This is what I should NOT be doing!

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OK- I am deep in milestone reporting – crafting lofty statements that should focus on student learning outcomes and teacher professional development. What do I do? I show @efreeman down Christchurch way how to do Skype, chat with @achurches in Auckland and end up playing in iChat video with a couple of un-named types who I won’t name because they should be working too I suspect! Now that was very cool. I didn’t realise that we would all show up in video at the same time- we ended up morphing ourselves using PhotoBooth while we were chatting. A spot of light relief is a wonderful thing!

Greenwood Kindergarten

This week I had the pleasure and privilege to visit with Greenwood Kindergarten in Motueka. Elaine Newton, the Early Childhood ICT facilitator invited me to lead a workshop on creating music with Garageband at the kindy. I was so impressed with their set-up.iPhoto
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Head Teacher, Shayne, has the place really humming. They have recently started blogging as a means of fostering links with the parent community. They only post video on their blog for security reasons but the effect is awesome. Their blog is only one month old but well worth a visit. I am sure they would appreciate a comment or two for encouragement.
The photo is of my good self at the front entrance beautiful poupou. The story of the poupou is described in a Google Doc linked from the blog. Now why didn’t I think of doing that with my classroom blog which I am happy to say is still ticking along nicely even though I am not there to motivate. The latest post is from Miriam- remember how incredible Miriam’s debut was on the world stage last year! She is going from strength to strength and is now singing for her peers. She sings the Norah Jones song, “I don’t know why he didn’t come“. Here is another rather nice You Tube Version.
Welcome to the Greenwood Community Blog
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All Is Not What It Seems

Via my aggregator (sorry I clicked away from it before I recorded who gave me the link) I came across this little beauty written in the form of a webquest- All About Explorers. It helps students realise that all that they read on the web may not be entirely the real thing! A bit like the story of efforts to save the Pacific North West Tree Octopus!

All About Explorers | Everything you've ever wanted to know about every explorer who ever lived...and more!Just because it’s out there doesn’t make it good!
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All about Ferdinand Maggellan…

“This Portuguese explorer was born on October 12, 1492 in southern Spain. It is an amazing coincidence that he eventually became a world explorer, because that is the day Christopher Columbus first landed in El Salvador, thus discovering a New World. Magellan is best known as the first person to travel completely around the globe.

Early in his career, Magellan was first a soldier. During the Battle of Hastings, Magellan was seriously injured. His leg had to be amputated as a result. The wooden leg that replaced it never fit him properly, and he walked with a limp for the rest of his life. He also lost an eye after being shot by an AK-47 during the same battle.

It was not long before King Ferdinand of Spain noticed this rising young star with whom he shared a name. In 1519, at the age of only 27, the King enlisted the support of several wealthy businessmen, including Marco Polo, Bill Gates, and Sam Walton, to finance an expedition to the Spice Islands.

But Magellan, was not content to travel the ordinary way. He had to be different. Magellan took his five ships, led by the Trinidad, west instead of east. In the process, he discovered a new route through the Panama Canal, which shortened travel times to Asia considerably. In the process, he also discovered the Pacific Ocean, which he named after his daughter.

While in the Orient, Magellan traded with the Chinese for spices, silk, and small plastic toys which he could bring back to Europe and sell at huge profits.

In another bid to buck the trend of the day, Magellan continued west after this, and his expedition completed the first circumnavigation of the globe on February 29, 1562. Magellan, unfortunately, did not live to see the completion of the trip. He died of old age only six months earlier, but his accomplishment still stands today as a testament to human willpower and the spirit of discovery.”

Mum’s Passing

I haven’t blogged for ages as a lot has happened and I haven’t felt up to the challenge. I am blogging this while waiting to get a wheel alignment on my car. Best blogged in a place where my tears are only on the inside.

On Thursday 1 May I was at the Nelson airport about to head up to Whangarei for the ICT cluster mini-conference. The plane was delayed so I thought I would give my dear Mum a quick call on her cell phone at the rest home to say farewell before I left. As I rang a new voice answered saying that Mum had had a fall and was having multiple seizures and they had called an ambulance.

I was able to get my suitcase back from the flight attendants and call a taxi. The driver was great and I managed to beat the ambulance to the rest home and go with Mum to the hospital. The doctors at the hospital were fabulous and got Mum all the attention she needed immediately. A volunteer of the St John’s Ambulance stayed with me at that time as well and told me it would be all right- there was going to be a way through this.

After the necessary CAT scans and X-rays we were transferred to a medical ward. Mum nearly died just then but hung on in a coma from which she never emerged. They jacked me up with a fold-up bed in Mum’s room and my vigil began. As I went home each day and via Twitter through my cell phone I was able to keep contact with my on-line friends and I was humbled and comforted by the support offered from people I had never met. These people were so warm and caring and I felt uplifted by their direct messages. Thank you.

Exactly one week later Mum passed away as I wished her well on her journey. I was so pleased that I was there for her right through to the end.

Mum’s funeral was lovely with a mixture of love, laughter and tears. I had whipped up town to buy a decent iPod set of speakers and I made a iPhoto slideshow of photos from Mum’s life that started the service. Mum was always interested on what I was getting up to on my ‘video’ as she called my computer.

I show you now this video as a tribute to my Mum- my best friend and a wonderful woman.