Monday, August 15, 2011

Google Maps - make your own!

Way back in June Allanah taught me how to make my own Google Map.  I could really see the potential in this for recording my travels this year, but I always like to think about how I could use a skill or tool in a classroom.  I came up with the following ideas:

  • recording class mascot visits
  • recording details of classes we collaborate with
  • recording locations of travelling geo cache - when we set one!
  • locations of teams - e.g. World Cup Rugby teams
  • plotting your relatives for family tree
I would love ideas you have of other ways to use Google maps.  
I am supposed to be studying today and I have spent a good part of the day working on Google maps, partially avoiding study and partially because I have had so many problems with saving my edits.  So the rest of this post is a "How to Google Map" so you hopefully avoid my pitfalls.

Open Google Maps

Sign into your Google Account

Click on create new map

Choose public or unlisted - I strongly recommend public - because surely we want to share our creations? Then click done.

Now you see the edit button appears.  Click to edit your map.

Use the search bar to enter the address you wish to add to the map

Now you see the icons appear - click the blue flag, then drag it to the location.

A box now appears where you can add a title and text or links to your location.  When complete click OK, then go up to top right and click save!  This is the crucial step!  You must save each change individually - time consuming in the short term but very time saving in the long run - take it from someone who has had to re-enter data many times today!

You can click on collaborate and invite others to collaborate on the map with you - very useful!

Or there is the import option - which I have not used - but would love to hear from you if this is useful.  

Finally - you can click on the link on the top right to share your map, you can even customise the view of your map by clicking on the blue link to preview, then you can embed your map!

I think this is a very useful visual of some of my Twitter Tour 2011 to date.  What an amazing journey I am on!

View Twitter Tour 2011 in a larger map

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Excitement plus + + +

Well, it is official, this is my first ever post from my iPad. I have been waiting for an iPhone for my birthday, but on Friday when telecom owned up to yet another muck up with our broadband usage meter we had some interesting discussions. The end point was a free android phone - how could I possibly say no? So in the classic win win scenario, I then was able to get an iPad for my birthday. To say I love it is an understatement! I had a bit of an app fest last night! I am delighted with the ease of updating posterous, and now equally delighted with the ease of this update. I got a HUGE shock today to realize how far behind I was with my study! I spent 5 hours on it today and feel much more in touch. Very interesting reading today about innovation and sustaining new initiatives. I really enjoyed the models and readings to support me as I plan and move towards a BYOD class for 2012. To cap off a great day Annie took me for a huge walk! Yay

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wednesday in Wellington

My last day in Wellington was a whirlwind of visits and meetings.  What a wonderful time this has been.  I have visited so many schools and met so many great people.  Thank you to you all!
It sure was great to be heading home though!  It was a perfect day for flying with great views.  I sure do love coming home.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tuesday in Wellington

Spent a magic morning at the pool with my swimmer!  Very exciting day for her!  While she slept before the flight up to China overnight I went and spent time with the relatives at the Wellington Zoo. 

The sun shone and the animals basked!  What a magic time.  
Then it was time to send my swimmer off on her adventure.  So excited for her.  It is hard to believe that when I wake up she will be in China!  

Monday, August 8, 2011

Monday in Wellington

Early start off to the CBD to meet Paul Seiler for coffee!  Paul, Ian and I had great coffee at the Occidental and great conversations flowed.  Many exciting opportunities exist...
I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to join (crash) a Myportfolio taster session with Heath Sawyer (@heheboy).

I joined Myportfolio, what seems like, forever ago but have never realised any of its potential.  Thanks Heath for a fantastic session.  I am already collaborating with groups and see HUGE potential in this exciting learning journey!

Off to Seatoun for a wonderful meeting with Tim (@timoslimo).  What a magic place!  Great to meet face to face and share such exciting conversations.  I look forward to keeping in touch!

Yet another magic Twitter Tour day!

And to complete a perfect day, my swimmer scored another two bronze medals!!!

Wellywood Weekend...

After a wonderful sleep-in I finally took time to catch up on my blogging!  Note to self - update as it happens!!!
Met @tania for a brunch at Coucou!  Wonderful chat, great to meet face to face and have such great conversation.  Yet again, the wonder of meeting a Tweet face-to-face really changes things...

Liz and I set off on an adventure starting at Queensgate for a bit of retail and nail therapy, followed by a tour of Lower and Upper Hutt, Wainuiomata, Petone, and Eastbourne!  Love being a tourist in Wellington!  So many great memories and photos.

Off to Wellington Aquatic centre to see my swimmer in action!

Great day in Wellywood! -

Sunday saw us off on another adventure.  First stop - Sacred Heart Petone for Liz's commissioning!
Then it was off to Maranui Cafe for lunch on the deck overlooking the water - MAGIC!  I have never been very fond of seagulls but they seem to have captured my imagination this trip (maybe as tweeters Paul).  Anyway, here's a little tribute to the birds in my day.

Next we were off on a whirlwind tour of the beaches and bays.  I had no idea the beaches around Wellington were so stunning!  I have tried to show where we drove to share the journey!
As you can see, we covered some territory and I took hundreds of photos.  I'm sure more will appear on here soon.  It truly was a magic weekend in and around Wellington.

Sunday night was capped off with seeing my swimmer win a bronze medal at the Nationals!

Saturday, August 6, 2011


A visit to Wellington would not be complete for me without a trip to Casablanca!  Paella Tagine - simply divine.

Then off course a visit to Strawberry Fare was necessary as well.

Hmmm, noticing that food and coffee is a very important part of this Twitter Tour!

Wellington Twitter Tour day 3

Today I revisited the school in Petone and had the incredible pleasure of working the office manager helping her set up a travel blog.  She was soooooo enthusiastic and just loved learning about photorazor and photopeach.  YAY - so easy to help an eager blogger.

Next stop - Fraser Crescent school where I caught up with John and Michelle.  What an exciting day.  I got to go to garden club over the lunch break and Fraser time in the afternoon.

I got drafted into the knitting group with John and 8 other willing helpers.  Can you imagine trying to teach 27 newbies to knit...  Oh well, I'm sure they'll manage it over the next 8 weeks. 

I briefly got to bubble time...

I love the idea of the photo of the learners in the school name and the photo wall with learning from the holidays posted by the learners!  I also love the learning responsibility shown right through!

What an awesome day.  Thanks for the welcome guys!

Raumati Beach with Jo

Jo and I have tweeted for a couple of years so I feel as if I know her.  The drive to Raumati Beach on the Kapiti coast took my breath away and made me want to stop for photos, but I resisted, spotting many places I would stop on the return journey.  I arrived at the school to a great greeting from Jo and got a tour of the school and "learning street".  Then I met her awesome class who I spent the day with.

What an awesome time we had.  I learnt soooo much and met some amazing learners.  I love the learning,  flexible use of space, the independence of the learners...
After a great morning, Jo and I went for a walk to the beach for lunch.  I am including a map shot so you can believe me - we could see the South Island...

Those of you who know me well, know that the beach is my favourite place in the world, so to go to the beach for lunch is bliss...

We had an awesome afternoon out in the sun playing Rippa Rugby, then Jo and I chatted and geeked our way to giggles!
Ideas I love to take away from today:
 Oh the fun!  Can't wait to carry on the conversations, the giggles and the learning at #educampdunners.  Thanks Jo for a magic day!

And just check out the magic of the journey home!


I had the pleasure of spending today with Liz at her new school in Petone.  I met the staff, toured the school, and chatted with some very passionate teachers.  I was introduced to the Kapai Kai story which is unique to this school.  It is a story of passion, dedication, commitment and resourcefulness and should be held up as a model for others.

I am hoping we can set up some collaboration between our classes next year ...
Thanks for a great day!

Time to reflect on the Twitter Tour...

3 August 2011 
Here I am at the airport again…
Today I am Wellington bound.  Liz is collecting me from the airport and I am spending the day with her at her new school in Petone! 

Airports are a great place for me to reflect and really relish the joy of this year.  I have been gifted the opportunity to go out there and learn.  Not only is the study stimulating, inspiring and challenging… it is fun!  Alongside this the travel and connecting has been AMAZING. 

I have just completed the semester one photo book of my Twitter Tour and this was a time for great reflection.  How unbelievable it is that I have so many friends around New Zealand.  With the connected, collaborative, ubiquitous nature of Web 3.0 I feel I am very well poised to make the most of opportunities as they come my way.   I have had this time to reflect on my teaching to date and I know that much of it is great and I love the way I set up my class programmes to provide a stimulating, fun environment.  I also know that this year has given me a wealth of opportunities to see the most amazing teachers in action, classrooms, practices… and I can take so much away from these experiences into my future teaching.  Indeed , a rare privilege.

A HUGE thank you to all the wonderful educators I have had the pleasure of connecting with this year!

The Big snow...

What an adventure!  Snow in Dunedin and Mosgiel and I mean a lot of snow!  Maybe this will give you some idea of the amount of snow, the size of the flakes and the beauty of it all.
Snow is amazing.  The whole landscape was like a white wonderland and everywhere you went people were out walking, building snowpeople, having snowball fights, and smiling....
The only drama for us was a 5 and a half hour trip home from Dunedin - a journey which usually takes about 20minutes.  There was just no way up the hill till the grader and grit truck went through so we waited it out at the beach with our lovely friends who fed and entertained us!

And being home for a few days allowed me to catch up on Study!

The road home from Invers...

What a magic conference.  We are buzzing with new ideas.  It is great to have time to talk lots of our ideas through together.  After a long, relaxed breakfast and wifi session we decide to try our luck at a little geocache.

Then a great drive back up to Mosgiel, with an amazing stop at Cafe 55 for lunch in Balclutha!  YUM
I was quite taken with these art works at the south end of Milton too...