Week 8: Lifelong Learning in a Digital Age

pic 1

(EdTechReview, 2014)

This week’s topic covered lifelong learning in a digital age. Lifelong learning is simply “learning that is pursued throughout life” (Lifelong Learning Council Queensland, 2013, p. 1). When I think about lifelong learning, a Chinese proverb comes to mind: give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. In the classroom, this translates to the idea that rather than giving students facts and figures to memorise, teach them practical skills about how to digitally source information for themselves so their knowledge will continue to blossom throughout their lifetime via self-regulated learning. Importantly, this also supports part of the second goal of the Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians: “All young Australians become successful learners” (Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs, 2008, p. 8).


(Getting Smart, 2014)

(Getting Smart, 2014)

Reflecting back on this unit as a student, I see how some of the knowledge I have acquired can lead to further expansion of my knowledge base through self-regulated learning. For example, this week I learnt how to use Prezi, and in order to learn Prezi, I used YouTube as a self-regulated learning tool. That is, my knowledge of the use and existence of Youtube lead me to acquire more knowledge, being, how to create a Prezi presentation through watching informative videos. Further, I used Boolean operators and truncation symbols to expand my Google searches for information on Earth Day Network. I see first hand how teaching students self-regulated learning digital skills will help them prosper on their lifelong learning journey and benefit the world in which they create as global citizens.


(Prezi, 2014)

My final Prezi presentation



EdTechReview. (2014). Lifelong learning [Image]. Retrieved from http://edtechreview.in/news/592-apps-for-lifelong-learners

Getting Smart. (2014). Keyboard [Image]. Retrieved from http://gettingsmart.com/2014/02/will-lifelong-learning-relationship/

Lifelong Learning Council Queensland. (2013). What is lifelong learning? Retrieved from http://www.llcq.org.au/01_cms/details.asp?ID=12

Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs [MCEETYA]. (2008). Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians. Retrieved from http://www.mceecdya.edu.au/verve/_resources/National_Declaration_on_the_Educational_Goals_for_Young_Australians.pdf

Week 7: Digital Blurring

merged pics

This week I saw gaming in a whole new light as I excitedly began to see the true potential digital blurring has to offer the greater good of the planet. Digital blurring not only interchanges a platform of skills amongst different digital technologies (Howell, 2014), but can further blur from the cyber world into the physical dimension, as indicated by the below video.

Screenshot 2014-05-08 13.26.28

Children are the future, and if we want to alter future mindsets in order to heal the world what better way to reach children than through gamification, as gaming is a fun and interactive way to scaffold students’ learning and evokes  “blissful productivity” (McGonigal, 2010).


As a teacher, I would employ games that go beyond basic moral messages contained in this simple Sploder game I created: aim for prosperity and avoid ‘bad people’. I would expand to incorporate games that produce skills and knowledge, as well as spark emotion, about authentic global issues that need urgent attention (McGonigal, 2010). Examples of these issues include environmental preservation and destruction of the segregation illusion that comes with patriotism, race, and status. McGonigal (2010) talks about gamers coming up with unique solutions for global issues. However, for primary schools, I suggest having multiple choice option games where constructive actions that can be taken to achieve positive outcomes for humanity and the planet warrant ‘correct’ answers. Children’s mindsets influenced by gaming are then blurred and transferred to the physical dimension where, hopefully, these new ways of thinking become a norm and the planet gradually transforms.


(Blue Mountain, 2010)

(Blue Mountain, 2010)

(Sedona Crystal Rainbow, n.d.)

(Sedona Crystal Rainbow, n.d.)



Blue Mountain. (2010). Child [Image]. Retrieved from http://blog.bluemountainlodges.ca/family/tips-for-a-family-vacation-with-a-toddler/

Howell, J. (2014).  Living and learning in the digital world mod 02 04 week 7 [ilecture]. Retrieved from http://echo.ilecture.curtin.edu.au:8080/ess/echo/presentation/9d8a1cd3-f679-4184-8791-6765f6454274

Interinclusion. (2014). Laptop [Image]. Retrieved from http://www.interinclusion.org/inspirations/upgrading-the-video-game-of-life/

Kendoan. (2012). Faces [Image]. Retrieved from http://kendoan.wordpress.com/2012/10/01/online-identity-in-online-gaming/

McGonigal, J. [TED]. (2010, February 1). Gaming can make a better world [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/jane_mcgonigal_gaming_can_make_a_better_world

Sedona Crystal Rainbow. (n.d.). Peace earth [Image]. Retrieved from http://www.sedonacrystalrainbow.com/Heart.htm


Week 6: Digital Fluency

(Langwitches, 2014)

(Langwitches, 2014)

This week addressed each student’s need for digital fluency.  Digital fluency is the ability to use digital technologies relevant to one’s life with ease to achieve a desired outcome (Howell, 2014). This week, my digital fluency increased a little as I learnt about Boolean operators, memorising that using “OR” between words in a Google search will present results containing either word entered, in addition to both collectively. Further, knowledge about using Scratch was acquired and my understanding was demonstrated by generating the below animation. I found the idea of Scratch quite daunting, but the execution proved to be simpler than I thought and was, surprisingly, a quite enjoyable experience.



Using an animation program like Scratch in the classroom could be an interesting way to address authentic issues, such as cyberbullying, whilst simultaneously advancing students’ digital fluency and multi-literacy skills. For instance, students generate an idea for a message they would like to convey about cyberbullying, and harness self-regulated learning to understand how the program can reproduce their idea. Students then design and execute the visual, audio, and dialogue aspects using the program, and edit for completion. Critical and creative thinking skills and ethical understanding is further employed here, which are two of the General Capabilities included in the Australian Curriculum (Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority, 2013). I feel the multiple tasks and various digital modes used will encourage multi-literacy in students and increase their digital fluency, heightening their ability to participate in the digital world.



Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority [ACARA]. (2013). General capabilities. Retrieved from http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/GeneralCapabilities/Overview/general-capabilities-in-the-australian-curriculum

Langwitches. (2014). Digital fluency [Image]. Retrieved from http://langwitches.org/blog/2013/02/18/skilled-literate-fluent-in-the-digital-world/

Howell, J. (2014). Living and learning in the digital world mod 02 03  week 6 [ilecture]. Retrieved from http://echo.ilecture.curtin.edu.au:8080/ess/echo/presentation/69320b47-1f26-4f87-ae1c-7ba4e48e0050

Week 5: Digital Information

(Technology In, 2014)

(Technology In, 2014)

This week’s topic is about digital information and the various types and modes available to us. No longer is information one-dimensional, such as written words in a book, but multiple messages can now be communicated from one digital space using various forms that include videos, images, audio files, and weblinks, in addition to text (Howell, 2014). For instance, this blog post contains my journal reflection in written form about multiple types of digital information. In order to expand on this, I have also attached an image above and this hyperlink – http://www.pinterest.com/amymcdonald555/digital-information/ – linking viewers to my Pinterest board generated in response to this week’s rubric. Further, I have attached the rubric here and generated another related hyperlink within the Pinterest icon below, visually extending this topic to the classroom.

Technology in the Classroom

(Ohh Deer, n.d.)

(Ohh Deer, n.d.)

Within the different modes, there is a vast amount of information available. How are we to know what information is credible? As a teacher, it is important to practice discretion and use critical thinking when evaluating on-line data before imparting the knowledge onto our students. Sourcing documentation from reputable websites, such as those ending in .gov or .edu, is a good place to start (Howell, 2014). Relaying these self-regulated learning skills to our students is equally important, as employing these higher cognitive thinking skills not only benefits their individual growth, but also supports the future prosperity of our digital and physical world. To help achieve this, I could create classroom tasks that encourage critical thinking and analytical skills, such as searching for unbiased information on-line, as demonstrated in the video below (Teaching Channel, 2013).





Howell, J. (2014). Living and learning in the digital world mod 02 02 week 5 [ilecture]. Retrieved from http://echo.ilecture.curtin.edu.au:8080/ess/echo/presentation/822c603c-a7da-4f41-8466-5103980d029e

Ohh Dear. (n.d.). Pinterest Icon [Image]. Retrieved from http://ohhdeer.com

Teaching Channel. (2013, June 19). Using critical thinking to find trustworthy websites [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-2qJ1aEC9s

Technology In. (2014). Digital technology [Image]. Retrieved from http://technologyin.org/digital-technology

Week 4: Digital Divide

digital divide image

(Why Marche, 2014)

This week’s topic covered the digital divide issue. Digital divide is the gap between those who can afford and use digital technologies and those who cannot (Howell, 2012), and is represented in the infographic post below. Social-economic status (SES), accessibility, and infrastructure are factors that can impact a child’s digital knowledge and fluency, influencing their future career prospects and quality of life. Reflecting on this, my vision has expanded to clearly see the patterns that unfold within the digital divide, and why they can be difficult to rectify. For example, low SES families generally cannot afford technology, minimising their children’s ability to learn, and keep up with, the latest technologies. This stunts the child’s future career prospects, resulting in probable low-income employment in adulthood. They then produce offspring that are once again born into a family of low SES, and the cycle continues.

Nicholas Negroponte is inspirationally using his high SES and subsequent skillset for the greater good. He founded One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) in 2005 (Ted Talks, 2008) to help bridge the digital divide gap by developing manually powered laptops under a donation program, creating fair and equal opportunity for children of low SES countries and communities around the globe. OLPC in Australia has developed the program One Education (OLPC Australia, 2013) aiming to bridge the gap within Australia, which also compliments the first goal of the Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians: “Australian schooling promotes equity” (Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs, 2008, p. 7).


Digital Divide and OLPC's solution




Howell, J. (2012). Teaching with ICT: Digital pedagogies for collaboration and creativity. South Melbourne, VIC: Oxford University Press.

Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs [MCEETYA]. (2008). Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians. Retrieved from http://www.mceecdya.edu.au/verve/_resources/National_Declaration_on_the_Educational_Goals_for_Young_Australians.pdf

One Laptop Per Child Australia. (2013). One Education. Retrieved from http://www.one-education.org

Ted Talks. (2008, June 27). Nicholas Negroponte: One Laptop per Child, two years on [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y_TKjfgjiQs

Why Marche. (2014). Caution Digital Divide [Image]. Retrieved from http://www.whymarche.com/blog/2012/04/04/digital-divide-esiste-un-rimedio/

Week 3: Digital Security

(Kapsch, 2014)

(Kapsch, 2014)

(Sant Media, 2010)

(Sant Media, 2010)

Week three’s lecture video raised an interesting question about the true safety behind the padlock shown on websites (Howell, 2014). At the notion of possible identity theft, fear arose within me. Suddenly, I realised that although I had been very conscious about only pushing out my credit card information on websites containing these padlocks, I had never actually questioned what makes these websites secure. Awakening to my ignorance, I began researching what this ‘padlock’ is all about. I learnt the padlock symbol indicates that a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate has been issued by a third party, verifying the website’s authenticity. Furthermore, the data you enter is encrypted for secure information transfer (Gemalto, 2009). According to Sant Media (2010), however, some certificates only require minimal company information before they are issued. I feel this provides a window for possible fraud and weakens the security and trust factor of the padlock.

Whilst teaching my future students, I hope to alert them on the importance of being conscious consumers online to avoid identity theft, whilst simultaneously minimising a creation of fear about the cyber world, as this may deter them from participating altogether. I could achieve this by demonstrating practical ways to optimise security, such as clicking on the padlock to check the identity and validity of the company in question as well as the certificate authority (Gemalto, 2009).



Gemalto. (2009). What does the padlock at the bottom of some websites mean? Retrieved from http://www.justaskgemalto.com/en/surfing/tips/what-does-padlock-bottom-some-websites-mean

Howell, J. (2014). Living and learning in the digital world mod01 topic 04 [ilecture]. Retrieved from http://echo.ilecture.curtin.edu.au:8080/ess/echo/presentation/1636447f-aa10-42de-bec3-f6fe6f44932e

Kapsch. (2014). Digital security [Image]. Retrieved from http://follow.kapsch.net/en/details/article/security-in-the-digital-age.html

Sant Media. (2010, May 22). The Myths of Website security, SSL, and the padlock symbol. [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.sant-media.co.uk/2010/05/the-myths-of-website-security-ssl-and-padlock-symbol/

Sant Media. (2010). Padlock [Image]. Retrieved from http://www.sant-media.co.uk/2010/05/the-myths-of-website-security-ssl-and-padlock-symbol/