Friday, 2 December 2016

I love a bargain!! Do you??

ATM just for a limited time! 
Digital Leaf publishers have several highly reviewed ebooks free for you iPads:

For those who add #ebooks to their #ipads don't forget to visit digital-storytime

I have been collecting great books when they have gone free for years now.
 Although no where near the amount of highly reviewed free books there used to be, there are still some great ones to find and load.
but wait there's more!

and also a Montessori Intro to colours -usually $6.49 is #FREE atm 

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

What do NSW DoE Enterprise agreements mean to you?

NSW DoE Enterprise agreements are located on our new Technology for School website

ITD sources and negotiates agreements for software on behalf of the whole of the NSW Department of Education. This ensures we all benefit from being one of the largest customers in the state. These are called enterprise agreements and we refer to this software as enterprise software. We currently have these agreements in place with:




SketchUp Pro

Smart Notebook

Cloud based software

Google Apps and Office 365 allows you to create files and save them directly into the cloud. This enables collaboration and the ability to access files from multiple locations.
NB. Google Apps is now known as G Suite.

Monday, 21 November 2016

Looking for a casual TL or support staff ?? guides?

The Casual TL and Support Staff wiki will be retired at the end of the year as a result of a few issues raised by some users. In its place will be a Google docs form and the spreadsheet it creates

The major change is that each year on 31 December the spreadsheet will be purged, requiring all users to re-enter their details via the form. This should overcome the main complaint of out-of-date information. You can enter your data now and see what the new format looks like but remember it will all be deleted 31/12/16.

While the responses cannot be divided into states the spreadsheet is searchable (instructions on first page of spreadsheet).

Please keep your information concise and relevant. The longer your entry the harder it will be for users to read, especially on small screens.

Sue Morton

Guides for practicing Teacher Librarians and TL wannabes!   from Joyce Valenza

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Online textbooks free for students.

Jessica Smith
Senior Officer, National Copyright Unit
COAG Education Council
asked anyone receiving this information to "Please share with anyone you think may find this information useful!" therefore I am posting it here for you.

We've recently added a great free textbook resource, Open Textbook Library, to our Smartcopying website, and we wanted to make sure you were all aware of it:  

 All the textbooks on the website have been funded, published, and licensed to be freely used, adapted, and distributed. These books have been reviewed by faculty from a variety of colleges and universities to assess their quality. These books can be viewed online and downloaded for no cost​. 

We list Open Education Resources and Creative Commons material on our Smartcopying website and update them regularly, so keep an eye on the following pages:

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Learning Leadership Breakfast in Sydney

Have you got time for a free breakfast on Thursday June 16? 

Microsoft and Intel are hosting a Learning Leadership Breakfast in Sydney with Bruce Dixon and  Pip Cleaves- Head Teacher Learning Innovation at Sydney Secondary College Leichhardt Campus and Craig Warner-DP - Barnier PS among others

They'll be sharing their experience to help participants considering BYOD "design an equitable 1-to-1 learning program that makes a real difference". 

Sunday, 22 May 2016

The Future Focussed Learning Daily

Enjoy the collection of stories, articles and images in my
The Future Focussed Learning Daily

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Virtual Excursions for your students- Many FREE for DEC schools

Connections is a project of the New South Wales Department of Education and Communities (NSW DEC) unit - Distance And Rural Technologies (DART).  Connections provides and co-ordinates video conferencing excursions for DEC schools, TAFEs and non NSW DEC schools.
EXPLORE what is on offer! at

$88.00 incl GST - FREE for DEC schools!

 In this fun and engaging video conference students will understand how to classify living things by identifying and sorting similar characteristics. They will learn about the life cycles of plants and animals, gaining an understanding that offspring (including crossbred animals) may have similar characteristics to their parents. Students will learn how the evolving knowledge of animals has influenced farming practices and will draw comparisons of Australia’s farming past to current farming practices.

The National Portrait Gallery invites you on a virtual tour where you can experience one of our fun, curriculum-focused learning programs as if you were here in our unique building.
In this Visual Arts program, suitable for primary audiences, students explore a selection of contemporary and historical portraiture to see how the artists reveal the fascinating stories of their iconic Australian subjects. With the help of our expert Gallery learning staff, they'll practice important visual and critical thinking skills to notice, interpret, and understand these techniques. Responding with a series of drawing activities, by the end of the session students will have a better understanding of how to look for meaning in art, and of the conventions of portraiture they can use in their own self-portrait.
Transport your classroom to Bennelong Point, where students can participate in practical workshops with professional artists and educators, get up close to our iconic building in behind-the-scenes tours, and experience the highest quality performances in real time. We offer a series of interactive programs for K - 6 students across the year, please see below for our listings.

Sydney Opera House’s Digital Creative Learning program is available for all schools with video conferencing facilities. Before you make your booking, please ensure that your school has working video conferencing equipment and that you will have access to these facilities at the date and time scheduled.

KLA Keyword/s: Wellbeing, hyrdation, healthy lifestyle, sleep
Modules: ACPPS036- Identify and practice Strategies to promote health, safety and wellbeing ACPPS018- Recognise situations and opportunities to promote health, safety and wellbeing;
Event Overview: Join the NRL's One Community as we promote the importance of leading a holistically healthy life.Lead by a trained teacher and featuring an NRL Ambassador, students will engage with the importance of a balanced lifestyle of good nutrition, physical activity and mental wellness. They will also learn how these three components of a healthy life can affect the other if one is out of balance.

 ThinkUKnow is a free, evidence-based cyber safety program that provides accessible cyber safety education to parents, carers and teachers.

ThinkUKnow Australia is a partnership between the Australian Federal Police, Microsoft Australia, Datacom and the Commonwealth Bank, delivered in conjunction with State and Territory Police.

The sessions are delivered by knowledgeable volunteers and designed for adults to equip them with the skills and resources needed to ensure the internet remains a safe place for their children and students. ThinkUKnow aims to address any concerns associated with their child's online safety and provide information and suggestions on how to support your children/students to make well informed decisions while online.

Saturday, 30 April 2016

"Hunting for the last wild thylacine" book video conference opportunity.

I am very excited to share this info from Aleesah Darlison:
                       screenshot from BigSky Publishing 
"If you only book one video conference this year … it has to be this!
A must-read story. A must-see presentation.

Hunting for the Last Wild Thylacine

I am the last of my kind. This I know.
Once, we roamed the land. We owned the land. We called it Home.
My story matters. I am the last living female Tasmanian tiger.

7 September 2016 is National Threatened Species Day and commemorates the 80th anniversary of the death of the last known (captive) thylacine.

                                                     Threatened Species Day 2015
Threatened Species Day is a national day held each year on 7 September to commemorate the death of the last remaining Tasmanian tiger (also known as the thylacine) at Hobart Zoo in 1936. It is a time to reflect on what happened in the past and how we can protect our threatened species in the future.
If you are looking for ways to help you can find out more about Saving Our Species, and take a short quiz to find out how much you know about our threatened flora and fauna visit the Threatened Species Day website.

Stripes in the Forest by award-winning author, Aleesah Darlison, is a poignant and emotive story of an iconic species lost. Told from the perspective of the last wild, female Tasmanian tiger, it provides readers with an insight into the rare beauty and uniqueness of these amazing animals, explains their fight for survival and provides important lessons for future generations.

Join author, Aleesah Darlison, and Australian Museum Outreach Manager, Karen Player, as they take you on a journey of discovery and discussion about the thylacine and other endangered Australian species. What was the thylacine really like? What artefacts remain of its existence? And do thylacines still roam the Tasmanian wilderness today? Includes a multi-media PowerPoint presentation, museum displays, book reading, discussion and question time.

Stripes in the Forest is a stunning book that contains many layers of storytelling and will generate rich discussion and raise important questions for young minds.

Bookings can be made at: or queries to: Aleesah Darlison, "

Aleesah Darlison
Children’s Author
Director, 2016 NSW Writers’ Centre Kids & YA Literary Festival
Winner, 2015 Environment Award for Children’s Literature

Monday, 25 April 2016

CBCA supporting quality literature!

Sharing news for Jackie Hawke on behalf of the Children's Book Council of Australia, with permission,
HI All - 
Just to mention a few of the myriad possibilities to link with excellent Australian Children's Literature and aspects of the categories for the Notables leading up to the 2016 Books of the Year - at the 

READ : Myriad Possibilities 
CBCA National Conference
May 19 - 21 in Sydney. 

It is the aim of the conference committee to provide a stimulating, varied and inspiring program that will feature the best Australian children’s book creators. It will also provide a forum for discussion and debate, especially as Quality Literature is central to the Australian English Curriculum.

Speakers and sessions will cover:
-literature and drama
-picture books - words and images
-aspects of mainstream and self-publishing
-stories to screen
-folk and fairytales
-musical links
-internet and non-fiction
-young adult literature
-Indigenous literature
-writing for a better world
-birthday celebrations for CBCA and the School Magazine

Many familiar faces on both sides of the imagination processes will share aspects of reading, writing and creating - hopefully including you!

If you have loved the excitement of the recently announced Notables, be sure to be part of the announcement of the 2016 Short List at the conference as we head towards Book Week 2016 with Australia: Story Country.

The Conference is a Teacher Identified Professional Learning Course.  It may address the following 
Australian Professional Standards for Teachers3.3.2 – Using teaching strategies; and 3.4.2 – Select and use resources. Further details
Booking close May 6.

What's not to love about children's literature - and even better to share at the CBCA (Children's Book Council of Australia) National Conference in Sydney! 

Hope to see you there.

 Cheers- Jackie

Jackie Hawkes
Teacher librarian and reader!

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Are you sinking or swimming?

As a teacher who started teaching in the 70's, and is still teaching in 2016, I have seen many changes in many areas of education, some exhilarating, others exciting, a few game changers- but unfortunately not all changes have been for the better, nor is every teacher ready to embrace!

However, I must say that I find teaching these days  for me is much more of a facilitating role than in the past and it is also imperative to me that my learning is ongoing everyday, and at every opportunity.

 I love learning and enjoy the many opportunities that are available these days to connect- to learn -to reflect- and to collaborate with other educators around the globe.

Are you enjoying teaching these days? Are you feeling too pressured? How are you coping with all the change? Does participating in social media fill you with dread?
Bury your head in the sand
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.
Sander Van Der Wel from Netherlands

I found this article below and just had to share it. It is reflects my own beliefs and understandings of being a 21C learner and teacher so well.

Please share what you think in the comments.

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Congratulations! 70 years of engaging the community with Literature for young Australians!

 The following information is taken from the Children's Book Council of Australia awards website page.
There are a number of changes that need to be noted for this year.


Saturday 20 August - Friday 26 August 2016
Theme: Australia: Story Country
 Friday 19 August Noon: CBCA Book of the Year Winners Announcement
Stop Press: Shaun Tan is doing the art work
Looking for ideas: Visit  the collaborative Pinterest Board:

2016 CBCA Australia:Story Country

Children's Book Council of Australia 2016 book week theme ideas & activities

Follow Audrey's board 2016 CBCA Australia:Story Country on Pinterest.
2016 Book of the Year Awards

"The Children's Book Council is pleased to announce a slight change in the Awards announcement procedures for 2016.
As most of you will know, this year is the 70th anniversary of the first award and in that time the way the awards are judged and announced has changed many times. That's what makes them dynamic, responsive to change and relevant. 
Next year, immediately following the judges' meeting, we will announce our Notables (or long list, as other awards call such a list); at the CBCA conference in May, we will announce the Short List and then in August the winners and honour books will be announced.

              Screenshot from CBCA website

This will keep up the momentum of interest and excitement, give libraries and schools three points of focus and help to promote Australian children's literature across a number of months." 
Dates to be noted: 
Notables announcement April 18
Short List announcement May 20
Award announcement August 19

Monday, 7 March 2016

Looking good...Notetaking and drawing tool app free ATM

Zen Sketch is described in the App store as:
"a cross between a note-taking and a painting app. ...The app goes beyond regular ink handwriting apps by using an industry standard drawing/painting engine, but still organizes your work in a logical fashion like any good note-taking app.

Use Zen Sketch to create powerful notes or paintings. All your work can easily be exported out of the app as images or PDFs, and shared in just about every way imaginable. The app has no learning curve, and lets you work in a streamlined and clean interface designed with the latest technology in mind."

It sounded worth downloading especially at this price! Free!

I am very happy with what it offers.

There are plenty of tools, great range of colours and plenty of easy to share options.

For young kids don't miss out on the Bamba apps by Mezmedia which are free atm too!
well worth downloading
Screenshot of a few of the Bamba apps.

I find many of the great educational apps that go free by using a range of apps including the ones in the screenshot below:

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

I give a Gonski! Do YOU?

Years ago businessman David Gonski was commissioned by the federal government to undertake a fundamental assessment of how well existing educational practices are working. We are still waiting on the Federal Ministers to fund the fifth and sixth year of GONSKI implementation.

​​Last Wednesday our NSW Education Minister, Adrian Piccoli, announced record levels of funding for NSW public schools next year.  
The $113 million boost pledged will target schools  most in need through the Gonski reforms and comes on top of the $860 million already committed to funding school resources in 2016. This is great news for students who need extra help.

Read more: 

If you are not sure why GONSKI money is to important take  a few minutes to view this video. It is brief and to the point. 

Gonski uses a new allocation model(RAM)  to distribute funding to schools. It re-aligns the total pool of funding to focus on students from some form of disadvantage.
The funding is delivered on the basis of the Family Occupation and Education Index (FOEI), to accurately identify levels of socio-economic disadvantage and target funding accordingly. 

On the I give a Gonski website it states:

Gonski funding will ensure that every school has the right resources to meet the needs of every child. But only a fraction of the funding has been delivered so far.

Parents, teachers and community members need to work together to convince the Turnbull Government to deliver this vital funding in full!
I give a GONSKI
Do you?

Saturday, 13 December 2014

ESA Apps for schools FREE!

Apps for Schools’ gives students one-click access to Education Services Australia's most popular digital learning games directly using their tablet device, at school or at home. Students will enjoy learning, and testing their knowledge and skills in a range of fun and educationally rich activities in English, science and maths. Teachers will be impressed how easily they can download this cloud based apps on demand from the ESA Cloud environment to share with their students. Parents will be satisfied that the content is educationally rich and engaging. 

This app groups games by series, providing variations on each theme and activities that are graded according to year level. They include:

•Letter planet: Identify words for the same letter or groups of letters and construct sentences
•Make it happen: Construct posters, invitations or notices to make something happen!
•Dragon's jumble: Order pictures to match the telling of a story and choose sentences to match 

•Fraction fiddle: Create, match and change fractions
•Rice paper rolls: Tell the time on a digital or analogue clock
•The Metrix: Make unit conversions using a metric measurement table

•Garden detective: Search for and group invertebrates according to their body parts
•Jet force: Use linear forces to control the direction of an object
•Types of matter: Magnify samples of matter to atomic level and classify them 
lets go fishing
Lets go fishing screenshot

Thursday, 23 October 2014

SKOOLBO Where learning is fun and free! (if you register before October 31, 2014)

Skoolbo – 
 Children are immersed in an incredible learning world and are highly motivated by the inbuilt rewards mechanisms. Parents and teachers are equipped with an array of tools to help them achieve wonderful educational outcomes for their children.
Disclaimer: I will receive no advantage from Skoolbo for sharing this information. As an educator I share what I believe are valuable & innovative educational ideas, pedagogy, activities and resources to improve students learning outcomes. 

Skoolbo is proud to now have over 20,000 schools worldwide playing on the platform, it marks a massive 2014 which began with Skoolbo Aussie launching in February!Skoolbo superhero - 100
Skoolbo have had over 4000 Aussie schools, including ours, join the program which is just shy of 60% of Primary Schools across the country.
- See more at:
SKOOLBO questions focus on the following areas:-
  • Phonics
  • Fluency
  • Vocabulary
  • Comprehension
  • Grammar
  • Spelling
  • Number Development
  • Addition
  • Subtraction
  • Number Patterns
  • Time
  • Multiplication
  • Division
Each student is required to sit pre-tests on Reading and Numeracy to work out the difficulty level for the student, this is continually assessed and the difficulty adjusted when needed. Students receive ‘Bo’ coins for answering questions successfully which can be used to purchase rewards such as racing worlds, toys and other items.

Skoolbo guides are available for teachers to download and Skoolbo is available for PCs, Macs, iPads and Android devices.
Pricing Structure:

Don't delay!
Register prior to 31 October 2014
Your school will be given "Forever Free" status and you will never pay the annual school license.