Wednesday, October 25, 2006


The 2006 WinTec Challenge is on again for students in Year 4,5 & 6
When - Tuesday 14th November, 10 am to 2.30pm
Where - Wintec, Hamilton

Using MS PowerPoint teams will be challenged to retell fairy tales. Each team can take a collection of photo images that they have prepared. These images must include at least 3 different endings to their story.

The expectation is that students will already know how to use PowerPoint, and in particular to:
  • Insert Images
  • Insert sound files
  • Record narrations
  • Time presentations
  • Complete custom animations
  • Include appropriate slide transitions
  • Insert and use action buttons

There will be prizes for the top efforts

To enter your school team, email before October 31st. There is a limit of 30 teams. If there are spaces available after Nov 4th, a second team will be allowed from schools. I wonder if we can ask to go on the waiting list for our 2nd teams. May pay to have one ready and waiting in the wings in case of sickness etc.


Here's an opportunity for students to take part in the development of animations using free software that you can download from the Internet.

Don't wait until you know how to use it - just give it to the kids, provide time for them to explore and then ask them to come up with a class challenge.

PIVOT STICK ANIMATOR can be downloaded free from

ALICE can be downloaded free from


Paul Wilkinson from Te Papanui Cluster is running a section on Pivot Stick Animation for PC users, (see below for more details) and

Phillip Carroll, a 10 year old from Pine Hill School in Dunedin has prepared an animation project using Alice Software which is available to both Mac and PC users. (More details below too)

These are great opportunities for you to learn about animation alongside your students. The software is a free download.

Let your students explore the software, check out the tutorials and have them teach you how to do animation.

Anyone can! A teacher information section is also provided. If you have trouble logging on, use your Ulearn username and password. Let's know if you have difficulty.

Click on this link to check out the animation project that helps you get started, and invites you (or, more specifically, your students) to take up the challenge


Students love working with Pivot Stick Animation, it's great for designing PE activities, dance, drama and a huge variety of animation effects.

Students are finding innovative ways of incorporating it into learning programmes.

Paul Wilkinson from the Te Papanui cluster has created an animation project that helps you get started, and invites you (or, more specifically, your students) to take up the challenge of adding to the animation he's started - or contribute one of your own. You'll find everything you need. Please note that the project information is in the teacher section on the left, but student work samples should be uploaded to the student community area. (Sorry Mac users - only available for PCs at the moment)


The good news is yet another cool free downloadable animation software available for both platforms and Phillip Carroll (a 10 year old from Pine Hill School in Dunedin) is currently working to set up a project using this "Alice" software for Term 4.

This software contains a step by step tutorial for those who need a lead in but most students will quickly by pass the tutorial and get straight to creating amazing animations.

These "teach yourself" programmes will be great for your students to explore while you are busy with small group teaching etc. Download now and let them at it.

Monday, October 23, 2006


- What will our teachers write as the eulogy to the Nga Tii Roa Contract once it has finished?

- Has it provided an immense challenge to thinking, pedagogy and community building skills?

- How have teachers been challenged to recognise the impact of ICTs into traditional teaching and learning models?

- Have schools been challenged to develop shared values and beliefs in each school?

Interesting questions as we move into our final year. If there are changes and they are to be sustained, the eulogy will hold consistent positive messages from those involved and these will be supported in teacher's present and future teaching and learning practices.

An on-line survey for cluster teachers has been activated.

Pukehina Staff deserve a box of Jaffas for being the first to complete :-D

We were hoping to have these all completed by October 13th but have extended this until the end of the month.

Due in before October 31st, cluster staff can access the survey from the following link:


Our Cluster Journey Together Into New Horizons.