Sunday, March 30, 2014

Go West!

EduCamp Auckland is heading west again in 2014. This year's unconference event will be on Saturday 26th  July at  Western Heights Primary School, Henderson thanks to principal +Ash Maindonald and his team for hosting.

Follow #EduCampAKL on Twitter and check the wiki for updates and tips for how you can participate and contribute. Collaborative docs will be live early Term 2 to register your interest.

EduCampAKL is a free, unconference event where participants are encouraged to "go with the flow, follow their passion and take responsibility for their own learning"(

Explore ideas for participating and learn more about EduCampNZ events from past participants (video and blogposts) on the EduCampNZ wiki.

A bit about Smackdowns... 

I wanted to share a bit about the purpose of the Smackdown at an unconference as it is not simply a share-fest. At it's heart the Smackdown is an opportunity for participants to introduce themselves while alerting everyone to what contributions, questions and learnings they are interested in pursuing.

At EduCampAKL events, the Smackdown is strategically placed at the beginning of the day to alert participants to the learning opportunities in the room, connect with like-minds and ideas quickly and follow what they are passionate about learning.

Contributions to Smackdown can be anything from a useful tip or tool to participants sharing 'big questions' that are currently challenging practice.

Contributions to Smackdown are short (less than two minutes) and delivered quickly to avoid extended conversations around topics that do not meet the needs of all participants. Links to further information are recorded on the Smackdown doc for participants to follow up. 

During the Smackdown participants are encouraged to be alert to the people and themes that they are interested in exploring further and in greater depth during the unconference and beyond e.g. ThinkSlam, Birds of a Feather...see the wiki for  more.

Check the wiki for events in your area. If you are keen to organise your own event the wiki is open and you are invited to use and repurpose any of the content and ideas that have been shared.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Big Learning

EWC2...known for their visual art and green thumbs too...
Edgewater 2 @ Sommerville Special School may have the smallest Teacher Dashboard of the Manaiakalani schools but there is nothing small about how students have been accessing their GAFE accounts to "learn, create, share". Each student has their own blog and teacher +Lionel Tapara has also created a class blog which he utilises to organise and share access to further learning for students and their families. 
A recent conversation with Lionel, reflecting on the impact of the digital learning environment, highlighted some considerations as we plan next steps:
  • both students and parents/caregivers have recognised the increased opportunities for sharing learning conversations with their children both online and kanohi ki te kanohi
  • as a satellite class the blogs have also enabled school leaders to regularly connect and respond to learning (Team Leaders support satellite classes on multiple school sites across Auckland)
  • students have demonstrated increased confidence specifically in response to IEP goals which include progressing through a sequence of instructions with multiple steps. For example in a digital learning environment this can include in excess of 20+ steps to create and share learning using Google Drive or other web based apps, followed by posting to a blog. Consider the steps students followed to create their Learning Tours in Google Maps.
  • the digital learning environment has scaffolded an existing programme of learning that is already highly motivating for students. Specifically it has increased opportunities for students to make links to prior learning.  This can make a significant difference to students' motivation and disposition when approaching new learning.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

'Capitalising on Affordances in Efficiency' with Digital Images

"An emerging model of an effective classroom is one in which the 1-1 devices afford a streamlined, efficient delivery of curriculum via google sites and docs. The reduced need for organisation and management of students provides the teacher with opportunities to engage students in extended discussions and feedback about their learning; and extensive access to online curriculum resources" (Stuart McNaughton, Manaiakalani Evaluation Programme)

Learning can be enhanced through the effective use of digital images scaffolding opportunities for higher-order thinking and creativity. Including revisiting and using images to ground learning conversations with students, parents and peers.

To enable this it is essential that there is a process for efficiently archiving and sharing digital images.

Enabling the email upload function in your Picasa Web Albums, especially from a mobile device, is one way content can be organised and shared to provide increased opportunities for teachers and students to "capitalise on affordances in efficiency".

Prior to a planned event create and share a Picasa Web Album, embed in your Google Site or Blog then send images from your smartphone or tablet, on the go.

Add 'secret email' to your address book.
  • Include opportunities to collaborate with students to identify what images are needed to support the learning. 
  • Establish routines with your students for collecting, storing and sharing the images. 
  • Images can be made available immediately for students to repurpose and share on their own blogs, in Google Apps and multimedia presentations.
  • Another option is to share a Picasa Web Album with users via email only and enable them to contribute to a Picasa Web Album. Also by sharing your 'secret email' for Picasa uploads and ensuring contributors have the name of the album, they can also share using a mobile device. Once the event is finished you can change your secret email.
  • Take screenshots or photos of non-digital exemplars of learning to share online or display in class to support a specific strategy. Often these opportunities arise 'in the moment' and if you are ready for them can engage students in extended learning conversations. If you don't have a smartphone in your pocket ensure your camera is accessible and that you know how to capture a screenshot on a variety of devices.
Let people you share albums with contribute photos
Also an alternative to sharing images is the 'Post via email' option in Blogger to send images directly to your blog, or use the Blogger App available for iOS and Android.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Share Picasa Web Album in Google Site

Create Picasa Web Albums and embed on your Google Site for students to access, download or take a screenshot to use in their blogs, Google Apps or  other multimedia presentations.

When I first linked my Google account with Google+ I noticed that the URL would default to my Google+ photos page when opening. If this happens to you try the following:

Bookmark the following URL to redirect to your Picasa Web Album page

I found that after a while this stopped, so may not be a current issue.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

uLearn13 unconference

"Harnessing your ecosystems" was the theme for unconference at uLearn13 this year. Teaming up with +anne ken to host, we were excited to be able to share an un-conference experience within a conference. Open space meeting format applied and we aimed to provide participants with opportunities to experience some of the learning and fun that are highlights of the EduCampNZ events.

We have shared these in the presentation below. The slides include hyperlinks to more ideas, strategies and tips. Thanks to all participants who contributed, especially to the Smackdown another awesome example of the power of developing a professional learning network (PLN).

No two events are the same however you are invited to use, adapt and share your learning on the EduCampNZ wiki. 

Click the GoogleDrive logo to open the presentations.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

GoogleFest 2013 - Google+

GoogleFest Site
Google+ is Google's social network enabling users to share and learn across the web. With a Google+ profile users can also manage content and connect with other Google Apps e.g. Blogger, YouTube and Google+ Hangouts (video conferencing). Google+ Communities also enable participants to create and share content others who have similar interests.

Users must be 13 years or older to use Google+. To manage this in schools with Google Apps for Education (GAFE) sub organisations are created in the GAFE control panel e.g. students, staff, Each sub organisation is assigned permissions and access to applications is either switched on or off.

We have recently begun to explore using Google+ communities with senior students (Year 9-13) as part of our CyberSmart Curriculum, specifically focused on Smart Footprint and Smart Relationships.

The following Google presentation is a copy (adapted) and shared with students and their teachers to assist in getting started with Google+.


GoogleFest 2013 -

GoogleFest Site

Pause and play YouTube video as you take notes that will be automatically synchronised with the video and saved to your Google Drive. Click the image below to view a shared example of You will need to have the Chrome App installed

Compare and contrast tourism prior to the eruption with today. Begin by using descriptions and images from the documentary 'The Eruption of Tarawera' to guide your thinking.

GoogleFest 2013 - YouTube

GoogleFest Site
Using a video hosting site to store and organise videos enables content to be conveniently shared across a number of online platforms including blogs, sites and online communities. As YouTube channel features have been upgraded, including integration with Google Apps for Education (GAFE) we have begun to consider the potential for utilising YouTube to organise and share original content in addition to using digital video as a rich medium for learning.

We have taken into consideration our blogging protocols, developed to "ensure student safety, maximise student learning and accountability to our BOTs and parents." All video content that is shared online remains under the ownership of the school's GAFE domain. Teachers set up and share content using their GAFE account. Because accounts are never deleted this ensures that the school always has access to content even if the teacher leaves the school. 


GoogleFest 2013 - Google Draw

GoogleFest Site
Think this might be my favourite Google Docs App. Students really enjoy creating with Google Draw and many of the tools are transferable so it is a great app to start with if you are new to Google Docs.

Google Draw can be located in your Google Drive, click the red Create button and select Drawing. It is a great option for page layout, creating charts, posters, graphic organisers and info-graphics. Create a drawing via Google Support

Google Draw integrates with all other Apps in Google Drive, drawings can be downloaded as image files and inserted into another doc type. They can also be embedded in blogs and sites.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

EduCampAKL 2013

Joy Board @ Diocesan#EduCampAKL TrendingBatman!GCTsWhanau SpaceConversations
ThinkSlam @TraintheTeacherThinkSlam @dorothyjburtIs this man real...or has he been printed?MinecraftGoogle+ HangoutTaking responsibility
#EduCampAKL Trending#EduCampAKL essentialsPinterest Inspiring Writing via @MrWoodNZ“Interactive training inside Google Apps” via @AmyMMcCauley@Mrs_Hyde20%Time via @traintheteacher
Maria PerssonJJ Purton JonesSmackdown@Jennyshe@joypEduCampAKL 2013
EduCampAKL 2013, a set on Flickr.
Images from EduCampAKL yesterday. Thanks to an awesome PLN for sharing lots of learning. Check out the wiki for more good things.

Via Flickr:
EduCampAKL 2013, Auckland, Saturday 3rd August, 9am - 2pm
Centennial Building, Diocesan School for Girls, Clyde Street Epsom