A "live" classroom environment
with "live" demonstration of a
learning methodology and
outcomes based integrated IT
global curriculum was a first
for educational conferencing in
was fantastic. I thought
it would be boring, but it
was really good, 'cos you
learn’t more than you
thought you would."
said learner Chris
are the stars of the show
demonstration, the first ever in Australia…
"The World in
My Classroom" conference hosted by John XXIII
College, Mt Claremont, Western Australia on 13 and
14 April 2000 saw the first ever "LIVE"
demonstration of a new learning methodology - a
first for educational conferencing in Australia.
Eight children from
the Year 6 classes at John XXIII College were the
stars of the show. During the one and a half hour
demonstration lead by Chris Marley of John XXIII
College, the children showed educators in the
audience how the learning methodology ILAMM™
(integrated learning and mentoring methodology)
works in a real classroom situation.
incidental learning, generic coping skills,
creativity, lateral thinking, development of
logic, problem-solving ability, IT and life
skills, some of the key phrases used when
describing ILAMM™, became very real and
measurable during the demonstration.
Chris Marley, in
answer to one of the questions from the audience
about the methodology, said "It works."
demonstration the statement that "it
works" was proven by the eight eager
learners. The questions they asked, their grasp of
difficult concepts, concentration during the brief
by Chris Marley and the fact that they did not
want to leave their workstations after the
demonstration amazed the audience.
methodology is used with the outcomes based
integrated IT global learning curriculum developed
by Knowledge Network. Educators Chris Marley and
Michelle Debuf were trained in the methodology and
will be attending regular training sessions to
present the curriculum at John XXIII College, the
trial site for Australia.
project selected for the "LIVE"
demonstration involved the use of Excel to setup a
small T-shirt shop which would sell T-shirts at
one of the Sydney Olympic venues. The spreadsheet
would be used to record T-shirt prices, the
selling price after GST had been added, and the
cost of the T-shirts in different currencies. The
Internet was used to find a currency converter and
to look up the daily exchange rates. Some of the
learners had only used Excel once before and
achieved the same results as those who had never
used Excel prior to the "LIVE"
Chris Marley told
the audience that he would take the learners
through the entire process, however he would break
it down into short and easy to understand briefs.
Following each brief he would request the children
to go and do the steps themselves. This would
happen in 10 minute "bursts" until the
project had been completed.
"Off you go
and do it. Do you think you can do it?"
"Yeah", they answered casually, to the
grins of the audience.
progressed from what Chris Marley termed as a
simple process, to more advanced tasks. "This
is not easy for the kids, it isn’t easy for the
adults!" Chris said, "But they’re
coping", meaning the kids of course.
(For readers of
this article, below is the spreadsheet completed
by the 8 learners aged between 10 and 11 years.
The duration for the project brief, interpretation
of the task, creative input, discussion,
questions, research, and completion of the
project, ready for final printing, was 60
Teachers in the
audience were initially sceptical, and had a
number of questions for Chris Marley: How do you
cope with kids who are very technologically
advanced and feel that they know it all? How can
teachers teach this if they don’t know it
themselves? Being so student-centered, won't
teachers lose control?
that it was the methodology that made learning
effective. Children who were technologically
advanced found the projects stimulating, meeting
them at their own level because the session
allowed them to experiment within the parameters
that had been set at the beginning of the lesson
by the mentor, or teacher.
methodology, the children become motivated to
learn quickly. They’re not just learning about
Excel but about GST, currencies, the value of
money in different currencies, what different
money looks like, how to use the Internet
effectively, how to find and use currency
converters and pricing."
explained that the approach to learning was part
of the Knowledge Network methodology. Teachers
themselves gained technological experience by
working from Session Plans which coached them, in
precise detail, through the session. Not only
would the teacher examine how to use the
methodology, but would gain exact knowledge about
what was being taught. The teacher does not need
to be technologically advanced to deliver the
"LIVE" demonstration, all the kids felt
surprised, as if they had had more fun learning
than they thought they would. Annie and Stephanie
thought "it was lots of fun" and another
kid, Chris, who had said at the beginning of the
lesson, when things were still rather
intimidating, "hey I don’t get it"
said afterwards: "It was really good, 'cos
you learn’t more than you thought you
realised that his knowledge had somehow grown and
that meant he knew even more than before. Learner
Jack said "It was alright, I reckon" but
he had a big grin on his face.
At the end of the
"LIVE" demonstration some of the
children summoned Jil Hrdliczka, MD of Knowledge
Network and the developer of ILAMM™, over to
their workstations to proudly show their own
versions of the T-shirt Shop completed and ready
spreadsheets, all with the same base and concepts
were viewed - some with creative use of colour,
others with different currencies, others with a
splash of colour in the borders and cell shading.
The only common denominator being that all
spreadsheets were complete, all formulas were
correct, and all of the children walked away with
a good understanding of the purpose of the
project, content and tools used to achieve the
They also walked
away with their own understanding of how GST will
change pricing structures and why people from
different countries may find the price of T-shirts
a little expensive, the same as the price of
T-shirts in their own countries or alternatively
very affordable. They also agreed that the price
of T-shirts for the Sydney Olympic games could be
a little higher than normal because it is a
special event and T-shirts featuring the games
would be in demand.