Wednesday, 11 July 2018

GAFE-Closing Ignites Session

Kim Sutton-Good Questions
Kim started by talking about how she was not 100% sure on what she want to share. Then she had a discussion with Jesse and this lead to her topic. She talked about all the questions that she and many other debated at university.

She then said this does not add up to the the number of questions kids ask about 437 a day. Some questions by kids are pretty common "will you play with me?" but they can be crazy like "why is hate more important then love?"

Why do you ask these questions? "Because if I don't ask question, how will I know what to change in the world. "

Questions are probably more important today then answers

Ky Staal and Lara Ferri- young entrepreneur project
These students' took us back to year 10 in which they took two weeks to follow their passions. They had to employ the teachers and get them to help them. They had to make sure their project help their community and school. 

We watched a video that explained this and showed how students took on the leadership roles in these projects. 

They shared through a fair in their school hall explaining how their projects had an impact for them, others and the wider community. 

"In order to evolve other education system we must first involve the student" This quote stood out for me. 

Michael Davidson-Lego stories
Micheal talked about how one learner changed his perception of education. He talked about how the lego in his classroom allowed a learner with very little english told his stories.

He said "innovation is a state of mind". I am not sure I agree with this. I think yes you have to have a drive and a passion and a mindset but innovation needs to much more it needs partners, time, thought, challenge, risk.

How can you watch learners and notice what they are doing and allow them to build with it.

Jay Atwood- What Gran has to say
Jay grew up in a small town with a town moto of "Where tradition meets tomorrow."

-Know what is trending
His Gran, new what was happening.
  1. Know what is trending
  2. Share what you learn
  3. Everything is hard before it is easy.
It takes a teacher to make that link from hard to easy. The role of teacher are changing. This image is what you get when you google teacher.

But that is not reality. Don’t say “it is easy” learning is messy but what if we can get kids from the point where it is hard to where it is easy.
4. Have fun with it.

Don’t be afraid to enjoy the challenges just because it is hard doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it.

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

GAFE-Manaiakalani Google Class Onair

In this session Rebecca Spies talked about her experience as a Class OnAir teacher. I really loved the way she openly shared about this experience.

She explained that each lesson has:
-A video of the lesson
-Lesson Plan (this is an extended plan that has lots of detail to help teachers).
-Learner created content.

We watched a lovely video of the learners in her class exploring their five senses and looking at describing what they experienced using scientific language.

Class OnAir gives the kids a chance to get even more exposure and more comments which provide questions and prompts to think more.

These are the fantastic teachers who share their teaching through Class Onair

I really enjoyed this session because it gave me a change to really explore the Class OnAir videos with someone their who could explain and add to my experience. 

GAFE- Google Science Journal

Kim Sutton works for Google and works with many Educators to support them in their use of Google products. She is a teacher who has taught a range of year levels.

Todays session is on Google Science Journal. This App allows you to use a range of sensors on our phone or iPad to record experiences and understand, sound, light, distance etc.

You can use it to collect data and add notes. You can add sensors on to it you can code with it. On the Science journal you can get the code. 

This app is awesome. They are working on Google Drive integration for this awesome tool. However Kim was not sure of the timeline for this. 

There are lots of cool lessons that use the music videos from OKGO. These are are very cool and provide motivation and creative experiences for kids.

There are loads and loads of great ideas of how to use the science journal app for many different curriculum areas. You can find the resources and ideas here.

Thanks Kim I loved your session and can't wait to start using this App with my class. 

GAFE-Create A Formative Assessment System Empower by G Suite

John Meng- Works at Rooty Hill High School. He supports teachers to step up their practice. He also teaches Maths and Languages. He leads teams in these areas. 

This workshop looked at the pedagogy behind formative assessment. This will centre around his experiences.

We started by talking about our own experiences of formative assessment.
-Someone shared their use of Google forms as a way of doing formative assessment.
-Bump it up wall, students compare their work to the wall. They also get feedback throughout the process. This allowsto peer support a critique.
Image result for formative assessment

What is formative assessment: This is assessment that happens within the process of learning. 

One way of thinking about assessment is... When a chief tastes a soup, they can change it to salty, they can change it, That is formative. When a Chief serves the soup to the customer, That is summative

We see that feedback has a huge impact for learners. We need to identify the gap from what we know to what we ned to know.


Feedback alone is not enough, it has to be coupled with motivation and we want this motivations to be internal. John suggested that Doug Fisher's model is a positive model for formative assessment.

Here is the video he shared
We learn language by producing language, if we are using academic language student's should be using this language as this is home we learn it. 

He talked a lot about the use of interaction on Google slides. Powtoon could be good for instruction and modelling.

GAFE Sydney-PBL in a Google World

In this session Kimberly Hall helped us to explore project based learning and different digital tools that could be used to help with different elements of the inquiry or project based learning. 

Developing the question 

The first tool we looked at was Answer Garden. This tool is ideal for seeing prior knowledge. It is good as it has a live nature kids can contribute multiple responses however you can only write the same thing once.
Kimberly talked about the the classroom mode being the best. Make sure you turn on the spam filter and you may want to change the settings to hidden. 

We all use Google search all the time. This site Google Inside Search When we search a person, place or thing a knowledge card comes up on the right hand side which provides details about it and related things which can extend understanding.

Padlet has some great updates that you may not be aware of, you can add images, videos, voices, memos. It is not as usable as you only get three boards.

Canva is something I have used as a professional to create infographics. It can also be used to make certificates etc. Another place for creating infographics is Piktochart.

Accessibility tools

Rewordify- You can put in a lump of text and it literally rewords it. Changing the language for kids who struggle to read at that level. You can get it to highlight parts of speech. You can get it to make activities that could provide some opportunities to dive into the language. 

DotEPub-This terms a webpage into an Ebook. 

Read&write-This tool is an equaliser for for kids. It has a tool bar that does text to speech, it highlights the sentence. You can highlight text and it will read that specific section. It has highlighting tool so kids can highlight key information that they identify in their research. It will create a Google doc with the things that are highlighted text and it links back to the source.   You can simplify the content. 

This is definitely a tool that I will be exploring some more in the future. 
Thanks Kimberly for sharing. I really enjoyed these tools and believe many can be used across the curriculum. 

GAFE Presenting

Yesterday I presented two sessions on making and using Google Sites. I really enjoyed these sessions and want to thank Jackie who stepped up to help me today with my lovely friend Dani Stone being sick. 

During these session I had great attendance and met some lovely people who learnt along side me. The biggest challenge for me in these sessions way the variety of people who were all at different stages in their sites learning. It was also interesting presenting at this amazing Sydney summit as NSW has a different curriculum then us. 

Thank you to everyone who attended my session.

Here are our session resources

Monday, 9 July 2018

GAFE Sydney-The Power of Possibility Part Two

Assessment with the growth mindset

We need to remember there are two types of assessment: 

Assessment FOR Learning- Here we can give feedback on the process and praise failure. 
Assessment OF Learning

We want to shift the focus from feedback for a grade to feedback to add to our learning and improve. 

The power of multiple people building on their ideas and providing feedback is amazing. The way kids give feedback is different from the way we do and can be very important for our learners. 

You can used revision history and get students to name their process. 

When and where:
You could use growth language messages in our Google forms confirmation messages. 

If we want to create a growth mindset in your classroom, we need to make it our culture. 

When we are giving feedback we often use statements, can we flip these and use questions that make our students think. 

What are we praising?
-Result (Growth) 

The problem is we have all of these fraises that actually cultivate a fixed mindset. 

This year has all been about language for me. We as a school are focusing on what language we use and the way we teach language. The words that we use in our classroom make the culture of the classroom. 

Maybe the language we start with is the word YET. 

We need to be building the language of positivity and growth in our classrooms. 

We are teachers are the chief of mindset in our classroom. 

GAFE Sydney-The Power of Possibility Part One

I am excited to be at another one of Lindsay Wesner wonderful sessions. I really enjoyed her session and Keynote at the Auckland Summit. I love her positive attitude and think it is just want I need to help get rid of my half way through the year vibe. 

So what is growth mindset: As a group we created a share understanding of what growth mindset is. 

Here is Lindsays redesigned graphic that shows these ideas beautifully:
We need to remember the power of "yet". I have not got this 'YET!'

As teachers we all design tasks. Is there something we can do to make sure the task itself is cultivating growth mindset. We talked about this and played Bingo. Here is how we went:

How do we provide multiple choices within our learning tasks. How do we provide scaffolding in a discreet why.  

We can create a multiple pathway learning journey that supports students learning. This is done using move to section based on answer. We can use choice boards to allow students to demonstrate their understanding in non-traditional ways. 

When we see the process we see the mindset. 

GAFE Sydney-Capes Not Required

I am very excited to by at the GAFE conference in Sydney. The room is buzzing as we wait for the opening Keynote. All the MIT teachers are double checking resources and excite to share their experiences with a whole new Audience. 

Our opening Keynote speaker is Jesse Lubinsky he comes to us today from New Zealand, America were he is an innovator and technology leader.

Jesse talked about how he spent his childhood growing up in Brooklyn, in an apartment and Wednesday is new comic book day. He talk about how Superheroes are relatable for children and adults. He believes that every kids is a superhero but they don't have capes. Often as we go into teaching we think about this saying:

But what if your role as teacher is not to be the hero but to bring out the hero in our learners.

So what is our role in the heroes story? We would like to say that we are the mentor but sometimes the system or us can but barriers in the way for our heroes (students) that make them feel incapable.

We should consider the habits of mind.

What can we do as educators to bring out the hero in our kids:

Encourage their passions
One students passions was encourage was Jordan, who is a foodie and she has her own food blog. Jordan's lunchbox. What gave her this change is the support she got from her teacher and many people in her school who encouraged her.

Provide Opportunities
Students can be very passionate but this does not get fostered at school and this creates a disconnect for learners and as a result they don't feel that school supports them. 

One way Jesse suggested we do this could be through 20% time or Genius Hour. 

What if? 
-What if we are missing something? What if we are not listening enough to the people who this impacts most the kids. Jesse talked about how they change their school innovation fund so that kids could directly apply for funding for projects that will support their local community. 

At lot of the projects were around supporting younger students in communities. 

Celebrate their Scars 
Daniel Kish is blind and yes he found that hard but he way lucky because he was supported people didn't over over protect him. He used this freed to learn to echolocate. Now he teaches over people how to see without seeing just like him. 

There can be enjoy in failure. The things we hold the most dear are the things we struggle to get over and over until we finally get it. This is the same for our kids.  

Honour Individuality 
All of our students have challenges. Some of these challenges are physical but others are on the inside. Jordan Reeves age 10 has only one arm. Her is her story. Hilde is a reporter, she has her own news site. She covers things in her life. She has parents who are journalist. At 9 years of age there was a murder in her block. That wasn't received well by all. Here is her news site. To Honour their individuality we must know our learners. 

So is it true what Syndrom said "When everyone is super, no one is" No I don't think so we can all be super because with great power comes great possibility

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Maths Norms and Language

One of the big language wins for me in my inquiry this year has been the establishment of a shared language of maths norms that we revisit regularly. This allows us to really unpack the language and have a shared understand that we continue to build on each day as we develop our shared maths community. 

As a class we have an understand that being an active listener means, listening to what others share and being able to ask questions or repeat what they have said in our own words. 

Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Pulling it all Together

As I reflect back on my inquiry so far this year I am very aware of the way that it is may little bits and I am still struggling to find the trend that pulls them all together.

As a result I wanted to go back to the problem and think about it along side the the bits and pieces I have been doing in class.

This Image shows where I am at currently with my inquiry. I now believe I need to change my project to focus more on the language and making that rewindable for the learners as that will have more impact for the people who count the most the KIDS!

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Northland Digital Fluency Intensive

Today I was privileged to spend the day with the wonderful people at the Northland Digital fluency Intensive. We talked about the importance of CONNECT and how we can gain so much by connecting with others and build on and learning from each other.

If we are all paddling the Waka the same way we can achieve great things.

I really enjoyed sharing this will these wonderful teachers who I hope to stay connected with for a long time.

Throughout the day we worked on sites and I shared this presentation with them.

It was so wonderful seeing them take all we had talked about and achieve their goals on their class sites. I am starting to see some wonderful visible learning and great thinking about why they are using their sites and what they want to do next.

I feel so humbled having watched and helped these teachers tackle their site problems and find creative and clever solutions that make their site easier to use for their students.

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Manaiakalani Staff Meeting- Creativity Empowers Learning

Creativity is one of the key values that underpins all we do as teachers. We want our learners to be doing with their hands but in the end we want to scaffold and support creative thinking.

As part of our meeting we looked at this add and the fact that it took the key message of the company and make it modern.

Here is a link to the article that describes what they did.

We talked a lot about how the history of New Zealand school is creativity. We often see our learners in the early years of their educations being very creative and often they are expected to grow out of this by WHY? This article talks more are this idea.

Create is a Doing word. We should be thinking about how we can help children create with their bodies.

This year Manaiakalani explored the ideas of what teacher believe create looks it in their classrooms. This lead to the document that explored all the ways teachers create with kids. You have seen this image before but it seemed important to share again the image created to show this idea behind create.

Choice is always a key elements. How to we provide choice in creativity? 

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

High Expectation Teaching Chistine Rubie-Davies

Why should we worry about expectation? 
It all boils down to self belief. If we believe we can do it then we try and try again. But if we don't believe we can do it then we are more likely to give up.

As Educators the expectation we hold of students is are shown to them in everything we do. They things we say and that we don't say. The things we do and don't do.

The way we teach and the activities we give student show our expectations.

If we think about this in terms of our teaching, having high expectation of all learners builds students self-efficacy and belief in themselves. High expectation teacher hold the whole class accountable, they do not just hold extension students accountable. By having high expectation teachers push students to make significant gains and students self belief also grows when they are with a high expectation teacher.

So what do high expectation teachers do?
-They spend a lot of time teaching
-Ask lots of questions, high level questions of all learners.
-They support students to get the the answer by rephrasing or scaffolding. 
-They give specific goal based feedback
-Behaviour management, they used setting up statements. "I am looking for the group who are working quietly"

  • One thing that stands out of me was that high expectation teachers did not use ability groups they used flexible groups or mixed ability grouping. 

  • These teachers used data to support students to formulate goals. That are specific to students needs. 

  • They have a warm classroom culture where students and teachers have positive relationships. They also have positive relationships between students. 

  • Learners had a lot of choose within their learning pathways and they taught using a range of books on a topic and allow students to choose. 
Rubie-Davies top three things that high expectation teachers have were flexible groupings, establishing a positive classroom culture and goal setting. 

My takeaways: 
  • Can I use more flexible groups specifically in literacy to support student growth. 
  • How can I use more goal setting based on testing and allow for checking and changing of goals. 
  • I have noticed that students in my classes are becoming more aware of their evaluating themselves. 
  • Can I send more positive notes home. 

Monday, 21 May 2018


Today we once again met at the wonderful offices of KPMG who so kindly host us for our MIT days. The day started out with reflection. This is nothing new for most teacher we reflect all the time, but this reflection was a little bit different. Today we talked about reflecting on our beliefs about teaching and what they mean in for our learners and ourselves.

This has been something I have ponded a lot recently as I have thought about what has made the change it attitude for my learners from being unmotivated to upset when they don't feel they have met their personal best.

This reflection was very positive for me as it made me think about how my expectations have help my learners to have higher expectations of themselves.

As the day went on we talked more about our inquiries and questioned ourselves and our current think. I have been thinking a lot about how my integration is going and I believe I need to step up the level of challenge in the coding and be more specific with language teaching.

I awesome need to make more connections and reconsider who can really help me make the difference for my learners.

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Creativity Empowers Learning

This term our Manaiakalani focus across the cluster is on create and more specifically how creativity empowers learning.

To start off term to with a bang Ms Eadie and I applied these principles to our first week of term. We wanted learners to create to see the different simple machines and focus at play. We thought carefully about each tasking making sure we were using the senses to engage the learners brains.

Throughout this immersion which took place over a number of day with students working in small groups. Learners created physically and digital. Here are some examples of the activities they engaged in.

We had three activities that I could call art activities however I they were also about thinking, folding and testing ideas.

1. Paper plane, a tried and true way of examining focuses and motion.

2. Marble run piece, Each student design their own piece which would later become a large marble run on our classroom wall.

3. Simple machines, learners thought carefully about what pathways in their brains might look like if depicted by a range of interacting simple machines.

We had three activities I would call building. These were all very different from each other.

1. Creating ramps for car. This was a very open task and different group made very different things. They explored how different slopes could change the speed of the car.

2. iPad building task. These were Apps design to provide simple machines that student could put in different orders to explore how movement occurred.

3. Marble run, students used the pieces to construct their own towers and test them to see how the marble moved.

Movement, well there was movement in all our activities. In the art activities through learners hand and arms. In the building tasks moving around to find the material and creating with them. The last task was design to be a movement task.

1. Ten Pin bowling, students engaged in ten pin bowling aiming to use their bodies to throw the ball and hit the pins. It was great to see lots of creative thinking about the best way to bowl the ball.

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

Coding Fun and Frustration

This year I wanted to take on coding as one of the tool and a lenses that I used to address the issue of Mathematical reasoning and language that my learners were facing. In term one I looked at coding 'theory' with my kids. I did this through using the CS unplugged tasks and adapting them for Explain Everything on students iPads.

This term we have begun using scratch and first thing I noticed was the problem solving. Student in my class knew what they wanted to happen but they found that when they pressed run what they had coded was not what they expected. This lead to a lot of great questions and talk in my classroom as learner drew on the skills of others or tackled the problem on their own.

Well there was a lot of talk reflecting back I am skill concerned about the quality of the talk. I think for my next lesson on coding I want to draw on some of the ideas Dr Jannie van Hees shared with us and scaffold specific vocabulary which we will continue to build in our cries for help and frustration as we solve our coding challenges.

Assessment of and for learning

Thank you very much to the wonderful Angela Moala who shared with me her response to what Dr Aaron Wilsons shared with us last week. This is my response and I am very grateful for Angela's suggestion and structure which has really helped me to clarify my ideas in response to the importance of assessment in inquiry.

Monday, 7 May 2018

Formative assessment in teaching as inquiry

As we engage in inquiry is to keep our eyes on the prize and be very aware of our inquiry question and theory of outcome. What do you want to achieve? 

Often we see research that is unclear as to the exactly changed in practice and for learners as research describes things in wishy washy terms. We need to very aware of capturing (recording) what we are doing and having informal and formal ways of assessing and monitoring this. 

In inquiry you make lots and lots of choices, changes and moves if you don't record these they are lost and we can not learn from nor can others. Ask the kids to monitor your changes in practice they should be learning a long side you and part of the inquiry process. 

You want to be able to say able that the changes you have made have with in reason been the factors that have impacted upon learning. 

We want to use repeated measures, this might be before, during and after. They should be formative and summative. The Everyday moves are important they inform next steps. Capture and monitor learners and learning.

There is a place for formal check points these would be formalised data. By setting a date you are making sure that you are doing these check points and making sure you capture it. 
You might use a checkpoint to check on of the smaller skills that you are focusing on. 
The information that you are collecting for this should fall out naturally from the intervention. 

Don't forget the kids. Student voice is key. 

Language in Abundance-Dr Jannie van Hees

We know that language come in the forms of spoken and written. We must remember that both forms of language are important. We make sure our learners are exposed to a number of novel text that engage learners in a new meaningful vocabulary and grammar structures.

We are talking about Optimising Learning Conditions of Language.

Students need others language available to them. Students trying out language.
We often get a lot of language from children and this is coming at the expense of others providing meaningful language that then limits what they can draw on.

All the things we know we have learnt from others. We have had loads of exposure to language and to the knew. We need to gift them new in noticing ways. We often dig and dig into students prior knowledge we need to shift our focus to build. We should be gifting 60/40 extracting.

These are the three key ideas in building language learning.

Focus 1: Optimising learning and interactional conditions.
Focus 2: Elaborative style to pedagogical responses.
Focus 3: Scaffolding Learners to become effective conversationalists.
Focus 4: Planning, Preparing, Providing

We as teachers need to make sure these three focuses are active in this learning. We need to catch the learners and make sure that engagement is happening. We can go this through more and more peer sharing.

I believe that this is something that I have to do more of. We need to have high expectations.

The learner has to make responsibility as well they have to be attending. They have to put in the effort.

We want to make sure that students see and feel they are support each others learning.

Before engaging learners in video content you may remind them of the learner conditions Notice and Focus and tell them to caught what you can. When using video a lot of the language is not always noticed. Providing a transcript and using multimodal and foregrounding the language and they are involved in the language.

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Learn Ready

We have talked a lot this term already about what we want long term for the children we teach. We have to look at what they need to get a job and we believe that learn ready kids become employment ready adults.

We are seeing in our community more people going into employment and higher education. We have to remember that family makes a huge difference but so does school and we need to keep working reflecting and developing why we can make a difference.

The most recent PISA test of 15 year olds over the world looked into this question. What school practices made a difference for learners.

"Students who perform at Level 3 begin to demonstrate the ability to construct the meaning of a text and form a detailed understanding from multiple independent pieces of information when reading, can work with proportional relationships and engage in basic interpretation and reasoning when solving mathematics problems; and they can handle unfamiliar topics in science.

Resilience is therefore intended to capture the capacity of an individual to gain the set of skills and competencies that are essential to fully participate in society and have good chances to succeed in the labour market." 

To read more check out Russell Burt's amazing slides.

Transformational leadership

We all have to be leaders holding a shared vision.

Learn Ready kids become…... 
Explain Ready learners, become...
Employment Ready young people...

Our kids have great brains. They have an outstanding capacity to learn. We have to be critical players and expect that best because We can learn together. 

GAFE Making a Classroom Site

Hi all,

here is the presentation Danni Stone and I created for the GAFE Summit in Auckland this year. Sorry for the delay in sharing but I wanted to blog it with the video I promised at the session explaining how to make a timetable for your site.

I hope that these ideas and the video are helpful to all on a journey to creating a Google site for their Classroom.

Here is a video that will help you if you are creating a timetable for your classroom site. 

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

GAFE-Ignite Session

The Auckland Summit finished with four wonderful people they each shared a five minute presentation to inspire and provoke.

Dorothy Burt-Creativity Empowers Learning
We are entering an interesting time in education in New Zealand. Our government is throwing some things in the bin with nation standards and charter schools being the big ones. Once again we are reviewing education and exploring equity with the focus again being on access to learning for all.

Before you get to excited we should look back at the education of our past by Educators such as Elwyn Richardson. We can't just plan for our learners mind....Our young people learn through creating and doing. It can get noisy and messy but that is learning. Being creative pushes you beyond your comfort zone. So plan for creativity.

You can be part of the conversation about what tomorrows school will look like in our country, bring your voice to to the table for our kids.

Anthony Speranza-Hope,
Anthony has sought to give hope to others that positive change in education is happening. When we talk about what a good learner is teacher think one way but perhaps their actions say something different. You have heard it before our kids think they need to "listen, sit, behaviour'. Are we practicing and are the children learning what we believe and value.

Why do children in our schools want to "check out" and do youtube. We need to start unpacking the why, do they want to check out.

What is the learning we want for our learners:

  • Motivation
  • Content 
  • Skills

Here it goes again the theme of this GAFE. We Need To Take Risks!
This book is a adult picture book on leadership. I think I will be checking it out.

When will the extraordinary become ordinary? 

Dorothy Apelu-Supporting students to become better with writing using blogs.
Dorothy shared how in our cluster we have one uniting factor across our cluster. As her year nines arrived they talked about their learning journey and how they had be writing. Students were worried about housing. They all took on projects around the house and and share these on their blogs and at a cluster wide presentation.

Dorothy talked about connecting what had happened in year 8 and built on these strategies. They used quadblogging  to build their writing and connected this to Solo and the Tamaki way of learning. By connecting with a local MP students saw their voices creating change.

So CONNECT, with where your students are coming from, connect with their blogs and their past to help accelerate learning for their future!

Stuart Kelly-In the classroom, I am...

  • Aptitude
  • Attitude 
  • Altitude
Stuart asked us to consider who we are in the classroom. We are a teacher, student, a learner. I the classroom I am me. I the classroom I am We. 

Session 6: Digital Storytelling but How?

Adobe spark is a great way of making videos. We started the session by exploring it. It does have apps for Ipads.

Lindsay Wesner Blog

What makes a good story? What do you think?
This is what we came up with:
-Characters you connect with

Structure is one of the thing that is kind of challenging. Have you heard of the Story Spine:

Have you ever heard of a six word story. Six words can break you hard, make you laugh, make you cry or put a smile on your face. But six words can tell a story. This could be a great idea for kids who struggle to write long stories.

Here is my six word story. Note this is a story I made about my life. Not for the kids. 

Session 5: infographics for visualization and data

Infographics for visualization and data-Patrick Green

Data is powerful and provides use with lot of information that we can draw knowledge from. This wonderful video explains some powerful ways for kids to find the story in the data. 
By creating visual students are learning to be more critical of the visuals they are exposed to through advertising. 

Data visualisation is different from an infographic because it does not have a story. We often give students tasks but don't put them into the role of the designer. I know that sometimes I don't give enough choice in the design process. 

One of the great things about google draw is that you can put resources in the margins and these will not show in the finished product. 
  • Zoom -  highlight the area specific area that you want to zoom to.  
  • Fronts mean something-They point our brains in a directions, culture also plays into how we see fonts. The design rule, Two fonts. Heading font and script font.  
  • Colour-If you don't know what colours go together don't guess. Use the experts who put colour groups online. You might also want to try this colour picker. 

GAFE Keynote Day 2: Once upon our time Part 2

Lindsey said when she first heard about computational thinking and coding, she thought you do that I will do my thing until she saw this.

I think you should see it too.

This is why coding is important. It is helping people to solve problems in their way. They hold power and can make real difference in their lives and the lives of others. It starts with just one step.

It is not about the language of coding it is about solve a problem, about changing their world. 

What if I ask my learners to solve a problem that really bugged them. Work towards solving it or even solving it.

What Lindsey did was she got some colleagues together and did some cross-curriculum learning. Being at the point of change, at conflict and thinking, What will this look like? There are barriers like in any conflicts.

Some of these barriers are:

  • Time
You will never regret investing time in things that really matter. When you see that lightbulb moment for that learner who has not had a lightbulb moment in years. We also need to think about what teacher are doing that the learners should be doing. 
  • Curriculum
We often think "I have covered that" but did your learners engage with it. 

  • Fear
The other barriers can all be brought back to fear. Fear of what others think, Fear of change. But you can strap on your shark fin and move towards the fear.

The cross curriculum unit was based on the book the hunger games. They had one big question in four learning areas:

How can we stop South Africa from becoming like Panam or Nazi Germany?

Lindsey ended with this statement and it stood out to me. Berlin does not choose to hid their history, their pain, their war. They know it is part of their process. 

If we take our: 
Vision for the education we want to achieve. What does it look like when we give out learners storie and the space to solve these problem. 
You are not alone. We have EACH OTHER.  You are not learning alone. So connect, make friends and learn from them. 
We have our stories. My story can add value to who we are as educators and who our learners are. 

Every Story Matters! Your Story Matters!

GAFE Keynote Day 2: Once upon our time Part 1

Once upon our time by Lindsey Wesner

Lindsey began by telling us her story. She talked about how she wanted to travel and be a teacher. She talked about how she loved school and all was going really well until they (the school) decided to introduce computers. This clever girl was then faced with a problem that she didn't know much about computers. She used her smarts and sat next to some who did for the test. 

She became a teacher in a world where chalkboards and worksheets were the norm. Then she became faced with the same problem she had faced as a child technology and this time she was the teacher and there was no other child to sit next to.  

One day she faced a problem, the biggest problem, while not really. Her dogs ears would get wet in it's water bowl, until she gave the dog a different bowl. 

This taught her to Question! Just because we have alway done it one way doesn't mean it is right. She said to herself BE BRAVE! and set a goal to try one new thing each day. She said "if I am honest about this bravery, most day I was just pretending". 

This lead to Magic:
  • Students tackling real world problems.
  • Students not wanting to leave the class
  • Students being passionate
To do this she had to be outside her comfort zone and yes this is uncomfortable. But we have to put ourselves there to be at the intersection between, Education, Technology and Passion. 

Innovation is change that unlocks new value- Jamie Notter

If she stand at this point of conflict and we don't change we miss out on value. 

So what is your story:
  • What are your battle? 
  • How will our continue story?
  • How are you unlocking new value? 
In this age of technology and specifically social media we document our lives on a daily basis. So what would happen if we give our students meaning experience and document these. How can we leverage this culture of digital documentation? 

Lindsey had a task for her learners to the task to create a viral video to show relationships. These teenage boys created  movie that almost brought me to tears. She said that these kids definitely had a story to tell.

Listening to Lindsey talking made me think how am I pushing the big positive stories of my classroom. 

We all have stories and these are worth telling!

GAFE Demo Slam

What is a Demo Slam? 

This is when a range of presenter have 3mins to share their ideas and we vote of who our favourite is.

Today's Demo Slam highlights: 

YouTube Live:
You can now live stream using youtube. I won't be doing this but I know we have used it for large school events including our school Fiafia. You use the camera icon.

Fiddling with Google Doc URLs:

  • If you change the word edit to copy. 
  • You can change to the word edit to preview to see the doc. 
  • To make a Template you go-template/preview. 
  • To make a PDF-Format=pdf. 
  • Link to copy with comments- Copy/?copyComments
You can build an app in Bitbox. You can use simple script the create simple games in Bitbox using the stamps. He made a sheep  that said brrrrr and we all played it on our phones.  

Making a Map to show country Data:
You data about countries you can insert a chart that shows the data on a map. 

Digital assessment to save time. Chrome extension called check mark. This allows you to add common comments easily. You can also have a list of comments in Keep and import them into the doc. You can also save images in Google keep and use these for feedback. 

Monday, 16 April 2018

Session 4: We Cracked the Code

We Cracked the Code-Baruk Jacob and Angela Gattung

This presentation is about collaboration and connecting community program and schools.
They worked together to figure out what the schools wanted and how this would work.

The MAKER-Y program
is a portable range of kits that come into schools these are around Robics and 3D printing. The coaches help to start of the teachers. The Libraries put in time to money and time to build the kits and lessons plans.

This started with students engaging with the Robot using a remote. They quickly learnt the their was limitation to what they could do with the remote and this prompted them to learn code.

They used drawing software to create their names and and print these using 3D printer. The pilot lead of data that suggested that students self-efficacy and confidence had raisen as a result of this program.

When the coaching start they partnered with the AUT program and Masters students took on the coaching they had a lot of technical skills.

This has changed this year with the the drop out of these Masters students. Baruk has taken on this role.

After talking about it we had a turn. This is my Tinkercad creation.

This innovation is continually evolving. 

GAFE Session 3: iExplore at Ormiston

iExplore-Is a 20% time where students are focusing on their on passion lead iExplore projects. It is meant to be the thing that keeps them coming to school EVERY day.

The idea is when students are engaged in their own progress they will be building their 21st Century skills.

Design thinking
I have been doing design thinking myself in my teacher inquiry and this is what Ormiston is doing for their iExplore time.

The process involves:

  • Identifying a need or opportunity to solve a problem
  • Learning about the problem and people affected
  • Brainstorming lots of potential solutions
  • Making a prototype
  • Getting feedback
  • Modifying the prototype
  • Repeating this process several times.

Students who were here talked about their passion project being how to teach others Empathy. They created video and other content to help others. 


How to get the children tidying up the classroom faster. 
Why is it a problem:
So that we don’t waste as much time at the end of the day.

The Five Whys.. 
I have talked about the five whys in my own Inquiry. This is where as a buddy you as five why questions about the problem. 
 For this they used a clear grid and worked in pairs. A why question might be why does it take so long to tidy up? this might lead to the answer students are talking. Why are they talking etc. 

I find it interesting they are using this design thinking process with kids. I know it has been successful for me as a adult. I would like to try this with my kids. 

Half of the time is spent on thinking about the problem and the thinking behind it. It is a long game and the thing they create is not as important as the process. 

Empathy profile-Empathy is at the heart of the design thinking process. The learners have to put themselves in the shoes of the person/people whose actions you are trying to change. 

This is the template they use: 
The children would go in the middle of this template. Then around the outside I would be identifying why the children mess around instead of tidying up and what motivates them to do this. 

Student then act as the person in their profile this helps them to connect and understand the problem. 

We use HOW MIGHT WE..... Question in inquiry. You can have a whole lesson on questions. Writing good questions is an important part of the learning for our kids. It is so important that the question is specific and answerable. Big question don't help our learners. 

How might we speed up the process of tidying so we can save time in our day?

They then publish their problems with a picture of themself and print them to put in the wall. 
 Remember: Fall in Love with the Problem NOT the solution. 
It is about always bring the focus back to the problem. Having the problem visible helps to the kids to keep coming back to your problems. 

In this activity, is like the crazy 8s you can see in this blog post. They say that they give them 40 sec for each square. You can give them ideas if they get really stuck. 

Once they focus on one or some idea form a plan and get feedback on your storyboard. 

They then list every single step they are going to take on a post it note. Then they put it in order of what they are going to do. They students who do this well had a much more successful process. 

They begin prototyping. Revising their prototype and considering how this will look in its finished form. They get feedback from others to help them develop their prototype. 

They then think how will be share our project? 

Feedback-They have their feedback grid which they use to get feedback on their project. 

One of the great things I have noticed about this process is the huge amount of feedback. 

GAFE Session 2: Leading Learning Through Google Site

This Morning Danni and I shared with a wonderful group at the GAFESummit our experiences of using Google sites to lead teaching and learning. It was great fun sharing and we had loads of great question and have reflected on our presentation read to make changes for next time. 

GAFE Session 1: Digital Tools For Student Voice

Digital Tools for Student Voice- Jan Marie Kellow

Jan Marie-Is a primary school teacher who is passionate about students inquiry and supporting student voice in the classroom allowing them to have agency in their learning. 

Why Students Voice:
  • Student voice helps use to find out about our learners. 
  • For Formative assessment 
  • To provide choice
  • Engaging students 
  • Finding out what students allow ready know. 

Some ways of collecting student voice 
  • Padlet-This is like digital post it notes and allows for a range of ideas to be collected in one place. 
  • Answer Garden-put together the most common answers to show patterns.
  • Google Forms-Great for collecting any information as it can be changed and targeted to whatever you want to collect. Did you know you can collect fills in forms this may include picture by making the option answer as a fill. 
  • Google Slides in Grid view. Getting each learner to add their ideas to one slide. You could pre label each slide with the kids names so that students don't get confused and overwrite each other. 
  • Google Draw template to collect student voice. You could have one per student or a shared one for a group of kids or even the whole class. It is just a case of creating boxes with questions, prompts or images. 
  • You can use commenting in Docs, Sheets, Slides and Drawing to collect feedback
  • You can use speech to text to collect feedback. I do warn that once students start voice typing they want to do it all the time which can be an issue in writing. 
  • Jan Marie talked a lot about Google Classroom, While I can see why people would use it. I don't as it goes against the visible teaching and learning value of my school. 
  • My Maps- You can use my Maps to find out where students are from. You can even do a Map of their Mihi or Important places in their lives like Church etc. You have to be careful with this as blogging specific locations is not ideal. This can be funky when you edit it and change icons etc. I have also used My Maps in the past to locate areas in a story and add information about the text and the area as discovery for my learners. One of the cool thing you can do is import a list of places. This means you can use a form to collect places names and then add this form the Google Sheet. 
  • Flipgrid is a tool I have never used before but it looks really interesting. Students can record short video clips to a grid which others can view and provide feedback on you choose the response time which is up to 1 min 30 secs. A lovely lady at the workshop also suggested Recap again I have not used it and would need to do more research. 
  • Google Groups these allow different types of forum that students can engage in and and interact with each other. 

One great thing about this Session was we collected a lot our ideas and could see the similarities of what people used and why they used them. This also meant that Jan Marie could adapt the session to the needs of the group. 

GAFE Summit Keynote Patrick Green

Today is the first day of the two day Google Apps for Education Summit at the wonderful Aorere College in the not so sunny Auckland.

The Relevant Teacher-Patrick Green
We all have a past in which we have made many choices some bad or foolish, in our personal lives these are easy to recognise and learn from. As teacher the choices  we make in our classroom effect not just us but many many learners.  To put it briefly the risks we take as teachers affect way more than just us. 

Patrick talked about how lucky he is to have colleagues who push them to make positive change.  
Some practices that he saw were: 

Da Vinci Innovation Lab-Which had a family based program student went to school two days then learnt alongside their parents the other three days. 

Sequoyah- They have mixed level classes and whole back every child twice. Making failure positive. 

Looking at what others do is amazing. But Change is difficult!

Daily interaction and relationships are what shapes students-The Relevant teacher

What is the relevant teacher doing?

  • They are flipping the classroom and putting the students in the role of the teacher. 
  • Looking at teaching with a whole new lens. 
  • They are thinking about what is is transferable beyond the classroom and into the real world.
  • They are not afraid of access to information- They don't ask teachers Googlable questions.
  • They allow students to use device in exam. 
  • Not making students do what adults don't do. 
  • Recognise that there is no perfect average, they are meeting students where they are at. 
  • They are helping students craft a positive digital footprint. 
  • They put ownership of learning back on the students in a number of ways. 
  • They are taking their detailed guides are exemplars and getting rid of them
  • They value not following instruction and they know doing what Mr Green says is not a 21st century skill. 
  • They provide endless options for modelling, creating and learning. 
  • No long accept rubbish because they know about design. 
  • Can take anything and use it for learning. 
  • Embracing opportunities outside the classroom. 
We know that our kids love games. So can we bring gamification into the classroom and give students side quests. Allow their learning to have it's own paths well skill getting them from A-B. 

iTime-By giving students time to follow passion they are still engaging in the same skills and teachers are tracking each kids. 

What is something I am doing that I can set aside and give students passion time?

There is a lot in this modern age: You don't have to know everything. You do need to teach children to ask questions and find answers themselves. 

How do you stay relevant: Be a Learner!!

Learning requires struggle and it will be hard and uncomfortable but you will never be as uncomfortable as the student in a classroom with an irrelevant teacher. 

You might as I might consider reading:
The end of average-Todd Rose. 

You might visit as might I: 
iTime Alison White @aliwh_white Shaun Kirkwood @shaunyk