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Showing posts from 2016

Evaluations - Negative, Positive, Constructive

After completing one of my three presentations a Ulearn I've received some evaluations.  I'm always a bit wary opening the evaluation doc/site as it's difficult to gauge how you've been received, especially in an action packed workshop were people might not necessarily voice how they're feeling or feel comfortable enough to answer questions at the time, but often have no problem with making their feelings known through an evaluation form.

The first workshop I ran with two colleagues at Permission to Play (the pre-conference section of Ulearn). We created a scenario for this workshop that involved learners (teachers in this case) trying to rescue lego people in any way possible.  Each team or table were given a box filled with missions and a whole lot of things they could use to solve those missions including a bit of technology.

We wanted to keep the situation fairly open in unstructured with as little guidance as possible to the 'right' answer.  Somethin…

Global Maker Day

Today was a great day, I facilitated a full day of Making with Pukemiro School and visitors from Taupiri School.  What a great opportunity to work with students and teachers to encouraged a bit of making, creating and idea generating.  Everyone had a great day with quite a bit of pleading at the end of the day for some of the challenges to make an appearance again soon.

Pukemiro's Principal Wendy Sheridan-Smith tweeted during the day - I managed to make a few tweets too but was pretty busy being an idea coach for the Making Music and Crazy Maze challenges.

The Day started with introducing the students to their teams, creating a bit of buzz by renaming their teachers to be idea coaches for the day and then encouraging ideas by sharing What do you do with an Idea? By Kobi Yamada.  I really like this story as it talks about nurturing ideas and being brave about sharing them.  It's also inspiring, thinking about how ideas can grow and change the world.  I think it's important …

Finding a Tribe to Create Ripples with..

If you haven't seen the amazing number of tweets with the #edchatnz tag this weekend you may have just been hiding under a rock - or not connected to Twitter yet in which case go here and get connected.

@MissDtheTeacher aka Danielle Myburgh and her awesome organising team as well as the tribal mentors and great helpers including students were all fantastic and made the experience something different, challenging, exciting, fun and engaging all at the same time.  My brain was definitely in need of rest after two action packed days so I waited a few days before creating this post.

The conference theme was possibilities, when I first saw that my immediate thoughts were - this looks interesting and challenging as well as a little scary.  I wasn't disappointed.   I decided when registering for the conference that this was going to be one I headed to as a learner only instead of being a presenter and a learner.   The tribe we were placed in proved to be a great way to really get con…

Creating games with Makey Makey

I've had Makey Makey's for a while - they're fantastic little boards with lots of potential in a classroom setting or actually any setting where you want to have a play with coding and making.

Tonight with inspiration from one of my favourite games as a child - operation I created a little prototype steady hands game.  I did this with a bit of cardboard, some tinfoil, lots of masking tape and a bit of trial and error, as well as a Makey Makey of course.  It doesn't look that flash but it was lots of fun and could definitely be worked on further to make it look a little less like a cardboard prototype and a little more like a real board game.

The prototype used a few Dupont cables together with tinfoil and graphite tape to make a complete circuit.  These were all connected to the Makey Makey and laptop then coded to react like the original game would.

As I used scratch I was able to add on the
points feature so gamers can accumulate points within a timeframe decided bef…

Virtual Reality - Creation in the Classroom

One of my new favourite tools in the classroom is CoSpaces.  There are plenty of possibilities with creation using this website and soon to be fully functional app.  If you haven't already discovered it, check it out...

How might we use CoSpaces in the classroom? Where do I start with this one? CoSpaces has a wealth of examples in their gallery already from creating your own virtual art museum to recreating scenes from famous stories, poems and plays.  Really this is up to your imagination, I think that's the best part of using this website - imagination and creativity are pretty much essential in creating an engaging CoSpace. 
There are a few pre-designed objects so you can start to create a space without thinking too much about how to create to objects within it.  But the real power I think comes from putting together the 3D shapes to create new objects, importing images and creating your own textures on stages and walls and then adding in your own audio content.�…

Educamp AKL - Professional Development in Real Time

Have you been along to an Educamp before?  I've now been to quite a few and I always come away inspired, pretty tired and full of lots of options for where to next.   The latest Educamp in Auckland didn't disappoint.    If you haven't been before here's the New Zealand Educamp Wiki - see if there's one near you soon.  Otherwise search for Educamps in your area - they're are plenty worldwide!
What I shared... 

Breakout EDU 
If you haven't managed to give this a go yet, give it a go asap!  The best way I can think of describing it in a few seconds is an escape room in a box... no it's not hiding students in a box :) but hiding clues around the classroom that eventually lead the students to the codes needed to unlock a series of locks and get into the Breakout box.
- immersion to start an inquiry
- reflection activity to stimulate thinking and discussion around a topic
- real time practice of collaboration, working under pressure, problem sol…

A Little Bit of Magic...

I just got a stack of books from Book Depository and got straight on to reading Press Here by Herve Tullet.  It was relatively easy to read this to a three and a half year old with a bit of magic.  He was so happy to see what the dots did each time he turned the page after clapping, touching or blowing on them.

UPDATE: Check out the Herve Tullet website  I see many more of these books making it to our house in the near future :)

It got me thinking about how we present things to learners including adult learners.  In a time where information is so easy to come by I think it's even more important to present things with a little magic.  As teachers / trainers I think it's really important to create a little magic with whatever it is we're hoping our learners will learn.  It's something I've been playing around with when training, how am I creating magic?  What am I showing people or helping people to realise that's going to give them a 'wow this is awesome&#…

Thinglink VR

I've been having a play with the new ThingLink VR over the last few months.  It has lots of potential for creating Virtual Reality that can be used in the classroom.

Here's one of my attempts ...

Have you broken out yet?

Breakout EDU - Check it out!
I've had the Breakout EDU bug since GAFE Summit Auckland this year.   Although I'd joined the community a while earlier I hadn't experienced a breakout until the summit.  I'm hooked.  I think the idea of breakouts is just... well... awesome!  

The breakout experience provides students with a chance to really practice team building, problem solving and critical thinking in a situation that requires all three to be successful.   They've also got the added element of a little time pressure, so it encourages making decisions and failing fast. 

I facilitated my first breakout session with a class of very eager year 3/4 students.   They managed to find Cats Hat within the time frame, in fact I think they my have a had a few minutes to spare.  It was really interesting watching the class dynamics, who they leaders were - which actually changed throughout the game and also who was able to cope with not have a roadmap of where to go next.  

It was g…

GAFE Summit - Auckland 2016

What a great two days of learning, sharing and getting inspired!  

I really enjoyed sharing three presentations while at the summit this year.

Blogging BasicsA week in the life of a classroom blogPhotospheres and Google Cardboard just like being there  It was great to connect with many teachers during the presentations, over lunch and through the twitter feed.  The #gafesummit hash tag was definitely given a workout during the summit check out some of the inspiration....

When I wasn't presenting I got the privilege of experiencing a few of the other sessions.  There were so many to choose from, along with they keynotes, these are the ones I made it too.. 
A few of my many notes from the day..  Session 1 - Genius Hour /20% Time - Simon AshbyI went to the Google Teacher Academy with this presenter and it was great to see him in action and hear about the learning his students are doing during 20% time.  So much potential her for developing student's passions and getting them excited…

Getting to grips with the Theta S

I've been out walking today with my son and we had a play with our recently acquired Theta S.  We managed to film some of the Pukekos we came across, they were quite curious about us and the camera.

Here's the video...

Not the greatest quality, the Pukeko also seems a long way from us when in fact, it was very close -enough to reach out and touch it.  Something to think about when shooting in 360.

Here's the workflow for getting this onto YouTube Using a Mac:
1. Connect camera to Mac and open Image Capture
2. Transfer video from camera to desktop folder
3. Open Theta app on laptop and convert video (basically stich the two spheres together)
4. Inject the MetaData (Mac or Win) using the Google App  - Instructions for uploading here
5. Login to YouTube and Upload the video

Once it's on YouTube it can be manipulated when viewing in the latest versions of most browsers.  However the really cool part is being able to throw your phone into a virtual reality headset (cardboar…

A GAFE Account with a Good Citizen...

I've been working with a great little school lately introducing students to their first and in some cases second GAFE (Google Apps for Education) account.

Our first stop on the journey was to look at citizenship and what it meant to be a good citizen when we're online.   The students were very aware of what it meant to keep personal information private and we had some great discussions about how we react to things when we're online.

We took a quick look at permissions and started talking about what we needed to do if we wanted to use someone else's work like a photo or video.  It was an interesting discussion about why we would need permission and how we would make sure that people new what we were posting had been created by someone else.  I think this will definitely be an ongoing part of our citizenship work as the year progresses.

Here's the agreement we're working with that's loosely based around the Netsafe schools agreement.  With further versions …

GAFE Summit Learning from my deck

I visited Hawaii and connected with teachers from all over the world without having to get on a plane!
This weekend the EdTech Team provided a live stream of a few sessions at the GAFE summit in Hawaii.  What a great opportunity to enjoy the fast passed action that is a GAFE summit all from the comfort of a nice shady spot outside on my deck.

Not a new thing but if you don't already follow the #gafesummit hashtag via Twitter give it a go, there's always a summit on somewhere in the world and it's full of great ideas, challenges, resources and just general awesomeness.

I wasn't quite up and ready to watch the keynote but did later in the day.  Great ideas and inspiration as always with an EdTechTeam keynote.  The Keynote today was - Innovation and Iteration in Education - Jamie Casap.  If you get a chance the recording is well worth a listen.

Next up was a great presentation on Digital Citizenship.  This really got me thinking about hashtags and how they're used for…

iPads and Meraki - Setting Up

I've just worked with a small school to get their iPads up and running using Meraki.  I've done this process a few times and it seems to be getting easier, especially if you leave out Apple configurator. So I thought I'd share what I did...

Getting the iPads Ready
In order to get the iPads ready to work with Meraki I reset them all to factory defaults.  This means that they're clear of any previously installed apps, photos and videos and allows you to start from the beginning.

Once they've been reset you'll be able to set them up like a new iPad.
If you're working with new iPads you won't need to do this.

Setting up Apple ID GAFE accounts
The schools I work at tend to be GAFE schools so I created a few GAFE accounts and added alias's to them until I had enough accounts to cover the number of Apple IDs I'd need.
I set them up so that I have one Apple ID per device.  You can have about 10 Alias email addresses within one address - you don't hav…

Connected through Play

I had the privilege of connecting with a great group of educators over the weekend at Edu Camp RotoVegas.  The right people, the right time and the right place.  I really enjoy this type of PD as it's all about who's there and what they need right now.

It's so uplifting to get together with a group of people who are striving to make education better for their learners (students and teachers).  I was particularly inspired by the stories from Steve Katene and the work they're doing at Richmond Road school in Napier.  I really enjoyed listening to his journey, particularly how they were taking risks and were prepared to question everything they were doing.  It sounds like a great place to work!

I grabbed a few toys to take down with me and offered to give people a go using Google Cardboard, Ollie, Sphero and the Makey Makey Go's that I have.  I'm a bit of a new toy nut, especially when it comes to technology.  These were just a few of the ones I've picked up o…

More about Sharing - Public Documents

Following on from the Slidedeck I shared about the sharing settings in Google Apss, here's a bit about how you can share documents publicly...

It's a good idea to think about how you're sharing your digital resources and if this is the best way moving forward.  Also think about what your school or work policies are around sharing documents you've created while in the workplace. 

Accepting an Invite to a Blog

One of the things I do when setting up blogs for a school is to invite each teacher to be an author or administrator on their blog.  In order to do this they need to accept the invitation.

This Slide Deck explains how to accept an invitation.

Please note that blog invitations can sometimes end up in your SPAM folder, so if you're expecting one and haven't received it, check your SPAM folder.

Sharing in Google Drive

It's the start of a new year, time for a refresh of some basics I think... it's so easy to forget how to do things when you've been on holiday and not using them for a while.

One of those things is how to share documents in Google Drive and what all those sharing settings actually mean...

Sharing can sometimes be a bit of a challenge in Google Drive especially when staff move on to another school and want to take documents with them or when new staff arrive and need to have access to shared documents.

I've created this presentation to explain the sharing settings and how they work...

It's really important to setup sharing within your organisation so that you're all following the same guidelines.  This keeps things tidy, easy to find and easy to manage with new staff and for those that are moving on.

Sharing with Teams / Whole organisations
I'd highly recommend sharing with folders and using group emails rather than individual emails where possible.  This mak…