Learning is....
Planting a seed in our brain... learning to water, nurture and grow it.... so we can live on the fruit of our learning and plant more seeds.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Educamp The Tron

I will now interrupt my reflections on ULearn12 with Educamp The Tron.  This was held on Saturday 3 November at Hamilton East School.  I first heard about it when I was at ULearn12 and met some key members of the group organising this event.  The first highlight was that it was free PLD.  The second highlight was meeting a lot of people who I have been following or talking to on Twitter.  The third highlight was those "Oh so that's...." moments when you learn about something new or get that better understanding.
After initial introductions and a little sharing about ourselves (and stickering ourselves with our names and twitter handles), we had a smackdown!!  Yeah, for those of you who haven't done a smackdown before (it was my first), various participants had two minutes to introduce and explain various digital/web based technologies that will enhance your teaching, the childrens' learning or grow you as an individual.  This was recorded on the Google Doc for Educamp The Tron.
Below is a list of some of the things that were introduced and that I shall be exploring for my own learning.  I have included links as and where I could, but the link to the Google Doc above will also be helpful.
  • www.pinterest.com  -  A content sharing service that allows members to "pin" images, videos and other objects to their pinboard. Also includes standard social networking features ...  and I have signed up....
  • www.evernote.com and evernote clearly  -  The Evernote family of products help you remember and act upon ideas, projects and experiences across all the computers, phones and tablets you use.  I still have to look into this.
  • www.storybird.com  -  Storybirds are short, art-inspired stories you make to share, read, and print. Read them like books, play them like games, and send them like greeting cards.  This was highly recommended by Kirstin as being child inspired.
  • www.audioboo.fm  -  a mobile & web platform that effortlessly allows you to record and share audio for your friends, family or the rest of the world to hear.  It was recommended as a good way to record the development of children's oral language and them reading poems, etc.  I've yet to look further into it.
  • www.edmodo.com   -  a microblogging network for teachers and their students, similar to Facebook in layout.  Edmodo provides a safe and easy way for your class to connect and collaborate, share content, and access homework, grades and school notices.  You can have as many groups as you want.  When kids go in they can view their calander to do what you want them to.  You can set up quizzes for the kids to do.  Kids don't have to have an email account to use it.  So I've signed up.
  • www.photopeach.com  -  you can automatically make your own free slide show in seconds. Upload photos, pick music, add captions in the show, and more!  This was also highly recommended by Anna.
  • www.edorigami.edublogs.org  -  still looking into this, but I think it is supposed to be good for reflection after a unit, getting feedback from the students. 
  • www.geocaching.com  is about finding little things in hidden places.  Better for big people who can drive than little people who can not probably.
  • www.scratched.media.mit.edu  -  where educatiors can share stories, exchange resources, ask question, find people.  Good place to get children to make things.  Give minimum intoduction, get them to do something and share it back, get them to do something and share it back.... it will grow. Logic problem solving....
  • https://sites.google.com/site/initialipadsetup for everything you need to know about introducing iPads to your school.  It is tried and true. 
  • Did you know that there is a calculator feature on Google? Just type into the Google search the calculation you want to solve, click search, and wham!  There is your answer a long with a calculator face.  Each new calculation you put in, it remembers your previous answers above. 
  • www.wikieducator.org.Digital_citizenship  -  Elements of digital citizenship, modules for learning and teaching, written collaboratively by NZ teachers.   
  • Digistore  -  Software for Learning will soon be moved into the enabling for e-learning contract.  http://softwareforlearning.tki.org.nz/ and http://digistore.tki.org.nz/ec/p/home.
  • www.wallwisher.com  -  Wallwisher is an Internet application that allows you and those you network with to post your thoughts on a common topic using electronic sticky notes on a shared digital wall.  
  • www.diigo.com  for bookmarking - you can set up a class account so that students can bookmark. 
  • Oz/NZ Educators - Google to find this active group on the net.  You can sign up to get lots of new sites sent to you. 
  • www.thinglink.com or www.meograph.com for tagging maps to tell stories, etc. 
  • www.timetoast.com good stuff for history. 
  • www.connected.org.nz for people in the Waikato to be connected to the e-teaching community. 
  • http://emergingleaders.school.nz/ignite-evening/  -  this is on Thursday 29 November, an opportunity for likeminded teachers to meet and share.  You need to register.  It is at 6pm for 6.30pm start @ Southwell (or possibly a lisensed cafe!) with drinks and nibbles.  Fastpaced, fun, thought provoking, social, local, global.... 5 minute talks by each person who have an idea to share with 20 pictures.
  • www.Youblisher.com  -  to make books that can be inbedded into your blog.  Anna recommended this as a good way to get that 'flick' feeling onscreen.  Within minutes, youblisher will turn your magazines, catalogs, business reports, presentations and all other pdf documents into publications with flippable pages! 
  • #kidsedchatnz  -  use this hashtag on Twitter to find out about the group that is setting up classroom chats on Twitter between classes. 
  • www.moturoa.blogspot.nz  -  check out this super cool blog!!
And then we broke for lunch.  When we came back, we broke into groups to discuss the things that we were interested in in smaller groups.  I had another A-ha moment or two here, and found other had similar opinions with the directions writing and School Journals have gone down recently.

Daily 5 for Literacy:
What is Daily 5?  Check out these two links for more:  http://www.thedailycafe.com/public/department104.cfm or http://www.the2sisters.com/index.html
Essentially it is about ensuring that your students get a good dose of reading and writing each day:
1.  Read by yourself
2.  Read to someone else
3.  Work on your writing
4.  Listen to reading
5.  Word work
The interesting fact is that Daily 5 is based on the work by Marie Clay.  These American ladies have taken Marie Clay's good work, and fed it back to us after the erosion we have been experiencing in Literacy is recent years.

The Book Whisperer:
Also recommended was the Book Whisperer http://www.bookwhisperer.com/
The book whisperer - google it -  buy the book  -  like it on Facebook!!
TIP:  Pull out a book in the library, read them just enough to hook them, and put it back on the shelf... watch them clamour.

Quad Blogging:
What is Quad Blogging?  Four classes each have their own blog - each class is focused on for a week and the other three classes visit that blog and make comments.  It drives traffic to the blog.  DeputyMitchell on Twitter is a co-ordinator for this programme and a source to find out more.

Blogdipping - if you want your blog to be promoted send them a post and she will post.

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