book review notes 2


Posted by Liz Eckert | Posted in INF530 | Posted on March 31, 2014  approx 16min in – wearing of head-device question (google glass)- may fit some of ideas presented in 12 tomorrows. 3.01 in “We’re witnessing what amounts to no less than a mass exodus to virtual worlds and online game environments”  – edward castronova;

speaker until approx 4.00 – game designer – rewards online more than real world.

Blog 2: Reflective Piece: Trends in Technology Developments


Posted by Liz Eckert | Posted in INF530 | Posted on March 30, 2014

This reflection is based on Digital Life in 2025 (Anderson, Rainie, & Duggan, March 2014) as a starting point.

There have been a number of changes in technology which have impacted on education since I first started teaching in 2001. It was the time of dial up internet, which today is considered ridiculously slow, with its variations of broadband and ASDL and the beginnings of the NBN. This was the time of Web 1.0, the read only web. Point 6 in Naughton’s article (2014) demonstrates a little how the web has developed to read/write of Web 2.0  and now heading to Web 3.0 with the semantic web (Metz, 2007).

This change in web activities has changed what people and school communities do with computers and technology. PowerPoint presentations were all the rage during the early 2000s, which lead to the coining of the phrase, death by PowerPoint. Since then, a lot of different options for presenting information have appeared. However, what is expected of students, appears in the majority, hasn’t kept up with the changes that technology is allowing us; a number of schools have but they seem to be the exception. Many students are still expected to word process their written assignments and present PowerPoints (or similar). The schools that I have taught in over the past 13 years haven’t embraced technology advancements across the board with any great enthusiasm; it’s been a gradual uptake with most teachers coming on board to having laptops in the classroom rather than going to computer labs to word process. There are still some teachers who struggle with this.

Things are changing albeit slowing in the education sector. The digital future is a wide open space and Anderson notes that experts agree on the following ideas:

  • A global, immersive, invisible, ambient networked computing environment built through the continued proliferation of smart sensors, cameras, software, databases, and massive data centers in a world-spanning information fabric known as the Internet of Things.
  • “Augmented reality” enhancements to the real-world input that people perceive through the use of portable/wearable/implantable technologies.
  • Disruption of business models established in the 20th century (most notably impacting finance, entertainment, publishers of all sorts, and education).
  • Tagging, databasing, and intelligent analytical mapping of the physical and social realms. (Anderson et al., March 2014, p. 5)

These summary points are already starting to happen in everyday life, or at least available to some. We have a range of cameras and devices, including smartphones, which are networked and advancements are continuing to expand this area. BYOD/T is starting to infiltrate schools. I like hearing what Mal Lee has to say and shares on oztl_net and on his blogs (Lee, 2010-, 2012-)about the development of BYOD/T.

Augmented reality enhancements are becoming more readily available. For example Layar, Google Glass (Hayes, 2014; John, 2014; Nosowitz, 2014) and Oculus VR (Kumparak, 2014). I think that my current school is a long way off implementing any of these.

Education is changing from the rows of desks copying from the board to group work, collaboration, different desk arrangements, using technology in the classroom not isolated. Part of this includes tagging and sharing information on the internet and students’ social lives.


Reference List

Anderson, J., Rainie, L., & Duggan, M. (March 2014). Digital Life in 2025. 60.

Hayes, A. (Producer). (2014, 25 March 2014). Interview – Margaret Powers. [interview] Retrieved from

John, A. (2014). Experts Predict the Future of Technology and You Will Probably Be Wearing It. The Wire what matters now.

Kumparak, G. (2014). A Brief History Of Oculus.

Lee, M. (2010-). Mal Lee.  Retrieved from

Lee, M. (2012-). BYOT? Bring it on An international forum for all schools seeking to make the best use of BYOT.

Metz, C. (2007). Web 3.0 The internet is changing … again. PC News.,2817,2102852,00.asp

Naughton, J. (2014). 25 things you might not know about the web on its 25th birthday.

Nosowitz, D. (2014). This Is The First Public Art Installation To Use Google Glass. Fast Company.



Digital literacy


Posted by Liz Eckert | Posted in INF530 | Posted on March 25, 2014

Reflections on readings at the end of Module 1.6 based on the following articles

I like the change in viewpoint from digital natives & immigrant to melting pot or digital residents.

Just because students can open up Google in their Web browser does not mean that they know how to find quality information resources.

Several studies serve to illustrate this point. Hargittai’s (2008) research, for one, revealed that first–year college students lack a basic understanding of technical terms such as phishing and tagging. Bennett, et al. (2008) also noted that the skill set of many of today’s students does not match the media reports. These authors highlight a study conducted by Kvavik, et al. (2004) that found that “only a minority of the students (around 21 percent) were engaged in creating their own content and multimedia for the Web, and that a significant proportion of students had lower level skills than might be expected of digital natives.” [7] In addition, librarians have observed that while students may appear to be adept when it comes to computers, they are typically not “geeks” and have “little understanding of what goes on behind their screen (and couldn’t care less).” [8]

(Stoerger, 2009). 

 I would have to say that I agree with this from my experiences in schools. They don’t really understand how some programs work/operate including ones that many teachers would anticipate students understanding and able to use quite proficiently eg Microsoft Word. I had to in the last week show a student how to adjust text box borders to show off their ideas a little more effectively than they had; they had worked out how to change the colour of the border but couldn’t work out how to change the thickness of the border.

the term digital melting pot refers to the blending of individuals who speak with different technology tongues. Instead of segregating individuals based on their skills or lack thereof, the digital melting pot is a place where all individuals, including those with low levels of competency, experience technology in a way that fosters opportunities without barriers. (Stoerger, 2009).

I like the way  this has expressed this idea – that we are all at different stages of competency and experiences of technology usage. You can have teachers with low levels through to high levels of competency teaching & facilitating students who are again operating at various levels of competency.

I struggled to follow the article by DaCosta, B., Kinsell, C., & Nasah, A. Mainly I think because of all the statistics presented. the gist that I got from it was that technology use wasn’t impacted heavily via gender or social-economic background, and age but a combination of these three factors combined.

Cultural Anthropologist Mimi Ito on Connected Learning, Children, and Digital Media


Posted by Liz Eckert | Posted in INF530 | Posted on March 25, 2014

notes on

gap in perception and understanding between generations about the engagement of online activities.  Adults think teens messing around on computer is a waste of time; taking away from productive/healthier activities. Kids value this activity more – like previous generations have hung out.  Perception that media-ated computer activity is hostile to learning. We need to work against this idea to understand different online activities 

learning that happens outside of school matters tremendously for the learning in school … how can we be more active in linking those two together. … [teachers] need to give kids access across the board to a baseline set of standards, literacies, expectations about what they need to participate in contemporary society, be reflective, also to take opportunity of the fact that you really have kids and adults in a shared space, that’s safe, that’s sanctioned, that gives kids an opportunity to reflect on things in their everyday life that’s not just about them being immersed in it all the time. … we should get them [online activities and formal learning] working together in a much more coordinated way.


What are the issues that concern you? Interest you? Provide you with challenges in your current role that require better understanding of formal and informal learning?

I think I’d like to have a go at connecting the online activities that students participate in with their schooling in a more meaningful way. I’d like to try blogging with students about their learning, particularly in Research Project, where they are given the freedom to choose whatever they’re interested in learning more about within legal and ethical boundaries. Students are not limited to a particular format for presentation of information and their knowledge building except for the final assignment if they want an ATAR (uni entrance score). The main challenge I probably would have is getting students on board with the idea – they all seem to want to write essays as they think that’s what the SACE board & teachers want, they don’t want to experiment in other presentation formats even though they are permitted and encouraged in this subject. The other challenge I might have is finding a blogging platform that isn’t blocked by DECD filters and is relatively easy to use for any staff or student to understand and use; but I haven’t looked at this.

Global connectedness


Posted by Liz Eckert | Posted in INF530 | Posted on March 23, 2014

  • Do you know what the current Google search algorithm is?

Just did a “google” on this 🙂 and found the following link algorithms used by by Google which I found interesting. Do I really need to know what the current Google algorithm is? Is it going to make my day better for knowing this. I found that understanding of what they do to improve their process “from idea to launch” more interesting that trying to figure out what the current algorithm is. 

  • What do you know about how such algorithms affect search results and search optimisation strategies?

I can’t say I knew a lot about search algorithms before looking at the above mentioned page. I had a vague idea of search optimization strategies but had forgotten that’s what it was called. This page reminded me of some of this.

  • What do you know about search results based on geographic location, recommendation systems, personal accounts and social connections?

I like being able to limit my searching to Australia – mainly for relevance, at different times it’s appropriate for what I’m looking for; other times I want to search wider than Australia and I like being able to broaden my search locations although I are concerned at times that I might be missing Australian content if they don’t have the .au ending to their web address. 

I’m aware of paid options for boosting websites up in the hit list of answers. I usually go through a couple of pages if I think that what appears on the first page seems to be the same and I feel like it’s been bumped up. 

  • What do you know about search engines and what more do you want to know? What do you think is the influence of social media? Apps? Digital devices?

 I think I know a reasonable bit about how to search using search engines. I probably should know more about how they work behind the scenes (data gathering) a bit more and using them more effectively (expand my searh terms, and Boolean – I know this but don’t do it often).

I think social media means that people may not google/search instead relying on what is posted on feeds rather than checking for more details/background information. We also rely on apps/digital devices to give us snippets of info and not in great detail and screens are smaller which limits how we see things that we attempt to search. 

notes for book review


Posted by Liz Eckert | Posted in INF530 | Posted on March 22, 2014

Just read twelve tomorrows (couldn’t put it down) but I don’t know that I could do a scholarly review of it – like you suggested on the amazon booklist Judy. I don’t think I’ve got enough wider knowledge of the net and trending stuff to do it justice (although that could make it really interesting looking for all of that)


(to go on forum – was having trouble posting this last night 22/3.)

Trends in Technology – Part 2


Posted by Liz Eckert | Posted in INF530 | Posted on March 20, 2014

Educational institutions at the primary, secondary, and post-secondary levels, are largely the products of technology
infrastructure and social circumstances of the past. The landscape has changed and educational institutions should consider how to adapt quickly in response. Some directions of change might include:
»» Placing additional emphasis on developing skills such as critical thinking, insight, and analysis capabilities

»» Integrating new-media literacy into education programs

»» Including experiential learning that gives prominence to soft skills—such as the ability to collaborate, work in groups, read social cues, and respond adaptively

»» Broadening the learning constituency beyond teens and young adults through to adulthood

»» Integrating interdisciplinary training that allows students to develop skills and knowledge in a range of subjects

Governmental policymakers will need to respond to the changing landscape by taking a leadership role and making education a national priority. If education is not prioritized, we risk compromising our ability to prepare our people for a healthy and sustainable future. For Americans to be prepared and for our businesses to be competitive, policy makers should consider the full range of skills citizens will require, as well as the importance of lifelong learning and constant skill renewal.

Davies, A., Fidler, D., & Gorbis, M. (2011). Future work skills 2020. (p13)

I found this article quite interesting. I think we could also consider this as Australians to be similar (as it would be across the globe). I like the summary map as well. It was a clear and easy to understand read. 

I think that SEHS is starting to move along some of the possible suggested changes. We are trying to foster the higher order thinking but it’s slow on being explicitly demonstrated and taught in the classroom.

Trends in technology – Part 1


Posted by Liz Eckert | Posted in INF530 | Posted on March 20, 2014

Just being able to learn as individuals is not enough. The real questions revolve around the social practices, institutional structures and skills we need.

What are the challenges you have encountered in these areas, and what have you done to respond to them?

Main challenge is the DECD filtering and viewpoint on accessing some worthwhile sites. Some of that has eased for me since my local school brought in dual-ISP. This has meant as a teacher I can access some sites, like YouTube that were previously blocked (still blocked for students as they haven’t been transferred across yet to dual-ISP). Teachers have been able to unblock some sites individually for short periods of time (up to 90 min). We still can override the filters for students. I prefer not to do this in the library unless students can justify why they need to access their email (non-school account) or other website for school purposes as if they do something inappropriate it comes back to me as I unblocked a site. Some sites are still blocked or the unblocking override software doesn’t always work (I go with 3 attempts and no more attempts from me for awhile on that site). 

Current school practices limit the creativity of staff and students to a degree; time constraints is probably the biggest challenge to trying new ways of doing things (apart from DECD filtering). I wouldn’t be prepared to demonstrate something that I’m not reasonably confident in doing in front students (sort of professional pride), I think this is why I haven’t used things like YouTube, Flash and similar programs. I still remember back in 2003, when I showed my first PowerPoint in front of my Yr 9 Christian Studies class. It was very basic by today’s standards but I’d put a fair bit of time into trying different transitions and entries of material. I was very proud of it and told the students to be impressed by it. I was still using OHT/OHP as projectors were just starting to come into schools.  After that I was much more ready to create and show PowerPoints in class. I need to do this again with various newer (to me) programs. (Although I still haven’t got my head around Publisher and that’s an older program.) I had more success with the Mac suite of programs equivalent of MS Office as I found these more intuitive than the Microsoft programs. SEHS isn’t a mac platform school so I haven’t bothered to follow these up even though I could use a mac at school (they do support it). I try to keep up with the more frequently used student programs so I can help trouble shoot in the library for students some of the basic problems/issues. I managed to help a student understand how to change the thickness of a text box border in Word this week!



NMC Horizon Report 2013 K-12 Edition – notes


Posted by Liz Eckert | Posted in INF530 | Posted on March 18, 2014

Key Trends (p7-8)

1 Education paradigms are shifting to include online learning, hybrid learning, and collaborative models.

2 Social media is changing the way people interact, present ideas and information, and communicate.

3 Openness — concepts like open content, open data, and open resources, along with notions of transparency and easy access to data and information — is becoming a value

4 As the cost of technology drops and school districts revise and open up their access policies, it is becoming more common for students to bring their own mobile devices.

5 The abundance of resources and relationships made easily accessible via the Internet is challenging us to revisit our roles as

Significant Challenges (p9-10)

1 Ongoing professional development needs to be valued and integrated into the culture of the schools

2 Too often it is education’s own practices that limit broader uptake of new technologies.

3 New models of education are bringing unprecedented competition to traditional models of schooling.

4 K-12 must address the increased blending of formal and informal learning

5 The demand for personalized learning is not adequately supported by current technology or practices.

6 We are not using digital media for formative assessment the way we could and should

Technologies to watch

Cloud Computing (p11-15)

Time-to-Adoption Horizon: One Year or Less

Currently SEHS (Salisbury East High School) uses infrastructure-as-a-service through a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) platform which has only been rolled out since semester 2 2013. We are not using the platform-as-a-service (PaaS) or software-as-a-service (SaaS) options at this stage.  I can see us possibly moving to PaaS at some point in the future.

Mobile Learning (p16-19)

Time-to-Adoption Horizon: One Year or Less

This is happenning at SEHS as we are a BYOD although the take up is limited as we have some requirements that need to be met before studetnts are given access to the school network. Some are size of screen, battery life and need to have a keyboard (wither attached or connectable.

Learning Analytics (p20-23)

Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Two to Three Years

Learning analytics is education’s approach to “big data,” a science that was originally leveraged by businesses to analyze ommercial activities, identify spending trends, and predict consumer behavior

Learning analytics make data an integral part of planning, designing and assessing learning experiences.

For Further Reading (p23)

The following articles and resources are recommended for those who wish to learn more about learning analytics:
Emerging Opportunities in K-12 Learning Analytics (video)
(Roy Pea, MediaX Stanford, 8 January 2013.) In this video from the MediaX 2013 Conference, Roy Pea shares why data and learning analytics are needed in building today’s K-12 personalized learning at scale. His talk addresses new tools and approaches for the further development of learning analytics.

Enhancing Teaching and Learning Through Educational Data Mining and Learning Analytics: An Issue Brief
(Marie Bienkowski, Mingyu Feng, Barbara Means, U.S. Department of Education, Office of Educational Technology, October 2012.) This report covers data analytics and data mining in the commercial world and how similar techniques are applied in education. It also addresses the challenges and potential of such efforts for improving student outcomes.
Hope Battles Fear Over Student Data Integration
(David F. Carr, Information Week, 26 March 2013.) Because learning analytics relies on data collection, fears of data misuse and privacy issues are a major hurdle in its implementation. This article highlights the complaints parents have raised against a particular student data integration service, which seeks to free data from proprietary tools so it can be used for personalizing education.

If You Like Learning, Could I Recommend Analytics?
(Bill Jerome, e-Literate, 24 March 2013.) The author discusses the differences in the analytics strategy of companies such as Amazon, Netflix, and Google, as well as exploring algorithms for education analytics that schools could employ.
Learning and Knowledge Analytics (PDF)
(George Siemens and Dragan Gasevic, Journal of Educational Technology & Society, Vol. 15, No. 3, July 2012.) In a special edition of the Journal, seminal learning analytics experts George Siemens and Dragan Gasevic discuss the maturation of learning analytics and its impact on education.

The Upside and Dark Side of Collecting Student Data
(Katrina Schwartz, MindShift, 11 February 2013.) The author describes how learning analytics can provide data that helps educators better tailor learning experiences to individual students, but also cautions against companies who are using data collection to track children’s activities.

This is something new to me. I think this is something I want to look at further. I want to follow up the further readings suggested on p23 as listed above.

Open Content (p24-27)

Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Two to Three Years

The movement toward open content reflects a growing shift in the way scholars in many parts of the world are conceptualizing education to a view that is more about the process of learning than the information conveyed. Information is everywhere; the challenge is to make effective use of it. Open content uses Creative Commons and other forms of alternative licensing to encourage not only the sharing of information, but the sharing of pedagogies and experiences as well. Part of the appeal of open content is that it is a response to both the rising costs of traditionally published resources and the lack of educational resources in some regions


This is something I have a vague idea about but not really in-depth; linked with creative commons licensing which I have a reasonable understanding of. I like some of the suggestions in the open practice section – Gooru looks good, particularly as SEHS is a STEM school. I think I’ll be sharing this with my faculty leaders.

3D Printing (p28-31)

Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Four to Five Years

I’m aware of this as I believe our school has one in our Tech area. I’ve also visited schools which use this in their school. It probably will increase in schools using this over time as it becomes more affordable to buy.

Virtual and Remote Laboratories (p32-35)

Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Four to Five Years

Not just for maths & science!! There’s a language lab example listed

Overall impressions

I like the way this sums up trends and challenges. While covering a range of areas, it summarized things quite well with examples from all over the world. I liked that a number of Australian examples were used,  even in a reasonably US biased work.


Blog Task #1


Posted by Liz Eckert | Posted in INF530 | Posted on March 18, 2014

Current knowledge & understanding of concepts & practices in a digital age.

I’ve struggled to get my head around ICT and integrating it in the classroom effectively. I saw this as an easy way to make sure I committed time to learning more about ICT, the library/Resource Centre and general classroom integration. I know I need to understand more than just the bare minimum to be an effective teacher, let alone an innovative Teacher Librarian.
Recently I’ve had experience in using Moodle in teaching compulsory SACE subjects (Personal Learning Plan (PLP) and Research Project (RP)). PLP & RP were shared across 5 classes with the same material being available to all teachers and students in the cohort. I wasn’t confident to go searching for material on YouTube and the internet for a number of reasons. One was concerned about time constraints and not sure if material wouldn’t be blocked by SA Education Department (DECD) filters without having to embed YouTube clips into the Moodle site which required more concerns with how to do this and copyright. Another is actually finding the time to create or adapt material to suit my classes and put my own spin on things or to help students create work in different formats to the standard poster, PowerPoint & essay presentations.
I’ve reflected on my current levels of social networking on a previous blog post.
I have struggled to adopt some of these in the school/education setting particularly as the education system I’ve found myself working in mostly has filtered or blocked much of these options. One could suspect that this was done initially done in a limit distraction ideology however, it has come across as a fear approach, or let’s limit access instead of teaching and modelling safe cyber practices by students and staff. I know I’d like to operate in the Finland model where students are taught to be responsible internet usage.  I have read other articles about this but can’t seem to remember where it was and when it was.

Finnish schools choose to teach students how to be responsible users of the Internet and, thus believe that students will then be equipped with the tools necessary to avoid inappropriate Internet content.  By putting the responsibility for safe Internet use back into the hands of  the students through education efforts, Finnish school officials believe the need for enforcement is, if not completely erased, at least drastically diminished, making the use of filters in the educational setting unnecessary.

Most sites are still limited on the DECD internet platform. Some schools are getting around this by using dual-ISP where they use the department internet and also use an additional provider to broaden the availability of various sites and programs.
This has lead me to want and need to expand my own knowledge and experiences of Web 2.0 and other social networking platforms and become aware of “stuff” that students are using to find their information and connect to others. I also want to help staff use more than just the tried old websites that they’ve always used to support their teaching. I’ve enjoyed looking at some of the internet archiving services that are around. Europeana and Trove are two that I look forward to sharing with my Humanities team. I have had some concerns about not being able to access material that has been removed from the internet that offers a historical perspective on an issue.
I also want to help students to broaden their internet research skills from using mainly google and bing searches. However, I need to re-learn about this as well.
For me, I think that the main challenges will be making sure I make the time to sit and do the study in as much depth as I want to; it’s hard being a near-fulltime teacher, mother and student.


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