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Richard Olsen’s IdeasLAB
Digital toolbox conasta_2013
Digital Toolbox for
Science Teaching and Learning
Wednesday 10th July, 11.45am, BG 115
Science, Maths and VCE
Online teacher at
Hawkesdale P12 College
Technoscience blog since
How is it different?
• Very fast – almost instant – sharing of audio, text
• Much more data stored in smaller spaces.
• Visual data are more prominent.
• Global access – few restrictions to
communication across the world.
• 24/7 – not restricted to 9-to-5 on weekdays
‘school’ or ‘working’ hours.
• Anyone can publish – not just the ‘experts’.
• Many more opportunities to find people of
• Self-directed – not dictated by the producer.
What do you really ‘suck’ at?
• Competitive sports?
• Organizing photos into albums?
• Making a pavlova?
• Is it something you have never been ‘taught’?
• Is it something you have no interest in?
• You have never had the need to know how?
What are the rules for Learning?
• No talking?
• No use of technology?
• Time limits?
• Groups chosen for students?
• Specific product required?
• Is there access to ‘experts’?
What does this mean for teaching
• Teachers are no longer the “font of all
• Students don’t need to memorize facts.
• Questions shouldn’t be easily ‘googled’.
• Instead of rote learning; analysis, evaluation
inquiry, problem-solving and creation should be
• Students need to be taught to evaluate the
reliability of information.
• Opportunities for peer collaboration with like-
minds – “Collective Knowledge Construction”
• Connect – “Too Big to know”
• Communicate – “The World is our sounding
• Collaborate – “Diversity trumps curation”
• Learn Collectively – “Purpose binds us”
• Richard Olsen’s white paper from “IdeasLAB”
Connect, Communicate & Collaborate
• Groups on Diigo, sharing Delicious links
• Padlet (previously Wallwisher)
• Blogs – writing & commenting on posts
• Creating and sharing slideshows, Voicethreads
• Shared documents/slideshows on Google Drive
"Pivot" is software that allows creation
of stick figure animations that can be
converted to video.
“It’s like a group brain!”
• Collective meaning-making
Tools for curation
• ‘Scrapbooks’ that can be shared online
• Digital ‘buckets’ for collection of resources
• Diigo and Delicious
Edcanvas at http://www.edcanvas.com/
Add web pages, videos, images,
text, quizzes and other digital content to a
single site and share the link.
A digital ‘scrapbook’ or collection of
• A “digital bucket”
• For direct instruction/presentations
• 1:1 and ‘flipped’ classrooms
• Student assignments and PBL
• Now includes “Add quiz” for formative
assessment and exit tickets.
• Can be used for student surveys and feedback
• Create annotated images that contain links to
websites, videos, cartoons, other images etc.
• Not just a static image, but a
dynamic, interactive display.
• Use for student research projects, extension
work and introductions to new topics.
Tools for synthesis
• Global2, Edublogs and Wikispaces - Blogs and
wikis allow students to add content, reflect,
comment, revise and discuss
• Voicethread can also allow conversations
• Google Docs/presentations with input from
Your students can enter the 60 second science
competition by explaining a scientific concept.
Tools for collective meaning-making
• Shared Google docs
• Blackboard Collaborate
• Quizlet and Quiz Revolution
Tagxedo for word clouds
Quiz revolution at
a geneticist from
Magdeline Lum, a
and science writer from
We use Skype and Blackboard Collaborate to
connect with our Scientist in Schools partner,
Melissa Toifl, from CSIRO Land and Water
Technologies, in Highett and Clayton.
Products for Assessment
• Blogs > global2 or edublogs
• Slideshows > Slideshare
• Animations > ToonDo
• Cartoons > ComicLife
• E-Posters > Glogster
• Digital stories > Photostory
• Team work > Wikispaces
• Mash-ups > Windows Movie Maker; iMovie
• Videos > You-Tube; Vimeo
• Technology does not replace experiments
• Does every student have access to devices?
• Does every student have internet access?
• Preferred learning styles?
• Concentration span – mix it up!
• Plan B and Plan C
• Best tool for the job of learning
Email - Brittgow@gmail.com
Twitter - @brittgow
Technoscience blog -
Digital toolbox –