Archive for December, 2011|Monthly archive page

How is technology used at your school?

Are students and teachers at your school really reaping the benefits of the Digital Education Revolution?

Below are some recent statistics on technology use in US colleges and universities:

  • Only 59% of students agree their institution uses its technology effectively?
  • 40% of students think their institutions don’t use the technology they have effectively
  • 47% of students agree that technology makes professors better at their jobs.

Source: Online Colleges Guide

How did students and teachers use the technology at your school this year?

More importantly, how will students and teachers use technology to facilitate powerful learning experiences in 2012?

Technology Use on the College campus

Using student assessment for professional learning


assessON informs professional learning

How can student learning guide and inform your professional learning?

Formative assessment is widely used to improve learning outcomes for students. However a recent paper from the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development titled Using student assessment for professional learning: focusing on student outcomes to identify teachers’ needs suggests that the same principles of formative assessment can be used to inform professional learning for teachers.

This paper suggests that the learning of both students and teachers proceeds through ‘successive, cumulative stages, or dimensions’. In particular, these stages focus on three key questions:

‘Where am I going?’,
‘How am I doing?’
‘Where to next?’ (Hattie & Timperley, 2007)

While students answer these questions during their learning, teachers also use the answers to these questions to inform their knowledge of students and how to teach them.

Go to the latest edition of Curriculum Leadership to read more.

Jacaranda’s newly released online assessment tool assessON allows students to focus on these three key questions to navigate their learning. From a teacher’s perspective, the rich diagnostics in assessON enable teachers to be better informed of their students’ learning while interrogating the ways they teach.


Knowledge Quest is live!

Knowledge Quest

Jacaranda’s new immersive, interactive game Knowledge Quest is live!

Time for your students in 2012 to have serious fun! What a great way to engage your students while they master the core skills of the English language!

Knowledge Quest – video

Getting your priorities right with myWorld Atlas!

myWorld Atlas

Create your own case studies in myWorld Atlas

Teachers truly deserve their holidays!

I remember that wonderful feeling when I walked out of the school gates on the last day of the year. An enormous weight was lifted off my shoulders. No need to think urgently about what I will cover in my next classes or stressing about getting those assignments marked before tomorrow morning.

On the last day of school, the only thing that really matters to you is the next 5 or so weeks. Time to go on holidays for well deserved R & R at the beach after another gruelling year. Time to catch up with dear friends who you only see at Christmas because you are so busy throughout the year. Time to adopt a refreshing new view of the world.

If you are travelling during these holidays, why not use Jacaranda’s myWorld Atlas to plan and record your time away. You can use the ‘add a pin’ tool to track the places you visit on the myWorld Atlas globe.

Create a case study for each pin by adding your own notes and photos of your travels. Then select the ‘share’ feature so that your friends can view your holidays in Facebook. No need for your friends to have or even know about myWorld Atlas. Your adventures can be viewed directly from their news feed in Facebook.

In the new year I will post some tips on how you can use myWorld atlas in your classes. More about that later – the only thing that really matters now is getting your priorities straight!

Enjoy your well-deserved holiday!

myWorld Atlas

assessON is now live!


Jacaranda’s new online assessment tool assessON is now live!

assessON is an innovative online tool that provides additional assessment resources for the Australian Curriculum maths or science  courses. It enables online assessments and automatic feedback.

From a teacher’s perspective, this will transform your workflow. Think of the time you will save with preparing and marking assessment. Think of the instant information you will receive to help you diagnose the learning needs of your students and monitor their overall progress.


The curiosity of the circus

Ladies and gentlemen
Boys and girls
Step right up, step right up
Come closer, you won’t believe your eyes.

Today I went to the circus.

What makes the circus engaging is the spectacle of others performing the seemingly impossible. Acrobats defy gravity, magicians enthrall us with mystery and illusion, clowns captivate us with sight gags.

The circus engages our senses and stimulates our curiosity.

While not intending to trivialise our lives as a circus, how will you engage others in 2012?

If you are a teacher, how will you engage your students’ curiosity?

If you are an ICT integrator, how will you engage your teaching colleagues’ curiosity?

What will your colleagues and students learn in 2012?

What ‘circus’ spectacle will they perform that is seemingly impossible?

Teacher’s ICT Toolkit

Thanks to follower Paul Chamberlain for his presentation delivered yesterday at The Science Teachers’ Association of Western Australia Future Science Conference 2011.

Some great ideas here for those of you who are ICT integrators in schools – tech brekkies, twenty-20, speed geeking!

A great definition of Personal Learning Network (PLN). Some more tips here on how teachers can get started with their own PLN.

Teaching ICT Toolkit – Future Science Conference 2011

Knowledge Quest: serious fun

What has happened to ‘fun’?

Once upon a time we had a very clear distinction between ‘work’ and ‘fun’. We went to work. When we finished work we went home and had fun.

This separation of ‘work’ and ‘fun’ is a construct of an industrial economy.

In post-modern knowledge economy, we complain about not achieving work-life balance. We’re too busy to have time for fun.

Instead of thinking about separating fun from work, we now need to integrate the two.

Separating work and fun is the industrial economy mindset. Integrating work and fun is the new post-industrial mindset we need to apply. We need to have fun when we work.

We also separate work and fun in education. There is a time to be serious and a time to have fun. Why not have fun whilst learning?

It is also time to apply a new mindset to education in the 21st century. Let’s have fun while we are doing the serious work of learning.

Jacaranda’s Knowledge Quest integrates work and fun. Knowledge Quest English is an immersive, interactive game, supported by a full colour workbook, that builds core skills in English. It helps students, teachers and parents prepare for the NAPLAN test with best-practice diagnostic technology that monitors individual progress.

Time to have serious fun!

Knowledge Quest is released next week!

Knowledge Quest – video

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