Sunday, August 26, 2007

Student Voice at uLearn07

Kids Using Technology in Education (KUTE) is an annual event organised by The Auckland Computers in Education Society (ACES). On a Saturday morning every October, students congregate in a central Auckland school hall to share their learning through ICT with their school community. This year KUTE will be held onsite at Sky City during uLearn07. This is a highly interactive breakout where conference attendees will have the opportunity to talk directly with students from a number of Auckland schools who will be demonstrating, sharing and answering questions about their learning through a variety of ICT supported experiences. These include Game Making, Animation, Photo Editing, Blogs, ComicLife, Podcasting, TV Broadcasting, Inquiry Learning and also how students are effectively utilising an LMS to support their learning. Participating schools include Summerland Primary, Marina View Primary, Kristin School, Pt England School, Cornwall Park Primary and Baverstock Oaks School. Read more about KUTE and other ACES events on their website.

As one of the committee members for ACES I am very excited about bringing KUTE to ULearn07 as the conference theme is “Personalising Learning in A Digital World”. Because student voice puts the student at the centre as active participants in their learning it is considered to be at the heart of personalising learning, so it seemed a good idea to include a breakout with student voice. We will be set up for Breakout 1 and conference attendees will be free to visit each of the schools where students will be demonstrating their learning through a variety of eLearning models. Children will be expecting lots of interesting questions and are very excited about this opportunity to share their learning with you and contribute to such a large education conference.


Monday, August 20, 2007

Learning through socially networked media...Part 2

After reading the LearnOnline blog for a while it was good to meet the author Leigh Blackall and his partner Sunshine last week when Leigh spoke to a group of educators in Auckland. Leigh has been researching and developing models for learning through socially networked media... from free and open source software, de-schooling, and networked learning and explored and challenged these concepts in the context of New Zealand education and the widening use of the Internet, social web and 3D virtual worlds in schools.

Just that morning I had read a thought provoking post by Sheryl on progressive education that included a clip from the 1940s where I seemed to be hearing the same questions and conversations we are having today (recommended reading). A clear message from Leigh was the importance of us as educators taking control of our networks,rather than letting others make these decisions for us and blocking sites verses facilitating and modelling socially responsible strategies for using web based environments... this took me back to Stuart Hale's keynote at the Kapiti-Otaki Cluster conference last month when he said "the server is there to serve us".

I have also become aware lately that some of us didn't realise Wikipedia is " written collaboratively by volunteers from all around the world" and consequently is viewed by some as 'not a reliable resource for use with students'. An idea from Leigh which I think might be worth pursuing as an authentic learning context, is to use wikipedia to connect with experts. For example... if students were to author an entry in wikipedia with the teacher facilitating a connection with a local expert or associated organisation that can then work collaboratively with students to develop the validity of the the words of Konrad Glogowski...

"I do not want to create a community or a social network for my students. Instead, I want to create the conditions necessary for the right kind of environment to emerge. Building an environment for the students is likely to result in failure: environments and communities need to be build with the students, with their full participation, through their work and their interactions with and about texts."

If you are interested in accessing more of Leigh's recommended blogs and resources he has kindly set up a delicious tag here

Monday, August 13, 2007

Sometimes a video speaks louder...

Working with some facilitators the other day and was asked where I source video clips I sometimes use for presentations and workshops. If I find them online I usually download and save the source in Delicious.

The wonderful Wes Fryer must have EBP (Extra Blog Perception) as he has generously posted and categorised a list of videos he uses on his wiki Moving at the Speed of Creativity...great stuff, I particularly liked "The Internet has Crashed"...thanks Wes.

Also my Delicious video links are online here. I have categorised these under themes eg: tutorials, comments, stories etc.

Another great place to start sourcing online video is from TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) which brings together the world's most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes). These videos from TED are great discussion starters and have also been collated on YouTube as the TEDtalks Director's picks.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Student Voice

Thanks to Will Richardson (via an email from Artichoke) for this one...

...Voice Thread - Basically a Web 2.0 tool that allows you to capture numerous voice responses to a single digital image and then post to your blog or website. What I like is that as an author I can post this and invite other (registered users) to also respond to the image and to what has been recorded by adding their own voice. Also it can enable many voices to be heard in response to the same photo...almost like hearing the individual thoughts of a group, aloud, as they simultaneously respond to an image.

Apart from its potential as a collaborative online tool that anyone can access Will considers that Voice Thread could take us past..."creating and publishing" and "enable the conversations and connections that occur around the content, where the most potential for learning lies."

...and in an email from Artichoke..."It is like being able to scribble in the margins of an image...Voice Thread takes everything that I reckon is shallow in podcasting and liberates it...And why do I think podcasting is shallow use of technology? If we continue to focus on the changes in technology rather than the changes in teaching and learning we simply use technology to “recreate education as it is.” What is so profoundly innovative about recording voice and sharing it?"

....fair question...and one that we should easily be able to defend...if not to others at least ourselves and our students whenever we utilise technology to support learning. I know there are some innovative examples of the impact podcasting has had on student learning and I believe if you delve deeper you will find it has not been driven by the technology but rather in response to the learning purpose and through facilitating experiences that both challenge and support students to think, reflect and make new connections both virtually and F2F.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Meme: 8 Random Facts

I can't escape...tagged by Rachel and Jocelyn

First, the Rules:
* Post these rules before you give your facts
* List 8 random facts about yourself
* At the end of your post, choose (tag) 8 people and list their names, linking to them
* Leave a comment on their blog, letting them know they’ve been tagged

1. I am the eldest of 4 girls.
2. I am a first generation New Zealander on my father's side and a 21st generation on my mothers.
3. I spent 8 weeks working on the kill floor of a deer abattoir one holidays good money when you're a student...but never again!
4. 'Return of the Jedi' is my favourite Star Wars movie, LOTR is my favourite all time movie.
5. I did not change my surname when I got married.
6. I am reading Thomas Friedman's, The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century, interesting, but I enjoyed HP better.
7. I am far to attached too my Mac.
8. My favourite drink is a martini made with Bombay Sapphire

I tag:

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Second Life

With the rain thundering down and HP & the Deathly Hallows read, I thought it was as good a time as any to spend exploring Second Life.
I didn’t want to spend too much time wandering around and I'm not one for reading manuals so did a quick search on keywords ‘education’ and ‘kiwi’ to see if I could locate some like minded people.

First up I met the organiser of a group of kiwi educators (NMIT Garden of Learning on EDUisland) who invited me to their weekly get together. This was time well spent with Arwena Starburst the group’s organiser and some other Kiwi educators exploring what is possible in Second Life. Amongst other things I did learn how to create an object. Challenging, with the whole 3D thing going on, but with the patience and help of Arwena and Isa I succeeded. Here we all are sitting on the finished product (that’s me in the middle…Irihipeti Kayo)

My biggest challenge was landing in a dignified fashion after flying. Some wonderful people in the ISTEisland(International Society for Technology in Education ) to the rescue there too. I had discovered that to right click on the mouse I needed to use the Apple Key not the Ctrl as usual, and after chatting with Clare and KJ I can now land without falling flat on my face!...thanks for the wings too Clare.

Also spent some time with some other ISTE people starting to explore ‘voice’ which I am told is only new and active in a few places in Second Life…very much like participating in a Skype conference call …setting some protocols up always helps and a headset and microphone will be essential.

So all up I found the whole experience fun however I would recommend seeking out groups such as ISTE island and EduIsland ll, will save time as they are all very helpful and have many organised events especially geared towards education and eLearning.
As result of this first Second Life adventure I can imagine some interesting and exciting possibilities for education. If you are in Second Life, and see me say hello…I am Irihipeti Kayo.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Cluster Share - Milford Teacher Inquiry

"Often in our classrooms we get so busy planning for and managing the lessons we do with our students that we don’t allow ourselves time to reflect...Taking the time to reflect critically on the things we are doing in our classrooms is perhaps the most effective thing we can do to ensure that what we are doing is having the desired outcomes, and is changing our practice in the ways we want it to" (Wenmoth, 2007).

Cluster Share Milford 2007

Our third Cluster Share this year was hosted by Milford School. Teachers shared, through a selection of classroom-based breakouts, the eLearning inquiries they have been exploring this year. These included a variety of ways they have been utilising ICTs to support student learning along with challenges and recommendations. This was a new format for our Cluster Shares and provided opportunities for all teachers to participate through questioning and contributions as we hoped the sessions would develop as a professional conversation rather than a 'sit and git'.

An important step in our teacher inquiry process is to reflect and teachers have found their participation has also provided them with opportunities and time to think critically about about what is happening in their classroom.

A big thank you to the Milford teachers who have also posted their resources on the cluster wiki including their contact details for cluster teachers who need to follow up from the breakouts they attended.
Click here for the wiki page.