Life is not a race to be first finished

This is an attempt to record some of my musings about learning and teaching.

Archive for the 'ULearn08' Category

An ICT Facilitator’s Day

Posted by Allanah King on 13th November 2008

As posted before “I love my job”. How great is it to get paid to do a job that you love. Here is a little bit of my day today….

  • Late night chat via Skype with Barbara Reid on the perils of Milestone Reporting
  • Early morning chat via Skype with Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach in Buffalo on future thinking.
  • A little bit of milestone writing in the morning- there’s got to be a downside there somewhere!
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  • In the afternoon a student/teacher workshop looking at animation at Upper Moutere. Will Richardson at ULearn had showed me Google Docs presenter so had made a presentation on animation to practice with the tool. This is the third in a series of workshops with students and teachers at Upper Moutere as we look at different ways of making animations, today we were looking at I Can Animate My Personal Learning Network (Fiona Grant) and Atomic Movies came in handy here with screen grab tutorials and a paper handout to guide me as I had never actually used the software before.
  • Then a bit of a mad dash (driving dutifully at 49 km/hr) over to Mapua School for ULearn08 feedback. We took more of an unconference style to the reporting back which worked really well. I started off with a couple of links to EdTalks and K12 Online Conference and then ULearn08 participants shared what they had done with people who wanted to know more. It was a pretty good result I thought and people enjoyed the experience and went away good vibes and a few more ideas to take back to their schools.

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  • Home safely driving at 99km/hr to check my emails and catch up with my RSS. It seems that this blog is on a reading list for some pre-service teachers in Australia as they seem to be posting and reflecting on some of the things that I have posted lately. I am honoured and flattered by the attention. What about giving a little extra encouragement to Meaghan, Natalie, Renee and Amanda who are studying at UTS in Sydney.
  • A little work on my blog and a little more work on my miletsone and a distraction from Greg Carroll showing me how to convert a PC into an Apple. Not a bad day in the life of a ICT facilitator from NZ!

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Posted in Blogging, ICT Facilitator, ULearn08 | 4 Comments »

Collaborative Dance Video

Posted by Allanah King on 8th November 2008

Here it is! After its conception nearly a month ago the collaborative video is ready to rock….

PreviewClick on the graphic to view the video with TeacherTube.

Angela from CORE asked me to do a write up for it for the Time4Celebration theme so I had to make up a scholarly dissertation on why I did it but it was really just a bit of fun. Here is the blurb I wrote for @Ageja

  • Purpose – The project started out as a bit of fun- it ended up that way too. We thought we would make a collaborative video in a similar style to the http://wherethehellismatt.com video that is wildly popular on You Tube. By having a collaborative dance video we were able to transcend cultural and language barriers as everyone loves to move and dance- it is pretty universal.
  • Process –I wanted the video to have an element of New Zealand wide participation but also wanted to include our global audience so I blogged about it on my education blog and on Twitter I also mentioned it when I was moderating the K12OnLine conference These avenues ensured that we got more than just New Zealand videos and added a little cultural diversity.
  • I asked that people email their videos to my little used gmail address so as to keep my main email spam free in case it got picked up by a spammer. I had a bit of trouble converting some of the videos as they came from various operating systems and in a variety of formats so I had to use a couple of online video converters and my clever Adobe Flash Video Encoder . I learnt new stuff cos I had to grab a couple of videos from people’s Blogger or Flickr accounts and turn them into movie files on my Apple. I used Orbit Downloader and it was fortunate that I had Parallels on my Mac so I could change the format using the free PC Format Factory to convert the Flash files into something that I could easily edit.
  • I used iMovie06 to create the final video as I haven’t got the hang of iMovie08 yet. I then exported it as a Quicktime movie file for uploading into ‘the cloud’. Along the way I either stripped away the original soundtrack or lowered the volume so that a universal sound track from FreePlay Music could go over the whole set to tie the thing together. I also added subtitles so people would know where in the world the videos came from.
  • The finished the movie was uploaded to Fileden here so that people could download the 24MB file and save it without having to worry about buffering or viewing on possibly blocked YouTube or Flickr sites. I also uploaded it to Teacher Tube that was less likely to be blocked and YouTube so that kids could actually find it for themselves. In this way people could either view it directly with streaming video or download the higher resolution video if they wanted to to play it back for whole class viewing.
  • Product – People were asked to send in up to 20 seconds of video so I could put it together with the final cut off date 7 November- giving people plenty of time to organize themselves. The quality of the resolution of the video varied quite a bit as some teachers did not have access to digital video recorders but all videos were included in the spirit of global collaboration.
  • Reflection – It would be great to do a similar kind of thing again as it was so much fun to see what others had come up with and didn’t take very long to complete. It just needed someone with a bit of time on their hands to act as a hub for everyone to send their videos in to. Kids seem to have got into the spirit of it and look forward to seeing the finished published product.

Thank you so much to all the contributers and their classes from around New Zealand, Canada, Bangkok, the United Kingdom, @fionagrant, @charbeck, @kathycassidy, @lisibo, @efreeman, @nzchrissy, @keamac, @teachernz, @leannehough, @lenva, @jaminlietze, @njt24 and to the hundreds of kids and their teachers who enjoy a sense of fun and adventure who like to participate in a community wider than their classroom walls.

You rock!

New lesson for me- Flickr videos are only 1min 30seconds. I will have to cut it up. That’s a pity though so I suggest if you want good quality you go to the Fileden link and download the whole movie in Quicktime – 24MB

Posted in Collaboration, Humour, K12 Online, ULearn08, Web2.0 | 17 Comments »

Under the spotlights at ULearn08

Posted by Allanah King on 26th October 2008

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)

Posted in ULearn08 | 1 Comment »

ULearn08

Posted by Allanah King on 12th October 2008

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!

Posted in Collaboration, New Zealand, Personal, ULearn08 | 3 Comments »

Microsoft Innovative Teacher Award

Posted by Allanah King on 30th September 2008

Centre Without links
Uploaded with plasq‘s Skitch!

I am very proud to say that I an one of the twelve New Zealand finalists in the 2008 Microsoft Partners in Learning Innovative Teachers Award. I have been beavering away at making a poster to present at ULearn08.

The poster space is about 1mx2m so I have plenty of space to fill. Here is my centrepiece. There will no opportunity for interactivity where I have to present my poster so I made this interactive one that people will have to come to my blog to access it. All of the watermarked photos lead to blog posts that illustrate how I create, innovate, communicate and collaborate.

It took me ages to hyperlink the photos- you could test drive it for me!

The file is hosted by Fileden which may well be blocked at school- if the download doesn’t happen for you try again from home.

To download the poster click here.

Posted in Blogging, Collaboration, Geocache, Photography, Podcast, Podcasting, ULearn08 | 6 Comments »

Now It Seems More Real

Posted by Allanah King on 4th September 2008

Conferencepresentationslide.ppt

Uploaded with plasq‘s Skitch!

After quite a bit of deliberation and a fair bit of angst I have made my ULearn08 selections. Fickle creature that I am a few of the my, ‘I really want to go to that,’ sessions were on in times that I was presenting myself. It’s a shame my two tasters are in different breakouts. I think I will just try and gatecrash the second half of someone else’s workshop when I have finished. Such is life!

Also of course really looking forward to catching up and spending time with good friends from overseas & closer to home and also meeting people I have met through my network who I feel I know but who I probably won’t recognise unless they come dressed as their avatar!

Breakout One- Keeping Competencies Complex- what happens when we listen to kids? Jennifer Carteris & Robyn Foster. I want to see how other people are getting to grips with the key competencies in the new curriculum.

Breakout Two Taster- Twitter- building your network. Twitter ID.

Breakout Three Taster- Cool Adobe Applications for Free. Me.

Breakout Four- Podcasting. Wiki.

Breakout Five- Network Literacy- Levering the Potential of a Hyperlinked World. Will Richardson. A F2F session will be great.

Breakout Six- Marina View Television- Colin Gover. Using my copy of Adobe Visual Communicator with my fellow Adobe Educational Leader.

Breakout Seven- Unconference. To play and learn and twitter and Skype I should imagine!

Now I thought I would offer a little something to the Unconference- any requests???

Ewan McIntosh’s Perfect Tools for planning an Unconference sounds like a lot of fun but I wonder if people would go for it. I think it would be just grand if we could have enough people that wanted to share that we could run his People Picker- give everyone a bit of a look at something new , maybe Ustream it for Chrissy now in Bangkok and have a bit of a laugh. A bit of speed geeking would be the idea.

Hope everyone decides to go to the Breakout Seven Unconference so other people will be at the one that I go to.

Posted in ICT Facilitator, ULearn08 | 6 Comments »