Take Your Pic

A Touch of Mobile Learning


Source: Penny Bentley

You’re “doing” mobile learning if:

  • you’re not constrained to a particular location
  • you’ve got a device that’s easy to carry around (tablet, smartphone)

It’s beneficial because:

  • opportunities are everywhere
  • it’s an informal and spontaneous way to learn
  • makes learning more personal and authentic

Here’s an example…my iPhone has a pretty good camera for taking photos. It’s with me all the time and takes up little space. I have apps that enable me to add text to a series of photos, pin them to a map, share with others and upload to an archive.

The image above was shot with my mobile device. It’s a weed, a humble dandelion. Not only does it look amazing through a macro lens, but it has a fascinating history. By using the internet I’ve discovered that dandelions have been around for 30 million years and are used in coffee, salads, sandwiches and wine making. They’ve also been used for medicinal purposes and their seeds are easily spread by animals. The public domain image found on Wikipedia helps me to identify different parts of the dandelion life cycle. 

I can contribute to a Citizen Science project by uploading photos to the Atlas of Living Australia. Contributing to Australia’s biodiversity knowledge is a wonderful learning outcome. 

The mobile phone is a capable content consuming, creating and sharing device.


Source: Kohler’s Medicinal Plants, Wikipedia

Here’s more of my images on Flickr.


Introducing Online Instruction for Open Educators


Out of Canada here’s a MOOC that sparks a passion.

I’ve signed up & need to get cracking with some reflective posts.


Vision: Online learning is inclusive, engaging and effective.

Mission: Deliver well-designed and effective, online courses and open education resources to diverse learners around the world.


  • Knowledge is a public good
  • Open education is not low quality education
  • Teachers and learners are equal partners
  • Through education we are empowered to achieve our goals
  • Through education we are empowered to help others


Reclaim Hosting

imageI needed another project…went hunting for a MOOCy thing and ended up with #reclaimhosting.

“managing and experimenting with an open source toolbox”

For $12 I’m building and managing my own domain under the expert guidance of Jim Groom and his Reclaim Hosting videos. Only time will tell how this DIY project goes but, regardless of what happens, it’s exciting.


Teens to Adults

ipadsThis is heaps of fun, showing adult learners how to use iPads in meaningful ways. Running classes at three Learn Local organisations has been my first, face to face opportunity in this sector.

I’m sort of “blending” my face to face time with online help. Here’s our website.

This new teaching environment has me thinking about Adult Learning Principles and how they compare to the pedagogy I’ve been practicing for over 20 years.

I’m not convinced these Principles are exclusive to adults…far from it.

  • adults are internally motivated and self-directed
  • they like to be respected
  • are practical
  • need to see the relevance of what they are learning
  • are goal oriented
  • have life experiences and prior knowledge

I’ll be back with greater insight at the end of term.

What a Relief


Earlier this month I had the pleasure of presenting 2 workshops for the Teacher Learning Network, at their annual conference for Casual Relief Teachers.

I was to talk about “Creating an Online Digital Portfolio” with a group of teachers who need and deserve much respect and support. Being my first conference presentation I felt a little nervous. At different stages during my 2 hour presentations relief swept over me for different reasons. Here’s what happened.

Encourage Discussions and Share Experiences
We began with the mandatory “getting to know you” task where I asked people to share…

  • their favourite/most successful activity to do with kids when no work is left
  • their most memorable CRT experience

I was relieved to be immersed in a lively discussion about fun activities and stories of survival under the most difficult circumstances. There was engagement rather than silence.

This BBC video stimulated lively discussions about handling challenging students.

Have a Laugh
Having a giggle at “The Paperless Future of Emma” helped me deliver the message of what’s happening in schools…the pressure to go digital. Laughter is excellent for relieving stress. 

Be Prepared
Sure enough, present at a conference about IT and there’s bound to be challenging moments with connectivity. I experienced off the scale relief when my iPhone smoothly eased into the role of WiFi Hotspot.


Watch your Tech Talk
The CRT’s had a range of experiences with technology at the schools they worked in. For some, everything was new and confusing. By showing empathy towards their situation, it was a relief to experience their willingness to learn new ways of doing things.

Share Ideas and Solutions
From any professional development session people expect to leave with something useful to apply to their work. Pre-empting a request for ideas, examples and handouts for how to get started with a digital portfolio, I was relieved to have something to offer.

How do you prepare for a conference and find relief from your nerves?

#communityconnect: Using mobile devices to promote higher order thinking skills.

Australia eSeries Community Connect Webinar

Sick of using iPads for skill and drill activities? Are your students using their mobile devices for only word processing and reading eBooks?

In this session I’ll be facilitating a discussion about using mobile devices, such as the iPad, for activities requiring higher order thinking skills.

During the webinar we’ll look at:

  • Blooms Taxonomy and Blooms Digital Taxonomy
  • Writing Learning Objectives suitable for mobile devices
  • Selecting and evaluating apps for applying, analysing, evaluating and creating


WHEN: Thursday 13th June 2013

WHERE: Blackboard Collaborate 

TIME: 8pm Melbourne/Sydney/Brisbane, Australia time (GMT+11)

#Community Connect: The Global School



Thursday 14th March 2013
8pm Melbourne time (GMT+11)


The Australia e-Series Room in Blackboard Collaborate


Rob Sbaglia is an innovative teacher working in Victoria, Australia. He’s passionate about pushing his students to think creatively, to be self directed learners and global collaborators. Rob’s initiative, The Global School, “provides the opportunity for schools to connect with each other around the world – authentically”. Come along and listen to Rob as he takes us through his journey of developing The Writers Club, Global Maths and Global Science…The Global School.

#Community Connect: Online Communities


What makes a good online community? There are plenty of them to join, but is there something common to the Communities of Practice that people keep returning to for conversation? Is it the topics discussed, the platform format, an obscure “feeling”, the people that drop in, leadership, etiquette…?
Nothing special in terms of e-bling tonight as I’ve been away, but it’s an interesting topic that I’d love to throw out there for debate.

Please join us for the Australia e-Series Community Connect session at 8pm tonight (GMT + 11) and share your ideas.

The link to our Blackboard Collaborate Room:http://tinyurl.com/29tyznz

Here’s a great reference: The Online Community Guide