Tips 2012 Professional Learning #22: PL for Teachers

Investigate, Communicate, Create: Using an iPad as a productive tool in the classroom. Presenter: Dr Jenny Lane

We are offering a professional learning event for partnership school teachers at Edith Cowan University Mount Lawley Campus on the 30 May 2013. I will be sharing some of the exciting things I learnt at the recent Apple Distinguished Educators Summer Institute.

Come and join us as we learn and share experiences about using iPads in schools. Unfortunately this presentation is fully booked.

Tips 2012 Professional Learning #21: TIPS Research

This blog is part of the professional learning for research that I am doing with teachers in schools. It is important that we do applied research on our practices. When doing research involving students it is very important that ethical processes and procedures are followed.There are different processes and guidelines that need to be followed in different countries and educational systems. I suggest that before you start on a research project, take time to find out about the ethics processes and the permissions you have to have to proceed in your educational system. If you are not sure contact the department of education, a university or a local research institute who will guide you through the correct procedures.

The research that I do goes through rigorous procedures to ensure it meets the ethical guidelines for research, these mandated for research projects involving human participants in Australia. Before any data is gathered the research project has been reviewed and approved by the University Ethics Committee. My research has also met the requirements for research in the schooling systems in Western Australia, namely the department of Education and Catholic Education. It has also received the approval of the school managers and prinicipals of the schools involved. Here is a short 3 minute video which gives explains the TIPS research project phase 1.


I am now working on the TIPS research project phase 2 involving advanced professional learning for teachers.

Tips 2012 Professional Learning #20:Which app is right for you?

When selecting apps my rule is “less is more”…In my experience it is better to have a few carefully selected apps that you can use in multiple ways than an app for every topic.

For many teachers at the start of a semester or the beginning of  a new school year you will be deciding which apps you will be using in your teaching. Selecting the right apps can be a challenge when there are so many applications on the app store. Always keep your educational objective clearly in focus, it is easy to be seduced by bright colours and cute animations. Think carefully about what the student will do… will this app allow the students to create, engage in higher order thinking and connect in new ways? There is some value in apps that allow students to consolidate their skills in an engaging manner. Apps that support the teaching  and can be used across the curriculum are good value per use as opposed to apps that will be used once or twice in a specific area.

A colleague Jan Clarke from AISWA has shared an extensive list of apps that she has complied. Classroom apps  Thanks for sharing all your hard work Jan. I look forward to hearing from you about the apps you find most useful in your teaching.

Tips 2012 Professional Learning #17:Getting started with iPads?

One of the most frequently asked questions that I receive is “how do I get started using iPads in my classroom?”.
The next question I get asked is “I know the basics but what is the next step? How do I integrate this technology into my teaching to make a difference in learning outcomes?”<


In response to these questions I have prepared two preconference workshops that I will be offering at the ACEC conference in Perth on the 2 October. The morning workshop “Getting started with iPads” gives an overview of how to set up and begin using iPads effectively in classrooms.


In the afternoon workshop we will look at ways of “Integrating iPads into the curriculum”. We will discuss and create resources that teachers can use in their teaching. The designing of workflows to import and export materials from mobile devices will be one of the topics we will explore.

These workshops are also open to those who cannot attend the full conference. You can book on the conference website.


Thanks to all who attended the workshops we had two amazing groups of enthusiastic educators. Many thanks to the fabulous teachers Louise, Kym and Anna and Jamie and the crew from Winthrop who helped me facilitate the groups as the enrolments to these workshops kept increasing.


The spirit of sharing and collaboration made these workshops  a very worthwhile learning experience for  all. I am sharing the workshop resources through an edmodo site. To access the resources set up a personal edmodo account. This is free. Search for the group titled Jenny lane and join it. The code for the group is mom1q0. ( last letter is the digit 0). Please contribute by adding your comments thoughts and ideas.


Tips 2012 Professional Learning #16:Creating and sharing learning online

One of the ways to create interactive online experiences is to use a learning management system (LMS). This is much easier than you think and is a great way to use mobile learning devices in daily classroom practice. These systems now incorporate social networking so students can create and share their learning as part of professional learning networks. There are a range of these, today I am discussing two free LMS systems designed for classroom use. Edmodo and Schoology.  I am seeing excellent use of  these systems in classrooms. Teachers can post tasks and assessments online in the password protected space they have created for their students. They can give parents access to sections of the site so parents can view the work. Students can access this work anywhere, anytime on a web enabled device. There are apps for Android and IOS devices like iphones and iPads. Students can post their responses to their teacher and work collaboratively with their peers. The facility to set up groups is very useful. The student work is all safely stored online, no need for complex server configurations.


This video link guides you through how to set up a site in Schoology. Schoology has advanced features to set up test and assessments with self marking features.


The Edmodo help site with very useful tips on everything you need to get this up and running in your classroom.

This post gives more details on how to use Edmodo in education

This post on edmodo gives lots of links to schools and blog sites with practical examples of edmodo in action
This video shows how a 5th grade student uses Edmodo

Please post a comment and share how you are using these tools in your teaching and learning

Edmodo touch app also available for android devices

Tips 2012 Professional Learning #13: M-Learning beyond the classroom walls

I enjoyed presenting a plenary session at The Christian Schools Assocation National Leadership Conference. It is a great pleasure to work with such a committed group of educational leaders as they plan how to move schools forward to embrace mobile learning and the educational possibilities it offers in schools. I am happy to be part of this exciting learning journey with CSA.

Here is an outline of today`s plenary session.

M-learning: Education beyond the walls of the classroom.

Mobile devices are changing our lives, but how can they best be used in classrooms?

Dr Jenny Lane is a research fellow at Edith Cowan University, currently researching “m-learning” – the use of mobile technologies to open up a field of learning beyond the classroom wall.  Her research shows that teachers need to be trained to bring together technological, pedagogical and content knowledge (the TPACK framework) for a tool like the iPad to be effective. Many teachers are following the TIPS Research Project Blog in which Dr. Lane guides school leaders and teachers as they use mobile devices in schools.

This session will provide both theoretical and practical insights.

“We explored a range of research based approaches to support schools and teachers as they include M-learning strategies and take the learning beyond the walls of the classroom.” 

“To make this  an effective learning strategy, this needs to be is a long-term process that requires visionary leadership and strategic planning involving the whole school and the community.”Dr. Jenny Lane


Tips 2012 Professional Learning #12: Teckie Brekie

I am enjoying my visit to a new school in Perth.This  school has embraced the use of technology to transform teaching and learning from day one.  The design of the school encourages collaborative learning with glass walled classrooms and communal learning spaces.  The timetable has been designed to allow space and time for students to engage in deep learning. Students have longer blocks of time to work on cross curricular projects exploring “Big Ideas” using an inquiry based approach.

Mobile touch tablets are used as the base technology. This was introduced to the community through information sessions with parents and students.  This school has recommended that schools work with parents to set up individual iTunes accounts managed by the parents.  Students agree to a digital use policy.

Posters and e-pubs were used to distribute information on policy and use within the school. The school created resources to guide parents, and these resources contain everything parents need to know about using the device at school and at home.

The school gave instructions on how students need to set up the device to promote learning. Specific instructions were given to students on how to set their up the pages on each screen and a number of essential apps were recommended. These were arranged in folders according to learning areas and function.

Digital learning spaces have been created using Edmodo, a free online learning space which presents in format like Facebook, but is specifically designed for teaching and learning. This is safe and is password protected. The teacher has control over what is posted. All students in the class can share resources and post their work.

Students use the devices to create visual collections to display their learning in a visual way. Skype and FaceTime are used to link the class to community experts and to students in other classes. This way of learning uses technology to transform traditional learning experiences, extending the learning beyond the four walls of the classroom.

Tips 2012 Professional Learning #10: Explore ECU with iPads

Welcome to the Clontarf Girls

For the Explore ECU Program today we welcomed the year 10 & 11 Clontarf Girls to spend a day experiencing University life with us on campus. We are going to be using technology in a fun way in to support learning.

Clontarf was one of the schools in Perth that the Queen visited when she was in Australia see the pictures on their website. Clontarf is a unique sporting academy with a specialist curriculum to develop the leadership skills of Aboriginal girls.

We had lots of fun – watch this space …

Clontarf girls become movie producers at ECU

I was very fortunate to work with this delightful group of enthusiastic fun loving students. For many of the group it was the first time they experienced using an iPad. There was much laughter and excitement as they became movie directors for the day. We discussed creative ways of using mobile learning tools like phones and tablet computers for learning.

“Focus, action, shoot, let the camera roll”

For some more details on this event, click here.

We are celebrating NAIDOC Week at our university. NAIDOC Week celebrations are held in Australia in July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

NAIDOC is celebrated not only in Indigenous communities, but by all Australians. At Edith Cowan University we participated in a range of activities and to support our local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

NAIDOC originally stood for ‘National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee’. This committee was once responsible for organising national activities during NAIDOC Week and its acronym has since become the name of the week itself.

Tips 2012 Professional Learning #9:Celebration of learning

I spent today enjoying a celebration of learning with Sarah and the fabulous teachers at Settlers School. It is always great to share ideas about teaching and learning with the teachers in the DET iPad Project.

It was such an inspiration to listen to Year 1 students confidently explaining to teachers and principals how they use apps to structure their story writing. These students were clearly enjoying their learning. One teacher commented ” when they are using the iPads the students are so motivated – they never get bored”.

I loved the use of peer tutors, where students who feel confident volunteer to help other students in the class. Using the iPads to record and review their own reading, the students did self assessments using a rubric to rate their progress.

The ShowMe screencasting app was used for number work. The students recorded their thinking processes and computations while solving number problems. They then projected their “show me” screencast on to the whiteboard and shared their strategies with the class. The tasks catered for students learning needs by providing a range of activities with students working at their ability level.

Well done to all the teachers and students for sharing such exciting work, and to Sarah and the team leaders for setting such a great example of transformative teaching.

Tips2012: Teachers’ Voices #3: Phil`s i-Story

Using iPads to teach English as a second language

Phil Rice is a teacher of adult ESL learners in the state of Delaware, USA. He has taught English Composition and multiple levels of ESL classes. He enjoys using technology to teach and help students to teach themselves. Phil is an avid user of iPads in his ESL classes, and he has shared some of the activities he uses in his teaching
Show me

Show Me

 Phil sent in this i-Story in response to a posting we did on using the Show Me screen casting app to read that post Tips2012 App Guide: Show Me. The Show Me app was also used for ESL teaching  in Schools in India as mentioned in Jude`s i-Story.
With ShowMe, teachers can…

1) Create an online lesson for an in-class topic. Record the main ideas of your lesson and give students a link or post your creation to an online social media site.

2) Have students create a narrated visual presentation on a topic using your/their iPad and show it in class as opposed to a “stand in front of the class” type presentation.

3) Create a Vocab Map using Skitch / DoodleBuddy and ShowMe together. Pick a picture that is related to a topic you are teaching and annotate it with Skitch showing the vocabulary for the picture. Then, upload the photo and use it on ShowMe to narrate and pronounce the vocab.

4) Download the presentation and upload it to YouTube so students have instant access to your ShowMes!

These are just a few uses for ShowMe. I use it all the time, and I’m sure that you will too once you get used to it.

Thanks Phil for sharing your i-Story.

You can visit Phil`s blog, ESL Commando, to find more ideas for using ICT in ESL classes.

Tips 2012 Professional Learning #9: Apple TV+ iPad = IWB

Project and share the learning on a big screen

iPads are essentially designed for individual use, yet in classrooms we often need to show and share the learning processes.

Traditionally we use interactive whiteboards where a computer is linked via a cable to a large touch screen attached to the classroom wall. This allows the computer technology with digital content to be projected and shared. This can create a didactic situation where the teacher has to be in a position close to the front of the classroom to operate the Interactive whiteboard, and not circulating in the classroom engaging with the students and monitoring their work.

Apple TV is a small device costing approximately $100 that allows the teacher and the students to connect their iPad, iPhone or iPod touch wirelessly to a TV screen or a  data projector to show their screen and share their work with the class.

Tips Professional Learning #8: iPads open the door to mobile learning


New learning spaces

New learning spaces for M- Learning

iPads open the door to mobile learning published by the Science Network WA.

This article includes an overview of the TPACK iPads in Schools project and the growing trend towards Mobile Learning ( M- Learning).

Our classrooms are changing as learning becomes more mobile. The introduction of mobile devices changes the classroom dynamics. Students no longer need to sit in rows in hard wooden desks facing the board. Learning can occur in small learning groups or pods. Students can sit on comfortable cushions and couches as they work and collaborate with their peers. They can learn outside the classroom. Learning can occur anytime and anyplace, the traditional classroom can be redesigned as a 21st Century learning centre.

This move to Mobile learning creates a new role for school libraries as they become more than the custodian of books. The school libraries of the future will be “information hubs” with “techno- pods” and comfortable areas for collaboration. They will become a third space where students can learn, collaborate and socialise in bright inviting surrounding. A school I visited recently is planning to introduce a munching area with ” Milo and Muffins” in the library to encourage students to visit the library and continue their learning after school hours.



Tips 2012 Professional Learning #14: What is a good App?

What is an application (App)

The use of apps in mobile devices is somewhat different to the use of software programs on a computer.

Applications commonly known as apps are small executable files which are downloaded onto your mobile device. There are apps written for Apple devices which you download from the iTunes App Store. There are apps written for other mobile devices which run on an Android operating system. There a a large number of free apps for educational purposes.

There are thousands of Apps

What is a good App?

This is a frequently asked question and rightly so, as purchasing apps in volume can be a costly exercise.  The choice of an app is very specific and needs to be carefully linked to the pedagogy (PK) (teaching) and the content (CK). When pedagogy, content and the technology are considered we are working in the zone advocated in the TPACK model.

TPACK Mishra and Koehler (2009)


There are a few criteria that you need to consider:

1. Why do you need to use an app-when selecting apps for educational contexts you need to be very clear on the intended function and the learning outcomes.

2.Links to the curriculum- we need to be clear how the app supports the learning outcomes as stated in the curriculum or the students IEP.

3.Purpose and function- the app needs to have a function that will enhance learning is the app replicating an existing activity or is the app transforming the way students learn and express their learning

4. Deep learning/ skill re-inforcement- does the app promote deep learning or is it for re-inforcement. We want a balance between apps that allow practice and re-inforcement and apps that encourage creativity and higher order thinking.

5. Transfer- is the learning transferable to other settings

6. Workflow- how easy is it to export the contents of this app

7.Tracking progress-can you keep a record of a students’ progress while using the app

8. Wifi- do you need access to a wifi network to use this app- many classrooms do not have enough wifi bandwidth for all students to be working online at the same time

We value your comments please let us know how you select apps.