Quick Maps

quikmaps.com :: site
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Via Creative ICT I recently came across Quickmaps– a Google Earth looking mash-up which lets you easily trace your travel paths. It would be interesting to add it to a Voicethread

Here, in blue, are the paths I travel in my working week. I feel a bit like I am burning dollars for petrol money but there is no chance of car-pooling or public transport owing to the varying timetable and no public transport any way.

David– I still intend to do the Amazing Journeys Commute Video– as soon as I get the new computer- not long to wait now.

Riwaka School- One To Go


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I had fun yesterday at Riwaka School discussing their ICT needs for 2008. Riwaka is one of New Zealand’s oldest schools but it certainly doesn’t look like it! They have an awesome Performing Arts Centre which must be such a fabulous asset to the school and its community. Look at the blue sky! It’s like that all the time in NZ!

And a highlight of today- an all day workshop at Dovedale. I was able to use the internet with my computer and the whole school (two classes) were able to connect to a wiki that I had made showing the children what blogs look like at junior, middle and senior schools. Children were given time to play in the blogs and share what they had found with others in the class. We even got the idea of how people communicate by leaving a few comments.

Movie Making on the Web

Wildlife Filmmaker, Video Mashups, Animal Videos, Wildlife Footage - National Geographic
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I have a Lead Teacher day coming up focusing on Movie Making and I am looking for movie making on the web using things like Animoto to compliment the straight ‘how to’s’ using iMovie or Moviemaker. This one is a great find- from National Geographic– you quickly select your film clips, accompanying sound, music and caption and drag them onto the timeline and voila! A movie that is there for retrieving using a code (Here’s my great effort- 992811893) – a great way for children to get the idea of dropping things into a timeline. You could do all sorts with this one- sorting, classifying, researching, just having fun.

Here’s what I have so far!

Sir Ken Robinson’s Video on Creativity- an excellent starter/motivator for the day.

Our video based on events in New Orleans

Our video based on events in New Orleans at the time of Hurricane Katrina- made over a period of one day and based on Bloom’s Taxonomy. Uploaded to our Podomatic podcast page. Click on the the big grey triangle to watch it play.

Cue Prompter– turns your computer into a teleprompter

Moviemaker Tutorials– all for free!

iMovie06 Tutorial– step by step text instructions

Animoto– upload your own photos to make a 30 second video with music

Vlog– how to compress for the web and other video tutorials

Voki– create an animated, talking character for your blog

Flixn-record for the web directly from your webcam

Motion Box– Basic members can upload, and share up to 300mb of video, for free!

Gawker – is an application for Mac OS X that creates time-lapse movies using a webcam. Images from your camera can be shared, allowing other users to record your image stream. Streams can also be combined to create a time-lapse movie with up to four locations side-by-side.

Springdoo– NZ company with video and audio emails

Media Convert– convert anything into anything else

Fixy.net– converts YouTube videos for iPod video

2007-08-30T04_51_52-07_00.mov (video/quicktime Object)
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NZ Curriculum Exemplars on Making Moving Images– with matrices of progress indicators.

Do you know of any other resources for the Movie Making Day that we could add?

“Did You Know, New Zealand”

I am back home now after an excellent few days away at the L@S conference. I have ideas buzzing around in my head and I need to get them posted before they whither.

Simon Evans hosted a workshop entitled, “Did you Know, New Zealand?” focussing on Karl Fisch’s video and we debating what it meant in a NZ context.

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/pMcfrLYDm2U" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

Simon used his interactive whiteboard to lead the discussion using DeBono’s hat thinking which was a good way to do it. He recorded the session with our handwritten notes in a slideshare which is best downloaded to read clearly. I was impressed with the technology.

Click here to see and download the presentation.

There was only six of us in the room F2F but more joined us via Skype and with the Cover It Live Blogging Tool. It was a very powerful session I thought on a variety of levels-not only with the way Simon facilitated the discussion, the way we brought in other people via the live blog commenters and Skype but also in the way the people in the room worked together to enhance the presentation.

As you can see from my screen grab it certainly made us keep intensely involved with the number of communication modes- listening, responding, researching, recording, typing, twittering. We really had to concentrate to do all these things at once.

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Well done Simon. It was a ‘high risk’ session that paid off.

What is a blog?

I am the Bloggers Cafe at L@S and John (sorry John but I can’t remember what your real name is now) asked what’s a blog?- This photo shows fellow blogger Lorraine Watchorn showing him and this blog post will help show the power of it- just like Mark Treadwell did for me a couple of years ago. All done in the seven minutes before the next workshop.

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Connectivity to burn- for the next half hour!

This morning I woke up early so here I am all on my lonesome with my ‘I’m blogging it” T-shirt and no one else here to suck my bandwidth- YAY.

I wrote this last night after a good night out!!

Today was marred yet again by a lack of connectivity but enriched by the number of new friendships made. I got up real early as the people in the next motel unit did as well!! I thought I would walk down to the Events Centre early but turned back because of the drizzle. Jedd was in the same predicament so we decided to get a taxi. While we were waiting Jedd introduced me to a Richard, a lovely man with a voice like Sir Ken Robinson. Talking of voice Richard is keynoting on Friday so it was nice to be able to chat for a while- I didn’t realise that Richard had done the TUANZ circuit a couple of years back so he knows how things are in NZ.

Getting there nice and early I got my blog posted at the Bloggers’ Cafe before the bandwidth robbers turned up and started sucking my connectivity while they checked their emails. First up was keynote, Julia Atkin, who unfortunately lost me a bit there in the middle but summed up nicely at the end when she asked “What is learning?” and suggested that learning is…

a journey
a growth
constructing and deconstructing
creating and recreating

Learning is organic, dynamic and responsive. Jeremy asked yesterday, “What do we know about learning?”

My first breakout after that was with @suziea – Lessons learnt as a facilitator. Suzie was so generous to us all talking about her role as facilitator in Petone and sharing her wiki frenzy of resources and giving us all a DVD of some of her best used resources- awesome Suzie. Thank you.

On the way back to the main venue from the concert chamber I cadged a lift with a lovely young lady from Insite who gave me a lift- bless her. She later made my day by gifting me this very way cool see through mouse from Insite that lights up in a range of florescent colours. It was a little bling for my little laptop as well.

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After a quick spot of face-to-face networking it was off to learn how to animate with Powerpoint- OK but half way through the internet came back on and there was a host of catching up to do- hotmail, twitter, email, bloglines etc so I stopped paying attention really.

Next off to Digital Story Telling with Photostory 3- now this was more like it but I wonder if anyone can tell me a way to convert a .wmv file to something that will upload to Podomatic??????

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During afternoon tea I met up with @tonitones, @sarnee and @heymilly. Next time we need the organisers to put our Twitter personas on our name tags. Maybe we should add our avatars, blog titles and Second Life entities so we know who we are when we bump into Scrumples or Jojash!

After one too many red wines at the after-match function we ended up in a motel room surrounded by CORE- they were swarming. They were all very welcoming and the company convivial but we ended up having a lovely meal at a Thai restaurant before a wander home in the cool of the evening.

Looking forward tomorrow to the homegroup meeting with my cluster leader, 11:15 live blogging with @dragon09 using yesterday’s link to the bling blog, a session on action research which I am really looking forward to knowing more about and the big party in the evening.

Super Tuesday at L@S

Connectivity may be an issue at the Learning At School so this post may never see the light of day. The day started busily with a quick visit to Appleby for an interview with ERO about Professional Learning & Development and life & living at Appleby. The whole stress of an ERO review didn’t affect me at all- it’s a wonder what seven days at a new job can do for a girl!

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After listing your professional development completed in the last 12 months they asked good questions. I directed them to my Professional Development tab at the top of this blog- that saved me half an hour! Interestingly many of my learning experiences were in collaboration with my ‘connected’ friends who weren’t in close physical proximity.

Then they asked how these experiences had been effective in helping me make important improvements in my classroom teaching?

My big question that I am grappling with was how does using ICT make measurable changes in student achievement. I was heartened by their willingness to vailidate non-mathematical measurements erring more on the wisdom of the pre-school Learning Stories- I have heard great things about Greenwood Kindergarten’s work with this while in the spa last night so I will make arrangements to visit with them on my return to Motueka.

Moving on to Learning At School……

Ten of us from Discover IT Tasman are fortunate enough to come to Rotorua and learn together. I going to record my notes on


and on Thursday at 11:15am I am going to try and do a live blogging session with Simon entitled “ Did you Know, New Zealand?” based on Carl Fisch’s video and how it relates to the New Zealand circumstances. Do join us if you have a minute on Thursday.


OK – off now to find an internet connection and do a little face-to-face networking. You couldn’t get a better job than this! Haven’t got time to make my post look pretty.

St Peter Chanel

IMGP3628.JPGToday’s school was St Peter Chanel- a lovely Catholic school with well appointed and interesting classrooms. We are going to look at how to enhance the taking of digital photographs to better utilise the resources they already have.

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Then a short trip back to Motueka South. Thanks everyone for your comments on yesterday’s post. I am not the only one to go to through the angst of having things go ‘not quite right’ when preparing a presentation where the web is fairly crucial. The inimitable Darren Kuropatwa and Wes Fryer had a little meltdowns as well…

Today I did my very first ‘Possibilities of using Web2.0 in the Primary Classroom’ staff meeting at Motueka South. I turned up two hours early- just in case! I needed every minute- I had pre-bookmarked my websites on my home network before I left home in tabs in case all else failed.

My first option was my trusty Apple but I had to change computers as no one knew how to connect it to the network- got the cluster PC out- waited for it to install updates and got it connected via a really long ethernet cable that I had taken- just in case wireless wasn’t got to work. Thankfully I had already downloaded iTunes and Quicktime. I had bookmarked the sites with Mozilla but it wouldn’t connect so had to feverishly re-tab using Internet Explorer.

Podcasts and movies were pre-downloaded on the PC at least so no problems there as I had remembered to bring speakers of my own. Now to the data projector- no long power chord. Searched and found one- needed a double plug! Searched and found one.

The three o’clock bell went just as I got the data projector going and I ate my lunch and pretended everything was as smooth as custard ready for the teachers to stagger into the staffroom after a busy afternoon!

The session went well- I thought- after that rigmarole and I managed to inspire a number of teachers to follow up with additions to their blogs and hopefully some will take up podcasting soon.

I shared this Edublog with the staff and some were amazed by the power of my learning network of helpful support people and commenters- thank you guys.

Lessons learnt…

  • Be prepared in advance and try to be self sufficient- power cords, junction boxes etc
  • Flickr is blocked on many school networks- the photos I uploaded to Flickr for this blog didn’t show- use Skitch.
  • Find out how to log on to a Smartnet server from an Apple- Learning at School may be able to help with this one- I will visit their trade display.
  • Have a back up plan if all else fails.
  • Don’t do too much in one session- try to keep it simple.
  • Be really nice to support personnel- they are the support structure that keeps the wheels turning.

Can’t wait until I get my new Mac Book Pro with Parallels- won’t have to carry two computers around- one heavy like a brick.

Motueka South

ImageFriday’s visit was to Motueka South- hidden down a driveway, Motueka South was a great find. They are a well connected school with many classes actively blogging throughout 2007.

They are looking to jolly up their website and seek partners for their blogging classes.

I intend to re-visit Motueka South on Monday to share with them some of the possibilities of using Web2.0 technologies (blogger, blogmeister, wikispaces, podcasting, Voicethread, Skype etc to enhance children’s learning.

When I had a test run I hit my first brick wall as facilitator. Although my Apple can connect wirelessly and I was able to Skype easily I could not connect to the internet through their Smartnet server– a call to their technician and to mine couldn’t solve the problem. Something to do with the proxies or something! I am going back to the school an hour or two before the staff meeting to see if we can connect. I could bookmark the websites I want to share or I could use this wiki as a base but I would love to be able to share the connectivity live as it were. How can I show how easy it is to subscribe to a podcast in iTunes unless I actually do it. It will be a pain to change computers between viewing pre-downloaded podcasts, Twitter, movies etc and going live on the internet in the middle of a presentation. I could do the presentation on a PC but I want to dump it as the anti-virus ran out last June and it weighs a ton. I don’t trust it.

If I used one of their PCs some of the content could take forever to buffer and I wouldn’t be sure that they would work like when I was trying to show what we do to the ERO guy at the ERO offices- they had dial-up, Podomatic was banned and he wasn’t able to update his Flash player for the Voicethread to play. How sad is that?

What do other people do in this sort of situation???

New Zealand Curriculum Forum

Jane Nicholls of ICT U CAN podcasting fame also has a new job working for CORE looking at the New Zealand Curriculum On-Line project. She has started a forum for sharing initiatives and stories about implementation on the new curriculum. Share your stories of your interesting or successful forays in to using the new document.

Click here for the link to the Centre4 forum.

The New Zealand Curriculum / The New Zealand Curriculum - NZCurriculumOnline
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Parklands School


Today’s school was Parklands in the heart of Motueka. Parklands has had a lot of money spent on infrastructure over the last while and the place is well equipped but the focus is on what children can do with the tools rather than the tools themselves. Parklands has a couple of whanau classes, which made my eyes light up with the keeness of their lead teacher to have a go at podcasting- encouraging young Maori voice on the internet could be very powerful.

Three In One Day

ImageI hope this isn’t turning into a travel diary but I want to show you all the schools in my Kingdom. LOL.

The first visit today was at Lower Moutere– a busy school with great plans for the development of children’s learning and the use of ICT. Lower Moutere is quite a big school in the scheme of things and I was given a great tour of the school. They already had their ICT action plan for 2008 organised and had plans to develop their ICT infrastructure-laptops and Mimio Interactive whiteboards- I would love to in on their training with these as well. Skills wise they are going to have a focus on digital photography. I have some really useful ideas and resources to throw in the pile as well. A number of teachers are wanting to have a go with blogging too so this will give them a great vehicle for showcasing their results.

Next stop was a gorgeous drive to Ngatimoti School. At some stage when I have a little more time I will stop and take some photos of the views of my commute through NZ’s rolling hillsides and river valleys. On a personal note when the family first came to NZ from the UK in the eighteen some-things they settled in Ngatimoti- I have a very early photo of the house and garden, with uncleared land and manuka fences. The house burned down with one of the twins still inside- no fire-brigade in those days.Image

Ngatimoti is known for its enviro-schools policies and is leading the way in environmental initiatives. The school is abounding in creative murals and art pieces. Again the staff are keen to look further into using photography and the possibilities of using blogs as a showcase of some of their great work.

Last stop of the day was Dovedale School. Dovedale was just great- beautiful school, interested staff and committed principal- an Apple school by the way.

Image They were keen to avail themselves of the simplicity and the inter-connectedness of the iLife suite- it will be so easy to help the children create great work here. We are going to look at blogging, building up the school website using iWeb and lots of other fun stuff in the terms ahead. I know I will love working here. What a fabulous place.


Mahana and Tasman

Today started with a visit to Mahana School where we made a plan for a series of staff development sessions using digital photography as a focus- I have a few great resources I have made over the last couple of years so that will be useful to share.

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Then off to Tasman School just down the road a way from Tasman Christian School. Tasman was just taking delivery of a couple of Smartboards. I have never been able to gain access to a any kind interactive whiteboard so look forward to seeing how teachers use these tools.

We planned a staff meeting titled, ‘Possibilities’. A great way for me to show people some of the things that we don’t know that we don’t know about using ICT to communicate, collaborate and co-create. I thought that I might use the ERO wiki as a basis for this one.

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Historic Tale Construction Kit

Historic Tale Construction Kit
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I am in a bit of a blogging frenzy at the moment but couldn’t resist sharing this great find from Andrew Churches of Educational Origami fame. The Historic Tale Construction Kit is an on line storytelling site that is just so easy to use and I could imagine it hooking some kids into wanting to write a whole series of slides, developing character and plot along the way. Cheers Andrew.

Another Day in Paradise

ImageFriday’s work started with a visit to Brooklyn School nestled in the foothills of the Takaka Hill. After having been born in Nelson it is surprising that I had never been there before! Brooklyn is an Apple School- Yay! Kindred spirits!

Again I got a very positive reception from the principal and this time set up a series of sessions on developing a school blog to complement their school website. Mini-Dylan popped his head up when he saw Brooklyn’s friendly dragon logo- it reminded him of his home at Cefn Fforest School in Wales.

 Brooklyn School has just bought a Promethean Interactive Whiteboard and I am going to be invited along to their training sessions. Now that will be very cool.


Then I had a short trip back to Motueka High School to try, in vain, again, to get the phone to allow toll calls and to get the internet to work in my office! I asked a rather tall student with ‘interesting’ spiky hair to take my photo in the hallway outside their assembly hall- another student had asked me where something was and I had to tell her that I hadn’t the foggiest idea! The blind leading the blind!

I had lunch in the staffroom- gradually getting to know a few faces and what they do- being such a large staff they are all on the move at lunchtime- the same I suppose as a primary school but just more of a swirl of people.

After lunch- another sort trip to Tasman Bay Christian School with just over 50 students. What a wonderful set up they have there. We sat and chatted for a couple of hours after school had officially finished and talked about ways to help their students to collaborate with other classes in other parts of the world. I introduced one of their teachers @sarnee to the wonderful world of Twitter! She was onto it real quick and by Saturday morning was already busy building her network.


We swapped interesting internet finds and I told her she needed to make herself an edublog so she went home to make herself an educational blog to share her passions and interests related to her profession. The task was done by Saturday. Another kindred spirit- although a PC person! She will be at Learning @ School and has earned her right to grab a seat at the Edubloggers Cafe!

Oh that it could be like this every day!

Another great day!

My First Day on the Job

Today was my first day officially as ICT Facilitator to Discover IT Tasman. I loved it. I still don’t know quite what I’m doing but I am enjoying doing it.

  • I started by helping a secondary school history teacher to scan some of her OHP transparencies of the Irish Uprising. She had never used the scanner before and I managed to throw in a couple of useful extras for her like how to make and rename folders and how to organise her photos into folders. After that I quickly showed her how to do a Google image search for new and interesting photos on the topics she wants to illustrate.
  • Then a French teacher & I had a discussion on ways to record her students for NZCEA and another teacher asked if I could show her how to use Photoshop.
  • I had a go at sifting through papers in my ‘office’ to see what paperwork was left behind by the previous facilitator- never had an office before!
  • Then off to Upper Moutere School- only getting lost once!


Upper Moutere is a delightful rural school with a very creative principal. I couldn’t resist a photo of their recently completed WELCOME sign made by pupils. Isn’t it great. Together we planned a series of workshops on ways to introduce Kid Pix with Year 3/4 and how to encourage and enhance their already blogging classes with a sense of community.

What a great start- at this stage I have sense of freedom to go with my strengths and really make a difference- positive feedback was instant. A great beginning.

Build Yourself a Wild Self

At the beginning of the school year (in the Southern Hemisphere that is) you might be keen have you students build themselves an avatar if you are not sure about putting individual photos on line or as a identity in Voicethread. Chris Betcher recently posted this find ‘Build Your Wild Self‘ from the New York Zoo. You can build your avatar and add animal features to it. Kids would love the opportunity to be wild and wacky.

Build Your Wild Self
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Here is my creation. Being aimed at kids it didn’t have a grey haired option!

I couldn’t let go and add an elephant truck or antelope horns but the option is there if it takes your fancy.

The New York Zoo and Aquarium websites are worth sharing with kids as well- hours of interest there.

Bucket List Meme

Hole In My Bucket
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My Twitter and blog friend Cathy Nelson tagged me for the The Bucket List meme which was started by Jeff Pulver and is based on the movie. It is essentially a list of things you hope to accomplish in 2008 before you ‘kick the bucket’. So here goes…

1. Be well. In mid 2007 my life turned to custard with my mother diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and after years of disregard for myself my knees gave in and I was on crutches for a time. I took a term off school to get things sorted out. Mum is now in rest home care nearby and I have undertaken a regime of healthy eating and exercise. I have lost 20kg since then and intend to loose a little more and continue on the journey.

2. Get on with it. I am one of life’s great procrastinators. I loathe paper work. This year I must make sure I use my diary and just do the paper work so it is out of the way.

3. Be successful at my new job. I have just one year to make a difference. As ICT facilitator for DiscoverIT Tasman I have the opportunity to share what I have learnt and help teacher’s find new ways of doing new things in their classsrooms.

4. Move out of my aggregator. I read and read and read blogs and rarely make a comment. This year I am going to try and join the conversations more- to say what I think. This will hopefully help me articulate more what I do actually think.

5. To learn how to share my learning publicly. I talk fast, I blither, I blush! Slow down, think about what I mean, say it clearly- just like I try and get my class to do- I am totally at home with a class of youngsters- now to try with the older set!

Now for the tricky part- these people are starting new beginnings. I wonder where their paths will lead…

Jane Nicholls

Chris Betcher

Paul Harrington 

Photo credit- Paul Cook Photography via Flickr.

Practising for Learning at School

Here is a little something I am playing with so that people who can’t be at Learning at School can join in via a live blogging session. We will have to see how it goes!!!!! Obviously- not well!

Maybe someone can help me- Twitter is down at the moment so I am on my own. I inserted the code from Coveritlive.com and I can see it all happening in the visual edit window of Edublog but when I publish I can see nothing!

I fired off an email to Coveritlive.com and got a prompt reply-

The consensus from edublogs.org users is that they do not allow iframes (that’s how our software appears on your blog) on the sites of their users. This is a very rare issue as globally there are almost no hosts who put this kind of restriction on their users. Many web based software applications are being delivered via iframe and we are hopeful they allow them in the near future. Your feedback to them would likely help the issue.

Here’s what the Edublogs help page says-

I want to embed videos, widgets and more in my posts and sidebar, but the code keeps on getting stripped out, what’s up? Unfortunately, for security reasons, you can’t paste code containing embed, javascript or iframes into your blogs… they’d allow hackers to bring down the site (they did at myspace!) so we need to be extra secure. However, you can click on the yellow ‘A’ button in your editor to embed pretty much any kind of movie and read the instructions in your ‘upload’ area (under your posting area) for how to embed other types of media.

Clay Burrell said that WordPress is the same- at least I now know it’s not just something I’m doing wrong. Clay sent me this link to a discussion about iframes and why they could potentially be bad. Miguel Guhlin and Dennis Richards have it going OK in their attempts. Thanks guys- my network is awesome. I will try it again with Blogger and see how it goes. If it works I can just put a link from this blog to Blogger and go that way. I am impressed with the service from Coveritlive.com’s help desk.