Friday, August 21, 2009

Reflective Synopsis

My e-learning journey began when I was young after being introduced to MSN by my older brother and sister. I soon learnt this new way of communication. Slowly I got deeper into my journey signing up to Myspace and Facebook and frequently using these communicative tools. It was recently that I took a huge dive straight into the deep end of my e-learning journey to enhance my understanding and knowledge of the e-learning tools. This in turn gave me a new set of skills to enhance the possible learning outcomes in my classroom for my students. This Synopsis will reflect on this E-learning journey.

Throughout this journey I have been given the chance to explore a variety of e-learning tools for example Blogs, Flickr, RSS Feeders, Slideshare, Wiki and Web quest just to name a few of them. I have learnt how to use them and have discovered many applications for them. My task was to discover and research each of these tools and their uses. I evaluated whether the technology could be a useful teaching and learning tool for the classroom. I had to create and research possible uses for the different tools. I engaged in online forum conversations answering a couple of questions that were asked. I thoroughly enjoyed Skype chatting to my class mates. I found Skype very useful but also rather distracting at times chatting to family and friends overseas. This also provided an opportunity for me to work collaboratively with my peers asking questions answering theirs. This collaboration was not utilized enough by me and when I reflect back I see that it is a very beneficial process. I will continue to develop this skill as my journey continues.

As a student teacher on my journey to become a teacher I am keen to use the basic tools. Voki Avotar is one of the tools I am keen to implement into the classroom as I believe it would be a very engaging tool for the learners. Mazarno & Pickering (1997) believe it is important to "use a variety of ways to engage students in classroom task" as it is believed that students learn more when engaged. Through the use of the Voki Avator I would be teaching using a mixture of both the visual and auditory senses therefore catering for the different learners needs. The use of Voki also changes the setting or environment in the class. The students rather then just listening to me speak which they do all day, they would get to listen to an exciting Voki instead. The Queensland University of Technology (2009) believes "students learn best when they are engaged in their learning and when learning activities, resources and materials are presented as part of well designed learning environments". Similarly video and Youtube could be used for the same purposes. Here are a couple of examples of how Voki can be implemented in the classroom. Voki could be used to introduce a topic to the students or Voki could be a Policeman online ready to talk to the class about road safety. There was a lesson I prepared for teaching to a class where I dressed up as a park ranger and videoed myself talking about national parks. It would have been much easier if I had created a Voki park ranger for the class to listen to. There are many uses for Voki. It is another means to communicate with the students.

Another tool I would like to use is Wikis. I would use Wikis because it is an awesome tool for group work. Once I learnt about a Wiki I used it for another assignment. As this was a group work assignment I was able to learn first hand how useful it was when working in groups. An added advantage is that Wiki is a very easy tool to use. Group work is a very important part of learning. Students need to learn how to work together because once they are in the workforce they need to know how to relate to and work with people. Group work helps build up an important set of skills for the students. These skills can be recognized as working through various decision-making steps such as organisation, critical thinking, conflict resolution and reflection (EDU Bennett, 2007). Bennett (2007) believes "this approach follows/models many industry situations, including task forces, formal decision-making bodies, committees and informal interactions". PowerPoint is a great tool and enhances learning when used correctly. Jones (2003) believes there are problems with the use on Powerpoint in education and believes “one of the major problems is that its current use is frequently limited to an information transmission mode, often with excessive content, a usage that obscures the wider potential for diverse professional and pedagogically-sound presentations”. Jones (2003) also believes that the use of Powerpoint can enhance learning. I have been using Powerpoint for many of my lessons and believe it helps me provide framework for my lessons and it helps me deliver the correct content. I also like having the ability to add pictures, audio and video which will help engage the different learning styles. Jones (2003) discusses some good reasons to use Powerpoint. One of these is that Powerpoint can provide support and encouragement to the teachers through the facilitation of the structure of a lesson, also through the use of sophisticated audio and visual aids making the presentation more stimulating.

As I am a newbie to these different tools, I have chosen to focus on a couple at a time. I think that further down the track as I feel more comfortable in the classroom and have discovered the capabilities of the other tools I will implement them into the learning journey. I strongly believe that the E-learning technologies have a lot of potential for enhancing learning. I also believe that it is important for a teacher to find which tool suits them and in which circumstances the tools should be used. As a students teacher I will definitely experiment with the different e-learning tools to assess which tools work for me and which tools work for my students. There are some great tools out there on the World Wide Web and many of them have the potential to be brought into the classroom. While all these technologies and tools for the classroom are great, it is of high importance that the Essential Learnings and Pedagogical ways are implemented into E-learning. The QLD Government Department of Education and Training defines productive pedagogies as the "art of teaching" and encourages teachers to use a variety of different teaching styles and strategies. Let’s embrace this virtual world and use it to enhance our teaching methods, but lets not forget how useful the real world context is as a teaching tool as well.

Bennett, T (2007). Edith Cowan University (EDU). Computer reference, cited 20th Augast, 2009, at

Jones, A., (2003), The use and abuse of Powerpoint in Teaching and Learning in the Life Sciences, cited on the 07/08/09 at

Marzano, R. J., Pickering, D. J., Arrendondo, D. E., Blackburn, G. J., Brandt, R, S., Moffet, C, A.,(1997) Dimensions of learning: teacher's manual (2nd ed). Alexandria, VA:

Queensland Government ( ). Department of Education and Training. Pedagogy: computer resource cited on the 20th Augast, 2009 at

QUT (2009). Queensland University of Technology (QUT). Computer reference, cited 20th Augast, 2009, at

Voice Thread

Now Voice thread is an interesting tool, similar but different to the rest. In a voice thread you can either upload photos or videos then invite anyone to comment on it. They can comment on it using voice or just text. So it is similar in you can upload pics and stuff for others to veiw and comment but with addition of voice comments and the ease in which you can do so creates an added engagment (Educause, 2009).

Through reading Educause- 7 things you should know about voicethread website, I was amazed at the amount of uses for voice thread in the classroom. It was also interesting to see the number of educators that the Educause website descibes as already using it. Educause. (2009) says K–12 educators, have used voicethread in projects such as oral histories and presentations about books the students read. The common use may be "spurred in part by the free instructor accounts that VoiceThread offers to K–12 teachers, but the application is popular in higher education as well". "Many educators, present students with an image or video, asking a question related to it, and having them respond in VoiceThread" (Educause, 2009).

Educause. (2009) 7 things you should know about. Voicethread. Cited 18 August, 2009 from,


Now Podcasts is something that I had not experimented with yet although I had iTunes for a few years. I had never clicked on podcasts instead I had just used it to listen to music. I guess it is about time I experimented with podcast.

I followed the itunes store link clicked on podcasts, then education, followed by k-12. I decided after looking at the podcasts that I would subscribe to a couple. I chose Technology for teacher and Stories for kids. I chose technology for teachers because I thought it might keep me up to date with all the new technologies that might be useful to me as a teacher. This will save me from having to go searching for them. I subscribed to Stories for kids just to see if I could use these podcasts in the classroom. I believe I could use the stories for kids podcast in the classroom. Instead of the students hearing my voice, they could listen to an exciting story teller. This would add variety and engage the students.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Royalty free music, well I didn't know there was such a thing. This gives you a chance to have music in the class for movement/dance lessons or some soft music could be played in the background while students are working. The Royalty free music site not only has music on offer but also sound effects, clip art, photos and footage. The site describes different uses for these royalty free items many of them educational uses. These items can be used by either teacher or student as the uses range from the common powerpoint presentation to creating a video just to add some extra effects. The site states "Educators can download royalty free stock music, slideshow music, sound effects, and more for use in educational projects to enhance learning" (Royalty Free Music, 2008).

As I was looking and listening to some of the music I got a different mood/ feeling from each song as one was called ghost then another called techno. A possible lesson which came to mind was the students could use the miusic to help them write in specific genres. They could be asked to write a narative genre piece to the feeling they get from the different songs and as the song changes they would move onto the next scene of their story. (Just a thought)

Royalty Free Music, (2008). Computer siteing, retrieved 19 August, 09, from

File Storage (mediafire)

Mediafire is a site for file and image hosting needs. Its a useful site for businesses, professionals and anyone who wants to share files with clients or friends etc or just have a backup storage location.

Well I signed up to Mediafire and worked out how to upload photos. I uploaded some photos and it said it had worked. When I went to my files to veiw the pictures and it says the file is there but when I click on it it says file cannot be found. I will have to try and play around with this one again later.

When try and try again does not work seek help, if you ask the right person help is given. Here is my URL feel free to take a look, you will need to down load it to veiw it.

With the ammount of work completed on computers these days and saved to the hard drive along with music, games, movies and pictures, inevitably it fills up. Media fire creates an option to upload files to the world wide web and save it there. It is your choice as to whether you share it with the world or keep it to yourself. This is a very handy tool as it gives another back up. When you are working on assessment, the students can save it to computer and then on the net as well. This takes out the risk of leaving saved data at home because you can open it up on any computer as long as it has access to the world wide web. Students could be working on something at home, save it to mediafire and then the next day at school keep working on it without having the risk of leaving their USB stick at home.
Mediafire, (2006-2009). computer cited, 17 August, 2009 from


I had never heard of slideshare and found it pretty simple to follow to upload the PP then copy the link to the blog. I need to discover how to add some audio.

Now this was and still is a challenge. It began when I tried to load the page and it repeatedly said server is down. So I restarted everything I could and tried again, with success. I tried to upload the audiofile (already transfered to MP3 format) but an error 2028 would come up as soon as I tried to load it. As I was not sure what error 2038 was, I kept trying. After many goes it worked but then froze on synchronize page. I had another go and finally success. Once loaded I found it was pretty simple to link the audio to the slide.

Please excuse dog barking on slide 2 and 3 and dog howling when mum arrived home on slide 6. Some things are just out of our control.


Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia hence wiki(PEDIA), with 13 million articles on it in many different languages. This gives it the name (WIKI)pedia for the multilingual purposes (Wikipedia, 2009). This makes wikipedia a very useful tool. I often use it just to gain some basic understanding of a topic I am unsure about. Seeing as anyone can contribute to or edit Wikipedia it is important to make sure the information is correct by also searching for more reliable sources like government sites, education sites and scholarly articles. I would encourage my students to search a topic on wikipedia to gain an understanding of what it is but then to search for more reliable sources.

Wikipedia (2009). Wikipedia About. retrieved August 16, 2009 from


"A WebQuest is an inquiry-oriented lesson format in which most or all the information that learners work with comes from the web" (Dodge 1995). "A well-designed WebQuest combines research-supported theories with effective use of the Internet to promote dependable instructional practices" (March 2003). A webquest needs to include many factors for example (March 2003) describes these a Scaffolded Learning Structure, Use of Essential Internet Resources, Authentic Tasks That Motivate, Open-Ended Questions, Individual Expertise, Transformative Group Process, and as with all learning journeys you need to include the set curriculum and suitable pedagogy.

Both Antartica Ice to Water Australia and Terrorist or Freedom Fighters are very real and relavent webquests. Both hold deep understanding and higher order thinking challenges as the topics are very contraversial. I can see some great debates arising from these webquests. When on the webquests I found the page layout on Antartica Ice to Water Australia easier to follow and understand compared to Freedom Fighters or Terrorists.

There are multiple implications that I can think of. Time would be a major factor, creating a webquest would require a lot of time. Also the teacher would need approval from the principal to go ahead and create a webquest before implimenting it in the classroom. The Webquest would need to meet curriculum requirments. The students would need sufficient internet and computer usage time. The teacher would need to keep the WebQuest up to date with the latest information. On the other side it creates an oppurtunity to have learners engaged in structured internet usage rather then just browsing. A webquest creates self guided learning for students with teacher facilitating rather then teacher up in front of class teaching. It creates a learner centred learning environment and could engage usually uninterested students.

It would take some time to create a Webquest- especially your first. The teacher would need to work on creating their webquest in their own time. As to how much of the curriculum you would cover would depend on which part of the curriculum the class was working on, the year level and the students in the class. In reality a Webquest could cover a lot of curriculum but maybe the principal, parents and school community might be more interested in how the Webquest could improve the students Naplan results.

Dodge, B. (1995). Some thoughts about WebQuests [Online]. Available:

March, T., (2003) The Learning Power of WebQuests:

March, T. (2000b). The 3 Rs of WebQuests. Multimedia Schools Magazine, 7(6), 62.

Animation and Simulation

Animation and Simulation provide great oppurtunities for students learning where the real thing is not feasible. The ability to disect a frog creates a opportunity for students to learn about anatomy and body parts with out actually disecting a real animal. This is great as some students may find it sickening to do that to a real animal.

The ability to build an electrical curcuit online is a good tool when learning about electrical currents and power. This may be a cheaper option then buying all the parts to create one in class, althought may not be as beneficial as the hands on experience. As they do not learn what happens if you come in contact with the current, which is an important lesson to learn.

There are many other animation and simulation sites out with similar activities, i feel these tols would really enhance learning. While the task is not real as such it still provides real concepts and can feel very real for the students as it did for me. Chen (2002) believes "Computer-based simulations have the potential to enhance the transfer of learning by providing students with surrogate learning environments".

Here are some sites I found which have simulations check them out.

Chen, T. (2002). Design Considerations for Computer-based Simulations in Education. 16th Augast 2002. Retrieved from

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Google Earth

Google Earth is an awesome tool. As soon as went on the site I found my house and marked it as home. I then plotted the bike track I am plan to ride on soon to find out how far it was. Just a 10km round trip, so it should not take too long leaving plenty of time to continue this e-learning journey.

Google Earth- how can it be used in the class room? Well if the students are studying geography this is a great tool for them. Selkin, P (2009) believes "google earth can be used in education and describes these areas Topographic map interpretation, measurment and field trips". Google Earth would be great in neighbourhood studies, environmental studies etc.

The Science Education Resource Center at Carlton College (2009) belives google earth "presents a great deal of information in a geographic context, is an excellent venue for inquiry-based activities, is appropriate for educational use in a wide range of subject areas, is an effective tool integrating the study of multiple disciplines, is a great research tool and has a large active user community with a public discussion forum".

Science Education Resource Center (2009). Why Teach With Google Earth?: Carleton College.

Selkin, P (2009). Google Earth and Geoscience Education: Using Google Earth in Geoscience Education. University of Washington, Tacoma.

Video, Interactive whiteboard, static websites LM Systems


With youtube and teachtube it is very easy to access videos that assist with teaching. Whether you show the video in the class to teach the students or use the graphical pictures to engage them. There are so many educational applications. It helps if the class has easy access to video viewing of some sort.

Recently when I was teaching about the environment to year 5/4 learners I played many youtube videos. At the beginning I showed them a video of beautiful pictures of the environment with the wildlife undisturbed and then progressed to a video that showed the human destruction of the environment with litter and tree clearing, etc. This created a great class discussion and the lesson progressed with minimal guidance from there. These students were highly engaged in the videos which had some audio music background. I believe the showing of the videos enhanced their learning and understanding.

There are many uses for video in the class just like the example above but students can also create their own videos with possibly the technology they own. I have a mobile phone with a camera video on it and have used some footage taken on my mobile phone in some of my past assignments.

Video is a great tool and has many purposes in the classroom.

Interactive White Boards (IWB)

I have not yet had the pleasure of experiencing an Interactive White Board (IWB) from either a teaching or learning role. I have received mixed oppinions about them and I am keen to make up my own informed opinion about them. To me they look like alot of fun and I can't wait to explore the features of one.

An interactive white board is "essentially a large computer screen that is sensitive to touch. To operate it you need a computer and a over head Data Projector. The board can either be fixed in the one location or portable . any program that can be used on a computer can be projected onto the screen, which then becomes a touch screen for the whole class" (Marsh, C. 2008).

Through watching the above youtube video it is evident that there are many differed opinions on whether the interactive white boards are a useful tool in the classroom. But it is widely agreed that it must still be about the teaching content and pedagogy otherwise the IWB will not be as beneficial to the classroom as it potentially can be (Marsh 2008).

LM Systems

Learning Management (LM) Systems, well i thought the LMS was like the Demensions of Learning (DOL) Manual which i guess it can relate in a way as they are tools used by teachers. There are some major differences, the LMS which i am going to discuss mostly is a online learning tool for example moodle or blackboard which is used ammongst the universities. The DOL Manual defines the learning process Mazano & Pickering (1997). Both of the tools are used to enhance learning.

The LMS, well lets take moodle for example which i use at university. I logon to the site and it comes up with the list of courses i am enrolled in, when i click on one it comes up with each weeks lecture content information the specific forum in which we post questions understanding on, also can add quizzes and much more information like videos voki avators etc. This provides a great oppurtunity for any distant students as they do not need to come into class all the information is infront of them.

Static Websites

When it comes to creating a webpage there are essentially two categories; static and dynamic. A static website is comprised of Web pages with fixed content, each page displaying the same information to every visitor. Static sites are the most basic type of website and are the easiest to create. Unlike dynamic websites, they do not require any Web programming or database design. A static site can be built by simply creating a few HTML pages and publishing them to a Web server. They can be, however, difficult to keep up to date as, unlike dynamic website, they are not exposed to instant updating from a connected database. Hence the advantages of this option as a pose to dynamic websites is the easy with which it can be put together, even by someone who doesn't have much experience.

Marsh, C. (2008). Studiees of Society and environment: exploring the teaching possibilities [5th edition], Pearson: Australia.

E-portfolio Mahara

Well Mahara is something completely new to me. For most of these e-learning tools I can quickly get my head around them and understand how they work. For some reason the Mahara e-portfolio is requiring me to watch the videos to help understand it and work out how it works. I need to spend alot of time on mahara playing around with all the links to fully understand it's potential as a teaching tool.

Mahara means to think and you can use it to collect, reflect, share and/or develop your folio. Its handy for resume building, connecting users and creating online user communities. Obviously it has many Educational applications for teachers.

At the moment I am using Mahara as a back up for important files and folders (you can save these in the file repository). This is very handy so I can access my files and folders from anywhere, anytime. This means as I am doing an assignment at home I can upload it to mahara then download when I get to uni to work on it some more.

I look forward to exploring mahara more but for now I need to move on and give my brain a rest.


This YouTube video talks about global warming and it's effects on earth. YouTube is a video sharing website. You can upload and share videos. I have used similar YouTube videos to this one, on global warming to stimulate students interest, get them focused, and inform them on a topic. There is such a wide range of videos that you can use to get your point or information across to students. However you can spend a lot of time trying to find just the right video.

The University of California Berkeley actually uploads all of their lectures to youtube now for students to watch. "Berkeley officials claimed in a statement that the university is the first to make full course lectures available on YouTube. The school said that over 300 hours of videotaped courses will be available at".

So not only could there be very usful you youtube videos online but a teacher or educator could upload a lesson review for any students that missed the lesson. Durrand believes, "video sharing online has great educational potential". He goes on to say that not only can you post lesson summaries, you could record a science experiment or something similar and post that on youtube or even interviews could be posted. He also believes "video, perhaps more than any other medium, has the power to engage, enlighten, and fascinate your students".

Durrand, E,. (2009). YouTube in Education?. How Teachers can use Video Sharing for Teaching. computer source retrieved 15th Augast 2009 from

Williams, R,. (2007). youtube as a teaching tool. computer source retrieved 12th Augast 2009 from


Quizzes- refer to fun quizzes you can do, share with friends or create your own. This is a link to the little test I created. The Quizz is about the beach-you are welcome to have a go. Quizzes would be a fun way for the teacher and the students to find out information about other classmates, especially at the beginning of the year.

Quizzes can also be used as a more seriously , they can be used as an assessment tool to assess the students learning. Online quizzes provide the oppurtunity to be checked anywhere anytime as long as you have access to the world wide web, also you could say it is more environmentally friendly taking away the use of paper. These quizzes could also be used as a guidline for students to asses where they are along the learning journey. Thelwall (2000) states "There are many types of Computer-Based Assessment in use today in higher education, from formative self-tests to summative final exams".

Thelwall, M,. (2000). Computer-based assessment: a versatile educational tool. computer source, retreived 16th Augast 2009 from

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Picnik is a very handy free online tool for changing pictures, whether it is size, colour, brightness, or sharpness. It is very easy to follow along on the website, uploading photos, changing photos and then putting the changed photo back onto the computer or moving it across to flickr.

Dancing with Kylie1
Originally uploaded by Troy H Park
There are lots of special effects, frames and shapes you can use.

This is the photo that I edited, of myself and my girlfriend dancing at a wedding. I altered the size of the image and played around with the features even though the initial image was sufficient. It would be a great way to improve those not so good photos. I found the easiest way to improve your photos was to choose- autofix!

I'll be honest i am not the most artistic creative person, but i can see that this tool could be used in art in the classroom quite easily. Even if you just let the students go on upload a photo and see what they can create playing around with the different effects. This will help enhance the students creativity which is identified in this knowledge where there is so much innovation as an important part of the students learning journey. Sir Ken Robinson on the Teds talk show describes creativity as being as important as maths and literature to veiw follow this link Sir Ken Robinson Talk on Creativity.

Sir Ken Robinson,. Ted Ideas worth Spreading. Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity. Found 13th of Augast 2009, at


Flickr is a very useful site if you want to share and manage your pictures, photos and videos. You can choose to share them with just your friends or anyone. You can edit, crop, and add fonts and effects to oyur photos. You can map where your photos and videos were taken which would be great for when you were travelling. I like how you can take a photo or video with your mobile phone, email it to Flickr and it will be viewable on the site nearly straight away.

From signing up to flickr and playing around loading up pictures I could not find a way to load a few files at once so it seemed to be a very slow process to me. Maybe I am missing something.
Be careful when it comes to copyright- make sure you are allowed to use the picture. I got this picture from Flickr.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Power Point

Every time I go on Power Point (PP) I learn something new. There are so many animations and special effects available that it can sometimes be a little over whelming. Which do I choose? Which one will look good? What is the difference between fade in and dissolve in? I learnt about all of these little things that make Power Points presentations so interesting as I played around with PP. Normally when there is something I am unsure of in PP and other similar tools I can work it out by trial and error. For example, finding out how to set a picture I took as a backgroud on PP.

In education opinions as to whether Power Point is a supportive or a negative tool in the classroom ranges significantly (A, Jones 2003). Jones goes on to describe some of the pros and cons of a PowerPoint presentation. He believes while PowerPoint has considerable potential to enhance both teaching and learning there are some pitfalls and disadvantages associated with this. A, Jones (2003) states that "one of the major problems is that its current use is frequently limited to an information transmission mode, often with excessive content, a usage that obscures the wider potential for diverse professional and pedagogically-sound presentations."

I use Powerpoint in some of my lessons and always try to add some animations to keep the students engaged. I try not to have too many animations as the learners may get wound up in the special effects and loose focus on the learning journey or the pedagogy. Below is a set of tips for those creating a Power Point created by G. C. Clark, University of Notre Dame, February 2002 cited on

Design tips for effective use of PowerPoint in the classroom
1. The goal is improved learning
2. Be conservative – keep it simple
3. Use lots of white space
4. Use contrast (dark-on-light or light-on-dark, for example)
5. Design from top left to bottom right
6. People see graphics first, then text
7. Use large font size – minimum of 18 or 24 points
8. Limit use of boldface, italics, and underlining
9. Don’t write in all upper case letters
10. Use common fonts (Times New Roman, Arial, etc,)
11. No more than two fonts on a screen
12. Be concise with text
13. One concept per slide
14. Plan on spending two minutes per slide
15. Limit use of special effects (animation, sound, transitions)
16. Background patterns usually make screens harder to read
17. When creating original media, use the best equipment you can find
18. Edit files to a minimum meaningful length and size

Clark, G., (2002), Design tips for effective use of PowerPoint in the classroom, cited on the 08/08/09 at

Jones, A., (2003), The use and abuse of Powerpoint in Teaching and Learning in the Life Sciences, cited on the 07/08/09 at

Voki Avator

Voki Avator is a fun little website. Voki is the name of a service where you can create your own speaking avatars or characters. I have thoroughly enjoyed creating my Voki Avators. You will find a few of them throughout my blog site now that I have learnt about this new tool. It would be easy and fun to use this as a teaching tool in a classroom. For example if the students were learning about the environment you could create a Voki Avator as a National Parks and Wildlife Officer and this Voki Avator could give them some spoken information on how to protect the national parks. It just provides another way to communicate with the students rather then just standing up in front of the classroom teaching. "Avatars are excellent for online education. They provide the human interaction that is natural in classrooms and in the traditional learning environment" (Classrooms Without Walls).

Get a Voki now!

Classrooms Without Walls, (2007). Avatars and Education. Computer resource Retrieved 15 Augast, 2009, from

Saturday, August 8, 2009


Wiki is a very handy tool and could be used in many situations. As I am right into water polo coaching on the Sunshine Coast I created a wiki called Water Polo Coaching. My idea was to create this so any of the coaches on the coast could use this as a means to post a thread with any questions for example, 'How do you teach egg beater?' Then the other coaches could go on and suggest some ideas on how to coach it. Using the wiki as a collaborative tool to share and help each other out and share our good coaching ideas. First the other coaches would need to learn how to use it wiki.

Similarly this tool can be used in the classroom in so many ways. When the class is learning a certain subject, e.g. Under the Sea, the teacher could start a wiki with this title. The students could use the wiki to ask any questions they have and either their peers or the teacher could answer it. It could be used to gather information about a topic with all the students encouraged to research the topic and add new information they have learnt on the wiki.

In the classroom if the students are doing a group assignment they could be encouraged to use a wiki for collaboration because if they find information they could post it to their wiki for their group members to see. Augar, N, Raitman, R and Zhou, W,. (2004) from the School of Information Technology Deakin University states "Wikis are fully editable websites; any user can read or add content to a wiki site. This functionality means that wikis are an excellent tool for collaboration in an online environment". Their paper presents "wikis as a useful tool for facilitating online education and believe wikies are a valuable technology for teaching and learning online" (Augar, N, Raitman, R and Zhou, W,. 2004).

Augar, N., Raitman, R. & Zhou, W. (2004). Teaching and learning online with wikis. In R. Atkinson, C. McBeath, D. Jonas-Dwyer & R. Phillips (Eds), Beyond the comfort zone: Proceedings of the 21st ASCILITE Conference (pp. 95-104). Perth, 5-8 December.

Google Reader

All those times I have spent searching on the web for the sporting news, when instead, I could have had it sent to me using Google Reader. This makes Google Reader a very useful tool, instead of searching the net for news you can just sign up to Google Reader and subscribe to your favourite websites / blogs to get the latest news and updates commonly known as feeds. When I first created my own Google Reader account I looked up sites that I would be interested in and could subscribe to. My interests sent me to some sporting sites such as rugby league news and fishing news. Before I knew it I had 130 messages to read. I need to explore this tool a little more to fully understand all the aspects of it and everything I can do on it to get the most out of it.