Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Learning, Links and Laughs @ EduCampNZ

"Go with the flow, follow your passion, take responsibility for your own learning"...three tips from as we headed into our e-Learning un-conference, EduCampNZ, on Saturday 24th July.

Hosted at Summerland School in West Auckland, over 70 inspirational educators participated and contributed to a day of learning, links and laughs. We kicked EduCampNZ off with SpeedGeeking. Using TwitterTime each participant had 140 seconds to introduce themselves and share what is currently on their radar.

We also introduced a Smackdown to EduCampNZ this year after Dorothy, Rocky and I had participated in similar sessions at the ISTE conference last month. Both these sessions provided opportunities to connect with others and identify similar interests to pursue throughout the day.

'Everything EduCampNZ' can be explored from our wiki including a shared Google Doc with links and contributions from participants, The Smackdown WallWisher, #EducampNZ Twitter stream and photos.

We would also appreciate your suggestions and feedback to assist the organisation of future un-conference events. We are excited that educators in other regions are exploring the possibilities of running similar events and your recommendations would be valued. Feedback can be posted on the wiki.

I want to again acknowledge the generosity of all participants... from the staff and students of Summerland Primary, to the educators who contributed especially those that travelled from beyond West Auckland... Arohanui.

The following video is my attempt to capture some of the EduCampNZ highlights! Because it was shot on July 24, 2010 I have also submitted it to Life In A Day, a project documenting a single day on earth.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Artefacts of Assination & Tweet Preservation*

At ISTE10 I targetted a number of breakouts focussing on the use of primary sources. Fascinating to spend time exploring "the raw materials of history" and considering potential to guide students towards higher-order thinking.
Identified a number of resources and strategies with possibilities to support the effective use of digital content relevant to the development of Digistore. Rocky and I will share further on the Digistore wiki in the coming months.
Until then here are a few primary source taonga (treasures) worthwhile exploring. Most of these sites also include useful guidelines for teaching with primary sources:
  • The Library of Congress: A variety of useful resources for teachers. I have highlighted and saved to my Delicious Links with descriptions.
  • DocsTeach an educational tool from the US National Archives Experience that includes support for using primary source documents.
  • NASA eClips short, relevant educational video segments.
  • C-SPAN Classroom Free primary source materials covering government proceedings and public affairs programming.
  • Digital Vaults: Explore the US National Archives collection, using the media rich version of this site browse through hundreds of photographs, documents, and film clips. Register and create your own collection of records, create pathway challenges, posters and films to share. Also see example Creating Student Sleuths: Primary Source Investigation
  • World Digital Library Home primary materials from countries and cultures around the world in multilingual format.
What are primary sources? Check out these two extremes...

Artefacts of Assassination and Tweet Preservation*

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Math Snacks...yum!

We had a great conversation with some of the Math Snacks team on Wednesday, Debbie Michels and Milos Savic. Math Snacks are short animations and mini–games, each presenting a mathematical concept and designed to help learners "get it".

Each snack can be used and integrated much the same way as we use Digistore content and can be saved on mobile devices (from iTunesU) for students to revisit. They are also supported by both student and teacher guides, available for download.

Debbie shared examples of student outcomes from the use of Math Snacks and very kindly agreed to an on the spot, impromptu, reflection on the benefits of integrating Math Snacks in combination with other relevant digital content and learning experiences. The following was filmed on my iPhone in a very busy open space @ ISTE 2010 (~3:30min). Debbie makes useful connections to the key messages about when digital content is most effective.

Debbie on the purpose of Mathsnacks..."can students develop enough of a conceptual understanding to give greater meaning to their learning?"

Day in Denver

Took a few hours to engage my "travelling mindset" on Thursday, after 5 valuable days of ISTE10 conversations, challenges and new ideas. We were lucky enough to be guided by a home grown Denverite. He must have told his stories many times over in the past however his first hand historical knowledge of the area and its people added much depth and colour to the experience.

"Can't you's easy...if you consider things from another point of view" (DB Boulevard)
Get the flash player here: