Sunday, November 30, 2008

Cognitive Rehearsal -

Hey; is this web tool Flowgram the death of powerpoint? I think so.
Well with a half decent internet connection this program is very flexible and powerful.
Of course best practise always needs to be established and finally I have a tip for recording voice.

  • Use a script!!
I am now sitting at the dining table eating fruit and crumble and able to add to this.
  • Use a script and provide time for cognitive rehearsal.
I feel we should do this when asking students for opinions, thoughts and solutions. Without the preparation of thinking and pre-planning even a hot jam session will struggle to impress.
Finally am I learning to learn?
Here is a flowgram created for the unconference the Journey Cluster held last week.
It is easy peasy.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Change change change

This Literacy time line I made for a recent workshop pointed out that a couple of things have changed recently. What does this mean for teaching and learning.
Have added some new literacies below to add to this list

  • Do we need to rethink every thing?
  • Maybe not but we certainly need to question it?
New literacies? or literacies on the rise?
  • oral literacy
  • media literacy
  • visual literacy
  • cultural literacy
  • informational literacy
  • environmental literacy
  • operacy (see edward de bono)

add a quick comment if there is any thing feel would add to the timeline.

Friday, November 14, 2008


I guess we are all entitled to one off task post.
I am growing a mo for mens' health.
Here it is day 15.
Donations go to great cause will post pic again later.

Using xbox camera and skype for video snapshot.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Five minutes on economic impact

This is intended to be a five minute post on one to one computing and price point.
While not the only issue things have to be affordable for parents and schools.
The price of the same Acer Aspire one netbook as gone up 20 percent in the past month.
Ouch !!!
So the contenders are

  • The classmate pc
  • The acer Aspire one
  • The eeepc approx
Not sure if they have all gone up but:
What we would need to see is: offsetting this against other costs such as stationary
but also an improvement in student learning.
This is notoriously hard to measure.

Here is hoping the parent jury value and believe that a good teacher will see
students learning to learn and showing exciting outcomes and understandings
from a 1 to 1 experience.

By the way the classmate is my favorite because of the price/performance

And oops took 10 mins of time for post looks like price of time has also gone up

Sunday, November 2, 2008

What matters matters

The things changing in education should be carefully considered.
If you read/view any post on this blog make it this one.

  • Why change?
  • What is the purpose?
Two years ago our school moved a learning plan system that included
student voice and presence at parent interviews.

It made the learner central to this. At the time we had student interview some teachers and students who had been through the process.
  • It was change!
  • It had purpose!
  • It worked!
The above clip shows a teacher who carefully considers why he does things.
With the introduction of the learning plan he considered what would take the learner further.
He considered the purpose for the learner and what might effect them in the process.

I feel we need to this more. Engage learners and give them purpose and it will work too.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Face 2 Face has online down for count?

Get engaged?

Wanting to reflect on what face to face and what online communication
and learning had to offer. I used the following to stir my thinking pot about it.

The Face To Face Curve

While not dismissing online interactions this representation points to some thing special
happening in face to face environments. It makes some sense to me having just been to the big face to face of Ulearn08. I believe that huge learning that can happen when we txt, blog, read and comment within our personal learning networks. The people we are involved with in these
spaces are more filterable and subject to our moderation. The New Zealand educators in my learning network may get verified by f2f meetings but there can be an interaction richness long before this. It would lead me to think that f2f can provide alot but the essence of effective learning may come about from other nuances likely to exist in that environment.

Average Retention Rates

The average retention diagram (from USA's National Training Laboratory)has some other insights in my mind as to what we might look for to maximise learning.
Given the f2f curve's proposition that communication, capability and richness increase as we approach a f2f threshhold the average retention throws down a different perspective.

Much participatory and active learning achievement can come from engagement in online learning.

Even some physical achievements are virtualised and placed online as performances, document of construction and actual events.

In fact the face to face often is now recorded to become the digital artifact.

Many bloggers have posting as a part of a personal learning network that has perhaps more emotional engagement and nuance (perhaps stretching it) than we would expect.

Facilitating f2f meetings will bring most for these bloggers when the same discussion groups, teaching of others and practice by doing is afforded by the face to face experience.

(note this diagram has been ousted as a hoax)

Students say no to Podcasts

Which brings me to no wonder we have students saying no to the lack of inspiration, encouragement and isolation where online learning is not well constructed and understanding interaction richness.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

E-day and beyond

Took a whole lot of equipment to the e waste day in Hamilton and was suprised with
a line up of cars queuing to drop off e waste. There were people being sent away who had trailers
of stuff. We had been stock piling crt screens which had been replaced with more energy efficient LCDs. We also had some wireless cards that were no longer compatible with our network.

It was good to see proactive people organising this waste.
We are a small country but we collected
over 900 tonnes of equipment.

“All equipment collected through eDay will be recycled by accredited recyclers who have advised us that over 95% of the materials in a computer can be recovered and re-used. Precious materials such as copper, lead, zinc, gold and silver can all be recovered from e-waste and turned into new products instead of being dumped in landfills,” said Mr Zwimpfer in Wellington.

What still scares me is that some one in China will probably burn off the plastic and inhale
the toxic fumes of disposal, wade in heavy metals etc.

To improve our sustainability we can purchase equipment designed for its end of life
and with less impact in its life.

Envirochips - the low power consumption of the intel atom chipset makes it the sustainability pick for all but higher end video editing tasks.

Three desktop units that may be suitable are

Asus EEEpc desktop

Shuttle x27

Very Pc company

And we need to have a way to recycle these with less burning and looting.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Looking at visual literacy yet again

This is a simple but effective shaping example taken from a class at Selwyn Ridge on a visit a while back. Take photo white out tshirt shape. Write bio poem or similar. Nice so good to see a real image with the writing.

Mobile post sent by davein2it using Utterlireply-count Replies.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Visual literacy


Mobile post sent by davein2it using Utterlireply-count Replies.  mp3

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Visual literacy Reality check

Visual literacy Reality check
I have interviewed Peter Walch an innovative teacher at Southwell School
about the impact of visual literacy on learning. Learners in Pete's class have told powerful stories with Visual Language driving the message. I asked Pete some questions about Visual Literacy and he came up with some interesting answers.

Video from 2007

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Key Competencies in my classroom.

The image below is taken from eduorigami a indepth look at learning from Andrew Churches of Kristin School. I used the image to help me consider what learning might look like for students. We have been asked as a staff to consider what we see as important with the key competencies so here Goes. What would it look like in my classroom? While Andrew's diagram is not only about competencies it has helped me to think where I stand with them. What would we try to work towards as a group.


  • Creating something original and owning ideas
  • Real problem solving and reflection using
  • Teaching others how to do things about what we discover
  • Looking from different perspectives (the discipline of creativity)
  • Creative thinking across disciplines
  • Taking risks in problem solving

  • Real world communication (online publishing, blogging, commenting on others etc)
  • Working with and creating visual and oral communications
  • Media literacy (understanding the purpose and origin of media we see and hear)
  • Using digital tools to communicate effectively
  • Working with an Audience
  • Understanding and working towards realistic standards of work
  • Adapting and creating knowledge.
Managing Self

  • Self assessment and peer assessment
  • Regular Goal setting and review
  • Managing impulsivity with technology
  • Persistence and extending ability
  • Risk taking
  • Being the best we can be
  • Feeling ok with who we are
  • Act appropriately in a range of settings
  • Having our own strategies

Relating to others
  • View situations from others perspectives
  • Working with people distant in time and place
  • Peer review and support
  • Varied group work
  • Manners
  • Be an active listener
Participating and contributing
  • Social action informing others
  • Service
  • Team commitment and involvement
  • Operacy as in the ability to do and be part of something

Sunday, August 31, 2008

What do you think about cyberbullying?

I read a bebo comment where someone was called a loser and asked to "go cut themselves". I know that online insults often don't hold back. Well we notice more people involved in having their say. So "students" have a look at this video on youtube. Have your say Comment on any of the following or just make general comment about this clip.

  • Is cyberbullying real for you?
  • What would be different if this video was filmed in New Zealand?
  • How effective do you think this video was?
  • What methods of filming did they use to get their message across?
  • How is the talent show connected to cyber bullying?
  • If you were to make a video about cyber bullying what would it be?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


A teacher at my school is working with young students using Dipity
Learners will feel proud to establish and share the information together.
What questions and discussions would bring learning to the fore here?

  • To stimulate students writing a story/poem about that image - enhancing creative and language skills
  • To encourage team work and foster collaboration and the sharing of a learning experience
  • To encourage critical thinking skills (e.g. describing a photograph from many different viewpoints)
  • To illustrate concepts and to show examples of what you are talking about during a lecture when you can't visit the real thing (e.g. building site practices, e.g. VR model of Roman villa) or see the item (e.g. chemical model)
  • To illustrate case studies (e.g. where text may prove to be slightly ambiguous an image can define points)
  • To enhance visual communication skills (e.g. decoding the message from a photograph)
Please comment.


Posted using ShareThis

Sunday, August 24, 2008

When do we go with the cloud?

Determined to post. In the cloud ?

As microsoft schools agreement comes to a close do we jump onto the cloud in the
hope that we won't fall through?

  • The reasons why to jump
  • the netbooks with microsoft are
  • slower to boot
  • more battery hungry
  • invest development in a fading star
  • are expensive and focus efforts on what is known
  • Life on the cloud
  • looking at things with new perspective
  • collaborative opportunities to the fore
  • blending and mashups are more able to personalise experiences
  • anywhere/anydevice
  • less complicated
  • more universal
We have one teacher embedding dippity in one of our online spaces. Their investigation of inventions was well suited to this. So long as we keep our eyes and ears out for purpose the
web won't let us down.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Reality Check 1

Reality Check 1

I have always backed visual images and sound as great learning tools. There is more information in these than text. I am interested in what information and collaboration will develop with a group using text about Darfur compared with one using a Youtube video clip.

What Students produced from the thinking tool

  • Think
  • Puzzle
  • Explore

Comments on Learning

Sunday, April 6, 2008

going with google

I guess I am a believer in google.
But Why???
So what is so good about a google map, doc etc.
For me the same opportunity is consistent. Collaboration is my preferred learning style in this web environment. Creativity, added knowledge and personalisation make me feel as if I can serve some purpose.When we add and individualise a map we are adding knowledge value. As others add knowledge this increases further.

  • historical events
  • story telling where event move from one location to another
  • all the place where you can eat, exercise, view
  • all the places to collect, pine cones, water
  • areas that are changing
  • holiday spots measure distance
  • school camp description
  • becoming familiar with other people and worlds
  • poems
  • water quality sample results
  • oral history map references
Here is a map I have been using to test some of the features in Googlemaps

here is a link to a google earth in education page

Monday, March 17, 2008

head, shoulders, knees and toes

This post started as a quick rant on the need to consider health in learning. I have revised this to saying we need to consider how we learn: engaging with reality, rather than utopian ideals, using research alongside beliefs and past experiance.

This star gazette article talks up the importance of exercise in offering brain-related benefits such as reducing stress and improving attention.
There are some schools where exercise is making way with keeping up with requirements in other areas.
To me it reminds us that some of the most important things in education maybe quite subtle health, diet, art, music, emotional engagement ,values, learning a second language etc. I say maybe as I feel this is what we need to come to understand . My concern is that we will repond to the challenges of the future with an increasing number of checklists rather than an agreement of what is important.
Julia Aitken talks about learning to learn. So the question for me is will being healthy and involvement in music help add to engagement levels when engagement is what is wanted at the highest levels. This reminds me of the need also for downtime when new understanding is hard. For example moving from a demanding session of maths to another one in formal language may actually reduce understanding with the brain not allowed time to build pathways for this learning.

Some recent research concludes

The brain performs many functions simultaneously. Learning is enhanced by a rich environment with a variety of stimuli.

Learning engages the entire physiology. Physical development, personal comfort, and emotional state affect the ability to learn.

The search for meaning is innate. The mind's natural curiosity can be engaged by complex and meaningful challenges.

taken from a table of the implications on brain research for how we learn

Recent Research Suggests

Teaching Suggestions

The brain performs many functions simultaneously. Learning is enhanced by a rich environment with a variety of stimuli.

Present content through a variety of teaching strategies, such as physical activities, individual learning times, group interactions, artistic variations, and musical interpretations to help orchestrate student experiences.

Learning engages the entire physiology. Physical development, personal comfort, and emotional state affect the ability to learn.

Be aware that children mature at different rates; chronological age may not reflect the student's readiness to learn.

Incorporate facets of health (stress management, nutrition, exercise) into the learning process.

The search for meaning is innate. The mind's natural curiosity can be engaged by complex and meaningful challenges.

Strive to present lessons and activities that arouse the mind's search for meaning.

The brain is designed to perceive and generate patterns.

Present information in context (real life science, thematic instruction) so the learner can identify patterns and connect with previous experiences.

Emotions and cognition cannot be separated. Emotions can be crucial to the storage and recall of information.

Help build a classroom environment that promotes positive attitudes among students and teachers and about their work.

Encourage students to be aware of their feelings and how the emotional climate affects their learning.

Every brain simultaneously perceives and creates parts and wholes.

Try to avoid isolating information from its context. This isolation makes learning more difficult.

Design activities that require full brain interaction and communication.

Learning involves both focused attention and peripheral perception.

Place materials (posters, art, bulletin boards, music) outside the learner's immediate focus to influence learning.

Be aware that the teacher's enthusiasm, modeling, and coaching present important signals about the value of what is being learned.

Learning always involves conscious and unconscious processes.

Use "hooks" or other motivational techniques to encourage personal connections.

Encourage "active processing" through reflection and metacognition to help students consciously review their learning.

We have at least two types of memory: spatial, which registers our daily experience, and rote learning, which deals with facts and skills in isolation.

Separating information and skills from prior experience forces the learner to depend on rote memory.

Try to avoid an emphasis on rote learning; it ignores the learner's personal side and probably interferes with subsequent development of understanding.

The brain understands best when facts and skills are embedded in natural spatial memory.

Use techniques that create or mimic real world experiences and use varied senses. Examples include demonstrations, projects, metaphor, and integration of content areas that embed ideas in genuine experience.

Learning is enhanced by challenge and inhibited by threat.

Try to create an atmosphere of "relaxed alertness" that is low in threat and high in challenge.

Each brain is unique. The brain's structure is actually changed by learning.

Use multifaceted teaching strategies to attract individual interests and let students express their auditory, visual, tactile, or emotional preferences.

Caine, R.N., Caine, G. (October 1990). Understanding a Brain Based Approach to Learning and Teaching. Educational Leadership 48, 2, 66-70. (Excerpts). Adapted by permission of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Copyright 1985 by ASCD.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Set them free

How network dependent are we?

Well we have just about signed off on the development of a wireless gateway at the school where I work. A what?
A wireless gateway is a computer networking device that routes packets from a wireless LAN to another network, typically a wired WAN. ... gateway

or off the top of my head
"A mechanism for providing
wireless access to a network and controlling the traffic on it."
We are using a bluesocket solution. This will mean that all kind of devices and visitors can use our network to access the web or other resources while we remain safe in our data and internet connection.
It is funny but it strikes me that both are necessary now. An organisation needs to be able to host others on its network as life without internet becomes informationally untenable. This is coupled with people's realisation that their devices are wireless capable if only the environment in which they find themselves can provide network access.
Devices like this psp or the eeepc above or dare I say it phones. I am just continuing this post having transferred my device from an expensive ibm x60 tablet running vista (a problem with fan noise is driving me to drink) to my daughter's $500 nz eeepc. The screen size is different but the application is the same ie the web and what it connects me to.

The network the network the network.
Friends, sounds, opinions, information, differentiation, images, diversity, provocation, articulation, video, passive activity, aggregation, automation etc etc.
Outside of this there are many other applications of course but I feel the involvement of others is what makes the network the place to be.

The New Zealand Curriculum identifies five key competencies:

  • thinking
  • using language, symbols, and texts
  • managing self
  • relating to others
  • participating and contributing.
All of these are network related. Now I am not saying that
network infrastructure is all there is BUT I can't see us resolving
key competencies without it. This all makes " the kids pay price for cellphones on Weblogg-ed " a sad read.
Let's ensure our organisations have wireless networks that are secure but they
must be open and able to be utilised widely. What do you think??

Friday, March 7, 2008

Current events?

I am not a great fan of current events in the classroom.

Why? Because what we generally see as a current events programme is: a teacher decides what of value has happened in the past week maybe 2. (generally looking in newspapers and on TV).
The questions that are generated at an assessment level are trivial pursuit in nature. So why do we teach this?

  • The deep learning ?
  • Is it Thinking or Remembering?

So people fit in with the conversations in the street the chit chat etc. or perhaps so that we have a wider understanding of the world around us?
That I feel this is selling ourselves short.
Short on where we need to be for the future we need to be articulate about.
I feel we need to lift our overall level of understanding of politics, social issues, environmental issues tetc
  • Teach students reciprocal teaching
  • Work in wikis or online collaborations reflecting on current issue events
  • compare 2
  • Order five current events in order of importance state why?
  • Debate a case.
  • Use graphic organisers
  • Read each others blogs on current events
  • RSS Feed from news sites and even add specific google news search to follow a topic
  • Fight the desire to summatively assess recall
  • Nonlinguistic representation
I looked at some of Stuff from a wiki Marzano and web2.0
worth a browse.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Junior Students What is Important?

Mark Treadwell Talked about the Juniors ie Students aged 5 to 7

At the Learning at Schools conference last week in Rotorua. He was talking about the need to remove pressure from junior classrooms for everything but language. He mentioned that science for example should have no real objective beyond say being amazed by the world around us. This could be achieved by looking at some things though a microscope (perhaps one a day for a week) The mosquito wing below is a prime example. The main message I see is to reduce and simplify moving to essential knowings and concepts rather than skills and discrete objectives. What we need to be comfortable with is what do student really need to learn at age 6? What Can they Learn?

The following are my thoughts on where Junior Schools might fit into
learning pathways.
  • listening
  • speaking
  • viewing, graphics
  • presenting
  • Reading
  • Writing, txt
  • doing stuff in the playground
  • exploring
  • manipulating stacking
  • fine motor skill development
Learning to live together.

Learning to think

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Infrastructure - network

It look to me that in most cases applications are moving to the network. My colleague and friend Mark Craven was talking about his belief that cloud computing is the way to go.

"cloud computing -- where applications and files are stored on a large, centralized supercomputer or network. The end user accesses his or her files using computers that are more streamlined but less sophisticated than today's typical machines."

I see some exceptions today with the power etc not quite there for video editing, high end gaming etc. But overall I think that Mark is right. Cloud computing is simple, reduces admin over heads etc. At the school where I work email, calendaring, planning, learning, photo galleries, wikis, forums etc already happen on the web. Portfolios reporting and collaboration are happening in this space also.
This is an organisational cloud in my mind.

Assets for cloud computing

  • big pipes with the network to the internet and back
  • virtualisation of servers so that demand can be met
  • from whole resource
  • back up of data to provide high Qos and response time
  • clear navigation and service understanding
  • consistent interface and a central portal organised
  • scalable so that new applications and client can be added

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Infrastructure - people

Have been working on a presentation for an upcoming conference.

This has been a reflection on 8 years of work in co-ordinating ICT
in a large New Zealand primary school. Probably the hardest infrastructure get
right is people. The more time I spend with technology the further I develop
my skills and comfort. Yet there are people who are yet to go online in any significant
manner or for any significant purpose.

As technologies become more reliant, powerful and ubiquitous those not on board
seem more conspicuous by their absence.

If we consider conceptual frameworks that
may provide a learning pathway for these people what might it be.

  • Logic -- Thinking
  • Risk taking -- Discovery
  • Questioning -- Making Meaning
  • Recognising patterns
  • Utilising others (along the line of Vygotsky's ZPD) -- Belonging
This group of concepts (competencies?) is quite similar to the core of this diagram
produced by Mark Treadwell