Abstracts & Papers

Abstracts for each presentation are below. There is a link to each speaker's paper, blog or wiki. Some presentations will be added after the conference. If you would like a hard copy of any paper please print it out. In the interests of the trees we do not print papers for the conference.



Case Studies

Vendor Sessions



Me, We and the Network

Nancy White

The power of you - or of me, is mighty. But when and how do we tap into the power of "we" - bounded groups, or networks which flow beyond our personal lines of sight. What practices enable us to utilise the power across these three forms? The proliferation of internet based tools has expanded what it means to "be together" with others for learning, work and pleasure. How do we, as learners, educators and designers decide when to focus on the individual, the group or the wider network? What are the strengths and weaknesses of each? How does our choice inform our selection of tools and methods? And what about all the gray area "in between" each of these? We'll explore how we might navigate these spaces and play with a few heuristics you can take back with you.

The 21st Century Teacher as Sorcerer's Apprentice -- Reflections from the Rabbit-Hole, Five Years In

Clay Burell

Whether teachers or administrators, managers or executives, leaders today share one general goal: to improve those they lead in their performance and skills, their knowledge and understanding, perhaps even their creativity and character. Leaders today also share one challenge: to overcome the threat posed by the Digital Revolution to render their leadership stale and obsolete. Or so I saw things, anyway, a mere five years ago when, already a forty-something with little to no technical skill, I went down the digital rabbit-hole in search of new tools for my teaching practice. The tools I found had less in common with hammers and drills than with paintbrushes and magic wands, and they turned me, for better and for worse, into a teaching “Sorcerer’s Apprentice.” My presentation will share the challenges, the successes, and the failures of my own five-year quest to remain vital and relevant as a leader of 21st century students, but I hope the highlights of the journey will be relevant to professionals of all stripes.


Teaching and learning with digital content ­ stories from the field

Olivia Clarke

All sectors of education throughout Australia ­ school, TAFE, pre-service education, and even some pre-schools ­ can now access high quality digital curriculum resources at no charge through the Le@rning Federation (TLF) project. This paper will draw on TLF¹s extensive research, case studies and special projects to illustrate the diverse ways educators are changing their practice to make teaching and learning more engaging, challenging and relevant in new digital learning environments.

Designing for Open/Networked Learning

Alec Couros

Emerging technologies & social media have received much attention in the past several years in regards to their perceived potential for transformative pedagogy. Yet, many blog, wiki, and other social media projects continue to fail as educators misinterpret how best to approach these tools in the classroom. This presentation will help participants understand the importance of developing personal learning networks (PLNs), how these are being used effectively in learning design, and will offer various ideas for developing open & networked learning experiences for your students, and for your own professional development.

The Power and Limits of Innovation ­ or How Much Fire Can I Steal?

Howard Errey Link to paper Link to paper

Ever wondered what happens on the inside of an innovator? We¹d all like to think that we can empower and open our students and organisations to the new wonderful ways of the web; but it¹s not always simple and straightforward. There¹s the challenges on the outside such as firewalls and the risk managers; but there¹s also our inner psychology to deal with as well. Innovators might be able to see a marvellous future or potential, but don¹t always feel empowered about what is going on around (and inside) them right now; and often feel alone. Looking at mythology about innovations as well as examples of some notable innovators and sample e-learning innovations projects, we look at what makes an innovator and ask ³how much fire can we steal?² The intention of this session is that we gain insight into our own capacity for empowerment and development as an e-learning leader.

Teaching and Learning has always been a highly social activity. Technology hasn't changed this. Or has it?

Denise Morgan Link to paper Link to paper

In the 21st century "change is a constant companion of education and the larger governmental and even global system in which education functions" (Lynch, 2002, p.2). As a global learning society where technology is fast becoming a major contributor in changing the way the world does business it is also evident that education and training organisations need to be part of this change. E-learning and the growth of technology that supports it has seen a new era not only in distance learning but also in workplace training and classroom based learning (Garrison & Anderson, 2003). As we adjust to this new era it is important to remember that teaching and learning has always been a highly social activity and technology hasn't changed this. Or has it? Acknowledging that making the shift from traditional teaching modes to e-learning can pose immense challenges for educators this presentation will include stories from the field and practical examples of how you can adapt to this new role.

Conference Summary and Overview

Greg O'Grady

Over two days we¹ll have seen some fabulous uses of learning technologies and will have lots of ideas buzzing around in our heads. But what happens when we leave the excitement and energy of Mooloolaba? In this session we'll review the conference and look at how to move forward with ideas when we get back to the real world.

Baiting the Digital Hook

Sue Waters

Imagine trainers, educators and professionals from similar industry areas connected with each other online - how each would become smarter and work more efficiently? Right now, the knowledge is held in ³vaults² - held in minds of solitary experts and individuals, often unavailable due to distance and time constraints and collected in places that may be inaccessible to all. What if we used the internet to connect and share with each other?

Come on a journey with Sue Waters to learn how she has used social networking tools such as Ning, Twitter, Facebook, Delicious to create connections between aquaculture educators, students and the fish farming industry. Sue will share practical examples of how these connections have benefited while discussing the ways of dealing with challenges faced when working with people new to using web tools. This session will give you greater knowledge of how to use social networking tools in your industry area and with your students.

Case Studies

Using Real-time Tools

Brian Bauer

While working to develop a training program for a Fortune 25 pharmaceutical company, we were faced with learners who offered passive-resistance to being taught by traditional, Pedagogic methods. These corporate professionals felt like they had no efficacy in the way the coursework was administered. We were challenged to put together a tool that introduced an Andragogic style of ³learning by doing², otherwise known as authentic learning. The highly inclusive slogan for our program became: ³Learning is a process people do, not a process that is done to people². We developed a 3D immersive virtual reality training platform in which students and educators co-mingle as avatars. Virtual reality is as close to authentic learning as you can get when your students and educators are separated geographically. The technology dramatically increases the sense of co-location, which drives user-engagement and improves coworker intimacy and data retention rates. As a result of quantified program success, corporate decision-makers have determined to migrate much of legacy coursework into the more impactful virtual reality education platform.

There's an App for That! A beginner's guide to iPhone app development

John Burns Link to paper Link to paper

The iPhone is rapidly becoming the platform of choice for mLearning developers worldwide and a non-technical background should not be a barrier to great pedagogical practice. Facilitated by the founder of iKonstrukt, the developers of Educate, this session is aimed at any teacher who wishes to bring their iPhone app ideas into reality. Learn tips for scoping concepts, designing user interfaces, managing contractors, liaising with Apple, and marketing in the AppStore. Ensure your professional input into what will most certainly be the number one mLearning platform for at least the next five years.

Slogging it Out with Teachers

Marianne Dickie & Ilona Van Galen

Online education has allowed Higher Education facilities to teach large numbers of students in varied disciplines across the world. But in the fast moving world of online education students often feel they have lost their individuality and crave connection with a human face. In a program taught by legal professionals, not traditional academics how do we ensure that online teachers and students connect and are recognised as individuals? Innovations such as reflective journals, capstones and discussion forums are often meaningless to practitioners who see their role as experts imparting their knowledge and experience to a passive audience. Change has to be incremental, and subtle to ensure that both students and teachers incorporate it into their daily inter-actions. This presentation will discuss how we assist practitioners in a young and developing profession, to adopt teaching strategies in online learning that enhance their role and build a community of practice amongst their students.

Using Real-time Tools

Karen Fainges

Power should really be with learners. Life long learning begins with the passing of power from teachers to students. So how do we encourage students to really take hold of their learning and ³Do it their way²? By using the tools they are familiar with. There is nothing better than learning by doing, so listeners will become participants and work together to gather a range of tools and processes for keeping up to date in our rapidly changing world. These thoughts will be captured by phone, online document editing, and off site participants on Twitter/Plurk/FaceBook etc. These items will then be available for all participants to take with them back to their workplace. Blending them with tools currently in use in your organisation is a challenge but one worth undertaking.


Mary Hill

Wikis offer both students and teachers great opportunities for sharing learning and teaching. This presentation will look at an experience of working with another teacher in another state using class wikis as a way of publishing students¹ learning as well as for sharing interactive learning experiences. The students involved were new arrivals including migrants and refugees learning English language with many students being unfamiliar with using computer technology. This presentation will also explore the benefits of using Wikis, challenges for both the teachers and learners and what to consider when moving online with students.

Open Learning Environments for Personalised Learning

Stefanie Klein

Personalisation is a key requirement to motivate learners to use learning technologies and self-paced content. Whereas most research focuses on the personalisation of content, this session takes a closer look at the personalisation of the tools and platform technologies for learning and the use of open learning content within that context. When designing a learning environment, most organisations tend to work on their internal business processes and content instead of focussing on what the learners really do with the learning tools the organisation provides to them. Changing the perspective to the users shows that they prefer to create their own technology-enhanced learning environments and choose to individually adapt contents to their needs ­ not necessarily within the organisational structures and solutions offered to them. Doing this, a whole set of technologies comes into play: Suddenly the organisational learning management system has to be compatible with a variety of social network platforms, search engines, open web services, blogs or wikis, open content repositories and a high number of other applications. Thus, the challenge for organisations today is: How can they manage the variety of technologies and simultaneously foster the creativity and motivation of their users. This session proposes a solution for this question by describing an architecture for an open learning environment. It delivers examples and instructions on how to build such a solution step-by-step. The presented approach is equally relevant for public institutions, corporation or educational institutions.

E-fficient Capability Building

Sue Mandley & Jan Kealey Link to paper Link to paper

Jan and Sue will present a Gordon TAFE professional development activity that is linked to units within the Diploma of VET (practice) qualification. Staff participate in sessions of 3hours over 15 weeks and a requirement is to have an online resources design, developed, facilitated and evaluated. Sue and Jan will report on the outcomes of the project and its success as a strategic initiative aimed at building e-learning capability.

Using E-portfolios to Support Flexible Learning Options

Alison Miller Link to paper Link to paper

Living and working in the knowledge era means people expect to use technology when they are learning in the same way they use it in their everyday lives. Australian education and training organisations are realising the key benefits of offering flexible learning opportunities. These influences have given rise to a growing interest in the use of electronic portfolios (e-portfolios). E-portfolios are learner centred and learner managed systems which support lifelong and life-wide learning and encourage personalised learning experiences. By enabling learners to dynamically create up-to-the-minute records of their work history, achievements, training and life experiences, e-portfolios provide new and exciting ways of re-engaging and retaining learners. The ability to capture evidence of skills and experience through mobile devices (such as mobile phones, digital cameras and point of view devices), offers an improved opportunity for RPL (recognition of prior learning) and workplace assessment, which helps to fast track apprenticeships and traineeships. This presentation will demonstrate what an e-portfolio is and how e-portfolios are being used in the VET sector to support learners to move easily between education, training and employment. This is very timely as Australia moves towards a broader tertiary sector which encompasses both VET and higher education.

Beyond Classroom Walls - The 21st Century Classroom

Anne Mirtschin Link to paper Link to paper

A 21st century classroom, extends well beyond the physical classroom walls. Learn how to connect, collaborate and create outside the classroom and beyond into the globe. See how teachers and students are empowered with the necessary e-skills: netiquette, digital citizenship skills, cyber safety, use of web 2.0 tools, collaborating and working in virtual teams, risk-taking, and creating effective products for a global audience. View demonstrations of how a small rural school, has used videoconferencing (skype), blogging, nings, wikis, webcasting, and virtual classroom software (elluminate, discoverE) to work synchronously and asynchronously with students from the Middle East, USA, Canada, Thailand, Malaysia, NZ, Russia, Korea, China. Students are well equipped for the digital age that they have been born into and have developed lifelong learning skills for the global workforce that will be theirs. This is cutting edge 21st century learning!

Moodle LMS - Learning Unplugged

Chad Outten Link to paper Link to paper

Through a school case study illustrating a successful implementation, learn about the benefits of Moodle's social constructivist approach to education using blogs, chat, forums, tags, wikis and the integration of web 2.0 services such as flickr, Twitter and YouTube. Moodle is an open-source course management system designed using sound pedagogical principles, to help educators create effective learning communities. The software can be freely downloaded and can scale from a single educator site to a university with many thousands of users. Moodle has a large and diverse community with over 700k registered users on moodle.org speaking 78 languages in 211 countries.

Empowering the Virtual Student: "[Cyber] Space is the Place"

Adam Rock Link to paper Link to paper

It has been a quarter of a century since William Gibson (1984) coined the term "cyberspace" in his seminal science fiction novel "Neuromancer". Subsequently, a proliferation of online teaching technologies have emerged supporting Virilio¹s (1991) contention that, "time and space have ceased to function as meaningful dimensions to human thought and action." The aim of this presentation is to discuss and demonstrate the innovative modification of an online, synchronous learning environment, Elluminate Live! (eLive!), which empowers participants to transcend the spatial dimension. Specifically, we present a best practice strategy that enabled off-campus first-year psychology students to participate in a structured online tutorial series, which replicated the entire first-year psychology on-campus tutorial series in the eLive! environment. We examine student feedback which suggests that this initiative facilitated off-campus student empowerment. Finally, we outline various challenges for the virtual teacher who wishes to implement a structured learning program in the eLive! environment.

Traditional and 3D Virtual Learning Activities: Evaluating Cognitive, Affective, and Psychomotor Learning

Victoria Walker

The presenter will discuss the process and results from a case study comparing traditional learning activities with a hands-on interactive activity in the 3-D virtual environment Second Life, in a graduate level course. The objective is to present an empirical study using the Perceived Cognitive Affective Psychomotor (CAP) instrument to evaluate student learning among three learning activities including an innovative learning experience using a 3-D virtual learning environment to determine student affective, cognitive, and psychomotor learning across the three activities. Using the results of student responses to the CAP instrument after each learning experience, the presenter will discuss the implications of using 3D virtual learning experiences in addition to traditional education practices.

Value Added Learning: More Than You Bargained For

Colin Warren

Online web-based technologies are increasingly being used in educational and professional contexts to create an effective environment for teaching or professional learning of other kinds. A number of studies have explored the intersections between on and off line teaching and learning, participants¹ perceptions, and claims of connectedness and community fostered by online sites (Jones, 1998; Rheingold, 1995; Soderstrom, 2006). This presentation will outline the development, functionality and usefulness of the online environment (Drupal) installed and used to support the Australian Government Summer School for Teachers of English. It includes an analysis of the virtual environment (social software) established for the Summer School. The research project aimed to determine what aspects of an online environment supported the success of this national professional development activity which incorporated physically present, and online communication, connection, and collaboration between 200 teachers over a period of seven months. As the site manager, I will be explaining my role and perspective of the potential of social software for learning.

QAS Collaborative Learning Online

Marie Weatherford & Joshua Gowdy Link to paper Link to paper

The QAS School of Ambulance and Paramedic Studies has implemented online collaboration as a component of the HLT07 Diploma of Paramedical Science (Ambulance). QAS Collaborative Learning Online (QASCLO) has been designed to promote and develop students¹ knowledge and skill acquisition. Using a Moodle based platform, QAS has provided student paramedics with the opportunity to engage in facilitator supported case problem discussions. The students benefit from the following:

  • Increased flexibility in learning times and locations
  • Increased access to education staff from across the state
  • Increased exposure to scenarios that better emulate real world situations
  • Availability of clinical experts to support students in in-depth clinical discussions

This collaborative approach was validated when the School received a Flexible Learning Framework grant to replace the QASCLO text-based case problems with interactive objects that better simulate real-world scenarios. The inclusion of the objects:

  • Made the online experience more engaging
  • Provided a learning experience that can¹t be achieved through paper-based materials
  • Met a perceived need of the student

QAS also uses the platform to provide professional development for QAS education staff. Further plans include the delivery of a variety of online in-service and professional development courses for all staff.

Renewing the Teaching of Mandarin Chinese ­ The Power of Using e-Tools

Haiyi Wu Link to paper Link to paper

Traditionally, second language teaching is delivered in a face-to-face classroom environment. The teacher and students only have limited contact time to complete a number of teaching and learning tasks. A student¹s progress can be handicapped by the inability to access additional pronunciation drills with the teacher after class. Educational institutions in small cities are also facing the challenges of recruiting LOTE students locally and delivering economically viable language courses. This presentation will demonstrate a number of e-Learning tools that have been used in teaching Mandarin Chinese at the Wide Bay Institute of TAFE. The presenter will show his renewed teaching experience of using video conferencing, video streaming, online learning management systems and web conferencing to deliver Mandarin programs flexibly to students across Queensland.

Vendor Sessions

Learn How to Make Your Own Flipumentary

Neil Tregenza, Leading Digital Solutions

The Flip Video camcorders have been something of a revolution in US classrooms - and Australia has been quick to join in the enthusiasm! The Flip enables you to make quick and exciting videos in minutes. In this session you’ll learn how to use the Flip to make your own ‘Flipumentary’. You’ll even be able to borrow a Flip for a couple of hours to join in the Flipumentary fun at the conference. Read more about the Flip.

Learning in High Definition: Welcome to the Virtual Classroom

Lynnette Whitfield, Polycom

Learn how you can access content from overseas and Australia through the Content Provider Program. You'll link up to a content provider and learn about a best practice case study. Lynette will also cover the top five things to consider when adding video to your learning.