Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Using SOLO to get ready for Product Analysis.

My Year 12 Design and Visual Communication class are getting into their product research when we get back in term 2. They are going to design lighting for a cafe based on the design era that they have been researching.
I wanted to use SOLO Taxonomy to structure the product research so the students have access to the depth of thinking that they need in a step bot step way.

I have downloaded all these Google Drawings as images to put on the blog so I have put links to the Google Drawings with the images here so you can click on them and make a copy of the drawing if you would like to. I also add instructions etc round the sides of the drawings which you cant see when you download it as an  image.

First of all, I want them to describe an example of a lighting design that they have found.
Link here



Then I want them to dig deeper with their analysis of a found design, so they will do this document that gradually increases the complexity of the questions it asks.



Comparing their found designs with another one is a really good way of analysing why design decisions were made on existing products.


They also have to look at materials, constructions methods and ergonomics.
I have got as far as planning the materials research section so far. Onto the other 2 sections next. (construction and ergonomics)

Link here



Here is the link to where this material is presented on the class website.

I like how a lot of these documents give the students access to multiple levels of working, depending on how far they get through each coloured set.

I colour code my SOLO related activities related to a poster that is up in every class room at school.


Friday, April 21, 2017

Ed Tech Auckland - Presentation on Higher Order Thinking Skills

I presented today at the Ed Tech Summit Auckland.
My topic was about using Google Drawings to create higher order thinking tools around SOLO Taxonomy.

It was the biggest room full of people I have presented to!! (over the age of 18!!)


It was really interesting when we got to the hands on stuff, the range of things that people were using the tools to plan for. From Visual Art to coding with Scratch.


So...got a new presenters badge today.... I like badges!!

Ed Tech Summit 2017


Here are my notes from 2 days of the Ed Tech Auckland 2017 summit

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Student voice about how they like the lesson instructions presented to them.

For the past 4 years, I have been using Google Plus Communities with my classes. We put our work on their so everyone can see it and give feedback.
I have also been using it increasingly for lesson instructions, links, examples ect, on a day to day basis. This started as a good place to put instructions when leaving relief work but it got used more and more for every day lessons.
The NCEA communities are here.
Level 1
Level 2
Level 2

This year, the school as a whole has made a move towards using Google Calendars more with the students. I have been putting lesson instructions and links on to the calendars. These are embedded on the class site and onto the front of their portfolio sites.

I have tried both methods this term and then tried not doing any online method, just relying on me telling them what to do when they come in the room.
Today, I have asked their opinions about this and what they like / don't like.

Here are the questions that I asked them and their answers :-

"Hello. I have tried putting the lesson instructions onto a calendar this term. This calendar is on the front of your personal Google Site. I have also continued to put instructions and examples in the class communities.
I want to know what you have used the most, liked the most, noticed.
I have not used these methods for the whole term on purpose to see if you noticed when one was used and not the other."



  • It was helpful all the time, because with having the instructions on the calendar we could keep up to date with our work.
  • Because they were easy to understand even when Miss wasn't in class.
  • cause computer sometimes slow
  • it had precise instructions
  • I like the instructions because when its easily for me access my work faster
  • I just like it because it helps me
  • I just like it because it helps me
  • I liked it because it helps me understand what I need to work on and shows me what we are doing each day when we have graphics.
  • I like the instructions on the calendar cause when we straight away get in class we can login and check the calendar to see what today task are.
  • I like having the questions being put up on the calendar because easy access to view.
  • I like the instructions put into the calendar because easy access to it
  • I like it because it's easy to access things.
  • The calendar is great, because if we are lost we can just check the calendar.
  • I like it because it helps me understand more 
  • Because they we easy to understand when she was absent

  • It was very helpful for me, when the teacher put up instructions on the community.
  • It also was easy to read when she wasn't here
  • its algood so were not always nagging what to do 
  • Just the same opinion in using calendar but a lot easier to access (for me) because we receive an email every time there's a new post. 
  • I like the words the community has did
  • I liked it because it helps me 
  • I liked the community instructions because it show our progress and where we are at. It also gives us feedback from the teacher to know what needs to be done. 
  • Cause it was confusing
  • Don't really go on the community site.
  • i like using community because it has visual instructions and teachers can give us examples through pictures
  • I like using the community for instructions because you don't have to sit and listen to your teacher talking for 10 minutes, telling you what you're suppose to do.
  • I like the community for instructions because I'm usually on the google community rather than the site, and also it's simple.
  • I like it because it helps me more 
  • Because they also were easy to understand when she was absent

My main takeaways from this :-
  • The students seem to like the calendar and community equally.
  • The students appreciate the "rewindable" factor about both methods.
  • The students like the community as it is more visual (I like it for this reason too!)
  • They also like the community as they can look at each others work and support each other.
  • They like the easy access of the calendar.
  • Some of them liked the way the instructions seemed more precise on the calendar.
So.... I guess I am going to move into Term 2 using the calendar and the community.
That's OK...



Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Manaiakalani Google ClassOnAir - Lesson 4 (Session 2 of 3)



The lesson information is from Lesson 4, session 1 of 3 - blog post here

I decided to spread this last "lesson" for the term across 3 sessions so the progress of the Year 11 group could be observed as they move towards their final poster design.

Here is what is new to this lesson during this session. I have mainly focussed on getting the students to talk about what they are doing in their project work.


Session 2 - 11th April


This is Dante talking about his Level 1 design work. He is in Year 11 and has not really been up to date with his work all term and has needed quite a bit of nagging.





This is Martha in Year 11and she is talking about her project. She is mainly working on the collection of the written information for her poster and she is not the world's biggest talker which comes through on this video.




This is Alex in Year 12. He has been working on his design era project. He is explaining what he has been doing to complete his work.



This is a few views of the ongoing lesson as students were getting on with their work. This shows views from both of my senior classes so there will be Year 11, 12 and 13 shown.



Lesson Plan Sessions - Added to previous plan on the 6th April

Tuesday 11th April

Session 1
Student Activity
Teacher Activity
  • Year 11 students are continuing with their final design work. This involves them working on Photoshop, finishing the write up of information for the poster or producing work in whatever way is appropriate.
  • Support and demonstrations of skills and techniques where needed with whatever they are doing during the lesson.
Session 2
Student Activity
Teacher Activity
  • Year 12 students are coming to the end of their design era work and they are focusing on news events of the time and the effects that events had on design of the time. They are mainly working on google drawings to present their work.
  • I will be walking the room giving help and support where needed, especially on the cause and effect section of their work as this is the most complex area.

Reflection and Analysis

What went well?

They seem to be plodding along quite nicely and I am having plenty of time to support them on a one to one basis which is good for them and I can see where their understanding is.
There is a range of abilities and use of techniques going on, ranging from basic layouts on Google Drawings which are headed towards an achieved to use of Photoshop to layout a design based on the style of their architect. This work will be headed towards merit of higher which is good to see for some of them.

What did not go so well?

I am worried about them getting everything complete before the end of term. If they finish their actual poster, then I will be happy, as we can collate everything onto their portfolio site and write an evaluation in the new term at the same time as starting the next project.
I have not had this completion problem with a whole Year 11 group on this project before and I am wondering if the mix of Level 1, 2 and 3 is affecting them in a bad way.
Time for some anonymous student voice surveys I think!

What can I do better?

Ensure that everyone is confident about what they need to do next. Maybe more use of the class community where it is just them together without the rest of the class (the Year 12 and 13's) could help facilitate this.