CENZ14

Connected Educator Month has been and gone here in New Zealand.
The vision of the New Zealand team was for educators to strategically access, collaborate and share across national & global networks to inform schooling designed around students’ needs and strengths.



As I look back over the past few years, this is the third year that  I have been part of Connected Educator Month. In 2012, I was lurking and watching what was happening via @JulieLinday’s tweets. In 2013 I lead a Global Chat Sharing Stories of our Global Connections with #GlobalClassrooms. I attended a few online sessions run using Blackboard Collaborate.

At Newmarket School I am conscious of giving our teachers and our students the same opportunities that I have been a part of. So as I read the Ministry of Education Future-focused learning report, and Core Education 10 Trends in particular Trend 8: Global connectedness I am looking to 2015 and have identified how we can ‘effectively connect, communicate, collaborate and co-create across classrooms.’ I have been given the task of designing an EFL experience for learning using a global focus and I am excited at the possibilities. I have been learning so much from the #FlatConnect course and credit Julie for exposing my thinking to ideas that I had not even thought of. I will be using some of those ideas in my design. 
At SOLOtaxonomy design is extended abstract thinking. I am thankful that I have been part of Connected Educator Month and have created learning opportunities for teachers because now I can bring those ideas back and inform my school and design the learning opportunities for our staff and children based on their needs and strengths to connect and collaborate at a global level.
This year Karen Melhuish Spencer @virtuallykaren approached me and asked if I was interested in aligning one of the TeachMeetNZ sessions into the Connected Educator Month. I already knew about Connected Educator Month so of course I said yes and I would run the first session earlier in the month than I had initially planned. I then agreed to coordinate and run two events as I was sure that Matt Esterman  of #TMSydney  would join me because we have been speaking for a while about a combined TeachMeet event. The third event which was a collaborative book project was not really planned. However the work I have been doing with Julie Lindsay  around teachers working together on a collaborative project was the incentive I needed to say ‘Let’s do this.’ As a SOLO taxonomy educator I am aware of where I need to go next with what I do online so the book project was like the beta test.

So those were the three events I committed to for October. At the same time because of my teacher inquiry, I was working with staff who were preparing for their first ULearn presentation. In addition Wendy and I agreed to work together and co-present using my inquiry as the springboard for the presentation. But ULearn14 was only one of three events that my principal and I prepared and shared at. The second was sharing for the Springboard Trust and the third being part of the collaborative educators team who wrote the #EdBookNZ.


Highlights for Connected Educator Month are all listed below.
But what you can see is the product.

I know Pam Hook  and Virginia Kung  would say to me, “Where’s the rubric Sonya?” and “The process is more important.” and ‘How has your thinking changed?”  I am also really conscious of not allowing this reflection to just being a multistructural description. So if you are reading this, then please respond below as this allows me to think more at a relational level.


So where to next for me.
“Politeness is the poison of collaboration,” said Edwin Land. My collaborative friend Bridget Casse  was prodding working with me as we wrote the chapter on connected educator blog post. I was more excited in the working document. The challenging discussion was stimulating and thought provoking.
So thinking along the learning of #flatconnect I would have each collaborators work on a wiki page next time. This allows the interested educators to see the process. We could use an unlocked google doc too, however am unsure of how secure the history would be and how long it is archived. If I was working with children under 14, I would probably use Edmodo because it is a more like a walled garden for our children.

Acknowledgement
Thanks to all the amazing educators who took part, supported, proof read, gave feedback, broadcasted etc to the events below. Special thanks to the staff at Newmarket School who have joined in and are sharing their learning. Special thanks to Wendy the head learner who is willing to walk the talk, special thanks to Karen who was visible in all the events and to Julie for my global learning. To my SOLO mentors Pam and Ginny none of this would happen without your ongoing disruptive thinking.

https://www.smore.com/t5yjg-connected-educator-month?embed=1

Can I see you, teacher?

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Listen teacher, listen to me. Don’t look away.
See my eyes they hold messages that make you understand me.

Are you a 21st century teacher? Are you a future focussed educator using effective pedagogy? Do you teach in a modern learning environment and use digital tools? Are you conscious of digital citizenship? Are you an active member of a virtual community and use social media to make connections and broadcast? Do you foster digital collaboration with your elearners?

What?…..  #halt! Let’s flip that learning? We must be connected educators because we relate with all of the above… Right?

So what is a Connected Educator? Let me carry out a personal inquiry.

October has been branded “Connected Educator Month”. I was determined to unpack this coined phrase. I have found dropping the term ‘connected’ a challenge, considering this has been my inquiry for 2014. I relied on connecting for this EdbookNZ project. I crowdsourced for this collaborative project using social media and invited educators to give up their precious time and to help me write a  book that would debunk several current educational terms being bandied around. I envisaged we might make a difference to education by disrupting some of the current thinking taking place. Well goodness me my learning community responded.

Initially I wrote a blog post to clarify my understanding and help me unpack the term ‘Connected Educator’ in readiness for sharing my learning with colleagues at ULearn14 with my principal Dr Wendy Kofoed. So if you are looking for a definition of Connected Educator then go to this link and read a carefully thought out definition there. Access the ULearn video and watch the discussion or rewind our Ulearn slides to demonstrate your connectedness.

Connections can take many forms. I had a lightbulb moment when my SOLO Taxonomy mentor said, “Sometimes educator blogs read like a description and very few take their reflection to an analytical level.”
Sometimes I need a prod to help me with my thinking and that was the prod I needed. The focus for this ‘disruptive article’ is ‘Educator’. My personal inquiry has centred around connected educators at my school and my own understanding of educator has been clarified by using the term ‘connected’ educator. I now realise that this educator does not need the term connected in front. This educator does not need a digital badge to say I am a connected educator because first and foremost I am a teacher therefore I am an educator and  I am a learner too. I have my teaching certificate to prove this. Each year I carry out an inquiry to show I am learning. Each year I work with another cohort of teachers and students who challenge my thinking and I, hopefully, challenge theirs. Each year I create and leave a legacy for other learners as is encouraged by the New Zealand Teachers Council. Therefore a badge is handy for this process of evidence based learning.

Considering all this learning as inquiry that has taken place, should I have focussed on the educator as a learner? A large part of my own learning results from online collaboration. The online learning environment continues to shape my thinking and the connections I make shape my learning. For my reworked contribution to #EdBookNZ as part of Connected Educator Month,  my topic is ‘Educator’ – I have stripped away the term connected as I believe it is not needed to describe being a teacher because to educate requires connection. It is a prerequisite. Without connecting with our learners, can we educate effectively? Without connections, can we collaborate effectively? Without collaboration can we share as effectively?

I believe connectedness is one of three concepts relevant to being an educator.
At any New Zealand school, being connected requires the learner to develop a secure sense of their own identity and agency to think and work towards where their potential might lie.

At my school our three values are whanaungatanga, manaakitanga, kaitiakitanga.
I use these concepts and their definition to frame my current thinking around Educators.

In Aotearoa New Zealand an educator understands the Maori concept of whanaungatanga which focuses on building relationships with each other, the community and our children. Therefore an educator knows how to use the managed online learning tools to find people and knows how to connect with them. They think carefully about the dynamics of interactions. They use social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Skype, Google+, LinkedIn, and other tools to make connections and to build their own personal learning community. They actively seek other New Zealand educators to connect and build learning relationships with.

In Aotearoa New Zealand an educator understands the concept of Manaakitanga or Generosity of Spirit. This is about developing the ability to walk in others’ shoes which includes seeing issues from others’ perspectives and thinking carefully about the dynamics of interactions. It is about cultural awareness. An educator knows how to use and take the tools from their kete to move their practice forward. They know how to get the learning needed to improve the craft of teaching. An educator uses online tools to crowdsource to share ideas and to call for help in creating resources for their learners and for other educators. Generally they are participants in learning communities and take part in twitter chats such as #edchatnz to connect nationally and globally with other New Zealand educators. They comprehend the concept of an educational bubble and actively seek virtual chats to connect them with educators globally because they understand that sometimes the New Zealand bubble is just that, a bubble.  They use a wiki, blog and or google sites as a sandbox to test their learning and show what has been learnt. They attend online New Zealand webinar such as the Virtual Learning Network monthly sessions. They participate in national online projects- such as Connected Educator Month or even better, they contribute to online projects. Even much better they take part in or create their own global collaborative project that includes their students, keeping citizenship at the heart of what takes place.  They curate their own learning using Pond and make connections with other New Zealand educators to share what has been found and learnt. They know how to bring back what they have found and learnt online and share it with their school community via a reflective educator blog, a face to face discussion or via a different media. Personal learning is transparent, visible and accessible by all.

In Aotearoa New Zealand an educator understands the concept of Kaitiakitanga or Guardianship for Sustainability of our world. They understand the notion of stewardship by ensuring sensitivity and thoughtfulness of actions in environments both local and distant. An educator knows how to build their community of practice so that it has active participants like guest speakers or blog authors and where everyone constructs knowledge collaboratively. They identify the voices that are silent and actively seek them out to ensure that all voices are heard. They know how to reflect on what they have learnt and make this available for all via a blog, Google Doc, wiki and or a site. They have identified video as the new text and have taken personal responsibility to learn how to craft their learning using video. An educator uses several communication tools to find people and connect with them. An educator knows how to access the learning needed to improve their own teaching. They know how to empower each other and the children that they teach to build their own learning environment. They take pride in leaving a legacy for other educators.

An educator is visible online and can be identified by the work that they do with the children that they teach and with other educators through the legacy that they collaboratively create. The educator’s attitude, knowledge and skills change as they learn. The change in their thinking can be mapped. They continuously gather and analyse data of what they are doing for quality improvement.

Most importantly an educator is a professional learner who creates, contributes and converses. They know how to empower each other and their students to build their own networks to learn from and use the tools and resources that are available. They have the mindset to learn from each other, with each other, from and with the children that they teach and from and with the families/whanau of their children.

So, if I assess my outcome using the levels of SOLO Taxonomy; have I clarified my thinking around what a connected educator is, elaborated on and justified my definition, prodded you to rethink the connected educator label? Have I disrupted your thinking? Have I created a new way of defining connected educator?

Where to next, can an educator, without access to technology, still be a connected educator? Can they not still connect with those around them? Can they not still connect with learners, family, community?

Do give me feedback because quality improvement drives my learning.

For this post I thank Bridget Casse @BridgetCasse for being my disruptive friend and value her time and prodding. You can check out her blog here. http://bridgetcasse.blogspot.co.nz/
References

About Connected Educator. (2014, September 1). Retrieved October 30, 2014, from http://connectededucator.org.nz/about/

Appraisal of Teachers Phase Two: What is Evidence? (2014, January 1). Retrieved October 30, 2014, from http://www.teacherscouncil.govt.nz/content/appraisal-teachers-phase-two-what-evidence

Hook, P. (2014, October 21). Take away the descriptors – Artichoke. Retrieved October 30, 2014, from http://artichoke.typepad.com/artichoke/2014/10/take-away-the-descriptors.html

Hook, P. (n.d.). SOLO Taxonomy. Retrieved October 30, 2014, from http://pamhook.com/solo-taxonomy/

Hyde, A. (2014, October 2). (Modern) Learning Environments. Retrieved October 30, 2014, from http://likeahoginmud.blogspot.co.nz/2014/10/modern-learning-environments.html

Kemp, C. (2014, October 30). Taking away the descriptor – Collaboration. Retrieved October 30, 2014, from http://mrkempnz.com/2014/10/taking-away-the-descriptor-collaboration.html

Kern, M. (2014, October 21). Are we Digital Citizens, or rather Citizens in an increasingly Digital World? Retrieved October 30, 2014, from http://thebelbird.blogspot.co.nz/2014/10/are-we-digital-citizens-or-rather.html

Kofoed, W. (2014, October 18). E-ducators, it’s about a learner mind-set. Retrieved October 30, 2014, from http://drwendykofoed.com/2014/10/e-ducators-its-about-a-learner-mind-set

Melhuish Spencer, K. (2014, October 28). The death of the digital community? Retrieved October 30, 2014, from http://karenmelhuishspencer.com/2014/10/28/the-death-of-the-digital-community/

N Antipas, P. (2014, October 17). Redundant Adjectives. Retrieved October 30, 2014, from http://eodysseyblog.wordpress.com/2014/10/17/redundant-adjectives/

Paki, T. (2014, October 22). Whanaungatanga Collaborative E-Book Connected Educator Month 2014. Retrieved October 30, 2014, from http://teaomataurangatokutirohangaake.blogspot.co.nz/2014/10/whanaungatanga-collaborative-e-book.html

Prashnig, B. (2008). Pg 12. In The power of diversity: New ways of learning and teaching through learning styles (3rd ed.). London: Continuum.

Wells, R. (2014, October 18). An End to “21st Century” Learning Tools. Retrieved October 30, 2014, from http://ipad4schools.org/2014/10/18/an-end-to-21st-century-learning-tools/

TeachMeetNZ running a session

Currently I am learning with Julie Lindsay on Global Educator sessions. Julie is a global educator whose work I had admired from a far for a few years before I had the opportunity of joining a face to face session with her last year in Hawaii. This year I am learning more about running a global project by undertaking the Flat Connections Global  Educator sessions. This blog post is about aligning the work I already do with TeachMeetNZ and reflecting using the readings and discussion from the course to make the online sessions even better.
Recently I read Core education 10 trends and was interested to note that they have highlighted global connectedness as one of the important 10 trends in education.  


Sometimes I am asked how do I run a session for TeachmeetNZ?


Before the session
I put a call out to people who have made contact with me previously who have shown an interest in presenting. Sometimes it is through connections I have made on #edchatnz and sometimes I might have picked up a blog post via the twitter breadcrumbs. By the time I have finished a live session the next session is usually already booked. Because our TeachMeetNZ has an NZ focus I generally run sessions for New Zealand educators. When have the team I build a page for the session on the TeachMeet wiki because I have already learnt the importance of leaving breadcrumbs so that bystanders know what happened. Once I build that page I call for communication details.


Communication and building connections.  
How do we communicate on TeachMeetNZ? The fastest way is via twitter so stay up to date via the hashtag #TeachMeetNZ. I also send out emails to the group via google mail so do check that too. The bulk of communication takes place  a fortnight before the live session.  It is usually a great idea to use the communication details to find each other on twitter, on google plus, on facebook and any other social media spaces that you know.


Handshake to build connections
A handshake allows the group to bond and the session to be a success. I have already learnt that I need to spend a bit more time on the handshake in order to allow the participants an opportunity to build connections with each other. Over time I have learnt that three tutorials are ideal before we go live. My modification is to give the presenters an opportunity to share what has been happening in their week at each tutorial. I have learnt that sharing highlights from the week is an  important part of building connections.


SOLO taxonomy
Using Solo Taxonomy I can step out the tutorials and reflect on where they are placed and what I still need to do to create depth in the learning.  
Multistructural Thinking is using the the tools such as the hangout, twitter, google+, GAFE for consuming. Therefore teachers are learning how to use the tool and the emphasis is on the tools.
Relational thinking is about making connections so one way is by making social connections with the other delegates they are presenting with using the same tools. They also use relational thinking when putting their slides together. Therefore teachers are making connections both with each other and with their learning.
Extended abstract thinking is when teachers are contributing to an educational resource by creating presentation slides and through an edited video. Presenters usually complete the process by writing a blog post about their experience and add to this process of learning through reflection. Therefore teachers are creating a resource and sharing their learning via a blog reflection.


First tutorial session is a Beta test
This first tutorial is like a Beta Test and is really for newbies or educators who want a refresher. This allows equipment to be tested. Using the #Flatconnect digital citizenship concept, this first tutorial is about technological awareness. A Google Hangout does change regularly. Some problems usually identified in the first practise include needing to update systems and is there any technical feedback. Do our microphones and cameras work?  Sometimes, we need to restart the machine after computer updates.
We learn how to activate the toolbox and add our name to the session. We activate the chat box and discuss its importance for communication.  We learn about positioning ourselves with the camera by checking the distance of our face to the camera. Some people sit too close as can be seen from the recordings. Remember when speaking to look at the camera not at the hangout delegates who reside at the bottom of the screen.
Do rewind the recording as this highlights any distractions that are around. A classic example is the washing hanging behind. When we go live remind the household what is happening so that loud music, pets are outside and requests are kept to a minimum.  During this session participants will have located their page on the wiki and have added contact links.
We discuss appropriateness of our space and remember the following
  1. privacy of other people like speaking positively of our institution and our colleagues.
  2. use appropriate language just like we would in a staff meeting.
  3. remind family members that the sessions are live so they do not choose this time to walk behind on their way to have a shower 🙂
All artefacts are created for ease of sharing so a reminder about copyright including what is on the presentation slides.
Each educator controls how much they are willing to share. If they are speaking about their institution do let the school leaders know.


Second tutorial session is the slides test
By this session, participants will have downloaded the template slides to their computers, or created and online copy using Google presentation. I will know the title of their slides. They will know who is in the current session with them. They will have some idea about  the topics being covered. They will have rebroadcasted tweets and ideally sent some out too regarding the current session. Participants will have alerted colleagues in their institution and invited everyone and anyone to watch the live session. On twitter they will be watching the #TeachMeetNZ Hashtag for updates and will know the order of presentation as this will have been tweeted out. Slides can still be in draft form and this tutorial demonstrates how the slides are embedded into their TeachMeetNZ page. The participants TeachMeetNZ page is their social awareness page. This allows them to add all their contact details so that other participants can identify who they are working with. Participants will have bookmarked this page for ease of access.  This second session is also a question and answer session and an opportunity to problems solve any issues that have eventuated. Sometimes I have needed to take photos here too in case presenters cannot make the final session.


Third session is the dress rehearsal, final photos and disruptive peer feedback.
This session allows timing to be checked. During this session a photo is captured for each presenters page. This is a backup session too in case there are problems during the actual event. As each presenter shares, others in the hangout gives feedback and suggestions. These include clarity of the slides, lighting of the presenter and usually involves some questions about the presentation. A reminder that all sessions are recorded to rewind for learning. This tutorial allows cultural awareness to happen because participants learn about each other, from each other and with each other.


Live session
20 minutes before the session the room is activated and the call put out.
Presenters should arrive 15 minutes before session to test microphone, set up their name and check that their presentations is up on the tabs. The live streamed session highlights global awareness as participants realise that their presentation is viewed by a greater audience than just New Zealand.


Afterwards
After the live TeachMeetNZ session I add the presenters to the main google+ list of everyone who has taken part. Their  video is added to the Youtube archive channel. The clip is for the presenter to do with as they like. For example the video can be embed directly into a portfolio. I suggest that they share the love by adding a link back to the TeachMeetNZ site. Over time I can see the sessions as a triangulation of learning. Each tutorial begins with a recap about what has been happening during the week as this allows connections to be made.


Hints
Participants can come in blind for the final practise, however I do not recommend this as it shows in the final recording.
Educators who attend tutorial sessions always have a smoother recording. If an extra practise is needed then I have past presenters who are always willing to support because they want to have a go at leading their own hangouts and therefore look for opportunities to practise too. In addition presenters can practise with each other.
One of my goals is about building connections so if a chat with me personally regarding their presentation is required then book a separate time via twitter direct message. I will make time when other delegates have dropped out of the hangout. All tutorial sessions are recorded for rewindable learning. These can be seen on the main channel if you go and search for them. I usually tag them to just whoever is in the session for our learning.


General questions
Yes you can present using any media, But keep it to 3 mins.
Prezi can be used and even really short video clips. If a video clip is used then add a new tab with the video instead of embedded in the slides because the sound is not clear when recorded from an embedded slide. If using prezi allow time for transition. Keep the slides simple with images. Not too much text.


Recommendations
After the session put slides into slideshare as this allows the tracking of number of views received. Remember to claim a badge, embed it with a direct link back to their page. Tag me on twitter if a reflections is written. Do give feedback as this is an important for quality improvement.
To be online and learning online is not the same as being tech savvy. #TeachMeetNZ  is about contributing, collaborating and being visible. “Come out and be part of the construction.” says Julie Lindsay. Contribution skills are not intuitive they must be taught. Take advantage of a social based learning with the blogs, videos and the presentations. As an educator If we are only consuming then we will be left behind, if we are creating and contributing and conversing then we are succeeding.


Where to next
As each tutorial is run prepared slides are needed because the recording does not show what I am doing. Reading a tweet is not enough, participants are reminded to alert me that they are receiving by starring what I tweet. As I prepare for the combined Aussie and kiwi session I am alerted to the fact that I have not given a choice for meetings. Maybe I should have used timebridge to establish meetings. These are ideas for me to think about for next time when I run combined sessions with other countries.

Eduignite

This post is a reflection of all the times I have taken part in Eduigite sessions.

I guess it is thanks to Veni Jamieson whose feedback to me after one of my led staff meetings was ‘Find out how not to blush so much when you present.’

I do, I get really red because I am not a public speaker and the nerves are just there.

So the first thing I did was research and some steps I read include, drink cold water before going into a session, locate the room and survey before you begin, make connections with your audience, and just get in front and do it. The more you present the better you will be.

The steps are simple enough except for ‘practice speaking out loud as often as you can to a room full of people’. Hence Eduignite. Where else could I find a better group of people to practice on than my own peers?

My first eduignite, I attended was Term 3 2012.
The second time I was unwell, but went along anyway and presented. I was really nervous as you can see and hear.

To present in 5 minutes, a lot of time is involved in preparation just for 5 minutes.
The format is 20 slides in 5 minutes. Each slide auto runs at 15 sec intervals.
You have to know your topic really well.

I rely on cue cards as I speak, because I just do. I have also used an ipad as cue cards and learnt to create PDFs that could be downloaded in advance using iBooks. That was before schools had easier access to wifi. Now I usually use them because it is just one less technology I am organising.

As each session progressed, I am not as nervous at the thought. I have now given 5x mini presentations and yes my confidence has certainly grown in this area. I do not feel as nervous as the earlier days and I am getting better. Every so often I get feedback that makes me pause and think. Like last presentation night when Emma Winder said Sonya you always share some great ideas. Because for me the real purpose is practicing with  a room full of peers to overcome nerves. The bonus is I also get to listen to other stunning presentations and hear teachers sharing their stories.

I also like to see the videos of my own performance and the earlier ones I cringe at but learning can’t happen without a few lessons.

Last night, I did not blush. Where to next for me. The next eduignite is held at the National library in week 1-2 of Term 4. Andrew Cowie is orgainisng that one as part of Connected Educators Month #CENZ14 and I will present again because this year I set myself a goal of sharing a three part journey.
Part one: My personal tattoo, Part two: My digital tattoo, Part three: Citizenship. You can check out the slides on my slideshare account.

I have had Reubina Irshad come along to one session and Wendy Kofoed my principal attend another. Eduignite stipulates that the first time you attend, the second you either present or bring a mate. Having peers attending from school only added to the stress of presenting because again, presenting to people you know has both positives and negatives.

This time too I have set further goals, invite the rest of Newmarket Staff to join me in the third presentation of  the three part series, get some more feedback from Veni to see if he thinks I have improved and EKK not use cue cards. There I have written it down.

This would be extra fabulous for me because I have been working with our Newmarket Staff on making connections with each other using social media. Eduignite would be a great way of connecting with other educators F2F outside of Newmarket School, use twitter during the session and maybe this might higlight too the importance of making their own learning visible.

The great thing about Eduignite is that the entertainment learning is free and there is always wine and food. The evenings are fun and you get to meet some great people.

So I do hope you all join me in Term 4 at the National Library.

Finally, just a shout out for Torbay school who hosted the last session. They are selling cook books as a fund raiser. I loved the way Johanna Chambers kept reminding us and she did all she could to support her school in their fundraiser. Oh and I caught the tail end of their children’s Trash to Fash sharing. It was absolutely brilliant.

Torbay School Cookbook. Developed by students. Awesome Christmas gifts @vanschaijik pic.twitter.com/oYxLoTmWLC
— Johanna Chambers (@ChambersJohannaSeptember 11, 2014

@vanschaijik Reflection

Thanks to @chasingalyx @boonman who tagged me.

I want to keep the connections going and make more connections. So maybe a blogging meme will work.” Reid Walker @ReidHns1
If you get included in the blogging meme: copy/paste the questions and instructions into your own blog then fill out your own answers. Share on twitter tagging 5 friends.


1. How did you attend the #Edchatnz Conference? (Face 2 Face, followed online or didn’t)
I was there in person and online and had the privilege of being part of the organising committee.
We planned the #edchatnz conference in 18 weeks totally digitally.
edchatnzjpg.jpg


2. How many others attended from your school or organisation?
I had two others attending from @newmarket school and they were Anna Speir @MissSpeir  and Renee Hogg @MissRHogg.













3.How many #Edchatnz challenges did you complete?

I achieved 10 of them and that is another blog post. I made it a point of talking to lots from preservice because I was so happy that they could join us. In addition I was the vehicle for Dr Cheryl Doig’s virtual session.
She and I practised the session virtually until she was comfortable with using the tools. On the day she ran her session through me virtually using virtual tools.
4. Who are 3 people that you connected with and what did you learn from them?
@arti_choke  @BridgetCasse @mattynicoll It was just fabulous to catch up with SOLO taxonomy educators who’s work I have read and who inspire me to shift deeper in my thinking and practice.
solo.jpg

I also connected with @beechEdesignz who shared about design thinking and with @fFreemansbayScho who shared her principal’s journey into school design.


5. What session are you gutted that you missed?
I would have liked to see some of the coding and 3d printing session and the gaming. But generally, I am happy with what I attended. I did miss out of getting my image lazer printer.
6. Who is one person that you would like to have taken to Edchatnz and what key thing would they have learned?
I would liked to have brought @ginnynz01 but due to circumstances that was not possible. However because she is now on twitter I know she was following virtually.
7. Is there a person you didn’t get to meet/chat with (F2F/online) that you wished you had? Why
I love science and missed meeting and hearing Nanogirl  @medickinson.
I love photos as memories. So I will say I missed out on a photo opportunity with my TeachMeetNZ team. The TeachMeetNZ teachers have put in a lot of effort and time to share their teacher stories and it would have been great to have that as a memory.  I also would have liked a #grelfie with Pam Hook aka @arti_choke. She is my eduhero.
8. What is the next book you are going to read and why?
I want to read SOLO Taxonomy in Physical Education written by Nicola Richards and Pam Hook. I want to see how SOLO is used in PE.
9. What is one thing you plan to do to continue the Education Revolution you learnt about at #EdchatNZ?

I will continue on my journey of learning more about how I can support  ‘The greatest source of variance that can make a difference to student learning–the teacher and how they share their learning.’ My principal Dr Wendy Kofoed @newmarketschool and I will be sharing this at Ulearn so do join us in our session. Breakout Four A on Thursday 09 Oct 2014 at 13:45 to 14:15.

10. Will you take a risk and hand your students a blank canvas?
I am willing to take a risk and handing our teachers a blank canvas and coaching them as they take the risk with our students.


Who do will I tag with this meme:
Having been involved with a meme before and knowing how it works, I am tagging
Anna Speir @MissSpeir   
Renee Hogg @MissRHogg
Terry Beech @beechEdesignz
Bridget Casse @BridgetCasse


I am adding one more task to this meme. Using my SOLO taxonomy lens I know that this meme is at relational level because we are making connections with each other. However to push my meme to extended abstract I need to make my meme visible in a sharing way. So I have added mine to the #edchatnz Listly and I challenge anyone reading and who are tagged in the meme to do the same.

TeachMeetNZ Interface

Titled: Where Teachers Meet
TMNZ.png
(Educators involved in TeachMeetNZ in 2013)
This post is an update of that article.


In 2013, I launched TeachMeetNZ as part of my TeachNZ Sabbatical. A TeachMeet is an organised but informal meeting (in the style of an unconference) for teachers to share good practice, practical innovations and personal insights in teaching with technology. TeachMeet originated with three Scottish educators – Ewan McIntosh, David Noble and John Johnston. Currently all over the world there are hundreds of TeachMeets that take place regularly in a variety of venues. As Ewan Macintosh commented, TeachMeet was never about technology 100%, it was about the Teach first of all, and the tech was instrumental to achieving what we wanted to achieve pedagogically and never the other way around.” Ewan Macintosh.
This article will describe how I developed TeachMeetNZ, the process of the on-line organised collaboration using Google Hangout, the relevance to teaching and conclude with future development for TeachMeetNZ.


TeachMeetNZ
I developed TeachMeetNZ after two years of research, investigation, then the trialling of a variety of online products, with Google Hangout being selected as the preferred platform.  
A small team of willing educators agreed to join with me to learn how to use Google Hangout as a way of presenting, demonstrating good practise, sharing and celebrating teaching with technology. Each term, a group of inspirational New Zealand educators develop and deliver a series of presentations. These sessions are live streamed, and are attended virtually by educators from around New Zealand and globaIly. In addition a TeachMeetNZ wiki was  developed for participants to communicate and share their presentations with a virtual audience.


Collaboration and participation
TeachMeetNZ is about New Zealand teachers connecting online. They collaborate and problem solve using online tools. These educators support and mentor each other before and during the practise Google Hangout sessions. To take part, teachers prepare 12 slides that auto cue every 15 seconds so their presentation is three minutes long. The slides are hosted on Google Presentation or Slideshare and must be live before the session. We learnt that the most viewed YouTube clips are just under three minutes long so this is the preferred length. A three minute video is created of their presentation and may become a resource for use at a later time.
After the live event, discussion usually follows via twitter using the hashtag #TeachMeetNZ. Many teachers go on to blog a reflection of their session, and they can embed the YouTube clip into their blog.  A TeachMeetNZ presenters badge is awarded to those educators who present on TeachMeetNZ..  Participants and viewers willingly give feedback and regularly give their time to support and help others.


Relevance to teaching
Online spaces are useful for portfolio development and fostering interaction and collaboration. Google Hangout is a tool that can be used to collate and present resources, to support community interaction and contributions, and as a platform for personal expression. Google Hangout is an ideal tool for teachers combined with a YouTube account.


From creating and hosting TeachMeetNZ sessions I have learnt that teachers appreciate recognition and acknowledgement for what they do. Hosting TeachmeetNZ has pushed my knowledge of making connections with ideas and with people. Hosting the sessions has encouraged me to give better feedback to teachers who take part. The sessions have allowed me to be more focussed on my feedback with teachers and not to rush this important process. After each session I play the clip back and reflect on how I can carry out the task better next time. I make notes and begin with these notes at the next session. I have also learnt to go through the presentations before the live streaming so that I can better prepare my questions. I do this by asking for presentations to be live before the session and I usually run practise sessions for people new to using Google Hangout.


Where to next?
In the future I plan to host more discussion sessions with panels of educators. Last year I had an educator host a specialist session based on PE and this year I have planned to include similar sessions.  In addition I have planned to have single themed discussions and to have educators and practitioners who can contribute to themes at a deeper level. Some of the feedback that I have had from participants is that they enjoy the opportunity to ask questions and discuss ideas in greater depth. A session, that I hosted at the Festival of Education in Auckland, featured a group of inspirational educators who shared and discussed their passions both online and with a live audience.


The TeachMeetNZ site has grown rapidly and I have now become the site’s curator. Currently the site contains nearly thirty nano presentations. This number increases each term as teachers share and celebrate their learning on TeachMeetNZ. Global visitors and viewers can watch the presentations in their own time and place.


For my own learning.
The SOLO Taxonomy practitioner in me realises that my current sessions take me back to being multistructural in my thinking.  In order to achieve depth in what I do online I need to continue to take a leadership role in other online communities. As frightening as this sounds I think that my first goal is to move from participating and running TeachMeetNZ sessions in online communities to being involved at administration level with online global projects. I would also like to continue with mentoring and developing others to host sessions. The popularity of the digital badge concept may also mean that I further develop this system for levels of participation.  


If you have been a presenter or have watched a session on TeachMeetNZ, please add your comments below.


For further information
Visit the wiki
#TeachMeetNZ on twitter


Teacher from Newmarket School
Auckland New Zealand

Festival of Education

Welcome everyone to you our F2F audience and also to our global audience who have joined us who are have joined us virtually. I take this time to say thanks to my twitter buddies who have tweeted and retweeted this session to help us celebrate. The session today is a live google hangout. We have 7x educators from around New Zealand presenting. In addition we have 3x support educators with various roles that they will explain. The session is live on our wiki and also on google+

Talofa Lava, Malo e leleli, Bula Vinaka, Kia Ora, Ni Hao Ma, Anyoung Hasayo, Konnichiwa, Namaste and Welcome everyone to TeachMeetNZ Session 5 I am Sonya Van Schaijik a teacher from Newmarket School in Auckland New Zealand. The greetings are the language of our children from Newmarket. TeachMeetNZ evolved from my Core Education efellowship inquiry into Hyperconnectivity. The TeachMeetNZ site and framework was collaboratively developed during my TeachNZ sabbatical year.

The site continues to evolve and grow and currently there are over 20 mini presentations from New Zealand educators and growing. Just how much does ICT contribute to better outcomes for our learners and also for you to hear our teachers share their learning stories.

TeachMeetNZ is part of my ongoing learning with Hyperconnectivity that I began as a Core Education efellow in 2011. SOLO allowed me to identify that at extended abstract I needed to create an event for teachers so this is it. SOLO Taxonomy has allowed me to rethink the ways that teachers can share learning and has framed my next steps.

I will briefly highlight the story around setting up TeachMeetNZ. There is a fuller version on youtube embedded on the wikispace that I shared on the Virtual Learning Network.

To begin:

“TeachMeet is not about technology 100%, it is about the Teach first of all, and the tech is instrumental to achieving what we want to achieve pedagogically and never the other way around.” Ewan Macintosh

TMNZ is aimed for New Zealand Educators and our one is the first that I am aware of presenting using Google+ as the virtual venue. The history explains the process. However I want to acknowledge our first team.

In 2013 at Ignition I placed a notice up if anyone wanted to trial google hangout and to present a nano presentation. There were 6 people who joined the discussion and I shoulder tapped others. The first group agreed on a date and my team of helpers supported me in ironing out all the glitches. We live streamed all the training and mistakes. So that they could be rewound and learnt from.

Implementing the project involves these tools and putting time aside to work with the presenters virtually. Ah Huh moments

This year as I have been reading around the topic of collaboration and making connection my aha moment is when I knew that I was on the correct pathway with TeachMeetNZ in that we focus a lot on the children but teachers also need encouragement and recogniition.

On TeachMeetNZ  teachers can come together and share their learning. For presenting they will receive a digital badge for their portfolio and a video clip of their presentation.

This is the fifth session of TeachMeetNZ and I am proud to welcome the stunning line up that we have for today.Soon I will pass it over to our team to introduce themselves and then to our presenters. So Marnel over to you first, then I will ask you to hang up as I will use your camera on the audience. I will come back at the end to run a Q&A session that will be monitored by Marnel and that will be 10 minutes. So please audience think of some questions for us. We use ChatWing for questions and answers and that is currently being monitored so from wherever you have tuned in, please join in the discussion. Tell us where you are from. Keep on tweeting and keeping the energy going using the twitter hashtag #TeachMeetNZ.


Thank you all so much for joining us. A special thanks to our amazing presenters who worked with me over the past month getting ready. A big thanks to our wonderful support team who joined in to help with todays session.

Within the next hour we should have a full recording live on the front of the wiki and on google + and over the next week I will tweet out each presenters page so you can revist and rewind and share the topics with your PLN and own staff in your schools and communities.

We can continue the discussion on Google +. So look for me and remember to use the hashtag.

We are always looking out for presenters for future sessions or even if you wish to run a topic specific session. The framework is already in place and all the templates are available to help ensure a smooth session.

Please do get in contact if you would like to join us. TeachMeetNZ is a great way to share your ideas and learning not just in New Zealand but to a global audience. We do ask that to present if you can be a New Zealand Educator, even if you are teaching overseas.

I mention Arjana Blazic who has inspired me along the way and suggest to you to look out for TeachMeetInternational as a way to present with Global educators sharing Global projects.

Please complete the evaluation form on the wiki and give us your valuable feedback. This wraps up our fifth session of TeachMeetNZ, Good bye everyone.

TOD at Mindlab

On Friday 7th of February and a day after Waitangi Day, we had a teacher only day with a science focus. We visited Mindlab and spent the afternoon with @chrisclanz. The three hands on activities that were shared with us included making rockets, creating auras with Aurasma and adapting code to make our car robots work.  I added some photos here from my picasa drive. Chris highlighted the need to to Engage, Plan, Discuss and Reflect when teaching science.
When we used Aurasma, we all had our teacher iPads and were provided with WIFI access to download, create a short video and upload to our accounts. Many teachers eagerly discussed their next steps with Aurasma. I was able to solve an ongoing problem of matching an aura with an underlay.

Having our Science leader @BelindaHitchman sharing her passion for science was priceless. 

Probably the highlight for me was making connections with teachers that I work with in an engaging and fun way. Yes I also learnt more about teaching science.  Chris showed us Scratch and Makeymakey as well as the 3D Printer. I was in geek heaven. I would have loved to have some more hands on coding opportunities with these technological learning tools. 
I was excited to see a few of our Newmarket School teachers experimenting with twitter by sharing and adding their tweets of the events. I created a timeline using tweetdeck but am having trouble embedding the code in blogger. 
How confident are you at teaching science? Have you visited Mindlab recently? What are your thoughts on hands on professional development for staff? How are your staff using twitter?

The Magic of 11.

Late last year, I was tagged in a blogging meme by my online friend and TeachMeetINL mentor @arjana. She was one educator I did not get to meet face to face on my trip because between us we could not align our stars. But Arjana next time it will happen. Either you come to me or I come to you. I also liked the way she gave me feedback via twitter on my blogging meme.


I have been procrastinating writing and have been doing everything else to avoid updating my reflections. Her tweet was the jumpstart I required.

So I completed the set task and it took me three days to craft as I was away with a mini ipad to write with. I created a draft using notes and played with the idea in between swimming, sleeping and snorkelling.

As soon as I returned to my chrome, I added links and finalised my first post for 2014.

But I still cannot figure why because I posted the entry on our New Years day yet it states that the post happened on New Year’s eve.


11 has been a re-ocurring number for me in 2013 so I laughed at the unusual number. I had spent 11 weeks on a TeachNZ sabbatical and when I trawled a collaborative initiative that was part of my sabbatical output for last year, I identified 11 bloggers who had reflected on their contribution to the TeachMeetNZ project. I did not find it easy nominating virtual friends as who do I chose because I already read so many interesting blogs. For my part, I deviated from Arjana and focussed on New Zealand educators only and from that chose the ones who had reflected on TeachMeetNZ. I have been following the hashtag #bloggingmeme with interest and was excited to read @helenoftroy01 contribution by creating a Blogging Meme Doc to track the blog entries and to avoid a double up or more of being tagged. My initial chart using inspiration pales in comparison.


Those of you who read this and are New Zealand educators, what Helen has also done nicely for me is identify some of you who I will be shoulder tapping for our next TeachMeetNZ virtual session. So be ready. You will end up with a digital badge for your portfolio and a cut 3 minute video to embed on your site.


The Blogging Meme Doc has also been a motivation for me to comment on blogs that  people have written. In some ways I do feel responsible for setting the beast loose on the New Zealand tweachers. I am one of those lurkers who have been reading but not commenting as much as I could be.


If you are tagged in twitter, I would like to read about you and may I suggest being like @MFaaeaSemeatu and used her Blogging Meme as a motivation to encourage new bloggers to get started. I also liked the way Manu used google+ so combined two social medias to spread her meme. She tagged her nominated bloggers via google+ and also via twitter.


Anne spread her #magic and responded so fast with her Blogging Meme post like within the same day. From my other nominated bloggers I  have 4 who have completed the task after a few days and I will be honest and say ‘Great job’ as it took me all week from when I was tagged.

I have watched @1MvdS in her patient, gentle, persuasive way gently coaxing her Blogging Meme group into writing by giving regular updates on who had completed the task and come on the rest of you.

I enjoyed reading @MsBeenz entry and learning a little more about her and have @Allanahk remind us that this is not the first round that we have had something like this happen.

So no great pressure @hanna_fale @SwanwickC @digitallearnin @phpnz @EmmaWinder25 @emmerw @nzteachnology @hunch_box . We are supposed to be on holiday. I like the way some of you have literally disappeared from twitter but I know it will not be for long.

Anyone else reading this, if you want me to come and read your post and practice giving a comment, do tag me.

Where to next:
I stumbed on this via @FabMomBlog twitter and have made 31 my new challenge number. Don’t worry I will not be tagging anyone to join me but it you want to do let me know. In March 2014 my goal is to write daily. Like Manu, I will tag you to come and give me feedback.

My learning from all this: the 4x C’s
As my SOLOtaxonomy mentors @arti_choke and @ginnynz01  regularly remind me, reflect on the process and don’t just celebrate the product.
  • Stop procrastinating and just get on with the task. I have made better connections with New Zealand educators because part of the meme asks for 11 facts about you.
  • Something as simple as this can generate collaboration like the Blogging Meme doc.
  • We can use other social media in the task and not just twitter to celebrate the product.
  • What meme could I create to encourage blogging?  What ideas do you have?

How to embed a tweet? Thanks to @SchuKnight who willingly shared this little gem.


How to change the date on blogger to reflect current time? Thanks to @annekenn for this other little gem.

Blogging Meme

I’ve been tagged in a blogging meme by my online friend Arjana Blazic @abfromz.  Here you can read her blog post titled Eleven. 
       

The blogging task includes:
  • Acknowledge the nominating blogger.
  • Share 11 random facts about yourself.
  • Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you.
  • List 11 bloggers.
  • Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer, and let all the bloggers know they have been nominated. Don’t nominate a blogger who has nominated you.
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So here I go:
11 random facts about me

  1. I’m a mum to two gorgeous young men.
  2. I was born and spent the first decade of my life in Samoa. Now I live in New Zealand.
  3. I am proud of my Samoan heritage and proudly wear the woman’s malu.
  4. I joined Twitter in 2008.
  5. I recently travelled right around the world as part of a TeachNZ sabbatical and met heaps of amazing global educators who I had connected with via twitter and Facebook.
  6. I love to snorkel and my favourite place to see fish is off Rakino Island.
  7. I can bird watch for hours and enjoy visiting Tiritirimatangi a bird sanctuary in the Waitemata Harbour in Auckland New Zealand. I always see a kiwi at night when I visit.
  8. Reading is my favourite past time and lately this has included research and educator blogs.
  9. I hate large pieces of uncooked onions in anything.
  10. I am learning more about coding and recently joined the coding academy.
  11. I have set some goals for 2014 and have included attaining my Google Certified Trainer, and my ACE Teacher qualification.
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My answers to Arjana’s questions.
1) What is your favourite book?
That is a tough question as it depends on how old I am/was?
I love to read and have read many amazing books. I will highlight the writers from Samoa for this one such as Lani Wendt who wrote the Telesa Series.

2) How much time on an average day do you spend online?
Too much.

3) iPad or Android tablets?
I love my iPad mini with SIMM card so much that I have given up my iPhone.

4) What do you consider the most valuable thing you own?
My Malu because it is a visible sign of commitment to my Samoan language.

5) What is your favourite way to waste time?
Genealogy hunting is my favourite way to waste time and I enjoying finding pieces to our family puzzle.

6) If a movie was being made about you who would you choose to play you and why?
Moira Walker -because she is Samoan and would take time to get to know me.

7) If you could have an endless supply of food what would that be?
My favourite dish is Fai ai Fe’e -this is octopus cooked in coconut cream with the octopus ink. My grandmother would make it for me when I visited her.

8) What’s the best holiday you’ve been on?
My recent journey around the world. However a sabbatical comes with responsibilities and I am still working on my summary.

9) What’s the worst haircut you’ve ever had?
The worst and the best haircut was when I cut my own hair at 7 years old. I went for weeks without a fringe.

10) What three things do you love most about your best friend?
The way we can reconnect even though we might not have seen each other for long periods of time. The way we can talk about anything and everything. The way we both know when the other is thinking of us.

11) What is your favourite smell and what memory does it remind you of?
Banana cake cooking because this was another dish my grandmother would make for me.
Thank you  Arjana for tagging me. I really appreciated it and have put time aside snorkelling off Rakino Island in our New Zealand Summer holidays to write this.
Lastly but not least when number eleven is mentioned, I remember the 11 weeks I spent travelling the world.
I tag you….@hanna_fale @SwanwickC @digitallearnin @phpnz @EmmaWinder25 @emmerw @1MvdS @annekenn @nzteachnology @MsBeenz @hunch_box @MFaaeaSemeatu
Here are the questions?

  1. What language do you use when you become emotional?
  2. What is your favourite movie genre?
  3. Who inspired you to set up your blog?
  4. Who are your mentors and why?
  5. What is one survival tool you would choose to take on a journey?
  6. Where do you like to go to for thinking time?
  7. Which do you prefer watching on the television, or live streaming.
  8. List 3x goals for 2014 and explain why you chose them.
  9. Tell me about your closest mountain, river or other natural landmark?
  10. What is your earliest childhood memory?
  11. Write your favourite whakatauki, quote or proverb and explain why you chose it 
Check out the google doc, once you have completed to see who has already been tagged.