Words of Wisdom from My Students

My colleague Paul Huebl, stumbled across a brilliant teachable moment whilst demonstrating how to record audio tracks and insert them onto blogs. I thought it was a great idea and attempted the same task with my students too.

The task was for our students to provide words of wisdom to the Year 5’s in preparation for Year 6 in 2014. I asked my students to prepare a sentence about Year 6 and how to be successful within our year level. Students were encouraged to create their own phrases or find an inspiring line online.

This was out result:

Words of Wisdom

Here are the post it notes of their words of wisdom as a wall display in our classroom:


This is where I found my inspiration: Visit Paul Huebl’s blog for the full post:


Blog Post by Paul Huebl:

As part of teaching my students how to record and mix an audio file as a substitute for writing a blog post, I created this. Making it up as I was going along, I thought it would be a good idea to have each of my students come up with ‘words of wisdom’ that they want to share with next year’s Year 6′s. I thought it would be interesting for my current students to reflect on something that they see as important for ‘surviving’ Mr Huebl as a teacher. All the kids participated with good humour and this is our result.


CEGSA Conference/ EdTechSA 2013 Day 1

I am currently attending the CEGSA/ EdTechSA 2013 conference. Screen Shot 2014-02-18 at 4.02.07 PM

Today I have listened to 2 keynote speakers Mark Sparvell and Nick Jackson.

The first Keynote speaker was Mark Sparvell who was highly amusing and engaging. The main concepts/ messages I learnt from his keynote were as follows:

1. Technology is the key to taking action within our world today. Technology encourages creativity, socialisation and an active path to engage with society.

2. Technology was not invented to make the teachers job harder (although we may feel like it does sometimes!), we want our students to work harder, not the teacher. Technology is a tool to aid us in meeting learners needs in a complex world where we don’t know what our students need for their future.

3. Do not covet your ideas, give away everything you know and more will come back to you. This idea of collaboration and sharing our knowledge and learning with the world. Making learning relevant and useful. Sharing what we know and seeking answers to things we don’t.

4. There is real learning to be had in conflict. Testing our ideas, sharing and proving our theories, learning from others opinions etc. We need to engage with others to get a global view not simply a single class perspective.

5. The 3 P’s: Play, Project Management and Problem Finding. Engaged and successful students will play to create, explore and understand. Students will manage their own projects (Passion based learning) and direct their learning. Problem Finding: inquiry leads to deeper understanding on a personal level. We want our students to find answers to their own questions in any means suitable to them, using tech has made this easier.

The second Keynote speaker was Nick Jackson whose message about Digital Leaders had me thinking about how to implement this within my own school.

The main concepts/ messages I learnt from his keynote were as follows:

 1. Empowerment: the giving or delegation of power or authority, authorisation. Communication is the fundamental concept here surrounded by trust, respect, territory and control. We want to empower our students, give them responsibility and power, take control of their territory (learning environments) and learning and to trust us (their teachers and peers) in this process of learning and life.

2. “Learning is most effective when it is active, involves working on real tasks in collaboration with others- in both virtual and physical settings” (Education Services Australia, 2009 a, p.2). We need to make learning authentic and purposeful. Being connected to our world, global perspectives, the ability to investigate and find answers to real life problems.

3. Digital Leaders: Nick had a team of students who were digital leaders within his school. In Year 6 we have been exploring this in peer modelling/ teaching. We would like to take this one step further and implement Digital Leaders across Year 5 & 6 within our school. Digital leaders, (Tech helpers) assist teachers and peers with their technology learning, via trouble shooting or modelling how to use/ solve issues. I think that this could be done through ICT Club within our school or just within Year 5/6 & 7 classes. The Year 7’s already have a Leadership Program, I think this would fit in nicely within our school context.

After Nick’s keynote presentation I spoke to him about coming to our school and speaking with staff about his findings and work in this area. I think we need to push for teacher & parent involvement/ understanding. Students know how, we need to catch up with them!

Workshops Day 1:

Session 1: iPads across the Curriculum

Organisational structures:

Planners or diaries time management. Synchronize home and school calendars. Day Map (Unley high school timetable) We would use KnowledgeNet here.

Backup to a computer not just iCloud.

iPads are delicate tools. If they get broken suggestion to fix them: Storage minders, Digimob in the City, AllTec fixing iPads.

Have protective cases. Armor cases, look into it.

Reminders to charge at home before school, no charge, use old school paper and pencil.

Homework Apps: Keynote, Pages and Numbers.

Sharing assignments, drop box, email, Knowledge Net or any learning platform.

Airplay, Apple TV useful to connect iPad to the screen as opposed to Interactive whiteboard across Year 6. Suggest to committee.

Pearson textbooks on iPad

Our team will need to find all of the standard apps we want our students to use, these will be purchased first above games and personal apps.

Science Apps:

The Elementals: Periodic table, Nova Elements, The Elements Quiz, GeoWalk SOSE/ Science, Solar Walk explore the solar system interactively. Biology App: iCell, Animal, Bacteria, Cell and cell structure, Puzzling Plates: Geology

Apps to investigate: Popplet, brainstorming map, mind map, Ubersense: Video slow motion video playback. Great for experiment playback, Explain Everything

The Arts  


Garageband Smart Instruments, I can play an instrument that I do not know how to use.

Tuner and time keeper both apps free for tuning instruments and keeping time.




Stylus, pad on the end, no lagging and more precise. Jot Classic Stylus, LeetGeek Stall.

SketchBook Pro: $5, good for design

Brushes: drawing app, playback shows the process of making and creating of images. Simplified Photoshop but you cannot put words into Brushes.

Procreate: user friendly again easier to use than Photoshop.


Art Rage

Note: Give students choice with tools on iPad apps, obviously needs to be compatible to hand up etc.

LOTE Language

LanguagePerfect Eg Chinese, Italian. Allows you to practice tones, pronunciation, writing etc. Searches through dictionary much easier, you can draw symbols, do direct searches and get interpretations. The app is free but the school needs to subscribe.

iTunes U: Useful for everything! Easy Chinese, online courses, quizzes, lectures, textbooks etc.

Reflection of session:

4 Students from Unley high school spent the sessions explaining how they use iPads across the curriculum in high school. Suggested apps they use across subjects. Some didn’t match obviously as we are Primary school but some were good suggestions. In relation to specialist staff I would recommend that Music and Art teachers utilise iPads within their programs. Chinese could benefit too.

I think staff should find the apps that we want to use and create a list for our student as part of their booklist, apps should be installed before school begins. We should utilise Google Docs, Calendars,  email etc.

Also look into iPad guided app, which locks apps for use during lessons and explore Touch Autism: Social Stories about how to manage my own device.

Session 2 Blogging for Beginners: By Paul Huebl

This afternoon Paul went through the usefulness of blogging with your students and its educational benefits.

Blogging essentially is a learning journal for your students/ class. It improves literacy, writing skills in particular. It documents learning experiences via text, images and videos. It allows students to publish their work to a wider audience.

Many Practical ideas were shared as well as online safety practices. A link to some useful resources when blogging is here:


I used part of this session to blog about my personal learning today, and now you have read it!

Looking forward to the Teach Meet session later in the afternoon and Day 2 of the CEGSA conference. I will blog again tomorrow.

Please leave me some feedback, as I am quite new to blogging about my professional learning.