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The School

Parnngurr Community School is a small independent community driven indigenous school. The school is based in the Western Desert on Martu land. The students of Parnngurr School are working to share with the world, through Web 2.0 environments, a rare glimpse of their place, their language and their people. The school principal, Trish Everett is working with the community, school staff and Alexander Hayes to explore the use of Web 2.0 technologies with the students at the school.


The Parnngurr School is working on engaging local, national and international community members in contributing to the development of the Parnngurr School wiki.

The school is very excited to now have a local wiki where students and staff can develop content. This allows the community to have control over the cultural content that they wish to publish on the internet... and still have a great local environment for students to share and grow their knowledge.

Thanks to the help of WikiEducator and other online communities like TALO and amazing people like Leigh Blackall and Chris Harvey, Parnngurr Community School has a wiki and blog for teachers and students to interact with many global partners.

Project Contacts

The DesertPodMob project invites interested individuals, organisations, communities and other project intitiatives to join us in this learning experience. This is a 'free as in freedom' initiative and we welcome positive accord and constructive contributions to this initiative.

Please add your WikiEducator signature below;

--alexanderhayes 02:41, 20 June 2007 (CEST)

--Geonou 17:04, 20 June 2007 (CEST)

--Trishus 13:50, 1 July 2007 (CEST) --Deangroom 23:50, 28 October 2008 (UTC)


The Parnngurr Community School is a desert community located in the shadow of twin hills of particular significance to the people at the southern end of the Karlamilyi (Rudall River) National Park, Western Australia. It is located in beautiful surroundings in perhaps one of the most remote corners of Australia.


Internet access is via 2 way satellite. This connection is not always reliable which results in intermittent access to online activity. Phones are via radio landlines and the nearest mobile network is this in the nearest town, 376kms away.


In 2005 there was a real surge of energy as part of Australian Flexible Learning Framework activities to examine the potential for the use of new and emergent mobile and web 2.0 communication technologies.

Funding was sought of the AFLF and granted to Pilbra TAFE to conduct the Digital Outback project The Parnngurr Community School actively engaged with the MobDeadly project which mapped journey's in and around the community by various individuals interested in creatively engaging learners of all ages.

Alex Hayes traveled to Parnngurr Community with Gary Lienert a Horticulture Lecturer from Mt.Newman, Western Australia at the invitation of School Principal, Trish Everett.

Parnngurr Alana.jpg

The Mobdeadly moblog provides visitors with a window into this project inception and ongoing activities in the community. An interest in using web 2.0 technologies in the learning setting bringing the stories and the sights to the world via podcasting and many other platforms yet to be explored are paramount to developments in the school.

Capability Development

The big buzz word for Aboriginal communities - "Capacity Building". Developing skills that allow participants to be engaged in the economy from remote locations such as the middle of the Great Sandy Desert is needed. This has a lot of potential for the Martu.

School Principal Trish Everett has been working closely with the community so that their understanding and skills of this web 2.0 world grows as does their Wiki. A strong understanding of what publishing content on the internet means is needed as are the skills and tools for the Martu to have control of their web content. With our Wiki operating in a local environment first, skills on using this environment can grow as does the understand of what content they wish to publish to the web.

Discussions in 2007 with Teemu Lionen from Helsinki have opened up opportunities to consider Parnngurr's place in a global community.

Discussions that occurred between participants at the Future of Learning In A Networked World also identified opportunities for education settings worldwide to consider the difference that networked information communication technologies present for learners.

Parnngurr School staff were drawn into consultation as to the future direction of curriculum activities and presented with first hand accounts of global use of social networking technologies, web 2.0 technologies and mobile learning technologies. The mentoring process necessary to developing curriculum content, embedding innovation and collaborating with other communities worldwide is paramount in ongoing dialogue with the Parnnngurr Community School.

Engaging Community

Parnngurr Community School invited Alex Hayes to conducted a capability building development enquiry as part of the AICS Professional Learning Session in Perth, Western Australia in early 2007. Parnngurr Community School staff joined with a representative from RAWA Community School to examine new ways of working and growing communication with global input. This was conducted with a focus on building awareness of the potential of e-learning and digital literacies with learners and the wider community.


Alex Hayes introduced the use of mobile blogging using mobile phones to the Parnngurr Community in 2005. Students were also introduced to mobile technologies such as digital camera's and personal digital assistants - PDA's. This became known as the MobDeadly project. The project required the school to conduct extensive consultation with Community members.

The moblog is one of the Communities connections and showcases of digital media with the world and remains a very popular site for online visitors. The whole of school community continues to grow this online resource.

It does have it's limitations as there is no mobile range at Parnngurr. All content has to be emailed to the site.


Many of the school students with the encouragement of Principal, Trish Everett and as part of Vocational Education Training initiatives championed by Gary Lienert, began building a collaborative project in blogging format which became the Parnngurr School Blog.

A server-sided multiple Word Press has now been installed for educator and learners to use as part of curriculum activities in 2007. This allows the blog to be developed even when the internet is not working (very frustrating trying to run class using an online blog when the internet is down) and the local blog can be reviewed by the school council who will chose which content will be published on to the Web-based WP Blog. The online WP blog is still under development.


Trish Everett worked with students in LOTE classes to develop lessons in Martu Wangka to be published on the net, the first of which can be heard via a podomatic page. The server-sided WP Blog has a podpress plug in where Trish is working with students and community to continue to develop lessons in Martu Wangka. These lessons will be published to the Web-based WP Blog late in 2007.

Recordings of the local band the 'Parnngurr Boys' are also currently under construction and will be uploading in the near future.


Language movies are under consideration to publish on the internet. Future community consultation is required before the school will move in this direction.

Further Development

Use of web 2.0 technologies is high on the agenda of discussions for the school with the community. The needs of Indigenous learners and the role of community in the curriculum decision making process is paramount in the choice and potential connection of individuals with global initiatives to better realize learning outcomes.

The models for learning and pedagogical reference for equitable access to knowledge and free content is also a consideration of the DesertPodMob project - the underpinnings which realize goals whilst respecting the cultural needs of the community.

Project Links

Indigenous Podcast Links

Arwarbukarl Podcast

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