Tutorial 4 – iPads in the classroom

Upon reflecting on the article by Jones (2012), it has been argued that to enhance the making of meaning in early childhood literacy provisions, schools need to embrace new technologies as a resource. In the growing phenomenon of new technologies, iPads are now being introduced into Australian classrooms at an increasingly rapid rate to complement the already wide range of ICT skills that students enter schools with. By introducing new technologies such as iPads in the classroom, students are not only engaged but also supported in the development of skills in literacy and language. Jones emphasizes that “this tablet technology helped the teacher to scaffold literacy learning and can be a powerful medium for meaning-making” (Jones, 2012, p. 36).

iPad applications such as ‘Puppet Pals’, ‘Toontastic’ and ‘PlaySchool Art Maker’, are a great resource to implement in the classroom to develop the variety of aspects of literacy, for example speaking and listening. Apps such as these allow students to participate in creating and listening to dialogue, that is appropriate for the story they intend to create.

‘Toontastic’ is a resourceful application, which clearly and succinctly scaffolds students to create a well structured storyboard. It goes through a step by step process with the user, by first choosing a setting, then creating conflict, a challenge, the climax of the story and then a resolution. It is an easy application to use as it is a step by step process to achieve a well rounded final product.

Jones, M. (2012), ipads and kindergarten- students literacy development, SCAN31(4), 31-40.


Tutorial Week 5: IWB

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Having read the book or watched the film of The Lost Thing, have students look at an illustration and circle the correct angle portrayed, using the IWB marker. In addition, students are to record their emotional responses to the image by writing it in the circle provided.

The second activity will require students to create a scene or image guided by an emotion. Students are required to take a photo/s of the scene or image they created using a digital camera. Students can include their peers, objects in class etc. in their images to assist in depicting their emotion.

Students are to share their images with their peers prior to disclosing the emotion they attempted to depict.

Tutorial Two – Blogging in the classroom

The classroom is no longer confined to traditional forms of assessment, learning and teaching, with many thanks to blogging. Blogging opens the world of new literacies, made accessible by the internet, for any classroom. Kim Pericles, who is the Assistant Principal at Belmore South Public School, provides examples of how the use of blogs can be effective as an engaging teaching and learning tool.

Blogging is a tool which is simple to use, easy to control and can easily address all key learning areas (KLAs). It is a revolutionary approach to ensuring that teachers are able to address and teach a variety of KLAs in one go. It also opens up a new way for students to interact with each other and discuss each others work, as blogging allows participants (the audience) to comment or reply to posts which have been made.

In Pericles class, we se three boys poring over that week’s “English, European and Australian football games so they can rework ladders, disseminate information and answer questions on their Everything football blog” (Pericles, 2008). In this instance alone, we see that the boys are able to discuss and create discussion on something that they are clearly passionate about, while also making educated and calculated decisions to rework ladders and answer questions which have been made by a genuine audience, after first reading into information and the results of the game. Pericles calls this “authentic learning for an authentic purpose” (2008).

The greatest aspect about blogging is that it allows a classroom to share their knowledge and learning to an audience that may be another classroom from across the globe. As most students are aware that possibly anyone with internet access can see their work, which is published on their blogs, it is important that high expectations are established through explicit quality criteria. The explicit quality criteria can be established and formulated for the class as a whole class after viewing a variety of class an individual blog posts. This allows students to understand what constitutes as a great blog and how best they can achieve it through meeting the quality criteria.

Pericles, K. (2008). Happily blogging @ Belmore South. SCAN, 27(2), 4-6

A Review of Two Great Educational Blogs:

Fabulous 5S

Fabulous 5S is a great model for stage 2 and 3 students, as an effective blog as they not only explore various activities they were a part of, but also highlighted special events which occurred at the school. It was great to see that 5S did not confine their blog posts just to written expressions and images. 5S also heavily incorporated the use of video footage and audio footage, which showcases their abilities to embed and film videos, and search for relevant audio footage for their posts.

3/4C @ The Junction

This is another great blog to show as a model to stage 2 and 3 students as they bog about various events and activities, share their work through images and are sure to include various forms of medias use such as videos, images and written text. This blog is also unique as the authors are not just from the student perspectives, but they also involve the classroom teacher, which adds another dimension to the blog.

Scoop it Link:


Tutorial One – New Literacies

“New Literacies”

Before we are able to define ‘new literacies’, we must first establish the definition of literacy. Put simply, literacy is “the ability to read and write”, and is “about all communication types across time and  culture” (Houtman, 2013).

So what are new literacies and what makes them new? New literacies today, is a generalisation of new forms of literacy made accessible by digital technology.  Now what makes them new? While literacy is still about “all communication types across time and culture” (Houtman, 2013), digital technology creates multiple platforms to communicate and access literacy in different forms, such as through new online social platforms and new abilities of mobile devices.

However we must first acknowledge that what may be new today, may not be new tomorrow, thanks to the ever progressive development of technology.


Houtman, E. (2013). New literacies, learning, and libraries: How can frameworks from other fields help us think about the issues? In the Library with the Lead Pipe.  Retrieved fromhttp://www.inthelibrarywiththeleadpipe.org/2013/new-literacies-learning-and-libraries-how-can-frameworks-from-other-fields-help-us-think-about-the-issues/ Accessed March 17th, 2014

The media show brings to attention that large companies such as BP (British Petroleum) tend to deceptively use marketing strategies to promote the perception that they are environmentally friendly and environmentally conscious, this phenomenon is known as ‘greenwashing’.

The emphasis of this short clip is placed on the importance of educating children on what they see in the media and on the internet.  Media content, and information accessible on the internet, are not always reliable sources for information, and as future educators, we must ensure that our students are wary of this.