We’re Back! SAMR and Coding, how can we help our students get ahead?


The quote above is a great mantra to follow when working in schools with ICT. As I start back at work, I’ve realised that the focus for teachers (including myself) is often to incorporate an app in the classroom regardless of the educational outcome. In other words, an app for apps sake! This doesn’t require much educational/creative skill just an ability to follow instructions.

We loved being part of a professional learning day at Fitzroy Crossing High School in early June, while we showed teachers how to use a few apps, what we really wanted to achieve was for teachers who are relatively new to using iPads in the classroom, link back each experience to the SAMR theory for technology in education. This is crucial to effective integration of technology in the classroom.

So, how can we, the teachers, be the most important player in technology? By assisting our students reach the upper levels of the SAMR ladder (watch this great video where the inventor of SAMR, Dr Ruben Puentedura explains how to apply the model). This year I aim to work with teachers and students in reaching the top rungs of SAMR through providing opportunities that modify or redefine the learning. How do we do this? According, Dr Ruben (much easier to write and pronounce his first name) an achievable way is to make the final product that students create available to a global audience (this was inconceivable before technology) and provide opportunities for that audience to provide feedback to students, who can then use that information to reflect on their work/learning experience.

The iTunes U Course series is a great place to start modifying and redefining. You can explore courses by educators from highly regarded educational institutions, be inspired and have a framework for a unit of work that you could then modify to suit your learning environment. iTunes U is perhaps one of the most under utilised features of the iPad. I recently conducted a training session on using Sphero in the classroom and St. Hilda’s College had a great introductory unit called, Coding with Sphere.

My hope this year is to also connect educators in the Kimberley. How can we expect to connect our students if we are not modelling the same behaviour in our own technology learning? Our isolation makes our teachers and students the key beneficiaries of the ability for technology to easily create connections outside our schools. There are excellent educators throughout the region doIMG_0545.JPGing wonderful things with iPads and we need to create greater opportunities to share our knowledge. Our Edge IT Learning, EdTech afternoon teas are a terrific starting point. This year we have had three sessions- two weeks ago Derby Senior High School hosted a session. Nicola shared what’s happening in Apple Education and the session was well attended by teachers from the School of the Air and primary and high school staff. We look forward to heading back to Derby and working closely with schools in the region.

Our Broome EdTEch catch up was a chance for teachers from across the Kimberley to be inspired by the use of the robotic, Sphero! It was fun and interactive session where we got to be the students. Roebuck Primary school have a number of Sphero and we can’t wait to see how they use them…perhaps a bit of demo for the other Broome schools? During Term 2, Kimberley educators were also visited by Apple Education. An afternoon at the Cable Beach Club, was a lovely way to hear about the latest and greatest in Apple Education and network.

Next up, I will be looking at STEM in Australian school’s. Funding for Digital Technologies, with a focus on coding, has been a big educational issue in the recent Australian election campaign. I will explore why coding is so crucial to teach in our schools and how enjoyable it can be for teachers and students! Here’s a great article to get you thinking….









WrappED Up!

Today is my last day before I go on maternity leave so I thought it would be a great opportunity to reflect on our amazing year at Edge IT Learning and share some of my goals for 2016.  I am going to have lots of sleepless nights coming up which gives me heaps of time to trawl the web and be inspired by all the amazing teachers out there who are incorporating technology into their classroom.

Highlights of 2015 (in no particular order):

  • Running workshops on behalf of Apple Education at Tambrey Primary School in Karratha. This school will be using tablets to undertake NAPLAN testing and teaching these kids digital literacy is a priority. I was really inspired by the teachers at this school, particularly Helen who cut her photocopying budget to up her technology budget. Sustainability and technology working together- love it!
  • Attending a Microsoft Education Seminar in Perth. Office 365 for Education is a game changer and I can see so many potential uses for it across all devices. This was also where I rediscovered my love for the stylus and keyboard to enhance learning.
  • Nicola going to the EdTech Conference in Brisbane and getting inspired by Sphero and the Maker Movement.
  • Heading out to Wulungarra Community School in the remote Kimberley and spending the day working with fab teachers and terrific students and creating books about their school using Book Creator.
  • Creating a technology digital education plan for St Mary’s  College  and working with them to implement it throughout the year.
  • Becoming a certified member of the Apple Education
    Consultants Network.
  • Connecting with all Broome schools through our Edtech Meet Ups and generating interest and excitement about the potential for digital technology integration to improve learning outcomes for Kimberley students.

And so many more….


Goals for 2016:

  • Continue my Microsoft Master Trainer qualifications
  • Commence my Masters in ICT Education (optimistic one)
  • Work with remote schools to create social networks that connect their students and staff.
  • Attend EdTeach Melbourne Summit and learn more about GAFE.

We look forward to continuing working with schools around North Western Australia in 2016. Thank you for all your support this year in helping our small business prosper.

Emily & Nicola




Emily’s Blog

A recent OECD report, Inspired by Technology, Driven by Pedagogy: A Systemic Approach to Technology-Based School Innovations, highlighted the need for teachers to develop skills to utilise technology effectively in teaching and learning. In fact, technology without correct implementation was reported to have a negative impact on student results.

LUCKILY, Edge IT Learning and Leading Edge are here to help you! I have been busy touring WA the last two weeks gaining insights and sharing ideas on technology in education. Last week, I was in Karratha equipping teachers with the skills necessary to implement an iPad program. This week, I was fortunate enough to attend a Microsoft seminar in Perth. This has me buzzing ideas on how you can use Office 365 and Windows 10 for Education to streamline classroom and school administration.

Key points from both events:

  • Sustainable classrooms and technology go hand in hand. Schools spend a fortune on printing and by cutting this cost there is more money for devices and PL.
  • The most effective devices have pens/styluses-research suggests that through creating notes using pens students are much more likely to retain learnt concepts
  • User identities through ITunes, Google or Azure are essential to managing and implementing a successful tech program.

Term 4 will be a  time to share our knowledge with you. Contact us to meet with our team and find out how we can help you with the full suite of educational requirements- sales, tech support and education.

Broome EdTech Meet Up

The Broome EdTech Meetup group is starting next week for educators, technologists, and EdTech enthusiasts looking to discuss and share inspirational ideas, issues and concerns and hands-on learning experiences. This is a chance for Broome educators to connect and collaborate with like-minded educational innovators.
The first sessions will be a meet and greet and then we will meet once or twice to a term to explore various topics at the intersection of education and technology including:
  • ICT in the Australian Curriculum
  • the latest technologies that are supporting teachers.
  • hearing from teachers about the challenges in education that must be addressed now.
Time: 3-4pm
Date: Thursday, 20 August
Where: Leading Edge Computers, Guy St Broome
Afternoon tea is provided
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App of the Week- EdBox Assess

EdBox Assess

This one will simplify your life!

Edbox Assess is an innovative iPad App for teacher assessment using the Australian Curriculum. It enables teachers to record student progress and achievements against an automatically generated A-E scale. Teachers can enter formative and summative assessment information for individual students, small groups or the whole class, storing notes and photographs in student profile portfolios.

Digital StoryTelling


We ran our first Digital StoryTelling Workshop for a group of enthusiastic educators at Leading Edge yesterday. We explored how to use a variety of simple apps including Animoto, Toontastic and Comic Life to create engaging, creative and meaningful learning experiences. Digital Storytelling is a key element of the Australian Curriculum, as educators we need to know how to reflect this in our teaching and learning. Please contact Edge IT Learning if you would like any information on this exciting workshop.

Apple Consultants Network

In early May, I attendedapple certificatea two day Apple Education training workshop. The conference was attended by educators from across Australia and New Zealand who are all experts in the field of Digital Education. It was extremely inspiring to learn about the amazing possibilities of Apple products in Education and listening to and networking with experienced and innovative consultants. I am now a fully qualified Apple Educator Trainer and I look forward to sharing my knowledge with schools across the Kimberley.

Educational Apps for your child- Parent Workshops

Rose successfully ran our first Upper/Middle Primary and Early Years Parent Workshops. Thank you to the parents who came along to learn more about how they can enhance their child’s learning through the use of appropriate iPad Apps. Rose also explored online safety through the Accessibility options of the iPad. We will have more of these sessions coming up so please contact us if you would like further information.


AISWA Conference

Edge IT Learning met with AISWA teachers at the start of Term Two to discuss the use of iPads in education. It was wonderful to see some familiar faces and make new connections. We look forward to collaborating with these schools throughout the year. It certainly is an exciting time for Digital Education in the Kimberley region, with passionate and informed teachers leading the way.


Educational Apps for your child

ipads-at-school-2We are excited to annouce sessions we will be running on the 5 and 7 May educating parents on Apps that they can use to assist their child with Maths and Literacy.

These are exciting times for your children in education as they share, develop and communicate using available Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).

In this engaging hour long session we will explore these features of mobile devices (iPad and android devices):

  • Security
  • Managing iTunes accounts
  • Cyber-safety/Digital Citizenship
  • Parental controls
  • Accessibility options
  • Exploration of quality and effective English and Maths Apps to extend and develop the learning of your child.
  • Different ways to create engaging school projects using the mobile device (Upper Primary)