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???

10 thoughts on “Motueka South

  1. Hi Allanah
    Sometimes these are the things that frustrate teachers the most. When you go in as a facilitator and show or tell about all these wonderful possibilities and these teachers can’t jump straight in because of the obstacles to bypass. Maybe it would be a good idea to try out one of the computers they are using so that you know all of the obstacles they are going to come against before they do. That way you could make it seem a bit easier. For example if you need to load something for voicethread to work then take them through it and you will have bypassed the state change into ‘agression or apathy’ 🙂

  2. Other ict facilitators will undoubtedly have other approaches Allanah but I reckon when you are working with diverse teachers from diverse schools it pays to think back to Guskey on professional learning – that professional learning is an intentional, ongoing and systemic process.

    Guskey suggests that its smart to have clear purposes and goals – we frame that in clusters to mean a couple of key questions. For example for one cluster that wanted to focus on the KC Making Meaning – we framed the questions as What are the conditions of value in teaching and learning when students are researchers? and How might ICTs enhamce these conditions of value? (note that these questions carefully avoid leading teachers into the technodeterminism trap of claiming that ICTs improve student learning outcomes).

    Once we have identified clear teaching and learning goals and the conditions of value for these – we look at how ICTs might enhance the conditions of value – we find SOLO is a helpful criteria for determining the different levels of student learning outcome that the conditions of value are targetting.

    Which brings me to the stuff that really has leverage in Guskey – how can we assess if what we are doing with teachers makes a jot of difference – he suggests we need to look across 5 critical levels –
    1. Participants reactions
    2. Participants learning
    3. Organisation support and change
    4. Participants’ use of new knowledge and skills
    5. Student learning outcomes.

    I guess that if you have identified access and infrastructure problems with what you are trying to share in a school then it is highly likely that the teachers experience will be similarly frustrating – even if you are an enormously charismatic teacher and communicator and slip slide your way through steps 1 to 3 – you are going to brick wall it at 4. -and thus you are unlikely to ever see real change in student learning outcomes as a result of all your efforts-

    One way around this is whilst still lobbying to improve access and infrastructure behind the scenes when you front with teachers you look carefully at what each school can access in terms of software/ ICTs and think innovatively about contextual use in learning against different learning outcomes when they are planning. That is you show them how thinking smart with stuff they already have and can access easily can enhance the conditions of value for learning outcomes across unistructural to extended abstract levels of student learning outcome – in our experience you will get great leverage from this approach and more thoughtful integration and implementation of ICTs across teachers planning of learning experiences and from there ICT use as interventions to improve conditions of value for different student learning outcomes in classrooms.

    You can check out some of the materials we use when thinking like this about ICTs (including Web2.0) with teachers on our Hooked on Thinking inquire2learn wikispace

  3. just checking… do you have smart login loaded on your mac? If you do and are logging in to a smartnet server using smart log in it ought to work ok. You just need to have an account created for you on their server. Very easy to do. If you haven’t got smart login on your mac it is worth downloading it from their website. It will make life much easier for you at any school with a smart server.

  4. Just read the rest of your post. You ought to be able to load eTrust anti virus on your PC the MOE pays for this for all NZ schools. If you are going to dump the PC send it my way :). If you are going to be at Learning@school next week ask the smartnet guys to sort your mac out for you they will be there.

  5. frustrating ay!
    teachers give up quickly if the technology doesn’t work easily and every time. I think many teachers often have less patience than the kids – LOL
    I have just taken delivery of 7 iMacs and ordered 6 mackbooks to update TELA laptops for teachers. Telecom points wash-up will deal to a macPro as a server as wella s another iMac. Tec wise life is good …. Servers can be great as well as a huge frustration.
    see you next week at L@S
    Greg

  6. Thanks Paul- they were able to create a Smartnet Log In for me that I could use on one of their PC’s while I checked that things like Twitter, Podomatic and Voicethread weren’t blocked.

    It is just something with the proxies- it’s probably just a little thing but crucial. I’ll let you know how we sorted the problem- I hope it not something stupid that I’m not doing right and I’ll end up with egg my face for my lack of technical know how!

    Hey Greg- One thing that I am is tenacious- went into the shop to treat myself to a Mac Book Pro with Parallels and was talked into waiting for a bit to see what the new model will look like. The Mac Air isn’t quite my cup of tea.

    Jane- I agree- sometimes I learn more from my mistakes than I do from the things that go right first time- eg uploaded photos to Voicethread with Leopard- asked the network for help and we played with the proxies and got it going- then I had to give the TELA laptop back!

    Pam- Thanks for taking the time to respond- being facilitator will be the best learning experience for me- seeing how people are doing things outside the school I generally teach at. We get very insular I think in our own wee ‘benign dictatorship’. I am going to be able to spread my wings more. Literally at L@S!!

  7. I’m sure this is too late but I would put all your links on a wiki and use their computer while projecting the presentation on a board in front while hopefully they followed on their computers. The point is not to show them roadblocks, which you and I know exist, but show them the ease of use. Winning converts, you are!!

  8. Or del.icio.us?? This is such a great collaboration tool and I know you are using it already. Bookmark your links in del.icio.us and show them how useful it is accessing them from that and you will have them all wanting to sign up 🙂 (He said with great optimism)

  9. Pingback: wikispaces

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