Michelle Waller

Hi Everyone,

My name is Michelle Waller. I am the Dean of Studies at The Rockhampton Grammar School located in central Queensland. I have been working on my Master of Education part time since 2013. Our school has supported teachers who wish to pursue a Master of Education degree since 2013 so there have been quite a few of us involved in the programme. I am not very familiar with things like Wiki's so this will be a big learning curve for me. However, I am keen to learn :)
Looking forward to exploring this exciting world.


The topic for my literature review is one that is very important to the work I do with teachers in supporting their practice. I decided to explore critical thinking and its links to digital culture and learning. 21st century skills are a fundamental part of curriculum and as QCAA outlined at the end of last year their vision of a 21st century student is one that is a lifelong learner who can create knowledge, is technology savvy, a problem solver and innovator with effective communication skills so that ideas can be shared with others. Our students must be global citizens who can respond positively to change and are guided by fairness and tolerance for others. They are successful people who can set goals and persevere in meeting them. (QCAA, 2015)
These skills are not new, but the digital context of our students’ lives is new. Educators must find new ways of teaching critical thinking skills within the context of a digital culture. Too often when we think about teaching digital skills they are separate from the very reasoning skills that are so necessary for using those digital skills for deep learning. Teachers struggle to find the time and develop the expertise to use the tools that are available to develop critical thinking skills. Without support these tools can be seen as distractions from 'real learning'.
http://small-steps.wikidot.com/triforcegamerknowledge provides some interesting information about game based learning to develop critical thinking skills.

The use of apps like those compiled by Lutenhouwer (2012) http://ipadders.eu/apps-for-multiple-intelligences/ and Schrock (2012) http://www.schrockguide.net/bloomin-apps.html , and numerous other internet sites like
http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2013/02/10-ipad-apps-to-enhance-critical.html ,
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/critical-thinking-insight/id824004507?mt=8 ,

give us a window into the myriad of digital resources for teaching students critical thinking within the digital environment. These apps could provide resources for teachers to move the technologies from outside the classroom that digital natives embrace to engaging critical thinking skills through teaching strategies in the classroom that have students accessing smart phones or iPads and clicking on URL’s to collaboratively investigate concepts, ideas or information. (Kivunja, 2015)

Welcome to my Wilki in for Assignment 2 in Digital Culture, Games and Education.

This is the final assignment for the Griffith University course Digital Culture, Games and Education. In my first assignment I explored the literature regarding 21st century skills, especially critical thinking, and its connection to digital culture and education. I was especially interested in how we teach critical thinking in a digital context.

This proved to be an interesting topic. However, it was huge!

The skills that are associated with "21st century skills" are not new (as I addressed in my first paper) but it is the digital context in which students exist in that is different.As part of my research I confirmed that many teachers are reluctant to use digital resources to develop critical thinking for a multitude of reasons. These include a lack of time to research and locate effective resources, lack of expertise within digital mediums and a lack of a meaningful curriculum links on the part of many of the resources available.

The rationale for the development of my digital resource was given the understandings I had come to from my first paper it would be beneficial to teachers if I could create something that teachers could use to share ideas and resources to develop students 21st century skills that would be accessible, adaptable and easy to use. My original subject area is music - so I thought I would focus my resource there. Based on this brief I chose to create a Wiki. Creating a resource like this could be done over months or years - I quickly realised that the process is never ending! Seeing as I didn't have that time I needed to narrow my focus even more in order to provide something that was useful, relevant and within my zone of proximal development for working with technology. For my second assignment I decided to narrow my focus down greatly and work on creating something that could be a digital resource for teachers of middle school music (Years 7 - 9) that linked 21st century skills to music.

To access the wiki please follow the link below and use the code XJCQFND