It’s All About Reading

I spend a considerable amount of time reading. I tend to be a trifle obsessive about this. For many years I read exclusively in certain genres. As a young teen I read historical novels exclusively for a couple of years and then moved to Science Fiction and Fantasy and then Mystery and so on over the years. The consistency is that it has always been about reading something. 

In recent years my reading has become obsessively centred around education, technology and innovation. I suppose this shift really took hold with the advent of mobile technology and the maturing of social networks such as Twitter. Applications such as Flipboard and Zite (which create digital magazines from various feeds) made consumption easy. I was excited to learn from others and to be able to translate the ideas, thoughts and research into our own reality. Here I have been really fortunate because in my school other leaders, policy makers, the teachers, the staff and community in general have encouraged and enabled this. Reading and connectedness has contributed substantially towards breaking us out of our “box”. 

So here I have posted a few links to articles which I have found of particular interest n my recent adventures in reading. As I look through the links it is certainly a different list to the one I would have posted three years ago when I was obsessively exploring the possibilities that mobile devices might bring. 

  • This excellent paper looks at transformation of a US school, discusses challenges and solutions – considers SAMR Model and its context re changing pedagogy.

  • This article looks at the Finnish system where a school System based on equality has been created. Interesting to note that while successful there isn’t a strong sense of connectedness to schools in Finland. I have included a second article which considers the importance of connectedness (towards the end of this article there are some ideas re engaging students). 

Re Finnish system

Re Connectedness

  • This article discusses a report by the OECD on the effectiveness of technology in classrooms. I think what this really shows is the importance of pedagogy as the driver rather than the technology.

OECD Report

  • Yong Zhao – Elements of a World Class Education

Catching up: learning from the best school systems in East Asia via The Grattan Institute.

  • The Horizon Report – essential reading

  • The Case for Challenge Based Learning

  • Clever Classrooms – evidence around learning spaces and effects on learning. Summary report of the HEAD Project (Holistic Evidence and Design), Professor Peter Barrett , DrYufan Zhang, Dr Fay Davies, Dr Lucinda Barrett, (University of Salford 2015)

  • Personalisation vs. Differentiation vs. Individualisation

  • This useful piece, provided by Guido from Stile Education, on formative assessment

  • Technology Integration and High Possibility Classrooms“, Dr Jane Hunter. This work provides a comprehensive look at the context for the integration of technology and considers how TPACK comes into play in classrooms.

A Little Inspiration Along The Way

Last week I attended a short session with Dr Ruben Puentedura and Dr Damian Bebell. Apologies, my notes here are brief (I was feeling unwell). They certainly provided a little food for thought and inspiration.

Dr Puentedura looked at examples coupling the SAMR Model with Blooms Taxonomy and with Challenge Based Learning. It was easy to see how the SAMR Model fitted well with both. The basic premise is that some aspects of Blooms or CBL fit well with different levels of the SAMR Model – see below. 
Redefinition – Evaluating, Creating

Modification – Applying, Analysing, Evaluating

Augmentation – Understanding, Applying

Substitution – Remembering

(Note: Kathy Schrock also refers to this coupling of SAMR and Blooms ref:

I will explore the coupling of SAMR with Challenge Based Learning Model further. Dr Puentedura showed examples which explained how this would fit well with SAMR. (Ref re Challenge Based Learning –

Dr Damian Bebell spoke extensively about the disconnect of traditional assessments and options around other forms of assessment. This is certainly something which educators need to consider as our classrooms and our teaching/learning models are changing.


What is success?

How do you know if what you are doing is working?

He discussed that there are valid assessment tools which can measure creativity. 

In discussion we considered the importance of engagement, formative feedback, peer assessment.

One particularly useful assessment tool that Dr Bebell referenced was the use of drawings. I liked this idea it is relatively non invasive, and as he pointed out, can provide valid data and poignant feedback. He showed a range of examples e.g. Draw yourself learning in the classroom, draw yourself writing. In these examples we were able to quickly see what learning models might be occurring in a particular learning environment. In some research that Dr Bebell had conducted, using this method, it was interesting to note that in 1:1 device environments about 92% of students referenced using their device for writing while in a shared device environment over 70% referenced using pen and paper.

In our own circumstance we are encouraging teachers to seek feedback from students about their learning experience. Using pictures to provide feedback might be a way to help do this. 

Certainly exploring Dr Bebell’s work further may help to inform our own teaching/learning models.

Reflecting On The Journey

Our school is a Primary school (K – 6). We embraced a 1:1 iPad roll out in 2013.

Powerful Transformative Learning: Ideas around Workflow, SAMR ( and TPCK ( can become a reality in a 1:1 iPad program.

A host of different applications are in play across classrooms. Our school hasn’t attempted to be prescriptive. Allowing a degree of freedom amongst teachers has opened possibilities and teachers are also offering students options which expand the learning opportunities to individualize and to differentiate. We have tried to tailor applications to class needs, however certain apps are staple across most grades including all the Apple Applications iMovie, Pages, Keynote, Numbers, GarageBand, also Book Creator, Creative Book Builder, Edmodo, Explain Everything, Puppet Pals and Visualize. The more “open ended” applications are the most useful providing greater scope to both teachers and students. Student-centred, authentic, project-based learning experiences are being enhanced and inspired by the application of iPads.​

The capability of delivering content quickly through iTunes U, Edmodo, Showbie and Evernote has made opportunities for blended learning and of flipping Classrooms a reality. Teachers are developing class blogs or arranging Skype links with classes in other countries and bringing experts virtually into the classrooms and into children’s homes to support learning

Teachers are also actively using iPads to augment their assessment of student progress. The capability of the iPad to record learning moments, collect, collate and report is impressive.​
Our library has developed an eBook collection and borrowing system which means that students can access digital books virtually on a range of devices. This has opened access for students and learning opportunities in our classrooms.

In Australia there has been substantial change with regard to the Curriculum. The new Australian National Curriculum is seeking to integrate technology across all strands of the Curriculum. Our provision of iPads to all students in years K to 6 has provided the capability to achieve this. Teachers are redesigning their teaching programs to reflect the integration of technology, and in particular the integration of iPads, as the New Curriculum is released. Our school has a Curriculum Coordinator helping to coordinate change. The process is very much a collaborative team effort.
The Australian Curriculum includes seven General Capabilities as can be seen in the diagram below ICT Capability is identified as one of the seven General Capabilities to be addressed across the Curriculum.

© Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority

Teacher Development
Our mission as educators, at our school, is to transform the potential technology offers to improve teaching and learning practices and ultimately, student outcomes.
The school has committed to developing a strong culture of learning aimed at developing learners for the 21st Century.
Our teachers have been actively involved in a comprehensive learning program. A Whole School approach was undertaken which targeted several key areas.
Differentiate teaching to meet specific needs of students across the full range of abilities.
Teachers undertook to complete a number of learning opportunities presented in an iTunes U Course and demonstrate differentiated strategies in programming of Curriculum including the use of technology to individualize and differentiate
Technology – Effective integration of iPads and other technology resources within the Curriculum.
Provision of an Apple Certified Educators (via external providers) to provide a structured mentoring program and workshops.
Crucially the school has continued to develop a Culture of Thinking (both amongst teachers and the students) where learning is more purposeful, deeper and more meaningful to students. ‘Thinking’ is an integral part of the learning process. Visible Thinking is tied strongly to our use of technology, Project Based Learning and broader Curriculum Outcomes.

Changing Spaces
The arrival of real mobile technology via the iPad has opened possibilities to change pedagogical practices. The way that classrooms are working is changing too. Escaping from traditional classrooms to more versatile spaces is another great by product of the iPad Program. Entering classrooms it is common to see children on floors, sitting in pairs, in clusters or just moving and doing, as well as working in traditional formations. What is clear is that spaces need to be able to accommodate many ways of learning and collaborating.
We are starting to think about how we can achieve this using existing structures, by adapting furniture, creating movable walls, using glass to open the environment, as well as reviewing timetables and student groupings. The school is engaging in a process to identify and plan, so that our existing and future buildings and spaces can be designed to accommodate for the changing needs of students, teachers, curriculum and the community.

Applying Apps to Learning Tasks – SAMR

The SAMR Model (Dr. Ruben Puentedura) provides a useful scaffold to consider how apps might be used to “Enhance” or “Transform” traditional learning activities.
Ref: Improving the Journey – SAMR
And here also: Transformation SAMR and Redefinition
The first set of activities explores applying apps to “Enhance” learning. In the SAMR Model this refers to using technology to Substitute or Augment learning with technology. Here I am using a few activities in which students are responding to the Novel “Danny the Champion of the World” by Roald Dahl.

The second example set looks at the same activities again to consider how apps could be used to “Transform” learning i.e. Modify or Redefine the tasks (Re: SAMR Model).



Please note: The app Viz (Visualise) no longer works correctly – instead suggest using Pic Collage.

Change for the Better – 1:1 iPad Program

There is no question that our 1:1 iPad Program is making a significant difference to the learning experiences occurring in our classrooms.
Change is everywhere. It is change enabled by simplicity. iPads are brilliantly simple and are at the same time powerful. This has made technology accessible to both students and teachers.

One of the biggest shifts in our school has been the shift by teachers. This has happened rapidly. It has been a shift that we have hoped to achieve for a long time. We have evolved like many schools through desktops, laptops and interactive boards, but the iPad has impacted most significantly.
Confidence: iPads have taken away the fear factor. Teachers who have lacked confidence in using other technologies seem empowered. Many had iPhones so the jump to iPad was easy. The best thing is that they are starting to take risks. Challenging themselves to do things differently. Here I must observe iPads aren’t perfect while they are simple there is considerable complexity. Issues around interaction between apps and sharing of data / information can add obstacles and difficulty. All apps are different and involve a learning curve,
Teacher Development: Further, this impetus has added power to our drive toward technology in our Professional Development Program – we are able to see a much bigger “bang for our buck”. We have an excellent external professional development provider with strong experiences of iPad programs to draw on. This is crucial to enabling the school to push confidently into new territory.
Mentoring: The other driving force is that we have a technically strong and influential younger cohort of teachers. They are happy to provide support to less technically capable teachers. This is such a healthy thing in developing a learning culture amongst teachers. Young teachers can and should be active in the discussion. They have the skills and vision which can help to drive the change that is needed.


Technical Support and Enablement
Provision of a Technology Coordinator: In our own experience having a teacher continuously available to assist, advise, arrange, support, respond has made the effective roll out possible. The role encompasses management of the technical and pedagogical aspects of the 1:1 iPad program.
External Support: Additional backup support / advice is provided via a two external resources. Apple is also supportive providing an Educational Consultant, expert help and Apple Stores. These support services are also essential enablers. The easy support from the Apple store is invaluable. If a device doesn’t work it is swapped without fuss. Here, I must add, that failure of iPads has been very rare. They have been extremely reliable and robust.

In the Classrooms – The Students
Management: it is really important to establish a code of conduct / behaviour around student use of iPads. In our school we produced a contract which outlined clearly student responsibilities and behaviours. Both students and parents were required to read and sign. In our circumstance the school owns the iPads so we have full control. In a BYOD type roll out this could also be managed, but the ownership by students / families adds a different dimension.
Engagement: This is the most obvious by product of iPads in classrooms. As soon as iPads are in the students hands they are involved and engaged. This is a brilliant aspect and I am constantly impressed by students intuitive use of devices. They are excited to participate and eager to produce, to express, to explore, to create. There can be a flip side, teachers need to be clear about when students should engage with iPads.
Powerful Transformative Learning: Ideas around Workflow, SAMR and TPCK can become a reality in a 1:1 iPad program. I am certainly seeing a host of different apps in play across classrooms. We have not attempted to be proscriptive. Allowing freedom of choice amongst teachers has opened possibilities and teachers are also offering students options which expand the learning opportunities and differentiate. We invested heavily in apps once VPP became available. We tried to tailor apps to class needs, however certain apps became staple across most grades e.g. All the Apple apps iMovie, Pages, Keynote, Numbers etc, also Book Creator, Creative Book Builder, Edmodo, Explain Everything, Puppet Pals, Visualise etc. While we purchased other subject specific apps these were seen as key open ended enablers.
The capability of delivering content quickly through iTunes U, Edmodo, Showbie etc is enabling possibilities and brings into play ideas like flipping learning. Seeing teachers emerging to use class blogs or arranging Skype links with classes in other countries and bringing experts virtually into the classroom are possible and are happening.
When I visit classrooms I see all spectrums of the SAMR Model in action in classrooms. I see movies being made to record learning, I see mind maps being formed, I see students highlighting and summarising, writing, creating ebooks and posters. The possibilities seem endless. It is exciting to see such great moments involving innovation, interaction and collaboration, great moments of engaged deep learning.
Learning Spaces: The way that classrooms are working is changing. Escaping from traditional classrooms to more versatile spaces is another great byproduct of the iPad Program. Students are moving more actively, grouping, sitting, playing, interacting, recording. Traditional classrooms just don’t cut it. I often enter classrooms to see children on floors or sitting in pairs or clusters or just moving and doing and sometimes, too, I see students in traditional formations. What is clear is that spaces need to be able to accommodate anything. We are starting to think about how we can achieve this using existing structures, by adapting furniture, creating movable walls, using glass to open the environment.
Curriculum: The new National Curriculum (Australia) also carries demands regarding technology and as we start to engage with this we are programming to integrate technology like never before. The other sense that I have is that iPads while being powerful enablers will be a part of a tool kit of technology. The students will need to be fluid in their use of technology. We need to be able to provide tools for coding, data, gaming which the iPad my not be able to fulfil completely. We will need to provide students with many opportunities, choices and experiences to enable them.
Here are a couple of short pieces of video of students in action they highlight the collaborative nature of some work and the way space is being used as a result.


One of the great assets which schools sometimes underutilizes are parents. Parents can be powerful allies. In our own situation the school is owned by the parent community so their buy in to initiatives is crucial. Part of our development program re technology is targeted at parents via hands on workshops. We are also trying to tap in and leverage experience and expertise of the parent body to help to recognise possibilities and help to drive change. These are smart people with life and business experience. Their vision has helped to shape the iPad program and will help to evolve the vision going forward.

With many possibilities on the horizon e.g. Google Glass and other device innovations, virtual environments and changing pedagogy the school of today needs to be adaptive and fluid. We can’t rely on old ideas because they will let the students and their families down. We are definitely aspiring to be, and need to be, a school of tomorrow.

Transformation SAMR and Redefinition

It is interesting to consider how apps might be used to satisfy the various transitions in the SAMR Model. This is a work in progress and this reflects my understanding of the model. I am starting by looking at Redefinition. When I attended Dr. Puentedura’s sessions, at a recent conference, he described work where all four transitions were being involved in the completion of learning tasks. In the suggestions here, for example, when a word processor is used in Book Creator or Evernote this would really just be “Substitution” and yet it forms part of the “Transformed” / “Redefined” product which is the desired outcome. We can strive towards “Redefined” products, but not all work needs to be at that level and often doesn’t need to be. Sometimes a “Substitution” e.g. Watching a video in preparation for a flipped lesson can offer a rich learning experience or using an app such as “Side by Side” to help research a topic can improve the effectiveness of the process.
Additionally, I recently saw a wheel which attempted to combine Blooms Taxonomy with SAMR and with apps. This is useful, but needs to be viewed in the context of how the app is used e.g. Explain Everything (app) can be used as a simple whiteboard to record notes or at a more sophisticated level as an annotation or screen casting tool. How the app is employed is important to consider when viewing in the context of either Blooms or SAMR.



Below I consider how apps might fulfil the Modification Transition in the SAMR Model.

Below are the groups of apps used by Dr. Puentedura in presentations at a recent conference. He used an app for each transition to create a learning sequence.

Sequence 1:
iPhoto – substitution
Timeline 3D -augmentation
Quick Graph – modification
Interior Design for iPad – redefinition
Sequence 2:
iBooks – substitution
Timelines Eons – augmentation
iThoughtsHD – modification
iMovie – redefinition
Sequence 3:
Khan Academy – substitution
Coach’s Eye – augmentation
Algodoo – modification
Comic Life – redefinition
Sequence 4:
Google Earth – substitution
My Maps Editor – augmentation
JMF Graph Builder – modification
Safari website – redefinition
Sequence 5:
iTunes U, video discussion – substitution
Word Collage – augmentation
eClicker Presenter – modification
iMovie – redefinition
Sequence 6:
iTunes text book, Life on Earth – substitution
Peterson Birds of North America – augmentation
Numbers (graphing data) – modification
iMovie – redefinition

Links to Dr. Puentedura’s presentations
Paths to Technology Integration: keynote presentation
SAMR: Moving from Enhancement to Transformation” workshop:

Below is a workflow from a previous post which I think adds to the discussion. In this workflow a number of different apps are used to create a learning experience which encompasses different stages of the SAMR Model and would meet the criteria to provide a “Transformative” experience.

More about the SAMR Mode on this blog:
Improving the Journey – SAMR

Revisiting SAMR with Dr. Ruben Puentedura

Transformation Example 1: This short video was created by a Year One student using an iPad. He sourced pictures and used iMovie to create a narrative around the pictures on the topic Shelters.

Example 2: Here a student is working in the Book Creator app in conjunction with Visualize app to create a product (creating a workflow).

Big Ticket Items – AIS and Edutech Conferences

Edutech and the AIS ICT Managers and Leadership Conferences

I have attended two excellent conferences The AIS ICT Managers and Leadership Conference and the Edutech National Congress (K – 12 Education Leaders).
The first conference run by the Association of Independent Schools. Speakers included NBN Co CEO Mike Quigley, Jeff Mao (iLearning Technology Policy Director for the State of Maine Department of Education), Dr. Ruben Puentedura (the Founder and President of Hippasus).
At the Edutech Conference (probably the largest conference for educational and technology leaders in Australia with around 3600 delegates) the list of speakers included many International and National heavy weights Sir Ken Robinson, Daniel Pink, Salman Khan, Dr Gary Stager, Alan November, Stephen Heppell, Suan Yeo, Dr Margaret Lloyd, Ewan Mcintosh and Stephen Harris to name just a few.

There were also a host of vendors displaying “state of the art” wares in the respective exhibition halls and of course the delegates themselves sharing their experiences, challenges and achievements.

My summary is based on speakers, vendors, discussions and interactions with other delegates during the course of both conferences.
I acknowledge and thank Edna Sackson @whatedsaid, Michael Eggenhuizen, C Coffa and Lauren Batty, back channel tweeters, delegates and speakers. I have in places borrowed from their recordings and observations.

What to expect at Edutech

One of the other Delegates wrote this insightful comment after the Edutech Conference.
“The day after I returned, I was asked by my 84 year old dad (non-teaching background), ‘What was it all about?’. Well, it was called EduTECH, so it was about Educational technology, but not really, it was more about how we have to change our schools and teaching because of technology.” (June 6, 2013 by ccoffa)

“I know we have been hearing ‘No sage on the stage’ for a long time but it is getting louder and louder and more important. Technology is not replacing us, but it should be making us change our tack on our craft.
Flexibility seems to be one of the most important features of both schools and the teachers working in them. Flexible access to devices, flexible working spaces, flexible timetables, flexible lesson structures, flexible mindsets amongst administrators, teachers and students.”(June 6, 2013 by ccoffa)

For me the richness of the tapestry was particularly enriched by the sessions (AIS Conference) that I spent with Dr. Puentedura who presented compelling ideas around pedagogy (SAMR, TPCK) and the future direction of technological innovation via The Horizon Report.

The Horizon Report – via Dr. Ruben Puentedura
Each year, the Horizon Report identifies a set of key technologies for education over the upcoming short, medium, and long term. The full value of the report is realized when it is employed to recognize longer term trends, using categories that emerge from analyzing the report. He also looked at how to make use of the report in this extended fashion, and also see how implementing Delphi-type processes analogous to those used to create the report can provide benefits to schools.

2013 K12 Horizon Report: Key Trends
• Education paradigms are shifting to include online learning, hybrid learning and collaborative models.
• Social media is changing the way people interact, present ideas and information, and communicate.
• Openness — concepts like open content, open data, and open resources, along with notions of transparency and easy access to data and information — is becoming a value.
• As the cost of technology drops and school districts revise and open up their access policies, it is becoming more common for students to bring their own mobile devices.
The abundance of resources and relationships made easily accessible via the Internet is challenging us to revisit our roles as educators.

2013 K12 Horizon Report: Significant Challenges
• Ongoing professional development needs to be valued and integrated into the culture of the schools.
• Too often it is education’s own processes and practices that limit broader uptake of new technologies.
• New models of education are bringing unprecedented competition to the traditional models of education.
• K-12 must address the increased blending of formal and informal learning.
• The demand for personalized learning is not adequately supported by current technology or practices.
We are not using digital media for formative assessment the way we could and should.

Mega Trends from Horizon Report
In the presentation Dr. Puentedura presented a summary of data going back over a number of years. While there are differences in trends between years some trends are dominant. In the diagram below dominant or “metatrends” are identified.

It is also interesting to see trends identified for the tertiary sector over the next five years. There are some obvious differences. I would suggest that some trends identified are closer than indicated e.g. Wearable Technology is almost upon us and may well be adopted quickly by younger students. Looking at this data may also provide insights for K – 12 also.


The Horizon report is available in full

Putting the Horizon Report to Work: workshop

Jeff Mao gave the opening keynote presentation titled ‘Managing Change in an Uncertain World’. Jeff Mao is the Learning Technology Policy Director for the State of Maine – Department of Education. Jeff gave the keynote presentation at the 2010 Conference – in 2010, he mentioned that the State of Maine 1:1 laptop program (70,000 laptops) used Apple MacBook computers and that Apple had won all bids/tenders since 2002. In a recent change to this policy, Jeff indicated that the State of Maine is moving from single-vendor to multi-vendor technology platforms and form. The vendors chosen include Hewlett Packard (laptop & tablet using Windows), Apple (MacBook & iPad using MacOSX & iOS) and CTL (desktops using Windows). Other points made in Jeff’s presentation include:
• Move to multi-state collaboration in relation to technology and teaching and learning – previously Maine was on its own.
• Maine’s use of TPACK & SAMR models of pedagogy / learning
• Maine’s use Open Educational Resources (OER) – digital content with educational value but is open and free (e.g. OER Commons)
• The use of Big Data – ParaData (e.g. Learning Registry) to help search, provide & access the right educational resources – iTunes
• Search Engines for Learning (e.g. Goorulearning & OpenTapestry) • APPS – Adult Paradigm Paralysis Syndrome – often adults restrict learning by being stuck in their ways! Teachers should let the kids lead; embrace change; leverage it and be agile!

There is a strong trend towards BYOD. This is being advocated for a couple of reasons.
Many students have mobile technology which they are proficient in using
It opens the possibilities for creative application over a variety of devices and platforms
It is cheaper for schools – shifts the costs etc to students
The Government will no longer be providing devices to students via The Digital Education Revolution
The new National Curriculum demands access to technology across all Key Leaning Areas
Flipped Classroom

Not all schools are electing to take this route
Some schools want to control the environment closely
Some prefer continuity between devices
Some have concerns about equity
Some have greater financial capability
Some simply have 1:1 programs and see no reason for change
Some considered the complexity of managing a variety of devices untenable

I felt though that there wasn’t a preference about devices amongst thought leaders at the conferences and that diversity of device and or platform for use by students might not be a bad thing.

A number of schools at both conferences have benefitted from connection to National Broadband and other schools have forged their own broadband link. Costs associated with bringing fibre or microwave into schools is expensive, both re setup and re annual running costs.

The NBN Co CEO Mike Quigley provided some insight into the roll out of the NBN.
We are of course a bit uncertain about the future of the NBN with a possible change of government looming. The current time frame means that many schools won’t benefit until 2018 or beyond This timeframe isn’t ideal as we see that the demands for Internet are growing rapidly and will continue to grow. Upload demand is growing so remaining on ADSL will become untenable for schools without access to broadband. This will clearly impact the capacity of schools meet the growing demands of devices and Curriculum.

This link provides the current NBN roll out timeline

Curriculum and Pedagogy
With regard to Curriculum Dr Margaret Lloyd gave insight into the draft Curriculum on Design and Technologies. She emphasised the importance of technology both as a General Capability and as a Key Learning Area. The Curriculum is expected to be published at the end of the year and will roll out in schools in 2015. She expressed a concern about the risk of sucking the fun out of technology. There is clearly great value in design process, in code, in manipulating data, etc. but a dry Curriculum could demotivate and be counterproductive.
Draft Doc National Curriculum Technologies:

Barry McGaw AO, PhD, Chair, Australian Curriculum,. Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) spoke he suggested that “like schools” needed to be compared so that weaker schools can learn from similar higher performing schools. This seemed reasonable but I wasn’t convinced particularly in light of his own admission about the predictability of testing which clearly means that “teaching to the test” remains endemic for NAPLAN testing. Additionally data we are presented with isn’t transparent and the measures used to compare schools may well be flawed (these are my views not necessarily Barry’s). He did suggest that future testing via NAPLAN may become less predictable.

Dr. Ruben Puentedura gave a presentation on ‘Paths to Technology Integration: SAMR & TPCK in Context’. Ruben spoke about the key elements that he believes are essential to the success of technology in educational projects today. These elements are listed below:
• Mobile technologies are pervasive – what can a student do not only at home and at school but in all locations – moving from traditional learning places to a continuum of learning spaces so that the entire world becomes a place of learning for the student.

Attending other sessions with Dr. Ruben Puentedura provided great depth around he SAMR and TPCK models. Interestingly he argued strongly that schools needed to change there view of technology as merely being a tool. He pointed to the TPCK model where technology, pedagogy and content are regarded as peers. He talked about how the components of technology: social, mobility, visualization, storytelling, and gaming, have been ingrained into our lives from the very beginnings and why they remain crucial elements in the adoption of technology in schools.
He also looked in detail at various examples around the SAMR Model.
Take pics (record)
Replace text with digital form
Watch a video
Use 3D timeline and hyperlink images on the line
Create a timeline, but use other layers to provide context.
Predict observe explain – watch a video – share observations with others via a blog e.g.
Animate the pic or video
Choose a work that you connect with e.g. graphing art work, create a 3D model of the art
Debate the topic using a digital connection with others
Choose an area of interest and construct your own model, predict
Create a virtual space with elements which reflects an understanding of the art work
Present evidence and understanding of a topic to a specific audience e.g. via video
Share in a comic / or other format annotating and explaining results
I was impressed with Ruben’s eagerness to share. As he spoke he provided examples and evidence support his work. He was a compelling speaker simply by virtue of his deep knowledge of his subject.
SAMR: Moving from Enhancement to Transformation” workshop:

Paths to Technology Integration: keynote presentation

Daniel Pink – What the Science of Motivation Can Teach Us About High Performance
Give the world something they don’t know they are missing. Artists do this all the time.
Constraints reduce creativity
Non commissioned work is the breakthrough work.
Money is a motivator, but fairness is crucial. Take the issue of money off the table. Pay enough so that it isn’t an issue.
Reward system works fine for simple and easy tasks but not for complex or long term goals
Self direction is the motivator / engagement
Engagement – high standards and autonomy
Making progress – reliant on feedback set own goals and analyse own performance
Purpose – if people know why they do it better
Students need to own their learning
Allow students to master before moving on

The Star of the Sea Primary School
The schools approach was influenced by Ewan Mcintosh a speaker at the Edutech Conference and an advocate for inspiring purpose and self motivation in students. He argues Problem solvers – we need problem finders.
The 6 BIG pillars of learning – Ewan Mcintosh
Challenge – learners need to feel challenged. Failing is part of learning.
Choice – learners need to have a choice.
Collaborative – schools need to allow learners time to collaborate on things. They need to be able to talk through their ideas, gain feedback, problem solve with others and share their learning.
Respect – learners need respect for their ideas and for their learning. Teachers should respect for the things students do.
Responsibility – let learners be responsible for their learning.
Real Life – learning needs to be real. Learners need to know why and how it can make a difference to their life or the lives of others.
The example provided by Star of the Sea was of deep immersive well supported discovery learning. They were using Design Thinking as a basis for this process and melded with the ideas of Ewan Mcintosh.
The Design Thinking Process:
Gary’s Stager’s message was let’s get kids creating. He spoke about the increase of Maker Fairs where people come together to make and create things. Adults work along side kids to create all sorts of things. Kids are allowed to be creative. Gary questioned if teachers are allowing this to happen in their classes. He said we need to get back to what use to happen in schools before we became driven by standards and questioned us to ask ourselves ‘How can I make the next 7 hours the best in this kids life’. Students never remember a spelling lesson but they will remember great projects that they have owned and felt successful completing.
Projects create memories.

Sal Khan – Provided insight into his own amazing journey.
The big take away re learning was that learning needs to be tiered and self paced. Students need the capability to go back and fill in gaps so that they can progress. Obviously the Khan Academy offers the capability for students to select a learning track and repeat learning experiences over and over before moving on.
This obviously lends itself to the idea of flipping classrooms too.
Students can create their own videos to help embed understanding both for themselves and others.

On learning spaces
I suppose that the changing nature of devices is changing the way classrooms are used, but it is more than this. It is about moving pedagogy so that it reinvents the way that learning is happening. So many of the speakers who spoke about changing space were talking about changing our approach to teaching. Changed spaces are a by-product of different leaning.
Stephen Heppell spoke a lot about learning spaces and the need for students to feel like their learning space is a space they want to be in and is a creative space. Learning spaces should be fun and kids should want to be in them. They should feel an ownership of their space. As usual his range of resources were compelling and inspiring. Lots of ideas from Stephen heppell here

Similarly Stephen Harris,Northern Beaches Christian School spoke with conviction about the transformation of learning spaces and of the learning environment in general. He bombarded us with great images of innovation of learning spaces.
Stephen’s assertion is that schools must embrace a new paradigm and move away from what was once thought of as “school”. This new paradigm is one where learning is personalized and collaborative, technology is adaptive, spaces are radically different to the traditional mindset, and a community built on positive relationships is at the core. Teaching and learning culture must be informed by global trends towards change in routines, expectations, perceptions, technology and organization structures in the 21st century.

Change management is about shaping learning culture at every level of an organisation.
The learning culture needs to be the subliminal dominant culture within the school, adopted without question and pervading all activity.
Elements to connect:
 Growing staff
 Empowering students
 Growing parents
 Collaborating always
 Questioning everything
 Taking risks
 Creating curriculum
 Developing spaces
 Aligning budgets
 Learning from failure
 Celebrating success
Stephen Harris #edutech presentation in Brisbane

Sir Ken Robinson
Sir Ken spoke about the purpose of education being economic, cultural, social and personal.
Economic because through gaining an education people are able to gain economic independence and as Ken said ‘we all want our children to be economically independent!’
Cultural because we need a board curriculum that gives weight to all areas.
Social because we need to help students engage with the world around them so that they can be active citizens.
And personal because everyone has their own interests, passions, life, etc.
However, he believes that we need to make education richer. We need to allow creativity to be a part of all students lives. Business is calling for creative people. People who can come up with new ideas, ask creative questions and build new things.
He is always entertaining and insightful.

Some key recurring messages from Edutech
1. Ownership
Enable choice. Foster independence. Encourage responsibility.
2. Collaboration
Learn together. Grow ideas. Build community.
3. Creativity
Experiment Play. Make something.
4. Problem solving/finding
Think differently. Find solutions. Seek new problems.
5. Curiosity
Ask questions. Notice. Wonder.
6. Diversity
One size does not fit all. Differentiate. Personalise learning.
7. Flexibility
Rethink school. Create new spaces. Unlearn.
8. Relevance
Make it real. Solve real life problems. Create for an authentic audience.
9. Connection
Build a PLN. Flatten classroom walls. Participate.
(Ref: My apologies for not acknowledging the work of Edna Sackson @whatedsaid – I had omitted her from my acknowledgements )

Once again I acknowledge and thank Edna Sackson @whatedsaid, Michael Eggenhuizen, C Coffa and Lauren Batty, back channel tweeters, delegates and speakers. I have in places borrowed from their recordings and observations. My intention here is simply to report observations from the conference. I in no way claim ownership of ideas, thoughts or content.

Revisiting SAMR with Dr. Ruben Puentedura

Recently I attended a conference where I was fortunate enough to learn from Dr. Ruben Puentedura.

Ruben originated the SAMR model which I have posted about on this blog before.
Improving the Journey – SAMR

This links to a newer post where I considers how apps could be used in Transformation / Redefinition.

Dr Puentedura provided great depth around the SAMR and TPCK models. I found his presentation compelling, detailed and well supported. Interestingly he argued strongly that schools needed to change their view of technology as merely being a tool. He pointed to the TPCK model where technology, pedagogy and content are regarded as peers. He talked about how the components of technology: social, mobility, visualization, storytelling, and gaming, have been ingrained into our lives from the very beginnings and why they remain crucial elements in the adoption of technology in schools.

Ruben also looked in detail at various examples around the SAMR Model.

*Take pics (record)
*Replace text with digital form
*Watch a video

*Use 3D timeline and hyperlink images on the line
*Create a timeline, but use other layers to provide context.
*Predict observe explain – watch a video – share observations with others via a blog e.g.
Animate the pic or video

*Choose a work that you connect with e.g. graphing art work, create a 3D model of the art
*Debate the topic using a digital connection with others
*Choose an area of interest and construct your own model, predict

*Create a virtual space with elements which reflect an understanding of the art work
*Present evidence and understanding of a topic to a specific audience e.g. via video
*Share in a comic / or other format annotating and explaining results

Below are links to Ruben’s presentation notes. The presentations show some great examples of SAMR in use in various subjects and are definitely worth a look.

Paths to Technology Integration: keynote presentation
SAMR: Moving from Enhancement to Transformation” workshop:

U and i Journeying Together


Note: since publishing iTunes U has been updated and functionality has improved The iTunes U course catalogue is also worth exploring for great content.

One of the amazing things about the iPad in the school setting has been the sudden range of possibilities that have been opened up. One of these, which has great possibilities in the classroom, is iTunes U.

iTunes U is a way for teachers to create courses with a variety of content and resources. All of which can be delivered instantly to an any iPad after simply entering the required course code. The workspace is simple for teachers to work in. There isn’t a huge amount for teachers to grasp in order to start a course. The only prerequisites are a Mac or PC running Safari. On a PC this can easily be downloaded on the Web. Students will need to have the iTunes U app on their device (free to download). Tunes U courses can only be accessed on iPad, iPhone and iPad Touch devices.

Once students are enrolled they can access all of the resources that the teacher has provided. The teacher can add resources easily and students will automatically receive the resources in their iTunes U course. Students can open resources and move them easily into other applications so that they can be worked on.
The iTunes U workspace is also easily navigated and students can even keep notes on topics right there in the course.

A number of my colleagues are starting to create courses for their classes and realising that a paperless classroom is becoming a real possibility.

With iTunes U it is also possible to access free courses designed by other educators. All content in the public course area is fully checked by Apple before being made available. This of course means that students can learn independently on topics which are of interest to them.

Definitely worth a look.

One of the limitations of iTunes U is that the course remains locked to the creators iTunes account. This means that the course can’t be duplicated and adapted by another educator. This may also have implications if a school wants to own the course created and continue to use it even when a teacher has moved on.
It may be wise to produce class or school iTunes accounts if the school wants to retain ownership of courses created. This also would make it easier for more than one educator to access the school course account and edit a course.

Duplicating Courses
iTunes U courses are limited to 50 students. If there are more requiring access then the course can be duplicated to accommodate more students. This duplication could also be useful if a teacher wanted to differentiate aspects of the course for different students.

Below: This is an example of a Professional Development course which a colleague has recently produced using iTunes U.


Improving the Journey – SAMR

Our journey into iPads has brought with it increasing demands on us as educators to make a difference. We suddenly have really accessible and powerful options available. The SAMR Model (via Dr Dr. Ruben Puentedura) offers a useful scaffold. I have been exploring this model and have tried to simplify the process. This is a work in progress.

Transformation SAMR and Redefinition – this links to a new post where I look at how apps could be used in the “Redefinition” stage.

Applying Apps to Learning Tasks – SAMR – this links to a new post where I look at how apps could be used to transform some traditional learning tasks.




I attended a conference and a couple of seminars with Ruben. These are a few notes and links.
Revisiting SAMR with Dr. Ruben Puentedura | Learning Journey