May 1

Taking on more challenges…

I have just signed up for the next Edubloggers challenge… should be fun..

I also start the next #AdobeGenPro challenge in a couple of weeks… #Animation…

and tomorrow I present the Silver module unit, my first as a CAMS Course Presenter…

then the DATTA Vic conference where my presentation is on Getting ready to Flip the classroom… Oh dear… I am getting tired just thinking about it… hehehe

May will be busy, but satisfying…. now to get some wool to let my other creativity out 🙂

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February 20

Barriers to creativity in the classroom

I have to say I am spending a lot of time exploring these discussions, and falling further behind… but the information and the resources are sensational.

  • Do you agree with Robinson that schools stifle creativity?
    • yes
  • As you viewed the video, what grabbed your attention about Robinson’s assertions regarding education systems and creativity?

    • if you are not prepared to be wrong you will never come up with anything original
    • educating people out of their creative capacity
    • we are educated out of creativity
    • hierarchy of subjects across the globe, and within the arts maths -> arts visual arts -> performing arts
    • so agree…. chose year 12 subjects based on what I was told I should have… sciences, should have chosen the arts
    • structure of education is shifting
    • creativity: original ideas which have value
    • different ways to be able to think… kinaesthetic etc
    • we have to rethink education
  • Do you agree with Robinson that creativity is as important as literacy and should be treated as such by school systems?
    • we need to educate their whole being!!
Creativity is vital, I think teachers have to be more able to allow these skills and way of thinking to develop and grow, rather than to be stifled. Those of us who teach in the creative arts areas are often told we need to have professional development which will improve our ability to help students to develop their literacy and numeracy in all subjects, creativity should be treated the same way, with learning opportunities provided for teachers to support them to support the students.

Barriers to creativity

This simple video infographic  details the results of a global survey of educators and parents around the globe as to what is stopping students from becoming more creative thinking. It is interesting to see both the similarities in some countries and the differences…

Key Findings

  • In all of the countries surveyed, respondents identified a lack of resources and educator restriction from straying outside the curriculum as among the top three barriers to education. (barrier)
  • In all of the countries surveyed, respondents stated that providing tools and training to educators to enable creativity as among the top three most important steps to promote and foster creativity in education. (solution)
    The study Barriers to Creativity in Education: Educators and Parents Grade the System  suggests that providing tools and training to educators is key to transforming education systems so that they promote, rather than discourage, creativity. As a professional development leader, you help to provide tools and training to the educators within your schools and campuses.
    Yes, but only because I teach in the creative/visual arts and design technology, which fosters the use of the design process and creative approaches, encouraging students to develop more than one idea…and think about why they choose the idea they do, and how they can make it work.
    In my classes as above… but getting core teachers to think outside the box is difficult, as they have curriculum they have to cover in order to report on learning standards… hmmmm
    Time, focus on results rather than the process to get there, focus of the school… not looking at curriculum restructure as much as they should.
    • What was your biggest takeaway from this week’s Creativity in Education section of the course?
    We need to encourage creative thinking in our teachers, and provide them with the strategies to embed this into their teaching… to encourage students to develop more creative approaches.
    • How can you apply what you learned about barriers to creativity in education to the work you do to train educators?
    In Australia one of the main issues was lack of resources. By encouraging other teachers to explore the tools available in the Adobe Education Exchange which has some excellent resources for the development of fostering creativity in your classroom.
    There are some excellent tools on Creativity in the classroom… how to here at the Adobe Education Exchange:

    Explore Creativity in Today’s Classroom: Learn why creativity is important in today’s classroom, assess your creativity readiness, and grow your creativity level.

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June 3

New MOOC underway

Tonight I started a new MOOC, deMOOC
This is looking at designing eLearning through tools including my much loved Moodle, and Mahara, which is an online ePortfolio which links neatly with Moodle…I have wanted to explore this for ages.
Also using connected learning by using #deMOOC to tag posts on Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and Facebook…
So, ok, perhaps I should have been doing reports….but I am certainly the queen of procrastination!

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June 3

New MOOC underway

Tonight I started a new MOOC, deMOOC
This is looking at designing eLearning through tools including my much loved Moodle, and Mahara, which is an online ePortfolio which links neatly with Moodle…I have wanted to explore this for ages.
Also using connected learning by using #deMOOC to tag posts on Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn and Facebook…
So, ok, perhaps I should have been doing reports….but I am certainly the queen of procrastination!

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September 14

A Model to Transform your use of ICT

The SAMR model has been around for a while, but I think it is time for a revisit. Most of us have been working with some element or other of 1 to 1 access, but has our pedagogy – the way we use the technology to teach in our classes – changed or shifted in that time? I would like you to take some time to reflect on how you are using ICT in your classroom. Think about which level of SAMR you are at, and what steps you can take to get to the next level.

First what is SAMR? was developed by Ruben R. Puentedura  who has shared a wealth of pedagogical development resources on his website.

 Substitution and Augmentation look at keeping things basic, but enhancing the learning, while Modification and Redefinition Transform Learning opportunities for our students.

Substitution

 In substitution technology is a direct replacement for non technical/digital tools. There is no real change to how the learning occurs. Function remains the same.

Examples: Students use the Internet to search information, as they would have done with encyclopedias in the past. They write up a word document assignment, adding in images collected from web sites and print this out as evidence of their learning.

AugmentationIn Augmentation technology is a direct tool substitute, however function is improved.

 

Examples: Using Google Maps or Nearmaps (in Australia) students can view  up to date changes of global issues. Learning is supported by students being able to view multi modal learning objects, and enhancing the function of the learning. Students are able to play online maths games, and get immediate feedback on results. improving the function through the immediate feedback.

ModificationModification allows for learning tasks to be significantly redesigned through the use of technology.

Examples:  Instead of presenting a poster on a famous person students can create a multimedia presentation, or website which includes video, text and images. This transforms the learning, and students develop deeper thinking about the subject when a range of modalities are used.

RedefinitionNew tasks, previously not even thought of or possible can now be created through the use of ICT.

Example: Students with a topic of civil unrest use Twitter to follow the hashtag #Eygpt (which was the hashtag used during the 2011 and recent civil unrest). They post a question onto Twitter with the Hashtags #Eygpt #Freedom and follow the responses. They end up connecting with a woman on the streets of Cairo, who is a lawyer, and Skype chat with her about what the civil unrest in Eygpt is about. (This is based on a true story) Students can connect with others around the globe and create truly powerful transformative learning opportunities.

I think I use all elements of the SAMR Model… the most transformative in my classrooms has been using Google Drive for students working on a collaborative task to be able to edit together (they are still getting their heads around how that one works, and it is easier for them to slip back into old paper based habits, but after a miss-saved document went missing they are starting to really see the benefits.) The live blogging we are doing sharing processes and products on our blog and on YouTube are pretty exciting. And creating electronic portfolios, as they develop their work – this has been fantastic, as they are finishing off their folios, realising they didn’t take photos, but they are all available on our group Flickr page. I am giving my students the option for producing a presentation on a Fashion Designer… they can present it as a website, podcast, powerpoint or keynote, which will be presented to the class.

So… you have the tools in your classrooms, the kids have the tools in their pockets, what is stopping you from transforming the way your students learn? The most important person in the classroom should be the learner, and we all know that the most engaging learning is the deepest. We are all learners…so add a comment here, particularly those who are using iPads, netbooks and laptops, to share with us which stage(s) you are up to? How are you transforming your classroom?

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September 7

My iPad my classroom

I have had the the iPad2 for a few months now, and thought I would share how it is transforming my classes, and the way I reflect on my teaching, and my students achievements.
So….here are my top 10 iPad features or tools which make my life easier.

My Number 1 feature is the camera, which allows me to record assessment tasks, students working, video myself to create podcasts of processes or procedures they may like to refer back to. I do take into account student privacy, and most photos of them at work are just hands and garments, and I check with them to make sure I have their approval to post images to our shared group on Flickr, blog posts or YouTube, and our Facebook group.

My number 2 goes to Evernote: the must have app on all devices, android phone, iPad, tablet, pc, MacBook, or any computer connected to the Internet. I am able to take notes, and they are then stored in the “cloud”, allowing me to be able to access them from any computer. I can also publish my notes on a range of platforms. For example is notes I make while doing professional learning can immediately be tweeted to my followers on Twitter. You can search through Evernote to find a specific topic or discussion very easily.

Number 3 blogging and reflecting: I am writing this through the WordPress App, which allows me to have easy access to all of my WordPress based blogs (this includes the DEECD’s Global2 and Edublogs as well as WordPress itself). I have ready access to all of my blogs and am able to quickly and effortlessly reflect on learning, achievements, outcomes, ideas and share with my blogging community.
As a part of my VCE Unit 2 Product, Design and Technology course students are investigating the use of ICT in a team based approach to working, so my Textiles blog has regular guest bloggers from the class, reflecting on challenges and projects, sharing the development of their work to each other, as well as a broader community. They are able to take photos and add comments as to how their challenges are progressing. I have shared this blog with the college community, and parents, to have authentic and immediate understanding of what tasks the students are working on.

Number 4 Authentic Assessment: I have been using the Easy Portfolio App (developed by a Victorian teacher – Jarrod Robinson aka the PE Geek) to create my own portfolios of student achievement, which I use when writing reports. This allows me to have a voice recording, add images, documents and links to allow the student to demonstrate levels of understanding. At the end of the unit I will email the portfolios to them in PDF form, so they can add to their own portfolio. I used this for semester 1 reports, and found it was a great way to ensure relevant, authentic, achievement based comments.

Number 5 Sharing: Dropbox is a must have App for the easy sharing of documents or images created on the iPad. Like Evernote, you can put it on all devices and share your documents and files through your secure cloud. You can also create links to files which others can access, saving postage on emails…hehehe…or if you wanted to share a document with people who’s emails you don’t know.

Number 6 Internet: the fact the iPad is so quick to launch allows you to get on to Daymap really quickly to mark rolls, check bulletins etc. Moodle, the Ultranet and email are all ready to go at your fingertips.

Number 7 feedback: Socrative, excellent immediate feedback to students, create quizzes to determine starting points, or exit questions to see how well topics covered in class were understood.

Number 8 creativity: Augmented reality…I am creating a range of triggers and videos which will become a virtual tour of the school at work. I also am looking at using it for some of the mundane classroom tasks like “threading the sewing machine and bobbin”…
Explain everything and Show me are two apps I am exploring to create Support videos for students, and to get them demonstrating their understanding of a range of concepts covered in class. Some fantastic music apps like GarageBand, allow you to create your own music to accompany ideas or podcasts without having to worry about copyright infringement
Inspiration and Popplet lite are great mind mapping tools, allowing you to share your thoughts in an ordered way.

Number 9 lifelong learning: ITunesU is a most fabulous tool for those lifelong learners…allowing you to explore a wealth of inversion standard courses which are open and ready for you to participate in. SCOTutor is an App all about learning to use your iPad….great resource.

Number 10 curating information: Live binders is a an app and website which allows you to “collect” information and then store it in topic binders. I was participating in a MOOC and used this to collect all of my resources on the topic. You can have them open, so you could share yours with a class, or students could share with you. The app makes it very easy to collect and curate the information. DIIGO and ScoopIt are also great tools for curation.

My “to explore and try out more” list includes Nearpod, Wunderlist and others as I discover them on ScoopIt, blogs and Twitter.

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What are your favourite tools or features of the iPad? Do you have a top 10? I found it hard to limit it to so few… Always trying new ones out!

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July 16

Creating a web app

It’s cold and wet, perfect for sitting at home and getting computer things done… but many of the college remote sites are down, so you can’t set up Moodle… what to do???? How about creating your own app? Seriously…. If I can do it anyone can. There are a heap of programs out there, but a simple one which allows you to build a web app (which means you don’t have the red tape of the App Store hoops) and can be modified as you go… is iBuildapp.com I have created an app for my courses, which parents and prospective students will be able to access on their phones. I have included information on my courses, a gallery of work examples, links to VCAA details and contact information to view it use your QR code scanner on your mobile phone

Use a barcode or QR scanner and the app will load to your phone

Or on your phone go to http://ibuildapp.com/web-Textiles+at+Sandringham

It is a mobile web app, so won’t work on the computer… Would be great to have a few staff creating them for the upcoming subject selections… if you want to try I will run an afternoon session early in Term 3.

Also those of you with iPads… seriously need to get your hands on Portfolio and Easy Assessment… both by Jarrod Robinson, a secondary PE teacher in Boort (country Victoria) They are brilliant… and what I will be basing my mid semester interviews on… He has also created a range of apps for VCE PE and sports, well worth a look for those teaching those areas… More hints and tips on the iPad blog soon… ohhhhh with tons of augmented reality ideas too

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June 2

My List: A Collection on “ipads” (ipads,ipad,ios,apps) | Diigo

My List: A Collection on “ipads” (ipads,ipad,ios,apps) | Diigo.

Oh this is cool, I have added the “Press this” button to my bookmarks bar, so I can share what I find on the web directly to my blog… sensational.

Diigo is a fantastic social bookmarking tool, which can be used to share sites with groups, or just to store your bookmarks in the cloud, so you can access them anywhere… if you create a Diigo account, make sure to add me as a friend/contact “starnott” so we can share.

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March 6

Getting your class into blogging

Blogging and bloggers are a vibrant part of the online communities many of us belong to. Technorati investigates what is going on in the blogging world with their “State of the Blogosphere” report. As well as you and I and our blogs, there is much blogging going on in the corporate world. Every company seems to have a blog link on their website, where media news and reviews are often posted. There are even people who get paid to write blog posts…for a writer, what a wonderful opportunity…

What better way to get your class going with their own blogging adventure, than to be a part of a global student blogging challenge. It’s not to late to join in. Simply pop along to the Edublogs Student Challenge information page, and look around to get some ideas if you have not blogged before.

Totally confused about what a blog is and where to start, check out the Redback Project blog for some info on what a blog is, and what it is used for.

So you just want to jump straight in and set up your blog? Go along to http://global2.vic.edu.au this is an Edublogs campus site set up by the DEECD, so you get all the safety and functionality of an edublogs subscriber, with none of the cost (if you are a Victorian Government or Catholic school).

Kathleen Morris has put together a brilliant “Getting started with blogging” post on her Integrating Technology blog, so for the nitty gritty on setting up your blog take a look.

Blogging is a great way to let parents see the good stuff that happens in your classroom. It is also a valuable reflection tool for your own ongoing learning. Developing a professional blog where you can reflect on your reading and learning is another weay you can record your professional learning hours for VIT registration.

Feel free to post questions here… the comments, feedback and dialogue is just part of what makes blogging so very powerful, and a fun way to learn, regardless of your age.

What do you enjoy about blogging? What is stopping you from blogging? What is stopping you from getting your class into blogging?

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