Thursday, July 31, 2014

Twitter, my learning community

Many people (yes, I was one of them - many moons ago!) still don't 'get it' and can't see the remarkable potential of Twitter for education.  

Why am I on Twitter?
  • Teaching and learning are moving in a new direction; it is collaborative and digital
  • I learn, I collaborate and engage in discussions with like minded people. I am being challenged in my thinking when reading [some] tweets
  • Help is at my fingertips
  • I have my own Personal Learning Network (PLN) from around the world, sharing resources and helpful hints. I get ideas from them and read about their practices
  • I found the # chats phenomenal and have been learning a lot by following and engaging in them. Educators share a wealth of resources and I often 'leave' these chats inspired and energized  
  • Twitter re-ignite my passion for teaching and learning

Thanks to twitter and my PLN, my personal/professional learning and development can be recharged daily, and best of all... I can get information, tailored to my specific needs and I don't have to wait for 'formal' PD sessions to be organised.

~ "Sure you don't have to have a PLN to be a great educator, but why would you close the door on the chance to be even better...." - Anonymous ~

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The first GEG NZ hangout

Thanks to an invite from Amy McCauley to the GEG NZ: Let's get started event, I had the opportunity to learn from a number of experts.  My PD & L was brought to me, in the comfort of my own home! 

During this Hangout On Air, Amy McCauley, Fiona Grant, Tim Gander, Matt Ives, Rob Clarke and Nick Major discussed:
- What the GEG NZ is all about
- Using the community
- Where to for our community
- How to use and control your G+ content
- Smackdown (Quick fire hints and tips)
- Q & A time

There were so many fantastic tips and handy information to take away, that I find it really hard to choose only one favourite. Needless to say that I am already looking forward to the next GEGNZ event.

Watch the GHO video to see what you might find worthwhile.

#GEGNZ Storify by Fiona Grant.

Additional information on the event

~ "The only person who is educated is the one who has learned how to learn and change." 
- Carl Rogers ~

Sunday, July 27, 2014

EduCamp Auckland

I have always wanted to attend an Educamp in Auckland, but it just never happened.  This year however, I took the plunge, registered and was brave enough to add slides to the 'Smackdown', after receiving this tweet from Fiona.

I was looking forward to my participation with much anticipation (however, not so much to the early rise).
Annemarie and Alex were [as usual] great company while driving. The discussions happening on our way to and from an educamp are interesting and many times thought provoking.

On arrival, I enjoyed meeting all the people I have already had many meaningful interactions with on Twitter, face to face.  It was also lovely to meet Reid, one of my fellow KidsedchatNZ co-coordinators in person. And it was great to catch up with people I already know!

The Smackdown got underway, which I found to be very interesting and worthwhile.  I consider myself lucky when receiving a wee gift for contributing to the 'Smackdown.'

Sonya gathered all the TeachMeetNZ participants [present] together for a photo opportunity.

Afterwards, I wandered over to the wall to explore the options of what my next learning will involve.  I was however stopped by some teachers who wanted to learn more about blogging and using apps with students (after listening to me presenting my slides). So, I've ran a session with some teachers and received some positive feedback.

Amazingly, the sharing did not stop at the end of the session.  I also got involved in a twitter discussion with Sam afterwards as well as replying to a request from Alex

I've also supported Reid when he ran a session on KidsedchatNZ

At the end of the day...

Here is my Storify of this wonderful day (which you can also view at EduCampAKL).

~ "We should not only use the brains we have, but all that we can borrow." 
- Woodrow Wilson ~

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The meaning of Collaboration

I have been thinking about collaboration and what it really means [a lot] recently.

When searching for a definition, I found the following:
Webster: To work jointly with others or together especially in an intellectual endeavor
Wikipedia: Collaboration refers abstractly to all processes wherein people work together.

I recently came across a post by Cheryl Doig on Collaboration matters, which gave me a lot of insight into some of the things I have been wondering about.

So what did I take away from my reading?
  • Collaboration can change everything. 
  • Collaboration is a critical skill for educators and students.
  • To push myself to be the best I can be by collaborating even more with my PLN and with colleagues.

'The 9 Types of Collaborators' Which type are you?

~ "Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much" - Helen Keller ~

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Get into action and seize the moment

Māori Language week is almost here...

Sometimes things seem to creep up on me.  I have planned my class' involvement in this event a long time ago on our class wiki, and thanks to Stephen's heads up, I jumped for the opportunity to compile questions for the KidsedchatNZ blog (thank you to Stephen who've added some questions as well) and to moderate this chat.

Due to my learning in the weekly Te Reo Māori Course during Term 2 , this was just another way for me to demonstrate my commitment to the bicultural partnership in Aotearoa New Zealand.

~ "It's the little choices everyday that lead to the final results we're striving for." Jason Bartels ~