Monday, September 17, 2007

Cluster Spotlight 2

In this week's cluster spotlight we look at Sunnybrae Normal School's EnviroSchool Blog.
The blog is a team blog set up by Jenni Keeley's Year 1 class to support their Enviro Schools Journey. They have teamed up with teacher Penny Krone and students from Verran School who are their enviro-mentors.

The blog is being used to record their progress and also as a place for the students to reflect and support each other. The comments feature of the blog is being utilised by students to respond to questions and offer advice and suggestions as they explore and learn through the school's enviro journey. The blog will also assist Sunnynrae as they work towards their Enviroschools Awards - Bronze.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

uLearn 07

We have over 30 teachers from The Central North Shore Cluster attending uLearn 07 in Auckland.
Some of you, who have been reading and contributing to blogs, may be interested in the
Bloggers Cafe thanks to an initiative by Jane Nicholls. The concept of the bloggers cafe is to most importantly make some F2F connections with NZ bloggers, learn something new and engage in some real time conversation...there will actually be coffee too!

Also the the spotlight for
Breakout 1 is Kids Using Technology in Education (KUTE), an annual event organised by The Auckland Computers in Education Society (ACES). This is a highly interactive breakout where you will have the opportunity to talk directly with students from a number of Auckland schools who will be demonstrating, sharing and answering questions about their learning through a variety of ICT supported experiences.

Breakouts are now available on the uLearn website. Recommend you make your selections as soon as you can this week.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Cluster Spotlight 1

As part of my weekly Cluster Update email that I send out to you on a Monday morning I will be including a feature spot on a school or classroom in the cluster. I am in the privileged position of spending most days in your schools experiencing, first hand, your learning adventures. While we are able to share these at cluster events and our Cluster Wiki there is so much new learning to celebrate I thought this would be a good place to bring these gems to your attention. I also encourage you to email these teachers if you have any questions.

Learning Support Class Takapuna Primary
You may have attended Jane's session at the Cluster Share last week.
Jane has been developing her classroom blog since attending the Learning@School Conference in February and has some excellent recommendations which she has posted on our cluster wiki, worth viewing if you thinking about using a blog with your class.

Jane's Classroom Blog

Also... want to whip up a quick movie for your blog?...try Animoto. Upload photos, select some music and Animoto does the rest.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Cluster Share - Takapuna Teacher Inquiry

As a cluster, we thank the teachers from Takapuna Primary today, who shared their learning with us in a variety of contexts. I am sure you will agree that the attention to detail in both the preparation and organisation was much appreciated by the teachers who attended.
I saw many examples of teachers demonstrating an increased understanding of how eLearning strategies are identified and used to support the learning purpose. Also the valuable tips and advice for managing ICT in the classroom, as a result of your teacher inquiry, will be beneficial especially when teachers are exploring new opportunities for ICT integration.
As promised the resource pages can be accessed from the Cluster Share wiki page as well as the short presentation that Margaret shared with us at the beginning, a copy of the original "Did You Know?" video on Shift Happens.
This video has been the source of much debate since it was posted by Karl Fisch. I would also recommend you read this post by Tom Hoffman Did You Know? I WANT TO BELIEVE, which also includes comment from Karl. There is also an updated version of the video based on more recent data that can also be viewed online here.
The intention of Karl Fisch was..."never meant to be "scholarly" or "authoritative." It was meant to highlight some of the changes that were/are happening, and give my staff an idea of the trends that I saw and what that might mean for our students. I still think the presentation does a decent job of that. (Also, keep in mind that the original presentation starts with 8 slides about my school, which I think changes the tone from the version that starts with the China and India stuff)." (Fisch, 2007)
I believe that it is important for us, as New Zealand teachers, to consider and discuss how these trends relate to New Zealand and their relevance, or not, to our students and their learning.
If you have any questions please email the Takapuna teachers or contact me.
Make your own photo slideshow at Animoto.