Thursday, 25 May 2006
Another work in progress :-)
Toko Talk - our cluster's first published podcast - wahoo!
To subscribe copy the following link into iTunes (on the File menu, click Advanced, click Subscribe to Podcast)
A busy prep afternoon today @ Toko - almost a Teacher Free Zone - kids hard @ work everywhere you look.
Categories: Toko, podcast, highlights
Wednesday, 24 May 2006
It was good to be back out at Marco School for the first time this year. Though i don't spend as much time in the ED schools, Richard Barnes has been doing lots. Thnx Richard gr8 job!
We covered lots of things today - learnt how to use Inspiration for brainstorming, mindmapping & planning research; creating Paint/PowerPoint animations; resizing graphics; looking at online resources; checking up on the quality of bandwith - sizzling downloads but uploads? - less than dial-up! - no wonder we can't vc thru skype... Awesome to hear about their Aussie trip to the Gold Coast. Check out Daniel's blog post :-)
Tuesday, 23 May 2006
Students in Michael's Room 9 class are busy constructing their Year Book - compiling video & images (their pics enhanced in interesting ways...) into a shared Movie Maker project. Look forward to viewing their final product - a work in progress so far. Other teachers explored online resources (including TKI digistore learning objects) that support their reading & maths programmes. They have created short cuts in folders on the classroom desktop with appropriate resources. Their challenge is to integrate these activities into their classroom programme so that all students have opportunites to use them & feedback to me in my next school visit on how it's all going. A big learning curve for everybody these last couple of days.
Wednesday, 17 May 2006
Today was a day (of many days) when i think i have got the best job in the world! What a perfect day @ Makahu & a great bunch of kids & teachers. Did i go out to Makahu to take pictures & video, make PowerPoints,& update blogs with the kids? No way i went out to make & fly kites - wahoo! We did do all that other ICT stuff too which was cool also... Read about their fun with kites & their school camp in Rotorua on their blogs.
More pics on flickr
Tuesday, 16 May 2006
"When you're sitting out in the paddock and you wanna have a learn you just whip out your cellphone..."
Ha Ha - A positive change from the recent media focus on txt bullying & banning cellphones in schools.
There are loads of cool learning resources online. It would be really good to see all these learning objects searchable independently instead of having to scour through separate sites for just the right one. So you could key in say year level, curriculum outcomes & key words & you would be directed to just the right collection of DLOs … maybe there is something like this and I just haven’t found it yet! It would certainly make sure teachers didn't have to spend hours on this & there would be some standardisation of quality & expectation of curricular alignment.
This is just a sample of what you can find online using Google & the key words: interactive maths activities
National Library of Virtual Manipulatives
BBC Schools Maths Game Wheel
(higher level - good ideas for Methanex?)
check it out 4 source code to create your own activities
Maths games – critically review to make sure that the bang for bucks balance is in favour of learning and not weighed to heavily on edutainment
Loads of interactives for IWB can be used with DataProjectors & kids independent work!!
Teaching Treasures http://teachingtreasures.com.au/maths/Maths_more.htmlOf course not forgetting our own DLOs at TKI's Digistore. It is really cool how Maths Online has linked directly into Digistore with a grid that is organised by year level & maths strand to the appropriate DLO - check it out!
Monday, 15 May 2006
Brrrrrrrrrr - we have launched into winter in the last couple of days!!! Why would you want to live in Stratford?! Even after living most of my life here i can still look at this mountain & feel the pull - explain? can't really - but if u have lived here u probably know what i mean :-)
Looking at the mountain today & reading Kelvin's SPS newletter with a letter from an ex-pupil really stirs up memories of growing up under the mountain. I am looking forward to the Stratford Primary School Jubilee next year & catching up with some very old friends...
Dominic Sheehan in "Finding Home" captures the feelings of growing up in Stratford so well - this is a great book - look for it in your school library - if it's not there - get it!
"Lumley was the sort of town that was not so small that everyone knew everybody else, but small enough that most people knew a little bit of everything that happened....
Lumley was a town large enough for two primary schools as well as the high school. It had ten pages in the district phone book, a New World supermarket, two roundabouts, a railway overbridge and a gardening shop with its own mini-greenhouse in the rear and a real full-sized wheelbarrow stuck on the facade. It had its own public library, located at the end of a long dark corridor that was cold and echoey and lined with pictures of the city fathers. The library also contained Lumley's only elevator.
It was a town big enough for a municipal swimming pool. And a picture theatre with a winding staircase and red velvet curtains that hung so thick and heavy you wondered how they managed to stay on the rails. In George Mayle Park there was a band rotunda which at Christmas time would be decorated around the edges with dozens of lights. The park was named after a lieutenant colonel from Lumley killed at Gallipoli. A stone memorial arch at the park's entrance commemorated his sacrifice.
In the centre of town was a square-faced clock, which kept perfect time. It was part of the local post office, the largest building in Lumley, which was sided with shiny aluminium and had a flagpole directly outside, placed in the middle of the footpath. No one knew why the builders put a flagpole in everyone's way, but it was such a part of the town that no one seemed to care, and anyway, once you knew it was there you just walked around it.
Lumley was tucked under the shadow of the mountain. No matter where you went in the town, if you looked up, the mountain was there, watching over your shoulder. Around the base of the mountain was a circle of native bush and even in summer the the mountain's peak was capped with a dusting of snow which thickened and spread as winter came. It also had a habit of being shy and more often than not it would play beek-a-boo behind a screen of mist and clouds. Being around the mountain all the time, you tended to forget it was there. But you could always sense its looming presence.
That was the town that came out to greet us as we walked through its wide streets on the first morning of school. The people and the places and the mountain... "
Friday, 12 May 2006
Tahora's artists in residence have been hard at work today creating some wonderful art work using good old Microsoft Paint (pictured above) and ArtRage. You can see more of their work on Flickr. Check out their blogs as well & leave them a comment.
Wednesday, 3 May 2006
Tuesday, 2 May 2006
I set up her access to the Junior reading resource , Digital Learning Objects & showed her how to make a Quick Links webpage.
Being able to create hyperlinks is a pretty easy skill to do with a very powerful result. Every teacher should be doing this! It allows teachers to easily organise access for their students to specific digital resources (i.e. particular websites or learning objects). I used to encourage teachers to find the web resource they wanted their kids to access & then shortcut it to the desktop but i got a slap over the hand from the network manager (again...) because too many desktop shortcuts load up the user profiles & slow down the system.
So How To? A bit like constructing a WebQuest. You don't need any special web editor. Just use Word - write in the learning activities you want kids to access, find the web address (of the site or the learning object or even a resource saved on your own network), copy the address Ctrl C, highlight the text in your QuickLinks file, Ctrl K to open up the hyperlinks box, & copy the address in Ctrl V. Save As a webpage where your students can access. You can make sure that your passwords are remembered so Juniors can just click straight in there. Easy peasy :-)
Monday, 1 May 2006
We've been talking about it for a little while and now here are Toko Schools first Podcasts in Beta Version. Not only podcasting but the use of audio and MP3 players (without necessarily publishing to the world...) will be used to support the Oral Language programme - an important focus for our kids at Toko. Today we practised using Garageband to record a signature tune, record & edit vocals. It was great that most of these kids have already a good grasp on creating music with GarageBand - they taught me heaps :-) We then exported to iTunes where we compressed the files - a significant difference in file size! (25mb down to 5ish). Next steps are to include some metadata about the files (oops forgot that today) and to work with Richard and Kelly to help them out with the next step - hosting the podcasts (Toko site or external?) & creating an RSS feed. Lots of things to get started on now that this team have mastered the basics. So these audio files are very raw - lots of room for improvement but a great start :-)
More information about Podcasting can be found earlier in this blog
Makayla & Krystal
Tyler & Samuel
Emily, Sally & Georgia
You will need iTunes to download & listen to these audio files. (Learning point - next time we will convert to mp3 so it is accessible to more people)