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.

Monday, 4 September 2017

ConnectED 2017 @ Southwell School

Nathan Mikaere Wallis
Photo sourced from
Every year the ConnectED group of Hamilton schools hold a one day conference open to teachers in Hamilton and beyond.  This year I was very excited to find out Nathan Mikaere Wallis would be the key speaker at the beginning of the day and (for a little bit extra) you could attend a workshop with Nathan.  So I made my booking and paid that bit extra to glean more from Nathan.

I arrived just in time for the start of Nathan's keynote - I was somewhat delayed by feeding hay out to cows and jellymeat to a shed full of cats and I decided not to turn up smelling like a bale of hay... or jellymeat.

Teacher Portfolios on Blogger
First of all though I am going to reflect on the workshop I had with Allanah King on Teacher Portfolios/Inquiries.  This has really exploded over the last few years, with teachers needing to show how they met the RTCs which became the PTCs and are now being changed into something else yet again!  But what I really gleaned from Allanah was her Bling Blog that will now be the place I shall go to do something in Blogger that I didn't already know I could do.

At bling4yrblog, Allanah starts with the basic of how to set up a blogger account and then goes on to explain such things and more, as:
  • putting up a post with a photo
  • changing the layout of the blog
  • labels
  • adding comments to your side bar
  • adding a YouTube video
  • embedding a Google Doc
  • blogging with your iPad
And that is just a small taster.  So I recommend you visit this blog if you are new to blogging and want to blog with your class and/or do your portfolio in Blogger.

One thing I would recommend, is start your portfolio with your own personal GMail account so you own it.  It becomes complicated if you start it with a school account and leave - sometimes moving it to your own account is not as easy as it sounds.  It also means that you have control over who sees your blog.  You have to specifically share your blog with your appraiser and colleagues you feel should see it.  Mine is private and can not come up in Google searches.  I give the link to the people I want to have it.

Nathan Mikaere Wallis
Nathan is a bit of an expert on the brain and how it develops.  Nathan would be a person who probably didn't have the most conventional pathway into what he now does.  He calls himself an outlier in a family of shearers and labourers, the kid with ADHD who broke all the rules.

One minute he is freaking out parents in the audience with how they have damaged their little darlings and the next he is speaking about the other things they are doing that counter balance said damage and make them ok.

Below is my Storify of the event with notes put in to speak to the Tweets produced from the keynote and the workshops throughout the day.

Over morning tea, lunch and the chill out session at the end of the day it was lovely to catch up with teachers I have met at other conferences (ULearn, educamps, eduignites, #edchatNZ conference, ConnectED) and through Twitter, NZEI, relieving and from schools I have worked in.  I also met some new people and learned about some new recreational activities from other people.

That networking is so positive and uplifting and allows one to share the learning of the day and how you will carry it forward with you in future days.

And then it was time to go home to feed out the haylage to the cows and feed a shed full of cats.... and a new calf!  This is Little Bub with his mum, Petal.

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