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Teachers working smarter- using e-resources to make science learning go further

Mary Loveless
National facilitator – blended e-learning

Repository of resources 
Available on conference website. “Presenters resources”

VLN blended e-learning group

  • Where are the resources in your school
  • Does every teacher know what is available
  • What is a resource?

Planet science
Sign up for the newsletter, comes into your inbox
Archive them and label them

Making better sense series
From MoE

Building science concepts, from TKI Back of the Chair resources

Science Online


Helix magazine from CSIRO, Australia 
Scientriffic, good for lower levels, ages

Science by email, free e-newsletter for members of CSIRO’s Double Helix Science Club

EMAP (Environmental Monitoring and Action Project)

Jessie McKenzie at RSNZ
Great resource. Very helpful

Concept Cartoons
Resource with a cost
Book and CD
Can give the concept and blank speech bubbles so that kids can fill in with their own answers (hypotheses)
Also available for English and Maths.

Kick Starts from NZCER

Science Postcards

Picture books as ‘hook’. List on VLN group

Science Learning Hub
Videos of scientists talking about their stuff

National educational monitoring project (NEMP)

Regional councils


October 19, 2011 Posted by | Digistore, Professional development, technology, Uncategorized, VLN | , , , , | Leave a comment

Tools for learning: mobile phones, mobile learning devices 

Keynote 3
Jan Herrington
University of Perth

Look at ‘funky school’ on Google

‘We need to tear down an education system built for the 19th century and build one for the 21st century’ Rupert Murdoch

Some principles for mobile education
Real world relevance
Mobile contexts

We teach about technologies and to technologies
Not with technologies

‘Teach carpentry not hammer’ Oppenheimer 1997. In other words, don’t teach the tool; teach the practical use of the tool.

Need to use cognitive tools, so students have to think deeply about the concepts.

Authentic task
Practical product
Able to be used as model for others

October 19, 2011 Posted by | Mobile devices, pedagogy, technology | , , | Leave a comment

Embracing a cyber world – understanding and managing the risk Brett Lee

Brett Lee

Embracing a cyber world – understanding and managing the risk

Start kids young on the Internet so that they learn at an early age the rules and guidelines for when they are older.
If kids are unleashed on the Internet as a teenager, they will choos rot push the boundaries. 

The Internet creates myths about how we are reacting and interacting.
One of the main ones is to give the feeling of anonymity.
Another one is that they think it is a private space, but it is a public space that is accessed within a private space. Then same rules apply.
It gives them power.
They think they can see others and don’t think others can see them.

Myths need to be dispelled.

it is about how we treat people.

EG: You wouldn’t give a stranger your photo on the street, so you don’t do it online.  You wouldn’t talk to a random stranger your name, your email, etc, so you don’t do it online.

Kids need to be given reasons for doing the right thing.

Just because you cannot see a person’s face, does not mean that they are not real, and therefore they could intend to hurt you. You must always choose to treat them as if they are a real, physical person in front of them.

Students need to be helped to conceptualize their actions as part of the real, physical world, that the virtual world is just a representation of the actual physical world.

They see the screen world as imaginary, and it needs to be made real.

Double check online ‘games’ that disguise chat rooms as a ‘game’.  It can teach kids to react in a particular way to the approaches of strangers.

Cyberbullying is under the same category.  The way you treat someone online or in the virtual world goes by the same rules. If you wouldn’t say it to them or do it to them, then you shouldn’t be doing it.

February 25, 2011 Posted by | cyber-safety, Learning@schools, technology | Leave a comment

FLIP videos for teaching languages

Flip cameras and languages
Mark Trudell
St Andrews Middle School, Hamilton

Can contact local university and see if they will fund a trip to another country for you

Using Ako’s principles of learning with the students, teachers and students learn from each other
Teaching as inquiry

Action research project
Does the use of video as a reflection tool help students learn a language?

Met with students and set personal goals
Came up with ICT tools that they used: FLIP video, Audacity, Voicethread, Voki

(Toon Do?)

Students came up with own success criteria

Gathered baseline video of students having a basic conversation 
Comparative data showed longer more authentic conversation
Progression data, first unit teacher-led, then every other unit was run by students

WALTS co-constructed by students
Then students complete self-assessment via FLIP video 

Using Learning Language Series available from TKI

Techniques can be used in other subjects or topics
Video and then show it to the kids and ask how things could be improved. Work on those things, video again and compare.

February 24, 2011 Posted by | hardware, Learning@schools, technology | 1 Comment

Genius cafe – PD using Google Apps

Genius cafe
Professional development using Google Apps

Presented by Nelson cluster – 7 schools
Isaac Day

‘None of us is as smart of all of us’ Ken Robinson CROWDSOURCING

Have a chance to see every other school in cluster. This could work in Wellington.

Genius Bar is basis for this. Walk in IT support? From Apple.

Document started with title and national goals
Then TASK table, columns which tracked completion

Important basis for this was that the teachers led the cluster, even within the parameters of the normal school day. Also, based on student leadership.

The process looks like this:
-Contribute to shared doc
-Develop plan

Get a space and divide it into sections
Creativity centre (sandbox and Geniuses and FOOD and COFFEE)
Innovation centre (trade centre)
Play centre (have a go playing with technology)
Learning centre (run by students, specifically targeted learning, 3 minute sessions)

Asked vendors to come along
Brainstorm ideas for each section, each centre
Allowed an hour and a half per session in the sandbox.
The idea is to give teachers a chance to try out and play

Geniuses were told to deliver info short and sharp and not to do it for the teachers.

Nelson handed out laptops, no need to bring own, had power cords available, etc.

Genius cafe will probably be running on the 15th of April 2011

Asked students the question: what do you know that teachers need to know?

Then they picked the best three. Put them on a big card next to the genius. Ask me about…
Gave students GENIUS t-shirts
Students would offer their services to teachers.
Intention was for teachers to be able to choose from the posters.

Geniuses were selected from all the schools through applications.
Chose students based on social skills.
Students found it a little difficult to fill out a CV.
Next time, would choose a team of four from each school so they can go back to the school and give back there too.
Had two training days.
Told TWO things
-Our hands off, their hands on
-3 minutes maximum
-Send them away, preferably to the sandbox to play with the idea

What about kids teaching kids? Slightly different focus than this project. Practice day was with other kids.

Had a morning and afternoon sessions. Reached 82 teachers.
Released teachers with cluster funding.

Ewan McIntosh ‘Don’t tell people what they need to do; pitch to them.’
And choose carefully, you could pitch to the students instead.

Have a keynote speaker via a video. Make an area where people could watch it.

February 24, 2011 Posted by | Learning@schools, pedagogy, Professional development, technology | 1 Comment

If games are the answer, what is the question? Sylvia Martinez

If games are the answer…Sylvia Martinez

Generation YES? Youth Educators Support

Students have to be more involved in their own education

Games seem to be a great metaphor for education, starts simple moved to more advanced.

Unfortunately, worlds are finite.

Students are mesmerized, but WHAT are they learning? Are they learning what we want them to learn? (does that matter? Is it about what WE want them to learn?)

Games have been used for ages, but the idea that schools can use games to educate?

If we look at the non-computer based games, you can easily see that there are connections between the broader ideas like logical thinking in chess and maths. You need to be able to make these arguments about games, if you are going to use them in the classroom.

Games are not socially isolating. PEW studies.

Chris Crawford, on games ‘It is not games, but schools that are the newfangled notion, the untested fad, the violator of tradition.’

Not the same questions:

Are games useful for learning?

Are games useful in schools?

Ask yourself what do you believe? What do believe about learning?

And does the game present the same ideas that you believe in?

Do not be fooled by whistles and bells? Is the game giving rewards for speed? Or time spent on problem? Or memorizing? Etc.

Game genres – there are a variety. Kids don’t love ‘games’; they love CERTAIN games. Knowing which one(s) are appealing is important?

There is something soothing about games, and we shouldn’t mistake that for engagement or learning. Repetitive actions.

Ask the question, what is this game asking me to do? What is it rewarding?

Types of games used in schools:

edutainment – mostly emphasize right answers, speed memorization

Serious games- (seriousgames.org) games built to teach a specific skill, coping with various things. Eg: Ayiti, the cost of life. Purpose is to teach the value of education.  Lots of time needed in classroom, therefore this become problematic.

Virtual worlds

Alternate reality games


Tabula digita? DimensionM 

Alfie Kohn, on schools

‘In reality, it’s the children who don’t understand the underlying concepts who most need an approach to teaching that’s geared to deep understanding. The more they’re given algorithms and told exactly what to do, the farther behind they fall behind in terms of grasping these concepts.’

The logical journey of the Zoombinis is a good example of a good game. To encourage problem solving. Based on set theory. Problems need to be discussed.  Really important to design the context in the classroom that is around the game, not just play the game.

Alternate reality games,

Ghosts attack – overlay on Google maps (actually an IKEA catalogue!)

Uses big B&W squares to let you see your ‘new’ layout before you buy.

Could use Google Sketchup to put items in a Google model and then see what it looks like? Could put game parameters around the task to make it more fun.


Kurt Squire on Civilization, lots of research on games, in particular Civilization

Some kids felt it was too hard

25% of students said they loved playing it, thought it was a perfect way to learn history

Students played the game in different ways, leading to different understanding

Students played differently based on gender

Sim city vs Sims, is better for classroom because ‘bad things’ happen

sometimes the answer is to change the game

Sometimes the answers adapt the context to highlight certain things that you are trying to teach

What video games can teach us about reality -James Gee for a list of things that games cam bring to the classroom.

What goes wrong?

Lack of fun

Has competing design goals

SPORE – uses language of evolution without any of the major principles

Wishful thinking about games- that education can be put into a game, you sit your kids in front of it and learning happens. AND that you can get money out of it.

Three rules that you must follow:

Wear your skeptic hat

Play it

Adapt it

Play them – are they games or game-like?

Ask toguh questions. Is it better than a worksheet?

What do you believe about learning?


Kids love this

Content, deliver, mini games, correlated to state standards

So much fun the kids won’t know they’re learning – kids play games becaus they’re challenging

Educational software

Look for

Games you okay and discuss


Supports big ideas

Offers multiple ways to ‘win’


GOOD BOOKS to help

How computer games help chidren learn James Pau Gee

Everything bad is good for you

What works – taking games to the next level

Students designing and programming own games

Students learn the how and why behind the simulation

Scaffolded learning, mediated by the computer

Student programs the computer, not the other way around

Risk-free risks

Don’t separate the so-called ‘boring’ stuff from the game play.

Have kids share what they are learning

Ask the questions: Is it too hard? Pretty? Dumb? Exciting? Fun? Etc?

Examples of games to teach programing

Floor turtles


Star logo TNG

Micro worlds LCSI


Teaching programing

It’s not that hard

There are many teachers doing it in many different ways

Gives Students agency over the computer

Games in education

Joy in learning

Need adequate time

Crucial teacher role

Authentic assessment

Reflective activities

Kick it up – let kids design their own games

February 23, 2011 Posted by | games, Learning@schools, pedagogy, technology | Leave a comment

Thinker’s toolbox

A quick taster breakout that is discusses developing a ‘thinker’s toolbox’

Paula Jamieson

Thinkers toolbox wiki.

Presenting on a variety of techniques to encourage thinking

Mostly primary and junior secondary

Has a literal toolbox

Lots of graphic organizers and prompts for different kinds of thinking, based on different ideas about thinking, Blooms, deBono, etc. Ideas and question prompts are included.

Recommends not using wall. Try to get the workspace on the floor.

Has been known to not have desks, or chairs in classroom.

Uses laminated sheets to enable writing on and reusing.

Developing a common language for talking about learning.

February 22, 2011 Posted by | pedagogy, technology | | Leave a comment

Learning@schools 2011 opening speaker Scott McLeod

Scott McLeod (USA) is the opening speaker.
Topic: two big shifts and one big problem: the growing disconnects between schools and our digital, global society

I think this will probably be the most important talk for me for this conference.

This is his website where you can see what his presentation looked like.

He proposes sitting down with MPs and politicians and sharing the new landscape with them and clarify what changes are important.

He talks about the massive shifts in our time, this is a time of huge change- economic and climate, etc.
One of the most significant is the movement to web, not just small ones, like purchases, but also massive ones like romance, social contact. McLeod makes the parallel to the development of the printing press, but particularly in the rhetoric and alarms around the change, and also the changes in SOCIETY, that is, that masses of information is available to the masses. Third party intermediaries are being removed from the PUBLISHING end. Anyone who wants to be heard can be. (The change before was ACCESS to information.). Before, we had a ‘push’ out society, now we have more of a dialogue, collaborative society.

We all now have a voice; we can find each other; we can work together.

AND it is mobile.

Tis is now an active space, not a passive space. A place where things are created between people.

Disruptive innovation by Christenson
The blue lines are the disrupting innovation. These are major game-changers, the ideas that change the way we think about the world, that replace the things that came before.

These technologies and the current changes are the disruptive innovation. MY question is WHAT IS THE DISRUPTIVE INNOVATION FOR EDUCATION?

‘In education, universities would love for you to come to classes.’ Scott McLeod

‘All the companies that revolve around information need to change rapidly and radically or we are going to go under. How long can we pretend that the changes that are affecting other areas of society are only going to need minor changes, or added value, etc. The changes are DESTROYING certain groups in society; education is on the list.’

Effect of major economic shift
Jobs that are location dependent versus location independent. There are certain jobs that you can locate ‘offshore’. (If the factory work is going overseas, then the reason for training people to be good factory workers through school is also disappearing. What does this mean for education?)

Also a decline of routine mental work, because the jobs can be done anywhere, by any body.

Also, disappearance of cognitive labour with machines. Like making own reservations, checking own groceries. Even accounting functions, etc.

The only area of growth is around ABSTRACT, COGNITIVE work in the developed world. Think key skills, key competencies, etc. (NZC)

Three types of work:

  • Low skill, low wage
  • Low skill, high wage
  • High skills, high wages
  • The problem is that job brief in the middle range is disappearing. NZ’s economy is staying somewhat stable based on low skill, medium wage jobs. These are the cafe owners, tourist industry type jobs.

    ‘Can someone overseas do it cheaper, can a computer do it faster? If answer is yes, your job is GONE.’

    Therefore, we need to farm out all the stuff in teaching that someone overseas can do cheaper or that a computer can do faster, and focus on the ABSTRACT COGNITIVE work that is location dependent. What might these things be?

    McLeod says that he would advise the politicos and MPs, etc, to invest in the ABSTRACT COGNITIVE work. Not to protect what we have already, but to invest in the future.

    What we need to do is make students

  • Societally functional
  • Creative
  • ‘Does the pedagogical foundation of the 1800s prepare our students for the future?’ Scott McLeod

    ‘No generation in history has ever been so thoroughly prepared for the industrial age.’ David Warlick

    What implications are there for New Zealand schools?

    (Okay, but how do we motivate students to engage in education in this manner? A certain amount of this has to do with being self-motivated?)


  • Live above the red line (in upper end of Bloom’s,) everyday
  • Pull in technological tools to do this.
  • Loads of things to do:

  • Every kid, every home will need broadband.
  • Teachers need equipment.
  • Students need robust equipment.
  • Low to no cost online textbooks, greater flexibility of funds
  • Need to focus on training etc
  • Need to make radical change rather than small incremental changes.
    Need to make huge changes rather than waiting and reinforcing what has happened in the past.

    Time to devise whole new way of teaching, learning, pedagogy.

    BUT if the leaders don’t get it, then it won’t happen.

    Big questions

  • In an era where the Internet is at your fingertips, why do we ask students to memorize?
  • In an era where you can keep all your stuff online, what do we do with certification?
  • When are we moving to exponential rather than incremental change?
  • What happens to libraries and librarians if the texts are electronic. Should we still be calling them books?
  • What percentage of my job requires me and addresses abstract cognitive work?
    What percentage of education is involved with this higher level? Is an hour enough? No.

    Teachers, educators need to market ourselves, inform our policy leaders about what is needed.

    February 22, 2011 Posted by | pedagogy, technology | , , | Leave a comment

    Movies, maps & memories

    Brian Flaherty talks about image preservation
    Associate university lecturer at Auckland university 

    Websitemonitoring.com for stats on YouTube viewing

    Should a library have a relationship with YouTube?
    (what about e-cast?)
    Haven’t really started to think digitally about video. 
    How to preserve, catalogue, etc.

    Christchurch tsunami? Anecdote
    What if search brought up everything, not just what is in catalogue?
    What is the library’s relationship with the local video content?
    Just embed it?
    Keep a copy of it?

    What about blogs and audio too?

    ‘libraries don’t care about ephemeral’ maybe they should? Or is it for archivists?

    What should libraries’ relationship be with New Zealand OnScreen?

    Matapihi? What about this? Or maybe Te Puna?

    BF recommends aggregating information about the items, sp that everyone can find the stuff.  Working together to create searchable records.

    Looks at Uni-set which is e-cast for universities?

    Auckland university is 

    Digital asset management
    Final cut server
    EPG metadata
    flash streaming server

    Not ideal process, but enables them to embed into the catalogue, and into teaching reseources? Can be streamed from catalogue  

    Developing video annotation tool. Both teachers and students can  use them.

    Digital stuff is not included in collection management document.

    Chapman Archive
    Used to record TV and radio
    Working on digitizing this collection

    With Screenrights, you can capture TV and distribute it for educational purposes.

    2. Maps
    What’s the relationship of libraries with maps? 


    What should libraries be doing with their maps.

    What about GIS, layering aspect of digital maps?

    What about mashups?

    What about old maps?

    Currently, maps are being digitised
    University of Auckland are trying to find and digitize as many maps as possible
    Also attempting to layer them, see below.
    Have some maps that have have to do with 

    GeoNetwork-open source software to layer maps together.  Geospatial story of the country. Other people in other places awe doing this, but not NZ.

    Aiming for a national archive of historic and contemporary cartographic and geospatial materials.  Linking these maps with images too.

    3 Memories?

    Institutional memories
    Capturing some things, but not delivering it well.

    And how to catalogue? What file formats to use?

    Able to use catalogue to search and locate all the different formats. 

    Currently random silos, but there’s a need to combine it and deliver it better.

    San Diego Technology Archive-have a look at this!

    Why didn’t this guy have more time??

    How to deliver this information to mobile devices?
    What can be delivered to mobile devices and how?

    Catalogue on mobile device
    RSS feed on new books
    library hours
    GPS for branch location

    BF thinks that the information should be sent directly to mobile devices, not just information about where to get the information?

    Mobile app?
    Mobile version of website?

    Waikato has mobile web, using MIT framework.

    What is your library’s strategy for mobile devices?

    Could go app direction. Stanford University has apps for lots of educational elements

    Re-think relationship with digital objects that libraries are not dealing with well.  

    November 30, 2010 Posted by | archives, technology, video | Leave a comment

    An interesting link – teachers and technology

    Stuart Henderson found this link to teachers in the States talking about the way technology has changed their teaching.

    How about you? How has technology changed your teaching? Post your comments below!

    November 21, 2010 Posted by | pedagogy, technology | 1 Comment