Today sees the timely (Remembrance Day) release of the new Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development project 1000 poppies.org.

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The website states:

This project aims to create a space where students from around the world can share stories and experiences, linking the local and the global in an on-line environment and create their own response to honouring the service and sacrifice of veterans and those affected by war to express their hopes for lasting peace.

The Innovation and Next Practice Division of the DEECD states

It is not only intended for students, adults can participate as well. Over the coming months it will be supported with a range of learning and teaching materials.

An excellent resource for schools!

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!

Educators’ Guide to Innovation ning

This ning is a “professional network for those interested in innovative practices happening in education.” The Educator’s Guide to Innovation ning is part of action research by the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development’s Innovation and Next Practice Division.

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The ning has rich content, which includes:

  • event listings
  • forums
  • blog posts
  • links to free Elluminate sessions
  • archives and links to Elluminate session recordings

Anyone who is an educator and/or is genuinely interested in innovative practice in education is welcome to join.

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.

DEECD Innovation Showcase

Recordings and Presentation Materials from the 2010 Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development’s Innovation Showcase have just been released.

Katrina Reynen, the General Manager of the Department’s Innovation and Next Practice Division has shared the following information about the Showcase:

The 2010 Innovation Showcase, staged in May, exhibited a wide range of innovative practices from inspiring teachers and early childhood workers.

Recordings of each session along with their accompanying presentation are now available online.

With 36 presentations on innovative practices – from iPod touches to play based learning – and three inspiring keynote speeches, the online resources from the 2010 Innovation Showcase have something to interest everyone.

Some stand outs from the event included:
To continue to connect with the inspiring Innovation Showcase presenters and take part in further discussions about innovative practice, join the Educators Guide to Innovation ning.
You can listen to and view any or all of the presentations at your leisure. They are certainly well worth the time invested. Hopefully they might inspire you to implement your own innovations.

iPod touch for learning

One of the most useful handheld devices for learning is the iPod touch. Australian iPod touch guru Jenny Ashby shows how the tool can be used in the classroom:

iPod touch 1

Jenny’s recent presentation “iPod iLearn” goes into more depth about how to set up, implement and use iPods in the classroom. Although Primary in focus, there is plenty for Secondary teachers to take from this presentation:

View more documents from jjash.

About a year ago, the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD) produced an iPod Touch Research Report that includes the recommendations:

On Planning and Implementation

Develop technology projects that focus on the power of visual media and social networking, as they significantly influence literacy, numeracy and life chances for disadvantaged students.

Ensure that innovative projects using emerging technologies provide adequate time for teachers to become familiar with the devices and their functionality, prior to introduction and implementation in the classroom.

Identify clear, precise learning goals that support a culture of learning and skill development in the classroom, as essential for effective implementation of emerging technologies.

On Teaching and Learning

Promote mobile handheld devices, like the iPod Touch, that stimulate learners to want to learn and provide a means to pursue knowledge independently.

Introduce handheld mobile devices like the iPod Touch to support personalised learning and to assist literacy and numeracy in ESL, ‘at risk’ and reluctant learners.

Promote a limited number of handheld devices per class, as opposed to 1:1, to encourage teachers to engage with group work or team work as a successful pedagogy.

Introduce the iPod Touch to classrooms as a tool to stimulate teachers to rethink their pedagogy by considering how to integrate portable devices with learning functionality in curriculum activities.

Develop curriculum plans that involve greater learner autonomy and independence when using handheld mobile devices in the classroom.

Integrate mobile devices with other technologies (such as interactive whiteboards, laptops, Nintendo Wii) for purposeful learning in the classroom, so they are not just add-ons.

On Professional Learning

Provide greater access to well-structured professional learning sessions to promote widespread teacher ICT capacity and confidence.

Promote online collaboration as an effective mode of teacher networking for sharing knowledge and the transfer of good practice.

On Technical Support

Include a budget item for DEECD technical support at the school or cluster level to better support emerging technology projects.

Conduct a technical needs analysis, prior to project start-up, of issues that may impact on successful implementation of innovative projects.

Provide one identified technical conduit within the ITD Branch of DEECD for critical issue liaison involving emerging technology projects.

If you decide to investigate using the iPod touch, or are already using them, then the blog post “50 educational apps for the iPod touch” by U Tech Tips will prove useful.

50 ipod touch

And thanks to @AuntyTech, here is another list of over 170 iPod touch or iPhone apps (beware that some do cost) that keep students connected to the classroom, no matter where they are:

iPod apps

The beauty of iPod touch apps (applications = programs) is that there are many that are free and quite a lot that can be used in educational settings. The iPod touch has the potential to become a revolutionary tool in the classroom.

Feature blog – Lucacept

Bright Ideas is pleased to announce on behalf of the School Library Association of Victoria that Jenny Luca, uberblogger, Web 2.0 sensation and Head of Information Services at Toorak College, is the recipient of the 2009 John Ward Award. To win the award, the recipient must demonstrate an outstanding contribution to learning and teaching at their school and raise the profile of the profession through their role as teacher-librarian. Jenny has certainly done this!

As most of you probably know, Jenny has written her inspirational blog Lucacept for some time now and has gained an amazing and well deserved following, both throughout Australia and internationally. Comments on Lucacept come from the who’s who of the Web 2.0 world.

 Jenny has kindly taken time out from her busy schedule to share news on the development and evolution of Lucacept.


Lucacept evolved after probably a year and a half of exposure to ideas about Web 2.0. I was involved in a project with the AISV being run by Tom March called My Place. We were using some of the tools and I was beginning to see how we could use them for student engagement and collaboration. Unfortunately, it wasn’t funded beyond that initial year. Things cemented when I went  to the Expanding Learning Horizons conference in 2007 and participated in a 5 hour workshop with Will Richardson. That experience got me really excited about the possibilities and I started reading his blog. Not long after I was presenting at an ALIA conference in Adelaide and John Connell was a keynote presenter. He mentioned his blog and I started reading that too. It was like a springboard effect; the more I read the more I discovered and the more I realised that I wanted to participate in the conversations that were happening in the edublogosphere.

Over the summer holiday break we went camping and I decided that once I returned home I’d start writing. I was mulling over a name. I was talking to my husband and said that I was trying to intercept the Web. He drove to work and rang not soon after suggesting ‘Lucacept’.  I had the name, now I just had to start writing.

So start writing I did. Here’s an excerpt from my first post;

“I’ve taken the plunge and decided to become a blogger. I want to learn as much as I can about the Web 2.0 world and think it would be a good idea to share what I am learning. I’m reading lots of blogs via my Google reader  and can see that sharing some of these amazing insights will be beneficial for others.”

And this happened (from my second blog post);

“Last night I wrote my first post. Well, I thought, that will fade into obscurity until I tell someone they should have a look at this newfangled thing I’m doing. Wasn’t I surprised (and very excited I might add) to see comments  from Alec Couras   and Judy O’Connell this morning. Thanks for taking the time to notice – it means a lot to a novice.”

I’d committed to writing a post every day bar Saturday. I did this for the first six months and then decided that it wasn’t necessary to do this. Another factor was that I was now part of the network; I was connecting and communicating with others using tools like Twitter and was finding it hard to maintain balance. That continues to be a struggle, but I’m finding it easier now that I have established a presence. I know I can be away for a little while and the network won’t forget me!

The connections I’ve made have been the most  valuable part of my blogging experience. I was able to work with Sheryl Nussbaum Beach and Will Richardson to incorporate Australian schools into their international Cohort of Powerful Learning Practice. That program is now being used as a pilot with DEECD for a Netbook trial. The students at my school have participated in Global projects and are starting to understand that you can have reach and influence if you actively pursue it. I’ve established a Ning called ‘Working together to make a difference’ with Angela Stockman from Buffalo, New York and Mike Poluk from Canada; it is a wonderful space for sharing and doing meaningful service learning work. I am very proud of the caring and supportive network that is growing in that Ning environment. My own students have worked in a Ning environment that links four classrooms and it has changed the nature of our interactions. Learning takes place outside of classroom hours; we have created community. Expert voices such as Michael Gerard Bauer and Barry Heard have joined along the way and have helped the students understand their words. I learn every day from the people I share with and try to bring that learning back to my school environment. I know that the library space we are in the process of creating (we have funding for a new building and will begin the build in the new year) will be influenced by the thinking I am exposed to via the networks I operate in.

I’m constantly surprised that people read my words and are inspired by them. My school community are aware of what I do and I am supported by my Principal, Noel Thomas, who encourages my work and often broadcasts it to our wider school community. His support enabled me to attend Learning 2.008 in Shanghai where I was able to meet some of the people in my network face to face.  I don’t force my blog onto the staff; if they want to read it they know it is there. What I have found is that people know that I have knowledge and they are starting to approach me to assist them in trying out new ideas for teaching and learning.

I’m excited by investigating the validity of these new tools for educational purposes. I’ve been invited to contribute to a Reference Group informing ACER (Australian Council of Educational Research) who are beginning to research the impact of digital learning environments.  

Blogging has changed my life. I’m a learner now, first and foremost. I learn alongside the students I teach and we share the rewards and frustrations of new ideas and environments. I’ve never been more energized or excited about the future of teaching. It’s a wonderful time to be a Teacher-Librarian. We have this perfect storm of opportunity to run with new thinking and be the leaders in our schools. Libraries are in the process of reinvention and can become true hubs for thinking, conversation, sharing and belonging.  We need to embrace the change and run with it!

Jenny is an extremely deserving recipient of the John Ward Award. She dedicates innumerable hours to Lucacept, the Ning and other Web 2.0 projects. Jenny’s school, Toorak College, is extremely fortunate to have a staff member of Jenny’s intelligence, vision, drive, commitment and passion for learning and sharing. Jenny is an outstanding role model for teacher librarians and lifelong learners. Congratulations Jenny!

Connect and Web 2.0

Russell Blackie from the Victorian DEECD’s eLearning Unit presented the following information to the recent SLAV conference; Skills for School Libraries V2.0.

There are some familiar tools there for readers of Bright Ideas and some nice new ones you may not have tried yet. Did you notice that Russell used Edublogs.tv to host his presentation?

Thanks to Russell and SLAV for making the presentation available to the wider school library community.

Innovative Learning Environments Design Conference – Monday 19 October

Thanks to Krystie Alleaume, the Senior Project Officer for the Innovation and Next Practice Division of the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development for the following information:

The DEECD is running an Innovative Learning Environments Design Conference for educators and architects at Docklands on Monday 19 October. Six of the face-to-face presentations will be streamed online simultaneously via Elluminate.

The conference features educators who have successfully incorporated innovative practice into new learning environments. Architectural experts team up with educators to present a program featuring innovative learning environments, successful change stories and new approaches to teaching and learning.

The online sessions are outlined below. There is no cost to attend the online sessions, however you need to sign up first. Registered participants will be sent the link to the Elluminate room for their session(s). To register, visit:

9.05am – 10.05am ‘Futurevation’: Looking to the future
2.25pm – 3.25pm Designing for purpose – but which purpose? OECD – 21C innovative learning environments

Session 1: Panel – Successful change stories: what worked and why?
11.05am – 11.50am Dandenong High School
11.05am – 11.50am Bentleigh West Primary School

Session 2 – Innovative Learning – adopting a student centred approach
12.00pm – 12.45pm Matthew Flinders Girls Secondary College
12.00pm – 12.45pm Point Lonsdale Primary School

Session 3 – Learning Environment Designs
1.30pm – 2.15pm Internal learning spaces
1.30pm – 2.15pm Creating effective age and stage appropriate external learning environments

Free Elluminate moderator training

Krystie Alleaume, Senior Project Officer at the Innovation and Next Practice Division of the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development has sent Bright Ideas the following information:

 Would you like to learn how to run your own Elluminate session?

Have you thought about the potential of using Elluminate with students or teachers?

We have arranged a series of moderator training sessions for Term 4: ‘Getting Started with Elluminate’ and ‘Next Steps with Elluminate’. Details and dates are below. These sessions are completely free, but places are limited to 15 per session, so get in quick!

To register, visit: http://www.education.vic.gov.au/researchinnovation/virtualconferencecentre/use/training.htm

Getting Started with Elluminate – Moderator Training (Part 1)

This 90-minute class is designed for anyone new to Elluminate who wants to learn how to facilitate an online class or meeting. The class will teach moderators classroom management skills, methods for establishing social presence, classroom capture and basic content management. The class will offer hands-on practice to reinforce the Elluminate features taught during the session. After completing this class, you should attend the Next Steps with Elluminate Live! for Moderators.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009, 3:30 – 5pm

Thursday, November 5, 2009, 3:30 – 5pm

Tuesday, November 17, 2009, 3:30 – 5pm

Tuesday, December 1, 2009, 3:30 – 5pm

Next Steps with Elluminate – Moderator Training (Part 2)

This 90-minute class is the second class in the moderator training series. Participants must take the Getting Started class first. In this class, more advanced classroom and content management skills will be taught. Additionally, classroom collaboration tools such as Application Sharing will be taught. Participants will have the opportunity for hands-on practice during the session.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009, 3:30 – 5pm

Tuesday, November 10, 2009, 3:30 – 5pm

Tuesday, November 24, 2009, 3:30 – 5pm

Tuesday, December 8, 2009, 3:30 – 5pm

It is well worth the time and effort to learn how to be an Ellminate moderator.