Collaborative Dance Video

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 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 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!


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.

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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!

Microsoft Innovative Teacher Award

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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!


Now It Seems More Real


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.

Collaboration Links

  • A number of schools and classes in my cluster are now blogging in earnest and getting plenty of feedback and interaction flowing from it. Now they are ready to take it to the next level and go out their and use their blogs to foster links outside their classrooms and schools.

For me that collaboration really started through Paul Harrington from Wales and I exchanging comments on each others blogs and podcasts but teachers want to know how to go about starting those links and working on some meaningful projects with other classes.

Lenva Sheering has compiled this reference to the benefits and curriculum links of using collaboration on her Auckland Home Group wiki.

Here are some links that they may like to use to do just that…

  • Teachers Connecting– A teacher will register and complete a profile of their class level, interests and level of teacher technical skill. Others who are keen also to collaborate can see what projects are on the go that might suit them.
    Uploaded with plasq‘s Skitch!
  • Of course, most obviously, there is Twitter but it make take a while to build up a network of co-collaborators. On a side note it was great fun on Saturday night to gather a group of us via Twitter all watching and tweeting on the Kiwi triumphs at the Olympic rowing events.
  • Kim Cofino, in Bangkok, also has a project site that offers links to collaborative projects organised by grade level.
  • Then there’s always our own English On Line Book Backchat where classes get together and discuss books- again arranged by class level. This site hosted my very first on line discussion and the results still show up deep in a Google search!
  • The Flat Stanley project is an oldie but a goodie. The idea is that you send off a ‘Flat Stanley’ around the world and follow his trail- sort of geocaching for little kids.
  • E-Pals is a long running site linking classes of similar ages and interests to get together and form bonds.
    • Voices of the World is a Ning where people who join have a community where they can post media, audio, blog, links and the like. You have to join the Ning first then look for what is current with the project. It is based in America so the school terms are different to ours but it is nice to concentrate on hearing the student voices speaking with different accents and languages.
    • Lastly is another Ning organised by Jen Wagner. This Ning even has a group of Kiwi educators. We are starting to use it to talk about ULearn08. Again you need to join first- this Ning has many groups where educators from around the globe can form areas of common interest to link their classes.