Friday, November 30, 2012

The last day of November - Already?!

How this year has gone by!  It's been another hectic one and I have worked almost non-stop. 

November, in particular, has been extremely busy for myself. To name just a few things: reports that had to be written (which I am not fond of), research I had to do regarding why I had put iPads on our tech wishlist at school, excitement about attending my first EduIgnite evening at The Tron and a Twitter account for my class.

As a NE/Year 1 teacher, it didn't help either, getting new students.  No, no, no... not now, not at this time of year.  The task of getting some of them used to a class routine was a daunting aspect and everyone was getting a bit tired and restless.

To overcome this, we did a lot of fun activities towards the end and took it real slow.  Everyone was happy and needles to say, I 'survived' November! 

I have enjoyed writing reports (not to much, though), got great answers and suggestions from an amazing PLN on Twitter regarding iPads and had an enjoyable and very productive evening at EduIgnite!

I think I can breath again...

Saturday, November 3, 2012

EduCamp The Tron

I first read about EduCamp the Tron on Twitter and decided to sign up for it, as I wanted to grow my personal learning.

I have never been at an EduCamp before and did not actually know what this entitles, but I was looking forward to it.

I met Melanie in Hamilton. After parking our cars, we walked back to the gate to take a photo of the EduCamp Tron sign.

The first person I've met at my first EduCamp, was Simon who entered, just as Melanie and I was about to take our photo.

After initial introductions and an informal chat with other people inside, it was time for Smackdown.  This was my first experience of a Smackdown where attendees had two minutes to introduce and share various technologies that will/can enhance your teaching - these can even assist in the children’s learning.

Some of the ideas that were shared and which I will explore or am already using:
PinterestA content sharing service that allows members to "pin" images, videos and other objects to their pinboard. (Will have to look at this one!)
Evernote: Use Evernote as an assessment tool through note taking, audio, photos.  You have the ability to tag notes and store in folders. (I started using this recently and am loving it!)
Storybird:  Short, art-inspired stories. Designed for children in mind.
Audioboo:  Use Audioboo to upload recordings to your blog pages.
Youblisher: Makes a PDF into a book. You can embed it easily into a blog.
Kidblog: Students use kidblog to practise writing skills and as an e-portfolio to reflect on and publish their learning. (Already using this with my Year 1's. Students use the Voice Memo app on the iPod touch to record their voice and we then publish it to their blogs.
Digistore: Building your Learning Path and share with your class. 
Software for learning: Snapshots of learning. NZ sharing NZ stories.
Thinglink: for tagging maps to tell stories.
Edchatnz & kidsedchatnz
(More shared ideas can be found on the Google Doc for EduCamp The Tron.)

When we came back we had group discussion on the following topics:
I had a fantastic and productive day and am already in discussion with Annemarie, another great twiducator I've met at The Tron, about organising an EduCampRotovegas early in 2013!
I am also seriously thinking about attending  #EduIgnite #The Tron.