2014 List of highlights

2014 -incredible year.

It’s that time of year when filled with festivities we reflect on our past year and set some new goals for the coming year.
2014 has been a year of with amazing edu_moments highlights. 

Because this is a list of highlights, it is multistructural in thinking so to make it relational thinking I would love some dialogue with you particularly if you have been involved in any way.
The past years highlights all the collaboration that I have been involved in.
This year, Google Hangout was my tool of choice as I was able to run six successful TeachMeetNZ sessions. One each term and two others in between.
This involved 42 presenters. Taking the total number of presentations on the site to 72. So Next year I aim to break 100.


I built a site for our ESOL area cluster to coordinate all communication.


I joined the School in the Cloud Project as a cloud Granny.


I was also part of the #edchatnz Steering committee where we pulled together a conference for over 300 educators in 18 weeks at the cost of $20.00 each. You can read more about that here.


I presented at two national conferences. These were CLESOL and Ulearn.
I co-presented at 2 international conferences. These were Global Educators and ???


I ran a workshop for principals in ICT with the Springboard Trust.



For Travelwise, our school achieved our Bronze Level award and took away the community prize.


I ran a SOLO Taxonomy Session for Samoan educators in Samoan.


I fulfilled a personal goal of creating a series of presentations on online portfolios and presenting them at Eduignite.



I wrote 27 blog posts and fulfilled another personal goal of writing a blog post a month,. I didn’t quite achieve that because I skipped some months but made up for it in others.
I had an article published in Interface, was featured in the Pond Launch as being the first school to register all our teachers, was on the Ministry of Education site for Future Focussed examples for TeachMeetNZ.


To finish with, tonight I attained my Flat Connect Global Educator Certificate.


In between all that, I took part in regular edchatnz twitter chats, hosted a global classroom twitter chat and rolled out Google Apps for Education at Newmarket School.


Where to next. I am taking a leaf from @hannahrogersx blog, The Modern Girl and have set myself 7 personal goals.


1. Limit Social Media. I love social media. It is part of who I am.  I do over share and can post a lot and that is me. But this year monitor the time I have on social media. Aim for one unplugged day a week.
2. Say No More Often. It’s okay to say no. I owe no one an explanation for not wanting to do whatever it is I don’t want to do. But this year be conscious of how I say no.
3. Be Gentle on myself. If I forget to pick up texts from the family whatever it is, don’t beat myself up over it. It is a waste of energy, just acknowledge it and move along. Remind family to find other ways of connecting with me.
4. If You Want Something, Ask For It.  I will be crowdsourcing more. The #EdBookNZ project was an amazing experience and an amazing resource for educators written for by educators. This year I will be looking for more ways of tapping into the fabulousness we have here in New Zealand. I am aiming for two TeachMeetNZ. One in Maori and one in Samoan.
5. Find the Balance. Office looking a mess? Haven’t walked up Mt Eden for a while and keep  forgetting my packed lunch on the bench?  Probably because I have been burning the candle at both ends.  Find some balance back in my life. This year aim to visit Tiritirimatangi more often and drink my water.
6. Write more.  Mind is racing and sleep gets disruptive because of the gazillion ideas spinning in my head. Stop, look out somewhere peaceful and slow down the thought process and write. Aim for a blog post a week.
7. Spend time with family. Sisters forgotten what I look like. Parents are quiet around me? Forget to ring my boys? Put the tools away and look up. This year I aim to make eye contact, remember birthdays and schedule phone time with my boys.
I want 2015 to be a year of balance. Just like my Libra sign.
Happy 2015,

TeachMeetNZ running a session

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

Before collaboration teachers need to make connections

 
When Core Education put out the call for abstracts I already had some ideas because I was gathering information around the use of social media for educator learning at Newmarket School. You can read the abstract here. When Wendy heard that 4x staff members were working with me and wanted to go to Ulearn she thought she would like to travel and be with us. I reminded her about our unspoken policy that if you wanted to attend a conference then put in an abstract. So I suggested she co present with me and that is how this collaboration began. We had been debating connections versus collaboration and so that became the focus for the presentation.  ‘Before collaboration teachers need to make connections.’


I have researched the topic since the beginning of the year and wrote a blog post recently to clarify my thinking. The post was called Connected Educator and you can read that here.


Then for over a month I gathered all the images together and created the presentation. When I build a presentation I have the abstract beside me to ensure that the talk reflects the abstract.
 
Next over the past fortnight Wendy and I worked collaboratively using google docs to bring all information together. Some of the challenges I find when presenting with Wendy is she likes to fiddle with my slides. We had agreed that we would have the same number of slides and the same time to talk. However I know she does like to talk so it takes all my monitoring to ensure she stays focussed on the topic and talks to the slides. She thinks I am too controlling and not open to being flexible. Yet because I have been coordinating TeachMeetNZ and have prepared and presented at Eduignite many times I do have vast experience of presenting already. I work hard to ensure that the presentation flows and that I adhere to time. So in all it is a lot of fun. I know when the teachers come in and hear us discussing academically, sometimes in raised voices, they must wonder what is going on.


Finally on October the 9th I presented my inquiry of Connected Educator at Ulearn 2014.  Dr Wendy Kofoed my principal was my co presenter, however that did not really happen. as you can see from the Core Education video below  it appears that I was Wendy’s co-presenter.
This is the third time that we have ‘co-presented’ and each time Wendy does take over the session. I do not mind because I feel proud that she is willing to be disrupted and be disruptive. It is a lot of fun having disruptive conversations. I was delighted to hear Wendy finally put aside 21st century learning and speak about learning and finally put aside Modern Learning Environment and focus on the learning environment. George Couros stated that ‘Innovation often comes from conflict and disagreement, not in an adversarial way, but in a way that promotes divergent thinking. The idea is not to go with the idea of one person over another, but to actually create a better idea that is often in the middle of the two ideas shared.’ So as you can see and hear our ideas around connected educator has evolved and we have a much better definition of a connected educator.
 
Here is our presntation.
Some of our written feedback missed the notion of disruptive educator and thought that we spoke negatively about Modern Learning Environments. I am happy with that comment because it means we have planted a seed.
Here is the link to our padlet that we sent live a fortnight before the session to activate discussion. http://padlet.com/ulimasao/connected.
I want to finish with a short paragraph describing how amazing these few days were.
Wendy and I were chosen to be live streamed so that was a first for me. We took down two teachers from Newmarket School who were also presenting. I was very proud of them. I attended the Core Education efellows 10 year anniversary dinner and caught up with other efellows. I danced at the annual Ulearn dinner. I met heaps of amazing New Zealand Educators. Then cheered when Core announced the efellows15 because three have presented with me on TeachMeetNZ.
Where to next. Well next year Ulearn will be in Auckland city and because this is our city I think it would be the most amazing thing if Newmarket School all attended Ulearn and yes, I will encourage even more staff to put in an abstract next year.

Wendy and I are involved in Connected Educator Month #CENZ14 and are in the process of collaboratively writing a digital bookLET. You can read about that here.
And to disrupt Wendy more so that Future Focussed Learning just becomes learning.

TeachMeetNZ CENZ14 A

On Saturday 4 October 2.00- 3.00pm (UT + 13 hrs)
We had a special session for Connected Educators Month.
This year a collaborative calendar for October will connect thousands of educators who will be able to engage in free (and freely given) professional learning events, communities and resources.
For more information do visit the the Connected Educators Website www.http://connectededucator.org.nz/
TeachMeetNZ session and our team of Connected educators from around New Zealand join in as part of the http://connectededucators.org/.
This 45 minute recorded session can be accessed live from  
Participation is free for all attendees. We will have a Q & A section for the audience. Feel free to submit any questions before the hangout. You can follow the twitter stream using  #TeachMeetNZ
Session Host: Sonya Van Schaijik
Twitter Broadcaster: Mary Robinson kept the tweets going and we have over 200 tweets in that hour. You can read that here on the storify. http://sfy.co/gvH1
Live blogger: Richard Wells did a fabulous job of live blogging the event.

Time Keeper: Karen Melhuish Spencer did not need to remind people about time as we had already been rehearsing.



Presenters Name
Topic
Twitter
Google +
Sam Hocking
SOLE – Self Organised Learning Environment
Bridget Casse
SOLO Taxonomy: Making Learning Visible in the Earliest Years.
Reubina Irshad
Mutukaroa Project
Tim Kong
The Future May or May not be Finnish
Lewis Bostock
Safe and effective use of social media in the classroom
Kassey Downard
What’s the big deal about Minecraft?
Karen
Share about Connected Educator Month

About the TeachMeetNZ project.
TeachMeetNZ is about New Zealand teachers connecting online. The project reflects the research and work of New Zealand educators in action. These live events are are convened across all education sectors to address the emerging technologies, trends, and challenges poised to significantly impact teaching and learning.  TeachMeetNZ has been live streaming since May 2013.


Did you miss the TeachMeetNZ  #NZGeo session on Crossing Boundaries .


Would you like to host a session?
Contact: Sonya @vanschaijik


Join the #TeachMeetNZ discussions now!


The tool for the job.

I have an interest in boys writing and have been fascinated by some of the stories our children write around Minecraft.
I was first introduced to Minecraft a few years back in 2010 via Natasha Walden @MissNWalden a teacher at our school. She told me that this game, Minecraft, was taking the gaming world by storm. However I had no idea what she was talking about except to feel quite scared when we were in Minecraft. Then nighttime arrived and I was not ready in and for this Minecraft world. I now realise we had entered Survival Mode.
So I learnt there was a difference between Survival Mode and Creative Mode. Survival Mode has the monsters come out at night and Creative Mode is when you can fly around and see the world that you have made. I think that if I had seen Creative Mode I might have been persuaded to take part. Natasha is one of those teachers that drags me along in her online gaming world. Through her I had seen the inside of WOW and Minecraft before they were even spoken about in lay education circles.
Fast forward to 2013 and I watched my nephew create cheat videos to access pathways on his server. He showed me a Minecraft map that he had created and has had a massive download. Normally a quiet and shy fellow, his eyes lit up passionately as he explained what he was doing and why. But again I was not quite ready with my understanding. I was still a lurker and observer.
Then Shaun Wood @mrwoodnz presented on TeachMeetNZ and I was intrigued again with the Minecraft World.
I started to learn about servers, and about the Minecraft Edu version. I began asking questions about the logistics of bringing Minecraft into our school. I spoke with our technical people about setting up our own server. This year however I have been consumed with Google Apps for Education as we established our domain name, learnt how to use GAFE at school, set up the architecture for teacher use and learnt how to set up and use Hapara. This is still a time consuming journey. So Minecraft sat in the back and simmered.
As is with all fabulous professional learning, I spotted this #educampminecraft event via twitter. This year when Annemarie Hyde put the call out to attend I could not resist finding out more of what other educators in New Zealand were doing with Minecraft.
So on Friday night, straight after school I drove down to Rotorua and joined several other educators for #educampminecraft at Mokoia Intermediate School.
You can find out more about the event here on the educamp wiki.
Annemarie created a collaborative presentation using Google slides and different people added their ideas before the day http://bit.ly/1r7vnXQ
During the day, Monika Kern kept the conversation broadcasting to the rest of New Zealand via twitter and challenged us to complete a blog post about our experience of the day. By doing this I can grab a digital badge for my portfolio. I am always open to a challenge and this keeps me motivated to reflect on what I learn.
I contributed by creating a twitter list of all the teachers talking about Minecraft in New Zealand and that can be accessed here.
Here is a folder that I created and added photos that I took during the day.
Straight after the event Reid Walker created a Google+ Community for teachers using Minecraft group and that can be accessed here.
During the day it was particularly powerful to have some students there sharing their expertise with Minecraft. How often do we see students at education events? So I thought this was forward thinking of the organisers.
However I do think that the students would have probably run the session in a totally different way. I loved the way they showcased their work.
I loved how Kassey Downward  had her students share their learning and then guided us in ours. I learnt about griefing, when you destroy creations. One student said to me that is what I was doing when I left clicked the mouse and had great fun pulling down buildings that others had created. She said, “In Minecraft we practise citizenship and do not destroy other people’s creations.”
She taught me how to right click and put the blocks back. However I probably had already created quite a bit of havoc. We got to hear too from Natalie Dodd and her students about how they used Minecraft. 
My learning from all this is to go down the Minecraft Edu pathway because of time. According to Shaun who came in via skype and shared how he had set up a server, a lot of time and technical know how is required to set up a server for the children. You can read more about this on the slides.
I had my questions answered and more. I saw how Steven Katene mapped using Minecraft against SOLOtaxonomy. I say how his students crafted their Minecraft planning using Inspiration. I saw how they shared their creations with family via hidden youtube URL. His school has a 1:1 ipad programme. I can’t wait to have further dialogue with this amazing educator.
I had gone to Rotorua specifically to find out how to set up a server and the logistics in running Minecraft at our school. There would be legalities involved in hosting a server separate from Minecraft Edu where children take part and learn. In addition, the space would require adult supervision because our children are under the age of 14. I still observe what happens in Skoodle and know from experience that the most active online time for our children is straight after school. Some can work quite late at night. Yes we can lock it down to certain hours but also know from experience is that the children will move to other social media sites to communicate with their friends when we lock down their sites. I had been mulling over the idea of buying our own space because I initially thought the Edu licence seemed quite expensive and I am always looking for a cheaper way of doing things. However because we are dealing with student safety Minecraft Edu would be the preferred option. 
Another idea that I found out is that Minecraft requires a hard drive therefore striking our chrome books out. I don’t know why I had not thought about that. I thought Minecraft was an online game and did not realise that we would need plugins to download.
https://minecraft.net/store A singe computer licence costs $33.16 and this can be downloaded. 
The Minecraft Edu Version costs $22.15NZ per single licence and a single server licence is $50.45 NZ. However with the Microsoft school’s agreement deal I wonder if this would change because of the recent takeover.  At Newmarket School, we would require 1x server licence and $22.15 x each senior syndicate student and a netbook per student. So that cuts out what I had planned for the senior team because our senior classes have chrome books and Minecraft cannot go on a chrome book.
I also see that there is also an iPad  licence that costs $8.99. However this does not work with the Edu version. I have not yet investigated if this can be bought on the VPP store. But think that this could be an answer for us. I need to speak more to Steve about this and I have heaps more questions for him. Michael Fawcett confirmed that the pocket versions could talk together. So the Androids can talk to the iPads.
Our middle school use ipad and netbooks so at this stage they are the best place to put in a copy of  Minecraft. My recommendation to school would be to purchase 30 iPad licences and aim Minecraft for the middle school. But I would only do that if a teacher is willing to take the time to trial it with her class as part of teaching and learning. Like with everything on the iPad, Minecraft would go have to go through Configurator. Because we do not have 1:1 devices we would have the challenges of saving games and a shared central location of creations to deal with.
So where to for us.


When I think ahead for us as a school I recall the weekend conversation I had with Annemarie regarding the tool for the job. As a school we are conscious about sinking too much money into one platform as things change so quickly.  The ideal tool for Minecraft appears to be a netbook, with a mouse. To make full use of the collaborative and community aspect we would require a server licence and individual licences for the students involved. We would need someone to set it up and have a teacher dedicated to be an online moderator.  The alternative is to have it set up on the ipads but like with everything on an iPad, there are challenges for sharing because of the ages of our children and because they do not have 1:1 ipads.
If someone can talk me through a workaround, I would love to discuss this more. I am @vanschaijik on twitter.


Teachers at Newmarket School, if you have any further ideas, do let me know. My thinking around Minecraft for learning is how absolutely fabulous. We all know that learning is a social activity and what better way can we hook in our children with learning then with connecting, collaborating, creating and sharing in a community environment using a space that they love and several already know so well.


Reid, you were looking for a further challenge after completing your Code challenges. How about if we go in together as educators into the Minecraft world and create something for our own learning. Maybe we could create our ideal school. I would put my hand up for that.


Annemarie, Monika, Kassey, Steve thanks heaps for organising an amazing day of learning for us. Unfortunately I have come away with more questions that fortunately I can ask on the new Minecraft community.
To find out more about Mincraft in New Zealand Schools, Visit the site created.To find out more about #educampminecraft, Visit the slides created.

To find out more about education licences, Visit the Minecraft Edu Wiki space.
The big news of the weekend was that  Minecraft has just been sold to Microsoft. Delving a little into the Minecraft history brings up two names.

Markus Persson @NotchAlexej Creator of Minecraft. @jeb_ Lead developer for Minecraft



Eduignite

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@vanschaijik Reflection

Thanks to @chasingalyx @boonman who tagged me.

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


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


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













3.How many #Edchatnz challenges did you complete?

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

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


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

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

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


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


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

TeachMeetNZ Interface

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


For further information
Visit the wiki
#TeachMeetNZ on twitter


Teacher from Newmarket School
Auckland New Zealand

TeachMeetNZ Anniversary

First week back at school this term and I was still finishing off TeachMeetNZ Anniversary session.
On the 3rd of May we hosted our anniversary session.
However the real date that TeachMeetNZ began was on the 4th of May 2013.

We had a full house.
@MissDtheTeacher @stephen_tpk@gingamusings @kaiako_nz @gmacmanus @chasingalyx
Our invited guest was Arjana abfromzwho got up at 4.00am in her timezone to join us. She was invited as a mentor and guest and in true Arjana style she had a turn at presenting. 

Time Keeper was Kathy @kathyscott25   and she was also back up host. Kathy was one educator who had been with me from the start learning how to use the tools. She tinkles the bell to keep us on time.
For this session we trialled Question and answer in hangout and worked at bringing in more participants.
Marnel 1MvdS was my monitor for this new tool. The challenge she had was being able to see it from within a hangout. My fault, I was training the presenters but did not realise how difficult it was to see the questions from within a hangout. At the end of the session, Marnel created a storifi of the twitter feed.
We trended again on twitter.

Monika @BeLchick1 watched the twitter feed and broadcasted on twitter as presenters spoke 
We broke the 100 live time views mark on the day and 15 people watched the session right through.
Our first session took 25 minutes to broadcast and this one took just over an hour.

I have learnt a lot about my self from hearing the way I speak and direct teachers. Some of my learning include not to be so direct, giving positive, clear feedback and acknowledging the other educators who gather around me to ensure that the sessions run smoothly. These include broadcasting and helping with training. There have been 38 teacher presenters on the sessions and you can go and rewind their sessions here. The highlight for me is the reflective blogging that happens after the sessions. This is when the real learning happens for teachers as I think about how we can continue to get sidetracked with the product. I also learnt that with the Festival of Education GHO session I myself am unable to screen share. I love the way that the recording was live almost immediately after the session.

Where to next? I would love to run a session with staff to share their inquiry. I am keen to have  a try at running a virtual mini conference. Maybe call in past presenters to run their own sessions but all within a single hour period. Begin with one session where everyone can tune in and then push people out to various groups and pages on the wiki. It would be great to have questions and answers too from a virtual audience.

Finally I am ready to run a discussion as is being planned because I can now operate the Q & A section on a hangout.

TeachMeetNZ Reflection

Recently the above message came to me via twitter from Annemarie Hyde.

Of course I responded with a yes and here is my Eduigniterotovegas presentation. I shared about TeachMeetNZ and about the amazing connections I have made with New Zealand educators. I shared about the site being a collaborative product and how proud I am to have nearly 30 mini presentations available for anyone to come, view and share. It was great to have Marnel Van der Spuy as master of ceremony at the Eduignite and to see her in this leadership role all the way in Rotorua via Google Hangout. Because I was presenting I needed to have practise sessions and was grateful to and to  who spent time with me in a Hangout so that I could practise my part of activating shared screen and showing my own presentation. I did miss having with her rattle snake to remind me of time.

To be honest I am always hosting a Google Hangout Session but I have never really presented. I have been hosting TeachMeetNZ sessions for nearly  a year now and the sessions allow New Zealand educators to talk to each other. The sessions are like being in a conference yet more like when you meet over coffee with your educator friends. That kind of sharing of practice is a fabulous way for New Zealand educators to use technology to talk together.
TeachMeetNZ shifts the focus of conferences because now we do not have the restrictions of time, space or paying to attend a conference. The exciting part of TeachMeetNZ is the ability of a teacher presenting to other teachers. Yet the experience is not just for the teachers who attend or who tune into a session but also for the teachers who presenting. I did not realise the value of this until I myself presented at Eduigniterotovegas via Google Hangout.

Sharing via Google Hangout provides opportunities for educators all over New Zealand to share their expertise with other educators and this is not restricted by time, venue or location. 
As  would say ‘It’s Magic.’ The ‘Magic’ is for educators to share with each other as she did so well recently when she highlighted TeachMeetNZ at #Educampdunners. 
There is no selection process for a TeachMeetNZ session and I am proud of the fact that anyone can share. Generally, I tag people on twitter who have shown an interest and often I am asked if they can join a session. Every session new ideas come in. As a host I have learnt so much listening to each educator share their passion, practice, expertise and ideas from around New Zealand. I feel elated every time especially when I see people from all over New Zealand connecting and then from outside of New Zealand sharing the sessions. 
So for you audience come and join a TeachMeetNZ sessions and watch. Come and see how much fun it is to meet other educators and have deep meaningful conversations. Start by being a lurker and rewind the learning. Follow the conversation on twitter using the #TeachMeetNZ hashtag. 
I believe TeachMeetNZ is something of significant value to the New Zealand educators scene and I am excited to be presenting a special anniversary session on the 3rd of May. I already have a glimmer of running a full virtual national conference because I can see how to use the Google Hangout tool with the questions and answer features activated.

To finish with, when I was waiting for the session to begin, I felt excited at seeing and  out there in the Rotorua audience because they are part of both my online learning world as well as my face to face learning. I enjoyed presenting via Google Hangout and welcomed the opportunity to be part of the process instead of directing the event.

Steve Hargadon’s video provided me with lots of inspiration for this post.