Archive for November, 2008

(Ahem. Not moron).

Here is Andrew Churches wiki educational origami, outlining traditional and digital approaches to teaching literacy (see previous post). The wiki is GREAT! He has listed digital alternatives for traditional literacy practice. Love it!!! All the links are there for you to investigate….. Try his blog as well. Did I mention his Bloom’s taxonomy wiki for digital literacy???


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bloomsrevisedtaxomonyBloom’s Taxonomy is used regularly by many teachers to extend their student’s thinking through engagement in stimulating learning tasks. This diagram of the revised taxonomy from Andrew Churches webpage, identifies key verbs associated with learning at each skill level.

More importantly, Andrew links new technologies with digital literacies in each level of the revised Bloom’s taxonomy. In the diagram below, the blue words represent the new skills required at each level for students to engage in using new digital literacies. He elaborates on how digital literacy can support the development of each of these thinking skills particularly as most of our students encounter these new literacies on a daily basis outside the classroom. This is a valuable guide for teachers in looking at ways to incorporate contemporary literacy practice into classroom teaching. (If you are not sure how to incorporate digital technologies, go to this terrific blog Transitioning to Web 2.0 ).


I have seen some great learning in classrooms where teachers have applied some simple technologies to enhance student learning. These students see learning as an adventure where they have a strong voice. They are totally enraptured with what they are learning. Teachers do this despite having little or no access (in some schools) to basic technology that works! Legends!

So why am I still frustrated? Partly it is because I see the primary teachers I work with struggle with the outdated technology they have access to at school. Computers that don’t read USB drives!! Computers with old Windows programs. No access to data projectors. Problems with slow bandwith. So slow that they give up using the internet!! I hear what provisions are made for my secondary colleagues (mainly as a result of the laptop rollout program…yes, I understand this) and I despair at the inequity.

But that’s an argument for another day (heavy sigh)!

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249910266_1d4624093d_mMany teachers and schools I work with, are fortunate to have children and families in their community, who have English as an additional language. Sometimes, these children are regarded as “deficit” because they don’t have the same language, beliefs, values or understandings that English language speakers have. I am always conscious of the importance in challenging this view by asking teachers to remember that these children come to school with a rich background in language, experiences and literacy – it is just different to what we may expect.

This article from ECA Webwatch, is a timely reminder about the importance of supporting children’s cultural identity ( so important if they are to feel that they “belong” to a community of learners – a major focus in the new National Early Years Learning Framework Draft) and also maintaining their first language.

It is even more relevant as many of the children in the education system I work in, are being referred for speech therapy – at an alarming rate! Is this the right course of action when many of these children are in the early stages of acquiring an additional language – English? Could it not be so much a speech problem, but a language acquisition issue?

Luckily, I have a wonderful “speechie” colleague, Bernadette, who has some similar questions and together we hope to open this up amongst our colleagues for further debate!

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Future learning

This presentation by Dean Groom, a teacher in NSW, has been doing the rounds of a few educational blogs lately. It has really struck a chord with me. It contains a powerful message that we need to consider if we are to really meet the demands of 21st century learning (I don’t know why, but I sometimes cringe at the use of this terminology. Is it already a cliche??). If you want to know more, visit Jude O’Connell’s blog Hey Jude.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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