Sunday, March 27, 2011

Beyond the Blackboard

Megan Johnston writes in Today's Sydney Morning Herald (Monday, March 28, 2011) about learning in the digital age. I am currently struggling through my resourcing the curriculum area assignment at the moment so it was a flag for me.

The main point of the article is to highlight that 21 century learners now have the opportunity to publish their work in a much more meaningful manner than just "publishing in the classroom". I have in the past organised a book launch for a year 7 class where the Principal was invited to view the latest releases of the class who were working on a series of fracture fairytale stories. But that was last century.

Now students can use wikis (which I have used with another class to publish and critique each others' short stories), blogs, podcasts, online games which allows anyone in the world to view and rate their work. Very exciting indeed.

Schools highlighted in the article were
  • Northern Beaches Chrisstian School where they use Real Audience Project ( to publish their work via the web and sell print book via Lulu (, Booralie FM broadcasts via podcasts in iTunes
  • Tara Anglican College year 7 technology students use the Scratch website from Massachusetts Institute of Technology ( to design their simple games and have the tested, commented upon and modified based on feedback.
  • Convenant Christian School in Belrose had a Year 12 student design an app for iPhone and iPod Touch for chess. Chess4 app is now available through the App Store for free.
  • Redlands in Cremorne use websites to build up a community of gamers to test games designed by student gaming company Chaos Theory Games (
  • Clancy Catholic College at West Hoxton have student media group which have created their online portal to keep the school community up to date. Articles are published, videos uploaded, scrolling Twitter posts all run by year 11 students and moderated by a teacher give it the real life media outlet experience.
  • St Monica's Catholic Parish Primary School in North Parramatta have launched a community radio station 92.5 FM which has a 5 km broadcast footprint
  • Southern Cross Vocational College in Burwood will open a cafe and restaurant to the public
  • Ballina High School runs a marine discovery and resource centre that welcomes tourists and the wider community to use the centre where students pass on information about the marine environment
The potential and variety of meaningful and new learning experiences that can be offered to students is huge. New technologies provided a set of wonderful tools in which students can now apply and see the curriculum content that they are learning as relevant. That can't be a bad thing.

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