Monday, 23 June 2008

Windwand Sharing

A VC was scheduled for today for TaraNet teachers to share ideas & resources from the windwand miniconference last week. Unfortunately i was the only one to attend this meeting. How frustrating being an ePrincipal - it is so much like being the invisible woman. Because you are not physically in peoples faces all the time it is easy for them to 'forget', make an excuse or just let things go. This is something i have always battled with from eteachers to TaraNet Principals. Next term we will have more f2f workshops for lead teachers - maybe a more blended approach will get some more commitment to the cyberside of our activities.....

Links from our TaraNet wiki here.

An interesting one - Identity 2.0 Dick Hardt

Thursday, 19 June 2008

What Learning Do You Value? Julia Atkins

julia I joined an excellent PD session with Julia Atkins and others around the country about focusing on Key Competencies in the Learning Areas. It was disappointing that noone from any of our cluster schools could find the time to attend this session - they missed a great learning opportunity. This session was recorded so i will download it & extract some of the key points for sharing with my colleagues. The following are some notes from the session:

We began with a discussion on how the curriculum has evolved over the last 120 years. How it has continually expanded & expanded with new subjects as different things have become important over the years. We haven't changed the curriculum in all this time except to add more things. Now to make this more manageable we have created  Key Learning Areas so we can group all these subjects. While we try to make sense of all of this the important thing to think about is "What is the educative purpose of school?" What is Essential Learning - Development of self & self for society.
The Integration of Key Learning Areas, Values & Key Competencies - this will help us achieve our educative process.
How do we do this?
How do we develop 21st Century teachers from Industrialised Ages teachers?
How do we maintain the love of learning that our students come to school with at age 5?
How do we counter the challenges of assessment driven learning with the high stakes assessments of NCEA?

Bringing our Teachers Onboard - Professional Learning

Keep the focus on the learning needs of the students themselves, teachers work collaboratively (PLGs) in improving their practice.

Reframing teachers notions about their own learning before you can they can do that for their students.
Phases of development:
Tacit knowledge (don't engage, succeed with kids by chance)
Explicit knowledge - (they gain some understanding, are more open to learning)
Then can get stuck in the 'guru loop' - looking out to others to tell them what to do
Need to internalise their thinking and look to themselves than thinking an outside factor will change things.

Inspirational videos to get people to open up their minds (have used a few of these before ;-):
When I Become a Teacher....

Pay Attention

Shift Happens

John Holts Model of the worlds we live in - the Nature of Learning:

4 Worlds from our most inner, to the world around us that we have experienced first hand, to the world which we know about but haven't experienced, and then the possible world which is a big unknown.
We develop our own mental models and they don't change until they are confronted.


Julia Atkins "Teaching for Effective Learning" presentation.

Current mental models in education  - 'Teaching as telling & learning as listening' (Yoram Harpez) emphasis on World 3 stuff - knowing about. "Chewing & spewing"
Important to do the experiential learning - need to engage them in developing and knowing.

What Learning Do You Value?
In the top model learning starts at the centre and across the worlds, the model below is World 3 learning.

A process to change: Help develop shared mental models of the skills & attributes we want for our students - develop ownership from all - staff, community - use the curriculum document as reference point.
What learning experiences will they need? What are we doing well? What do we need to change? Develop a learning model for your school?

Monday, 16 June 2008


B glowing I Brass Letter L Pewter Lowercase Letter l

Windwand ICTPD

DSC015568 teachers from all our TaraNet schools attended a PD day in New Plymouth organised by New Plymouth Boys High School & Francis Douglas Memorial College ICTPD cluster. It was disappointing for the organisers that Wellington airport was fogged in all day and a number of workshop presenters couldn't get here.
I presented a workshop on Flickr & one on Blogging. I really wanted to present about the virtual learning network and the opportunities we are able to offer our students with distance learning and video conferencing. But was turned down as this is not what they want to hear about they want to hear about Web 2.0. Though I did take the opportunity when introducing myself to do a quick promo for the VLN & direct them to the website ;-)

I have set up a wiki page for our teachers share their ideas & resources from the days PD.

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Cool Things @ Coastal


Image courtesy of dcysurfer

Coastal Taranaki School are moving ahead with ICTPD in their school largely due to the efforts of Hamish & his team and the work they are doing with an ICTPD Development Project with Oakura & Omata Schools.

This is a great case for supporting Lead Teachers in our schools. Hamish has a day's release each week to work with others in his school & to initiate and support ict projects. His enthusiasm, expertise and time does make a huge difference not only for his school but for how Hamish can work successfully with our TaraNet Lead Teacher team.

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Lead Teachers Developing Critical Netstudents


TaraNet lead teachers met today for our regular termly VC catchup. We had a PD focus on Netsafety & Info Literacy. I presented a workshop session on Developing Critical Netstudents which was one of my first conference presentations. Presentation & supporting resources are all available here.
We discussed explicit teaching strategies & resources for educating our kids to be responsible 'cybercitizens' This ranged from modelled & guided use of the internet with our younger students, information literacy, to learning about issues such as plagiarism, copyright, cyberbullying, web evaluation,  our 'digital footprints' in a Web 2.0 world. The new look NZ netsafe site has started to provide some structure to this with their 'cybercitizenship pathway'.

Also of interest was a new resource supported by netsafe & other organisations - a 3D animated series 'see how the Jones family fares against the nastiest stuff on the internet'

Second Hand Wedding

Stratford High School Media Studies students met with Jeremy Macey, Development Assistant at the NZ Film Commission and Linda Niccol, Writer of the recently released NZ movie 'Second Hand Wedding'.


This was a great opportunity for student to learn more about the film they were studying with experts on hand to answer their questions. Hopefully this will be one of more VC conversations hosted by the Film Commission. Media Studies & English teachers are welcome to join Jeremy to discuss further VC opportunities Monday 4th August. Contact me for VC bridge & pin # number.

Monday, 9 June 2008

Patea's New Personalised Learning Centre

ken_patea (Large)

It was a buzz to hook in with Patea today and to see from the  VC room background that they had begun to set up and use their new learning space. Today was a good opportunity for all staff at Patea to experience a video conference and to talk to Ken from OtagoNet. The discussion was around what were the possibilities their learning centre would bring for their students and what were some of the pitfalls they may need to navigate. Having experienced and researched this at Roxborough, Ken was able to offer some practical ideas and insights. Between Ken and I we also gave staff a bigger picture view of the activities of the Virtual Learning Network and the opportunities available for our students.

Thursday, 5 June 2008

MyPortfolio @ St Mary's


Jane (Careers) at St Mary's hooked into the MyPortfolio VC organised by Carolyn (FarNet). This was a VC promoted for Careers staff to explore the features of myPortfolio. You can register a trial for your school here. myPortfolio is a product created using Mahara opensource software.

My reflections on this and other recent VCs where websites are being explored is to make sure if you are a participant to have a networked computer in front of you so you can follow along on your own computer. The quality of visuals on computer screens beamed through the vc are really blurry and poor. Be interested to hear from schools who are using new VC gear if they have higher definition and quality than we are getting with our 5 year old equipment.

While at St Mary's i have met with lead teachers & the ICT team. Janette is wanting to promote delicious for a school book mark site, & to explore simple digital portfolios with some of her students to share examples of work with their families.

Wednesday, 4 June 2008



Students from all our TaraNet schools travelled together to Wellington last week to attend TechHui08 "a day where students can learn about new technologies, exchange ideas, share knowledge, visit leading-edge labs, and observe courses at our two local universities". I vced with them today to find out what they had gained from the day. For many it was an eye opener to see the amount of access these students had to technology that they did not have in their own schools; they thought it was ironic also that on the day technology failed in some of the presentations; the lecture style of presentation was a huge challenge to them (as i think it would be too) & i was disappointed to see that there was not more hands on interactive stuff happening; oh and lunch was like a moshpit ;-) See their pics & comments on the TaraNetKidz wikispace.


The logistics of organising this amongst the 6 schools was challenging as far as getting the EOTC procedure right. I don't know that i communicated the process very well & this is something I need to review with TaraNet principals before we organise another event. Big thanks to Hamish & Janette, lead teachers from Coastal Taranaki & St Mary's Schools who took charge of this group.

The students really enjoyed having the opportunity to go away with others from different TaraNet schools. This has been a good start for our kids coming together outside of formal eclasses and an opportunity to promote student voice. Their next shared project is creating & gathering media for a TaraNet promotional video