Thursday, August 9, 2018

Clarity between task and test update

This will be a fairly quick update of the happenings that have been going on in regards to my inquiry. So to top this list off. I have finally go some data!!!!! 

Let me repeat that.... I HAVE FINALLY GOT SOME DATA!!!!!

This may seem like something I should have achieved last term or even in term one. Yet I have found there are consistent barriers to collecting data in my community. The list of blockers are as such

  •  Time... Release time is rare and although my school does do it's best to support me through this process, if a single teacher is away it can derail any plans of progress I may have had. This is also in part what we are striking for so hopefully changes will be made.  However after a busy few weeks of ups and downs I have finally had a chance to sit down and nut out the workings of my website prototype. I have managed to get all pages made and I am in the process of finalising some of the technical aspects of explaining the language used in asTTle

  • Getting google forms filled in: Although for some this may seem like a simple task to achieve, for two terms it has been unbelievably hard to get teachers to take 10 minutes out of their time in order to fill in a form that will actually give me some data to back my assumptions up. I have tried every which way to get this to happen, from bribes, to staff meetings, to going to each class to try and get the forms filled in and yet, due to my own incompetency in writing research questions in which I could gather accurate data, I have finally managed to secure a large enough pool of information which now shows my assumption was correct. Students do need some sort of clarity between their test and the tasks they practice with.

  • Parent support. I really wanted to gather data from a parents perspective, and having talked to a few parents I still believe that there is a need for a place where parents can go and learn how they can better support their child with reading strategies at home. I tried setting up forms on open nights and Parent Teacher interviews, however there was still little by in and not enough data collected to make my assumption a reality.

  • Finding resources: This is on going but I am now trying to gather the best resources around in order to teach the reading strategies. I cannot solely rely on Sheena cameron or other such books as although these do work I need to make sure any work that is given will actually have an impact. Therefore this problem is ongoing and I am still finding ways to maximise the potential for the work to be accessed within the site.
That's all there is though. Time is returning. Teacher buy in is getting better. Finding resources is slowly but surely making headway and I am confident that I will have a working site by the end of this year. I am truly looking forward to seeing this tool come to life and be used. I do need to start thinking about how I will maximise this tools use throughout the community as marketing and selling the idea that this tool is useful will be another hurdle I believe will come into play once it is completed.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Ed Tech Conference

This week I was extremely fortunate to be able to attend the Edtech Conference in Sydney. As I am currently working with the Mannaiakalani innovative teachers group we were all challenged to submit our application to present and to our surprise (my surprise) we were invited to attend and present. Over two days I was able to sit with some fabulous educators and look at and reflect on my use of digital technology and especially google applications within my own teaching practice. From this event I have managed to get some great takeaways which I would like to share.


  • Geo Guesser link
  • Google Quick draw
  • Insert Learning
  • Google expeditions
  • Google earth (chrome version)
  • Google Feud
  • Google Cardboard
Along with these tools I had a great look into how to use google earth in order to create a virtual tour of your school. So me being me, I created a site to share with my school and anyone who is interested about how you could add VR into your school or class. The site is live but needs a few tweeks, My goal here is to create a VR Tour of Wesley and also get students learning into VR mode where parents can see some cool learning that has gone on in class.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018


Today has been a great time to reflect on how our inquiry is going and look towards our next steps. We started the day with a quick run through of What has been working, what hasn't and what our next steps are.

What had been working for me was starting to gather resources outside of my collection. Although my issue at the moment is around data gathering as I have found this to be a big issue when trying to gather student voice and parent input. Using Google forms has been my go to, however I am now wondering if I will need to go into classrooms in order to gather enough data to get reliable results.

I have also been thinking about whether my issue is an issue. Is my inquiry around test to task clarity the issue students are facing, or is it to do with the language used and students from other ethnicities needing a cultural and dialect link to the next learning steps/goals. After some serious discussion with other members in my school and some outside influencers I feel that this could be an interesting area to look into as it could make my initial inquiry obsolete.

After answering our 3 W's we then moved onto having a few games of Catalyst created by Core education. The game is designed to pull apart inquiries and allow for open  discussions around how the inquiry is going and help probe to get new ideas and next steps. It really was a great tool for leading discussions towards an inquiry without resulting in conflict or arguments.

Finally we were left to sort out our Edtech summit documents and look into our presentations.

Another great day at KPMG Auckland!

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Design process thinking: KPMG Day 1

Today has been another great day of design thinking and pulling apart our inquiry tools. My idea remains in the realms of building clarity between test and task, but with some tweaks towards a parent portal that sits with the student portal. I also need to look at how it can be used if testing does not take place (however it does challenge me to think schools would do no testing!)

Unpacking the user interface and how it will look and feel was a great experience to help identify how my tool will meet the needs of my students and parents.

Next steps for me are to arm myself with evidence to show my assumption is correct and I know I need to be designing my questions in a more accurate fashion so that I get credible reliable evidence.

An all round great day for exploring our inquiry at KPMG Auckland, and right in the viaduct too! Such a lucky group.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

KPMG Day 1 AsTTLe website design

This week I have been working on designing my website and sorting out the ebb and flow of the user experience. Looking at how students would use it and also how the tasks and designs can be accessed by parents and caregivers. The whole experience I have designed needs to facilitate easy access to tasks along with a multi modal design for rewindable learning.

I also found through this design that I may need to design an entire Level area first as the base test for this sight. I believe aiming at level 2 will be the starting point to begin a trial for the site. The whole process I realise will take a fair amount of work and I believe that collaborating with other teachers about the tasks they use to facilitate the learning around these Learning objectives will be an important area I will need to access in order to deliver enough content to cover all levels.

Step by step, getting closer now!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

First Post for the Year 2018!

Well my year has started with a bang! Straight into setting Chromebooks up and making sure new students are enrolled and rolled into our system. Now onto Blog creation and maintenance. Really this new ICT Admin role is full on but I am falling into place with it. I also have the opportunity this year to teach robotics. This is a new area for me and I look forward to testing myself in a new subject area.

One area of concern for this year so far has been the amount of students not turning up to school with chromebooks and also having no interest in buying one. Being a digital school this makes teaching and testing really hard, however we are looking at ways to engage with the community more about how to share these expectations before enrolment begin.

I am looking forward to being part of the Mannaiakalani Innovative Teachers group and going to Sydney to do a presentation on my inquiry. I am continuing to build the AsTTle reading website and watch this space for more information around this later in the year.

Along with this I have a Steel band festival to get my band ready for and Rock band will be starting in a week or two. Full on!

Love it though.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Coding and Music!!

So lets start this post off by saying this is one of my first ever attempts at using scratch myself, and boy was it fun. 

Being the music teacher I am always looking for new ways to engage students in musical tasks through areas that are not necessarily musically orientated. Using scratch I was able to create my own midi keyboard with loop. This is at a such a basic level yet took me only an hour to make through trial and error. Imagine doing this with your students to show them how drum machines were first created, or to set it up to create your own digital class band.

The possibilities are limitless, I believe scratch could be that tool that builds interactive learning models for students, whilst teaching critical thinking and giving basic coding skills and strategies. Computational thinking: check
Critical thinking: check
Fun: check
Musical: check

This has ticked all my boxes.