Saturday, September 29, 2007

K12 online conference

Don't forget to check out the K12 online conference which starts on October 15.
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

Virtual Worlds

Virtual worlds are opened up to all. There is a free (like that word!) tool that allows anyone to create a virtual world has been launched. This article from the BBC News explains about it.

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

Great web site regarding integrating ICT in education

Found a great web site from Scotland which has some great ideas for integrating ICT into the classroom. These ideas can be adapted and changed for the needs of your classroom.

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

Packaging all the files PowerPoint needs to run your presentation

When people insert sounds and videos into PowerPoint they often wonder why these don't play when they use another machine. All the files need to be accessed each time the presentation is played.

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.


Many classrooms are now using blogs. Because there is so much about this I have created a new blog just about blogs in the classroom.

Check it out.

PowerPoint files

Many times PowerPoint files can become large (file sizes). This is often due to the size of graphics that have been added.

You can compress the graphic files from within PowerPoint.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Published resources available

D & W Publications have simple, easy to use tutorials available for teachers and students - Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Access, PhotoStory3 for Windows, and FrontPage.

These are available for $NZ25 plus postage and handling from 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

Professional development for teachers

Cole (2003) talks about education technology workshops for teachers being held in USA. She points to a crowded room of teachers watching presenters using a PowerPoint presentation pontificating about how to create highly interactice lessons! Cole queries (as I do) how effective this approach is.

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:

Digital students@Analog schools

Are we catering for our students??

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Are machines us/ing us?????

I rather like this video -

A nice free program is Sqirlz Reflections which allows the user to make water ripple giving an impression of movement.

These can then be used in PowerPoint presentations, in web pages etc.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The connected classroom

Some really great ideas showing the history of education (abbreviated)and changes that have happened (and are continuing to happen).

I also found this one on which raises questions for all of us....

Web 2.0

Found a great video on teachertube - this is a great source for teachers.

This video clearly shows the benefits of using Web 2.0 to enhance teaching and learning.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Higher-order thinking skills

Integrating ICT into the classroom enables these to be used to enhance the children's thinking and learning. The use of ICT also enables teachers to promote higher-order thinking skills.

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

Online maths games

Some great online games here - you will need Flash player to view these.

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.

Internet in schools

Part of ICT that is growing rapidly is the use of the Internet. Unfortunately, at present, usage of the Internet has been allowed, in many schools, in an ad hoc fashion due to the rapid expanse of the Internet. It is imperative that schools develop guidelines, school policies and strategies for the use of the Internet and students are made aware of these. Some schools require pupils to sign a contract regarding the Internet usage. A study in New Zealand found that there was no secondary school in New Zealand that not had pornography sites accessed (TV 3 News 2002).
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.