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.

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. 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Maths Website

This will not be a long post as it is currently a work in progress. However aside from the flaws I have encountered I have managed to create a maths website for my class. This was the final staple learning area that I needed to create in order to have my class on a fully digital learning platform which I have complete control over. Now I have created three portals of control where I can set my maths, reading and writing tasks. It also means that all tasks are now rewindable and students will be able to access their learning at any time.

This being said I did run into some issues with resources on this one as I do not have the time (nor energy) to create a million new maths problems. I found most decent maths resources are pay to play. Especially any that really link to the NZ curriculum. I also found that some resources are available for a limited amount time each day and thus makes them hardly adequate for students who may wish to continue their practice. At the moment I do use a website but I find that the students need a change up in practice tasks.

This will be a continued exercise and hopefully I can get it into full operation by the start of next year.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Are your students aware of what jobs will be needed in the future?

Yesterday Wesley Intermediate had an exciting opportunity to be part of the "Just be" expo held at the local community centre. It was a great day, and an awesome opportunity for our Year 8's to get to know some older students from the local colleges.

The day was designed around looking at future careers and involved the likes of the police, fire service, and other people or companies working in the area. I was lucky enough to end up running some workshops from Rui at Critical, who is an architect and problem solver who looks at the needs of the community around him and develops products and ideas alongside businesses to help create sustainable ideas, services and products. It was great fun having 15 minutes to teach the idea of design and development to some students who may have otherwise never imagined they had the potential to be creative. I do hope some sparks were lit from this experience.

Yet in the end, what I came to realise is that within the community I work, I believe there to be a big need for information to be shared around potential pathways that will lead to careers for our young students. Many of the kids from my school had no idea what they wanted to be, which is normal for a 12 year old, but many of the jobs they may look at for the future will potentially be taken over by robots or other tech being designed and created.

One student had said they would like to work in a sport shop, selling cool sports gear to people. This was great that they had a goal, yet that very same night, I had seen on the news the rise of chatbot technology, which would almost make this job obsolete. This has really got me thinking about the careers our kids may end up in, and how we can help break the cycle of poverty and low socioeconomic issues.

so I will leave you with this question.

What can we do as teachers to lead our students down a path that will provide better opportunities in their futures? 
(other than teach them the necessary skills for a particular job set)

Friday, September 15, 2017

If students understand then they will succeed!

So again I have been developing some sites to use within class that create equity, inclusiveness and shared understanding of learning. I have been mainly focusing on my reading tasks of late, but had a sudden burst of inspiration to look at writing. Using the new google sites I started with a one page work site, aimed at descriptive writing. However as the week went on I decided that I should try and finish it off with more of the writing styles that we cover in school.  And so this site was born. I have not tried it yet within class due to testing taking place, but will be giving it a good go in the next two weeks. The tasks were all sourced from Wesley intermediate staff or created by me, and still have a way to go to become a bit more defined, but at the moment I am looking at sharing this with the community to see what ideas can come to help the development.

check the link for my site below

Friday, September 1, 2017

Ako Hiko ICT Leaders Meeting Term 3 2017

The leaders and I had a great meeting today about how our modules we are working on to increase Whanau engagement within the Ako Hiko cluster of schools. Wesley Primary had trialled the first Module and had tinkered with it to suit their needs. I talked to Phil from Wesley primary about setting up a joint Module night so we could capture the same family's in one go, as we share a lot of the same students. We also talked a bit more about setting up a talent show of some sort, which gained interest from some of the other schools. It is now worth looking at a way to get this running as an Ako Hiko event rather than just a Wesley event.

Another great takeaway from this meeting was looking at the future of Ako Hiko for next year. Starting next year Core will be taking a backseat and that means Ako Hiko will be all on its own for the first time. New territory! The main things we talked about around this, were, how do we make sure we keep moving forward with the same goals, and make the progress we want to see.

We decided that regular Leadership meetings were still vital, but potentially creating a web portal to easily access PD and resources/ideas from other schools would be great. Sharing is caring and everyone in the room was happy with this idea to collaborate. With such a great team on hand I can only see positives moving forward with Ako Hiko. However not having Mannaiakalani or Core in the mix will be strange as they have both provided so much in terms of procedure, Knowledge, and a shoulder to destress on when things have been tricky.

Onwards and Upwards....

Watch this space