Friday, October 31, 2014

Connected Educator Month.... not an ending... just a beginning

Here we are on the 31st of October already.  The eve of Connected Educator month seems a lifetime ago… when I failed to keep my eyes open to see the dawning of the day, posting this to twitter…
WOW, what a month.  This is a personal reflection on the journey through my eyes…

A very long time ago, when Connected Educator Month was first aired as a reality I dreamt of the possibilities.  Little did I realise just how MAGICAL  it really would be.  Little did I realise the power, the MAGIC, the intensity of a month of connected, self driven professional development opportunities. 

Goals I set myself:
·      Blogging everyday during October and suceeded on a lot of days;
·      Connecting online everyday and managed that easily;
·      Taking an opportunity everyday to take part in the PD offered, which I managed on about 50% of the days;
·      Sharing sessions during #cenz14 – certainly managed this with:
o   GEGNZ #educampnz SMACKDOWN on air
o   Ulearn mobile – PLN in your pocket
o   Ulearn14 – Online Communities
o   #eduignite dunners
o   #educampdunners
·      Connecting face to face with as many educators as possible and spreading the #cenz14 news
·      Tweeting
To be totally honest I think I have achieved about 10% of what I dreamt was possible, but every moment of it has been MAGICAL. 

Some of the highlights:
·      Everything is rewindable and I can participate in any of it over the coming days and months
·      Ulearn sessions – seeing educators connect and develop their PLN and really begin to realise the power of connecting
·      Face to Face sessions with educators and learners in schools, realising the power of connecting with their communitis and authentic national and global audiences
·      Supporting educators with ventures
·      Hearing my edu-heroes through webinars and Google Hangouts
·      Meeting my edu-heroes at conferences in and around New Zealand
·      Celebrating the growing of the eduignite and educamp sessions
·      Chatting with teachers who are working their way through the starter kete
·      Seeing the ripples flowing out from PLD that are impacting on learning
·      Celebrating the growing, open, caring online network of educators on twitter in New Zealand
·      Ulearn mobile and Ulearn14 feeling a part of something much greater – the power and force of #cenz14 really magnifying the Ulearn experience
·      Seeing the dream, the passion, the MAGIC realised through the tireless dedication and commitment of Karen Melhuish-Spencer and her crew

·       CORE Education’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of educational possibility...
Without a doubt in the world, education in New Zealand is at a significantly improved, connected state now, due to the 31 days of connecting, networking and sharing.

The caution now is to see this as a beginning, as a launching platform, as an opportunity.  The seed of Connected Educator Month is planted, watered and flourishing.  We must now continue to plant and water to see opportunities for all flourishing. 

As we head into the month of November tomorrow, what can we take forward? 

Firstly, there are a range of activities continuing for us to benefit from. 

·      Building a PLN for literacy webinar –Monday 3 November 3.45pm We would love to help you build your professional learning network to support your literacy classroom.  Please take a moment to fill out the survey to help us meet your needs for this webinar.  
·      #educamppalmy – Saturday 7 November 9am

There are all of the archives for rewindable learning.  For us to revisit, connect with and share.  There are a infinite number of educators, who, connected for the first time with online communities need our nourishing and support to get over the initial hurdles and speed bumps.  We must continue to welcome, involve and grow networks and connections, both online and face-to-face.

Tomorrow I am heading to TEDxChristchurch.  What an incredible opportunity and privilege.  For me the month of November starts on an uber high of networking, connecting, learning and sharing.  I am planning to live blog from the event to share the MAGIC with my wonderful PLN, many of whom cannot be present tomorrow. 

Next week I have my team hui.  As we reflect on the successes and challenges of 2014, I am sure that we will appreciate the privilege we have of being a part of the transformation of educational opportunities for learners today.  Increasingly Learning with Digital Technologies offers a new opportunity, a new way to engage a learner, empower a learner, support a learner and engender agency to a learner as they determine device, tool and approach. 

What a privilege to be an educator in New Zealand at the current time.

As many of you know, I operate very much from a ‘glass half full’ perspective, in fact my glass is usually overflowing. 

What are your highlights for Connected Educator Month?

What opportunities have you realised?

Where to now for you?

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Update 29 October 2014 - Literacy apps

Mālo ni

It is great to see all the discussion and sharing on the mailing list.  Thank you to Merryl for asking for support with T@I with reading programmes, and thanks for Denise, Maria, Greg, Allana and Rebecca for responding.  Thank you to Jane for challenging us to think about whether or not we are ‘overdoing the WALTs’.

Tokelau Language Week
Mālo ni and welcome to Vaiaho o te Gagana Tokelau. The theme this year,"Taofi ke mau ki tau aganuku Tokelau" or “Hold fast to your Tokelauan Treasures.”  
Find out more about Tokelau language week and access some great resources - Tokelau Language Week.
As part of CEM this week there is a TWITTER CHAT opportunity: Tokelau Language Week (#gaganatokelau), join the discussion to deepen your knowledge and awareness.

Literacy apps
Talking Tom, Talking Ben the dog, and Talking Tom and Ben news
Recently on the list there has been an examining of the perception that children are coming into school with lower oral language. We have had the opportunity to experiment with a number of free apps to support literacy learning.  Technology has the power to transform opportunities for some learners, the challenge for educators is to use a tool or support to meet a specific need. One app that has been around for some time and is well worth revisiting is “Talking Tom”, “Talking Ben the dog” or “Talking Tom and Ben news”.  These apps allow a learner to talk and hear themselves.  Not only is this useful for reading a text to, it is also useful for teaching and reinforcing conversational skills.  A number of children are able to use one device to ‘practice’ conversation.  This can work exceptionally well as a rotation within the literacy programme, with careful modelling and expectations.  

We are increasingly using show me for a reading rotation app.  Learners take a photo of the text from a page and read it on until they are happy with their fluency, then move onto next page of text.  This app is fabulous for learners with limited vision as they are able to enlarge the text on the device.  Showme is also fabulous for recording different ways of solving maths problem.  Learners are able to record evidence when they think they have mastered a strategy or strategies.

Dragon Dictation, Pic Collage, Blogger
When working with learners who have great ideas but cannot retain and record them, Dragon Dictation can be used to record a plan, notes, or sentences.  This app supports the development of written literacy and is ‘as well as’ rather than instead of.  It offers a range of support to scaffold the learner to success.  The text is easily editable by re-recording or using the keyboard.  Once the learner is happy with the text it is able to be copied and pasted into any other app that you add text.  Pic Collage is a great app to paste text into. Blogger app can then be used to allow learners an authentic audience.  I have seen this used to share parts of a reading book after a guided session.  
Screen Shot 2014-10-28 at 10.04.40 pm.png
How could you use these and other apps to support your learners?
What other apps can you recommend?

Connected Educator Month is on the home straight
What an incredible month of connecting, networking, sharing and learning.  There is still plenty of time to Check out the Starter Kete - 31 days of activities to help you connect to educators across the globe, grow your skill and earn recognition through badging.  It is also a great time to bookmark and check out the archives.  Maybe you could schedule some of the events for sharing at upcoming staff meetings.

Coming soon to your school – twenty new Ready to Read books, the most ever in a single year! Written by a variety of well-known Ready to Read authors and illustrated by talented New Zealand artists, these texts have a strong New Zealand flavour and themes that your students will relate to.

Free Webinars
The Ministry of Education and Core Education are offering a range of free webinars this term to support schools to make the most of digital technologies for learning. Demand for information about integrating digital technologies into teaching and learning is growing rapidly as more and more schools secure a fast and reliable internet connection.
The webinar held on 16 October covered NZQA plans for computer-based examinations.
If you missed the webinar but are interested in hearing more about NZQA plans, view a recording at: NZQA Assessment Online

Other learning with digital technologies themed webinars include:
28 October: Moving toward 1:1 devices – exploring different approaches and lessons learned
12 November: Māori achieving success as Māori – a framework for evaluation including Ako-e (e-learning) alongside cultural competencies
3 December: e-learning tools in literacy.
All webinars are scheduled at 3.45–4.45pm.
Register online for any of these webinars at: Webinars for term 4
The Ministry is committed to supporting schools to integrate digital technologies in teaching and learning. For more information on how your school can benefit from digital technologies and other support resources visit: or email:

Writing competition
The Navy would like to invite students from all ages to enter a writing competition. The subject is: “Imagine you were a sailor on HMS Achilles during the Battle of the River Plate.  Write a letter to your family telling them about the battle and your thoughts on it”. Winners will receive a prize pack which will include a day out with the Navy in Devonport Auckland. Find out more about the Battle of the River Plate and the competition here

New website
A new website commemorating 175 years of the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi next year has been launched at  The site will enable teachers, principals, boards and their communities to develop a range of teaching and learning programmes that can link to our history, civics, citizenship and nationhood.

Anne’s Literacy Links and Look ups…

Have you signed up for the Building a PLN for Literacy Webinar? We would love to help you build your professional learning network to support your literacy classroom.  Please take a moment to fill out the survey to help us meet your needs for this webinar.  

Have you signed up for the Teachers Ready to Read review webinar on the 20th of November at 3:30 - 4:30pm?

Have a fabulous week!

Ngā mihi nui
Anne Kenneally
Literacy Online Facilitator
CORE Education
To post to the list email:

Update 22 October 2014 - Literacy PLD continued

Kia ora,
Week two, term four and the weather continues to allow us to experience all four seasons in a week.  

Thank you to Merryl McAllister for asking about a writing competition to encourage and motivate her writer.  What an incredible response!  Thanks to Janet, Stephanie, Karen, Yvonne, Tina, Allana, Vanessa and Sarah for sharing your links and ideas.  Continually we see the greatest power and connection is when a teacher shares a need and others respond.  What questions or needs can you share with the list today?  Click reply to this email and ask your question.

Literacy PLD
This week I am sharing from Nadine Sorrensen’s workshop which I attended at the NZLA conference.
Developing student agency within a literacy rich junior literacy environment.  Nadine’s key messages:
  • Students need to be active participants in their learning
  • Students need to know:
    • WHAT they need to learn
    • HOW to do the learning
    • WHY they are learning the skill or strategy
  • Traits and dispositions need to be taught explicitly
Teachers need to
  • Check that the student can articulate the learning
  • Provide scaffolding  to support the learner to identify and set next steps/goals
  • Track and monitor the learning
  • Ask, can the student transfer the learning to other contexts?
Derek Wenmoth’s Agency Edtalk is a great place to start if you are exploring learner agency.
Nadine also shared an insight into remediation versus acceleration.  Using the table below can support you when identifying and supporting learners with their next steps.

Where the Student is AT

What is the student able to do?

(Level of the Literacy Learning Progressions)

Where the Student NEEDS TO BE

(Level of the Literacy Learning Progressions)

Student Shift

What NEW LEARNING do my students need?

Actions for Teachers

What NEW LEARNING do I need?

Nadine also shared the ‘Gradual release of responsibility model
Screenshot 2014-10-21 at 20.44.24.png
Nadine led us through two approaches to using a mentor/model text to expose students to something they don’t yet know how to do independently.  
Starting with the text:
Screenshot 2014-10-22 at 22.22.17.png
Starting with the learning intentions:
Screenshot 2014-10-22 at 22.23.01.png
How could you use these in your programmes to scaffold your learners?

Thanks to Nadine Sorrensen for a fabulous session on learner agency.

Collaborative Writing
Over the past few weeks I have had the opportunity to work with several groups of learners writing collaboratively. We have used a range of tools, including google docs and google slides, from year one right through to seniors.  The power of having the writing motivation, planning, brainstorming, word banks, and success criteria on the document has worked really well for educators and learners.  

Are you ready to give collaborative writing online a try, as another approach to the written language programme.  We would love to hear from you with examples, successes and challenges if you are already working in this way.  

The kidspeak writing progressions are able to cut and pasted into your shared docs.

Connected Educator Month is well underway. A global calendar of free online professional learning, offered by NZ and global organisations, make October the month that you and your colleagues connect and grow your online skills and professional learning. Become a connected educator and be part of an online, networked profession.


Have you had a chance to explore the  New School Journals available in digital form.  We would love to hear how you are using these in your programmes.

Snapshots for teaching and learning in literacy are new on the site and are well worthwhile checking out. How can you use these to support your PLD and literacy programme?

The Ready to Read series features in the latest Curriculum Update which links to the Shared Reading Meeting the Diverse Needs of Students.

Journal Journal 49 is now available to download. Teacher support materials and audio files can also be found online.

Ready to Read 2014 flyer is now available to download.

Children’s authors around New Zealand

This week we are showcasing Susan Brocker on Children's authors around New Zealand Have you checked out her writer’s tips?

Anne’s Literacy Links and Look ups…

Have you signed up for the Ready to Read review webinar? The first webinar is for  Literacy PLD providers and RT Lits. A second webinar for teachers will be run on the 20th of November at 3:30 - 4:30pm.
You can sign up for the webinars here.
Have you signed up for the Building a PLN for Literacy Webinar? We would love to help you build your professional learning network to support your literacy classroom

Ngā mihi nui
Anne Kenneally
Literacy Online Facilitator
CORE Education
To post to the list email: