Reflective Synopsis 1

Reflective Synopsis

Prior to commencing this course, my mindset was that i had fully explored the amazing technology of a computer and the World Wide Web. Throughout the past six weeks my eyes have been opened up to a whole new digital language that i did not know existed, and i must say it is a journey that am now completely immersed in. The heavy accent of my digital immigrant persona is beginning to fade and i am slowly adapting to this new and exciting digital landscape (Jukes & Dosaj, 2006). The following synopsis will deliver an outline of the technologies and collaborative conversations i have participated in and provide theories as to why i believe they will enhance student learning and make my teaching more efficient.
Throughout the journey of creating this blog, the principles of Kearsley and Schneidermans (1999) 'engagement theory' have been adhered to. These essential components of relate-create-donate are a framework that allows learning managers to construct learning experiences that are creative, meaningful and authentic and will foster to the needs of the digital age student.

Prensky (2001) suggests that today's students think and process information fundamentally different from their predecessors. I believe that in order to prepare these students for life long learning and to become change agents in this digital world, it is essential for learning managers to build upon their own confidence and skills and join them with a 'native' perspective.

I have explored an extensive assortment of pedagogical tools that are beneficial in any learning environment, be it in a classroom or from a distance education site. I can foresee that during my future career there will be a time and a place for most of these tools to be included into the curriculum. However, i would like to refer you to a selection that i believe, with further exploration, can provide me with opportunity to create learning experiences that will engage our digital students and help to prepare them for the world beyond school and into the future.

Flickr and Picnik have both provided me with an array of ideas, that i can use to adapt and apply to lessons both in and out of the classroom, that will facilitate technology in a way that engages students. In alignment with Kearsley and Schneiderman's (1999) engagement theory, Voki Avatars will encourage and foster the creativity and communication skills that are needed to nourish this student engagement in the classroom.

YouTube and TeacherTube are a bank of information and knowledge for learning managers to use in the learning environment. I have had concerns regarding the appropriateness and safety of some of the content on YouTube; however, by utilizing programs such as KeepVid these implications are reduced. Felder and Spurlin (2005) suggest that some students prefer to work with concrete information, some with abstractions, some with visual presentation and some from verbal explanations. VoiceThread offers the opportunity to allow learning managers to cater for the needs of each of these students to enhance student strengths and collaborative learning. Digital Storytelling has also inspired my creative thoughts and extended my creative thinking during my e-Learning journey.

Frameworks such as the Productive Pedagogies (New Basics Program, 2004) enable learning managers to critically reflect on their work, and design curriculum and learning experiences that allow students to demonstrate a deep understanding of the concept. The use of a 'true' WebQuest can cater for these needs while encouraging students to use higher order thinking to answer a relevant and realistic real life problem. My knowledge of PowerPoint and its many practicalities and possibilities have been strengthened during this course. Although i was already an avid PowerPoint fan i now have an extensive repertoire of tools to use within the program, that i had not yet investigated.

Up until just a few weeks ago i was completely naive to the world of Blogs and Wikis. Smith,Lynch & Knight (2007) suggest that digital technologies such as these can be developed to share ideas, co-develop thoughts or plans, or discuss or debate pertinent topics. Brady (2006) highlights that collaborative learning involves learners learning through interaction with other learners in the atmosphere of a caring, collaborative dialogue in which learners are encourages to inquire, challenge, express feelings and opinions and reflect. Throughout the duration of this course we have been encouraged to exchange ideas and comment on our fellow colleagues blogs. Without doing so, i would not have the knowledge and understanding of many of the topics that i have explored and would not have learnt many of the valuable pedagogical approaches that i can include in my future education career.

Kellie has provided me with a useful and interesting insight as to how to include online quizzes as a form of peer assessment. Nari provided me positive guidance and reassurance through times of frustration and Rhonda reiterated my positive thoughts on why a blog is a beneficial tool to use in the classroom. Wendy allowed me to once again consider the importance of why todays practicing educators should update their skills and knowledge of ICT and Margaret reassured me of my reasons why i feel music is such an important concept to include in daily classroom activity. I must also say thank-you to the many other students who i have collaborated with along the way and that i hope our discussions have lead to some creative, worthwhile and fundamental benefits that we can all incorporate into our learning.

Siemens (2004) implies that new information is being acquired on a day by day basis and that having the ability to draw distinctions between important and unimportant information is vital. What is important, is that ICT is known as the modern digital age students 'oxygen'. Catering for this oxygen led me to a search of new technologies, and when i discovered Googles newest venture 'Google Wave' i was blown away.

Google Wave (2009) is a new online communication and collaborative tool. It is transmitted character by character, directly by line transmission to the person, or people, you are communicating with. It allows users to merge the technologies of email, instant messaging, wiki and social networking to create one unique portal that caters for a vast array of modern day technology. It is this method of ever changing digital technology which will continue to provide a positive role and promote the engagement theory to this new 'twitch speed' generation.

Upon completion of this assignment i am able to reflect on my e-Learning journey to date. There have been many ups and downs along the way, however, the outcomes have provided me with a firm foundation that i look forward to building upon, during the next few months and into the future. This blog will continue to grow, to enable me to use it as a framework that will guide my digital knowledge and allow me to reflect on my current knowledge and understandings of the rapidly expanding 'digital world'.

Until next time,


Brady, L. (2006). Collaborative Learning In Action. Frenchs Forest, NSW, Australia: Pearson Education Australia.

Felder, R., Spurlin, J. 2005. (citing computer references. Retrieved July 30, 2009, from:


Google Wave. (2009). Google Wave Developer Preview at Google I/0 2. Retrieved August 19, 2009, from: http://wave.google.com/

Jukes, I. & Dosaj, A. (2006). Understanding Digital Children (DKs)Teaching & Learning in the New Digital Landscape. The InfoSavvy Group: MediaFire.

Kearsley, G., Shneiderman, B. (1999). Engagement Theory: A framework for technology-based teaching and learning. Retrieved July 18, 2009, from:


Prensky, M., (2001). Digital Natives, Digital Immigrants. Retrieved July 18, 2009, from:http://www.marcprensky.com/writing/Prensky%20-%20Digital%20Natives,%20Digital%20Immigrants%20-%20Part1.pdf

New Basic Program. (2004). Productive Pedagogies. Department of Education, Training and the Arts. Retrieved August 12, 2009, from:


Siemens, G. (2004). Connectivism: A Learning Theory for the Digital Age. Retrieved July 19, 2009, from: http://www.elearnspace.org/Articles/connectivism.html .

Smith, R., Lynch, D. & Knight, B.A. (2007). LearningManagement:Transitioning teachers for national and international change. Frenchs Forest, NSW, Australia: Pearson Education Australia.


  1. Hi Kerri,
    I enjoy reading your blogs, I always find something new. I'm definitely going to be checking out Google wave, with all the different forms of communication in one place would be a great timesaver.
    Thanks for the tip.

  2. Hi Amanda,

    Google Wave is a must see. Honestly, while i was watching i really was blown away by the simplicities of such a communication account. You will love it!

    I do not think it will be released until later in the year, but i cannot wait! Congratulations on your blog, like everyone i am sure you are glad to be done!

    Chat soon,

  3. Hi Kerri,

    This technological journey has been one we have all taken together. There have definately been highs and lows however, it was not until I was writing my own synopsis that it really hit me that our whole journey has been a collaborative one.

    To teach technology effectively, I feel you need to have not just learnt it but lived it first. We have just done that and I think we should all be proud. Now we know first hand the true meaning of collaborative learning.


  4. Hi All,
    Kellie I couldn't agree more and I have certainly learnt as much from my mistakes as I have from my achievements. Kerri you have done a fantastic job with your blog and I have enjoyed following you on your journey. I wanted to let you know that you have been a great support for me along the way and together we have all achieved something that we should be very proud of. I look forward to following your blog in the coming months.
    Take care,