DE News: 2012-T3-Week 02

"There is no security on this earth; there is only opportunity."  Source unknown

School & Network News

Bourke Walgett- Vision of Excellence Workshop

Supervisors and parents met with Wendy Hay (Principal), Mike Tom and Kym Knight from RDE to develop the school's Vision of Excellence and ideas to assist the school to achieve their vision.

As part of the workshop the parents and supervisors also looked at:

  • Various DE enrollment categories and strategies to support the supervisor of the students enrolled in the  categories
  • The gap between perception and actual performance of the key elements that contribute to quality learning outcomes for the DE students at the school
  • Strategies that could be implemented to assist the school and community achieve their vision of excellence

Wendy Hay was very impressed with the great feedback and ideas contributed by the supervisors and parents.

More News on the ESL Pilot Project

Hot Potato logoThe R & DE unit has supported some innovative projects with Homebush Boys High School and The Open High School in the area of English ESL Stage 6. It’s been interesting to observe the students from such culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds engaging with this course and wonderful to witness the progress they make with their English language acquisition and their achievements towards their learning outcomes. One of challenges experienced by teachers is in assessing student understanding when the students’ first language is not English.

Have you tried Hot Potato? Hot Potatoes is a great tool that is easy to use and the activities are very quick to create. You can create CLOZE, MULTIPLE CHOICE, WORD MATCHING and QUIZZES in just a few minutes.

The activity hyperlink is sent to students via email and they can practice as much as they want. These activities can be based on assessment tasks practice to improve student outcomes. The other bonus is that you have an interactive technology based resource to add to your collection.

Hotpotato is free software to download. Here are  samples of Hot Potatoes activities used with ESL students you might like to check out..... Word match                Cloze               Gap fill                        Multichoice 

A Snapshot of some DE Collegial Networks

English Network News from the DE Symposium!  English network working at the DE Conference

English teachers at the DE symposium spent a very informative afternoon with Louise Ward from the Board of Studies and Jeanette Gill from CLIC. 

Louise Ward provided the teachers with a sneak preview of the new 7-10 syllabus which is anticipated for release mid August. Advice about programming and assessment will be available in term 4. Professional Learning and planning is set aside for 2013. Implementation will take place from 2014. 

The new syllabus incorporates all required features of the Australian curriculum making it an easy transition for NSW English teachers to adopt the new curriculum.  There are some minor changes to the layout, including fewer outcomes than in the current syllabus. The syllabus is still organised in stages.

Responding and composing is still at the centre of the syllabus, through the study of a wide range of texts with digital technologies having more prominence.  A revised list of texts, including those influenced by Asia, will be added to the syllabus and updated regularly.

Jeanette Gill, from CLIC, presented the network group with a show and tell of the resources available through TALE.  All resources are copyright cleared and able to be used and changed by teachers for their students. Jeanette featured the Lap Top wraps that teach specific aspects of grammar and alerted the teachers to the importance of this for NAPLAN preparation. Jeanette, currently seconded to NAPLAN, said that every year NAPLAN includes a question on using colons and semi colons. She said students often miss this!  In the new syllabus there is an emphasis on covering different aspects of grammar in each stage. 

Angella Hopkins, Coordinator English Collegial Network has uploaded the  catalogues provided by Jeanette to the DeDuce wiki,

Angella welcomes all interested DE English teachers to the English Collegial Network.  Angella can be contacted at Karabar DEC on 62105200 or her email address angella [dot] hopkins [at] det [dot] nsw [dot] edu [dot] au

As Angella says, "Let's keep in touch - all interested English teachers welcome!"

TAS Network

Eight teachers met together at the DE Symposium with their NODE (Network Organiser DE) Sharon Hodgson, to develop priorities for their network. The priorities included:

  • Renaming the network from Industrial Arts to TAS
  • Creating sub-headings for each subject so that all TAS teachers have access to all subject areas
  • Sharing of resources starting with TECHMAN which is delivered by everyone in stage 4. TECHMAN resources from the DE's will be made available on CD to DE's
  • Creating a list of the network members curriculum needs
  • Investigating the possibility of conducting a TAS conference in term 4

For further information about this network please contact Phil Dowling at Southern Cross on 66869112 or phillip [dot] dowling [at] det [dot] nsw [dot] edu [dot] au

TAS network at DE Symposium

TAS network at DE Symposium

TAS network at DE Symposium






Languages Network

Language network at DE SymposiumA number of languages teachers who attended the DE Symposium met to further establish their collegial network. Greg Armstrong, HT Southern Cross kindly agreed to coordinate the network session session in the absence of Michelle Marrotte (network coordinator) who was at the Japanese conference. Thank you to Greg, for conducting the network sessions at the DE Symposium!


The topics covered were:

  • Forming the Collegial Group - getting to know each other
  • Deciding on how the network will function  
  • The main issues  - gripes out on the table
  • Creating "a wish list " of resources
  • Making a list of  "BEST courses"
  • Identifying the courses taught and deciding how they could be presented e.g. on USB, Moodle, paper copy
  • Discussing and sharing resources that are liked by network members eg,  Moodle sites  to be invited to see
  • Using Equella If you are interested in knowing more, please contact Michelle Marrotte at Camden Haven on 65568100 and michelle [dot] marrotte [at] det [dot] nsw [dot] edu [dot] au 

DEVAN Conference 2012

Visual Arts Teachers enjoying the ConferenceThe 10th Annual Distance Education Visual Arts Network (DEVAN) conference was held at the end of term two. This year Sydney DEHS hosted the Conference to coincide with the Sydney Biennale with the focus being contemporary art practice as well as our professional practice.

Samantha Moss (SXDE) and Matt Beyer (CHDE) presented artmaking workshops, with supporting materials on how to implement with our students.


As a prelude to the Biennale they participated in a “Walking Tour of Paddington Art galleries” with local guide Isabelle Johnston,. They started at the well-known and respected Rosalind Oxley Gallery and ended up at the uber contemporary Alaska Art Space located in the Kings Cross car park level 4 . It was a fantastic tour with each of the galleries curators speaking about the exhibitions. Isabelle’s vast knowledge added depth to the experience. However, all the regional DE art teachers were wondering if SDEHS were testing their fitness and stamina with the 10km of walking.

Wednesday evening saw the group attend the opening of “Looking through Glass” Photography Exhibition by Gilbert Bel-Bashir. They made connections with the artist who has since agreed to be interviewed regarding his artmaking practice, photographic skills and how to prepare for an exhibition to develop a Case Study for Stage 6 Photography and Visual Arts.

Arriving at Cockatoo IslandThursday started at the MCA viewing works from the Biennale and participating in the Mending Project.  After the MCA they boarded the Ferry to Cockatoo Island to view the rest of the Biennale exhibits, another exhausting day of walking and viewing artworks. Developing The DEVAN members across a number of DEs are keen to collaborate on developing interactive learning material based on the Biennale.

Rachel Lane, Jude Hotchkiss (SDEHS), Anne Hodgson (KDEC) and Debbie Murray (DSODE) presented and shared learning resources developed for Visual Arts, Design and Photography.

Duncan Gerdes (SDEHS) presented a collation of the learning materials used by each DE in each year. Learning materials were discussed at length with the consensus reached that when they develop materials they need to produce three different strands LD, core and extension, to better meet the needs of their students. They also agreed to pursue further collaboration in developing learning materials which will streamline resources that can add to Equella.

Another highly successful conference! Many thanks to Duncan and his team for their fantastic organisation of this year’s event.

DE Related News

Congratulations! Promotion of DE teacher!Pru Walder

Congratulations to Prue Walder , a valued DE colleague who has recently been appointed to Assistant Principal of Bourke Walgett DE. We wish her well in her new position!

Equella- The latest news!

The RDE team is busily ramping up to the launch of Equella in Term 3. Some of the latest happenings are:  

  • Working with the ClickView team so that you will be able to search for ClickView content from within Equella.
  • Collaborating with IT Services & Support Directorate on how DE staff can log help desk requests
  • Providing professional learning on Equella, "Equella-The Nuts and Bolts!"

DE Quality Teaching Question

DE Quality Teaching essential question

This weeks essential question is:  How do you identify learner variability in your students? We are posing this question for thought and discussion. We would love to hear and share your thoughts and strategies. Please email kym [dot] knight [at] det [dot] nsw [dot] edu [dot] au  any of your comments. 

Connecting digital literacy between home and schools

This Futurelabs report describes the connections and discontinuities between children’s digital literacy practices at home and in school in two primary and two secondary schools. Find out more

Imagine: The Art and Science of Creativity 

Jonah Lehrer's book is an excellent read for any teacher interested in improving the creativity of their students and of themselves. 

Imagine: The Art and Science of Creativity [Kindle Edition]"The standard definition of creativity is completely wrong. Ever since the ancient Greeks, people have assumed that the imagination is separate from other kinds of cognition. But the latest science suggests that this assumption is false. Instead, creativity is a catchall term for a variety of distinct thought processes.......For most of human history, people have believed that the imagination is inherently inscrutable, an impenetrable biological gift. As a result, we cling to a series of false myths about what creativity is and where it comes from. These myths don’t just mislead — they also interfere with the imagination.”

Upcoming Events!

Equella-The Nuts and Bolts Workshop

This whole day workshop is now available to be presented in schools, to all staff, by the RDE team.
Please contact Kym Knight, 63348074 or kym [dot] knight [at] det [dot] nsw [dot] edu [dot] au to organise your school's training.

Other workshops that can be delivered by the RDE team for teachers are  are:

Please contact Kym Knight or Greg Alchin on 0263348070 if you would like one of these workshops presented at your school.

DE wiki

DEduce provides information for NSW DE teachers!

Newsletter contacts

Call Kym, Greg or Suzie on 0263348070 or by emailing rde [at] det [dot] nsw [dot] edu [dot] au