Classroom Display Options – A question of Pedagogy, Vision and Design?

The college is currently trying to establish classroom display priorities as we continue to improve technology integration into our teaching practices and facilities.

Teachers from the JC and SC who have participated in the National Secondary School Computer Fund – 1:1 working group identified “projectors” for classrooms as a priority for this funding at the end of last year. Now, as we are formulating our long term approach to the end goal of a 7-12 1:1 program, and we realise that the government is no longer going to provide ongoing funding for this initiative (netbooks / 1:1), we are able to finalise the resources available for this priority area.

In order to carry out a needs analysis in this area, we ask that all teachers who wish to have/change/add to the display capabilities in their classroom/s complete a brief survey (link at bottom of page) for each teaching space they think needs to be considered.

When completing this survey we need to consider the main activities and priorities for display options in YOUR classroom in the “21st Century”.  With increasing connectivity, bandwidth and individual student devices – the need to show movies to a whole class at the same time, assuming they are at that point in their learning is changing, but at times relevant.  Certainly “death by powerpoint” is something we (myself included) try to avoid.  AB tutor is also currently allowing us to share student work on displays and our own desktops on student devices.  You may also be choosing to do more group work in flexible spaces – instead of sitting in rows.  Additionally physical factors like sunlight, size of room and “on/off” functionality needs to be considered.  Please take these issues into account when deciding on your needs and preferred options.

To get the “ball rolling” so to speak – the survey seeks feedback on the three “most affordable” options – and a brief overview of each is provided below:

Option 1: Long Throw Projector with Speakers

Description: A projector mounted on the ceiling, with a pull down screen in front of the whiteboard.  Ideally two speakers are mounted on the wall, there is a VGA input cable to the teachers desk and an on/off switch on the wall next to the whiteboard (need to ensure this – caused trouble with remotes in the past).

Advantages include: Cheapest Option, brighter projectors now affordable/available, and provides largest display options.

Disadvantages include: most affected by sunlight, least flexible for moving around, remote/on/off issues.  If not mounted high enough and/or teacher likes to stand in front of the screen (to point out stuff physically – instead of with a mouse) can cause shadows on board or shine in teacher’s eyes.

Option 2: Short Throw Projector with Speakers

Description: A projector usually mounted above the whiteboard on a bracket the comes out horizontally about 30cm to 80cm from the wall, with a pull down screen in front of the whiteboard.  Ideally two speakers are mounted on the wall, there is a VGA input cable to the teachers desk. Sometimes the on/off switch on the wall next to the whiteboard (need to ensure this – caused trouble with remotes in the past) or sometimes the projector is low enough to just hit the power button. Have recently become more affordable (now only marginally more expensive than long throw)

Advantages include:  Still provides a large display area.  No shadows on the board or light in teacher’s eyes of standing in front of board. Less affected by sunlight / brighter rooms.

Disadvantages include: Very limited flexibility for moving around, remote/on/off likely to be an issues. Maintenance costs slightly more expensive.

OPTION 3: Large lcd display mounted above whiteboard

Description: A large LCD “TV” monitor (like the one in the S block corridor, JC library, SC Study centre…) mounted on the wall next to or above the whiteboard with a VGA input cable to the teachers desk. Will require a remote, or ability to reach the buttons on the unit to switch on and off. Can also be set up on a trolley, like the Polycomm unit with the camera on top at the Senior Campus.  Have recently become more affordable but still generally more expensive than projectors.

Advantages include:   Least affected by sunlight / brighter rooms – bright sharp image.  Good for videos, images, music…  Can be more flexible, especially when mounted on a trolley (damage, theft considerations would have to be taken into account).

Disadvantages include: Smallest display size – may be difficult to read PowerPoint slides from back of room.  Seems to be more inviting for vandalism/theft (not sure why).

The above are three suggested models.  Recently large touch screens and interactive whiteboards have come onto the market – but currently still cost at least twice as much as their non-interactive equivalents above.  The video below shows an interactive projector.

With a global trend towards greater student centred and collaborative learning integrated with ICT devices, flexible innovative learning spaces are increasing.  As the teacher becomes more of a guide and mentor, as opposed to the “sage on the stage” these spaces seem more appropriate and I certainly would love to teach in one.  If you are working towards this kind of set up, it may have implications for the device you choose (ie. flexibility – screen on trolley…)….

To complete the survey – click here.

Please share your thoughts, needs, and views in the comments below.

Inquiry-Based Learning P&D group

Welcome to Traralgon College Inquiry-Based Learning

 An important aspect of inquiry-based science is the use of open learning. Open learning has no prescribed target or result which students have to achieve. There is an emphasis on the individual manipulating information and creating meaning from a set of given materials or cirumstances. For example, in many conventional traditional science experiments, students are told what the outcome of an experiment will be, or is expected to be, and the student is simply expected to ‘confirm’ this. Another example would be to provide “the big idea” as a hook to stimulate ideas from class.

WebQuests webstie: Quest Garden:


Augmented Reality – the 8th Mass Medium

Tomi Ahonen – TEDxMongKok – a great overview of Augmented Reality – Where we are now and where it may go.  What implications might this have for Education?

You can create new Layars with your class now – A tour around Traralgon?  Layar Creator (more info on how to create – see Mark Seijbel or Danie Farrant for more info).

See more in action:

VITTA Conference 2012 (ICT Conference) Notes by KEA

Here are my notes from a conference Dan Farrant and I went to last week. There was lots of relevant and interesting ideas for any curriculum area so I thought I’d share my notes through this blog. These are just my notes from what the presenters said that I wanted to capture so please don’t take them necessarily as my thoughts/opinions. However, there is also an ideas section at the bottom that are my ideas. If you would like any more information from the conference, feel free to drop me an email.


Kezia Easter


VITTA Conference 2012 – 6th August

Keynote Address: Yong Zhao

Twitter: @YongZhaoUO

Book: World Class Learners: Educating Creative and Entrepreneurial Students

ICT profession more than just programming. Need management skills, creativity, etc.

What kind of students do we have to produce? Is the question, not what ICT skills we teach, not what curriculum we teach.

The world doesn’t need a whole lot of students educated with exactly the same skills and the same level.

Every industry is now global.

Schools traditionally have created employees. Now we need to move towards creating entrepreneurs: business entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, policy entrepreneurs… Mass entrepreneurship.

What are the entrepreneurial qualities? How can we increase these in our students?

“Quality” education could hurt student learning confidence.

Personalised and strength-based curriculum for all INDIVIDUAL students. – support for ILPs for all students???

Student autonomy – global campus – product-oriented learning – share skills and knowledge. Education as a global enterprise.


The Changing Space of Education – Anne Mirtschin


google doc:

Learning can happen 24/7, not just in the classroom. (Cyber Safety)

Online webinars offered through the Zoo website. Bringing the world to the classroom.

Adobe Connect

Blackboard Collaborate – free for DEECD schools: can share files through this.

Google Hangouts



e.g. connecting gifted students across classrooms learning about the same thing. Share guest speakers. online debates with other schools. Lunchtime activities for small groups to connect to guest speakers outside of the school.

Recording lessons for students to be able to re-visit later.

Share teacher/student expertise with other classes.

Use chat to clarify confusions during lessons.

Mystery Skype: Skype with people overseas with students. Students can ask yes/no questions of person to work out where they are.



Thinking in the Cloud:


Concept mapping: Presenting learning or “maps” of content using or spiderscribe. Can embed photos or videos or documents. Use to map learning progress for students.

Wallwisher: online sticky note board. or Edistorm for mobile apps.

Other Options: thoughtboxes, spicynodes, slatebox.

DFA: Writing and collaboration redefined by google docs video on youtube. Students do work on Google docs and share with teacher so teacher can check and edit and comment in real time while students are working on it. Assessment as Learning.

Read Write Think. USA based. Not true cloud-based but lots of good ideas and resources.

HackPad. Allows to replay of creation of the document to see the process of learning. Can create multiple layers of documents.

Dipity. Xtimeline. Digital timelines. Create and share timelines.

Ted-Ed. Create scaffolded discussions around video content. Get students to do this! Video content created by teachers and animated by artists. Can also create your own. Students watch video, take quiz, check answers, think questions, dig deeper questions – with info and other resources linked to the topic.

Youtube for schools. Can be embedded into Ted Ed.

Vialogues. Similar to Ted Ed.


SimpleMind+ for creating mind maps



Inspiration Maps Lite


Keynote Address: Greg Whitby – Learning by Inquiring


From I know, to we learn.

Knowing who your Learners are is the starting point. Not sit down this is what you’re going to learn. Where is their ZPD? What do they need next to help them learn individually?

It’s about the students learning something.  Support for LI’s.

Teachers as inquirers to learn about their craft.

Whose responsibility is it to learn? The learner! Both teachers and students.

Timperly’s inquiry cycle.

How do you use data to inform your teaching?

Use what we’ve got now to its potential.

Imagination/vision, creativity, innovation.

Improving practice will make the difference.

Get rid of staff rooms 🙂 eat when you need to, etc. same with students…


Going Digital – Lenva


BYOD program. Use of Google Apps for Education. Whole school use of EPortfolios through wikis/Google apps. Expectation that all teachers utilise ICT in all aspects of the classroom.

What we want our students to look like? What can we do to get them there? What do we need to do as a school to get them there?

Common understandings and tools.

Sustainablility of new approaches needs to be considered.

Creation of a trust model.

Creation of a policy for mobile devices. Keep it simple. Students, parents and staff sign.

Keep track of devices brought into school. Ultimate responsibility is with the student.

Requirement that laptops are on home and contents insurance.

Lease options for students without their own device.

Use of anything that can access the internet. Preferred to have laptops or tablets. But ipods or phones can be used.

Considerations of how to allow students to access the wireless network on their devices.

Unplugged solutions: picasa web, webdav, email, cloud storage, media.

All classes have an account in divshare to store/embed into their portfolio all media for that class.

Partnerships with other local/feeder schools to upskill all teachers on ICT capacity.

Use of Google Apps for Education and Teacher Dashboard through Google to keep track of student eportfolios. Can easily see if students have/have not updated their portfolio.

Teaching students and teachers which formats are best to store work in, e.g. docs, avi, pdf, etc.

Use of student leaders who receive training and then go and share this knowledge with their classes.

Compulsory apps for students who use tablets/ipods/phones to be able to do work. e.g. Printcentral, wifiphoto transfer, goodreader, voice thread, blogger, etc. some paid and some free.

Only use apps that can be used to create new content. As opposed to drill and practice games, etc.

No difference between what students do at home and at school. Makes learning seem more real.

ICT pedagogy coach with full release time to meet with teachers, drop in to classes, share knowledge, etc.

Brings the devices out of hiding.

Digital citizenship program with culture of trust to ensure all students use devices appropriately, resulting in privileged use and open use of devices for all students. one wrecks it for all.

How to screen casts created by teachers and students for teachers and students.


Blogging in English in Year 9:


check out virtual choir video for analogy for working together collaboratively online to create a whole. Point: amazing things can happen online when we work together. Also illustrates the connections between people even when we’re spread out over the world. Where are the connections in the classroom? How can we help each other to create something great? i.e. learning!

Are we afraid of what can happen? Are these fears unfounded? How will we know?

Opportunities for shy students to be able to share their knowledge/thoughts/opinions in a format that allows them to be able to do this.

Idea of the smartest person in the room being the room. The collective brainpower!

Don’t just consume, create! Rheingold.

How do we get students to be more reflective and better critical thinkers? Blogging! Not assess it though. Allowing students to be more honest and accurate.

Students can read each other’s writing and get excited about others seeing their work. Gives it a real audience. Getting a global audience too! Use of online networks to promote students’ writing. Through Facebook/Twitter/etc.

Preparation: How to behave online. Rules: traditional and what’s most important – how to give real feedback/comments. e.g. give it a context, proofread, etc.

Keeping a journal that has a public audience. Use interesting/thought provoking prompts for writing e.g. You are what you know. Do something life affirming and write about it. Add how and why questions to prompt thinking. Go to Wikipedia and read a random article. Get lost online. Online serendipity. Go down to the first link that captures your attention and follow it., repeat. Write about connections you can see between what you learn between subjects.

Invite authors or personalities to read and respond to students’ blogs. Encouraging them as writers/creators.

Investigate students’ own authorial voice, rather than just what the teacher wants to hear.




Create a video sharing an aspect of your life that you can teach others. i.e. life on a farm, travel, sports, art, hobbies, parents’ business/job.

Use Twitter to clarify confusions (students ask questions during lesson and hashtag specific lesson/topic). Teacher to respond to later or share questions to all respond to collaboratively.

Year Level connectedness through edmodo??? A page for the year level?

Social and learning etiquette for using mobile devices. i.e. not on them when being spoken to.

Digital Citizens: Creation of a trust model for students to be able to use devices as learning tools.

Asking “why are we doing this?” for our pedagogy and curriculum. Who is learning? How do we know this is at the appropriate level? What evidence is there to show they are learning?

Drop in sessions early in the morning with PD for whatever is needed by staff.

Use of student leaders who receive training and then go and share this knowledge with their classes.

Guide to commenting on blogs through Grammar Girl.





2012 Staff ICT Survey

Please complete the 2012 ICT Survey so we can monitor our progress and identify priorities for the ongoing development, improvement and integration of technology into the learning experiences we design for our students at TC: 2012 Survey

Dig a little deeper: eLearning Reflection – Staff Meeting Notes – August 13 2012.  Please open this notebook and provide your thoughts, experiences and suggestions on the Tools, Skills and Pedagogy you have used this year in the area of eLearning.