Monday, 30 November 2009

A Peek for a Week - Inside a Kiwi Junior Classroom

If you've read my earlier post about the 2009 K12 Online Conference, you'll know that I am absolutely HONOURED to be keynoting the "Week in the Classroom" strand.

Below is the finished presentation (not perfect, but finished!)
It was a huge task trying to assemble one ACTUAL week of learning into a virtual presentation for a worldwide audience. Huge thanks go to my class Room 9 for all the help they gave me with the planning and videoing of what was to go on our presentation.

I hope you enjoy taking a Peek for a Week inside my Kiwi Junior Classroom...

Thursday, 26 November 2009

K12 Online Conference 2009

If you haven't taken part in this wonderful learning experience before, you're in for a treat!

The K12 Online Conference is a totally FREE international conference open to anyone from around the globe. For educators by educators if you're interested in integrating technologies into classroom practice you'll LOVE the conference. View and learn from international presenters all from the comfort of your armchair - now that's great professional learning!
Check out the conference teaser below for details of presentations:

I am also honoured and excited to be among the fantastic presenters at this year's K12 Online Conference. My presentation "A Peek at a Week - Inside a Kiwi Junior Classroom" is the Keynote for the Week 2 "A Week in the Classroom" strand. Check out my teaser below for a sneak preview...

You don't have to wait until November 30th to begin the learning. Take a look into the treasure trove that dates back three years on the right sidebar of the K12Online site.
Catch you at the conference (well virtually anyway!)

Now Live! 

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

For Kids - By Kids: Nelson Kids' ICT Expo

...a powerful concept and one I was only too proud to be involved with last week as my ICT Cluster hosted the 2nd Nelson Kids' ICT Expo.

The expo was a wonderful 2 days of busy, exciting and intriguing action! 8 out of our 9 cluster schools were involved and all had a wide variety of different technologies and uses of technologies in teaching and learning to show and demonstrate. Over the 2 days over 2,000 students from all of our cluster schools visited and got to 'have a go', see what the other schools were up to and learn from other students.

Take a look at the video below that I made with my class to see what it was like at the expo:
(We luckily chose a not so busy time to film!)

Personally the most powerful part of the expo was having nearly half of my year 2 students (6 and 7 years old) presenting and demonstrating at the expo. It truly has been a highlight of year for these students and they made us all so proud!

Demonstrating and teaching like professionals; between the 12 of them they demonstrated and taught their way through over 2,000 students ranging in age from 5 - 13 years old!

Two of the stations were good old 'have a go' set ups where one student was in charge and assisted other students. We had a Kidpix art station where kids could come and create something awesome and a Tutpup station where students could come and challenge themselves in mathematics. The Tutpup station was an absolute hit with the students as it appears my school is one of the few in our area to be using it with students. Teachers' comments like "I've never seen my students so excited about maths!" flew during the two days.

One of the best initiatives we introduced this year was my class handing out small cards (like business cards) to students after they'd had a go at something completely new. These cards hadall the information and detail on them that they'd need to access the tool when back at school or home. You can see the cards as pictures here (click to enlarge).

Our third station my students ran was more challenging. They were demonstrating how to use the site xtranormal to make a animated movie based on their Inquiry learning topic about healthy streams.

I had used xtranormal with my class earlier in the term to introduce the topics we'd be learning about in the coming weeks, it was an absolute hit with my class! When it came time to think about the Kids' Expo it was an obvious choice.

I "sold" it to my group as their chance to be a movie director, writer and producer... they would get to choose their cast, setting and write the script for their movie. I also showed them the "Magicam" button which was the true trick to success for my 6 and 7 year olds - it automatically controls and varies the camera angles to make the movie look interesting.

After a basic introduction and some experimenting I gave my students a project brief to guide them. I also spent a a few lunchtime sessions with my group asking them questions that would most likely be asked by students and teachers at the expo. After less than 2 weeks they were ready. Take a look at one of the results from two 6 year olds:

It has been truly amazing to watch the growth in confidence and the huge amount of bravery shown by my group of 6 and 7 year olds. With good scaffolding and structure coupled with good preparation and support from whanau they have been able to step out of their comfort zones and truly teach and help other students.

This morning at the Techie Brekie session that I run weekly they taught the teachers!

Friday, 31 July 2009

Wow, it's been a while...

It's been over a year since my last edublog post (this is sounding like a confession)...

With so many professional projects on the go both with my staff and class, coupled with my personal life, it's been hard to justify or find the time to spend writing a post for my edublog. That's not to say that I've not had many, many thoughts about writing a post however...

This year I've continued leading staff at my school in their eLearning PD. It has been so rewarding to see the change in their pedagogies over the past 2 and a half years. The 'shift' has been made by many of our teachers, now when we introduce a new tool they are able to creatively use it appropriately in their teaching to enhance learning/communication/sense of community.

I'm also, of course, still teaching full time year 2 students. They're such a neat bunch of 26 kids who take everything in their stride and lap up all the scaffolding I provide for them. They are developing such independent skills and love being able to use all aspects of technology in their learning. They amaze me everyday in the way that they seamlessly use digital learning tools with growing confidence and fearlessness.

  • Our Class Learning Hub (wiki) provides much of the structure throughout the day and allows even 6 year olds some independence when navigating the web for their learning:

I've also had plenty of time this year to work with other teachers from other schools and clusters. Meeting a variety of teachers from around the country is always exciting and the discussions that flow always rewarding. In the recent school holidays I was invited to do a keynote presentation and workshop at the Eastnet Cluster Expo, this proved nerve-wracking but was most definetly a rewarding professional experience being only my 2nd keynote speech/address.

Coupled with all this exciting stuff, I was absolutely amazed and honoured a month ago to have been asked to present a keynote for the 'Week in the Classroom' strand of the 2009 K12 Online Conference. Stay tuned for more on this!!!

So yes, still very much in the scene, still learning, unlearning and relearning and hopefully helping others to do the same!

Keep an eye out for me :)

Image attributions:
'In Search Of Lost Time'
Keynote photo by @heymilly