Upcoming Virtual Conference Centre sessions

Here is a list of upcoming web conference sessions on the Educators’ Guide to Innovation to be held over the next two weeks.

For a complete list of future events go to http://guidetoinnovation.ning.com/events

Tech Talk Tuesdays: Digital Chatting:favourite websites/online tools/challenges etc

Organized by Anne Mirtschin – November 2, 2010 from 3:45pm to 4:45pm

eT@lking: Empowering Student Learning with Technology

Organized by Anne Mirtschin and Carole McCulloch – November 3, 2010 from 8pm to 9pm

Act4Nature with Zoos Victoria

Organized by Rick Hammond – November 9, 2010 from 2pm to 3pm

Tech Talk Tuesdays: Blogging Isn’t Just For Big Kids!

Organized by Anne Mirtschin – November 9, 2010 from 3:45pm to 4:45pm

21st Century Learning: Biodiversity in the classroom. How to Integrate Interactive and Traditional Teaching Methods.

Organized by Leigh Hofman – November 9, 2010 from 4pm to 5pm

21st Century Learning: Biodiversity in the classroom. How to Integrate Interactive and Traditional Teaching Methods.

Organized by Leigh Hofman – November 10, 2010 from 9am to 10am

The Burke and Wills track: past and present

Organized by Eleanor Whitworth – November 11, 2010 from 4pm to 4:45pm

All welcome!

A virtual excursion to the zoo and online PD to start off Term 3

The following information comes from the Victorian Virtual Conference Centre. Any educator from anywhere is welcome to join these sessions free of charge without the need for an Elluminate licence. A reminder that the session links are inactive until the date and time of the session.

“To start off Term 3 with a bang, why not bring your students to the Virtual Conference Centre for a virtual excursion to the zoo? We also have a range of PD opportunities on topics including ICT, maths and student engagement:

*         Something to add – Primary maths PD series

*         Act 4 Nature with Zoos Victoria (Student Session – join in
with your class!)

*         Tech-Talk Tuesday: Teaching and learning without a classroom

*         Tuning into your students

*         Artists in Schools Program – Information session

*         Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Ultranet – Episode 3: The return of the teachers

These sessions are free and you can participate from anywhere with an internet connection. Summaries of these sessions are below. Details of these sessions and more upcoming events can be found at:

Something to add – Primary maths PD series

WHEN:                   Monday, July 12, 2010, 3:45 – 5pm

PRESENTER(S):  Andy Payne

SUMMARY:         Looking for interesting ideas in teaching primary maths? Looking for resources to support your teaching? Come and share your triumphs, successes and failures with like-minded colleagues. New to web conferencing? No problem! Sessions will be paced at a level to help you pick up the necessary skills. Plus you can go back and look at the sessions again to review the bits you missed. Sessions begin with general information sharing and move on to a specific topic. You can suggest topics for future sessions.

Act4Nature with Zoos Victoria

WHEN:                   Tuesday, July 13, 2010, 2 – 3pm

PRESENTER(S):  Rick Hammond and Donna Livermore, Zoos Victoria

SUMMARY:       Chat to Zoo experts each month and take the pledge to Act4Nature www.act4nature.org.au. 2010 is the International Year of Biodiversity and we’re asking schools to get involved. Each month we’ll be profiling a different animal species that is under threat and recommending a simple action we can all do to help. Our animal ambassador for July is the wombat. The wombat is a tough customer who can usually fend for itself in the wild, but loss of habitat is one potential threat to this much-loved Australian marsupial. Find out what
you can do to help!

Tech-talk Tuesdays: Teaching and learning without a classroom!

WHEN:                     Tuesday, July 13, 2010, 3:45 – 4:45pm

PRESENTER(S):    Andrew Douch

SUMMARY:         In this presentation, Andrew will explain how he has successively removed teaching & learning activities from the classroom and replaced them with online equivalents that are equally (or more) effective. His journey started in 2006 with a biology podcast (which is now receiving 1000 downloads a day) through which he explains the concepts that were previously only explained in class. Now he teaches biology to a class who does not even have a place in the school timetable! He will share the tools he has used and/or is using, including podcasting, screencasting, instant messaging, various websites/social networks and Elluminate. Some of his students will (hopefully) also attend to give a student perspective.
About Andrew: Andrew Douch is a practicing teacher of 20 years, and is currently the ICT Innovations Leader at Wanganui Park Secondary College, in Victoria, Australia. He has won a number of awards in recent years for his work with emerging technologies in education, including an Australian Government Highly Commended Award for Quality Schooling, the Victorian Education Excellence Award for Curriculum Innovation and the Microsoft Worldwide Innovative Teacher of the Year. Andrew is in demand as a keynote speaker, locally and internationally and is sought as a consultant by schools and the Education Departments on the use of online tools in schools. He is also in demand to provide professional learning workshops in schools – showing teachers how they can use freely available tools to transform their classrooms into learning communities, which not only engage Generation Y students, but lead to significantly improved learning outcomes.

Tuning into your students

WHEN:                   Wednesday, July 14, 2010, 3:45 – 5pm

PRESENTER(S):   David Tapp

SUMMARY:         If you want to improve or increase your student engagement then this series is designed for you. There will be a series of discussions regarding different student engagement strategies. From the use of technology for radio and television broadcasting through to working on gardening projects. Come and share your own ideas and systems for how to improve student engagement.

Artists in Schools program – Information session

WHEN:                  Wednesday, July 14, 2010, 4 – 5pm

PRESENTER(S):  Arts Victoria

SUMMARY:       The Artists in Schools program creates the opportunity for practising professional artists to work with young people in Victorian primary and secondary schools. It involves school communities in creative partnership projects while providing students, teachers and artists with diverse and challenging learning experiences. The program generates innovative ways to engage students across all strands of the curriculum, Prep to Year 10. Artists may work in any art form. The program provides funding of $6,500 for professional practising artists to work in a Victorian school for up to 20 days. This session for teachers and artists will give participants an opportunity to find out about the program and see outcomes from previous projects as well as
how to apply for funding. The session will be delivered by Artists in Schools program staff. Artists and teachers interested in the Artists in Schools funding program are invited to attend to see outcomes of previous projects and find out how to get involved and apply for funding.

Hitchhiker’s guide to the Ultranet: Episode 3, the return of the teachers

WHEN:                  Thursday, July 15, 2010, 4 – 5pm

PRESENTER(S):  Becky Marley

SUMMARY:          The third installment in our Hitchhiker’s Guide, this episode focuses on the ways teachers can start to incorporate the Ultranet into their classroom routine. As with all technology it is very important that the Ultranet should be able to be a new way of doing things we already do, not something ‘extra’ in our already jam-packed schedules. An open forum for teachers already building spaces for their students, and for those teachers wanting to know how to get started. Come along with us as we make the jump to Light Speed and explore the outer realms of Web 2.0 through the Ultranet.


1. You do not need to sign up. You may enter the conference using the session link provided.

2. Enter the web conference by clicking on the session link up to 30 minutes before it is scheduled to begin.

3. When prompted, enter your full name (eg. John Smith) and press ‘Login’. Elluminate will load and connect you to the session.


– Ensure that you have tested the software at least 2 days prior to your session so that any technical issues can be resolved in time for the conference. Follow the steps at the ‘Getting Started’ webpage:

– If you have trouble connecting to Elluminate in your setup, your issue is likely to be solved by following the tutorials on the support page at:

– Please note that this session will be recorded and the recording may be published online. By entering this session you and any other participants with you are consenting to the recording and its distribution.”

It looks like there are plenty of excellent sessions to select from! Thanks to the Victorian DEECD Virtual Conference Centre for such a great initiative.

Upcoming free virtual conference events

There are some exciting web conferences scheduled next week for both teachers and students in the Virtual Conference Centre:

*         Switching on to Literacy – Blogging

*         Act 4 Nature with Zoos Victoria (Student Session – join in
with your class!)

*         Music Matters

*         Tech-Talk Tuesday: Web Conferencing for Student Collaboration

*         What’s burning in eLearning? – What’s on the Horizon for P-12

*         Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Ultranet – Episode 1, A New Hope

*         Where’s the Remote? – Rural Education Forum

These sessions are free and you don’t even need to sign up. Further details of these sessions are below. Details of upcoming events can be found on the Virtual Conference Centre calendar at:

Switching On To Literacy – Blogging

WHEN:                          Monday, May 31, 2010, 3:45 – 4:45pm

PRESENTER(S):          Nathan Black and Joanne Scott

SUMMARY:                  Are you a busy teacher who needs quick and easy tips for integrating ICT effectively into literacy sessions? Are you already using ICT’s in your classroom, but are looking for some new ideas and uses? Are you an enthusiastic teacher of Early Years student? This is the right place for you! Switching on to Literacy’ is a professional learning series aimed at promoting ICT use in the Early Years literacy classroom. We welcome passionate educators will all levels of experience with ICT. In this session, Nathan Black will demonstrate practical ways for using blogging tools within the classroom. We will look at the technology and explore ways that blogs can be used to enhance class activities.

Act4Nature with Zoos Victoria

WHEN:                          Tuesday, June 1, 2010, 2 – 3pm

PRESENTER(S):          Rick Hammond and Donna Livermore, Zoos Victoria

SUMMARY:                  Chat to Zoo experts each month and take the pledge to Act4Nature www.act4nature.org.au
<http://www.act4nature.org.au/> . 2010 is the International Year of Biodiversity and we’re asking schools to get involved. Each month we’ll be profiling a different animal species that is under threat and recommending a simple action we can all do to help. Students will be given opportunities to contribute their ideas and strategies to an online blog between sessions.

Music Matters

WHEN:                          Tuesday, June 1, 2010, 3:45 – 4:45pm

PRESENTER(S):          Sally Walsh

SUMMARY:                  Are you ready to try new things in your music room? Do you want a forum to discuss and share new ideas for music technology? What about hearing from the experts about innovations in music education? If so, “Music Matters” is for you. Come and join us, share ideas, or just listen. In this session we will be discussing free and cheap software to add interest to music lessons. This session will show ways to involve students in music education without them knowing they are learning anything! Great (free!) ideas for using interactive whiteboards in your music room.

Tech-Talk Tuesday: Web Conferencing for Student Collaboration

WHEN:                          Tuesday, June 1, 2010, 3:45 – 4:45pm

PRESENTER(S):          Claire Bloom and Anne Mirtschin

SUMMARY:                  Web conferencing software enabled Year 10 students from Warrandyte High School, Victoria, Australia to work in e-teams with students from Wellington Girls College in New Zealand. As a
virtual team students created a website that investigated and compared social networking habits across the schools, explored some of the social issues related to social networking and then reflected on the experience
of web conferencing. Hear Claire Bloom discuss the ‘nuts and bolts’ of establishing a web conferencing-based global project. Learn about the achievements experienced as students worked globally to achieve many
cultural understandings.

What’s Burning in eLearning? – What’s on the Horizon for P-12 schools?

WHEN:                       Wednesday, June 2, 2010, 4 – 5pm

PRESENTER(S):          Mark Richardson

SUMMARY:               What will be the latest emerging technologies that will hit schools in the next few years? How pedagogically sound are they? How will these technologies enhance teaching and learning? Will schools, teachers and students readily take them up? Tony Richards from ITmadeSimple, will discuss the projections of The Horizon Report 2010 K-12 Edition, as well as sharing his ideas on the topic. What do you think of cloud computing, collaborative tools, game based learning, and mobile devices? These are rapidly becoming part on the school landscape. While others such as Augmented Reality and Flexible Displays may be just
over the horizon..

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Ultranet: Episode 1, A New Hope

WHEN:                          Thursday, June 3, 2010, 4 – 5pm

PRESENTER(S):          Becky Marley and Narissa Leung

SUMMARY:                  A long time ago, in an Education Department far, far away, a revolutionary idea was born. Since its inception, the Ultranet represented a revolutionary vision of Web 2.0 and its potential for improving outcomes in Victorian schools. Well folks, the revolution is NOW! On March 10th the Ultranet was launched at Ringwood Secondary College. As Ultranet Coaches, Lead Users and intrepid teachers set out on a process of discovery with this new educational tool, this series will seek to bring together educators keen to make the most of the Ultranet in its various stages..

Where’s the Remote? – Rural education forum

WHEN:                          Thursday, June 3, 2010, 4 – 5pm

PRESENTER(S):          Cameron Peverett and Kane Horwill

SUMMARY:                  Feeling isolated or ignored? Struggling to find relevant PD close to home? Watch this space! Each week we will be discussing issues common to those in rural settings. Need more information or ideas on ICT? Additional Needs students? Classroom management? Become part of a collective group willing to share experiences, advice and professional development in a context relevant to you in a supportive and understanding environment. Our informal discussions will be aimed at narrowing the gaps of professional learning and advice available between rural and metro schools through the coming of digital age; where distance should no longer be a deficit.

Free online professional learning for term 2

Thank you to the Victorian Department of Educations’ Virtual Conference Centre for passing on the following free professional learning opportunities for all Victorian teachers (irrespective of type of school – government, independent and Catholic are all welcome).

There are some exciting professional learning opportunities coming up in the Virtual Conference Centre in the coming weeks:

· Tech-Talk Tuesdays: Using Images Online

· Gaming and Social Networks in Education

· Tech-Talk Tuesdays: Learning Adventures

· Connecting Kids and Culture: The Floating World Project

· Professional Development for SRC (Student Representative Council) Teachers

· Becoming Asia Literate Grants to Schools Briefing

· Monthly ESL Matters: Out of school hours opportunities for ESL students

Most of these do not even require you to sign up. Full details of these sessions are below.

Further information about upcoming events can be found on the Virtual Conference Centre calendar at: http://www.education.vic.gov.au/researchinnovation/virtualconferencecentre/program

Tech-Talk Tuesdays: Using Images Online

WHEN: Tuesday, April 20, 2010, 3:45 – 4:45pm

PRESENTER(S): Online participants general discussion

SUMMARY: Are you an educator who is interested in integrating ICT into your lessons? Do you hear about the exciting learning opportunities that technology offers to students, but want to find out more from others before you dive in head first? Then Tech-Talk Tuesdays are for you! Resizing images is important for online use e.g. emails, blogs, wikis and other web2.0 based programs. This will be a sharing session amongst participants on some free tools to use, appropriate sizes to work and different ways of displaying them online e.g. slideshows, Flickr etc. Bring your ideas along and share or if new to online publishing, come along with your questions.

SESSION LINK: https://sas.elluminate.com/m.jnlp?sid=2007026&password=M.4A3A8EB8D5FEAC01D361317AAB4923

Gaming and Social Networks in Education

WHEN: Thursday, April 22, 2010, 4 – 5pm

PRESENTER(S): Adrian Camm – Adrian is Head of Mathematics at McGuire College. His pioneering use of current and emerging technologies is impacting positively on student engagement and learning outcomes across the state of Victoria and beyond. Adrian was awarded two awards at the 2009 Australian Awards for Teaching Excellence. He was awarded Best National Achievement – The Ministers Award for Excellence in ICT and also the Highly Commended Excellence by a Teacher award.

SUMMARY: In the global, networked environments of the 21st Century, we are seeing a growing divide between how students learn and the curriculum that is being offered in most schools. Come and see how gaming can be used as a vehicle for learning and how social networks are enabling conversations that can highlight the tentative nature of scientific inquiry and the need for collaborative, critical thinking.

SESSION LINK: https://sas.elluminate.com/m.jnlp?password=M.F77B2A1C837A1623640D8BA2B01EFE

Tech-Talk Tuesdays: Learning Adventures

WHEN: Tuesday, April 27, 2010, 3:45 – 4:45pm

PRESENTER(S): Adrian Camm and Anne Mirtschin

SUMMARY: Are you an educator who is interested in integrating ICT into your lessons? Do you hear about the exciting learning opportunities that technology offers to students, but want to find out more from others before you dive in head first? Then Tech-Talk Tuesdays are for you! In order to model a more constructivist educational setting, Gary Stager coined the term ‘learning adventures’ to replace ‘assignment’ in describing classroom activity. He argues that this simple rhetorical shift has a profound impact on teachers spirit and effectiveness in teaching. In this session, Adrian Camm from McGuire College will focus on the participation in learning adventures that are deep, rich, have inherent cross-curricular opportunities and can be used in your own classroom.
SESSION LINK: https://sas.elluminate.com/m.jnlp?password=M.AD73E31E227D8087B58F321FE57CC1

Connecting Kids and Culture: The Floating World Project

WHEN: Tuesday, April 27, 2010, 4 – 5pm

PRESENTER(S): Jean-Pierre Chabrol and Craig Smith

SUMMARY: Introducing the Pictures of the Floating World – an exciting new online resource for teachers and students to explore Japanese art, music, animation and story telling. Presented by Jean-Pierre Chabrol (National Gallery of Victoria) and Craig Smith (INP Division), Pictures of the Floating World was developed with 20 Victorian schools, who used the resources in learning areas such as primary and middle years literacy and narrative/storytelling, Japanese LOTE, Art, Visual Communication and Design, Dance, Photography, Drama, SOSE, ICT (including animation and digital storytelling), Japanese history and culture. Come and hear Jean-Pierre and Craig share some of the stories behind the development of the resources and its positive impacts on teaching and learning outcomes.
SESSION LINK: https://sas.elluminate.com/m.jnlp?password=M.4A3AA147C67874D4BDBA492D2CFC49

Professional Development for SRC (Student Representative Council) Teachers

WHEN: Tuesday, April 27, 2010, 6 – 8pm

PRESENTER(S): Scott Duncan and David Mould

SUMMARY: VISTA is the Victorian Institute of SRC Teacher Advisors. It is the professional association for both primary and secondary teachers working across all sectors (government, catholic and non-government schools) who are responsible for working with student councils. As the SRC Teacher Advisor, is your pigeon hole becoming the dumping ground for every organisation that wants you school to sell something, raise money for something or hold another “day” for them? Join us as we explore why SRC’s need to fundraise, how to manage your money, what to do with it when you get it and new ways you can earn your SRC some cash.
SIGN UP LINK: http://eventactions.com/ea.aspx?ea=Rsvp&invite=0sd8m278cr2zvmk7ab29ps057r3tj0fdes4m2e51nfn1d6t5h61a

Becoming Asia Literate Grants to Schools Briefing

WHEN: Wednesday, April 28, 2010, 4 – 5pm

PRESENTER(S): Lindy Stirling and Jessie Mitchell

SUMMARY: The National Asian Languages and Studies in Schools Project (NALSSP) opens the second round of Becoming Asia Literate Grants to Schools online on 4 May 2010.
The grants are between $20,000 and $40,000 for individual schools or a cluster of up to 5 schools. The grants are to support the Studies and Languages of China, Indonesia, Korea and Japan. Last year the application process was very competitive, so a briefing on Elluminate is being offered to all teachers who wish to learn more about the process and maximise their application’s potential for success.
SESSION LINK: https://sas.elluminate.com/m.jnlp?password=M.73230EB4B374C96CBD88E82C887828

Monthly ESL Matters: Out of school hours opportunities for ESL students

WHEN: Wednesday, April 28, 2010, 4 – 5pm

PRESENTER(S): Anita Calore and Robyn Tribe

SUMMARY: The Monthly ESL Matters series offers practical advice for supporting ESL students in your class. Each month will have a particular focus with expert ESL teacher input with tips and sharing of ESL learning and teaching strategies. This session will focus on out of school hours opportunities for ESL students. DEECD has a partnership with The Centre for Multicultural Youth (CMY) to coordinate Learning beyond the bell. There are 20 programs funded in locations with high numbers of refugee students. How can you set up a program in your school or improve an existing program? CMY can assist with training, ideas and resources.

SESSION LINK: https://sas.elluminate.com/m.jnlp?sid=2007026&password=M.295E4AAC429702A6E6F55AC242C7DB

No username or password necessary, just click on the relevant session link no earlier than 30 minutes before the scheduled session.

Term 1 Events in the Victorian Virtual Conference Centre

Krystie Alleaume, the Senior Project Officer at the Innovation and Next Practice Division of the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development has sent the following information for all Victorian teachers. (Please note that your school does NOT have to have a subscription to Elluminate to access these sessions. Just ensure that you have Java enabled on the computer you wish to use and that you have a headset and microphone to communicate with.)

We have some exciting free events planned for Term 1 in the Virtual Conference Centre. Most of these do not require you to sign up. To join a session, you can now:

1.      Visit our event calendar at: http://www.education.vic.gov.au/researchinnovation/virtualconferencecentre/program/default.htm

2.      Click on the date of the event you wish to attend.

3.      Click on the title of the event to see more details.

4.      Click the session link provided and join the conference up to 60 minutes before it is scheduled to begin.

5.      You can also have an automatic email reminder sent to you by selecting ‘Remind me by email’ from the ‘Other Event Actions’ drop down box.

Spread the word among your colleagues about our new monthly professional learning series called ‘Monthly ESL Matters’. And for those of you that joined our weekly Tech-Talk Tuesday sessions last year, you’ll be pleased to see that they are back on the calendar for Term 1, 2010.


·       Monday 1 March – “Classroom Video Production – Part 2: Post-production and editing”, presented by Brendan O’Brien (Hume Region)

·       Tuesday 2 March – “Tech Talk Tuesdays: What a Bright Idea – Blogs for professional networking”, presented by Judith Way and Anne Mirtschin

·       Thursday 4 March – “Introduction to Microsoft OneNote 2007”, presented by Ben Walters (Microsoft Corporation)

·       Tuesday 9 March – “Prep Assessment Period: The English Online Interview”, presented by Victoria Hall

·       Tuesday 9 March – “Tech-Talk Tuesdays: Building a Digital Classroom”, presented by Anne Mirtschin

·       Tuesday 16 March – “Gaming and Social Networks in Education”, presented by Adrian Camm (McGuire College)

·       Tuesday 16 March – “Tech-Talk Tuesdays: The Power of Mobile Technology in Learning”, presented by Louise Duncan (Shepparton High School) and Anne Mirtschin

·       Thursday 18 March – “Introduction to Microsoft Communicator and LiveMeeting”, presented by Jonathan Spellman (Microsoft Corporation)

·       Tuesday 23 March – “Essential Web 2.0 Tools for Educators”, presented by Narissa Leung (Loddon Mallee Region)

·       Wednesday 24 March – “Monthly ESL Matters: Reporting and Assessment for ESL students”, presented by Janet Saker and Daina Coles (ESL Unit)

·       Thursday 25 March – “Global Projects with iEARN”, presented by Rob King (Gippsland Region)

·       (Term 1 Holidays) Tuesday 30 March – “Tech-Talk Tuesdays: What is needed to bring education into the 21st Century?”, Discussion group facilitated by Anne Mirtschin

Looking forward to seeing you again soon in the Virtual Conference Centre!