Saturday, October 31, 2015

The MindLab Week 16 - WYOD + Brain sensing tech (Thought Wired)

So, this week is the end of Semester 1 of the course - hard to believe that 16 weeks have gone and that I have squeezed out SIX reasonably demanding assessments in that time be honest not exactly sure how I managed to get this done.

Today's session introduced us to 'WYOD' - wear your own device:

Tan Le developed a computer interface to read user brainwaves to make it possible to control virtual objects. 

NZ company - Thought Wired - is the front runner in NZ in this. 

Why could we use this technology - monitoring behaviour; controlling behavior....This technology has been around for a long time - BUT what it looks like has changed..

From this - to this 

Image result for modern fashioned brain wave readerImage result for old fashioned brain wave reader

What applications are there of these tools for us? 
- gaming and entertainment 
- the way in which we can train ourselves in terms of mindfulness
- improve focus for education
- enhance education

How can you transfer thoughts and ideas if you have trouble communicating? Can technology assist? 
A key example is Stephen Hawking and how he manages to communicate with Motor Neurone Disease - as an assistive technology.

Image result for stephen hawking

If we have the  ability to take brain waves and transfer them into digital signals / impulses you can just about do anything.

So can you do the reverse - transfer digital impulses images and language???
The research into brain to brain transfer using this technology - check out this freaky little clip  

The technology was available for us to have a go with - 

Displaying IMG_3831.JPG
 Schira's brain being invaded!!

Session 16 - Part 2 - looking ahead to the next 16 weeks of learning and assessing - eeeeeeekkkk

What is research?

What makes a good research question? 
- is it researchable? - biggest make is the question is too broad.
Focus clearly on our own context - the narrower the better.

The research question should involve - 
 - general topic area 
- specific area of practice
- context - where and when 

Check the Unitec tutorials for conducting research.
Check Week 17 and 21 for examples.

Advice is: 
not to quote secondary sources - lose the fidelity of the source - for the formal literature review.
- not to use footnotes but in text citations
- use APA
- cite for paraphrasing
- indirect quotes and paraphrasing is what is needed for lit review 

Thursday, October 22, 2015

The MIndLab - Session 15 - The Maker Movement and Flexible Learning Spaces

The first part of the session was facilitated by Josh and focussed on 'the maker movement' 

Attributes of the Maker Movement

- usually informal
- collaborative shared learning, shared spaces - sharing resources and sharing ideas and sharing technical knowledge 
- encourages the crossover of ideas that have not always gone together 
- community focus 

BUT - enabling technologies have 

- the internet has created the change 
- free open sourced software - available to all
- open source hardware
- inexpensive tools and components - buy and build something relatovely inexpensively - errors not costly

Communities of Makers 

- Felt and Etsy - online communities of makers 
- Blender - 3D modelling and printing and movie making such as Big Buck Bunny  - these are decentralised design teams only linked by the internet 
- Adafruit - wearable electronics 
- Makerbots - freely downloadable models - print your phone case; light shades etc 

3D Printers 

- undermines economy of scale - to people 
- rapid prototyping and increased speed of conceptual development 
- Fused Definition Modelling (another name for the process) 
- beware of the aroma created by 3D printers
- community of people printing their own printers (rip/rap)
' 3D printers are non negotiable in a technology classroom' 

I'm not a hundred percent sure about the application of these in the senior English class - protoyping seems to be the main usage and I'm guessing as Tam Yuill Proctor discussed at the CETA day, designing settings would be a use, but time consuming....

Learning Spaces - Fortuitously this week we are looking at learning space design.  

Blended Learning Spaces - using a taskboard -

Task 5 -

Campfires in Cyberspace - Campfire, Cave, Watering Holes - these look different in cyberspace - for example on Facebook - posts would be the campfire; posts woild be the watering hole; private conversations the cave???
Possible plans???

Task 2 - Rototuna JHS - our groups PMI chart so far ....

Task 8 Provocative statements

'The learning space isn't what's important, it's the pedagogy'
But good spaces do make it easier and better.
Poor spaces are a barrier to good pedagogy.
The learning space enhances the pedagogy.
If you do learning space with no pedagogy = disaster!
Modern learning environments are in our heads
PD and support network essential - don’t dump teachers in a learning space unprepared.
Makeshift MLE is the reality for a lot of schools

What if the pedagogy is great and the space does meet it needs.....

Task 9 and 10 - Design Thinking - discussion notes 

- What do we do with the high achievers? the introverts? the ADHD etc?

- OPTIONS!!!! Need to be flexible, able to adjust to suit needs of different groups of students (across years / time of day)

- Particularly high achievers - more time to devote entirely to these students while others monitor those that need more support, keep

- Safe spaces

- Let’s ask the students and be flexible

The rest of my group/team  are Primary - and this is the design for a Primary space.

We had a long conversation about portable stations - that looked like this - 

What comes first, the pedagogy or the environments?

The cheapest and easiest thing to change is the mindset and the practice. 
Community needs to be aware of what is happening - educating the Community? 
The environment is a catalyst for change - look at the numbers who are applying for jobs in the 'new build' schools. 

It's up to the SLT to design the change management plan for the process - each school has different constraints. The design of the building is perhaps the easiest part of the process - it's the teachers

The change management process begins and ends with what effective learning looks like. Your space becomes an embodiment of the learning theory that you relate to. 

What change management process is in place in order for them to function in a new environment?

Tonight's session was very much focussed us on working as a group on a series of collaborative tasks. Enjoyed working with the Thursday night group.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

The MindLab Session 14 - inquiry learning and teaching as inquiry

Inquiry as a teacher, and learner inquiry. 

There any models of inquiry - we have our own model as part of the NZC - and I'd be hoping most of us are familiar with this.....

Other inquiry models 

1 - Circle inquiry - which begins with the 'tuning in' section 

Finishing with the 'taking action' - what do I know that I did not know before? How do I apply this in our practice? 


I like this quote from Herbert 'Research is society endorsed inquiry'. 

Group QuestionsTuning In - what would be the implications if we only had inquiry learning in our classes? Or if we never? Created an interesting discussion - essential skills, framework creation, framing of the Qns? Inquiry learning is about 21st century skills. 
The framing if the question is essential - contestable, not too broad, quantifiable .....
No inquiry = lack of student agency, no voice or choice? 

Inquiry learning has a place, but it is not the only way ...

Inquiry allows students to move from knowing to understanding. It creates authentic contexts. Framed through provocative statement - eg kids can't change the world! 
The driving Qn is what we want the kids to understand by the end of it? Major impact on planning? 
Backward map from the initial understanding. Learning needs to be meaningful and manageable - relating the big idea idea to their world - a deep understanding of the big ideas. 

Inquiry task 

The Rise of Robots - the threat of a jobless future - Martin Ford - sounds like in interesting read 
Ford discusses some of the following 
- that robots not just service jobs, but white collar jobs being overtaken 
- robots create  less need for programming - move a model to program
- robots to teach students with learning disabilities 

1 what do we know about this topic? 
2 what burning Qs do we have relating to this topic? 
3 what is the most impt topic related questions we should be asking as Qs 
4 how would we go about about searching for relevant believable information on this topic?   

Effective Questions -

Inquiry sits on the edge of what we know - the twilight zone!!!

They most be answerable
They cannot be answered by a simple fact
The answer can't be already known 
They must have done objective basis for an answer
They cannot be too personal 

# It's not inquiry if 
- you already know the answer
- students do not develop their own questions to follow 

Sorting Info 

This looked like quite a good tool for NCEA students to use for sorting out their ideas for research. InstaGrok creates a simple concept plan with links and sources of info on any set topic eg see below: 

One of the links we got from here was quite an interesting site on the future of jobs - you load your profession and it predicts what % chance of your job disappearing in the near future to a robot - luckily robotizing education might be a long way off!

One sentence conclusions 

Our one sentence question: Can robots effectively replace teachers in the classroom?
Our one sentence conclusion (with a few clauses....) : Yes, learning needs of the students; the age of the students; and the content being worked through. 

Blessinger's Research Framework 

..which we will use in the second half of the course, I think mirrors our own inquiry cycle ...

Blessinger Research Template
NZC Inquiry Cycle
Research Question
Focussing Inquiry
Research Perspective
Teaching Inquiry
Research Design
Teaching and Learning Intervention
Research Analysis
Learning Inquiry
Research Conclusion
So what? Next Steps
Off to the next assignment .....

Friday, October 9, 2015

The MindLab Session 13 - Design Thinking in the classroom and in Leadership

Design Thinking in the classroom and in Leadership 

Many issues we face in education are caused by poor design - great example is the poor design of the power points in the room we are in!!!

Linking Design Thinking to 21st Century Skills - can design thinking assist the acquirement of 21st-century skills?

'Design a Fashion Accessory' - in less than 10 minutes - 

Design thinking methodology - some examples 

1 - Empathy 

2 - Immersion 
Immersion - explore the topic 
Synthesis - connect my learning to problem finding - identify the problem 
Ideation - generating and judging ideas 
Prototyping - acting upon ideas 
Feedforward - sharing ideas 

3 - Thinking into action 

4 - Mindsets processes and methods -  the need to be agile in your thinking 

Design thinking means not holding onto what you believe to be true - prototype and be mindful of the process - ie don't try to skip steps. It's the mindset that sets the project.

Design Thinking for Educators - teachers are designers of learning

Our chosen issue or problem was - students designing their own assessments

We then had to cube the task - this was a bit of a painful task!!

Rogers' Adoption of the Innovation Cycle 

Image result for rogers adoption of the innovation cycle

Different strategies need to be used for each section of the graph - the group - the innovators and early adopters want to be given the tool NOW.
Early majority want PD and support and need a lot to get there. I think Laggards should be named 'resisters'.....

Does the organisation that is trying to innovate have to set a timeline and say to the laggards you need to get on board. Or do you keep on 'watering the rocks'....

Leadership provides an environment for the laggards to be the critics - but there needs to be ground rules - provide the critique - provide the areas you want critiqued.

You can overlay leadership theory on the diagram- 

              situational - transformational -  transactional  - dictatorial 

When do you call it quits - ask the question 'is it absolutely essential that we all are doing this at the same time? will anyone die??'

Consider your worst user - the one that will be hardest to persuade to change -  profile them - ours was Bob - see below 

100 solutions in 10 minutes - then filter them 
1 a safe bet
2 a long shot, but difficult to implement 
3 darling - fav idea 

Then rank each individually - 1-10 - is it: 
- new 
- usable 
- feasible 

I still like showing them the 'door of the bus' as my personal 'darling' ....

Our winning idea is 'document everything and provide with checklists to follow'

After initial pitch, refine the idea based on rose, bud, thorn. Our final ad was a little less than constructive 'move the laggard on....' 

Worried about your laggards?
Are your laggards holding you back? 
You need the 574 step checklist! 
Guaranteed to move any laggard on! 
The bus is waiting........

How might design thinking inform leadership practices?
Certainly in the design of the strategic plan; the vision; their values etc....
The ground level are expected to implement the plan, are not necessarily the ones informing the vision.....
Too much criticism leads to no action - bias over action. 
Showing not telling, having visible processes, so that everyone knows where it's going. 
The process has to be seen to be followed. 
Change is a process of evolution, the first prototype may not be perfect, but that's OK, we need a culture of safe failure. We have to design the safe space for this person to fail in. 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Whoops - ConnectedED Month - running a week behind!

At the end of last term, I made a conscious decision, which I have felt guilty about since then, to do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING related to school for the first 10 days of the holidays, I was tired, a little disillusioned and pretty damn well over a whole lot of things to do with school....hence I am only now getting to the first blog challenge for ConnectedED Month (and to be honest) it night be the only one I get to.....

I started blogging in 2007 after starting my MEd online at Waikato Uni. My thesis was entitled 'Keeping up with the digital natives: integrating web 2.0 into classroom practice'. 
After 'connecting' with Natalie Cowie, who was at KatiKati then, blogs really took off....
I blogged for my Department -

I got some of my Department blogging -
I ran a Library Blog -
I ran a blog for parents -

By the end of my thesis I was blogged out! But the data created was valuable - the half of the class that blogged about their work and writing gave and received more feedback and took part in more ongoing conversations about their work than the students who kept a logbook, as opposed to a 'blogbook'.

8 years on I still blog, but I run only two. I follow a number of blogs (which I say to myself the number is not going to increase......). 

This blog is a record of my professional learning – schools visits I have been on; conferences I have attended and courses that I am enrolled in such as the PostGrad Dip run by The MindLab. I blog as I go – use my phone or tablet and modify and correct errors later. Adding photos and links from the lectures as I go is a breeze and I find working on the iPhone my ‘device of choice’. I find I can process and clarify thoughts as I go.

I love reading – I still have a strong connection to the English Faculty and Library at my school. I regularly read and review teen fiction on our school library blog – Teen Arotake - - this is a part of my job that I really enjoy.

So that’s me… I got into blogging and why I still blog ….