Meme: Passion Quilt

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Chrissy Hellyer tagged me for this Passion Quilt Meme through Miguel Guhlin– the idea is that you post a photo of something that you feel passionate about children’s learning. For me this is developing connections between children globally and sharing our learning with our global community.

This photo is a mash-up of our collaboration between Paul Harrington‘s class in Wales and my own Moturoa class at Appleby. Over the year we had been building links between our classes- so much so that  children felt a personal connection with Paul and his class. The children were familiar with each other via our blog posts, podcasts and Skype conversations. The connection became face to face when Dino and his  family spent time in Paul’s class while on a family holiday in the UK. We came in to school late at night so we could talk to Dino and his  Welsh buddies directly via Skype video. The virtual friendships become real.

The photo credit from the Welsh end of the conversation goes to the Times Educational Supplement that did an article on how classrooms use Skype to link up globally.

3 Simple Meme Rules:

  • Post a picture from a source like FlickrCC or Flickr Creative Commons or make/take your own that captures what YOU are most passionate about for kids to learn about…and give your picture a short title.
  • Title your blog post “Meme: Passion Quilt” and link back to this blog entry.
  • Include links to 5 folks in your professional learning network or whom you follow on Twitter.

So here is my challenge to you to do the same…

Sarne’s View@sarnee

Widgets and Wikis@Keamac

Thinking Past the Square@heymilly

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.


In Nelson we have a Mac User Group meeting that meets once a month and I tottle along and add my five cents worth of tips and tricks that I have picked up along the way, as you do.
Following an email request for help I went along to help new Mac users, Lindsay and Jan, get the best from using iPhoto. I enjoy helping people and on the promise of a fresh orange and date muffin and a good cup of coffee along I went. I realised that I had visited the beautiful property once before while on a garden trail a few years back.

I got a very pleasant surprise as I turned up the driveway- the Lindsay was Lindsay Yeo! New Zealand readers would know Lindsay. I feel I have grown up with Lindsay– popular Wellington radio personality on 2ZB– creator of Buzz o’Bumble.

I told him of the time when I was teaching in Foxton and a largish earthquake hit Wellington. Lindsay told us via the radio to get in a doorway or safe place- I did and a few seconds later the shockwave reached us! Knowing in advance helped prepare me for the shake ahead.

Jan makes environmentally friendly, innovative cloth nappies (diapers for my American readers) for sale via the internet and wanted to be able to manage the photos he was taking for adding to their website,

It was really great to spend the morning with them both. Lindsay was a large part of growing up in NZ when I was younger. Another face-to-face connection that I would never had made without the power of the internet.

If you listened to 2ZB and know how to sing the Buzz o’Bumble song please leave a comment and I will pass this link on to him.

2007 Top Five Photographs in Review

Inspired by Ewan McIntosh’s top five photo review I thought I would give it go myself.

My first is of Tiny Ted the small geocache bear sent to us from Paul Harrington in Wales. I staged this photo down at Nelson’s Tahunanui Beach- so typical of the NZ summer. Paul and Tiny Ted were the springboard from which we forged links between our classes. Children could so relate to him and he became an integral part of our day. We miss him as he is now with April Chamberlain in USA.

Tahunanui Beach on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
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My second photo is of Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach and I as she visited Nelson for the TUANZ conference. I am indebted to Sheryl for her friendship, openness and how she took me under wing to mentor my entrance in to the Web2.0 educators’ learning network.

Sheryl and Allanah on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
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My third photo was one I shared with Sheryl as Queen Elizabeth visited the College of William and Mary where Sheryl works. The photo tells the story of how I met Her Majesty when she visited Nelson when I was a ten year old. Sheryl posted it to her Flickr account and invited people to share in my 50th birthday celebrations. That photo garnered 36 global comments. Click on it to see the story in note form. I was in awe and it showed me the power of networking.

Happy B-Day Allanah King and The Queen on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
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My fourth is of a group of children in my class collaborating on a wiki and learning together oblivious of the camera- the way learning in the 21st century should be.

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My fifth is a photo taken by Jane Nicholls at ULearn07 with a group of New Zealand edubloggers and Ewan himself. It was a great learning experience when virtual friends became real life ones. Click on the photo to see who’s who!

NZ Blogger's Cafe on Flickr - Photo Sharing!
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My last is one of Mum and I taken recently. Mum and I have been through a difficult time with her diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease but I still appreciate the time we still manage to have together.

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I know I can’t count well. Happy New Year to one and all.

Finalist in Edublog Awards

» 2007 Badges The Edublog Awards

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Chis Betcher skyped me last night to tell me that our podcast was nominated and is a finalist in the Edublog Awards 2007 in the best use of audio class. I am overawed to be a finalist.

Our podcast is only a little over a year old and I am very proud of its quality and variety of podcasts.

If you are a reader of this blog and haven’t done so already I urge you to click on the Edublog badge to take you to the voting page and vote for us before 6 December when the voting finishes.

The link will also take you to many other great educational websites that you may well enjoy reading, viewing or listening to.

Inspirational Teacher

Jane has tagged me for the Inspirational Teacher Meme, so I thought I would play along as there is so much else for me that I should be doing right now that I am overwhelmed.


1. You are to copy the rules at the start of your post.

2. You are write, in 150 words or less the story of ‘Your Inspirational Teacher’ from your school days.

3. Name and link 4 other bloggers and leave them a comment on their blog to let them know they have been tagged.

4. Tag your post ‘myinspiration’

Mr Firestone

Mr Firestone was my science teacher at secondary school at Nelson College for Girls. He was of the Baha’i Faith and was my first and only teacher to teach outside the square. I don’t think he lasted long at the school because he was a square peg in a round hole. He told us stories of his life in Canada, of another way of thinking about things, he was passionate about his subject and really seemed intent on helping us learn through doing things rather than to pass the test. He taught beyond the curriculum which got him into strife I think. He was young and tried to make a connection with us. Thanks Mr Firestone, wherever you are.

I tag

Rachel Boyd

Lynne Crowe

Go the Mighty All Blacks!

Our boys are doing well in the Rugby World Cup and I now have one degree of separation from Daniel Carter!

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Donna and her family from Nelson are enjoying a teacher-exchange in Wales. Donna says… “We had the All Blacks all to ourselves as we had sat down in a secluded little place in the airport not knowing they were coming. They had spent an hour or two out with all the fans and were really tired then had to walk passed us to get to their plane. They must have seen us all in our black and thought oh shit…but every one of them, including the coaches said, “Hi, how are you guys?”

Now don’t you think that’s classy!

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Virtual Support

Jane Nicholls created a Troubled post today that had me thinking. She is feeling troubled about the balance between spending too much time with virtual friends as opposed the face to face variety.

Allanah's Blog
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I have spent the last twelve weeks in self imposed exile from many of my face to face friends as they follow their careers and family commitments. This self imposed exile from paid employment was brought about for the need to care for myself and my mother as we came to terms with her diagnosis of Parkinson’s Disease and the failure of my knee joints to osteo-arthritis and cartilage depletion meaning I had to spend quite some time on crutches.

During this time I had more time than usual to explore things on-line and less time with face to face friends as I dealt with doctor and hospital visits.

My virtual friends were not there to help mow the lawns or do the household chores but then my face to face friends weren’t there either as they worked full time or pursued their own family commitments. Some face to face friends stayed in contact via Web2.0 tools- email and Skype.

Some of my global, virtual friends though offered me moral support as well. Although I have never met some they are as real as people that live more locally. They helped me feel connected and still part of things even when I was forced to stay at home. Paul (Wales) offered moral support and conversation, Sheryl (Virginia) invited me to join her in Shanghai, Chris and I worked together in Sydney, Miguel (Texas) lent me a hand with my tech problem, Ewan (Scotland) included us in the birth of his baby girl and I communicated with others via Twitter, email and commenting. Some of these people I will probably never meet face-to-face but I still call them friends. These people are all part of my real life.

New Tela MacBook

I went to school today to gather up the reins from my wonderful long term reliever and think about what I want to do as next term starts in two weeks. While there I was able to take charge of my new TELA laptop- I took it home then and started customising it and I thought I would list here the things I do so that I can refer to it and not have to think too hard when I buy my new personal laptop with the next version of Apple’s operating system when it comes out in the near future (hopefully). While I was at school I saw them digging the trench to put the Loop cable in- maybe a welcome back present- due 12 weeks ago!

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  1. Try to plug in my wireless mouse but get too scared- last time I tried a little too vigorously with a new laptop it could have cost me $1000+ as a little wire thingee got bent and it was attached to the innards!
  2. Chuck out stuff I don’t want in the dock and add stuff I want to be there. Enjoy watching things fthwat into a puff a smoke!
  3. Let it access my home wireless access. Note that there are now two other wireless networks within cooee!
  4. Do the updates- restart.
  5. Install Firefox2. Increase the font size so I can see text better and set the home page.
  6. Deactivate CAPS LOCK.
  7. Add Delicious Plug-in for Firefox.
  8. Add some often used links to the toolbar- class blog, edublog, bling, podcast, Twitter, Bloglines, Blogmeister, gmail, hotmail, mySkitch
  9. Download and play with video Skype- ring some people and tell them I can see them and they can see me. Think that maybe a video image is maybe not quite such a good idea after all!
  10. Download Skitch- find login and password on iPod and bookmark mySkitch.
  11. Subscribe to our own podcast in iTunes- make a mental note to go to Brightwater School and download the rest of the episodes!
  12. Watch a widescreen DVD-I always enjoy Finding Nemo! Note that Skitch lets you take screen grabs of DVDs.

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Where am I?

A fellow blogger from Nelson, Murray, takes photos from his kite. It is actually a stitch up of nine photos made into this stunning 360 degree view showing beautifully where I live- if you follow the river up a ways you will find our house. Click and scroll to move the image.


Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things

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The posts are coming thick and fast today but I couldn’t pass up sharing this video. I wish I had more courage to break away but fear of failure leads me to stay. But then they don’t make inspirational videos about people whose lives are in the toilet because their new venture failed miserably.

Bodensee Edublog

Here is a new thing for me – Prof Martin Hofmann from Switzerland has linked to my TeacherTube Video One Woman’s Wanderings with Web2.o in German (I think). I am going to have to get some of my European friends (or Google Translate) to translate for me. All this linking is so very wonderful. Wouldn’t it be cool to link with a class in Germany who was learning English- they could practice their English and we could have to world open to us.
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Aus dem Inhalt:
Den GrundschülerInnen von Lehrerin Allanah King von der
Appleby School stehen seit 2006 jederzeit 12 Notebooks (Apple Laptops) mit Zugang zum Internet zur Verfügung. Erste Erfahrungen mit einer online Lernumgebung machte Allanah King bereits im Jahr 2005. In einem Workshop lernte Sie das Bloggen kennen und führt seither auch ein sehr lesenswertes EduBlog. Im Video berichtet die Lehrerin davon, dass jede der fünf Schulklassen (1. – 6. Klasse) an der Appleby School inzwischen ein eigenes Class-Blog (Klassen-Blog) führt, in das die Lernenden mindestens einen Beitrag (Post) wöchentlich schreiben. Für das Verfassen des wöchentlichen Blog-Eintrags ist bei Frau King immer abwechselnd jeweils ein(e) Schüler/in verantwortlich. Häufig schreiben die SchülerInnen jedoch mehrere Posts wöchentlich; insbesondere dann, wenn viele Aktivitäten in der Schule oder im Unterricht stattfinden. Alle Kommentare auf den Class-Blogs werden zuerst von den LehrerInnen geprüft, bevor sie frei geschaltet werden (Moderationsmodus). Von den einzelnen Class-Blogs verweisen zahlreiche Links auf weitere nützliche Web 2.0-Tools: Blogmeister Class Blog, Education-Blog der Lehrerin, TeacherTube-Konto der Lehrerin, Klassen-Wiki, Podcast-Plattform, Kalender, Quick Notes, Fotocommunity Flickr, einzelne SchülerInnen-Blogs u.a.m. Besonders beliebt bei den Kindern ist auch die digitale Uhr. Ausserdem besitzt jede Klasse ein (Social Bookmarking), mit dem die SchülerInnen nützliche URLs sammeln. Allanah King bemerkt, dass zwar nicht sehr häufig genutzt werde, jedoch trotzdem ein sehr nützliches Tool für den Unterricht sei. Alle Class-Blog haben zudem einen Site-Counter (ClustrMap) installiert, damit die Lernenden auf der Weltkarte sehen können, woher die LeserInnen ihrer Blogs stammen…

Blog Day 2007

Blog Day

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I am waiting with baited breath for the clock to tick over to midnight so that I can say that we in NZ can be the first to contribute to Blog Day! The idea is that we all link to five new blogs that we think people may be interested in…

  1. Find 5 new Blogs that you find interesting
  2. Notify the 5 bloggers that you are recommending them as part of BlogDay 2007
  3. Write a short description of the Blogs and place a link to the recommended Blogs
  4. Post the BlogDay Post (on August 31st) and
  5. Add the BlogDay tag using this link: and a link to the BlogDay web site at

So here is my Famous Five

* Coffee Waffle– a Nelson environmentalist, kite man, photographer, canoeist, biker and IT guy.

* Post a Secret– people send in postcards of their most intimate secrets and thus release some of the pain that keeping secrets brings.

* The Mad Kiwi – a rugby mad teacher about start teaching in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

* Stillpoint Yoga Retreat– converting a Nelson farmlet into an Ashtanga yoga retreat.

I know there is only four but it is 11.59 pm and I need to publish!!

Store Wars Animation

Another link from Paul Harrington’s blog. Too good to pass up. Star Wars was my all time favourite movie until Kevin Costner came on the scene. This animated variation is excellent. Hope you enjoy it. [kml_flashembed movie=”″ width=”425″ height=”350″ wmode=”transparent” /]

Nelson Traffic Jam

Paul Harrington in Wales has been playing with Voicethread to record a place based digital story. I have just finished viewing it and I was so impressed I had to return with a little piece of Kiwiana.

Three days ago I was stuck in a Nelson traffic jam as the local council dug up the Tahuna roundabout to improve traffic flow! I had my little Kodak on the back seat and recorded this photo and 7 second video out the driver’s window as we crawled along. Can any of my overseas or NZ readers beat that for a traffic jam view!!!

Nelson Haven


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Life is not a race

Thank you Jane again and through her to a link on Chris Sessum’s blog to this Alan Watts You Tube video. It pretty much sums up how I feel about life.

In NZ Maori have a whakatauaki (proverb) that I like…

He aha te mea nui o te ao? He tangata, he tangata, he tangata.

What is the most important thing in the world? It is the people, the people, the people.

It is the aroha and caring shown to people on a personal level that is more important than learning outcomes and teaching targets. Children need to feel loved, valued and cared about to become successful adults.

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Another Random Meme

I’ve been tagged by Jane Nicholls on the 8 random facts meme.

First, the Rules:
1) Post these rules before you give your facts
2) List 8 random facts about yourself
3) At the end of your post, choose (tag) 8 people and list their names, linking to them
4) Leave a comment on their blog, letting them know they’ve been tagged

Here we go…Image

  1. I have written three resource books on reading- Close Reading of School Journals.
  2. My great-great grandmother was the first pakeha girl born in Nelson.
  3. When I am not playing on my computer I like to do scrapbooking with photos.
  4. I am taking this term off school to care for my mother who entered a rest home today- I hope she is OK.
  5. I lived in a hospice for a couple of weeks as I cared for my sister- strangely it was was one of the most heart wrenching yet rewarding experiences in my life. It affirmed what I believe about family, caring, trust and loyalty- who had those qualities and who didn’t.
  6. I like to swim and am learning to like bike riding as I return my injured knee to good health.
  7. I love going to live musicals- I once played the clarinet in a production of Oklahoma.
  8. I won my laptop in a radio competition. You had to answer seven questions over a week. I Googled the answers to the first six. The winning question was, “What are the upright wickets in cricket called?” I knew!

My Audio of my computer win

Click on the above link to hear me win my computer!!! As an aside getting this MP3 file into my blog was a little technical wizardry in itself. Newstalk 2ZB is a pretty cool radio station as it podcasts much of its stuff and you can listen to the last 24 hours programming. This is how I captured the sound byte. It was WMA format though and I wanted to edit it because it was 15 minutes long. To be able to edit it I opened it with Quicktime, then imported it into Garageband podcast, edited it, exported it to iTunes and then converted it to MP3 for uploading to Edublogs! There is probably an easier way but this way works fine for me!!!

Now I tag

Jocelyn Mackay

Suzie Vesper

Marnie Thomas

Brett Harston

Jason Hando

John Pearce

Second Life and Real Life

There has been quite a discussion in the Blogmeister forums about Imageshowing images of children on class blogs. The debate goes on about whether or not we should post children’s photos. I think it is great that we in NZ aren’t that paranoid as to believe that everyone is a potential child molester stalking class websites for victims but with this Reasonably Clever website you can create your own avatar out of lego and put that on your blog instead. I know a couple of boys in my class that will love a go at this! Here is my creation.

At the same website they combine lego with Comic Life and make clever cartoons. Kids would enjoy that as well.


Talking of other lives- Scrumples Schnyder, Jojash McMillan and Pippi Ballinger met up on the roof of the Bloggers Cafe in Second Life. I took a screen shot while we were sitting round the campfire chatting. Jojash is really good at it and she teleported me there in a flash and gave me a blogger’s T-Shirt. Over the last few days I have been tweeting a lot with Twitter as well- username AllanahK. Sherryl hinted that Twitter might be a fun thing to try. Another means of communicating with like minded individuals via the internet. I can even tweet through my cell phone and receive tweets via txt like Dave Warlick does!


And now to real life…

Through Twitter Jason Hando from Macarthur Anglican School in north Sydney put out a call for educators from around the globe to discuss their experiences using Web2.0 tools.The call was taken up by Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach, Jen Wagner and my good self. I was aware I was boxing above my weight but am always up for new learning with others around the globe. These opportunities always present opportunities for me to learn as well as share.

Jason made a wiki to co-ordinate the venture. The concept was a fun one- that of speed dating!!! The idea was that participants would have 15 minutes to speak with each of the experts via Skype and then move on. Sheryl, Jen and Jen’s cat, Mac were on one computer and I had to hold the fort on the other. Scary stuff. I can really recommend you listen to Sheryl and Jen’s podcast which is much more eloquent that mine but here is the link anyway! Allanah’s chat with Sydney teachers.

Reporting to parents

Fifty years ago today a dear sweet thing was born in Nelson 50 metres from where I am sitting now. I haven’t come very far in the world!!! Image

While looking through some old photographs to show Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach a photo of myself and Queen Elizabeth I came across these old school reports of mine.

This one is my first school report as a five year old reporting my first year’s progress at school. It is interesting just how full and rich the reporting was in those days and how much time and effort must have gone in to making sure the parents were fully cognisant of their child’s progress and learning goals for future progress. Also of note is the rich curriculum that was reported on- reading, number, expression and printing.


The second school report is the best they could muster after six years of primary schooling. The first thing that struck me was that after six full years at the same school they still couldn’t spell my name correctly! I must have felt thrilled that I didn’t have any problems in reading and I should continue to make progress. Being a ‘good average’ must have made my parents proud. Nothing like standing out from the crowd. No tall poppies here!

What occupations were we being educated for? Not ICT, Web2.0, global communication and collaboration for sure. I wonder how our children will look back on the school reports we give them?

Simply Successful Secrets

Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach tagged me to…

List the top 5 to 10 things that you do almost every day that help you to be successful. They can be anything at all, but they have to be things that you do at least 4 or 5 times every week. Anything less than that may be a hobby that helps you out, but we are after the real day in and day out habits that help you to be successful.Source: Miguel Guhlin responding to Ed Tech Journeys’ Guest Blogger, Sylvia Martinez (GenYESBlog) writing on this meme by Thea Westra, Simply Successful Secrets

21st Century Collaborative

It’s a bit of an ask really and it has got me thinking about how successful or otherwise I think I am. In a nutshell, I don’t really think of myself as a particularly successful person. I tend to stumble along lurching from one disaster to another. There are some things that I am proud of that I have done and came to thinking about why they were successful. So here goes…

I love and am loved by my family and friends

When life turns to custard they can always be relied to support and agee with my point I view, even if, secretly, they disagree. This is enough to get me through the rough patches. My support crew is not huge but their contribution is immense.

I am tenacious

I worry away at a problem, I gnaw at it, leave it and come back to it, not giving up on it until I have found a ‘work around’ or it is resolved. I don’t work quickly but I usually get there in the end.

I am able to devote time to projects

I am able to spend time on things that interest me- ICT, photography, scrapbooking, paper tole, cross-stitch, whatever. I am a night-owl and rarely go to bed before midnight. I have a laptop and wireless, fast internet access in the house so am always connected and enjoy communicating/collaborating with friends I have never met face-to-face.

I have found something that I am good at

I have been teaching for quite a while and although I have had a couple of resource books on reading published, ICT has given me an audience for my talents. This encouragement from my peers gives me the impetus to do more. Success breeds success!

But then my mother says that my success is just a reflection of my upbringing! LOL

So I would like to tag

Paul Harrington

Rachel Boyd

Beth Sullivan

Tom Sheehan

Away you go guys….

I tracked this meme back to this blog that started it off on 7 March.