Wednesday, 22 March 2017

learn, create, SHARE,

After conducting a presentation of my class site for a university assignment a few weeks ago,  I realised that it was time to confront my fear of public speaking. As such, Clarelle and I went to present about digital teaching to a group of Bed (Hons) students at the University of Auckland.

This was quite a daunting idea at first, but I decided to jump in and give it a go. With someone I trust by my side, I was able to deliver my presentation more confidently than I had done before and actually found it quite enjoyable.

            
                                                    Our Presentation

I also realised how far I had come in my digital knowledge since the start of my teaching career (only a little over a year ago).  Back then I was only just learning to use Google Docs and had just discovered my drive. I also used to really struggle to make videos or engage with multi-media. Now I have overcome these fears and I am using them more than ever - voluntarily filming videos with my class and editing them with ease.

I look forward to seizing more opportunities to share this knowledge and to speak about my journey with others. I think if I can make this much progress (with a lot of support) others can too, and I would love to aid in their digital journeys as well.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

A Digital Balance

One of the highlights of my week are my Friday mornings, as I am left with six students while the others go to technology at Tamaki College. It would be easy to use this time for finishing off work, or to facilitate quiet activities, but I see this as a huge opportunity to try out some more adventurous lessons and to offer my learners new experiences.

We are spending this time with technology lessons, where we are following the process of designing and creating new products. The students were eager to start with food technology, and we are currently role playing that we are a company who are tasked with designing new products for Pak n Save. Our tasks are growing more complex by the week, and I would like to end the term by creating a product and its (environmentally-friendly) packaging that can be 'purchased' by our fellow students.

video


In these lessons I have found a balance of digital learning, where the students conduct research into the products and look at recipe ideas, and practical learning,  where we have taste tests and use kitchen equipment. I have found that the digital components have enhanced what I am teaching practically. 

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Getting Creative

After engaging with a summer school paper regarding digital teaching and learning, I feel more inspired than ever to make greater use of the technology in my 1:1 Chromebook class.

This year about 95 percent of my students own a Chromebook and the others can work 1:1 due to the PC's that are available in my class. This has allowed me to step up my digital teaching and create more activities that align with the augmentation, modification and redefinition level of the SAMR model.
Using MnMs while looking at different types of graph in statistics

So far this year, the students have used Tagul to create posters, Infographics to convey statistical information, Answer Garden, Kahoot and Padlet to share their ideas, Google Forms as exit cards, Sketchnotes to illustrate their maths strategies and Google Slides to present their learning during our school science week. I have used technology more meaningfully in these first five weeks than I was able to do last year thanks to the culmination of my MDTA training and my university papers.

Using Google Draw to create a class infographic


Not only have I been more creative with the activities that my students are participating in online, but I am also facilitating more non-digital creative activities as well. I now have a far better understanding of the notion of using technology meaningfully - I can easily recognize when a non-digital activity might be better suited than a digital one.

                      
 Creating bird feeders as part of a wastewise lesson.    Creating a Tagul as part of a lesson on identity          

I cannot wait to see what my class are able to create as the year continues.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Going Solo

I have now been teaching 'solo' (in a single cell classroom, without my mentor) for five days and I cannot believe how much I have already learned.  At the start of this year I decided that I would enter the classroom being a little stricter than I would like to be, so that I could quickly establish expectations and routines.

While I managed to stay uber strict for the short walk from the hall to the classroom, I was quickly laughing with my students and my strict facade was broken. However, I was very persistent regarding our class routines and I am finding that my students are following them fairly well. We have chatted about respect being a huge part of our class treaty and the idea of work hard, play hard - which really means that the students get to play a game when they pack up efficiently or work well in class. You can check out what a day in our class looks like in the video below (we managed to put this together in a day and I am quite pleased that we managed it so early on in the year).


                                

I tend to have very high expectations of my students in terms of their learning and this has definitely been something I have reflected on this week, particularly after attending a Manaiakalani meeting regarding our data. We have been advised to teach critical literacy; to support our learners to read widely and deeply and to look up to what is expected of them in the years to come. Although I need to be wary that I am not pushing my students too far (bearing in mind some of them are two years younger than the students I taught last year), I have discussed this with them through our goal setting lessons. My year 6 students in particular are very eager to set high goals for themselves, seeking to achieve similarly to the year 7s in our class.


As my students had the task of creating a self portrait and quote that would inspire them to meet their goals this year, I created my own reflecting my high expectations. I also wanted to reflect our desire to work as a team and to stay in/ row our class (metaphorical) waka, in which we all do our part to sail towards success.

Monday, 16 January 2017

Whats on the horizon for technology in education?

This week we began our university summer school course with Rena Heap and Kerry Lee. The course is concerned with digital pedagogy, which is an area we are all involved with and passionate about. Our first task was to create a fifteen minute presentation based on one of the course readings.


I chose to cover the NMC/ CoSN Horizon Report: 2016 K-12 Edition. I spent a couple of minutes covering the outline of the report and shared a slide show containing my notes with the class.


For the remainder of my presentation I created a mini Makerspace featuring Google Cardboard and robotics. I wanted to give my peers the opportunity to experience some of the technology described in the text. We had a great time running the Edison robots around the track and experimenting with some of the Apps on Google Cardboard. I'm really looking forward to introducing this as part of the technology lessons I teach with my year 6 students, while the year 7's are at Tamaki College.

Friday, 2 December 2016

My Learning Journey

During our final PLG of the year we created sites to display our learning this year. It was a great opportunity to reflect on our growth over the year and consider how fortunate we have been to have had this support.






I think learning (and creating) the digital component of the MDTA has been one of the most enjoyable aspects of the course, after teaching the children of course! We have had the opportunity to create several different sites, videos, to code and animate - things I may never had tried otherwise! Have a look at the site that I have created to see some examples of these creations.

Despite not having our Friday PLG's next year, I will still continue to make a conscious effort to develop my digital knowledge and to continue my learning journey.

Monday, 21 November 2016

Year One

It often isn't until you step back from a situation that you can truly examine it. After being given the opportunity to consider my first year during today's PLG, I realised how much my practice has altered since I began teaching.

I have gained a far greater understanding of the Manaiakalani pedagogy and have enacted it increasingly over the year. I have felt my create tasks become more purposeful and I feel confident using technology to enrich the students learning. My confidence has also grown throughout the year and I have become far more assertive. Although there are still many aspects of my practice that I would like to improve on, I can see that I have made a lot of progress and look forward to having my own class next year.

Check out the video I made discussing how I use learn, create, share in my classroom:

Danni Stone, MDTA from Danni Stone on Vimeo.