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.

Using an iPad to do stuff . . . (other than to game and look cool)

7 Dec

This post has been sitting in my wordpress drafts for AGES!! — the IIATE conference from which this material came from was held towards the end of October, I presented a session on using iPads and devices in TAS to ACTUALLY DO CLASS WORK.

An article that I read towards the start of the year still really stuck in my mind whilst preparing for my session, in particular it was the closing line that shaped the way my session looked:

Now the next generation is here, already tech-literate. What do they want their school computer, or device, to help them achieve?

The challenges of BYOD: http://www.abc.net.au/technology/articles/2013/02/04/3682334.htm
So HOW can you USE a device such as an iPad to DO class work? What apps are best? Which ones are school friendly?
 
Bellow are my session resources, a document FULL of tried, tested and implemented apps that can be used to do HEAPS OF STUFF!

Page_1Page_2

PDF FILE- doin’ stuff on an ipad — > Share this, pass it round, or drop me a line to let me know what you do!

I am presenting at the SchoolstechOz conference in September 2014, my sessions on the saturday will look at how mobile devices such as iPads can be used to capture, present and enhance assessment tasks across all subjects and stages in our curriculum (although my session will be iPad focused, it could benefit teachers using BYOT and BYOD programs).


SCHOOLSTECH OZ

 

The full program is here: https://www.eiseverywhere.com/ehome/schoolstechoz/program

Gilroy goes GOOGLE!!

4 Dec

Today I ran the FIRST lot of Google Apps training for Gilroy staff, the training was run in period sessions in small faculty groups. The Google apps are run through our new landing page CLASSM8 - it was a busy day exploring the apps we have available to us and an exciting start to our Google journey.

The key focus of today was to: demonstrate the TOOLS and APPS that GOOGLE host that could enrich our resources, add to our teacher tool kits and to find ways to make us more efficient!

 

Each faculty had a session that was tailored to them based on their curriculum and existing levels of technology implementation. Some highlights from todays sessions were:

  • Using Google Drive INSTEAD of Edmodo library!

Edmodo is a common LMS for us at Gilroy, however, its file storage system does not suit all staff. SO – I demonstrated how ALL of the files required for a unit could be stored in ONE resource folder in a Google drive. Then the LINK for that folder could be shared on Edmodo with students! This means that ALL file types can be supported regardless of file size (PDF, docs and videos) AND if the file link is shared with teachers they can ALL add in cool resources that students either use in class or as extra material to study/revise.

  • Using Google Calendar to manage faculty events

Faculties such as PDHPE and CAPA run many activities over and above their class load – I demonstrated how Google calendar could be used to manage faculty events such as rehearsals, try-outs, training, games and performances. They key idea behind using Google Calendar in a faculty is that MANY staff could edit/admin the calendar and MANY students could subscribe on their devices and be reminded of events they are involved in!

  • Using Blogger with class groups

Blogging is an excellent way of getting students to write and digitally author their work, blogs can have a public audience or they can be used as a means to check and practice responses. We found lots of purposes for blogging today – responding to articles with an argument, analysing artworks, journaling a process, documenting a PIP, collating a digital portfolio and general online “showing off” !  - we used theYear 7 Blog as an example of how students LIKE to write online and compared the features of both KidBlog and Blogger.

  • Using Google Groups to communicate across campuses!

I demonstrated how Google Groups would be a perfect tool to start a cross-campus dialogue between students. For example Groups could be used in a Visual Arts classroom to discuss artworks by students across different schools- WHY? to encourage a dialogue that expresses a written opinion and to also listen to others (outside their class-group), and to independently talk about something that could be topical or subjective (ie: tackling something difficult WITHOUT teacher prompting). It would also practice safe digital communication (still easily moderated by a teacher administrator) and encourage collaboration.

 

Other google tools beyond apps that were shared today: 

 

 

What do YOU use Google for in your classroom?? 

Sings *students are doin’ it for themselves!

26 Nov

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, I know “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!!

Based on all the positive experiences I have had with peer-coaching situations I put forward the idea to “hire” Gilroy Student Techies for 6 month contracts in 2014 to support our iPad program. This sounds all very formal, and the process was in order to be fair! Current year 7′s were asked to “apply” knowing that only EIGHT would be selected based solely on their application. The application was a Google form that outlined simple scenarios that they may encounter as a techie – asking them to respond with solutions of how they would help!

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In planning WHAT the class techies would/should do I was very cautious of them NOT losing out on class time, the students selected are hardworking and would then see this leadership role a negative experience if this was the case. A tough balance between using them efficiently and too much!

In 2014 the year 8 Student Techies will be used at Gilroy in the following manner:

  • One year 8 Techie will be in each year 7 homeroom to solve tech issues at the START of the day so as to minimise their impact on classes (typically a busy time as I have homeroom myself and site Technicians are assisting years 8-12 with laptops)
  • Support staff at the 2014 iPad training day for year 7 students
  • Help demonstrate effective iPad/technology use as a young school leader
  • Assist by being an additional member of the Year 7  Tech- Support Edmodo page to help with online questions

I am really looking forward to this initiative being a part of the reason why our iPad program will see student success – not just for those students that are Techies, but for all the opportunities that the Techies could potentially help in!

Your PERSONAL invite to join the TechED Forum

21 Oct You're invited!

About a year and a half ago I got REALLY frustrated, I am a member of the IIATE, subscriber of ESNET and TEANSW email groups, I use twitter, I blog/read others, I connect with teachers at TeachMeet, I share and always find obliging people who help in return.

BUT I selfishly wanted just ONE place where I could go to and ask subject specific information, I found I would trawl the interweb for hours?? . . . looking for THAT Stage 5 Industrial Tech Timber resource?? As a sweeping generalisation I have found that subject specific TAS resources such as: suppliers? materials? and process tutorials are harder to come by online, so with the help of some friends I created the “TechEd Forum”:

TechED Forum

I am not a computing teacher, and although I am competent in using technology I really stretched my technical expertise in getting this to work, and could NOT have done it without the help of my friend’s Husband Jeremy. The graphics and “logo” was designed by an ex-student now studying graphics, he decided the forum logo should “visually promote communication”, the forum now that it is set up is easy to manage, and doesn’t cost me a cent!

But, what this forum REALLY needs to prosper and run are MORE PARTICIPATING MEMBERS!! 

There are questions in many of the forum topics ASKING for assistance and advice, others OFFERING to share assessments and resources. I know that many of us use Edmodo, Twitter and TeachMeets to resource and crowd share, but the aim for this space was a very different one – to create subject specific discussion areas that can house documents, links, contact details, that could be referred back to categorically and easily. Does this sound useful?

You're invited!

You’re invited!

 

It doesn’t matter if you work in Tasmania, a primary school or TAFE, which sector of education you come from or if you are still studying – you still have something to contribute. The forum is free, it doesn’t cost me a cent to run- and therefore won’t cost you either. I hope that by joining you benefit from the space how it was intended. If you have any ideas for how forum could improve- let me know!

www.techedforum.com.au

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