Inspired to Search Further for ICT?


On reading Mrs D’s ICT Investigations blog on The Technology Integration Planning (TIP) Model, designed by Wiencke and Roblyer (2004). Katherine directed us to a flow diagram showing how this particular model works in practice.

I also came across a link to another useful site which outlines the concepts behind the TIP Model, found at this Bookbuilder site .

Implementing the TIP Model highlights the fact that ICT is not necessarily the ‘What Can I teach?’ of teaching, more of the ‘How Can I Teach it Better?’ – using it to enhance a learning experience for students that may normally not be possible in the day to day classroom.

In the quest for looking a little further afield for ideas and adding to that ever-expanding Toolbelt, I would also like to share a blog that struck me as very useful when looking for inspirational ideas for implementing technology in today’s curriculum. Class Tech Tips is a useful blog where teachers, interested in investigating and implementing technology in a variety of ways, may just be given the link that leads them to the type of lesson they would never before have imagined. As they say in restaurants … Enjoy!


And the Theory is …


After reading Pamela’s blog discussing Inquiry?? Which way to go … at  I too found it tricky to home in on a particular teaching and learning model/theory. The problem being that there seems to be an ever-increasing choice of models to follow – a case of the more you looked, the more you found! Each had its obvious advantages – although when you really looked into what and how you wanted to teach to a specific age group, it was easier to be more selective and find the find the ‘right fit’.

I found the link to Jeni Wilson and Kath Murdoch’s “What is Inquiry Learning?” most comprehensive. Influenced by Bruner’s Theory of Constructivism (1986) and the advantages of active learning, Wilson & Murdoch presented a useful table (which I have summarised below) of how Inquiry Learning can be implemented in today’s classroom. The main components of effective Inquiry Learning can be seen in two ways:

  • Problem/Question
  • Tuning in
  • Hypothesis
  • Finding out
  •  Data collection and analysis
  • Sorting out
  •  Drawing conclusions
  • Going further
  •  Making generalisations & reflecting
  • Reflection
  • Authentic action
  • Action

Applying this model can lead to engaged independent learners who are more likely to make decisions, co-operate with others and be more in control of their pace and learning path.

All read up (and hopefully somewhere to go …)


Once I’d finally chosen the curriculum area and decided on the specific direction I wanted to take with my unit of work, items which I’d read on blogs and Study Desk gave me extra impetus and confidence to carry along the path I hoped to follow. The reason? I had read, then revisited articles about Inquiry Learning and the different models which can be used when implementing an effective learning experience.

I enjoyed reading Karen DeMoiselle’s blog ‘The Idea of Essential Questions’.  as she gave a user friendly and comprehensive overview of what Inquiry Learning entailed. I particularly liked the model Karen directed the reader to, showing a diagram of an Inquiry Process and how it can be referred to as a means to enhance the teaching/learning experience. Katherine Dugdale’s blog Mrs D’s ICT Investigations blog  also proved good reading and Katherine was kind enough to share another blog she had followed “Enquiries About Inquiry”, which gave an insight into the Integrating Socially Model of Inquiry – a useful article.

This particular website also had an interesting model demonstrating the use of effective questions and how they can kick-start a valid and worthwhile learning experience. The concept of capturing a child’s imagination with a Big Question was also highlighted by David Jones on USQ Study Desk.


Equipped with the know-how of the updated Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy , ideas for using ICT as a highly productive learning tool became more apparent. The number and range of new age verbs we have familiarised ourselves with, is quite remarkable: pod-casting, re-mixing, tagging and annotating, to name but a few.  If we are to teach using ICT to the best of our ability then we really have to walk the walk and talk the talk.



Minecraft – Myth or Legend?


The phrase “Can I go on Minecraft?” used to send a quiver of trepidation down my spine, as it was often the precursor of my two children, aged 11 and 14, wanting to disappear into some sort of oblivion for hours at a time (perhaps a slight exaggeration on my part, but if left to their own devices they would have been very happy to!). Now here I am, writing a blog post about the possible benefits of using it in the classroom! What a fickle world we live in.

On reading fellow EDC3100 blogger, Ornella Whelan’s post Minecraft as an Educational Tool we were encouraged to look at Minecraft and its application in today’s ICT- enhanced classrooms. As Ornella directed us, the Wiki gives an overview of how aspects of Minecraft could be implemented into different areas of the curriculum. Delving a little further, I stumbled upon some useful ideas collected and put on a blog by Andrew Miller, courtesy of Edutupia. Miller gives the reader a glimpse into the wide variety of uses in which Minecraft could be applied in the classroom – its current popularity can only add to a high engagement factor for students.

Like any other ICT tool, Minecraft should be considered as an effective means of enhancing a lesson, rather than replacing it. Classroom teacher, Ashley MacQuarrie wrote a blog Transforming the Way We Learn: Why Minecraft is an Amazing Learning Tool

I look forward to investigating how Minecraft could work for me – not just my children!

Moving Education into a New Dimension


This week, my train of thought was momentarily ‘interrupted’ when I read a snippet as part of a news article about the increasingly popular trend of 3-D printing and the accessibility of more realistically-priced printers that could be bought by small companies or individuals.

A little light bulb “Aha!” moment when I remembered seeing a recent blog published by Makezine via my WordPress reader that had a intriguing photograph of what a 3-D printer could churn out. As future educators we are all prone to be accumulators of information and ideas, in fact, anything that may prove useful in forthcoming lessons (thinking Toolbelt Theory here!).

Now, if there’s one thing I’ve certainly gleaned from the EDC3100 course, it is that ONE LINK LEADS TO ANOTHER. You know it’s true – we cannot click on one link and be happy with that singular result, we simply must click on the next link that sits there, all innocuous – because, THAT is the one which leads us to the really useful stuff!

In wanting to find out a little more about the uses of 3-D printing in an educational context, I was interested in these two separate sites – giving two sides of the picture, so to speak …

Educators Technology has some super ideas for implementing ICT in the classroom.

And to balance out the equation, it’s always worthwhile to read another perspective at Gizmodo.


Khan Do?


One thing I’ve noticed since following a selection of EDC 3100 student blogs, is a similar sense of humour and flair for word-play. I was drawn to Katherine Dugdale’s “Mrs D’s ICT Investigations” and more specifically, to her recent post entitled “Can We or Khan’t We?”

After watching the TED  video link with Salman Khan extolling the amazing achievements that the Flip Classroom mode of learning can lead to with regards to students’ success, one can’t help but see two separate camps – those firm believers in Khan’s theory and those more aware of what actually needs to be done in a real classroom situation.

I can’t help but reflect back to an earlier phase of our course work where we were introduced to Neil Postman’s Five Things We Need to Know About Technology  Yes, there are indeed ‘winners and losers’ in the use of ICT within today’s society and unfortunately, even Khan’s wonderful gesture of ‘free’ access to learning tutorials may continue to be too remote for some.

Picking on PCK


I was interested to read the blog of fellow EDC 3100-er EC Salter regarding Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) and how pertinent it is within today’s classrooms. Emma pointed the reader to an interesting article by Adelis Solis (2009) on the Intercultural Development Research Association (IDRA) website.

Entitled “What Matters Most in the Professional Learning of Content Teachers in Classrooms with Diverse Student Populations”, Solis acknowledges Shulman’s (1986) revamping of PCK which highlights a distinctive approach to teaching – relying on “teachers’ interpretations and transformations of subject-matter knowledge in the context of facilitating student learning”. In essence, effective PCK draws from the teacher’s experience as well as the day to day experiences of all within the classroom environment.

Solis makes the point that “Pedagogical content knowledge is deeply rooted in the experiences and assets of students, their families and communities.”

Where better a place to develop our PCK than in the classroom, working together with our prospective students and realising what works best for them as well as us as teachers?


Solis, A. (2009). What matters most in Professional Learning of Content Teachers in Classrooms with Diverse Student Populations.  Retrieved August 18, 2013 from