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Showing posts from 2014

Tech Stars - Creating a Kano

Part of getting students to dream has been exposing them to different learning opportunities.  One of those has been the Kano

We started creating our Kano today, I worked with four lovely students, two in year two and two in year five.  What a great experience and we've only just started.

Here's the story so far from the students perspective....

It was super easy to setup, instruction storybook is really simple to read and understand students were able to do most of the setup themselves.  They needed a little help with one of the USB connections as it was a bit stiff but apart from that, I was able to be just the photographer!

They're very excited about being able to build their own computer and picked it up easily.  It was probably a little cramped with four students but still workable. 

Can't wait to see what they create with it!

Moonshot! Dreaming with students...

I'm really excited about continuing to develop my Moonshot from GTA by grabbing help from the teachers around me.  I started today over lunch, brainstorming how we could get a class of year 5 and 6 students (9-10 year olds) to dream about their future.

Here's my prototype so far with a few additions from today..

We're starting off with creating a dream wall in the classroom with the students.  I'm thinking photos and their dreams surrounding those.  We talked at length today about how important it will be to expose our students to dreams they may not have thought of.  Once we've got their first set of dreams we'll have a better idea of where to go next in terms of exposing them to the amazing things they can do if they're prepared to dream and put in the hard work.

Watch this space...

Google Teacher Academy First Thoughts

A bit of a review .....

G for Goosebumps arriving at Google in Sydney and getting my name badge for the two days. Seeing Team Black Sheep and the rest of our GTA cohort face to face!

O for Onwards and Upwards diving straight into our Moonshot ideas and starting to formulate them into something that we can achieve rather than a bunch of notes

O for Oh so Awesome hearing from our mentors and getting to know about what others had thought about in terms of their moonshots, gathering in like minded groups, talking about completely re-designing school in the HackSchool group.

G for Great Food enjoying a bite to eat and taking in the sun and views of Sydney, talking further and making more connections over lunch with the inspiring educators that are part of the GTASydney cohort

L for Liking the Wow! being inspired by entrepreneurs and looking at putting the practice into classrooms. Thinking about how my Moonshot is going to make a difference and working with Team Black Sheep to make that a …

Leadership in Digital and Collaborative Learning - Assignment 1

Another assignment completed for my Postgrad certificate.  This one is looking at my leadership style.

I chose Servant Leadership.  The marker comments on this one included the fact that I hadn't linked my leadership style with what is required and beneficial in a classroom situation - I'd have to agree, I think this kind of leadership is really important in the classroom especially when you're working with students that perhaps don't have the opportunity to be coached, encouraged and to take control of their own learning outside of the classroom.  I think it's really important for students and teachers to feel empowered, cared for and part of the process rather than just having the process dictated to them.

I realise this kind of leadership also has it's downside, something I've evaluated in the next assignment for this course.  It's important to not make this the only way - although I think that's the case for any leadership style, we should be l…

Digital and Collaborative Learning - Assignment 1

I'm currently completing a Postgraduate Certificate in a Applied Practice - Digital and Collaborative Learning through The Mind Lab by Unitec

One of the first assignments we had to complete was to look at a digital learning innovation, so I chose Google Maps engine, most of the information about this I've mentioned in this post  but here it is in video form as well, that's the great thing about this course is much of the assignment material can be presented in videos rather than writing essays or sitting exams ... my kind of learning!

Here's the video...

Happy Dance - GTA Acceptance

Today's the day,

The acceptance and thank you for applying emails for GTA (Google Teacher Academy ) in Sydney have been sent out.  I was frantically refreshing email on my phone constantly this morning until this came through .

I am so grateful to be accepted to what is going to be an awesome event.  This got me thinking about how we can create that kind of excitement in the children we teach, how can we make them feel a sense of achievement, pride, excitement beyond just being happy.  I think it's so important to create that for our students.   Watch this space... This is a topic I'm really interested in at the moment.

#edchatnz Blogging Meme

Thank you Janna Brewster (@jannabrewsterNZ) for the tag in the #edchatNZ Blogging Meme!
If you get included in the blogging meme: copy/paste the questions and instructions into your own blog then fill out your own answers. Share on Twitter by tagging 5 friends and using #edchatnz. Make sure you send your answers back to whomever tagged you, too!

1. How did you attend the #edchatnz Conference? (Face 2 Face, followed online or didn't)
I was lucky enough to go to both days Face to Face, what an awesome conference and managed to catch a few tweets online too.

2. How many others attended from your school or organisation?
Just me, I managed to get a ticket early on and wanted to bring a few more along but we missed out on more tickets as we were a bit late getting organised :(.

3.How many #edchatnz challenges did you complete?
I'm pretty sure I didn't complete very many however I really enjoyed the chance to meet a few people from the primary and secondary sector as well as getting to …

Sharing Treasures

I love this tool!

I hadn't done a lot more that just played around with Google Maps Engine before today, talking with a colleague last night thought got me thinking about all the possibilities for a map using our construct for the year 'Treasure' so today I tried it out with a year 5/6 class.

This was their first go at using Maps Engine and like many students they didn't need too much instruction on how to get things started.  We didn't have a lot of time but we've got the beginnings of a great treasure map here....

The idea is that the students will continue to add treasures to their map.  We've started by talking and looking at treasures that are close to us and the students have added placemarks to show this on the map.   Over the coming weeks we'll be refining this adding photos and videos and creating a few more layers within the map to categorise our treasures a little more.

I can't wait to get a few more collaborators in on the map too so tha…

GTA Sydney

Here's my application to the Google Teacher Academy in Sydeny (#gtasyd).  Another great experience filling in an application and creating a video.  It made me think about how far our school has come in the last four years .... a long way.

The Video:

How I created it:

iMovieDigital CameraScreenshotsMusic from  It's a fairly simple movie, just a voice over a few photos and a little bit of filming around our school. iMovie is a really simple tool to use once you've played with it a few times, however it's powerful enough to produce some great videos for the classroom and beyond.  Here are a few tutorials that might help get you started if you haven't used it before
Other Applicants Just like the applications for GTAMTV and GTAATL earlier this year there are plenty of great teachers out their applying for the academy.  It's a privilege to be able to take a peak into their classrooms and schools by watching their application videos.  I've pinne…