Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Digital Fluency Intensive 5: Google Sites, Blogger Gagdets

Kia ora from Week 5 of the Digital Fluency Intensive!

We started our session this week with an overview of the SHARE part of the Manaiakalani pedagogy. Traditionally, students have shared their 'best work' in class, with the principal, in assembly, or in a school newsletter. The advent of the internet and introduction of online blogging allows students to showcase their learning to a much wider audience, one that is no longer confined to a specific classroom or school.  Encouraging students to share their work and make real connections with others about their learning leads to better engagement and improved achievement outcomes.

On a practical level, Dorothy presented us with the challenge of building a page from scratch in GOOGLE SITES. Using the children's story 'The Lion and The Mouse' was our inspiration, and we had to use a multi modal approach and use different modes e.g. videos, photos/images, news articles, blog, audio recording, podcasts, animations, or gifs to 'hook' students and help them access content.

To the left is my effort to create a page for Year 7/8s taking a Social Studies tack linked to the impact of decisions groups make in regards to Animal Rights. Click on the image to go to the full sized page.
To end the session we learned how to update our professional blogs using the BLOGGER gadget, BLOG LIST to add in links to the blogs of each of my fellow DFI participants.

I really enjoyed trying my hand at building my own page and am looking forward to getting more practise on GOOGLE SITES. I now have a much greater appreciation for how much work has gone into making our Team 5 site! I will use the BLOG LIST gadget and link my class blog to my professional blog. I also want to update my class blog with links to my home class students and help to expand their potential audience a nudge more.

Friday, 18 August 2017

Digital Fluency Intensive 4: Videos: Explain Everything, Screencastify

This week we heard about the CYBERSMART programme from Fiona Grant. Developed in 2012, the emphasis is on learners being able to make smart decisions when working online. The aim is to focus on the positive side of being online as they engage in authentic learning opportunities rather than just the need to 'be safe’. Modules on Smart Learners, Smart Footprint and Smart Relationships form the foundation of the programme. 

Khismira Lal guided the group on how to use the Explain Everything app on iPads. We got to try out a range of tasks that students would be given in literacy and maths. I completed one set of reading activities using the text, Billy can count and in the video below, recorded my thoughts on how I might use Explain Everything when teaching my own students.


We also had the chance to prepare a short video using SCREENCASTIFY on how to make quality blog comments using tips directly from the Cybersmart programme. My video advice is below:


I like how the CYBERSMART programme encourages students to work responsibly online rather than adopt on a fear mongering approach around being hypervigilant and safe. It makes better sense to provide students with the tools and sensibility they need to be savvy as they make positive contributions online. 

I am looking forward to using the SCREENCASTIFY tool with my students - it will offer a way to share their learning and understanding that caters for those that may struggle to share their thoughts in writing and those who are camera shy as they just record their voice without worrying about coming up with a written sentence or the stress of having their face on screen!

Friday, 11 August 2017

Digital Fluency Intensive 3 - Getting Creative, Google Hangouts

Week 3 of our DF Intensive series of workshops is almost over with more great - today we have learned how to fine tune settings in GOOGLE Mail and GOOGLE Calendar which will make organising emails and events/schedules so much easier.

Our main learning was on GOOGLE Hangouts - a tool that allows you to remotely connect with others for discussions and share online. To demonstrate this tool in a real world context, Dorothy joined us from Adelaide with Matt, Gerhard and Kelsey Morgan (Education Programme Leader visiting from Christchurch) to guide our group from the Manaiakalani Trust training room in Glen Innes, Auckland.  Despite a couple of technical glitches, we got to share our favourite restaurants and streetview images from GOOGLE Maps.

Today's task was to create a GOOGLE Hangout and discuss the creative content of blog post of student learning. Together with Jocelyn and Kelsey, we used three questions to guide our conversation.

What learner empowerment is demonstrated? Do you detect signs of learner agency post? Did they have any room to make choices?

2. What supports / scaffolds might the teacher have set up to get this creative activity to occur? e.g. scaffolds, rubrics, templates etc etc

3. Explain/reflect/demonstrate learning, through creation - How has creation given more opportunities for deep learning and cognitive engagement?

Check out our GOOGLE Hangout  below.  Looking forward to Week 4!

Friday, 4 August 2017

Digital Fluency Intensive 2 - Collecting and Analysing Information

Session 2 of our Digital Fluency Intensive brought a better understanding of the LEARN component of the Manaiakalani pedagogy. It was sobering to hear of how many students from the Tamaki community were leaving high school in the 1990s with no qualifications. This dire situation became a huge driver for change as continued underachieving was unacceptable. 

Research shows that students in Decile 1 'land' at school, well behind their peers in higher decile schools. To interrupt this cycle of underperforming, schools started to challenge existing teaching methodologies. From humble beginnings, a handful of teachers rose to the challenge and the starting point was knock convention on the head by using podcasting to target improvements in literacy.

Our trainers also shared with us how to work with GOOGLE FORMS  and GOOGLE SHEETS.   FORMS is a great tool for gathering information using a variety of question options and it automatically collates the data on a separate sheet - genuis! SHEETS are a tool to record, analyse and format information.

The illustration above was produced using FORMS (specific location of favourite holiday destinations) and SHEETS (collated information to merge into map).

I am looking forward to putting my newly acquired SHEET skills to smarten up the content and appearance of my existing spreadsheets for Turn in Sheets and Assessment data.

Thanks for another informative day Dorothy, Gerhard and Matt!