Speed Test NZ

While I was working wirelessly at Parklands School today we were trying to do a little viewing of a Flickr video and it was all buffering annoyingly so I decided to do a speed test from Speedtest.net. When I got home I tried it again. I have what is supposed to be a very fast domestic broadband account- I was surprised at the difference. Parklands is on the Loop. Can’t wait to get back to my class next year and use The Loop and put it through its paces. Click on the graphic for a close up.

Preview

The other interesting thing that happened was that our Prime Minister, Helen Clark, was visiting while on the campaign trail for our forthcoming election. I thought I would wander over the road and have a bit of a look. I was pleasantly surprised by the lack of people about so pulled out my trusty video recorder and fired off a few seconds of video. “Our Helen” is the lady in pink.

PM IN Motueka

Under the spotlights at ULearn08

While at the ULearn08 Conference down in Christchurch in the school holidays Nick Billowes stuck me in front of a camera and let me burble away. Jedd Bartlett edited out the worst bits and this is what you’re left with. It turned about better than I had imagined. The last bit was my vision statement from the Microsoft Innovative Teacher presentation.

For some reason the video won’t embed so you will have to click on the photo to see the video.

R1aPeehGBLIH1ZZEOFp3.mp4 (video/mp4 Object)

Where are you?

While at the ULearn08 dinner I thought of organising a flash mob doing the Dancing Man before the Friday morning keynote and had it pretty much sorted before realising that there wasn’t a keynote on Friday morning. Doh!

So after that rather lame attempt Jane and I had the idea of us all creating one with our classes and I’ll collate it into a Twitter’s dancing video!

Here’s the link to higher quality downloadable video if you like. The video from there is much higher quality than the YouTube one- good for showing the whole class.

So here’s the thing- can you make a 20 second video of yourself and your class dancing and email it to me for putting together! I will strip your audio and put one sound track over it. Send it to moturoa@gmail.com

We have a dozen videos so far from all over the place. It would only take a minute or two to go outside- or inside- to film it and the kids really look like they’re enjoying themselves- and the teachers too!

The final date for emailing the videos is 7 November. You have one week to go people before you get to see the finished global collaborative dance video!

ULearn08

I’m home safely after another brilliant ULearn08 conference. The whole thing is really such a whirl and I think you do need some time to internalise things but here are my thoughts as they comeULearn Left Overs to me now there is nothing left but empty wine bottles and a head full of wonderings.

I’ve been at home out in the sunshine doing a little weeding with my fingers busy and my mind reeling about that word, CHANGE. I look reflectively at my own classroom practice and wonder how much it has really changed. How much connectivity I allow? Is it more about me and my teaching or about the children and their learning? I am looking forward to going back next year and putting my money where my mouth is with a new group of Year 1/2.

I want to do an action research project on the changes that podcasting makes on oral language. It will be great to have a fresh slate on which to write. My network will be invited to act as my peer review.

This was my first conference where I was more of a leader than a follower- in lots of senses of leadership. I lead a great group of six teachers from Discover IT Tasman cluster. What a great group to give up a week of their precious school holidays.

I presented three sessions and here are my Twitter presentation notes for download. “You’re No One If You’re Not On Twitter” by JB Walker is licensed under a Creative Commons. I now have a new heap of Twitter followers- I hope I can live up to their expectations!

Here are my Cool Adobe Applications on the Web notes with links to the websites for download as well.

And I also did a workshop on podcasting which was very rushed but hopefully people will be able to follow up on when they have a moment. Here is the wiki link to that one. It would be great if people could add their podcast to the ‘People Who Podcast‘ page as they get their own podcasts under way.

If there is a next time I don’t think I will offer to present so much- there was so much more I would like to have been at that I think I might have missed some great opportunities to participate.

At our unconference the topic I brought to the table was that of Twitter- on line etiquette. While at the conference some people who maybe didn’t understand the public nature of Twitter thought it was OK to make derogatory comments about people who they knew were connected and likely to read them. Apart from being bad manners I think it is important for people to understand and help the children in their classes understand that what you write on the internet doesn’t just disappear after you push ENTER. What you write is a reflection of yourself as much as it is a reflection of what you think. If you want to say something potentially harmful maybe you should move into a more private conversation mode like Skype chat or F2F discussion at a more appropriate time.

Microsoft Innovative Teacher AwardI didn’t win the Microsoft Innovative Teacher Award 🙁 but it was fun trying. I got to go up on stage and be acknowledged as a finalist which was nice. I had to laugh though as Warren told me I wasn’t to take my laptop up on stage. With more than one way to skin a cat- I took my iTouch and twittered with that. Lenva tweeted that she could see my fingers moving and new what I was doing!!! Hehehehe!!!

Tools wise I learnt how to make news items with Adobe Visual Communicator- another great tool for 2009. Watch this space as I get the hang of it and work out how to do a little blue-screening

One of the best personal moments was at the very, very end, just as I was leaving Jared Holden from New Plymouth came up to me and said how much he appreciated my blog posting and contributions to our community. I left with tears in my eyes and a light heart. What a nice thing to say. Thank you Jared.

It was a top class event for me to meet up and converse with top people from NZ and overseas, topped off with a great weekend showing Sheryl, Will and their families our stunning country.

Thanks everyone- keep the shift happening and turn that supertanker!