Saturday, December 29, 2007
This is something that people don't seem to understand - their blog can be read by anyone and come back to haunt them at a later time. As teachers we need to make sure that our students do understand about how emails and blogs are sent and how they are not secure and that deleting an email does not mean it has gone for good! Some of them are incredibly naive.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Monday, December 17, 2007
The purpose of the draft Literacy Learning Progressions is to provide teachers with a professional tool that shows them what knowledge and skills their students need in order to meet the reading and writing demands of the New Zealand Curriculum.
Well worth checking out. There is a pdf file to download for you to use.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
The children in the Senior School (Year 8 - around 12 years old) organised the whole thing.
They planned the conference for the school with a 'futures' theme. These children formed groups and planned various topics around the theme. They wrote lesson plans for the work they are doing over the two days of the conference, designed a logo for the conference, issued invitations to various people and organised a welcoming committee for visitors (with a map and name tag for visitors).
Today they had set the conference up and were teaching, facilitating and mentoring the other children.
They set up teaching posts, video cameras, digital still cameras, laptops (with microphones) in various areas around the school for the conference.
Year 8 children teaching a group
The conference will conclude with a celebration of their learning tomorrow afternoon. What a fantastic experience for all these children.
The children are to be complimented on their organisation the did a wonderful job and it was fantastic to see all the children involved in their learning in an authentic and meaningful context.
Sunday, December 9, 2007
Check out Pupils can be tracked round town with chips - very interesting concept.
Children are to be tracked around schools and other sites they visit for lessons via microchips embedded in their uniforms.The manufacturer of a radio-frequency identification chip is marketing it nationwide following a trial with 19 pupils at Hungerhill School in Doncaster this year.
The chip is embroidered into school jumpers using conductive “smart threads”. This allows a pupil’s identity, photographs and other details, such as whether they misbehaved in their last lesson, to flash up on the nearest teacher’s laptop or hand-held computer.
I wonder if this will become the norm and what pupils and parents think about it.
Unfortunately I suspect that when I was a kid I would have been working ways around how to fool the teachers!!!
Saturday, December 8, 2007
Any other ideas???
Face to face learning environment
Web based delivery
Engaging learners with quality materials
Physical presence of teacher
Needs to be able to compensate for the lack of physical
presence in the virtual classroom by creating a supportive environment
where all learners feel comfortable participating and where learners know
that their teacher is accessible.
Largely based on high level of oral communication
High level of written and verbal communication skills
Values critical thinking in the learning process.
Text based resources
Digital resources come in many forms and include content-free
resources, such as software applications and communication tools, and
content-rich resources. Content-rich resources provide a clear learning
intention as well as an engaging learning experience, immersion in a context,
and a benchmark for learners' own work. Learners can view from a variety
of resources to reinforce their own learning. Learners have control when
and if they access the digital resources.
Provide opportunities for learners to control their
own learning to become independent learners.
Creating learning situations
Designing environments that engage learners
Requiring learners to construct knowledge in a way
which is most meaningful to them
No flexibility for learners when they learn –
lessons are provided at a given time
Provide flexibility for learners when they learn
No flexibility for learners where they learn –
in face-to-face situations
Provide flexibility for learners where they learn
Synchronous discussion only not allowing for time
to reflect before sharing ideas
Design ways for learners to add to asynchronous learning
allowing the learner to read, reflect, write, revise if wanting to before
sharing ideas with colleagues
Act as moderator to organise, plan, establish and
maintain relationships by guiding and developing discussion
Provide intellectual stimulation
Design opportunities for purposeful interactivity
which is engaging and stimulating
Imparts knowledge and skills to learners
Provides guidance and support to learners
Provides scaffolding to ensure learner success during
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
Monday, December 3, 2007
Saturday, December 1, 2007
In our classrooms we are wanting to enhance the children's learning and encourage higher-order thinking skills - the integration of ICT can help us to do this. Some recent research about teachers and ICT integration in classrooms found that the majority of the teachers studied were unclear about what they meant by higher-order thinking skills.
enGauge has a very good area on their site about 21st Century skills. Here is their list:
Students Who Are Higher-Order Thinkers and Sound Reasoners:
Identify the essential elements in a problem as well as the interaction between those elements; use electronic tools to facilitate analysis.
Assign relative values to essential elements of a problem and use those values to rank elements in meaningful ways; assess similarities and differences in problems and their elements.
Construct relationships between the essential elements of a problem that provide insight into it; extract implications and conclusions from facts, premises, or data.
Create and apply criteria to gauge the strengths, limitations, and value of information, data, and solutions in productive ways.
Build new solutions through novel combinations of existing information.
Another video from teachertube about blogging in plain English. Many of my students have difficulties thinking about using blogs or wikis in the classroom so this is another video I will be directing some of them to:
Friday, November 30, 2007
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Monday, November 19, 2007
I will certainly be using this with my students to help them with this concept.
Our Lady Star of the Sea school in Sumner, Christchurch, New Zealand, are holding a ICT based conference for their students on December 13 and 14. The conference is being run by the senior pupils in the school. On the final day they will have a celebration of their learning. These conferences are so great for the children and they learn such a lot in a fun environment. I am going and will post some of the photos I take on my blog.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
A review of the New Zealand document Digital Horizons - Learning through ICT makes interesting reading.
Don't forget to check out Mark Treadwell's site:-
There are also some interesting ideas for classroom teachers to find ideas for integrating ICT into their classrooms in the Practical Support web site. There are also case study videos to support teachers.
Exploratree by Futurelab has a site where you can make a mindmap - easy to use for classroom teachers who do not have Inspiration.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Found an interesting video on TeacherTube on 21st Century pedagogy that some like to share with others.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Friday, November 9, 2007
There is a new pdf: Darren Crovitz explains that the explosive growth of web-based content and communication in recent years compels us to teach students how to examine the "rhetorical nature and ethical dimensions of the online world."
TKI also has a great forum for teachers to contact others and share ideas. Those of you with smart boards in your classroom may be interested in accessing these resources:
Saturday, November 3, 2007
The aim of this is to share ideas and resources that can be used in the teaching and managing of information and communication technology.
One of the videos from this site about Peer feedback in ICT:
A great site to download pdf files of graphic organisers to use in the classroom - teaching notes provided.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
A summary of some of the findings are:
Eighty-eight percent of voters say they believe that schools can and should
incorporate 21st century skills such as critical thinking and problem-solving
skills, computer and technology skills, and communication and self-direction
skills into their curriculum.
Sixty-six percent of voters say they
believe that students need more than just the basics of reading, writing and
math; schools alsoneed to incorporate a broader range of skills.
Fifty-three percent say they believe schools should place an equal
emphasis on 21st century skills and basic skills.
Letting Social Networking into Schools
Creating & Connecting Research and Guidelines on Online Social - and Educational - Networking
National School Boards Association
School districts may want to reexamine their policies and practices in order to use social networking for educational purposes, says this report. Time spent using social networking services and Web sites now nearly equals television viewing among youth. A remarkable 96 percent of students with online access report that they have used social networking technologies, such as chatting, text messaging, blogging and visiting online communities, such as Facebook, MySpace and services designed specifically for younger children, such as Webkins and the chat sections of Nick.com. Yet the vast majority of school districts have stringent rules against nearly all forms of social networking during the school day - even though students and parents report few problem behaviours online.
Both district leaders and parents, says the report, believe that social networking could play a positive role in students' lives and they recognize opportunities for using it in education - at a time when teachers now routinely assign homework that requires Internet use to complete.
What do students do online?
41% post messages
32% download music
30% download videos
29% upload music
25% update personal Web sites or online profiles
24% post photos
16% create and share virtual objects
14% create new characters
10% participate in collaborative projects
10% send suggestions or ideas to Web sites
9% submit articles to Web sites
9% create polls, quizzes or surveys
The report recommends that school boards:
Explore social networking sites.
Consider using social networking for staff communications and professional development
Find ways to harness the educational value of social networking.
Ensure equitable access
Pay attention to the nonconformists (defined in the report as skilled online but lukewarm about school)
Reexamine social networking policies.
Encourage social networking companies to increase educational value.
The pdf file of the report is in the file box for those who want to read it.
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Students and teachers will understand that learning is a lifelong process and that the pace of technological change requires us to focus on learning how to learn, rather than learning specific tools. It is expected that neither students nor teachers will know how to use every available tool, rather that they will be comfortable learning how to use new tools independently.
Independent learning requires that student and teachers are able to evaluate information for authenticity, relevance and bias as well as evaluate tools for applicability and effectiveness. As independent learners, teachers and students will be able to filter out unimportant stimuli and information so that they can focus on the important and useful, to be able to navigate graphical interfaces as well as different types of text and media formats.
Lifelong learners are reflective, they routinely practice metacognition to think about how and why they understand what they do, and they constantly strive to look deeper at their own thinking, processes and practices. Lifelong learners are intrinsically motivated to better understand the world around them and to use that knowledge for self-improvement.
Students and teachers will develop the behaviors, attitudes and dispositions required for working in partnership with others, whether in person or over distances. Global collaboration requires effective communication, social and cultural awareness, and flexibility. Effective collaborators actively take responsibility for their role, and are able to delegate or share responsibility when necessary. Effective collaborators are equally comfortable as either leaders or participants. Effective collaborators appreciate and internalize the essential interdependence of all human endeavors.
Students and teachers will understand that an essential component of lifelong learning is analyzing, synthesizing and applying what they’ve learned to make an original contribution to society. Effective creators are critical thinkers who are able to “think outside the box” and analyze systems to identify and solve problems. Effective creators are constantly innovating and routinely use metacognition skills to evaluate and improve their own work. Effective creators are goal oriented, using time management and multitasking skills in order to work at their highest level of productivity. Effective creators understand that, as members of an interdependent society, their work must adhere to standards of ethics and social responsibility.
This is certainly relevant to us as educators.
Something else I found interesting was what a 14 year old pupil thinks about the use of Web 2.
And on teachertube.com a video on Web 2 in the classroom: where does it fit in?
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Sunday, October 7, 2007
Saturday, October 6, 2007
2007, 23(3), 390-407
A great read about integrating ICT into a primary school. Research was carried out over two years (2003-2005) and included observation of lessons, document analysis, interviews, and questionnaires with staff at the school. Many of the teachers were 'fitting in ICT' rather than using ICT as a tool to enhance the learning of their students in meaningful and authentic contexts.
Problems, beliefs for example give insights for us.
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
I found the following on Internet4Classrooms which I think is appropriate:
Web 2.0 is more about users and content than about surfing on the Internet. It's more like what can the Internet do for me as a creator, a collaborator, an active participant,
rather than a passive viewer of what is out there on the web.
Here is a video "What is Web 2.0?"
This web site also offers many valuable links for the classroom teacher.
I have also put a lot of information relating specifically to the use of blogs in the classrooms.
This is another look at why use blogs in the classroom environment.
Interesting slide show about using Web2 in the classroom.
Another idea I came across is a Random Ideas Generator to encourage higher-order thinking skills. It is simple and works like this:
Some good ideas in this video:
Monday, October 1, 2007
Saturday, September 29, 2007
The K-12 Online Conference invites participation from all educators from around the world who are interested in innovative ways Web 2.0 tools and technologies can be used to improve learning. This is a FREE conference run by volunteers and open to everyone, no registration is required. The conference theme is “Playing with Boundaries”. The 2007 conference begins with a pre-conference keynote the week of October 8, 2007. The following two weeks, October 15-19 and October 22-26, forty presentations will be posted online to the conference blog (this website) for participants to download and view. Live Events in the form of three “Fireside Chats” and a culminating “When Night Falls” event will be announced. Everyone is encouraged to participate in both live events during the conference as well as asynchronous conversations.
Derek Wenmouth, from Core Education in Christchurch, is a key note presenter. He has put up a 'taster' video - check it out and see what you think.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Must try it out....
The opportunities for the classroom are limited only by the teacher's imagination...
There is a demo on the BBC site.
The site to build your world is Metaplace.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
An interesting article about competencies which gives food for thought.
They start: By defining ICT competencies we intend to provide a frame of reference for the outcomes with regard to knowledge, skills and attitudes that can be achieved at the end of primary education through the use of ICT in the classroom.
It is not our aim to merge this set of ICT competencies into a new curriculum or new subject area in primary education. We view ICT competencies as a support to achieve the developmental objectives and attainment targets. Nevertheless, society also asks for what is called sometimes ICT literacy.
Therefore we want to commit ourselves simultaneously to both goals. On the one hand, we face the challenge to work on the educational objectives in a efficient and child-centred way. On the other hand, we want to respond adequately to the expectations of society and continuing education with regard to ICT competencies. That is why we are looking for instructive activities that reinforce our education sector in the first place and strengthen this ICT competency at the same time.
As a consequence of this view, the core of the ICT competencies is embodied in the skills that are inherent in the vision of attainment targets and developmental objectives. They are competencies focusing on the learning process. They enable pupils to use the possibilities of ICT in a functional way so that their own learning process is backed and reinforced. Indeed it is all about ICT as a means for co-operation, independent learning, making differentiated exercises, exchanging information…
For that reason they are explained by or concretised in sub-competencies and classified in a manner that fits in the learning process in the classroom: respectively planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluating. Where they are specific to the core competency, also operating subskills or attitudes are mentioned. These subcompetencies are only important in relation to the core competency to which they belong.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
PowerPoint provides an easy way for you to package all the files you will need into one folder so that you can have these on a memory stick, CD etc.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
These are available for $NZ25 plus postage and handling from firstname.lastname@example.org. They are also available in pdf form for $150 for a school - unlimited copies may be made for use within the school OR $25 for a single copy for use.
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Cole believes that teachers need to be engaged, understand the objectives of the learning, and participate in meaningful activities.
Cole also acknowledge that planning meaningful learning experiences takes a lot of time and that the implementation of these experiences will often take longer than delivering old-fashioned lectures.
Points that Cole (2003) makes about those delivering technology workshops is that they to:
- provide opportunities for collaboration
- utilise staff members
- keep class sizes manageable
- engage in meaningful and authentic tasks
- encourage critical thinking (teachers should question why they are using the technologies and in fact sometimes the use of technologies is not the best tool for that particular task)
Video by Derek Wenmouth about Teachers as professional learners:
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Sunday, September 9, 2007
A central goal of education is helping students learn how to think more effectively. This site has a lot of great information.
To help teachers apply Bloom's taxonomy in their classrooms is this great site.
I have also uploaded a file to help with the assessment of higher-order thinking skills.
Saturday, September 8, 2007
They will be great to help reinforce many maths concepts.
Another great site for Maths this has the levels for US and Australia so you need to change for local class levels. Again you need Flash Player to view but there is a link to download this if you need it.
And yet another one from the UK.
The Internet provides areas that can be used effectively by students and teachers in the teaching and learning situation such as Web Quests , ‘Virtual Learning’ sites, instructional sites with drill and practice or tutorials as well as being a place to use research skills in order to locate information relating to a topic or problem. Skills needed to use this technology are important in the classroom as it opens up information hitherto inaccessible in the classroom. Of course the amount of information is vast and an important information literacy skill required of all users is the ability to sift through and extract relevant information as well as being able to decipher fact from fiction. We now find that there is a danger of ‘information overload’. Limberg (1999) found many students had difficulties in distinguishing what was important since much of the information the students found was not important or was irrelevant to their needs. The skills required for this are able to be taught during as part of the Action Learning Model when students are required to extract relevant information for their needs.
The Internet provides opportunities for communication through using email. Email provides opportunities for skill building as in, checking the email regularly, making sure the messages are grammatically correct, making sure messages are spelt correctly, using short concise paragraphs with a line space between each one, signing off each letter with your name, using a signature at the bottom of the email message, and email etiquette such as not writing in block capital letters.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Monday, August 27, 2007
Selwyn, N. (1999). Why the computer is not dominating schools: A failure of policy or a failure of Practice? Cambridge Journal of Education, Mar99. Vol. 29 Issue 1 p77
In this paper Selwyn argues a case for shifting the emphasis in educational policy toward “a more limited but integrated and societally focussed role” in regards to the use of computers in the classroom. As I go round schools observing teacher trainees on Professional Practice I often see a computer gathering dust in the corner of the classroom. Does this support Selwyn who argues that computers are “fundamentally at odds with the structure of the school organisation”? He outlines a body of research from 1966 to 1997 that describes how many felt that the computer would become a focal point of the classroom after they were haphazardly put into schools and points out that there is a body of research to state that this has not happened. There is evidence to show that very little thought was given to how the integration of ICT into schools was to be carried out. As long ago as 1990 Ham (1992) points to the Sallis report (1990) which said that if computer technologies were ever to be used effectively as tools for learning in the New Zealand curriculum there needed to be a major focus on teacher development. Brown (1993), in an article, stated that in his view the most effective approach was to build on existing curriculum, make learning more effective and enjoyable and enable teachers and students to do things in ways that were not possible before. Selwyn however argues that the “computer’s limited integration into schools is merely a replication of the catalogue of previous educational technologies which have also failed to make an impact …”. He makes no attempt to explain the technologies he means and how these were to be integrated into the classroom. He also states that the computer “follows on from a long line of previous innovations all of which have quickly faded from prominence” – again he makes no mention of what previous innovations he is discussing. Many of these statements are sweeping generalisations without explanation or evidence to back them up another example of this “educational computing policy has remained fundamentally flawed.”
However Selwyn also makes very good points which are backed up by evidence regarding the integration of the computer into school classrooms focussing on the ‘why’ rather than the ‘how’ of computing and developing long term use and positive attitudes towards computing.
This article gives the reader food for thought and offers some interesting ideas.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
A game for children to play in the learning environment is about the Big 6. The Big 6 is a great way to help children develop their information literacy skills and was developed by Mike Eisenberg and Bob Berkowitz. I like this website which clearly explains how to use the Big 6. This is a research cycle for problem-solving and guides students through the 6 steps of the process. I have downloaded this game as an example for my students to see how they can use this in the classroom. I wonder if others have also downloaded it and use it in their classrooms.
It is interesting to speculate what the classroom of the future will look like. The learning environment in primary schools has changed rapidly in the past twenty years - secondary schools appear to lag behind. I wonder if teachers in secondary schools find it difficult to plan for two (or more) curriculum areas in a unit so that different teachers are teaching different parts of the unit - that would make a good start particularly if the students were then able to use ICT as an authentic tool in a meaningful context.
What will the next five years bring.