Learning and Teaching at Gilson College

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

This askatechteacher link has a comprehensive list of coding sites for teachers to use during Hour of Code! Very useful!



SAMR Model for Integrating Technology into Learning and Teaching

Lynda Cutting, Senior National Partnership Advisor with Independent Schools Victoria , has written a short post to describe in simple terms the SAMR Model.

She writes:

…Like any tool, the power in this model is how it helps us create the best possible learning opportunities for our students. That means the first question is “what do I want my students to learn?” Then we can use the SAMR model to help us decide what app we can use to support our goal…


There is also lots more on Lynda’s Appsadaisy blog to do with iPads and apps, teachers and students!

Lynda also co-presents with Craig, the  TECHexpress podcasts Episode 15 has just been released.

Here she explains the purpose of this blog:

TECHexpress is a podcast for busy teachers as they integrate ICT into their practice. We know how much teachers need to fit into a day so our podcasts will only be about 10 minutes long.

Each episode includes a discussion about a Web 2 tool to use in the classroom and a quick tip or tool that you might like to try.

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ISV TechExpress Podcasts – Episode 1


Podcasting on the use of ICT in the classroom

Lynda Cutting and Craig Dunstan, are Senior Advisors for Independent Schools Victoria‘s Smart Schools National Partnerships program and have been working with leaders and teachers in the areas of literacy and numeracy in Victorian independent schools, including some of our schools.

They recently began to podcast about how teachers can use ICT in their classrooms. These series is titled Techexpress.

I want to share these Techexpress podcasts with our teachers in the ASV Teachers ICT showcase blog, but thought I’d share this first episode here also so that principals, deputies and heads of school can know about this initiative too.

Surveys, copyright-free images, Angry Birds apps in education; each of these is spoken about in this first episode.

Lynda and Craig have a related blog as well, to which they refer in the podcast. (See link below)

In their blog you will find links to the resources they talk about in the podcasts. Readers can also comment of course, and in doing that may also refer to related tools that they have found useful in their classrooms.

Lynda and Craig have asked (by email) their first podcast listeners to submit have any ideas that they could podcast on in the future. If you do have a suggestion, please visit their blog and add a comment to their post.

Episode 1-Our very first episode.


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YouTube in schools? Try YouTube for Schools!

YouTube for Schools

This information regarding YouTube for Schools might be a way to assist principals to solve the issue some school leaders and teachers are having when it comes to teacher use of video from online sources such as the regular YouTube. I think it would be worth leaders checking YouTube for Schools out and having a chat with your techs to set up a school account, as well as talking with teachers in regard to the videos they’d like to add to your school’s customisable list.

The following from the YouTube for Schools website explains:

‘YouTube for Schools lets schools access free educational YouTube videos while limiting access to other YouTube content. Students can learn from more than 400,000 educational videos, from well-known organizations like Stanford, PBS and TED, and from up-and-coming YouTube partners with millions of views, like Khan Academy, Steve Spangler Science and numberphile. Schools can also customize their YouTube for Schools experience, adding videos that are only viewable within their school network.’


YouTube for Schools provides schools access to hundreds of thousands of free educational videos from YouTube EDU. These videos come from well-known organizations like StanfordPBS and TED as well as from up-and-coming YouTube partners with millions of views, like Khan Academy, Steve Spangler Science and Numberphile.


School admins and teachers can log in and watch any video, but students cannot log in and can only watch YouTube EDU videos plus videos their school has added. All comments and related videos are disabled and search is limited to YouTube EDU videos.


You can customize the content available in your school. All schools get access to all of the YouTube EDU content, but teachers and administrators can also create playlists of videos that are viewable only within their school’s network.


YouTube.com/Teachers has hundreds of playlists of videos that align with common educational standards, organized by subject and grade. These playlists were created by teachers for teachers so you can spend more time teaching and less time searching.’

Another little trick I’ve learnt recently:

(Thank you Tom March)

YouTube for Schools doesn’t allow suggestions for related video to appear after viewing the target video.

If you want to prevent students surfing off into the wide world of YouTube after viewing the videos you download from YouTube video to embed into your blog, website, Edmodo etc., add &=rel=0 to the to source URL. For example, the video above has the following URL:

With &rel=0 added it looks like this:


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How many of our students have a personal online presence – other than fb?

Worth thinking about don’t you think? Hmmm?

Find What’s Funny

  1. Why specific things make this “funny?”
  2. What is being made fun of?
  3. How would you make it “funnier?”

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Science: Teachers from Finland, South Korea, NZ and Canada on science education. – Slate Magazine

Teachers from Finland, South Korea, and Canada on science education. – Slate Magazine.

The URL above links to an interesting article that interviews teachers from several countries which ranked high in the OECD’s PISA science testing in 2009.

Some quotes of points I found interesting, and the emphasis is mine. You may find different points interesting!

What do the leading countries do differently? To find out, Slate asked science teachers from five countries that are among the world’s best in science education—Finland, Singapore, South Korea, New Zealand, and Canada—how they approach their subject and the classroom. Their recommendations: Keep students engaged and make the science seem relevant.

FINLAND: Ari Myllyviita teaches chemistry and works with future science educators at theViikki Teacher Training School of Helsinki UniversityMy aim is to support knowledge-building, socioculturally: to create socially supported activity in student’s zone of proximal development (the area where student need some support to achieve next level of understanding or skill). The student’s previous knowledge is the starting point, and then the learning is bound to the activity during lessons—experiments, simulations, and observing phenomena… Read more

SINGAPOREDr. Charles Chew is a principal master teacher (physics) with the Academy of Singapore Teachers. Since joining the education service in 1986, he has been a junior college lecturer, head of science and vice principal of a secondary school, and a teaching fellow at the National Institute of Education…a systematic and systemic approach to curriculum planning and development to ensure that our focus is future-relevant, a strong and connected community of curriculum planners, education experts, and school teachers toward enabling the curriculum in context, and a commitment to developing a strong teaching force…the interface between the curriculum and the students is the teacher who breathes life into the educational process… Read more

SOUTH KOREA: Soojin Lim teaches biology at Hansung Science High School in Seoul…The goals of my classes are to assist students in motivating themselves, to relate biology topics to the real world, and to nurture the ability to inquire by challenging students…Personally, I believe that even though hands-on experiments like those emphasized at my school take longer to show student achievement, they will pay off in the long run… Read more

NEW ZEALAND:  Steve Martin is head of junior science at Howick College. In 2010, he received the prime minister’s award for science teaching…The New Zealand Science Curriculum…has the “Nature of Science” as its foundation, which supports students learning the skills essential to a scientist, such as problem-solving and effective communication...I provide students with various levels of success criteria, which are statements that students and teachers use to evaluate performance. In every lesson I provide the students with three different levels of success criteria, each providing an increase in cognitive demand. The following is an example based on the topic of the carbon cycle: I can identify the different parts of the carbon cycle. I can explain how all the parts interact with each other to form the carbon cycle. I can predict the effect that removing one part of the carbon cycle has on the environment… Read more

CANADA: Rick Pardo is a learning coordinator for 7-12 science for the Thames Valley District School Board in Ontario…In my classes, students don’t just design and conduct experiments. They also support and refute opinions, build prototypes, and solve messy problems. I recently took advantage of a national election to combine biology, chemistry, and environment concepts. Students were assigned one of the main four political parties and asked to prepare for a debate around a series of questions, like, “If your party were to form the government, what can the rest of the world expect regarding the future release of CO2 by Canadians?” and, “What does politics have to do with the science of ecology?” The students poured over party platforms, investigated the background science, and interviewed local candidates. Some even made their way to national party headquarters… Read more

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VISIBLE THINKING – Project Zero, Harvard University


At our 2012 Adventist Schools Victoria Annual Conference (ASVAC) we chose to place in the hands of each teacher a copy of the book ‘Visible Thinking’ by Ron Ritchhart, Mark Church & Karin Morrison
The precursor to this book is the PROJECT ZERO VISIBLE THINKING website. The resources on the site will be useful to complement your reading of the book.
There you will find PDFs of most of the Thinking Routines that are featured in the book. These PDFs can be used as easy references for teachers, as well as handouts to students.

The following quote from the website introduces Visible Thinking In Action:

VisibleThinking In Action

Every committed educator wants better learning and more thoughtful students. Visible Thinking is a way of helping to achieve that without a separate ‘thinking skills’ course or fixed lessons.

Visible Thinking is a broad and flexible framework for enriching classroom learning in the content areas and fostering students’ intellectual development at the same time. Here are some of its key goals:

  1. Deeper understanding of content,
  2. Greater motivation for learning,
  3. Development of learners’ thinking and learning abilities,
  4. Development of learners’ attitudes toward thinking and learning and their alertness to opportunities for thinking and learning (the “dispositional” side of thinking),
  5. A shift in classroom culture toward a community of enthusiastically engaged thinkers and learners.

Toward achieving these goals, Visible Thinking involves several practices and resources. Teachers are invited to use with their students a number of “thinking routines” — simple protocols for exploring ideas — around whatever topics are important, say fractions arithmetic, the Industrial Revolution, World War II, the meaning of a poem, the nature of democracy. Visible Thinking includes attention to four “thinking ideals” — understanding, truth, fairness, and creativity. Visible Thinking emphasizes several ways of making students’ thinking visible to themselves and one another, so that they can improve it.

The idea of visible thinking helps to make concrete what a thoughtful classroom might look like. At any moment, we can ask, “Is thinking visible here? Are students explaining things to one another? Are students offering creative ideas? Are they, and I as their teacher, using the language of thinking? Is there a brainstorm about alternative interpretations on the wall? Are students debating a plan?”

When the answers to questions like these are consistently yes, students are more likely to show interest and commitment as learning unfolds in the classroom. They find more meaning in the subject matters and more meaningful connections between school and everyday life. They begin to display the sorts of attitudes toward thinking and learning we would most like to see in young learners — not closed-minded but open-minded, not bored but curious, neither gullible nor sweepingly negative but appropriately skeptical, not satisfied with “just the facts” but wanting to understand.

Continue reading.