Better World Flux – Free visualisation tool for schools

Better World Flux was created in Australia to raise awareness for the UN Millennium Development Goals . Teachers and students can create,  visualize and share stories that are hidden in the World Bank Open Data.

This image presents data showing Australia’s own measure of happiness compared with countries across the world. The data shows us we are doing pretty well. It also shows that comparatively we seem to be getting happier. I wonder why?

What could be the factors affecting this statistic? What stories do the numbers tell. Happiness

Teachers could get students to:

  • build an ideal composite of what they think matters in life
  • track the progress of countries and the world over the years and find interesting trends and patterns
  • see which countries need the most help and find the ideal country to live in
  • see which countries need the most help
  • find the ideal country to live in based on your preferences
  • explore and navigate the raw data for each country.
  • Check it out at 

Free Australian Learning Lecture series for teachers and leaders

The Australian Learning Lecture (ALL) is a thought provoking biennial lecture series which brings big ideas around learning into the spotlight. The free five part lecture series will be conducted over 10 years, and will work to elevate the value of learning. all

The Inaugural Lecture – 21 May 2015 The series begins with the theme of ‘Joy and Data’ delivered by Sir Michael Barber at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre and to be introducedby Dame Quentin Bryce.

Joy and data are two ideas that seem contradictory. Yet both are central to learning. The emphasis on academic success has meant
that too often we forget the joy of learning. But can success be driven by joy as well as by effort?

Data in Australian education is often feared because it is thought of in a limited way and can be used to judge schools, teachers and individuals. The lecture will challenge this fear, and highlight the diverse ways data can bring joy to learning.
ALL is a prestigious new lecture series bringing big ideas in learning and education to national attention

When: Joy and Data inaugural lecture  – Thursday, 21 May 2015   Where: Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, South Wharf
Cost: FREE
Time: 6 – 7.30 pm

with a live Q&A following the event at 8PM EST


The Australian Learning Lecture (ALL) was established
by the Koshland Innovation Fund and the State Library
Victoria. It is supported by:
• Australian Curriculum, Assessment and
Reporting Authority
• Australian Council for Educational Research
• Australian Secondary Principals Association
• Principals Australia Institute
• Asia Education Foundation
• The Mitchell Institute
• National & State Libraries Australasia
• Australian Research Alliance for Children & Youth
• Foundation for Young Australians
• Australian Council of State School Organisations

Gallipoli: the first day app available for students

Produced by the Department of Veterans Affairs and the ABC this app for iPads and  tablets presents the the events of Gallipoli as and where they gallipolihappened in a 3D map space.

From the first sightings of British Naval ships by Ottoman platoons and the unfolding chaos of the pre-dawn landings, to the ANZAC struggle to make gains in the unforgiving terrain.

An entirely new way to look at the Gallipoli Campaign .  Download the app for free at the Apple, Google Play, Amazon or Windows Stores.

The age limit for the app is 12+ (For Apple and Microsoft) Medium Maturity (For Google) Guidance Suggested (For Amazon)  but there is no restriction on visiting the the AFI award-winning documentary, originally published online in 2009.

Handbook of Digital Story Telling

Following Nik Peachey  on Scoopit I came across this handbook created by David Mcgillivray.

The handbook was initially designed for a Commonwealth Games Project but is relevant to educators using digital media (blogs, audio, video and social media).. It has a great section on blogging.


English teachers – Storytelling models to explore with students

Thinking about contemporary learning skills, the ability for our students to be able to create and present their ideas in a way that engages an audience has to be a pretty important skill to support their future. Some people seem to have a natural gift for it.

But how can we teach it? What skills do we need to build? what supports can we put in place to give every student the opportunity to be heard?

I came across a blog post by  in which she presented 8 Classic storytelling techniques for engaging presentations.

I looked it through the eyes of a classroom teacher looking to support students with their presentation skills. I saw the models presented as something new for me but i could see them really giving some structure and guidance. Each model is presented with an example of a Ted Talk which demonstrates the model.

The talks are great and may well see the return of the Yo-yo Go to site 

Infographics -Get your students to create one

We see them everywhere on the web. Infographics are used to communicate ideas, products and instructions across the web. Getting students to create one around a topic of interest  or a project they are undertaking requires some pretty detailed literacy skills. Some times synthesis can be tricky. 

Making selections around the key parts of information or most important details requires some deep thinking – a bit of new thinking.

Hubspot are offering some free templates for download. – Yes you have to sign up and give your business details! but you get a set of 10 pretty handy templates for you or your students to use. I recommend giving them a go and then making the  big step to get your students to design their own. Go to site.


Robot school – Has any one used it?

Robot School presents like a good option for schools with access to iPads to introduce coding to young children.

Has any one tried it out?

Excellent image search engine

Photos for Class  is a simple to use tool to access and  download properly attributed, Creative Commons photos for school.
In my testing I tried out some not so savory search terms – the ones students are likely to try out! and was presented with photos of adorable puppies. It did make me laugh! You can guess what I searched for and this was my very pleasant result!

Pixar release tool RenderMan for free use in schools

A key tool used in animation production by Pixar (think Toy Story) has been released for  free for non-commercial usage on Windows, OS X, and Linux.

For teachers working with students on high level computer graphics, animation, media, science, architecture, or any other courses creating animation this is great news.

To download Renderman, Pixar requires you to register for a forum account and provide a valid e-mail address. Once that’s done, you are given an installation package which in turn downloads the actual Renderman components appropriate for your operating system and 3D package.

Renderman is only a rendering engine. You need a 3D modeling and rendering application or application suite, The most popular free 3D application,Blender, doesn’t yet work with Renderman but work is being done to make this happen.



Digital Deck

The Digital Deck presents digital resources, providing an overview, how to get started, and ideas for the classroom.dd video1

For the full version of Digital Deck, visit


Digital Deck 5: What is… Debut Video Capture?

Debut is an easy to use program that allows you to capture what you see on your screen. It can be used to capture online video conferencing sessions or to create video tutorials of a software program. Debut allows you to record video and audio simultaneously, create photo snapshots at any time, add text captions or time stamps to your video and adjust the video resolution, size and video quality.

Getting started today

·         View the resource package on FUSE – 8QJZQP

·         Go to ePotential ICT Capabilities Resource and search for ‘Debut’ to find examples of how this program is being used in schools.

·         Go to Digital Learning Showcase: win/debut

Ideas for the classroom

·         Capture instant snapshots from your videos to save them as JPEG files to be inserted into other presentation software.

·         Produce ‘how to’ tutorials and teaching clips by recording screen movements, including audio that outputs as video files.

·         Use Debut for assessment. Ask students to capture video files of their reflections to include in their Learning Portfolios.

·         Ask students to create their own videos, with captions and other effects, from their webcam or other video input device, recording video memos and then email to their classmates or teacher.

For more user resources on Debut Video Capture, click here.

If you have any of your own ideas for Digital Deck cards and would like to submit them to the Digital Learning team, please contact