Tuesday, 28 April 2020

Isolation 9

Thursday 23 Apr

It's my birthday. The first time I think I've been grounded on my birthday and can't go and be with friends or do anything. So I worked. Online as usual. Then made a cake. Yum. My lovely son and daughter had a nice dinner with me then I watched TV. Exciting. Not really. It made me think about birthdays though. The expectations we have of what they should or shouldn't be. My brother called me today, one of the few times he has remembered my birthday since we were kids. He was totally honest and said he only remembered because he knew the 4 weeks of lockdown finished on the 22nd so he knew the date today. Normally he doesn't need to know dates and so doesn't think about them. It is quite reasonable and I've never been worried about people remembering my birthday or not. It's another day, another year and only a few thousand days to go until retirement! I'm not good at remembering them for others either -apart from my nephew, a second cousin and 2 friends who share the same day as me! So why do we put so much emphasis on them? I think it's great when children are celebrating but I do think we put far too much worry into that next decade or 5 years as we get older. Each day goes by. It's another day. I was sort of glad my children couldn't buy me a present - saves money. They were here for dinner - that was the best present.
Anyway. That was Thursday.

Friday 24 Apr

I was working on an infographic today (I was trying out some skills learnt in my last MIE call) and thinking about strengths of different people. How our skills and abilities affect us and those around us. I did the VIA Character test last month as part of the Wellbeing course I am doing (Ah yes, need to type that up too - another day...) and thinking about how those things shape the way we work and relating to others. I had 11 online calls today and I just felt I was full on all day. Need to take some time to sit back and catch my breath. Been a very reflective day.
I was watching the news and seeing how people were thinking about takeaways next week. It's been good to not have any - apart from saving money, I think I have been quite healthy. I have managed to not put any weight on - after my great loss over Christmas, so I'm a happy person and can do without the takeaway culture. Well maybe one or two now and then - I do like hamburgers... oh and Kentucky Fried mashed potato and coleslaw (not so much the chicken!).
Watched the Repair Shop on TV tonight - I quite like it for some reason. Watching them restore items that mean a lot to others. Really nice and it can be quite emotional. I had a few moments of melancholy today - feeling a bit isolated and alone , even though I have my children, it's not the same. I crave total alone time which we don't get being in the house all day, but then want people time and conversations. A strange sensation. I'll make more of an effort over the weekend to reach out to others I think.

Saturday 25 Apr
Up at 6am this morning for ANZAC Day. My son and I stood at the end of the drive and he played The Last Post. Listening to the trumpet in the silence was quite eerie and very moving. More so than being in a big group I think. There was no one else out on the street, but I think a few probably heard us!!
Finally finished my MIE blog and posted it, then caught up on this one. I have a small pile of papers next to my chair that I am working through - need a few things done over the weekend. School is very consuming and tiring at the moment.
Some good family time today - playing Blood Rage with my children. I keep forgetting how much I really love playing board games and cards. Wow - flashback just then - back to a friend of mine with whom I used to play cards all the time. We played 500, were partners for Bridge and spent many evenings and weekends playing cards. Sadly she died far too young and now and then I get flashbacks to our time together. Always with great fondness and always with some sadness that she is no longer here.

Sunday 26 Apr
Did some more fun looking at infographics today. I've learnt so much playing around in Powerpoint. My presentations are going to look quite cool from here on - well, not quite so boring anyway!
I had a pretty quiet day today. I read in the sun, finished another jigsaw and pottered in the garden for a while. I haven't been quite as productive as I thought I might be over lockdown. I found that being online so much is very tiring so it takes me a day or two to get myself into a place where I feel like doing lots. I ran out of books from the library to read (did pretty well to get this far) so am re-reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I have the series here so it should keep me going for a few weeks.
I had a conversation online with a colleague today and we were talking about how weird it is that we have gone back to writing on paper while on a call on Zoom. Because I am on a screen I am using paper to write my notes, whereas before I would be writing my notes on a computer while chatting with someone. It's strange. I have handwritten more notes while teaching than I have for a very long time.
Had an email about the show I am currently meant to be rehearsing - West Side Story for Kirwee Players. I wonder how long it will be before we are able to do live theatre again? At what level of lockdown can we rehearse, but also then have audiences? Will people actually go to performances for a while or will they be too nervous to go out to large gatherings? So many questions and no idea what the answers are. It's an interesting thing to think about though.
I've just realised what it is about the supermarket that is so weird - apart from the social distancing. It's the lack of noise. No one is talking because we all went by ourselves. There is no chat in the aisles, you can hear the music. I'll take more notice this week and see if that's the main thing that's different. Wonder if there will be more people there this week? Maybe I'll shop tomorrow so I can avoid the crowds!!!
I'm pleased we have a 3 day weekend. It will give me a chance to do all the things tomorrow that I thought I'd do on Saturday and today. Nice to have some down time though, and time off a computer for most of the day.

Monday 27 Apr

ANZAC Day holiday. A day that I took to do very little. I walked, read, did some jigsaw puzzle, spent some time on blogs and emails and then decided I really didn't feel like doing much. A needed day of rest I think. I did have conversations with a few teachers I know around the country. It was good to reflect on what we are all doing and how we are doing it differently. What's working, what's not and how we feel about it.I think one thing that strikes me is that we don't share resources as much as we should. All the teachers in the country are flat out writing resources right now. Why? We could pool everything and just adapt for our own situation and ākonga. I have always been of the view that we should share everything and have battled getting others to share sometimes. I understand the reluctance. Some people feel that their resources aren't "good enough". Some want to sell them for financial reasons. Some are just not sure how to get them out there. Maybe it's something we need to think about in the future. More collaboration across kura, not just inside.
Me, personally, I believe in sharing everything I can. I like that my kura has a Creative Commons License on our work - I know for some, their kura owns all of their resources. I also know that some people don't know that! It's an interesting one, and always a question when a teacher leaves one place and goes to another - what can they legally take with them? I think this is a tricky one for some.

Tuesday 28 Apr
Down to Level 3!!!
Back to work. Having a Teacher Only Day has been really helpful. Time to get some resources sorted and lots of admin done. I had some good conversations with colleagues and also managed to get my walk in over lunchtime.
After school/work/whatever you call it - I went out to collect some groceries. The roads were a bit busier but the supermarket was very quiet - talking to the checkout operator she said it had been quiet all day - maybe everyone is counting on takeaways all week!! I might think about them in a week or two - really don't need them for now :)
Time to post this again - hope you are enjoying my days! It's nice to keep track of how they are going to be honest. Interesting for later down the track and even as a week goes by there is a difference of feelings and thoughts.


Saturday, 25 April 2020

MIE Expert April call

I'm running a bit behind in writing up my notes for this call. Work seemed to take over in the last week or two and I haven't seemed to have the time, or just not felt like it!
Even though this is a Microsoft group, many of the resources and information are definitely relevant for those that are not Office365 kura. At my kura we have both Google and Office365, although not all of Office365 is available so we don't use Teams. I still use Excel, Powerpoint and Word more if I can - opting to sometimes copy and past into GoogleDocs after doing what I need to in Word. I also much prefer Powerpoint to Slides - the possibilities are definitely better in Powerpoint. I do miss being in a Microsoft school - especially at this time when I would have a OneNote all set up with work and Sharepoint all sorted, then working in Teams *sigh. Ah well.
These are my notes from the calls we had a couple of weeks ago.
The first thing I really liked was that there was a call buddy. While the presenters did their thing someone else was nominated to follow the questions in the chat, rather than the presenter having to do that as well. Great idea and really useful! A couple of links first:
Remote Learning with Minecraft
How to set up Virtual Breakout Rooms in Microsoft Teams

Learning From home - Nikkie Laing - Opaheke School (Yr1-8)
They have 1;1 in yr 5-8 so already capacity there. Teams was in place for staff communication and they had One Note for some. They managed to get all their devices out before school closed along with some paper packs. They are not doing new resources or new software and they spent the two days before lockdown upskilling staff in Teams.
Online learning for two days and they realised they had planned too much - they did it the way they used to operate but now there wasn't teacher support which made it different. Parents can't always support the way we think they can.
There was much discussion about some students drowning in work that they felt had to be done. It was reinforced that we have to be kind. Not only to one another but to our students.
Need to identify common goals:
consistency for parents
Streamlined curriculum
Options
Shared understandings for teacher, parents and students and need a Learning from Home portal
Checkin with parents by email or phone and refer back to the school website all the time
Checkin with teachers through teams but also 1 on 1 as well
Education Perfect - too much work Online lessons are overwhelming and teachers are shattered but students are more shattered. EP can have so much work in one lesson.
Notices each day - have dressups for fun. No pressure for people to be there.
Requires staff to be collaborative
We all liked Nikkie's infographics so much she agreed to do a separate session on how to make them - see later in this blog!

Powerpoint recordings - Rachel Chisnall
Use the zoom feature in PPT - nice feature for delivery
Relationships matter
What to maintain:
prior knowledge
what they are doing at home
within school structure
Think about who you are trying to reach
Plain sincere recording is better than all the bells and whistles
Be there for your students, don't try to make it perfect
Say something 100 times - it may be the first time they actually hear it
If putting a video in - cut a square out of the corner for your camera
Keep yourself safe - think about the background, what you are wearing, a solo space and prop up your laptop. It's Ok if family are in the background - we are only human if they walk past. Need that human connection
Keep videos short - 6-8 mins max. Think about the student experience as if you were watching it. Save it, then record on a copy of it
Recording bar:
Screen recording useful for small sections of YouTube clips
Forms can add an option to fill out at the end
Best if you have a dedicated mic rather than a computer mic - or you get the noise of keys typing
Once done, think about access. You can save as a video and add to a YouTube channel or add to stream in Office 365 or into OneNote. Export as an mp4 then use YouTube for less bandwidth
Examples of uses:
Introduction videos
Exam walkthroughs - different colours for A,M,E
Student feedback - can talk directly as feedback - put a picture into PPT and talk over.
Watch your language - Must/Could/Should - some are unable to do work and feel guilty
Weekly planner idea - see pic

Wellbeing in a crisis: Carmen Kenton 
crisis education not home schooling
Crisis education research
Homeschooling is very social but this isn't
Maslow's heirachy of needs
We need to share resources as well as have equity of access
Need to increase wellbeing - don't recreate what is happening in the classroom
Asynchronous learning - can they connect at a different time when you are not available? Can't always do it at the time you set.
Give choices - it gives them control in a time that is uncontrollable.
Carmen very kindly has offered her PPT for anyone  - it has great links and ideas.
More links:
Click happy photography competition
Online schooling vs remote learning
Survey staff and students to find out how they are finding things
Use TikTok as an editing tool - good at quick snippets
Juggling needs of high needs academic and lower ability - hard to do all.
Some students just want the stability of school
Need engagement of parents too - hard to get in touch. For some people, school is the safe space

Infographics - Nikki Laing 
https://www.showeet.com/ - spend some time here and just download lots of them
Good to get a message across - focus you to be precise
To turn background stuff off just R click - format background and hide background graphics
Pip Cleaves talks about branding
Adobe color
Extract theme - drop image of school banner and it extracts the colours.  et to bright/muted then it shows RGB and Hex codes on the colour wheel. Need these numbers
Go back to PPT - Design-Colours-own colour bar and create new theme. Can put more colours and put RGB in to use school colours
Works in Word as well - Design- colours
Adobe Color will extract the gradient as well - can use that too
Canva is another option - free Pro licence for teachers. Can use Hex codes in here as well

Noun Project - icons to use
Paint.net - free paint programme that can take background out - can also do in Canva

Wednesday, 22 April 2020

Isolation 8

Friday 17 April
I think today went a bit better. I still find the day really busy and not the easiest to balance. I need to take breaks and just switch off to make it work. One of my colleagues shared a reflection he did back when our kura first opened. He talked about the implementation dip which you see when you effect change. So apt for this situation right now. I think the implementation dip was a great thing to remind us that this change is not easy and will take time!
"Appreciate the Implementation Dip: All successful schools experience “implementation dips” as they move forward (Fullan, 2001). The implementation dip is literally a dip in performance and confidence as one encounters an innovation that requires new skills and new understandings. Leaders who understand the implementation dip know that people are experiencing two kinds of problems when they are in the dip—the socialpsychological fear of change, and the lack of technical know how or skills to make the change work." From Michael Fullan's "Leading in a Culture of Change"
I have 2 blogs to do at the moment, one for work and one from an online meeting I want to write up, so will try and get them done over the weekend!

Saturday 18 Apr
Had an online Zoom call this morning doing a workshop with David Clifford from DSX. What a great opportunity - even though I couldn't be there in person (we were meant to be in the USA at this time) it was great to have this chance to do a workshop with him. Certainly made me think about my project and reflect on what we are doing already. You can read my blog about it here.
I needed some down time after that so went for a walk and then did some jigsaw for a while. The weather cleared up and I got our into the garden to gather some of the amazing fruit I have at the moment. I am really pleased that I have so much food growing in the garden. It is something that takes time and effort, but also has rewards, especially at times like this!
The afternoon brought a welcome Zoom call - one with the cast of 'Hair" which I did back in 1998 with Showbiz. It was great to catch up with many of the cast and crew from all over the world. We should do this sort of thing more often but we don't think about it. One good change from being online - we seem to be more connected than before. Time to stop and think about what is really important.

Sunday 19 Apr
I totally forgot to write this on Sunday. I had a day off. I wrote my blog on the course that I did on Saturday then spent the rest of the day chilling out. I played Talisman with my son and then spent the evening watching TV and reading. It was really nice actually! Oh, I did manage to clean the house at one stage.

Monday 20 Apr
It's been a busy day. Work seems to be busier every day we have. I have more and more ākonga wanting to connect which is great. It's been an interesting time and I think it will take weeks for it to really get settled. In some ways I hope we have those weeks and I think there are some positives we can take from this crisis teaching. Being able to look at things differently and try new ways of doing things is great. Pushing the boundaries has always been my way in education so I'm loving this in some ways.
I ordered this magazine for wellbeing - it looks great and keen to see what it has to offer, both for me personally and for work.
Looked at doing this course on weaving - it looks great, just not sure if I really am motivated enough, but keen to look into it... maybe tomorrow...
Credible assessment for NCEA

Tuesday 21 Apr
Another day at work! Lots of things going on as usual. A group of us are putting together a Haeata's Got Talent show so spent a bit of time getting that sorted. It was inspired by the Hornby High School one - so many thanks to whoever thought of it!
Finally finished the latest jigsaw - Wasjig11. Hope lockdown doesn't continue for too much longer, I'm running out of jigsaws!!
Spent some time reading different article and pages I follow - I am particularly into The Great NZ NCEA Hackathon 2020 on Facebook. This is a page of educators who are using NCEA in different ways - transdisciplinary and project based. Love it. I am learning lots.
I had an email recipe exchange today. It's like a chain letter with recipes. I found it really hard to send to 20 people - I really don't have that many emails addresses for people. It made me think about how we communicate now. Very interesting.

Wednesday 22 Apr
It's been a busy day. I think I am getting even busier online as more of our students decide it's time to do work. I actually got a bit of a headache today, just being on a screen for so long. I had to take a good break (and do more jigsaw) before feeling like looking at one again to do this.
A few things that have struck me today. I want to help others and I am not always sure of the easiest way to do this. How can we help financially - I am lucky enough to have an income, how can I help those that don't?  I know there is the foodbank project  which I already subscribe to, but what else? I saw that eatlocal.nz gave some cheap packages away to others today, but they sold out so quickly. How many companies are doing this? I really don't know. There would be a market for this - how to donate.....
I went for a walk today and saw this really cute corgi - with a tail. It was so happy - it made me smile. A lot. That's a really good thing right now as I feel we don't always smile enough. The lady that owned it explained to me that it had a normal tail for a corgi (I thought it was a cross or something) - it hadn't been docked. How awesome. Love it.
I went supermarket shopping. It was a real eye opener as I feel we have slackened off a bit. It didn't seem to be the same with people avoiding each other - I think we are getting a bit complacent and hope that we don't go backwards once we go to Level 3.
As I edited this I have been noticing I always mis-type a few words, you may notice these - from becomes form, really is often relaly - Why is it the same words? Interesting.

Time to post this - it's been weeks today since we went into lockdown. It's May next week. Wow. Oh, and I still haven't written one of the blogs I meant to do a week ago - work got in the road. Maybe this weekend....




Sunday, 19 April 2020

David Clifford Workshop


Saturday morning and a Zoom call with David Clifford. In some ways I was really looking forward to it - new learning, new ideas, but in other ways I was wondering what I was doing - another online call for the week, tired after the first week back teaching, and disappointment that we were not there in person as we were meant to be. So I had mixed emotions going in to the call but was feeling great and inspired again by the end of it.  This funny video link was shared - just a reminder of how mad some online calls can be! Here are my notes from that call. Thanks to David for letting me use some of his slides here as well - really helpful to illustrate what he was talking about.

David said right at the beginning 'Any system produces what it was designed to produce'. We are all getting exactly what was designed. We are all designers but we need to practice with more intention.
He got us to design a vase on paper, then to draw a way to appreciate flowers and then we shared these. He said our group was the most diverse he had seen ever! Generally people draw a vase without flowers in it. We tell our students or teachers "do this thing". They are told what to do but we often miss the purpose - the purpose of the vase is the flower. The purpose for us is the students.

Embrace Complexity
When the going gets messy stay open to possibilities. Equity Challenges are complex. We need to wade through complexity with patience.
When we experience design goals we need to:
Feel cared for and engaged
Feel stretched and loved (not be in the panic zone - relationships are important)
Defibrillate your creative courage
He wanted us to leave the day with not solutions, but approaches. He went through our plan for the day - to build trust, build creative courage and to design, build and play together.

David shared some of his background with us. He came to Christchurch last year for TedX - a talk on 'Forget about T shaped people. We need X shaped people'. He has co-founded a middle school for boys. He sees schools as ecosystems that design humans so is wanting to create these to reimagine what schools can be. He is the founder of Design School X (DSX) DSX is currently all over the world, including here in Christchurch with Tamara's Boma project from last year Micro-credentials in Liberatory Design.
Schools were designed to manage, not liberate, thinking. He is also opening a Social Justice school.
"Who we are shapes what we see, how we relate, and how we design"
The next part of this workshop was about definitions.
Design
"Everything is designed, intentionally or not with outcomes that have impact" @equity design collaborative
Design is made up of Products, Spaces, Processes (how you manage, greet etc) and Systems (how we communicate).
We had practice to design something. We were split into pairs and told to design a desk for the other person. We had a few minutes to design something. This was designed from a personal lens and we made assumptions about what we thought they needed. There was something missing.
This led on to David talking about an Empathy Pause. We need to listen and use a user centred design. We looked at Design Thinking 101 and briefly went through each step.
Empathize - Understanding the experiences, emotions, motivation and needs of stakeholders. Empathy is "seeing and feeling as another" Sam Mogannan
Why do we need to empathize? To meet needs
How do we do this? with compassion for yourself and others. Stuff may come up for you from what they share with you. We need to have compassion. We have no idea what it is like to be a Year 12 during Covid19. We need to ask from a place of curiosity. About age 11 students start asking from a place of confirmation of own bias, not from curiosity.
We also need to ask with optimism and respect.
David told us the story of the Mono tribe who ground acrons by hand. Some engineers decided to make them a machine to do it much faster but they never used it - the grinding was only part of the process, the women used that time to get into a rhythm and to tell stories of the day and their culture. Much more behind it if they had asked and had empathy.
Methods to empathise:
Immerse - hard to do during Covid19
Observe - can do through internet
Engage - interviews, phone calls

We then went onto the second challenge - to redesign the desk after conducting and empathy interview with our partner. Normally an empathy interview would be 30-60 ins but we would have 5. Some conversation starters he suggested were:
Tell me about your relationship with school
What is your favourite subject? Least favourite and why.
How do you like to learn?
Tell me more...
They need to feel heard and that their needs are being met.
We then prototyped our design with tin foil - never though about using tinfoil to sculpt before - it works really well - have to do that again!
User centered design is rooted in empathy. The designer has the power by taking what you say and designing what they think you need - it has heirachy and is transactional.

Liberatory design thinking starts with design thinking. With practice you get an empathetic designer and they have good intentions but we have blindspots and can get baked into our design. Design thinking can feel a bit more like this picture. But the Design Thinking process was designed by middle aged white men and they did not check themselves in the process.  We need to be intentional and build time into our process to notice our biases, habits and assumptions. We may have feelings of bravado, thinking we are the saviour and doing good, or the feeling of poor you, or just being polite and our designs may inherit these. Is our data and written words asking out of curiosity or are we just trying to confirm what we think. "I like school, so therefore everyone should". If you don't check all of these things you are just going with the status quo.
So a group of people hacked the design thinking process for equity. They wanted to find out "How can design thinking powerfully serve as a force for equity + address the effects of oppression on education?" Equity work often doesn't have an "intentional and powerful approach to creating actionable change" and design can often fail to address root causes of equity. They came up with Liberatory Design Thinking which added Notice and Reflect to the process.
Equity... is the state that would be achieved if how one fares was no longer predictable by any social, cultural or economic factor. National Equity Project
Race and racism are designed by white people. Measurements in schools should bring out the full magic of students, not just maths and english.
Oppression - a system of unjust treatment built into our daily life, beyond individual acts. It affects everything we do (learning, leading, teaching, designing, living).
What they mean by Liberatory:
Enabling self awareness - freedom from the distorting effects from oppression
Transforming Power - design genuine opportunities to co-create in ways that add value to those that have historically been marginalised.'

Equity Pause
Covid19 has created a global pause for us to take stock. The normal before Covid19 was oppressive. How do we ensure we take an Equity Pause so we design something different?
Liberatory design cards - Process, Mindsets and DoNows
Design Thinking was designed to make money, Liberatory Design Thinking was designed to liberate humanity.
Need to exercise our creative courage and be a designer for equity.
This is about being a life long learner - not going to happen overnight. We need to have an understanding of self and systems.
We then spent half an hour going through the mindsets and choosing one we felt we did well at and one that was going to stretch us.
I chose "Share, don't sell" as my one I was doing well at. I feel I always want to share with others and I invite feedback to whatever I do. I am open to learning and growing and always keen for others to be involved.
A stretch for me was Bias towards experimentation. I think i tend to have a final solution in mind instead of going with the flow and letting experimentation take me wherever it does.
We shared these chosen mindsets with each other and then looked at how we might use them to change our original designs.

Equity Centered Design - as opposed to empathy or user centered.
Equity moves at the rate of trust - we need to take time to earn trust - needs to be co-constructed/liberatory.
Christopher Emdin "White folks who teach in the hood" Some great quotes from him here. Talks about us learning from each other, not us teaching and them learning.

So what?
We did a reflection on what we had notices so far I noticed that there was much more emphasis on empathy and equity, not just the design process. More on relationships and about knowing yourself and your biases.
Others thought:
You think you are noticing but not doing it in depth with care and love
Have to keep going back and test ideas - it's not linear
All 8 mindsets have strengths and growths to be had, depends on the context
How much conscious and concerned effort it takes to not show your influence - and how different the outcome could be
Want to have student voice heard throughout the process
Mindsets in time of Covid19 - what happens environmentally outside the design process
NZ is Ok with cultural competencies to a degree, some of these mindsets marry up well with our competencies - all about relationships and cultural responsiveness
Neurodiverse lens needed as well - a culture in itself.
If I thought I was strong in one mindset but actually wasn't, then it could trickle down through the design
Makes us aware of how we affect the design process. Need to practice self-awareness.
How who I am shapes what I see - culture shapes our perception
Need to take on board and take a walk in their shoes while also looking in the mirror to make sure our biases are not harming them on the way.

How might we use this process in our projects?
Reminding me to use these mindsets at each step and put the bias lens over everything (not just a te ao Māori lens)
Use the Equity Pause
Student voice most important - the ones we need to hear from are the ones we may not always go through (designing with the margins)
Collaboration - more voices at the start
Check the pulse of students throughout the day - getting feedback from then, what are they experiencing?
Invite students to the design process - need to feel heard
If the voice is not used, how disempowered the student feels
Bias towards experimentation - easy to create learning opportunities that are open ended - it's OK to not have an ending
Been designed to feel the pressure to have an outcome, we need unschooling and learn to let that go. Just perpetrating the mindset we have had for a long time.
Need student voice and student agency
Good opportunity to design something to help whanau and friends at home at the moment
Crucial you design who it's for and check ourselves on the way.

Final reflection
I used to think...
Now I think....
I commit to...

I used to think that design thinking was useful but I didn't use it often
Now I think I need to use Liberatory Design Thinking as it caters more to my beliefs anyway
I commit to running the Liberatory Design Thinking lens over my creative thinking

Other people's commitments:

use equity pause more often
ask outliers in the process
empower diverse and take away own biases
trying things out earlier
taking an equity pause to think about this
letting project take it's own course and go with that
try to get students to see themselves as the centre for their own learning
see those in the margins at the centre
being aware of my own biases'

Questions
How do you not tokenise students who are at the margins?
Empathy arc - trust, authentically asking them in the process. Don't pick them to make us feel important. If we bring in student voice, especially the margins, how do they see their voice throughout the process. If you ask them, then go in a different direction, they will hate that. They are experts in their own experience. That has been systematically erased.
Stop, think, equity pause.

Pasifika - how can you involve whanau as well?
Designers bringing in families authentically is still rare.
Opportunity to invite whanau voice into schools but parents of marginalised students often have a negative view of school. Need inviting in. They are anxious and scared of being screwed over again. Fins someone who doesn't look like you (white middle aged male) and already has the trust in those communities, You still have the responsibility to own the work. You need to model humility and courage to the communities you want to earn trust with.

15 Elements of White Supremacy culture - Tema Okun
White Supremacy Culture article

Conflict of interest - students making choices which are not always good.
What I want vs what the student wants
What do you want students to learn or feel?
Too much freedom too quickly can be hard.
Easy to consume, not so easy to produce
Every himan needs to make things with their hands
The maker inside of us has been designed out of us
Need scaffolding
Learn what they come with and what they don't. Then scaffold so they can get success in bits.
Too much freedom can be chaos - create and environment to feel lived, heard in learning process and provide key nudges then eventually they will make good choices.
Schools make good slaves. Lots of relearning needs to be done so they can learn to make good choices.

Use of the word love - we don't use that much in schools
Foster strong, warm, demanding relationships but not love.
Love is not something we expect to come out in the design process or school context.
Love is the thing that will save humanity

Great morning - I learnt lots and have really enjoyed going over these notes again. More thinking and learning :)





Great tools from DSX




Thursday, 16 April 2020

Isolation 7

Tuesday 14 Apr
A busy day today - got a lot of work done this morning as well as listening to Ann Milne's Facebook Live event on Colouring in the white spaces. She was great to listen to and it was good to be challenged. I have some notes, but most of it is covered in her book and the downloads you can get from her site. I did some baking over lunch time, listened to a talk from the DisruptEd community. Claire Amos was talking to students about their experience so far. One of the main things they had to say was about us as kaiako should be patient, flexible and provide support and care, but keep pushing for high achievement - warm and demanding. It was good to hear some student voice in all of this - we so often read and hear about kaiako, but not often from those we teach. It should be the other way round...
I went out today to collect some things from the chemist. It was the farthest I had been from home in weeks (sideline here - I had to look up to see if it was furthest or farthest, found a cool site explaining it to me - I never have (or is it have never!?) been good at grammar). It was odd to drive that far and just a strange feeling to be out and about. Part of me felt guilty I wasn't at home, but the other part was excited to be out. I wonder how it will feel once we all start driving to work again. I am quite enjoying working from home - I can do things in my own time and it's ok to be writing resources in the evening, or first thing in the morning. I'm interested to see how things will go tomorrow when we are technically back at school.
I used a comb today. I know that sounds normal for many people but being honest, I haven't used one for years. My hair is normally short and I can just run my fingers through it and it's done, but I was meant to have a haircut the week of lockdown and it didn't happen. So here I am. Longer hair than I have had for years, and having to use a comb! Lucky I found one at the bottom of the bathroom cabinet otherwise I think that would have been an essential shop before having to go online to my students in the morning!
More work this evening just finishing some bits on my Google Classroom for tomorrow and then went over the notes I made from the webinar this morning. Love learning.
Got a bit excited chatting to some of the cast from Hair which I did in April 1998 - nice to catch up and go through photos. A bit of a walk down memory lane. We are looking at having an online catch up this weekend - that should be entertaining!
It's great to see TVNZ having online learning starting today. I see it is planned for one month so far - for Years 1-11. Some great content. I remember Suzy Cato with my children - she did some cool science things and we had her DVDs. Brings back good memories. I hope lots of people let their children chill out and watch TV. Nigel Latta did a great talk on Seven Sharp last night about letting students just chill out. If you didn't see it, it is worth a watch on TVNZ On Demand. Thanks Nigel for putting a bit of reality into the mix. I think all teachers should watch it too - stop trying to put a huge amount of content onto students right now and just let them be who they are. Provide for those who want it and chill out for the others.
It's funny though, I sometimes feel totally overwhelmed by all the resources out there. I can't imagine how our ākonga are feeling. I just need to switch off quite often to stop all the information from circling around in my head. I love learning and I love all these resources, but sometimes I just wish there was just one thing, not lots of options. Is there such a thing as too much choice? I think there can be and right now there seems to be a plethora (is that the right word for it - let me just google that - you wouldn't believe how many words I google for my blogs) of choices. Hard to find my way through them all sometimes, hence using my page and site to try and filter them out a bit and go back to what I want to see.
Time to get off a screen and sleep - big day back at work tomorrow. It will be an interesting one.

Wednesday 15 Apr
I'm tired. That was crazy mad today for the first day of 'school'. There were lots of emails and messages flying around and then I had quite a lot of calls as well. I feel shattered and it's 4pm. I need to work on a better way to manage all the things coming at once and know that I can't do it all immediately. Maybe I only look at email once an hour or something. But I want to be responsive and quick for ākonga when I can. I had to remind myself to take a lunch break and go for a walk and I must say my butt hurt from sitting down for so long - I never sit that long at kura or at home. Not sure about this working from home thing!! I did manage to get some good resources out to ākonga though and the conversations I had were really productive so that's a positive. It will be interesting to see how it settles over the next week.
One thing though, it was nice to have my morning routine back, although I actually enjoy the drive to work so I did miss that bit. But it was good to get into the routine and know I had to work today. One of the ākonga I spoke to this afternoon said she had just got up - I hate to think how hard it is going to be for some of them when we finally get back to physically going to school.
Part of me feels guilty that I haven't done anything on the course I am doing - but in all honesty I had those few days of blah and now I've been flat out with work. Once I get back into the routine and how I'm going to manage things I think it will settle and I can get back into doing things in the evenings.
I enjoyed reading this article by Enrique Dans today and love this statement:
"From now on, we must prepare for life in a world where a vaccine for COVID-19 is going to take a long time to arrive, which means a great many restrictions on how we used to do things. For a long time, classes will be at half capacity, many students or teachers will be forced to self-confine, attendance will be irregular, and many methodologies we used before will no longer apply."
I then followed him on Twitter and had a look at his website and read a few more of his blogs. Some thought provoking stuff! Then I read a blog by Punya Mishra on The Value of School. I'm always fascinated by other's thoughts on school and what we should be assessing, but I think his comments on the different roles that schools play is really interesting. I could go on

Thursday 16 Apr
I need another picture. I'm not sure what I can add in here - I can't let me blog go out with just a comb! I'll have to think about it - maybe something entertaining...
Better day today for work. Got a little more organised and not trying to deal with everything at once. A few less emails and messages help! I think we were really trying to find our way around yesterday, so settling in a bit today. I have found getting up and walking around a bit more today has helped as well. Just moving rather than staring at a screen is quite beneficial. I really don't know how people do desk jobs. I also don't know how teachers with their own children are coping - I know how busy I am, must be madness in their house.
I read lots today but am a bit tired to post - maybe tomorrow...
I did get my veges today from The Mad Acre - wow - what an awesome box of veg. I would highly recommend it if you want your veges delivered. - Ohh - a pic I can use!!
An interesting discussion today about what Level 3 might look like. It will be very interesting to see what will happen. Meanwhile - it's time to post this.


Monday, 13 April 2020

Isolation 6

Thursday 9 Apr
Had a busy day doing a lot of school related work but still managed to make hot cross buns. I got the green bin filled with garden rubbish and got them out so at least I realised it was Thursday. I really didn't feel like being in front of a computer in the evening so didn't even get to write this on Thursday! I didn't do my MIE blog and I didn't manage to do much else . I think it is good to be able to tell myself that it is OK to not be at 100% at the moment.
Going for a walk today I took  this photo - just shows that the social distancing is working - here is the second path that people are taking to keep away from others. Good to see it does work! I saw a guy I went to school with today and stopped to talk to him and his wife. We were all talking about how strange this all is and where things might end up eventually. It certainly is an interesting time. Writing this blog is my journal really as to what it's been like - will look back on it one day and have a read. I wonder what it would be like to go back to the earthquakes if I had been writing then? I know I was quite obsessed with the data - I still have the quakelive pictures (I printed them out) somewhere. I also struggled hugely in many ways. Hmmm, might have to write something about the similarities and differences....
Friday 10 Apr
Good Friday. I am sure many people wanted to go away at Easter and some have even tried. I can't believe how people will not stay home. It is really crazy. Had a really lazy day today. Played Talisman most of the day, with a break for jigsaw and a walk. Early evening saw a fence party going on - a couple of the neighbours and I had a chat - at a distance. It was nice to chat though. Even though we can talk to people online it's not the same as being face to face. Once again I didn't get much done and didn't feel like doing much, maybe this last two days has been my weekend. My head is certainly not in the best space right now, so I'll just let it flag for a bit and not worry too much. Hard though as I am normally quite busy and productive. Hmm, week 3 of lockdown might be getting to me a bit.

Saturday 11 Apr
I got very motivated to bake this morning - made more hot cross buns and a lemon cake as well as cooking breakfast for all of us this morning. I watched a couple of interviews on YouTube about education and then went for a walk again. Played Talisman for the afternoon really and then cooked dinner and went to bed early. Another day of not doing much work or reading. Have to keep telling myself it's OK. I am managing to do some things for myself which has to be a positive thing. I did hear about a new vege place today in the north of Chch and have ordered some from there (The Mad Acre ) to try them out this week. I'll let you all know how it goes!


Sunday 12 Apr
Certainly feel a bit more like doing things today. It's been a funny few days with me being very unmotivated and although I have achieved some things, I certainly haven't done as much as I wanted to. Finished Wasjig8 this morning - that was good, taken me a few extra days but my children haven't been helping as much with this one. I am enjoying just sitting putting a few pieces in each morning. I'm very organised when it comes to jigsaws - I sort all the pieces into colours and shapes, makes it a lot easier, especially when you don't have a picture to work too like these.
Watched a Youtube clip today on online learning in China. Fascinating to listen to world views on education and how we have the opportunity to do things differently for education. This group has a website for Silver Lining for Learning and it has info about their other discussions. It was good to hear about what they did in China - one thing standing out to me, we don't have to do everything online - paper is fine! They also shared a lot of resources city wide - teachers sharing everything for any school. They also made everything individualised, providing tutors for those that needed support. I also read this blog about Non digital Remote Learning - something we need to consider for many of our ākonga. I like some of the links from here as well.
Had a good chat with a friend today which made me think about the similarities and differences again of the earthquakes and the current situation. I think I'll write a separate blog about this as I find it quite interesting. The evening saw a catch up of our dragonboat team online - good to see those smiling faces ad find out what people have been up to. You do realise how much you miss something once it's not there and even though i don't always do the social thing with the team, I do miss that contact each week.

Monday 13 Apr
Definitely more motivated today. Out in the garden early and have made worcester sauce today. Funny how moods can change so quickly with each day. Some days y brain is working fine and others it is not. I've started the next jigsaw and have been finishing a bit of work as well. Far more productive!
Hmm, was going to write more about today but a friend has sent me a text to say her Mum died this morning. I'm sad. I can't imagine how horrible it would be to be in that situation right now. I have no words.
Posting this - it's time, and I'll think and write better tomorrow.

Wednesday, 8 April 2020

Isolation 5

Sunday 5 Apr

I remembered Daylight saving - which is amazing as I can't remember what day it is! In
saying that, I forgot to change the kitchen clock so had dinner an hour early - ah well...
Had another day away from my laptop - I must say it is quite nice to do that, I don't do it often. I played Talisman, finished the jigsaw puzzle (Wasjig5) - I am going to run out eventually, but it's fun at the moment and is a nice break from having a screen in front of me all day. I did yet more sorting of lemons - lots of juice and sliced lemons in the freezer now!
Had a look at a clip about training for dragonboating - wish I had a paddle here at home, I could do some work in the pool and keep fit for that - keen to get back to training, missed the last couple of weeks and can't get to the erg at the moment. Soon. Please soon.
I have 172 unread emails now - hmm, better get onto those tomorrow. I feel I need to get organised and into a bit of a routine, but also trying to take some time for myself and making that happen for now.
I spent some time this evening trying to get Hangouts working with relative on their iPad, eventually turning to Zoom as the iPad wasn't up to date enough to install the Hangouts app - ah the joys of technology.
Finished Wasjig 5 today -
Keeping in contact with others is such an important part of my day. I chatted to a colleague at the park today (from a distance) and it was so nice to be able to see someone in person. I don't think we realise how much we need that.

Monday 6 Apr
Needed to get some work done this morning so spent a few hours on my laptop. Finally cleared some emails and got some planning done. I'm trying to get some work done each day but some days I just can't seem to find the energy. Although we are home and technically on holiday there are so many things to do to get sorted and prepared for next week and I feel sometimes that I am a first year teacher all over again!
I had some time trying to start a new jigsaw, got all the edge pieces out but couldn't sort them into a full frame - eventually my son came to the rescue and changed my sideways seagull to it's proper location at the top of the jigsaw! My brain is obviously not working as well as it should today.
The usual walk and some more Talisman (including being turned into a toad yet again) and the afternoon disappeared quite quickly. Had to call the vet as one of the cats has a skin problem and it has flared up again. Had to email photos in then I will get a phone consultation in the morning which is a good way of getting around the contact issue. I'm sure they will just pop her on some more prednisone - she's been on and off it for years.
We had our Boma Education Fellows call this evening. I spent quite a while in the afternoon trying to get my bluetooth to work. I have a great connection with my phone where I can hear very well - it sends the sound directly to my hearing aids and sounds like it's in the middle of my head, helps heaps with hearing on the phone, but my computer was not having a bar of it. On my Surface, which I use all the time I couldn't get a good connection even to listen to a YouTube clip, it kept cutting out. I might have to do some digging into that. Anyway, I went onto my school laptop and managed to get the sound working with YouTube, but then when I went on Zoom I got nothing. Sigh. I was running out of time yesterday but today I'll check the settings on Zoom and see what I can change to get my hearing sorted. I do find it really difficult at the moment, everything is online and my hearing just isn't quite good enough to catch everything. I realise how much I lipread in situations like this and lagging on the video does not help! It is so good to chat with like minded educators from around Canterbury. I find it really stimulating and although I was tired it did help me work out a bit more towards where my project will lead me this year. You can read about the latest meeting on my blog when I get it finished. Another chat online after that then early to bed. I must say it's been nice going to bed early and just reading for a while.

Tuesday 7 Apr
My personal email count is up to 182. I have been putting this off for a while and I think today is the day. I cleared my work ones yesterday so I think these are in for the cut. Many are genealogy sites and newsletters to read so could take me a day or two!!
The vet called this morning and has prescribed some cream and some prednisone so I had to go out and collect that so I braved the supermarket as well. I must say we are really lucky where we are. I walked in straight away, no queue and they had everything on the shelves that I wanted, including plenty of flour and toilet paper!! Lots of things had limits on them, but you don't need that much for a normal shop. There were a couple of people there not worrying about the distancing but on the whole people were really great and thoughtful. I am thankful I am not in a crazy supermarket space.
Another chat online to a colleague - always good to talk pedagogy and ideas. I do enjoy conversations that make me think and challenge things.
I fund the subject matter of my online course this week really interesting, and not so easy - it is about social connection and kindness. The kindness bit wasn't so hard but the social connection is a wee bit tricky right now! I'll be doing another blog on this soon.
My usual walk and yet another game of Talisman (where I didn't get turned into a toad but was killed a couple of times) and then time talking to a relative who is fairly anti any tech but trying to get sorted on messenger to keep in touch with some people. I didn't realise Facebook was now requiring a photo to access your account or to make a new one. All he wanted to do was be on Messenger, but that requires FB. I suggested his group use Whatsapp - much better option as you can add people by phone number and they don't have to be on FB. Wow. Been a learning curve for me too today.
Trying to get my Boma blog done today but not feeling the vibe - I do have to be in a writing mood to write up my notes and I have another online meeting tonight for the MIE Experts so may wait and write it all up tomorrow. I seem to be only able to do a few hours solid work each day at the moment. My brain gets tired I think.

Wednesday 8 Apr
Finally got my Boma blog done today with a bit of sidetracking into some great educational resources. A couple that I have read before came back strongly to me. The first being Ann Milne's Colouring in your virtual white spaces - reminding us to be thoughtful of our Māori ākonga in this time. The other was looking at different ways of doing things with tech - Using TikTok for Maths. There are so many cool things happening out there it's hard to keep up and I can certainly feel overloaded with information some days!
I decided not to go for a walk today, not because of being lazy but to give my toe a bit of a break. I damaged this last April (broke toes and snapped a tendon) - a year ago today in fact and have been waiting for a specialist appointment to hopefully fix it. My appointment was for April 2nd. So, as you can imagine, it got cancelled. I do feel a bit gutted after waiting all this time and now there is no date in sight for the forseeable future. And quite rightly so. It's not urgent, I can walk when it is strapped up, it's just a nuisance that I have to have it strapped all the time to hold it together. The skin was a bit yuk yesterday, getting a bit raw with the tape, so I've taken the strapping off for a couple of days. But I can't walk far, hence no walk today. Back into it tomorrow when I tape it up again. I missed the walk today though. It's nice to get out. I think I have realised I miss any time and space to myself. There is no time, apart from my walk, that I have no-one around - even there there are other people walking. Having space to do whatever I want in whatever way I want is nonexistent at the moment. I really feel for those with young children, it must be super hard right now.
Every time I get near a bunch of super motivated kaiako I learn so much! I went on a quick chat today taken by one of our MIE Experts Nikkie Laing. She was talking about how to do really pretty and useful infographics in Powerpoint and Google slides. I'll add the information from it on to the end of my MIE blog from last night (hopefully Ill finish that tomorrow. I get so excited about new things, just reminds me again of my love of learning - and how that links in to the VIA character traits I got with the course I'm doing. It all links up and I love that stuff!
Had an online chat with some neighbours today - we were all feeling the lack of personal contact and I remembered seeing on the news last night about the group that meet out on the street to do a workout each day, and the other group that just go out and walk around, have a chat and then back inside. We are all craving that human contact I think. It will be interesting to see how things go as time goes on. Another good discussion was with my son. He plays Borderlands online and told me about a cool new game inside Borderlands that is mapping the gut microbiome. You can read more about it here. It's really interesting connecting gaming with Science, I think it's an awesome idea. He reminded me of Ender's Game as well - a great read if you are looking for one.

Can't believe it has been 2 weeks already. Lots still that I want to do for my holidays!!! Plus lots of work to do so going to be a busy Easter. Oh, and I'd better clear those emails - still haven't done it....



Boma New Zealand Education Fellows March/April

This meeting was due the week we had lockdown so it got transferred through to a Zoom call last night. It was great to see people and have a bit of time to connect and talk about challenges and opportunities that we know have as a group of educators.
These are my notes from the call.
We started with the 2019 cohort as well, good to have more people there to chat and talk about our challenges and opportunities.
Kaila Colbin talked to us first and about Boma being there to help people and she talked about navigating through this disruption, applying exponential thinking to create learning outcomes for students. There are many questions at this time. What does education look like now and not just the NZ education system? How do we engage and connect with others? We have the opportunity now to connect with others all over the world and having a global conversation about education. She encouraged us to dream big and think outside our own schools with our projects.
We went into breakout groups (nice feature in Zoom, although I have read many articles recently about not using Zoom - something else to think about) and talked about our challenges and opportunities.

Challenges:
switching to virtual meetings - screen fatigue
for me - the challenge of hearing online and getting bluetooth to work on Zoom (I'll work on this!)
Teaching diverse learners
holidays vs work - being conscious of other people's wellbeing but still having to roll things out when we are technically on holiday
Lots of anxiety from students about missing school, Gifted and Talented students stressing
Making easy tasks that are clear
Hard to keep brains on one thing
Impact of relationships on parents at home while getting students to do school work
The language of learning
We need the capacity to be generous with timelines and potential assessments, some students are now doing childcare or are essential workers
We need to have a presence, not pressure and engage with them as a person
How much of school is part of home school?
Are students doing OK or not? What can you do if they are not checking in? How do we recreate those systems?
How do we cater for the inequity that is coming through? Colouring in the white spaces by Ann Milne and Colouring in your virtual whites spaces blog 
Teachers - getting them into a mindset and knowing that it is OK if something goes wrong
Not just shifting face to face to online but evolving practice. What is the expectation of us a a teacher? Need to provide just 3 or 4 things that will aid in the short term.
A lot of us have different roles (teacher/SLT/HOD/consultant/family) can be overwhelming, easiest to focus on the students first.

Opportunities:
Secretly excited about the opportunities 
Use of different platforms - example of the Tik Tok maths going on
You can choose when you do your work, do it at your own pace and plan around other things you need to do
For those that are self managing it could be enlightening to take charge of their own learning, those that aren't are a concern though
Glad that some staff are finally being forced online, they can't avoid it now
Some schools have great intranet and they can just add face to face video to it
Parents get to see that home learning is actually learning
Build confidence in staff for technology, making YouTube videos for example
How many parents are involved? Equity issue here too
We can have a different look at NCEA - Maurie Abraham has been advocating for this for a while. You can read his blog here
(Have a listen to this clip with Maurie Abraham and Claire Amos about what happened with Hobsonville Point Secondary School around how they coped with lockdown and the time beforehand. I like the idea of a 4 day school week for students plus 1 day for projects, 5 days for staff - what could this look like?)
Dealing with authenticity in a different way - working with other ways of testing what they know.
We have a country that needs to operate within. We can't get out or in so what will happen with industry in New Zealand? Tourism? Students need to go into new pathways. 
How do we prepare students for jobs that are online?
People are on board - we are losing stuff from courses that wasn't really necessary
Not having to enforce uniform
Students now have to be tech savvy so lots of progress is being made
Time to do projects and delve deeply into one thing

Some comments:
Review teams are pushing through to bring forward radical change - will people cope with more change?
How equitable will it be between schools, each one will look different.
Sometimes you need crisis to make change
Some schools are being blindsided and are not prepared with access. Need calm forward thinking staff.
Will business come in and we will have more PPP?
Parents are realising the way they were educated may need changing
We have hesitant colleagues, need professional learning to support them
Study Time site being used for NCEA

Our next breakout was around reflecting on what the world would look like in 2022
April 6 2022:
Not much will change - we will still be in shock
Great to see ideas but our group felt not much would change and we would fall back into the 'norm'. Potentially if NZQA and the ministry make decisions then things might change but if all systems stay the same then there may not be any change.
Pockets of change
Global network
How can we cloud knowledge and have people in and out of other spaces, imagine having specialists from overseas in our classes
Collaboration - some people are still very siloed, teachers will collaborate better and be brave and share best practice and engage across year levels and subjects.
Physically schools might not change. Trial different pockets of online learning, want to see examples.
Ask students how they best learn
Last year the Boma Fellows felt the power of the 10 of them was empowering, Felt they could impact change.
Not one size fits all - we can do more than we think.

The 2019 cohort then left our conversation and the 2020 group had a discussion about our projects and where we were at. I think we all were finding it hard because we were not at school and we had no students in front of us. The stress of this situation was also difficult. We did talk a bit about how not going on the trip was affecting us. I know that I learn a lot through informal chat, not just calls or workshops and I think others felt the same way. A lot of people are also overwhelmed by everything that is going on. We are certainly in a different situation now and in some ways we have more flexibility as we can do things individually or collaboratively. It was disappointing to lose the face to face time in meetings and also the trip, but we also have the opportunity to do things quite differently now.
The next part of our call was to do our own version of an Ikigai. We then shared these with each other.
So much of mine was pointing towards teaching and helping others, it was a bit scary but also very true. I do feel that I am probably very lucky to be absolutely passionate about what I do and never feeling I don't want to go to work. I love teaching and I love creating and helping, it's my work, my passion and my mission.
Doing this brought me a bit closer to what I want to do for my project - I'm going to flesh it out a bit more but it comes back to supporting diverse learners again and again.

We then had a discussion about what the rest of our year might look like as Boma Fellows. We are going to catch up more frequently but for less time and we still get to do an online workshop with David Clifford from the Stanford d.school on Liberatory Design Thinking which I am really looking forward to!
Time to get into more planning of my project...

Saturday, 4 April 2020

Isolation 4

Thursday 2 Apr
I managed to update my website this morning - added a few more articles to read and things to do. It's been good to have somewhere to keep everything easily accessible.
I read two articles today that really resonated with me.
The difference between Emergency Remote Teaching and Online Learning and This is the Time. I loved the question posed in this second article:
“If you were told that you didn’t have a curriculum, what would you teach?"
It's such a good question and has me thinking about what is really important for our ākonga right now. Relationships are really the key and if I can keep in contact with my mentor group I will be really happy. Checking in has never been more important I think. I also like the questions Will Richardson asks in his blog - The parent opportunity. These will be questions I want to ask when I call and touch base around learning.
  • When is your child most engaged with their online school experience? Why? What drives that engagement?
  • When is your child bored or disengaged? Why?
  • When do your children feel joy in learning? What circumstances lead to that?
  • What are you learning about your children during this experience? How does that learning happen?
  • How are your children’s learning skills improving during this time? What’s changing about them as learners?
I ordered a few things from my online pharmacy today. It makes you wonder how shopping will happen after all of this. I do find it much easier to go online and have things delivered! Will we continue to do this after lockdown? Who knows. I know we have been moving towards more online shopping anyway, but I never even thought to go to some of these online shops until now. At the moment many online stores are just not coping with the influx of orders but many are embracing this change and working hard to make things work efficiently. I think there will be an increase in sales online, even after lockdown as we all find it's easier than going out. I wonder who has been doing the online shop thing for ages - I'm probably just old fashioned and thought I had to go to a shop to get things. Change is on it's way, in so many aspects of our lives. I read this article also today - Four Possible Futures and found it quite thought-provoking. I must say I am enjoying the time to read and reflect more!
Had a good discussion with my son about what is learning, and what education could look like. We talked about how learning to learn is the key thing that schools need to get through to their students. But how do you teach people to learn? We came up with 3 main strands that are needed - Hauora, Literacies and Motivation. I think that this also answers some of the questions above. You need motivation to learn, so what is that motivation for each individual. It is going to be individual, as is the wellbeing/hauora side of things. How can we learn more from this experience to help us lead learning in a more individual personalised way? So many things going through my head right now!!
Another sunny day so spent some time in the garden which was good. I chatted with a few people online, keeping up my contact for the day and managed to lose a couple of hours in my genealogy research - the time flies when I am doing that!

Friday 3 Apr
A busy day today. I spent a lot of time doing school work today. We needed to get a good handle on whether our whanau had internet connection and a device to work on, knowing that many of them don't. We are so lucky to have access to all of this online where some people don't have the access. This is not an equitable time at all and I feel that we will fall short for many of our ākonga during this time. But we can only do what we can do. Hopefully the Ministry of Education will come to the party and help out for some of them.
I made kasundi today - it's a spicy green tomato chutney that is absolutely stunning with chicken! Decided to pick the green tomatoes and tidy up the vege garden a bit before planting some more seeds. Nice to be out in the garden! I also picked a ton of lemons today - I do miss not being able to give out fruit and veg to neighbours and colleagues, having to make things with them instead. I'll just have to hand out frozen and bottled fruit and veg when we finally get to go out again. Not sure what I'll do with the lemons yet, that's tomorrow's job.
Quite a few chats with people today, good to catch up with whanau of my ākonga. Many of them doing fine but a few struggling, especially with having everyone in close quarters. I know I enjoy getting out for a walk each day and spending time in the garden when I can. One parent was really enjoying getting her tamariki out in the garden sowing seeds and measuring out distance between seeds when planting. Such a great learning moment, we should be encouraging more of this.
I have read a few more articles today, mainly around online learning and the difference between what happens normally and what happens in a crisis situation like this. I did like this article - just getting us to realise this is not normal. It does concern me that some schools are just doing exactly what they would do normally but putting it all online. It's not the same and we need to think about this in a different way. 
I think I stuck my head in the sand a bit as I have 147 emails in my inbox for home. I've been avoiding using a computer where possible but maybe I should clear these - I normally do it every day but been a bit slack lately. Lots of genealogy emails and lots of Covid19 ones as well. Maybe tomorrow...

Saturday 4 Apr
I had a pretty relaxed day today. Managed to get through a large chunk of those lemons - making lemon juice ice blocks, lemon syrup and 2 lemon cakes for my lovely children! I also managed to make cookies and cook a roast - been a busy cooking day.
My emails have gone up to 157 - I really need to get onto those tomorrow but stuck my head in the sand today. I kept off any device until this evening when I really felt I needed to complete this blog.
I had a good day today playing Talisman with my children. It's an amazing game that I really enjoy but it takes a lots of brain power. I feel that I am a step behind my children at all times an I struggle to keep up with the play sometimes. I enjoy the game though and it's well worth playing if you can. My son has every expansion in the world I think - it was his birthday and Christmas presents for years. But it was nice to play the game for the day - keen to have another session tomorrow.
It was nice to catch up with my brother tonight. He lives in Golden Bay and I was considering going up there soon to say hi but that idea is down the track now. Good to have a chat about life, the universe and everything. 
I'm thinking every few days is a good time to post these, so here it is. Haven't finished the latest jigsaw, maybe tomorrow.
Don't forget to put your clocks back tonight!!!