Showing posts from June, 2014

Hack Your Classroom: Week Nine - Making future-focused innovative teaching infectious!

Welcome to the last official post for Hack Your Classroom! First up, a great big thank you to everyone who participated either by blogging and sharing or by simply joining the conversation via Twitter. It has been heartening to see so many teachers willing to reflect so openly and publicly whilst sharing and inspiring lots of folk along the way. It's impossible to say exactly how many people have participated, but the number of people I have encountered on and offline up and down the country (and across the world) suggests the reach may have been greater than one might suspect.

Hack your classroom: Week Eight - Going free-range and developing robust self-direction

I believe self-direction and developing student agency and efficacy is the fundamental shift all educators need to make to become more futur-focused in their practice. In a sense we want step away from our 'caged' classrooms to develop increasingly 'free range learners'.

Hack Your Classroom - Week Seven: Handing the power over to the learners

Source: Interestingly, when it comes to teachers not really adopting and embracing technology it often isn't technical skill or lack thereof that is the problem, it is the teachers need to maintain power and control in the classroom. You hear the panic, the running joke that BYOD stands for Bring Your Own Distraction. Well I hate to break it to you, but if the students are distracted by the technology (particularly after the novelty of access to the Internet has worn off) the problem ain't the technology - quite possibly your/their teaching and the students lack of ownership of their learning is. *lobs grenade and ducks for cover*

Hack Your Classroom: Week 6 - Meeting the Needs of Diverse Learners

This is a topic that has long been close to my heart. It really began with a two day conference with Carol Ann-Tomlinson, the woman I consider to be the guru of differentiation. It was her analogy of likening teaching through one mode or strategy as being akin to playing Ten Pin Bowling with just one ball - some days you were lucky a pulled off a strike, but more often you than not,  you only knocked down one or two or more likely achieved a gutter ball. It was this analogy that caused a light bulb moment where I realised by having a singular approach I was quite possibly robbing many of my students of the opportunity of being engaged and learning the best they could. Tomlinson's approach to differentiation has three layers. She argues that we should be differentiating for student readiness (not the same as ability), student interest and/or student learning style. Learning can then be differentiated by Content (or context), process, product or learning environment.

EduTECH Ignite - What we saw and what we took away!

Here is my attempt to encapsulate our key takeaways from EduTECH 2014. You can check out the slides below.

EduTECH - Ian Jukes on the Education in the Age of Disruptive Innovation

Change and what it means about you personally and professionally. He wants to talk about change. Disruptive innovation changes the we way see things and the way we do things. Economy and our education - in Australia (and the West) there has been nearly a complete disappearance of the factory worker and the factory mindset. It is cheaper to make things elsewhere which has meant a vast loss of manufacturing jobs. This is a stealth trend. This is disruptive innovation. Blue collar jobs are location dependent. White collar jobs are not. They can be outsourced. Routine cognitive work can and will be outsourced to cheaper countries. ODesk coordinates these workers from around the world. ODesk takes screen shots every 5 minutes and keystrokes reporting on productivity from across the globe. This is the work market our young people are entering into. We are now seeing the company of one, the work goes to the worker. Part time and temporary work had become the new normal. Whet

EduTECH - Ewan McIntosh: Agile Leadership of Learning

FAIL First Attempt In Learning What is agile leadership? Some people think agile means dancing all over place.  For every 1000 ideas developed only one got investment. Leadership takes all forms. Self nominated leaders are all around us. Ewan gave the example of TeachMeet. I would add to that #edchatnz, #hackyrclass and more. Personal insight - we live in a time where social media has changed the way we can mobilise people and lead. It reminds me of the student army in Christcurch. Leadership has never actually been easier to do. Ewan then talked about the five year plan. He did highlight Stalin was all about five year plan. Students work to an annual plan, working towards an annual exam.when you are making a plan - what question are we answering? How many actions could you do or undertake after hearing someone or attending something like EduTECH. Ewan is right. It is actually overwhelming. So what do you do? What question are we attempting to answer in meeting meeting and attending th

EduTECH - The Almighty Ken Robinson

If you have happened to live in a cave, and are unsure of Ken Robinson's achievements and work, you can check his website here: Not sure how much I'll get written during this keynote. Too busy listening adoringly. First impression is that he is very funny and definitely understands the power of winning over an audience. 

EduTECH - A compelling case for capacity building for 21st Century capabilities

A short but power packed session with Bruce Dixon from the Educating Modern Learners and Rowena Ulbrick from Expanding Learning Horizons. Great messages about the beef to develop 21C learning capabilities. I won't attempt to capture all of the learning from this session but keen to share the following websites! All worth an investigation if you are even vaguely interested in 21C learning. Modern Learners Website Anytime, Anywhere Learning Foundation ITL Research ITL 21C Learning Design Program

EduTECH - Brett Moller and the student panel.

Leio Ohshima McLaren and Faith Ty on the stage to share their perspectives.  Faith talked about how she used Garage Band to produce a radio quality track without any of the musical instruments - this was followed by a cool live demo of how she created the song. Great to see it live. What I really liked about this presentation was not the app or software itself, but more the reminder about how technology enables students to develop an authentic audience and context for their learning. Leio then spoke passionately about why all students should learn to code. I agree! Not only has this enabled him to evidence his learning in new ways, he has even developed his own business creations apps such as phonic buddies. Please take note HPSS Code Academy!  I loved his message that students need to stop being passive consumers and should be producing and publishing their learning. I also liked his analogy of code as a 21st language that students need to learn.  Again we heard the message that teach

EduTECH - Sugata Mitra on The Future of Learning

Mitra began his session acknowledging that many will have seen his talks, but many have not. He went on the set the scene, looking back at the demands of the Industrial Age. Schools with their military-industrial-religious origins are outdated and obsolete. The pedagogy will need to change if we want different outcomes. Will the old model crate creative children? This of course leads into the re telling of 'The Hole In The Wall' experiment. If you aren't familiar with this story, you can watch the TED Talk here: It was lovely to here this story in person, particularly with personal anecdotes woven in. Children left alone with the Internet for 9 months will reach the same level of computer literacy as the standard secretary in the West. Which of course raise questions about the need or the role of the teacher. The children had changed. Their English was perfect and their work across the board improved? It turns out they had stumbled a

Hack Your Classroom - Week Five: Embracing blended learning, even if you don't have many devices...

 Source: Well it's officially 'hump week' for the  Hack Your Classroom project. Well done to the educators who are still with us! You/we rule!! The sharing via twitter has been spectacular and the shared learning has been magic to watch. In a sense this brings us to this weeks topic - looking at the power and potential of blended learning. If we as educators can recognise the breadth and depth of personal learning (and motivation)  that has been achieved over the last four weeks thanks to online environments and communities such as Twitter and Google+, then why aren't we all using these platforms this way with our learners? Obviously if you are teaching students under 13 years old, this isn't really an option, but there is much that can be replicated in a closed, private environment that can provide similar opportunities for younger students as well. I know my daughters