Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A new Ken Robinson TED Talk

Most people I know are very familiar with Ken Robinson's 2006 talk about how schools kill creativity. I've purchased and am currently reading his recently released book 'The Element: How finding your passion changes everything' and I also participated in a webinar presented by him last month. So I'm obviously a fan and was very excited to see he has a new TED Talk uploaded just this month. Check it out and see what you think (16 minutes). I love his low-tech presentation style, his sense of humour and the way he weaves personal stories into his message. I'll be reassessing my dependency on my wrist watch for a start!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

iPad + Velcro

I love this video - very clever. Thanks to MB for sharing with me.

iPad + Velcro from Jesse Rosten on Vimeo.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Notes from Jamie McKenzie Workshop

Jamie McKenzie (jamiemck2001@gmail.com)
Howick Club, 12 May 2010

Session 1
Asked us to look at the course evaluation at the start so we knew what we need to be
thinking about. Able to make notes/collect data during the day. Modelling
classroom practice.

We are spending less time on learning and more on tests. Educators need to be more
politically active or we will be bulldozed.

Login =
Password = azure876
Expires 7 June 2010


Synthesis - the ability to put pieces of a puzzle together in a new way.

Strongest readers use the following strategies:
  • inferring
  • Questioning
  • Picturing
  • Recalling prior knowledge
  • Synthesising
  • Flexing
(David Pearson)

Latest book 'Beyond Cut-and-Paste'

Jamie has developed a taxonomy for synthesizing - he is happy to email the PDF or
find on questioning.org or fno.org (use search box to find it)

Questioning toolbox on questioning.org - kids need to know the types of questions so
they can chose the best one for the task.

Essential questions also known as questions of import.

Eg Joan of Arc 'in what ways was the life remarkable?'
Examples on fno.org - other cool stuff - biography maker
Underneath that will be many many subsidiary questions.

What should we do about ......
Would you rather .... Or ........
Who is the better poet, ........... Or ...........

Topic based research leads to cut and paste thinking:
Lack of original thought

Cognitive dissidence good for the class!!!

Session 2
Watched A Dove Film 'Evolution' and then another that parodied it A Film 'Slob
Asked to align the second movie with his taxonomy of synthesising - justify your
Then watched a Greenpeace movie about Dove being responsible for 98% lowland forest
losses in Indonesia due to palm oil production.

The Gruen Transfer video

Even if you do nothing - change happens!

Be wary of fads or bandwagons that fail to change practice or student performance.

Avoiding haphazardous change:
  • Wreckage
  • Disappointment
  • Waste
  • Disruption
  • Disillusionment
  • Distrust
  • Disaffection
  • Alienation
  • Withdrawal
  • Insurgency

Session 3
Silence is powerful. If you keep filling the gaps kids have no time to think.

Virtual change:
  • Cosmetic
  • Fashionable
  • Trendy
  • Illusory
  • Untested
  • Diversionary
  • Seductive
  • Dramatic
Some wholesome change strategies:
  • Anticipating - What could possibly go wrong? What's the worst that could happen?
  • Testing - venturing, piloting, learning, adjusting, improving, expanding
  • Preparation - laying the groundwork, building capacity, exploring, explaining, analysis
  • Support - scaffolding, just in time support, barriers, resource expansion
  • Balance - not going overboard, moderation, modulation, restraint, focus
  • Pacing - plateaus, cruising, deep breath, consolidating, refining
  • Discernment - questioning, wondering, doubting, delaying, challenging, researching,
  • selecting, prioritising
  • Sheltering - reducing distractions, limiting new goals and projects, resisting
  • frivolity, encouraging, calming, filtering, embracing
  • Courtship - winning buy-in, what's in it for me, showing value/benefits, identifying and addressing basic needs
What are the tactics, strategies and tricks to promote questioning, wondering and learning.   
How must the repertoire change? 
Reflective practice 
5 year PD plan where teachers can chose from options to suit their needs
Building units around challenging Questions and problems 


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

I love my iPad

There will be many people out there relieved to know that I have FINALLY taken the plastic off the new iPad! It was bought a couple of weeks ago in California but I have refused to take the plastic wrap off until I purchased a case as the thought of a scratch on the back was too horrific to consider! Needless to say I have been subjected to considerable harrassment about this. I have given up hope of getting my hands on one of the highly sought-after official Apple covers and just bought a cheapie on TradeMe! Red of course ....


I was lucky enough to attend the ITSC Apple Conference on Friday and Saturday. One of the cool tools we played with was Fotobabble! We were using it on iPhones but there is heaps of potential for it to be used on iPod Touches (download the free App from iTunes), laptops, desktops - both at school and for EOTC. Would love to hear from anyone who is using it with their class?