Tuesday, 21 September 2010

ICTS in English Weekly Update - Week 9, Term 3 2010


Google for Teachers -

Last week on ICTs in English:

Catherine Lee shared her e-learning story:
I've had success with a project using video inspired by Rattle ya dags.

The task was for my Y9 English students to create a short presentation (30 seconds or so) that would be inspirational for other teenagers -- either 'life lessons' or what they would tell students entering our school as new Y9s. We used wallwisher to create the success criteria, & I put a selection (mostly ones with young women in them) of the videos on Moodle. We looked at several of them together as a class too. A few technical hiccups, but fun, & some lovely videos.

Karen Melhuish shared an idea for using Google forms:
I've started using these instead of tools like Surveymonkey. They are easy to create and allow you to tailor a whole range of question types to find out what your students know/think. You can then share them, embed them in a class blog, or send to students/parents via email (and you can choose from a range of exciting themes and colours!;-))

The results are automatically collated in a spreadsheet - and you can share that too, to help groups plan next steps together. So, for example, you could use this to:
  • gather understanding to inform your planning prior to the start of a unit
  • check understanding/mood/engagement throughout a course to help you adjust your teaching as you go
  • ask for students' feedback on what you're all doing during a unit of work
  • ask students to self-assess against various questions
Suzie Vesper shared her passion for Google Tools:
I am a huge Google fan. I've started to amass resources for Google Tools on my wiki (not all completed yet but a lot there).

Tom Barrett has to be the best blogger out there that talks about using Google Tools. He has many examples of how to use Google Forms including how to collect reading responses from students. He had an example of using Google Earth to create an interactive story map where there are recordings of children embedded in the map speaking as if the main character moving around the location. He shows how he has used Google Docs for collaborative writing and a WHOLE lot more.

He is also the instigator of the collaborative series of presentations full of 'Interesting ways' to improve teaching and learning and a few of these focus on Google Tools. He actively seeks new ideas for these if you have something to add.

I know that Rachel Boyd set up a collaborative writing project between her junior Nelson class and a class in Auckland. The kids jumped onto a Google Doc at the same time each morning as their partners in the other school and then collaboratively wrote a story with them. You can read about it on her blog.

For an online ESOL school project I am working on, we have been creating activities for the students to use with the new Google Drawing tool option (part of Google Docs). You can see an example of a labeling activity I put together here.

Thank you for your contributions this term - hopefully I will get to meet some of you face to face at Ulearn, in the mean time here is some reading for your holidays!

I have also been investigating the potential for Google apps, here are a few handy links if you would like to learn more!
Google Apps for e-portfolios
100 ways Google can make you a better educator
Free Technology for Teachers: Google Tools Tutorials

Monday, 13 September 2010

ICTS in English Weekly Update - Week 8, Term 3 2010


Last week on ICTs in English:

Jill Hammonds launched a Earthquake-Shakeup wiki

This is designed to be a truly interactive collaborative teaching and learning opportunity!

From the wiki creator Jill Hammonds: "Over the next weeks we hope this will be a place where schools, students, experts and other interested people from around the world will come and share their ideas and experiences around earthquakes. This is a collaborative project opportunity, and the collaboration extends out to helping me design the inquiry and the wiki site. Please click on Edit on any of the pages and contribute your thoughts and ideas. "

This is a great opportunity to participate in an exciting and and important project. It is entirely open and public which means anyone can edit the site - so feel free to add your ideas or use it with your students.

Karen Melhuish drew our attention to the ‘Computers in New Zealand Schools’ discussion series:

Over the next few weeks Computers in New Zealand schools is holding a series of online discussions with authors who contributed to the April July 2010 issue of the journal. The first of a series CINZS open discussions with authors is about to kick off with Marilyn Small. For those of you who have not yet caught up with Marilyn’s article she was an e-fellow in 2009 investigating the impact of an authentic audience on student engagement and motivation in literacy. The context was Manaia School’s involvement in Pukeko Echo, a children’s television show run by Channel North.

To be involved go to:

Integrating movie making into classroom programmes and inquiry learning - Marilyn Small, click here.

The current discussions are accessible from the contents page for each issue. You need to log in if you are to contribute to the discussions.

Deidre Senior, Keryn Pratt, Sue Bedford and Andrea Robertson will all be available for discussions over the coming weeks.

Over the next week I thought we might look at Google apps and docs.

If you are interested in finding out more about how Google can be used to support the teaching and learning of your students, you might like to check these links:
Google educator
Free tech for teachers - google tutorials

Or if you are already using them with your students, it would be great to hear from you!

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

ICTS in English Weekly Update - Week 7, Term 3 2010

Last week on ICTs in English:

Barbara Reid shared their ICT PD cluster wiki:
In our clusters, we are encouraging teachers and students to create tutorials for others. The wiki has a mixture of tutorials off the net, as well as ones created by cluster members. .

Alison Cleary also shared another great resource "produced by teachers for teachers":
- 'At Learn it in 5, you'll learn what is Web 2.0, and strategies
for using Web 2.0 technology in the digital classroom - all
in 5 minutes or less' - produced by teachers for teachers.

This week I would like to highlight the ICT strategies page on English Online.

And in particular the e-learning as Inquiry page on TKI

Considering that as part of NZC implementation we are all expected to teach using an evidence based inquiry cycle (see below), a resource like this one is very helpful!

"All schools need to do a couple of things - they need to design and implement a school curriculum and they need to teach using an evidence based inquiry cycle that informs what they do and monitors the impact of those decisions." - Chris Arcus (NZC Curriculum Manager) - Edgazette August 2009

Sign up for the ICTs in English listserve here.