Monday, August 23, 2010
CREATIVITY - WHAT'S IMPORTANT
At Ewan McIntosh’s session. Thanks to Southwell
Creativity x Organisation = Impact
Are we asking he right questions?
How important is organisation?
Creativity x No Organisation = No Impact
Creativity x 50% Organisation = Increased Impact
A DAY WITH EWAN McINTOSH
Finishing off today with Ewan McIntosh
What are my Takeaways from my day?
# The 100 Hour Challenge
100 hours equates to an hour a day for 3 months
I need to identify the
“Extraneous Pillars” – what are the blockers
“My Desires and Passions” – what will inspire me to succeed
“My Aspirations” – how will it help me move forward in a direction of my instigation
Note – The 100 Hour Challenge can not be to do with work!!
I need to share this so that others can see that I am doing this.
Send email to Ewan@notosh.com if the following avenues have not helped –
# Subscribe to Edute.ch
A great blog to inspire
# Work to have Ewan spend time in Rotorua next year.
Friday, July 23, 2010
I have just read Sam's blog post "To Blog Or Not To Blog"
Sam is an 11 year old kid
"who’s really tall and loves to sing, act, have fun, play sports and video games, and read the Warriors series but now more the Twilight saga. Blogging is important to me because I love to write and I like to have a place to vent my feelings about things and let others know what is happening to people in other places. I read alot so I will probably have lots of book reviews" Wow! His post has almost reduced me to tears. http://bit.ly/bTzFFY
Here are my thoughts -
Wow Sam! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts as you have. You see, I work with teachers. Many of them do not value the role of blogs as a learning tool. They will use books without question but blogs – Heck No!! The problem for most I dare to say is that they are not bloggers themselves. They have not experienced the power of being connected, actively involved, confident collaborators who use online tools to connect to a real audience, who write for a real purpose and gain feedback from the global network they are connected to. So how do we get them to see this? How do we shift then into the 21st C?
At the moment one school principal has prescribed that classes have to have a blog or wiki. His reasoning for this is that parents need to connect with the classrooms. Most parents work and so don’t get in during school hours. While this is an admirable reason it does not go far enough. It says nothing about the power of the blog as a tool to advance the students learning and connectedness. It says nothing about the value of a blog over a book, the later being an increasingly outdated tool in which students are pushed and pulled into, expected to write in and which no-one else sees, and which at the end of the day goes into a dark cubbyhole, alone, unopened, unread and where there is no-one to respond.
It was great to have the opportunity to vent - to respond. In doing so, at the very least I feel that someone may hear my concerns and understand what I am saying – especially as they don’t seem to have heard in the immediate world I live in and work in.
If the rate of change outside your organization
is greater than the rate of change inside your organization,
the end is in sight.
- Jack Welch
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
"If the rate of change outside your organization is greater than the rate of change inside your organization, the end is in sight. - Jack Welch
Stephen Covey has a 4-quadrant time management model that actually got me interested in thinking about how I manage my time.
Covey spends a lot of time working with this model and emphasising that we need to aim to spend our time in Quadrant II. This is where you deal with things that are important to your values and goals, but that are not urgent. "If we don't practice Habit 2, if we don't have a clear idea of what is important, of the results we desire in our lives, we are easily diverted into responding to the urgent".
Stephen Covey's quote comes to mind
"We can never really change someone; people must change themselves. We can help. We can be a resource. We can nurture, encourage and support."
Monday, June 28, 2010
Have you got a blogger account?
Fancy emailing your blog article directly to your blog from your email package? I have done it and it works! It makes posting so much easier.
I signed up for my own posterous account at https://posterous.com/main/register
In return you will receive an email from Posterous with a link to follow.
You then log into your posterous account using your email address.
I set up the posterous account to "autopost" to my blogger account. I could also get it to post to Facebook, twitter etc. Not sure about Classblogmeister but I'll try that out too.
I simply attached sound files (podcasts), photos and images, urls, video etc. to an email addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org and they all arrived in my blogger article posting. See below
When I got the time I was able to go in to my blogspot article in blogger and edit the published blog article just to make it look a little neater but that is not absolutely necessary
I even set my i-phone up with PicPosterous. Now I can send photos and articles to my blog straight from my phone. See the Pikowai one below.
It does make blogging easier.
Friday, June 25, 2010
Superb - It worked in an instant.
Tricia will love this.
I understand I can send
- Hyperlinks http://rellco.wikispaces.com/
OK - Here goes. I am uploading this to my blog via email. Will also be trying to do this via my iphone. Tips welcome.
I just don't seem to find the time I need to blog on this site. I value reflection and the storage of my thoughts for revisiting at a later time. However travelling in a car so much and increasing hours of activity is stifling my activity. A handy pen plucked from the visor of my car is replacing the blog article, resulting in the back of my hand being covered in ink most days. Useful though as my jottings then need to be actioned before my hands are next plunged into water.
If I can post directly from my outlook express it means I can jot my thoughts down while offline.
Let's see how this works.
Emailed by Lorraine - at Capers, 24th June
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Labour Weekend has been beaut weatherwise and spent at home (always nice). Jo headed to Gisborne, Ken into the bush and Renee came home and along with her, her friends. Gorgeous weather has made it magic yet work has encroached on the sheer luxury of it all. Gardening etc around home has been invigorating plus there has been the inevitable school work. I have thoroughly enjoyed the smattering of sunshine I've allowed myself, although being a greedy sun fiend, I would have loved lots more time out there. I've loved having the kids here and even with the house filled I feel as though I am at least making some headway into the pile up of school work that needs to be actioned.
Last night Renee and her friends went down to the beach surfcasting. I spent the time preparing for the Principals' workshop organised to happen on Friday and developing a draft Action Plan. And then there is the e-learning leaders day on Wednesday.
Today the kids headed out to the Bayfair shops in Tauranga when I stole the time to reflect on the sustainability of our e-learning developments within our schools. We're coming into our last year of 3 next year and need to make sure we make the most of every opportunity we have and set people up to continue their success.
I specifically spent sometime considering the goal setting processes and admit they need lots more rigour. How? My thinking shows that we need to develop our Action Research processes so that they impact more fully in all cases to improve student achievement outcomes in a rich and meaningful way. While this had been the intention this year and we can celebrate some success, we need to do more. Success has come to some. For others, I am not so sure.
I think the action research processes need to be more clearly defined, taking the tools far more deeply into learning. Goals set need to be acknowledged and supported within school performance development processes so that value and interaction can occur irrespective of any cluster initiatives. This is one way that sustainability and growth in teaching and learning practices using ICTs will continue beyond the contract term.
SMART then SMARTER
I came across the SMART goal setting process and as I found out more, I could see it working well in defining the thinking required. I designed a process to fit this and edited the action learning page on the cluster's wiki.
SMART GOAL SETTING:
I thought I was doing quite well and shared this with Renee. What a coincidence. She is working her staff through a very similar process but had an even better model. Aren't kids stimulating!
"SMARTER" was a concept introduced to me by R. i.e. All the above with the addition of
A ttainable Action Plan
The ER makes such a difference. E could also represent Evaluate but hopefully reflection has now grown to a self managed expectation and is deeply embedded into teacher/learner practice.
I've researched more and know that there are other terms that can be applied but these ones have got my bells ringing. I can feel my passion and excitement growing.
This would work well for kids too. Perhaps simplified? Definitely could be part of the school-wide self-assessment and e-portfolio processes.
I've made an online form up for people to capture and record their goals, to stimulate thinking and to help in engaging and channeling that rigour. Posted it up on the cluster wiki so it is all ready for people to use from now on. Well ahead of the 2010 deadline. Yeehaa! What a great feeling.
Love it!! Think it will help in moving us into a more sustainable goal setting and growth process.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
We've concentrated a lot on the 21st C learner and I'm curious as to what traits educators think are important for the teacher in teaching today's learners for today's world? I'd like to unpack the 21st C teacher, coming up with a list of descriptives of a forward-thinking teacher. What would they be and do? A simple word list or phrase.... nothing fancy. Will post the results in wordle.
Cool! It worked. The questionnaire created in Zoho Creator can be embedded into any web page and so can the results. A great way to interact and collaborate. And after all isn't that what 21st C learning and teaching, like living is all about?! ;-)
Hmmm, so what are the possibilities here then....?
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
At a session with Rocky on the draft Literacy Progressions. Have downloaded the document so I have it readily available just like the NZC.
Teachers need a suite of tools as we promote learning for our students.
Woodlands Junior School (UK) has a wealth of interactive tools to engage our students towards new learning. There are links to literacy, science, maths and a range of inquiry areas.
"Ideas to Inspire" is a wealth of examples to help us as we make our conscious decisions to use e-learning tools which cater for specific learning needs. Check out "Ideas to Inspire".
And last but certainly not least, for a treasure trove of resources which support teaching and learning across the literacy progressions this resource has been devised. Constructed with input from the Tauranga group and added to by the Rotorua intake, this builds on the experience and expertise of the teachers who participated and contributed, superbly facilitated by Rocky.
Well worth putting a chunk of time aside to investigate and locate the recommended resources to help your learners.
Monday, October 12, 2009
This is a such a good article. It ties in very well with Jody's comment (in the last article) and supports the "It all depends on your educational philosophy." stance.
Gary Stager suggests that it is the combination of a "vision deficit, meager goals and technological ignorance that limits the educational potential of technology". He asks us to place ourselves behind three points of a triangle with the points being manned by Papert, Snyder and Bork.
Snyder viewed the computer for the teacher. He developed his one computer classroom software and stands at the point where the teacher is the performer and the computer the prop.
Papert viewed the computer for the learner. His influence led to the development of Logo, an advocate of the laptop, believing the computer allowed learners to construct knowledge in ways and domains otherwise impossible. Hmmm, how many teachers are using these tools in this way today?
Bork viewed the computer for the system. He believed that computers assist in learning programmes where the computer can assess the learning need and then develop the programme to fit. Bork viewed most current uses of computers in learning as inadequate, often driven by technology issues rather than learning issues. Hmm, I wonder what he would recognise in today's classrooms?
Stager asks us to define what we see as the role of the computer.
1) If the computer is to deliver content then little teacher pd along these lines is needed. The impact will be negligible.
2) If the goal is to have the computer publish, prepare graphs, present content videos etc then the desired pd would be seen as teaching the skills of computer use.
3) If the goal is to have learners create, construct and collaborate then the desired teacher pd will focus on inquiry, thinking, learning and constructivism rather than simply computer skills.
3) I guess the question then needs to be asked: What do you want your classroom computers to do? The answers will then shed further light.
These answers can then be used to govern the funding investment for the classroom too.
Goal 2 above requires a cheap wordprocessor
Goal 3 requires the flexibility and creativity Jody speaks of. It definitely means online access to blogs etc as Tricia describes in her comment.
We then move on to ask - How many of our classrooms are over or under spec-ed? We need to ask - What, as a classroom teacher, am I striving to do with the computer? What does my educational philosophy encompass? Am I wanting to sustain our traditional teaching practice or transform learning?
These answers will determine the level of learning for all those who are part of that learning environment. Now that is some accountability!!
The last week or so has shown how valuable 'holidays" are to all learners. An opportunity to delve into new corners and stimulate thinking, to discover and ponder, to deepen understandings through deeper reflection. This is such a glorious luxury and one of the reasons I didn't attend a conference!
We are now in our second year of an ICTPD contract, my third now and while I am delighted at progress I still have a lot of unanswered questions. It is very clear that those who are using ICTs as an add-on in their classrooms, an extra to their teaching and learning practice will not sustain their e-learning practice. A new fad will come along to replace this practice, new developments will not occur and these people will drift like the wind into the next idea.
So what is it that works in changing teacher practice? I see so many seduced by an "add-on" nature of the tools, carried away with the superficial, a focus on the teaching of the skills of ICT... and sadly they are not only classroom teachers. PD providers can also fit into this category.
What is it that changes teacher's concepts away from the superficial to the deep understanding of the "why"?!
We have just over a year left of our present contract. We have come a long way and I realise we need to remember this. Perhaps the contracts are just not long enough? Yet we can afford no excuses. We nee dot make as much difference as we can in the time we have been allotted. We have a year left to get it right! No time to waste! So what do we need to implement, carry out, research, break through, strategise over etc. in preparing for our final year?
Unfortunately add-ons are not sustained. The competitive nature of "I've got a blog/wiki etc" and the extrinsic nature of how many hits I receive will wane. Is this perhaps why so many start blogs but don't continue beyond the "lollipop high', with teachers induced by their initial foray into the use of the tools? The fact that they are an amazing collaborative, reflective learning tool for any 21st C learner just doesn't cut the mustard. Teachers become unmotivated to keep the learning blog engaging.
How can we better get the message across? How ca we ensure that people understand that it isn't the tool that contains the e-learning life force. It is the teacher!! ICT tools sustain the power. It is the teacher that engages it, snares the learning opportunity and directs it to the greatest learning source.
How can we help teachers see this? How can we get them to go beyond their present practice? How will they see ICTs as a powerful e-learning tool, an intrinsic and much needed catalyst for learning?
I work with amazing teachers, dedicated and passionate learners who are learners and teachers. We all need to be this today. Teachers who have not simply been a teacher for 15 - 30 odd years. Teachers who have been teaching for all that time. The people I work with are inspirational. Many have kept their focus throughout the contract so entirely and delightfully on the learner and the learning. So what is the package that has ensured this occurs? Why has this worked for some and not for others. Why do some stand out so brightly while others camouflage themselves so cleverly?
I'd love to capture the essence of the passionate, bottle it and then set it free as a pandemic! I wonder how many would request inoculation?
I am searching for ideas which I will gratefully receive.
We have a year to make a difference for everyone, especially our students! No exceptions.
Have you some ideas? What are the ingredients of a successful recipe?
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
Are you an e-learning leader? Do you work with someone who is? What has made a positive difference for you? What things should be avoided?
Please share your ideas, tips and success strategies with us, adding a page for each entry and your name if you wish in the shared google doc below.
This builds upon the idea that "None of us is as good as all of us". Your ideas and insights will help.
Thanks to Tim Comfort who put me on to these tips for new bloggers.
They come from: http://www.problogger.net/archives/2005/12/30/tens-tips-for-writing-a-blog-post/
1. Make your opinion known
Blogs are popular because they are written by people and not corporations. People want to know what people think; crazy as it sounds they want to know what you think. Tell them exactly what you think using the least amount of words possible.
2. Link like crazy
Support your post with links to other web pages that are contextual to your post.
3. Write less
Give the maximum amount of information with the least amount of words. Time is finite and people are infinitely busy. Blast your knowledge into the reader at the speed of sound.
4. 250 is enough
A long post is easier to forget and harder to get into. A short post is the opposite.
5. Make Headlines snappy
Contain your whole argument in your headline. Check out National newspapers to see how they do it.
6. Include bullet point lists
We all love lists, it structures the information in an easily digestible format.
7. Make your posts easy to scan
Every few paragraphs insert a sub heading. Make sentences and headlines short and to the point.
8. Be consistent with your style
People like to know what to expect, once you have settled on a style for your audience stick to it.
9. Litter the post with Keywords
Think about what keywords people would use to search for your post and include them in the text of the body and headers. Make sure the keyword placement is natural and does not seem out of place.
10. Edit your post
Good writing is in the editing. Before you hit the submit button, re-read your post and cut out the stuff that you don’t need.
For more information and tips on blog writing visit:
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Still on the search. Have come across -
Search Cube - This looks great. The found sites just seem to keep popping into the cube so it is good to wait. Using the arrow keys on your keyboard allows you to turn the cube and access visual images of sites. Haven't found a place yet to turn on the Safe Searching option as Viewzi does.
O-Skope is a visual tool too but the need to "select a service" puts in an extra step which I see as a barrier.
Quintura for Kids: a family/kid friendly visual search tool. Trouble is a search for matariki didn't find any results. The site says you can embed Quintura into your own blog or wiki so I'll try it here. Not much good if we can't locate results though.