Sunday, 30 June 2019

Creating with Slides

This term, I really wanted to find ways to engage my Year 7/8 students more when completing Learn and Create tasks. Now that I have a group of students working at a Year 8 reading level and it was my intention to provide them with some choice when selecting their supplementary texts. We spent some time reading and discussing the School Journal story "The Seeing Hawk." Students were then given opportunities to select a topic to independently dive deeper into (as seen on our site here).

After selecting one of two learning paths, students were asked to use the information to create a fun and interesting Digital Learning Object (DLO) of their own choice. As part of our DFI sessions, we spent some time looking at Google Slides and one week I had a go at creating an interactive game (Seen Here).  So, of course, before setting them off on their way, I quickly showed off my skills making a game using Google Slides.

A few of the boys in class decided to work together and they have been problem solving their way through to create this game about the Tā Moko.  When you play the game (in present mode), the various boxes are clickable and students can select the answer they agree with before the slides flips and they find out how they did.

I was very impressed that the boys took time to try something new and they have embraced the intricacies that come along with formulating a slide show game. I also really like that they are teaching after the answer in selected to provide more information about that question topic. 

This is an awesome Create (or Create to Learn) task that extends the computer skills and computational thinking of our older students. I am excited to implement more tasks similar to this in the upcoming weeks that will allow my students to feel like they are doing something new and exciting. 

Friday, 28 June 2019

Digital Fluency Intensive #5

What did I learn that increased my understanding of Manaiakalani kaupapa and pedagogy?

Manaiakalani: Visible Teaching and Learning

It is easy for us to overthink the word “visible”. However, it has been around since the beginning of time. 

Previously, the teaching/learning journey was invisible. It was very difficult to see what it was that students were learning at a particular time. Many students learnt how to read the teacher’s mind and figure out what was expected of them. This often comes from family involvement and discussions that occur in the household.

However, it is now the way in Manaiakalani classroom for teaching and learning to be visible to enable all students to be successful. In all aspects of classroom interaction (from planning, process, outcomes and assessment) what can be visible?  We want to be sure that there are no surprises in our classroom for our students. Teaching should be accessible, available and advanced.

Using Multi Modal Learning
As educators, our job is to make learning engaging, and exciting for our students. We, in Manaiakalani, need to always remember our Hook. Is what we are doing in class engaging? Will it “hook” them into the learning that I want them to experience? We need to be working to inspire our kids to go in and investigate further. 

What did I learn that could improve my confidence, capability or workflow as a professional?
General Rules of Thumb: (and great reminders!)
Always, plan your site first on paper. Make sure you set up a folder in your drive with the permission settings set to anyone with the link can view. 

Students should be able to access what they need within THREE clicks. 

Headers: Use a Banner (w/ Image) or Title Only.

When creating buttons using Google Drawing, it will always open a new tab which does not allow students to "go back". 

Embedding Twitter Feeds: Go to put in the twitter feed account URL that you want to use and then select that you would like it as a timeline. Once you get the embed code, add it to your site and it will naturally populate in real time. 

What did I learn that could be used with my learners?  
As part of our afternoon, I spent time working with Robyn Anderson and Sarah Tuia to create a mutli-modal Google Site using the mulit-textual database that I helped to create as part of my 2017 Spark Manaiakalani Innovative Teacher inquiry. We spent time looking at Maori myths/legends and working our students through the historical art of oral story telling. A link to our site can be found here. I would love to use this site with my students in the future and consider putting together multi-modal site pages together for students to use in the future, especially for topics covered every year (ie Matariki, Pt England Way, etc).

Friday, 21 June 2019

Digital Fluency Intensive #4

What did I learn that increased my understanding of Manaiakalani kaupapa and pedagogy?

We have been sharing as humans since time began. While the mode of sharing is ever changing, the actual human response remains the same. However, digital affordances have changed the speed and amplification of the information being shared. Since 2005, the original 7 Manaiakalani schools have focused on harnessing the digital affordances to find the best way to use the latest technologies to help our students learn most effectively.

Why do we (still) use Blogger: Used as a space where we can teach our students many things at one time when focusing on what it looks like to be an effective digital citizen while online. As a school, we have many systems in place that allow us to legally monitor student (and general population) engagement with the digital tool. The importance of blogging three times a week was also revisited as it has proven once again (by the Woolf Fisher Research Centre) that students who blog three times a week continue to show academic growth even during non-teacher contact time.

Manaiakalani is the only cluster of schools in NZ that has a dedicated Cybersmart Curriculum. We know that our students are taught a dedicated Cybersmart Curriculum.  

What did I learn that could improve my confidence, capability or workflow as a professional?

Google Forms:

We had a few good reminders before sending out a form. Using the settings, make sure you check:

-Do you want email addresses?
-Responses to form emailed to participants
-Checking/Unchecking external domain access
-Limit to 1 response (or not)
-Editing after submission
-See other’s responses

Perhaps the most mind blowing suggestion for me is using one spreadsheet to collate data for many forms. I hadn't realised that you could do this previously. It would be so beneficial to have all the data collected using forms for one school year on the same spreadsheet.
-Select Response Destination
-Select Existing Spreadsheet
-Rename the tabs to reflect the correct form

Sparkline: Making individual line graphs for a row of data that shows in a cell. (=Sparkline).

We also learnt how to program a Macro to record a set of directions that are used often. Those directions are programmed into a recorded list and then can be applied with the stroke of a few keys to update a new spreadsheet (or tab) in the same way.

What did I learn that could be used with my learners?  

My Maps:
Used to track/plan journeys, measure distances, add place markers
Importing from a Spreadsheet:
-You are able to have students add data into a Google form and then import that information from the spreadsheet onto the MyMap place markers. 
-Creating various layers using the same map
-Students can embed their individual MyMap to their blog

I would love to have my students trial the Blog Post Analysis as I discussed on my post here.

DFI: Blog Analysis

As part of the DFI Session 4 (Dealing with Data), we spent the day exploring ways that we could better collect, collate and display data. At the end of the day, we talked a bit about how our students in Manaiakalani (and across the Outreach Clusters) make accelerated growth in their learning when they blog post a minimum of three times a week and continue their growth over the holiday periods if they continue blogging on their own.

We looked into a statistical investigation that Robyn Anderson (Panmure Bridge School) did with her Year 7/8 students looking into the regularity of their own blog posting.  We were then tasked to use the tools we explored during the day today to look deeper into some student blogs from around Maniakalani and analyse them. After doing so, I spent some time looking at my own professional blog and this is a DLO for what I came up with.

This is a task that I would love to do with my students in the near future to see how they think they measure up with the 3 posts a week average goal, and what goals they would set for themselves moving into term 3.

Monday, 17 June 2019

Critical Thinking: Assigned Q&A

This week, I decided to take one of the suggested Google Docs Learning Tasks from DFI and put it into practice with one of my literacy groups.  It was an easy assignment to implement, especially because I already had the online articles pulled for the group to use.  All it required from me was to put the article on a Google Doc and give the students in that group View Only with Comment editing rights.

The group I assigned the Q&A to was comprised of 11 year 7/8 students instructionally reading between 11 and 11.5 years of age. They immediately took off and after reading the article through, they had so many questions written for each other in such a short period of time. They will be working through the questions assigned to them during class tomorrow and then we will be spending some time discussing their understanding of the article together.

Here is a screenshot of the article and the students' Q&A Commenting.
Please note that it is not shown in entirety to enable surnames to be hidden from view. 

One of the things I would consider doing in the future is breaking the group up into smaller groups of students for the Q&A.  It seemed that it was getting very crowded in the comment threads and some questions/answers were getting hard to see without resolving the comments.

Friday, 14 June 2019

Digital Fluency Intensive #3

What did I learn that could improve my confidence, capability or workflow as a professional?

Image result for DJI Spark logoToday began with Kent Sommerville talking with us about using drones and other camera connections to livestream using YouTube. He not only shared with us the various uses of drones in a school setting but also how to set up your livestream to be delayed or immediate for various reasons.  We also spent some time discussing the pros and cons of using a GoPro verses a Drone for various reasons. 

I love being part of a school that has the latest digital affordances available that will provide students with different cutting edge experiences. My mind is already working though how I may use the Drone or Osmo when filming my film festival movie.

 Just before morning tea, we also spent some time exploring YouTube a little further. We looked into how to set up a YouTube channel that could be used to put together playlists of videos for our students to use for rewindable learning or for deeper learning into a subject.

What did I learn that increased my understanding of Manaiakalani kaupapa and pedagogy?
Manaiakalani Pedagogy Focus: Create/Hanga
As always, it is so wonderful to have some time to focus in on the Learn, Create, Share pedagogy of Manaiakalani. Today we focused on Create/Hanga.

Create in Manaiakalani is all about the hook. What can you do to “hook” students in learning?

“Creative skills help students become better problem solvers, communicators and collaborators.” (Everyone Can Create Apple)
“Creativity focuses on the process of forming original ideas through exploration and discovery. In children…” (Kohl 2008)

Create has to continue from ECE classrooms all the way through to Year 13. 
NZ was formerly known around the world as a centre for creative education. The documentary called The heART of the Matter focuses on NZ education 60 years ago in the far north at a school which is now a Manaiakalani Outreach School.  
It is important to remember that Create is a DOING word, using the whole body and incorporates the senses.  The idea of doing something allows our minds to be kickstarted into doing something. 

What did I learn that could be used with my learners?  

After hearing a bit about how to use Google Drawing, we had some lovely students come in from Panmure Bridge School and my Blog Post is Here from our session with them.

My big take away from that session is using Shift when resizing the canvas to your desired size.

We also spent some time looking at Google Slides and we were asked to use it to Create something that we would like to use with our students. After exploring student blogs last week for our Hangout assignment, I really wanted to have a go at making an interactive game using Slides. I am so excited to use it next week with my maths students. Check out my blog post here to see my creation.

Gaming with Slides

Today, while at DFI Session 3, I was given some time to Create using some of the tools that we explored today that we plan on using in class next week. I decided as part of our Maths Follow Up Tasks, my students would have the opportunity to create a game using a mathematical concept.   Here is the slide deck for the game that I created:

When students play the game, it would present like this:

I am really excited to teach this way to Create during my Maths classes this week, and I already have ideas for using it with Literacy as well.