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Book Trailers 4 Learning!

Book Trailer

Recently my year 8 students have been writing Narrative based stories with a focus on the horror genre. We had spent quite a bit of time in class discussing what makes a horror story and the features that are needed to be included to give the audience that sense of fear. We investigated traditional horror literature as well as film and what made the examples we looked at ‘scary’? What was it that classified them as a horror genre?

Once the students had completed their Narratives we wanted to take their narrative to another level. The one idea that came to the forefront was from our wonderful College librarian, Tye, who suggested students create their own book trailers. What a great way to involve ICT skills in to a literacy lesson. It was interesting to notice that all of my students had never seen a book trailer before, however all were familiar with movie trailers! Surprising? Hardly. 😉

Tye ran through with the students several excellent, and not so excellent, examples of book trailers. We spoke about and discussed the positives and negatives of the trailers that were viewed as well as what features of them made them great, and not so!

From here students moved forward by storyboarding their own Book Trailer ideas by selecting the main points, plots and happenings from their narratives. Students had to think hard about what visual images were going to be placed in their trailer, what backing music was to be included, if any as well as any special effect sounds. Once i was happy with the storyboards that the students had created they were then asked to create their trailer. Students were also given the responsibility to move throughout the College to film as well as create their own sound recordings if they wished. Students were also encouraged to create their own music via Garage Band as to not have any issues of Copyright.

The result… EXCELLENCE! Having viewed book trailers which had budgets of $13K, i am most proud to say that what my students created were outstanding!

I encourage you to view these trailers for yourself! You can find what has been uploaded so far on Tye’s Blog, The Book Gryffin. Click on this link ‘Student made Book Trailers‘ and away you go!

Thanks and happy viewing!

ICT Peer Coaching

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Recently i attended the first two days of a five day Peer Coaching Course being ran in my region. The focus being placed on ICT Teachers and Leaders Peer Coaching and Mentoring other staff in a school setting to implement ICT practices.

The Peer Coaching Mission, to implement a 21st Century professional development model to enhance standards-based instruction through engaged learning and technology integration, was discussed and as a group we spoke about the need for not only Peer Coaching in ICT, but all major curriculum areas.

Being somewhat new to the Peer Coaching and Mentoring scenario, more so as a Leading Teacher in my educational setting, it was great to hear the philosophy and pedagogy behind the mission above. It was interesting to hear the thoughts of those who attended on what they thought ‘Peer Coaching’ was. We completed a mind mapping activity via http://www.text2mindmap.com which allowed us to express our thoughts through creating an online mind map, or cluster web. Several of these have been posted on the Peer Coaching Wiki, the link is at the bottom of the post.

We also spoke about what Professional Learning/Development that we had attended which had made a difference to us and our teaching practices. We undertook several professional readings, one being the K-12 Horizon Report, which contained excellent readings relating to ICT Practices in Education. I have attached this report here and i highly recommend you have a look through it if you have not already done so!

2010-Horizon-Report-K12

The second day looked at investigating how Peer Coaches in educational settings are chosen and what there specific roles are. We also spoke about the Coaching Cycle, shown here:

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and  how to implement and determine what is required by Peer Coaches and those that they are working along side. The last step of the day was to begin to develop a School Agreement Plan to determine the likes of the Background and rationale of the Peer Coaching Program, which members of staff may be involved in the program, and how the overall process will work.

For more information on the Peer Coaching Program, please visit the Wiki, the link is below. It contains the course outlines as well as all relevant documents that we used throughout the first two days.

Wyndham Network Peer Coaching Program Wiki: http://wyndhampeercoaching.wikispaces.com/

Are You A ‘Lone’ Nut!

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“What the hell is this bloke on about?” i can hear you saying!

Well. It’s all about Movement. Creating Movement. Encouraging Movement. Movement, Movement, Movement… Whilst attending my latest PL (Professional Learning) relating to Peer Coaching in ICT, which i’ll post about soon!!!!, we looked at creating movement. More so in our context, creating movement in ICT.

The facilitator of the Peer Coaching PL, Helen Otway, showed us a video from TED Talks. The video is by Derek Sivers who talks about creating movement in a great engaging 3 minute speech.

We were asked to reflect about this video. Were we ‘Lone Nuts’ in our Educational Setting. This made think,  “Am I a lone nut? Have I already been a lone nut? Am i no longer a lone nut? If i have been a lone nut, were to from here? If i am not anymore, in which direction do i head?”

Helen asked us to post on her Blog, which is linked above, our thoughts about being ‘Lone Nuts’. Here is my response:

“Lone nut… Are nuts ever alone? Usually they hang out in groups on a tree, or in a bowl at a party…

Am i a lone nut? Possibly. It is difficult to answer. There are days where i feel like i am a nut nobody likes, maybe a Hazelnut or a ‘Metal’ Nut that does not fit anything… “Here’s Corrie again rambling on about the something else ICT…”… Other days i feel like a Cashew or Almond covered in honey… Everybody wants a piece of me! “That’s such a great tool, how do i use that, can you show me?”

I think that it is through showing others that it is OK to be a lone nut. To stand up there and try different things. To lead from from the front. To lead by example. Shift and movement started long ago i feel at my College, it is though inspiring other lone nuts to get involved, to become part of that bowl of Mixed Salted, or unsalted nuts… Because together, greater change and movement can occur if all the other ‘lone nuts’ come together!

View Derek’s video below and see if you are a ‘Lone Nut’. Ask yourself, as we were asked, “Are we lone nuts or leaders or both?, And how can we inspire other Lone Nuts to be part of a movement!”…

ICTEV Conference

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Last night i had the opportunity to Present at the ICTEV (Information, Communication Technology Education Victoria) Conference for the Wyndham Network along with a fellow Staff Member, Honey, our Yr 5 Team Leader.

As we currently have an iPad trial running at our college, http://manorlakesvicipadtrial.global2.vic.edu.au/, we had the pleasure of presenting about this Trial and how to implement iPads in to a teaching and learning setting.

The presentation was packed out which was wonderful and as the night progressed we received great responses and questions from the numerous people who attended, who were looking at integrating the iPads in to their school setting.

The 3 fundamental aspects of the iPads which we have found at our College that have driven student learning have been the following:

1. iBooks App,

2. The ability to access the Web on the go,

3. The thousands of Applications which are available for Teaching and Learning purposes.

The shift needed in thinking was also discussed. A change in the links between Pedagogy – What is powerful Learning and what promotes it? Curriculum – What is purposeful to Learn? Assessment- How will we know it has been learnt?  These three concepts were instrumental in how we as a College viewed the thinking that was needed. One key decisive comment, if not THE comment, that drove and drives our iPad trial as well as 1:1 MacBook Program is that it is the Teacher who drives the learning, not the iPad, or the MacBook or the device. These machines are exceptional tools to assist learning, however they are not what makes the difference, it is the Teacher themselves.

Once the presentation was completed it was great to receive strong, positive feedback from those who attended. The presentation which was covered, you access for download as a PDF, can be found at: http://slidesha.re/96Lfcu

Cheers!

Ultranet Mk I.

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Mission: To have all year 7 and 8 students accessing the DEECD Ultranet by Friday. Day one of three completed. 4 classes down, 10 to go.

I must start by saying that the students that i took today for their first foray in to the world that is the Ultranet responded very well! Their first encounter with such a full on, hands on, lesson was well received. The Ultranet in itself has its complexities and after seeing the students respond as well as they did, has given me hope that it will all come to fruition in the coming weeks! The biggest thrill of today though, without a doubt, was the Ultranets fuctionality and the absolute minimal fuss that the online Learning Portal gave me, and the students.

Bar 4, all 90 odd students were able to access the Ultranet and its features and what was more impressive than this was that these features actually worked, and worked well.

The students responded very very well to what the Ultranet had to offer and seemed excited by the opportunities that were available to them via this portal. I think that comparing such a resource to ‘Facebook’ assisted this and in saying that, Ultranet and Facebook, do have very common similarities which the students enjoyed.

The biggest issue i had was having students access the IDAM (Identity & Access Management) for their first time login. The students’ usernames and passwords did not allow them to complete the process which was required. Hopefully i can sort out this issue in the coming days.

On the plus side, the students had a very successful time in adding applications to their spaces. iFrames, RSS Feeds, Notice Boards and Calendars just to name a few. The students began to update their Profile Pages as well as change the space layout and settings.

Overall, it was a successful day. It was amusing though that i had less trouble today working with 13 and 14 year olds on the Ultranet than i had running through the same sessions with the staff… twice! The Ultranet appears not to like adults!

If you are after more information about the DEECD Ultranet itself, head here! http://www.education.vic.gov.au/about/directions/ultranet/default.htm

Cheers!

T.D.T. #1 – Teaching w/ Twitter

Twitter

Last Thursday i held our first ‘Tech Day Thursday’, which have replaced our Friday morning ‘Techie Breakies’. I decided to shift away from the Breakfast version as i know just how busy our staff can be before the school bell rings and the masses begin to roll in for the day!

Our held our first session on ‘Teaching with Twitter’. Whilst at the Ulearn10 Conference in Christchurch, NZ, i attended a breakout which was ran by Steve Wheeler, a Professor from the UK. Steve ran through the benefits of using Twitter as an educational tool and since i have been involved in sending and receiving ‘tweets’, it has been an outstanding way to further develop my PLN (Professional Learning Network).

I ran through with the staff who attended the benefits of using twitter as an educational tool and the great gains that can be made via the sharing of excellent online teaching and learning resources.

The staff appeared to be very engaged and i only hope that from what they learnt they too reap the benefits of such a great professional learning experience!

And… you’re not a Twitter user, get on board!

Cheers, @CorrieB

Teaching and Learning Resources #1

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Below I have attached several links which had been shared amongst the attendees of the Ulearn10 Conference last week.

Hopefully you find them extremely useful. I know i have!

http://manorlakesvicipadtrial.global2.vic.edu.au/ – Everything happening in in the world of iPads @ MLC. Here you will find student comments, app recommendations, photos and soon to be added examples of student work as well as a host of other exciting things!

http://cooltoolsforschools.wikispaces.com/ – What a site! If you’re interested in using Web 2.0 in your class, this is for you!

http://sites.google.com/a/ptengland.school.nz/smacdown/ – If you’re a fan of Apple. And you use an Apple Mac or iMac. And you’re looking for some fresh ideas. This is a MUST!

http://gamesined.wikispaces.com/This Wiki has been constructed by Adrian Camm, an esteemed Educator who is passionate about utilising the powers that games can have amongst our digital learners in education. If you are thinking of integrating Games Based Learning in to your classroom, this is the site for you!

http://globalmythchallenge.wikispaces.com/ – The Global Myth Chalenge. A great collaborative site in which students from various cultures can share what myths and legends are native to specific places around the globe! An excellent inquiry bask challenge for your students!

http://www.classroomchronicles.net/ – An excellent Blog create by Henrietta Miller, a fantastic teacher from Sydney. Via her Blog you will learn what it is that Henrietta has to share and offer, which is always of extreme benefit to teachers and students.

Welcome!

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Welcome to my Blog. During my very first blog post I am pleased to discuss the greatness that was the 2010 Ulearn10 conference that was recently held in Christchurch, NZ.

It was a pleasure to be able to hear from great educational minds such as Lee Crockett, Steve Wheeler, Stephen Heppell, and Lane Clark. The philosophy on education and teaching in a digital world with digital learners was exceptional to hear.

The Breakout sessions that i took part in were also outstanding. I can honestly say that in my 8 years of teaching i have never attended a Professional Learning opportunity like this one. I learnt more in the 3 conference days that i attended than i have in quite a while. Game Based Learning (Adrian Camm), Teaching with Twitter (Steve Wheeler), Learning Spaces and Places (Stephen Heppell) and the Apple Tools Smackdown (ADE + Others), which was awesome!, all were great and wonderful learning opportunities!

The discussion around online teaching resources as well as creating PLN’s (Professional Learning Networks) showcased the importance of creating and using specific online tools. I have been a Twit (what i call a Twitter user) now for a week and a half and the learning that i have achieved through this is outstanding! Get on board, i recommend it!

I will collate several of the excellent resources that i came across, and share these with you! Be sure to stay posted, as these links will keep on coming!