Posts from the ‘DERNSW’ Category

Digital Citizenship

A guest post by Damian Wanstall (@wanstad73)**                                                        


Have you ever used the internet to comment on what you see online, share information about yourself or others, communicate with friends, play games, get material for an assignment or buy stuff online? If you answered YES to any of these then you are a digital citizen.

There is a wealth of information and resources – international, parent focussed and other useful sites – available to us as educators in the area of Digital Citizenship. 

 The Digital Citizenship website, which has been produced by CLI for the DER-NSW program brings together a comprehensive range of lessons, educational games, videos, as well as links to other useful sites, advice and assistance with teacher professional learning. Its focus is educating young people to be positive contributors in an online world, with an intended Year 10 audience. Parents and carers can also learn how they can support the positive use of social media by their children at home.


The best way to find out more about this program is to explore the website. A further set of websites have been tagged for those who may be interested in preparing a more focussed program within their school.

What courses, learning and policies are in place at your school to assist students and staff manage their digital footprints? Do they have students ‘practising’ good digital citizenship? What can you share here?

**Damian is a Learning Design Officer with the NSW Curriculum and Learning Innovation Centre. Damian has been a Mathematics educator for over 13 years and has a keen interest in improving teacher practice and the role of technology in enhancing teaching and learning.


Dapto High is now an Authorised Certiport Centre

I do not usually write specifically about the school where I work, at our blog, but thought this may be of interest to DPs keen to improve student and staff skills, with Adobe and Microsoft tools, in a very concrete way.

Dapto High School is now an officially Authorised Certiport Centre, offering students and our wider community the opportunity to further develop skills using Adobe and Microsoft software.

The certification offered includes the following qualifications:

Click on the above links to find out more about each.

How does it work?

Staff and students are able to run software in ‘tutorial mode’ for selected Microsoft products and Adobe Flash, Photoshop and Dreamweaver. This provides candidates with feedback about areas for development. When the students feels they are ready to ‘sit the test’ they have approximately 50 minutes to attempt to gain the official certification.


Certiport are correct when they say, “in an increasingly competitive work world, employers need more than familiar users of digital communications technology — they need proficient users.”

Students and staff have a good opportunity to develop skills using this system to gain further qualifications.

Maybe your school should consider it?

Cybersafety and Digital Footprints


If you are looking for some inspiration and resources for cybersafety, from Year 7 -12, I highly recommend Jenny Luca‘s presentations here.

Jenny is the Head of Information Services at Toorak College, Mt.Eliza. She is @jennyluca on twitter, which she uses regularly to share and network with colleagues, nationally and internationally. I admire her work and ethos greatly!

The complex issue of cybersafety, digital footprints and citizenship is already an urgent, vexing educational challenge for schools. If you wish to know more about ‘data-mining’ check this post out to look at ‘how the internet sees you’.

What courses, learning and policies are in place at your school to assist students and staff manage their digital footprints? What can you share here?

Are all your eggs in one basket?

A guest post by Ben Jones from the DERNSW team:

A tale of the same meeting in two schools:
School A:
About 8 people are presented representing all levels within the school and regional support. Whilst there was an agenda with names allocated the flow of discussion naturally moved between various members of the team. All knowledge, skills and leadership was openly shared under the vision of the principal. Anyone could have been absent and there spaced would be filled by natural diffusion.
School B:
1 member of executive represented the entire school; some admin staff where briefly introduced but had no impact on knowledge. I was clear this one person owned the vision, skills and knowledge. If they were absent there would be no way to replace them.

About this post

The aim of the following points is not to tell school leaders how to suck eggs, they have been doing succession management for leadership for a long time (in my view NSW schools do it exceptionally well). Rather this discussion is to consider how succession management could evolve in this digital age, the new succession issues that the digital age creates and how they can be managed in a digital way.


A quick survey of school accounts and passwords in an average school could be far more extensive than may appear on the surface have you considered all these:

  1. School moodle admin
  2. School shared drives server admin
  3. School Facebook account for Alumni
  4. School youtube account
  5. Teachers class blogs, wikis, web2.0 tools (this could be a very extensive list)
  6. Wireless access passwords
  7. School Zoomerang account
  8. School website
  9. The list goes on and on and on

Who holds the passwords, what happens if they are no longer around and access is required, what if it’s critical?

Solution: A password protected OneNote file could be created that all Senior Executive can edit. As part of school procedure when a new account in any online application or server is created the OneNote file is updated.


If a school has decided to set up their own network, servers or moodle installation how many people know how to manage the setup in your school? This can be off the radar for many leaders, if you not sure of the impact get a few quotes for a third party vendor to reconfigure your entire installation, it won’t be cheap.

Solution: A technicians (teachers, SASS or vendors) must document everything about their installation and configuration, this should be clear in there roll statement. A team should be responsible and they should all be equally skilled and knowledgeable about the installation and configuration.


Some questions about knowledge and information in your school:

  1. How well is the knowledge of technology (resources, links, professional learning events, frameworks, online tools, etc) shared across your school.
  2. Is information filtered?
  3. Is information only accessible from a gate keeper?
  4. Can all information be accessed anywhere anytime?
  5. Does your school have an internal communications strategy?
  6. Do all staff know where they can access school/community/district/region/state procedures and documents

The knowledge is what affects most teachers every day, not knowing where to access or knowing it has to be accessed from a specific person becomes a barrier to effective practice. Rather all knowledge can be stored in a wiki designed under the principles of ‘organic design‘. All teachers can contribute and refine, so as a resource is discovered it can be shared leading to shared engagement and ownership of knowledge which is when knowledge become very powerful. This article explains how a university library transformed is procedures by moving to a wiki.

Adobe Captivate 4

The Adobe Captivate software, on the student laptops and available to DET home users, has great potential for students and staff.

The software assists you to capture and record screen activity on your PC or laptop, create interactive tutorials, quizzes, podcast, screencast and generally make a variety of professional multimedia presentations. The software interacts with other Adobe products, like Photoshop.

Here’s an example from Adobe.

Read more about the software here.

Many online resources and tutorials, on how to use Captivate, are tagged at my Delicious page.

Anyone using Captivate at your school?

Adobe Captivate 4



Schools trialled blogED, a blogging tool soon to be available to all DET staff and students, during 2009 with great success.

This tool will enable staff to quickly and easily establish blogs for each student, in every class, generated using ERN.

There are extensive tutorials and good support is available, making this tool a great resource for students who have been issued laptops. Opportunities to learn about good digital citizenship by exploring the requirements for using original, student created material or following the creative commons guidelines at the blog abound.

Here’s a video tour of the tool you can access via the intranet.

How does my school get involved?

Read everything you need to know about the blogED tool on page 3 of the latest CCP bulletin #30.

Updates regarding blogED can accessed here when connected to the Connected Classrooms intranet.

Encouraging your principal to be ‘provisioned’ for AMU Learning Tools access from the 15th March by emailing will assist you to get students and staff, especially stage 5, composing and blogging quickly at your school.


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