Posts tagged VELS
Follow Kate Leeming as she cycles over 20000km across Africa, highlighting social issues along the way. The trip commences in October this year and continues until June 2010.
As Kate says: The purpose of the project is to learn firsthand about the causes and consequences of extreme poverty and through the story of the expedition which unfolds, educate and inspire actions which will assist in making communities more sustainable and resilient to the issues. Essentially this is about giving a ‘leg up’ NOT a ‘hand out’.
Visit the Breaking the Cycle website to find out more:
DEECD is supporting the project with the creation of four inquiry units of learning which are targeted at the middle years. A wikispace has been set up to store the units, which are being progressively uploaded. These will be finalised ready for use in term four:
A Breaking the Cycle ning, or collaborative website, has been set up for teachers and their classes to enable participating schools to connect to others who are also involved in the project. Any teacher is welcome to join the ning, although we encourage those that join to please be an active member of the project. You can view the ning without joining. You can dowload some guidelines for the ning at either the wiki or ning.
Email email@example.com with any questions about the project.
Are you doing some wonderful work connecting students using web 2.0 applications in your classroom … or keen to start? You might be interested in entering the Connect and SLAV web 2.0 competition 2009. What do you need to do? Work in a team to create a unit of work incorporating the use of web 2.0 technologies and submit it, along with an application form to Connect by Monday October 5th.
There will be two prize packages awarded to winning schools with a value of approximately AU$800 each. Wii machines have generously been donated by the International Digital Entertainment Festival (iDEF) and games donated by Madman interactive. Each package includes:
- Nintendo Wii Console
- Wii Sports
- Nintendo 7 in 1 sports kit
- One copy of each of the following gaming titles: Disney Think Fast, Ultimate Band, Bratz Kidz Party and Build A Bear Workshop
Please share this information with other teachers you think may be interested in entering! Visit the link or click the images to find out more.
Last year Mooroolbark College teachers Jodie Tilley and Pennie White developed a wonderful WebQuest. This WebQuest was an award winner in the Education Channel (now Connect) and SLAV WebQuests and Beyond 2008 competition.
Jodie explains how the WebQuest came about. ‘The Yarra Valley eLearning Community implemented a 1:2 laptop program for year 7 and 8 in seven schools including Mooroolbark College and was running PD to support the curriculum development needed. I am a maths teacher at Mooroolbark College. I attended a professional development session run by Pennie White on Student Collaborative Projects with an emphasis on WebQuests. Pennie White was a Development Manager for the Yarra Valley eLearning Community and was based at Mooroolbark College at the time. During this session, I became interested in using WebQuests with my class but was pretty disappointed at the lack of Maths WebQuests available. Pennie and I decided to work together to make a Maths WebQuest and this is how ‘Schoolyard Blitz’ was created. Having Pennie as an eLearning Coach in my school enabled this great project to get off the ground. Without the joint expertise and time invested this innovative curriculum would not have come about.’
Jodie says, ‘I was interested in finding a creative way to teach measurement to my Year 7 students. After brainstorming together we decided that students could design an outdoor area of the school. Pennie thought that Google Sketch-up would be the ideal 3D modelling program that students could use to do this. The best thing about this quality program is that it’s free and comes with video tutorials. This meant that we as teachers did not have to fully know how to use the program ourselves!’
Jodie continues, ‘The WebQuest itself presents a scenario to students where they work in teams of three or four to design an outdoor space of the school with a budget of 100,000. Students worked as architects, accountants, designers and computer model creators on this four-week assignment. Students had to measure the dimensions of the physical space. They had to create a scaled drawing on graph paper and develop their design for the space. They had to use the Internet (with a hotlist provided by the WebQuest) to cost the equipment, furniture and materials needed.’
Jodie explains, ‘They then used Google Sketch-up to create a virtual 3D model of their design. They had to present their submission using PowerPoint to the rest of the class. I ran this WebQuest with my year seven class with great success. The students were highly motivated and were even seen working on this in their lunchtimes.’
Jodie has also provided a list of VELS Standards addressed in the WebQuest:
- Strand: Discipline Based – Domain: Mathematics – Dimensions: Number, Measurement, Space and Working Mathematically
- Strand: Interdisciplinary Learning – Domain: Information and Communication Technology – Dimension: ICT for Creating
- Strand: Physical, Personal and Social Learning – Domain: Interpersonal Development – Dimension: working and learning in teams
Well done to Jodie and Pennie for creating such an interesting and engaging WebQuest and for winning a Smartboard in the Education Channel (now Connect) and SLAV WebQuests and Beyond 2008 competition. Hopefully this will inspire Victorian educators to submit their Web 2.0 projects to the Connect and SLAV Web 2.0 2009 competition.
- Who is behind the fantastic new Connect websites?
The Connect sites are an evolution of the Victorian Education Channel and are funded by DEECD. Different areas of the Department worked together to create the sites with representatives from Communications, Information Technologies Division and Student Learning. A small team of four educators in eLearning are responsible for the QA process, ongoing improvements to the sites, content creation, Cybersafety education and professional learning. Connect is managed by Sandy Phillips. The sites were designed by an external company – Amnesia.
2. Why were the websites redeveloped – what do you want to achieve with them?
First created in 2001, the sites were long overdue for a ‘makeover’. Our focus during the redevelopment was to better highlight a high quality range of online resources for use in education. The pages have been developed to improve the user experience. Each page has a larger number of direct links to rich, interactive websites. Topic clouds on the teacher, primary and secondary pages each link to six quality sites whilst the topics page includes a wide range of topics now organised by VELS headings. Sites can be featured more readily (in a more visual form) and can be frequently updated with greater ease.
3. How do you see the websites being used in schools? – Primary – Secondary?
Schools use Connect in different ways. Anyone anywhere in the world can view and search Connect. However only Victorian Government and Catholic schools can choose to lock students down to sites only available in Connect. There are a number of options:
- Many schools choose to have Connect Primary or Secondary as their Internet home page. Students can also search for sites not in Connect
- Some classes search within Connect only and some classes search beyond Connect with general filtered access
- Students use Connect when they are trying to maintain their download budget. Students may have an Internet ‘account’ but still have access to Connect resources when this reaches ‘0′
- All students are ‘Connect only’ and search within Connect for safety and /or cost saving reasons.
4. What kind of input did you have from classroom teachers?
When we received the initial designs for the new Connect sites we visited both primary and secondary schools to seek feedback from teachers and students. This feedback was then provided to the designers. Subsequent designs were also shared with teachers for feedback. Our focus throughout was on making it easier for teachers and students to access high quality online resources for teaching and learning.
The Victorian Education Channel and now Connect have always responded to teacher feedback with most sites available in the spaces included due to teacher and student recommendations. Staff members frequently present at conferences and alter the sites in response to feedback regarding suggested websites, topics, useability and design considerations.
5. What type of content do you have on the sites?
Connect features a wide range of online content. Users can search the sites for websites, images, audio and videos. Resources are tagged according to audience – so a search in the primary and secondary pages will get different results. There is also a range of ‘how to’ information about new technologies including blogs, wikis, podcasting and social networking. You can link to schools with great online content such as Horsham West (Vic), Copacabana (NSW), Hawkesdale (Vic) and Woodlands (UK). Useful organisations such as VCAA, VIT and Subject Associations are also only a click away.
So whether you want to play a Maths game from the BBC , drag and drop words to construct a poem at Pic Lits, create an online mind map at Mindmeister, make a movie with the Zimmer Twins, write a book review at the State Library ‘Inside a Dog‘ site or watch a Science video from the Futures Channel … you can find it in Connect. Websites are added to the sites daily. Click on ‘suggest a website’ to make your own recommendations.
Thanks to Kerry for her detailed and interesting answers. The Connect sites look fantastic and there is certainly something for everyone! Congratulations to everyone involved.