Friday, October 12, 2012

A thinking revolution: working smarter in a crazy world.

Final key note: Glenn Capelli

Strategies and tools are fine but they only work in conjunction with other layers of learning - you need to know your philosophy. Work out what you stand for and what you don't. Glenn Capelli's philosophy is summed up in the word neotony - "neoteny is ageing, yet retaining the childlike behaviour traits of spontaneity, creativity and living life with a sense of wonder. What we add, as we age, is wisdom".

Your philosophy should be able to lead you into the conversations that make a difference- with students and staff should be around "how better? how else?". Such as the kiazen approach, an approach of continuous improvement every day. Schools could have beneficial conversations based around The Three Russian Brothers - Morov (what can we do more of?), Lessov (what can we do less of?), Ridov (what can we get rid of?) and the cousin Tossin (what can we toss in). We need to get rid of cynicism and welcome skepticism - which is one of the many strategies and tools we can use. The final layer being the range of methodologies you use in teaching.  

Worth checking out the App for iPads "Thinking Caps" by Glenn Capelli (lifestyle - category).

How to create and deliver memorable presentations

Ideas from workshop by Tara Fagan (CORE Education) at Ulearn

1. Planning

This is an essential part to any presentation - brainstorming ideas, (the presenters use stickies), distilling these ideas into key points and grouping them together. Then thinking about the stickability of ideas - certain considerations in presentations enable people to be able to
Unexpectedness - the surprise aspect
Concreteness - solid ideas
Simplicity in design and information
Through telling a story - there's a voice to be heard and a story to tell

Then also thinking about handouts to accompany the presentation, plus considering contingencies regarding internet reliability.

2. Design of slides

- Keeping things simple
- Providing contrast (split screens/ colour contrasts/ the big and the small as a contrast/ then & now contrasts/ trapped & free/ a bit of humour/ greying out images and highlighting the key image).
- Using quotes "Anyone has never made a mistake has never tried anything new" Albert Einstein
- Allow for direct observation (not too much information/ summarise the key points and talk in the detail).
- Statistics can be brought alive with gapminder amazing example of this on you tube
- Transitions, either none at all or using a simple one consistently
-  Clever use of visuals, like thinking about a visual for partnership being more than two guys shaking hands, but being things like "salt & pepper", two old people together, a kid and their pet etc. Rule of thirds for visuals. Using the picture as a background with using 2/3rd space for simple text.

3. Delivery

- Practice your delivery, out loud, possibly use a video camera to record yourself and see what it looks like.
- Exercise or get some fresh air before the delivery to clear your mind
- Think about what you are wearing and the message you are sending through what you wear
- Get to the room early and check layout and get a sense of the space and check everything works (internet etc)
- Think about where to stand, having an open space in front of the audience, facing the audience using your own computer screen  as a prompt not talking to the
- always act confident
- start on time, finish on time (or early to leave time for conversations)
- have fun
- leave the audience wanting more.

Final considerations

- colour matching fonts with colours from images
- take your own photos or use creative commons photos
- for powerpoint, format, slide background to make a picture the background slide
- use a remote clicker
- google presentations allows for collaborative presentation making and you can search within it for images

Thursday, October 11, 2012

A profesional e-learning approach to woring with Maori and Pasifika students.

Traditional Maori "assessment' involved ongoing assessment in action, children learned through observation and action, while the assessment occurred in a real life context doing the particular activity and didn't involve failure or success but identified areas to improve or develop - and noticing the gifts that children have so that they can be encouraged and nurtured, nourished and grow in specific areas: visual arts, warriors (physical able, strategic thinkers). The chief aim within whanau was to make their young people brave, bold and independent. How well does our current education system to be this?

Consider taking a BROfessional approach when working with Maori learners...Bro (whanaunagatanga), a term of endearment, about breaking down barriers and being part of something.
Blending - blend of approaches, strategies and the good stuff/ to mix and stir/ to sort.
Relationships - establishing relationships, a relationship cannot occur without people being receptive to it.
Open - open to idea, removing barriers, if you give - give it all, acknowledge who your students are, not just what they are.

Both for Maori and Pasifika students relationships are the core of a successful learning environment. "It is important to consider the cultural background of children and their parents in relation to how their feelings and emotions are expressed". Take time out to explore the different cultural backgrounds of students in class, especially important to give consideration to the fact that each Pasifika culture is unique.

A tki website Te Mangaroa has a bunch of resources and idea for educators to look at to help us consider how to enable Maori to achieve success as Maori.

What are typical Maori kids typical strengths:
Sports and Physical Activities - coordination, competition, team-work, balance, fine motor skills
The Arts - expression, creativity, culture
Kapa Haka - repetition, rhythm, performance
Our challenge as educators is bring these aspects into different lessons, whatever the subject e.g. repetition in literacy and vocabulary learning, perhaps to the rhythm of the drum. 

Where ICT helps - visible editing through tracked changes on word, natural reader free text to speech software that helps literacy development, etherpad (similar to google docs which may help if you don't have google accounts), wall wisher - online brainstorm with stickies, storybird - online storybook writing, vacaroo - online voice recordings, wicked - for helping Maori learners. Other cool apps include sock puppets, hika, te reo dictionary online.

Resources we can all access - VLN, itunes U, YouTube for schools, YouTube Teachers, DVD - Connections and conversations - making links for learning (MOE) which should be in every school, tki Pasifika, MOE Pasifika, digistore has a whole bunch of Maori and Pasifika resources and the wiki explains ways to use it. 

One to one in a decile one school

Tamaki College has started with a One to One digital program but as a decile 1A school they have had to overcome a range of different challenges. Some solutions involve:

Getting parents on-board

- The establishment of a trust to raise money and to work as the negotiator with ICT providers meaning parents get good deals.
- Parents pay $3.50 per week for three years, about 85% works pretty well but there is a high amount of administration involved.
- One device chosen so that good prices could be negotiated.
- Meetings to help teach parents involved meeting in parents homes with groups of families, inolving food and bringing laptops

Getting staff on-board

- Lots of professional development, including catch-up PD sessions.
- Gone full on with google - gmail, google sites and use of google docs and teacher dashboard .(Cost $4 per year, per student)
- Made use of visual media often, using wevideo.
- Teacher dashboard allows monitoring and control of student websites
- Use of Linux open source software.

Collaborate, Innovate and Educate

Kevin Honeycutt (website)

Another great key note, empathizing yet again the importance of teacher relationships in amongst the strategic use of ICT tools. Seeing the tough kids differently... Have you ever treated the scariest kid like he's the only one you trust. Love it: "Bill, this is a tough class this year - you got my back?".

"Even good kids will do stupid things when no ones watching" - but it shouldn't cost them for ever. We shouldn't have secret lives - secret lives are dangerous. The key is to be there with them and to help them make good choices in social places. We want to kids to think about their actions before they make them, before they press the like button. A great example illustrating this is the "Charlie bit my finger" clip on you tube. One way of doing this is monitoring kids name use online via google alerts. We could also look at being strategic about our online use by monitoring it rescue time. Some great videos to check out on his website. If we have kids doing great things with their technology they don't have time to do stupid stuff. Get kids to publish, to create, to generate commentary and critic on their work to help them get feedback.

A couple of great quotes:

"Kids learn when they have to learn". We worry about the loss of content but we need to help kids to be self teachers, lovers of learning and helping them to know how to learn how to learn. 

"Don't use the kids circumstances as excuses for not doing the right thing - kick kids butt with love".

"Teachers plant the trees they may not sit in the shade of".

Suggested book - The coming jobs war by Jim Clifton.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

In great obstacles lie great opportunities

Khao Do film director, screenwriter and teacher who works with disadvantaged youth - here's someone with an amazing story having left Vietnam as a refugee, then resettling in Australia and growing up with the difficulties of growing up as an immigrant in Australia. One of the things his parents had taught him growing up was to focus and what he had, what opportunities existed, what was available - not what he wasn't able to have. His story of success, and of his family, stress the importance of resilience and the need to get up after being knocked down again and again. Through telling stories of drug addicts, refugees and disadvantaged he has helped radically changed lives around. From his talk we're encouraged to think big, by looking for ways to help provide a voice by working with those whose voice often falls unheard or ignored.

Educational Positioning System

CORE Education and Dr Julia Aitken have developed a survey allowing schools to ascertain the school's educational position w.r.t. robustness, collectivity, consistency and congruence. EPS survey data - a demo of the survey is available here. Survey results can be displayed in different categories - teachers, leadership, support staff, community. Stems from some work completed by Stoll, Fink & Earl (2003) It's about learning (and it's about time) - 'What's in it for schools?.


Ulearn 2012 - Key Note Jason Ohler

Key note, first of the conference, by Jason Ohler - website and the presentation available there or directly here.

Key ideas for educators:

- Be a door opener. Allow kids to access through doors that you may anticipate having to open
- BYOD - be prepared to have students bringing a variety of devices and do things differently to achieve the same outcome and share the process with each other.
- Be prepared to turn devices ON/OFF to talk and communicate with each other.
- Augmented, Immersive reality
- Literacy means consuming and producing the media forms of the day, whatever they are.

10 Digital Literacy Guidelines

- Shift from text-centrism to new media collage
- Value writing more than ever
- Adopt Art as the 4th R
- Follow DAOW of literacy
- Attitude is the aptitude (your love of learning determines how smart you are)

- Practice personal and social literacy
- Develop literacy about impact of digital tools
- Develop literacy about information
- Fluency, not just literacy
- Harness both report and story, embrace the story! The story should have a problem (tension) > transformation (growth) > solution (resolution) >

CARES for administrators: Compensation, Assistance/education, Recognition, Extra time, Support risk takers - pilots.