Sunday, August 3, 2014

"There's a #FirstTweet for everything"



Seven years ago today I sent my first Tweet... a time before the RT, #tags, clickable links, @usernames and the celebrity Tweet! 

It's interesting to look back at those first few Tweets and the beginnings of a truly inspirational professional learning network.  Try it, especially if you've been Tweeting for a few years. 

Find out the date you sent your first Tweet here

Personalise the bold text below with your Twitter username and a date range that includes your first Tweet.

from:username since:yyyy-mm-dd until:yyyy-mm-dd

Copy and paste into the Search Twitter field from your home page at Twitter.com



Plus some familiar faces popped up when I checked out my first followers and my first follows using Tweet Tunnel.  
Twitter has certainly been a game changer for my learning.
How I manage my Twitter in 2014




















Friday, July 25, 2014

Counting down to #EduCampAKL tomorrow

The following post originally appeared on #edChatNZ Blog

What motivates kiwi educators to spend 4-5 hours together, sometimes more when they travel, and on a Saturday?

Maybe the opportunity to share with like minded learners, mixed in with a bit of geeky stuff and a whole lot of networking and fun…essentials of an EduCampNZ event!


EduCamp in Auckland originated in 2008 as an unconference. Educators already connecting and sharing through blogs and Twitter, decided some kanohi ki te kanohi would definitely add value to their existing learning and sharing online.


The unconference model was a no-brainer as it seemed to reflect the serendipitous-ness of social networking. In comparison to traditional conferences, unconference is participant driven (whoever comes is the right people), sessions are scheduled on the day and the event itself is free.


In hindsight the strength of the online networking was also pivotal to initially spreading the word and continues to be a force in and around all EduCampNZ events.


While most EduCampNZ events include a focus on digital learning the programme is developed on the day by whoever is there. Sessions range from demos and hands on to lively conversations as well as an active backchannel sharing on Twitter and collaborative docs. Many events will also include participants contributing from a distance … you don’t have to be there, to be there.

As attendance is free, EduCampAKL events have been hosted through the generosity of local schools providing breakout spaces and wifi. All participants are encouraged to bring a digital device and be prepared to go with the flow! (unconference.net)

This year EducampAKL will be on Saturday 26th  July, thanks to the team at Western Heights School in Henderson and  principal +Ash Maindonald . Everyone is welcome and encouraged to connect now through the wiki and online.


In the past year over a dozen events have been organised locally and supported nationally around New Zealand. No two events are the same as they are inspired and realised through a desire of participants to share and learn in an open environment. 

If you are keen to attend or organise an event check out the EduCampNZ wiki and participation ideas. All content is available under Creative Commons

Plus some tips here for organising an unconference (via +Fiona Grant &  +Anne Kenneally

+Caroline Bush

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

"Create to Learn"

The Manaiakalani Digital Immersion PLG is designed to support teachers in their first year teaching in a digital learning environment where learners are 1:1 with a digital device. Teaching as Inquiry provides a framework for Manaiakalani Digital Immersion PLD and direction for the facilitators who are supporting these teachers.

Learn
During last Friday's Digital Immersion PLG we used the following hypothesis, in response to the ongoing evaluation of Manaiakalani by The Woolf Fisher Research Centre, to ground our thinking and dialogue.

'The learn-create-share cycle generates opportunities to learn from texts and across texts and to explain/reflect/demonstrate that learning, through creation' (via Rebecca Jesson)

We took time to explore current practice while referring to the ‘Create to Learn’ hypothesis to support our thinking in response to the following questions:

  • How often are you including opportunities for students to create to learn?
  • Where and how could you include increased opportunities to create to learn?
  • Teaching as inquiry - identify possible teaching and learning opportunities aimed at achieving the outcomes you have prioritised for your inquiry.
  • What are the learning needs of your students? Effective pedagogy and the digital learning environment
  • What are your learning needs? SAMR: scaffolding use of technology to support learning
Create
Explain your Teaching as Inquiry focus in the style of a CommonCraft or RSA Animate

This session included an opportunity for teachers to deepen their understanding of their Teaching as Inquiry focus and to consider the possibilities afforded as a result of creating to learn in the digital learning environment.

Share
Explainer videos have been shared on blogs, Google Drive in our Google+Community, with colleagues and students. They will contribute to the documented evidence of each teacher's inquiry and can ground further thinking and professional dialogue with facilitators and school leaders.



Videos shared on Vimeo


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 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"(unconference.net)


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 its 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 https://picasaweb.google.com 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
https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/myphotos?noredirect=1

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 - VideoNot.es

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 VideoNot.es. 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.