Introduction to Google Apps and Collaboration in the Classroom


This week’s Spark Session on the Introduction to Google Apps was recorded and is available on You Tube.

Whilst we looked at Google Apps and their uses, the key focus was on how these tools may be used in the classroom to allow students to be connected, self-motivated and included in designing their own learning. To model and facilitate collaboration, I have also started up a Google Presentation, as a means for crowdsourcing YOUR ideas and enriching our learning. So, please click on the link and include your own slide.


Student Voice: Podcasts as Learner Guides


As a classroom teacher, I continually reflect the way I facilitate learning experiences for the students. Whilst I often feel that nothing is ever perfect enough, that has not stopped me trying to engage students and allow them to connect with learning in a meaningful way.

In this video, I talk about how podcasting can be used in the Classroom, referencing some examples of how I have used podcasting with students, allowing them opportunities to become curators and content creators.

Here is also an example of a student project proposal, submitted on Xtranormal (which is currently, unfortunately, no longer available online – some good substitutes are listed here)


Digital Genius Team @MMCCWakeley


The student Digital Genius team developed at Mary MacKillop College after the introduction of 1:1 laptops to the Year 9 2010 students. It very much became student-driven by early 2012. The inspiration for the team came from the idea of the Genius Bar at all Apple stores. The idea was that at our school library, students could visit the Genius Doc (the name students gave it referencing a the MacBook dock and a doctor, as a someone you’d go to for help when you were not well).  The DiGe Project Team came together, met regularly, solved problems at lunchtimes, assisted with MacBook orientation days for new students and is now the team who supports students and staff not just with technological and Mac-based issues, but more importantly, using technology in their every day learning.

A Genius Doc (Bar) has also been installed in the Irene McCormack Centre (past Library) at the College whereby members of the student team share resources, run Student-Meets (a la Teach Meets), support and assist other students and staff, as well as parents.

Students have also completed the ‘Digital Citizenship Online Challenge’ and have received their DC passports which they wear on lanyards.

They are currently working on a large PSYberFest project together with 8 other schools. You may follow the tweets #PSYberFest

The genesis of the name PSY-ber (Privacy and Safety for You) FEST 2013 came about through the collaboration of the Digital Genius Team under a workshop lead by Dr Doug Ashleigh. ‘PSY’ is a play-on the sound ‘cy’ for ‘cyber, and the popular culture artist ‘Psy’ who produced the music fad of ‘Gangnam Style’. ‘Psy’ also refers to the ‘psychological’ implications involved in cyber safety.

Twitter in schools


This post was initially created for students and teachers I work with, as a brief guide on how to get started with Twitter.

  • Create a Twitter account
  • Don’t forget to include a brief bio so that others know who you are
  • Locate people to follow. Feel free to look up my lists and see if there is anything of interest there
  • Locate #ceoelearn, #TMSydney and #ADEANZ and learn how following threads can be effective
  • Access Twitter via TweetDeck, HootSuite or similar SN management tool, so that you can follow threads more efficiently 
  • Access Twitter on your mobile device, so that you can tweet anytime
  • Tweet, Retweet, DM (Direct Message can only be done if you follow each other)
  • Tweet a photo – for fun

Twitter Rules (for educators and students setting up accounts for the first time)

Consider keeping your private and school/work accounts fairly separate (especially if you are a newbie 🙂

— do you want your students or teachers to see all of what you say to your friends? —

For your school/work account:
  • create an appropriate username (this is the first thing others will see about you)
  • do not give away your b’day, phone number, address, where you go to school and similar private details
  • do not post photos of you and friends and then tag who is who
  • keep comments appropriate (think about your audience) ‘think before you tweet’
  • be mindful of whom you follow (you can judge this from people’s bio and especially from their own tweets)
  • engage in mindful and meaningful conversation
  • check your spelling and grammar
  • use hashtags when appropriate
  • when you follow others, check who they are so that you are not bombarded with useless information in your feed
  • follow professional organisations of interest to your study (ie. @NatGalleryAus)
Some other posts worth looking at:


Just a couple of days ago, a colleague educator  @charles_au sent me an invite to
Wow! I love it! Here is me on

Since then, I’ve started curating a couple of topics: “innovation & education” and “social networking & learning”
I’ve immediately looked up other topics of interest, which I am now following closely and look forward to re-tweeting and re-scooping. My bookmark-let is up on the bookmarks bar ready to tag away.

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Collecting literature, reading and remembering to reference takes a little bit of organisation, attention to detail and a lot of time. HERE is a list of my collected references, some of which I need to edit and annotate further.
Tip: Each time you find a good resource, jot down your reference into a bibliography list doc. It will take 2-3 minutes initially, yet a lot longer if you need to backtrack and find the literature later, after you have finished your readings. I learnt that lesson once, yet each time I sit down to read, I forget to jot down the reference details. Using a live Google Doc helps a lot, so that no matter where I am, on my home computer or at the library, I can still log in and add to the existing bibliography.

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