Reflecting on the whirlwind that was ISTE 2013

28 Jun

 

Random thoughts and reflections fill my head most moments of every day, sitting on my couch with my morning coffee on this sleepy Saturday of our school holiday break is no different. The thoughts that are buzzing by are making me smile and deserve a post of their own. . .

 

A year a ago I traversed the globe to embark on my ISTE adventure, it was a whirlwind 10 day USA trip that at the time was marred by the inefficiency of United Airlines to make a flight arrive or depart on schedule. As time has gone on, the pain inflicted by the travel has passed and these are the memories that I hold close to my heart as having a greater impact on my teaching practice and perspective as an educator:

 

  • Students are the SAME everywhere!

ISTE was full of queues. . . for coffee, food and entry to keynotes – in each and every one I had rich conversations with people who I shared much in common. We teach students! I spoke with LOADS of teachers from all over the world while queuing for stuff- we shared laughs and stories about what we have common, the time then flew in the queues!

I learnt that students are the same in all places, they forget homework and attempt to make the same silly excuses no matter what city they live. We solved problems of the edu-world in these queues, promising each other to abolish the monotony of homework, grades and useless feedback. Students are the same in all countries, we laughed at how they are grubby, annoying and can push every button of ours all at once! We discussed strategies for engaging difficult students, how to spark a passion for words in those that don’t like reading and giggled at stories of that time/s when technology failed during that epic lesson we had prepared.

 

  • Passion is contagious

I was ridiculously TIRED during the three days of ISTE, the heat was brain melting and traveling hard! Each morning I awoke to tweets about the day ahead – speakers, workshops and places to meet with new and old friends to share.

My fave place for catchy-passion at ISTE was the bloggers lounge, it became both a planned and impromptu place for deeper discussion. I spoke further with friends from queues here, eaves dropped on interesting convos and arranged each day of sessions based on the feedback and chatter of others. A fave moment on shared passion was at a TeachMeet that was set up in the downstairs lounge, we tweeted the plans for the place/time, brought friends, made a crowd and shared ideas. I had skipped out on a session to attend, opting to learn from loads peers rather than the research of one. In the 40mins of being there I witnessed this osmosis like effect of passion, it spread through the TeachMeet crowd like a fever, we “oooohed” and “ahhhhhhhed” in unison over new apps, resources and ideas for projects.

 

  • Friendship and fandom has no geographical boundaries

I met international edu-friends for the first time at ISTE, it was wonderful to spend the time face to face talking with like minded edu-nerds; Andy McKiel, Liz Castillo, Lucia Giacomantonio. I had fan moments chatting to Dean Shareski, meeting the Edmodo crew, listening to Andrew Miller talk PBL and watching Jane McGonigal conduct an epic thumb war! Communication mediums like Edmodo, Twitter and Blog stalking makes having an entourage of fans easy for these edu-super stars!

I became bigger fans of my Australian travelling friends; Jess, LeeBianca and Ashleigh. I watched them present, share and shine. The opportunity for me to present internationally with Leanne Cameron was unforgettable and humbling.

 

  • Education is not  for making money

I am not in this vocation for the purpose of money making and I had never fathomed the opportunity of enterprise that I would witness at ISTE. I understand the need to sponsorship and can appreciate the funds required to make an international conference run, but the point I am trying to make here is not to whinge about the profiteering but a reflection on the SHARING.

Thank you, to the connections that I made at ISTE that shared ideas, resources, twitter handles, hashtags and all the things that cost NOTHING but reward greatly.

 

 

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In the year since ISTE, the biggest change I see in myself is perspective. I have a greater perspective of  my influence and impact as  part of a bigger community of passionate educators that share the same motivations as I do.

 

Link

Edmodo for Digital Citizenship, Support and Professional Development

25 Jun

Edmodo for Digital Citizenship, Support and Professional Development

 

Guest post for the Edmodo Blog – describing my three favourite applications for Edmodo.

Guide for Twits and Tweachers that want to tweet!

21 May

Do you use or have you thought of using twitter? To get you started, here are some basic instructions and LINGO in a snapshot.

 

  • It isn’t just for “famous people” – a HUGE amount of teachers are on twitter!

 

  • Everyone has a twitter “Name”, it starts with an @ symbol, when you want to send a message or connect to a particular person, type the @ symbol, then their twitter name.

 

  • When you “Follow” someone, you subscribe to his or her tweet feed, people can subscribe/follow to you too!

 

  • If you are tweeting on a subject or topic, a # (hashtag) is a way of grouping like tweets, try searching #edtech , #ozengchat or #ozscichat and see what comes up!!

 

  • The more people you connect with, the more intuitive your account becomes. It will suggest “like minded accounts.” For example, if you follow many teachers, it will keep suggesting teachers,  or if you follow Justin Bieber, it may suggest other “artists” such as Miley Cyrus!

 

  • Tweets can only be 140 characters- YES you may have to sacrifice grammar and spelling 2 fit wot u wnt 2 say in n thts k!! :)

 

 

If you are after knowledge or information on a specific topic, search twitter using hashtags as search terms. TRY. . .  #literacy OR #edmodo  #gilroycc or #saidnoteacherever

 

SEARCH a hashtag, follow accounts, and SHARE what you find in turn. Another example. . .  I have found up to date info from the Board of Studies on their twitter rather than their website to be most helpful!

 

IF you found this useful – tweet me! @1moniqued OR RE-TWEET IT!!

 

With thanks to the IIATE, I have used 3D printers and laser cutters in my classroom

4 May WP_20130731_001

 I LOVE manufacturing technologies, I DREAM about students producing projects using 3D printers, however, I do NOT work at a school that has a 3D printer. We don’t have a CNC machine either? Or a laser cutter? But my students STILL use them as part of their course work.

I am a teacher of technology. I specialise in Design Technology & Industrial Tech – Timber in senior years and in BOTH syllabus documents students need to understand how manufacturing technologies work. In an ideal world they would design and produce projects that would use them, just as they do in industry. Unfortunately, the school I work at doesn’t have ANY appropriate equipment to do that, I only achieve this with an extended network of teachers and the IIATE.

The IIATE is the INSTITUTE of INDUSTRIAL ARTS TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION, they are my professional association, much like English teachers have the ETA. They organise professional development, a yearly conference (this year we are joining forces with other states to create a NATIONAL TECHNOLOGY CONFERENCE!) AND also the loan program for 3D printers. The concept is SOOOO rad that the Technology in Education Magazine recently did a cover story article on it! – - – > http://issuu.com/tempomedia/docs/tie-1-2014

The IIATE council do a fabulous job of providing members/teachers with opportunities to provide for their students, without the 3D printer program my students would not have had access to this experience. Without the networking opportunities the IIATE create my students would not be able to use other schools manufacturing equipment.

The IIATE is a non-profit organisation run by teachers, if you are a TAS teacher NSW you should be a part of the association too! In VIC there is DATTA, and in QLD a similar association called INTAD. Whatever your area of teaching, I urge you to join your supporting professional association.

 

 

 

Student techies at Gilroy & VoicEd 2014

8 Mar Untitled

TODAY I presented at VoicEd 2014 at Davidson High School with loads of other ahhhhmazing and inspirational educators who are positively moving and shaking practice and processes in their schools and classrooms.

http://www.haikudeck.com/p/JtsMmatIXV

My presentation today was all about sharing and reflecting on the use of students as leaders, when I blogged about it last year I had an idea of WHY I wanted the program to run, and HOW It was going to look, but I REALLY underestimated the positive impact these students would have on our 1:1 program.

In todays presentation I explained HOW the Students Techies function so effectively at Gilroy, WHAT they do and WHY:

  • Students had to apply to become a class techie using a google form: applicants were chosen at the end of last year based on their ability to solve examples of tech problems like “What steps would you go through to fit a Wifi connection issue”
  • All the work they do counts as community service: all the “work” they do contributes to the community service program so they benefit for doing something they love!
  • Students assist on Edmodo: year 7/8 have a “tech-support group” that the Techies (and I) monitor, they respond to questions online, between 9 of them they manage the workload of this WONDERFULLY!
  • They do not miss out on class time: these students are academic, they want to help but not miss out on class time, so the program does not EVER impact on their learning.
  • Visit homerooms twice a week: I found that most technical problems arose overnight when they were trying to do something at home, if students don’t get the help they need on the tech-support page then they have face to face access to the techies of a morning, this is prime time to solve problems before the school day starts!
  • Young leadership role: year 8′s get forgotten as young leaders! We then expect them to step up in year 9/10?! Will eventually run well with Duke of Ed, SRC and captain program.
  • Empowers clever kids in the playground: this program gives them cred! year 7′s chat to them in the play ground (not just in the library!) and they are known as being Techies.
  • THEY LOVE TECHNOLOGY!  they like solving problems, making other students as confident as them and helping out!
  • I can’t possibly solve every technical issue! even as a singular member of a big technical staff we still teach, our allocation and volume of devices prevents us from being accessible to students all the time. Between Edmodo and homeroom visits, these guys have got it sorted!

 

The concept of peer coaching is a no-brainer. I know from experience that students helping students peer-peer in a classroom or school context works. It builds confidence, relationships and in a busy classroom it can ease the demand of teacher centred assistance and keep the pace of a lesson moving forward. Some students even PREFER to have peer assistance. Yeah “there are no silly questions”, however, putting a hand up and a spotlight on yourself to ask a question can feel daunting for some – so if it wasn’t for peer support questions sometimes by shy individuals may never get asked!!

 

The program so far is a HUGE success (because our Techies are brilliant kids of course!), I have taken a few snapshots of our Edmodo group so you can see these guys in action!

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original post found here

Year 7 iPad training day and the roll out process at Gilroy

8 Mar Untitled

This year as part of the 1:1 iPad rollout process in year 7 I was able to allocate a whole day for student training. The training day was planned so that year 7′s had a day of workshops that would provide them with the technical knowledge to operate their iPads in class as a learning tool. During the day they would learn how to operate key apps, focus on digital citizenship in line with our ICT policy, get their intranet usernames/login and set up their iPad with printing!

This was a FULL ON day to prepare and plan, but it was part of bigger roll out process that started in 2013 with the welfare team and parents:

  • 2013 Enrolment evening – among key important speakers the night also contained information about iPads, their expected use in classrooms and support docs for parents (in regards to purchasing, insurance and technical support)
  • 2014 year 7 parent evening – welfare focused information session, the year co-ordinator spoke about cyber safety, privacy and I spoke about practical ways to monitor/support technology use at home and parental controls were explained/applied.
  • Year 7 app roll out - students received usernames and passwords, they were given access to the MDM and received their school apps on their device (this happened on the friday so they could PLAY with the apps ALL weekend!)
  • Year 7 iPad training day - 5 sessions/workshops on iPad use.

It is important to note that the roll out process involved parents and the welfare team at Gilroy, this was a positive change from our previous laptop roll out process.

 

LOGISTICS OF THE iPAD TRAINING DAY!

The iPad training day would not have been successful without the help of the Integrated Learning teachers that each ran workshops, office staff that provided room changes, lesson cover and supervison, onsite technicians AND the student techies that assisted the classes in doing the hard stuff!

The 5 workshops students did were:

Session 1: Edmodo sign up/use and Gilroy student home page navigation
Session 2: Cyber safety and tech rules at Gilroy
Session 3: Self service, printing, iPad settings and MDM profiles
Session 4: Using your iPad in class (Notability, Bookcreator) sending files, exporting work
Session 5: Structured “play” – iPad skills bingo

Here is a copy of Ipad training day runsheet -  on the run sheet you can see the rotation of classes, teachers, workshops and student techies that were our support.

The week after the training day I surveyed students to measure the success of the day – based on their confidence in using the device as a learning tool in class, here are the results: survey results.

Overall I am happy knowing students don’t take their devices into classes knowing NOTHING, I know that teachers appreciated the fact that their first iPad lessons could run without stopping for a hand up with questions like “my printers aren’t connected” or “I can’t log on”.

The roll out process has now extended into a longer process, the benefits of this far outweigh any argument over invested time. With this cohort it has been fluid, with minimal hiccups and maximum support from CEO, technical staff, parents, welfare team and teaching staff.

2013 in review

1 Jan

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 11,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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