Monthly Archives: March 2014

More on Scootle

The flyers below include information and links for registering for Scootle and the Scootle community. Over 300,000 Australian teachers are now registered for Scootle and can access a vast array of quality, curriculum-linked resources and build their Personal Learning Network (PLN) through the community.


10 ways scootle

Scootle recently released a video to promote Scootle community. If you look closely you might see a familiar face!

7 things

Educause* regularly publishes new “7 things you should know about…” While developed for higher education many of the topics covered, especially those in the Learning Technology Topics series, are very relevant for those of us working in secondary and even primary years. From the site:

Use these quick reads to get essential information on emerging technologies and practices, including potential implications and opportunitities. These resources are great to share with teams or faculty considering a new technology.

The seven things are always answers to these questions:

  1. What is it?
  2. How does it work?
  3. Who’s doing it?
  4. Why is it significant?
  5. What are the downsides?
  6. Where is it going?
  7. What are the implications for higher education?

and come as a downloadable Pdf or ePub file. Some issues also include a podcast about the topic.

Recent topics have included

I highly recommend having a browse at Educause, you never know what you might learn!

*EDUCAUSE is a US nonprofit association whose mission is to advance higher education through the use of information technology.

Worth a read 03/25/2014

  • The handwriting debate continues and it would be wonderful if once and for all a stopper could be placed on it. Handwriting does need to be taught in our classrooms, as Marnee Wills (”Teaching the write stuff: the forgotten art of penmanship”, Education, February 3) argues. This is because it is a life skill with certain cognitive benefits. But it should also be banished from our exam rooms, post haste and forever.
    The laborious and painstaking process of forming letters is an abomination to a considerable percentage of our bright students who suffer from dysgraphia, a recognised and not always treatable developmental co-ordination disorder.

    tags: writing KDSBytes handwriting exams

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

How secure is your password?

Type in your password at How secure is my password and see how quickly an average desktop PC could crack it. The results might surprise you. Play around by adding extra digits or different character types and you’ll soon see that a strong password is characterised by a variety of character types (upper and lower case, numbers, special characters) and most importantly by length.

I’m reliably informed that this site is not in fact harvesting passwords for malicious purposes. It’s own disclaimer says:

This site is for educational use. Due to limitations of the technology involved, its results cannot always be accurate. Your password will not be transferred over the internet.

The site is sponsored by Roboform, a free online password manager. I guess they’re hoping you’ll sign up.

This would be a great activity with students allowing them to see how easily simple passwords can be cracked and perhaps providing a competitive note to password selection.

Worth a read 03/19/2014

  • “Google Drive is a powerful productivity suite with an increasing potential in education. From storing documents to creating stunning presentations and drawings, Google Drive empowers you with the necessary tools to enhance your productivity and augment your workflow.
    This post introduces you to some basic features integrated in Google Docs which your students can use to help them with their research projects and also boost their collaborative workforce.”

    tags: Google Drive students research KDSBytes

  • “Students feedback can sometimes host a treasure trove of new insights not only about their own comprehension but also about our teaching. Giving students the opportunity to share their own response on the learning taking place in the classroom is highly beneficial to them particularly in the way they position themselves vis a vis the content being taught. They also feel empowered because they know their voice does matter and therefore become more engaged and involved in the learning/teaching process.”

    tags: KDSBytes formative assessment feedback

  • “Educators have lots of ideas about how to improve education, to better reach learners and to give students the skills they’ll need in college and beyond the classroom. But often those conversations remain between adults. The real test of any idea is in the classroom, though students are rarely asked about what they think about their education.

    A panel of seven students attending schools that are part of the “deeper learning” movement gave their perspective on what it means for them to learn and how educators can work to create a school culture that fosters creativity, collaboration, trust, the ability to fail, and perhaps most importantly, one in which students want to participate.”

    tags: motivation learning students KDSBytes

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Worth a read 03/18/2014

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.


I only came across Europeana recently. It is a website where galleries, museums and libraries from across Europe are providing access to their collections. The British Library, The Louvre and the Rijksmuseum are just three of the many institutions contributing to this site.

Europeana Launch Video from Europeana on Vimeo.

From the about page:

Explore millions of items from a range of Europe’s leading galleries, libraries, archives and museums. Books and manuscripts, photos and paintings, television and film, sculpture and crafts, diaries and maps, sheet music and recordings, they’re all here. No need to travel the continent, either physically or virtually!

Found something you like? Download it, print it, use it, save it, share it, play with it, love it!

Search results include images, text, video and sound recordings. It is easy to refine a search with the options on the left hand side. I particularly like how you can limit your search to display items that are licensed for re-use if you wish. This search result shows 160 image, text and videos related to medical instruments that can be re-used with attribution or with restrictions.

Europeana search results

The contributing institutions are from all over Europe so the built-in translation service is handy.

You can register for a Europeana account if you wish which allows you to save items for future reference.