Monday, October 13, 2014

Note to self ~ Must attend ULearn15

After reading many many tweets and storifies over the weekend, I realised that this is the one conference I must get to next year! 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

What it means to be connected - the relationship of connections

Subtitled my learning life online, and how being connected has affected my work in education - version #2 as somehow I managed to delete my first post.....

I remember clearly when I became a 'connected educator' - it came from being a 'connected learner'. In 2006 I had a year's paid study leave. I completed my Post Grad Diploma in Literature and Language Learning - I was a full time 'distance student'. After a 20 year break from university, the first month was a real struggle - jargon, educational jargon and theory, technology jargon and theory, more jargon.... However, what did grab me was the online forums that made up 20% of each paper's course work. I was addicted - I had to see what was being posted, I had to read what my fellow studens were saying and read the links that they were sharing. I was in no way a 'lurker' - needless to say I got full marks for those partsof the course.

In 2007-8 this morphed into the topic for my thesis - Keeping up with the digital natives - integrating Web 2.0 into classroom practice - teacher - researcher, my Yr 12 class had the choice of 'logging on paper' or 'blogging' around the literature that we studied during the year. Their and my archived blogs can be found here - From then on blogging became a part of what I did for professional learning. My Asst Head of Dept and I developed a blog for the Department I kept a blog for the library where we ran book reviews and competitions -   I modelled our blogs on the work of Natalie Cowie (thank you), who  was at Katikati College - but who has now migrated to Cromwell College. 

Leaving the classroom for a two year stint at Team Solutions, I lost touch with both the routines of the classroom and my blogs. All were linked to my school email address and I realised this foolishly, too late that I no longer had access to them - other than to read them!

Now firmly esconced back in a school, blogging has once again become the place where I curate my personal professional learning. I blog as I go (thank you for that tip Claire A.) This year my blog links to my teaching inquiry which forms part of our school's appraisal process - linked to my Google site. I prefer to use my phone, rather than my tablet to blog, I'm not sure why. I have become more adept at scanning images and photos into my posts as I write - though I do tend to go back and edit out the 'typos'. I tweet and facebook my posts. Not only have I recorded my own professional learning, but I have had the opportunity to post on some key events that our students and staff have been involved in - such as the experiential sustainability project - Te Wai hora Ellesmere; and the 50th Anniversary celebrations of CETA.

Those not as connected worry that the focus may appear to have shifted from what is seen as the 'nub' of teaching - relationships. However as a connected educator I have built learning relationships and have learning conversations with educators I would never have otherwise connected with. As two recent conferences - #edchatNZ14 and NZATE's Myth and Magic many of us were able to connect kanohi ki te kanohi. 

I know now how to keep my blogs 'alive'. I now read more, hear more and see more educational news and ideas than ever before......just need more hours in the day!

Ngā mihi


PS you can read more blogs on this topic and others @

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Connected Educator Month - Webinar - Modern Learning Practices in a connected world - 2nd October, 9am

In the chaos of the school hols, daylight saving and being 'home alone' - I miraculously remembered to log on and take part in this webinar.
However rural broadband not great for connecting - should have gone to school....

Some key questions being asked by Mark Osborne - how do we turn schools into awesome incubators? 

Being able to pass a test or 'jump through a hoop' is no longer enough - we need modern lernig practices for a connected world.
Where will learning take place?
How will teaching and learning change?
What will learning spaces look like?
Who will be participate - whose questions will be asked?

For us - this is the key MLP is about relationships, culture and best practice - just changing the space will not create real MLP - think about the pedagogy, your school vision and the learners in your school to make it happen!

Stephen Heppell - 'eyes on the horizon, feet on the ground'

Kids aren’t  just swapping ideas with each other they are designing their learning, their behaviours and their spaces...they build the protocols and the behaviours - they build the whole damn thing!! They are exhilarated to have learning in their own hands

When learning is exciting there is better cognitive engagement and reflective practice - 2 billion kids have got better ideas than 72 Ministers of Education!!

Fast lane learners - need to be able to direct learners to fast lane learning - but allow them to do that at their own pace.

Love the rule of THREE -

Derek Wenmouth - schools need to be places of attention not detention 

Love this metaphor from Sarah Webster -  My vision of a school is like a train station- I place where you can connect to other destinations. Learning happens anytime, anyway....hubs everywhere and 'teachers' being the tour guide and questioner along the way - ironically this article from the Herald appeared -

Janelle Riki - ako and tuakana-teina - sooooo part of the modern learning practices world - not so modern. Cutural values of caring - manaakitanga embedded. Make schools places where learning can take place any time of the day. Allow opportunities to happen.

Process to MLP  - team teaching, changing timetable that is co-constructed with the learners, learning about how to use the space - let the learners have the power
Learn the power and value of kai - basic

The connections between Art/Maths/Science and Performance mentioned - great reminders and prompts for connected curriculum -

Well that was a fascinating and thought provoking webinar - 4 excellent presenters.

Webinar archive can be found here - 

The collaborative notes for the session can be found here -