Wednesday, April 20, 2011


This afternoon I partcipated in an Eluminate Webinar on OER. I think I am developing an understanding of OER as peer conversation, sharing of good practice!
We explored a range of sites:
Humbox looks like an awesome site that could take a while to negotiate your way around but it is chockafull of resources.

We had a look at a summary of nTerry Anderson's characteristics of the Open Scholar.
• Open Scholars Create
• Open Scholars Use and Contribute Open Educational Resources
• Open Scholars Self Archive
• Open Scholars Apply their research
• Open Scholars do Open Research
• Open Scholars Filter and Share With Others
• Open Scholars support emerging Open Learning alternatives
• Open Scholars Publish in Open Access Journals
• Open Scholars Create Open Access Books
• Open Scholars comment openly on the works of others
• Open Scholars Build Networks
• Open Scholars Lobby for Copyright Reform
• Open Scholars Assign Open Textbooks
• Open Scholars Induce Open Students
• Open Scholars support Open Students
• Open Scholars Teach Open Courses
• Open Scholars Research Openness
• Open Scholars are Change Agents
• Open Scholars Battle with Time
• Open Scholars are Involved in the Future
This is a great self reflection list - to what extent am I an open scholar/teacher/learner?

This morning I participated in an awesome Eluminate webinar session on VLN. The VLN is a global network for collaboration, relationships, knowledge and shared culture. It is a social hub/portal to connect communities for common needs to share effective practice. It gives a community wide sense of being a part of a national effort! The VLN can give a coherent and connected picture of what is happening. I spend some time today exploring the VLN. I have connected with friends and joined groups. I can see huge potential in the VLN and I am committed to setting time each week to explore and share. For me, the next step is to link some of my online sites and explore links for use in class. Exciting!!!

The quiet times....

On my return from Auckland reality struck..... I have soooo much study to do. The age old adage 'work before play' should have been my motto. Oh well, I have the most AMAZING time in Auckland and this continues to be the best professional development ever.
However there will be a long period of quiet time both on the blog and in my life. I have posted one assignment, almost finished another and contemplating the best approach to starting the major one!!!

New blogs to follow...

Blog mania

12 teachers, 45 minutes slots - here we go....

After a whirlwind of activity, NO technical glitches, a lot of fun, all twelve teachers created blogs, moderated comments, made three posts using text, picture and some media.
Most added a visitor counter, clustrmap or flag counter.
All downloaded photorazor (Thanks Sandy) to create a web friendly copy of all photos for use on the blog.

This was one of the most rewarding experiences to be a part of. I worked with a range of ages, abilities and enthusiasms and all achieved. Viewing the blogs today shows a huge range of posts and skills. It is very humbling to have been a part of such an exciting journey for this school. The Principal and school community are delighted with the beginning of a new journey. The classroom walls really do come down and the learning is shared with a wider audience!

Following are some of the reasons I think this venture was so successful:
• The one teacher with a blog had shared with the teachers and the school community were demanding more;
• The staff were able to see a range of online environments I ran and opted for blogs over wikis;
• The staff were released from classroom in pairs;
• The staff chose a support buddy to work with;
• The initial challenges of setting up, moderating comments, adding gadgets and basics of posting were all modelled and practised on the day with support;
• It was a schoolwide initiative so the blogging buzz was evident;
• The Principal is extremely supportive and is committed to spending time viewing and commenting on the blogs.
I am in awe of the exciting journey ahead for these enthuiastic learners...

Staff meeting fun...

I shared a little of my passion for the online environment at a staff meeting in Takapuna!
I started with my story, and a little bit about my magic year. I briedfly outlined my study.
I shared with passion my new catch phrase 'c-learning'; create, collaborate, communicate!
I shared my maths wiki
My class blog
My class wiki
My RE-learning wiki
Throughout my sharing I asked - what could you use? how could you use it?
After some discussion I modelled posting to the blogs to show the ease of use. Great enthusiasm grew for the blog as the preferred medium.
The Principal arranged for two relievers for the following day and the teachers chose pairs to work in with me for 45 minutes each pair.
Roll on tomorrow....

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Magic time in Room 9

I spent time in Room 9 and had sooooo much fun with the delightful learners. It was such a privilege to start my day with these children. They taught me new prayers and wonderful ways to start the day by blessing each other. They sing the roll. It is SOOOOOO cool. Each child gets to sing their own name in order and the class echo their name - great fun, great to get to know each other's names, great to focus and sing in order!!!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Fun in the staffroom

What a wonderful group of teachers in the staffroom today!

My Magical weekend in Auckland...

Well, time for me to share a little bit about my new Auckland experiences... I have always flown in and flown out or just visited the centre of Auckland in the past. I have never stopped and explored the magic this beautiful place has to offer! Well, please let me share some magic with you!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Auckland Day 4

Today I had my first visit to a High School on this tour. I negotiated the Auckland Traffic with the help of Navman and made it to Botany Downs Secondary College. What an AMAZING school. It is so far removed from my experience of secondary school - yes, I know that wasn't yesterday, but visiting Botany Downs was like stepping into the future. It is open, spacious, modern and is a buzz of learning. If you get a chance to visit - grab it!
I had the privilege of a tour of the school with my friend Becca T. from my home town, then spent time in the textiles suite and the art suite. There were so many highlights it is hard to record them all... I was in awe of the Microsoft Partnership, the learning buzz, the motivation and engagement of the students, the resources, the whanau groupings... and so much more! The learners were communicative and eager to share their learning journey with me, both verbally and through their learning journals. Pat on the back to the parents, primary schools and Intermediates who lit the flame of learning in these students and congratulations to Botany Downs Secondary College for keeping it burning brightly.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Auckland Day 3

Today I attended Room 5's class Mass. It was an amazing experience. The singing and speaking was sensational - the room was filled with parents and grandparents and it was a very spiritual celebration.
After break I worked with Barb sharing the passion of RElearning We worked together to add resources and links to the site.
This afternoon I spent in the Ignite TV Studio with Awesome Nick and the crew. What an amazing atmosphere!!! I am totally in awe of Nick, his passion for the show, the motivation and ownership shown by the students - just the whole experience. I am utterly overwhlemed by the technicality of it all but I am equally determined that one day in the future I will be part of a school TV studio setup. Check out the shows to date and look out for Eda and Louise making a little backdrop preview in this week's episode online later this week.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Auckland Day 2

Well, what an awesome start to the day!!! I was up early when Ann got a call to say the teacher who teaches in the computer suite was sick today. What an opportunity - yes, you guessed it!!! I taught for the day in the suite. Everything was set up so I followed the programme for the day!
4 sessions:
9am Room 16 Sustainability 3D Posters
10am Room 13 Sustainability 3D Posters
11.40am Room7 Mathletics
1.50pm Room 2 Mathletics
Asesome suite with 21 computers and great to see that mostly the learners are working in groups or pairs.
I had a fabulous day. I met soooo many enthusiastic learners and had an awesome tour of the school.
I am so impressed with all the Enviroschool art and I love the concept for the Holy Cross garden that the students are working on.

Auckland Day 1

Yes I really and truly am in Auckland - it is sooooo hot! I am not used to this heat. Everyone I talk to struggles to believe that we have had the fire on at home for a few weeks now...
Anyway, today Ann took me for a huge walk around Henderson and we decided to walk to the West Waves Aquatics centre to see where I would go to see my daughter swimming in the National Open Champs tonight. Well, would you believe, we were walking round the back way to the pool and who should walk towards us but my daughter just finished the morning sessin - what a surreal coincidence...
Really looking forward to school tomorrow at Holy Cross Henderson. I am going to work with groups in the computer suite for the day and on Tuesday I am going to work with Nick and the students at the Ignite TV studio!!! Very exciting.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Twitter Tour goes to Auckland

Twitify twit-ed ????
Mid flight to Auckland for the next leg of my Twitter journey…. Seated next to Jayde, a psychologist on the first flight, as our conversation progressed I was inspired to take this Twitter Tour a step further and do a little more than blog my journey… As the world gets more and more connected it is way smaller and smaller, we have a great ability to create, collaborate and communicate…
I was reading Interface on the flight and I am determined to ‘weasel’ a visit to Stonefields, one of the newest schools in the country. What a fascinating journey – to start a school’s ICT from scratch – I would love the opportunity to tour and discuss this with the staff.
Louise and Eka are in the seat beside me and Louise was offered a water by the host and Eka got to Kea call on the coffee servery. It is amazing what travelling with toys does for communication.
The closer I get to Auckland the darker it gets and the more stunning the skyline appears. I certainly do have my photo of the day for tomorrow. Sky photos fascinate me more and more…

R E-learning

April 1 2011. This seems like an auspicious date for a gathering but what a great day it was. About 200 primary school teachers from around Otago and Southland got together for a gathering day. The theme of the day was "Our place in the Church of the Future in Aotearoa New Zealand."
The day started with a Karakia and a welcome by St Mary's Gore.
Each school placed their stone or rock into the display of the learning journey!
The day consisted of a 3 keynotes, 3 workshop breakouts,plenty of time to gather together and chat, great food and a closing liturgy. The atmosphere was very friendly and relaxed and I am sure a great day was had by all.
The opening Keynote concluded with the challenge of participating and collaboration for the future which led perfectly into my workshop.
I presented R E-learning a wiki designed to enable all Catholic teachers to share resources. I had a great time and I was delighted with the interaction of the group and the enthusiasm for a sharing site. I look forward to seeing the site grow as a site of creation, collaboration and communication.
... and of course there was stunning artwork to be admired and complimented at a later date.