Bett Asia – Day 2

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Day 2 of Bett Asia began with a series of high powered keynotes from across the globe starting with Hon Nikki Kaye, Associate Minister of Education for New Zealand.


Minister Kaye shared the many exciting developments happening throughout New Zealand education. I was particularly impressed with their initiative, a one-stop portal full of educational resources for all NZ teachers.

Following Minister Kaye’s address, we had the privileged of listening to Veniamin Shaevich Kaganov, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation.


It was fascinating to hear about some of the challenges facing education in the Russian Federation.

From Russia to Laos, following the Russian Minister we heard about a whole lot of different challenges from a relatively newly developing country.

LyTou Bouapao, Deputy Minister and Vice-President of National Commission for UNESCO , Ministry of Education and Sports in Laos addressed the audience and shared his challenge of providing technology for schools that are lucky to have electricity.


From Laos we moved to Monah University Melbourne where we heard from Justin Bokor, Director of Innovation at Monash.


I was particularly impressed with the work Monash has been doing with MWORLD, an eLearning resource for Primary Teachers.

Another highlight of Day 2 was a very engaging presentation by Anthony Salcito, Vice President – Worldwide Education, Microsoft.


I particularly liked his thoughts around education now needed to focus 6 C’s …

  • Communication
  • Collaboration
  • Critical Thinking
  • Creativity
  • Curiosity, and
  • Computational Thinking

The afternoon highlight was listening to my colleague Rajesh Patil, Adobe Senior Solution Consultant for Southeast Asia.


Rajesh shared the value of Adobe’s Digital Publishing Solution (DPS) to enable the development of iOS, Android & Windows tablet apps without the need for coding.

Special thank you to the Adobe APAC sales and marketing teams for all the work they put into Bett Asia for 2015. It was a pleasure to be involved.


Singapore is such a dynamic and beautiful city, I’m looking forward to returning again in April.


Bett Asia 2015 – meeting Marc Prensky

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Bett or The Bett Show (formerly known as the British Educational Training and Technology Show) is a series of global education conferences in the UK, Latin America and Asia. This week they are back again in Singapore and the famous Marina Bay Sands for the Bett Asia Leadership Summit.


A Singapore icon –  Marina Bay Sands

A highlight for me on day 1 of this event was meeting Marc Prensky and catching up again with my friend Dan Haesler.


Marc Prensky, Dan Haesler & me

I’ve been reading Marc Prensky‘s work since he invented and popularised the terms ‘Digital Native’ & ‘Digital Immigrant’ in the early 2000’s.  Dan Haesler and I first met on the EduTECH stage in 2014. Both men are very entertaining and thought provoking speakers with a a real heart for education reform and doing what is best for 21st Century learners.


Marc challenged us to re-think the curriculum so it has a more real life focus. He stressed that what students need from teachers is encouragement for them to apply their passions, have their respect, their trust and to believe in them.

He said students learn better when doing real projects for real audiences which in turn prepared them for the real-world.

The 21st Century learner has an extended brain, the digital devices that are with them all the time and networked to other students all over the world. They collaborate in new ways without the boundaries of the tradition classroom.

Prensky argues that teachers often underestimate the value that their students can bring. He encourages educators to trust their students and have high expectations that they will achieve great things. He says nothing builds self esteem an confidence like accomplishment and when those achievements are real-world based and seen by an authentic audience, the learning experience is even more powerful.


He calls on all educators to go beyond the academic grades that mean very little in the ‘real world’, harness students individual passions and encourage students to keep a resume of their achievements. Prensky argues that a 21st century curriculum should be based on thinking skills, technical skills, actions, problem solving, relationships and accomplishments. Traditional mathematics, science and social studies and still important but need to be delivered in a real world context with a real-world audience.



Here are some other images of Day 1

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I’m looking forward to Day 2 …

National Assessment Program ICT literacy report

On Tuesday November 17,  ACARA (Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority) announced the publication of the 2014 National Assessment Program (NAP) – information and communication technology (ICT) literacy report.


 In October and November 2014, 10,562 Year 6 and Year 10 students participated in the NAP – ICT literacy online test. Samples of students were randomly selected from over 650 government, Catholic and independent schools in metropolitan, rural and remote areas around Australia.

Skills tested

A wide range of Adobe related ICT skills were tested such as:

  • online production,
  • document formatting,
  • image manipulation,
  • game coding
  • animation and video production.

Other, not so Adobe related skills, such as internet searching and slide show production were also assessed.

The general findings

The good news is that this study clearly confirms that Australian students are frequent users of ICT and continue to express interest and enjoyment when working with computers, The bad news in this report is that there is a significant decline in student’s ICT literacy performance when compared to previous similar studies.

The report shows a significant decline in the average performance of Year 6 students in 2014, compared to the last NAP assessment in 2011. Similarly, the average performance of Year 10 students is significantly lower than previous NAP – ICT literacy studies in 2005, 2008 and 2011.

Click here for the full study & previous reports

Renewed focus on teaching ICT

ACARA CEO, Robert Randall says, “The decline in performance is of concern, and there is a need for a renewed focus on the teaching of digital technologies in schools.”

ACARA Update Nov 17, 2015

This is especially topical with the well-published statement from our current Prime Minster Malcolm Turnbull that,“digital skills should be the new kind of national literacies, as fundamental as reading & writing.”

The Australian

Links to Adobe

Most of the skills tested in the NAP – ICT Literacy study directly relate to Adobe’s communication software which is widely considered the industry standard and best software to use for online communication, print, design, mobile publication, video and animation.

Teachers and students throughout Australia have access to Adobe tools but, in many cases, don’t realise what they have and how it can be used to not only improve student’s digital literacy skills and enhance creativity in the classroom but also prepare them for a workforce where Adobe software is the standard and skills in Adobe tools is an expectation.

The best resource for teachers to use to help them discover the power of Adobe in the classroom is the Adobe Education Exchange ( This is a free online creativity in education portal with currently over 240,000 members, a wide range of professional learning and about 8000 resources made by teachers for teachers.


Homebush Boys High @ Adobe

IMG_3510aA group of talented film makers from Homebush Boys High School visited the Adobe Office in Darling Harbour, Sydney on Thursday November 12, 2015 for a video workshop to enhance their skills with Adobe Premier Pro.

Homebush Boys High School media teacher (and Adobe Campus Leader), Andrew Lai has helped to develop a strong multimedia culture at the school. It was great to meet his students face to face after working with them during the year online.


Following a tour of the office and meeting some of the Adobe employees, the students planned out what they were going to create. We revised some of the key video production techniques that I taught them earlier in the year during a series of online session with Davision High School .


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The boys used a mix of professional camera equipment that I provided as well as their own phones to do the filming.

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They worked with Premier Pro and After Effects on their own laptops to edit their short films.

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Here is an example of some of the student’s work


I was very impressed with the way these students collaborated and created. Note the use of close ups and framing that the boys used to help tell their story. What they achieved in just a few hours was very cleaver.

A professional film crew was also working in the Adobe office that day producing a corporate video for Adobe in collaboration with the Starlight foundation. The boys met with the production director and were encouraged when he told them that learning Adobe Premier Pro will provide them with a great advantage in any future media related work.



Here is the Homebush High Digital Media Showcase highlights from 2015 that Adobe supported:


Adobe @ Roseville College, NSW


On November 11, 2015 I had the pleasure of visiting Roseville College in Sydney to work with a delightful group of Year 6 students in the morning and a group of technology educators in the afternoon.

The Year 6 students worked on their ePortfolio skills with Adobe Acrobat Pro. They also had a taste of Photoshop and Adobe Slate.


I had the pleasure of meeting Bella (left) & Ella (right), two students who are passionate and highly skilled in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics).

In the afternoon, I worked with the TAS (Technology and Applied Studies) staff and introduced them to Adobe Muse and Presenter Video Express.


Lunch with the Roseville TAS (Technology and Applied Studies) staff

Special thank you to Adobe Campus Leader Abi Woldhuis (Junior School Executive – Teaching and Learning Innovation) for organising this special day.


Me & Abi Woldhuis (Adobe Campus Leader)

Back at Strathcona


It was delightful to run a DLTV workshop at Strathcona Baptist Girls Grammar School in Melbourne where I worked for 13 years before starting at Adobe.

The focus on this session was Adobe solutions for flipped learning such as Presenter Video Express, Voice, Slate, Clip and Acrobat Pro.

The key message was that a good flipped learning approach is not about the technology or the number or quality of the instructional videos that are provided for students, it is about what can now happen in the classroom with the time that saved by teachers not talking so much to the whole class.

My favourite definition of flipped learning comes from

‘Flipped Learning is a pedagogical approach in which direct instruction moves from the group learning space to the individual learning space, and the resulting group space is transformed into a dynamic, interactive learning environment where the educator guides students as they apply concepts and engage creatively in the subject matter.’

My resources for this session can be found via:


It was great to be able to share some of Adobe great free touch apps with my former colleagues.


Thank you to Ross Phillips (Strathcona’s Dean of Studies) who tweeted this image (PD on flipped learning using ADOBE apps at #Strathcona #strathyPLN @timkitchen)


Advantages of a flipped learning & teaching approach

More DLTV events can be found via