Thursday, 28 July 2005

St Josephs

Grandparents Day was the big focus for my time here this week. Doug had done a Movie Making Workshop @ ULearn & was keen for his kids to learn the skills. We started with a group of students who will become his classes initial ‘experts’ and support him when the rest of the class has the opportunity to be involved. This is tricky as far as time and management when the only computer capable is the one and only teacher’s laptop… More gear, more gear plzzz…. the tension here is more gear = more $$. Mobile pods would be a cost effective option here – maybe even Apples – some indications of interest from Rae & others who visited the Apple stand @ ULearn.
The focus of the kids Movies was ‘How has school changed since their grandparents were at school?’ Great brainstorming & discussion with the whole class, then the smaller group went off to storyboard, take photos & create their movies. The Computer Mentor team did the same thing too – interesting watching these older kids work – they are really intuitive users of new applications – they can work most things out themselves, helping each other & sharing ideas & discoveries. Mind you pretty simple programme to work with – you just need to follow the instructions down the left hand side!! Gearing up for WebChallenge with some senior students – worked with them as they explored other sites and brainstormed ideas for their own sites. They are all ready to go now – need to gather content, create original content, create some design elements & don’t forget to Register!
Kids set up the dataprojector at the grandparents’ morning tea so they could show their movies – I have never seen so many grandparents in one room at one time!!! Was asked to showcase some learning with ICT while the grandparents did the ‘school tour’ – so worked with a group of 5 & 6 year olds as they used some of the new DLOs (Digital Learning Objects) & revisited some reading sites such as Tumble Books. All totally contrived of course – didn’t fit into any of their learning programmes we were just playing around.
Also lucky enough to work with 2 of my own kids today – Sophie & James – that’s always a bonus!

Friday, 22 July 2005

Taihape – Footprints for the Future

Good to see so many teachers, on the last day of the ‘holidays’ too turning up for Taihape’s MiniConference. Many schools had made it their TOD & the whole school arrived on a bus together. Good to see also the involvement of BOTs (from Taihape School) I was able to talk to some of them over dinner the night before about how they saw their role changing from administrative processes – funding, property, compliance issues etc to being more involved in the learning journey of the school and the change associated with that. Lisa-Jane had spoken with them about all members of the school community being active participants in ‘lifting the lid’ on what is happening in their schools by using the 4 Power Model and examining who in the school has the Power over: relationships, decision-making, information & resources. How do our BOTs fit into the visioning & planning for learning & teaching in our schools – or by default is it left to principals & teachers alone (or even principals alone)?? Well Lisa-Jane was inspirational and thought provoking for many – there was also a range of workshops - at 45 minutes a session – just a taster for teachers to hopefully take back to their schools & investigate and develop further. I presented a hands-on Making Movies session. Teachers brought their own laptops, I provided the sound and pictures & walked them through the process of editing a movie. Once some of them had worked out how to operate the touch pad & buttons on their shiny brand new laptops we were away… My other session Developing Critical NetStudents was a bit of a disaster as I lost the plot halfway through having been working off the wrong presentation – I got so far found ½ my slides weren’t there & links were missing….aaahhh………kind & understanding group of teachers – all the CDs I made walked out the door with them so some resources for them to use & adapt.
It was great to have Rachel from St Joseph’s along to participate and keep me company on the trip over. I went to Hemi’s session on freeware/shareware – had a play around with Hot Potatoes & picked up a CD of loads of stuff (as if I haven’t got enough software that I haven’t got time to play with) & sat in on Jonathan’s MOE “What’s Happening” workshop – have asked him up to speak with Principal’s at our next Management meeting. Check out CORE for a brief review & pics of Taihape.

Thursday, 14 July 2005

ULearn 2005

Well the BardWired team hit ULearn & we learntit alright! Another great conference thnx to the team at Core-Ed. With 13 delegates we achieved maximum coverage tho it was difficult to coordinate time for debrief & sharing - you can join the discussion, add ideas & resources on Interact. Lots of talk there and back in the van (I don't think there's an alphabet game we haven't played yet!)Good to see new members to our team this year - getting to know others within the cluster (even if they do snore) & widening their experiences. The workshops I attended were 'out-there' Stephen Heppell - amazing guy - though at times i find him a bit random - he was Spot On in Auckland; Derek Wenmouth - COPs - communities of practise & Murray Brown discussing the proposed new E-Learning Framework (Now Digital Horizons is reaching its use-by date) All right what i'm thinking about now - with the future direction of the cluster & schools in our area and with the PGrad work i am doing at the mo. All in all very useful. Though i say i get tired of attending conference - Cathey from Telecom sums it up nicely - "It's just like that movie 'GroundHog Day'"; it is still a buzz - look forward to Learning@School, Wellington & ULearn, ChCh 2006!

Who was that strange man who accosted me outside my hotel?!?
(See if u can guess)

Graham's last fling as a member of the BardWired Cluster.
Still an honorary member tho :-)

Thursday, 7 July 2005

On the Road to Matau

Kids are busy here (as they probably are in every other school) finishing off stuff for the end of the term. Looking ahead to next term's web challenge and what to use as a web editor on Macs!? No Frontpage in the Microsoft Mac cds. Put on a dreamweaver trial and played around with that for awhile. I know tables should be the way you set up your layout but once you start putting things in them the contents jump all over the place???!! Not doing something right here - would love more time to play with all this sort of stuff. Hopefully i will learn all this at I-school next term. The kids imported their Matau pictures in to KidPix & did some neat stuff with animated objects - were able to save this as a swf (flash) file but still problem solving how to put this into html (Thanks for your help with this Toko Richard)Two groups are preparing for the web challenge with some cool ideas - the hard thing is working out how to put those cool ideas into reality. Some discussion about the potential and possibilities of VC (beyond webcams) between the ED schools - watch this space!

Monday, 4 July 2005

Stratford Primary

With the imminent arrival of a new server, Lynn and I have been working together to come up with a ‘blueprint’ for the ideal desktop and network configuration. This is because we were going to work on learning to use the Intranet but couldn’t find how to access the files and when we thought we could did not have the administrative privileges to use them….
But along the way we found lots of places we could get into around the school network which were pretty scary indeed so these things need to be locked down, made accessible when necessary by different levels of security. So we have created a working document “On an Ideal School Network…” and this could be any of our schools’ networks. Look out for it on Interact.
Introduced the entire senior school to their SchoolZone area. Demonstrated how their username & password works, how to change their passwords, how to use their email, and drop boxes and change their settings. They found this all pretty exciting to have their own online space & email. Lots and lots of talk as I demonstrated about Cybersafety and the Appropriate Use agreements they had signed. Also showed them how the SchoolZone management tools worked (Carol did this at St Josephs) so they could see that they were being monitored. The reason being is we want a safe learning environment for our children – whether in the classroom, the playground or online!

Friday, 1 July 2005

Toko School

Here is Toko's popular display from the Methanex Maths Competition. Find more examples on Interact.

Staying close to the heaters today – brrrrrrrrrrrr. Kids are buzzing out here – finishing off their Prep movies – using MovieMaker & PhotoStory with still shots and video; preparing a pretty convincing argument for their debate about making playgrounds more exciting places to be, and playing cool maths games. Maths games are the in thing around the schools at the moment – coming out of the numeracy contract. The kids love them too – Sophie comes home and makes up her own maths games to play with her friends… better than playstation that’s for sure. Kelly’s kids in Room 2 are working on their writing skills as they email their British Buddies. They are all really excited to receive email from their e-pals and have their photos up on the wall by their computer. They are also learning some basic email skills (one small step @ a time – attachments next) which Kelly hopes to carry over into some project work. Ideas for email projects can be found at Here’s a great place to hook up with other schools who are looking for epals to email. The