RSCON 4

2013 Reform Symposium E-Conference (RSCON)
Around the World in Nearly 80 days


This Saturday I will be presenting at #RSCON4. The date and time of my session is Saturday, October 12, 2013 12:00 PM (Pacific/Auckland). However you can access the site and locate when this is in your time zone. I will have just returned to Auckland after having presented #TeachMeetNZ at the National ICT conference #Ulearn in Hamilton.

I recently returned to New Zealand on the 2nd of October after having been away for 77 days. In that time I travelled on 15 Flights, 44 trains, countless hours on buses and in cars visiting 13 Countries on 3 Continents and meeting  28 amazing educators educators and visited  18 learning institutions and schools and attended some face 2 face professional development. I kept in contact with my colleagues via Instagram, Twitter and email. I also kept a blog and an off line journal and took over 4,500 photos.
My presentation will focus on my TeachNZ13 Sabbatical, which allowed me to establish connections with educators around the world. Schools in Europe and then in Asia were visited and different learning environments observed. The educators who allowed access to their domain were educators who have had a history of sharing professional practice and some use Technology in Transformative Ways.
The Flat Classroom conference in Hawaii
The brand new Billunds School near Legoland in Denmark
School Design from an educator in Roskilde Denmark
Jyvaskula the Educational Centre of Finland
The Goldau School Project in Switzerland
The Hole in the Wall, the Granny Skype project and now the school in the cloud in Delhi, India
The Slideshare Headquarters in Delhi.
The Confucius Mandarin Language Programme in Shanghai, China
A nursery and an elementary school that are beginning to learn English in Osaka, Japan
The annual Google Apps for Education Summit in Seoul, Korea and a visit with a school running 1:1 iPads with Grades 3 & 4 children.
Take away from this session some ideas that could be used in your own schools, details for where you can read more about the different projects and make connections with the educators involved.

I look forward to you joining me virtually as I share my Face2face journey of my round the world experience.
I created a copy of my presentation in video format.

Flat Classroom Conference 2013


On Tuesday 23rd of July I finally met Julie Lindsay at Kapiolani park. I had come especially to Hawaii to attend the Flat Classroom Conference 2013 held at Punahou School.
The theme for the conference was ‘Thinking globally but acting local = glocalisation. The challenge was to create a pitch, work collaboratively to come up with a video product that is embedded on our team’s wiki page.
We were provided with the opportunity of visiting the Omidyar Kindergarten and First Grade Neighbourhood part of the school for ages 4- 6 years olds. I was blown away by the design of the rooms and by the amount of equipment each class had access to. As can be expected, the children were not in school but teachers were around preparing for the new year. I since found out that Pierre Omidyeawas a past pupil of Puhanou School. Omidyea was the founder of ebay. Other past pupils to note include Barack Obama and Nainoa Thompson. There are many others and many past students have gone on to be leaders in a variety of fields.
The Flat Classroom conference was a lot of fun and was more than what I expected. There were 9 countries represented and 40 schools from around the world. We were given the opportunity of working with educators on a global project. I was part of team 2 and we called ourselves Heat 2 Heart Team.
First of all we needed to develop a pitch for a global project. Then we presented this to the students and they gave us feedback. Students did the same thing and presented back to the teachers for feedback. After that we created a visual presentation of our pitch and embed this onto our wiki.
We began with 8 teacher teams but by the end of the second day it was down to just our team. So we had the opportunity of developing a video. There were 6x members on our team and this included Anitawho was an expert at video editing using imovie, Bill who had some really great ideas, Ryan who kept the memories by taking heaps of photos and movies, Hui-Mei who was an expert with podcasting and quickly whipped up our audios and myself with strengths in wikis. In and out we also had Maria who provided some administrative angles and Kumu Tai, who joined us later and gave us the Hawaiian perspective. We were encouraged not to rely on google because this was still blocked in many countries. So using google docs, google presentations etc had to be adapted. Therefore we used slideshare and wikis. Padlet and etherpad was a little clunky on the ipad.
On the final day, the students’ presentations were stunning. I felt proud of our team that we completed our product but the work of the students really blew me away. They had some great ideas. The theme coming strongly from the students was their awareness about sustainability. Remaining students created a sharing of their cultures and this was a lot of fun to watch.
I took away from the conference the idea that we can create some stunning global projects but working together is the real gift of global projects.
I enjoyed my group immensely and by the end I wished I had booked some extra time to stay in Hawaii. I have created an #fclive group on Google for my team to keep in contact and I hope that we do carry through meeting up together and even doing something together online.
I also was able to meet other teachers such as Vicky Davies,  Teresa Allen and Frank Guttler who came in as part of the Flat Classroom Team. All are stunning global educators too. I also met Emily McCarren who was coordinating the event for Punahou School. Other interesting people I met was Kumu Tai and Kumu Malia. Both celebrate the Hawaiian language and culture at Punahou School.
In Punahou school they collected rain water in bioswales for watering their beautiful gardens. They provide the children with the chance of growing their own food gardens, classrooms used photovoltaic solar panels to collect energy for lighting and the use of skylights was evident. I didn’t see paper used as much as how we use paper and one of the teachers said that most stuff is created digitally. The mountain behind the school is known as U’uonamoa and blocked the rivers. Legends share that when the Hala Tree was pulled up a new spring appeared.
The Flat Classroom conference ran over three days and each day there was a lot of educator learning. The best part was making connections and collaborating with a group of passionate educators and seeing what happens when we all work together.

iPad

Our journey with iPads


2011, we allowed a small trial number of children to bring their mobile devices to school.Our prerequisite was that they must have their cybersafety badge on Superclubsplus and they must have earned their gold star for technical skills.We also had parental permission. We began with 3x children. One had an iPad, one had a laptop, one had a PSP console. I collected the ISP number from their devices. What we found out……The ipad user had a personal iTunes account set up by their parent, however our user was under 13 and stated in the terms of agreement with iTunes, this should not be allowed. In addition they had a personal email address that they used.Therefore they could download apps as they wanted them and did until we intervened.Because the iPad logged on easily to the network, the device was used during break times. They sometimes allowed their friends to use them. The skills developed for the Superclubsplus cybersafety certificate were not adhered to and the student was reminded about the implications of sharing a personal device. 

Lesson: Who has the right to put on a set of apps for an iPad? Is it ours or the parents? If children bring their own, do we demand that they have a school set of apps and not others? Do we have the right to ask this of a personal device? Who is using the device at home? What happens if a parent or older sibling uses the device and communicates to our children as the device owner? What happens if inappropriate apps are loaded onto the device? Should we have times on the wifi where children cannot have access? The laptop, was not as easy to access the wireless. It kept falling off. The PSP console, could see the wireless, but was not easy to hold onto. 

2012, we were snupped and we developed a system of passwords for visitors. But that was not easy, until I had a technical lesson later in the year. After that, I was able to set up visitors with their temporary passcodes. We locked down student access to certain hours. Superclubsplus was going through changes and the children were not as enthusiastic with it. We did not encourage devices to be brought to school, but did not discourage it either. We had one student request access for learning reasons. Her parents had set up her account on a dedicated programme, but often she could not get on because someone else had set up her online account and I could not help her. What about devices that are internet capable that are brought to school. Eg: smart phones with internet accounts and the children take photos of their peers and teachers and upload them to a social media account. We gave each teacher an iPad and found that they added their own iTunes account and then let the children have access to the device. 

Lesson,1)Learning need students accounts need to be set up by the school, not the parent. 2)Ruling about bringing a smart phone to school and used inappropriately during school hours. 3) Any visitors to be added to a temporary account and not to our teacher WIFI. 4) Teachers allowing chn use of a teacher tablet because they wanted to see how children used them. Because I had been through some training as a global online mediator with Superclubsplus, I began reading around the subject of legalities and children accessing the internet. I read widely around this area and attended Nethui where I was exposed to further discussion around legalities. I continued to find my own learning exploding. Twitter was my main source of connection, reading and learning. The more I read the more cautious I became. I also became interested in not just the learning with mobile technology but the implications. One starting to come through is that todays youth are not getting the required amount of sleep. Therefore sleep patterns are being affected. My investigation as an efellow highlighted the importance of collaboration and making connections. I was forced to face the fact that I often hide behind electronic communication and needed to balance that with face to face sharing. So moving out of my comfort zone I presented at a variety events. This included TeachMeet, Ignite Leadership and at our area ESOL cluster.  I also attended educamp and padcamp. I collaborated on a global project with one of our teachers.



2013Back at school, we called back all the teacher iPads and found out how much they had been used. From our findings, not as much as we had hoped. Really most of the apps we identified were from the principal and myself, with a few others from individual teachers. We invested in configurator because children safety was our top priority. We brought in Allanah King to share with us how she used iPads with her students. We identified a set of aps that would be standard on all student ipads. There is still discussion about the relevance of this but we will sort it out as we learn from this experience. From this, teachers were enthusiastic and asked for their iPads back, so we bought a new set for them. Again we will use this year as a learning year. The one rule we gave teachers was that students were not to use their teaching iPad. Just like they must not use their TELA laptop. They were to use this tool as a learning opportunity. Already one error on my part was adding youtube to the student iPad. I was thinking from teacher access. Again terms of agreement state that under 13 must not access youtube. So that will be removed the next time I work with configurator.  

Lesson1) Some websites do strange things with iPads. Eg: we had challenges with reading eggs and skoodle. Wikispaces looks very different. Therefore we are identifying tools that we can use with the children, that are safe but also can be used on the iPad. The terms of agreement in configurator identified ages for the apps to use. This helped immensely. I identified that any app with social media connections was not an appropriate app to add. Our top findings was if an account does not require student email, it was reasonably safe. If an account asked for school verification for a teacher account, then it was reasonably safe. Eg: Myportfolio, kidblog, reading eggs are safe. Accounts not safe, include wikispaces, club penguin, youtube, prezi. They all require permission for 14- 18. There is nothing stated for under. Or it said that educators take ownership and responsibility for the use of these. We have already learnt of the volume of access with our work with Superclubsplus so unless the teacher is on the environment 24/7 -caution is needed. We purchased and distributed apple TV’s to the 6 targeted classes. This was to any remaining classes without a smart board. Smart board classes had a VGA connection purchased for the teacher’s iPad. The initial observation included teachers sharing photos of learning. We hope to see this grow into children sharing their learning.


Lessons

  1. Ensuring that teachers used appropriate sites with our children legally.
  2. Teachers using appropriate apps with our children and have a purposeful learning intention.
  3. Continue to observe and investigate what other primary schools do in regards to mobile learning. eg: Just because you can does not mean that you should.
  4. Create our policy around the use of devices with children.
  5. Continue with professional development in the use of mobile technology for our teachers.
  6. Continue to learn about online learning spaces.

            Do you use iPads at your school? What learning have you uncovered?

            Ignite- Hyperconnectivity

             
            Talofa lava and greetings to everyone
            I am here to share with you my learning on Hyperconnectivity.
            This journey began with my learning for efellows 2011.
            Efelllows are a group of educators who have been selected nationally by CORE Education. The CORE Education eFellowship Awards recognise innovative e-learning practice by New Zealand teachers.
            In 2013 I have won a TEACHNZ sabbatical to continue my investigation. I am using this opportunity to meet global educators face to face.
            So Hyperconnectivity. Mark Pesce says that it is access to inconceivable amounts of information. Hyperconnectivity provides a platform for a breadth of situational awareness beyond even the wildest imaginings of MI6. I have added- it is about being tethered.
            Our children are born with a digital footprint. Even before birth there is online evidence as their proud parents upload their foetal images to social networking sites such as Facebook. Currently New Zealand has more mobile devices than population.
            The social web allows access to inconceivable amounts of information. Early users generally put it all out there. From pictures, to videos to personal information. Currently the greatest uptake of use of social media is the over 35 year olds.
            All this technology is like a tidal wave. It isnt coming. It is here now. To counter this wave, we must take the same technology as our children, use the same tools as our children. Some of our learning lies in the network not in opposition to it.
            Last year we used SuperClubsPLUS, an online social networking tool for children to bring together a group of schools. We hyperconnected on line and we connected face to face in real time.
            This year we connected globally via the BBC World Assembly.
            When we come together and share, whanaungatanga happens. Connecting globally can extend our sharing in a positive way. As a school we are more conscious about not limiting what we are doing to within our 4 walls.
            Last year as a staff we trialed Myportfolio. The greatest benefit with Myportfolio is sharing our teaching and learning practice. Myportfolio allows us to make hyper-connections and to work hyper-collaboratively.  This year we have added the Virtual Learning Network to our list of teacher tools.
            The efellows award allowed me time to step back and look at what I was doing with e-learning. The award provided access to experts in the form of presenting my message and in the form of social media. I was able to take time to visit other educators and to hear what they said about Hyperconnectivity.
            The award also gave me the opportunity to ask and explore some challenging questions. One was If I could see myself in the mirror- would I like what I see? Another question was with all the Hyperconnectivity that is taking place in our childrens lives, what are they giving up?
            Being hyperconnected is an important part of life for many of our children. Many are permanently tethered with their own device. Tethering also gives the concept of helicopter parenting. For example with the use of Hyperconnectivity children can be tracked using GPS systems. We can track not just where they go physically but where they go online. Tracking also can be cyberstalking. How many of us as do this right now using instagram or twitter?
            Hyperconnectivity gives us global connections and opportunities for global collaboration and sharing. But it also give us opportunities to trace and track. This is not just limited to us but anyone with a connection.
            What about the space between the hyper nodes. Ulises Mejiasmakes reference to the space between the nodes and if this is ignored it is like a fish ignoring the water that it swims in. The space is what supports the nodes.
            As an envro school we can make analogies to ignoring the space because we know that the environment is what supports us living.
            As educators we must be aware of the tools that are being used. Find out and understand the legalities around working with children online.  At the same time allow and create learning opportunities that do not always need wifi connections, tracking or testing.
            As part of our curriculum and policies do include activities that might not be benchmarked but yet create other connections and collaborations.
            Include staff activities that are fun. Yes include Hyperconnectivity’ tools but as much as possible emphasis a balance that learning is fun. Connecting and collaborating also includes face to face experiences. –eg: I make reference here to Ignite sessions.
            We as much, as our children, also need the space where we can be totally ourselves and not be connected. The value of silence is obvious to us. Just as being hyperconnected is to our children.
            These are the people who have greatly influenced my thinking about Hyperconnectivity. Mark Pesce who introduced me to the term Hyperconnectivity, Steve Wheeler who I have been following on twitter for over a year. Ulises Mejias  who helped clarify the space between the nodes.
            Larry Cuban who asks the hard questions regarding technology and education and questions the expense in dollars and in time.
            Sherry Turkle and Pam Hook who just keep asking the hard questions.
            To finish with…. Hyperconnectivity and the space between the nodes
            Social software can positively impact pedagogy by inculcating a desire to reconnect to the world as a whole, not just the social parts that exist online- Ulises Mejias
            You can hyperconnect with me online or make connections with me face to face.
            I would appreciate further discussion around this topic.



            TravelWise

            Kia Ora, Talofa lava, Greetings .
            My name is Sonya and I am a teacher at Newmarket School.
            This is our first year for TravelWise. We are a Green/ Gold Enviro School and one of our focus this year is traveling to and from school.
            A little bit about me, I am a Samoan bilingual, I am ESOL trained and last year I was awarded an efellowship with Core Education.
            I have been teaching for over 25 years and have taught in all levels of primary school and have also spent time in tertiary teaching.
            Those of you with smart phones and with access to social media please do not turn them off but use them to broadcast today and use the hash tag #TravelWise
            You can find me on Instagram, Linked, Facebook and Twitter. You can also find me on Myportfolio and the Virtual Learning Network.  My online name is Ulimasao or you can find me by searching Van Schaijik
            Thank you to Jamie and Samuel for giving me this opportunity to share our learning story with you. Thank you to TravelWise for this day of professional learning and the opportunity to make connections.
            Today I am here to share with you our planning for real day that took place in May.
            To be more specific I will share with you how we used Social Media to make national and global connections during the day.
            It was a combination of events that all came together about the same time.
            First- we had been invited by Superclubsplus to put our name forward for the BBC Global Assembly as there were no New Zealand Schools involved. We had previously been involved in a global activity as part of our Enviro project and with our work with trialing Superclubsplus as part of the Netsafe project.
            So this is how the first connection was made. Then when Jamie and Samuel came for a meeting with regards to our Planning for Real Day.  I mentioned that if we could pull off the day and tie it with the BBC invitation, why not aim for within a fortnight.
            So we did. Jamie and Samuel coordinated the large school map and resources. I made contact with Superclubsplus who gave us the BBC contact. BBC agreed to interview us later in the BBC assembly and called for all our phone details. We also had to create an article in regards to our school and we did.
            We selected a group of children who began preparation for the interview.
            Then we received a call that Breakfast TV wanted to share our story so it was all go.
            We alerted staff of the short notice for the event and they were supportive by preparing the children for the Planning for Real Day.
            The planning for real day went to schedule and we took the map into the studio. Last minute phone calls were made to get parental permission for the televised session. We already had permission for the BBC project. Our children reminded the interviewer not to use their last names. Here is the interview.
            We waited for the phone call from England but unfortunately this did not eventuate. However with huge apologies from their part, BBC have highlighted us on social media and this is quite extensive.
            We did not waste the children’s prepared speeches and have used this on a school video which we hosted on our youtube channel.
            After the planning for Real Day we displayed the map in our foyer and already we can see a pattern and what we need to plan for next.
            We uploaded the photos to our picasa page, uploaded the videos to our youtube channel, and have been broadcasting #BBCassembly on twitter and facebook.
            How many of you use social media? One key idea we foster is ‘learn from doing’.
            We know our children will have access to most places online when they go home.
            So what we teach is keep yourself safe online and be respectful when using the Internet. This is the same as when they interact face to face.
            We also work through the same challenges with our teachers. We encourage them to experiment and become familiar with the tools. We remind them about their responsibilities when working with minors and their legal obligations.
            Here are some of the tools that the Ministry of Education encourage us to use in our professional learning. I will use this to plug a webinair that is happening today after school in regards to global citizenship.
            Our connections with our Planning for Real Day.
            You can find our social media sites on the front of our school website.
            As much fun as it is in making connections using the nodes of Social Media, I draw your attention to the ‘space between the nodes.’
            The space that cannot be seen but without it the nodes are meaningless. I liken the space to the air we breathe, or the sea that is such an important part of our survival.
            Relationships and making connections are not easy to assess but they are important in maintaining the social media nodes.
            So for TravelWise I am keen to make connections and develop relationships with those of you with experience in this area and with those of you just starting out like me. One idea is to have  a group of children working together collaboratively on a common goal that is TravelWise based.
            I shared with you our planning for real day that took place in May.
            I shared with you how we used Social Media to make national and global connections during the day. I suggested that I would like to make connections and to build relationships between schools on a collaborative project.
            So if anyone is keen to become involved, then please do not hesitate to make contact.

            My Twitter History


            http://twopcharts.com I have been investigating my twitter history and came up with some interesting memories.
            My first tweet was sent on 25 Oct 2008. Therefore I have been using twitter for 1,136 days.
            The first account I followed was @nzcurriculum. I do not remember why I chose them first. The first account to follow me back was @CherylDoig and it was through her that I began to build up my followers. So far I have not quite broken sending 1000 tweets but I know I have read more than that as I regularly pop on to follow the breadcrumbs of other educators.
            When I first began using twitter just over 3 years ago, I was number 16,581893 user. My stats say that I have been on Twitter for 55.07% of its existence. I began by following television stars like @Oprah and also a few preachers as I was interested in how they used this medium to communicate with their followers. I used to follow a few singers. I won’t name them here but you know who I mean. I soon became irritated by the hogging of communication. So now I dump twitters who hog the timeline. Every so often I have a clean out and find out who is not using twitter regularly and they get filed. Sometimes I check out who is following me and usually look for ‘julia’ type profiles that do not fit my educator profile.
            I do not know who introduced me to twitter, but I think it was at the time of @BarackObama and his presidential campaign. So it might have been the hype around his use. I witnessed his campaign using twitter and from then on I was hooked. Barack introduced me to the concept of real time technology as I watched the twitter timeline and the live video streaming of his win.

            For the first year using twitter was a lonely existence on the ground and yet really exciting up in the twitter cloud. I did not find discussing my use easy, as other educators around me were not ready for this social medium. But what I now find is that I have made some great connection. One of these was hooking up with the efellows. The list of 2011 efellows twitters can be viewed here on https://twitter.com/#!/dragonsinger57/core-efellows-2011.

            Great excitement happened when our principal took her initial twitter steps @newmarketschool. The URL had been booked for over a year and then last year she began to follow and then start post and respond to posts. However the greatest enjoyment I have had this year was when three of our teachers began to use twitter. @oprubyslippers, @MissNWalden and @Kyliegeddes.

            At this stage I use twitter to amplify some of the exciting learning that happens at Newmarket School. I do this by retweeting and adding users who I know will retweet the message. Every so often I might use it for advertising or to share a link.
            But it is the following of breadcrumbs that I enjoy the most. I have learnt so much using twitter and my wikispace http://www.ulimasao.wikispaces.com is the evidence of what I learn.

            Where to next, I really need to sort out my list and I will use @justadandak idea of sorting his followers into lists. I already have one list of Pacific Islanders on twitter and I set that up in the early days. What I find is that some of my favourite tweetchers are being buried in the online noise. I hardly see @arti_choke anymore unless I really go searching for her. I am getting better at using @ and # to amplify my tweets. I use my tweets for microblogging and when I am ready, I write a blog entry.

            So share with me your twitter history so that I may make links with my own learning about my twitter history.

            SCPlus Hot Seat- Hyperconnectivity

            Date: Monday 15th of August 2011

            Venue: National Library of New Zealand

            Purpose: To connect online schools face to face. For teachers and children to work collaboratively, for invited guests to network, to launch a New Zealand author on Superclubsplus and to raise global awareness about the International year of forest and birds.

            On Monday the 15th of August 5 Auckland schools who have been using Superclubsplus for teaching and learning gathered together to meet face to face. One school joined the session via skype. The five Auckland schools were St Ignatius, Rosebank School, Blockhouse Bay Intermediate and Newmarket School. Raumati came in via skype. Each school has a very different background. Our school Newmarket is an inner city small school.

            The children and teachers in these schools have been using Superclubsplus for teaching and learning and how to be safe and respectful online.

            Most of the teachers and invited guests involved used twitter to communicate about the upcoming event. The Hot tags chosen were #scplushotseat We also used Titanpad to share information and wikipages to coordinate timetables and a place to keep information together.

            For the Hot Seat project, schools were chosen who proved that they have been actively working with their children about using the internet safely. So the teachers and children who came are already active users of Superclubsplus.

            The school came together to be involved in an author Hot seat project where we launched a New Zealand illustrator and author onto Superclubsplus. Sandra Morris was in the Hot seat. We chose Sandra as this is the UNESCO International year of Forest and Birds. Sandra’s specialty is New Zealand birds. We used real time technology for learning such as skype, email and forum. We took lots of photos and the children are writing an online article about their experiences.

            This link will give you highlights about the schools, teachers and invited quests involved. http://newmarketenviro.wikispaces.com/scp_highlights

            Each teacher was given a designated task to do to help ensure the smooth running of the event.

            After the event a picassa folder was set up to put in any photos. We look forward to the children’s articles.