Share some teaching strategies;

Taken from the What “pedagogy” do you know? activity this is my contribution to the discussion.

The strategy or questioning technique I prefer is one that is offered by Anita Archer and Charles Hughes in their book “explicit instruction”. This technique is roughly based on direct instruction but uses gestural and visual cueing to reinforce your words. If you are asking a question to the whole class you would;

  • Ask the question with your arms extended above your head and palms towards the class.
  • Pause, lowering your arms gesturing for any students with their hands up to lower them.
  • You can now choose the student you wish to answer the question.
  • Alternatively, you may wish to extend the thought process with a more collaborative approach.

The authors promote explicit instruction as systematic, direct, engaging, and success oriented (Archer, 2011).

Whilst I find the above useful for demonstrations and procedural tasks, I much prefer to engage students in collaborative inquiry.

Archer, A. L. (2011). Explicit instruction effective and efficient teaching C. A. Hughes (Ed.) What works for special needs learners. (pp. 1 online resource (xiii, 290 p)).  Retrieved from

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Australian Education Twitter Chats


This Week (week 2), David offered us the challenge to expand our PLN and PKM by entering the ‘Twitterverse’ and engaging with other educators on #edchat.

I have found that Australian Teachers and Educators are sharing resources and information through a series of chats. I personally find the #PSTchat to be helpful along with the #ozprimschchat. I have previously found the contributors to these chats to be extremely helpful and genuine in offering information.

There is debate surrounding the topic of whether or not participating in these chats can be linked to the professional development and engagement requirements of the AITSL Standards. My personal view is that you would have to demonstrate that you are at least meeting the minimum requirements of the relevant AITSL Standard.

A full list of chats and times can be found at this link


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My EDC3100 ICT journey?


Should I play it safe and stick to what I know or go on a journey into the unknown?
Are the discoveries worth the risk?
Adventure or play it safe?

I feel I’ve reached an important destination in the EDC3100 learning journey. I am standing at the edge of a precipice overlooking the many paths leading towards EDC3100’s Valhalla. Whilst standing at this vantage point I’m asking myself whether or not I should take the road less traveled and gamble on the risk of adventure and the treasures that may be discovered.

Whether to play it safe or take a leap of faith?


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14 things

The author of this blog shares their view on redundancy and obsolescence of all things within the school environment.

Technology, in it various forms receives numerous mentions but the most poignant critique is about teachers’ attitudes for change and the exchange of information and ideas.

The following quote used in the blog rings true.

“We do not learn from experience…we learn from reflecting on experience.” -John Dewey

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If you are teaching your students the tools of yesterday, you are preventing society from moving forward. Rather, we must be teaching our students to use the tools of this moment, and teaching them how to learn the next set.”

Wow, what an interesting discussion starter.

As Teachers, we are responsible for the education and growth of the students in our charge, as such we need to meet their present and future requirements.

We need to be discerning with the messages we give our students, by grabbing onto the latest and greatest ‘tool of the moment’ what sublime message do our students comprehend.

Are we reinforcing the consumerist hyperbole that large corporations wield to coerce a vulnerable society to partake of the latest fad or trend of the moment?

Teachers need to ensure that students become discerning and literate users of ICT.  Just as a tradesman will choose the best tool for the job so must students be shown how to select the best technology for the task at hand.


Would you use a chainsaw to prune a rosebush?

In this digital age with portable devices and electronic gadgets all the rage, it is sometimes easy to forget about ‘yesterdays’ technology or depreciate its importance. The Brain could be considered outdated, old-fashioned and inefficient if compared to the calculator found inside most mobile phones. The calculator, for most part is faster at calculating large and complex number problems. Some might say that because it can handle everything from simple and basic computations through to large and complex tasks that it would be a more efficient use of time to teach a student how to use the calculator than to waste so much time teaching them about addition, subtraction, division and multiplication.

Whoa Up, I realise that what I just said is controversial, it was meant that way. Technology is a tool; we have the choice to use it wisely or inappropriately. We need to think holistically about what we need our students to achieve. Will using ICT enhance the student’s learning and deepen their comprehension of the subject? Do students need to use technology to scaffold their skills and understanding for future tasks?

The tools we use need to be the best available and the most suited to the facilitation of student understanding.

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We will help you reach your ‘FULL POTENTIAL’.

How many times have you heard this statement or a variant of it?

I believe that potential is never static, it’s not a line drawn in the sand or a location that you can ever truly reach. Think of potential in the same way that you visualise Vygotsky’s ‘Zone of Proximal Development’, with effort, development and learning the zone shifts. The same is evident with potential to believe in fixed potential you must also believe in a fixed mindset.

“As a person grows, learning and experiences become more sophisticated and challenging, growth continually occurs, and potential is never reached because it is impossible to reach.”

Mary Cay Ricci

Ricci, M.C. (2013). Mindsets in the Classroom: Building a Culture of Success and Student Achievement in Schools: Sourcebooks.

As Teachers we must constantly reflect upon our students development and promote the development of a growth mindset not only with them but all those having influence upon them.

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Everything is Awesome

I think that this could just be the motivational song for this semester.

cue the mantra: “EVERYTHING IS AWESOME”

Not a bad example of a multimodal text either.

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Truth only reveals itself when one gives up all preconceived ideas.

~ Shoseki

We have been given an interesting task today, that is to complete the following paragraph by filling in the missing words.

The questions that p________ face as they raise ch________ from in_________ to adult are not easy to an _________. Both f______ and m________ can become concerned when health problems such as co_________ arise anytime after the e____ stage to later life. Experts recommend that young ch____ should have plenty of s________ and nutritious food for healthy growth. B___ and g____ should not share the same b______ or even be in the same r______. They may be afraid of the d_____.

Whilst the task itself is straight forward and only requires one to think of a suitable word to fill the blanks. The interesting thing to be aware of is that another person is likely to choose a different set of words to complete the task depending on their experiential viewpoint. Our course work links to Piaget and schema with the following link.

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Educational Podcasts

I’ve been searching the voids of the internet universe looking for signs of life with respect to educational podcasts. Navigating the flotsam and jetsam of pseudo respectable sites with subjects feigning credibility, I feel a little bit dejected.

Like a heroic space explorer embarking on a voyage “to explore strange new worlds… To seek out new life, and new podcasts… To Boldly Go Where No One Has Gone Before”. (kudos of course to the Star Trek team for most of those words.).

Thankfully for me somebody has been here before and we are not alone.  Julie DeNeen has braved the perils of the podcast pariah’s to compile a noteworthy list of candidates for our perusal.

This list may be found at informED website at this link,

50 Educational Podcasts You Should Check Out

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EDC3100 – Introduction

EDC3100 - Introduction

Darren McMullin

Who am I ?
I am a mature age student (my wife would argue the term mature) indulging in his mid-life crisis with a change of profession.

The inspiration for going to Uni and becoming a ‘Padawan Teacher’ (Star Wars reference – an apprentice Jedi) belongs to my twin Granddaughters who have enlightened me to ways of the pedagogical force.

ICT and Me?
I love gadgets and anything with flashing lights, but when it comes to computers I seem to be stuck in an infinite loop.
A continuous love-hate relationship tethered to technology.
When we are both in sync it’s enjoyable and when we aren’t…………..

What do I think about ICT and Pedagogy?
I am of the opinion that ICT is like any other tool in the classroom, if it’s used effectively it has many benefits.
Unfortunately, I believe that it is either under utilised or worse superficially used because it has been mandated somewhere, by someone.
ICT can be a great tool to aid all students and provide opportunities for differentiation

Course Expectations
I would like to find out how to implement ICT’s within my teaching more effectively.
I am eager to discover and use new tools to assist my journey seeking the pedagogical force.

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