Friday, 20 May 2016

Teach Meet Christchurch

What a great afternoon. I really enjoyed having the opportunity to be in a room full of keen and motivated teachers who wanted to learn and wanted to share. This is my brief summary of the session, mainly for my own review, but there were a few things that I thought might interest others, so here it is in public.

Wilj Dekkers from STAC - Minecraft for Creative Writing

Wilj started by showing us a clip, The Piano , that he uses for students to be inspired to write about. I loved this idea and wished, just for a short moment, that I taught English so I could use this.
He talked about creating a Kiwiana theme park where students used Minecraft to create it and then they shared their learning with parents.
Picture by hobbymb
Using Pick a path stories, the students would write a story,  then create the world in Minecraft and then review the story. He found that using Minecraft helped write more content and more quality.
This year he has done this the other way. The students have made a rough sketch, then planned the story with Minecraft. He has seen the increase in motivation.
Maybe I do want to teach English....  no, maybe not.

Tom Neumann  - Riccarton - Using an alphanumeric self marking video game in Moodle to review content of Yr11 Economics (or any other subject)

Tom showed us a video of how he uses games for learning.
He has found that students are fully engaged and have total concentration for games. He says that they will keep trying to achieve, which I have seen before with gamification - suddenly students are not as worried about failing, they just keep trying until they get it right.
Using games and music for learning definitely strikes a chord with many students. I would like to investigate this further when I get time.

Sue McLachlan - Hagley - OneNote Learning Tools. 

I am passionate about these and feel they have a huge potential for classroom use. This was my presentation so I didn't take notes...
My Sway (awesome Office365 tool for presentations) can be found here.

Karen Gray - Haeata - Personalisation of Learning

Karyn talked about Personalization/Differentiation/Individualization and designing learning programmes that are flexible and responsive. It must be very exciting starting a new school with a clean slate to work from. She had many questions to ask of us as well and this is a great forum to share ideas.
#BFC630NZ - breakfast chat on Twitter at 6.30am each morning that is worth looking at. I may have to rearrange the shower order in our house so I can get to one of these, otherwise I will be a lurker and check them out later in the day.
She also talked about using the best device for the learning at the time rather than using 1:1

I loved the quote she used at the end:

John Holt - a perceptive educationalist

‘It would be to let every child be the planner, director of his own education, to allow and encourage him with the inspiration and guidance of more experienced and expert people, and as much help as he asked for, to decide what he has to learn, when he is to learn it, how he is to learn it, and how well he is learning it. It would make our schools,..... a resource for free and independent learning, which everyone in the community, of whatever age, could use as much or as little as he wanted.’

Tam Proctor - OneNote as a teacher planner
As I use OneNote all the time, this wasn't new to me, but a couple of things were reminders for me to look into. Using templates - I really don't do this enough. also, being able to hyperlink to other pages is something I need to look into. I also need to use tick boxes more.
For each class, she plans with 3 sections - Content, Observations and Reflections. A good habit to get into.


Shira Withers - Our Lady Star of the Sea - How we as educators can help students with low working memories improve their self-management skills using digital technologies, thus  allowing them to experience success and move from a fixed to growth mindset.

For self-management skills, Shira has the students using TrelloShe also uses colour coded Google Slides Timetable in which they can add a daily or end of week reflection. This helps students to stay focussed.
She mentioned Tony Ryan's Thinking Keys which I hadn't heard of.

Donna Jones -STAC - Using a 3D app to inspire creative thought and ideas for creative writing. Primary and secondary.

Donna showed us the app Quiver, which you can download for free onto your phone. You print off pictures from colour them in then use the app which will bring them to life.
She says that the student's writing gone to another level as they can see things in 3D.
She uses it for fantasy writing, science and geography as well. A great tool to inspire students.

I've gone mad on this. I loved the colouring in for a start, then had a great time showing everyone how it worked! I even coloured my Pukeko with black and white stripes to make sure it really did render the colours that I had chosen. It looks very cool! Some of the pictures cost, but there are many free ones to try this out. This has huge possibilities and I can see it being a very useful app. The next step is to see if we can commission specific graphics for topics....

Sam McNeill - STAC - Google Earth - adding images and doing Google tours

Sam had his students using GoogleEarth to do a tour of the Karate Kid clip. Students made their own tour of places in the movie. One device between groups. He showed us that you can add images to the tour to make it very interactive. This looks like fun - where to next??

Overall, I found this a really inspiring learning experience. Lots to listen to, lots of ideas and motivated, forward thinking teachers. Looking forward to the next one to be hosted at St Andrew’s College on Thursday 11th August starting at 4:15pm. For more information, check out TeachMeet Christchurch. If you can't make it, you can also follow on Twitter #TMChch.

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