This unit has been a fascinating journey in discovery of digital technologies applicable in the classroom, and also the pedagogical practices that lay the foundation for effective content integration with technology.  The integration of these technologies in our learning mirrors the processes that we will go through as teachers in the future with our own students.

The peer marking of our blogs was a valuable lesson in professional reflection, something that as teachers we will all need to develop. The advice from my peers was taken on board by myself, as I could see the errors and weaknesses within my blog that they highlighted. Issues such as poorly constructed sentences were corrected, as were some spelling errors, and extra depth was added to a couple of posts in order to meet the assessment requirements.

reflective practice

Here is a final link to the Reflective Teachers Blog which very poignantly states that reflection that is something to be learned not taught, both as teachers and as students.


Peer Marking Rubrics can be found at



Week 8: Lifeling Learning in a Digital Age

Lifelong learning is a valuable ambition for each of us to hold, as it enables up to keep up to date with changing theories and information, especially relevant in the quickly evolving digital world. The Lifelong Learning Council of Queensland ([LLCQ, 2014) states that Lifelong Learning incorporates an ethos for personal growth, a desire to participate in the world, and applying skills and knowledge to be creative and innovative. The Australian Curriculum (as cited in Howell, 2012), endorses the ethos of lifelong learning and expects that students in Australia will be instructed in the benefits of lifelong learning as part of their learning outcomes.

As teachers, we are expected to also participate in the act of lifelong learning (Eggen & Kuachak, 2010; Howell, 2012), particularly in light of the changes that happen so rapidly in digital technologies and their appropriateness in the classroom (Howell, 2012). This gives teachers the chance to not only instruct, but also model the benefits of lifelong learning for their students (Eggen & Kauchak, 2010).

Link to my presentation on the global, not-for-profit organisation Earth Day Network: http://www.empressr.com/View.aspx?token=0wla9%2bWOVok%3d

References can be found at


information at fingertips

Week 7: Digital Blurring

Students in the digital age have an expectation to use digital technologies in a school context just as they do in their personal lives (Howell, 2012). The once separate entities are now meshing, with a blur occurring between student worlds by their desire to use technologies in all aspects of their lives. This is particularly true in the context of gaming. McGonigal states that gaming is one of the most popular personal pastimes of the digital world with billions of hours spent gaming (TED Talks, 2010). The capacity for problem solving, as suggested by McGonigal (TEd Talks, 2010), is immense in the gaming world and this can also spill over into the real world, specifically in a school context as Benjamin argues (2008). He states that the lines between reality and virtual can be blurred for the purposes of learning and that lessons learned in the virtual world are applicable in the real world (Benjamin, 2010).

These theories are interesting in a preservice teacher sense, for as shown in my game from Splodder (www.splodder.com), I am not a consummate gamer. However, if the benefits are there as Benjamin states, that gaming can be especially useful for upper primary students onwards, and that games can be specifically tailored to curriculum areas and learning outcomes (2008), then it would be unprofessional of me not to take advantage of such a tool in the classroom.

Here is my Sploder game, what a bit of fun it was creating this! More time needs to be spent learning the ins and outs

http://www.sploder.com/free-arcade-game-maker.phpsnipped image slpoder

References can be found at



Week 6: Digital Fluency

Digital fluency looks at the way in which a user can navigate, explore, utilise and apply a digital technology in order to create a digital product or use a digital device (Howell, 2012; Resnick, 2002). An individual can become truly fluent in something only when they have the knowledge and information relating to the topic, and then also undergo a process of application of that information knowledge in order to produce something of quality and clarity within that sphere (Resnick, 2002). Howell elaborates further suggesting that developing digital fluency in the primary years of schooling is still centered around play and creative based activities, something that teachers with a strong digital pedagogy will understand (2012).

In terms of my own digital fluency, that is still very much developing and will no doubt be a journey in lifelong learning. This week’s digital activity was the creation of a Scratch Animation (www.scratch.com) and it was a challenge to comprehend the intricate commands that can be put in place to move the avatar around the screen. It was however a beneficial activity as it has made me reflect on the appropriate digital tools that can be used for different age and cognitive stages of students in my future classroom.

scratch image

Here is the link to my Scratch animation http://scratch.mit.edu/projects/22061955/

References can be found at


digital information

Week 5: Digital Information

How is information accessed in a Digital World?  Is it reliable?  Is it viable?  These are some of the key issues surrounding the use of digital information. Howell (2012) writes that students today are entering into a society where information is made instantaneously available courtesy of the internet. There are a number of different ways in which information can be presented on the internet, either through personal collections, such as Pinterest (www.pinterest.com) or through academic institutions and government departments. The integrity and reliability of information sourced on the internet can be critically evaluated by looking at its domain name. The development of such a skill can form part of classroom activities to teach students to critically assess information sourced online and its appropriateness (Howell, 2012).

Pinterest was used as a learning activity this week to collate pins on an interest board of the variety of ways that digital information can be presented. Whilst it can sometimes be a painstaking exercise, searching the internet is an endeavour in critical analysis in my experience, and it is something of great value to teach in the classroom in the future. I can see Pinterest serving a purpose in the classroom as a means of brainstorming ideas for larger projects for older primary students, such as collecting design ideas for an art project for example.


Below is a link to my Pinterest board looking at the number of ways information can be made digital

pinterest link http://www.pinterest.com/benham2113/digital-information/<a

This is an interesting link on what it means to be an information professional


References can be found at


digital divide

Week 4: The Digital Divide

There is no doubt that our world is becoming increasingly digital, and the capacity for growth as individuals is increasing with it. However, there is a disparity between those who have access to all that the digital world has to offer and those who do not. This is known as the digital divide (Howell, 2012; Li & Ranieri, 2012). People who can afford to purchase digital devices, maintain and update them when needed, and connect to the internet to take advantage of their capabilities are on one side of the divide; and those who cannot, or can do so in a limited capacity, are on the other (Howell, 2012; Li & Ranieri, 2012). This divide exists on a global level, and there are organisations seeking to bridge the divide, such as the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) organisation who operate on a global level to provide laptops to children for their education and growth in countries such as Peru, Uruguay, and Nigeria (TED Talks, 2008).

There is a digital divide in Australia and parents, society, and students themselves look to schools to help bridge that divide (Howell, 2012; Ljungdahl, 2010). This will also ring true of students that I will have in future. There will be students in my class who are on the pendulum of digital access therefore it is imperative for digital technologies to be made available to students. By providing digital technologies in the classroom those children who would not have access, or limited access in their personal life, will have an opportunity to engage with, and develop their skills in this area.

This blog is interesting and puts forth a thought provoking take on the digital divide and the impact of YouTube as a social mechanism http://nkelber.com/engl293/blog/?p=196


Here is a link to an infographic created using Piktochart (www.piktochart.com) illustrating the Digital Divide

References can be found at


digital identity

Week 3: Digital Security

The topic of digital security is a much discussed issue in light of the digital world in which we all inhabit. Kizza defines digital security as maintaining an individual’s confidentiality, integrity and availability of information electronically (2007). This raises an interesting point however when individuals, myself included, voluntarily place information in a public domain, such as Facebook (www.facebook.com) for example. The confidentially, integrity, and availability of that information is compromised from a security aspect. Users of such social media forums have privacy options to set their audience to either private or public, but their online movements can be traced via searches for their name if someone was inclined, or through the pages of friends, family, or associates.

Upon conducting a search on myself I was surprised to see that my privacy settings were not as secure as I thought, and my social media page was available for public viewing. This raises an issue that can be discussed with students in the classroom that online security is not something to be dismissed and proactive measures need to be taken to ensure their security. Websites such as http://www.cybersmart.gov.au (Australian Communications and Media Authority [ACMA], 2014) can be accessed which provide a number of examples of breaches of security and privacy, keeping personal information safe, cyberbullying, and where help can be sought if needed (ACMA, 2014 a, b).

prezi logo

Below is a link to a FaceBook snapshot created by myself using Prezi, an online presentation tool, to look at how FaceBook works, its advantages, and disadvantages.


References can be found at