New Zealand Education Gazette Article

Gazette Early in February this blog got a little recognition from the New Zealand Education Gazette so I asked the Wayne Erb, the reporter, if I could put a copy of the article on the blog and he said that would be fine so here it is for downlaod in case you missed the paper copy.


Our new photocopier at school scans to a pdf and sends it off to an email address so it was a useful exercise in coming to grips with a new bit of learning.

Internet Use Agreements

John Sutton wrote an insightful post that turned up in my RSS feed from the UK this morning about internet use agreements.

At Appleby we wrote ours a few years ago now. We review it every year and ask children, parents and teachers to sign it each year agreeing to the policy and asking parents if they allow their child to access the internet at school and to ask their permission to publish their child’s images and creations on the web.Appleby from above

If you are interesting in reading our AUP you can download it here in pdf form.

Most parents agree to their children’s images and work being contributed to our blog sites etc but a few do not want their children to have direct access to the internet for whatever reason.

John raises an interesting point in his post. By not allowing children access to the internet we are restricting children’s learning opportunities. At school we access Google Docs to share digital portfolios, we are part of the e-AsTTle on-line assessment programme, we blog, I podcast and generally collaborate on line with other classes in other parts of the world. By not allowing children to participate we are limiting their ability to learn using 21st century technologies.

Maybe a way forward is to inform parents of our policies and educate children proactively about safe internet use and just get on with it. I hadn’t thought of it like that before. What do you think?

Learning at School Conference Breakout Selections

If you have arrived here from the NZ Educational Gazette. Welcome.

ImageAfter my hectic return to Moturoa classroom at Appleby School following a year’s leave acting as ICT Facilitator I am really looking forward to meeting up again with virtual NZ friends at the Learning at School conference in Rotorua at the end of February. The photo is of my very tidy classroom before it came to be inhabited by a lively group of Year Four and Fives! Click on it to see my Flickr photostream.

A special highlight at the conference will be conversing with US keynote speaker, Wes Fryer– prolific writer, storyteller, podcaster and co-convener of the first free global K-12 OnLine Conference. Making the selection of breakouts is a massive task as there is such a range of wonderful selections to choose from. So after much angst these are my selections

Breakout 1: Digital Pedagogies Presented by Tony Ryan.

Breakout 2: Title A case of the Blues – Screening now (Mac). Presented David Young, Jane Nicholls & Disa McLean.

Breakout 3: Free Adobe Programmes for You and Your Classroom. Presented by me.

Breakout 4: Creating and Managing Digital Portfolios using Adobe Acrobat Presented by me.

Breakout 5: Powerful Blending: Using Web 2.0 to Interact, Create, and Assess Presented by Wes Fryer.

Breakout 6: It’s All About Learning. Presented by Lisa Morresey & Belinda Havill

Breakout 7: How Do We Do It? Presented by me.

That’s plenty to be going on with!

PhotoPeach Photo Slideshows

I came across PhotoPeach via a comment on Chris Betcher’s blog about using Twitter and thought that I would give it a try and I liked it. PhotoPeach is a mash up with YouTube to get the sound track or you can use their audio. I wonder how it will play if YouTube is filtered at your school but it’s worth a shot.

I quickly turned out a post on Bling4yBlog to show how to do it but it is really that simple that instructions aren’t necessary. It sits easily inside Blogger without changing the size or anything which is nice.

Mini-Dylan Travels the World on PhotoPeach

International Peer Support

I had the good fortune to do a little travelling over our summer holiday spending time in Hong Kong, London, Portsmouth, Abergavenny in Wales, Londonderry, Ireland and Bangkok, Thailand. Until 2008 I had only ever been to Australia which you can hardly count as being overseas- a bit like visiting your cousins! It doesn’t really count.

My holiday snaps are here in a Flickr photo set slideshow if you would like to lurk a little.

While I was away I managed to meet with a few people who are in my Personal Learning Network.

My first meet up was with Paul Harrington in Wales. Paul and I first contacted each other through our mutual interest in podcasting and our two classes collaborated on a number of occasions over the years. As I expected when he met me at the Abergevenny Railway Station for the first time, we not strangers even though we had only just met. Image It was incredible to think how far we had both come on our journeys through cyberspace. Paul took me to Cefn Fforest School where Mini-Dylan and I surprised his students with a real visit. His excited students met me with real enthusiasm and I enjoyed their happy faces and beautiful accents. While in Wales we had a great conversation with Joe Dale from the Isle of Wight, another great podcaster and inspiration to me.

Unfortunately Doug Dickinson, ICT consultant, was called away at last minute to organise some stuff for BETT but Tricia Neal drove all the way from Leicester to Cardiff and back again so we could meet up. How cool is that!

On the way home I called in to spend some time at the International School of Bangkok staying with Chrissy Hellyer and meeting with Jeff Utecht and Kim Cofino.

These people have all influenced my learning network in some way and I was honoured and privileged to meet them all. The thing that struck me is openness of the people who help me on my journey. All of these people lead busy working lives but always give freely of their time and expertise to mentor and support fellow teachers like me.

I have never once come across anyone since I first started learning on line who has ever turned down a request for assistance or advice and I try to ‘pay it forward’ myself and do the same. These people help to form a wonderful support network for me as I venture into cyberspace. Thanks guys– for your hospitality and support.

Call To Prayer Recording
1.3MB 1 minute 24 seconds

Not happy with that last recording so I cleaned it up with Adobe Soundbooth and got rid of the white noise and a few of the extra clicks and clunks. Much nicer.

Call To Prayer Recording Cleaned Up

Staying in Bangkok was my first time living in a culture that is so very different from my own and it was fascinating and wonderful. Every morning at 5am you could hear the Muslim Adhan-call to prayer. It was beautiful and I was lucky enough to capture it on my iTalk microphone on my iPod. Our class podcasts will be starting up as we go back to work this week. I wanted to publish this recording to Edublogs to take advantage of some of the extra storage space now that I have paid for hosting in order to get rid of the ads!