Module 10 – Collaboration using Technology

Collet, Hine & du Plessis (2015) cite a number of authors (Stasz, 2001: Harvey, 2003): Casner-Lotto & Barrington, 2006: Moreland, 2007: Finch, Hamilton, Baldwin & Zehner, 2013; Skills Australia (SA), 2011; NA, 2010; Confederation of British Industry (CBI), 2011, Whitefoot & Olson, 2012) to make the point that employers in knowledge-based economies demand a broad range of skills including the application of interpersonal and intrapersonal behaviours to support the innovation required to maintain competitiveness. Chai, Lim, So & Cheah (2011) cite Bereiter & Scardamalia (2006) and Partnership for 21st Century Skills to make a similar point about the soft skills involved in problem solving and knowledge creation skills. Chai et al. (2011) cite Hong and Sullivan (2009) to make the connection between collaborative learning and cultivating these skills and cite Jonassen, Howland, Marra & Crismond (2008) to make the point that technology is well recognised in supporting these knowledge creation processes. I often reflect on the potential impact that learning collaborative learning and technology skills at school would have had on my former career in financial services and am therefore motivated to make collaborative learning and technology central components of my pedagogy.

Roschelle & Teasley (1995 as cited in Laurillard, 2005) distinguish between cooperation and collaboration. They define cooperation in terms of the distribution of tasks and collaboration in terms of iterative dialogue and reciprocity. Chai et al. (2011) cite Chai & Tan (2010) who characterise collaboration as social interaction targeting deeper knowledge and cite Summers, Beritvas,  Svinicki & Gorin (2005) who view cooperative learning as structured collaborative learning. Chai et al. (2011) also cite several authors (Koschman, 2002; Zhang, Scarmadalia, Reeve & Messina, 2009; Hong, 2010) to note that it is widely accepted among educators that cooperative learning focuses on how individuals learn within groups and collaborative learning examines group learning and cognition. Chai et al. (2011) reference Dillenbough (2009) and Summers at al. (2005) to propose that cooperative learning be viewed as the beginning of collaborative learning and that structure can be removed to give students greater agency as they become increasingly experienced.

Laurillard (2005) and Chai et al. (2011) offer differing perspectives on the implementation of collaborative learning. Laurillard focuses on essential learning processes and views collaborative learning as a combination of constructionism and social learning, also sometimes referred to as social constructivism (Vygotsky, 1978; Wertsch, 1985, both cited in Laurillard, 2005). She proposes the Conversational Framework for collaborative learning. The Conversational Framework incorporates the pedagogical approaches that support learning with the teacher positioned to define concepts and the learning environment and the learners engaging in a series of actions including questioning, sharing, adapting, revising and reflecting. Laurillard’s Conversational Framework can be used to integrate technology by considering how the actions modeled can be matched with technology affordances.

Chai et al. (2011) also cite Vygotsky’s (1978) socio-cultural theory as providing impetus for collaborative learning and cite Scarmadalia’s (2002) work in Knowledge Building and Knowledge Forum as the basis of 12 knowledge building principles to guide the implementation of collaborative learning. The first principle is described as enculturating students into collaborative learning. In this respect real ideas and authentic problems are proposed to trigger questions. In my experience adolescents with limited exposure to cooperative and collaborative learning require significant guidance to enculturate collaborative learning. The second and third principles are defined as improvable ideas and idea diversity. Reflecting again on my experience as a science teacher, these principles help students move beyond the view of knowledge as complete answers mediated by an expert teacher. The other principles are characterised as a combination of communal undertakings to build higher order thinking skills and epistemic agency referring to how students must assume responsibility for the class’s knowledge advancement and the advancement of individual understanding. Chai et al. (2011) also link the 12 knowledge building principles with technology affordances to assist with technology integration: possibilities for action, referential capabilities, mobility of digital inscriptions and promotion of patterns of participation to help guide technology integration.

Chai et al. (2011) summarise the actions of teachers to help students conduct collaborative learning: providing structures for collaboration among students, providing structures for effective group processes and assessing individual and group learning. Roblyer and Doering (2014) and Diacopoulos (2015) itemise technology resources that can be considered in respect to these actions: providing structures for collaborative learning: virtual learning environments including Edmodo and Google Classroom, Wikis, Google Docs, chatrooms, file and video sharing communities including Pinterest, social networking sites and avatar spaces; providing structures for group processes: blogs, Google Docs, Microsoft Works, Prezi, drawing programs, videos, podcasts, image editing tools, online survey tools, graphics tools, statistical packages and concept- and mind-mapping tools; and computerised testing systems and student information systems including Edmodo for assessment.


Chai, C.-S., Lim, W.-Y., So, H.-J., & Cheah, H.-M. (2011). Advancing Collaborative Learning with ICT: Conception, Cases and Design. Ministry of Education, Singapore. Retrieved December 31st, 2016 from

Collet, C., Hine, D., & du Plessis, K. (2015). Employability skills: perspectives from a knowledge-intensive industry. Education + Training, Vol. 57(5), 532-559. Retrieved January 19th, 2017 from CSU Library

Diacopoulos, M. (2015). Untangling Web 2.0 Tools, the NCSS Guidelines for Effective Use of Technology, and Bloom’s Taxonomy. The Social Studies, Vol. 106(4), 139-148. Retrieved January 20th, 2017 from CSU Library.

Killen, R. (2009). Effective Teaching Strategies: Lessons from research and practice,  (5th ed.), South Melbourne, VIC: Cengage Learning.

Laurillard, D. (2005). The pedagogical challenges to collaborative technologies. International Journal of Computer-Supported Collaborative Learning, Vol. 4(1), 5-20.  Retrieved January 2nd, 2017 from CSU Library.

Roblyer, M. & Doering, A.H. (2014). Integrating education technology into teaching: Sixth Edition. Essex, UK: Pearson Education.


Module 9 – Planning Lessons with Technology

I have two years teaching experience but hesitate to consider myself an experienced lesson planner.

The TIP Model (Roblyer & Doering, 2014, pp.66-77) and TPACK (Koehler & Mishra, 2005) are useful tools but it is important to note, as broadly acknowledged by Okojie, Olinzock & Okojie-Boulder (2006), that lesson planning is a complex, multidimensional process involving content, technology and a range of factors subsumed by the concept of pedagogy. Teaching Australia (2008 as cited in Marsh, 2010, p.195) defines pedagogy as strategies, skills and abilities applied to foster good learning outcomes. Cherner and Smith (2016) highlight the following pedagogic elements in their analysis of TPACK: differentiated instruction, rigor, literacy skills, classroom management, feedback and assessment and lesson planning and assessment. They contend that failure to consider any of these elements will adversely affect instruction.

As a science teacher I use the 5E Instructional Model (Bybee, 2014). The model involves planning a learning unit in five stages: engagement, exploration, explanation, elaboration and evaluation. The model is constructivist in orientation (Goodrum and Druhan, 20112). In terms of the planning I have found Roy Killen’s Planning for quality teaching and learning (2009, pp.77-99) very helpful. Killen’s advice starts with clarifying why you are teaching the lesson. He contends that if you are not clear about why, do not expect your students to be clear about it either. This process requires one to consider the lesson’s relevance and purpose, how it relates to the subject, students’ prior knowledge and new concepts. Next write clear learning outcomes and decide how you will assess whether students have achieved the outcomes. At this point Killen cites and suggests using a taxonomy of learning such as Bloom (1956), Harrow (1972) and Anderson & Krathwold (2001). Next select the content that students will need to understand to achieve the outcomes. Drawing from TPACK, consider your Content Knowledge and what you may need to review. It is advisable to re-read the section of the subject textbook, if applicable, to pre-empt any issues. I also research some questions to deepen my understanding. Killen then recommends considering appropriate pedagogic strategies. He proposes (p.84) using the following question to guide the selection of strategy, “What learning experiences will make it easy for students to achieve the lesson outcomes?” Drawing from TPACK’s   intersection between pedagogic and technological knowledge, Killen’s question can be rephrased as, “What combinations of pedagogic strategy and technology will provide the learning experiences that make it easy for students to achieve learning outcomes.” Roblyer and Doering (2014, p.65) summarise a range of perspectives to develop these combinations: to remedy identified weaknesses or skills by, for example, the use of drill-and-practice software; to promote skills fluency and automaticy; to support self-paced learning and reviews of concepts; to foster creative problem solving and metacognition; to build mental models and increase knowledge transfer; to foster collaboration; to allow for multiple and distributed intelligences; to generate motivation; to optimise scarce resources; to remove logistical hurdles to learning such as boring and repetitive tasks; and to develop information and visual literacies. Although this planning process has been presented as a linear approach, it is in practice non-linear. Elements may have to be reconsidered as the plan develops. Drawing from TPACK’s intersection between the three knowledge domains, reconsider content and possibly also assessment to ensure that all elements of the plan are consistent and aligned. The boundaries between content, pedagogic elements and technology knowledge are not clearly defined and the planning process involves carefully interweaving these components.

Killen also recommends considering constraints in the planning process. By this he means being realistic about what and how much can be learnt and the resources available. I suggest keeping things simple as a new teacher even if this means limiting the use of enriching strategies and enhancing technologies. It is more important to focus on your students and delivering well-executed lessons initially than going into a lesson with too much to be concerned about in terms of strategy and technology. I speak from experience.


Bybee, R.W. (2014). The BSCS 5E Instructional Model: Personal Reflections and Contemporary Implications. Science and Children, 51 (8), 10-13.

Cherner, T., & Smith, D. (2016). Reconceptualizing TPACK to Meet the Needs of Twenty-First-Century Education. The New Educator,  1-21. Retrieved January 20th, 2017 from CSU Library

Goodrum, D., & Druhan, A. (2012). Teaching strategies for science classrooms. In Venville, G., & Dawson, V. (Eds.). The art of Teaching Science: For middle and secondary school, Crows Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin.

Killen, R. (2009). Effective Teaching Strategies: Lessons from research and practice,  (5th ed.). South Melbourne, VIC: Cengage Learning.

Koehler, M., & Mishra, P. (2005). What happens when teachers design educational technology? The development of technological pedagogical and content knowledge. Journal of Educational Computing Science, Vol 32(2), 131-152. Retrieved December 31st, 2016 from CSU Library

Marsh, C. (2010). Becoming a Teacher: Knowledge, Skills and Issues, (5th ed.), Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Australia.

Okojie, M., Olinzock, A., and Okojie-Boulder, T. (2006). The Pedagogy of Technology Integration. Journal of Technology Studies, Vol. 32(2), 66-71. Retrieved December 20th, 2016 from

Roblyer, M. & Doering, A.H. (2014). Integrating education technology into teaching: Sixth Edition. Essex, UK: Pearson Education.

Module 9 – Banning Digital Devices in Schools

The DEC report (2013) Bring Your Own Device in Schools cites a number of experts (Clifford, 2012; Sheringer, 2011; Lee, 2012; Sweeney, 2012; & Walling, 2012) to support the observation that digital devices play an important part in students’ lives. The DEC report further notes that some of these experts also argue that digital devices should also play an integral role in students’ learning lives. Thomas $ Munoz (2016) surveyed 628 high school students and found that 90.7% were using mobile phone features for school-related work. They did not however find universal support for the instructional use of phones. Just over 70% of students supported integrating mobile phones and believed that mobile phones supported learning. Some students had serious concerns about disruptions caused by mobile phones in the classroom and by inappropriate usage.

The key benefit of mobile phones is their ability to engage students anywhere in learning (Traxler, 2009 as cited in Thomas & Nunoz, 2016). Other benefits are their ability to personalise instruction (Steel, 2012 as cited in Thomas & Nunoz), to collaborate (Corbell & Valdes-Corbell, 2007 as cited in Thomas & Nunoz), to differentiate instruction (Kukulska-Hulme, 2007 as cited in Thomas & Nunoz) and to nurture increased levels of student agency (Sha, Looi, Chen & Zhang, 2012 as cited in Thomas & Nunoz). Liu et al., (2015 as cited in Thomas & Nunoz) found that a majority of studies of mobile-learning showed positive learning outcomes and 13% found no difference between mobile and traditional learning. The barriers to mobile phone use in the classroom are disruptions, such as ringing, cheating and harmful activities, such as cyberbullying and sexting (Thomas & Nunoz).

I work at an international school in Shanghai, China in which all students own mobile phones but the devices are banned in the classroom. The devices are viewed as a distraction. I agree with DEC (2013) that personal digital devices should be used for student learning. I therefore allow students to use their devices for learning-related activities but admit that it is difficult to monitor whether devices are always being used for learning-related activities. Students should be given opportunities to develop self-regulatory skills to use their devices appropriately and at the same time there should be consequences for abusing the privilege involved. We as teachers however must ensure that the learning benefits outweigh distractions and other negative impacts.


Department of Education and Communities (DEC). (2013). Bring Your Own Device in Schools (BYOD): 2013 Literature Review, State of NSW, Department of Education and Communities, Retrieved November 10, 2016 from

Thomas, K, & Munoz, M. (2015). Hold the Phone! High School Students’ Perception of Mobile Phone Integration in the Classroom. American Secondary Education, Vol. 44(3), 19-37. Retrieved January 20th , 2017 from CSU Library

Module 9 – TPACK Framework

Koehler, Mishra, Hershey & Peruski (2004 as cited in Koehler & Mishra, 2005) introduced TPACK to describe the complex interplay between technology, content and pedagogy. Koehler & Mishra (2005) contend that TPACK reflects an approach to teaching that considers the complex and multi-dimensional relationships between the three knowledge domains by treating them in an epistemologically and conceptually integrated manner. The authors further contend that approaches to technology integration that fail to consider these relationships are largely ineffective. They therefore propose an approach incorporating these relationships called Learning technology by design. This a constructivist approach that sees knowledge as situated in action and determined by individual-environmental interactions (Brown, Collins, & Duguid, 1989; Gibson, 1986; Roschelle, & Clancey, 1992; Young, 1993 as cited in Koehler & Mishra, 2005). Designing learning activities does not therefore respect boundaries but involves interweaving the three knowledge components.

Roblyer and Doering (2014) highlight that computer technology has been evolving since the mid-20th century but it was the commercialisation of the Worldwide Web in the 1990s that foreshadowed the transformational impact of technology on education. TPACK reflects an approach by educators to model the integration of technology in education (Koehler & Misra, 2005). Newhouse (2015) proposes an alternative approach that focuses on how technology influences learning environment attributes. He cites Biagi & Loi (2013), Bransford, Brown & Cocking (2000) and DeCorte (1994) to posit the importance of the complex links between technology and learning outcomes mediated by learning environment attributes. This approach is more contextually situated than TPACK and may therefore be more conceptually helpful to some teachers.

Cherner & Smith (2016) expressed some concern about TPACK in that its original version was not sufficiently detailed nor based on the work of previous scholars and that it was not centred on student learning but teacher knowledge. The authors posit a reframed TPACK focused on context rather than content and that focuses on students.

Koehler & Mishra’s (2005) contention that approaches to technology integration that fail to consider the relationships between content, technology and pedagogy are largely ineffective may need to be challenged. Teaching and learning evidently require structure but a central theme of constructivism is represented by Bruner’s theory (1973 as cited in Roblyer & Doering, 2014, p.57) that children should explore alternatives and recognise relationships between ideas to better understand and remember those ideas. Bruner’s theory suggests that there should be opportunities for students to work with technology with minimal pedagogic structure to see if and how they use the technology to learn. This is in a sense what November (2009) suggests in terms of trusting students to work with technology and develop knowledge in ways that we, as teachers, had not conceived.

Koehler & Mishra’s TPACK (2005) represents an elegant model to help design lessons and integrate technology. As a teacher with limited technological knowledge TPACK is a reminder that technological knowledge must be a major focus of my further pedagogic development.


Cherner, T., & Smith, D. (2016). Reconceptualizing TPACK to Meet the Needs of Twenty-First-Century Education, The New Educator, 1-21. Retrieved January 20th, 2017 from CSU Library.

Koehler, M., & Mishra, P. (2005). What happens when teachers design educational technology? The development of technological pedagogical and content knowledge. Journal of Educational Computing Science, Vol 32(2), 131-152. Retrieved December 31st, 2016 from CSU Library.

Newhouse, C. (2015). Measuring the meaningful use of ICT in schools: learning environments attributes approach. International Journal of Technology Enhanced Learning, Vol. 7(4), 310-323. Retrieved January 14th, 2017 from CSU Library.

November, A. [November Learning]. (2009). Myths and opportunities: Technology in the classroom [Video]. Retrieved from

Okojie, M., Olinzock, A., &  Okojie-Boulder, T. (2006). The Pedagogy of Technology Integration. Journal of Technology Studies, Vol. 32(2), 66-71. Retrieved December 20th, 2016 from

Roblyer, M., & Doering, A.H. (2014). Integrating educational technology into teaching: Sixth Edition. Essex, UK: Pearson Education.


Module 8 – The Digital Divide

The term, “Digital Divide” was originally coined by Lloyd Morrisett (Hoffman & Novak, 1998 as cited in Roblyer & Doering, 2014, p.27) to refer to differences in access to technology based on socioeconomic status. The poignancy of the concept is reflected in Molnar’s now 39 year-old warning (1978 as cited in Roblyer & Doering, p.19) that non-computer literate students would be educationally disadvantaged and again in Mason and Dodds’ contention (2005 as cited in Soujah, 2014) that technological illiteracy gives rise to disadvantaged futures. The concept of digital divide is now also used to refer to differences in the urban versus rural (Erdiaw-Kwasie & Alam, 2015) and intergenerational (Friemel, 2014) diffusion of internet use and technology. Friemel found that internet use is strongly skewed according to age group leading to the partial exclusion of old seniors. That said, I often find my 82 year-old mother getting annoyed with me when I am unable to take her Skype call as I am preparing for class or asking me why I have not looked at my brother’s latest photos on Facebook.

This blog reviews the issues raised by the term, “Digital Divide” in contemporary education. Roblyer & Doering (p.28) point out that while low-income and minority students now have better access to technology the question of advantage has shifted to how students from different socioeconomic backgrounds experience differing opportunities to take advantage of the technology. They contend that students not only need access, but access must be accompanied by systematic and focused instruction. Vigdor & Ladd (2010 as cited in Roblyer & Doering, p.28) found that providing access to home computers without instruction can actually lead to decreased achievement because unmonitored children will use the computers for non-educational purposes. Mason & Dodds (2005, as cited in Soujah, 2014) suggest that children raised in homes with available technologies learn to use technology to solve problems, analyse information and communicate.

Roblyer & Doering (p.27) contend that 21st Century Standards focus educators on critical thinking and problem solving and that these skills require technology-based, inquiry-based, constructivist methods. If it is hypothesised that these methods are increasingly important factors that determine improving or high levels of student literacy, statistics about Australian students’ performance in the international PISA tests provide revealing insights into the relationship between equity, pedagogy and the digital divide. Thomson, De Bartoli & Buckley (2013, p. ix) highlight that Australian students performed relatively well in the international PISA tests compared to students from other OECD countries: an average of 504 for mathematical literacy versus an OECD average of 494, an average of 521 versus 501 for scientific literacy, and an average of 512 versus 496 for reading literacy. The authors also highlight (p. ix) that the range of scores for Australian students between the lowest performing (5th percentile) and highest performing (95th percentile) is comparatively wider than the OECD average for mathematical, scientific and reading literacies and that (p.224) NSW had the largest gap between advantaged and disadvantaged schools, “111 score points, or more than three years of schooling.” If, as hypothesised, student literacy rates are increasingly determined by technology-based, inquiry-based, constructivist methods, these results provide tentative evidence of a connection between equity, or rather inequity, and the use of technology in Australian schools and NSW schools in particular. Advantaged schools, many of which are likely to be over-invested in technology argue Mason & Dodds (2005 as cited in Soujah, 2014), are able to embrace these non-traditional, technology-based methods and disadvantaged schools continue to rely more on traditional, technology-light, instructional methods.

The question is whether a new generation of motivated teachers versed in content, pedagogical and technological knowledge can successfully challenge the digital divide in Australian schools?


Erdiaw-Kwasie, M., & Alam. K. (2015). Towards understanding digital divide in rural partnerships and development: A framework and evidence from rural Australia. Journal of Rural Studies, Vol. 43, 214-224. Retrieved January 6th, 2017 from CSU Library

Friemel, T. (2014). The digital divide has grown old: Determinants of a digital divide among seniors. new media & society, Vol. 18(2), 313-331. DOI: nms.sa10.1177/1461444814538648 

Roblyer, M. & Doering, A.H. (2014). Integrating education technology into teaching: Sixth Edition. Essex, UK: Pearson Education.

Soujah, S. (2014). Technology Integration in Schools Is We Overinvested and Underprepared? International Journal of Information and Education Technology, 4(5), 444-447. Retrieved December 20th, 2016 from ESC 407 Resources

Thomson, S., De Bartoli, L., & Buckley, S. (2012). PISA 2012: How Australia measures up. Melbourne, ACER. Retrieved 7th, January from

Module 6 – Cyberbullying

Cantone et al. (2015) note that bullying is a wide spread phenomenon in schools and involves aggressive behaviour and repeated and intentional “harm doing”. The widespread use of smart phones and the internet access has resulted in cyberbullying. Cantone et al. characterise cyberbullying as the use of electronic forms of contact that allow the perpetrator to remain anonymous (Slonje and Smith, 2008 as cited in Cantone at al.) and that intensify feelings of discomfort in the victim (Dooley, Pyzalski and Cross, 2014 as cited in Cantone at al.). The Victorian State Government Education and Training website ( defines cyberbullying as bullying carried out on the internet or using a mobile phone. Arseneault, Bowes and Shakoor (2010 as cited in Cantone at al.) found that being the victim of bullying contributes to mental health problems and Ttofi, Farrington and Risk (2011 as cited in Cantone at al.) found that the persistence of cyberbullying may cause low self-esteem and long-term depressive symptoms. The malevolency involved in some cyberbullying cases  is reflected in media attention. The article,  links cyberbullying cases to several suicides and cites the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to highlight that suicide is the third leading cause of death among young Americans with approximately 4,400 deaths per year.

Cantone at al. (2015) note that cyberbullying can take the following forms: flaming (online fights using inflammatory and vulgar language, harassment, cyberstalking, denigration, impersonation, outing (sharing a person’s secrets), trickery and exclusion (intentionally and cruelly excluding someone from an online group). The Victorian State Government website also includes sharing and forwarding private or compromising images without permission, communicating sexually explicit messages and images including pornography and social exclusion campaigns. The Victorian State Government website includes a range of information and advice for students and parents including advising children to talk to trusts adults abut cyberbullying and keep evidence.

Cantone et al. (2015) found that the more effective anti-bullying programs involve whole of class interventions often accompanied by individual actions or family involvement. The interventions involve lessons, role playing and other strategies. Anti-bullying programs targeting behaviour change of the bully or victim without affecting the social context also showed a moderate positive effect on bullying behaviour.

Cyberbullying is a problem at my school in China. It was until recently ignored but two young teachers have attempted to tackle the problem with mixed success.



Cantone, Elisa., Piras, A,. Vellante, M., Preti, A., Danielsdottir, S., D’Aloja, E., Lesinkiene, S., Angermeyer, M., Carta, M., & Bhugra, D. (2015) Interventions on Bullying and Cyberbullying in Schools: A Systematic Review. Clinical Practice and Epidemiology in Mental Health: CP & EMH, 11(Suppl 1 M4), 58-76. Retrieved January 20th, 2017 from CSU Library

Module 7 – Web-based Learning Resources for Science

The range of web-based resources to teach science is overwhelming. I have summarised as follows some websites and portals. This list is by no means exhaustive.

1.              Scootle (

Scootle is an Australian Government sponsored (DEAG, 2013) web portal providing access to a collection that includes over 9,000 science teaching and learning resources and supports teaching across all stages and topics. The resources include images, audios, videos, games, datasets, collections and teacher resources. The resources can be sorted by type, student stage and topic and include links to Australian Curriculum learning outcomes. The quality and range of the resources means that Scootle is a valuable tool in lesson planning and supporting objectivist and constructivist pedagogies.

2.              TES (

TES is an international education company providing a website from which almost 50,000 science resources can be accessed; some 38,000 of which are free. Like Scootle the TES website allows resources to be sorted by topic and age. For example, a search of free science resources, suitable for 11 to 14 year-old students and focused on Aboriginal knowledge generated 47 resources. TES is also a valuable tool in lesson planning and supporting objectivist and constructivist pedagogies

3.              YouTube (

YouTube is a platform providing access to an extensive range of science videos including documentaries produced by high quality producers such as BBC, Discovery Channel and National Geographic, videos about how things work and videos to help conduct experiments, activities and projects. These videos can be used:

·     to engage students when introducing a topic including developing understanding of how science relates to real world;

·     to research experiments, activities and projects that can be conducted by students;

·     to deepen understanding about topics;

·     to conduct virtual experiments where these experiments cannot be conducted physically in a school laboratory.

4.              Khan Academy (

Khan Academy is a not-for-profit foundation providing high quality tutorial videos and quizzes covering a wide range of topics including science and mathematics. In respect to science the tutorials are selectively suitable to senior high school students. The tutorial can be used to develop learning mastery by firstly instructing students to watch a video and take notes, secondly hold a structured class discussion and then follow up with individual or collaborative problem solving exercises that may require students to re-view the tutorial video. Students can also then complete quizzes to assess their learning. 

Khan Academy also provides access to the Crash Course science videos ( The Crash Course videos provide excellent topic overviews but the pace and language is too challenging for most high school students. They are selectively suitable to engage students because the graphics and commentary are engaging and amusing. They are also useful to help abler senior students develop mastery learning. 

5.              Absorb Learning ( and Explore Learning ((

Absorb Learning and Explore Learning are subscription based services providing an extensive range of models to support science learning.  Both provide simple and elegant graphic models that can be used to support learning across all years at high school. The models are particularly helpful for students with low literacy skills or struggling with abstraction and complex learning concepts. The models can be integrated into class instruction or accessed by students to solve problems.

6.              Syngenta Periodic Table (

Sygenta plc is a UK based chemical company that provide an interactive and engaging website to help students develop understanding of the Periodic Table and Group properties. I have used the website successfully several times with an accompanying worksheet.

7.     – Science Links (  is a US website and portal whose aim is to promote rich and easy web-based learning experiences.  The site provides links to some very creative and interactive science resources such as The linked sites include structured learning activities and are suited to constructivist, discovery learning. It also provides practical information about website design.

8.              American Chemical Society – Education Resources (

The American Chemical Society provides a range of resources to help students conduct projects. The website also provides ideas and support to teachers  and students interested in starting Chemistry Clubs.

9.              Royal Chemical Society – Education Resources (

The Royal Chemical Society provides a wide range of learning resources for students and teachers. The site includes an index for age related activities. The site is particularly helpful for students and teachers exploring more complex projects.

10.  – education ( is a portal providing access to wide range of interesting and well designed learning resources. The science resources are well suited to help students develop concepts for projects.

11.           Polymer Science Learning Center (

The Polymer Science Learning Center is an example of a specialist website. As the name indicates the site is dedicated to polymer science. The site includes a range of activities and is well suited to discovery learning activities and projects.

12.           TED Talks (

TED Talks provides high quality video presentations that can be used to engage students about science. I find the videos useful after completing a learning unit to engage students as to why learning science is important and can lead to interesting careers. 

13.    Science Bob (

Science Bob provides a range of easy instructions and quality videos for simple experiments and projects for junior high school level students.

14.  Chem Collective (

ChemCollective is a website created by the US-based National Science Digital Library (NSGL) to support chemistry education through interactive and engaging activities. The website offers a range of virtual laboratory experiments, scenario-based modelling activities, tutorials and concept tests.

15.   Chemistry Drills (

Chemistry Drills is part of a website, meta synthesis ( offering science teaching products and services. Chemistry Drills is a free resource suited to senior high school students and university undergraduates seeking to develop mastery of chemistry topics.


Digital Education Advisory Group (DEAG). (2013). Beyond the classroom: A new digital education for young Australians in the 21st century. Retrieved November 16, 2016