Tuesday, 28 February 2006
Eltham Primary School
It is good to see ideas picked up from Rotorua being adapted and used in the classroom already - good stuff Megan! Megan has been exploring issues with her students based around ideas raised on the Values Exchange. This is a site that profiles a number of topical issues - students can register, share their point of view and vote for what they believe. Megan used the data projector to introduce her class to the values exchange and to guide some background web research around the area of focus. Students went home and discussed the current issue with their family. Today they shared their ideas using the thinking hats to structure their thinking and cooperative learning strategies to share their ideas. Great to observe. Watch out for more detail on this at our next Wine Not Network.
Megan and i spent a little time discussing ideas for using the data projector in the classroom. Some ideas on Interact. We looked at a couple of sites - echalk was one to note - some useful resources there.
I had a lot of one on one time with teachers over the last couple of days. Some of the work we did was looking at record keeping and managing data with Excel - as this was a common area of need it highlights the need to adopt a school-wide system using a Student Management system. I know that this is an area that Eltham has been looking at and will move on as soon as the network system is back into place - not an easy year for this with the huge building upgrades & disruption to classrooms.
It was great to spend some time with 'PC teachers' and turn them onto the joys of Mac. Simple little things in i-Photo that Mac users take for granted were really generating some wows - that is so easy, that is so cool!! My advice - to them was take the school Macs home & have a play - they weren't hard at all - just different.
How's this for an analogy - How many people can you get in a mini? How many little people can fit around a Mac? Well maybe not a good comparison but thats what it reminded me of when i saw this keen little crew!
A different scenario next door in Elise's class as she had booked the 'apple boxes' and kids were spread out all over the room.
My highlights today- definately spending time with Sue's kids at lunch time watching a newly hatched butterfly spread it's wings and discovering with the children that pumice will float whether it's the size of a button, a tennis ball or a watermelon!
Sunday, 26 February 2006
To Schmooze? " To converse casually, especially in order to gain an advantage or make a social connection."
Hey, i was schmoozing with the best of them :-)
We had a great week at conference - more to come in following posts.
Wednesday, 15 February 2006
After some talking to people around the schools (not just our schools but further afield) there is some surprise that our so called 'digital natives', many of them, are just as technologically illiterate as the next person!
Should we plan to explicitly teach basic computer skills and monitor and evaluate them in order to fill in the gaps?
What do we expect our children to be able to do and at different ages?
If our children are getting frequent opportunities to use ICTs in their learning, surely this makes those questions irrelevant - they wouldn't be able to complete the learning activities if they didn't have those skills in place already.
So what do you do? Maybe schools where children are not able to log on or save files to the correct place, or know how to write a document, create a picture, put it in etc are just not giving their children enough learning opportunities using computers.
Maybe a checklist of skills would help some teachers to make sure they are planning to integrate and therefore actually doing it. Having them set up a timetable in the classroom to ensure children are using the computer...
So there are some classrooms where ICT is just ubiquitous and if you're not one of those classrooms maybe you need your checklist & your timetable as a place to start.
Sunday, 12 February 2006
Been selecting breakouts for Learning@School coming up in a couple of weeks in Rotorua. Got to be in quick to get your first choices - 850 coming this year - will be a biggie. Some interesting offerings too: Viral Learning; Protable technologoy ;-) Just goes to show the typing fingers are quicker than the brain! Had a play with SchoolMaster as St Jo's start learning how to use it with Terry Stowers - seems to be an increasingly popular choice - around this area anyway.
Friday, 10 February 2006
I have had a great break, hardly touched my computer (as you can tell by the blog posts or lack of), haven't read any of my feeds, listened to just a couple of podcasts but its good to be back in amongst it again – lots of people to catch up with, lots of reading to do, finding my feet with another timetable – an extra .2 up my sleeve – if anyone wants that time just let me know. There have been a few things coming up for that time in the pipeline - talk about that in another post. Good to exercise the old ‘grey matter’ again but as Karen Boyes pointed out the other day the brain is only grey when it’s dead – ohh! Yep tell that to Time magazine if u read their January feature 'How to Sharpen your mind' - frequent references to grey matter - uum who to believe & does it really matter anyway! I thought their article MULTITASKING: Help! I've Lost My Focus was particularly relevant to me - and you too if your reading this!
So Karen was in at