LEAD Awards

Last week the Catholic Education Office West Australia, gave me an award as part of the LEAD awards for excellence initiative. The LEAD awards recognise projects and initiatives exemplifying the categories of Catholic Education WA’s strategic direction: Learning, Engagement, Accountability and Discipleship. Continue Reading…

The Art of Learning Design

Every month vendors and app developers improve their platforms in response to the needs of the most efficient and proactive teachers, and the lines between technology and pedagogy blur.

But for many, this “EdTech” bullet train is passing us by with just a few onboard. The reason for this isn’t because some teachers have missed their opportunity to be involved, it is because most teachers are not ready to apply transformative methods to their teaching practice. Continue Reading…

Personal Learning Profiles

A few months ago I wrote about the importance of differentiation in the classroom. It was identified that, by providing teaching staff with a wide spectrum of details about a student, then learning could become more meaningful.

Since that discussion, my colleagues and I agreed that a Personal Learning Card, available about each student in the school, should be a priority. This finely curated digital card would give teachers an ‘at a glance’ overview of a learner. Continue Reading…

Google Drive from an educators perspective

If you use Google Drive for work/school, you will find that keeping all of your files organised, can get out of hand very quickly.

As you add new items into your Drive, the files typically reside in the ‘top level’, without any folder structure. This can give the impression of a chaotic & unorganised space. Continue Reading…

Redefining home security from Canary

The internet of things.

This blog is typically reserved for discussion around innovative tools and practices in education. However with the huge impact that the ‘internet of things’ is making on our lives, I am very excited at the positive impact that devices like the Canary can bring into our homes and lives. This post is a review of the Canary security device, available from www.canary.is Continue Reading…

Adobe in WA Classrooms events

I have just signed up to join the Adobe team for some training, next week at Edith Cowen University. The sessions look really interesting, with 4 sessions including: “Webdesign without coding using Adobe Muse & Edge Animate” and “Animate Digital Portfolios made easy with Adobe Acrobat”. Continue Reading…

A Classroom of Apples and Pears

Technology’s role in differentiation

Computers can be used for a whole variety of purposes in the classroom. But I have recently come to the conclusion that if technology’s use is for anything other than the pursuit of personalised learning and differentiated instruction, then educators should reassess the role that technology plays in their pedagogy. Used in the wrong way, technology can be non-conducive to learning, and nothing more than an expensive distraction. Continue Reading…

Setup your iPhone 6 tips

The essential top 10 steps to setup your new iPhone 6

iPhone screens are getting bigger. I am already seeing dozens of new iPhones at my 7-12 school and I am anticipating that in the next 3-5 years, this device might become a students primary tool.

I have assisted many teaching staff in recent weeks, with their new iPhones, primarily to connect them to our network. But while we are together, our discussion expands into “Can I use this tool to further enhance my teaching practice?”.

Well, set it up correctly and your iPhone can become both a fantastic personal assistant, and a self directed and inclusive learning tool. Continue Reading…

A review of the iPhone 6 at the highest point in Africa

How did the iPhone 6 cope on a trip up Kilimanjaro and around the Serengeti?

While trying to justify my $1000 purchase to my wife she challenged me, “what can it do that my iPhone 5s cannot?”. After some head scratching I responded that it has a better battery life and a better camera, infact I was going to prove it by making it the first iPhone 6 to go up to 19000 feet to the summit of Kilimanjaro, and capture some great photos on the way.

Continue Reading…

A review of iTunes U Edmodo and Google CLassroom

A Modern Learning and Teaching Environment

A comparison of iTunes U, Edmodo and Google Classroom.

If your students are using any form of technology throughout their day, then one would expect the consumption and creation of digital media. This may be in the form of a Word doc or PDF. As students begin to express their creativity further they will create images, videos and audio podcasts. Your LMS will be the glue that brings together all of this media, the LMS will be a ‘one-stop shop’ for students to visit while doing homework or revision. You can use it to share the course assessment criteria, or any marking matrix. This digital location is very important for schools looking to reduce printing costs, while keeping all students on track on their learning pathway. In this article I will compare 3 modern LMS’s and highlight the positives and negatives so that you can select a platform that best suits you. Continue Reading…

Measure success of ICT dept

Measuring success: is your technology investment worth the money?

I have worked at two schools over the last five years and in terms of student achievement, I have found that each year group is as different as the next. Some excel in literacy, where as others are gifted in the arts.

One thing I can say for sure is that the use of technology over the last five years has not seen a significant improvement in NAPLAN or ATAR scores – at least not an improvement that could be fairly accredited solely to a 1:1 computing environment. So why then should principals support the budgets demanded by the ICT Department? Continue Reading…

Education: A global challenge, improved through collaboration

For the first time, every school in the world has an opportunity to place themselves amongst the highest achieving academies. The very best online education resources are often completely free, meaning that every student on the planet can have the same opportunities as the next. Cloud services like Edmodo or Google Apps For Education are so powerful that, to not align oneself with such resources, and to not expose students to these tools, is considered by many to be reckless.
Continue Reading…

The T’s & C’s

The T’s and C’s

Last month I wrote about classroom tasks which could be easily sorted by 3 C’s: Consumption, Creation and Collaboration (read here). By aligning your tasks with Blooms Taxonomy the iPad apps became authentic learning tools. Continue Reading…

Classroom Tasks

The Tasks

Below I have outlined a number of tasks, for use with the iPad in the classroom. I believe that if you understand these 5 tasks from beginning to end, you will have an excellent foundation to build any engaging classroom activities. Continue Reading…

Blooms, SAMR & the 3 C’s

All the apps you’ll ever need

As I prepared for an upcoming presentation at a local University I unloaded my test iPad of all its applications and created a new iPad, complete only with apps which I use at school every week. This iPad would become my “essentials” iPad, strategically and efficiently full of apps I wholly recommend to every educator I meet.

I went through the apps and I developed a list, indicating the apps purpose. I found that these purposes consistently fell into 3 categories: Consumption, Creation and Collaboration. Continue Reading…

Plans to blossom in 2014

Your ICT roadmap for 2014

During the Christmas break my team and I conducted a thorough review and stock take of equipment, software and services at my school. It proved to be a very interesting exercise. What has been most revealing is the amount of young and often very expensive technology that is no longer being used. Our school, like many others, cast the net far and wide as we searched for a technology driven curriculum, and we now find ourselves casting off short-lived hardware and ideas. Continue Reading…

iSupport PWR iPad in business image

Redefining business practice at PWR

PWR provide a complete emergency response service to the mining and construction industry. They work at the busiest mining sites in Western Australia and are responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of all equipment, vehicles and personnel. They follow stringent legislative and regulatory requirements. Continue Reading…

Manage your child’s spend on iTunes with Allowances

As I was adjusting my credit card details through iTunes I spotted an option which will help parents who have children at BYOD iPad schools (like mine) to manage their child’s spend.

Set up an iTunes Allowance
This little known feature allows one iTunes account (with a registered credit card) to credit another account each month. For example you as a parent could credit your child’s account with an allowance each month, enabling them to purchase apps as requested by your school. The child account does not have to have a credit card associated with it and will receive credit each month until you stop the allowances. This might be very useful for the first few weeks of a new school term. Equally this could be a good way to manage an over enthusiastic app/digital music purchaser. Continue Reading…

Change Management – moving from email to Gmail

I recently initiated a change at my school, one which would prove to be the biggest challenge I have faced in my professional career. I changed something which every staff member uses throughout every single day. A technological tool which, should it fail could be detrimental to the success of my organisation. Continue Reading…

A small ask of iOS7

Apple’s locked-in user experience may become their undoing.

Make no bones about it, the iPad and iPhone before it, revolutionised the personal computing market. The interface between the technology and human expression was reduced to simple gestures and interaction which felt intuitive. Most importantly accessing content become simple. Apple themselves being the provider of entertainment through their various stores.

And the best thing about it all was that “it just worked”. And it did for the most part. The average consumer was met with the service which one has come to expect when you part with your hard earned cash. The reason for this was because Apple maintained high standards. Certain processes (and guidelines) had to be followed in order for your work to feature on the App Store. Continue Reading…

The Digital Education Revolution comes to an end. Where now?

The final round of government funding is currently being distributed to schools all around Australia. So far over 967,000 computers have been bought, infrastructure built and (most) teachers up-skilled to benefit from the acquisition. But as the funds come to an end, many school principals are wondering if the process has been beneficial, and how can they continue to support and progress the Digital Education Revolution? Continue Reading…

The iPad can be likened to a Pandora's box

A Pandora’s Box

Developing a Digital Fair Use Policy for your home and school.

Creating a Digital Fair Use Policy for your school which preserves authentic teaching while utilising the full potential of modern technology is a precarious task which carries large implications.

Many schools throughout W.A. are finding themselves in a position where students are armed with modern devices which empower students so much, that some teachers are feeling an overwhelming sense of despair. Parents find themselves navigating a type of teenage angst never known before. An awkward adolescents, made worse by an affiliation with new fangled technology resulting in a type of popularity contest conducted in an online world…a stage where one is judged by friends and peers. Continue Reading…

Open your mind, not your laptop

A school, near to me here in Perth, has a very interesting saying:

“We open our minds, not our laptops”

The school is held in very high regard. At the school, success is defined clearly with consistent grades and diverse opportunities for its students.

The school makes its stance on technology clear: the thought of a 1:1 computer environment is both economically and pedagogically the wrong decision. For three years, I have been intrigued by this stance and further investigation has revealed that the school may have the right idea. Continue Reading…