Monday, January 30, 2012


This video is a teacher's interpretation of a song relating to assessment. I thoroughly enjoyed it as it raises points that we, as teachers, need to think about. While this has always been relevant it is particularly interesting at the moment as we are introducting National Standards in our primary schools here in New Zealand and this video has a NZ flavour to it - however all the concepts are relevant to all teachers.

When assessing we need to be aware that all children have different strengths and abilities - we don't children thinking that they can't do something and just give up which is exactly what can happen if we are not careful.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Rules for using social media

We are often reading about children and their use of social media sites. Although Facebook has people sign to say that they are over 13 years of age the reality is that many who are under still have their own Facebook pages. There are social media sites which cater for younger children where children under 13 should have their accounts - not Facebook.

In some social media sites young children have been 'groomed' by older adults and some have found themselves in situations which are extremely unsafe.

Here is a really good YouTube video from Atomic Learning dealing with some rules to use when working with children who are using, or want to use a social media account (such as Facebook).

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Google privacy policies

Google are getting rid of 60 different privacy policies and replacing them with one. It covers multiple products and features which is a good idea. As most people will have signed up with a number of these policies (often not reading them) this will make things easier for them. The changes take place on March 1 2012.

Privacy issues are very much in the news here in New Zealand at the moment with Kim Dotcom's arrest. Dotcom along with three others were arrested in Auckland recently on charges of racketeering, money laundering and internet copyright piracy in the United States.

It is alleged they gained around $US175 million in criminal proceeds through the world's largest file sharing website, Megaupload. These issues are important for students to understand as these are an important part of today's global society.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Edutopia have another ebook out for teachers. Last year I blogged in August about the books available at this site.

This latest addition is Six Tips for Brain-based learning. If teachers (and parents) understand how the brain works they are better equipped to help the students with their learning, this may include such things as increasing retention or it may be focussing attention. As the book points out most teachers are already using many of the techniques and strategies that they are discussing here.

As I read this book I think about how this relates to the use of ICT in the classroom, for example the use of graphic organisers. There are many Web 2 tools we can use e.g. Webspiration (the Beta version was free but alas they no longer have this version), Bubbl-us(free), Gliffy (which you can use for free and then do a screen dump).

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The flipped classroom

The flipped classroom is being talked about on lots of web sites and blogs at the moment. This diagram gives a great overview of the concept.

This is fantastic for higher education but I am not so sure that it is the 'be all and end all' for education with younger children.

While I love certain aspects of this I am also concerned that children/students need to 'smell the roses' and 'get dirty'. We don't want them to have too much to do at home - they need to enjoy life as well.

Flipped Classroom

Created by Knewton and Column Five Media

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Teacher Experience Exchange

Teacher Experience Exchange
is a great site for teachers. You need to join the online community to share thoughts and ideas with other educators.

There are discussion forums where you can participate in online discussions.

At this site you will find lesson plans to use in your classroom and of course you can add your own lesson plans to share with others.

In the Professional development area there are online courses such as Creating a digital classroom for teachers to enrol in.