Thursday, May 28, 2009

Assurance and why assessment is a bad word

Are we still focused on the assessment of reading age and other quantitative measures in New Zealand? Here is an explanation of what the “six year net” does. For those overseas the six year net looks at reading for six year olds and traditionally provided an opportunity for those struggling to enter a reading recovery programme. This is still the case today. From ministry sources

"What is the 6-year old net?
 The 6-year old net is a literacy test carried out with each student when they turn six years old. It measures a student's knowledge and understanding of letter identification, how much they know about how books, text and pictures work, basic word recognition and how many words the students can write in 10 minutes dictation."

We do need to assess how students are going in literacy and numeracy to understand where they are at and to attempt to place the learner in a place where they can read to learn rather than learn to read.This also provides some meaningful data and attempts to identify students who may struggle to have the literacy skills to personalise their learning.

These assessments are what we know how to do are they not.


I wonder if these will help achieve learning needs?

What are they?  the national academy of engineering even see to “advance personalised learning” in the top 14 challenges of the 21st Century

  • Make solar energy affordable.
  • Provide energy from fusion.
  • Develop carbon sequestration methods.
  • Manage the nitrogen cycle.
  • Provide access to clean water.
  • Restore and improve urban infrastructure.  
  • Advance health informatics.
  • Engineer better medicines.
  • Reverse-engineer the brain.
  • Prevent nuclear terror.
  • Secure cyberspace.
  • Enhance virtual reality.
  • Advance personalized learning.
  • Engineer the tools for scientific discovery.

I wonder if existing assessments will assist our aspirations for personalising learning?

could we have

My life education net ????

It measures the students understanding of how contribute positively to their immediate family, friends and the wider community.

It measures the students keep themselves healthy and assist in the well being of those around them.

It looks at how many practical things the student can do and how their skills are helping to make the planet sustainable.


Have had this post in draft for a while and with little else in the pipeline time to let it rip.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Staying safe on Skype

I have Skype, my nieces have Skype, my daughter has Skype. Who doesn’t ?

One class I was working with talked about using a multi-participant chat as a backchannel much like twitter.
This is a good idea and one I intent to trial later this week with classes from three different schools

A parent however reminded me of the opportunity for an outsider to intrude on a chat or directly contact
students without their request. I order to deal with this students need to alter their privacy settings.
Perhaps the selections shown with red arrows are the most appropriate. In other countries the students would
be protected at school from this possibility of unwanted contact. I like the idea that we can help them learn to manage this themselves.


Saturday, May 9, 2009

Look out for Nerd Girl

Look out for Nerd Girl aka Kristine Kopelke.

I am going to see if we can get Nerd Girl to come to New Zealand. When I attend workshops presentations I see two main possibilities for them to be highly successful in changing my thinking practice or beliefs.

The first possible type of Professional Learning Success...

This is achieved by facilitating dialogues within a group where people share ideas reflect on big questions or are somehow active and learning by doing. There was great dialogue on the last day of MISC09 where participants rotated around the room with one member staying one going clockwise and one anti-clockwise. The questions presented were along the lines of

  1. What insight have you got from the first two days that resonates with you?
  2. What actions might you take on your return?


Why this professional learning works is likely because it addresses William Glasser survival understanding.

People feel empowered that they belong etc.

This is the type of professional learning that should be provided 80 % of the time. I hope facilitators understand this as a key understanding for working with learners.


The second possible type of Professional Learning success...

Is where the facilitator delivers their view point experiences and ideas in a more (sage on the stage style). For this to work I feel the presenter needs to use a unique lens (perspective) or reflection method to create something meaningful new and insightful for the audience.This second way is far more hit and miss: sometimes the presenter is delivering on a concept we don't understand, already understand or does so in a way that doesn't demonstrate originality or added value. Originality is about slight differences and comes from looking at something in a different way across disciplines and in exploration. This type of delivery will often lead to large differences in satisfaction between one audience member and another.

I thought Kristine was very good because her perspective was fresh yet logical: to look at what students are presently doing on the web as an insight into what we might get them to do and for what purpose.

What students were doing that struck a chord


If we are going to improve learning for students personalise learning and achieve higher potentials we need to pay heed to these ideas as mechanisms to assist students in our school environments.

The full presentation can be found here

Kristine Bluetoothed the presentation to a number of attendees flash enabled phones.

The application below will run on most Flash enabled mobile phones and can also be navigated through online by using the enter, arrow and number keys on the keyboard.

Right click here and select Save target as to download the app for your Flash enabled mobile phone or device.

To view the app here online, click on it with your mouse and then use the enter, arrow and number keys on your keyboard to navigate through the application.

Links for Kristine

Something that begins with play

Contact: Kristine Kopelke -

Tel: 5459 4590
Learning Innovation Centre Sunshine Coast