ISTE 2018 - Gathering Great Ideas Even if You Weren't There!

In case you hadn't heard the last few days ISTE has been held in Chicago.  A massive event for educators, full of great educators, of course and lots of different EdTech and non-EdTech companies.  

I would much prefer to be there in person!  But for those of us that can't make it there is a massive amount of information, ideas, excitement, competitions etc. shared virtually.  I have participated virtually the last few years, with Twitter being my chosen way of being able to see, hear and enjoy just a little taste of the event.  

So here's what I collected this year... 

I'm sure they'll be a few more posts later, as a few of these ideas definitely work with what we're learning next term but for now just a few bits that might interest you.. 

Saturday Suite Tip: Useful Feedback

Are you working with a team to create a document? Are your students creating their own works of awesomeness? Want to make quick suggestions, send encouragement or correct a mistake. Have a look into the commenting and suggesting features in Google Docs, Sheets, Slides and Drawings
Commenting If you've been using Google Suite (formerly Google Apps) for a while you'll know that comments are easily added to your Docs, Sheets, Slides and Drawings in one of a few ways:
Clicking the plus button next to your item or selected text Clicking the insert > comment menu Clicking the comment menu at the top right of a doc and pressing comment

Those that have commenting or editing rights to a document can see the comments.  If a user has viewing rights only they will not be able to see comments.  Comments are a great way to add encouragement, agree, disagree and suggest options moving forward.  
If you want to direct a comment at a specific person add where email is the…

Workshops from PMA Day

Workshops I had the privilege of attending the Primary Maths Association day a few weeks ago and what a great day it was.

I enjoyed taking part in three workshops and a keynote.
Where is Maths Going? (Keynote) See previous Post hereCounting CountsRich TasksComputational Thinking in the Maths Classroom I have added a few notes I took during the workshops below.  These are just what resonated with me and what questions I had from the workshops. Counting Counts Presented by Anna Noy

What I took away from this workshop:
- Reminder about teaching sets, comparing sets and removing and adding items to a set
- The need to count dissimilar objects not just sets of the same objects (usually counters) and how we can count anything even if we can't touch it
- How to check students understanding of counting what do happens when they are asked to count a group that isn't in a line?  Can they stop at the right spot?
- Helping students know when to stop counting by using containers, movement …

PMA - Primary Maths Association - PLD day

Thinking about Mathematics... I had the privilege of attending the Primary Maths Association day a few weeks ago and what a great day it was.

I enjoyed taking part in three workshops and a keynote.
Where is Maths Going? (Keynote)Counting CountsRich TasksComputational Thinking in the Maths Classroom My takeaways and questions from the keynote are detailed below.  Watch out for future posts on the three workshops I attended.
Where is Maths Going?Presented by Dr Fiona Ell
I really enjoyed the future focused keynote looking at big ideas in mathematics teaching and learning in New Zealand and where we might be heading.  It was a timely reminder of what's important with regards to teaching maths and what we might have missed in the last few years with the focus seeming to be on Number only.  Dr Fiona Ell outlined research in a number of areas that show teachers that make the most difference.

She structured the keynote around a treasure map with destinations that we might visit and impor…

Checking out a Makerspace

What an awesome day!  This week I travelled to Papamoa to check out some professional learning with Paula Jamieson and her team about their school Makerspace -Whare Wahianga.  This was well worth it, if you get the chance to visit do!  The team at Te Akau Ki Papamoa were very welcoming and willing to share their resources and their journey.  Here's a few hightlights/takeaways..

The Space The Makerspace at TAKP (Te Akau Ki Papamoa) has been purpose built complete with flexible moveable furniture created in conjunction with Woods Furniture and plenty of resources.  The space was setup by Paula and each class gets to visit the space regularly throughout the year.

It was so good to see furniture options that are working and definitely gave me inspriation for what might work in a different location.  I love the large table with large bins under it what a great idea for any space, not just a make environment.  It's on wheels too how cool is that?

But it's not about the space or …

Saturday Suite Tip: There's Power in Photos

Sure Google Photos is great to store all those pics of your latest holiday but you might want to take a closer look at the features that can be useful in the classroom.

Google Photos
Google photos is available on most devices with Android usually getting the latest updates a little quicker than iOS (iPads & iPhones).  Many Android phones come with Google Photos built in so there is not need to download the app, however if you're using an older phone or don't currently have access to Google Photos on your phone you can download it here for Android and here for iOS

Google photos is a place to store your photos in the cloud and is attached to your Google account.  Photos are stored at reasonably high resolution so unless you're a professional photographer and require original files that are very high resolution you shouldn't have any issues getting all your photos stored in the cloud.  

Working with Text, Business Cards, Landmarks and BooksWith a new update Google Photos…

Saturday Suite Tip: Okay Google - Google Assistant in the Classroom

Need someone to help with all those awesome questions children come up with in the classroom? Want to find an answer quickly or play a game for that five minutes before the bell? Check out
Google Assistant

What is it?A great often overlooked feature is Google Assistant, it works to varying degrees on Google Home, mobile devices and Chromebooks and can be a very useful addition to a classroom. 

There is an ever increasing number of things you can ask Google just by talking to Google Assistant.  On most Android phones it's just a case of saying 'Okay Google' or 'Hey Google' within ear shot of your phone and then asking your question.  There may be a little more setup required if you're using an older version of Android or a device that defaults to the manufacturers setup.  If you're in posession of a phone that already has Google Assitant you wont need to install the app.  If you don't have it here's a link to it on the Play Store and in the App Store