Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Learn. Share. Inspire. Empower.

Great to connect with the #GEGNZ  community today at #gafesummit Auckland with +Justine Driver and +Rob Clarke

Lots of korero around Google Certification and Study Groups, plus sharing ideas about how educators can support events locally.

We're excited about the #SparkshopAKL event at Ormiston Primary School on Saturday 28th and the possibilities for similar events in other locations. Thanks to participants who shared their learning in the GEGNZ G+ Community today.

#GEGNZ  will also be at the Wellington and Christchurch events too!  Check out the slide deck for event information and recources.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

"Are they learning or playing?" *

Shout out to everyone who participated and contributed to #educamprotovegas and #educampwelly today. 

Travelled from Auckland this morning with +Justine Driver  and +Karen Ferguson - bonus car korero extending the learning (and we did not travel the furthest!) 

Inspiring stories from passionate educators at Rotorua Girls' High (+Steve Katene ) punctuated by connected conversations and tempting tweets flooding a trending stream via #educampwelly   

Great to connect with +Shona Poppe who also fixed the date for #educampBOP on the wiki calendar

Huge thanks to our hosts +Annemarie Hyde +Marnel van der Spuy +Alex Le Long + the awesome +Philippa Nicoll Antipas and the #WellyED team... ka mau te wehi!

He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tangata, he tangata, he tangata

+Caroline Bush  EducampNZ wiki

Friday, January 15, 2016

Chrome Multiple Users - Update

View on Mac OS - click 'People' to add person
or switch between accounts. 

Shared previously the benefits of creating multiple users in chrome especially in my role across a community of schools.

Multiple users enables me to personalise Chrome for each of the school accounts I am using, including blogging admin accounts, and saves a lot of time when switching between different Google accounts.

Even if you are accessing two accounts e.g. GAFE account and a gmail.com account, creating another user is recommended rather than adding an account.




Adding accounts can result in conflicts when using other applications that need to be signed into with your Google Account e.g. Hapara Teacher Dashboard.

Recommend alerting your learners to this as well. Remind them to add a new user rather than signing into another account from within their existing account on their Chromebook. I have noticed this can also display as an issue when viewing student accounts via Hapara Teacher Dashboard.




Kasey Bell has created an awesome video with step by step instructions, including removing accounts and adding new users. Recommend you add +Kasey Bell on Google+ and follow @ShakeUpLearning on Twitter too! 


Saturday, October 3, 2015

What's the value of three minutes?



The challenge... encapsulate over three years of thinking and learning in under three minutes. At the same time recognise the contributions of my peers and learners in the Manaiakalani cluster who have contributed so extensively to this programme of learning? It can be achieved... with help from an awesome group of +TeachMeetNZ  educators led by +Sonya Van Schaijik

This was my first +TeachMeetNZ event with an added bonus... collaborating with +Matthew Esterman and #TMSydney as part of Connected Educator Month in New Zealand #CENZ15

If you are considering participating in a Teachmeet, go for it! If not for the opportunity to Hangout with inspiring educators, for the professional learning via connected educators, all engaged in reflecting critically on the things we are doing and the impact on learners.

In reality for me, this three minute +TeachMeetNZ presentation has been the equivalent of three days+ of valuable thinking, dialogue, refining ideas and in some cases revelations that continue to challenge assumptions about my practice.

‘He aha te mea nui o te Ao?’ Māku e kī atu, ‘He tangata, he tangata, he tangata.’
+Monika Kern +Ros MacEachern +Isaac Crandell-Tanner +Hannah Dodds +Rachel Chisnall +Marnel van der Spuy 

The images and content in my presentation are linked to the blogs of teachers and learners in our cluster, if you are keen to connect and leave a comment it will be appreciated.

Related Links:
Being Cybersmart - blog posts
TeachmeetNZ wiki
TeachMeetNZ meets TMSydney - live blog (via +Monika Kern)
Hangout On Air

Saturday, September 26, 2015

The First Post

This year Room 10 @ Ruapotaka School have been sharing via their class blog however, we were all very excited to be able to launch individual learner blogs this week. To prepare, our cybersmart learning during the past term has focussed on Smart Footprint, specifically learning to make smart decisions about what personal information we share about ourselves online.

The first post shares individual blogger profiles, an opportunity for learners to introduce themselves. Having already created their profile in Google Drive as part of our Smart Footprint learning, this is ready to share on the day, enabling learners to focus on the actual steps required to post and publish to their new blog.


In addition to their blog profile, learners have also created a series of digital learning objects in their Google Drive that are also ready to share. As beginner bloggers the opportunity to initially repeat the process, within short intervals, helps to reinforce the individual steps required to post successfully to their blog.

For our learners who use Chromebooks* the process of accepting the blog invitation and logging in for the first time is also valuable cybersmart learning. An opportunity for learners to put their cybersmart learning into practice. Browse the Google Slides below for further details.



Once learners have shared their first post add a link to their profile post in the sidebar of their blog so it is easily accessible by visitors. Also, update the class blog with the Blog List gadget and feeds to learners' blogs to improve findability.
Thanks to Room 10 @ Ruapotaka and +Jackie Buchanan for all their contributions to this blog post.

Additional Reading
Room 9 @ Ruapotaka School and +Kate Ginders Smart Relationships: Learning how to create quality blog comments
Blogging Tips for Digital Immersion
So you are planning to create 100 student blogs...
Effective Blogging Site

*recommend that individual blogs for younger learners (1:1 with iPads) are logged in prior to learners posting.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

“Your digital footprint is not just for school, it is for life”

Being cybersmart empowers our learners as connected citizens, and their learning as visible and accessible, anytime, any place, at any pace.  Cybersmart young people learn to make smart decisions in digital learning environments and understand that every time  they connect, collaborate and share online it combines to create their digital footprint.

Our cluster has developed protocols for digital learning not only to meet our care of duty to parents, whānau and Boards of Trustees but also to empower our young people as cybersmart learners.
I recently posted about the value of blogging to support cybersmart learning and the importance of our blog protocols. These protocols also guide our use of Google Apps for Education (GAfE) and YouTube as an additional service.

A Google account comes with the option to create a YouTube channel. For teachers, YouTube channels are useful for subscribing to and organising content via the Google Site and YouTube playlists.
Note: Before embedding a YouTube video change settings so recommended videos do not display. Video can only be embedded in a Google Slide from YouTube at this time.

Google Drive to store and share media has become the preferred default ...

Since the rollout of free, unlimited Drive storage to all GAfE schools last year, using Google Drive to store and share media has become the preferred default, especially for learners. Video can be embedded in a blog from Google Drive, where learners connect with their audience via blog comments. As administrators of these blogs teachers are able to monitor content and interactions through their email and Hapara Teacher Dashboard.

For our learners, especially those under 13, creating a YouTube channel with their GAfE account needs to be approached with consideration.  What is the purpose?
If a learner needs to embed a YouTube video in a Google Slide would using the teacher’s channel or a class channel monitored by the teacher suffice?

YouTube is an additional service to GAfE and monitoring an individual learner's channel, including the comments is potentially more challenging and time consuming than monitoring interactions via a blog.
The blog is the default for our learners to share and connect with their audience. Consequently our preference is that all video content is shared publicly via class and individual blogs.
To support our cluster goals, pedagogy and care of duty we have identified the following recommended defaults for YouTube Channels in our GAfE accounts for both teachers and learners:

  • Upload defaults for video are set to unlisted
  • Commenting is turned off
  • Videos are shared via class/individual blogs or class sites
  • Channel name for students - first name and initial (same as the label on their class blog)

Where individual YouTube channels are deemed necessary for children, setting the defaults with them for their YouTube channel is also a valuable cybersmart learning opportunity - learning to create a positive digital footprint. I have also encouraged learners to share this learning with their parents and to consider settings on any of their non-school accounts set up at home.

“Your digital footprint is not just for school, it is for life”


Friday, August 14, 2015

Tumeke Tamariki! #GEGNZstudent Summit

"Take the people around you with you on the journey" via +Toby Carr, inspiring opening keynote for  the inaugural Google Educator Group NZ Student Summit last Wednesday.

Toby's words resonated with me throughout the day as I observed #GEGNZstudent participants immerse themselves in leading their learning. From the presentations to the hands on sessions students approached the day prepared to make the most of the opportunities offered.

This was also evidenced by how students responded to the unexpected. When double the number of participants arrive at your session or there's a hiccup in the network, how might you respond?  These students were not phased but confident to back themselves and their learning. Shout-out to the team from Alexandra Primary School in Central Otago who shared for the first time via Google Hangout on Air. Their presentation is available on-demand - Managing your Own Learning, Goals & Reflection. Also participants who travelled from as far North as Ohaeawai and the central Waikato to participate.

I valued the opportunity to immerse myself in the learning spaces, observe and listen to the conversations.  While many people contributed to enabling this event its success on the day is attributed to the students and the opportunity to engage in learning that is authentic and empowering.

Quick vox pop captures some of the awesomeness from the summit...Tumeke Tamariki!



"Whāia te iti kahurangi ki te tūohu koe me he maunga teitei"

Further links to explore:
bit.ly/GEGNZstudent Summit Site

Hangouts on Air:
#GEGNZstudent Summit Keynote - +Toby Carr , DeXTech Founder & CEO

#GEGNZstudnet Summit Ambassadors

Thursday, August 6, 2015

"I've Been Globalised"

@Mr_Lincheck edcampGlobal Badge
As a long time EducampNZ fan I was keen to participate and contribute to edcampGlobal this year. A 24 hour learning experience edcampGlobal took the traditional edcamp unconference experience to another level of ubiquitous learning and networking.
The programme over 24 hours included a host of sessions to select from via Google Hangouts on Air, Twitter chats and Periscope.

I posted an invite to our educampNZ community and was joined by awesome kiwi educators and educampNZ organisers +Philippa Nicoll Antipas +Juliet Revell +Barbara Reid +Annemarie Hyde +Anne Kenneally

Below are Google Slides we used to guide our conversation and share strategies and resources for organising an unconference event, plus a recording of the Hangout on Air.  Can't thank the team enough for stepping up at 11am NZT on a Sunday!



I also took a couple of minutes to share some of my thinking about the value of social networking and user generated professional learning. Starting at 5:52 in the Hangout, notes are below.  

If we were to use pop culture and the celebratory tweet to measure the value of social media for professional learning I suspect the majority of my online professional learning communities would be gathering dust by now. However social networks that enable educators to connect, collaborate and engage in conversations that matter to their learning are recognised by many educators as critical to improving professional practise.

Besides that fact that great learning is social a concept that continues to resonate for me via Dr Claire Sinnema... "Because context matters... inquiry is important"

This is in reference to Teaching as in Inquiry in the NZC… "an organising framework that teachers can use to help them learn from their practice and in response to the needs of their learners."

The teacher uses evidence from research and from their own past practice and that of colleagues to plan teaching and learning opportunities aimed at achieving prioritised outcomes. 

While Teaching as in Inquiry is informed by research the value of a teacher's past practice and that of colleagues should not be overlooked. 

"What good are the approaches, principles and mechanisms in the research? Why inquire if we know what works? ... Because context matters. 

The framework provides us with a common understanding and language for inquiry into our practice, the context is what brings life to the inquiry and to the learning.Dr Claire Sinnema

I believe this is where the true value of connecting and building a professional learning network via social networking, informal and participant driven professional learning can add value. Individuals are able to connect with a far wider community of educational professionals, in their context, while using the lens of their Teaching as Inquiry focus to inform decision making for learning and changing practice.