Week 10: Classroom technology and collaboration

Blog: In what ways will you be able to help your students collaborate using technology? Remember to look at the posts of others and add any relevant comments.

I think understanding the difference between cooperative learning and collaborative learning (Sing, Wei-Ying, Hyo-Jeong and Mun, 2011) could be very useful in being able to establish group work from year 7 so that students can, at first, learn to work cooperatively, progressing to more freely structured collaborative learning, which has been shown to increase learning outcomes (Zhang, Scardamalia, Reeve and Messina, 2009).

In my science teaching, I could utilise some of the plethora of web 2.0 resources to facilitate cooperation and collaboration in problem-based learning tasks. I have found some excellent resources through the Scootle site (Education Services Australia, 2017). This would be supported by utilising Google Classroom (Google, n.d.) to facilitate collaboration in experiments and problem-solving tasks. Through Google Classroom, work groups can be set up and tasks can be completed collaboratively through Google Docs. These resources could be used as structured tasks for cooperative learning, or, alternatively, as a basis for students to generate and investigate their own questions in collaborative tasks.

It would also be good to discuss cooperative and collaborative learning with colleagues so that, as a department, teachers could be working towards including truly collaborative tasks within lessons – these could also be larger, multi-disciplinary projects.


Education Services Australia. (2017). Scootle. Retrieved from https://www.scootle.edu.au/ec/p/home.

Google. (n.d.). Google Classroom. Retrieved from https://classroom.google.com.

Sing, C. C., Wei-Ying, L., Hyo-Jeong, S., & Mun, C. H. (2011). Advancing collaborative learning with ICT: conception, cases and design. Singapore: Ministry of Education.

Zhang, J., Scardamalia, M., Reeve, R., & Messina, R. (2009). Designs for collectivecognitive responsibility in knowledge building communities. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 18(1), 7‐44.


Week 9: Planning lessons with technology

Blog: Post to your blog your ideas about the TPACK framework.

I would say that my strengths are content and technological knowledge. However, I feel that I need to develop strong pedagogical knowledge in order to be able to be able to successfully integrate my content and technological knowledge into lessons.

From a more theoretical perspective, it’s interesting to note that the TPACK framework may be of limited use from a diagnostic perspective due to the collinear nature of the content, and pedagogy components which is a relic of the original PCK model (Segall, 2004), and has continued on into the TPACK model, where only the technological component appears to be able to be reliably assessed (Archambault and Barnett, 2010). Archambault and Barnett (2010) performed a factor analysis on surveys, which aimed to assess the different components of TPACK of almost 600 online teachers, and discovered that the only reliable factor was that of technology. Therefore, what this suggests is that whilst the TPACK model can be a useful tool for teachers to informally investigate the requirements for integrating technology into their classrooms, it may fall short of being a reliable, robust model that can be used for formally diagnosing and assessing components of teachers’ practice.

Archambault, L. M., & Barnett, J. H. (2010). Revisiting technological pedagogical content knowledge: Exploring the TPACK framework. Computers & Education55(4), 1656-1662.

Segall, A. (2004). Revisiting pedagogical content knowledge: the pedagogy of content/the content of pedagogy. Teaching and teacher education20(5), 489-504.

Lesson planning ideas

Blog: Lesson planning takes practice.

From my recent experience, I found the lesson planning process somewhat cumbersome and inefficient. However, there were some very useful components. Having clear aims for the class – and making those aims explicit to students at the beginning of class – was really helpful. Also, breaking the class into sections – introduction, body, and conclusion – was also handy.

I would say for people yet to do their first teaching practical, that setting goals for the class and breaking lessons up into clear tasks, are both very important. I found that it was most challenging with the younger classes (years 7 and 8), and that having clear goals and tasks broken up into small segments really helped the flow of the class. Having these set out in lesson plans is very helpful. Just remember to always write your plans in pencil (metaphorically speaking): it can all change once you start the class!

Week 8: Classroom technologies and ethical issues

Blog: post a brief summary of your findings to your blog.

There have been a number of safety issues that have arisen from the increased use of technology, especially among children and teenagers, ranging from:  increased rates of myopia (Dolgin, 2015; Morgan, 2016); sleep disturbances and behavioural issues (Raniti et. al., 2017; Parent, Sanders and Forehand, 2016; Rosen et. al., 2014); and changes in attention and multitasking (Montagni, Guichard and Kurth, 2016; Ophir, Nass and Wagner, 2009).

In regards to myopia, it has been shown that the increasing amount of time being spent indoors – often due to increasing use of technology – by young people has led to an epidemic of myopia (Dolgin, 2015; Morgan, 2016). Morgan (2016) suggests school-based programs to increase the amount of time spent outdoors in order to slow the rate of progression of myopia.

The increased use of technology by children has led to increased screen time (time spent in front of screens such as t.v.’s, computers, tablets, or phones) which has led to increased sleep disturbances, which, in turn, has led to increased behavioural issues (Parent, Sanders and Forehand 2016; Rosen et. al. 2014), increased rates of depression (Raniti et. al. 2017), and overall poorer health outcomes (Rosen et. al. 2014).

Increased screen time has led to people often dealing with more than one task at a time (multitasking) and this can lead to poor outcomes for attention (Montagni, Guichard and Kurth, 2016; Ophir, Nass and Wagner, 2009).  Ophir and colleagues in their 2009 study showed that people who are heavy media multitaskers have greater difficulty attending to one task and are more easily distracted. This is supported by research of students who self-reported higher levels of attention problems and hyperactivity with increased screen time (Montagni, Guichard and Kurth, 2016).

It’s clear from these studies that there are some significant health and development issues related to the increased use of technology among today’s youth.

Dolgin, E. (2015). The myopia boom. Nature519(7543), 276.

Morgan, I. G. (2016). What Public Policies Should Be Developed to Deal with the Epidemic of Myopia?. Optometry & Vision Science, 93(9), 1058-1060.

Montagni, I., Guichard, E., & Kurth, T. (2016). Association of screen time with self-perceived attention problems and hyperactivity levels in French students: a cross-sectional study. BMJ open6(2), e009089.

Ophir, E., Nass, C., & Wagner, A. D. (2009). Cognitive control in media multitaskers. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences106(37), 15583-15587.

Parent, J., Sanders, W., & Forehand, R. (2016). Youth screen time and behavioral health problems: the role of sleep duration and disturbances. Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, 37(4), 277-284.

Raniti, M. B., Allen, N. B., Schwartz, O., Waloszek, J. M., Byrne, M. L., Woods, M. J., Bei, B., Nicholas, C.L., & Trinder, J. (2017). Sleep duration and sleep quality: associations with depressive symptoms across adolescence. Behavioral sleep medicine, 15(3), 198-215.

Rosen, L. D., Lim, A. F., Felt, J., Carrier, L. M., Cheever, N. A., Lara-Ruiz, J. M., Mendoza, J. S., & Rokkum, J. (2014). Media and technology use predicts ill-being among children, preteens and teenagers independent of the negative health impacts of exercise and eating habits. Computers in Human Behavior35, 364-375.

Week 7: Web-based learning

Blog: Record in your blog some of the web-based resources that you may be able to use and how you will integrate them into your teaching.

Virtual reality has been shown to improve learning in a number of contexts (Merchant, Goetz, Cifuentes, Keeney-Kennicutt and Davis, 2014). I was fascinated by the Google Expeditions app (Google, n.d.). As I would like to work in regional and remote classrooms, I see this as an opportunity to have students see and experience things and places in a more engaging, realistic way.

Citizen science projects are also a great way to engage students, as it gives them an opportunity to perform some real science and actually contribute to scientific knowledge. I like the Atlas and Birdata project from Birdlife Australia (Birdlife Australia, n.d.). Students could pick a site and monitor it throughout the year – once per season – to assess the local bird life.

(OF)2: Our footprints, Our future (iEARN, 2007)  from chapter 8 of the textbook (Roblyer and Doering, 2013) looks like a good resource for helping students learn about their environmental impact on the planet and sustainability. It could be used to see how students could design and implement strategies around their home, school, or community.

Birdlife Australia. (n.d.). Atlas & Birdata. Retrieved from http://birdlife.org.au/projects/atlas-and-birdata.

Google. (n.d.). Google Expeditions. Retrieved from https://edu.google.com/intl/en_au/expeditions/#how-it-works.

iEARN, (2007). (OF)2: Our footprints, Our future. (2007). Retrieved from http://of2.iearn.org/.

Merchant, Z., Goetz, E. T., Cifuentes, L., Keeney-Kennicutt, W., & Davis, T. J. (2014). Effectiveness of virtual reality-based instruction on students’ learning outcomes in K-12 and higher education: A meta-analysis. Computers & Education70, 29-40.

Roblyer, M. D., & Doering, A. H. (2013). Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching (6th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.

Week 6: The Internet and the classroom

Internet-based resources

Blog: Choose one of these issues and discuss how it could impact on integrating technology into your teaching, and what steps you could take to deal with it. Read some blog posts of others and add to the discussion if appropriate.

I feel that that the issue of copyright and plagiarism in the integration of technology in the classroom is not so much of a controversy, as an opportunity to teach students about copyright and plagiarism. I was recently teaching a year 11 class in earth and environmental science where they were studying a local area. I used this as an opportunity to have the students perform their own research into the local area with several computer classes where they would research the geology, the history of the area, threats to the ecosystem. Throughout this process, I was able to highlight the importance of recognising other people’s work – making sure that I link its relevance to different areas in work and life, so they didn’t see it as a purely academic issue.  Education World (2017) provides a number of guidelines for helping students to avoid plagiarism in more formal reports/assignments.

The integration of technology in the classroom gives an opportunity to teach about copyright and plagiarism much earlier that would otherwise be the case – I didn’t learn about it until university. Student blogs and other online tasks provide a great way of introducing the topic of recognising others’ work, so that whenever they’re posting pictures, videos, or other information, they’re able to properly acknowledge the owner of the work.

Blog: After having looked at the resources listed above, what have you learned about the technological knowledge you need to develop further for your Tech-Pack?

I like the Google how search works page (Google, n.d.a.). It could be a good way to show students how Google collates all the information from the internet and therefore how searches work.

The helping students become better searchers Google resource is another good source of information and even has different lesson plans for teaching search skills (Google, n.d.b.). I could also use this to top-up my search knowledge!

I found the bookmark management suggestion chapter 7 of the text (Roblyer and Doering, 2014) really helpful. It can be hard working across different platforms and losing bookmarks.


Web 2.0 resources and issues

Describe 3 ways that you could use Web 2.0 tools in your teaching: Post these to your blog.


From Hew and Cheung’s (2013) review there appears to be a small positive effect on learning from podcasts. I personally really enjoy podcasts and see these – like most technologies – as facilitating learning and boosting engagement, whilst helping to develop other key skills for students – critical thinking, collaboration etc. The studies reported in the Hew and Cheung (2013) review just looked at undergraduate students listening to podcasts, whereas in a school environment, students could be creating their own podcasts, using their phones, as collaborative assessment tasks. This could prove highly engaging, whilst utilising students’ phones which can otherwise be a source of distraction (Thomas, O’Bannon and Bolton, 2013).

Video presentations

Videos can be both engaging and enhance learning in the classroom (Neiss and Walker, 2009; Berk, 2009). Jones and Cuthrell (2011) provide a good review of some of the potential benefits, and issues with using YouTube videos in class. I have used them to help visualise certain topics in biology, where I’ve found them very useful.  Just like with the podcasts above, students could be creating their own presentations about a given topic that could be recorded with their phones/tablets. These could then be uploaded to somewhere like YouTube for students, and the world, to see and comment.


Blogging is a fantastic way to help boost student engagement whilst developing writing, critical thinking and collaboration skills (Sawmiller, 2010). Although, Hew and Cheung’s (2013) review concluded that there was only a weak positive effect on both writing and critical thinking from blogging – though there appears to be a lack of robust studies in this area. Again, I see the major benefit here being student engagement and facilitating collaboration and online commentary of each other’s work – helping students learn about responsible use of social networks.

Any of these technologies are just another tool to be used and with appropriate use, they should be able to improve student engagement, help provide 21st century learning skills and provide a more enjoyable learning environment.

Blog: Does your school/organisation have an Acceptable Use policy? Is it effective? Are there any issues with it?

My work doesn’t have an Acceptable Use policy, and at my recent teaching placement, I didn’t see one there either – though I did find the Acceptable Use policy for students from the NSW Department of Education website (NSW Department of Education, 2016). It would be good to make sure that students are aware of this document, and could also be discussed in a class meeting.


Blog: Post your thoughts and ideas about how you will deal with cyberbullying in your teaching context.

In the United States, 20-40% of students have experienced cyberbullying (Tokunaga, 2010). This suggests that cyberbullying is a real problem, which is compounded by its pervasive nature, as students are rarely separated from their digital devices – as of 2010 Tokunaga (2010) reported that over 97% of students were able to connect to the internet. As this appears to be an issue with the ubiquitous use of technology and online communication, there needs to be a school-wide approach to dealing with appropriate use of technology (Pearce, Cross, Monks, Waters and Falconer, 2011). Schools really need to embrace technology and integrate it in a way that supports collaboration, thereby providing opportunities to explicitly teach the skills needed to communicate responsibly online. It seems that people expect that children will be able to communicate responsible online – a lot of adults struggle with this!

From an individual class level, I would encourage students to be commenting on each other’s work whilst explicitly stating what is required with any of comment. I would also discuss the issues of cyberbullying with my classes and discuss any issues that arise in class meetings.




Berk, R. A. (2009). Multimedia teaching with video clips: TV, movies, YouTube, and mtvU in the college classroom. International Journal of Technology in Teaching and Learning, 5(1), 1–21.

Department of Education (2016) Retrieved from https://education.nsw.gov.au/policy-library/policies/online-communication-services-acceptable-usage-for-school-students.

Education World. (2017). Put an End to Plagiarism in Your Classroom. Retrieved from http://www.educationworld.com/a_curr/curr390.shtml

Google. (n.d.a.). Inside search: How search works. Retrieved from https://www.google.com/insidesearch/howsearchworks/thestory/.

Google. (n.d.b.). Inside search: search education. Retrieved from https://www.google.com/intl/en-us/insidesearch/searcheducation/.

Hew, K. F., & Cheung, W. S. (2013). Use of Web 2.0 technologies in K-12 and higher education: The search for evidence-based practice. Educational Research Review, 9, 47-64.

Jones, T., & Cuthrell, K. (2011). YouTube: Educational potentials and pitfalls. Computers in the Schools, 28(1), 75-85.

Niess, M. L., & Walker, J. M. (2009). This Rock’n’Roll Video Teaches Math. Learning & Leading with Technology, 36(8), 36-37.

Pearce, N., Cross, D., Monks, H., Waters, S., & Falconer, S. (2011). Current Evidence of Best Practice in Whole-School Bullying Intervention and Its Potential to Inform Cyberbullying Interventions. Australian Journal of Guidance and Counselling21(01), 1-21

Roblyer, M. D., & Doering, A. H. (2013). Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching (6th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson

Sawmiller, A. (2010). Classroom blogging: What is the role in science learning?. The Clearing House, 83(2), 44-48.

Tokunaga, R. S. (2010). Following you home from school: A critical review and synthesis of research on cyberbullying victimization. Computers in human behavior, 26(3), 277-287.

Thomas, K. M., O’Bannon, B. W., & Bolton, N. (2013). Cell phones in the classroom: Teachers’ perspectives of inclusion, benefits, and barriers. Computers in the Schools, 30(4), 295-308.

Week 5: Technology in your discipline area

Technology in the curriculum

Post to your blog your ideas about the hardware and software choices you would make in relation to your discipline area.

Ideally, I would be in a school that either had a BYOD program or laptops/ipads for students to use. Students all need access to the internet for blogging, class wiki’s or ITunes U. There are also some good citizen science projects accessible through web technologies (https://scistarter.com/page/Educators.html; http://www.nationalgeographic.org/idea/citizen-science-projects/ ). Lab technologies, such as good quality microscopes, lab equipment to perform more advanced experiments, can be the hardest to get as these can be expensive.  It could be best to try and get contacts at local universities to buy second-hand equipment. I really like Scootle (https://www.scootle.edu.au/ec/p/home ). I used it a number of times during my recent practical placement and found that the resources I used were both engaging for the students and very informative.

Technology integration

Blog: What do you see as the some of the benefits and challenges of technology integration, and using the TIP framework, in your teaching area?

Soujah (2014) points out that one of the major factors in technology integration is access to, and use of, technology for the students. This suggests that equity is a major factor in technology integration in the classroom. Whilst there will likely always be social inequality, there does not need to be educational inequality, and having access to appropriate technologies for all students is one way to ensure educational equality.

However, this is certainly not the case as many schools struggle to provide even the most basic technology for students. In my area of biology, some schools have equipment comparable to some universities, whereas, others have only very basic equipment which lowers student engagement and learning outcomes. For example, I was recently on my first teaching practical where I had a year 11 biology class. There were only very basic microscopes, which greatly lowered student engagement. Were there a visualising microscope, students could take pictures of their slides and add them to the class Facebook, blogs etc.

The TIP model (Roblyer and Doering, 2013) could be very useful when designing units of work, as it’s is very important to make sure that technology is being used appropriately for any classes. This, I believe, is especially important in science, where technology needs to be implemented with clear learning goals – rather than because it’s new and exciting.

Education Services Australia. (2017). Scootle. Retrieved from https://www.scootle.edu.au/ec/p/home

National Geographic Society. (2017). Citizen science projects. Retrieved from http://www.nationalgeographic.org/idea/citizen-science-projects/

Roblyer, M. D., and Doering, A. H. (2013). Integrating Educational Technology into Teaching: Pearson New International Edition (6e). Pearson Higher Ed. USA.

SciStarter. (2017). SciStarter in the classroom. Retrieved from https://scistarter.com/page/Educators.html;

Soujah, S. (2014). Technology Integration in Schools Is We Overinvested and Underprepared?. International Journal of Information and Education Technology, 4(5), 444-447.


Week 4: Teaching and learning with digital technologies

Learning theory and classroom technologies


How does this theory/pedagogical view help you understand the place of technology in education?

In regards to Starkey’s (2012) idea of consructivism: Is this not just a result of combining constructivism with collaborative learning in the digital age? I see it as higher level constructivism, rather than a distinct category. How does is change pedagogy beyond advanced constructivism, seeing as constructivism promotes student-centred, collaborative learning experiences.

I do like Dr Siemens’ Tedx talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4BH-uLO6ovI

Post your informed and critical opinion about the use of IWBs in the classroom. If you are an experienced user, you might like to give some advice and recommendations about using them.

Really need to make sure you adapt pedagogy to fit with the technology.

Bring your own device

Find some other resources that help you develop an understanding of the benefits and challenges of BYOD programs. Post any that you find particularly interesting in your blog.

Bruder, P. (2014). Gadgets go to school: The benefits and risks of BYOD (bring your own device). The Education Digest, 80(3), 15.

QR Codes

They don’t really seem to have caught-on that much. From my experience, I haven’t seen students use them, so they do seem to be a bit of a fad. However, if students like them, and they increase engagement, whilst meeting learning outcomes, then go for it!

Starkey, L. (2012). Knowledge and connectivism. In Teaching and learning in the digital age (pp. 20-28). New York, NY: Routledge