Friday, November 30, 2012

Creating a PLN on Twitter

I had joined Twitter a while ago but with no particular purpose in mind it fizzled out quite quickly.  

This all changed after Ulearn 2012.  I discovered a whole Personal Learning Network (PLN) was waiting for me on the Twitter platform and I have been an avid tweeter ever since!

I have found it motivating and inspiring to see what other teachers and educators are discussing and sharing.  I have been able to share my learning with my fellow colleagues and tweeters which has been empowering personally and professionally.

I have found some very useful websites and apps through Twitter that I have used in my teaching or intend to use.  Some of my favourites include:

Some great education tweeters to follow are:

If you are not using Twitter as part of your PLN, I highly recommend it.  Get tweeting, share and discuss your ideas, find inspiration, get motivated...

ICT lead teacher day

Our ICT Lead Leacher day today was at EPS.  We introduced two new members to the EPS Lead Teacher team, Dillie and Debbie.  They are both very keen and I am looking forward to working with them next year.

We started by discussing our proposed 2013 ICT mini expo.  We have come up with a long list of workshop ideas but this is not an exhaustive list and can be added to so if you are reading this and have an idea by all means leave a suggestion!

Possible workshop titles:
  • iPads/iPods - big picture, set up, management
  • blogging
  • QR codes
  • Go Animate
  • Animoto
  • iMovie/Movie Maker - Creating movies
  • Puppet Pals
  • Creating eBooks
  • Google Apps for Education (incl students)
  • Chrome + Extensions
  • Search engines for students
  • Digital Citizenship for teachers and Digital Citizenship for students (,
  • Minecraft?
  • Maths ideas eg ALiM (NZ Maths),
  • writers workshop
  • Collaboration eg Skype, FaceTime
  • Year Book/School Magazine
  • PLN eg Twitter, EduCamp,
  • Literacy ideas eg study ladder,
  • Music eg Garageband
  • Using ICT with Juniors
  • Teacher Dashboard

Our mini sMACdown was useful as usual and I discovered a couple of great websites and apps that I didn't know about: - Thinkers Tool box. I am looking forward to exploring this site for some interesting resources and ideas. - e-book about technical terms used in the ICT world

My favourtie part of the Lead Teacher Day (apart from lunch of course!) is the hands-on session. Belinda shared a cool spin on a literacy unit she used to teach. You look at pictures from a sophisticated picture book, words are covered, discuss what is happening in the pictures, possible storylines etc. The students create their own stories based on the pictures - could be published in Book Creator. The real story is then read at the end of the unit.  

We also looked at another couple of iPad apps - Storybots and Creative Book Builder. CBB was actually quite tricky to use and not as user friendly as Book Creator. I enjoyed using it though and created a fun little story - 25 days until Christmas.

Only 25 days to Christmas now...10 days of school. The countdown is on!


Friday, March 16, 2012

ICT lead teacher meeting

I always look forward to the ICT Lead Teacher Days and this was another great day.  Thanks to Botany Downs School for hosting today!!

The highlight of the day was a visit to Stonefields School.  What an amazing school!!  There were so many interesting things to see and learn from...
  • MLE - open, collaborative learning environments that have obviously been thought through carefully and with a clear puspose in mind.
  • Collaborative planning between the teachers in each hub amongst three teachers using Google Docs.  Some teachers are using Google Docs in our school but not collaboratively.  I think this is a fabulous way to do planning.  It makes sense to draw on people's strengths and share ideas etc.
  • The furniture in the school is minimal yet functional and practical.  The spaces weren't cluttered with "stuff" and provided areas for the children to find their own space for learning.
  • The "Breakthrough" idea is a fabulous way for the children to pursue their own interests and make their learning purposeful.  I love this approach to learning.  It makes sense and anables the children to learn in a way that suits them and not be restricted to one learning or teaching style.
  • I liked the idea of having a plasma screen instead of an data projector or interactive whiteboard.  The pictures are very clear and they are much more practical for children to use.
  • The school has a clear vision of where they are going and how they are going to achieve this.
  • There was not a lot of book work, most of the learning/recording is done in Google docs and other applications.  Each child has their own Google doc account in which to record their learning.
Lunch was another highlight of the day as usual - The Flying Moa was the venue today.  We had a good debrief of what we saw at Stonefields School.

I am looking forward to building a relationship with Bridget's class through our blogs.  We are both Year 4 classes and it will be interesting to see what they are doing and sharing ideas.

Can't wait till our next session...:)