Learning and Teaching at Gilson College

Learning for living, Character for life, Hope for the Future

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ASV Teachers, ‘The Understanding by Design Guide to Creating High-Quality Units’ book and Edutect Online Unit Planner

At the Adventist Schools Victoria Annual Conference (ASVAC) in January, many of our teachers choose (from two books offered them by ASV Education leaders) ‘The Understanding by Design Guide to Creating High-Quality Units’ by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe

This book was offered because our school system has begun to use Edutect Online Unit Planner, which will assist our teachers to enhance their learning and teaching planning for the benefit of our students, as well as to further develop collaboration between teachers, and across our schools. 

The Edutect Unit Planner uses the ‘Curriculum Planning for Understanding’ inquiry model based on Wiggins and McTighe’s UbD unit planning template, v.2.0. 

The videos linked here will be of some assistance to ASV leaders and teachers as they seek to understand UbD more thoroughly, as well as how the how Curriculum Planning for Understanding model works within the Edutect Unit Planner.

Hawker Brownlow, publishers of Wiggins and McTighe’s  book in Australia, and providers of professional learning for users of the Edutect Online Unit Planner have also provided some YouTube videos of conversations held with Jay McTighe, about the book and the planner. These will also help help our leaders and teachers to understand a little more of the purposes of the book and the planner. 

Hawker Brownlow, to introduce their video discussion with Jay McTighe about the book, writes: 

’[The book] offers instructional modules on the basic concepts and elements of Understanding by Design (UbD), the “backward design” approach…educators [can use] to create curriculum units and assessments that focus on developing students’ understanding of important ideas. The eight modules are organised around the UbD Template Version 2.0 and feature components similar to what is typically provided in a UbD design workshop, including: Discussion and explanation of key ideas in the module; Guiding exercises, worksheets and design tips; Examples of unit designs; Review criteria with prompts for self-assessment; and a list of resources for further information.’ www.hbe.com.au

View the YouTube video about the book here: 

The Understanding by Design Guide to Creating High-Quality Units

And the video discussions about UbD and Edutect Online Unit Planner here:

Jay McTighe Discusses UbD and Edutect’s Unit Planner (Part 1)

Jay McTighe discusses UbD and Edutect’s Unit Planner (Part 2)


Learning, Learning, Learning not Apps, Apps, Apps

Daniel Edwards writes on his ‘…blog [which] chronicles the trials and tribulations of 1:1 iPad deployment in a large secondary school:


‘An app on its own is like a thinker without thoughts!’

‘…It may be the nature of the beast that apps alone form the basis for conversations about new technology in the classroom. However, the success of tablet provision in the classroom is NOT underpinned solely by apps…alll too often I see reference to ‘look how I can present these words across a picture to engage my students!’ or ‘Check out how this random name app selects my students.’ Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure these opportunities have a place as part of the process, but they certainly aren’t a reason to use tablets in the classroom. The power of learning with new technology lies with the teacher and the ability to choose the appropriate tool for the right intention. Moreover, success directly relates to the relationships between learner and educator, and the learner and learning…’ 

(Emphasis mine)

Read Daniel’s full post here: Learning, Learning, Learning not Apps, Apps, Apps

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Why All Teachers are teachers of ICT Skills…

The new Australian Curriculum intends that all teachers work towards embedding Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in all learning areas for which they have responsibility. ICT becomes a General Capability for all teaching and learning – for students and teachers.

It is the responsibility of all teachers, when planning for learning and teaching, to consider why, when and how technology and its tools might assist in enhancing and increasing students’ learning achievement, assist students engagement, allow students to be creative, to collaborate, to become problem solvers, and to develop their critical thinking skills, among other digital literacies. 

I believe Jeff Utecht, in his blog ‘The Thinking Stick’ supports this thinking in his writing: 

‘Really? It’s my job to teach technology? 

Read Jeff’s post here:


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’10 Ways to Disrupt Successfully’ – Leadership Freak blog

Last year during a keynote at ACEL I came across the concept of Responsible Disruption! This post which explores the concept of Successful Dispuption is reblogged from Leadership Freak (including the graphic)! 

The post is certainly worth reading and seriously considering! 

What are your thoughts on being a Disruptive Leader?

‘Embrace the power of disruption or tomorrow will be today, again. More of the same produces more of the same. 

All leaders disrupt.’

‘Successful disruption:
Disruption makes new futures possible. But, disruption “gone wild” destroys your capacity to build the future. Too much disruption irritates and aggravates. People make fun of the “innovation of the day,” for example…’

Read more: 10 Ways to Disrupt Successfully

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TECHexpress Episode 19 with Lynda Cutting and Craig Dunstan is out!

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