May 2017 | VALBEC | Web version

In this Issue

1. VALBEC Conference filling fast

Sessions closing - registrations filling fast

Plenary: 'Public Pedagogies: Learning and Teaching in Public Spaces' - Karen Charman, Victoria University

2. 2017 VALBEC AGM and Dinner

Wed, May 3 at Melbourne Polytechnic

3. Resource Gems - Easy Presentation Software: Nearpod

4. Fine Print

5. VALBEC on Facebook 

6. Employment opportunity

7. Excellence in Language, Literacy and Numeracy Practice Award

8. More fake gnus and real headlions

1. VALBEC Conference filling fast

"Who dares to teach must never cease to learn. John Cotton Dana

Sessions closing - registrations filling fast

We are looking forward to learning more about learning of ourselves as LLN practitioners and of our students.

There's still space for you but act promptly to have the widest possible choice of sessions.


Plenary: 'Public Pedagogies: Learning and Teaching in Public Spaces'

Karen Charman, Victoria University

What can we learn from others who engage in learning and teaching outside formal educational institutions? What and who are important to know and understand in these spaces? Welcome to the world of public pedagogy. The Public Pedagogies Institute (PPI) is a multi-disciplinary group involved in the practice, research and evaluation of public learning in institutions like museums, libraries, neighbourhood houses and community centres and includes people from the arts, community and public history. Come and hear about transformative practice of learning outside the classroom and what other disciplines can tell us about this space.

Karen Charman is a Senior Lecturer at Victoria University with expertise in curriculum, pedagogy, public history, memory and narrative. She is the President of the Public Pedagogies Institute and editor of the newly published 'Journal of Public Pedagogies'. This journal celebrates the transformative articulations that express multidisciplinary conceptions of the public while challenging how these ways of being and knowing are pedagogical within the everyday.

Karen joins our other keynote speaker, John Benseman who will lead the day with a review of adult literacy and numeracy research and will suggest how we can implement research-informed teaching in our practice and organisations.

Lots of other workshops and displays available. There are still a few places left.



Wed, May 3 at Melbourne Polytechnic

We are looking forward to our AGM on Wednesday night with guest speaker Annie McDonald from Hands Across the Water. It is not too late for last minute bookings.

6.30 pm, Wednesday 3 May 2017.

Building K, 77 St Georges Rd Preston Victoria 3072

Location: Melbourne Polytechnic Bistro Map

The AGM will involve presentation of reports on the 2016 VALBEC year and the election of the new Executive committee for 2017 – 2018.

Considering a role on the committee?

Nomination form

The VALBEC committee is a dynamic and collaborative group who meet once a month to discuss, plan and take action on behalf of members and the adult literacy and basic education field.

RSVP for the AGM

Speaker: Annie Macdonald, Hands Across the Water

hands across the waterHands Across the Water (HATW) is a dedicated Australian charity which began after the Tsunami in 2004 left thousands of Thai children orphaned. Today HATWA supports six children's homes around Thailand providing food, medicine, housing and education needs. Education and English language skills are vital for the children's future options and to allow them to escape the poverty cycle.

In 2016, Hands Across the Water commissioned Annie Macdonald and Lee Nicholls to develop an English as an Additional Language (EAL) curriculum tailored specifically to the children's homes. In 2017, they are now recruiting and managing teacher volunteers. Annie will talk about her work and provide some insights into teaching English in these homes and the professional learning that she gained from teaching in one of the homes earlier this year.

3. Resource Gems - Easy Presentation Software: Nearpod

VALBEC on iPad

The internet now allows for a myriad of teaching and learning resources to be shared between LLN practitioners. The wealth of information available to practitioners means that finding quality resources can take time and effort. This year, VALBEC committee members will identify some 'gems' amongst the resources freely available online. Each month, a committee member will share a quality teaching resource to support your classroom teaching and professional practice. These resources may take the form of a blog, an educational podcast, a downloadable teaching resource or a Youtube channel. As always, we are interested to hear what you think. Have you used this resource before? Do you know of similar resources? Send us your feedback or comments to

This month's contribution is from Committee member Kim-Chi Forrest

Nearpod provides a platform for teachers to transfer their documents or worksheets that they usually use in class on to a 'live' site. Similar to a multimedia presentation, delivery can be interpreted through online quizzes, question and answer, drawing on blackboards or even 3D image experiences to reinforce a teaching point.

Nearpod has two modes. The first mode is 'Live Lesson'. This mode is free and allows the teacher to create a Nearpod that is delivered in class time and is used to teach with the class as a group. Nearpod provides instant reports for quizzes or other activities that invites students to comment and the whole class can see that report and reflect on that activity.

The other mode is a 'student paced' which allows students to complete the Nearpod a teacher has set in their own time.

Students enjoy the multimedia experience of Nearpod as well as the increased 'modern' feel of the delivery (rather than a workbook). It also provides opportunity for students to control their learning if used in student paced mode. Finally, students in classes trialled at Chisholm have reflected that the use of technology makes class 'more fun' and is something they look forward to using and experiencing in class.

Altogether, it is highly recommended.

You can search for Nearpod online:

4. Fine Print

We trust you enjoyed reading Fine Print over the term break and Easter. Articles covered a range of topics that included the importance of numeracy skills in health literacy, especially diabetes education; how teachers' life experiences interweave into classroom practices; how inspiration and hard work underpin the teaching. Let us know your feedback at

5. VALBEC on Facebook 

facebookRemember to check out VALBEC on Facebook

Like, Share and Follow

This FB page is to share news, views and resources in adult LLN, basic education and foundation skills.

If you have any stories that you think would be appropriate for this page please share them with us or email

6.Employment opportunity

PRACE is seeking an experienced and dedicated EAL Manager at PRACE to lead a team of 11 teachers. The position encompasses management of programming; leading program design and content in relation to the CSWE; human resource management; student recruitment and participation; implementing funding contracts; and ensuring quality requirements, contract obligations and funding targets are met.

More details

Applications close: Friday, 19 May 2017

7. Excellence in Language, Literacy and Numeracy Practice Award

Austra;iam Training Awards

Above: 2016 Australian Training Award winners

The 2017 Australian Training Awards’ Excellence in Language, Literacy and Numeracy Practice Award is open now for nominations.

Entries close Wednesday 31 May 2017.


8. More fake gnus and real headlions

Thanks to those who provide some feedback on apostrophes and vowels.

It's encouraged me to think about how you convey vernacular or the changing language? Do you?

My fresh-from-England wife (in some circles 'wife' is a quaint word nowadays) was taken aback to be told by a lanky farmer friend from central Victoria with a classic country twang, in all seriousness that,

'Last weekend I took the punt and put it on the back of the ute, took the sticks and went down to the dam to give the quackers some bang-bang.'

Most of the nouns needed translating.