Teaching in a Digital World-Deanne Drayton

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Digital Information

digital info

Image source: http://itknowledgeexchange.techtarget.com/quality-assurance/how-private-is-your-digital-life-data-security/

This week’s topic covered learning in a digital world; where our information comes from and the different types of information that we can find on the World Wide Web. Information can come from all over the world and the internet has allowed this connectivity; people have a voice like never before. A lot of the information we find on the internet does not always come from credible sources and it is our job as teachers to be able to research and filter this information for our students.

We now have access to information and news immediately as it comes to hand; no more waiting for the 6pm television news program or the newspaper the next day. Social media, such as twitter, Facebook, blogs and the like offer a platform for everyone to have a voice, however, some of the opinions expressed come from well sourced educated material where as others are simply passionate opinions of an individual.

Choosing good sources means paying attention to who wrote the information, why and how they wrote it (The University if Adelaide, 2014).


Image source: https://21cif.com/resources/difcore/

PANDORA-Preserving and Accessing Networked Documentary Resources of Australia http://pandora.nla.gov.au/, is a free information system that is an Australian web archive housing a collection of Australian online Publications which was established in 1995 by the National Library of Australia (National Library of Australia, 1995). After taking a look at what PANDORA has to offer which I didn’t know it existed before this subject, I will be using it in the future to search for credible information

When I am looking for information on the internet, this is dependent on what I am using the information for, if I am putting together an assignment for example, I would look at the references or sources used by a particular article or blog and link back to that source and read and use that information. Wikipedia can be used for background information, however, I always look at the source and go back to that to gather the correct information for my assignment. When looking for credible information there are certain websites that will always be credible, such as government and department of education websites. The take home message for me is to be aware of where the information is coming from and to make sure the source is credible.

We looked at Pinterest and how useful it can be sourcing information. I created a Pinterest board looking at the different types of digital information we encounter. A pin I found particular interesting was 16 ways educators use Pinterest, I shall apply this to my Pinterest account. One thing I have discovered creating my Pinterest board is all the interesting information, tips and how to on Pinterest. I already have a Pinterest account but I wasn’t fully aware of how useful it could be; after this exercise I think I will use Pinterest more often. Pinterest is something that could be introduced to older primary school children and they can learn to make boards to pin information of interest, which then directs them to the source of that information.

This link will take you to my Pinterest board on Digital Information Follow Dee’s board Digital Information on Pinterest.



National Library of Australia, (1995).  Australia’s Web Archive : About Pandora. Retrieved 23 September 2014, from http://pandora.nla.gov.au/about.html.

The University of Adelaide, (2014). Source Credibility. Retrieved 23 September 2014, from http://www.adelaide.edu.au/writingcentre/learning_guides/learningGuide_sourceCredibility.pdf.




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The Digital Divide


Image Source: digitalart / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This week we looked at the digital divide, the gap between the haves and the have nots of digital technology. With so much global poverty I was not surprised to learn there was a huge gap when it comes to digital technologies. Sadly in Australia we too face a digital divide, many people think we are immune to this, but we are not. As a Youth Services Coordinator and running a youth center in a low socio-economic area, I saw this divide first hand. Lower socio-economic households do not have the same access to technologies as their middle and upper socio-economic counterparts (Howell, 2009). This is where schools come in and work to bridge this divide to make it smaller and equip all children with the skills to compete in life outside of school

I read a report into bridging the Digital Divide; Creating opportunities for marginalized young people to get together by VicHealth. The study was conducted over a 3 year period, exploring young people’s use of ICT and its potential use in mental health prevention and promotion initiatives. The review found young people are using technology in a variety of settings, however, due to marginalization young people were economically vulnerable to the cost of using technology and that service providers require more training and education to equip themselves with the skills to engage young people from marginalized communities in the use of ICT ( Blanchard et al., 2007). Perhaps that is what we need to do in Australia in particular is upskill our service providers and teachers to give them the skills to teach young people from these marginalized communities so that these young people can participate effectively in the digital world which starts with may even start in kindergarten to prepare our students for a bright digital future.

This week I created an infographic on the digital divide. Firstly what I needed to know to create the infographic was information about the digital divide and some statistics I could work with before I began to put the infographic together. The video we were given to watch for topic four, TEDxSanMigueldeAllende – Aleph Molinari – Bridging the Digital Divide, I found very informative this is where the majority of my information came from. While I am that almost 45 year old mother being referred to as part of the digital divide, I have been lucky enough to have continued studying and learning new skills when it comes to digital technology. I am aware though others are not as lucky, I have a friend who is 36 and she continually comes to me asking for help when it comes to technology and I don’t believe I am even close to being fluent in digital technology.

Once I had taken my information I then planned my infographic, I wanted the graph to be visually appealing, informative yet not containing a lot of words. This required careful planning; I wanted my infographic to flow into each section. Wordle (www.wordle.net/) was used to create a mash up of words from words I took to mean digital divide. Below is the Wordle I produced. If you click on the Wordle you will be directed to the original source.
Wordle: Untitled

I used Microsoft PowerPoint to create a pie chart to present the statistics, I inserted images I chose to represent the digital divide; different fonts and colours were used to create the information, I took all of this and created my infographic in Piktochart. I didn’t know Piktochart existed until now and it was so much fun to use, I can see children in a classroom using this and enjoying what they produce and it didn’t require a lot of skill either. I feel from grade 2 up in primary school would be very capable of using Piktochart. Large amounts of creativity could go into producing an infograph, students would be able to express themselves easily and in a fun way. I am hoping that my 8 year old daughter has a project coming up where I can introduce her to Pictochart and show her how to use it for her school work.
Infograph entry 2

The other infographics viewed on the discussion board varied either visually or with the information other students have captured. I particularly like Tehillah Newcombe’s, and how she represented the statistics of the digital divide on which I thought were African huts and a city, it was very different and very visually appealing.

I was happy with the feedback I received on my infographic; I was trying to achieve everything that Amanda said my infographic was like. I aimed for structured, clear and concise, I wanted it to be brief yet contain a lot of information with images and little wording; I think I achieved that.


Blanchard, M. Metcalf, A. & Burns, J. (2007) Bridging the Digital Divide: Creating opportunities for marginalized young people to get connected. VicHealth. Retrieved 29 September 2014, from http://www.vichealth.vic.gov.au/~/media/ProgramsandProjects/Publications/Attachments/BridgingDigitalDivideReport2007.ashx.

Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT: Digital Pedagogies for Collaboration and Creativity. Oxford University Press, South Melbourne, Victoria.

References for infograph:

Molinari, A. (2001, October 6). Bridging the Digital Divide. Retrieved 29 September 2014, from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kaxCRnZ_CLg

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Digital Security

This week we investigated digital security and what we can do to keep ourselves safe online. We do just about everything online these days, such as, sending emails, database searching, surfing the World Wide Web, shopping the list goes on. It is important as teachers to give our students and understanding of how they should be safe online.

I investigated: School cyber bullying growing: report details self-harm, bomb recipes, by Bruce McDougall, The Daily Telegraph.
Cyber bullying is increasing in Australian schools; threats, abuse and harassment sent online anonymously. 10% of incidents reported each week in Government schools involve cyber bullying, sexting or misuse of the internet (McDougall, 2009)
The NSW Department of Education reports have shown one incident where a victim of cyber-bullying tried to cut herself in the school toilet and a boy from northern Sydney used his school laptop to research information about bomb making (McDougall, 2009).
Teachers are not out of the firing line either, they also receive hate comments on social media and it has been reported that some parents engage in cyber bullying of other parents and even children.
Other reports have also shown “sexting” and recording and posting school yard fights are also on the increase.
Education bosses feel cyber-bulling has become such a problem that they have briefed schools on the dangers and pitfalls at the beginning of this year. Due to this briefing, schools are now implementing long lists of rules for the use of electronic devices and the internet during class and some have banned mobile phones.
Schools are failing to provide guidelines and discipline in the use of digital devices and social media.
Back in the good old days when I was at school, we were bullied but when we left school it stopped, we were able to switch off, unfortunately these days bullying take on a whole new form and students can be harassed at school and at home, and often cyberbullying takes on a whole new level as the bullies can hide behind technology, it can be far more vindictive and personal than face to face.
I put together this list on how to avoid cyberbullying:
Don’t post personal information.
Don’t respond to and angry message with anger.
Only give your mobile phone number to friends you can trust.
On social media:
– Have your profile set to private so only your friends can see it
– Don’t just friend everyone, screen your friends make sure you do know them
– You can nominate who sends a friend request eg. Everyone or friends of friends
– Block the bully
– Report the bully
Google yourself if any personal information or photos come up which may be used by cyber bullies to target you, take action to have them removed.
Logout of online accounts.
Keep photos tasteful.

Image source:https://www.flickr.com/photos/ciberacoso/4605748281/

Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ciberacoso/4605748281/

This week I found our reading interesting where we had to investigate some of the new digital trends. One of the articles that stood out to me was the article on MindRDR-controlling Google Glass with your mind. MindRDR uses software to connect Glass with an EEG biosensor headband; this allows the user to control the glasses with their mind.

The idea is to be able to take a photograph simply by thinking about it. This technology has major implications once perfected, especially for people who do not have the use of their hands; it has already begun to change people’s lives and it is only in the early stages of development. Looking towards the future once the device becomes more mature, compact and affordable this can change the way we interact with all kinds of devices.

How might this technology be beneficial in a classroom. Students how do not have the use of hands or their arms would be of benefit, it could also be useful for the visually impaired although further investigation how this may work is required.

mindrdr-008-970x0                Image source: http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/mindrdr-controlling-google-glass-with-your-mind/

I also read an interesting article by Mary Ann Bell (2009); she suggests we should have more access as educators to the internet and in turn so should our students at school. Bell (2009) puts forward ‘ that in order to teach our children about good and bad sites we need to be able to have access these sites; less filtering’.

Bell (2009) explains; students are not being taught how to be safe and smart searchers. Students are not receiving any instruction about how to size up a site to determine if it is authoritive, unbiased, and appropriate for their use. I am inclined to agree with her; it is interesting as we are bombarded with information on keeping our children safe on the internet by limiting their access and using nanny software or child locks on our computers or internet that allows limited access; schools especially do this.

Thinking about this article by Mary, I feel she is right; how can we tell our kids to be safe when they have no idea about what we are keeping them safe from? We tell our children about staying away from snakes, or if you see one stay completely still, we educate our children. We give them knowledge and tools to help them stay safe around snakes, we don’t lock our children up and say no you cannot go outside, we even take them to zoos to see snakes so they exactly what they look like: we need to give our children knowledge and tools to stay safe on the internet and this might just be exposing them to more of what can be dangerous. It could be good as a classroom activity to simulate cyberbullying perhaps even allow the students to be exposed to it in a controlled manner, then they know what they are dealing with


Hinduja, S. and Patchin, J. (2012). Cyberbulling Prevention and Response. Taylor and Francis Group, New York.

Marbella Family Fun. How to avoid cyberbullying. Retrieved 17 September 2014, from http://www.marbellafamilyfun.com/avoid-cyberbullying.html.

McDougall, B. (2014). School cyber bullying growing: report details self-harm, bomb recipes. The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 17 September 2014, from http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/school-cyber-bullying-growing-report-details-selfharm-bomb-recipes/story-fni0cx12-1226837704606.

Top Ten Tips for Teens. Retrieved 17 September 2014, from http://www.cyberbullying.us/Top_Ten_Tips_Teens_Response.pdf.

stay safe