Monday, 21 November 2016

This week in tech 18th Nov 2016

An experiment and a challenge

'blog at least once a week reporting on the cool things that are happening with tech at IGBIS'

Not sure if I can maintain this or even get it done this week

Thursday I visited EYK and together we made bread using a bread machine. Their central idea is "Our Lives are interconnected with living things" They were talking about where bread comes from and Miss Deb thought it might be a good idea to show them that bread doesn't just come from a shop it is made from flour, water, super, yeast and salt. It was lots of fun

Tuesday the grade 2 students used Sonic Pics to record themselves reading their own stories. This is now a tool they will be able to / should be able to use again and again for any visible thinking activities. They are going to use it again very soon for more stories and reports

In grade 6 the students have been blogging and sharing their blogs with students from the Netherlands and Vietnam. I was in helping the students share their blogs and loved the content that some have included: film trailers, mind maps, tables and maps. 

In grade five the students created a talking science report by using Google Slides and Quicktime to make a screencast. They then uploaded them to Google photos and Youtube. Some students downloaded their original screencasts to an iPad then used Tellagami and Green Screen to add some special effects to their videos. Check out this one below

Blogger Junior has been set up for all the iPads in KG, G1 and G2. Hopefully now we can get the students blogging and uploading their work in a more consistent fashion.

A couple of weeks ago I visited the grade 3 classes to show them the sphero programmable balls and a couple of ways they could be used for Mathematics. They were studying perimeter so they seemed like a natural fit. There were lots of problem solving skills shown as well as heaps of mathematics.

The Spheros have also been used in the coding club and are a great way to learn how to code and to see the connection between what you do on an iPad or computer and the real world. The kids love coding an actual robot. 

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Teaching Staff how to be different

Staff Differentiation Workshop

Friday a call goes out that we need some more presenters for some differentiation workshops next Tuesday. My plan was to attend some PD from other staff rather than lead it.

Oh Well you do what you need to do.

A quick rush job was needed..... Differentiation (not the algebraic kind) is something I think I do pretty well, but what tech angle could I use to tackle it?

The more I though about it all I really wanted to do was to model differentiation rather than lecture for 50 minutes, so it really didn't matter what tools I used. I have heard so many teachers complain that they had been to PD or sessions on differentiation that were not differentiated......

I chose to create a Hyper Doc with two different streams on investigation that the teachers could work through.

We started by doing a directions quiz A bit like this one  This is something I like doing with students to highlight the importance of following directions correctly. It also works with teachers.

I then introduced the Hyperdoc and explained how it worked. The teachers all had to do the first task, which was an Edpuzzle (Edpuzzle allows you to add questions, commentary and notes to any video) lesson on using differentiated instruction to support all learners .

Once the teachers finished the interactive lesson they could then explore and choose any of the activities on the Doc. One side of the doc allowed learners to explore Ed Puzzle and the other side allowed them to explore Hyperdocs. The teachers could pick and choose the activities they were interested in, they wanted to do or they needed to. This allowed teachers to work at their own level, their own speed or how they wanted (individually, groups) it was completely up to them. 
Hopefully modelling a way to differentiate in their classes

The whole process worked, with lots of positive feedback. The most interesting part was the teachers who didn't like having to be learners. I encouraged everyone to press buttons, find the help section, Google questions and just try things. 

Some people just couldn't, they constantly asked for help 'What do I press?' 'How do I do this?' 'Where are the video?' It took a lot of patience and self control to calmly point to the section of the screen with the big question mark. Students can be a lot easier to teach.

I realised that this sort of PD is something that we need to do more of, not only do students need to know how to learn and find answers for themselves but so do teachers, and parents and office staff. Like anything the more they do it the better they will get.