Global Teacher - WEB 3.0 Community and Research Project

Archive for February, 2008

Borrowing Children’s Voices

Posted by Jess on 28th February 2008

As part of the Voices of the World project run by Sharon Tonner in Scotland, we have to complete a different task every month that focuses on using the kids voices. This month I got Grade 2/3 to lend me their voices to say numbers in English and Chinese. Here is the result:

I got all the kids to write a number and decorate it. I then took photos of their fabulous artwork. While they were working, I took my iPod with it’s voice recorder attached around the room and got each student to say a number in English or Chinese. I put it all together in Photostory 3, which is a free download from the internet. I had to adjust the timing of the images so that it matched up with the audio which took a bit of fiddling, but that was all.

To see numbers presentations from other classes around the world, go to the Voices of the World wiki and click on February’s Task.

Posted in Chinese, Global Projects, Jess McCulloch | 3 Comments »

A Fishy Tale (update 2?)

Posted by dregan2 on 28th February 2008

While working with all this technology, I realised that some technology becomes obsolete. Sometimes very quickly. I introduced the idea of an art project using and recycling materials using ‘old’ technology to the year 9/10 studio art class. While brainstorming ideas for the large scale outdoors project one of the students mentioned their love of children’s books and their favorite: The Rainbow Fish. The students decided that this would be a good theme to draw together, and interest both primary and secondary students within the school. My brain began to race, how can I fit this in within the recycling materials boundary I had set, and make an attractive large scale artwork for the benefit of the school? What can we possibly use to create the look of the original illustrations and remain true to the originality of the student’s artwork as well? Then it dawned on me! Compact Disks! They would make lovely rainbow fish-scales and use up a load of obsolete, not working cd’s in the school and as it turned out in the wider community. We are still working on the fish but we will soon have a whole ’school’ of them swimming up high on a wall to brighten up an otherwise dull space. Watch this space to see the progress.


(above) Stage one and two of one of the fish.

Fish 1

Another of the ’school’ nearing completion, we are discovering that the tails need to be reinforced somehow, so they won’t weaken and possibly fall off. Serious problem solving is required combined with working alongside the students in systems technology. In the top left hand of the above image it is possible to see the fishes eye being worked on before it is attached permanently.

fish 2

Just a few more details now and this little fish will be finished. Isn’t she cute?


The group that made this fish decided to emphasise the eyes by creating eyelashes

and a eyelid. They trialled various media and methods before settling on this version.

Bright pink fishlips add to the effect. A few more details to be added and the fish face will be complete









Four of the complete fish. Very beautiful and shiny. All of the design problems have been resolved and the students are excited and pleased to have them complete.  We are currently trying to hang them in the designated spot as  a “school”.

D Regan Hawkesdale P -12

Posted in D Regan, Visual Art | 7 Comments »

Weaving eWays with Web 2.0

Posted by murch on 27th February 2008

I was amazed (but thought it was great) to read Lori’s article on the top LHS of and to see that although Lori had been using web 2.0 for18 months it was only recently she realised that is the name given to her e-uses. I had assumed she had been there for yonks and that I would never, ever get to the stage she was at.

At the end of last year, I heard the word web 2.0 but due to the crazy time it is when school finishes, I put it to the back of my mind. After all, I had to cope with MS Access and Dreamweaver - the software types for the new year 12 ITA course. However, in May, an email came to me from our Moyne Cluster co-ordinator to ask whether we were into web 2.0 yet as web 3.0 would soon be here. At that stage I did not even know if I knew about web 1.0. However, I attended the ICTEV conference in May and decided to join up for all the possible sessions that even vaguely mentioned the word ‘web 2.0′.

Absolutely fascinated with what I heard, saw and witnessed, I was then ‘hooked’ and determined to learn more. At the same time a rich picture case studies grant was being offered by the Victorian Education Department. I decided to apply and to my surprise was a successful applicant. This grant allowed us to work on developing enhanced podcasts with grade 6, using as much web 2.0 along the way.

So, I immediately set up a account and soon got my students to do so as well. I have so many favourite websites that were bookmarked on my computer at home but this allowed my to bookmark them online. Not only that, but I could search for some great other web 2.0 sites, network with others who have similar interests and also share their sites and these are available to me anywhere there is the internet. I shall write more about this fabulous site but it gave me some insights into web 2.0 and how it could be used. It was easy to set up and easy to use. Further down the track Heather Blakey came to our school with her storyteller and Magic Garden and that set us off on blogging. I am not a writer, nor an artist but I love learning and encouraging others to learn so I have used blogging extensively now and google fed into other people’s blogs who are as mad on web 2.0 as I am. Our backyard blog is the result of Heather’s great work.

So, 6 months later, after a lot of hard work, wanting to have everything perfect all at once, including content and presentation, but still not even anywhere near that stage, I feel I have learnt so much, been re-energized, made a lot of global friends , many of whom I only know by their cyber names, and still wanting to learn much more. This is why I think the adventure calendar is so great ……………. and of course I have bookmarked that in delicious!

Anne Mirtschin

Posted in Anne Mirtschin, Web 2.0 | 1 Comment »

Who is e-looking?!!!

Posted by murch on 27th February 2008

I teach in a relatively small p12 school at Hawkesdale. This small rural town is 30 minutes drive to the nearest large shopping centre of Warrnambool, so at times we work very independently and to a certain degree, in isolation as it is expensive now to drive to Melbourne (3 hours away) for PD activities and meetings that so many of our city peers take for granted.

However, blogging has opened up a whole new world for us. Our students have talked about their backyards, eagerly gone home and taken digital images or else scanned them and converted them to jpg files. Their blogs have been published. Kind people have actually made comments on their blogs which means that students have a real and authentic audience. These young digital natives are then encouraged to write and express themselves and explore further some of the comments made.

So, it is with a bit of fun that we have added a widget to our sites from clustrmaps. Once a user name and password is registered, together with an email address, a code is issued that is unique to that url or blogsite that you wish to use the world map on. So, once your email is activated, you goto clustrmaps again, obtain the code and paste it into one of your text widgets. Each time someone hits your blog site a red flag comes up in the reader’s country of origin. Our students love that because they can see that people in an increasing number of countries are actually looking at our backyard site.

Another fun widget might be a clock. An updated clock of your own choice at will keep your time and allow international guests know what the time is in your country. A code is again copied and pasted into another text widget and hey presto, you have a clock. I have only just got to experiment with widgets and will continue to do so. They are fun and add extra information or pizzaz to your site.

Anne Mirtschin

Posted in Anne Mirtschin, Web 2.0 | No Comments »

Adding panoramic images as headers

Posted by murch on 27th February 2008

Photos stitched into panorama

If you have downloaded the freeware Irfanview, a wonderful header for a blog or an online page can be created by stitching photos together to create a panoramic image. So, if you are in irfanview, ensure that all your digial photos are the same height and preferably same width. (Nb ensure that they are jpg and not bmp. Rename them through irfanview when you save as. I found the size 380 x 285 is good for a start) Goto image>create panorama>add image and continue adding as many images as you desire to form the header. Goto Tutorial sheet link at for instructions on using irfan view. This is then saved as a jpg image and can be resized to the correct wordpress size by going to irfanview image>resize/resample and keying in the correct height (try 770 x 223).

Note that text can also be added easily to the image. Goto edit>insert text into selection>key it in and choose colours etc.

Apex Park Hawkesdale

Posted in Anne Mirtschin, Inserting Images, Web 2.0 | 1 Comment »

Voicethread - A Great Web 2 Resource

Posted by murch on 27th February 2008

At school, we are using voicethread to share our interests, acitivities and other project materials with some schools in USA. The grade 3 and 4 class have been working on this project. Year 8 students have produced a photo album of our school to share with schools in other countries. It is relatively easy to use and there are great tutorials, examples and resources on the website.

Voicethread is like a photo album but it can capture and hold the voices and stories of an entire group forever. It is then stored online. It can be made public or private. Many identities can be created so that each class member will have a separate identity under the umbrella of the teacher. Each identity chooses an image for themselves and records their voiceover. Steps in using voicethread are as follows:-

Goto >upload and insert the required photo under browse (or flickr or photobucket) Give a title to your slide. Make sure you give yourself a digital image - photo or otherwise.

Goto comment and record your introduction or voiceover, add an image. Goto the top RHS corner where your photo or image sits>my account>add identity and follow the prompts.

Voicethread identity additions

Once in the voicethread, identities can also be added. Follow the prompts until completed. New slides, with different images, can be added etc. Ensure that the microphone settings are correct for the computer that you are using. Choose record and the person records their message. If you need to re-record the voice click on the rubbish bin which appears when selecting the image. See below.


To switch identities, click on your image in lower left hand corner, and choose the one you now want to work with. New identities can be added here as well.

switching identities

These voicethreads can be shared with other classes, schools and globally. So they are a great collaborative tool.

Posted in Anne Mirtschin, Web 2.0 | No Comments »

Safe Cyber Practices

Posted by murch on 27th February 2008

Reading the second day of the Weg 2.0 Telegraph, I was interested to read Lori’s words of caution and my eyes scrolled down to Heather’s notes on avatars and safe cyber practices. So, I thought I would write about some of the approaches that we have taken in our school to ensure our student’s identities are secure.Our lote teacher (technolote) used for some of her classes to create little computer figures of their own choosing students also gave themselves a nickname for online use. However, our school, changed service providers this term and we have found that we are now blocked out of this site as it does have a chat room element. (Personally, I dislike too many sites being blocked as I like to teach the children safety, common sense and a sense of questioning whilst they are in the safety of the classroom.)

My grade 3 and 4 students are working on a joint voicethread with a class in USA ( comparing their interests and pursuits. Our site can be viewed at (I think it is designated for public viewing.) This wonderful web 2.0 software allows comments to be shared around images and allows the addition of students as identities. However, rather than have a shadow as their image, my class created little portraits of themselves in MS Paint (sorry we are not a Mac school) and also gave themselves a nickname. These are then viewable when they are talking. Some students used their student id photo and recoloured it beyond recognition whilst others created cute little paint faces. Our partner school just selected photo images to represent each student.

I am in grade 4.me_voicethread.jpgDigital image

Vokis: Another great disguise is by using vokis. These wonderful animated computer figures allow students to insert voice overs as well. Goto and register. Students need to be 13 years or over. To get around this, I allow a student one at a time to create a voki in my username as a large number of different vokis can be saved for the one user. So, if this needs to be done, goto my voki>create a new voki>create new scene and students proceed to create their own little character by customizing to their own wishes and then adding voice.

Do not forget to activiate the email that will be sent to your address, otherwise you cannot save your voki for future use. Re-enter the site and choose create. You can then choose the face, the background, hair, clothes etc to build your avatar equivalent. Once complete, save and then click on microphone, making sure that you enable access for the voki to use your computer settings. Wait until the recording wheel starts turning and record your voiceover. Replay to ensure the voiceover is all there and that diction is audible and clear. Click save>done>save (and give a title). Your completed voki will appear in the LHS of the screen.

Goto embed in>choose the destination as web page (or whichever purpose you are using)> select small size>200 x 267>get code. Accept agreement and the code will appear. Right click>select all>copy and then paste into your wiki, blog, website or other for your talking voki to activate.

For some interesting cyber safety sites, checkout

Posted in Anne Mirtschin, Avatars, Web 2.0 | 1 Comment »

Inserting Images

Posted by murch on 27th February 2008

Having only started with web 2.0 over the last 5 months, I am really amazed at what a great resource it is for learning and teaching. A new enthausiasm has returned to both classroom teaching and the students themselves.Students have really taken to blogging. They love going home at night, taking photos with their digital cameras, returning to school the next day and endless patience can be witnessed with the relatively tedious task of resizing their photos and renaming them. In our school we have downloaded irfanview from This is a freeware program that is just wonderful for editing images and so easy to use. It will allow you to change the brightness and contrast, alter images completely, add titles, create panoramic shots for headers etc and most importantly, rename and resize photos. …….. And lots more. For user documentation including resizing images click on this link and look for the link to tutorial sheet next to irfanview- using images online. There may be some other items of interest for you on this wiki.

 For step by step instructions for inserting images into Wordpress goto  and scroll down until you see the screendumps on the RHS window.

Students need to be familiar with the needs of audiences and the various outputs that their photos might need to take. Any work on the internet, really needs to be downsized considerably to allow minimum download time. As some of our work is still used for printing, photos are still taken in high resolution form and bmp files. However, students need to rename files to jpg (or gif or tif) when using it in their blogs etc.

Photos can be stored at flikr or photobucket but some of these websites are now blocked at school. Storage space on our file server is now at a premium as more videos, photos, movies etc are being taken, manipulated and worked into digital content.

Online slideshows can add extra pizazz as well. We like as it is an online slideshow presentation that allows images, transitions and music in the final output. Images still speak a 1000 words and students with lower literacy skills can always say what they would like through images and some text. is a download that looks really interesting and I am about to try that one with my classes. also appears to have value.

Students still really enjoy working with MS Photostory as it is so easy to use, quick to complete and gives them lots of options for motion plus music clips that can be used. These can be saved in email format and then uploaded to an online video website eg teacher tube and then either a link posted or code used to embed on their blog. I am also going to look into animoto. Our students are encouraged to create their own music using Acid 6.0 to avoid all copyright problems. Animoto allows the photos inserted to take on the beat of the music and seems to produce eyecacthing videos that look really professional.

Posted in Anne Mirtschin, Inserting Images | No Comments »

Valentine’s Day project - From me to you….

Posted by margm on 23rd February 2008

We recently took part in a global project based on friendship on Valentine’s Day. We were one of 22 schools and Ronald Mcdonald houses across the world, to participate. Each of our 22 students were asked to write about themselves, our school, their home towns, Victoria and then Australian. We then made Valentine’s Day cards, added our letters and posted them off. For the past 2 weeks, we have been excitedly receiving the return letters, searching the schools on google earth and then marking the world map with pins to indicate where the letters are coming from. The students get to read out the reply, from the school they sent their cards too and the excitement when the cards arrive is palpable.

The students learnt a lot from writing the letters. We firstly brainstormed what sorts of things would be interesting to children in other countries and decided that we lived in an interesting, rural environment. We also discovered that what we considered to be routine and boring, might actually be interesting to students who may not live in rural areas, may not have back yards and who may be from many different cultures. This immedicately gave scope to the detail the students included in their letters. One of our student’s mother’s is a “rousy” or a rouseabout. We had a feeling that students in non rural areas, would struggle to understand this concept which is bread and butter to students in this rural environment.

The geography was also another positive to this exercise. I was fortunate to stumble upon a new world map in a local magazine, which I had laminated and displayed in the classroom. This particular map is really detailed and the students are able to find their pen pal countries quite easily. Through the use of the map and google earth, we are learning a lot about our place in space and this shrinking world in which we live.

The students were very proud of their letters and all of them have printed off their letters and placed them with great pride, in their individual profile books, in which they put the work they are most proud of. Many of the students have included their letters on their blogs which indicates the pride they have in them.

We are still waiting on a few replies and each morning as I come into the room, they ask me if we have any more letters. This has been a great experience and we hope to continue working on global projects throughout the year.

Posted in Creative Literacy, Valentine Project | 1 Comment »

About Me

Posted by margm on 23rd February 2008

Well, this is quite exciting. My name is Marg Murnane. I am a teacher at Hawkesdale P12 College in the south West of Victoria, Australia. Most of the students at our school, have managed to get themselves organised with individual blogs, so I thought it was time I joined them. I teach students in years 6 and 7 and my passion is literacy, in particular, writing. I also work with some very talented teachers, two of whom are Anne Mirtschin and Jess McCulloch. Both are incredibly up to date with all this technology and together we plan to contine the techno journey as partners. Hold on tight and “watch this space”. Cheers for now.

Posted in Teacher Profiles | 2 Comments »