ThingLink – a different way to share!

In one of our regular webinars a couple of weeks ago someone mentioned “ThingLink”. Over the follwing weekend I spent a bit of time exploring this tool.

ThingLink is described as a tool that helps you share content using images. The idea is to use an image and to add “tags” which link to content. The tool has been developed so that you can add many different types of content link including audio, video, webpages and polls.

Here are a three different ones that I have created – these are fairly simple and just link directly to content relevant to the spot in the image where the tag is positioned. The images can be easily embedded in websites and blogs. If you don’t see the links on the images immediately then move your mouse onto the image, you should then be able to checkout the content links.

The scene from Gooseberry Hill


  A “Toon” for introducing e-pedagogy

Free E-tools for teaching and learning

For me this has immense possibilities for use in literacy/numeracy contexts. Here is just a very quick “off the top of my head” list of some of the possible uses:

Students making their own “ThingLinks” to evidence their own understanding and research eg in “Current Issues”

  • Students developing their own audio, visual or written explanations of maths concepts and linking to them via tags
  • Students making ToonDoos eg related to Internet safety and linking to the source of their information
  • Students collecting a series of images recording project progress with tags linking to videos of different project activities and/or other project documentation
  • Language of shapes with links to audio files and or text glossary items.
  • Maths concepts with links to practical applications of the concepts in the real world
  • Managing student web access in exploring a topic to ensure that the sites they visit are of suitable quality
  • Writing prompt images with related information links as tags in the image

One of the reasons that I liked this tool straight away is that basic use is very quick and easy to learn. So it makes a great addition to the repertoire of quick and easy to learn tools that can be used by students while also having potential for developing engaging learning resources.

If you explore and try this one out please let us know by commenting on this post – we would love to know how you use it and what you and your students think of it!

Jo Hart (April 2014)

New time for WAALC conference

The Western Australian Adult Literacy Council (WAALC) is piloting a change of conference time from July to April. As a result, they will not have a conference in July 2014. The next conference will be April 2015.

Proposed Dates are 16th and 17th April 2015 (at the end of school holidays and after Easter).

Conference planning is starting now.

Please book 16-17 April 2015 for the conference into your organisation’s calendar (and advise of any clashes with other events substantially affecting LLN teaching staff).

Send ideas to include in the conference: suggestions for Keynote speakers, topics, workshops or other activities that you think would make for an  inspiring event.

WAALC offers professional learning independent of employers and government priorities.  Your support is needed to help newcomers to the LLN field and to re-energise and update the experienced worker.

We plan to call for Expressions of Interest in September/October so be talking to new presenters with something to share and reminding your favourite presenters that you want them back!

Excellence in Language, Literacy and Numeracy Practice Award

Don’t forget that nominations close at the end of May for the second Excellence in Language, Literacy and Numeracy Practice Award conferred as part of the Australian Training Awards. Jo Hart was a finalist in the inaugaral award last year. It would be great to have a finalist or a winner from Western Australia this year too.

The Australian Training Awards are the peak, national awards for the vocational education and training (VET) sector, recognising individuals, businesses and registered training organisations for their contribution to skilling Australia.

Applicants may have the opportunity to reach the national stage in November this year and gain Australia-wide recognition for their work.

There are 18 awards, including seven ‘direct-entry’ awards. More details at

Curriculum updates – April 2014

52426WA Certificate I in Entry to General Education will expire 30 September 2014 and the review is well under way. Drafts of new and revised modules will be available soon. Email if you would like a look.

Course in Applied Vocational Study Skills 52626WA (CAVSS) is ready to use with new Business Rules available. You need to be preparing to use this new course from April when the previous one expires.

52379 Course In Underpinning Skills for Industry Qualifications (USIQ) has been re-accredited, the Business Rules are currently being reviewed. STARS has been updated with the new course number and information.

PD coming up and continuing April 2014

PD within the WA ALaN network

The face-to-face Collaborative Numeracy workshops with Beth Marr are continuing on 14-15 May. Beth is also delivering an in house program for Centacare during April and plans are under way for another two day workshop soon.

The “What’s in a number!” project continues and is due to finish in May. Checkout the recent posts on “Estimation”  then on  “Percentages”   and the most recent on “Exponents” and catch up with any others you have missed. Don’t forget to check out the comments and feedback and add your own!

Other PD

Coming up from IBSA/Velg are “Foundation Skills Workshops for VET Practitioners”  the Perth one is on June 4th – NOTE that the target audience for these is NOT LLN/Foundation Skills specialists but VET practitioners. However they may be relevant for others in your organisation. As we already use CAVSS here in WA to support vocational learners through team teaching, these workshops which have a focus on identifying foundation skills in units and then using the Foundation Skills (FSK) Training Package are perhaps less relevant to our VET practitioners than they would be elsewhere.

Conferences update – April 2014


The National Adult Language, Literacy and Numeracy Assessment Conference 2014 will be held in Melbourne on May 1st and 2nd 2014.

Not specifially LLN but there are usually some LLN related sessions. Registration is now open for our own State Training Providers’ Forum 2014. This takes place at Crown Perth on Monday 19th and Tuesday 20th of May.

The Australian Literacy Educators Association has a focus mainly towards the school sector, however with many young students now in the VET sector rather than in school their 2014 National Conference “aNTicipating New Territories: building strong minds, places and futures” in Darwin from 9-12 July has increasing potential for relevance to our network.

The 2014 conference of the International Applied Linguistics Association is being hosted by the Applied Linguistics Association of Australia and takes place from the 10th to 15th of August in Brisbane.

This year’s ACAL Conference “Literacy: a learning spiral for life” is on October 2nd to 4th at Surfers Paradise in Queensland. Keep up to date by registering an expression of interest on the ACAL website. Call for papers is open now. You are invited to give a 45 minute paper presentation, or a 1.5 hour colloquium, in which a group of presenters will give a series of papers on a theme, or a 1.5 hour hands-on workshop.

Australian Council of TESOL Associations – International Conference 2014 with the theme “Meeting the Challenge” takes place from September 30 – October 3 2014 in Melbourne. For information available to date check out the website.

The next Western Australian Adult Literacy Council state conference is planned for April 2015.  That’s a different time of the year than usual and there won’t be one in 2014.

A little further afield

In New Zealand this year – the 14th National Conference for Community Languages and ESOL has the theme “Essentials for Learning and Teaching: Ko te Pū, ko te Ako”


ALaN WA Newsletter – February 2014

Welcome to edition 11 of the Adult Literacy and Numeracy Network of Western Australia Newsletter!

Views expressed by contributors to the newsletter are their own and, unless expressly stated, do not reflect the opinions of their employers/organisations.

This contents page links individually to each article enabling you to go immediately to those of your choice. Alternatively, if you go to the main blog link, you can access the articles by scrolling down the page.

We welcome your comments and contributions to our newsletter. If you are an Adult Literacy/Numeracy practitioner in Western Australia or indeed, anywhere in the world, we invite you to subscribe and comment. If you are interested in joining the GoogleGroup for our network, please visit our “How to join” page and complete the online form.


1. Supporting effective delivery of foundation skills to Indigenous, remote and disadvantaged learners

Input sought for a National VET E-Learning Strategy foundation skills project

2. Slideshare for sharing on the web

Using Slideshare can make resources more accessible.

3. WA curriculum update Feb 2014

Re-accreditation activities

4. PD coming up/continuing

PD available through the network and beyond

5. Some conferences this year

Update on conference information for 2014

Supporting effective delivery of foundation skills to Indigenous, remote and disadvantaged learners

We are looking for input from foundation skills (LLN and Employability Skills) practitioners into the “Technology Innovations Applied Research Project” that CY O’Connor Institute is currently undertaking (funded through the National Vocational E-Learning Strategy (NVELS)).

The project focus is on building the e-capability of the VET workforce to identify and address the foundation skills needs of disadvantaged learners.

Natures window distance

One of the main outputs from the project will be a “toolkit” for foundation skills teachers working with the identified learner groups that will provide them with:

  • A framework of e-pedagogy outlining the key principles for teaching foundation skills to disadvantaged learners in VET
  • Advice on the use of selected media and technological applications for foundation skills training for disadvantaged learners
  • Good practice examples of the use of e-learning technologies for the development of foundation skills for the identified equity groups
  • Case studies of ‘e-mbedding’ foundation skills in vocational training for the identified equity groups
  • E-teaching strategies that will enable foundation skills teachers to ‘deliberately’ introduce and teach the literacies, numeracies and foundation skills that are taken for granted within the vocational course.

We are seeking examples and ideas from foundation skills (LLN/Employability Skills) practitioners to help us create a useful resource for others. So please, please share if you use/have used any e-tools and strategies with your students.

We are looking particularly for:

  • case studies of how you/your students have used technology to support LLN/Employability Skills development, in a vocational or general education context;
  • information about any media/technology/apps you have trialled/used and how successful these were (especially if you had any bandwidth – speed – issues)
  • any strategies you have used to introduce vocationally specific foundation skills to students

Please add a comment here on the post or visit the Google group and comment on the post there so that we can contact you for more information. It is so important that we have input from as many people as possible so that we can create a terrific toolkit!

Sharon Ross, Lina Zampichelli, Jo Hart (CY O’Connor Institute)

Slideshare – sharing on the web!

Slideshare is one of my favourite tools for sharing the slides from any PD sessions that I deliver. If you have been to any of my BlackboardCollaborate or face-to-face sessions for the ALaN network it is quite likely that I have shared my slides via Slideshare. I have found it a really useful and easy to use tool for both me and my students. I use it mainly to share presentations and resources created in Powerpoint (.ppt and .pptx) so that students and others accessing the content are not required to have Microsoft Office in order to open the resource. My students who have used it have used it for sharing their own presentations and stories – again they don’t need to have Powerpoint, presentations made in OpenOffice Presentation Document (.odp) can be uploaded as can .pdf and other documents.

This short screencast gives the steps for signing up to Slideshare. Once you have signed up you are directly in an upload screen. However you will get an email with a link for you to click to confirm your membership. Remember to click this or your account will disappear!

The embedded Slideshare below will show you how to upload and embed a Slideshare in a blog or other website, however you can also easily just share the link.

If you already use Slideshare please add a comment about how you use it. If you are encouraged by this post to try it yourself and/or to use it with your students, then again please post a comment to share your ideas and feedback.

Curriculum updates – Feb 2014

Course in Applied Vocational Study Skills 52626WA (CAVSS) re-accreditation has been finalised. The final (amended) version of the  Course Accreditation Document (ACC1) was noted by the Training Accreditation Council on 11/12/2013. The 2014 CAVSS Business Rules are now published and available from the CAVSS page. The current course was extended ONLY UNTIL April 2014 so you need to be preparing to use the new course.

52379 Course In Underpinning Skills for Industry Qualifications (USIQ) has been re-accredited, the Business Rules are currently being reviewed and STARS will be updated with the new course number and information once the business Rules are finalised.

52426WA Certificate I in Entry to General Education will expire 30 September 2014. It is currently being reviewed