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Posts tagged ‘research’

Maker Spaces Plus Prowise

maker-spaceThe Maker Movement is transforming learning in our schools. The Maker Movement, provides a flexible model for exploring how schools can better cultivate the interplay between student interests, peer culture, digital tools and academic success. It reimages schools as maker-centered environments with the assumption that everyone is a maker. The ultimate objective is that, with the right tools and connections, young people can develop the literacies to remake our world into a more democratic, equitable and humane place.

The Maker Movement, has embraced the research from Connected Learning focusing on how to optimize the passions associated with students’ informal learning ie the learning they experience outside of school with the formal learning they experience within school. In most research regarding effective pedagogy eg the Quality Teaching Framework, which identifies the dimension of “significance’ there is an emphasis on the importance of finding the intersections between young peoples’ interests and the mandated curriculum. Importantly students develop academic pursuits when classroom content connects to their passions.

Connected Learning was the basis of the Connected Learning Program in NSW which supported schools to connect students to real world experts from Galleries, Libraries and Museums via video conferencing and enable them to access and create high quality digital content.

Connected Classrooms can now be transformed into Maker Spaces where students actively make content, create products, invent processes, and propose new ideas. Students can be provided with places in the classroom and links to the community both off and online to engage with people who share their passions. They can have the opportunity to make meaningful contributions towards personally relevant issues, ideas, people and interests.

With Connected Learning and within Maker Spaces making, producing, experimenting, designing and building are present both physically and online, in and outside of the classroom .The resources for making should be distributed throughout the school, home and community settings. EdTech solutions can  also provide ways for students to connect beyond the walls of the classroom and to engage with experts in the fields of their passions.

The Prowise Solution supports Connected Learning and the creation of Maker Spaces. When you add Coding ,Robotics and 3D Printing you are giving students the tools to be creators and to follow their passions.

To support young makers, teachers should:

  1. Regularly engage students in making, sharing, collaborating and reflecting eg Use Prowise Presenter to create lessons which can be accessed anywhere, anytime on any device.
  2. Give feedback often to help students remake and reiterate content-specific products, processes and knowledge. E.g. using Prowise Connect teachers can readily provide feedback on the fly.
  3. Encourage students to better the lives of their peers, school and community.
  4. Play multiple roles: engaged co-creator, mentor, problem-solver, activist or networker who brings the right people and tools together.

For more information  on how we can assist you to create a Maker Space contact our Education Consultants.


Prowise Netherlands visits Australia!

PW Visit-Goodstart

Erik Neeskens (Co-Founder/ Sales Director), Michael Ahrens (Co-Founder/ Technology Director) and Martin de Fockert (International Channel Manager) recently made a trip down under to work with ELB and understand more about the Australian educational context and how to meet the needs of Australian educators.

During their time in Australia the team visited an early child hood centre,  high school and university to better understand these sectors and how  Prowise products and services can be enhanced for Australian education.

The team accompanied by the ELB Education group  visited the GoodStart Early Learning Centre, the first of one hundred centres nationally to have Prowise interactive flat panels installed. Part of their concept is for ELB to provide accredited training across all their sites for  Early Years educators who can participate in content creation workshops and develop  digital resources using Prowise Presenter for early childhood learners.

ELB Education has already developed some content for this age group aligned to the Australian Early Learning Framework. The resources based on the concrete materials which are  part of the play-based curriculum essential for early years  are freely available on our website or through the Prowise Presenter community. https://www.education.electroboard.com.au/resources

The Prowise  Netherlands team also visited Cammeragal High school, one of the first schools in Australia to install Prowise interactive flat panels. The team discussed the interactive flat panel’s effectiveness with the staff and students at the high school. Students were very positive about the interactive flat panels, particularly “the clarity of the image and the sound quality”.

Together with members of the staff, ELB Training Manager, Lindsey Davies, discussed the tools that Prowise Presenter provides for STEAM education. The school plans for the staff to undertake further training in the use of Prowise Presenter and ProConnect which will enable teachers to engage with their students’ BYOD technology by sharing their screens for assessment and collaboration activities.

The Netherlands team also visited Macquarie University, Faculty of Human Sciences – Teacher Training Facility. Lecturers and IT leaders here are looking to upgrade their technology to ensure that it reflects “what is happening in schools and to keep pace with the rapid changes in technology”.

Prowise has a program for providing free access to  Presenter software for Pre-service teachers. This is a great bonus for new educators who can develop digital units of work and use them throughout their course and importantly in whatever school context they are assigned for their practicum. Prowise Presenter is cloud-based software and can be used with any platform ensuring that the effort teachers put into their learning design can be utilised in any web enabled education context .

Pre-service teachers can also contribute to the community of content designed for the Australian Curriculum or the Global community where more than 1 million resources have been saved.

The team from the Netherlands was very impressed with the quality of the training resources and learning content developed by ELB Education Australia. The professional development eBook and learning resources developed by the Training Manager and team displayed a high level of quality and pedagogical skill. To learn more about these resources,  the  ELB Academy and our accredited courses go here: https://www.education.electroboard.com.au/training


Creating new forms of 21st Century Assessment


In an article in the European Journal of Education, Vol. 48, No. 1, 2013 entitled

Changing Assessment —Towards a New Assessment Paradigm Using ICT,

Christine Redecker and  Øystein Johannessen ,describe the potential for ICT to

deliver new ways of assessing.



They conclude that “while there is still a need to advance in the development of Emerging technological solutions to support embedded assessment, such as Learning Analytics,and integrated assessment formats, the more pressing task is to make the conceptual shift between traditional and 21st century testing and develop E-Assessment pedagogies, frameworks, formats and approaches that reflect the core competences needed for life in the 21st century, supported by coherent policies for embedding and implementing E-Assessment in daily educational practice.” To assist teachers to embed E-Assessment into their daily practices SMART Technologies has developed a suite of tools called SMART Response.  One tool, SMART Response VE is web based and can be utilised on any device. During our video conferencing events students respond to questions personally on their Apple iPads via SMART Response VE. Their responses can inform the author or expert about their understandings of the shared content or conversation occurring during the video conference.



The article also describes the use of these Learner Response Systems stating: “Another interesting example of how technology is being used for assessment purposes is the Learner Response Systems, often referred to as clickers. A recent study by the University of York (Sheard, Chambers, & Elliot, 2012) has looked into how clickers were being used and how they impacted on the teaching of grammar in Year 5 classes across 42 schools in the North of England and Wales. It involved pupils using handsets to respond individually to question sets that were presented digitally. The formative assessment method used in this study is called Questions for Learning (QfL).The results indicate that, on grammar tests, students from QfL classes perform far better than those in the control classes. These effects did not however, generalise to the writing task. An interesting finding is that middle- and

low-performing students seem to benefit more particularly from formative assessment

using handheld devices.”

A case study undertaken with Lake Illawarra Primary School in Australia  also highlights the success of using Learning Response Systems.

http://seeshareshape.com.au/AboutSmart/CaseStudyDetail.aspx?id=1504&ch=5 Australian teachers are also using their SMART document cameras in creative ways for E-Assessment.  They are photographing student work samples such as Art work with teacher annotations and feedback and sending a copy to parents for reporting or to the student’s e-portfolio.



Connected Learning Report


“Connected Learning:  an Agenda for Research and Design” has just been released by the Digital Media and Research Hub. http://clrn.dmlhub.net/

The report is a synthesis of research about Connected Learning which can  provide guidance and structure for educators. It describes a number of very powerful Case Studies and identifies these as  core properties for the Connected Learning Experience :

  • Production-centered ( Digital tools provide opportunities for producing and creating a wide variety of media, knowledge, and cultural content in experimental and active ways).


  • Shared purpose (Social media and web-based communities provide unprecedented opportunities for cross-generational and cross-cultural learning and connection to unfold and thrive around common goals and interests


  • Openly networked Online platforms and digital tools can make learning resources abundant, accessible, and visible across all learner settings.


 The report also states  that  “Connected learning environments  draw together young people and adults in joint activities that are defined by a shared purpose, goal, or collaborative production (Miell and Littleton, 2004). These common interests and goals become a way of cementing cross-generational connections and propelling meaningful learning and inquiry.”


It defines new media’s role as amplifying opportunities for Connected Learning by:

  • Fostering engagement and self-expression (Interactive, immersive, and personalized technologies can provide responsive feedback, support a diversity of learning styles and literacy, and pace learning according to individual needs)



  • Increasing accessibility to knowledge and learning experiences (Through online search, educational resources, and communities of expertise and interest, young people can easily access information and find relationships that support self-directed and interest-driven learning.



  • Expanding social supports for interests (Through social media, young people can form relationships with peers and caring adults that are centered on interests, expertise, and future opportunity in areas of interest.



  • Expanding diversity and building capacity (New media networks empower marginalized and non-institutionalized groups and cultures to have voice, mobilize, organize, and build economic capacity).


We are developing projects with similar characteristics for school participation eg

Year 4 Project – Nanberry

First Contact Stories from around Australia

The National Curriculum focus on communicating in online environments, creating multimodal texts and using Australian literature provides a framework for collaborative literature projects. ELECTROBOARD, PETAA and Harper Collins will be working together on a National literacy and history project. Students will participate in a term long project outlined below aligned to the National Curriculum in English and History incorporating the cross curricula priority of Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander Histories and Cultures as well as a range of general capabilities including ICT and critical and creative thinking.

Nanberry will provide students with an opportunity to work with Jackie French to explore the stories of early Australian life in more detail. Students will also compare local stories of early Australian life from Tasmania to Townsville. Email c.gotlieb@electroboard.com.au to be part of the Nanberry pilot project in Term 2 2013.


A Great IDEA!


A Great IDEA!

This year’s IDEA Conference was an outstanding event supported by the Department of Education, Employment  and Workplace Relations and Education Services Australia. The Program included International speakers such as Professor Erik Duval from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, Ramona Pierson CEO and Founder of Pierson Labs, Professor Patrick Griffin Melbourne University, Tim DiScipio Founder of ePaLs and M.S Vijay Kumar, Director of Educational innovation at MIT.

Panel sessions were also led by Rhyan Bloor Branch Manager Digital Infrastructure and Resources Branch, Evidence and Innovation Group (DEEWR), Ruth Wallace Director of Social Partnerships in Learning Research Consortium Charles Darwin University.

This panel was entitled ”Engaging Learners in a Digital World; Identity, Devices and Other Matters “ a link to my Prezi can be found here;


The conference also hosted the IMS Global Learning Consortium’s Learning Impact Awards and IRIS Connect was entered for the Regional Finals. It was a privilege to be included amongst the entries and to have the opportunity to discuss IRIS Connect with so many leading educators.

idea12 3

The successful winner was Charles Darwin University: Digital media supporting learning in remote Aboriginal rangers.

For more information about the conference go to:


Apple iPads in the Classroom



This week’s article in the Sydney Morning Herald  indicated that schools were purchasing “significant” numbers of Apple iPads without any real idea of their true value to the classroom”. This was also reflected in conversations that we had with jurisdictional leads in the United States at the recent ISTE Conference in San Diego.  However The Mobile Learning Centre at the Conference provided workshops for teachers on apps that had been “curated” by teachers from both primary and secondary settings. So whilst it is true that schools are purchasing  iPads in the US and Australia there is also considerable effort across these two countries to identify practices which go beyond ” drill and skill’ apps.

This is reflected by the teachers our Education Consultants work with across Australia. Teachers are keen to understand how they can use Apple iPads in conjunction with their SMART Boards to broaden the range of pedagogical practices in their classrooms. Teachers are using their SMART Boards for modelling, group collaboration and student demonstrations of new knowledge. Depending on how many Apple iPads they have in the classroom they are using their iPads for small group activities and personalised learning (as per our video case study on our YouTube channel). The two technologies provide teachers and students with a rich array of content and tools for learning.

To assist schools and teachers we have developed accredited courses delivered by our Training Academy in utilising Apple iPads to foster higher order skills aligned to Blooms Taxonomy. Our courses have been developed through implementing “student iPad workshops” in classrooms to observe the way a selection of “curated’ apps are utilised to enhance student learning.

For further information go to the Training Academy section of our site www.seeshareshape.com.au

Quality Teaching with Interactive Whiteboards

Image from Interactive Whiteboard Insights, at http://interactivewhiteboardinsights.blogspot.com/2010/05/reasons-why-interactive-whiteboards-are.html. Click for larger view.

Australia is a little behind countries like the UK and Canada in terms of interactive whiteboard adoption in classrooms, but that can be an advantage to us. These countries have learnt a lot about incorporating these technologies into the classroom and a great deal of research and development has gone before us. Initially, much of this research focussed on whether interactive whiteboards were effective. The response was overwhelmingly in favour of interactive whiteboards in classrooms because of the opportunities afforded by these technologies. But were teachers taking up these opportunities? Did it really change their teaching practice? Did it really make a difference? Were teachers adopting quality teaching practices? This is where the research headed and also where interactive whiteboards started to become more controversial. Chris Betcher makes an interesting point:

“IWBs are certainly a controversial technology… I too often find myself defending them.  I defend them because I believe that in the hands of a good teacher they can be valuable tools, and I get a bit tired of hearing the technology being attacked when it seems to me that all technologies are fairly inert until someone actually does something useful (or not) with them.” (http://chrisbetcher.com/2010/07/iwbs-are-no-silver-bullet/)

It’s been suggested that teachers begin using interactive whiteboards to substitute existing teaching methods and as they gather more confidence and explore new applications, they develop a bank of skills and resources to draw from and they are then able to harnass the power of the technology. (See http://arrts.gtcni.org.uk/gtcni/bitstream/2428/49478/1/beyond%2Bthe%2Bwow%2Bfactor.pdf)

The key to adopting effective pedagogy when it comes to interactive whiteboards appears to be the strategy and professional development that goes into implementing it in the classroom. Schools that focus on effectively equipping their staff to be proficient and creative users of the technology see greater success.



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