Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Open wide please.......

It has been an interesting week. The intermediate schools are having parent meetings and are using the Tamaki College links to the teacher Google sites that used to be on the Manaiakalani website to show parents what students do when they come up to the college in year 9. This was showing a load of buttons to individual teacher sites and not all of them were available for anyone outside of the school domain to view. We were asked to open everything up so anyone can have a look.
The first job was to get staff to send in the links for the sites that they are using with students this year. I did this via a Google form in an email as it collates everything into a handy dandy spreadsheet.
The next bit came from management to tell all staff to open their sites to the world.
This has been met by a very mixed reaction and a lot of worried conversations. I had given up worrying about this a while a go as my site has been open since the start, so I had forgotten the issues that come up about this. The main one has been staff worried about copyright issues. I have been encouraging :-

  • use of a bibliography
  • links back to the original information sources
  • a disclaimer

I have also been using smiles and hugs where needed!!!

I then redesigned the page for the links. I did this by creating a site especially for the job, with buttons for each department / area. These buttons link to a page where I am putting the site links as they come through from staff in the form of a table. The html code for this page could then be inserted on the Manaiakalani site ( handy, as I am REALLY fussy about the layout of buttons, and the html code takes all that with it ). This site is HERE.

On someones else's site, you can only specify what goes on the actual page area, so we sent along the site topper to decorate too!!.....

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Blogging with Ebenezer

Me and Ebenezer spent some time blogging this morning. He is a new blogger.
We have covered the basics on the desk top and this photo was taken while I was demonstrating the iPad app for Blogger.
This post was made on my iPad mini and Ebenezer is an iPad owner too.

I also feel very special, as when i got over to help him, Ebenezer had printed off my instructions from the "How to" site.
I am a published author.... ha ha ha....

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Level 1 NCEA Results.

We have recently had to crunch the numbers at school for management to have an in depth look at the results of individual departments.
I am especially pleased with the Level 1 Design and Visual Communication results as this was the biggest group of students that I had last year.
I have taken a screen shot of the spread sheet that I kept all year so I could see where they were all up to. ( Dear Google, please let spreadsheets be embedded on blogs!!... :D )

There were a number of factors last year.
  • This was the second year through for the new assessment standards, so I was more comfortable with them and better prepared.
  • This was the first year that I had all of my planning, examples and assessment information on a Google site for the students to access at all times.
  • This was the first year that the students were doing their work online on Google docs etc.

I can not in all honesty pin down any single reason why there was a big improvement in my level 1 results, but I am busy putting what I have learned from this into the 2nd year of the new level 2 standards and the brand new level 3 standards.
  • Letting the students know as much as possible in advance.
  • Sharing everything.
  • 24 hour access to planning and instructions.
  • Examples, links and exemplars on line for them to access.
  • Clear instructions with illustrated examples.
  • Multiple ways of working and presenting work.
  • Feedback on work online.
  • Use of the teacher dashboard to monitor activity.

I am continuing to increase the use of GAFE, with my students all making individual Google sites themselves this year to present all of their project work.
I continue to wrestle with the problem of combining our online work with the drawn work that is in sketch books.

Here is a link to a Level 1 workflow video that I made to show how the students go about creating a piece of work using the site and docs.

Update on Friday 8th March

In response to a question about which of the students were involved in the first netbook trial, I have looked at the results.
There were only 3 of my Level 1 students last year who were involved in the netbook trial when they were in year 10 ( this was 2 year 10 classes with netbooks ).
Here are their results.
They passed all of the credits that they were entered into in DVC.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Interested in the Statitstics

Seeing who is having a look at the school blog that I have been involved in for the past 5 years has always interested me. I have installed a ClusterMap and a Feedjit feed on any blog since then, as they give both real time feeds and overviews of who visits and where in the world they are from.
This is on top of the rather cool stats that you get on a blog now, that is a built in feature.

 Doing this on a Google site is not quite so easy.
First of all, you have to go into the settings and enable statistics for the site.

You need to click the "learn more" so that you can be directed to the Google analytics page, where you can get a code to put in your settings. You also get a piece of html code to put on your site. This is easy, as it just goes at the bottom and is not even seen as it works in the background.
So, I have done this for my Graphics site, which is my main teaching site, and for the Digital Footprints site, which is the cyber safety one.
Some interesting readings have been coming through recently for the cyber safety site, which pleases me in a couple of ways. The students have been introduced to it over the last couple of weeks, a few at a time and the site has also been given to the rest of our Manaiakalani cluster as a suggestion for teachers to use as training.
I think people have been looking!!!
What pleases me the most is that the average time was nearly 9 minutes, so they had a good smooch about while they were there. It makes all the work feel worthwhile.

If you want to look....

Sunday, March 3, 2013

If Microsoft made Cars...

We have all been there.
We all know the frustration...

Learn, Create, Share

While playing with a new app on my iPad, called Grafio, I had an idea to make an info graphic about the vast range of apps, programmes and add ons we use in our "Learn, Create, Share" focus.
This does not hit everything but I think it gives an idea of all the things our students get a chance to try out while producing their work. It keeps us on our toes as teachers, keeping up with all the possibilities.