We have realised that we need to do a lot of work on our maths strategies. We need to see problems and maths in a context and we need to discuss and share our strategies, our understandings and our approaches to problem solving. Check out the action in Room 6 today! I loved watching the learners collaborate, network, share, discuss and challenge... then teach others and work through a real range of problems. Sometimes a teacher learns best when she is a silent observer...
I really do love learning. Tonight I took part in the Enabling e-learning BYOD webinar: How to use mobile technologies effectively! After a full-on school day it is pure MAGIC to connect and network and learn with other incredibly passionate educators on a similar journey. We were treated to a glimpse of the MAGIC of the Manaiakalani Project with Dorothy Burt and the Buy your own device; then Donna Smith from St Hilda's College in Dunedin shared their BYOD Macbook journey and ipad trial in Year 7/8; rounded off with a look at the Orewa BYOD programme with Mark Quigley. What is the MAGIC in this type of webinar? For me there are so many MAGICal components to it but I would love to hear yours:
Choice of participation;
Free of cost
Relaxed and welcoming
Personal, with stories shared and journeys traveled discussed and shared
I love that I can connect, in class and engage in Professional Development right when, where and how I need it. I love that we can listen, interact, engage, chat, and learn. I love that I can multitask while participating in a webinar. I was able to tweet, take notes for this blog post, reply to a couple of emails, update my google calendar and stay on task with my learning. I was discussing this with a colleague tonight and I see the future of blended learning as imminent. Our learners interact, engage, multi task, learn, create and share. They network, and socialise while learning. Are we becoming more like our learners?
My key take aways from today's webinar are:
Engage your community and keep them informed
Learn from research
Allow the learner their personal voice
Engage with an authentic audience
Cater for the needs of all learners with a blended learning environment
Be aware of issues of equity, discuss and learn from opportunities for all
Ubiquity is essential
Collaboration is empowering
BYOD is simply allowing another tool to enter the arena of learning
WWW - whereever, whenever, whatever
Robust wireless, stable network and affordable devices are uniting to make BYOD an incredible option...
As I approach the end of the third term with a BYOD class I am in awe of the journey we are on and in awe of the potential. What a privilege it is to be travelling this journey!
I seem to have done an incredible amount of happy dancing this week. It all started when we looked at some fraction assessment, then topped it off with an IKAN assessment. Not only have we made incredible progress, we have really sharpened our focus and we are able to identify gaps, fill them and celebrate. And celebrate we do... there was a whole lot of happy dancing - even some on the chair (to music.... very interesting choice of music though class). We have been preparing for our second round of student led conferences and the work that goes into preparing is AMAZING. The learners are clearly able to identify their successes and challenges and verbalise what they need to do to help themselves and what support they need. I looked back on my blogpost after the first round and reflected on our journey. In line with feedback received from the first round families were offered three options for the student led conference:
Fully student led
Student led, then time for parent/teacher discussion
Parent/teacher discussion only.
Interestingly I had a range of these options, all for varying reasons.
So, tonight the second round began...
If I thought the last sessions were MAGIC, I really don't have words for tonight. The confidence of the learner to share their learning with their family amazes and inspires me. The learners actually know how they learn, where they learn best, when they can share their learning and when they need support. I am totally in awe of them all. By no means were all the conferences easy, perfect or totally straight forward - but they were all firmly focussed on the learner and the needs of the learner.
I love student led conferences! And I love the way the learners set up the class for the conferences...
P.S. check out the 'almost complete' bottle bivy in the background....
In more ways
that one I am up in the air again.I am
flying home from a MAGICal weekend in Christchurch, so I am literally up in the
air.I am bursting with new
possibilities and imaginings and innovations so I am also metaphorically up in
the air.I am up above the earth, above
the fog, way above the clouds, cutting through the turbulence.I am looking down at the fluffy clouds
knowing the soft landing possible for ideas that don’t ‘fly’, and looking up,
seeing the infinity of opportunity. I am looking out to the east as the sun is
breaking through knowing the light possible with opportunities and looking west
at the mountains on the horizon knowing the importance of acknowledging
intrepid terrain and majesty of opportunity.
As I fly I
recall the AMAZING ignite talk by Stephanie (traintheteacher), recalling her
expression FAIL = first attempt in learning… What a wonderful concept to keep
at the front of our minds as we teach and learn, unlearn, re-learn and grow
through the experience.
an amazing experience, New Zealand’s first padcamp in Christchurch. Using my metaphor of flying, I liken the
journey of mobile learning devices into the education arena as a long haul
flight… We are carrying a HUGE number of passengers, we are delivering to an
immense client base in our schools, we are cutting through new territory, we are
realising ubiquity! All of these
concepts are remarkable, admirable, innovative and somewhat MAGICAL given that
I remember carrying the battery pack for the first cell phone we used in the
field with the Customs Department many years ago. My challenge is this; are we
seeing a comparable change in pedagogy to match the MAGIC of the learning
tool? Are we realising the potential of
mobile learning devices? How are we
ensuring they are not digital worksheets or app based fillers? Is their professional development available
to facilitate the change in pedagogy required? Are we ready? Are we coping? Are creating and innovating with these mobile
was all about creative use of the iPad.
It focussed on acknowledging and realising the potential of the device
to enable learners to be creative musicians, storytellers, movie-makers and
more… It was run by the people for the people and the MAGIC of the day, you
guessed it, he tangata, he tangata, he tangata!
The passion and potential of the device was shared in and around the
room as we journeyed to create a quilt of learning opportunities shared in the
SMACKDOWN and in the shared notes.
Greater than either of these though, was the opportunity for networking,
connecting and collaborating with passionate educators. Conversations and connections lead to
co-operation, collaboration and creativity.
The growing surge of passion for the use of the mobile device was
As I am now
approaching my decent out of the clouds, I know that my head will remain up
here with the passion and potential of the device. Conversations and play – yes PLAY on the
devices has allowed me to return to earth with an even greater passion for the
power and creativity of the device. I
cannot wait to share my new learning with my amazing class who I just know will
take this learning up to the greatest heights possible.
Here I am up in the clouds again…
winging my way to the inaugural #padcampchch.
Just loving the illusion of the mountains and the clouds separating the land and the sky....
Just what MAGIC is in store for us today?
Soon after the inaugural educampchch,
Carol Kendall initiated #padcampchch and
I immediately booked my airfares. Having
been in Christchurch for four days last week I knew I could not afford the time
for a five hour drive each way. I also
knew that I could not miss this professional learning opportunity.
I have had an iPad for over a year
now and I’m running a BYOB class with a large number of students bringing iPads
or iPods to class. I am constantly in
awe of the creativity and learning potential of both the learners and the tool
and I am very keen to realise more potential in our use of it. Yesterday was our class assembly and three
boys in class chose to share about their use of their devices. I loved listening to them talk about the
ubiquity and ownership; the power of the device and the way they share their
learning with others in little app fests.
They really are controlling the learning journey.
I had a blended learning vision early
in 2012 where the learners would be able to access learning online at anytime
and face to face and collaboratively in class.
We do the face to face and in class learning well but I am still only
beginning the fully blended online learning capability. Our blog is fabulous for sharing our
learning journey. Our wiki is an amazing
site where each learner is co-creating our learning journey. Our Google sites are beginning to share the
potential of a blended environment.
I am also only baby steps along the
journey of digital citizenship but every day brings an opportunity to share and
discuss ownership of learning and sharing and collaboration.
I was away from class last week and
came back to find that my lovely class had not really managed their learning
selves in the way they do when I am there.
It was nothing major at all, just little things like not taking
responsibility for learning tasks or their individual responsibilities. I was really disappointed and discussed it
with them and staff. My very perceptive
teacher who shares my class told me to relax.
She likens my expectations of independence to senior high school. This was a very welcome comment, as I was
really beating myself up. I was also
questioning whether the learners were ‘managing themselves’ “just for me”. Lots of great discussions and learning later
and we are on a wonderful path to extending our self management.
Looking out the window I am comparing my learner's self management to the tributaries of this river or the mash up of the patchwork quilt of fields... Certain things just have to happen to realise full potential...
Anyway – back to #padcampchch. I am really excited about the potential of
networking with amazing educators from around New Zealand. As Jo tweeted this morning – it is MAGIC when
the twitter family meet up face to face.
I am really excited about the entire focus of the day – creative use of
the iPad. This is not about the
apps! It is about using the tool to
enhance learning opportunities and to empower creativity. I often reflect on the cover of the recent
interface magazine signalling the death of the desktop…. I wonder how far away
we are from the death of the laptop. The
power of the iPad as a learning tool continues to amaze and inspire.
So, here I am on 1 September 2012,
the first day of spring, winging my way to Christchurch on “Random Act of
Kindness Day”. A day to really ensure
MAGIC happens everywhere all the time.
I have been really unwell and my ears
and nose are really blocked, my throat is aching… The wonderful air host just
stopped by for a chat and MAGIC happened.
He bought me a container of carvel to sniff to clear my nose and ears
and it is amazing. They really are clearing. So there we go… 7.35am and the first Random
Act of Kindness has come my way…
wonder how many I can sneak in today to really make this the most special day
it can really be. We are expected into
Christchurch early – so not long now til I catch-up with Jo, Tara and Pauline
and we head off to Wairairi for the MAGIC of the day…