Archive for May, 2010

Teaching in a Socially connected classroom

May 22, 2010

One of the common themes during the day in the curriculum discussions was in relation to students being off task and communicating. Here are some excerpts from an article on studemts connecting.

Teaching in a socially connected Classroom

how many of us haven’t sensed our students itching to reconnect as soon as class is over? The moment they leave the classroom, the cell phones come out and the air is abuzz with various versions of, “Where are you?” or “What are you doing?”

she has noticed quite a jump in student engagement with writing as she has added blogging to her classroom.

“The wiki allows the teacher to see exactly who did what part and when it was done, and the wiki also offers students a discussion area to negotiate the lab results. Teachers can watch as the lab report is created and can also offer students feedback during the process using the discussion tab,”


Creating Video for Teaching

May 21, 2010

Amazing guy, his ideas and techniques are very good an awesome resource for maths students.

His youtube Chanel

Video Conference with Author

May 19, 2010

Helen organised a link-up with the author, so her year 7 english class could ask some questions.

Analysing Teachers survey responses

May 15, 2010

This link takes you to a document where I have shown responses to one question placed on continuum that shows the adoption of ICT into the curriculum by staff.

There is no point collecting the responses from the staff unless they are read, contextualised and more importantly used to shape the next steps of the process. From feedback I have we can see that people are on the continuum and some have already shown progression from the initial responses in both skill set and understanding of implementation of ICT in the curriculum.

It has also allowed me to identify those at the ends of the continuum, those that are just starting out on the journey and have some ideas but feel their skill set is holding them back. There are also those that I am holding back as I can only provide a narrow focus of professional development, I now need to get these people engaged with different sources of knowledge to extend them.

But how to bring these non-responders along. I love feedback you need the negative or doubting to ensure you are doing the right thing and to check the progress but the only thing that drives me mad is the non responders, they will sit and not engage in activities, complain to friends postulate about their ideas to like-minded but not get involved in the process.

The rubric for the continuum is from work by Paul Newhouse

How could Fun Theory work in Schools

May 14, 2010

The idea of fun theory has captured me. while I have been keen on using mistakes as learning opportunities, There is no denying that there are some things around schools that need to be changed punitive measures don’t seem to be working. I am thinking of things such as uniform, Litter, late to class. I don’t know how but I am sure there could be some ideas for fun theory around.

Teaching Differently

May 14, 2010

Some very interesting points. Not just for Maths teaching getting students to learn and formulate their own problems and the structures to enable them to solve any problems.

Teachers shouldn’t have to be leader all the time.

May 12, 2010

It is interesting getting the responses from teachers when asking about ICT integration into their classes. While some teachers are very forthcoming with ideas and things to try, even if they are unsure of how to implement them others take a real view of just tell me what I have to do, show me how it is done and I will do it.

This is understanding, considering the deadline driven nature of education the pressure to achieve goals and commitments to may facets of school life.

“recognise that teachers’ involvement with ICT is undoubtedly influenced by the working contexts in which teachers find themselves. Innovation and adaptation are costly in terms of the time needed to develop and establish new practices.”

Sara Hennessy, Kenneth Ruthven and Sue Brindley

It can be argued that teachers don’t need to be leaders in all the aspects we do expect them to be role models, but what is wrong with waiting to be delivered a mature product that works and can be integrated into their current class environment?

“aware that both they and their students are developing; aware of role model status”

Dr. Paul Newhouse, Dr. Sue Trinidad, Dr. Barney Clarkson Teacher Professional ICT Attributes A Framework

It is inevitable that some teachers will see this as an opportunity and have a flair of the demands but other teachers passions lie elsewhere. That is good but as an educator you do need to be more than a knowledge vessel ready to pour learning out like a fountain you need to engage the students in their world and bring, with meaning and connection your knowledge and methods of gaining it to the student. If you or your text is the only source you allow to be explored in the class then the best the students can hope for is to be as good as you. Your goal as a teacher should be to get the students to be better than you.

I would not expect all teachers to be leaders in the use and implementation of ICT into the curriculum but they must be role models and they need to be on a journey, some will lead some will follow. But if you are not on the journey and give no input then expect to be in an place where all the people have left.

“teachers becoming leaders seeks out PD, groups for support, guidance, self-development; acts as role model; gives advice thoughtfully and without reservation; finds time to support others seeking guidance and help”

Dr. Paul Newhouse, Dr. Sue Trinidad, Dr. Barney Clarkson Teacher Professional ICT Attributes A Framework

Essay (writing) skills and ICT

May 12, 2010

One of the focus questions asked in the survey of teachers about the thoughts of using Laptops in the class in a 1:1 program was.

Will you move to more submission and of work to online or electronic formats.

The follwing answer was given to the question by an english teacher

Yes, but not all the time. One of my fears is that students’ abilities to produce hand written work will diminish. Increasingly, hand writing is becoming poorer and students ability to produce longer hand written texts – eg. in an exam situation – is hampered by over-dependence on typing. They will still need to write exams for at least the foreseeable future. I know we are focusing on 7-9s but it is an issue that needs addressing right from the start, not just when they get to upper school.

The following quote is an edit from a paper“Using Technology to Enhance Literacy Instruction” coauthored by Ann Holum, Ph.D., and Jan Gahala, M.A.

While I have provided some highlights here, I recommend the whole article for full depth of understanding.

Word processing … requires the mastery of basic keyboarding skills, word processing allows many students to write and edit their work more easily.

Research indicates that students who are comfortable with word processing write longer papers, spend more time writing and revising, and show improved mechanics and word choice (Lehr, 1995).

Nevertheless, research also indicates that using a word processor does not by itself improve student writing. Rather, the teacher has a critical role in guiding the writing process, providing feedback, and encouraging revision (Reinking &; Bridwell-Bowles, 1996).

A study of children’s writing in a high-computer-access setting compared to a setting with infrequent usage, conducted during a three-year period beginning with third grade, showed that frequent use of word processing contributed to improved writing skills (Owston & Wideman, 1997).

Another study of second-grade students indicated that word processing improved children’s general writing skills and contributed to longer compositions (Jones, 1994).

Other researchers have tempered this finding …. revisions of written work do not automatically result from the shift from pen-and-paper to word processing unless prompts for revision are explicitly added (Daiute & Kruidenier, 1985; Daiute, 1986).

The computer screen enables students in small groups to see the writing that has been input, discuss its fine points, and make suggestions that will improve the quality. Wood (2000) notes that when using computers collaboratively “children worked together more than they normally would to write stories, search the Web, or create multimedia presentations” (p. 120).

Maths example podcast at SHC

May 11, 2010

Explanation for year 9 students of a technique that may help them with homework.

English Podcast

May 11, 2010

From a series of 60 sec recaps of George Orwell’s Allegory, Animal Farm.

60sec Recaps website