Studies of Asia – October Workshop


Please begin by using the comments link on this post to share your personal learning goals for this workshop.

I have the pleasure of facilitating another 2 Day workshop for the Studies of Asia group at the Victorian department of education. Lindy Stirling, State Advisor, Studies of Asia (see the Studies of Asia Wiki) has organised this session at the Clifton’s in Melbourne’s beautiful CBD.

After adding your comment, you might like to download the handouts for this 2 Day Workshop

Studies of Asia Links

Participants’ Blogs

Activity 1: Great examples from previous Studies of Asia Workshops

To get a sense of what we will be creating over the next two days, please explore the work created by participants in previous sessions.  Try to notice the features, strategies and benefits gained from such a learning platform.

Brainstorm what you noticed using a shared Stixy board

Activity 2: Creating your Online Platform

Fine-tuning your Blog


Interesting Videos (all on YouTube)

Images for your blog (Creative Commons-licensed content)



Added Bonus?:Web 2 Tools

Presentation Interludes

Activity 3: Look to Learn

“Asian” Tumblr Look to Learns

Work Period

Task: Create 2 – 4 5 – 10 Look to Learn Activities for your students

Activity 3: Enrich your site with content and rich media

RSS Feeds

Other Media

Activity 4: Manage your Rich Media Links

Activity 5: The ClassPortal Twist


For Ideas & Inspiration

C E QA LL / Seek all!

Self-managed Learning Framework for students

Feedback – links!

ISV Series Wrap-ups

Welcome Back!

Welcome to what is a bitter-sweet day where we get to see what great work everyone has done this year, but also have to say good-bye.

The main focus is giving people enough time to share what they have trialled (and mastered!) in terms of integrating ICTs and authentic student learning.   As such, I’ve asked participants to send along links to illustrate their journeys.

I’ve asked participants to reflect on the following:

  • your own learning,
  • how you have supported collegial learning, or
  • how you have fostered student learning

Real, Rich and Relevant


Thursday – AGQTP

Madhuri Noah

Ian Daw

Anne Tonga

Amy Thompson

 Susan MacKay

Sandra England

Renee Hall

Mike Dye

Michelle Nachsatz


Joel Halperin


Lisa Duggan

Daryl Davey

EtherPad Collaboration on Choice, Competence, Challenge and Culture


Trial ClassBubbles (oxley)

Review Concepts & Links

Looking to Learn

Example: History Compressed – See – Think – Wonder


For Ideas & Inspiration


Recent Samples

Older Examples

Tom’s WebQuest Resources

Transformation Tweakers

C E QA LL / Seek all!

Self-managed Learning Framework for students

Web 2.0



Additional Challenges

  • Create Collaborative Partnerships
  • Prepare Staff PL / Presentations
  • Tweak WebQuest Transformations
  • Explore Twitter
  • Build a Netvibes Feed page

 Preparing for 2013


Working at St Paul’s in Port Macquarie


It’s a pleasure to be working with teachers in the St Agnes’ Parish in Port Macquarie.

Getting Started – Any Questions?

Because the schools already serve courses on Moodle, support student learning with laptops and will launch an iPad program for Year 7 students in 2013, let’s focus on integrating Web 2.0 tools to advance student learning and success.  In other words, you’re already quick a ways along your journey.  So to begin, let’s see what questions people have.  Let’s take a risk and try some new software – go to this forum (if it stuffs up – come right back and use the Comments function for this post! – or you can always use the Contact Form)

Brainstorming the Challenge

What are the positive and negative aspects for having students pursue learning through 1:1 digital devices?  Or Plan B with Stixy.  (By the way, in case you want a quick fil-in on Web 2.0 here’s a clickable tagcloud)

So how do we keep to the positive and avoid the negative?

Background Presentation

I’ve been working on this challenge for many years, so let’s make sure we understand the real issues.  This is where I do a presentation.

Pedagogical Validation

People rightly want to validate the research – as they should – so here are some direct links to fields of research that I find most powerful for 1:1 personal learning: Self-Determination Theory, Cultures of Thinking, Habits of Mind, Flow Theory, Grit and Authentic Happiness.  Which integrate into the two core frameworks below.

Introduction to the Edge-ucators Way

Look to Learn examples

Tom’s Archive, stream and prompts + the “About Page

Snapshot of ClassPortals and WebQuests

  • Tom presents

Your Learning Session


  • ROWE – Results Only Work Environment: Time, Team, Task, Technology
  • SOLE – Self Organising Learning Environment – Sugata Mitra TED Talk
  • The CEQ•ALL Rubric to guide your process.

C E QA LL / Seek all!

Self-managed Learning Framework for students

Immersion Activity

You can choose any of the three levels to achieve results on (ROWE) during this hands-on workshop session.  So that we get an idea of how many will choose each level, use the poll here to indicate your choice.

Other support

1. Looking to Learn

Required Result: Find or make 3- 5 Look to Learn activities you can use with students or colleagues

Example: History Compressed – See – Think – Wonder

The Tumblr Twist

To “Work the Web” for education, we need a flexible space that empowers us to easily work with rich media. Our first stop will be Tumblr.

Full Tumblr Tutorial page – new!

Web 2 Tools – Social Bookmarking

Web 2 Tools Sampler Panel

RSS Feeds

Other Media

3. WebQuests

Required Result: Review examples and online resources below, meet with Tom and complete the Designing a WebQuest handout for a specific unit of work.

Recent Samples

Older Examples

Tom’s WebQuest Resources

 4. Other?

  • Come chat with Tom



Tumblr: New home for Look to Learn

From “All Rights Reserved” to “ReBlog?”


When I first heard about Tumblr, I had little interest because I thought, “why do I need a more limited version of WordPress (of which I am a long time fan and user)?  Read this as “slow to get” emerging technologies or cautious in frittering away my and other educators’ limited time.  I’m hardly a “bandwagon” figure in the Ed Tech arena and am often a voice in the wilderness or ICT Cassandra sitting in my little Australian corner of the world (see The New WWW – Whatever, Whenever, Wherever).  But when I see a new tool or platform make teachers’ jobs easier and their students’ learning better – I can get pretty vociferous.  And now I “get” Tumblr – so WATCH OUT!

To get started use the detailed Tumblr Tutorial, but read on to see why this is so great.

A bit of background in case you’re even slower than me.  In a New York Times article Tumblr’s “media evangelist,” Mark Coatney, describes it as “a space in between Twitter and Facebook”  because it promotes minimal-click uploading and sharing of images, videos, audio clips and quotes in addition to Twitter’s short text bursts.  Like Twitter, Tumblr users also “Follow” other “tumblrs” which appear in the familiar “follow quilt” of icons in a member’s sidebar.  Like Facebook, Tumblr also promotes social networking.  Neither of these are a really big deal to me.  Here’s what is: Perhaps fear of missing out on “the next big thing” – and Tumblr’s popularity with the sought-after youth market – has prompted many media giants to post all or some of their content on their own Tumblr accounts. Big Media seems to go through split personality swings of protecting their content and joining in the Web sharing fun: at present, many major media players who publish significant images on their main “All Rights Reserved” Web sites also have Tumblr sites that share the same images.  At present this list includes Reuters, Time / Life, Newsweek, Aljazeera, The Guardian, PBS NewsHour, National Public Radio and The New Yorker (see the more extensive list below).  Why this is important to us – developers of learning?  In a word, “Reblog.”  When you are logged in to Tumblr and view content from another Tumblr site, all you have to do to transfer the content of the post to your site is click the “Reblog” icon in the top right corner (as seen on this screen grab from the Time Magazine Tumblr site).  This immediately opens your Tumblr dashboard, embeds the content, links back to the original source and enables you to add further text.  For me this means a Looking Prompt in order to turn plain old engaging rich media into a creative thinking activity that can shift the entire culture of a classroom, school and student’s life of learning.   To make this process even easier, I have created a Look to Learn Tumblr site as well as the Sample Prompts page from which you can copy / paste / edit some Thinking Routines straight into your reblog. While copying prompts or visiting the Look to Learn Tumblr site for posts to reblog, also explore the “Follow Quilt” for content providers you might be interested in.  The benefit of following is that each time you go to your Tumblr site, you’re welcomed with the latest content from those you follow.  At the first instance, it makes sense to follow the Look to Learn Tumblr site because it shares everything I’ve considered valuable from those I follow and to which I’ve appended an appropriate prompt.  This way, a steady stream of potential activities arrives directly to you for use in your classroom and that you can share with colleagues in your school and professional online network.  This is a perfect example of how – in the Digital Era – we can work smarter and simultaneously help students become smarter.

In summary, every so often a new tool comes along that positively changes how we can “work the Web for education.”  Before that tool we could do the work, but it took a few clicks too many to really make it part of our daily lives.  Tumblr is such a tool because with it we now have one platform that easily sources content, posts it and enables sharing and community.  Previously, this required email or RSS feeds, a blog and a social network.  For the keen among us, working across these three platforms was no barrier because we knew the real challenges we faced before even they existed when we had to scan images, write in HTML and disseminate through email lists.  What’s great about Tumblr is that it erases the obstacles so that all every teacher can not only participate, but create!

What about WordPress?

The incredible wealth of great content and the ease with which you can both discover and create new posts may make some consider switching to Tumblr as the preferred platform.  For me, no.  There’s a lot more I like to do with a Web space (see ClassPortals and WebQuests to name 2), but the advantages offered by Tumblr have prompted me to switch to it as the medium for the main Look to Learn Web site.  In just the past week I’ve increased my creation of new “L2L”s tenfold so the decision was easy.  I look forward to sharing this approach with participants in upcoming workshops.

Tumblr Archives (all of which allow Reblogging)

The list below are my favorite “Big Media” content providers with Tumblr accounts.  This means that every one of them allows – even encourages you – to embed their content in your own Tumblr stream.  Amazing how quickly things can change from “All Rights Reserved” to “Reblog.”

For Content on Current Events & What’s Buzzing Virally

The first link for each site goes to the account’s “archive” page that lets you see a thumbnail of their recent posts.  This way you can tell if you find the content valuable.  If you do, go to the “stream” and “Follow” the site once you are logged-in to your own Tumblr account.

For Fun

We’ll chat about how Pinterest figures in shortly.

As always, let me know what you think.


Why I Love WordPress (again)

I’ve been using WordPress since 2004 and have become a broken record lauding it as an exemplar of open source software and community.  I’ve used every flavor of WordPress and still do for a variety of different applications:,, network version, softaculous installs, etc.  For this site and almost everyone I create I use my own installation, but for workshops – so that people can get started within minutes and develop content that can later be exported and imported to their own full install – I use

What’s prompted this post is that I’m getting ready for a new series of workshops and wanted to see how the .com version might handle Pinterest embeds.  Those who use this version, know that embeds can be limited because nasty coding can be injected that could harm the shared hosting and servers.  But the WordPress team has been great about keeping up with the dominant trends in Web 2.0 and creates shortcodes that convert the embed into WordPress-friendly content.  All the major video sites work this way as do Google Maps.

So imagine my delight when seeking new rich media for Look to Learn posts that I learned already accepts Pinterest embeds:

Look to Learn

Imagine this fellows drawing board were an iPad – how might this be symbolic for our “All Fit to One’s Size” digital culture?

Source: via Ben on Pinterest


  1. What do you see?
  2. What do you think about that?
  3. What does it make you wonder?

Curriculum Mapping in Melbourne

I’m fortunate to be working with ACEL and ASCD as they bring Heidi Hayes Jacobs and Ann Johnson to Australia to continue the introduction of Curriculum Mapping to our schools.  My perspective is that available technologies enable students to “side-step or super-charge” their learning.  The determining factor is a meaningful and individualised curriculum that engages intrinsic motivation and develops a culture of thinking.  My session is titled “Curriculum Mapping + Web 2.0 = Personal Learning” as I don’t think education stands a chance of taking advantage of digital technologies without better articulating and tracking individual student learning. Curriculum Mapping has to happen.

The following handouts accompany the session:

Finally – don’t miss the Conference Archive on Heidi’s Web site, for access to presentations, handouts, etc. A real treasure of support.

Web 2 & the Studies of Asia PD

Welcome to participants in this two day workshop held at the University of Melbourne and organised by Lindy Stirling, State Advisor, Studies of Asia (see the Studies of Asia Wiki).

Day 1

We will mostly be working from Tom’s CEQ-ALL site.  The outline of Day 1 with Tom  is:

  • Web 2.0 – Empowering Learning
  • Beginning with Web 2 Tools  WordPress, Pageflakes & Diigo
  • Designing your Learning Activity

Here’s a page of handy Web addresses and resources.

Day 2

Lisa Hayman will facilitate Day 2 which will bring in the VELS and authentic assessment as well as more time to work on the learning activities.

Google InQuotes & Nov 4

One cool Google App that it would be a shame to miss over the next couple weeks is “InQuotes.”  You may have noticed a new band of quotations when searching in Google News for a person in the media buzz.  For example:

Notice that the quotation is current and you can access more quotes from the same person by clicking on their name.  In this case, 272 quotes are in the database and the first ten are listed.

Also, don’t miss the “search these quotes” field so you can narrow the collection based upon a key word:

If all this doesn’t inspire creative teachers to set their students to a critical reading / thinking exploration, take a look at the first mentioned “InQuotes” app from Google Labs.

Many of the features just highlighted are present as well as links in popular categories which shift to the top of the paired quotes with the click of a mouse.  Also note that you can “spin” or toggle through the content for each category.

The default duo is, of course, Obama and McCain, but their names are actually dropdown menus so you can compare quotations from other significant American leaders like Biden and Palin or Rice and Cheney:

Finally, as we might well forget leading up to November 4th, the US is not the only country with dueling leaders.  The “Edition” dropdown at the top-right corner presents similar match-ups for Canada, India and the UK.

What interesting uses can you think of for this neat interface?

Readers: the latest mashup?

Many would be familiar with Nicholas Carr’s recent article in The Atlantic Monthly.  Although Is Google Making Us Stoopid? really isn’t about Google, Carr bravely admits to the negative impact his many years of working on the Web have had on his attention span.  I’ve often reflected on similar shifts in my work patterns and cautioned against the lure of “intriguing ourselves to death.”  But the point of this post isn’t to debate Carr’s article.  What’s really cool is that as I surfed to the online version before my international edition arrived in Australia, I was greeted by the DiigoTraces of previous readers. 

I had been a Clipmarks evangelist this past year, but coming across other Diigoists’ comments on Carr’s article hooked me on Diigo.  As the community grows, it will be interesting to see if it develops as a thoughtful network.  


In case you haven’t tried Dipity, it’s a really cool Web 2 timelining tool. I’ve been waiting for one for a long time, but until now, the interfaces required scripting. Dipity allows for embedding images, links, movies, comments… Heaps! It also has this really slick “Flipbook” interface that imitates Apple’s Coverflow. Check it out.

Also, if you use a blog (or just about any other time-based Web 2 tool) you can easily mash it up with Dipity. Look what the crew did: flickr = Tickr, YouTube = TimeTube, Digg = Archaeologist, etc.). You can get Dipity to import your details and create a timeline from your other data.

Below is a timeline of technology milestones in the lives of our students.