Friday, 2 October 2015

Favourite Pins Friday: Education, Health and Learning

The school holidays are nearly over and term 4 is about to begin. I can't believe the end of the school year is right around the corner!

I've been doing lots of reading and pinning these holidays so am happy to share a few of my new discoveries for another Favourite Pins Friday post! As always Twitter and Pinterest have been incredible resources and tools in my Learning Network.

So without any further delay here are my favourite educational pins!

Favourite Pins Friday, #EducatorinOz

Favorite TEACHING pin:

27 Ways to increase student participation via An Ethical Island

Favourite #edtech pin:

Apps to Use in the Classroom via Edutopia

You don't need a class set of tablets to integrate tech into your teaching. Check out this list of free apps to change up your routine next year.:

Favourite video pin:

Fit Lit: How Movement Impacts Learning via Edutopia

Favourite RESOURCE pin:

BAM Radio is the largest education radio network in the world offering programming from the nation's top education organizations and thought leaders and reaching a wide audience of people passionately committed to quality education.

My favourite MEME pin:

Found at Teach Junkie

Favourite health pin!

5 Mental Health Benefits Of Exercise via my main blog Natasha in Oz

If you would like to see what else I'm pinning please join me over at Pinterest and don't forget you can also find me at Twitter and on Google+

Best wishes,

Let's continue the conversation at Twitter FacebookGoogle plus, and Pinterest.

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Climate Change: The Science | A Free edX Course from UBCx

Do you want to talk about climate change from an informed perspective? Are you interested in how global warming works? Climate change is the biggest challenge of our time, and climate science is critical to finding solutions. How can we make the best decisions about our present and future?

Climate Change: The Science is an online course from the University of British Columbia. It is an introduction to climate science basics and you can take this course for free via edX.

For more edX courses just click the button below!

Best wishes,

Let's continue the conversation at Twitter FacebookGoogle plus, and Pinterest.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Favourite Pins Friday: #EducatorinOz

After a busy but fulfilling semester I am happy to share that my marking is finished, report cards have been written and my three week winter vacation starts in just a few days! To celebrate the school holidays I am sharing a few of my favourite pins for another Favourite Pins Friday post! I have learned so many new things this year from my PLN (Twitter) and on Pinterest I just had to blog about a few of my favourites with you.

Favourite Pins Friday: #EducatorinOz

Favorite TEACHING pin:

Alternatives To Traditional Homework via TeachThought


Favourite #edtech pin:

Teaching with Digital Technologies Infographic via

Teaching with Digital Technologies Infographic
Find more education infographics on e-Learning Infographics

Favourite #BlendedLearning pin:

Blended learning and the future of education: Monique Markoff at TEDx Ithaca College

Favourite RESOURCE pin:

The Epic BYOD Toolchest via Edutopia

My favourite MEME pin:

Some of the Best Things in Life are Mistakes: Middle School Science Teacher Humor

Favourite FOODIE pin!

60 Brain Boosting Foods for Memory & Cognitive Function via Livening Up

Brain Food

If you would like to see what else I'm pinning please join me over at Pinterest and don't forget you can also find me at Twitter and on Google+

Thanks for the fun link up Doodle Bugs Teaching!

Best wishes,

Let's continue the conversation at Twitter Facebook

Monday, 1 June 2015

Blended Learning: integrating digital content with face-to-face learning.

My desire to learn more about technology in the classroom coupled with my research about the way students learn has led me to find many new and innovative ways to engage and educate my students. I have enjoyed experimenting with 'Flipped Classroom' lessons but my students are telling me they actually like it when I am teaching them and guiding them rather than 'forcing' them to watch videos! This has confirmed my thoughts that balance really is key for our students and that 'Blended Learning' is the best option for me and for my students. While my students are literally attending a “brick-and-mortar” school with all the fun things that go with it like face-to-face instruction, social interaction and comfortable schooling routines, their learning is being combined with digital content, collaborative projects and independent thinking.

Blended Learning: integrating digital content with face-to-face learning.

The definition of “blended learning” has changed over time. A suggested definition from Norm Friesen (August 2012) is:

“'Blended Learning' designates the range of possibilities presented by combining Internet and digital media with established classroom forms that require the physical co‐presence of teacher and students." 

Since our 21st century students are digital natives, the use of mobile technologies such as tablets and mobile phones allows them to access information quickly and naturally. No wonder Blended Learning is a win-win situation for both student and teacher!

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Using Technology to Meet the Needs of Visual Learners.

As an educator in the 21st century I am constantly finding new ways to use technology to meet the diverse needs of all of my students. In particular, I have been using more technology to meet the needs of the visual learners in my classes.

Using Technology to Meet the Needs of Visual Learners #educatorinoz

I have become very familiar with the myriad of websites and digital resources that are available to support me as a teacher and to support my students.  I am also aware of the fact that every student learns differently and my method of teaching and instruction varies according to the varying levels my students are at in all of my classes and what type of learner they are.

What Type of Learner Are You?
Graphic via 

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Sophia showed me how to Flip my Classroom for FREE!

Over the Autumn break I did quite a lot of personal professional development based on the philosophy of "Flipped Learning" and "Flipping the Classroom." To extend my knowledge and officially add to my PD portfolio I earned a professional development certificate, for free, on how to "flip" my classroom with, an online education platform providing over 25,000 free academic tutorials on a variety of subjects. 

Sophia showed me How to Flip my Classroom for FREE!

Sophia is an online social education platform that has partnered with Capella University to offer a series of tutorials on flipping the classroom. They also offer iPad Prepared Certification and Chrome Classroom Certification.

Sophia showed me How to Flip my Classroom for FREE!

Sophia is a first-of-its-kind online social teaching and learning platform that offers academic content to anyone, anywhere, free of charge. The site ( has been described as a mashup of Facebook, Wikipedia and YouTube focused solely on education where users teach what they know and learn what they don’t. Via Eventbrite

I earned my certificate by completing a set of tutorials on a range of topics including "What is the Flipped Classroom?", "Technology and Resources" and "Differentiation Via the Flipped Class." The course too me about four hours to complete and part of the assessment is to create a Flipped Lecture that could be used in my classroom. Sophia also offers free webinars on the flipped classroom. 

I have not been paid or sponsored to write about Sophia, I just wanted to share this incredible free PD resource with my colleagues, especially those who are interested in learning more about Flipping the Classroom!

Best wishes,

Let's continue the conversation at Twitter, Facebook

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Technology,Teaching and Tradition: Finding the Right Balance.

As I begin to prepare for another term after a relaxing mid-semester break, I have found myself feeling very excited about teaching new content. However, I'm also quite anxious about balancing the integration of technology with my own often very traditional teaching methods in all of my lessons. How will I find time to teach the content required for my students to actually pass the course, make my lessons accessible and interesting to all students in my classes, keep up with my own personal professional development whilst maintaining a happy home life?

12 Tips on Staying Inspired | Infographic
Image via Ultralinx

All I can say is thank goodness that I have Twitter! The inflow of valuable information that I have found on Twitter is inspiring and pragmatic. My PLN has grown, I have learned so many things about  Flipped Learning and #edtech but I have also come to terms with the fact that the key to a happy classroom and a happy personal life is BALANCE! 

Zen Stones
Zen Stones by George Hodan

My favourite education site Edutopia, a site founded by filmmaker George Lucas in 1991 as part of the George Lucas Educational Foundation, is my go-to resource for all things tech and teaching. In one of their posts titled Technology and Teaching: Finding a Balance, the author, Andrew Marcinek who is the Director of Technology and co-founder, reminded educators that it's not about how much tech we integrate into our lessons but how we provide our students with the best access to all kinds of learning resources.

Ignore the clutter of overzealous edtech enthusiasts and find your focus to design your own instruction.

As an "old-school" teacher who loves telling stories and providing information via books (gasp!) I think the best thing for me is to make sure that I comfortably balance my teaching style with technology that will assist my students to learn what I am teaching them. I don't think that technology is optional for teaching and learning, it is definitely necessary. I just know that I will not be a slave to tech! 

Technology is just a tool. In terms of getting the kids working together and motivating them, 
the teacher is the most important.
Bill Gates

Technology,Teaching and Tradition: Finding the Right Balance.

I'm going to continuing teaching MY way but use technology to transform and reshape the way that my students learn. I will not only be providing them with new and engaging experiences but I will be continuing my own learning in the process. I will facilitate learning through a multitude of pathways, by utilising diverse technologies. I think it's going to be a win-win situation for everyone!

Best wishes,


Let's continue the conversation at Twitter Facebook

Friday, 10 April 2015

Flipped Learning, the Flipped Classroom and Twitter as a PLN: Favourite Pins Friday

My PLN (Personal Learning Network) is Twitter and I am continually amazed at the wealth of information that can be found via this amazing social media platform.

Flipped Learning, the Flipped Classroom and Twitter as a PLN: Favourite Pins Friday

I am currently researching the advantages and disadvantages of Flipped Learning and I have found an abundant selection of current and pedagogically sound resources about the Flipped Classroom on Twitter.

I will be testing all of my research and applying it a small group of ESL (English as a Second Language) students in one of my core classes. Like all the other educators I have met on Twitter who are flipping their classrooms, I am finding that the "traditional" classroom model is not catering to the needs of all of my students very well. I hope that by providing readings, videos and other material that would ordinarily be accessed by students during ,'normal' class time as homework content, my ESL students will be able to read ahead, make translations and gain a better understanding of content so they can engage with the content at a deeper level during the next lesson. Technology will be utilised to enhance understanding, encourage individualised learning and provide one-on-one help to students.

Image and post found at Edudemic

The students can watch short lessons, read primary and secondary sources, and listen to podcasts as many times as they wish. This will allow them to grasp the content at their own pace so they can come to class prepared to answer questions, work on inquiry-based projects, and expand their knowledge of the the content even further. This will also allow me to have extra time to assist non ESL students thus will hopefully improve student-teacher interaction for all students in the class.

Friday, 3 April 2015

Sharing Educational Resources: Favourite Pins Friday

Do you find inspiration, ideas and educational innovations on Pinterest? I do so I thought it might be fun to end the week by sharing a few of my favourite pins.

Favorite TEACHING pin:

25 ways to be an effective teacher in your classroom via An Ethical Island


Favourite #edtech pin:

27 Apps that have changed my Teaching and Learning Practice via Create, Innovate Explore

Apps v2 sharing

Favourite #FlippedClassroom pin:

Infographic created by We are Teachers

Resource about the #flippedclassroom #edchat

Favourite RESOURCE pin:

How To Cite Social Media: MLA & APA Formats via Teach Bytes

My favourite MEME pin:


And finally, because I LOVE cooking, here is my favourite FOODIE pin!

Ooey Gooey Chocolate Brownies via my other blog, Natasha in Oz

Sharing Educational Resources: Favourite Pins Friday

If you would like to see what else I'm pinning please join me over at Pinterest and don't forget you can also find me at Twitter and on Google+

Thanks for the fun link up Doodle Bugs Teaching!

Best wishes,

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Flipping the Classroom and #FlippedLearning

As part of my own Professional Development I have spent quite a lot of time investigating the concept of Flipping the Classroom as part of the Flipped Learning educational model. In case you are not familiar with this exciting and fairly recent philosophy, the flipped classroom is a teaching model that utilises technology in the classroom and at home: students will do 'traditional' classroom activities like listening to and watching lectures while they are at home at their own pace which then leaves lesson time to engage in activities that might have normally been done for homework. Jon Bergmann and Aaron Sams are considered the pioneers of the Flipped Class Movement.  He spent 24 years as a middle and high school science teacher before becoming the lead technology facilitator for a school district in Chicago. Jon helped found the Flipped Learning Network, a non-profit organization which provides resources and research about flipped learning.

Here is a great (and short!) overview of the Flipped Classroom concept by Dr Jackie Gerstein

I love that students can listen to lesson materials at home at whatever pace they are comfortable with. My ESL students, for example, can view the material as many times as they wish without having to rush through translating and note-taking. On the other hand, my higher level students can watch the material quickly and respond to more questions to gain a deeper understanding of the topic. In flipped classrooms all students will be encouraged to take responsibility of their own learning which shifts the responsibility of learning from the teacher to the student. It also gives the teacher time to see where students might be struggling and to adjust their teaching accordingly. This infographic explains the model perfectly!

Flipped Classroom
Created by Knewton and Column Five Media

There are many things that I love about this educational innovation but the main positive is the integration of many differing types of media. For example, I am about to start a unit of work all about the Renaissance and the Reformation and I have found a vast selection of videos on the free site Khan Academy.

Flipping the Classroom #FlippedLearning Khan Academy

Khan Academy offers practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard that empower learners to study at their own pace in and outside of the classroom. We tackle math, science, computer programming, history, art history, economics, and more. Our math missions guide learners from kindergarten to calculus using state-of-the-art, adaptive technology that identifies strengths and learning gaps. We've also partnered with institutions like NASA, The Museum of Modern Art, The California Academy of Sciences, and MIT to offer specialized content. Via Khan Academy

For example, my students will be directed to watch videos and answer focus questions based on five 'lessons' on the issue of Reformation and the Counter-Reformation.  One night they will watch the introductory video below.

Flipping the Classroom #FlippedLearning

"Key issues" from the video are placed just underneath the video and near the 'questions' area so students can engage with other people learning all about this issue and answer questions about the key issues. An example of a question is "Did the mass printing (invention of the printing press) of the Bible, so the common person could have the Bible in their homes have any effect on the reformation?" Concept engagement will occur via communicating with peers and me the teacher via online discussion questions. I will also ask my students to answer some of the questions during class time the next day and while they are answering the questions I will be able to individually consult each student and get feedback on what they have learnt overnight.

Now, I know that all students in my class have access to technology but if students have limited computer and Internet access the Flipped model could be a bit problematic. I'm sure that if students had problems getting their own technology the school library or computer lab would be a great option.

With most schools using either their own user-pays IT program or the BYOT program I think the flipped classroom approach will really help students from all levels of ability to engage with course work. If you think you might like to learn more about Flipped Learning here are just a few resources that I have found invaluable. I will share more links over the coming weeks!

  • Jon Bergmann along with Aaron Sams, is considered a pioneer in the Flipped Class Movement. Jon believes educators should ask one guiding question: What is best for the students in my classroom? Their collaborative site is Flipped Class.

  • Educator's Technology is resource of educational web tools and mobile apps teachers and educators can use to successfully integrate technology in education.

  • Graphite is a free service from Common Sense Media, helps teachers find, understand, and share the best digital learning products available.

  • Khan Academy offers practice exercises, instructional videos, and a personalized learning dashboard that empower learners to study at their own pace in and outside of the classroom.

  • Teaching Channel is an online community where teachers can watch, share, and learn diverse techniques.

  • TED-Ed, TED's education initiative, is an online library of short, captivating videos that engage inquisitive learners all over the world.

  • Keith Hughes  has taught US History and AP Government for the past 15 years as well as edu classes in New Literacy and Technology for the Graduate School of Education at the University of Buffalo. His videos are entertaining, educational and perfect for flipped history classes. He is also on twitter and shares fantastic resources and links. You can follow @hiphughes here.

If you are on Twitter and would like to tweet with me please follow me-I am @natashainoz! I tweet about education, gender issues, social media, current affairs and social justice. I'm also over at Google+ and on Pinterest.

Happy Flipping!

Best wishes,

Monday, 30 March 2015

An Educator in Oz!

As an Educator in Oz I want to keep up with the ever changing world of learning trends, media and technology, not only in Australia but all over the world. Since media and technology are at the very centre of my students' lives I want to be able to navigate through their world with ease and to use the technologies they are so familiar with in my classroom.

Components of a 21st Century Classroom — An infographic by the team at Open Colleges via Mashable

Through this blog I hope to be able to keep up with the rapidly changing educational landscape that we live in by learning about ways I can use modern media and technology in my 21st century classroom in conjunction with old fashioned educational tools like books, paper and pens.

How Much Is Too Much Classroom Technology?

When one also take into account that young people today spend over 50 hours every week on some kind of screen and that 50 hours doesn't even include the time using technology for educational purposes, I think it's important to gauge both the negative and positive impact technology has on their social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development.

Please join me in my quest to educate myself, other teachers, students, administrators, carers, and maybe even policymakers, by sharing information and ideas on how we can make our classrooms even more inclusive, engaging, innovative and above all, empowering.

Best wishes,