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Showing posts from March, 2014

Classroom Discussions

After listening to Mr John Hattie at the Festival of Education last weekend in Auckland, there were a lot of things that I picked up on about my own practice.
One of those things was this statistic :  "65% of teachers do not do classroom discussions" and this stuck with meas I am guilty of not doing this very often at all. This was one of the things that Mr Hattie listed as making a measurable impact to student progress in the classroom.

Things that do matter. In rank order
— Karen Ferguson (@karen0968) March 21, 2014
This week I thought that I would give this activity some conscious effort and decided to start with my Level 1 group. On Monday, I got them all round the front of the class and we looked at a selection of movie posters that I have collected together into a Google Plus album.
They had to tell me about the following things :-
What is the focus of attention?How has this element been made the focus of attention?How does your…

MIT14 ~ Where are we up to ?

This presentation describes briefly where the project is up to at the moment, 8 weeks in.
It has links out to Google Plus Communities that the students post in, the class site that they work from and links to student work. It ends with a Year 11 student talking about how he produces his work in DVC this year.
If you want to know more about the project, click the link on the last slide.

Here is the video from the end of the slide show...

Green Screening on iMovie 10

We have begun to organise ourselves for our next big budget TCTV production... ( ok, no budget is more like it ... )
One of the things that we need to do is some green screen action, so we decided to have a little trial go today. We had a try last year when we made the opening titles for our Doctor Who presentation for the Manaiakalani Film Festival.
All we had to do last time was to drop one clip on top of the other and a nice handy dandy little menu would pop up with useful things you could do, like green screen. This was on iMovie 9 and since then, I have got a new mac book and am using iMovie 10, but I haven't tried to use green screen yet.
I taped some green sugar paper to my board, cut out a print out of the Millennium Falcon and put it on a piece of rolled up green paper and we had a go. I was flying the Falcon while Dj manned the iPhone doing the recording.
A nice shot of a suitable space background was dropped into iMovie and then we tried to drag the Falcon footage on to…

Level 1 Feedback about using Google Plus Communities

I recorded my Level 1 students today, talking about what they thought about using the Google Plus Community within the group.

So far we have been using it for practice activities and to upload development work to receive class feedback. They are just about to start using this feedback to write the analysis notes of their own design developments.


Josh and Fiu

Joseph and Aidan


It is good to hear from them that they are OK using the community and are not shy about sharing their work with each other.
What is interesting to hear is that they find it easier to give feedback on other's work than on their own.
"It is difficult for them to see their own mistakes"

What was good to hear from one of the students, was about his lack of understanding of what he was doing. He is one of the lower aSStle scores from last year in Year 10. He was nervous after the recording that I might be angry with him for saying that, but if that is how he is feeling then that is what I need to kn…

Add Ons for Google Docs

There has been a big thing on the net at the moment about the new add ons for Google Documents, so
I had to give some of them a go to see if I could use them within my DVC lessons.

Check out this Google video on how to install the add ons.

The first one I looked at was Twitter Curator.
This allows you to type in a search term or hash tag and it will search twitter for tweets about that for you. You can then browse them in the side bar and choose the ones you want to insert on your document. I like this choosing feature, as it means you don't have a document full of things you really don't want or are irrelevant.
I am looking forward to using this next month at the Gafe Summit in Auckland.
The document I used to try this out and analyse it as I did so is here...

The second one that I looked at today was TextHelp Study Skills.
This allows you to highlight text that you are reading through in different colours. If you choose your colours based on categories that you want to be gro…

Playing with Screencasting using Snagit on my new Chromebook

I got my new Chromebook today. It is an Acer C720, the new model that the students are getting this year.
I am loving it already. Easy, fast, light weight.
One of the first things I had to try out was screen casting using the Snagit app from the Chrome web store.
I had seen it mentioned on Google Plus, so had to give it a try.

In the Chrome web store, there are two entries for Snagit, an app and and extension. You need to get both of them.

After you have got both of these, open the app and click on the settings wheel. You need to tick the "enable experimental features" option. Once you have done this, the input audio levels bar will be seen and if you make a noise, you will see this pick up the sound.

Now when you open the Snagit app, you will see this box. This will hold all of your screen captures and it has the button to start a new screen cast.

The first time that you do this, it will display a warning box that you need to enable a setting in chrome. It has a link to thi…

Sharing the Love ~ Junior Assessment

On my project pages for the junior students on my class Google site, I needed some way to link the assessment scheme for Technology to the tasks that the students were doing within the projects.
On the layout of this page, I had set it up with a left sidebar so that the assessment could be put in there to line up with the tasks. That left sidebar has sat there blank for a few weeks while I come up with a way to do tis that is not just a load of words that will confuse the students away from the project steps.

Today, I decided to make a series of buttons using Adobe illustrator, that will link the students to the assessment schedules that match with the task they have been asked to do.

I has already embedded the folder with the assessment schedules in it on the front page of the juniors section, so these documents were already open and available to the students, but they were not really going to that page unless told to, so I wanted this information more "in their face".
Link …