Friday, September 6, 2013

Blogs, eports, google and more...

So much to do, so little time!  

There has been alot happening with e-learning this year and things will only be getting busier over the next term and a half so it was fantastic to sit down today with like-minded teachers and share ideas, collaborate and learn new things.

It was great to meet the new ICT Lead Teachers from Botany Downs School, Yasmine and Natalie and also catch up with Lyndal.  We haven't had an opportunity to catch up with our cluster schools this year and it was interesting to hear how they are progressing with their e-learning etc. 

The sMACkdown was informative as always.  A couple of things I will take away are:

  • Paste a website address into lingro and every word is linked to a dictionary definition. Helpful for ESOL kids. 
  • -A better screencasting app than ShowMe!!  It records video as well as audio/screen movement

Anna and I worked on a presentation to the staff as we are reporting back on Wednesday about how our Blogs as e-portfolios have gone.  We are really excited about presenting to the staff and sharing our findings with them. We have surveyed our children and got some parent feedback about how they have found using blogs as a platform.  They were overwhelmingly positive in their feedback with the vast majority opting to stay with blogs rather than return to Knowledge Net.  Looking forward to presenting to staff and hearing their thoughts about rolling it out to the whole school next year.     

Our ICT Lead Teacher meeting today was cram-packed and productive but we could have used another day or two to get through everything we need to do!  Yes I know...dream on!!

Looking forward to ULearn now...breakouts al excited...bring it on!

Monday, July 1, 2013

ICT Lead Teacher Day 1 July 2013

We had a busy, productive meeting today.  

Some key ideas that we covered today were:

  • ePortfolios and how these are progressing.  This term has been a major shift for me in terms of ePortfolios.  I am one of two teachers at our school trialling individual blogs as a platform for ePortfolios this term.  This has meant a huge amount of time setting up the blogs, introducing/teaching them to the students and analysing what is working and what isn't.  It has been an exciting time, but also a bit stressful.  We have Student Led Conferences on Thursday night and whilst the student blogs are mostly up to date, there are still gaps that need to be filled in over the next few days.  Having said that the students are extremely proud of their blogs and love adding to them!  In my opinion, they eclipse the old ePortfolio platform in that fact that they are much more user-friendly, easily accessible and can be individualised.
  • Converting data from our server to Google sites. This will be happening over the next few months as we work towards getting a smaller server and using Google/iCloud/Dropbox for cheaper/free storage.
  • The sMACdown is always interesting and a good way to share new resources etc.  A couple of new things I picked up were from Debbie which is a great presentation tool and WordFoto app.  Will be giving these ago in my classroom.
  • Setting up an iPad User Group within the school to support, share and motivate teachers in using iPads in their classrooms.  We set three dates to hold these meetings.  The first one will run like a sMACdown where people can share what they have been doing in their classrooms with iPads.  We will also set up a Google site for iPad use in school which will be a great, on-going resource. 
  • We made good headway on our eLearning Progressions today.  Debbie and I worked on Y3/4 learning intentions and managed to pretty much complete those.  Next step sharing the LI's and ensuring we are all on the same track...then success criteria.  Our aim is to get these finished by end of Term 3 and then trialling them in Term 4.
Great day today thanks to the amazing people in the team.  Thanks guys, looking forward to our next meeting.

Now I have a BIG decision to make: Tedx or EducampAkl?  Hmmmm....

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

ICT Lead Teacher Day 12 April

We had our first ICT Lead Teacher day of the year at the end of last term and it was a very productive but intense, fully packed day.

We had a huge discussion around a PMI the teachers at our school created about our student e-Portfolios.  There was an overwhelming response from teachers with a range of issues. It took us a large amount of time to sort the issues raised in the PMI into relevant areas.  It was an interesting exercise which enabled us to get a clear view of the main issues/areas concerning teachers and the where to next...  Some are quick fixes that are easily addressed, whilst others will be addressed in a staff meeting with some PD and support for staff.  Anna and I will also be creating some screen casts and developing the ICT google site as a tool for teachers to use for support.  I'm sure many teachers don;t even know this exists and it will be a helpful tool once it has been developed.

I am looking forward to some challenges with ICT this year.   My class and another senior class will be trialling Google Apps for Education and using a Blog platform for e-Portfolios instead on KnowledgeNet.  My students are very excited about this and it will be interesting to see how these develop and whether they will be a viable option for e-Portfolios in the future.

So exciting times this space :)