Thursday, November 22, 2012

"It's learn, create, share, Miss Aireen!"

"How many teachers in class this morning?"
With over 50 students in the room today there was an almost tangible hum of learning and collaboration. Students talking about their learning, problem solving, planning and negotiating. All was right with the world in Miss Aireen's Year 5 class this morning.

As a 1:1 netbook class, the students had invited Miss Swift's Year 3 class to buddy up and create presentations of their learning to share on their class blog.

I valued the opportunity to observe how the Year 5 students have grown this year in their confidence to utilise their netbooks and the web based learning environments including Google Apps for Education (GAFE).

However on reflection I suspect that what was happening in Miss Aireen's class this morning was much more complex. All students were highly motivated and drawing on many of the Key Competencies to interact with each other.  

"26 teachers in the class this morning, Miss Aireen"

"It's learn, create, share, Miss Aireen!" (Taylor, Year 5)

The Year 5 students were challenged to not only manage themselves as learners but also draw on a variety of digital and learning focused strategies to transfer their new learning and share with their Year 3 buddies. The NZC highlights the importance of students being "challenged and supported to develop in contexts that are increasingly wide-ranging and complex".  It was particularly affirming to see the students respond so confidently and harness their digital learning to enrich opportunities for learning in this face-to-face context.

Currently the Year 3 students have GAFE accounts and Miss Swift reports that support for their class blog grows daily. I am confident the increased opportunities for them to buddy with the 1:1 netbook class will continue to build on the sharing and grow interactions with community both in school and beyond. Truly the students must be recognised as the strongest advocates for the investment their families and schools continue to make in their learning.

Monday, November 5, 2012


Click image to zoom
If you are serious about growing your professional learning network (PLN) you need to be serious about managing information flows on Twitter. There are lots of great Web2.0 apps available for Twitter however a good place to start is a Twitter App to manage the information flow. 

After trying a few different apps I set up Hootsuite earlier this year. Because Hootsuite is web based, organising Twitter on my Mac and having the same set up available when I logged in on my phone or iPad was a definite bonus. Also the HootSuite App Directory allows me to add other social networks and tools into my dashboard. I have found the ability to set up tabs and streams particularly valuable for monitoring:
  • different themes or groups
  • #tags for current events and topics
  • Twitter lists I have created or follow
  • conversations that I may have missed
  • Tweets that mention me - it's important to respond when you are included in the conversation whether it be to answer/ask a question, add more information or reTweet for acknowledgement.
While it's not possible to read all Tweets I am following Hootsuite enables me to organise and track what's relevant for me while still enjoying the serendipidous learning that is Twitter.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Multiple Users in Chrome

Update to this post Friday 15th January 2016

Working across multiple GAFE sites and Google Accounts can be made a lot easier by using the multiple users feature in Chrome. I created this Screenr for our GoogleFest session at #uLearn12 in October demonstrating how I have set this up for 15 school GAFE and Blogger accounts.