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, anthsperanza.com/disruptedu
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. In 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

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Designing learning with language in mind.

Often when I am planning maths for the week I am focused primarily on the mathematical concepts or strategies that I want the children to learner. However as a result of my inquiry I have been thinking a lot more about the language that is embedded in both my teaching and my tasks.

This term talked to my learners about their mathematical understandings and discovered some of the vocabulary and understanding around that vocabulary that was missing. One significant gap I identified was that most of the learners in my target group struggled to identify left and right.

As a result of this I made sure this was a focus on their coding activity this week. I have also planned a hand on physical activity for later in the week which will get learners moving and turning left and right.

My hope is that by exposing them to this language in these contexts and continuing to embed it in future tasks that learners will connect with the vocabulary and it will become a part of the way they talk in mathematics.

Below is a video of how I embedded the vocabulary in the coding task.