Monday, September 2, 2013
Friday, October 12, 2012
Three best things about ULearn12:
- the people
- the people
- the people
- the internet (not CORE's fault)
- only one ABBA song at the Conference Dinner
- saying goodbye to friends old and new ...
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
Very exciting to be at the first ever Google Apps for Education (GAFE) Summit in New Zealand. It was an early start to the day in the car with @FionaGrant, @Allanahk and @barbs1. Hilarious tiki tour route to get to Albany Senior High School thanks to @FionaGrant and google maps! So many friends and familiar faces - it's going to be a great day and a fabulous kick-off to ULearn 2012 ...
Click here to view my notes for today.
Friday, September 21, 2012
21-22 September 2012
Takapuna Grammar School
Like most schools, my school has limited funds for attending conferences so I was not initially intending on registering for this event. However, just last week I was surprised to be offered funding to cover these costs by a confidential donor. Yipee!
My notes for the two days are here if you are interested.
The four teachers are all trialling the use of iPod Touches and iPads in their classes so they were keen to get some practical ideas for their programmes. I was more interested in the deployment and management of mobile devices.
We all came away with some new knowledge and overall were pleased we made the effort to attend. It also gave us the opportunity to talk about issues we are grappling with as a school such as BYOD and how it would look for our community. Possibly one of the most beneficial aspects of seminars such as this is the face-to-face time with like-minded educators and sharing what is happening in our schools.
The biggest surprise of the afternoon was no alcohol at the drinks and nibbles at the end - this caused a group gasp when it was announced in the lecture theatre!
My notes from the afternoon are here if you are interested.
A message to Apple - please do this again as we'll be there with bells on!
Thursday, January 5, 2012
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Today we are attending the first of four full days and two half days. While the sessions will usually be held at our own school, the first one is at Lifeway College. We have the opportunity to mingle with teachers from other schools also enrolled in the course. There are many familiar faces ….
Lifeway College, 95 Mt Eden Road, Mt Eden
8:30am - 4:00pm Saturday 29 October 2011
Welcome and introduction by Craig Hansen
There will be the opportunity to have Lifeway College students come to our school and work with teachers and/or students over the next year. Potential here for working with our Digikids as well as some in-class support to work with tools we wouldn’t normally be able to acces.
Photography with Stuart Hale
Tips for buying and using school cameras:
- Smaller is not good
- Must be able to override auto mode - programme mode good
- Get a brand name you recognise that makes good optics
- Buttons needed - mode dials are easiest, rather than menu, flash off/on button, macro button, zoom lever, perferrably T or TV or fireworks mode to change exposure
- AA batteries - recharge batteries must say “ready to use” - could be any brand, have spare batteries for each camera
- Quick chargers half the life of rechargeable batteries - $100 - but only take 15 minutes
- Not necessarily expensive
- See dpreview.com before purchasing
- Lanyards for safety
- Minimum 2GB memory card - SD cards most common, don’t use camera brand with own proprietary cards
- Stay with same brands
- Site - 100 photos that changed the world and worth1000.com - great ideas
- Turn volume to maximum so kids know when they are taking photos
- Show the kids the two-stage shutter to get better photos - focus (half shutter) on the element you want to be sharp, move away to take the photo with the background/foreground in the way
- don’t use flash photography at night
The language of photography
- The rule of thirds - the camera is not a gun to target what you want in the middle! Try to get points of interest along lines that divide the picture into thirds. The intersections of the nine squares are the most important areas.
- Often no flash is best but hold steady - often need a tripod or something else that won’t move. No flash and no zoom (use full wide angle) with macro shots.
- Exposure time - delay to approximately 10 seconds, can use cellophane to change light colour and draw with a torch! Preferably buy a bright torch with adjustable zoom.
- Zoom - closer is better but can crop in iPhoto easily while maintaining quality of image.
- 5 Photo stories or 5 frame storytelling - great idea to use in class, concise but powerful stories, many examples available online if you search.
- Photo books - pay for these for special events, school trips etc - can be accessioned and borrowed from library
Photography challenges (see worth1000.com for ideas):
- Rule of thirds
- Two stage shutter
- No auto - use programme mode
- Try flash on and flash off with same shot
- Change point of view for various shots - mouse, possum, giraffe
- Delicate (simplified background)
- Alphabet (not man made)
- Depth of field
- Into the sun - but only use the view finder
Thinking about Art with Nicol O Shea
- art seeks to educate, elevate and provoke
- Shane Cotton tries to educate us about the history of this land
- Dick Frizzell wants to elevate the everyday visions of NZ into high art
- Joanna Langford’s magical landscapes remind us that our environment is fragile and on the verge of an ecological collapse
Blogs and other Social Media with David Kinane
Set up an account in Tumblr for use with this course (belindajohnston.tumblr.com). Can use own blog if you already have one.
First assignment due 6 December! I'm dreading going to school on Monday - I can only imagine the complaints I'm going to hear about this assignment!!!
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Here is the description of the workshop:
We use KnowledgeNET’s Learning Journals at Elm Park School to create our e-Portfolios but this workshop will also be of interest to those using other applications.
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
First up - a full day workshop on questioning with Trevor Bond.
Making a Difference - Keeping it Real
Two types of questions:
Unexpressed (cognitive, hidden part of the process of thinking)
- analysis, eliminating - what are the possibilities?
- could it be ...
- can it be ...
- if I put ...
- tacit (automaticity)
- aware (making conscious decisions)
- strategic (planning, thinking ahead)
- reflective (evaluating)
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
- Kid Pix - drawing, voice, photos, video, slideshows - purchase details on Software for Learning (Apple or Windows)
- Comic Life - Purchase details through Software for Learning (Apple or Windows)
- iMovie/Movie Maker -photos and/or video
- Photo Story - free download from Microsoft for Windows only
- Garageband/Audacity - audio (free)
- Kid Pix - drawing, voice, photos, video, slideshows
- Comic Life
- iMovie/Movie Maker/Photo Story - photos and/or video
- Garageband/Audacity - audio
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
We started with our own mini smackdown and all shared a few cool tools, websites etc and had time to have a play. This was followed by a visit to some classes to see the layout of the school and some e-Learning in action. I led a session on RSS feeds and Google Reader which led onto other Google stuff including setting up an iGoogle page each!
In between all of that we have a yummy home baked morning tea courtesy of Ruth and a delicious lunch at Cafe Paris in Howick. As usual the highlights for me were the people and the conversations. We all share a love of ICT but more than that we also share similar challenges at our different schools and I really appreciate the opportunity to vent some stuff and know the others will empathise!
Over lunch we talked about how valuable we find these days even though they are only once a term and we have already planned the content for our final 2011 workshop which will be held at Elm Park School on 9 November:
- Another smackdown - these are cool fun!
- e-Portfolios - what do these look like at EPS and how do they work
- Student Led Conferences - students will come and talk to us about what they will be doing at our upcoming conferences
- Google apps - what is out there, who is using what and why
- Set dates and topics for 2012
- And our usual blogging session of course!!!!
Saturday, August 6, 2011
Friday, July 29, 2011
This was the presentation I used at the workshop although I've deleted the student examples due to privacy.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
I only realised today how much I've missed the collegiality of our cluster ICT lead teachers and how motivating it is to be around like-minded teachers. Walking around the classrooms to see what is happening was something we never did enough of during our cluster contract so it was fantastic to have this opportunity today. The teachers and students were very welcoming at Botany Downs School and we saw many cool ideas to take back to our schools. I first visited the school back in 2007 and the shift that has evolved is nothing short of miraculous and I feel very proud to have been a part of the beginning of their journey. I was particularly impressed by how well SOLO Taxonomy is being used across the school and the consistency of the evidence on walls and in plannning - well done Lyndal! Bridget has also been on fire this year leading ICT - not an inconsiderable role conisdering every single class now has their own blog!
Another session today was allocated to sharing good ideas and new innovations in our schools. Elm Park School talked about our upcoming Student Led Conferences which are very new for us, we had a quick play with the new Comic Life 2 and looked at city.lego.com - an online comic creator. I talked about a number of iPad apps I've been enjoying recently (ComicLife, Art Rage, Puppet Pals, Star Walk, Garageband). Other teachers shared sites such as Smile Box, Tagxedo, Poster-street, kerpof.com, picnik.com and http://www.communication4all.co.uk/.
Probably the most value for today has been just talking to the ICT lead teachers, bouncing ideas off each other and commiserating over similar challenges in our different schools (also known as our Dear Abbey session). Just when I was feeling overwhelmed by everything I am now going away more refreshed and determined to make a difference so thank you Eastnet Cluster ICT Lead Teachers!
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Thursday, August 19, 2010
The timing of my Californian trip was perfect. As soon as I returned I persuaded my husband and started saving for Harry's own iPod Touch in time for his 10th birthday in July. An iPad would have been even better but was out of our price range unfortunately! In preparation for the big day I spent many hours trawling the iTunes Apps store looking for suitable applications to engage Harry in different areas including literacy, numeracy, creativity, images/video, general gaming etc. The big day came and the iPod Touch was a huge hit and we continue to add to his list of apps as his needs and interests change. He's already asking when he can take his iPod to school to use ...
So it was huge interest that I read this post on BlogHer recently. This mother has a son with autism and has seen enormous improvements in his development since he started using an iPad. Many of the apps Shannon mentions are not intended specifically for children with autism but they are certainly autism friendly. The app I found most interesting of all was Stories2Learn. Social stories are widely used by children with autism as they find it easier to learn visually and the stories can help with upcoming events and change in routines such as transitions to school, school trips, holidays etc. When Harry was younger I spent literally hundreds of hours taking photos, inserting into Publisher templates, adding text, printing them out in colour, laminating each page and binding it all together. It was expensive and time consuming. With apps like Stories2Learn social stories become not only free to make but also a much more powerful learning tool as you can add audio (and with other apps video). And instead of just one copy of the book you can have multiple copies at home, at school, in the car or anywhere! Shannon goes on to provide a long list of other applications to assist in just about any area of autism you can think of from scheduling (very important for kids on the spectrum to know what to expect step by step) through to symbols and text-talk apps to help with communication difficulties.
While iPads are obviously not the answer to all the difficulties that come with autism I can see a real potential for their use at home and school. And with the growing number of ASD kids in our schools today this is surely something we need to be incorporating into our strategic plans and budgets?