Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Gafe Summit NZ14- Powerful Learning at its best!

Over the past two days I have attended another amazing #gafesummit right from my work desk, (coffee and heater) included. I hadbeen unpacking the learning from #gafesummit South I attended last week when I realised there was more learning available. Enter the Twitter stream with comments, viewpoints, shared docs, videos and lots of Google Goodies shared. How much Google Goodness can be shared, is it googleable?

So, now my turn to share - here is the link to the GAFE Summit North storify I have created as a record of teacher collaboration. I have not included all Tweets, so my apology if yours did not make the cut. Special shout out to @ClaireAmos, @Karen098, @MSimms on sharing notes on Jim Sill's You Tube workshop.

Also two brilliant blog posts from @chasingalyx on the two days.

Need more?

Read @anneken's blog posts from the South Island #gafesummit  and also @1MvdS for her storify
as well.

So it is now back to the grind... but wait, while my colleagues are unaware, I shall be approaching Term  2, not as a cat, but as a dog!
 Love, love this video - thanks you to those who shared the link. A real LOL moment all alone in the cold office!

And just one more - Now filled with Googleness, here's how we are thinking about teaching our classes in Term 2.

Friday, April 25, 2014

My subject is war...

Today is Anzac Day, a day that is very important here in New Zealand and Australia. We remember the soldiers from both countries, the ANZACs who fought and died at Gallipoli, Turkey. From the dawn services to special school assemblies to newspaper and television coverage, we New Zealanders remember our soldiers from all wars. As an English teacher, I always try to teach some War Poetry around this time. It seems that there are too many wars to choose from, and even currently images from the war in Syria and Ukraine dominate our news. For me, there are many war poems I teach or read to my students so that it is sometimes difficult to pick one or two. For today, Anzac day, Flanders Field seems appropriate. Image sourced from Wikipedia

Thursday, April 24, 2014

GAFE Summit Day 2

Day 2 Tweets in Storify

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

GAFE Summit Christchurch Day1 Storify and 2 cool links

1)Day 1 Twitter Feed via Storify 2)Jennie Magiera's Awesome Blog - Teaching like it's 2999 3)Live Blog - Day 1 from Anne K

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Forget big change, start with a tiny habit: BJ Fogg at TEDxFremont

If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude.


I have been thinking a lot about change lately. I have changed jobs, I have changed houses(temporarily for earthquake repairs), I have changed schools (new job!) my city is changing(post Earthquake) education is changing, technology is changing, the weather is changing...

Change can often be seen negatively. Am I old enough to be one of those people saying "well in the old days..." Yes, Ok I have said that but sometimes it is not about the change itself, but how we deal with it. We often think that change will be difficult, we won't be able to do it, what if I can't do it, what if...

I came across this TED talk about changing behaviour one small habit at a time. It certainly made me think about how and why we change what we are doing. Change in an organisation needs to be doable, often needs to be a small change that can be embedded and is then sustainable. Successful change should be celebrated and shared. And if it takes some people a little longer and they see this as failure,  remember FAIL stands for first attempt at learning. 

Just what I was saying Tony, thanks.

Here's the video ( It is 17 mins long but I enjoyed it.)

Monday, April 7, 2014

Meeting an innovative educator -Making Learning Happen

Last week I was fortunate to listen to, and meet Abdul Chohan, from Essa Academy in Manchester. He is the director there and is an ADE and has The schools we work at are very different. This year I am lucky to be at high achieving school which has just implemented a 1.1 laptop policy with a robust (usually) wifi and full-time IT support staff.
"In December 2008, Hayward School - our school - was at the point of being closed down. Poor attendance and years of underachievement had cemented a culture of low expectations. Failure was often seen as inevitable. In each of the previous four years, the proportion of students getting five A*-C grades including maths and English at GCSE was below 30%.  Students lacked aspiration and staff lacked inspiration. Our use of technology was ineffective and expensive: " ...)read the rest

I had read about Essa Academy and their use of iPods a few years ago. I had also watched videos of students engaged in learning with their devices. It was great to meet Abdul and hear how far the school has progressed, now using iPads and creating their courses on iTunesU. Some of my takeaways from the afternoon were about how to implement change,having a school vision, building belief in students(and staff) being transparent and developing people. Teaching and Learning is about building relationships, no matter what school we are at. It is always about learning, not the technology. 

Below is Abdul's talk at the "Learning Without Frontiers" Conference