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

30 years ago

St Joseph’s School Papanui 1984

St Joseph’s School Papanui 1984

Class of Standard 1 & 2 – Thanks to Brendan who had the photo.

I set up a Google Doc and through my teacher Facebook page, a few past students had added me. I asked for some memories and some wrote about events I had forgotten so thanks to my children from 30 years ago who helped with some my highlights.

In December of 1983 I graduated from Christchurch Teachers College and won a position as a first year teacher in St Josephs of Papanui for 1984. The school was a state integrated school that was a full primary school. We had four nuns teaching still at that time.  I had a class of 32 standard 1 & 2 children.


I was not a permanent staff member so I spent that year applying for a permanent position. 18 months later I finally won one at a different school after 45 rejection slips.

The first day the children arrived I felt really grown up and the feeling of having 32 faces looking up at you awaiting instructions was unbelievable.


Each morning I would send the children running around the block for fitness. As in I would send them out the gate and around the block, unsupervised. At that time, the school was boarded by large paddocks on one side.


The first time I attended full school mass with my class  I bribed the children to sit quietly at church with mini moro bars. The principal said they were the best behaved class in the school and what amazing skills I had as a young teacher. Later on I attended their first Holy Communion and cried with pride. I had such huge emotion.


Each Friday a class would organise school assemblies and how stressed I was when it was our turn but my class always made me proud. In those days we had three terms. The school left me until the final week so I could watch and learn how the other classes did assembly.


When a child was sick, I would think, I hope they are ok. If they were sick for four or more days I would go after school on Friday and visit them at home. I learnt about home school communication from that. The parents used to be overawed by the teacher visiting at home.


Even at that time I was a bit of a geek and can remember the excitement when our priest bought a video player. Once a fortnight, I would send someone over to borrow the machine and we would watch movies from the video shop or the children bought the videos in from home. Later on I discovered that the National Library had children’s’ videos too so I borrowed those as well as the celluloid films. I was technical even then and had my film projector’s license.


Each fortnight I would walk the children down and visit our local library because ours was so awful. Then once a month during my beginning teacher release I would take four children in my car to visit the National Library  and choose a class set of books. I went by myself and was unsupervised.

At that time I knew all the parents by first name because I had the children come and tell me their parent’s name. I kept a handwritten class list. There were no databases at that time only small white cards that were stored in the principal’s office. We needed permission to access the children’s’ personal data. I kept an assessment book, and laboriously cut away the name section so that I would reuse the following pages without having to rewrite the whole class list. Soon after they printed assessment books and you just needed to write in the names. I was first in to buy them out of my own money. The positive was I could keep all the receipts and claim part of the money back on tax as part of work expenses.


As a training teacher I made all my own maths games and was proud of the hand coloured snakes and ladders, chess boards and other games created and then covered with contact. For cardboard I gathered empty cereal boxes by distributing house points for these valuable items. We did not have a laminator. The children also bought in bottle tops and small stones for counting.The children also bought in empty icecream containers. I was really lucky because one mum had access to the local pub and bought me heaps of beer bottle tops. Another worked in an old peoples home and would bring me the giant margarine containers. They were fabulous for storage. This was before Payless Plastic or the Warehouse days. Instead of stickers I had a set of self inking stamps. They were the most expensive teaching tools that I bought. I hung curtain wire across my room and hung the children’s work from that. For reading group boxes the children bought in empty wine casks and I covered these with coloured contact. They were really valuable and worth many house points.


I had a giant homework chart on the wall and laboriously hand ruled the lines. I would stamp the children’s notebook each day and mark it on the chart. The children were eager for the weekly prizes that they were hardly away sick. One parent said how much that meant to them because I had a big class. That one stamp told them that I was paying daily attention to their child.


I began the class with 32 children but lost some as the inspector was looming because  I was supposed to have 25. My year was also the year that they began beginning teacher release. Basically the teacher came in and worked alongside me during reading. This was when she did turn up and was not taken elsewhere as a reliever.


I had one Maori student. Before he had me, he had a reputation with the teachers. He was a good student for me. I think it was because I am Samoan and we made a connection. I  took a real interest in him. I remember several Saturdays driving out to Loburn to watch him compete in motocross competitions. His dad told me it was the first time a teacher had ever taken an interest in him. He would tell me all about his bike and when he was racing. He was fabulous at reading because before my year he spent many hours in the principal’s office. He learnt to read her notes upside down.


I had another student who led the haka and was amazing at creating story books. She would write pages and pages of stories and illustrate them beautifully.  I was often invited to barbecues with her parents and grandparents. Her grandmother made bottled asparagus. They lived not far from me. This same student reminded me of the time I cut the top of my finger with the guillotine. I remember the principal coming back with me to look for the top and packing it in ice for the journey to the hospital. I was really lucky as it was only flesh that was cut. The top eventually grew back after a long time. Nowadays there is no way a guillotine would be allowed in our classrooms.


Another student lived on the outskirts of the city and I visited his house. It was surrounded by farmland and remembered a huge place with lots of bedrooms. I think this was after I had left school. Christchurch in that time still had a lot of farmland surrounding the city.


In each class you always have the diligent and conscientious students. I had one who made contact with me years later. He was the first student to do so.  He said I had made such an impression on him. He is now a chemist. I felt so proud. I love teaching science and I can remember magnifying glass activities but I don’t think I taught much science in that early time.


I had another child who always drew in black. I learnt later that there was a reason for that. We never know what our children bring to school.


One student’s mum used to clean my classroom.  She would help me in my room while mum was working. There was no after school care in those days.


Another student was really quiet but an amazing singing voice. She was diabetic and needed to prick her finger daily. I had to learn to deal with that and was totally unprepared . I was careful about bringing treats to school. I always bought fruit for her.


One student remembers story time on cushions and making three dimensional pictures with regard to the believing in yourself series of books, I remember reading to the children everyday and stopping the story when it was extra exciting like half way through a chapter. In those days it was the Roald Dahl and Beverly Cleary series.  Another student remembers me reading ‘ The Silver Sword’ and how much of an impression it made on him.  I remember trying so hard not to cry as I read that story.


Another student reminded me about awarding Bic Pen with rubbers on the end. The children had to pass a handwriting test to get from pencil to pen. I vaguely remember the pens. They were the first pens with erasers and were expensive on a teacher’s budget. The children had beautiful handwriting in those days. It was part of the curriculum.


This same student remembers the certificates I gave out such as a super BEE haviour award and a Seal of approval there was a bee and seal on the certificates.


One incident involved the boys being given the strap by the principal and I stood by and watched corporal punishment being administered.  Corporal punishment was not outlawed until 1989. I would have been horrified but felt helpless.


My first three way discussion involved one child who bit another child in anger. I learnt later that this was not the first incident but that was before we recorded behaviour.


Some crazy incidents happened like a child getting lice and popping them in her maths book. I had to send her home because live lice meant it needed dealing with immediately. Now we just send a note to every child in the class about an outbreak.

I had another student suddenly throwing up all over her desk and having to clean it up myself. Now we would go to another space and the caretaker would deal with the mess.


At the end of the year I was given the most amazing homemade gifts such as jam, or fruit or homemade biscuits, chocolates. In those days everything seemed homemade. Now when I am given gifts it is usually a voucher or bought chocolates. Even now I still feel strange when parents and children buy me gifts as I think there is no need because I already have been gifted the child for the year. (But I still say thank you 🙂


The building was old and the block of classes  had a wooden verandah running alongside them. The desks were the old wooden lift up jobs with wooden chairs. The walls were high as in really high. I bought plants to lift the depressive atmosphere and blue paint. To brighten the walls, I dyed rolls of wallpaper and hung those up. I bought a staple gun to help with the job and there was no display boards. So it was staples straight into wood. I bought a piece of carpet for sitting on because I wanted a shared mat space. My class had the desks grouped but many of the other classes still had the rows and the mat space was only for the littlies.


I had goldfish and when they died as they regularly did, I would bring in more from a local pond. The first time the  inspector visited he asked the children how long the fish had been there. The inspector would come and check my work once a term. At the end of the year I remember the feeling of elation. I had finally passed and was a real teacher. I no longer had to worry about having my planning checked over. That did not last long as at my next school, our principal checked our planning every term.


As much as possible I would take the children out for softball and games on the playing fields. I allowed bullrush which involved a lot of school jerseys being pulled. This game was outlawed later in the school.


Each Friday after lunch I would take my class down to buddy classes with another young teacher. Her name was Jacinta and this activity allowed me to learn how  to play the guitar by playing with her.  She taught me how to transpose and how to play the guitar by ear.


I was heavily involved in church activities so this was another way of getting to know my parents. In addition I was the staff representative on the parent teacher association.


1984 was the one of the first years for beginning teacher release, but I often did not get it as my release teacher was used elsewhere. I had her for one hour a day spread out over the week. Eventually I was paid back a week all at once because I became very ill.


As a beginning teacher I  coached a school softball team and coordinated their inter school games. Transportation was taken care of by asking the children whose parent could take a car load down to the game. Again I had no supervision and this was all before the time of Rams reports.

I also took junior school choir. The school went up to intermediate level. The following year I took whole school choir.


I formed very close friendships with teachers from the junior area. I do not remember having a team leader but did have a mentor teacher. I probably learnt more from the young teachers around me and in our way we would share resources. I cannot remember team meetings but do remember staff meetings filled with smoke as most teachers smoked.


One nun would gather a $1.00 from us each week and go down to the TAB to place a bet on the horses. By the end of the year we had won enough money to go out for dinner. I look back now and think $40.00 over a year would have bought a decent meal.


We had to pay morning tea money each term and took rosters to be the one who took the cash and go to the supermarket to buy all the biscuits.


Planning was more like a weekly timetable. Except for reading when we would list the stories read. Reporting to families happened twice a year and these were hand-written on school ordered commercial reports. I created a lined copy to help me write my own class ones neatly. No errors were allowed and any sign of correcting fluid would ensure a complete report rewrite.

I think it was only in reading that the children were grouped. I was one of the few teachers who carried out running records in the middle school. Maths and writing was taught whole class. Grouping in maths was just beginning. My children learnt their basic facts and spelling words every night.


The term overviews were my long term plan. I think I was the only one who created a term’s overview in the middle school. The other teachers said that it was because I was still such a young teacher. As for team planning, that did not happen until four years later. Remember all this was written down in a specially ruled way and placed into a planning folder. Later they published special teachers books for this very task. I remember using unlined paper backed by ruled like paper as a guide. Unfortunately I have only recently thrown all that old paper out. I would have been good to bring out and do a comparison for today.


Other memories include using the brand new school photocopier. We had a limited number of pages we could photocopy. I wrote out all my song charts and poetry charts by hand. I used an overhead projector to hand make all my big books. I had to mix my paints and dye. I was allowed a limited supply of crayons. I was allowed limited supplies of art paper.  Most work was done on the chalkboard so I was always covered in chalk dust. To make pretty titles I would soak the chalk overnight in water. Once they had dried I used these ‘special’ chalk to make titles and borders.

I did not have a computer until 4 years later when we won one. Everything I made, I made by hand.


I have all my class photos. But this class was my first. They helped shape me and helped build my confidence. I remember when I had to correct a child’s behaviour I would be in tears. I loved teaching in St Josephs and loved the Catholic system. Most of my time of thirty years has been in a state integrated school. It has only been the last 7 years that I moved across to the state system.


Over time I have noticed a decline in children’s handwriting skills, scissor cutting skills, and independence. I have noticed an increase in empathy and creative thinking. But that might be because we have a different focus in education. I could also be reminiscing on what it was like back then.


So what about you? Have you been teaching as long as me or even longer. What memories can you share about your first class? What were you doing 30 years ago? Were you even born? If this is your first year, then write about it because later on it does get hazy.

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.

Ulearn13


On Thursday the 10th of October, I presented at Ulearn13 conference my TeachMeetNZ project that has evolved extensively since the beginning of the year. TeachMeetNZ is the culmination of my investigation into Hyperconnectivity when I realised that in order to shift my learning I needed to create a site for educators to come together and share. This year I launched TeachMeetNZ as part of my TeachNZ Sabbatical. 
This TeachMeetNZ presentation time was especially interesting because I had with me 5x virtual presenters who shared their own inquiries. The event was live streamed from the front of the TeachMeetNZ wikispace in front of a live audience.


I must thank Becky @BeckyHare26 and the Ulearn13 Tech Team who ensured that I had all the support I asked for and needed to run a successful live Hangout.
Each TeachMeetNZ presenter shared something unique to them that was important to their learning and highlighted for me how important it is to have a vehicle for sharing of teachers’ inquiry.
If you want to see their inquiries and reflections then you can hear and see their video and their slides on TeachMeetNZ_Ulearn13.

Because TeachMeetNZ is all about sharing of learning I have added my slides for viewing from my Slideshare site.
TeachMeet 3 Ulearn13 from Ulimasao Van Schaijik

One highlight for Ulearn13 was meeting Mark Pesce @mpesce who has influenced my efellowship learning around Hyperconnectivity.
As I reflect on my efellow’s project of Hyperconnectivity I realise that I have created a site for teachers to share their inquiry and have already curated 15 teacher inquiries. So do visit TeachMeetNZ.
Mark guided my thinking in that what happens between the nodes of connectivity is what influences the connections and to pay attention to what cannot be seen. 
From this third TeachMeetNZ I must acknowledge Chris Dillon who has clarified my thinking about having digital badges and ensuring that the badge clicks back to evidence of learning. I had begun the process of awarding a badge but had not thought about ensuring they link back to evidence.
From Chris Swanwich, I have realised that if I focus on teacher inquiry, as part of TeachMeetNZ New Zealand Educators will have a rich source of resources to refer to when they undertake their own inquiry. 
From Hanna Fale I take away that the Learning Environment is conducive to children’s learning and it is the educator who frames that environment with their own understanding of learning. So I continue to frame TeachMeetNZ environment to cater for the evolving demand.
From Tim Gander, I have already framed the next step of TeachMeetNZ when we undertake a PE Google+ discussion using TeachMeetNZ as the site to pull it together.
From Melanie Matthews, I am reminded to continue framing my learning using SOLO taxonomy as SOLO pushes my own thinking to deeper levels. If I stretch my thinking then everyone I work with is also challenged in their own thinking.
So where to next?
I am running another TeachMeetNZ in November and hope that you can join us virtually as again we share teachers learning and reflecting on practice.
If you would like to be part of a future TeachMeetNZ hangout to share your learning, please contact me, alternatively you can put your name down on the wiki.
What you get out of sharing on TeachMeetNZ is a 
  • The opportunity to meet and make connections with other stunning educators.
  • Digital Badge for your portfolio with a link to evidence of presenting on TeachMeetNZ. 
  • A wiki page that you will have embedded your slides into
  • A 3 minute video clip of your presentation
  • A photo of you in the hangout 
  • The chance to present to a global audience.
I also have ideas of discussion for targeted areas of interests that have been seeded by Tim and Marnel. Both these stunning educators have presented on TeachMeetNZ and have recently been awarded an efellowship for 2014.
In addition I have some invited Global Educators who have agreed to hangout with me with invited New Zealand Educators. That is coming up soon.
To make the wiki even stronger in Teacher inquiry, you can add a comment to the teachers pages or follow the discussion on twitter using #TeachMeetNZ.
So do you have an inquiry that you would like to share with a greater audience? It can be an investigation that you are undertaking in your classroom.

Jiao

 

Scan 3

Jiao

Mandarin Language Assistant.
In 2011 Newmarket School joined the Confucius Mandarin Language Assistant Programme, through Auckland University. This means we have a Chinese Language Teacher who teaches language and culture at our school. Our school is dominantly Asian and as such we believe in the importance of first language maintenance for our Chinese students and that our other students  can benefit from learning another language in addition to Te Reo and English.
In 2011 we had Mengmeng and then last year I agreed to host Jiao.
The first time I saw her I thought, whoa she is tall and skinny as, like about a size O,
However after the first few weeks, I mentioned to my principal that I was a fairly large eater and yet she could match me and then some. She was always hungry. My principal advised me to purchase a rice cooker and that was an excellent suggestion.
Jiao was only supposed to stay with me for a few weeks. However because we were such a good fit, she ended staying with me for the whole year and I am so glad that she did. I am a mother of grown up sons and never had a daughter, so Jiao is like my adopted daughter.
I have so many memories of her
EG: like within the first month, I asked her to clean the bathroom, which was a task that she would do each week.
After her first time, doing the task unaided without me,
She said to me. “Do you know what the day is?”
I replied that it was Saturday and that it was the day for cleaning the bath room.
She said, “I know that but it is also my birthday. This is the year of the dragon and I am a dragon baby so this year is as significant as a 21st birthday.”
I think this major event broke the ice between us because I laughed and said, “Oh my, you will never forget this birthday. You have no cake, no special event, and I made you clean the bathroom. Come on I will take you to the movies.”
And so we attended the first of many.
However, she proceeded to hold me accountable to this event by telling my parents the next day, my sisters and then at school the following week, how I had made her clean the bathroom on her special dragon birthday. So my parents and sisters teased me about what a dreadful host mother I was.
Jiao taught me heaps, like how to make dumpling, introduce myself in Mandarin and the Game of Thrones.
Me I introduced her to bacon and taught her how to cook and bake.
She took to baking like duck to water and made many muffins and cakes to fill up the lunchbox and to share with friends.
Once a week, she would hurry home from school to prepare the evening meal. She used the internet to search out recipes and experimented continuously.
Her favourite meal of the week was Sunday cooked breakfast. She got to sleep in and rose later for the event.
We had a lot in common. A love of science fiction, to a love of our communication devices. She introduced me to the Chinese Social media that she used to keep in contact such as QQ and wechat. I haven’t yet understood QQ but definitely know wechat.
I watched this quite shy quiet, young girl blossom into a confident and organising young woman.
Her first major task was introducing herself in front of Confucius and later on in the year she also gave her experience of being hosted. Both major events made my heart swell with motherly pride.
She organised her travels around New Zealand each holidays and I loved the fact that she did not rely on me to entertain her. She sometimes had friends over to stay.
She had no hesitation at letting me know how she was feeling and her dry sense of humour continuous to have me in stitches.
When she was told that as part of her teaching programme that she would be teaching Chinese dance, I think this was one of the major challenges that she had. She said to me, “I can’t dance Sonya, how on earth am I supposed to teach a Chinese dance.”
I told her, “You must think in patterns and it is easy. Anyway, you have access to youtube so do your  research and you will be fine. “
 
The fan dance she taught our children was stunning.
Jiao ended up thinking that she was quite an expert and that the dance she picked out for the next MLA was so advanced and intricate that I still laugh at the memory.
In 2013 I was selected as a TeachNZ Sabbatical and I toured the world. I told Jiao that I would come and visit her in Shanghai.
This I did. By then she had a boyfriend and was excited for us to meet.
When I arrived in Shanghai I could not believe how beautiful she had become. Her confidence had continued and she had developed into a lovely young woman.
Gone were the trousers and replaced with skirts and pretty sandals.
IMG_3521
She introduced me to her young man Chao and I observed how her treated her. She had chosen well. He was delightful and obviously adored her. He was clever like her and could match her for intelligent conversation. He was very kind to me too. They spoilt me rotten with their time.
profli
Jiao was very proud of the univeristy she attended and she took me especially to meet Professsor Li and a chance to tour the university. She organised for me to catch up with Mengmeng and I was able to meet her husband to be.
One fabulous memory I have is when they took me to visit the ancient town of Xitang in Jiashang county, Zhejiang Province.
Because of the vastness of China, I got to meet her mum and his parents via Skype. They were wanting to meet me in person but because I had a short time, I said I would come back for the wedding.

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.

Travel Map

Today I began my 100 day Project. It is thanks to Justine Driver that I first learnt about the project. I am using this opportunity to write a little everyday. For me the real focus of my 100 day project is about making connections. Ideally it should be face to face connections. But it could also be digital connections in preparing for face to face connections. For example meeting Justine face to face after following her on twitter. 
The second part of my 100daysproject is to get into the habit of daily writing for when I take a TEACHNZ sabbatical. I will add one photo or a video clip and write about the event.
So my first entry and photo is about the places that I have booked to visit. My first face to face will be with Julie Lindsay from the Flat Classroom project. We will be meeting in Honolulu at the Flat Classroom conferenceand I am really excited to be meeting her. I have scheduled my travels to take in the conference so that I may meet global educators and leaders.