I am a university lecturer at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia.  My area of expertise is secondary (high school) English curriculum, and at the moment I am most interested in digital literacies/pedagogies, inquiry models of learning and assessment in English.  Before being a lecturer I worked as a high school English teacher in South Western Sydney, a job that I loved very much.  The bonds that I made with my students and colleagues in my school teaching life inspire me daily and energise my university teaching life.

I completed my PhD at the University of Sydney, titled “Innovation and change in the 1999 NSW HSC syllabus: Challenges and problems”.  I have an ongoing interest in the specific area of senior secondary English, in particular the student experience of learning and assessment.

50-100 word bio for workshop/conference programs:

Dr Kelli McGraw is a Lecturer in the Faculty of Education at QUT. Currently teaching secondary English curriculum, her prior experience includes teaching high school English and debating in Southwest Sydney, NSW. Kelli researches the fields of secondary school curriculum, teacher identity, digital literacy and popular culture, presently focusing on student agency and assessment, and the use of project based learning in secondary English. She is the Treasurer of the English Teachers Association of Queensland and the 2020-2021 Editor of ‘English in Australia’.

Other things about me

In 2007 I won the NSW Premier’s English Scholarship and undertook a study tour focussing on the use of multimedia texts in the English classroom.  You can read my official report here.

In 2009 I received a Highly Commended Award from Teaching Australia in the Beginning Teacher category of the Australian Awards for Teaching Excellence.

This blog is intended as a space for my personal reflection on a range of issues effecting both my teaching and research.  It is also a place where I can share ideas and resources with friends and colleagues. 

If you like what you see here, you can get RSS feeds of my blog posts by subscribing to:


You can also follow me on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/kmcg2375

And watch my YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/user/kelliatqut

** The views expressed at this site are my own and do not necessarily represent those of my employer **

On being an English Teacher/Educator

Human beings use a variety of sign-making systems to represent their thoughts. Language is one of the most powerful modes of representation, and I love the way that words can be written down to capture the gap between thought and speech. Like other cultural artefacts the written and spoken word can be recorded and revisited over time, and an English teacher (like their students) will have more interest in some recordings and artefacts over others.

As a teacher of a subject called ‘English’ (though it is not given this name in every curriculum across Australia, or the world) WORDS, both spoken and written, are my core business. The use of words to express how we feel, to share ideas, and to capture our thoughts amazes me. But I also believe that when it comes to expression, the study of words alone is not enough.

I am also passionate about visual representation, and intrigued by the ways that new technologies are opening up new ways of representing ideas and creating meaning. I believe that, while spoken and written language are essential tools for understanding and expressing thoughts and feelings, that developing an understanding of language in relation to other modes of representation (or semiotic systems) is the key to understanding the multitude of ways that human beings seek to represent their experience.

  1. #1 by Imelda Judge on August 16, 2008 - 9:12 pm

    Just sticky beaking!! Go the digi-stories! Looking into it myself! Will need to talk more on the matter. This is obviously not attached to the digitales programme???

  2. #2 by kellimcgraw on August 17, 2008 - 1:25 pm

    Not attached to any particular programme, no. The students will use MovieMaker to make a digital story, and if we have time at the end of the term I want to see if we can use Voicethread as well, perhaps for digital poetry.

    There are some great resources here:

  3. #3 by turgayevren on February 19, 2009 - 11:33 pm

    Hi, I am an English teacher from Turkey. It is nice to meet such enthusiastic teachers blogging like you. I have also created from a blog at: http://www.turgayevren.wordpress.com

    On my blog, my priority is to provide some audio visual materials to the benefit of my students. I would be happy to exchange ideas with you about teaching English.

  4. #4 by mgiddins on April 19, 2009 - 11:07 pm

    Hi Kelli, very excited to be working with you on the New Technologies New Stories project. I am committing some time to creating blogs and wikis myself over the coming term to use with my faculty, and honestly, to start putting my money where my mouth is, so to speak. My blog is: http://mgiddins.wordpress.com and I have started it as a place to document the ICT experiments in our classrooms, the resources I find, the new stuff I learn, etc. Looking forward to working with you next term.

  5. #5 by Lyntiernan on May 10, 2009 - 11:27 am

    Hi Kelly, I wanted to ask you about how to add the videos to the blog as you do. I find the videos you select really useful!

  6. #6 by Brendt Evenden on September 23, 2009 - 2:16 pm

    Hi Kelli
    Stumbled across your blog from Darcy Moore’s. i too am an English teacher in NSW and i am looking for new materials/ideas/concepts/etc. with the DER wave waiting to crash down.

    You’re lucky to have a poet in residence – sounds like you’re doing some great poetry stuff. Keep up the great work and look forward to hearing more about it.

  7. #7 by sorubi on April 19, 2010 - 12:00 pm

    Hey Kelli! 🙂

    I am extremely encouraged to discover this site – I met Libbie at a wedding on the weekend, and she passed on the link. I’m teaching IT and Maths as well as Learning Resources in the catholic system in Sydney – and also working on ways we can both integrate ICT into the curriculum in new and exciting ways and also move towards the cloud concept for both the classroom and handling data needs within administration, improving information handling and data tracking across schools and networks of schools. I love your blog and what you’re doing here – can I pass the link on to others I know? I am sure they would be interested in your ideas 🙂 If your in Sydney anytime, buzz me, I’d love to catch up! xo Sorubi

  8. #8 by kmcg2375 on April 28, 2010 - 11:55 am

    Sorubi! Hello 😀

    It’s amazing to hear how many of us got into the education sector, and in particular into the tech side of things. Of course you are welcome to share the link – I’m also on Twitter as @kmcg2375 if you/anyone you know is that way inclined. I have a very strong Personal Learning Network on there, drawing in loads of amazing ed-tech people from NSW and Oz. (We tend to use Twitter for resource sharing rather than reporting on what we had for breakfast…heheh.)

    I won’t be back in Sydney for awhile but will let you know when that is. Thanks so much for getting in touch!

  9. #9 by Brian Asselin on June 26, 2010 - 7:03 am

    My name is Brian Asselin and I am a recent graduate from the teachers college program at the University of Ottawa. Towards the end of school we, the students, are reminded how fortunate we are to have principles, administration, and teachers who help inspire students everyday. While in teachers college I realized how fortunate I have been to have had such great teachers in my life that have helped shape the person I am today. I wanted to say thank you to all those who go beyond the daily job requirements so I co-wrote a song entitled “You Have Made A Difference”. I would really appreciate it if you would take a couple minutes to listen to the song and if you felt so, share it with your staff.

    Thanks so much in advance
    Brian Asselin

    • #10 by kmcg2375 on June 27, 2010 - 2:05 pm

      Wow, Brian, that is a really great song!

      I’ve shared it around…I bet it brightens many days. Thank you 😀

  10. #11 by kelli on December 7, 2010 - 2:40 am

    hey my name is kelli too!!!!

  11. #12 by Rob Vines on April 5, 2011 - 10:34 am

    Impressive site Kelli. Was hoping to use your “The Train to Cambridge” with my classes. I read it in English in Australia but wondered if it is also online somewhere for my laptop students to access. Otherwise, I’ll just photocopy it. Sorry about the royalties:(

    • #13 by kmcg2375 on March 30, 2012 - 12:39 am

      Hi Rob – I’m glad you liked the poem, and so glad you planned to use it 🙂
      I saw this note and uploaded a PDF copy of the poem on my resource wiki here:
      (when you land on that page, scroll right down to the bottom – the PDF is an ‘attachment’ on the page).

  12. #14 by technologyintheonlineclassroom on April 4, 2012 - 4:58 pm

    Hello Kelli,

    I am excited to have found your blog and look forward to reviewing it in more detail! I am an online adjunct for four universities and love finding new ways to reach my students through technology and digital narratives. I will be sure to follow you on Twitter as well. Just wanted to say “hi”. 🙂

    Best ~ Zipora

  13. #15 by Kevin Grunert (@KevinGrunert) on April 12, 2012 - 12:04 pm

    Hi Kelli,

    I came across your blog after searching for other educational bloggers of a similar theme. My blog focuses more on the middle years and secondary education with a distinct twist towards English and ICT and I’m interested in exchanging links with your blog.

    My blog is http://buildingthefuture.com.au – feel free to check it and and I hope you enjoy it.

    Two of my most popular posts are about an article about an essay scaffold template I created (http://buildingthefuture.com.au/essay-scaffold-template) and the Oxford 307 word list (http://buildingthefuture.com.au/oxford-307-word-list).

    If you’d like to exchange links, please email me back.



  14. #16 by Danny Crouch on November 9, 2012 - 4:23 pm

    Hi Kelli,

    Wow, I am amazed at the subject matters you discuss and some of your ideas and methods. My partner Nicole is an English teacher, author and blogger also and in the past has encouraged her students to blog and had their blogs running via her site too. The similarities are amazing.

    I believe you will find a lot of Nicole’s posts relative to your ideas and beliefs, I think the two of you should connect. You can find her posts on our website, isthismystory.com and we are also developing MyQuest, a multi-platform, fully interactive online learning system for teenagers to develop their critical and emotional skills, we’d love to know what you think (there’s a link on the home page).

    We look forward to hearing from you.


  15. #17 by Ahmad Madkur on December 11, 2012 - 10:46 am

    Hi Kelli, I am Ahmad, an English teacher in Indonesia. I’ve visited your blog since last month. I find much information related to English teaching here very useful for me. I’d like to talk to you by email, would you give me your address? Thanks a lot. Ahmad

  16. #19 by Linden on June 19, 2013 - 11:21 pm

    Hi Kelli,
    our report writing website is really taking off in Australia so thought I’d introduce it to you:


    All the best,

  17. #20 by Michael McCallum on October 25, 2013 - 10:24 am

    Hi Kelli
    You might know me from the distance past. I’m looking at how the digital process could be used most effectively by Arts organisations for the English classroom. I know the Globe in London has some interesting models, and I’m interested in your thoughts.
    Mike 🙂

  18. #21 by Ishan on May 27, 2015 - 11:47 pm

    Hey Kelli,

    Hope you’re having a great day!

    I’m doing an expert roundup on my site and I think many new English teachers looking at good education technology products for their classroom would love to know your answer to this question :

    If you could only use 3 Education technology tools/apps/sites for your teaching which 3 tools would you choose? e.g. Grammarly, Remind, and Skype.

    Thanks in advance!

    As soon as I’m done compiling the results, I would inform and link back to your blog.

    Thank you!

  1. HIT REFRESH: Leading and Blogging « Darcy Moore’s Blog

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