How To

What do you tell children about living in an unsafe world?

THE Martin Place siege has received near blanket coverage in the media, prompting many parents and teachers to ask what is conversation

appropriate for children to see, and what children should be told about the situation. Sandy Rae, Psychologist presented some ideas on Channel 9’s Today program yesterday. The ideas she presented were similar to Justin Coulson a parenting researcher and author’s article in the Sydney Daily Telegraph.


Student email in Victorian Government schools

I was asked today how to create student email accounts for Global2 from a teacher in a Victorian site. I supplied the following advice and ask if you could share it widely as it also applied to filtering in Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD) schools.

At your school, you have your DEECD internet provider iiNET (formally Netspace).

Whoever manages that service  at your school, possibly the school technician, the ICT coordinator or the Principal has the ability to logon online to create email accounts for any or all of students in your school.

They can even use a file from CASES to generate them quickly. Once you find who has the access password etc… you will be guided through. You can contact and they will assist you but it really is pretty easy.

One of the Urban Myths of DEECD school internet  is that DEECD manages school internet including the internet filtering.

It is provided and paid for by DEECD but each school is able to manage who sees what at their school. Many schools have set up different access for teachers and students.

The DEECD Reference for schools from the website provides a process which includes your staff evaluating the site for its educational value when allowing access to your students and establishing agreed behaviours particularly with any social media sites included.



iPads for Learning online professional learning short courses

The Department’s Virtual Conference Centre is providing a number of iPads for Learning online professional learning short courses for teachers and leaders who are using iPads in their teaching and learning.

There will be four short courses, each focusing on a different aspect of using iPads:


  • iPads for new users
  • Publishing with iPads
  • iPads for creating, finding and sharing content
  • iPad: Workflows

These short courses will contain three sessions, with each one hour session building upon the previous session’s learning. All of the courses will be supported with materials accessible via the Department’s iTunes U campus.

For Full details go to

Download this information as a PDF iPads_for_Learning_Short_Courses

Connected Educator Month sessions for producing iBooks using iBooks Author(iBA)

link to apple websiteHere is a great professional learning opportunity for all of the Mac users out there or those who are thinking of exploring one.

It is especially relevant for teachers in schools with one to one iPad programs.

During Connected Educator Month (CEM), Andrew Del Mastro will deliver 3 sessions to support teachers wanting to create quality resources for their students. These 3 x 1 hour sessions, run via Blackboard Collaborate will focus on producing iBooks using iBooks Author(iBA).

Participants will have to have an Apple Computer with iBooks Author (iBA) installed if they intend to work through the session.

An iTunes U course will also be created to compliment the course which will be best accessed via an iPad.

These sessions will take place on the 16th, 23rd and 30th of October and will commence at 4pm Melbourne time. Make sure you get these in your calendar. To see evolving CEM events go to Connected Educator Month.  All CEM sessions are free.

Join CEM for great professional learning including the educational team at National Geographic

The Connected Educator Month (CEM) community is open and waiting for you to join



Once you join a world of Professional Learning awaits you.

By joining the community you can register, organise and attend amazing global sessions and events.

One such event is hosted by the Educational Team at National Geographic

Join them to learn how you can connect your students with students around the world through #global collaborative projects.

In this interactive hangout, staff from iEARN and PenPal Schools will share tips for getting started. You’ll also hear accounts from #teachers about how they’ve used global collaborative projects with their students.



The power of student digital portfolios

Matt Renwick  presents some compelling ideas about Why digital portfolios are important for students …. He begins

With the spreading use of computers and mobile technology in schools, going digital with student portfolios has become more popular. Simply put, digital portfolios are online collections of student work. They allow us to archive, curate and analyse samples of student learning from both the past and the present and keep that data — literally — at the tip of our finger.

Students and teachers can use digital tools to document current understandings, make revisions as thinking changes, share student products both locally and globally and celebrate successes with peers and parents. Although this practice is only one part of a balanced assessment system, there are many benefits that learners, both student and teacher, can gain for developing digital portfolios. Read the full article The power of digital student portfolios

Some reasons:
Become a
digital citizen

Use technology with purpose

Find a global audience

Redefine student data

Improve instructional decision-making

Become students of our own practice

Develop personal learning networks

Global2 users are reminded that all blogs can be exported to Edublogs and WordPress when a student relocates or leaves your school. This can make the portfolio have real life impact. Teachers are reminded to let parents know about their intention to do so and where the blog is being relocated with the URL.


ABC Heywire is calling for stories by Year 10, 11 and 12 students

ABC Heywire is calling for stories by Year 10, 11 and 12 students from regional Australia. Stories can be in text, video, audio or photo format. 

30+ winners will get their story on the ABC and win a trip to the Heywire Summit. Entries close 16 Sept 2014.

For details go to

eduSTAR online catalogue

Victorian government school teachers can explore the current eduSTAR education software currently  available for them and their students. eduSTAR online catalogue
Log in with your eduMail details to search for software by learning area, and download core software and install it on multiple devices.
There are apps, over 80 software applications available and 24 support tutorials. eduSTAR online catalogue for others who want access to some of the free applications check out the tutorials for win and mac



Using Historypin with students – AusVels

Historypin is a web 2.0 tool that allows students to explore it  contribute to it and curating stuff on it. The site allows students to take images, build a story, set it within real locations (Google Map allows placement anywhere in the world) and authentic sharing to a global world. Historypin provides support resources for schools

This technology used well supports the AusVELs curriculum with  the History curriculum but also uses ICT as an authentic, interdisciplinary way which makes the learning better. Photos can be selected, narrated and shared from  archives, attics, and family photo albums by the students from a class account. There is even an opportunity to create a project. Where did all our families come from? How has our local community changed? What is the story of our local monuments.

A community facing project could include a school working with a local library, historical society or museum.

Checking out the AusVELs Humanities – History curriculum there are many ways that a class of students could bring alive some of the local, family and even school history and present it in new, interesting and interactive ways.

Looking at the curriculum this tool could be used at all levels. With a teacher setting up a profile with younger students and older students able to work more independently.

The curriculum :
Foundation to Level 2 – Curriculum focus: Awareness of family history and community heritage
Levels 3–6 -Curriculum focus: Local/national history and use of a range of sources
Levels 7–10 Curriculum focus: World and Australian history, the analysis and use of sources and historical interpretation

Why use Historypin in schools?

  • Improve communication, social and inter-personal skills
  • Get families and carers more involved in the life of students and the school
  • Build positive links between your school and the local community
  • Engage students in curriculum subjects such as History, ICT, Geography, Citizenship and English with an exciting digital tool
  • Run natural and meaningful inter-generational sessions and events
  • Turn your students into local archivists



Using digital tools in the classroom – Online professional learning

An online professional learning program related to using a range of digital tools in the classroom has been developed to meet request from schools.

Focus areas will include:

  • Beyond classroom walls – Web conferencing (2 sessions)
  • Social media in teaching and learning (2 sessions)
  • Mobile devices across the curriculum (1 session)

To register yourself or anyone at your school for one or all of the courses click here.

For the PDF information sheet to display in your school (similar to below) please click this link – Using Digital Tools in the Classroom

For more information or enquires please contact Penny Rowe on 03 9651 3017 or email

Webinar date/time Focus Title Presenter Target audience
Wednesday, 21th May 2014, 4pm and 

Wednesday, 28th May 2014, 4pm

Beyond Classroom Walls – Web Conferencing
These sessions will support teachers to use web/video conferencing tools such as  polycom, Lync, Skype and Blackboard collaborate and connect with other teachers outside of your school community.  This course would be very useful to those schools that have recently received a Polycom unit and would like to learn how to use it better. 
Anne Mirtschin, Virtual Conference Centre Coach All school staff Register
Thursday 5th June 2014, 4pm and 

Thursday 12th June 2014, 4pm

Using Social Media in Teaching and Learning
These sessions will explore how social media can support and enhance teaching and learning.  This course will help teachers to develop a better understanding around using social media safely with students, exploring some of the concerns and misconceptions.  It will also help teachers who are unfamiliar with social media to learn about how it can be used for tasks such as professional networking and information gathering.
Mel Cashin, Digital Learning Consultant All school staff Register
Wednesday 18th June 2014, 4pm Mobile devices across the curriculum
This session will explore using mobile devices, such as iPads, in the classroom in creative ways.  We will consider the value and use of various apps across all curriculum areas including video, animation, recount, storytelling, and augmented reality.  There will be opportunities for discussion around how to overcome barriers such as the transfer of data, connecting, creating a multi-device environment and implications of particular apps.   
Penny Rowe Senior Project officer, Digital Learning Branch All school staff Register