Tuesday, 25 November 2014

China /NZ friends in the Classroom

The VLN Primary School is really privileged to have the support of the Confucius Institute Auckland to partner with us to provide Mandarin programmes in our schools. Last week i farewelled Katie & Dandan who have been working with us this year. They have been awesome teachers and ambassadors for their country. Our kids love them & we will really miss them crying 
The same day Chinese President Xi Jingping was also in Auckland having lunch with '400 other close friends at SkyCity'. Our MLAs got to wave at his motorcade as it drove by. The MLA programme is where the real China/NZ friendships are forged - as we welcome these young people into our homes and or classrooms. They get to enjoy a slice of kiwi life (everyone of them talked about gaining extra kilos in NZ) and we gain a better understanding of each other's cultures. 
The government is promoting the development of Asian Languages in Schools with a contestable funding pool for schools. The first deadline for funding has closed but a second opportunity opens in 2015. The VLN Primary School will be offering Mandarin, Japanese & Korean classes online next year - take the opportunity to try it out with your students and consider how you can grow this in the schools in your area.
Mandarin Class

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Connect your Learners - Over the Back Fence 2015

Successful projects keep on running & keep getting better. Well done Geoff into your third (4th?) year of Over the Back Fence Project.
Over the Back Fence
Geoff is welcoming schools wanting to participate in 2015

What is OtBF?

• We broadcast a simple health/safety lesson to your class each week.
• The lesson is between 5 and 10 minutes. We use Skype or Connect.
• The classroom teacher can choose the topics or chose from our list.
• Lessons are taught at the same time each week to avoid confusion.
More info here (2014 startup) and listen to Geoff's students & have a peek in his classroom here.
Here is the schedule of available times for 2015 - contact Geoff gmwood@xtra.co.nz for more information or to secure a time for your school to participate.
MONDAY
10:10-10:40

11:25-11:55
TUESDAY
10:10-10:40

12:10-12:40

2:20-3:00
WEDNESDAY
10:10-10-40

1:40-2:10

2:20-3:00
THURSDAY
10:10-10:40
FRIDAY
10:10-10:40

2:20-3:00

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Cultural Connections @ Confucius Institute Day

This post may be a bit belated but i really loved joining in with the Confucius Institute day in Auckland recently. I know our Mandarin students around Aotearoa would have loved to participate in these activities too. I wished they were all with me to enjoy the day. My mind was racing on how we can have a 'Camp China' for our students that are distributed around the country or how we can support them to attend future events such as this one. Definitely something to plan for the future and may be more accessible if we can grow participation in Asian Languages (see my last post) further than Auckland and out into the regions.

The day started with a Breakfast seminar at the Fale Pasifika, Auckland Uni, with guest speaker Professor Zhang Wei. His topic was around a Chinese Perspective of democracy & the future of China. It is a good reminder that there are many viewpoints beyond our own that we should be aware of, irrespective of our own political ideologies. Naive statement i know but politics is not a path i want to follow on this blog. I am sure though if the events in HongKong were unfolding earlier we would have had a livelier Q & A session.

So breakfast is always good and my first real Chinese breakfast with Black Rice:


We then headed over to the quad for a powhiri, more speeches, great dancing and martial arts demo. Here are photos of just a few of the activities to join in:



Chinese cultural activities are a great way to spark interest and participation in learning Mandarin and in developing Asia Awareness in your school. Check out Parnell School's Mandarin Blogspot that showcases all their activities - i like the idea of the Great Dragon Challenge that engaged the whole school in a day of immersive cultural activities.


Well done to the team at Confucius Institute and our Mandarin Language Assistants (some above), including Dandan (below) I know a lot of effort went into the planning, preparation and hosting of the day! (Here is the link to more pics from Confucius Institute of the day)


Promoting Asian Languages


I was recently invited to join discussions with Asia NZ on the future directions of Learning Languages (particularly Asian Languages) in New Zealand. It was very well organised for conversation as we  moved Cafe style around changing groups of participants from across the sector and language and cultural organisations. This engaged us in discussions that teased out key themes and issues that emerged throughout the day. Thanks Jeff for superb facilitation of the day & outgoing AsiaNZ director John McKinnon for an inspiring welcoming speech (you can read the accompanying opinion piece here). The Key Question was: "By 2025, all school students in New Zealand will have the opportunity to learn an Asian language. How do we make this happen?"


Some of the general discussion raised around the room was echoed by many - access to NZ based teachers, the recognition of languages as important, the drop off in students past year 10, competition for resourcing within schools & lack of policy direction. This is not just the case for Asian Languages but these are the same messages coming through on the Languages listservs i belong to as well.

For me the main themes I formed from discussions I had, was the need for a clear strategic direction that should be developed and enacted through the collaboration of all key stakeholders; alongside this is the need to engage with the wider community and to make learning relevant to our students in order to incentivise greater participation. You can read the full overview of the day's discussion collated and shared by Asia New Zealand here.

It is encouraging to know that the government is investing in this area and schools can access funding to support learning Asian languages but at the same time it also a concern that this funding isn't aligned to clear educational strategies. Schools will find it useful to refer to this supporting document from Asian New Zealand that gives guidelines for planning, piloting and sustaining Asian Language learning programmes.

So moving forward from here we look forward to taking these conversations further, building on our collaborative partnerships and developing new ones to support Asian language learning opportunities for our students. Watch this space!

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Connected Students @ Rosmini College

I have always been a great fan of the work that Geoff Wood is doing with his students at Rosmini College and have written on them often in the VLN Primary School blog (here, here & here). His classroom is truly a Connected Classroom and his students Connected Learners. Geoff is a full time classroom teacher and has 'flipped' his classroom to be revolving around the constant connections that fuel their learning processes, through the sharing and relationships they develop with the many, many different students who come 'virtually' into their classroom everyday. On my second face to face visit in two years i can see now how this has really developed into the culture of the students Years 7 - 13 in Geoff's health classes. They are organised, they are confident, they are patient & persistent (dealing with the technology), they are able to communicate with a diversity of students from new entrants, all over NZ and globally. On the afternoon i was at Rosmini two boys were in the workroom (cupboard?), teaching youngsters in South Auckland about sugars in our diet; another two were on the outside deck talking to students from Te Hapua about online safety & Geoff was preparing an international connection with Bangladesh & Pakistan (?) for later in the day. I was impressed with the ease of communication, through pretty average technology & connections (HD desktop VC it wasn't). It was a joy to watch the students at Te Hapua perform a waiata & haka for the Rosmini boys and then one by one approach the camera to introduce themselves & say thank you.
Below is are some snippets of one of the sessions and a short interview with two of the boys:




Wednesday, 1 October 2014

VLN Primary Schools Roadtrip

A quick round up of my road trip to Auckland last week. It was great to pop in to some of our schools who have students learning with us in our online classes and projects. So good to have some face to face time with our students, getting to meet teachers & kids we have been working with throughout the year; also good to catch up with old friends in real space & time :-)

Moanataiari School                                     

Students at Moanataiari school participate in our extension Mandarin class, extension Maths & te Reo Māori. In addition to these students are another dozen joining in with My Story, Our Story, Your Story - Photography project. (Lots of kids running around with camera's & a very keen classroom teacher). Feedback from their Principal ise that in Mandarin they are 'going great guns', te reo just starting to come out of their shell and participating more, were a little whakama to start with & maths students are being challenged with the step up in learning.

You can listen to some of the students comments here:

Mahurangi Christian School

A shame that I spent a good part of my visit on Helen's floor looking for the screw for my glasses and then more time with her sticky taping my glasses together - we did have a short 'meet &greet' to touch base. Language classes are the interest for this school at the moment & perhaps we won't see them again next year with the prospects of having a Japanese teacher at school. Which is a good thing, some of our schools are participating or NOT depending on the needs of their students and what support they need at the time. The VLN Primary should not be an end in itself but a bridge to connect our students, our schools and learning opportunities. Other projects are of interest but only if they fit what's happening for these kids - so message here - just keep in the loop, keep connected, hook in & engage where there is a clear & relevant purpose to participate.
Great to see independent student learning & inquiry based learning in this school and have the children tell me all about how it works in their school. Thanks for taking the time to chat with me Louise. Here's a short video via VPLD on how Staff at Mahurangi Christian School connects the classroom to the community through digital technologies.


Ahuroa School


A great little country school less than an hour north of Auckland. Ahuroa School was my destination to meet Theressa who is running a collaborative Photography project - again another great opportunity to make a face to face connection. Although completely virtual, if there is an opportunity to touch base in person, it is really worthwhile making the time. Theressa is a great asset to her school, not only running the photography club, but also their Robotics team, and a keen hands on interest in elearning. Thanks Theressa for taking the best of what you do in your school and collaborating with other schools - i know there are a lot of teachers & kids already buzzing with this project, Some nuts & bolts still to work out around managing so many photos, maintaining a feedback & improvement process and keeping engagement going to ensure student are improving their photography skills, choosing relevant photo's to the theme and having some great thoughtful images to exhibit in 2015. Looking forward to watching this unfold.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Eyes on the Horizon, Feet on the Ground

As all of my work is exclusively in the virtual and online education world, it has been a welcome change in the last couple of weeks to have the opportunity to meet with teachers and get my feet on the ground in schools. It's exciting to be working on the edges of educational change but it's so important to keep it real too! Here's my first update:

EBOP Connected Teachers

Thanks to Edgecumbe Primary for hosting, @jeanettem1 for organising and leading this initiative and  @mrs_hyde for supporting this first event. This builds on from other Connected teachers groups in Rotorua, Taupo & more recently Napier. DIY PLD, the knowledge is in the room! Good to be around classroom teachers, hearing what is important and happening in their schools and getting to know people in the Eastern Bay. Looking forward to another hui at the end of the month in my town Matata.

Ngatea Primary School

Image attribution:http://karlas-learning.blogspot.co.nz/
I have been following @Neil_NPS 'Principal of Ngatea Primary School where we challenge and re-define our learning environment.' and had been keen to stop in and see what was happening at this school, so just to be nosy i invited myself for a school visit on my way up to Auckland. Thanks @hull_karla for showing me around and sharing your school's learning journey with me. Lots of great things happening with student centred personalised learning, flexible timetables, collaborative teaching, open learning spaces, 1:1 chromebooks. Most of my questions were around logistical things like how to support learning in flexible time & space; now I'm keen to go back and find our more about about the learning than the organisation. Has any research been done yet in our MLE schools? Would be interested to see.
Check out this short virtual tour:


Thursday, 18 September 2014

Getting Ready for Connected Educator Month #CEM #cenz14


Everyday is a Connected Educator day for me, it's my job, that's what i do - &  I love it! So to be involved with Connected Educator Month is a real privilege. I am encouraging our schools to not just share and support our activities but to go and explore the wide & interesting range of what's on offer throughout the month and immerse themselves. This is an awesome PLD opportunity for our teachers to 'learn by doing' and #participate. I really like the Starter Kete for teachers which introduces us to different concepts & tools each day, a great supporting resource. There is something for everyone in events that run in NZ & globally throughout the month. High fives to @virtuallykaren you are doing a fantastic job of bringing this all together.

Here are our contributions to Connected Educator Month coming up soon!
They are adaptations of those we ran earlier in the year at DEANZ and more recently (coming up) at ULearn14 conferences.  I am aiming to get our students to lead and co-host some of these events too and hoping that we will pull in members of our school communities to participate too.

Workshop Presentations

VLN Primary Montage

Leveling the playing field for schools through networked learning

Thursday 16th October - 4.00 - 5.00 pm
(Suitable for school leaders, members of school communities &  teachers)
NZ schools have been collaborating for many years across the old No.8 wire & bush telegraph, now we are on the cusp of being more connected to one another than we have ever been in the past, with ultrafast broadband and more ubiquitous & reliable technology. How can we leverage on our connectedness, taking the best of what we have from across our schools and creating new learning opportunities for all our students? Our students have so much to gain with equity and access to learning that has boundless possibilities.
This presentation will showcase how Primary Schools from around NZ are collaborating online and the benefits to our students. We will discuss the vision, practicalities & challenges of working collaboratively online; and explore future opportunities to make connections with schools who are interested in participating in networked learning.

Getting ready for teaching & learning online 

Thursday 23rd October - 4.00 - 5.00 pm
(Suitable for teachers)
This is a hands on workshop for teachers who are keen to participate in online learning with the VLN Primary School. Whether you are supporting students who are online learners (mTeacher) or if you are teaching online yourself (eTeacher), or if you just want to see how it all works; this ‘induction’ workshop will prepare you with the skills, knowledge and confidence to step out with your kids in the world of virtual learning. This workshop session will introduce you to the VLN Primary online learning initiative; you will learn how to use some online tools - Adobe Connect, Welearn & Google Docs to develop an online class, and explore some strategies for teaching and learning online.

WeLearn – Student eLearning Hub 

Thursday 30th October - 4.00 - 4.30 pm
(Suitable for teachers & school leaders)
Welearn has been developed as the social networking and support hub for VLN Primary School online learners. There is awesome potential to shape & share this environment as a collaborative blended learning space across NZ schools. Come and check out what is happening in Welearn and explore the possibilities for participating with your students.

Student Participation

These events are for students to participate in and are designed to introduce and model activities where students can connect and learn together online.  This is a real time quiz based competition. We would love an international challenge - Global Connected Educators!
image

Literacy Challenge

Thursday 16th October 10 - 11 am
This has a focus on literature, suitable for your avid readers.

Maths Challenge

Thursday 30th October 10 - 11 am
Test your Maths brain - suitable for students who are working at L4+ NZC
Both of these competitions are aimed at Y7 & 8s but Y5 & 6s are also welcome to participate if their teachers think they will be able to compete. Students can compete in teams of 2 - 4 (but no more than 4).

Taster Classesimage

These are for both students and teachers together who are considering participating in online learning supported by the VLN Primary School. Also suitable for those interested in seeing a snapshot of how we learn together in our online classes. This session provides a walk through of the nuts & bolts of connecting and communicating in online spaces, how students can set themselves up for managing their own learning and how teachers can support them.
Thursday 23rd October 10.00 am
Thursday 30th October 1.30 am 

Connection Details

All sessions will run through Adobe Connect, supported by the Ministry of Education
With concurrent audio conference connection and/OR Skype audio

To join the meeting: http://connect.vln.school.nz/cem/
Participation code will be emailed to you on confirmation of your registration

Phone /Audio Conference Number(s): 0800693638 or 04 4951378
Participant Code: 407130#
----------------
If you have never attended an Adobe Connect meeting before:
Test your connection
Get a quick overview


Click Here to Register

Friday, 29 August 2014

Project Huia - call for student participation

Project Huia - Book Study - Extension Learners

Project Huia

This reading project was run successfully last term, with our Rural & Remote Schools students, and now is being offered again as an extension opportunity for all interested schools.
This project will run entirely through Google Classroom and our WeLearn website, with a couple of 'real time' scheduled Adobe Connect sessions, as well as a connection with the author Des Hunt.
Weekly activities are designed to encourage the students to engage with the text to extract greater meaning; to seek out, identify, understand and apply new and interesting words; and enable students to visualise the thoughts and feelings they have in relation to the text and to recreate these artistically and enable them to reflect and respond in a written manner.
Students will have reading and activities to complete each week to be sent to their teacher so schools will need to ensure that this work is integrated into their classroom programmes to enable the time needed. Please put forward students who are working at NZC Level 4. 

Learning Objectives

Students will be reading, responding to, and thinking critically about the text in order to work towards meeting the reading demands of Level 4 NZC.
Students will locate, evaluate and synthesise information and ideas within the text(s) selected, and have opportunities to generate and answer questions about the selected text(s)
Students will recognise and understand a variety of grammatical constructions and some rhetorical patterns (e.g., cause and effect; comparing and contrasting);
  • using their prior knowledge, along with information in the text, to interpret abstract ideas, complex plots, and sophisticated themes
  • identifying and evaluating writers’ purposes and the ways in which writers use language and ideas to suit their purposes;
Students will discuss word meanings and grammar or talk about how language choices and modes of delivery vary according to purpose.

Enrolments & queries to primary@vln.school.nz
New schools please check Protocols of Participation first.
Makuri School

Contributed by:

Keryl Kelleher

Makuri School


Des Hunt & Rural class students
A conversation with author Des Hunt - Rural & Remote Students Term 2, 2014

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

May the Force be With You!

Are you a student who is interested in Science?
 - in the world around you, and why things work as they do? 

Why is it harder to stay up on a snowboard than on a ski?
Did you know that the G forces at work on a NZ falcon’s brain are over twice as many as those at work on an astronaut’s brain just before he blacks out?

Welcome to the exciting world of “Forces.” This 8 week course will help answer some of the above questions, and similar questions or wonderings you might have had to do with the topic of Forces. This area is part of Physics, and is part of the Physical World Strand of Science.

We will also be thinking about the “Nature of Science” strand of science as we progress through the 8 weeks. The Nature of Science is to do with “what is Science”; “scientists – past, present , future, and what they do”; and “how we can be like scientists – thinking and acting like scientists by predicting, investigating, gathering data, making observations by using our senses and by measuring, inferring, and looking for patterns.”

The 8 week course is very hands on. You will be expected to do investigations and trials in between sessions, and to report back the following week. (In other words there will be “hands on” based homework every week). It would be good to email me photos or short video clips of your investigations between sessions as well.

By the end of the 8 weeks you will be able to think and act like a scientist by gathering and interpreting data. You will have designed your own investigations and trials. I will give you suggestions and ideas to help with this. From designing and doing trials with balloon powered racers to using pulleys and ropes to lift objects, you are in for an exciting 8 week ride!
Fasten your seat belts and get ready for take-off…..oh, and may the Force be with you. (Please excuse the mixed metaphors – Literacy is my other area of interest besides Science!)

Enrolments & queries to primary@vln.school.nz
New schools please check Protocols of Participation first.
Resources students will need access to.
Ngamatea School

Contributed by:

Kathy Forster

Ngamatea School

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Connected communities: What are the implications for school leadership?

Cross-posted from the NZEALS forum:
"A report by the 21st Century Learning Reference Group entitled Future-focused learning in connected communities (May 2014) refers to evidence suggesting the beneficial impact that collaborating in regional networks and across school communities has on student outcomes.

With this in mind what might principals need to consider in schools’ strategic planning to provide opportunities for school communities to connect and collaborate in ways that are productive and meaningful to staff, students and the wider community?"

I think school leaders need to start developing a collective vision of education that goes beyond their own classroom walls & school gates. Tomorrow's Schools has done a great job of creating a silo system of schools and creating an environment where collaboration is difficult between schools. This post of Derek's is worth a read - we really need school leaders thinking at the top level of Spackman's moral scale and in a schooling system that supports and enables that.

I really like the definition of Learning Communities in the LCO (Learning Communities Online) Handbook :

"-- Learning – this must always be the primary focus of these communities. The emphasis here is on the emerging pedagogical practices that must be explored and adopted in the networked school, and on the outcomes that are sought for learners. This also recognises that teachers are also learners in this system, and that provision must be made for them to access learning opportunities in this way.

* Community – a networked school is more likely to succeed if it acts as part of a collaborative community. The term community here embraces the notions of participation, trust, agreement and purpose. Individual schools may be a part of several communities, and each will be defined differently by its purpose and the roles of those within it. For most it is likely that there will be a primary community, one defined by geography or special character, to which an individual school will belong."

The LCO handbook, although with a focus on online collaborations, is a useful guide to the myriad of considerations communities of schools need to go through from Proposal (Develop a philosopical context; Identify community of interest; Establish purpose; Set goals and principles; Agree on membership; Explore potential funding sources) through to planning, implementation & sustainability. I recommend you take a look, if you haven't already - you can download the whole LCO as a pdf)

The VLN communities of schools (that created this LCO handbook) show that long term sustainable collaboration is possible and it doesn't necessarily have to be geographically based, it can be with other schools with similar learner needs anywhere in NZ. These sorts of successful collaborations need to be seriously considered and supported when looking towards the systems level change that IES will bring the NZ schooling sector.

Monday, 11 August 2014

My Story Our Story Your Story - Call for interest collaborative project

Ahuroa School Photography Club would like to invite interested schools to join them on a photographic journey around Aotearoa/NZ (& beyond?) 

My Story. Our Story. Your Story.

Ahuroa
Image Attribution - Ahuroa School Photography Club
Each student is working on photographing their own personal stories (who am I, what am I about).  The end goal is to present their work as a collective (who are we, what are we about). How amazing it would be if we could then compare our collective photographic story, with other collective photographic stories from a wide range of similar aged kids...within NZ and (hopefully) from other countries too.
The end goal would be a public exhibition "My Story. Our Story. Your Story."
The uniqueness of your students location would make their photographic "stories" so interesting.  Students would not need to be photography experts at all just enthusiastic!
Participation in this project is open to all children aged 5-12 years old, although space will be limited to 10-15 schools.  If your school is interested in being involved please let us know as soon as possible! Further information here.
Contact Theressa to participatetbutler@ahuroa.school.nz 

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Edtech History - Integrating Technology

I love to look back on how things change (or not) over the years. I found this article in the bottom of a drawer today, from around the turn of the century ;-)

"If i'm a teacher and suddenly I have a lab or a series of PCs brought into my classroom, what do i do with them? How do i integrate the technology into the curriculum I teach on a day-in day-out basis? There's not a good open framework to allow such integration."

Click on the pic to enlarge to read
Image attribution: NZ Herald, & the bottom of my sock drawer
Over a decade later and i don't think we have still really appreciated the potential of how learning can be transformed with the support of 'computer-based learning'. Many teachers are still thinking 'integration' - how do i make this fit with what i'm doing in the classroom.

Turn it around people and stop thinking integration. Think about what your students need and what should change in your classroom and how learning with technology can enhance that.
Look out for the edtech vendor who seizes on problems to create solutions for - eg in this article a digital curriculum based around MS Encarta. This is something that hasn't changed over the years, don't perpetuate the cycle of edtech problem/solution, big bucks spending but be critical and look to the heart of the matter before you let the vendors come into your school and tell you what you need.

For NZ teachers, to help guide you and your school on this journey check out the Elearning Planning Framework, look out for the Online Tool that will help you through a school wide assessment. Hook into  professional networks, tap into their expertise and share yours - the VLN groups is a good place to start the conversations.

Thursday, 31 July 2014

LEARNZ - Backchannel Participation

I jumped into a LEARNZ fieldtrip this morning to check out their new Backchannel feature.

LEARNZ backchannel on Adobe ConnectAdobe Connect is being used to supplement the audio conferences from out in the field. This platform provides a space for visuals to be shared - such as pictures from the participating schools, from out in the field, and of the LEARNZ host & guest expert.
It also provides the opportunity for schools to experience more interactivity and opportunity to connect with each other through the chat feature. The audio conference itself is participated in by only one or two schools and is broadcast live out to other schools. This is a great way to enhance the LEARNZ virtual field trip in being able to bridge the 'virtual' with the 'reality' for students, being able to extend with a way to ask side questions, give contributions, feedback & additional resources like visuals & links to supporting materials. Yes the LEARNZ website can also do some of this, but the Adobe room brings this into the synchronous environment of the field trip.

I was really impressed with the quality of the audio, particularly as it was coming from a cellphone by the side of a river in Turangi! A feed is made from the audio conference direct into Mixlr where it is streamed live.

Mixlr was a find for me so signed up as i was listening. I can see how this might be really useful to some of our work in the VLN Primary School. We will be exploring how we can support collaborative groups of schools in participating together in LEARNZ activities, more to come on that later in the year.

There are still lots of great fieldtrips planned for the reminder of 2014 - get onboard with your students and participate!




Wednesday, 16 July 2014

How the Web Tamed Me!

http://okofrancisco.deviantart.com/art/Information-Overload-293890815
I have been thinking of late i need to get myself organised. I am about to undertake the completion of my Masters studies, and really i should have some sort of orderly system of bookmarking & filing that will ease my way as i foray further into the information superhighway. Well after 17 years of learning & teaching online you would think i would get that right by now but it only get worse and now i am going to throw my hands up in defeat - instead of taming the web - it has tamed me!

What NZ teachers remember Mark Treadwell's Teachers@Work resources? Every month a resource update of teaching websites, cataloged by age group & curriculum area would be posted (talking snail mail) to subscribing schools, put into large arch binder folders and be available to teachers in the staffroom or the workroom to use while you access one of the few computers in the school. At this time all the files I had ever created, including my backed up emails would fit on a few floppy disks. Yes life was simpler then... BTW Mark still creates & shares resources for teachers  though this is legacy work compared to the successful educational consultancy Mark has grown since this time.

I was a religious Delicious bookmarks user, curated & shared with my PLN,  then moved to Diigo with the added features of annotations & screenshots, with Google chrome syncing across all my devices, i then went back to old fashioned browser bookmarking, and have been tempted of late by slick looking drag & drop bookmark & curation tool Dragdis.

To be honest i very rarely even go back through my bookmarks so what is the point in so much angst about having my digital house in order. There just isn't enough time in the day to find, catalogue, curate or share this overwhelming amount of material I have saved over time. If i am serious about needing something relevant, current and at my finger tips I will search for it every time. 

So therefore i have decided to let it go with the 'Just in Case' curation of the internet and focus on the 'Just in Time' search when i need it - the good stuff will always come to the top as long as we all keep hitting the share buttons - tweet, G+, like. Now that is achievable!

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Primary Science

You don't need to be a Scientist to DO Science! 

Don't think you need to leave it to the experts for your students to learn about Science, there are lots of great PD opportunities & resources to support you in providing Science learning opportunities for our kids.

Check out this online PD from the Open Polytech - no fees! Register now for July's intake.

"The Graduate Certificate in Primary Science Teaching (Curriculum) takes the perspective that science can be fun. It encourages the learning of science by doing science and discusses the effectiveness with which science concepts and principles are embedded into learning experiences. Through the programme practising teachers will become more confident in their science knowledge, and their ability to design and deliver learning experiences that support and inspire students to investigate and understand science knowledge and concepts."

ScienScience Alivece Alive provides outreach programmes in the Christchurch area, they also have some great open source resources. 
Follow them on twitter @sciencealive


Science in a Van
Science in a Van also run outreach programmes, anywhere in NZ.
They have a fantastic blog site, and you can also follow them on twitter @Science_ina_Van 

Science Learning Hub'The Science Learning Hub is developed by educators and teachers in collaboration with New Zealand scientists to provide resources for teachers of students up to year 10.'
Hear what teachers have to say about how they use the Science Learning Hub to support them in the classroom. Twitter @NZScienceLearn 

There are a number of Science groups in the VLN Groups area. The following three seem to be the most subscribed, open and active:
Science VLN Groups

Digital technologies and future-oriented science education
Not forgetting Science Online @TKI. Linked from TKI are a series of papers developed from the questions raised here:
"The Chief Science Adviser raised some challenging questions in his  2011 report. The Ministry of Education responded by funding three new science education projects. His questions were:
  • How can we “engage and enthuse” more young New Zealanders in science?
  • Is the science we teach getting students ready to address serious questions we will all face in the future?
  • How might science education help New Zealand's development as a smart, innovative, knowledge-oriented country? "
Some interesting professional reading.

Lastly not forgetting the VLN Primary School as a way to collaborate and extend Science learning opportunities across our schools. Currently we are running a Day Time Astronomy class - we welcome schools and teachers who have expertise to share across our network.