Tuesday, 30 November 2004

Is it a pig or a dog? Making masks.

Hard work making Christmas movies

Eltham Primary

Eltham is having a busy time production and so are having a Pure Week - look forward to seeing the results - showtime next week. In the meantime I have been working on a Mini-Action Research Project. An opportunity to get hands on with some kids, keep out of everyone's way while they are so focussed on other things, have some fun (of course) and give myself a reality check - a reminder of life at the coal face :-) Here is a little bit of info about my plans, already started, some reflections to follow & hopefully if I can get a handle on uploading photos, some pics too.

Mini Action Research Project – EPS T4 W9 (3 days)

Gather evidence to demonstrate that the use of ICTs in learning can promote student engagement & motivation.

Setting the scene
A group of six Year 6/7/8 students not participating in Whole School production spend three days working with ICT PD Facilitator on Movie Making Project.
Profile – 4 boys, 2 girls. Most excluded from involvement in production as having ‘difficult behaviours’, one had missed on the production preparation and so was not involved. One Y8 boy ADDH on Retinol, one Y6 girl & Y7 boy also medicated. Split into three groups of two.

Curriculum Objectives:
English, Technology, The ArtsStrand - Visual language
Processing information: Learn to view and use visual texts to gain and present information, become familiar with and use appropriate technologies to present ideas.

Essential Skills
Communication, Information, Problem-solving, Social and Co-operative

Research area of ‘student engagement & ICTs’
Ensure access to equipment (computers & cameras), working space & time.

With guidance students – brainstorm topic, storyboard movie, shoot & edit film, promote & present their work, evaluate their learning.

Evaluate & Report
Anecdotal – blog & photobiography
Students – self/peer evaluation
Comparison to research

Reponses to be recorded into computer – edit into I-Movie alongside student photo:

Tell me how you made your movie? What was the process? What did you have to do?

Did your team work well together? What worked well, what didn’t?

What do you think you have learnt in the last couple of days?

If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

What did you like best about making this movie?

What did you think the other two teams did well?

Thursday, 11 November 2004


I was privileged to spend some of the day with Mahoe - just hanging out & observing. The kids were all in teams (vertical level) making music videos. It is interesting to see them in action and watch them interact as they work together on a project. They are pretty serious about their work.

Tuesday, 9 November 2004


Busy time in the Junior rooms at Eltham - more PowerPoints. NE just learning how to put in a picture & type a few words - Letterland is really useful to help them identify the letters on the keyboard - perhaps we should create a letterland overlay to help them with their typing. This is the most frustrating thing - is the time it takes to find the keys & write something - aaaaaahhhh! So nice that i am getting invites from little boys to come & play at their house :-) Come & play Tonka Trucks on the computer. I tell them they should be outside playing. The very little children seem to sit and wait for the computer to do things for them instead of getting stuck in & doing something - i guess this is the computer/ tv / playstation mentality and most of them would have some experience with being entertained & playing games instead of having a purpose for using the computer. This will change as they gain experience with what they can do with the computer rather than what the computer will do for them.
Eltham's Production is going to be awesome - consulting with the senior students as they created their digital scenery - there are some great pieces of real scenery as well - excellent artworks.

Friday, 5 November 2004

SchoolZone Rocks

Well we hope so - its been highly recommended by other schools and a more affordable option now we have subsidised Internet Management Systems. I have spent pretty much 2 days full on helping with the migration to SZ at Stratford & the beginnings of basic training at St Josephs. Will be doing an introductory workshop to staff at Stratford next week to get them up and running. I really think they are going to love that anywhere access to email - i know i will i have been waiting all year to have my email configured to be picked up from home. SZ has made it easier.

Wednesday, 3 November 2004

St Josephs School

3 days here this week - all sorts of things happening including today school photos :-) Held a Vision & Planning staff workshop and brainstormed ideas for what is important in this school for the needs of the learner, teachers & resources to support that - some good discussion & ideas shared. Information shared in the area of resourcing helped when we looked at the ICT strategic plan for 2004-06. Reviewed this today. PTA workshop also on Monday - "Keeping up with our kids Online" - I guess with any parent invitation you are preaching to the converted & this group was no exception - they were pretty informed about what their own kids were doing online & were aware of issues that can occur when kids go online. We discussed some strategies about how to manage issues at home & to keep up with the every changing world our kids are living in. I guess the important point is that whatever our own skill levels we keep in touch with our kids so we know what they are doing & how to support them - whether its in a chatroom, on the cellphone or the street or playground.
Room 3 have been researching the planets of the solar system & we are helping them to gather relevant facts - having sources some kid friendly sites to start with.
Room 4 worked together to create their first movie "St. Josephs: Sharing, Caring & Daring In Prayer." We worked through the storyboard process & groups went out to take photos that illustrated the message they wanted to give. Then as a whole class we used movie maker & the data projector to edit their movie. They worked together well to make design choices & decisions through the process & were really excited to see their final product. The difficult thing is the next step when they work through the process independantly because of access to computers that run XP. There are a couple in the school & it will be up to Kim to work out the best way to manage this with her kids.
St Josephs has just gone online with SchoolZone so I will be spending some time with Carol to start some basic training in managing SZ. The transition went smoothly (thank goodness) The challenge is now to explore this fantastic online tool & use it to its full potential - it is more than an Internet service.

Friday, 29 October 2004

What are we learning here?

Blogging with Pictures

I should be gone by now - Friday afternoon after all but just about cracked how to put photos up - cool - try some more :-)

Team Work Posted by Hello
I have been so slack i haven't posted anything for ages! Been flat out this week with yr 3 & 4s at SPS learning to make movies - one for every letter of the alphabet - Phew! Lots of learning about how to work in teams and sometimes how not to work in teams :-) It is awesome to see them so engaged & tuned in to what they're doing - you have to put the lid down on the laptops & kick them out the door for lunch. The dreaded lurgy with any work i have done in classes is file management - saving stuff to who knows where, not saving stuff, using floppies & mixing them up not knowing which has got pictures on - aaah! But we get there in the end & everyone is really proud of their work. Great reflection taking place in these classes too - Why are we Making Movies? What are we going to learn? & What have we learnt? Student directed questions that demand answers.

Friday, 15 October 2004

Eltham Primary

Whole day with Graham – Yahoo. First time  Lots of discussion, preparing for TOD when the staff will pull in all the ‘nuts & bolts’ of thinking skill, curriculum integration, values & attitudes, HoMs, ICT integration etc into a coherent structure & plan of action. Sort of figured on a way to facilitate this on the day but will also depend on Chris Harwood’s curriculum integration workshop next week and what is thrown into the mix from there. Had a bit of fun with children role playing some of the school rules for Graham’s PowerPoint presentation for next week’s assembly – helped him put it all together – though as Graham says ‘if you don’t use it you lose it’ so if you are not doing this stuff on a regular basis – you forget. I will put together a tutorial of our days work so he wouldn’t forget next time. Had a visit from Ronald McDonald – exciting. Eltham has recently been donated a pod of 6 recycled computers and another 15 for school families. The 6 computers will all be put into Kim’s room and shared with Megan’s class next door. They are meant to be already set up on their own little network but they will need to be linked to the school network in order to access the Internet – good job for a ComTech. Great to see computers getting into classrooms.

Wednesday, 13 October 2004

Matau School

As always – great to be out at Matau! Lots of things to go over today from discussing NavCon, trying to find out more details about next year’s Infolink course, learning how to create an Autoplay feature on a CD so it starts running in the right place. Richard has started sending some work home on disk with home sample books & needs parents to be able to access it easily. Updating & uploading the website. We tried to change the hit counter but it still isn’t working properly??? – still need to problem solve this one. Blogging is big at Matau School & all the kids have gone one – great writing & communication tool. They are all on blogger.com too – discussed the open internet environment as being unmoderated – Richard is monitoring things closely to keep track of what is happening with the kids blogs. Talked about kids blogging places as an alternative to blogger.com. Had a look around but not really much out there that we can find. Docking time at Matau so all the school were out to help – the kids took some photos & we made a little movie (as Richard say - hyped up slideshow) entitled Baaaa! The senior students are involved in a research project ‘The Road to Matau’ and were looking at ideas of how to present and share their work. I showed them the work I had done on ‘Jeffares War Archives’ and how it had been put together in webpages. Whether they make movies, powerpoints, or webpages – they can all be hyperlinked together so they can have a presentation that runs off a disc. There next challenge is to organise their work (categorise) and plan a structure & decide on presentation.
Called in to visit Huiakama & new Principal Claire Jordan on the way back to town. Claire is keen to be involved in what the cluster has to offer – has done an Infolink course earlier this year & is definitely on the right wave length. Looking forward to going back out there later in the term. Marilyn is taking WITTs computing courses once a week in town on a Friday and playing around on her home computer upskilling herself – good stuff Marilyn. Couldn’t go past Toko without dropping in to say Gidday Richard back into it after a week catching up from the holidays. Check out the 6 Stars http://www.toko.school.nz/

Wednesday, 6 October 2004


Building blocks of webpages with Marlene’s extension kids. Marlene has worked with them in the planning & preparation of content & I have joined in to teach them the basics. Focused on writing html code using Notepad & creating webpages from scratch – mainly to give them the theory behind how pages work so they can look at any page or use any web editor with an understanding of how they are constructed. Made a little ‘How To’ file will post to Interact & to ShareIT. Another session introduced them to FrontPage. Reviewed appropriate content in particular the sharing of games & music. Discussed copyright & piracy. Best to review games & music with links to other sites rather than download stuff (illegally) for sharing through their own site. This common issue has come up before with kids making webpages. This little group now have to build on what they’ve learnt so far with the resources given http://webmonkey.wired.com/webmonkey/kids/ & http://www.lissaexplains.com/basics.shtml great sites for finding out more. Email me if they get stuck. They should be the experts for their wider group and Marlene to learn from.
Working again with Lynn as she begins to make backup copies of important school CDs. Accessing resources through the Intranet in particular the digital story books – the CD copies of these are now accessioned to the library and have proved popular with the students.
Sherrilyn needed advice on how to get parts of a song for the production. Showed her Audacity software for simple sound editing & made this and other Music software available through the Intranet – Acid Express & Music Maker. The difficult part will probably be managing file formats as they are imported & exported from the music editing programme???
Ross’s class asked for help on getting the dataprojector to work – the trick is with any dataprojector is starting up the projector b4 you start the laptop & using the Fn F5 buttons to toggle between the screens. Also need to check that the data projector is set to computer & not video.
Assisted with the SchoolZone application – liasing with Computerland technician and Tim Harper SZ technician. The site discovery form has been completed & sent in, joined up with the VEN (SZ education management side of things) & Telecom reckon its 15 days till delivery!

Friday, 3 September 2004

St Joseph's

Final day of Web Challenge - working with Heather & R9 & 10 to get their work finalised and uploaded. Phew now I know why they call it Web CHALLENGE!
There was some excellent work done & the kids have just learnt heaps along the way – mainly under their own steam. The challenge with one group was writing original material – and another was file management – stuff saved all over the place and not linking. Then the biggy was music – very disappointing for the kids to find they could not use downloaded music – this was a great learning opportunity and we discussed copyright, plagiarism etc. One group tried to get round this by putting in their own music that they had made on their Wellington camp but we had run out of time. I would Challenge all our schools to enter next year!

Wednesday, 1 September 2004


A little unorganised today – scheduled to work in the JuniorMiddle syndicate – staff away, unavailable. Did a cybersafety lesson with Room 19 & a reliever (I thought the reliever might pick up some PD ideas) not a good idea – kids were a little jumpy already, they got excited to have me in the classroom & I set them off completely. Oops sorry!

Tuesday, 31 August 2004


Updating web pages using FTP, narrating Power Point (I learnt that you can use head phones as a microphone if you plug them into the microphone slot and talk into them!), talking about our NetSafe training, NavCon, sharing resources, & Software – what else did we do Richard – I can’t remember but it was a busy & productive day.

Monday, 30 August 2004


Web Challenge – High Flyers and Sharon – the kids have done some great work on their web pages. They are so good at working things out for themselves – some students had created a Quiz using forms in FrontPage but couldn’t quite get it to work. One group were trying to get their Hyperstudio presentations to run off their webpages but to do this you need a plug-in that we were unable to download because of file size and bandwidth – we also decided that their webpage would not be very user friendly if everyone had to download a hyperstudio plug in so they decided to use screen shots of their work instead. With this group we focused on file management – where they saved their files and how they named them (eg index.html for the first page) and then we made sure they had a good navigation structure. They were a bit unorganised with how they were putting it all together – got there in the end. The Busy Bees (Juniors) have created a cool little site about what is happening on the farm – it was good to see all the planning and preparation that went into it - storyboarding & writing, taking good photos – seeing the process behind the product is where all the real learning is.

Thursday, 26 August 2004

Stratford Primary

Stratford will be having a poster session at NavCon on Digital Story books. Caught up with the students involved and had them design covers for their CDs and check through and fix up any minor errors in their work. The junior school was in the Info Centre as we were working so this was a good opportunity for them to share their work. Have asked the students to evaluate their learning by thinking about what they thought the benefits were of working in a digital format were as opposed to creating the hard copies of illustrated story books. This has been an interesting project but largely led by me with little participation from the senior team. I did spend some time one on one with Wendy looking at technical aspects such as putting work on the Intranet, creating links to it and copying the kids work to CD and making them AutoPlay. Future IT projects in the senior school need to be led by them and supported by me – instead of the other way around – maybe next term.

Stratford Primary

Stratford will be having a poster session at NavCon on Digital Story books. Caught up with the students involved and had them design covers for their CDs and check through and fix up any minor errors in their work. The junior school was in the Info Centre as we were working so this was a good opportunity for them to share their work. Have asked the students to evaluate their learning by thinking about what they thought the benefits were of working in a digital format were as opposed to creating the hard copies of illustrated story books. This has been an interesting project but largely led by me with little participation from the senior team. I did spend some time one on one with Wendy looking at technical aspects such as putting work on the Intranet, creating links to it and copying the kids work to CD and making them AutoPlay. Future IT projects in the senior school need to be led by them and supported by me – instead of the other way around – maybe next term.

Stratford Primary

Stratford will be having a poster session at NavCon on Digital Story books. Caught up with the students involved and had them design covers for their CDs and check through and fix up any minor errors in their work. The junior school was in the Info Centre as we were working so this was a good opportunity for them to share their work. Have asked the students to evaluate their learning by thinking about what they thought the benefits were of working in a digital format were as opposed to creating the hard copies of illustrated story books. This has been an interesting project but largely led by me with little participation from the senior team. I did spend some time one on one with Wendy looking at technical aspects such as putting work on the Intranet, creating links to it and copying the kids work to CD and making them AutoPlay. Future IT projects in the senior school need to be led by them and supported by me – instead of the other way around – maybe next term.

Stratford Primary

Stratford will be having a poster session at NavCon on Digital Story books. Caught up with the students involved and had them design covers for their CDs and check through and fix up any minor errors in their work. The junior school was in the Info Centre as we were working so this was a good opportunity for them to share their work. Have asked the students to evaluate their learning by thinking about what they thought the benefits were of working in a digital format were as opposed to creating the hard copies of illustrated story books. This has been an interesting project but largely led by me with little participation from the senior team. I did spend some time one on one with Wendy looking at technical aspects such as putting work on the Intranet, creating links to it and copying the kids work to CD and making them AutoPlay. Future IT projects in the senior school need to be led by them and supported by me – instead of the other way around – maybe next term.

Tuesday, 24 August 2004

Eltham Primary

Team teaching with Bob in the ‘Learning Centre’ (Computer Suite). Bob’s objectives were to have his children & himself familiar with using the computers – routines & rules about appropriate use of the computer room and basic skills like logging on, finding & opening programmes, and saving work. They used Claris Works – Paint & Wordprocessing to create a presentation about themselves. The children also learnt how to use the camera and took photos of each other. Management of the children was a big focus – having them work effectively in teams, monitoring & assisting them in different activities, having alternative activities available as children waited for resources to become available (there were not enough working computers for the children to use even in groups of 3). Part of this management was spending some time to develop some ‘experts’ who were responsible for teaching others – taking photos, inserting images, saving work to the right place, downloading photos to the network etc. Technical considerations – individual class logons so that work can be saved to a separate area & so stuff doesn’t just get saved all over the network. Childrens’ folders set up before hand – there was no system of file management – this is important not just for the security of the childrens work but also so that the network doesn’t get clogged up with junk all over the place. The application programmes are not easily accessible and it was quite a mission to hunt through the Finder utility to find Claris Works – this should be on the desktop or the docking bar down the bottom. Phew - a network still in progress - but getting there.

Monday, 23 August 2004

Stratford Primary

Thanks to Wendy & Elise from Mahoe who worked with teachers in the Middle Syndicate today & with Alison from Stanley School – sharing their knowledge of Movie Making. We went through a brief presentation about the rationale behind Movie Making in the classroom & looked at some examples of the process of movie making & some of their students work. Then armed with a digital camera & a laptop we broke up into small groups & created our own works of art. MovieMaker2 is so easy to use but has its limitations such as only having one track for audio so you can’t have narration and a soundtrack together. Some of the technical concerns were that we had to commandeer other teachers laptops as we needed machines that were running XP – then we found that it was difficult to transfer the photos onto these machines because we were using Mavica’s that used floppy disks and of course our new laptops don’t have floppy disk drives. Stratford accessed contestable funding to cover release time for this PD and plan to pass their new expertise on to other members of the staff.

Friday, 20 August 2004

St. Joseph's School

The first of a three day block here. Server still not up and running but we are able to access the local computers. Hard for the kids who are half way through their websites and can’t access their work. Gave them a brief tutorial on creating animations with Paint & PowerPoint – PowerPoint can be saved as an html file and linked to their web pages when they are able to access them again. Some are doing some great original work – creating virtual classrooms in Paint, though some could not get motivated into creating any original as they couldn’t get past not finding it in ClipArt!
Worked with Carol & the room 3 students who have just started a topic study on plants – had met with Carol to prepare last week and looked at what teacher resources were available online. Used a ICT Learning Experience – animation with Paint & PowerPoint for the students to illustrate the life cycle of a plant. Plenty of discussion and storyboarded first.
Continued working with Room 3 to produce their animation in “Flower Point” as one student called it. There was plenty of discussion as we made it as to the learning objectives – what a plant needs to grow, and the stages of growth – every time they added a new feature they would want to watch it again & so they talked their way through it. Perhaps an ambitious project for students of this age to tackle without supervision because of the number of steps involved and because each step built on the one before. Without my support it would have been necessary to have a senior buddy or computer mentor to assist and keep them on track. Lots of other theme activities happening at the same time so fitted in really well with the class programme.
Cybersense and Nonsense with the middle school – Michael’s class doing Action Learning & finding out about gathering information. Shared some tips and advise about finding information online and how to find good websites. We practiced by evaluating and comparing websites about different sports associated with the Olympic Games.
Spent some time with Bernadette who wants to work with her music resources so she can access and use them easily with a laptop and data projector. Thought that catalogued web pages would be the best way to organise and display her song sheets and PowerPoint would not hold a longer continuous page of music without having to click between and back again. Created a pathfinder of the steps we need to go through to digitalise and organise her music collection which will need some more help along the way. First step is scanning her work and saving as Word files. Need some OCR software loaded and to have the scanner attached to a faster networked computer otherwise it will take a lifetime to do! Once this has been done then I will be able to work with Bernadette again to set up her Music pages using FrontPage. An enjoyable few days at St. Josephs and nice to spend some continuous time in one school.

Tuesday, 17 August 2004

Stratford Primary School

Working with the junior school teachers – exploring school network resources, internet resources – TKI (subscribed to the newsletter), TKI search facility, exemplars, ARB, refining Internet searches to find relevant classroom material and how to use the Ctrl+F to find what you’re looking for in a page (sure beats scanning & skimming if you’re trying to get quickly to the point). Encouraging teachers to use the Internet more often in planning and preparation – it does take time but so does scrummaging through the Room 8 resource room. As they become more familiar with what’s available they begin to become more confident and to build a routine of where to go and how to find things and how to best adapt resources to suit their needs. Shared planning and resources on the Tech buddy system and an ICT activity – Class Scrapbook. This is a good starting point to build confidence not so much in the technology itself but in the planning to use it and classroom routines, management and basic skills. Did a short session with Room 9 on learning how to take digital photos, and taught Julie how to download them to the computer and how to format disks.

Monday, 16 August 2004

Makahu School

A pleasure to visit Makahu with a roaring fire in the classroom when its sooo cold outside! Still some issues with uploading the webpages and finally managed to contact their web hosting service (was a bit worried they might have done a runner). Have got Makahu’s web pages on my computer now so I can try and problem solve this further in town (with better Internet access).
Explored the use of Excel to create graphs that BOTs can understand. We made a few different practise ones and saved these to add to later.
Troubleshooting with Emily how to burn CDs on the laptop. It does not have the drag and drop utility that some of the newer laptops have so we used the Roxio burning software installed. It was reasonably easy to burn files from the laptop but quite a process to make a backup copy of a CD and very slow! But we got there in the end. Tried out some webwacker software (Educational Edition Blue Squirrel) but it wasn’t very effective. Have since found that you can download files for offline viewing just by using the Favourites tool bar in Internet Explorer http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/mobility/learnmore/offlineviewing.mspx
We also played around with their nice new camera/video/mp3 player. Wondered how to convert music files so they could be used in different applications? Further reading here http://mp3.about.com/cs/tipstricks/a/convertfiles.htm Installed MovieMaker2 and downloaded Flash Extract Pilot for capturing and saving Flash files from the Internet. This would be useful to avoid the bandwidth problems of repeatedly loading online Flash interactives. (The problem is you have to download them in the first place and that takes forever – we tried to load the Clifford online storybooks but we just couldn’t get them). Emily is trying to track down some software for their old digital video so she can download video (suggested she said a request to the cluster schools) but I think they really need a fire wire card – will look at this next time if they’re interested.

Thursday, 12 August 2004

Eltham Primary School

Megan was joined by Deana from St.Joseph’s to look at how other schools use their networks to share teaching and admin resources. Looked at Stratford’s network and talked about their journey towards a ‘paperless’ school. How the use of email in communication is key, how resources can be stored in shared network areas and linked to so that teachers can be guided towards finding them more easily. We talked about how digital learning media – information cds, journal cds etc are now more commonly used and how, copyright allowing, they can be copied to and shared across a network and accessed throughout the school. We also visited Toko and thanks Richard for spending the time showing us how your network works for you. Looked at the work the MOE have been doing with Student Management System (SMS) accreditation and Infrastructure audits. Encouraged Megan to contact the appropriate people for more information before going too far down the road of adopting a SMS.

Wednesday, 11 August 2004

Stanley & Toko Schools

Stanley school are creating a community resource to commemorate the closing on their school. It will be in the form of hyperlinked pages including relevant historical information, photographs, digital interviews & cut to a cd for distribution. Worked with Alison to learn how to use Microsoft Frontpage for navigation of the information being collected. Planned and created the structure and navigation of the pages – Stanley students will gather and publish the resources in FrontPage.
Toko again in the afternoon – Cybersense and Nonsense with yr5 & 6. Again some interesting discussion everyone had stories they wanted to share. Need to be aware that students need to understand the language and vocabulary of ‘cyberspace’ – that it is here and now (not in the future and not out in outer space).

Tuesday, 10 August 2004

Toko School

Cybersense and Nonsense – staying safe online and critically evaluating websites with the yr7s. The aim was to make sure they know the basic rules of safe internet use – don’t give out any personal information, simple netiquette – being respectful to others online, and staying away from pop-ups and registration forms. Get your facts right by checking out a range of information sources and comparing them, looking at who wrote the web sites and why, and if you’re not sure about it ask your parents and teachers. The Cyberpigs interactive animation is a great tool to engage the students and get them thinking about the issues.
The yr 8s were a lot more Internet savvy – and had a few more ideas about the issues of Internet use. They applied their critical thinking skills to an online interactive Joe Cool or Joe Fool which looks at a range of different web sites and outlines scenarios associated with them. There was some good discussion throughout – students made good choices during the activity but does that lead to good choices in a real situation? I don’t know?
It was good to be able to work from a big screen using the data projector – live to an Internet site. It really enabled more discussion & interaction than if students had been sent to computers to work through the activity.
Observed & assisted the students in the afternoon as they registered for Maths Week and participated in the Olympics Online game.

Monday, 9 August 2004

St Josephs

Had a play with MUSAC trying to work out how to extract data to present graphical information – either as a function of MUSAC or from Excel. Found there is a feature called Adapt Analysis that can show graphical comparisons – though this is an add-on and costs another $100 to buy into. Another possibility is using the DataCube – I think you use this to select the areas you want to look at by applying filters – you can then export this data to Excel. I have very limited experience with MUSAC so it may be something they can pursue on their next MUSAC training session. Spent some time with Vicky learning how to make tables in Word & sorting them and caught up with the NetGuide Web Challenge kids to see how they were getting on & to help them out with their questions. Made sure I brought them altogether to talk about their new learning and encouraging them to help each other out by sharing what they had learnt. For example adding sound to a page or using code like marquee to make your words scroll across the page. Directed them to Webmonkey for Kids to find more cool code to play around with. It would be a good idea to register soon so that you get weekly newsletters and webmaking tips.

Friday, 6 August 2004


Online resources for teachers. The Internet is not only a great place for exciting interactives for students but there is so much available for teachers that we don’t have to be reinventing the wheel all the time. Spent some time with Heather familiarising with the TKI resources – WickEd interactives (though not really suitable level for all her students), exemplar banks were of interest, Assessment Resource Bank. Subscribed Heather to the TKI newsletter so we can be more aware of what’s available and follow up what’s relevant. Having a fast Internet connection makes all the difference! We learned how to make meaningful searches and bookmark sites for finding again later. We trialled the Dr. Seuss Story Maker – a little interactive that allows children to create their own stories. The kids loved it though we found that when the story played back it ran a bit quickly for them to read and they weren’t able to save what they had made. Sound for very young children is helpful on the reading sites and we found a Clifford site that catered for this very well. The children particularly liked using these sites as they had read these books at school and at home before. Management of whole classes in the computer room was discussed and we talked about the room being a Learning Area where there are resources available for other activities to be happening while the teacher worked with smaller groups of children on the computer. Great idea Heather! Just like a real classroom. Managing the network is a bit problematic with Gavin being offsite – Bernadette can access the network but needs more training on the day to day troubleshooting tasks. We went on to the network administration and learnt how to change passwords for users – we also found the home directory for the school website which is set up to be hosted on the Eltham server but we couldn’t find an easy way to transfer the files from the office computer to the network.

Thursday, 5 August 2004


A lot of time in the office this week after rescheduling at Toko & Stanley – got to be flexible. A lot of work coordinating with TaraNet, WITT & the MOE for the ConnectEd workshop on Thursday. A Virtual Fieldtrip with the Rotorua Bathhouse Museum was great. We showcased this at the ConnectEd workshop. Students viewed the museum’s collection & were taught about the Tarawera eruption & the geology of the Rotorua area. The opportunities offered by VC are very exciting & we should look to tap into these & create them for ourselves. On behalf of the cluster I spoke about what some of our students and teachers had done with Video conferencing this year.

Wednesday, 4 August 2004


Room 10 are completely new! It’s great to see all these new 5 year olds – bright as buttons and keen to learn. Some work to do to enable access to the network & spent a good time working with the logistics of having a very old (32MB) computer and no network access. Working our way around this by having the Junior laptop up & running in this class and a very long network cable running into Room 9 – we will have to drill a hole in the wall so we can access the network port without jamming the cable in the door. After all of that we still couldn’t get on the network because we need to find out what the passwords are. In the meantime we set up a Reading folder with some story books downloaded from the Internet and the Digital stories that the senior students had made. Will spend some more time with Angela next week getting onto the school network and finding our way around the resources there.

Wednesday, 28 July 2004


Room 9 are doing some great things with their travel buddies – tracking their travels around the world, sending and receiving email & the odd postcard – lots of good questions to ask about what life is like on the other side of the world! We learned about using the digital camera today and this fitted in really well with the transactional writing focus – writing and following instructions. We had a play with KidPix & the photos we took. Again using the 3 seat model to help each other out. It was a bit tricky to draw over the photos when mistakes were made & you can only undo one action so we switched to the easier option of using stamps & stickers. The children dressed up the photos of themselves in interesting ways – giving themselves hats, sunglasses, bowties & other interesting decorations! It would be good to create your own stickers in KidPix but couldn’t work out how to do this though you can adapt the stamps.

Tuesday, 27 July 2004


Creating a school web site with the students & Vicky. They have their new Microsoft software so we have been using FrontPage 2003. This is a huge improvement on past versions – so easy to set up your pages with table layouts already set up, navigation is easier also with ready made buttons all set to go – just add the text & the links. The photo gallery options are really great & easy to use too. The hard work is tracking down all the photos & finding and writing content. Web hosting is the next thing to organise – Matau, Makahu & Mahoe have been down this track recently so we will follow suit. (www.cheapwebhosting.co.nz) Went online to check prices & found that webhosting is even cheaper than it was so will have to reinvestigate to look for the best deal. Internet access speeds are too slow out at here so there is another job when I get back into town. When the website is ready to go then we will upload it from Stratford Primary (as you can walk faster than the Internet!)
Spent some time with Marilyn working with tables in Word to create planning documents. Suggested she join the free computing course out at Toko on a Wednesday – these courses are also available through WITT in Stratford. Look at creating tutorials that will help – focussing on making documents that can be used for school.

Wednesday, 21 July 2004

Eltham Primary School

Surfing safe & smart
With Kimberley & Megan’s classes in the computer suite – led a session on using the Internet to be safe, smart surfers – look for lesson plan to be posted to Interact. Focus on information skills & critical thinking – White Hat – What are the facts? Cyberpigs – Cyber Sense & Nonsense an excellent resource for this. These lessons need to developed further so teachers can use them confidently with their own classes – workshop it? Fits in well with a focus many schools have at the moment of developing their Internet Appropriate Use policy. I am currently investigating training modules from MultiServe for IT administrators & school leaders. PD team will organise for the cluster.

Tuesday, 20 July 2004

Stratford Primary School

Working with Room 13. Years 1 - 2. Taking each others photos for their class scrapbook. They learnt all the steps from taking the lense cover off to turning the power on - & they worked it all out themselves! As long as they keep the strap around their neck - give them a camera & let them go for it. They can't do much harm and will only learn. Though we did have to talk also about 'framing' our shots, not cutting people's heads off, keeping our fingers away from the front of the lense etc!
Created a lesson plan with LOs from the English curriculum - writing, reading, & presenting; for the ScrapBook activity we did today. Make this available for sharing on Interact - useful for the teachers to include in their planning & to adapt for other activities too.
Would like to gather some resources of online material & work children have created themselves (like the Digital Picture Books) so that their can be a 'Reading Box' on the desktop of each classroom computer so it is included in the Reading Rotation tasks.
Will be working with the Junior School for the next four weeks - next week we will look at KidPix as a learning tool & give some feedback to the Management team to see if we will get more licences for this.

Friday, 2 July 2004

Eltham Primary

Thursday 1st July
Miriam was learning how to use features of Spreadsheets to sort & graph data. Introduced her to some basic formula & how you can sort your data to compare student achievement & to track progress of individuals. We also looked at formatting spreadsheets so they would fit on one page & be easy to read. We set up Miriam’s & Megan’s new laptops so they could access the Internet & Email. We looked at different ways of burning to CD. I suggested using Drag & Drop if you want to copy one CD to another. If you want to copy files, folders & programmes from your laptop then it is just as easy to open the CD drive as you would any other folder on your computer & drop your work in – Windows CD Wizard takes over from there.
Recommended that the school looks at tracking down it’s digital learning media – some can be made accessible through the network, & backup copies of CDs should be made of resources that are important. Ascent Technologies http://www.ascent.co.nz/index.asp are just one place of many online that you can purchase CDs in bulk (amongst other things)
I-Photo & I-Movie with Megan – I need more practise with this – Gavin please get your laptops configured so I can take one home!

Stratford Primary

30th June
Digital Story Telling – worked with Wendy to load the completed stories to the Intranet & to create links to them with a webpage that will also be stored on the Intranet. Teachers will be sent a newsletter with a link that directs them there & be given instructions on how to put a shortcut on the desktop. We also burnt the stories to individual CDs – we went through the process of saving as a Power Point Show so they would run automatically. We also used an auto run program on the cd so that it would start running without having to click on any files.
Spent some time problem solving the firewire connection & downloading video to the laptop – don’t know what I did but seems to be going OK now. The trick might be (as Penny suggested) that the firewire card needs to be in place before the laptop is started up so that the device is recognised.
Prepared with Vicky for next term’s in-school days with the Junior School – looking at IT literacies as outlined in the school documents – how they can be incorporated into planning & assessment. Sharing of Digital Stories with Sherrilyn’s class. Hannah & Kate – Y8 authors shared the stories with the younger children.


29th June
We were going to work with using the scanner to scan drawings & artwork. Could not get the old scanner working with the new xp computers – looking for a compatible driver online was like looking for a needle in a haystack. Introduced next term’s email game to Vicky & a group of older students. We checked out Toko’s website & the two Official Olympic games sites & bookmarked them. Bandwidth restrictions will make research difficult but enthusiasm will make up for that! Practised spreadsheet & graphing skills with a mock tally sheet & briefly looked at formula (because that is why spreadsheets are so cool). Photographed line drawings (instead of scanning) & worked on them in Paint. With these big files either scanned or photographed they need to be resized in a Photo Editor so they are manageable to work with. To be able to use fill tool we had to make the outline transparent.

St Josephs

Monday 28th June
Looked at features of Paint with Dee – copy & paste to repeat shapes – resize, rotate, flip etc to create building blocks that again can be repeated. See Koru unit on Interact. Magnification tool for finer detail, opaque toggle button to get rid of the white background around an object, curved line tool. Writing text freehand – better to use the brush tool than the pen – thicker with more control. Talked about gathering digital media – making available through the network, with hyperlinks to find them & also copying backup cds. (similar to Stratford)
Scanning line drawings to work with Paint – Michael’s class has been problem solving through, file sizes, access to the scanner through the network. Downloaded scanner driver & canoscan toolbox to the shared network drive (Install T:) but need an administrator password to load new software on classroom computers. Worked with students to find optimum scan settings that the programmes would allow us to work with (Photo Editor & Paint).
Room 5 has done some awesome work on their power point since last week – they have worked out how to put in backgrounds, and do animations. I worked with a small group to create the transitions. When looking for bird pictures online we discovered bird calls. Children downloaded these and I worked with them to insert them into their work. They were able to show Vicky how to save pictures and sound from the Internet. Vicky would like some help in creating tables in Word for admin things like assessment checklists etc.
Discussed data collection and analysis with Rae will look at taking some time next term to work with MUSAC & Excel. There is lots of data generated by MUSAC but how to manipulate it to answer the questions we want to ask eg improvement in comprehension levels, what groups (girls, boys, Maori, non-Maori) are achieving etc & to create graphs to represent those questions.
Interest in WebChallenge from the senior school – support in this area next term.

Monday, 28 June 2004

Eltham Primary

Friday June 25th
Working with Sue. Downloaded photos into i-photo & then i-movie to create a slideshow. Sue has been inspired by Mike Whiteman at a recent PRT day to use video for assessment & has been doing this for their recent Communication unit. Check out www.freefoto.com used this with a student to collect images (of cars) to create slideshow (book) using AppleWorks. Apples are great for working with images – you don’t need to copy & paste or even save pictures & insert into documents – you can drag them straight off the web page & onto your work – so easy! Introduced Sue to Interact – downloaded PowerPoint workshop resources, looked at Maths resources & found IDP & survey forms. Sue (after listening to Jill at the Mini-conference) has rearranged the computers in her classroom so they are more accessible & easy to see to support sharing of their work. Need to load Microsoft Office programmes so there are more tools for the students to work with. Eltham has not completed their Microsoft relicensing – reviewed & discussed the documents with Jocelyn – these will be signed & sent in on Monday.

Stratford Primary School

Wednesday June 23rd
Senior Team Digital Story Telling
Completing Power Point – digital stories. Recorded narrations – resource rooms make a good sound room! Some students away but with the help of others we located all the Power Point files from the network – saved them to my laptop to be narrated next week when students are there. I had previously worked with a group of ‘experts’ who in turn were to support others in their class – this didn’t happen due to time pressure in the classroom. This highlights the need to have IT activities integrated as opposed to added-on. This project may have been more successful if it had been built in at the planning stages so that teachers would be taking the activities on board & structuring time and resources to support that. Next week we will hopefully be able to set up time for students to share their stories with their buddy classes – load them to the Intranet & burn them to cd so they can be part of the school library resources.
Also worked with Lyn the librarian to load learning media stories (Swimming with Sharks, Punk Junk Mailer etc) to the Intranet so that teachers can access them & load to the classroom computers. These cds can be run over the network but they are slow and unreliable so they do need to be set up on each classroom computer. Have shown Lyn how to copy cds so that extra copies can be placed in the resource room. Need to create opportunities for teachers to preview these resources – just as they preview print materials – usually in the staffroom during interval & lunch. Load them to a laptop & share them around or some time during staff meetings. Lyn is creating a newsletter with hyperlinks to the resources we have copied to the Intranet.

Thursday, 17 June 2004

Thinking to Learn: Learning to Think

Tuesday 16 June
Thinking to Learn: Learning to Think - Michael Pohl workshop in Wanganui. 7 from our cluster (Eltham, Stratford, Mahoe) – good to talk about what is happening in our schools, what we can take back & work on in our schools with other teachers. Thinking skills I want to be doing more of this in school visits!!! As Wendy@Mahoe says this is the foundation of everything we do.There are great opportunities for me to introduce & work with teachers with these strategies & ideas in classrooms. This day really made sense for what before for me was a hotchpotch of different ideas about teaching thinking skills that till now I have been pretty confused about – so many models to work with – what should we use when? Michael helped with ideas about creating structures for the explicit teaching of thinking skills & what strategies are useful for different situations. Also how important it is to have a whole school culture of thinking – shared understandings – and some good tools here to implement this into schools. Bought a CD of Michael’s presentation – will be the major focus of our next PD facilitation team meeting.

St Josephs

Monday 15 June
Good session with Vicky’s class introducing Tech Buddy model to Vicky & the students. Class was beginning a study on NZ birds so our learning activity was based around what they knew about NZ birds. Modelled the 3 seat tech buddy coaching system to the whole class & Vicky & went through a few rotations of the students being involved in their activity. Small, simple steps - create a new slide, identify the picture of the bird they are writing about & insert the picture, think about what they know about the bird & key in text, save. Students can repeat this activity at the end of the unit to record what they have learnt during the topic study. Reinforce the learning team rules about the roles of helper, doer, watcher. This should be a manageable system for ICT based activities in the classroom – revisit to see if they are keeping the momentum for all the students to be involved.

Need to look for ways to be working in similar ways in other classes so teachers can be involved in the learning process as well. Time in the computer bay with students alone does not contribute to teacher development. Ideas?? – creating shared presentations; visual images – discussion starters for lessons, topics; digital story telling; movie making (role play); graphic organisers – mind mapping; micro-quests, web quests; internet safety, searching, evaluation; epals; data gathering & manipulation; involvement in online collaborative games, activities – writers window, TKI interactives……………

Eltham Primary School

Friday 11 June
At the Tech Centre with Peter, Gavin & Brenda. Looked at Sound & Music software – Audacity, Music Maker & Super Dooper Music Looper. Super Dooper Music Looper is aimed at very young children & really easy to use. Good starting point for learning about recording sounds & making compositions. Costs around $50 NZD. Peter investigating buying this for the Tech Centre. Demonstrated using the head set microphone to capture sound in Audacity. Also investigated Extranets – KnowledgeNet, Interact (logged Peter on as a new user) & Think.com. We really liked Think.com – free, online software, not available to us at the moment as being piloted in other NZ schools. I will contact Doug Harre about being able to access this software. This ties in really well with the needs of the whole cluster & the Tech Centre wanting an online area for students from all their schools to share and display their work. Talked about upgrading and networking the Tech Centre computers. They are currently networked through peer to peer shared files. Need to install network operating software if you want students and classes to have separate logons & folders. Windows NT, 2000 or 2003 available through the Microsoft agreement. This only needs to be installed on the server computer & desktops configured. Checked out the new cameras with Brenda. Loaded software to main computer and practised downloading pictures. Created an album "On Holiday at the Tech Centre" :-)

Thursday, 10 June 2004

Stratford Primary

A day in the office split with 'school visit'.
Building houses with R20 - animated ppoints using shapes to construct houses.
Kerry - burning to cd with autoplay feature - make a 'How To' file on that one.
Library - problem solved loading school journals to intranet - Lyn will be sending newsletter out to staff with the link to the exe. files so that the school journal cds can be loaded direct from the intranet to the classroom computers. Also made teachers notes available on the Intranet with links to them in the newsletter.
Talked about making backup copies of cds & practise on a couple with Toshiba Dragn'Drop. Goal to do a stocktake on digital media & software - load where appropriate to the Intranet & make backup copies of everything.