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VITTA 2012

On Monday and Tuesday this week I once again had the wonderful opportunity to attend VITTA 2012 – Reign of the Cloud, conference at Caulfield Racecourse. VITTA, or the Victorian Information Technology Teachers Association, run excellent professional learning programs with the VITTA Conference being their swan-song!

As like most other conference based PL, the process is the same in having to register, attend keynote presentations, and select workshops and breakout sessions to attend based on your interest and that of your setting. This being i feel the great thing about such conferences, the ability to select what learning you’d like to be involved in. Wouldn’t it be great if kids had the same opportunity! Hmmm…

OK. Starting with the Keynote addresses. 4 Keynotes. 4 very different presentations. 4 very passionate people. Now rather than go in to paragraph after paragraph about their addresses, i thought that i would simply let you all see them for yourselves. Below i have included the key note addresses for your viewing pleasure. Highlights for myself were certainly the talk from Yong Zhao and that from Greg Whitby. Two men very passionate about education, technology, and the path that both of these are taking heading towards the future!

To access the Keynote addresses, head to the following site: VITTA 2012 Conference Videos

More keynote presentations as well as videos from other presenters will be added over the coming weeks so watch this space.

From the two Keynotes which I found most relevant, i have outlined 10 dot points from each that resonated with myself and really got me thinking about not only technology integration and education, but in some instances life in general.

Yong Zhao – Presidential Chair and Associate Dean for Global Education, College of Education at the University of Oregon, where he is a full professor in the Department of Educational Measurement, Policy and Leadership(EMPL). He is a fellow of the International Academy for Education.

1. Its not about the technology, it about the ICT skills and kids we want to produce.

2. Why when we have mobile technology and Internet, we place restrictions upon it for learners?

3. What kind of education can we give that promotes success and happiness?

4. In years to come, large workforces such as those found in factories will cease to exist. The only sectors to employ large groups of people will be education and governments.

5. Is humanity loosing key skills through being creative? I.e. The ability to grow food for yourself as to now simply be able to just buy it?

6. China is ranking as one of the ‘smartest’ countries in the world in mathematics, reading and science. However, they are one of the worst at developing entrepreneurs, unlike the U.S., which is the opposite.

7. The current curriculum is based on producing academics. Knowledge is very important, but it is by no mean imperative.

8. That all curriculum should be personalised and product based.

9. All learning should be taking place in a global context. i.e. – obaworld.com

10. We need to develop entrepreneurs for the future, not just kids who do well on assessment.

Greg Whitby – is the Executive Director of Schools and leads a system of 78 Catholic schools in greater western Sydney serving over 42,000 students and employing over 4,500 teachers and staff. He has extensive experience in senior system leadership and K-12 schooling in government and non-government sectors.

1. Staff and schools across Australia need to focus on developing better practices of teaching.

2. We can reflect over the past 150 of education here in Australia, but lets NOT base where we want to head to on where we have come from!

3. We need to build schools that enhance the professional life of teachers and promote learning.

4. We need to focus on change and adaptability. This being adapting teaching and learning where appropriate to the technology.

5. We need better teachers in Australia now more so than ever.

6. Diversity needs to be the norm, every teachers and student is unique and individual.

7. It’s all about learning. Period!

8. Data is not the driver. It is the catalyst. The driver is god instruction led by instructional leaders.

9. Teachers, Educational leaders need to shape the agenda of learning and teachers. Not others. I.e. Politicians. Governments.

10. It’s not about the device. it’s about the software. We all have a device, who cares what it looks like, it’s about what it can do!

 

I was was fortunate enough to present myself on a topic that seems to be quite hot at the moment in BYOD. I have embedded my presentation below and you have any questions, please email!

 

Over the two days i can say that i took away a lot of learning experiences from the sessions that i was involved in. Having attended sessions based upon iPad integration and app’s for learning, Adobe Photo-shop, Unity 3D and 3D Design, and Game Maker, certainly left me with a lot to think about and some fantastic new ideas to attempt to ‘smash’ my students with!!!

Thanks very much to all those who presented and made the conference what it was, that being a great success!

 

 

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Our iPad Amazing Race…

Our playground for the day…

Last Friday our College had a Curriculum Day which gave staff throughout the school the opportunity to attend relevant Professional Learning. Several hot topics were listed for staff to focus on such as Differentiation, ADC (Australian Developmental Curriculum), Literacy and the National Curriculum, and of course, Learning with iPads, just to name a few.

Staff were given the opportunity to place their name under the relevant professional learning that they wanted to attend in a Google Doc, and the rest as they say, is history.

Being given the option to run a Curriculum Day event based on ICT and more specifically Mobile Technology (iPads), was fantastic. As we run 2 1:1 iPad Programs (prep and years 6 and 7), it gave teachers a chance to learn more about how iPads and Mobile Tech could be integrated in to teaching and learning programs. I had a number of specialist staff from the Phys Ed and Arts areas also attend and this was great as they could gain a greater understanding of how Mobile Tech could be utilised within their own specialist programs!

As we place such a large emphasis on engagement within teaching, i thought it imperative that i do not give a ‘stand and deliver’ type of scenario as that is simply not engaging, no matter how good your Keynote Presentation is!

So…

The day that i orgainsed ran in the following manner;

1. An iPad Amazing Race. 

This involved staff being given an iPad with the selected year 6 and 7 applications, as well as a created eBook that I had produced in their iBooks library. This book outlined exactly what each staff member was to do for the morning and that being having staff visit and use Federation Square as the meeting point, as well as the surrounding landmarks and attractions, to complete a series of iPad based tasks using the app’s available to them! They were to do this in any order, individually, pairs or small groups, and aim to complete as many of the tasks set with the time that they had.

I have embedded all relevant documents below as well as the PDF File of the eBook.

PDF: Curriculum Day Information Document: ICT Curric Day 2012

PDF: iBook Author PDF Version: Curric Day 2012 – Mobile Tech

2. Lunch… at a pub of course! That’s always engaging! 

3. More structured PL held at our IT Partners (Xcite Logic) Offices in Collingwood. 

Anita L’Enfant, Xcite’s National Manager for Professional Learning, run my staff through effective iPad Use and showed them a number of applications that could be utilised within their teaching and learning programs. I have listed these applications below as well as a short piece about what they are and what they do. Thank you to Anita for running the afternoon’s session as it was great for my staff to have Professional Learning that was not ran by myself.

On reflection, and apart from the weather being terrible in the morning, and the iPads not have decent Wifi connectivity, i was very pleased with how the day ran. Feedback from staff was outstanding and i also need to thank them for their patience and participation throughout the day! One thing that I would liked to have altered was the activities within the morning ‘Amazing Race’ component. I would have liked these to not be as… one dimensional as they were, meaning i found them to be a little in the ‘substitution’ mould of things. Meaning, I would have liked a more creative element to them, to really showcase what the iPad can do. But alas, something for next time. I felt the lack of wifi hindered this also and although Federation Square has free Wifi, it’s not reliable for what i would have liked to do.

Working Hard!

Collaborating!

Below I have included some feedback from staff about the day which I was very happy to receive!

“Last Friday was really good. It was really worthwhile. I learnt how I could use some the apps in an engaging and practical way that then could be taken back into the classroom and be extended upon for learning. I enjoyed having the opportunity at Excite to explore Apps and work on our books. I liked the application of using it at Fed Square as that is an accessible venue for us to visit for excursions, particularly with years 9 and 10’s.”

“I thought that all of the planned activities were great. It gave me a chance to really think about how I can utilize ICT in a PE environment. Personally it gave me time to experiment with assistance the use of different Apps. I would feel more comfortable in using iPads in PE after being exposed to using an iPad and the various Apps.”

All in all I’d love to run a similar day again, perhaps a whole day of the mornings activities with more staff, with more of a creative and collaborative focus. As mentioned i hope that the staff who attended took some valuable things away for future use because as we know, PL that assists us in becoming better educators is PL worth attending!

 

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A Few iPad App’s for CBL

apple.com

Soon, as of… this afternoon, i am about to embark on a Challenge Based Learning Journey with a year 7 class. This class i am covering for one hour per week and was given the chance to run virtually any program that i liked and hence, i selected to run a CBL based unit with them! Plenty of learning happening of course!

Challenge Based Learning is something that I have used in the past and a model of teaching and inquiry that is very powerful. As the students i’ll be working with are involved in a 1:1 iPad Program, I thought this would be a very good model to adopt as the technology is readily accessible and anywhere, anytime learning can occur!

For those who do not know a lot about Challenge Based Learning, which was develop by Apple Inc. and a group of ADE’s (Apple Distinguished Educators), here are two great sites to help explain it in more detail and most likely a more cohesive and understandable way than I! I have also embedded a great Slide Share Presentation that explains the process well also!

Apple in Education – Challenge Based Learning

Take Action and Make A Diference – Challenge Based Learning

 

So in my quest to plan and undertake the CBL process, i have also made it a core focus to utilise the technology that the students have. As always, I tell my staff that there’s a need for technology when there’s a need. The technology will not be the be all and end all, even if kids have 24/7 access. So that is my plan. To use the tech when there’s a need, and use it well, with purpose and intention!
I recently came across this Scoop.it site focusing on CBL which is moderated by Katie Morrow, the same person who created the above presentation. This led me to the following site, Learning in Touch, where i found the great image below of iPad applications to use with Challenge Based Learning.

http://www.digitalcreator.org/dvined/?p=1663

 

It will be great to hopefully create one of these myself or, even better, have the students in my year 7 class do their own, which of course i’ll certainly share with you all! We will also be using the following Blog to document some of our Journey along the way, so watch this space – Our CBL Journey 

Thanks!

 

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Slide2Learn 2012

Right. It’s now been a week, and a bit. Had plenty of time to reflect, so here we go.

Last Monday I had the pleasure of attending and presenting at the Slide2Learn Conference hosted at Albert Park College, Melbourne. S2L has been a conference that i have been aiming to attend for a few yeas now as it’s reputation is quite seeing that it is a conference ran by teachers, for teachers, as well as being heavily focused upon Apple Mac technology use in education. Fr more about Slide2Learn and its inner workings, head to the website HERE.

Now S2L was a two day conference and due to prior family commitments i attended only the Monday, a which was filled with learning and engaging sessions for attendees to… attend.

Now, rather than give a minute by minute experience, which may bore some to the utter death, i thought i’d be a little more proactive in giving more detail about some of the excellent tools that i came across. These tools being one’s that could easily be embedded in to a Teaching and Learning program. Tool’s that i know i’ll be keen to use with my own students! Some of these may be new, others, perhaps not, so here we go… Thanks to Simon Shaw from Apple for these… 

1. Nearpod Application – iPad

Nearpod is an application that has been released only recently and allows some amazing things within a classroom to occur. Teachers can create a slideshow online via the Nearpod website. Nothing special. Yet. Teachers can embed in these presentations quizzes, videos, polls, sketching tools, and more. Still not impressed? From here, students have on their own iPad devices the “Nearpod Student App”, which allows them to view the created presentation on their own device, in real time with the teacher. So when the teacher swipes to the next slide, it will do so on the student devices. Now this can only happen if all devices are connected to a wifi network, however, 3G will also allow sharing to happen! If creating and sharing slideshows is not your thing, then PDF documents can be uploaded, exported as a slideshow, and shared with students this way also.

All of the above can be a little better explained i suppose through the image below, sourced from the Nearpod Website.

All in all, and my VERY brief summary has not done it justice, Nearpod has a plethora of applications for classroom use. Head to the website for a much better description! www.nearpod.com

2. dotEPUB

dotEPUB allows users to embed a Widget/Bookmarklet in to their browser (Firefox and Chrome only) and then, once on a web page of interest, by clicking this installed button the text from that webpage is automatically converted to an e-book! A great way to share specific content that is web based with others. As a teacher, excellent resources can be created from this, such as converting a current event news story to an e-book and then sharing this with students. And, as the e-book can be read offline, great for students who have zero Internet access at home if the e-book or reading material is distributed at school.

3. TEDeD Talks

Most of us are familiar with TED Talks. Well, for those who may not know, we have now have TED-Ed Talks. This site focuses solely on educational based material that educators can use with students. Currently, at time of timing… there were 89 Videos that have been uploaded for use. Not much hey… HOWEVER! These videos have been ‘Flipped’ 4,740 times! Now what do i mean by flipped? Rather than me trying to explain it, i’ll TED do that… “Flipping” a video allows you to turn a video into a customized lesson that can be assigned to students or shared more widely. You can add context, questions, and follow-up suggestions to any video on TED-Ed or YouTube.”

Check the screen shot below for a snapshot of what each ‘flipped’ video can contain!

This amazing resource is well worth a look see!

4. Book Creator Application – iPad

When i first had a play with this it reminded me of the iBook Author software for my Mac. This is a great App for eBook creation right on the iPad itself. Now, there are other eBook creation type app’s for the iPad, yet i found this one to be easy to use, effective and most of all, student friendly. Create great eBooks in minutes, as i did at Slide2Learn! A very worthwhile app. Once created, students can read their eBook directly in iBooks, or email and share their creation with friends. The app gives a lot of features for students to be able to edit the content they include, which of course, is very important. Cost: $5.49… App linked here.

5. Posterous – Online Sharing

Like a lot of online tools and sites, i had heard of Posterous, know of people using it, but never had a chance to see it in action properly. Now i have, and i can say i am glad i did. One of the first questions i am asked re: our 1:1 iPad Trial at my College is the whole sharing work of an iPad scenario… Connecting to a server? Printing work? Etc… Currently, we use email being a Google K-12 App’s College. This works great for us and our setting. We also ustilise Dropbox and using these extremely well also! In saying all of this, i have not yet had a chance to use, or play around with Posterous, yet from what i did see and have heard, it looks to be a winner. In my eyes anyway.

Posterous looks to be along the lines of a Dropbox type scenario, yet it also appears so much more! In a few words… students create an account. Then they have a ‘wall’ or space so to speak. Once they have created on their iPad device, they email it to their Posterous Space. Rather than displaying as a link or attachment, the actual document or file is displayed. How easy is that! How good is that! Spaces can be private, public, limited to a select few, etc… and this is a great thing about Posterous. I am excited to have a greater play with this to see if it would be a great fit for our students.

Lastly, Posterous supports a wide range of file types so the uploading/sharing of created content by students is a no brain-er. Posterous will also automatically re-size and convert image and video for optimum viewing via the Spaces that the dos’c are going to. Impressive.

So… I hope you find the above 5 tools useful. They may be great for you and your students, they may not, but definitely worth a share. Thanks to the Slide2Learn team and Simon Shaw from Apple for giving me a great insight in to these applications and tools!

 

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Penguin Presents…

penguin.com.au

Last Thursday and Friday i had the absolute pleasure in attending two great Professional Learning Days for teachers and librarians at the National Maritime Museum in Sydney (impressive location, i know!).

The days were hosted by Penguin and were titled “Penguin Presents a Professional Development Day for:” Primary Teachers and Librarians (Thursday) and Secondary English Teachers and Librarians (Friday).

Both days had a great turn out from participants – however the guest authors that Penguin had arranged, Graeme Base, Gus Gordon, and Robert Newton over the two days was outstanding! Hearing these very well-known authors and illustrators speak and share their literary journeys was outstanding!

I now have a dire need to write and illustrate a book!  Hearing these people speak about what it takes to get where they are as well as demonstrate some of their extraordinary talents was an inspiring experience. (This coming from someone who reads – not as often as they should mind you, and does not have a ‘love’ of books, certainly developed a new found respect for authors, illustrators and literacy in general!)

The conference programs are below for those interested;

– NSW_prim_PD_e-invite

– NSW_sec_PD_e-invite

 

Having been asked by Penguin to present during these days of PL was a highlight and something I very much enjoyed. I had 4 presentations to cover over the two days and i am happy to say that i think all 4 went reasonably well.

My 4 presentations covered the following:

– ICT for Primary Literacy

– Graeme Base Applications to Support Visual Literacy

– ICT in the Secondary Classroom

– Cyber Issues and Social Media for Secondary Students

Highlights as a result of  the two days of Professional Learning were many however, meeting and speaking with the fantastic educators who are passionate about literacy and ICT integration was a definite highlight. Also, of course, was having the chance to meet and speak with Gus, Robert and Graeme (a great experience in itself!)

I have aimed, or rather – attempted to add ALL of my resources and presentations below. Two of my presentations which were created as eBooks in iBook Author, are far too large to upload. I have in turn exported them as PDF eBooks which still work, except for the embedded video.

If there are people who attended and are reading this, and are looking for something that i spoke about yet have not added below, PLEASE email me at barclay.corrie@gmail.com

Thank you once again to Penguin and the organiser of the event (Tye Cattanach) for their hospitality and letting me share my waffling with those who attended.

Cheers.

 

PRESENTATIONS AND RESOURCES.

ICT for Primary Literacy – PDF eBook

ICT for Secondary Classrooms – PDF eBook

1:1 iPad App List Yrs 6-7 2012

1:1 iPad App List Prep 2012

Social Media Comm’s Strategy 2012 – DRAFT 

 

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Classroom A/V Setups…

Reports. Exams. Teaching. Coaching. Learning. Assisting. Coordinating. Educating. And so….

Just a few of the things that i have had on the go lately! Usually, all at once!

With 2 weeks left of this term it’ll be great to have a break yet in saying this, it has certainly been a productive term and a lot of things have somewhat… been decided upon from a whole college perspective which has been pleasing. I have that it’s great to have a 1001 and ideas in integrating tech, embedding these ideas in to T&L programs, assisting staff, etc… yet it’s another to actually make choices on which of these ideas to implement first and to get started on!

So…

This term we formed the first official Manor Lakes ICT Committee. This committee, which consists of 10 staff from P-10 as well as specialist staff, meets every so often to make the ‘hard/er’ decisions about ICT integration in the College. A team of dedicated staff who love using IT to assist their teaching and learning programs.

One of the key decisions that was made this term, and the ball is already rolling, is to ensure that classes across the college, Early Years and Middle years, have adequate A/V equipment to use. IN the past, we have used a booking system where staff would book Digital Projectors to use with in their rooms. This has worked well, unless all are booked and you desperately need one!

With staff wanting a mix of devices we though we’d give them exactly that, and to then see how this went over the course of the remainder of the year. So here is what we have decided upon. Each team in our College from year Prep through to Year 8 will receive the following;

1. A Digital Projector Package which includes all relevant cabling, plus two Apple Mac VGA Connectors (ror older MacBooks, and newer MacBooks). Staff enjoy the fact that no matter there device, they can plug and play a D.P. quickly and easily and get their teaching happening asap! They’re lightweight, portable and these days, inexpensive.

 

 

 

 

2. A Mimio IWB with Capture Device + Supporting Digital Projector. Previously we have leased IWB’s, Smartboards, which were placed in our P-2 teaching and learning environments. We found these were mainly being used as projectors themselves and their full capabilities not being utilised, hence, our decision to move away from placing IWB’s across the college. For those unfamiliar to Mimio devices, they are IWB’s which utilise current Whiteboards and Whiteboard markers. They require either a standalone or roof mounted Digital Projector. The Mimio’s suction cup/stick to a whiteboard meaning that they can removed and are portable. I have in the past taken one from a school and used it at the Melbourne Zoo! Great devices, same interactivity and software as more traditional IWB’s, and at a slice of the cost!

 

 

 

 

3. An Apple TV Set-Up. This was the original plan. To place one of these set-ups in every 1:1 iPad room, then 1:2 for the rest of the College. The set up will involve a 50in Samsung HD Plasma, attached to a movable stand, hooked to an Apple TV Device. The reasoning behind this is the mirroring capabilities that can occur between an iPad and the Apple TV. Also that the iPad can be used, in essence, as an IWB. When Apple soon release 10.8, Mountain Lion, Apple MacBook’s will also be able to mirror! As these are portable, they do not become the focus of the room hence changing the pedagogy and the learning that is to occur.

 

I will be very keen to see how the staff utilise these technologies and how they are best introduced in to the teaching and learning programs throughout our College! I’ll be sure to assist staff where i can and as best i can to make sure also that these technologies are embedded and integrated and that the best teaching and learning can occur! As usual, i’ll keep you posted.

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Term 2, here i come!

After having had 3 and a half weeks off for the birth of my beautiful daughter Lucy, I’ve had more than enough time to reflect on what my priorities are for the upcoming term!

I love my job and I hope that it loves me (fingers crossed) yet like most educators, time has this wonderful skill of escaping you when you need it most! I am going to ensure that this term, and hopefully for the terms beyond, I can get some kind of grasp of not only prioritizing what I want to do, but also what I need to do! 😉

So here are a select few items that are on my to do list that are both wants and needs for this term and beyond. Fingers crossed, yet again, that I can to the best of my ability get all of these done!

Teaching!

Priority number one. Having 3 classes of Multimedia to teach is not overly demanding however I find that other aspects of my role can dictate just how well I teach the great kids I do. I have been blessed in having students in my classes that are patient, understanding and extremely flexible, all of which certainly make my role as their teacher a lot easier! My students are focusing on film and video production and you can get a glimpse of their great work via our College’s YouTube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/ManorLakesP12College?ob=0&feature=results_main

Apple TV Set-Ups.

We made a decision late last year to not continue the leasing of our current IWB’s. The cost of both leasing and purchasing was we felt to be quite high. My techs and I then had this wonderful idea, which we soon realized was not our idea, as a lot of schools and colleges are heading down this path, to install LED/LCD TV’s in to classroom along with Apple TV devices. Staff, especially those with iPad’s, would be able to mirror their device for the students to see! The great thing also being when Apple releases their OSX Mountain Lion, Mac Laptops will able to mirror as well! The cost of going down this path is we feel much cheaper and more cost effective than purchasing IWB’s. For a nominated amount, we can purchase a large flat screen TV, and Apple TV device, all mounting brackets etc. as well as an Nintendo Wii, for Game Based Learning Purposes! 😉 Watch this space! Here is a great article of a school and their experiences of doing something similar! http://esheninger.blogspot.com.au/2012/04/mobile-interactivity-that-wont-break.html

1:1 iPad Programs + PLT.

Our BYOD Model of our 1:1 iPad Programs in years 6 and 7 have begun extremely well! Students and staff have responded to using the devices so very well as a learning tool, which has been great to see! From this term onwards we will look at consolidating the practices and pedagogy that we are practicing! We also have our 1:1 iPad Program running in our Prep cohort and thus far also, the students are loving using the iPad to assist their learning! The comments thus far also from the staff in the prep area are very encouraging also. We will be running an iPad PLT (Professional Learning Team) this term to assist in the development of the iPad Curriculum and to assist staff in using the devices to compliment the teaching and learning that is already taking place.

1:1 MacBook Program.

As above I will be working closely with out year 8, 9 and 10 students and staff to ensure that Apple MacBook’s are being utilised as much as possible. Or should I say, as needed. Our older students are creating outstanding content via their Mac’s and it’s great to see staff ensuring students are using their devices not only correctly, but also competently.

Coaching / Staff PL.

A large part of my role is to work closely with staff in up skilling them with the tools and knowledge that they need to effectively and comfortably integrate ICT. Spending time in classes, running PL sessions, and coordinating ‘Techie Brekkies’, are all part and parcel of assisting my staff in this area. I am very lucky to have a staff, a very large staff, which see the integration of ICT as a means of fostering engagement and students meeting their intended learning outcomes. I intend to run a 2-day PL course either towards the end of this term, or the beginning of next, in creating ICT Peer Coaches for not only our college, but others as well.

Conferences.

I have a number of conferences that I am presenting at by myself as well as with colleagues coming up. I feel that one of the greatest things about being a teacher is having the ability to share your thoughts, skills, knowledge, and journey with others. The best PL comes from networking and professional discussions. ICTEV, VITTA, Slide2Learn, and now uLearn12 in New Zealand are all on my agenda and I look forward to attending and presenting! Click on the name of the mentioned conferences to read more about them.

ICTEV 2012

VITTA 2102

Slide2Learn 2012

uLearn12

College Website.

Towards the end of 2011 we had our College Website rebuilt and now it is up and running and looking and going great! Of course, with any websites, they need to have content added frequently and be update with the information and media that posted! A job I might add, in a school this large, is quite a task! The great thing being however I have a host of people I am working with to ensure this happens both regularly and in a manner that is not confusing! You can visit our college website here: http://www.manorlakesp12.vic.edu.au/

Professional Visits.

Last term was bedlam in relation to the number visitors we had from other schools coming to visit our College! As time consuming as this can be, and I do not mean that in a negative way what so ever, it was, and is, great to have schools and their educators come to visit to learn from the great things we feel that we are doing well. This area of my role is something that I enjoy, as I have mentioned, I feel that the best PL available is going and seeing others in action! One thing that I also hope to do more of as the year progresses!

As busy as i am sure i will continue to be i do look forward to all of the above! Very exciting times!

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Ballarat Cluster Curric. Day

This afternoon I had the arduous task of heading down to ‘The Sands’ Resort at Torquay in Victoria to present to a cluster of small schools from in and around Ballarat. I say arduous as the sun was shining, the golf greens were glistening and the resort itself was stunning.

All up I think there were approximately 10 schools who attended with roughly 52+ participants, all there to learn more about and discuss use of the iPad as a teaching and learning tool, implementation as well as differentiated curriculum.

For the life of me I cannot remember the names of all the attending schools however I can recall that Miner Rest PS, Caledonian PS, Skipton PS, Invermay PS, Amphitheatre PS and Landsborough were just a few!

It was impressive to see so many staff from so many schools congregate for a common cause. Something that I feel does not happen as often as it should. As I mentioned today, the best professional learning one can attend is that involving networking with other likeminded schools and sharing ideas. This can be done a couple of ways, either by meeting and discussing key issues and topics, like today, or visiting other schools and college’s to witness best practice.

I was contacted by Justin Marshman (Principal of Invermay PS) some time ago and asked if I’d like to come and share our college’s story of iPad implementation. I often feel that I/we are by no means masters of what we do however we have been down that path and are continuing to learn and build on our experiences. And, of course, we’re/I am, happy to share!

The first speaker of the conference was Simon Shaw, who is an Education Executive for Apple. His role is primarily that of a teaching and learning one whereby he assists teachers and schools in implementing the use of technology. I have known Simon for a little while had had heard of the excellent work that he had done at St. Albans Meadows PS in the Western Suburbs in relation to 1:1 computing and using Apple technology. Simon discussed and shared how the iPad can be best utilised through sharing some excellent applications such Factor Samurai, Brainstorm and Wordwizard.

Simon also spoke about the Horizon K-12 Report for Education. A document released each year by the New Media Consortium who take a whole load of data, trends in education, technology information and so on, and give a list of emerging technologies which will be implemented by educational institutions by a set time.

Simon focused on Personalised Learning and the effect that this can have, in a positive way of course, with differentiating the curriculum and learning spaces for our students. You can find the K-12 Horizon Report HERE.

Despite having heard about it before, but always happy to hear again, is the technology adoption model by Ruben Puente Dura. A model which I have discussed with my own staff in the use of technology and adopting it to use as a tool to assist meeting student learning outcomes. I have attached an image, albeit a shocking one, of this model below. The importance with this model, I feel, is for schools and educators to steer clear of the bottom 2 models of tech adoption. Those being substitution and augmentation. To read more about this model and the works of Ruben Puente Dura, visit his site HERE.

After Simon had presented it was a short break and then over to yours truly. I have embedded the Prezi i used below so as to show you what I presented rather than explain it in lengthy, mindless paragraphs!

Hopefully it makes some sense! If you have any questions of queries please feel free to email me, my details are on the Prezi!

I just would like to not only thank Justin for the invitation, but all schools and teachers in attendance for the kind feedback and questions afterwards. I really do look forward hearing how these school begin to utilise ICT, and in detail, iPads as Mobile Technology, in their own settings.

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Int.Books eBooks Conference 2012

http://www.intbooks.com.au/

On Saturday I had the pleasure of being a speaker at the “e-Books in the School, Classroom, and the Library” Conference hosted by Int. Books in Preston.

Some weeks ago I was approached by the organiser, Tom Danby, to speak and share our story of iPad implementation yet also how we have utilised these devices as eReaders at our College.

Now for starters, if you’re somewhat confused by what an eBook is, this may assist: Whatsanebook.

The conference was more or less ran in the style of a tech meet with presenters given anywhere between 10-15 minutes to share their thoughts, stories and other relevant information and being ‘second cab of the rank’, I was pleased to get my session out of the way, and be able to relax and focus on those who followed!

Being locked in a room with people passionate about literacy, books, ebooks, libraries (most of who attended I feel were librarians), was a great thing as all were there for a common cause. That being, to learn more about eBook use, distribution, and eBook creation. Occasionally you can find yourself at certain PL with people who either do not need to be there, have no interest being there, or are there and know it all and get little out of it. I didn’t get any of these feelings on Saturday.

The speaker list for the conference was 12 strong with all as i have mentioned keen to tell their thing and share their information with others. You can find the Speaker List here: IntBookeBookSpeakList2012.

Now. As for my own little spiel, I have uploaded the basic Keynote which i showed to those who attended and for those that did not attend, you can locate it below! If you’d like clarification on any of it, please drop me an email or comment!

What I presented was well received and i have numerous people offer feedback afterwards which was great. It’s a little like teaching in a way. In that by always offering immediate feedback greater reflection can take place by the person receiving it.
Overall it appears that there is a want from educators and libraries to push and head towards the eBook path. The technology is demanding this. Students, all with access to multiple devices, allows for this. For eBooks to be accessed anywhere, anytime.
For the remainder of the conference I took notes on what other speakers had to say and tried like a wild man to scribble down what I could. These, the most incoherent of notes, i have added here: IntBooksConfNotes2012. Maybe, just maybe you’ll be able to get some sense out of them!
Thanks to Tom and his team for the organisation of this conference. I am sure all got something out of it and took away a few more ideas and some new knowledge than what they had when they arrived.
Cheers.
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Copyright and Kids…

Image from: brisbanegrammar.com

Image from: brisbanegrammar.com

As you may be aware i have been completing a Certificate in Emerging Technologies through VITTA. Over 4 great workshops we have covered everything from Podcasting to Blogging to Wiki’s to Mobile Technology integration. The 4th and final session held this evening was focused on Copyright and Digital Citizenship. Thanks to Jo Mcleay for hosting this great workshop and sharing her resources!  

Students and copyright… Music, film, text, and image, all of which play a major factor in the technological lives of our digital natives. Students we have found can be so very blase’ about breaching copyright laws and using others’ work and, either claim it as their own, or use that persons works without referencing and citing it as they should.

Now.. in the big scheme of teaching students about ICT, educating them about Copyright, Cyber Safety and being a good ‘Cyber Citizen’ can be perhaps, arguably, quite mind numbingly boring! As teachers it is easy to see that students/teenagers do not place a large focus on the above, especially by the way that they can occasionally speak to one another online. As educators on a daily basis we do place a focus on teaching students to be great citizens, therefore we need to do the same whilst they are online. We need to model effectively how to deal with issues surrounding copyright and pirated material and how to use and where to find legitiamte digital material, whether it be audio, image or film. One small way i have combated students NOT using music for presentations in an illegal way, is to have them create their own music and audio tracks. Software such as Garage Band has been instrumental in educating students about the rigours of creating original scores of music to embed in to their own presentations. Once discussed, students usually get a very good idea as to how they’d be feeling if others were ‘using’ their created pieces without their permission. They feel even more strongly about this once they realise that they could also be loosing money as well, in theory!

Lately I have moved away from using the term ‘Cyber’ and moved to using ‘Digital’. I feel once students hear the word Cyber (safety, safe, smart), they immediately switch off. As an educator the most powerful way i can educate my students about copyright and being a good digital citizen is to model what i do in front of them.

During the latest workshop of completing my Emerging Technologies Cert, we investigated in depth copyright terms and conditions. Trying to get my head around what breached copyright, what did not, what OER was, what this meant and what that meant all started to do my head in! Slowly it all started to make sense and from the excellent resources that Jo has shared, I started to get a better understanding of all of this.

One great example we viewed of a short film NOT breaching copyright laws can be found below. As you watch you may be well aware as to why… 😉

To reflect upon the workshop i suppose that as i have mentioned it is about demonstrating good practice in front of students. By discussing copyright issues as you teach as they arise, you can inform your students that what they may be doing is illegal, and that they can be charged for it. As i have told my students not all that long ago, a 24 year old man in Queensland was sued and find $1,500,000 for illegally uploading a Super Mario Game via the web to share with others who, I assume, were too tight to pay for it! The article for this story can be found HERE. An interesting discussion piece.

We need to be teaching valuable notions throughout our teaching practice. Pull out these teaching moments and share them explicitly.

Several resources that we looked at this evening are linked below and are great for locating some excellent Creative Commons based material!

Flickr Creative Commons

OER Commons

Creative Commons.org

Creative Commons Australia.org

Australian Copyright Council