Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Stimulating interest in Literature through video

Contributed by Simon Evans
For the last twelve months there has been a small project on Youtube called Bookfighters. Five friends from around the world challenged one another to read a different book each week and share their thoughts on the same youtube channel. What resulted from this was a series of discussions around shared text.



My own response to this project was to create a youtube playlist of my own entitled ‘Book Corner’ where a variety of individuals shared their thoughts on a recent book they have enjoyed.




The same questions were asked of each participant and they are available for download.

Do you think could work with your class? 

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Photographing Student Writing, Creative Commons and EduCampNZ

Image:Some rights reserved by TilarX

Over the last two weeks there have been two main threads of discussion:

David Schaumann shared and idea for Photographing Student Writing.

Just thought I'd share a spontaneous moment where ICT fitted nicely into
teaching today. My level three English class were writing paragraphs
based around a close analysis of a scene from their film study. I was
thinking about how to manage feedback, then remembered the Ipod in my
pocket.

Chose three students, photographed finished paragraph, emailed it to
myself, then brought it up on the data projector to provide feedback.

Quality was reasonable, feedback was really meaningful and students now
have the possibility of immediate publication as a motivator to provide
more polished work.

The other thread was around Copyright and Creative Commons.

Also Karen Melhuish wrote a post about Educamp, with Wellington hosting their first EduCampWelly on Saturday 21st May. Check out the wiki to see what went down!

If you are interested in connecting and sharing ideas/experiences about using ICTs to enhance learning, the EduCampNZ series of events might be for you. The Educamp ‘unconference’ concept has snowballed from one event last year, to four in 2011. Be part of the movement!

There are four unconferences being held around New Zealand in the next few months (at the moment only the North Island - unless someone keen wants to get the ball rolling down South.

"EducampNZ is a user-generated 'unconference' focused on e-learning and education.We're all about growing our learning, networking, and, of course, having fun! Everyone is invited to participate in some way..."

Monday, 28 March 2011

Google Docs Discussions, Google Apps Webinars and many upcoming events...



In this issue:

  • New Google Docs Discussion Feature
  • Google Apps Webinars
  • Upcoming Events

Google Docs Discussion Feature The other week Google announced an enhancement to the Google Docs commenting system. The enhancement is being called "discussions." Discussions will allow document collaborators to have threaded conversations in the margins of a document. By including the @ symbol before a collaborator's name you can reply directly to that person. Another option in discussions is the option to be notified via email of replies to your comments in Google Docs. Right now discussions in Google Docs are only available for new documents. If you created a document prior to yesterday midday, it won't have the discussion feature enabled.

Watch the video to learn more about Google Docs discussions.
Source

Google Apps for Education Professional Development Webinars

A new round of Google Apps for Education Professional Development Webinars is on offer. These provide fabulous free PD for staff.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Introduction to Apps Scripts

This webinar will cover a high level overview of Google Apps Scripts with basic example demonstrations. One of the advantages of Apps Script is that it lets you customize Google Apps to fit your organization needs.

Register

Tuesday, April 5, 2011
Introduction to Google Docs
Explore Google Docs and learn how this suite of services can be utilized for productivity, communication and collaboration in the classroom. This webinar will also include a tour of the
Linkrecent updates, classroom management strategies and a "Top 10" tips.
Register

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Taking advantage of templates in Google Apps

Learn how to harness the power of templates in both Google Docs and Sites. Organize your institution's standard forms and documents through your domain's template gallery.
Register

Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Introduction to Google Calendar
This webinar will focus on using Google Calendar in the classroom.

Register


You can also access archived webinars in our Google Apps for Education Resource Center.


Other Upcoming Events


NZATE/IFTE Conference

18-21 April

University of Auckland


This is the annual English conference this year, so start thinking internationally. Check out the conference site here.


Emerging Leaders Symposium

28-29th April 2011

Albany Senior High, Auckland


Did you know?

• 10,000 of New Zealand's 50,000 teachers are nearing retirement age.

• 50% of newly-qualified teachers leave the profession within the first 5 years.

We need to foster emerging leaders in education. We need to give them a voice and support them to develop a vision for the future of education, because soon that future will be in their hands. To this end, a group of emerging leaders have convened a two-day symposium in Auckland on 28th and 29th April 2011. Emerging leaders are invited to attend this 'unconference' to prepare a vision for the future of education in New Zealand-Aotearoa. This vision will be presented to Karen Sewell on the second day of the symposium.


What can you do?

• Spread the word. Print the attached flier and distribute it.

• Send people to the website
• Join our Facebook page

• Seek out emerging leaders in education. We need people who can look beyond what is, to see what might be.

EduCampAKL

Saturday 6th August,
2011
Epsom Girls Grammar School, Auckland

If you are new to the un-conference format, read about last year's event: EduCamp is based on a user generated 'unconference' where the focus is on e-learning and education, sharing ideas we've discovered and learning from each other. Everyone is invited to participate in some way. The purpose of EduCamp is to both learn and contribute. No real agenda is set and it will be up to participants to determine the focus for the sessions, grow their learning, network and have fun! More including video Check out the EduCampAKL wiki.

EduCampWelly

21st May, 2011

Wellington College


Just wanted to announce EduCampWelly is taking place on May 21st, here in what will then probably be bleak and yet bracing Wellington.


To quote the blurb:
"EducampNZ is a user-generated 'unconference' focused on e-learning and education.We're all about growing our learning, networking, and, of course, having fun! Everyone is invited to participate in some way..." The organisers are keen to have individuals from across the NZ primary, ECE, secondary, tertiary sector involved - as well as those from the MOE and beyond. Teachers, administrators, geeks and non-geeks are all welcome. It's about having some input, sharing ideas and listening to others who are all about making education, learning and our place on the planet better.

The venue is Wellington College - a big thank you to them for their generosity and wifi.There is no fee for attending.
There is no food or drink provided, but one of Wellington's friendliest wine establishments is nearby, as well as a limited assortment of cafes and golden arched eateries.

If you attend, you're responsible for contributing, challenging and considering.
If you don't attend, you won't get to see the historic glory that is the Basin Reserve. Direct all questions, thoughts, and ideas to the wiki.

Monday, 14 March 2011

ICTs and diversity, ideas for using Flip cameras and more!



In this issue:
• ICTs and Diversity
• Using Flip Cameras in the Classroom
• Christchurch Support Wiki
• NZATE/IFTE Conference Reminder

ICTs and Diversity
Phil inspired an interesting discussion about ICTs and Diversity when he made a request for idea for an upcoming article. Click here to check out the archives. Some highlights include:

From Suzie Vesper: There is a MoE project that could be of interest to you in relation to meeting the diverse needs of learners. We have set up a trial virtual school to support ESOL students from around the country. Students are put forward by their own schools and then become part of our online school working with virtual teachers and having access to course work in Moodle, live lessons in Adobe Connect, documents and eportfolios in Google Apps (including Teacher Dashboard) and collaborative, social spaces in ELGG. We are also bringing in other existing online tools such as Voicethread, Raz Kids and Study Ladder. Our focus is on how we can help support students using ICTs that have limited access to specialist teachers within their own schools. There are two of us that are eTeachers for the trial programme and it should be a very interesting year!

And from Fiona Grant: Some interesting considerations in Tiakiwai and Tiakiwai (link below) that emphasise the importance of context and relevance to the learner and their experience in selection and design of learning experiences, teachers knowing the learner and awareness of how our (the teacher's) cultural and social understandings impact on how we use and integrate ICTs.

A Literature Review focused on Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) and e-Learning in the Context of Te Reo Maori and Kaupapa Maori Education. Tiakiwai and Tiakiwai (2010)

Similar to Liz, we have also used the ELP Honeycomb to develop some shared principles identified as being key components of effective teaching for Pasifika learners (synthesised from Pasifika Education Plan, Teaching for Diverse Students in Schooling BES...) and similar with the Maori Potential Approach from Kahikitia to explore these ideas in this
eStory on Software for Learning.

Using Flip cameras in the classroom
A request came from Kerri Jopp for siigestions and ideas about using flip cameras in the class room. Two sites were recommended: a google doc with Many Ways to use Flips - contributed to by teachers around the globe and Kelly Faulkner shared a post from her blog. You might also like to check out the Google presentation 43 Interesting Ways to Use Your Pocket Video Camera in the Classroom

Christchurch Earthquake
As large numbers of Christchurch schools re-open this week, a reminder about the wiki set up by Marielle Lange where you can either offer help to those schools or seek help if you are in one of those schools. To date there are quite a few offers of help at the wiki where teachers may offer or request specific help – this could also include secondary. There is one page for "I can help" and another one for "I Need Help".

NZATE/IFTE Conference Reminder
This is the annual English conference this year, so start thinking internationally. Check out the conference site here.
Please note - The IFTE/NZATE "Much Ado About English" conference organising committee is happy to extend the early bird deadline for Christchurch schools/teachers until 15th March to allow more time for Christchurch schools and teachers to process their registrations in light of the Christchurch earthquake.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Sites for creating comics and a new home for Ulearn11!



In this issue:
• Sites for creating comics
• New location for Ulearn 11

Sites for creating comics
Moira made a request for good sites for creating comics. This resulted in a flurry of recommendations, including; Kerpoof, Toondo, readwritethink interactive comic, superactioncomicmaker and makebeliefscomix
Suzie Vesper shared the following links: Comic Life is an excellent software application for creating comics. You can get information about this on the Software for Learning website I've also put together an educator's guide to Comic Life available here. You can also search Software for Learning for comics and it brings up three options.

Or you can also check Jaqui Sharp’s comic links on Delicious.

ULEARN11 is ON in the Energy Events Centre in Rotorua
From the Ulearn website: CORE Education is working hard to ensure Ulearn11 will continue as normal this year. We want to continue the momentum of past conferences ensuring that those strong networks created over the last 6 years of Ulearn Conferences continue.
Start planning your attendance. Check out all the details here.

Monday, 28 February 2011

Christchurch Earthquake, Facebook, Blogger and more


In this issue:
• Christchurch Earthquake
• Using Facebook
• Blogger
• NZATE/IFTE Conference Reminder

Christchurch Earthquake
Our thoughts go out to all of those affected by Tuesday’s devastating earthquake and particularly to our fellow teachers from Christchurch who will, once again, play an incredibly important role as young people and their families try to achieve a sense of normality in the coming months - Kia Kaha! Make sure you check out one of the 101 English Blogs, the Motivating Ms M. post on Natural Disasters. Inspired by this momentous event, the post looks at ways we can encourage empathy in our students through writing activities. Make sure you check out the post and share your thoughts and ideas.

There have been several offers of help from teachers around the country to our colleagues in Christchurch. On literacy online, Marielle let the community know about this wiki where teachers may offer or request specific help – this could also include secondary. There is one page for "I can help" and another one for "I Need Help".

You can also join the Rise Up Christchurch Facebook page here.

Using Facebook
Simon Evans added a few more resources for teachers using Facebook with their students. Forgot the Facebook discussion on Software for Learning, Facebook in Education and Facebook/cybersafety on Educating the Dragon blog.

Blogger
In response to an earlier blog discussion, Allanah provided some support for using blogger with this step by step what to do.

NZATE/IFTE Conference Reminder
Early bird registrations for the April IFTE Conference close in a week on 1 day international English teachers’ conference is a very reasonable $400. There is no annual English conference this year, so start thinking internationally.

Please note - The IFTE/NZATE "Much Ado About English" conference organising committee is happy to extend the early bird deadline for Christchurch schools/teachers until 15th March to allow more time for Christchurch schools and teachers to process their registrations in light of the Christchurch earthquake.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Book Reviews, considerations for teachers online and more


Book Reviews

Rebecca shared her class Reading Log blog and made a request for some book review formats. Allanah recommended the Manaiakalani Project, Fiona suggested looking at some existing reviews and Diedre shared a range of resources which can be accessed through the archives here.


Considerations for teachers using Web 2.0 and Social Networking sites

Moira sent an email asking about the Teacher Council’s position on teacher’s using Facebook which prompted an interesting discussion. Karen recommended several readings that can be accessed here. Nancy shared some of the great Netsafe resources available on the issue of considerations for all educators using Web 2.0 and Networking environments with their students. A timely reminder, considering the furor that has arisen around the “profanity-laced blog”, written by the American English teacher Natalie Munroe. If you haven’t seen the article, you can read it here.


101 English Blogs

We now have 52 blogs signed up; will one of you be next?


NZATE/IFTE Conference Reminder

Early bird registrations for the April IFTE Conference close in a week on 1 day international English teachers’ conference is a very reasonable $400. There is no annual English conference this year, so start thinking internationally.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

The Horizon Report, 101 English Blogs and IFTE/NZATE Conference


In this update:
• The Horizon Report
• ICTs in English Blog
• 101 English Blogs – 36 signed up, still looking for more English teacher blogs!
• IFTE/NZATE 'Much Ado About English' Conference – early bird registration closes March 1st
The Horizon Report
Joanne Thom sent an update about the recently published Horizon Report:
Not sure if anyone has posted this link yet: The key trends at the start are particularly interesting (and are reflected in this forum, I think):

The abundance of resources and relationships
made easily accessible via the Internet is
increasingly challenging us to revisit our roles
as educators in sense-making, coaching, and
credentialing.

People expect to be able to work, learn, and
study whenever and wherever they want.

The world of work is increasingly collaborative,
giving rise to reflection about the way student
projects are structured

The technologies we use are increasingly
cloud-based, and our notions of IT support
are decentralized.

ICTs in English Blog
Fiona Grant sent through a post about how to make the most of our blog
Claire has also made searching the Listserv updates on the blog easier by adding labels to each of posts. These are a really handy for searching past Listserv topics.
You have two options - either click the label at the end of the update post to view all posts which include that topic or scroll down the page to the View posts by topic gadget and click the relevant key word.

You can also use the Search this blog gadget, however this search will return every instance of that word in the blog.

101 English Blogs Project
The project is humming! Check it out here. We already have 36 English teachers from around the globe sharing their English blogs. I would love to add more Kiwis (and Australians) to the list!

The aim project is to encourage 101 English teachers from around the world to start blogging (or share existing blogs) about their English teaching. The '101 English Blogs' blog will list each of the 101 blogs and will be a place for sharing and highlighting what is going on in over 100 English classrooms around the world.

Are you an English teacher? Keen to be part of the project??
If you are an English teacher and are keen to share your reflections, ideas and resources with a wider English community, all you need to do is establish a blog, or share an already established one. You can simply share your blog URL, so it can be one of the 101 listed blogs or you can even become an author of the 101 blog as well - so you can post occasional updates about what you and others have been blogging about.

As the project facilitator, I will also try to visit and highlight posts from bloggers within our 101 English Blogs community. However, I am hoping that this can as much of a shared project as possible, so if you if you would like to join this blog as an author, please do! I would also love your support in sharing the project with your colleagues and by signing up to the follow the blog.

Interested? Feel free to contact me at am@eggs.school.nz or through our forum.
IFTE /NZATE 'Much Ado About English' Conference 2011
18-21st April 2011
Of particular interest to this forum is the strand 'New Technologies, New Practices'
This strand invites contributors to focus on, but not be limited by, one or more of
the following sub-themes:
• Impact of digital technologies on teaching and learning
• Challenges and tensions for teachers
• Changing parameters of the classroom
• Transformative possibilities for teaching
• Online learning
• Digitization of literature
• New conceptions of text
• Pedagogy of e-learning
• Co-construction and the digital classroom
• Assessment practices in new times
• Plagiarism, intertextuality and creativity
• The social networking classroom

Check out the details here (and consider presenting a workshop as well!)

Monday, 7 February 2011

Safer Internet Day


Feb 8th  is Safer Internet Day!  
At the end of last year a  student asked me "Who's responsible for what  is on the internet?"   The answer to that question has certainly become easier to answer since the advent of Web2.0.  The answer is 'you and I'.  We define the internet by our contributions to it.  We make it a meaningful  and safe tool  by the way we use it. 
 
Here’s a two helpful bits from NetSafe’s  hub of cybersafety resources  designed to help teachers and students  create a 'safer internet'. 

Help students understand Booleen logic by showing them how booleen operators  can instantly change  search results.  

Microsoft has developed lessons plans and demonstrations to help young people develop critical thinking  about the validity of online information.   



Take the NetSafe Poll!
We’ve identified 5 videos on cyberbullying and internet safety produced by organisations around the globe. Each takes a different approach to delivering the message.
           
We’d really value your comments about who you see as the appropriate audience for these kinds of messages and if you think they spark some understanding with children and their parents.  
View the videos here

Nancy
NetSafe

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Choice of Font, Reading Comprehension, NZ Book Month, 101 English Blogs and more



In this update:

  • Choice of font for 2011
  • Reading Comprehension
  • NZ Book Month
  • 101 English Blogs - looking for English teacher blogs!
  • IFTE/NZATE 'Much Ado About English' Conference
Hi all,
Great to see our online community is humming already. There were two main threads this week: choice of font and reading comprehension. I also want to to highlight a few upcoming events!
Choice of font 2011
Allanah King responded with this post about the Kiwi Font: A few years ago I was bemoaning that fact that we didn't have a NZ handwriting font and John Greatorex from Aussie took up my challenge and made the Kiwi font. I sent him the NZ handwriting booklet pages and he copied it from there. Perfect for New Zealand
It is his business but $60 for a school license is not bad.
Karen Melhuish added another idea to the mix. Or you could convert your own handwriting to True Type, as Derek Wenmoth explored last year. (Not sure mine's up to it, mind you....!)

The question is, why (she says, rather provocatively)? In these times when many of us can type faster than we can wield a pen, is handwriting a dying art??
Miriam Tuohy added - Thought you might be interested in this website, which looks at the use of comic sans and typography (briefly) from a design point of view. Worth a look if you have a few minutes, and has a link through to alternative fonts for dyslexia if that is a concern.

You'll notice that even though the site is decidedly anti-Comic Sans, it does recognise it as a useful choice for young children and dyslexics. Personally, I don't see why, as children move on from learning to read, having an awareness or understanding of print design elements would be a bad thing - another type of media literacy, if you will. I certainly see young kids choosing all sorts of horrendously illegible or unsuitable fonts for use in their keynotes etc at school here. I know it's not something everyone cares about, per se, but it is something that affects our perception of written communications, whether we're particularly aware of it or not.

My favourite site for finding beautiful free fonts lately, is
myfonts.com - you may be able to find something you like there. This search is for the category "legible" with price = $0 :-)

Reading Comprehension
Rochelle Jensen shared Robyn Hurliman's effelowship research and here own resorces for developing a reading comprehension task.
One of our key reading goals is to support our students ( Yr 6) to gain a deeper understanding of the text by using a range of comprehension strategies.
Have found the ‘Literacy Circle’ work by Robyn Hurliman, from Owhata School fantastic in supporting the implementation of literacy circles. Thanks Robyn!
I have created the following learning path, this path will be used as part of our literacy rotation/task-board.
Into The Book also looks fantastic.
NZ Book Month
Check out the lastest ICTs in English blog post about NZ Book Month
101 English Blogs Project
The aim of this project is to encourage 101 English teachers from around the world (okay probably just NZ...)to start blogging about their English classrooms. The '101 English Blogs' blog will list each of the 101 blogs and will be a place for sharing and highlighting what is going on in over 100 English classrooms.

Are you an English teacher? Keen to be part of the project??
If you are an English teacher and are keen to share your reflections, ideas and resources with a wider English community, all you need to do is establish a blog, or share an already established one. You can simply share your blog URL, so it can be one of the 101 listed blogs or you can even become an author of the 101 blog as well - so you can post occasional updates about what you and others have been blogging about.

As the project facilitator, I will also try to visit and highlight posts from bloggers within our 101 English Blogs community. However, I am hoping that this can as much of a shared project as possible, so if you if you would like to join this blog as an author, please do! I would also love your support in sharing the project with your colleagues and by signing up to the follow the blog.

I have established English blog #1 The Virtual Classroom which will follow my three English classes (Year 11, 12 and 13) at Epsom Girls Grammar School. Now I just need to find 100 more....

Interested? Feel free to contact me at am@eggs.school.nz or through our forum.
IFTE /NZATE 'Much Ado About English' Conference 2011
18-21st April 2011
Of particular interest to this forum is the strand 'New Technologies, New Practices'
This strand invites contributors to focus on, but not be limited by, one or more of
the following sub-themes:
• Impact of digital technologies on teaching and learning
• Challenges and tensions for teachers
• Changing parameters of the classroom
• Transformative possibilities for teaching
• Online learning
• Digitization of literature
• New conceptions of text
• Pedagogy of e-learning
• Co-construction and the digital classroom
• Assessment practices in new times
• Plagiarism, intertextuality and creativity
• The social networking classroom
Check out the details here (and consider presenting a workshop as well!

Monday, 24 January 2011

What are you reading?

March 2011 is New Zealand Book month. While I am always interested in what people are reading I am also wondering- what are you reading it on?

Having just spent the last month on holiday my reading material was strictly hard copy although not sure how long this will continue. Have also been regaled by some amusing stories from recreational readers and their iPads.

If you missed last November's e-reader discussion on the list serv  it included useful links for those exploring effective use of iPads and e-readers in schools.

New Zealand Book Month encourages Kiwis to celebrate books and reading with lots of suggestions for how people can get involved. I am not seeing a lot of obvious reference to e-readers on the website, however I am sure there is a place for things digital amongst the book month activities listed in addition to joining the Facebook page

I am currently reading Stephen Fry's  The Fry Chronicles: An Autobiography (which can be purchased in any number of formats) and return to work this week with a quote referenced from it's pages...

"Work is more fun than fun"  Noel Coward