This has been the first year I have used a blog as a form of self reflective professional development, overall I have found the experience rewarding and a good way to build a portfolio of work and share it with other educators for feedback. I have also enjoyed writing about my thoughts on the future of education and where we are heading with things like web semantics and learning analytics. The most popular things I wrote about this year were;
Here is the link to a post I wrote for CORE Education about the use of Chromebooks with our year 10 students. The funding was provided by CORE after we successfully applied for a Maori grant to support our learners. For more information about the grants have a look at this link, and to read the post click on the picture below, or follow this link.
This year I used Google sites to enhance the learning opportunities for my senior students. This was particularly useful at the start of the year as we had minimal devices available for the students to use, and I encouraged the boys to get in the habit of completing the work at home and discussing it in class - much like the flipped learning method. I found this enabled the students to develop good work habits with regards to working from home. As the year developed and we had access to chrome books and I set up my own pirate wifi network I used the site to enable students to catch up on work missed through extra-curricular commitments and teenage organisation habits!
The architecture behind the sites involves a ‘PE Department Landing Page’ which provides a link to all the different courses we run - ‘Level 1 PE’, ‘Level 2 PE’, ‘Junior Health’ and so on. The landing page also has slideshows and a calendar to communicate with parents. Have a look at the video to see how it ended up working, I have also created a Google template that is similar to my NCEA site, this is free to use and the link is here.
I have also started to create an online resource for PE teachers in NZ that will allow us to collaborate and share resources - if you are keen to have a look at the resources and perhaps use some of them in your teaching fill in this form.
If your inbox look a bit like the one below (my old yahoo account that I use as a junk mail/signup account now) then it's more than likely that you'll miss the important things that appear in your inbox.
In my opinion Gmail is the superior email client and if you haven't already set one up then you should get onto it and migrate your contacts from your old account and start fresh.
Once you have gmail or an apps account set up then the most important thing is to create and organise your folders into distinct areas - everyone is different and will work out what is best for them-I have "home" for bills, electricity, phone etc -"school" anything that I might need for future reference from work - "personal" emails from friends that I need to reply to or keep - "admin" account confirmations and details - and a couple of others depending on personal interests. The folders are where you can
I was recently selected as a finalist in the Interface Magazine 'Best teaching with ICT' for an activity that I previously shared on this blog. I used Google Apps in an attempt to modify behaviour in students, praising and encouraging positive examples and working on resolving negative examples. Lessons were filmed and then peer assessed using the drive and google forms - the use of forms allowed a visual way to summarise the anonymous student feedback - using it as a tool for personal and group reflection. To read more about the methods I used have a look at this blog post. To view the entry on the Interface website look here - and most importantly to vote - click here!!! Thanks for your support! :)
Today I had the honour of being mentioned in the google blog! Google wrote about how I was using competition and collaboration to motivate students to improve the quality of their work, as well as produce 'work' in the first place! Also great to see the great work of +Dorothy Burt and her colleagues at Pt England school - the video clip is really worth watching and makes you feel good about the collaborative aspects that Google Apps for Education allows! Link to the full post is here.
Today I presented at U-learn - although I wasn't at the conference over in Hamilton I was in sunny Gisborne! I was fortunate enough to be part of the TeachMeetNZ virtual presentation that was hosted by +Sonya Van Schaijik. Presentations for TeachMeet are generally about pedagogy and technology and there have been hundreds of sessions spread across the world over the past few years, google hangouts are the method which we use to share experiences. Our presentation was in front of a live audience at the conference as well as being streamed. It was a fun experience and I particularly enjoyed the presentations from the other educators involved, it was a great way to share as well as collaborate and I look forward to being involved again when I come to present my findings after my enquiry as an e-fellow with CORE education. Here are the slides from my talk.....
The link to the live presentation is here and another link to my slides with speaker notes is here.
Here is a link to the website I created for my inquiry into raising achievement with cloud computing. I have completely digitised my 3 NCEA PE classes this year through Google Apps and wanted to see the impact that it had on learning, and also so I could plan for next year. I collected feedback from students, staff and whanau during term one and term three. The main findings suggest that the infrastructure is essential when implementing a cloud based course, and collaboration is the main advantage for all involved. Please have a look at the inquiry and leave a comment, I'd be interested to see if any other teachers had similar experiences.
GClass folders is a free script that runs from a google sheet that will automatically create class folders for all the students that you teach. Sounds complicated - watch this video and you should be able to do it in under 10 minutes.
What can be learnt from the challenges faced in the use of learning analytics in tertiary institutions, when considering its application in secondary education?
photo by Frank Dabek
I posed this question after reading several sources regarding the use of learning analytics in education. As a secondary school teacher I was interested in finding out if there was anything to be learnt about the application of analytics in tertiary setting , before it is embedded into secondary schooling. The NMC 2013 Horizon Report claims that within 2-3 years it will have developed beyond the 20% penetration point. After summarising sources I found common themes in the challenges faced when utilising learning analytics.
Driving forces behind analytics
Error correction and data override
Collection of valuable data
Ethics, morals and privacy
I will evaluate the considerations of each challenge when applied in the secondary context to raise the achievement of learners and inform successful teaching.
Driving forces behind analytics
The first area is a personal concern of mine and I think it is extremely important to create a system which is predominantly beneficial to the learner and teacher. +George Siemens and Long (2011) make the comparison between learning analytics and academic analytics - with learning analytics