Friday, November 28, 2014

Connected Rotorua - Last meeting for 2014

We kicked of our last meeting with Sara, talking to us about Excel Rotorua and how we as Connected Rotorua teachers can connect with them.  We are really excited to be able to be part of this project.

We also had some 'nibbles' to get the conversation going... 

Then, Tanya introduced us to 'Binary Code' which is a coding system using the binary digits 0 - 1 to represent a letter, digit or other character.  All computer language is based in binary code. Thus, when you learn most types of computer programming, you will touch upon the subject of binary numbers. Who knew?

Tanya used cards to explain the pattern of  even and odd.  She also challenge us with the question "What is the biggest number you can represent using 8 bits in binary?" Hmmm....

We were introduced to ASCII and started crafting some binary messages, using... stickers, paper and pens!

Although one had to be onto it, it turned out to be an afternoon of great fun of CS Unplugged magic tricks, binary counting and coded messages.

~ "Don't tell me the sky's the limit when there are footprints on the moon" - Paul Brandt ~

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

My eFellow Inquiry presentation to the Cluster Principals

One thing that is being expected of you as an CORE Education eFellow ito share your learning, approaches, practices and inquiries with the wider teaching community.  

Thus, when asked by my Principal to present on my inquiry at the Cluster Principal meeting, I agreed (as I have had already presented my inquiry at uLearn14 and at #cenz14)

Some of my presentation slides:

A short extract of my presentation:
  • Where and how do I start to facilitate personalised learning was just one of my questions. Through my networks and discussions with other teachers, I found that many were asking the same questions (especially in the junior school area)
  • I focused my inquiry on pedagogy and technologies (rather than the physical aspect of MLE) and although I was already using technology with great success in my classroom, I was driven by a desire to make learning even more rewarding and purposeful for my students
  • Questions arise about how I could support my students to carry out learning in purposeful and meaningful ways
  • I started working on supporting students to take more responsibility for their learning and how to make choices.  They have a choice of how they want to present their learning (iPads/Notebooks or via their Individual blogs).  When students know they have to share with peers, family or the teacher, it gives them accountability as well.  When they know they have to reflect on how that activity went, they have to have done it. With this I ensure no one is falling through the gaps under the guise of just "doing my own thing"
  • Is this working in our learning environment? Definitely! I will now walk into class after lunch and students will be engaged in a learning activity without me telling them what to do. Where as earlier they were just sitting on the mat, waiting for me to direct them

I left them with these questions:
  • What is your vision for your school, you learners?
  • What changes need to happen at your school / classroom level?
  • What would be the first thing you will be thinking of changing in your pedagogy?
  • Do you think Personalised Learning has potential in your school environment and what would be your first step to support teachers to implement this?

In the end it all came down to Student Agency and the "power to act" as Derek explained in Trend 1 of CORE's Ten Trends for 2014.

~ "Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn." - Benjamin Franklin ~

Monday, November 3, 2014

EOTC and the Classroom - #primedchatnz with William Pike

After a couple of technical issues, the #primedchatnz Google Hangout went Live where the organiser James Hopkins as well as Kate from Learning Network NZ discussed EOTC with William Pike.

Reid and I worked behind the scenes as moderators, with me putting up questions on Twitter and Reid answering other tweeters, while we both engaged successfully with people who made time to join us and tweeted some of William's views on EOTC and the classroom.

The participation of other educators on Twitter was once again incredible. A warm thank you to everyone who has contributed to the discussion. I have learned so much and feel privileged to have been part [once again] of #primedchatnz.

Here is my Storify of the discussion that was happening on Twitter:

~ "Must we always teach our children with books? Let them look at the mountains and the stars up above. Let them look at the beauty of the waters and the trees and flowers on earth. They will then begin to think, and to think is the beginning of a real education." - Davi Polis ~