ACARA releases statement to the review of Australian Curriculum The Australian Curriculum

ACARA releases statement to the review of Australian Curriculum The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) has provided a statement as a contribution to the Federal Government’s review of the Australian Curriculum. In January 2014, the Federal Education Minister, Christopher Pyne, announced the review, with a final report due at the end of July 2014. education

ACARA’s statement highlights the processes it adopted in developing each of the learning areas and subjects that make up the Australian Curriculum. ACARA’s Chair, Professor Barry McGaw, believes the Federal Government’s initiative to review the Australian Curriculum has its benefits. ‘We are obliged to provide our future generations with the best possible learning opportunities and outcomes,’ said Professor McGaw. ‘Work on the national curriculum is never completed.

It will always be a work in progress so ACARA will be open to whatever advice the reviewers provide. ‘I am convinced the processes ACARA adopted, drawing on the nation’s best expertise and talent, has allowed us to establish a dynamic, high-quality Australian Curriculum. It has certainly caught the attention of other nations, many of which have invited presentations on what ACARA is doing,’ he added. To view ACARA’s statement, visit ACARA’s website.

iTunes U for schools

The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD) has a campus in iTunes U. iTunes U is a section of the iTunes Store where educators can access courses from many international colleges, universities, and schools. They are also able to publish their courses to share with a large global audience. Educators can design complete courses with audio, video and other content to

itunes U

be accessed by students on their iPads.

Victorian government schools who develop courses are encouraged to establish and maintain their own campus or use the DEECD campus to publish and promote their courses.

Schools who create high quality courses, which respect digital copyright and student privacy are invited to publish and distribute through the DEECD campus. Teachers can email to become registered publishers or distributers

Educators can design complete courses without publishing them to iTunes U via a link for their students to access. It is an Apple requirement for educators who want to share their courses with audiences of more than 50, or who have published more than 12 courses to distribute them through or in association with a campus.

185+ All-time favourite movies for kids and teens

There is often discussion about the value of film or movies for students. Heidi Hayes Jacobs calls for film literacy to be part of the literacy education for all students citing the impact and presence they have in young children’s lives. The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD) has developed guidelines for schools in its School Policy and Advisory Guide (SPAG) around the use of film ensure that schools respond reasonably and respectfully to objections about the use of specific curriculum resources.

Common sense media have put together a list of more than 185 films both old and new as recommended viewing for families. The list is valuable as both something to share with families, particularly before the holidays but also as part of the curriculum.  These are organised into themes and age groups. Always check the ratings and advise when using them in class.

One extreme warning “Old Yeller” will need more than one box of tissues for the class and teachers!!!



Is the ABC’s – Dont blame Facebook a valuable teaching resource?

You can find full episodes on both iView and Vimeo of the TV show – Don’t blame Facebook

Channel 4 UK Don’t blame Facebook 

There is something NQR about. But it might appeal to others. Would you use it as a teaching resource?

Basically it tells true stories of when it all goes wrong.
There is however a tone of admiration threaded through it, with little regret by many of the participants delighted for their 2nd 15 mins of fame.

I did feel for the kid who did a year of jail time for hacking into a celebrity account he certainly paid a price.

But thinking that we want our kids to be safe, responsible and smart online I recon this is full of great examples of dare I say it – Stupid and sometimes you need to see stupid to discuss smart.


Does your school allow YouTube? Here is how to share (and embed) a YouTube video from a certain start time

Every so often you come across something simple but handy. Does your school allow YouTube?

Andreas Hofer is creating some videos to help use the Google tools. He is hosting them on YouTube. This film g-learning #2: Sharing (and embedding) a YouTube Video from a certain start time has many applications for teaching and learning.

You don’t need to edit the videos, just follow his very simple instructions to enable you to share and embed video moments with your students. Or get your students to use it as a handy tool to report any issues they were having, they could pinpoint any concept they found confusing or difficult. eg I followed the concept till here (Here is where I became confused). That is gold!

Victorian Government schools are able to choose to open YouTube for staff, students or both. It can be done permanently or for certain times.

It is a decision that your school should consider from an educational perspective, putting in place expected behaviours around times, use and purpose. eg students uploading videos (This should apply to their use of their own mobile technology too)

Your school is able to add it to your allow list on your schools filters.

Question Generator for deeper thinking


Question Generator Image

Question Generator Image

Created as part of the FUSE Project by the DEECD and the School Library Association Victoria (SLAV) and the State Library of Victoria (SLV) was the Question Generator.

It is a really simple way to get students to think of new questions to help investigation and inquiry around any topic.

It is based on the We Solve It resources created by SLAV.

Use the small locks to lock down an element of the question and spin away.


Formative assessment and 21st century skills

The Horizon Report – 2013 examines emerging technologies for their potential impact on and use in teaching, learning, and creative inquiry within the environment of pre-college education. Six emerging technologies are identified across three adoption horizons over the next one to five years, as well as key trends and challenges expected to continue over the same period, giving educators, school administrators, and practitioners a valuable guide for strategic technology planning.

Here is a summary of what it said about formative assessment.

We are not using digital media for formative assessment the way we could and should.
Assessment is an important driver for educational practice and change, and over the last years we
have seen a welcome rise in the use of formative assessment in educational practice. However, there is still an assessment gap in how changes in curricula and new skill demands are implemented in education; schools do not always make necessary adjustments in assessment practices as a consequence of these changes. Another assessment gap is related to the lack of innovative uses of digital media in formative assessment. Many tools are still tied to outdated LMS and do not have the ability to assess critical data sets, such as 21st Century Skills acquisition.

If you have 15 mins have a look at this TED Talk by Heidi Hayes Jacobs. She presents challenges to us all – Asks us what we are preparing our students for (spoiler alert 1991) and goes to suggest some creative open ended but very practical assessment ideas .


Acceptable use agreement templates for schools

Schools who are sending out Acceptable use agreements (AUAs) are reminded that there are templates for them to localise available on the department’s website. Acceptable Use Agreements and Consent

Advice sheets


These agreement are templates. Schools can add and/or delete information where necessary to make them relevant to their school environment. It is recommended that teachers work through the behaviours described in the agreement  with their students and send a copy home for students to share and discuss with their parents.

These templates must be accurate, communicated and reviewed regularly and feature information to assist parents to support their child’s internet use at home.

School-based behaviour management policies that reference acceptable use agreements and programs or activities that address safe and responsible online behaviours are more likely to be well received and adhered to if students have been included in their development. Student voice and action is highly valuable as they have the knowledge of how it is being used both appropriately and inappropriately and the related consequences for its misuse.

Student Engagement Policies that have considered online behaviours and responsibilities could achieve the same outcome as the AUA itself.

It is understood that students’ signing of these agreements is a way of raising awareness and is not legally binding on those students.


Did you know you have access to 1000′s of licenced digital resources? – login to FUSE

All of the digital resources licenced for the Ultranet are now all living in FUSE. FUSE Login

Victorian government teachers just need to login to FUSE with their Edumail numbers to access them. They are easily shared with students via link, resource ID or you can physically download them and share them across your network.

Did you know you can do some online PD at home through the State Library?

State Library Victoria – PLN Plus (You don’t have to be a librarian)

Get ready for a new experience in professional learning. PLN Plus is an online course based on the principles of collaborative and networked learning. Together and in independent project teams, we’ll look at practical and conceptual approaches to:

  • creating communities online
  • shifting school cultures
  • changing practice in the digital world
  • the future of learning.

We’ll look beyond all the shiny new tools to concepts and questions such as:

  • What does it take to be an effective learner?
  • What roles does technology play?
  • How can we challenge ourselves and others to learn and collaborate?

This short course is designed for school library teams and educators who are active in Personal Learning Networks or have completed one of our VicPLN courses previously.

It will involve four units with tasks completed online in groups and individually, with an onsite professional development follow-up event (streamed online and recorded for those who can’t attend in person). You can participate as an individual or as part of a school team.

PLN Plus course dates

The next PLN Plus course starts on 10 March 2014.

PLN Plus course costs

$85 per person, or $75 per person for a team of 6 or more or SLAV members (includes GST).

To enrol in this course, you can book online or download and return the booking form at the bottom of this page.

Bookings close on 3 March 2014.

More information

For more information phone  03 8664 7099 or email