PLT Update – Presentation to Staff

Working towards our presentation.

In the hustle of last week you may have missed our last meeting. Please take the time to read this post as I will recap what we spoke about and also what we all need to do for our presentation to staff.

Over the past 5ish months worth of meetings we have discussed various aspects of using social media in the classroom. Due to the scope of the topic and small amount of time, we decided to focus on the use of blogs as a starting point.

In one of my last posts I asked that you focus on:

…each member to write a 500 abstract about their opinion and experience on social media. 

Try to be as interactive and engaging with this as possible using as many forms of social media you are comfortable with.

I will then take your individual entires and work these onto the blog as a resource for staff to navigate, interact with and comment on. The goal here is staff will explore the information we have presented at their own pace and leave comments and interact with the topics. 



click for full view

Hopefully staff will then read comments form other staff, reply and build on these and formulate their own opinions. Using the analytics of the blog we will, in a short amount of time, get an overview on the opinions, skill level, motivation and more of the entire staff. 

This information will be instrumental in moving forward and developing some procedures, guidelines and focused PL for staff.

I will also collate all your information into an interactive Keynote and iBook so staff will have a copy on their iPads.

In addition to your component on the blog it would also be great for you to present an overview of your section to the staff on the day.

I am happy to kick off the presentation with an overview, my persecutive from using this platform all year and introduce the landing page from where staff will explore all your topics.

As this will take me some time to create so I ask that you please put aside some time in the three week break to work on your section, again, please be as engaging and interactive as possible and think about what questions you want to pose to staff or responses you would like to receive on your topic.

I know some of you have filmed sections with yourself and your class, collated responses from staff at other schools, have students creating their own blogs and more. This is all great stuff.

If you have any concerns on how to present or how to use some elements, such as using YouTube videos, please let me know and I will make a post on the blog demonstrating the process for the rest of the group.

One thing I do ask however is to be positive in your approach.  I know some of you have concerns but please think about ways you can overcome these and the benefits in the long run.

Negative comments without any research, experience, practice or implementation will help nobody. I am sure there are many obstacles, nothing is perfect, but think about how you can overcome these as staff will no doubt ask you that exact question!

Luke gave a great example last week about the issues with spelling and grammar in student posts – should he let it go?, options put forward were great such as – having a student moderator for each week to oversee things like that and in turn placing the responsibility on the student. Great stuff.

I can’t wait to see what you all come up with. 

Again, please let me know if I can help with any aspect or any area and what you would like me to provide more detail on.

I know you will all be on a well deserved break but if I could set a deadline of the end the holidays, lets say Monday the 22nd of July, that will give me some time to collate, edit and publish all your hard work.




PLT Update

Hi PLTeamsters.
Thanks to all of you that have been working hard on your presentations to the staff next term.
Below is a small list of Web Apps that you could incorporate into your presentation to add a little spice.
I will be setting up a TodaysMeet Room to run over the entire presentation.
Below is a small collection of Web Apps that I use in my classroom that take advantage of the iPad.
You may find some of these useful. I will update with more as I remember them!
What’s a Readlist? A group of web pages—articles, recipes, course materials, anything—bundled into an e-book you can send to your Kindle, iPad, or iPhone.
TodaysMeet helps you embrace the backchannel and connect with your audience in realtime.
Encourage the room to use the live stream to make comments, ask questions, and use that feedback to tailor your presentation, sharpen your points, and address audience needs.
dotEPUB is software in the cloud that allows you to convert any webpage into an e-book.
We give you a blank wall.You put anything you want on it, anywhere.Simple, yet powerful.
Drag and drop. Auto save. It’s software you already know how to use.
Instant collaboration
You can see everyone’s activity on the wall instantly. Bye bye page reloads.
Paste link to a youtube video? Check! Drag a word document from your computer? Check! Take a picture from your iPad camera? Check! A file in your drawer? Erm .. someday .. someday.
Keep your wall private between friends. If you like them, give them permissions like the ability to change what you write. If you are the social kind, make a public wall for the whole world to see.
Your phone, your tablet, your TV, your fridge – Padlet works on everything (Note: may not work on the fridge).
Like flexibility? Use the free form layout. Like organization? Use streams (and don’t look at our office desks).
Fun backgrounds. Happy colors. Gorgeous interface. Padlet is Internet’s version of bubble wrap.
Put the wall on your blog or website. Make it more wonderful. Plugin for wordpress available. More coming soon.

PLT Update – Team Abstracts

Hi PLTeamsters

Last meeting we discussed quite a few things. The main being what we could present.

(The whole meeting was recorded, if you want a copy of the video let me know)

You know my opinion on the benefits of integrating social media into teaching and learning, my findings from using it all year and the data and statistics I have gathered using student and parent feedback as well as the analytics afforded to me from the social media I use such as WordPress and YouTube.

Members of the group also offered up their personal opinions on social media which was great. To help in our presentation it would be great if you could follow-up these opinions with research or data you have collected to support these views.

To that regard this is what I propose we do moving forward and aid in our presentation.

Each member of the group has a range of skills and experience, as do the staff we will be presenting to. If we speak to the staff on these many levels this will hopefully make a more engaging presentation.

We have all had three months to think, talk and try using the social media I and other members have discussed and demonstrated.

What I would like is each member to write a 500 abstract about their opinion and experience on social media. 

You could break it down as such:

  • The positives – both short and long-term
  • The benefits – for staff, students, parents
  • The personalised learning benefits
  • The negatives
  • The blockers
  • How to move forward from here…

Again, we will all have different options here and that is a good thing. If the team were to stand up and say “this is awesome it will do all this for you – now do it”, well, we know how that will end.

If will all present the information from our unique point of view we will hopefully speak to different levels of the staff.

As I said, I feel it is important to back up your abstract with supporting information. If these are the benefits – why?, what data do you have to back up this claim? The same should go for negatives.

For example I can speak of the positives of recording classes and placing these on the blog for students because I can see the analytics, the number of views and the responses from parents.

I can also speak of the blockers such has student uptake by seeing what students subscribe and how they interact with the blog.

In terms of presentation I will leave that up to you. Clearly it will need to be engaging, interesting and I feel it should involve the topic we are discussing – Social Media.

You could give your short talk via a blog, twitter, video post. You could use things like Padlet or TodaysMeet to facilitate staff discussion and interaction, it is up to you.

I will find out more details on the when and how as we get closer to the presentation date and hopefully we will have time to meet and discuss how we are travelling in other PLT meetings.

Please see me anytime if you want any help in terms of information or presentation.

500 words should not be a big ask (this post is 592 words) from an experienced group of people such as yourselves but it is very important that everyone contribute to give staff as wide a range of opinions and experience as possible. 

This long weekend could be a great time to start thinking about it!





PLT Update

Hi PLTers.

As we discussed last meeting our short-term goal would be for us all to produce a blog and then integrate this into our classes to gauge student engagement and interest as well as the benefits for teachers.

A few of you have made some great blogs and used these in your classes for student discussion as well as allowing your students to create their own blogs as a resource.

So we can best get results I need all of you to please do this.

Can you please try to make it a priority to create your blog and customise it to your own style this weekend. 

I have created several posts with videos on how to do this previously, you can access them from this blog.

Please add a comment below with the address of your blog so the team can check them out and offer any help or ideas.

Also, try to make it your goal this week to create a new post and use this in your classroom. This could be something simple like a post on a topic you wold like students to discuss and comment on or a piece of work that can be completed online.

Use this blog as a forum for any comments or help you need and please email anytime for help.

Looking forward to hearing the results next PLT time.



Blog: Creating new posts & customisation

Hi PLTers.

I have recorded the two videos below to help you get started on your blog.

The first one goes through the process of creating a new post and uploading images & videos. I also explain how categories work and the importance of tagging as well as a few other things.

The second talks briefly about customising your blog.

Please note these were originally done for my Year 9 class so you may hear some questions and class action in the background.


No AppleTV? – No worries… (Classroom App) (Video)

Hi PLTers

Some of you were interested in how I record action from my iPad, Reflector is how!

It also comes in handy if you are in a room without an AppleTV setup.

Essentially it turns you laptop (yes, it works on Windows also) into an AirPlay receiver. It will then show up on any iPad using AirPlay.

With your laptop plugged into the projector as you normally would you won’t know the difference!

(Actually, I find it works faster than the AppleTV does)

Below is an example recording:

PLT Meeting 6 May 2013 (Summary and Video)

Hi PLTers.

Great discussion out our last meeting, looks like we are getting somewhere.

Here is what was discussed:

(Most of this meeting was screen-recorded, this will allow you to hear the conversations and see what we were looking at on-screen)

Timeframe: Looking at the time we will be given to work in this team we will narrow down our orginial focus and goals.

What we chatted about:

  • Blogs: One of the key things staff want to do and a great resource to have for our students
  • Positives, Negatives
  • Student engagement and response
  • What we can do with it
  • Student Comments
  • What is possible: Talked about how blogs can enhance teaching and learning. Simple things like student discussion, posting resources and work, Student achievement (for parents), Opening communication with parents, Posting Video tutorials, Resource for school closures (Firebans) etc.
  • Screen Recording – The ability to go through a lesson on PC or iPad and record everything. A great resource for students (though software will need to be purchased)
  • Viewed blog and examples of what can be done
  • eg: Year 8 Humanities BLOG

What we can do:

  • PLT members setup a blog and use it in their class to evaluate the benefits and possibilities.
  • Be able to pass this knowledge on to others


  • Next PLT meeting I will go into detail how to create, maintain and update a blog as well as the many other possibilities and links with online tools and social media (this session will be recorded for any other staff interested)


  • Members of the PLT will introduce some form of their blog into their class and gauge its effects on student / teacher involvement.
  • Develop these skills to advise / train other staff.

Create your own WordPress Blog…please

Hi PLT team.

In our last (and only) meeting, setting up blogs was one of the main points of discussion. In the several weeks since it has also been the most asked topic by other staff.

I spoke of WordPress being the best option for this for several reasons:

  • Easy to use and customise
  • Very powerful if you want to go further
  • Used in TAFE and above as a replacement for old software such as Dreamweaver
  • Has a very powerful iPad App to create and run your blog
  • I am getting students to use it (I received approval to unblock the site)

For a demonstration of how a blog can be used to complement your class feel free to see what I have been up to. I am not suggesting this is the best or only options, just something with a familiar setting you can relate to.

The Humanities section will give you the best overview: Year 8 Humanities BLOG

For your homework before out next PLT meeting can you please take a few minutes to set yourself up with WordPress blog. I will be using this as part of our next meeting.

The information below is from a post to my Year 9 class. It contains all the details you will need to help you along. I also filmed step by step how to do this on PC and iPad.

Please post any comments as to how you found this process or any questions you may have on my blog setup and use in class.


Hi Chaps.

As we discussed you will need to set up your own WordPress Blog before our next class.

It is fairly straightforward and easy to figure out along the way. I have filmed myself doing this process on both a PC and the iPad to help guide you.

The iPad App is available from here:

Please let me know if you have any troubles.

You can spend as much time as you like customising the site you your liking. Just make sure it is set up before next week.

Try and add a few posts before then!

Once you are done please comment on this post with your blog address!



Introducing the New

Introducing the New

Introducing the New

New to and don’t know where to start? Looking for just the right theme, or wondering how to use all the features in your dashboard? Interested in creating a website, not a blog? Or perhaps you’re ready to do more on your site, from adding image galleries to using built-in tools to connect with the community — and the world.

On our new tutorial site,, you can get the help you need to create the site you want and get it up and running right away.

Learn — our tutorial site — gets a facelift!


We’ve completely revamped and reimagined with lots of new content to help you get the most out of your site, including detailed guides to tasks like:

Find what you’re looking for in a snap

We want you to find the answers to your questions right away. In addition to the search bar on the top left, you’ll find:

A main menu of 12 new sections down the left sidebar. Want to come along on the journey from the beginning? Start at — you guessed it — the homepage and section one: Get the Most from If you want to get going quickly, the Get Going Fastchecklist is a no-nonsense quick start guide to the basics.

Handy summaries at the top of each section. We encourage you to dive in to anysection! Each section begins with a summary of what’s covered, with links to quickly transport you to the answers you need.

A resource to set up a website. For those of you interested in creating a static website,Get a Homepage compiles the essentials to create a website, including publishing a static homepage, adding timeless page content, and displaying a custom menu.

A glossary. Not sure of the difference between a post or a page, or a tag or a category? Want to know what makes a theme responsive? Get Lingo gathers common terms and phrases used throughout — within your dashboard and across our Support site.

We’re here to help — and inspire

In addition to tutorials, we’ve sprinkled fun stuff throughout to help you put your newfound knowledge to use: creative ways to personalize your site, steps to encourage you to tinker with different features, and writing and photography prompts to get you motivated.

We’re really excited for you to poke around. If you have feedback, feel free to use the feedback form, which you can access on the footer of the site. As always, if you have a specific question about your site or have a problem using, please head over to the Support site or the forums for assistance.

Copyright for Educators

Hi PLTeamsters

As a follow up to Luke’s question on copyright I have embedded some info below from a presentation I went to some time ago.

You will be surprised at what you are allowed to do (which we are paying for anyway)

You can find out a lot more here: