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!

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#
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