Saturday, 27 August 2016

Attending the Cluster Hui

On Friday, we attended the annual Manaiakalani Hui. This was an incredible day where we were able to connect with colleagues from across the cluster and hear from a large number of the amazing people who are making significant changes to the lives of our ākonga.

The day started with the Manaiakalani Ambassadors sharing their learn-create-share in a number of interesting ways. Through this presentation, ākonga who show learning which is ubiquitous, empowered, connected and visible was evident (to learn more about this, have a look at Dorothy's blog post here).

I have accumulated the rest of my learning from the day by creating this (retrospective) sketchnote:

Throughout the day, I also used twitter as a platform to share:

Overall, it was great to see such amazing inquiry that is happening in our schools in a number of ways. Inquiry is such an important part of what happens as a teacher and it is so important to remain future-focused teachers. The importance of inquiry was definitely evident through everyone who shared at the Hui.

Friday, 19 August 2016

Learning the ropes on twitter

Before today, I had made a twitter account and had tweeted one tweet. Little did I know of the value behind twitter for teachers! 

Today, we were joined by James Hopkins through google hangouts. James shared with us his journey through his teaching career up until today and the value twitter provided for him as an educator. Twitter provides a professional learning network (PLN) and a form of professional development which is constantly at your finger tips.

We took part in a twitter chat with the hashtag #MDTAchat. These slides explain the provocation and questions we were challenged with.

Here is our twitter chat:

This was a great share task where our thinking was challenged, our PLN was expanded, and we had growth in our confidence on twitter.

My goal will be to keep up with using twitter to connect with and expand my PLN.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Reflecting on my Inquiry: Week four, Term three

I have reached a point in my inquiry where I am having to ask myself the following questions:
  • What is working/ what is not working?
  • Where to next? 
The slides below summarise where I am at in my teaching inquiry to date.

Friday, 12 August 2016

Making music...and more!

Today, Rob Wiseman, a year 7/8 teacher from Pt England School, came to teach us about GarageBand. I had previously had a play with GarageBand, but did not realise there were so many things you could do with it!

Here are some tips and ways GarageBand can be used.

1. Ensure you have a microphone!! This will improve the quality of sound for your audio.

2. Recording instructions/ text for learners. This is such a powerful tool! Using garageband, you can enhance their learning by providing verbal (rewindable) instructions or text! It took me a couple of minutes to record myself reading some task instructions, and then no more than  five minutes to edit this short clip. It would then take a little longer to embed this clip into an accessible place for learners (such as a class site), however this could be time well spent if it is to help learners with understanding of a task and expectations.

3. Music. There are so many musical possibilities with GarageBand! As explained in a previous blogpost, this is something I would like to explore at some point. There are options to create a track by scratch, or use a wide range of loop tracks available. 

4. I really enjoyed learning about the possibilities of enhancing movies using garageband. When doing this, it is important to import your movie into GarageBand with all video editing completed. In GarageBand, there are many options to create and mould music to your movie in a much more advanced way than on iMovie. You ideally want your music to fit well with your video which is why you want to have completed all video editing before you play with sound in GarageBand. I am really excited to use GarageBand to create my backing music for the upcoming Manaiakalani film festival!

Big thanks to Rob for spending the day sharing his GarageBand skills and knowledge with us!

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Always a learner - Infographics

Today we attended the Manaiakalani Digital Immersion PLG with other learners from around our cluster of schools. This was another great opportunity to connect with our wider whānau. 

The day started with a discussion around the Learn-Create-Share pedagogy and the learning outcomes of Manaiakalani. In particular, we discussed 'Share' in relation to our teacher inquiry.

We spent time learning about the purpose behind the Summer Learning Journey (2015/2016), run by Rachel Williams who works for the Woolf Fisher Research Centre. Have a look at what Rachel researched, here. Find out more about the research here.

As a result of the discussion around this research, we looked into the value of blogging for our learners. We aimed to share our learning by creating an infographic of data collected off blogs. I researched a number of infographic designs and then created my own infographic using Procreate.

(created using Procreate)

After completing this infographic, I was left with the feeling that it was incomplete. As interesting as these data were, I had not managed to share the WHY. WHY is this information relevant? WHY am I sharing this information?  Does this information show the power of blogging?

I realised that this infographic had failed to show the power behind blogging for our learners. In this example above, I focused on how many blog posts learners created. This is something I could have done from looking through an exercise book. It is not expressing the power behind blogging. Therefore, I found evidence of where a learner's audience comes from.

I used to create this final infographic:

(created on

This infographic links strongly with my sketchnote which I created last week, adding some real-life evidence of learners connecting with the outside world and sharing their learning. 

These infographics are by no means perfect. The data presented are definitely not the most powerful data I could have collected to express my message. However, being my first attempt at creating infographics, I am able to say I have learned a lot about how I can improve, and there is a lot of room for this improvement! 

This is what I will do differently next time:

1. I will put more focus on having purpose to my data collection, prior to collecting it - ask myself why I am collecting the data before I collect it. In other words, PLAN for my infographic.

2. I will share more information and detail in the infographic, which are meaningful for the message I am trying to express.

3. In relation to the topic of blogging, I will put more emphasis into the power and benefits of blogging for learners - what makes this style of learning unique?