Digital tools

The digital tools used in INF532:

The journey commenced in INF530 has continued, and for INF532, it is hard to know what to identify as new. So many strands of my professional life for the last 8 or so years have been drawn together within this course – and some go back to my Masters of Education (Teacher-Librarianship) days when the www was a new entity!

Defining Social Media and Identifying my Platforms:

Social networking is the connectivity we are able to make with other like-minded people  through social media such as Twitter (@margaretsimkin) , blogs (WordPress), and wikis (wikispaces for me); sharing information and film clips such as through vimeo (my preference – not that I use it much) or you-tube; keeping up with friends and family through Facebook (mainly personal use on this one); sharing images through Flikr (not very successfully) and Google plus; teleconferencing through Microsoft Lync (use this at work as our phone system too) or Google hangouts, and collecting and curating through Pocket, Pinterest or Pearltrees. As with many things, I know about and have often signed up to these things, but often lack the time to develop them properly!

Continuing my learning journey through INF532:

Having avoided blogging for most of the time I have known about it, this course has truly convinced me of its power. While appreciating forum discussions, I have found blogging to be helpful in terms of organising my own thinking and mastering the content presented to me. For this subject I have blogged about being a student for module 1.1, the new culture of learning revealed in readings for module 1.2 and the three challenges I believe we face as educators in the C21st.

From Jackie Gerstein’s Powtoon converted to youtube clip I was reminded of the importance of translating pedagogical foundations to connects, curations and changed practices (Gerstein, 2012). This led me to sign up for a Powtoon account to see what it can add to my educational tool kit. Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach and Lani Ritter are currently challenging me to consider what I know and how I apply it to my work (Nussbaum-Beach & Hall, 2012). As usual, I struggle to implement the concepts to their full extent due to the constraints of the curriculum within which I must work.

Taking the multi-literacies test I acknowledged the following about my professional practice:

  1. Facilitating and inspiring learning and creativity: applying real world issues to VCE History is a challenge but the concepts of perspective (historians’ views) is an ongoing reality. Hard to spend too much time using current examples to illustrate the past.
  2. Personalising and customising work for students and applying a range of formative and summative assessment could be better in terms of designing and developing digital-age learning experiences and assessments but it’s tricky when my main exposure is in a VCE Year 12 subject.
  3. I am quite pleased with my modelling of working and learning in a digital age but have found through this course that my note-taking skills are a bit chaotic!
  4. With promoting and modelling digital citizenship and responsibility I am conscious of cutting corners from time to time; I forget to apply creative commons licence as often as I should.
  5. Professional growth and leadership are personal strengths. Professional learning opportunities provided by my school have enabled me to develop a wide range of skills in this area. This course is forcing me to apply many of the skills I have learned to my own learning, something it is easy to forget in the hurly burly of teaching from day to day.

My main hope for completing this subject is to strengthen the foundations that I already have in place, applying more of the networking to my teaching and learning in a sustained and meaningful manner, and “meeting” more like-minded educators with whom to share my educational journey.


Gerstein, J. (2012, October 11). Educator as a Social Networked Learner. Retrieved March 10, 2015, from

Nussbaum-Beach, S., & Hall, L. R. (2012). The Connected Educator. Bloomington: Solution Tree Press.



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