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Inside Teaching : August 2010
www.atra.edu.au | firstname.lastname@example.org REVIEWS 55 My Place www.abc.net.au/abc3/myplace and www.myplace.edu.au Reviewed by Steve Holden My Place, the children’s picture book written by Nadia Wheatley and illustrated by Donna Rawlins to celebrate Australia’s bicentenary in 1988, presented the stories of 20 children, decade by decade since 1788. You might’ve seen the frst series of the television adaptation this year. The television adaptation was accompanied by a My Place website, created and produced by Blue Rocket Productions, which enables students to visit various places to discover things abut the central characters from each of the television episodes and the period in which they lived. They can also play games like ‘Mystery object,’ a lot like the game in ABC television’s The Collectors, and ‘Odd item out,’ which reminds me of the round in Ten’s Talkin’ ’Bout Your Generation where team members ransack a period set to identify anachronistic items. The site design is clean, and I like the way images are layered as you visit the bedroom, kitchen or backyard, but it’s diffcult to navigate backwards. There’s also ‘My Place for Teachers,’ produced by the Australian Children’s Television Foundation in partnership with The Le@rning Federation of Education Services Australia. The formula here is to provide teaching activities related to clips and stills, with activities and activity sheets in Word or PDF that are aligned with the draft national curriculum for English and history. A search function of tagged content usefully collects possible resources together for easy access and use. The best part of ‘My Place for Teachers,’ though, is the ‘Our Place’ forum, basically an online bulletin board that enables teachers to share how they’ve used My Place in their teaching and learning programs, and share resources. A lot of the links redirect through The Le@rning Federation portal. You’ll need to log in. Steve Holden is Editor-in-Chief – Magazines, at ACER Press. through their education departments, and operated by the Education Network Australia (EDNA) that aims to help Australian educators to communicate, share resources and collaborate. It began life as the Sandpit, which in 2009 was rolled into EDNA Groups. EDNA includes other services, providing an education news digest with links, email newsletters, e-learning podcasts, searchable conferences and events, links to lots of educational resources online and tech tools, but the real value is in the way EDNA Groups enables forums and chat; group polling; dialogue to enable users to communicate in pairs; quiz, survey and wiki tools; and text and web pages, web links and fle sharing. Educators can use it to create an online group for their own purposes. You might create a group for your school staff, for example, or for your department or learning area in your school, or to collaborate as an existing network of educators addressing, say, inclusive learning, or to generate a new network of educators to address, say, students with maths diffculties. The pages are secured by a registration process – username and password – with ‘enrolment keys’ for guests, so you’ve got a realistic chance of knowing who your friends really are.