Friday, October 26, 2018

Next steps for the Site

So I have had my students have a small play with the website to see if they can access the content and help find any bugs or areas they think should be reworked. This was an interesting process and although I have designed the site to be a 3 click max experience, I still found students might need the site to be less scroll orientated. This presents some issues for me around the amount of content I have and how to get it into a more functional format, but it has made me look at how I can use HTML to add the features I want. Which in itself is a fun learning experience, recently I figured out how to use a carousel and have started looked at other more advanced (to me) functions.

After this experience I know I need to look at forming a team to help get the build up to scratch. My next area for work is also around the content and creation. I have tried to make as much content as I can but because of this I feel it is potentially limiting the experience that could be given. I would hate to waste this website due to inferior resources so have decided the best way around this is to form a resource group who would be willing to create and critique the content that will go into the site. This I find is especially important as I need the content for this site to be original as to not step on any toes, and also meet the needs of the students who will be working on this. Talking with James Hopkins the other day was a great starting point and I found our discussion helped raise a few ideas that I need to continue to look at. He asked about the use of a multi modal approach to the design, which I think is good but again could limit the experience as my ideas around resources were to have an open style resource which could be repeated with a number of self chosen texts.

So any way I will put it out to the teaching public. If anyone wants to help create content based on asTTle console language and levels or would be willing to lend their wisdom in terms of critiquing please contact me at Jacob@wesleyintermediate.school.nz.

I am still in the process of figuring out how I will run such events but potentially looking at a monthly meeting online and a shared drive file. If you want to see what I have created please check out the prototype website below and flick me any questions you may have.


Thursday, October 25, 2018

We are live (but not done)

The website is live. I figured I am at a stage where I need to start having people critique and find bugs in my site. So I have opened it up to all who wish to critique. Below you will find a link to the site. If you find any areas you wish for me to have a look at please comment below and I will endeavour to answer your queries and fix any bugs you may find. Just to note however, as this task is monumental in the amount of content I need to create at the moment many of the sites pages do not go beyond the initial landing pages for each subject area. Inferencing is the only one nearly completed and some more may be ready by the time you read this. Please be steadfast in your accusations of lazyness as I am getting there with the content. What I need from you however is to check these few things

- Can you access the work (all open to make a copy)
- Can you see the videos (nothings wrong there hopefully)
- Does the content you think meet the need by level
- Are most areas 3 click max to get to (Website flow)
- Can you get to and from pages with ease

Massive thank you to those who are able to help and provide information for me to work with. Just remember it is just one man working on this site so any changes will be made when I get the time. If the content works for you and your class please feel free to start using it when you like.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Filming has begun!!!

Quick I need some makeup!!!!! just kidding, that won't help....

Filming has begun. When I say filming I mean I have started to create the tutorial videos for some of the key strategies being taught. However some areas I may need to consider

- Do I need to get a haircut (Jokes but maybe wear a shirt to look more like a teacher)
- Do I need to get a quality mic? I mean its not bad sound but its not great sound
-Do I need a high quality video? Screencastify is great and useful but would people prefer quality
- Should I script it to the max (Maximum script or more real life)
- Should I find other teachers to do tutorials. Would students benefit from having a consistent teacher do the model or have a range of teachers to share their understanding?

Food for thought whilst I create the content.



Monday, October 1, 2018

Graphic design process for the website

Enough moaning about content and other such issues. Building websites is still fun! I have always had a passion for a little graphic design and have after receiving a little push from my partner (as she said it looked boring) decided to revamp some of the plainer buttons on my site. I have created all buttons in google drawing and downloaded as pngs to give it a better fit. Most shapes were created using only the basic shapes functions. Check out my results below.






Thursday, September 27, 2018

Website content issues!

I don't want to start this post off on a downer but man is it hard to create quality content when under the pressure of time! My first idea for having a group of teachers to help collaborate with over how lessons might be approached and levelled has sort of fallen through. All though many teachers would like to help, no one seems to have the time to really get into it. So I am stuck here trying to create some lessons that will hopefully provide the benefits I so want out of this site. I believe I need the input from others as I feel the more experience and input I receive then the better the results will be. I will continue to endeavour to create and hopefully my content and lessons will be what people are after. My next steps will be to have to find a creative panel who can at least judge the quality of my lessons and provide feedback as to the positives and negatives and the next steps.


Sunday, September 9, 2018

Website Progress check

The website is now in its functioning stage with the bare bones being laid out and some of the surface features being added in. It has been fun designing and playing around with how the sight will look and feel. Mostly all content I have had to create by myself so this has taken a little bit of time but hopefully this will add the sites look and feel in a way that makes it standout as a tool. My next step is to get enough content so that I have a working demo. The site won't work well if I haven't got any lessons on it now will it!


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.


MY LIST OF TO DO IN THE CLASSROOM TOOLS


  • 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

MIT KPMG Day 2

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.