Saturday, April 21, 2007

Have you been paying attention?

Had been nosing around on the T4 - Jordon School District website (some great ideas examples of how technology can add value to learning) plus a video by Darren Draper that is well worth viewing.

It was great to read today on Rachel Boyd's blog that Darren has joined the public blogisphere with his blog Drape's Takes.

Have you been paying attention?

Friday, April 20, 2007

Quality Teaching Using Digital Resources

Thanks to Jacky Hay from Learning Media for a very useful matrix linking how students learn and what teachers do with effective integration of digital resources by teachers. This provides an understanding of how digital resources can support what learners need to do in order to develop and extend their literacy learning. I would recommend this as a useful reference if you are exploring strategies for using digital resources to engage students and promote literacy learning.
Download a copy of this matrix from our wiki.

Learning Media also produce a range of electronic storybooks to schools containing texts with photographs, illustrations, audio and activities that are designed to appeal to a range of students. The aims of these CD-ROM is to motivate and support underachieving readers and includes a comprehensive set of notes for teachers. These CD-ROMs are sent out to all schools. Please contact me if you need any help to source or use these resources.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

National Library of New Zealand

Spent some time last week with Lisa Allcott, from The National Library, who gave us a tour of their revamped web site. There are many very relevant and worthwhile resources to be accessed, especially in the Digital Collection. A couple that I found fascinating were Discover and Matapihi. Collections include digital photos, sound and object archives that would add value to learning experiences in a variety of contexts. Plus some have options to view objects in a full 360° rotation.
There are also links to books by NZ authors that are able to be read online through the International Children’s Digital Library. See links to these collections plus an overview of some key online resources available to NZ schools on our cluster wiki.

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Saturday, April 7, 2007

Participate to Learn

Continuing my theme of connecting, have just spent the last week in Wellington with 13 fellow facilitators who work regionally in schools delivering the school support services outputs for the MoE. While we only see each other f2f 2-3 times a year we have been using a wiki and skype this year to support each other's work and learning, connecting regularly once a fortnight for a conference call. This collaboration has been a combination of Jocelyn Mackay’s (UC) INSTEP and the ease of communicating through web tools.

It is an exciting time to be learning and I encourage participation. While I participate in formal professional learning the opportunities to also participate through reading and responding to others through their blogs is adding a whole new dimension to my learning and realisation of the potential of these tools to personalise my learning. I want to thank David Kinane from Meadowbank Primary who pointed me in the direction of Wesley Fryer’s blog Moving at the Speed of Creativity

Wesley argues for the importance of good teaching that utilises technology to add value to student learning… “teachers need to be PEDAGOGICAL EXPERTS much more than they need to be content experts today”

We know that technology alone does not improve learning and has the potential to be “ giving a bad guitar player a bigger amplifier” however I have been over the “it’s just a tool” view of technology for a while now. It does nothing to recognise the value of technology in the hands of an expert teacher.

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