Blog – EdTechSA Tue, 21 Feb 2017 05:26:20 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Looking forward to an exciting 2017 Mon, 06 Feb 2017 12:44:26 +0000 Welcome back to what is shaping to be one of our most exciting years.

We would like to thank all of our members for their support and participation in 2016. Your commitment and willingness to get involved and to share your knowledge ensures quality education in all South Australian education sectors.

Help ensure ongoing learning for all our followers by using @EdTechSA if you tweet out valuable/interesting things that you find. Make sure you search up @EdTechSA to see what has been shared.

Don’t forget to keep an eye out for EdTechSA Professional Learning in 2017 and keep Wednesday 19 & Thursday 20 July 2017 free for our annual State Conference. Our 2016 award winners will be there as invited speakers.

Stay tuned for the announcement of our conference opening keynote, one of the most interesting and in demand speakers in Australia.

The EdTechSA Committee.

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Nominate for an EdTechSA award and be recognised as a Leading Educator Fri, 09 Sep 2016 23:52:51 +0000 Teresa and I were travelling in Switzerland and ended up in a tiny drinking establishment up in the mountains. The bar was some planks of wood held up at each end by a barrel. We sat ourselves down to have a quiet beverage or 2 and we got talking to some of the locals and fellow travellers who were there. I was asked by one person what I did for a living. I replied “I am just a teacher” You would think I had just said “I kill kittens” I received a major lecture on NEVER saying “just a teacher” because teachers have one of the most important responsibilities in society. I was told in no uncertain terms that I was to never think like that and never to say that.

I never thanked that person for changing the way I thought of myself and my colleagues but I have told this story to many people to remind them to be very proud of the major role they have in shaping those that will develop the future.

It is possible to be “just a teacher”. They are described in Australia as handbag teachers. They arrive quite late with just a handbag (or bag in the case of male teachers) and leave quite early carrying the same thing. They know exactly what year 5 do at 10:20 on Thursday, week 2, Term 3 because that is what they have always done and will keep doing until they retire. They are not the type of teacher that my friend in Switzerland was referring to. No doubt she would not consider them to be real teachers.

What is a real teacher? People all over the world have their own ideas of what a real teacher is for them and that is the key I think: how that teacher connected with that individual has created a lasting image of what a teacher is. At times that can be negative but for the vast majority it is an image of someone who cares enough to take the time to see each person as an individual and to help those individuals feel good about themselves and their ability to learn. I could probably find all sorts of lists of characteristics of a good teacher but for me if I can say that I have helped people feel good about themselves as a person and a learner then I am more than “just a teacher” and that is important to me.

Real teachers are also real learners. They are constantly looking at new developments and finding new ways to source the information they need to support the learning of those around them. They have taken to Twitter, Pinterest, Scoop-it and a multitude of other online places where they can connect with other like-minded teachers but just as importantly with other teachers with different and challenging thoughts and ideas. They attend PD sessions and conferences, they spend a lot of time (and money) attending, listening, reading, exploring to ensure that they can offer what the learners in their care require. They share their knowledge and experiences and in turn benefit from others sharing with them.

Real teachers not only challenge those they are teaching but also challenge themselves and their colleagues. They reflect on what they are doing and explore ways that it could be done differently or better. They try different ways when a learner in their care is not connecting with the methods being offered. They seek out the knowledge of others to help.

If I could go back in time to that bar in Switzerland I would give quite a different answer to the question. I would be proud to say that I am an educator and learner, not “just a teacher”.

Educators are fantastic and noticing all the amazing things that others do. They notice the brilliant things their students do but they also notice the little things, the subtle changes in a student, the mastery of a new skill, even a tiny one. They take every opportunity to point out the best in others, to acknowledge the amazing work of a colleague, a leader, a friend. Every educator I know can tell me about the incredible things that others do. What we are not so good at is pointing out the amazing things that we do. Comments like “yeah it was OK but you should see what …. does.”, “I’m not doing anything out of the ordinary” or “ I’m sure there are lots of others in the world who do it better, have more knowledge than me, push further into the future, are more cutting edge than me” are more the norm than the exception, particularly in Australia. Maybe it is because we are a selfless profession, that what we do is for the benefit of the children in our care not for ourselves. Maybe we don’t want be seen to be, as Australians so eloquently put it, up ourselves. There are lots of reasons but that doesn’t mean that it should stay that way. We need to begin making changes to the way educators view themselves so that there is a change in the way others view our profession. If we don’t value ourselves how will others?

As always there is a reason for my meanderings and it is to do with valuing yourself and what you do.

One way to do that is to be recognised in a dynamic professional learning network by receiving an EdTechSA award!

Every year EdTechSA has the pleasure of recognising educators across our state who have contributed to the leadership and implementation of best practice in learning with ICT across the curriculum and about IT as a discipline. As an award winner, your knowledge and skills will be recognised by a panel of respected peers and you will open up new professional networking and leadership opportunities.

Now is the time to nominate for the EdTechSA awards for 2016!
To find out how, follow this link to the EdTechSA website to learn more about the awards we have on offer.
Remember that the deadline for awards applications is 30 September 2016 so now is the time to apply!

Candidates for the awards must be individual members of EdTechSA.

EdTechSA_Leader-of-the-Year EdTechSA_Educator-of-the-YearEdTechSA_Leading-Light-of-the-Year


Learning Conversations with Global Thinkers: Dean Shareski Tue, 02 Aug 2016 14:21:12 +0000 You may recall me pointing out that one of the benefits of being an EdTechSA member is events such as the ‘Learning Conversations with Global Thinkers’ series which are free for EdTechSA members.

Well we are doing it again with another amazing Global Thinker heading our way. This time we are privileged to have Dean Shareski, a Canadian educator and blogger with a wealth of experience in a wide range of areas.

Dean is the Community Manager for Discovery Education Canada. He taught grades first through eighth for 14 years and spent nine years as a digital learning consultant for Prairie South School Division in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan (don’t you love Canadian place names) In addition, he teaches pre-service teachers at the University of Regina. His blog consistently ranks among the top educational blogs.

Dean also blogs for Tech Learning and the Huffington Post. In 2010 he won the ISTE Award for Outstanding Leader of the Year. Dean has had the opportunity to speak to a variety of education audiences both nationally and internationally. His passion remains in helping teachers explore the affordances of technology for learning. Dean believes humour and humility go a long way in supporting and advocating transformational practices in teaching and learning.

Join Dean on Monday, August 22nd (Week 5) from 5:00-7:00 at Immanuel College for a two-hour Learning Conversation entitled “From So What? to Now What?” that will focus on how we’ve been at this technology thing for a while, in some cases not seeing the changes we’d hope for. In other cases we’ve ignored the real power of some of the existing technologies. Dean will assist us to examine our current practices and tools and ask a simple question…now what?

Registration is complimentary for members but booking is essential. Cancellation fee of $10 will apply for no-shows. Registration for non-members is $90.

Hot on the heels of an amazing EdTechSA State Conference, this is an event not to be missed.

Register here: and have a look at our other Term 3 Professional Learning opportunities while you are there.


Like a kid in a lolly shop: EdTechSA Conference 2016 Sun, 26 Jun 2016 13:33:27 +0000 coke bottlesWhen I was very young growing up in Melbourne we used to dream of finding a coke bottle that we could take to the Milk Bar (Deli for those from South Australia) and swap for 5 cents. I’m showing my age here.
I remember getting 4 lollies for 1 cent! 5 cents was a fortune. We would scour the area for bottles, save them up and return them in one go.


Milk BarWhat a nightmare for the Milk Bar owners, as we painstakingly made our selection. “I’ll have 2 cents of fizzies, no wait make it 1 cent of fizzies, 1 cent of bananas…” The process of choosing seemed to take hours. There were always regrets once you had chosen and walked away. Could I have got more for my money? Should I have got so many aniseed balls, would honey bears have been better? How can I make sure my brothers and sisters don’t work out where I have hidden my secret stash of lollies?

ConferenceThe EdTechSA conference is very much like going to the Milk Bar with 20 cents burning a hole in your pocket.
The combination of choices seems endless, the worry of making sure you can get the absolute maximum for your time and money. You don’t want to walk away thinking “I should have got the Jelly Babies instead of the Black Cats”. I recommend you take the time to check out all that is on offer well ahead of time so that you don’t get overwhelmed on the day and stand there like a kid in a lolly shop, frozen in the face of nirvana (the state of mind, not the band).

Visit now.

In years to come you can reminisce about the time when you went to the EdTechSA state conference and had the choice of 67 workshops (on top of the 3 internationally renowned Keynotes) for such a small amount of money and the younger generation just won’t believe you.

Australian Curriculum: Digital Technologies, featuring Paula Christophersen Sun, 22 May 2016 12:45:42 +0000 Aus Curric Digital Technologies

I don’t know about you but I am still getting my head around how I want to structure the Digital Technologies component of the Australian Curriculum. I think I am heading in the right direction but at times I have found myself wishing that the Digital Technologies fairy would magically appear, reassure me that I am going OK and gently realign me if I am off course.

My wish has been granted with a spotlight session and a workshop being offered through EdTechSA by Paula Christophersen. If ever you were going to be visited by the Digital Technologies fairy you would want them to be as qualified in the area as Paula is.

 Paula Christophersen is the Digital Technologies Curriculum Manager at the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Centre, responsible for managing the associated curriculum from Foundation to Year 12.

She has been actively involved as a co-writer of the Australian Curriculum: Digital Technologies, and a co-writer of the Australian Curriculum: ICT as a general capability. She has contributed to a range of educational forums that focus on Digital Technologies curriculum including the national Coding across the Curriculum project as well as being a member of the national steering group for the National Assessment Program for ICT Literacy.

Paula has been a presenter at international, national and state conferences in the field of digital technologies and ICT and has been a co-author of senior secondary information technology textbooks.

Paula is a life member of Digital Learning and Teaching Victoria and in 2014 was awarded the Dorothy Hoddinott medal for outstanding lifetime contributions to subject associations by the Australian Professional Teachers’ Association.

Paula’s spotlight session; Unpacking the Digi Tech Curriculum focuses on what the Digital Technologies curriculum is about – it’s key features, intentions and constructs. It will explore the key elements of the curriculum, including the concepts, aims, band descriptions, content descriptions and achievement standards and how they fit together. This session will essentially focus on what the curriculum entails, and how is developmentally sequenced from Foundation to year 10.
It will take place at Immanuel College on Friday June 3, 2016 from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.


Paula’s Workshop: Delivering the Digi Tech Curriculum will focus on

  • Approaches to whole-school planning in order to develop coherent Digital Technologies teaching and learning programs
    • Approaches to developing units of work that incorporate, where appropriate, connections to other learning areas

The workshop will consider a range of key questions that affect the nature of the programs being offered in your school. It will also involve a range of plugged and unplugged activities to assist in developing units of work ready for implementation. As part of addressing the concern over a crowded curriculum, the workshop will also identify logical connections to other learning areas and how they can be incorporated into learning activities.

It will take place at Immanuel College on Saturday June 4, 2016 from 9:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.



EdTechSA: upcoming events Sun, 22 May 2016 12:36:43 +0000 Last call for presenters.

Today is the last day to submit your abstract to be a presenter atConferece Logo 2016

Thank you to all those who have already done so and those who sneak it in by 9:00 tomorrow morning.


Professional Learning.

EdTechSA take great delight in being able to offer these upcoming professional learning events.

Tuesday May 24th: iPad Game Development.

What: Spotlight session

Led by: Chris Robinson

Time: 5:00pm – 7:00pm

Where: Aberfoyle Park High School, download map

Details: This workshop is about my students and their journey from learning the Python language for the first time through to the final result which was having their iPad apps published worldwide on the App Store. This is a beginner workshop and no previous programming experience is required. Bring your iPad and learn how to get started with Python and build your first game. We will be developing on the iPad using an app called Pythonista, so no computer is required.

Cost: EdTechSA Member $20.00, Non-member $40.00


Friday June 3rd: Unpacking the Digi Tech Curriculum

What: Spotlight session

Led by: Paula Christophersen

Time: 5:00pm – 7:00pm

Where: Immanuel College, Margaret Ames Centre (senior building on map)

Details: This session focuses on what the Digital Technologies curriculum is about – it’s key features, intentions and constructs. It will explore the key elements of the curriculum, including the concepts, aims, band descriptions, content descriptions and achievement standards and how they fit together. This session will essentially focus on what the curriculum entails, and how is developmentally sequenced from Foundation to year 10.

Cost: EdTechSA Member $20.00, Non-member $40.00


Saturday June 4th: Delivering the Digi Tech Curriculum

What: Workshop

Led by: Paula Christophersen

Time: 9:30am – 12:30pm

Where: Immanuel College

Details: This workshop session will focus on:

  • Approaches to whole-school planning in order to develop coherent Digital Technologies teaching and learning programs
    • Approaches to developing units of work that incorporate, where appropriate, connections to other learning areas

The workshop will consider a range of key questions that affect the nature of the programs being offered in your school. It will also involve a range of plugged and unplugged activities to assist in developing units of work ready for implementation. As part of addressing the concern over a crowded curriculum, the workshop will also identify logical connections to other learning areas and how they can be incorporated into learning activities.

Cost: EdTechSA Member $55.00, Non-member $90.00


Thursday June 16th: Teach Kids to Code

What: Spotlight

Led by: Jackie Chambers

Time: 5:00pm – 7:00pm

Where: Woodend Primary School

The best reason why your students need to learn how to code is not for building websites or mobile apps, but for problem solving, critical thinking, understanding and making use of all the information surrounding us.
Now that we are warming up to the idea that we must teach computer science or “coding” in our schools, the next question is “Where do you start?”
In this workshop we will explore the Digital Technologies curriculum and look at ways of developing skills. Starting with sequencing we will look at how Bee-Bots and Pro-Bots can be used to support emerging programming skills. The use of iPad tools such as Kodable, LightBot, Tynker and online visual programs Scratch will be examined in addition to unplugged activities all linked to the Australian Curriculum outcomes.

Cost: $20 Members, $40 Non-members

Note: Please bring your laptop and iPad


EdTechSA is very proud to be able to play a role in the ongoing Professional Learning of South Australian educators. It was wonderful to see so many new faces at our sold out Maker Projects and the Digital Technologies Curriculum spotlight session last week. Thank you to Associate Professor Katrina Falkner & Dr Rebecca Vivian for leading the session and to the University of Adelaide for allowing us to use their facilities. We look forward to hearing how the ideas from the night are spreading through the teaching community.

Martin Levins: Keynote and presenter at EdTechSA conference, Digital Learning: Now Mon, 02 May 2016 12:10:05 +0000 I was reading over the topics our keynotes will be presenting at this year’s EdTechSa conference and when I got to Martin Levins keynote: “What have we learned?” my mind drifted off into the song “Everything Old is New Again.”

I am not saying that Martin’s keynote, or Martin himself for that matter, is old but rather that the technology journey seems to have made a complete journey back to where we started. With his experiences ranging from The BBS, Apple II and the PC Jnr through Microbees, Commodore 64s and ZX80s and on to current cutting edge technology Martin is in the perfect position to look at some lessons that can be learned from this merry go round that has brought us full circle back to coding.

What Martin will help us explore is the most important question “What have we learned?”

Martin will also be involved in facilitating a workshop which will use prompts from the SA Year 3 curriculum to look at Technology in context, using the programming language Scratch. Once participants get a grip on the Scratch environment, they will look at using MakeyMakeys to make even more fun stuff. No programming knowledge assumed, participants will need a laptop, with Scratch loaded ( to get the most out of this workshop.

Martin has taught science, design, and technology, and Computing Science for over 40 years. He has a love for empowerment through learning that has taken him into primary, secondary and tertiary classrooms. He is also involved in the development and delivery of training on the use of technology in education for teachers and educational leaders at schools and conferences around Australia and overseas.

Martin is co-author of the ACER best seller “Bring Your Own Technology”, is Director of ICTENSW (the peak NSW state body for teachers who use technology) and President of the National body, the Australian Council for Computing in Education.

I am sure that while Martin will be revisiting some of the old his insights into the lessons learned will ensure that we are well and truly focussed on the new.

Dr Bronwyn Stuckey: Keynote and presenter at EdTechSA conference, Digital Learning: Now Tue, 26 Apr 2016 21:37:58 +0000 The statement “Play is the highest form of research” has been attributed to Albert Einstein although it appears that it should really be attributed to N. V. Scarfe from his 1962 article “Play is Education” where he quoted Einstein as saying “The desire to arrive finally at logically connected concepts is the emotional basis of a vague play with basic ideas. This combinatory or associative play seems to be the essential feature in productive thought”. Professor Scarfe prefaced this quote by saying “The highest form of research is essentially play.” I am sure you are enthralled by this fact but I am just as sure that you will be even more enthralled by our keynote speaker at Conferece Logo 2016 Dr Bronwyn Stuckey, specialist in Gamification, Community of Practice and Open Badges.

Bronwyn has been engaged in educational community and gameful practices in learning development for the past 15 years. She has worked to explore virtual worlds, games in learning and how we can cultivate identity, agency, citizenship, leadership, and community. She is a postdoctoral research fellow of the Arizona State University Center for Games & Impact and is global leader in the gamification for community and identity cultivation. Bronwyn currently consults to groups such as Intel’s Engage and the Microsoft Minecraft team in areas of gamification and community cultivation. Bronwyn has consulted in K-12, adult and workplace learning contexts in relation to communities of practice, games based learning and aspects of gamification. She is a co-facilitator of the Open Badges Australia and New Zealand (OBANZ) community and has for the past 2 years researched the efficacy of open badges in re-imagining and re-framing academic learning programs and contexts.

Bronwyn’s keynote: Growing Gameful will inspire you to find your own gameful space to ignite learning. Bronwyn will examine with us the place of game inspired learning in today’s classroom and help us explore and differentiate the ways we can begin to bring a gameful approach to learning in our classrooms. The session will have a game inspired approach, making room to share the gameful expertise and examples of the room using #getgameon. Keep an eye out for information about the workshop, it is sure to be amazing.

It doesn’t really matter if it was Einstein or N.V. Scarfe who reminded us of the importance of play to learning, what matters is that we need to offer our students opportunities to utilise play in their learning and research and Dr. Bronwyn Stuckey is just the person to help us do it.



Digital Learning:NOW. Standing out from the crowd! Wed, 13 Apr 2016 23:12:46 +0000 On the 29th of March 2016 there were 36,738 teachers registered with the Teacher Registration Board in South Australia. That is a lot of teachers!

For some of those teachers standing out from the crowd is important for future employment prospects. Others are driven by the challenge of maintaining lifelong learning. For all a clear understanding of Digital Technologies and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Capabilities in the Australian Curriculum is a vital component of modern teaching.

The EdTechSA 29th Annual State Conference,Conference Logo , to be held at Immanuel College on 21st -22nd July 2016, focuses on implementation of the new Digital Technologies curriculum alongside teaching pedagogies, curriculum content and technology. At the conference you can take the opportunity to experience the latest in educational technology whilst furthering your understanding of its place in the modern classroom.

With a range of speakers from local, interstate and international shores we are confident that the conference will provide you with an opportunity to expand your knowledge and extend your Professional Learning Network as you learn alongside key decision makers such as school principals, ICT leaders and technology specialists as well as sharing knowledge and insights with pre-school, primary, secondary, and tertiary educators and IT technicians.

We all want to be more than a number, more than just one of 36,738. Being an active, connected participant at Conference Logo is one of the best ways I know to ensure that you are so much more than just one of 36,738.

Dan Haesler: keynote and presenter at EdTechSA conference, Digital Learning: Now Sun, 10 Apr 2016 13:22:35 +0000 It is all happening with the EdTechSA conference, Digital Learning: Now. Keynotes are confirming, presenters are submitting their abstracts and the organising committee are flat out making sure all the behind the scenes things fall into place. Before we know it the 21st of July will be here and we will be making our way excitedly into the Margaret Ames Centre at Immanuel College for 2 days of amazing Professional Learning.


EdTechSA is thrilled to announce that Dan Haesler will be a keynote speaker and workshop presenter at this year’s conference.

Dan works with organisations around issues of engagement, wellbeing, mindset & leadership. As well as schools, he has consulted to government education projects, corporate business, The Black Dog Institute and other not-for-profit organisations.

Dan is an international keynote speaker and presents alongside the likes of Sir Ken Robinson, Sugata Mitra and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. He regularly features in the media, and writes a monthly column in the Australian Teacher Magazine. 

Dan is passionate about equity in education and engaging our hardest-to-reach kids and communities. His first book, #SchoolOfThought is now available and all profits will go to supporting the Indigenous Literacy Foundation.

I have had the privilege of being involved in one of Dan’s presentations before and found it incredibly informative and thought provoking (although he did use a portion of his time to remind us that England had beaten us in the cricket)

On Thursday 21st July Dan will present a keynote on Engaging Kids Today. This keynote will explore the meaning of authentic engagement, and how teachers and schools can encourage it in their community. And then we’ll talk about out ICT can help with that…

Dan will also facilitate a 90 minute Workshop, Going Beyond the Grade. This workshop follows on from Engaging Kids Today. It explores the notion of Authentic Learning and how by incorporating different tools and opportunities we can provide students with compelling reasons for the work we’re doing. Going Beyond the Grade encourages teachers to consider the power of service learning and the connectivity afforded us by technology. What will we say the next time a kid asks us, “But why are we doing this?”

Participants will each receive access to an online resource with further self-directed learning opportunities.

Visit to register.