So, what about some of

permit. However, I will be dealing with

If it happens at school, the school

these in later articles.

to rise to the challenge; our children

of technology that greatly reduce

has not set up its eLearning programs

problems at home. Home Internet

properly. It is worth noting that just

filtering is available relatively cheaply.

because laptops or other computers are

Ensuring Internet Content is Appropriate (at School)

It can even automatically turn off

used in a school, it does not mean the

of eLearning at Saint Stephen’s

Internet access at a scheduled time. It

learning has changed. In some schools,

College in Australia. He has over

Good schools have filtering software. Is

can also limit mobile phone or tablet

computers are used mainly for research

15 years’ experience leading K12

it perfect? No. Is it generally effective?

use, even during school hours. Family

on the Internet and typing notes. If this

schools in technology enhanced

Yes. My school has a system where a

Zone is one example (https://www.

is the bulk of what is happening, then

education, particularly blended

teacher can list the websites, videos and I know parents

there are big problems.

learning using online learning

so on that each student in the class is

who swear by it and would not be

accessing. It is effective when needed.

without it.

the problems?


Changing to technology-enhanced learning requires much more than just

deserve it. n Peter West is currently Director

environments. He can be reached at

Transform your device into a mobile production studio. Contact us for more information or to place an order. Email: | Phone: 02 9452 6001




Recently, I have been working with Amanda Fox (known online as @STEAMpunksEdu). She is a teacher from Kentucky, US, and has just written a zombie-themed book for teachers, which will be released later this year by Dave Burgess Publishing. Amanda tapped into a popular genre and asked what metaphor zombies have for modern education and what can we learn from these films that can help us become better teachers. It got me thinking about The Walking Dead and the mistake systems make when we act with no ‘braaainnnnsssss’. BY BRETT SALAKAS

Many teachers would be aware of Sir

professors, parents or even the

Ken Robinson’s discussions about

students themselves, has caused a

various educational paradigms. Most

strange symptom that could be likened

Where is our Rick Grimes? Who can Fight the Walking Dead?

would be familiar with Sir Ken talking of

to “The Edu-Walking Dead”.

We are blessed with a plethora of

education systems as a 19th century

The Edu-Walking Dead are people

innovative educators who are able to

invention that was created out of the

who have switched off from the

add transition to the contemporary

need to look after the children of the

concept of 21st century pedagogical

paradigm. Dr Allan Carrington from

Industrial Revolution. He is also well

practice. They do not prescribe to

Adelaide fights the good fight. His

known for his work on creativity and

the concept of personalised learning,

Padagogy Wheel highlights the need

the establishment of a 21st century

collaboration across student groups

to put pedagogy before technology.

education system. A new paradigm if

or even country boundaries. Their

He interweaves the SAMR model with

you would! Sir Ken has an answer to

zombie-like minds think thoughts only

Bloom’s taxonomy to create a usable

what the new paradigm should be. He

of back to the basics, I have always

tool where teachers can embed good

says, “The answer is not to standardise

done it this way, or it did not do me

practice into their lessons through the

education but to personalise and

any harm! Their goal is to have their

use of an appropriate technological aid.

customise it to the needs of each

students score elevated scores in the

At the centre of the wheel are graduate

child and community. There is no

high-stakes standardised tests that

capabilities that using the tool will help


many governments have imposed

to develop. These capabilities include

The trouble is, we do not live or

on schools. In my own hometown

having passion and enthusiasm for

work in a new paradigm (yet). We live

of Sydney, Australia, the principal

one’s work. Students also develop the

in a time of transition. We are between

of Sydney Grammar showed signs

ability to learn from their errors, be

paradigms. Yes, we have witnessed

of this thinking in his actions to

collaborative and to think strategically.

amazing innovations within our sector,

ban laptops in his school for fear

These are the desirable corporate

but we have not brought along all of the

of distraction. His rationale was

skill sets that we need to develop to

parties involved in the understanding

honourable (although his actions

make our students more effective and

of what a new paradigm would look

were highly questionable); he wanted

productive members of society when

like. In Australia, there has not been a

to improve the test results of his

they transition into adulthood.

clear, open debate about what a new

students. The question is, is our entire

education paradigm should be. This

education system worth more than

recently released a report compiled

is an issue that education systems

merely scoring high on your finishing

by Professor Chubb into the future of

globally have grappled with and has

exams? Surely as a society we want

a Science, Technology, Engineering

caused a lack of a shared vision.

more from 13 years of education!

and Mathematics (STEM) workforce

With no joint vision, people have felt

What we need is to produce students

in Australia. He highlighted the need

disengaged with various movements

who have the problem-solving

for technological literacy has begun

and initiatives. This disengagement

capabilities and the collaborative skills

to blur between STEM and non-STEM

between the different parties, be they

that will best suit our society’s needs

areas. That said, the report also found

teachers, policy makers, university

in our current and future economies.

that STEM-related jobs are growing

Dr Alan Finkel, the Chief Scientist,



in Australia at a rate of 1.5 times the

with others. Often though, they hit a

set. They knew you when you were

all fighting the same fight. All teachers

speed of non-STEM employment.

brick wall. It is all too common for

learning and still cutting teeth. They

are looking for ways to better engage

However, our current graduate

great teachers to go unlistened to while

remember you before you got to a

with their students and help them

population consists of only 15 percent

schools and systems seek advice from

level of proficiency that others would

achieve stronger results. We all want to

of graduates qualified in STEM, while

further afield.

consider expert status. Familiarity

strengthen our bonds with parents as we

creates fondness, but it can also breed

not only navigate political interference

26 percent of the population are

Why is it that leadership within

qualified in non-STEM areas. The

schools and education systems demand

contempt. People are less likely to get

but work to build better schools. If you

report raises the question, is this an

expert advice from other states and

excited about something that they are

have answers to these issues, then you

appropriate balance to move towards

countries? Have The Organisation

already familiar with. This is true in

will have an audience eager to listen.

for any nation wanting a successful

for Economic Cooperation and

business, relationships and education.

You just need to find a way for your

future in a STEM-centric economy as

Development’s (OECD) results from The

we re-shape our global economy?

Programme for International Student

system leaders to be more open to

Assessment (PISA) got us mesmerised

using the talent of those in their own

It is Hard to Be a Prophet in Your Own Hometown

with what is occurring in Finland and

backyard, but at the same time if

#aussieED (the largest Australian

Singapore, or is it something more

you are sick of waiting for a knight in

Ed-Chat on twitter) and a moderator of

Proactive teachers do not want to

subtle that prevents us from tapping

shining armour to save you and your

multiple twitter chats. He is a Primary

sit waiting for a Rick Grimes style

into the local knowledge as often as

students and you are ready to be your

School teacher/leader who, over the

hero to come and give them a gift-

we should?

own Rick Grimes, reach out beyond

past 18 years, has taught in South East

your immediate surrounds. Look for

Asia and Australia in both public and

There is a need for principals and

voice to be heard! n Brett Salakas is the founder of

wrapped cure to solve all their zombie

It can be hard to be a prophet in

apocalypse style issues. They want to

your hometown because your local

ways to find connections. What you will

independent schools. He is passionately

solve their own problems and share

audience remembers you when you

find from city to city, state to state and

committed to turning educational theory

their knowledge, cures and practices

were developing your ideas and skill

even country to country is that we are

into real classroom practice.


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callin g all experts

Whale snot + drones + research = inspiring young people in schools in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) BY JANE HUNTER

No doubt that opening line attracted

Interviewing a STEM Expert

I am investigating conservation gaps

your attention. Vanessa Pirotta is a

I was fortunate to catch up with

for cetaceans (whales, dolphins and

PhD student at Macquarie University

Vanessa just before she competes

porpoises). We know a lot about

in Sydney. In May 2018, she won

at the international FameLab finals

some species, but very little about

the Australian final of the British

in the UK. I was curious to find out

others. This is largely a result of some

Council’s FameLab; this annual event

more about her research and how

species being difficult to study and this

is the leading science communication

experts from the STEM disciplines can

makes conservation a little tricky. My

competition in the world and attracts

support learning in schools. Here are

PhD tries to address some of these

early career researchers to explain a

some highlights.

conservation gaps by reviewing known

scientific concept to a general audience in just three minutes. Read more about FameLab here: https://www.

Me: What is the focus of your research? Vanessa: My PhD is primarily conservation based. As part of this,

and emerging threats to cetaceans and investigating the use of emerging technologies, such as drones, for conserving.



Me: Why whales and their snot and‌ drones? Vanessa: I have always had a passion for whales and dolphins, which is quite odd, as I grew up a long way from the coast on a farm outside of Canberra. After I completed my Master of Research (trying to prevent whale entanglement in fishing gear), I started my PhD and, at the time, drones were everywhere. I thought it would be a great idea to harness their adaptability for learning more about


whales. Whale snot was the natural choice of sample to collect, as whales

we do not have to get close to these

produce a lot of it and collecting it

very large animals that can reach

could be done non-invasively. I was not

lengths of 17 metres and weigh over

the best drone pilot out there and many

40,000 kilograms.

of the off-the-shelf drones were not waterproof for sampling whale snot, so I collaborated with industry for this project. I worked closely with a good

Me: If you had one wish for STEM and young people what would it be? Vanessa: Providing opportunities

friend, Alastair Smith from Heliguy

for young people to explore their

Scientific, and together we created a

passion. This may seem simple but,

waterproof, snot-collecting drone.

in reality, there may be challenges to achieving this.

Me: What are you finding so far? Vanessa: We found out that the

Me: Why should teachers

drone is indeed collecting whale snot

and students in schools listen to

rather than just air or water. Whale snot

scientists and other experts in the

contains a variety of bacteria that we

STEM disciplines?

use to provide a baseline of information

Vanessa: Scientists are often

from what we consider to be relatively

leaders in their field and have a lot of

healthy, free swimming humpback

knowledge to share. They learn about

whales off the coast of Sydney. We

new things well before the rest of the

also found an overlap with bacteria

world does. Teachers should feel able

collected from the snot of northern

to approach scientists to learn more

hemisphere whales. This is just the

about their work; all they have to do

first step of what can be done with this

is ask. Scientists also need to make

method of data collection. I would love

sure they connect with teachers and

to collect more samples each year to

students so that they expand the reach

help build a picture of whale health

of their work and hopefully encourage

over time. I would also like to adapt

the next generation of great minds.

this method to more threatened whale populations, such as the southern right whale. Me: I am keen to know a little

Recruiting Authentic Voices to Promote Passion for STEM in Schools Teachers have always used external

more about why you wanted to study

guest speakers and specialists in

science and such large mammals

the classroom to add value to STEM

using tech and to do it with drones.

subjects studied at school. Experts

Vanessa: It was something different

like Vanessa Pirotta are very keen to

and exciting. I saw the practicality

share their research with students of

and adaptability that drones had to

school age. Imagine if more young

offer for whale research. It means

people could listen to the STEM story


Reaching Dreadfully Unmotivated Students

Reach Students Who Can’t, Won’t, Don’t Do Homework

Reaching Struggling Students

Reaching Students with Microsoft and Google Tools

Teenage Students: How To Reach Them So You Can Teach Them

Four Hot Tech Tools That Enable You to Reach Every Student

Leading Every Student from Mediocrity to Mastery

Create Riveting Classroom Experiences

Deliver the Right Instruction to the Right Students at the Right Time

Learn the Newest Active Learning Strategies

Keynote Speakers

Presented by:

Accreditation: Attending RESCON will

Best-selling author of 10 books on Flipped Learning, translated in 13 languages. Recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence. Chairman and Chief Academic Officer, Flipped Learning Global, IL, USA.

One of the FLGI Top 40 Flipped Learning Leaders in Higher Education. Senior Lecturer, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.

Emmy-winning broadcast journalist. Editor-in-Chief Flipped Learning Review. Co-author of the book, Flipped Learning 3.0. FLGI Director of Global Development, CA, USA.

Co-host of the popular podcast, Teacher’s Aid: Social Emotional Support for the Personal Challenges Teachers Face. Veteran teacher and primary school assistant principal, MD, USA.

contribute 10.25 hours of QTC Registered PD addressing 2.6.2; 3.3.2; 6.2.2 from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers towards maintaining Proficient Teacher Accreditation.

Contact Us: Register Now:


she weaves about drones that fly

for Babies, likes to talk to teachers

Sea Life Centre, Questacon – National

leaders at a Sharing Day #HPCSTEM

off a marine vessel out at sea over

about science principles that can

Science and Technology Centre;

on the 21st of May at UTS. Most of all,

whale pods to capture the spray (i.e.,

inspire learning in STEM. Other

and the Australian Museum and

we wish her well in her career as a

snot) each time they surface? The

organisations have excellent programs,

nuclear medicine experts at Charles

leader in STEM and at the international

photos Vanessa shares only add to the

like the Commonwealth Scientific

Sturt University.

FameLab finals later in the year. More

excitement of the possibilities for future

and Industrial Research Organisation

study in STEM.

(CSIRO) program STEM Professionals

snot please – we want healthy whales

willing experts in the STEM disciplines

is contact your nearest university or

Building Teams of HPC Coaches who use STEM Experts as a Hook

that are available to speak to students

check online for a STEM Ambassadors

In my current research in NSW

primary and high school teacher

in schools about their research.

Program near where you live, add

public schools designed to build

and is currently conducting a series

For example, at the University of

some key words into your search

middle-level leaders’ capacity and

of postdoctoral research studies

Technology Sydney (UTS), Dr Eva

engine and make the call.

confidence in STEM using the

in STEM education in Australian

High Possibility Classrooms (HPC)

schools – she also teaches in the

Most Australian universities have

Cheng, Deputy Director of Women

in Schools. It seems all you have to do

Rural and remote schools can also

in our oceans! n Jane Hunter PhD is a former

in Engineering and Information

videoconference in an expert from

framework, teachers are contacting

School of Education at the University

Technology in the School of Electrical

the field. The NSW Department of

STEM experts in local universities with

of Technology Sydney. You can catch

and Data Engineering, regularly works

Education’s popular Distance and Rural

great success and they are involving

Jane on Day 2 at EduTECH on the

with schools and has a team of young

Technologies (DART Connections)

parents/aunts/older siblings who are

main stage in K-12 Leaders and her

researchers who share their knowledge

program has for many years offered

proving more than willing to share

STEAM Masterclass is on the 6th of

of all matters engineering.

exciting connection to experts and

their STEM knowledge and expertise

June. Follow her on Twitter

STEM-focused institutions. For

in classrooms.

@janehunter01. Remember to also

Dr Chris Ferrie, a quantum physicist also at UTS and author of

example: the Reef HQ – the Great

In the meantime, Vanessa will

the popular series Quantum Physics

Barrier Reef Aquarium; the Alaska

be inspiring these same middle-level


follow Vanessa Pirotta on Twitter @VanessaPirotta

For classroom teachers ™

Friday 31 August 2018

| Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre

Literacy and numeracy are a main focus of the Gonski report The K-12 Digital Classroom Practice Conference will take it one step further by highlighting the very direct and contemporary link between digital technology and the teaching of literacy and numeracy. The K-12 Digital Classroom Practice Conference is one of the parallel conferences being run under the National Education Summit banner. The Education Show will be co-located at the venue and is the exhibition component of the event.

The conference theme is:

Teaching literacy | Teaching numeracy – with the support of digital technology This conference has selected as its keynote speaker and presenters a group of teachers highly skilled and experienced in using digital technology to support literacy and numeracy teaching programs. The conference program offers skills based sessions, so come prepared to roll your sleeves up to learn new transferable skills that will lift your literacy and numeracy teaching to even greater heights. The conference will be held in the Courtyard rooms at the MCEC on Friday 31 August 2018.

• Smart practical applications using digital technology • What tools are you going to use? • Embedding Literacy and Numeracy knowledge with digital technology across the curriculum Keynote Speaker

Anthony Speranza will present: How does technology empower the modern learner?

Australian Professional Standards for Teachers For all States and Territories: This conference addresses the following Australian Professional Standards for Teachers. 2.6.2 – Information and communication technology (ICT) 3.3.2 – Use teaching strategies 6.2.2 – Engage in professional learning and improve practice 2.1.2 – Content and teaching strategies of the teaching area (ICT) 3.4.2 – Select and use resources 4.5.2 – Use ICT safely, responsibly and ethically 6.3.2 – Engage with colleagues and improve practice In addition:

Costs Your Registration Fee includes; arrival tea/ coffee, morning tea, lunch, access to the Education Show (co-located at the same venue), certificate of attendance, access to keynote address and access to the breakout sessions of your choice. Early Bird (until 30 June 2018) AU $315.00 pp Standard (from 1 July 2018) AU $365.00 pp For more information about costs, program options and how to register go to:

Attending the K-12 Digital Classroom Practice Conference will contribute 6 hours and 40 minutes of QTC Registered PD addressing 2.6.2; 3.3.2; 6.2.2 from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers towards maintaining Proficient Teacher Accreditation in NSW.





Engaging with Social Media is Important for Teachers

As teachers in 2018, it is more important

online behavioural guide – it also includes

wrote for the school newsletter. These

than ever to understand and model

the tools, skills, dispositions, attitudes

are all examples of your digital footprint.

effective digital citizenship and digital

and habits for using technology to live,

footprints not only for students, but as

learn and access digital resources.

sharing anything online. Ask yourself –

by the Career Builder (2017) group,

leaders in our profession, through an

Being a digital citizen in 2018 means

is that something you want your boss

who headhunt talent for prospective

authentic online persona. Three questions

being digitally fluent and knowing how

to see? Your students? Or your future

employers, indicates that 40–60 percent

spring to mind: 1) What does digital

to successfully navigate and understand

grandchildren? Remember, your digital

of recruiters scour LinkedIn and other

citizenship actually mean? 2) Why is a

the online world to create and maintain a

footprint is permanent and can never

social media tools when looking for

thoughtful digital footprint so important

timeless and healthy digital footprint.

really be deleted; it is accessible to

employees. Teachers need to ensure

anyone now and in the future. Adina

their digital footprint is positive and

Developing Your Understanding of a Digital Footprint

Sullivan, a K-12 technology integration

always professional. Other industries and

specialist, likens the digital footprint

professions actively populate employee

to a ‘digital tattoo’ and encourages

profiles using social media tools – they

Teachers and digital leaders in schools

users of technology to choose their

see this as integral to their core business.

Digital Citizenship for Teachers

need to understand the importance of

tattoo wisely, as removal is messy. As

It is a key part of professional reputation.

Digital citizenship is an umbrella term that

creating a digital footprint and actively

a teacher, you need to think carefully

covers all facets of life with technology.

work to develop, maintain and model

about the impact of your digital

to some degree, playing catch up in this

A more common understanding of

positive digital footprint behaviours

footprint on professional perception; it

regard. However, many teachers and

digital citizenship is the idea of providing

all of the time. A digital footprint is a

can impact:

digital leaders in schools have still not

guidelines for responsible and appropriate

‘mark or inscription’ that you leave in

• your online reputation

embraced the idea of creating a careful

behaviour when using technology.

the online world. These single marks

• your real-life reputation

digital footprint and how to use various

This can, for example, include: correct

or inscriptions combine to create

• your employment prospects

social media tools to do this in practice.

netiquette, development of an authentic

your personal digital reputation and

• your admission to school, university

In 2014, the University of Phoenix

digital footprint, watching out for cases of

write your personal digital history.

cyberbullying, technology access and the

Therefore, anything you do, upload,

digital divide, online safety and privacy,

create or publish online creates your

relationships with people in your

found that only 47 percent of teachers

copyright, plagiarism and the law as it

digital footprint. Think about that photo


used social media on a regular basis and

applies to the digital space. However,

of the family holiday you uploaded on

digital citizenship is more than just an

Facebook last year or the article you

for pedagogy, professional practice and reputation? and 3) How do citizenship and footprints in the digital space link to social media use?

It is important to think before

or professional associations • your personal and professional

• the reputation of people in your network.

Some recent research conducted

The education sector in schools is,

College of Education surveyed 1,000 teachers about their social media use and

a staggering 80 percent felt untrained in how to use it for professional purposes. I



• One-Stop-All-You-Need-to-Know Guide to Twitter, via David Truss’ blog • 50 Ways to Use Twitter in the Classroom, via TeachHUB.

wields the power of Facebook to share with teachers various STEM activities. I follow all of these people to create and grow my community of practice through the exchange and free flow of ideas

The Digital Footprint as Teacher Professional Learning

and inspiration.

teachers, “We learn best by doing and

Teaching Students about their Digital Footprint

are better teachers by being able to

Leading and teaching through

draw on our own personal learning

example will better support students

experiences.” Using social media is

to understand the importance of

crucial for the professional development

their digital footprint and such

of teachers. It supports the exploration

acknowledgement works to develop

of ideas and learning alongside other

their skills for building a positive digital

innovative and creative people from

footprint. Will Richardson, writer and

around the world – and it can be done

edublogger, asserts that teachers need

without ever leaving home or school.

to model their own use of connections

There is a saying known to many

Teachers are digital leaders who

and networks. His research indicates

continuously build connections beyond

that by the age of two, 90 percent of

their current experiences, but they must

students have a digital footprint. Are

manage their digital footprints as part

parents culpable here? The students

of their regular routine as professional

educated in schools grow savvier about

suggest this figure would not have grown

Wheeler, from the US, describes the

educators. This is done through

the world as they progress through their

a great deal, even in 2018.

way online personas work, “On LinkedIn

development of a Personal Learning

schooling. However, they need guidance

A successful teacher and school

for example, I manage a professional

Network (PLN) and participation in

on a regular basis.

leader should be using social media daily

version of my online persona which

communities of practice. A PLN is an

There is a plethora of good social

and modelling how to use such tools for

evaporates when I am on Facebook. On

informal learning network that consists

media resources available, including the

students and colleagues. In fact, using

Twitter it can be a mixture… each tool

of people you can interact with, connect

brilliant Common Sense Media guides.

these tools can be as easy as following

has its own particular set of affordances

with and learn from online. These people

If you have not developed your digital

what I refer to as the five Ps for creating

which enable or constrain particular

are not always in your physical realm.

footprint, do not have a Twitter account

and monitoring a digital footprint:

ways of using it. However, although

Steve Wheeler, who uses the

1. Product: make your social media

these tools are different they have a

handle @timbuckteeth, uses Twitter

breathe – then take the first digital leap.

common purpose.”

to “learn something new every day”.

Step one is to set up an account using

A good way to start to plan this

Other teachers use social media to

a social media tool you like and start

across social media tools.

step into social media is by thinking

share resources or as doorways to

posting. It is a learning experience that

2. Positive: make sure your online

of LinkedIn as solely a professional

their classrooms; they take the idea

develops pedagogy and professional

profile contains positive information

tool targeting recruiters and other

of an open classroom to the global

practice. It is guaranteed to open up a

about you and your practice.

professionals. It is like a dynamic

level. Clearances from parents about

whole new world of ideas, professional

3. Presence: keep on top of your digital

resume. Twitter is more of a professional

photographing students must be adhered

resources and global connections. And,

footprint through filters and alerts.

networking tool for developing knowledge

to – but often you do not even need to

it is only just a few clicks away. n

networks, resources and professional

take photos of students in full view to

active presence on social media and

learning communities. Facebook is

give other teachers a glimpse into what

create profiles on Twitter, Google+

a personal social media tool. There

they are doing.

and LinkedIn.

are scores of online resources which

profile a professional product which is consistent across platforms and

4. Proactive: make sure you have an

Such open classrooms contribute

yet or are afraid to embrace LinkedIn,

Helen Kardiasmenos is a primary school teacher and digital leader in Sydney. In 2017, she participated in

detail effective ways of applying these

to and grow the teaching profession. For

High Possibility Classrooms research

secure, including passwords and

tools to develop your personal digital

example, Jackie Spencer (@JackieFSpen),

with Dr Jane Hunter from the University

family facts.

footprint and how to use this in your

Tara Cooke (@TaraCooke26) and Helen

of Technology Sydney. Helen is studying

classroom, including:

Stower (@HelenStower1) are teachers

a Master of Education at Charles Sturt

• Dipping Into Social Media in the

who openly share their classrooms

University and has worked as a distance

through tweets or posts – they post

educator with Swinburne University as

about student engagement in hands-on

an E-Learning Advisor. She writes the

activities, research or lesson ideas in

quarterly SMORE publication Towering

STEM/STEAM or digital citizenship.

Technology. Follow Helen on Twitter

Similarly, ‘momgineer’ Meredith Anderson


5. Privacy: keep your personal details

The five Ps function as a guide for developing your digital footprint. The trick is understanding the strength and purpose of each social media tool and targeting your approach to that asset and purpose. Digital scholar, Steven


Classroom, via EdSurge • Guide to Using Twitter in Your Teaching Practice, via KQED • Twitter For Teachers, via Scholastic Instructor


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THE CHALLENGES OF TIMETABLING PART-TIME STAFF Part-time staff may be seen as an obstacle; difficult and time consuming to accommodate effectively within the timetable. This is largely a falsehood. By rethinking the problem and identifying innovative solutions, part-time staff can be an asset. BY CHRIS COOPER

Myths of Part-time Staff Part-time staff:

• loads are reduced, allowing flexible staffing arrangements.

assist or mentor those in schools to do better in scheduling.

• make the ‘job’ of timetabling much harder, time consuming and stressful

Reasons for Difficulties in Flexible Work Scheduling

3. Poor technology

1. Lack of good training

have some key features which make

There are no formal accreditations

accommodating part-timers’ needs far

quality and are disruptive to

for timetabling, nor are there any

more effective and easier.


timetabling conferences. From a

• may not keep up with department meetings (knowledge) on days off.

Benefits of Part-time Staff

Department of Education perspective,

4. Legacy of process

there are no benchmarks on

There is often an ‘it has always been

timetabling metrics, nor an external

done that way’ mentality. Schools

review process.

are change averse; it is difficult to adopt new software or processes.

Part-time staff: • with reduced loads, can be easier to schedule at times • are often experienced, unlike newly qualified teachers • have more time for lesson prep in

2. Lack of rotation

Some timetablers might also benefit

Most timetablers learn with a handover

from training in how to communicate

from previous staff who have worked

effectively, even if they are very good at

in the same school for several years or

the technical aspects of their job.

moved from just one or two schools in their career. Lack of exposure to

5. Lack of oversight

different timetabling environments


may cover activities such as

breeds lethargy and isolation from

Timetablers often do an amazing job,

class excursions on their days

innovation. Educational consultants

but not always. Regardless of efficacy,

off, providing a slightly dynamic

who timetable professionally may do

they often work in isolation, away

on-demand workforce

many timetables every year and can

from the disruption of school. They

time off, unlike stressed full-time staff • can sometimes be flexible and

Legacy timetabling software does not

classes, which degrade teaching

• cause higher numbers of shared



Consider timetable audits – consultants review the school’s timetable independently, for health check comments, or detailed reporting. Best practice timetabling includes periodic review. 38 | EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS

deliver a complex solution, which


few can challenge. When asked why

1. Examine staff loading/days off

part-timers could not get their days

Often, schools work to teaching loads

off, the answer may be ‘because of

when timetabling, instead of total

the timetable’. When asked why the

loads that make other activities and

timetable is not that great, the answer

allowances more visible within the

can often be ‘because of the part-

timetable. Sometimes the calculation

timers’. Vague answers are sometimes

of teaching time is outdated. It

accepted by schools, as they have no

may be time to review employment

way to challenge them effectively.

agreements. What is the agreement for staff in minutes per week? What


activities does this cover? What are the

A good solution is to have the

full-time equivalent values and have

timetable audited by a third-party

they been rounded?

company. This can praise success, show some areas of concern, or

Fixed days off staff

demonstrate possible improvements.

Some staff need specific days off. It is

Importantly, they can debunk myths

easy to see this as a fixed requirement.

such as ‘it can’t be done’ by just

Schools neglect to periodically review

doing it.

the restrictions they have placed in

aspects of the timetable. It can be

Late start/early finish

may be able to be scheduled

inefficient, as there may actually be

Return-to-work mothers may need

to last period and then take a

thousands of different combinations

to start late or leave early. Schools

second period immediately after

of days off for all staff and it is hard

do not like to accommodate such

to identify the best arrangement.

requests, but this may alienate good

school that same day. • Consider external support from

teachers. There is a big difference

professional consultants like

helps. Timetables can be done

from a requirement that stipulates a

Edval or Mist – collaborative

without periods assigned initially.

teacher MUST always have first or

scheduling, construction services

Then, classes and staffing can be

last period off versus a preference

and timetabler-in-residence help

adjusted when it is known all (or

to be free.

schools to get better trained,

Modern timetabling software

most) part-timers can have their

experienced staff, without paying

or even periods are ‘allocated’. The

Option Blocks with Parttime Staff

result can be a higher likelihood that

Option blocks are usually done

consultants review the school’s

part-time staff get their days off.

separately to the timetable. Many do

timetable independently, for

not see option blocks as part of the

health check comments,

Preferred days off

timetabling process, but they should

or detailed reporting. Best

Some part-time staff are told

ideally be done in context of a whole

practice timetabling includes

by schools that their requests

school draft timetable, before signing

periodic review.

for specific days off cannot be

off. If not, schools end up with great

accommodated. This may cause the

blocks they cannot staff, schedule, or


school to lose their staff member,

that do not work with part-timers.

For years, timetabling has been an

days off accommodated, before days

or degrade morale, and in turn their

The management of part-time

for training or replacement. • Consider timetable audits –

administrative task. Some timetablers

their timetable to quantify impact

teaching effectiveness. More modern

staff on senior option block classes

are dedicated, but many schools

and understand their resources

software allows consideration

is not a major problem, provided

suffer from tools that have been

better. Because ‘it’s always been

of preferred days off; they do

they are known at the outset and

surpassed long ago in timetable

like that’ is never a suitable reason!

not restrict the timetable much,

planned for when generating blocks.

technology innovation. Meanwhile,

Good timetablers have a deep

but do help to ensure it probably

Good timetabling software caters

curriculums are becoming

understanding of needs.

works better for the part-time

to staffing options, so they can be

more complex.

staff involved.

timetabled in draft, regardless of not

If staff are asked to change

knowing actual staffing.

days off, they may object; a better

To better support flexible working, schools should manage the

approach may be to gently ask

Two half days

the reason for a specific day and

Sometimes schools see days off as

Getting Creative

They have some impact, but better

suggest alternatives, such as two

a binary choice; they can be either

Not all timetablers know their options

timetabling software support helps a

mornings off.

given or not. It may have the part-timer

and not all schools allow creative

lot. Rethink the amazing opportunity

working nearly full-time hours, but with

options to work. However, there are

to access a rich, quality workforce

Flexible days off

many gaps in their timetable. Good

some solutions:

and welcome part-time staff back

A common waste of flexibility in

timetabling software automatically

• Organise a job share – replace a

into the workforce, as they remain

scheduling part-time staff is to treat

allocates part-timers with half days off

departing full-time staff member

an asset and not an obstacle to a

them all as having fixed days off.

where possible. By better managing all

with a part-timer that job shares

school’s success. n

Legacy timetabling software does

teachers’ daily work activities, they are

with another.

not have the features to auto-allocate

happier, refreshed, prepared and able

days off as best needed by other

to do their job as intended!

perceived difficulty in part-time staff.

• Run some classes after school – a part-timer on a senior block

Chris Cooper is Director of Operations at Edval Timetables.





What image comes to mind when

example, closed captioning now

electronic to the metaphor, means

universally designed desk or kitchen

you hear the word accessibility?

means that deaf students can access

that the equivalent phenomenon is

bench, can be easily lowered for

Most likely, it is the wheelchair sign.

videoed content. However, emergent

taking place online and/or in the digital

someone in a wheelchair and raised

This means that there are larger sized

technologies have also introduced

sphere. So, for example, even though

for a tall person with back problems.

parking spaces, which are closer

new complexities. For example,

screen-reading and dictation software

Applied to learning, UDL means

to entrances, so that people can

graphic design has introduced images,

were designed for blind people, we

that with some forward-planning,

park accommodating vehicles and

fonts, colours and layouts faster than

have a colleague with a shoulder injury

accessibility does not need to be

reasonably access public places.

screen-reading technologies can adjust

who is using it until she can once again

costly, cumbersome or stigmatising. In

to translate into spoken text that blind

use her arms to type. There are a lot of

other words, by planning education that

students can access.

drivers (without disabling conditions)

accommodates the needs and wants of

who are now using the same type of

diverse learners, most of the students will benefit.

The physical dimension of educational accessibility means that students are able to make their ways

Education technology has had

to the door and through that door and

such far-reaching consequences for

technology, to speak their texts rather

then move about within the room.

accessibility that it has earned its

than diverting their attention to their

Sometimes inaccessibility is at this

own metaphor – electronic curb-cuts.

screens and moving their hands from

Multiple means of:

physical level, whereby there is no

Admittedly, the metaphor was coined

the wheel.

• Representation

ramp to get to the door, the doorway is

in North America, so some explanation

too small to allow a wheelchair through

is required. Curb-cut refers to the raised lip between the footpath and

Universal Design for Learning (UDL)

• Expression.

and/or there is a tiered lecture theatre whereby a student has to stay down

the bitumen. They are seen most

The metaphor of electronic curb-cuts

educator’s teaching. Online, this

at the platform with the lecturer, rather

often next to shops and other public

has become the metaphorical image

means that the teacher presents the

than up in the seats with student peers.

places such as hospitals. They were

for universal design for learning.

same materials in multiple ways. For

initially designed for wheelchair users,

The concept of universal design

example, the educator might post

much further than the physical sense.

but are used far more frequently by

came first (in architecture), and was

a podcast lecture, an explanatory

The advance of technology has levelled

parents pushing prams or trollies

applied to learning later. Our stand-up

video showing the concept in

the playing field in some cases. For

and by people on pushbikes. Adding

desks result from universal design. A

context, the transcripts of that

Educational accessibility goes

There are three UDL propositions –

• Engagement Representation stands for the


reasons, but these need to be shared

their learning or, in other words,

terms and a practice test that gives

motivation. UDL recognises that

with the students. It has long been

assessment. We have all seen the

students immediate and specific

diverse students are motivated by

recognised that assessment is the

cartoon about the ridiculous notion

feedback on their learning. Not only

different factors and in different ways,

key motivating factor in education. Is

of grading a fish on its ability to ride

does this mean that blind and deaf

and that the same student needs to be

it on the test? How many marks is it

a pushbike. Yet, how often do we do

students can access the materials,

engaged differently at various stages

worth? In diverse classrooms, there

this in education? Multiple means

but it also means that students

of schooling or within the degree. For

are also those who engage for the

of expression means that we are

with learning disabilities can revisit

example, one of the perceived failings

love of learning. Multiple means of

explicit about the expectations and

the concepts in multiple formats,

of secondary and higher education

engagement reminds us that people are

guidelines and then allow the students

and students from non-English

is that educators are rarely explicit

motivated in different ways, and that

to create and present in the way that

speaking backgrounds can see the

about the connection to employability.

we need to find lots of creative ways to

they choose, and hopefully that best

terminology in print so that they can

Why does the psychology curriculum

invite and sustain participation.

represents their learning.

double-check what they thought they

focus on theories, theorists and

heard and increase their disciplinebased vocabulary.

lecture and video, a glossary of key


Engagement is a synonym for

Expression stands for what the

There are now many case

statistics when the student enrolled

students create as part of the learning

studies and good practice guides

to be a counsellor? There are valid

experience and/or to demonstrate

that feature ideas and strategies

disabling conditions. Education

7.6 billion people in the world and

University graduates with disabling

institutions are much better at

approximately 7 percent have a

conditions (as compared to adults with

physical accessibility than digital/

university degree. Approximately one

disabling conditions who do not have a

online accessibility. Furthermore,

billion of our total population has

university degree) are far less likely to

support services are usually provided

some type of disabling condition. As

be impoverished, lonely and to develop

face-to-face and therefore do not

compared to the general population,

mental health conditions.

accommodate online/external students.

people with disabling conditions, overall,

There are many instances in which

have far less years of schooling, are

is not optional in education is that the

educators do not comply with the

much less likely to have graduated Year

law requires it. Under the Australian

institution’s own guidelines.

12, are very unlikely to have enrolled in

Government, the Disability Standards

higher education, and even less likely

for Education (2005) require that

Reasons why education needs to be authentically accessible

to have graduated. They are far more

students with disabling conditions can

likely to live in poverty and require

access and participate in education

social assistance. People with physical

on the same basis as other students.

The first reason why schools and

or cognitive impairments are far more

The onus of responsibility is on the

universities need to be accessible is

likely to be lonely and to develop mental

educational institutions to provide

that when an improvement is made to

health conditions.

admission, participation and use of

learning and teaching for one or two

One of the major underlying

The third reason why accessibility

facilities and services. The Higher

students with disabling conditions,

reasons for the education/opportunity

Education Standards Framework (HESF)

the change almost always makes it

gap is that education is inaccessible.

requires that education creates equivalent

better for most of the students. One

An extreme negative end of the

opportunities for academic success.

year, a teacher we knew had a hearing

accessibility continuum is that many

Institutions are required to monitor

impaired student in her class. To

schools and universities find reasons

participation and success of identified

accommodate the student, the teacher

to deny enrolment to students with

groups and to make improvements and

used a microphone, speaker and FM

disabling conditions. Claimed barriers

support accordingly.

system. The next year, the student

include physical access restrictions

went on to the next class and the initial

(e.g. no ramps), too many students

that accessibility, universal design

teacher stopped using the accessibility

and not enough teaching staff and/or

for learning and accessibility are

technology. The children who had

prohibitive fees.

most powerful when considered as a

In closing, it is essential to recognise

value-add and a strength, as opposed

visited her classroom the year before

When students are admitted,

and were now in her class asked her

they are often excluded, socially and

to obligation and burden. We close

to start using it again – we like it so

educationally. For example, children

this article with a passage from our

much better when the teacher is easier

with disabling conditions are often

University’s Disability Action Plan in a

to hear.

seen playing alone or with a paid adult,

section titled, Strength in Diversity.

In higher education, an educator in

because schools do not make the effort

An inclusive, diverse institution is

online learning changed the font and the

to support their social acceptance,

a strong and flexible one. Rising to the

contrast for a student with low vision

appreciation and inclusion. Many children

challenge of creating an equitable and

and started posting the full transcripts

and adults with disabling conditions are

accessible environment is to lead by

from his recorded lectures for a deaf

taught separately and/or with different

example, to drive innovation, to empower

student. The educator received a

curriculum and experiences than students

and to inspire. Ultimately, it leads us

to implement accessibility and

flood of emails from many members

without such conditions. When they are

towards achieving the best possible

scale-it-up so that other students

of the class thanking him for making

taught together, educational activities

outcomes for our staff, students and

benefit, through universal design

the changes. He noted that many of

and materials are often prohibitive. For

communities. n

for learning. Furthermore, the W3C

these thanks came from students from

example, even with today’s technology,

Web Accessibility Initiative features

non-English speaking backgrounds.

blind students usually receive Braille

‘practical tips anyone can use.’

International student education is

versions of university course-texts half

Director, Advancement of Learning

Australia’s third-highest export industry

way through the semester.

and Teaching at the University of

However, even with these

Professor Shelley Kinash is the

standards, educational accessibility

and many research studies show that

The travesty of exclusion is that

is still mostly a tick-box exercise.

educators who apply UDL, better meet

education is a social process designed

True impact for those with disabling

the needs of these learners.

to add value and thus opportunities

and Electronics Engineer registered

Southern Queensland. Akshay Sahay is an Electrical

for individuals and societies. When

with Engineers Australia. He is a

In Australia, students with disabling

and universities need to be accessible

education is designed to work for all

Senior Technical Officer in Assistive

conditions have lower success rates

is that education has the power to

students, regardless of whether or

Technologies and an Academic

and are much more likely to drop-out

change lives for students with disabling

not they have a disabling condition,

in Engineering at the University of

of university than students without

conditions. There are approximately

the outcomes level the playing field.

Southern Queensland.

conditions has not been achieved.

The second reason why schools





Adding the A to STEM with Maker Education

New York, added, “STEAM opens up

with the term Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

“It’s room for artistic expression

way that this manifested for Singh was

But what about STEAM? STEAM is

and student ownership,” said Patrick

in doing marketing for his school’s

STEM + the Arts. By adding the arts,

Benfield, STEAM and makerspace

robotics teams. The students had to

teachers create an essential tool for

director at St. Gabriel’s School in Austin,

come up with a slogan and poster.

attracting students who otherwise

Texas. “With STEAM, it’s the sense that

would have found more traditional

these things aren’t siloed. It’s all mixed

specialist at George Washington

STEM education inaccessible.

together in different proportions. That’s

Carver Middle School in Tulsa,

To integrate arts into STEM, the

how the world is – it’s complex.”

Oklahoma, integrating maker

Chances are, you are already familiar

educators we interviewed are finding success with maker education.

Paul Singh, a fifth-grade teacher at the Kensico School in Valhalla,

a whole new level of creativity.” One

For Kristi Merchant, library media

education and STEAM means allowing for greater student choice.




It works the other way too. “You

Institute’s [program] on the history of

have those kids that are artistically

photography and we learned how they

inclined anyway,” Merchant said. “So

first started making prints. The movie

you give them this little in to STEM

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar

and they love it. If you told them they

Children had just come out, and the

had to read a regular book they would

author collects strange and unusual

protest, but with a graphic book they

photos to use as characters for his

love it. The same philosophy applies to

books. So we’re going to make the

makerspace activities.”

Peculiar Children of Carver, and we’re

Merchant finds that the art that

going to use the apps on the iPad to edit the photographs.”

For instance, when she is working

sends these students down to the

comes so naturally through maker

directly with the art teacher, building

library makerspace so that they can

projects helps her and her teachers

in a STEM element can make the arts

do their painting digitally. In this way,

come up with richer projects to help

STEAM: in Merchant’s makerspace,

more accessible to students who are

making helps STEM-focused students

promote STEM learning. “This past

students will find themselves inspired

computer minded. The art teacher

unlock their artistic sides.

year, I got to attend the Oklahoma Art

by art, they will get to take photos and


Here you have a great example of

a different angle: he had them make

motors, electronics as a means to

recycling robots. “Now they have

develop those dispositions and [as

a little campus that represents our

a means of] empowerment so that

school and they have to move those

when we’re working with something

things that represent recyclables to a

high-tech, it’s not magic – it’s a

recycling depot,” Singh said. “I give

piece of technology they understand.

them the training they need to solve

That transfers to everything else they

the problem, and then it’s up to them

interact with.” n

to design, build and market their robot – with a team name and slogan.” In this way, STEAM allows Singh

Leah Anne Levy is an author, journalist, editor and former educator

to frame his STEM projects in a more

living in Austin, TX. As the former

practical, real-world setting, so that

Managing Editor of a major education

students are not only developing the

website, she continues to cover

STEM skills they need, but they are

education, marketing, tech and

also doing so in a way that will be

the lifestyle sector for numerous

write stories about them, and then they

lines and colours, students drew the

applicable to and integrated with the

publications and corporations

will also use iPad technology to edit

book’s characters so they could retell

needs of the real world.

through her company, Just

the photographs, thereby getting to

the story. “The art and design piece

Regardless of whether or not a

practise the T and the E in STEM.

came from what they were reading,”

teacher takes a project in a STEAM

Benfield said, “but they were using

direction, maker education is about

first book, a middle grade fantasy/

What STEAM Looks Like in Maker Classrooms

these elements of computer science,

a design mentality. “We’re looking

humour novel titled The School for

persisting, and trial and error –

closely at things, exploring the

the Intolerably Strange.

1. Line Drawing Robots and

failing, but with low-risk stakes.”

complexity of systems, lifting the

Charlotte’s Web

2. LEGO Robot Recyclers

veil on how things work – things we

in teaching program teamed up with

One of Benfield’s favourite

Singh started with a more traditional

use, the spaces we’re in, people,

Leah to create “The Guide to Maker

experiences was a project he did

STEM project – LEGO robotics. He

the environment – so that they


with a third-grade teacher whose

created a competition where students

understand it better,” Benfield said.

students were reading Charlotte’s

built robots and competed to make

“Then they can do something about

Rossier’s program online master’s

Web. Using robots called Ozobots,

the strongest ones. Then he had his

it, personalise it, make it more

in teaching program at

which can be programmed to draw

students approach the project from

beautiful. We’ll work with LEDs,

Start Storytelling. She is currently shopping her

USC Rossier’s Masters of Arts

For more information, visit USC



Consider the progress of another student. This student could spend each year exposed to technology and would have the rewards associated with technologyenhanced learning.



Technology used to enhance learning

Students need to be prepared for our

In some cases, the use of computers

modern world. Academic success is

and technology-enhanced learning

vital, but a knowledge of technology

is still not consistent across

and how to use it is also vital. Other

classes in the same school, let

things are also very important in

alone consistent across schools.

schools; things such as learning

Yet our students cannot afford an

some social skills, collaboration,

inconsistent approach.

fitness and being part of a sporting

three classes in a year level, as

activities and so on are also very

represented in the diagram on the

important. However, they are things

left. Imagine that some teachers have

schools have been doing for a long

embraced technology to enhance

time and are often better integrated into

learning, while others find the change

traditional classrooms.

more difficult and thus use it sparingly.

The growth of Science,

Technology not used/used sparingly

Consider a primary school with

team, music and other co-curricular

Consider the possible progress of an

Technology, Engineering, the Arts

individual student over the six years

and Mathematics (STEAM) and more

represented. This is shown by the

technology in the classroom has

red line. The student could complete

added to a sometimes heterogeneous

six years of education with minimal

educational technology environment.

contact with technology.



These are two students in the same

Once we get each school ‘right’,

school, yet their experiences vary greatly.

perhaps we can work on getting all

This would be very difficult to explain

schools right, where every student in

to a parent. We are striving for equity in

every school in Australia has equal

education in all areas, yet clearly some

access to the core technology to

students may be disadvantaged.

enhance learning. Is this idealistic? Yes. Is it difficult? Yes. Is it possible?

The Solution?

Yes. Well-planned and well-

Obviously, this is a simplification and

implemented whole-school change

it illustrates two extremes. Do we have

is necessary. It is not a luxury that

equity in all other areas? Probably

should be placed in the too difficult

not. However, it does highlight a

category. Our students deserve this

significant problem.

and more! n

So, what can be done? Obviously, we all need to be working to a useful

Peter West is Director of

implementation of the National

eLearning at Saint Stephen’s College

Curriculum. We also need to ensure

in Australia. He has over 15 years’

there is sufficient professional

experience leading K12 schools in

development for teachers, sufficient

technology-enhanced education,

support for them in implementing

particularly blended learning using

change successfully in the classroom

online learning environments. He can

and sufficient resources to make this

be reached at

all possible.





Across Australia, there are many schools and teachers demonstrating outstanding leadership and practices who should be celebrated for their expertise. Identifying these practices and effectively sharing that knowledge is a significant strategy to evolve education.


Recently, teachers from across

quality using business entrepreneur

Australia joined the SMART Australia

practices. Primary students have

and New Zealand (ANZ) team for a

iPads and the latest SMART Boards

two-day training event hosted by

in their learning spaces. The college

Sheldon College in Queensland,

also uses Seesaw to communicate

awarded as one of the most

with parents and to share

innovative schools in Australia in

classroom practices and students’

2017. The college is an outstanding

learning outcomes.

example of careful implementation of

As part of the training days,

technology for learning and innovative

participants were taken on a tour

practices. It has over 1,400 students,

of the college and provided with a

including an Early Learning Centre

demonstration of how virtual reality is

and the LINQ Precinct where students

used as a way for students to create

learn, in industry standard contexts

a range of immersive experiences,

of manufacturing, robotics and

such as the virtual museum which

3D printing, the ability to create

features their learning pathway

digital media products at broadcast

through the college.



assessment. All the participants were

learning outcomes using the SMART

linking the learning ecosystem in their

the latest and greatest from SMART,

outstanding, but two teachers from the

Learning Suite Online.

classrooms to be able to effectively

as well as undertaking detailed training

college, Anita Fitzpatrick and Rebecca

for each of the SMART technologies.

Woolnough, described differentiating

a digital pedagogy coach within the

They were given a global picture

learning and using classroom software

college, she has found the mobility of

was able to assess her students’

of education trends, illustrations of

applications that enabled them to

the SMART Learning Suite Online an

understanding of digital and analogue

effective use of SMART technologies

continuously diagnose their students’

enabling tool for working within and

time and immediately group them

and technical training to understand all

learning needs and progress. They

across classes. She was able to walk

accordingly. Once she had grouped the

the products and services.

provided a detailed presentation of how

into any classroom and share her units

students, she was able to differentiate

they had differentiated the curriculum

of work with any teacher. A unit of work

the curriculum for them and push

teachers and university lecturers were

immediately in response to assessing

that she had developed on the subject

different activities to their iPads, which

asked to provide a demonstration of

student understanding, and how

of time for her students illustrated

were appropriate for their learning

using SMART technologies for their

they had seen dramatically improved

to her the benefits of the software in

needs. She evaluated the capability

The participants were shown all

As part of their training, the


Rebecca demonstrated how, as

differentiate the curriculum. Using SMART Response, Rebecca

them or added them to their own

Finally, informing parents of the

sentences, thereby quickly learning

work the students were doing in a

from each other.

pen and paper world would have also

They had three rotations of this process and Anita said the

taken far more time. These examples of highly effective

improvements in their syntax and

teaching practice illustrate a focus

semantic choices were immediately

on achievement through learning

visible. Using the screenshot function

growth for all students, tailored

of their iPads, the students then sent

teaching based on ongoing formative

their narrative orientations using their

assessment and feedback enabling

Seesaw accounts and shared this work

students to progress to higher levels

with their parents.

of achievement whilst engaging

During this group activity, Anita was able to mentor teams, assist

parents in their children’s learning. Sheldon College has created

with clarification of word meanings

the conditions and culture that

and view the rapid development of

give teachers time to collaborate

students’ writing. The speed and

so they better understand how

efficiency with which this occurred

their students are performing and

was surprising. In a pen and paper

to design together the best way to

world the same activity would have

support student learning. Teachers

taken weeks. The students would have

have time to mentor other teachers

laboriously written sentences that

and to provide effective feedback to

of the software and the speed in

fun piece of digital content to share on

she would have had to correct most

students and parents. With schools

which she could gather data about

her SMART Board, where story titles

probably at home and then return for

like these, Australian students’ futures

her students’ understanding of these

could be generated. She organised her

them to rewrite and improve. The time

look bright!

concepts as transforming. In terms of

students into small groups using the

between the assessment and the set

the SAMR model, the SMART Learning

SMART Class Lab software to push

task often disconnected the learner

Suite Online enabled her to transform

content to their iPads. The students

from the learning purpose. Anita would

Education Advisor at SMART

her practice.

Sue Beveridge is an ANZ

worked in three teams, enhancing the

also have been the single source for

Technologies, a leading provider of

Anita Fitzpatrick described her

quality of their narrative orientations.

the editing. However, with the digital

technology solutions that enable

lesson sequence in the following way.

As they shared these to the SMART

task, all students were reading the

inspired collaboration in schools

She wanted her students to improve

Board, the three teams could

sentences and collaborating to improve

and workplaces around the world

their introductions in their narrative

transparently see how the other teams

the work, thereby understanding how

by turning group work into a

writing. She used the following process

were using more complex, accurate,

descriptive words were making their

highly interactive, engaging and

with amazing results. Anita found a

descriptive words and quickly applied

introductions richer.

productive experience.






T-Rex Meets R2D2 – Using Research and Digital Technology to Create Change in Mathematics and STEM


Mathematics is an essential building block of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) literacy. To support student participation and develop positive mathematics identity, the three aspects of learning in mathematics outlined below (exploring problems together, visualizing thinking and using spatial reasoning) can be enhanced by harnessing the affordances of technology in the classroom. The enduring outcome of STEM education is the students’ ability to discover, create and use foundational knowledge in STEM in real life. Quality teaching and learning experiences in STEM education are founded in meaningful real-world challenges, informed by



a global perspective, and integrated

to develop STEM literacy, students

should be able to provide visual proof

within community and culture.

should participate in investigations

of their thinking through ideas of

that are discussed together in

make, say, do and write, including

through experiences in solving

order to strengthen ideas. For

drawing, modelling and explaining

sufficiently challenging problems,

this to happen, students need to

(Boaler, 2015). Participating in problem

using hands-on learning strategies

experience mathematics in groups and

solving and improving mathematical

for exploring, and with opportunity to

mathematics through problem-solving.

thinking is more than manipulating

share thinking. When designing and

STEM involves rigorous understanding

abstract symbols systems; it requires

delivering lessons in mathematics,

along with collaboration to reach that

sensory-motor action using patterning,

it is important to give students

understanding; being a problem solver

abstracting, modelling and play in

opportunity to explore problems to

is hard fun and involves working with

multimodal settings to support deep

demonstrate multiplicity of ideas.

a community of learners (Pound &

understanding (Mishra, 2012). By

Exploring involves discussion,

Lee, 2015).

exploring visual components of

Mathematics should be learnt

but too often the social aspect of


Students need flexible thinking if

mathematics and explaining processes

mathematics is lost in a myriad of

they are to be good problem solvers.

and reasoning, students develop

worksheets and questions to be

To increase a student’s capability to

understanding from another point of

completed in a limited time. Instead,

explore challenging problems, they

view, developing empathy for how

people see mathematical problems

to work in sense-making activities

repeated effort, to reconsider problems

To develop persistence and reflection,

and increasing curiosity – a key

and discussion, the stronger their

and collaborative effort. Mathematics

use tools that help students visualise

STEM practice.

mathematical thinking, which supports

is not a lower order thinking task and

their thinking, live drawing, video

problem solving in STEM education.

memorisation is less useful when

capable and utilises feedback.

ability to visualize solutions and is a

Digital technologies can play

problems become more difficult.

In our two workshops at the

key contributor to STEM literacy, as

many roles in supporting student

Instead, innovative learning with

Leading a Digital School Conference,

it is concerned with understanding

participation in STEM education,

technology uses higher order thinking.

Dinosaurs to Star Wars and Up and

and working within the physical world

including games for exploring

Digital tools that allow for thinking give

Over the Wall, we will expand on how

(Lowrie, Downes & Leonard, 2017,

problems and understanding thinking,

students the opportunity to ponder

digital technologies have been used

p. 27). Using mental transformations,

and digital tools for sharing and

without asking for help, without an

in our context to support teachers to

decomposing a pattern into component

explaining thinking.

expectation to finish a number of math

deliver outcomes in mathematics and

problems in a short period of time,

contribute to STEM literacy through hands-on activities and discussion. n

Spatial reasoning improves the

parts, using scale, estimations, mental

Harnessing the requirement for

imagery, comparison and sequencing

students to undertake challenging

where failure is not about failing to

are a few examples of elements of

mathematics problems, it is important

get stuff done, but not yet finding a

spatial reasoning that support student

to select games that are not based on

way to understand the problem being

learning. The more opportunities that

drill and speed. Instead, select activities

presented, while applying the capability


students have to show their thinking,

that give opportunity to fail fast, for

to persist using different possibilities.

For a full list of references, email





“The pedagogy always comes first.” As someone who has been working

heard, and expressed, such sentiments

Australian National University College

all of my career in the area of teaching

many times. And I suspect that, by and

of Law radically reshaped its Graduate

and learning innovation at universities,

large, we have been wrong.

Diploma of Legal Practice. Starting with

In this article I am going to take a

a conventional, semester-based online

conversations with most teachers to

controversial position – that technology

program, the degree was transformed

place technology second. Particularly

and learning are inseparable and

into an immersive, simulation- and

in the early days of emergent digital

always have been, and that by

scenario-based learning environment.

leaning technologies – say, 1995 to

understanding and embracing this

Students enrolled in the course as a

2010 – the levels of anxiety, or even

connection by driving change in

whole and were assigned to virtual law

downright suspicion held by many

our technologies we can shape

firms of four to five students. Working

of my academic colleagues about

pedagogical behaviour and lead

in a virtual office space, students

the value and future of technology-

academic innovation in our institutions.

managed a number of competing legal

it has become almost instinctive in

enhanced learning were palpable. As

Scottish educational theorist

transactions – litigation, conveyancing,

a consequence, I and like-minded

Paul Maharg takes a radical view:

contracts, negotiation – and a number

innovators would default to a position

technology is the curriculum,

of ethical issues were sprung on

of technological apologist, with

says Maharg, taking his lead from

them without warning. There were

comments like, technology is merely

philosopher John Dewey. For Dewey

no lecturers – staff participated in

the tool we use to help us achieve

and Maharg, it is impossible to

the simulation in role, as managing

our learning goals and fundamentally,

separate learning, as an activity, or

partners, office managers and clients.

online learning is no different from

the ‘content’ of what is learned, from

Apart from an immersive initial

face-to-face learning; technology is

the world or environment in which

residential week, the entire experience

merely an enabler. I suspect that most

it occurs.

was online; this was crucial, as it

of us who have worked in academic innovation over the past 20 years have


In 2009, following some of Maharg’s educational ideas, the

allowed the virtual learning space to be shaped to control the simulation.



The experience would have been far

background. What appeared instead

through reshaping the spaces in which

essentially a social constructivist

less rich face-to-face. The success

were new simulation-based roles that

teachers and learners interact.

model. The majority of Socrates’

of this innovation underlines the truth

the staff were asked to fill. Rather than

of Maharg’s point – the technology is

expound on the theory of contracts,

In the fourth century BC, Plato’s

the form of these ambulatory tutorials.

the curriculum.

staff were asked to role-play a partner

academy was laid out as a courtyard.

Nowadays, we often celebrate the

mentoring a new lawyer on the

Learning happened through dialogue.

Socratic method as an admirable active

lessons from this initiative was how

development of a contract. It created

Scholars and students (not that there

learning strategy, but can overlook

the virtual office space shaped the

a wholly new learning and teaching

was often a clear distinction) walked

the technology – the learning space

behaviours of academics. They logged

relationship – a much more authentic

as they talked, and the notion of a

and mode of interaction – that was at

into the learning management system

and powerful one, in my view. This

group of collaborative learners in

its heart.

and their traditional roles of lecturer,

pedagogical change was managed

physical and intellectual motion was

tutor and student disappeared into the

through changing the technology and

a central pedagogical idea. This is

Behind the scenes, one of the key


This idea has an ancient lineage.

philosophy, as recorded by Plato, take

The same ancient roots can be found in what is arguably the most

and clearly, so the students could take

influencing academic innovation

dictation of the scholarly text being

and change are not always – or not

read. Moreover, lecturers were hired

mostly – about best practice. It would

by the students directly, and were not

be attractive to think that, because

re-hired the following term unless

we now know theoretically what

they were sufficiently comprehensible.

pedagogical approaches result in

This is why the etymology of the word

high-quality university learning and

lecture is from the Latin to read.

what results in poor outcomes, that

As Maharg points out, it was not

automatically the evidence-based best


for another two centuries that the

practice will be adopted. Experience

students began to employ lecturers

tells us that this is far from the case.

with knowledge of the subject so

Resources (including the scarcest of all

that they could provide their own

academic resources – time), roles and

Learner analytics allow us to monitor

explanatory notes (glossa) on the

hierarchies will usually take precedence

nearly all aspects of students’

source text. Before this time, senior

over other factors unless those leading

learning activities. We match the text

scholars themselves were far too

and managing education explicitly drive

in their assignments, measure their

busy to waste their time with the

behaviours in a different way. Notably,

keystrokes to ascertain identity, check

technology of the lecture; the reading

technology can play a crucial role in

when and for how long they access

aloud of texts was a secondary task,

the restructuring of academic work

their learning resources and even use

best left to the medieval equivalent

to achieve better quality outcomes

artificial intelligence (AI) to measure

of specialist professional staff. Thus

for students.

the cognitive complexity of their forum

the 11th century academic innovation

There is an Australian private

posts. In general, this is benign. If

that placed the lecture at the heart of

higher education provider that delivers

we can identify from these analytics

university education was driven not

leadership training using a mainly

that a student is likely to fail, we can

by educational considerations, but

synchronous online model. Academics

intervene to provide them support

by a combination of its efficiency as

lead interactive online seminars of up

before it happens.

a technology and by relationships

to a dozen participants. Because the

of academic hierarchy and power.

tutorial is captured, it enables a crucial

data is teaching analytics. If, from

Arguably, little has changed. Far

part of the quality enhancement cycle

these analytics, we can identify that

too many modern course sites

to occur. After every single seminar,

half the class is about to fail, then a

consist of weekly topics, each of

an educational designer – who has

different intervention is required. In

which is an information dump of

specialist educational qualifications

this case, most likely it is the teacher

PDFs, PowerPoints and lecture

and experience, unlike the subject-

that needs support and development.

recordings, with weekly quizzes testing

matter expert who led the seminar

When we have these analytics fully

surface learning, often managed

– will review the recording and

functional, then technology will

by administrative staff. Here, the

provide constructive feedback to the

truly drive academic innovation and

technology is making it very easy

seminar leader about what worked

quality enhancement.

to resist academic innovation and

well and what could be improved.

perpetuate poor learning practice a

These feedback reports form part

millennium old.

of the academic’s performance

I am entranced by what history can

review. By all accounts, the student

The flipside of educational big

Change will come. The question is, will it be a good thing? n Jonathan Powles is Pro Vice-

tell us about the relationships between

experience with this provider is

Chancellor (Academic Innovation) at

technology and academic innovation

outstanding. The technology – the

University of New England (AU). An

pervasive high/er education learning

(and resistance), and the relevance

captured tutorial – is what enables

executive leader in higher education,

technology – the lecture, delivered in

those lessons have for our modern

change. If you consider the industrial

Jonathan has a demonstrated history

a hall or theatre. This technology of

practice as educators. The examples of

implications if such a scheme were

in leading and managing change

mass instruction is medieval in origin,

Plato’s academy versus the medieval

to be introduced at a public Australian

and innovation in educational culture

deriving from the theological sermon,

lecture; the immersive simulated virtual

university, it becomes clear that the

and practice in universities. In

and has always been about the

learning environment versus the weekly

obstacle to such an innovation is not

recent years, he has implemented

transmission of information. When it

topic content dump show us how

technological nor educational – it

institution-wide projects and

migrated into higher education practice

technologies and power relations can

is cultural.

programs in curriculum innovation,

in the 12th century, its purpose was

shape and drive academic practice,

Things continue to change.

simply to enable students to copy

whether innovative or conservative.

Through technology, we now have

analytics, pedagogical transformation,

Uncomfortable though it may be,

a more closely observed picture of

academic development, and academic

a central point here is that the factors

student behaviour than ever before.

performance management.

texts. Lecturers were hired on the basis of their ability to speak loudly

learning technologies, learner





I sat in a taxi in Sydney last year, on

short, the main learning I took away

my way to indulge in another large

from this interaction is that we can

helping of steamed dumplings in

choose to take one of two options:

my quest to try all of the top eight

Embrace the trends or fight the trends.

dumpling restaurants Sydney has to

This train of thought is something I

offer (as voted by the website Concrete

have always sort of followed, but never

Playground). The taxi driver was a

really embraced. The taxi driver had

middle-aged gentleman of Greek

inspired me to not only embrace the

origin. I asked him about his opinion of

trends, but to accelerate them; make

Uber. Did he hate them? Had business

them my own and use them to my

slowed since their inclusion into

advantage in an educational setting.

the market? He told me to open his

Things like the bottle flip, dabbing,

glove box. To my surprise, within the

fidget spinners, memes and so on

glovebox was his Uber identification

have been banned in some schools,

tag. He had a foot in each camp! He

whereas I see them as an opportunity

had accepted that Uber was here to

to teach projectile motion, angles of a

stay and slumping in his seat and

triangle, reflection or a relevant way to

complaining about it was not going to

bring up and discuss social inequity,

get his bills paid. To cut a long story

assumptions and bias.



This is where social media comes

summarise or take key points from a

Facebook obviously allows you to

opened up other avenues of viewing

in. Do we embrace it, or do we fight it?

video, complete a two truths one lie, do

post videos and other content to your

content as a class and could prove

For me, it is a no brainer. After meeting

a three level reading guide on a text or

classroom group. I will often put up a

to be very useful in the future.

this motivational taxi/Uber driver, I set

any sort of activity where they needed to

video or a link to an article and ask the

Colleagues of mine have set up a

myself the goal to use social media

think about and exhibit an understanding

students to leave a comment which

Facebook chat for homework where

as a means for assessment, both in

of the content. Once they had created

shows their understanding. This allows

students have had to meet online

a formative and summative manner.

a video using Snapchat, they were to

the students to learn from each other,

at a certain time and talk about a

These are some of the success stories.

save it to their camera roll and then post

especially if you have the students in

specific topic. Although this was

it onto our class Facebook page. The

some sort of ability grouping. Students

optional, it had excellent buy-in from

Formative Assessment

buy-in from students was excellent.

who are lower ability might only need

the students and resulted in some

This was an important one for allowing

Feedback from the class showed that

to make a literal statement directly from

valuable learning.

me to check the students’ understanding

they did not mind putting themselves out

the text or video, whereas someone

of the content. It was an excellent way to

there for others to see when there was

of a higher ability may be asked to

Summative Assessment

transition the move from the individual to

a fun element to it, when they could use

write a comment from a much more

Many sportsmen and sportswomen are

the group space of the flipped classroom.

a filter to disguise their faces and their

critical lens.

setting up athlete Facebook pages. Even

I instructed the students to use Snapchat for this. I asked them to


voices, and when they could quickly check any notifications they had.

Going ‘live’ and the new ‘watch party’ feature on Facebook have

people who have only been going to the gym for a week or two are setting up

fitness-based Instagram and Facebook

assessment where the students had

the books they were reading and

techniques and technology that students

pages too.

to reflect on their participation in

completed reading responses.

are familiar and comfortable with can be

This made me think about how

an activity and discuss the factors

I have also seen public pages

a big positive. When a new trend comes

I could use the same format for my

involved. Typically, they would have

created by students which contain

along, think about how you might be

students. Being a PE teacher who

done this in a diary-type format, but

information about a set topic. The page

able to use it to your advantage and do

is teaching contextualised courses

Facebook allowed them to post their

itself is the assessment and the student

not be scared of it. Go with the trends

that are based around improving a

response immediately and also gave

needs to have a certain number of

and do not concern yourself with what

student’s own ability in a sport, it

them the option of adding in video and

resources, posts and so on. Making a

cannot be controlled. Embrace the

was easy to follow the athlete page

photos as evidence. I have seen the

page designed to create change in a

trends and make them your own! n

model. Students had to create a profile

same standards being assessed in a

community is a possibility for a number

using their school email address as

similar way on Instagram. Any sort of

of health-based topics.

their login. They could make it a page

assessment that requires a portfolio of

or group depending on whether or

evidence could be used here.

not they wanted to keep it private.

Some of my colleagues from the

These are just a couple of ways that

Matt Lambert is the Head of Physical Education and Health

you can use social media to enhance

Department at Heretaunga College

your classroom practice. At the end

in Wellington, New Zealand. Matt will

They could also choose not to make

English department followed suit and

of the day, student buy-in is a very

be presenting at FlipCon NZ 2018 in

it public or not to publish it at all.

allowed their students to set up a

important part of being successful

Auckland, September this year. See

This worked particularly well for an

Facebook page on which they critiqued

on a day-to-day basis. Using tools, for the details.


Nepean Community College prepares Australian adults for a digital future with Parallels Desktop for Mac Business Edition

Parallels Desktop for Mac Business Edition is the simplest and most secure way to provide Windows applications to employees with Mac computers. “The way Parallels Desktop can combine both the Windows and Mac operating systems on one device yet allow them to run like native environments is really important. Users are not aware of any difference and simply focus on their teaching and learning.� -Eric Wright, Principal, Nepean Community College

Find out about our Special Education Program. Contact Ary Collet at for more details, quote: EDUCATION.


For the Classroom. And Everywhere Else. Padcaster turns the iPad into a potent learning tool that teaches

the power to create. • Produce your very own

valuable skills while giving students the freedom to explore

morning news. • Livestream school sports

the world around them. Capture, create and share compelling

and events. • Explore the next generation of

digital content that enriches your

digital learning.

entire educational ecosystem. For more information visit • Empower your students with

Targus VersaLink™ Universal Travel Dock The VersaLink™ Universal Travel Dock offers versatile, ultra-portable connectivity with VGA and HDMI video ports, Gigabit Ethernet and 2 USB 3.0 ports. It is an indispensable connectivity tool for serious mobile professionals. About the size of a smartphone, the versatile dock features a Gigabit Ethernet port for secure, fast internet access, 2 USB 3.0 SuperSpeed ports for external hard drives, card readers or other peripherals, and VGA and HDMI video ports to connect most projectors and HDTVs. Once your work is done, the integrated USB power cable tucks neatly into the dock and slips right into your bag. Worry about your presentation, not your technology, and add this lightweight, versatile USBpowered dock to your mobile gear. For more information visit au/usb-3-0-dual-video-smart-dock-dock110au



Optical Slim IR

The new HDi Edge, provides

introducing a newly designed

3 mm Optical Slim IR technology

schools with a new slim and sleek

HDi MoCow offerings. Technology

40 points of touch

looking commercial touch panel at

Core also design and manufacture

HDI edge Series 55’’ 65’’ 70’’ 75’’ 86’'

education prices.

their own mobile solutions

4K Standard across range

Utilising new optical slim IR

Front HDMI / USB inputs

technology, we have now recessed

25% lighter than standard IR

the frame and bezel into the

Front Speakers

screen so that the teacher is closer

latest example of their Australian

to their content than ever before.

made mobile solutions combining

The HDi Edge comes as Designed and distributed by

to compliment their touch screen products. The HDi MoCow series is the

with touch screen and camera

standard with 4K resolution across

technology to product massively

our wide range of sizes, from 55”

flexible solution for schools. n

to 98” complete with a slot in

PC option. Technologycore are also

For more information visit www.

S50 Mobile iPad Charging Station

The iPad Charging Station is designed for education environments that organize large numbers of iPads and require support tools necessary for efficiency. They provide a practical, functional storage solution.

Holds up to 30 iPads

Sync & charge



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Kano Brings Creative Computing to Australia and New Zealand market for the next generation of

only 50 million people know how

pioneer Kano Computing

impact in the ANZ marketplace

computing. iWorld Australia is proud

to talk to them. It should be simple

has announced further

both in the education sector and

to be the ANZ distributor for the full

and fun for anyone, anywhere to

international expansion

mass merchant retailers. We have

line of Kano products.” states Chad

make and play with technology

to Australia and New Zealand thanks to

been talking to our main customers

DeClase, Director of iWorld Australia.

– beyond the sealed screen.

a newly signed partnership with

and the response has been over

Australian-based STEM distributor

the top. We have been carefully

Australia’s focus has been to become

starts with computers anyone can

iWorld. The partnership marks a new

selecting products to meet the ANZ

the leader in STEM/STEAM products

make,” said Alex Klein, co-founder

growth milestone for Kano, following the

requirements of true STEM/STEAM

in both Australia and New Zealand.

and CEO of Kano

company’s expansion into 4,500 retail

products and Kano covers every

The company focuses on distributing

stores across North America during

aspect of that in detail. We will be

the best STEM /STEAM products

range of Kano’s award-winning

2017. Thanks to iWorld, customers

releasing the full range of kits with

and are very excited to be working

creative coding kits including

across Australia and New Zealand will

some more exciting products yet to

with Kano and their team to bring

the Computer Kit, Pixel Kit and

be able to experience and purchase the

be released in 2018. We have been

their creative coding kits to students

Motion Sensor Kit. n

range of DIY Kano kits online, in brick

in discussions with Kano for some

across Australia and New Zealand.

and mortar retailers and in the

time and both companies are working

education space.

together to make ANZ a leading


reative computing


“Kano is going to make a massive

Over the last 2 years, iWorld

“There are over 8 billion connected devices in the world, but

Code can be a creative art, and it

This partnership includes the

For more information visit www.

Promethean Awards $50,000AUD Worth of Technology to ANZ Schools 11 Winners of the Promethean Grant Receive - a Promethean ActivPanel

Melissa Grant, eLearning Leader

The 11 schools have received

lobal education

creative in their submissions, with one

technology provider

of the most stand-out entries coming

at Takapuna Primary School and

their ActivPanels as well as relevant

Promethean, has

from Mount Ousley Public School in

Promethean Grant Panellist, commented:

training and technical support. As a

awarded over

Fairy Meadow, New South Wales.

“The standard of the entries has been

front of class display, the ActivPanel

Peter Holmes, Headteacher

phenomenal. It was a privilege to be

acts as a collaborative learning centre,

technology to 11 ANZ schools. The

at Mount Ousley Public School

part of the judging process and see

and can connect with other devices

announcement comes following the

said: “Winning an ActivPanel in the

first-hand how creative schools were

in the classroom such as laptops

delivery of the ActivPanels to the

Promethean Grant is a huge deal for

in demonstrating how the technology

and tablets; enabling students to

winners of the Trans-Tasman

our students - it’s affirmation from an

would transform teaching and learning in

complete tasks from the screen on a

competition. To win the Promethean

international company that their work at

the 21st century. However, we did have

handheld device, or even take turns at

Grant, schools were asked to submit

school matters; that they matter! It’s no

to make some very tough decisions.”

the front of the classroom using the

creative entries as to why they

longer just us telling them how brilliant

“As a company we are really pleased

deserved to receive a Promethean

they are. Having their work and talents

that we could ease the financial pressure

ActivPanel, the very latest in

acknowledged is inspirational and

of 11 schools across Australia and New

be launched at EduTECH on 7 / 8 June


something to be celebrated.

Zealand and deliver next-generation

in Sydney, where schools can speak

technology for both staff and students.

to the team on stand 414. For more

ActivPanel. It’s exciting knowing that

We firmly believe finances shouldn’t

information please visit http://www.

ran from 26th July to 8th October

this technology allows us to mirror

be a barrier to accessing technology n

2017, and in total had over 75 entries.

our students’ individual devices and

which enhances teaching and learning

The 11 winners were notified on

helps them to think and present in

experiences, and that is why we chose

To view Mount Ousley’s

31 October and each have recently

ways that they haven’t previously

to launch the Promethean Grant,” added

Grant winning video please visit

received a fully installed ActivPanel

been able to do, while exploring new

Alistair Hayward, Promethean’s Head of


package. The schools were very

ideas for learning.”

UKI and ANZ markets.



$50,000AUD worth of education

interactive technology. The Promethean Grant competition

“We’re really enjoying using the

touchscreen functionality. The 2018 Promethean Grant will


SPOTLIGHT Five real ways to reduce teacher workload Recently, Australian LNP MP Andrew

year level means that the planning

Laming infuriated teachers across

workload can be divided and shared.

Australia by suggesting that “Teaching

Schedule planning meetings during

needs to operate like other jobs, with

school time. Traditionally, meetings are

the same hours, days and weeks as

scheduled as an afterthought which

the rest of the economy, rather than

means that it becomes harder to find a

cluttered school hours where there is

period in common where the required

little beyond the face-to-face time”.

teachers are available. This results in

Mr Laming has clearly never been a

meetings being held after hours. By

teacher and one wonders if he has

timetabling the meetings as classes

even spent any time with them? If so,

during timetable construction, the

he would know that teachers regularly

probability that a period in common

work far more hours than most people

can be found is increased. Smarter

realise, with many of those hours done

timetabling facilitates this as a priority

at home, on weekends, late at night or

and makes it considerably easier too,

during their ‘holidays’.

which reduces workload and stress not

Teachers are finding they need to work these hours to stay atop of a demanding workload. Increasing

only for the teachers, but the timetabler as well. Create balanced days with free

the formal working hours of teachers

periods spread evenly across the

is not going to solve the problem

timetable. Fewer full-period teaching

of workload. However, attention to

days aids lesson preparation,

how that workload is determined and

fosters punctuality and reduces staff

directed may help.

absenteeism. Smarter timetabling

duty rosters, study rosters and

in one class to cover instead of two,

ensures that the quality of teachers’

on-call rosters. This ensures equity

the number of teachers required to

determines what ‘work’ is allocated

timetables is considered when classes

in allocation of duties and placement

cover classes is reduced. These

to teachers. It directs teachers on

are allocated to times. Better quality

to less busy days thereby reducing

opportunities may be otherwise missed

which classes they teach, when they

timetables for teachers reduces

workload and stress.

if not ‘guided’ by the technology.

should be in class, when they should

stress and workload, by providing

take breaks, when they should meet

better balance.

The school timetable ultimately

Minimise the need to take covers

Is your timetable helping or

and identify potential cover periods on

hindering your teachers’ workload?

teachers’ timetables. For a teacher,

Powerful timetabling technology

teaching work as being allocated by

better assignment of teacher loads.

nothing is more frustrating than having

like Edval, coupled with clever daily

their faculty head, the timetable is

Typically, the faculty head directs

that free period you set aside for lesson

management tools like Edval Daily,

the ultimate determiner of how that

which classes will be given to staff in

planning disappear due to a class you

can make it easier to organise

workload is implemented.

their faculty. This reduces timetabling

are allocated to cover. While covering

arrangements to better suit staff

flexibility, makes the management of

classes is ‘part of the job’, they can

thereby reducing workload.

reduce teacher workload with

staff loads more difficult and often

increase stress and workload when

The team at Edval have compiled

smarter timetables:

results in more split classes. While

unexpected. Timetabling periods on

33 ways that smarter timetabling can

and who they teach. While some view

Here are 5 ways to dramatically

Use sets of teachers to achieve

the need to have specific teachers

a teacher’s timetable where they

be used to reduce teacher workload. To

classes of a subject in a given year.

on classes at the senior level is valid,

are considered ‘on-call’ for a cover

see the full list, visit or

This way teachers will only need to

for the most part, junior classes can

means that they are less likely to

email n

lesson plan once, for multiple classes.

be more freely allocated. Automated

schedule a meeting during that period,

For example, having two English

staffing algorithms draw from sets of

as they know they ‘might’ be given

classes in a given year may be a lot

teachers to achieve a better overall

a cover. When combined with a

less work than one in Year 7 and one

staffing balance of load and class

daily administration system that can

and the Head of Sales and Marketing

in Year 8. Furthermore, working with

assignments. These auto staffing

actively identify and prompt users to

at Edval with a background in teaching

others teaching the same subject and

algorithms can also be applied to

merge appropriate classes resulting

and IT.

Allocate teachers two or more


Author: Donna Machado Donna is a timetable consultant

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Education Technology Solutions Issue 83  

In this issue, Jane Hunter speaks with Vanessa Pirotta, a PhD student at Macquarie University in Sydney about her recent victory in the Aust...

Education Technology Solutions Issue 83  

In this issue, Jane Hunter speaks with Vanessa Pirotta, a PhD student at Macquarie University in Sydney about her recent victory in the Aust...