Almost as Good As Being There

Today I had the pleasure of reading to the children of Tua Marina School as part of their fabulous book week. Barbara Keane had organised guest readers to come in each day at 10:30 to read to the children.

Today was their wonderful dress up as a book character day and I got to read the first chapter of one of one of my favourites classics….. The Iron Man.

I had managed to source an on line version of the Iron Man as well so senior children could continue reading and finish off the story if they were inspired to do so.

I used Call Recorder on my MacBook to record the reading, edited the length a bit with Quicktime and uploaded it to Vimeo for your viewing pleasure!!

We talk about working blended and flipping the classroom- well here is one way how that might happen. It certainly saves on travel and time. And I love reading to kids and seeing the light in their eyes.

And at the end I got thanked by a real princess Cinderella!!!

Iron Man from Allanah King on Vimeo.

One avid reader of this blog read the story to his children who set about on a wet Saturday to do a little creating. Very cool response to reading!!!!


Enhancing Workflow on an iPad

At the end of last term I was asked to lead a couple of presentations for the Learning at School Conference Roadshow run by CORE Education here in Nelson. It was the first time such an event had been held in the provinces and was really well supported by locals and from those further afield as well.

The presentation that I had not done before was Enhancing Workflow with an iPad- combining apps to share the learning. Here it is below.


I didn’t want to just spend the time just talking to the teachers at the workshop I wanted them to talk to each other- to share the learning that they already knew and become teachers themselves. And to have a base level of knowing how to work their iPad to do basic things before we went on to more advanced learning.

I went down to the local supermarket beforehand and bought a package of the now famous iPad cleaners as prizes and made up a bingo board for each person.

The deal was that people had to walk around the room and find someone who could show them how to do the tasks on the bingo board, that person showed them, then they had to do the task themselves. Then they could initial the bingo board. When they had five squares initialled in a row they yelled ‘Allanah’ and got a prize!

I was surprised the number of people who carried on just as eagerly after they had got a prize because they wanted to learn more. Eventually I felt I had to stop people so we could move on to the more advanced learning but I felt the whole session went really well because it was an energiser as well as a great learning opportunity.

iPad Bingo Chart- click on it to go to the Google Doc

To make it easy for you to personalise and make the resource your own I have made the bingo form into a Google Doc that you can copy and make your own with your own email address and the like.

The activity with all the links to the pdf tutorials and activities can be viewed and downloaded from the presentation above. It is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share Alike which means you are welcome to mash-up and repurpose the presentation but please acknowledge the source.

The activity was very well received with participants coming to me later saying how much they enjoyed the opportunity to move and talk and share rather than being talked to for the entire presentation.

You may like to try the same sort of thing when you next share your learning with others.

I later repeated the presentation at the BYOD Conference run by Learning NetworkNZ at Albany Senior High School in the holidays.

iPad Bingo at BYOD Conference at Albany Senior High School

eLearning in the Junior School

Today I share some of my eLearning journey with teachers from Witherlea School. I want my presentation to be rewindable so I uploaded it here so you can see it as well.

I am sharing some of things that can be seen in junior classrooms. Thanks also to Sherryn Lines at Brightwater School and Cherryl Eden at Richmond Primary for sharing their blogs with us.


New Beginnings

Here we start with a new beginning for the new year. 2013 heralds very much a new beginning for me for, after being at school for 50 years I have been offered a job with CORE Education. It was all a bit rushed as I resigned from Appleby School on the second to last day of 2012 school year. It was a big move for me to leave but I felt it was the right thing to do as these opportunities don’t come round often in life and when they do you have to make the most of them cos’ you might not get a second chance.

CORE Education is a non for profit organisation part of the Te Toi Tipu consortium of providers with a Ministry of Education contract to deliver professional development for teachers. They are the organisation that run the Learning at School and ULearn conferences and provide the structure behind the ICTPD clusters that have been running so successfully for the last decade or so. Here is what the consortium is all about….

  • We have considerable expertise all areas of education, and currently provide professional learning and development programmes for the Ministry of Education in the areas of literacy, leadership and assessment, e-learning and te reo Māori.
  • We have a strong focus on providing professional learning and development which gets results, and we have highly skilled facilitators, and a strong monitoring and evaluation programme to ensure this is the case.
  • We are committed to improving outcomes for students who have been under-served in the education system. This includes a strong focus on ensuring success for Māori students, Pasifika students and students with special education needs.

I have started working as a BeL (Blended eLearning Facilitator) at the end of the January school holidays. These long school holidays will be my last as CORE only have one month’s leave — just like real folk.

Working as a Blended eLearning Facilitator I will be able to work in depth with a small number of schools similarly to the goals of our cluster over the last three years.

I will still be able to support what was the Link Learning ICTPD cluster though with the BeL position being for four days a week, leaving one flexi day a week to work to keep the cluster and the network we have made over the last three years going strong.

It is the best of both worlds and an opportunity too good to miss.

The sky is the limit.



Home School Partnership- iPad Night

One of our Link Learning cluster goals is to better inform parents/whānau about what we are doing in school.

Many parents/whānau have bought iPads because they have heard they are useful for children’s learning but are unsure of how to manage them and don’t know what apps to put on them.

I made this page on my iPad site

with a view to sharing apps that people might like on their iPhone and or iPad. By having the web link they were also gaining access to the other pages of links I had assembled over the past year.

It was sort of like the hook to get parents along to a night time meeting- to show them what apps they might like as adults on their iPads. When people arrived at the meeting they were actually more interested in how to manage their iPads and what apps to put on them to help their children learn and to see some of the apps demonstrated to them before they bought them.

Some of the parents had already bought iPads but a couple were thinking of buying them for Christmas presents and were wondering whether their purchases were warranted.

I had asked schools to put a notice in their newsletters informing them that the meeting was going to be held in centrally situated restaurant/cafe. I had sussed the cafe out beforehand and knew that it had wifi and they agreed to open up at night time for us. We just took a painting off the wall and shone the data projector on to the wall.

The idea of a cafe was that it was neutral territory, not aligned with any school. And being in a cafe meant they could have a coffee and make it a bit of a social activity.

I gave the parents a handout with my contact details at the top and blank at the bottom and a pile of borrowed pens from #ulearn12 so they could make notes for later.


I limited the evening to forty parents as I didn’t want to overload the venue. Here, one of the parents, Sarah, offered to share how she used guided access with her pre-schooler to limit his access to all of the apps at once. This was great- parents teaching parents in the same way as we encourage children teaching children.

It also meant that I was able to take a breath and take a photo!

It was a great night out and successfully worked towards achieving one of our cluster goals.

Above standard!

How are you informing your parent/whānau about what you are doing around eLearning?

IPad Evening

Pinterest Sharing and Curating

I have been learning how Pinterest works lately and I like it.

It appeals to me for its ease of use, its reliability and its social nature.

You log in and set up some pin boards of things that you are interested in. Add a Pin It button to your bookmarks bar by dragging it, just like you do for your RSS or Diigo or Delicious or VLN bookmarlet.

Anything you like on the web with an image in it somewhere you just click on the ‘Pin It’ bookmarket, decide which image prompt you want to go with it and what board to put it on and you’re away.

If it’s a site without an image you can save and upload your own so it still works.

You can put a ‘Follow me on Pinterest’ widget on your blog as well like I have done here on my blog side bar so that people know that you are pinning on Pinterst and follow along.

Here is what my boards look like after a couple of weeks of pinning.

These are just my boards but you find some other people that are pinning and you can follow their stuff too so we all end up share and re-pinning their stuff onto your boards.


Give it a go. It’s fun and a useful way to store and find your stuff.

Oh and it’s a free iPad app too!!!

And Android.

e-Learning to support Mathematics and Bookmarking

I had a request to support teachers as they participate in a Numeracy professional learning contract. Here are my quick resources around that area. I have purposely added links to my Delicious on line bookmarks so that the resource will continue to be useful as the links are continuously being updated and stay current.

I urge everyone to save their favourite places on the web to Delicious or Diigo. Storing your favourites in the cloud is way safer than storing them locally on your laptop.

For the bookmarks I do store locally on my laptop I use Xmarks which synches the same local bookmarks across all my laptops (TELA and Home) and all my browsers- Chrome, Safari, Firefox and potentially Internet Explorer. It’s a stunning tool to use as my bookmarks are then in the same place no matter what device I am using- TELA laptop or MacBook.

As an example of how useful cloud storage is I recently, mistakenly, deleted an entire folder of much used bookmarks from my laptop. Disaster averted as I re-synched back from XMarks.

What’s On Your Horizon?

I have been asked to share some elearning trends that I see happening over the next couple of years. I took my ideas from the Horizon Reports of 2011 and 2012 which I have had the privilege of supporting. I have some video and audio to support my thinking around this but you sort of need to be there to see it so I have hyperlinked the resources in this Slideshare so the learning can be rewindable and available to everyone, not just for those in the room! @kevinhoneycutt


Modern Learning Environment

I have the privilege to be asked to share some of my thinking around Modern Learning Environments in Auckland this week. The day was hosted by TTS and held at Sorento. Here is my presentation so participants can click on the links and easily find the resources that I am sharing. As always I think of other things I need to add after I have published something but as my mate, Kevin Honeycutt says, ‘Don’t wait to be good at something before you do it’. Here is my something!

All of my favourite apps that I use in my classroom or see the potential of are on my initial iPad set up site for people new to iPads who want to know where to start.

I add to it all the time as I come across new things and occasionally ditch things as something better comes along. My most used apps are those where we get to create things, to make things and learn things.

All of the links in the presentation below should work too to take you straight to the app link in iTunes.

There were some strange participants at the conference!

Apple sMACdown

One of the regular highlights of #Ulearn12 is the Apple Smacdown where Apple Distinguished Educators and Apple fan people share their favourite Apple apps or learning in a fast paced sharing session.

Everyone only gets two minutes to share their stuff and all their links must be on line and readily clickable.

Dorothy Burt and Fiona Grant kick things off and everyone takes turns to share their stuff. It is a great session with last year’s smacdown and participants contributions listed.

Take a look at the cool sharing and learning. You can still add your own cool tips to add to the resource.


I am really looking forward to the Google Summit and ULearn this year. One of my presentations is ‘Transforming Learning with an iPad’. A little presumptuous maybe but I do believe that putting an iPad in children and teachers’ hands can really transform the way we do things in school.

I have stripped the embedded media from my Keynote presentation, converted it to Powerpoint and uploaded it to Slideshare in the hope that more people than the 30 in my workshop will get the benefit of seeing what I am sharing. Some of the formatting is a bit off but you can get the idea!!

This is a third revision from earlier in the year.

The hyperlinks work so if you click on them it will take you to the apps directly.

Continue reading

Any Answers, Many Answers

This week I attended an AnyQuestions after school workshop. It tied in nicely with our tour of innovative Wellington libraries earlier in the week.

I remember giving AnyQuestions a whirl when I first heard of it ages ago and at that stage it was a bit lame but now it is much improved and I was impressed.

The idea is that from 1-6pm NZ time you can ask, via on line chat, a real life librarian in real time to assist you in finding out answers to questions on line.

While Robert Baigent from AnyQuestions was talking I decided to see how the app was working by asking a live question while working on my iPad. You learn by doing!

On first clicking on the ONLINE icon you need to answer some quick questions to ascertain your location and  fluency. With seconds a helpful assistant is there to guide you to answering your questions yourself. They don’t just give you the answers and you learn about website navigation and digital literacies as you go.

I took a screen grab of the chat transcript to give you an idea of how the conversation may well go.

Complimentary to AnyAnswers is ManyAnswers where popular question responses are curated with full answers to questions often asked during study time.

Robert said that all the librarian helpdesk people are well trained and vetted to help children find out answers to all sorts of questions they want to know the answers to but if you Google the questions you could end up in very dark places on the internet.

It looks to be a great service, often used by informed upper primary school children, to find out answers to deeper questions that Google is not so good at providing.

Worth a second look!

Tour of Wellington Innovative Libraries

This week I had the privilege of being able tour three Wellington School libraries and challenge some of my thinking around how future focussed libraries might be.

We started the tour with the new Amesbury School– so new that Google Maps didn’t pick it up. Amesbury and it’s principal, Lesley Murrihy, impressed me with their openess and high trust model. Lesley had been in my ULearn pre-conference workshops last year and it was great to see the school’s QR codes in action.

Take a moment to view the photos I took on tour- made with Haiku Deck, a free, elegantly simple slideshow iPad app that emails you a Powerpoint of your slideshow should you wish!


Lesley explained that the library is like the living room of the school. I like that analogy. It’s where people come and talk, work, meet, share- it’s at the central core of the school. Amesbury  has a participatory model where the community – whanau, children, teachers- have a feeling of ownership.

As you step into the school you have to pretty much walk through the library. They don’t have specific times where children come and exchange their books, they’re not hung up on due dates to return books, eReaders are taken home with the books already downloaded. Children come to the library as they wish but with a timer as a necklace so that they don’t settle down on a comfy bean bag in the sun for too long and forget to return to the learning hub. High trust but with accountability.

Another idea I really liked was their development of 2 minute snippets of learning videos. As a new concept was learned short videos, made my children, were being developed and shared. Over time this will develop in to a rich record of learning and a resource for children to be able to revise and learn. The learning is becoming rewindable. Hat tip to Kevin Honeycutt for planting that idea in my head.

Amesbury had such a lovely feel to it. A great way to kick off our day. Thanks team.


Pic Collage and Blogger

I have been thinking more about combining iPad apps to create content that can be shared on line.

To that end I am creating some tutorials around combining apps.

Today I am sharing creating a photo collage with Pic Collage and sharing it with Blogger.

Pic Collage


With Pic Collage you can either take your own photos, get them from the Camera Roll or the web. You can also add text, stickers and a variety of different backgrounds.

Pic Collage

  • I had previously saved some photos to my iPad photos folder using Advanced Image Search and using free to use photos. To save a photo from the web just press and hold it.
  • You can multiple select photos for your collage. Move them to where you want them.

  •  To set a photo as a background double tap it. Tap on an empty space to select one of their backgrounds. 

  • To delete a photo drag or flick the photos into the bin that appears at the top right hand side of the screen.
  • Use the two finger pinch and spread and rotate to manipulate the photos to how and where you want them.
  • To trim a photo double tap it and trace around the outside with your finger. Press DONE when you’re done. 

  •  Tap anywhere in the background to add text.

  • Look at the top left of the text box to edit font etc.
  • Look to the bottom right hand corner arrow to export the finished collage to the Camera Roll.


Now you are ready to share your collages. Go to your Blogger app and log in.

  • Blogger will ask you permission to access your photos. It will need to do that to access your Camera Roll.

  •  Click on the pencil at the bottom left corner to write your post. Add a title and some text and close the keyboard by clicking on the orange keyboard.

  •  Select your image by clicking on the photo icon on the bottom left of your screen.

  •  If you have labels on your blog remember to add it. Then click Publish. Go to Safari to see how the blog post looks!

Here is a paper version of this tutorial to download if you find it easier to work from that.

Chromebook Trial

I was generously leant a Chromebook to trial for a week and wrote my thoughts around using it for the brief time I had it.


  • White and cool- roundy edges- solid number. Decent sized screen. Netbook screens and keyboards are just way too small for me to want to go anywhere near so this was good.
  • Built in camera audio record button
  • Used Aviary to record audio but it didn’t stick- could be my inexperience in Aviary.
  • Easy to connect to the web
  • Not sure how but all my bookmarks and bookmarks bar turned up in the right place- I synch between browsers using XMarks and have Google Bookmarks synching with that.
  • Could upload to Picassa/Flickr from flashdrive and presumably from camera card- you could run in to blocking issues using social photo sites like Flickr
  • Google would do the updates for you- no need to install updates
  • As long as students remember to log out it is a device that can easily be passed between multiple users. In my experience children remember the lesson to log out quickly as they don’t want their stuff mucked about with by others.
  • If you were a Google user or Google Apps for Education School it is quite cool.


  • If you don’t have internet you have nothing- no access to anything- no chance to record anything at all off line.
  • You have to have a Google account before you get started. Google is building more information about you.
  • You can upload photos to Picassa directly from a flash drive but when I went to look at them it said that Picassa isn’t available on this operating system- weird. Couldn’t download Picassa either.
  • You can’t upload a decent sized photo directly to a Google Doc- has to be re-sized first which adds lots of new layers for kids doing it.
  • It’s not very exciting. Unless you spend time personalising your themes and such it all looks pretty bland- not a lot of colour.
  • Chromebooks aren’t officially supported in New Zealand yet. You would have to source them from overseas.

Things you can’t do with a Chromebook.

  1. Skype– I am used to having Skype running in the background for instant collaboration
  2. Dropbox Desktop Drag and drop function but you can access the web version or Google Drive I suppose.
  3. Uploading larger sized photos to Google Docs
  4. AudioPal– can’t embed flash based audio tools for embedding in a blog

Things to Explore Further but ran out of time..

  • Upload video to Vimeo or YouTube- I should imagine creating and editing videos on a Chromebook would be a real mission- all the uploading, buffering and rendering wouldn’t make it a pleasant experience.
  • Printing- Cloud Printing option as you can’t download printer drivers
  • Does it play a Flash based web Digital Object?


  • Heavy- what’s in it to make it heavy. You would think it would be light.
  • Keeps my knees warm? Again- what’s in it so that it heats up!
  • No backlit keys- annoying in low light situations
  • Expensive- price similar to iPad so why not get an iPad.


  • I like the concept and it is way more useful than the recently fired Kindle Fire.
  • I don’t think I would like it to be my only device. I like to be able to have a choice of pencil, pen, dry erase marker, felt tip pen, crayon or brush. Each best for their own task.
  • In my perfect world I would have a COW of devices to chose from- MacBooks, iPads, iPod Touches, Chromebooks, pens etc. We would have a knowledge of all devices available to use and be able to choose the right tool for the job.
  • The Chromebook could well be part of that toolbox but at a price similar to an iPad I would prefer an iPad.

Thank you CORE for the opportunity to dabble my toes in the water.


This is a test post with a work in progress to see if my idea works.

It does! This is Chirp! Chirp! is like an audio QR Code. By having the free Chirp iPhone/iPad app open you can beam images, notes and URL’s by sound waves. I recorded the sound file produced when I made this note with Divshare so you can practice.

It is real easy to use to beam photos between iPads when you haven’t got email set up on them. Kids will love it!

Here is the sound file again as a link that can be played with out Flash. You will still need another device to receive the Chirp.

So what you have to do is download Chirp! Have it open and listen to the chirp. The first person to write what I chirped in the comments gets a surprise present.

The Chirp team have plans for an Android app but aren’t quite there yet!

2012 K-12 Horizon Report

Earlier this year I was asked to participate in the Advisory Board of the Horizon Report. The Horizon Report Advisory Board is a group of leading educators from around the world who pool their knowledge and expertise to try and predict what the trends will be in the educational landscape in the near future out to the next five years.

I was in awe of the other educators asked to participate and humbled that they would value my input.

To gain consensus we suggested trends and then voted on which ones we thought would come to fruition over the time frames suggested.

Key Trends that we identified

  • The abundance of resources and relationships made easily accessible via the Internet is increasingly challenging us to revisit our roles as educators.
  • As the cost of technology drops and schools revise and open up their access policies, it is becoming increasingly common for students to bring their own mobile devices.
  • Education paradigms are shifting to include online learning, hybrid learning and collaborative models.
  • One-to-one computing is spreading to a large number of countries and regions. Providing students constant access to computers and the Internet is an education game-changer.
  • People expect to be able to work, learn, and study whenever and wherever they want to.
  • Technology continues to profoundly affect the way we work, collaborate, communicate and succeed.
  • There is a new emphasis in the classroom on more challenge-based and active learning.

 So here is what we came up with……

 Time-to-Adoption Horizon: One Year or Less

  • Cloud Computing
  • Collaborative Environments
  • Mobiles and Apps
  • Tablet Computing

Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Two to Three Years

  • Digital Identity
  • Game-Based Learning
  • Learning Analytics
  • Personal Learning Environments

 Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Four to Five Years

  • Augmented Reality
  • Natural User Interfaces
  • Semantic Applications
  • Tools for Assessing 21st Century Learning Skills

Embedded below is four minute video that explains it further and a pdf to download that explains each of the terms.


So what do you think? Did we get it right?



CORE Breakfast- Social Media

Last week we hosted an exciting event here in Nelson- a CORE Education Breakfast. The Loop Regional Support programme NEN extension group sponsored the breakfast with DK as our invited guest speaker. To my knowledge this hadn’t happened before. As our regional cluster comes to an end the sense of urgency of getting our messages adopted seems even more acute and DK sharing his thoughts about using social media and developing a personal learning network fits well with our cluster goals.

DK shared his insights with graphical examples and plenty of good humour. A couple of things resonated with me in particular.

  •  The first being that of ‘desire paths’. I hadn’t heard of that concept before. But I like the notion. We get where we need to be in the best way we can. That desire path takes us where we want to go rather than where others might like us to. We do what we need to to get the job done and sometimes designers who think they know best for us- don’t.
Desire path and desire cycle path

Photo by Kate Pugh

  •  Aim for goals not instructions. I tend to hand hold when I am helping people with their ICT. People are generally grateful for that and maybe it is time as the cluster draws to a close to pull back a little and let people work it out for themselves more (resilience). I still have some problem with that though cos I think back to my own experiences when I started blogging. I didn’t know anyone else who was doing it, had no idea where to go to find out really apart from Yahoo! And I didn’t know what questions to ask a web search engine any way. I spent hours, days, weeks trying to get it sorted. If I hadn’t been so determined I would have given up as the whole thing was so new to me. If I can help cut out some of the struggle then maybe that’s a good thing. What do you think?
  • DK also suggested that it was the metacognition around blogging that was the best thing about doing it. The thinking about it was the most important thing. I know that for me there are many posts that never see the light of day. I craft them in my head, write them up and the moment passes and I don’t actually publish them. The reflection involved in blogging helps me sort stuff out in my head.
  • Your blog will be successful if it is an intersection not a destination. My class blog has now over 94,000 views over time. How did we get there? We got there because people go to the blog to be taken to other places like other web services that we need like our maths wiki, or our Google Apps Log in  or whatever. I hadn’t thought of it like that but DK is right. The hyperlinks on this blog and my class blog will take you to other interesting places and hopefully encourage you to return to find more interesting links with new posts or looking through the categories.
Would you say your blog is an intersection or a destination?
Moturoa_s Blog
Uploaded with Skitch!

ADE Camp

Over the weekend I had the privilege of attending the Apple Distinguished Educators first ever New Zealand official get together in Auckland. Apart from getting to know one another better the main thrust for the event was to make a video potentially for iTunes U. We were put in to three groups of five with a Final Cut Pro expert on hand for when we got stuck and got on with it. It was a little like Masterchef with a final countdown for 4pm on Saturday afternoon. Almost two solid days of work for a 90 second video! The end result was pretty good though.

I am happy to say I have a couple of things in iTunes U already owing to my involvement in the K12 OnLine Conference over the last couple of years.

While we were there we were privileged to also hear from Rhonda Kite, the CEO of Kiwa Media. I was impressed, very impressed with her vision, passion and skills. We have such talented New Zealanders here.

It is Kiwa Media that have developed the Hairy Maclary and Wonky Donkey apps that I already had. Previously I had just had the apps auto play but now realise there is more to it than that. On my return to school on Monday we had a look at the Hairy Maclary book being signed as it was read. My class were impressed as they could sort of see what was being read at the same time as listening and reading. Then we had a go at adding our own narration. Fortunately the I had a parent willing to help and an empty classroom next door because I left my iRig noise cancelling microphone at home.

When I got home I used Reflectionapp to mirror my iPad onto my laptop and used Quicktime to record the screen and Vimeo to post to the web.

I put it on the Moturoa class blog via the iPad Blogger app. Take a look and have a go yourself.

Leadership Google Presentation

Today I was so proud of the team as we worked collaboratively across the 36 schools in the cluster to research and add our notes to a shared Google Doc, record our learnings and share publicly what we had done.

I had pre-made the Google presentation with a hyperlink to a leadership resource on each slide. I had also randomly placed people’s names on each slide so people had to move to work together with one another.

Our internet zinged along as we were at Salisbury School which is on the Loop UFB.

I loved it how people just knew what to do and got on and did it. Some taking screen grabs and uploading them, some writing notes, some making an iMovie and uploading it to YouTube and embedding it in the presentation.

All in a thirty five minute time span. Impressive.

We have come a long way since we started this venture.