Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Social Networks for Learning Languages

Learning Languages is now a separate learning area in the new curriculum and compulsory for schools to provide the opportunity for Years 7 – 10 to learn an additional language. Primary Schools are now collaborating to offer languages across their schools & this project is now growing from 3 to 7 schools offering introductory French & Spanish (from small acorns grow… :-)

The following are some social networks for learning languages, that with supervision & guidance, be a useful addition to the language teachers toolbox.





 Guide to these & other sites



  “Learn a language with the Radio Lingua Network by downloading our free materials to your computer or mp3 player …”


Monday, 12 October 2009

Blogging Guidelines for Schools

“The purpose of this document is to assist schools in developing a policy for the safe and educationally appropriate use of web-logs or blogs.

Although the document addresses blogs specifically, the concepts can be applied to the use of a variety of read/write web tools designed to facilitate communication, commonly called Web2.0

  1. Why use a school blog
  2. Establishing an educational blog
  3. Monitoring and managing the school blog?
  4. Privacy and copyright
  5. Platforms and tools
  6. Discussion questions for your school”

You have until the end of the week to share in the shaping of these guidelines for schools. Many schools have closed the opportunities of Web 2.0 to their students because they are unsure of how to manage what is potentially a disruptive technology. These guidelines will be an important resource for schools as more and more they allow their students to safely step out into the Wide Wonderful World of Web 2.0.

image NetSafe are currently revising their Cybersafe Schools programme and are looking for contributions from NZ Schools about how we can ensure our young people have the skills and attributes to be good citizens in a digital age. You can register to become a member of the NetSafe Education Network here.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Ulearn Conference - Anne Tolley's Opening Address

Beehive - Ulearn Conference

Shared via AddThis

You can't run, you can't hide - there is no option:
"We have some schools that are racing ahead, some that have developed local solutions, some that are still trialling ideas, some who have experimented and given up, some who have made mistakes and learnt from them and some who are possibly hoping it will all go away. I have a message for them - this is not going away. Hiding from, or ignoring e-learning is not an option."

That's a pretty strong message - how is this going to happen? Not on the back of fibre connections & improved infrastructure alone, ICTPD provision also has to develop new models than the current clustering system to meet the needs of all schools. It used to be that within an organisation you should match the same amount of funds spent of infrastructure into staff support & training. How would this balance with the projected investment of millions into infrastructure - hmmm i don't think we would measure up anywhere close to that equation. A plea to the Minister be careful about putting your technology cart before the horse and invest in people to support the coming changes.

"We need to put together our collective knowledge and experience and structure a coherent, rollout of broadband and ICT to all schools. We cannot afford to continue to drift on in a fragmented fashion. It is time for schools to be seen as ICT leaders and to encourage innovation and development."

I most definitely agree - a great place to start would be within the MOE where the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing. There was many mentions of the VLN & it's various activities during the Minister's speech. She then goes onto talk about a National Education Network trial & extending that trial out to more schools.
Helloooo we have a National Education Network that has been active for the last 6 years - its called the Virtual Learning Network and it is going largely unsupported by the MOE. Again networks are about connecting people & schools and not just about fibre & wires.