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. 

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.