Sunday, August 30, 2009


In my classes I would use a large variety of technologies including forums and blogs for students to develop information, as well as wiki’s to combine information.
Voki Avatars are great especially for younger students who can’t read but can apply voice to their Avatars.

Google Earth is great for geography in finding real life places, mapping, graphing and the list goes on.

Interactive whiteboards can be used for any subject to interact with students.

Video could be great for drama or simply hooking students into the lesson. Video from other sources and even self made video can be convenient for specific areas where the exact video from UTube for example can’t be found, although it is always best practice to find videos on real world events affecting students.

Flikr is great with so many free pictures; any subject involving a power point can be improved with related pictures.

Power point of course can be used for any subject but to engage students power points must be simple and fast paced.

Animations and simulations again can be directed toward almost all subjects and creates a fresh change from the regular technologies students are familiar with.

Quizzes are always great because all levels of primary school and even high school always like to solve fun problems. Quizzes can also be used to find past and learnt knowledge, for tests and to challenge students within the dimensions of learning.

Webquests again can be used for any subject. Although time consuming if created in a way that engage all students Webquests can help students build knowledge, remember better (if visual learners) and be so engaged that behaviour management is almost non-existent.

Podcasting and music on the web can be a great hook and can be used in subjects where music was written for political awareness, public awareness of world events, topics of family life and even to tackle simple maths such as through using children’s music. Music can also be used in a class that works well with quiet background noise, as a reward for students as they work quietly in a nearby room, for spelling as students spell words from their favourite song/s and the list goes on with songs like “we didn’t start the fire” by Billy Joel to link past icons and time periods to environmental issues in SOSE.

From Paul Jak.

Uncle Ernie's Indigenous Perspectives


Although Uncle Ernie's indigenous perspectives outline this area of our culture adequately, there is no specific explanation of the subtopics.  For example Grant (n.d., p. 53) states "reserves" a subtopic under "land" which could mean reserves of land for aborigines today or reserves of food and/or water within the land.  Just mentioning "reserves" is not clear enough for teaches who have never experienced this culture before.  I think it's a great beginning but doesn't explain each term in-depth enough to give all students a better understanding.
When considering healing racism and prejudice toward indigenous people and building reconciliation, I do not believe Ernie's framework and the article by Davis and Grose (2008) is sufficient enough to effectively and consistently perform a task such as this because there is inadequate depth of details and minimal amounts of information provided.
What do you think?
Paul Jak.
Reference List
Davis, J., Grose, S. (2008) Which way? What happens when embedding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives in schools meets the professional standards for teachers and an accountability matrix? Retrieved July 24, 2009, from s_and_Sharon_Grose_for_Wipce_2008.pdf
Grant, E. (n.d.). My Land My Tracks, Retrieved July 24, 2009, from

Re: Uncle Ernie's Indigenous Perspectives

Hi Paul,
You make some good points regarding the need for additional information and a solid rationale for the frameworks discussed.
What additions and clarifications would you make?

Would you consider teacher cross cultural awareness training as part of the answer?

What do you believe to be are the key elements of reconciliation and how could they be applied to schooling, or should they be?

Re: Uncle Ernie's Indigenous Perspectives

Hi Scot,

Thank you for your reply.

I think Uncle Ernie’s overall plan is good but simply more explanation on all areas so teachers teach the right thing for no disrespect to be given to the Aboriginal Culture because if teachers are teaching the wrong thing then this concept will be passed down to the next generation of Australians.

I would definitely use the teacher cross-cultural awareness training as it is much more in-depth and sets out clearly what to teach. An example can be found at:

So the above covers more specific examples of the aboriginal culture but when it comes to reconciliation, Reconciliation Australia says the most important points for reconciliation today are ‘Respect, relationships, opportunities, tracking progress and reporting’ (Australian Government, 2008). Reconciliation Australia’s main focus is towards ‘a fair and safe civilization while giving Indigenous Australians the same opportunities and rights as non-indigenous Australians through valuing diversity and networking together’ (Australian Government, 2008).

These topics are quite deep and could be taught at a base level in primary school because not only all children but all people need to know about and how to reconcile with others. These topics could definitely be taught in high school and in its entirety especially in the latter years (11 and 12) because we need to be open about what has happened so the next generation don’t make the same mistakes.

What do you think?

From Paul Jak.

Reference List

Australian Government. (2008). Reconciliation Action Plan 2008-11. Retrieved August 30, 2009, from

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Emerging Technologies

Some schools still do not have enough computers for the amount of students in the school and how long have computers been available and affordable for?  Money is and probably always will be limited to schools from the government because it simply costs too much to resource all public schools.
Of course, if the programs are free or of very low cost for schools it still opens students up to more possible bullying and stranger danger which are very serious issues.
If I had to solve this problem right now I would choose to allow students to access these sites and technology at school.  If performed under teacher supervision, across networks that are available for students only, with passwords and access only from school and government 'watch dogs' filtering all sites, it is certainly possible. I know the danger is still there but with the right education it allows students to access new technologies and possibly learn at fast and more efficient rates.
What are your thoughts?
From Paul Jak.

Re: Emerging Technologies

The strong argument about techology in schools has always been about the money....I recently heard that distribution of funds within the school is metered out by the Principal. Therefore, it would stand to reason that the Principal should consider the importance of technology and making that accessible to all students.
I have teenagers who signed an IT Contract wherein they agreed to surf the net responsibly. All students and parents sign the contract although not all students honour their agreement. It is the monitoring of the internet that comes into scrutiny and in a large classroom it is very difficult to overlook all the computers.
In saying that....I agree that there should be a greater focus on having technologies of all kinds available to students....we live in a technological world surely we need to prepare them for it??? Again, the challenge is monitoring the content.

Re: Emerging Technologies

Hi Tania and Paul,
I think one way of dealing with this in schools that are not equipped enough with ICT's would be to inform the students the best you could as a learning manager on what is available for them outside of school such as the local library and home. Of course we must educate our students about the "keeping safe on the internet" when using computers outside of school as they may not have the safety nets that are applied to government schools. I agree with Scott's posting's that safety nets could be relaxed as the student gains a better understanding of the internet and school grades increase with age. There is always going to be someone who will missuse the internet no matter how much we educate our students.

Melody x