Friday, September 28, 2012

Learning 3.0 and the Smart eXtended Web

Steve Wheeler gave a keynote presentation at the ICL conference in Villach, Austria on 28 September, 2012. This is the slideshow that accompanied his presentation. In this presentation he is looking at the future of education and how ICT is a part of that.

Saturday, September 22, 2012


Children, teachers, Boards of Trustees and parents are all up in arms over the recent announcement regarding Christchurch's schools. There was a big rally on Saturday where children and adults protested loudly about the changes. Intermediate schools are very uptight as so many of them have been marked for closure. There were placards, slogans chanted as well as speeches by a variety of people including some by children.

At this point the Minister is still saying that they are 'consulting with the community'. It will be interesting to see if they backtrack on any of the closures or mergers or if this is just an exercise in lip service.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Major changes for Christchurch schools

Two years ago Christchurch started being rocked by earthquakes. Since that time we have had over a thousand of them, several doing a lot of damage and one where there was a signficant loss of life. Most of the problems have occurred on the East side of the city. Life is still far from normal for the people who live in these areas. Many are not able to live in their homes and for many it is not known when their lives will return to normal. A lot of people have left as many homes are on land that has been deemed too difficult to use to build on for a long time. At the end of last year many of the schools in these areas found that their staffing for this year was down from the previous year due to the loss of population in the area. It must be remembered that many of these children were very traumatised due to the earthquakes. This year many schools kept their staffing levels up by directly paying a teacher from their school funds.

Last Thursday the Minister of Education announced new plans for education in Christchurch. There was shock and disbelief throughout Christchurch schools over the plans. 13 schools are due to be closed, 18 schools to merge with other schools or relocate and 5 schools will close and merge as one.

The 5 schools that are to merge as one Learning Centre include 3 primary schools, 1 intermediate and 1 secondary school. This will be over 1300 pupils in the 5 to 13 year range and then several hundred in the 13 to 18 year range!!  This is what they are looking at in the long term. All schools will be part of Learning Clusters.

 As you can imagine many schools, parents and children are very upset with the announcement.  At this time there is supposed to be ongoing discussion but it will be interesting to see if there are any changes to the proposals!!

I wonder what people think our schools will be like in 10 or 20 years.

Watch this space...

Saturday, September 15, 2012

19 Pencils

19 pencils is a great web site for teachers. I have been playing round with it for quite a while now. It is free to join and has tools and resources for the classroom in one site.

A parent volunteering in his child's class saw that a site like this would be very useful for teachers (after seeing teachers with URLs written on scraps of paper for example - how many times have I done that only to lose it).

The Team at 19 pencils says this about themselves:

We are not just parents who want to provide tools for teachers but we're also seasoned Silicon Valley technology veterans with more than 15 years experience and we want to help you in the classroom.
We've built award-winning products with Fortune 500 companies. We believe that teachers and classrooms deserve more and we want to help.
On this site you can find educational resources, creat online quizzes, and bookmark sites for students for your students.  Teachers create student accounts for access.