Presenting TeachMeetNZ at Eduignite

TeachMeetNZ from Ulimasao Van Schaijik

Kia Ora, Talofa and greetings everyone.
My name is Sonya Van Schaijik
I am a teacher at Newmarket School in Auckland New Zealand.
My topic tonight is the Joys of Google Hangout.
However it is more about sharing the story around setting up TeachMeetNZ and the people involved.
“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
NZ is aiming for New Zealand Educators to share and the virtual is the online part.
The journey is two years old and began with the Reform Symposium when there was a call for moderators for the unconference.
I agreed to be a moderator and Kimberley Rivett was a presenter.
We used elluminate to present with.
Then in 2012, a call for virtual presenters came via Arjana of TeachMeetInt.
It was a 3.00am session on September 29. The session featured speakers from 16 countries sharing their passion.
After that we had the Google summit at Albany College and I heard Tony Richards speak on Google Hangouts. We were able to see a live hangout in session. I was inspired and the seed started growing.
Next in March of this year, Steve put a call out for moderators for the School Leadership Summit using Blackboard. I offered to be a moderator and looked after three online presentations.
During the second TeachMeet Int, there was a system crash. It was 4.00am. I was 6thin line to present and there had been problems. So I flicked over to slideshare and presented using the audio on Elluminate. The idea was taking shape.
Two weeks later at Ignition in May coordinated by Mark Osborne , I placed a notice up if anyone wanted to trial google hangout and to present a nano presentation. There were 6 people who joined the discussion and I shoulder tapped others.
I spoke with Arjana about using the TeachMeet format and she put me in contact with Ewan McIntosh. He was supportive and directed me to the TeachMeet Wiki and said, help yourself.
We agreed on a date and my team of helpers supported me in ironing  out all the glitches. I am grateful for their help. We live streamed all the training and mistakes. So that they could be rewound and learnt from.
We used twitter to communicate, slideshare and google presentations to share the work, Google Hangout to come together and sort any challenges and wikispace to aggregate and live stream our work.
Any challenges with the tools, we faced together and sorted out together.
The week before the first session, I lost a presenter and the day before I lost another. Both cancellations were for valid reasons.
Ah Huh moments happened. I quickly saw the potential of the tool for learning. I can see the principal recording a message for our parents. I can see school events being live streamed. I can see teachers giving live messages to parents.
The TeachMeetNZ project is the final part of my efellow learning about hyperconnectivity It has allowed me to rethink the ways that teachers can share learning. The project has also allowed me to focus on my own learning and hyperconnecting and developing the face to face connections as is stressed by Mark Pesce.
The format of the sessions involves each presenter with a 3 minute slot. The rest of the participants turn off video and mic to conserve bandwidth.
Questions and comments take place on twitter.
Our second TeachMeet was a lot easier because I knew the tools so much better and the training sessions were focused.  Again I shoulder tapped a few teachers and this time we had observers from Korea and Saudi Arabia.
A good idea is to include the audience almost by acting out a part. For our second session we had a an audience viewing of 89 with some from Brazil and India. This video has already passed 100.
Each participant introduces themselves and sets up and flicks on their presentation. Everyone is encouraged to say where you are from and even what the weather is like. Our second session had presenters fro  Christchurch and Nelson.
I challenge you to have a go.
You get to meet some amazing educators almost face to face.
You end up with a product for your portfolio including a TeachMeetNZ badge.
If you want to know more or would like to be part of the next TeachMeetNZ session using Google Hangouts and if you are not attending Ulearn, then please send me a tweet or an email.
Faafetai lava everyone .
Thanks for your time.

TeachMeetNZ


Today I hosted TeachMeetNZ virtual number two.
It has been a busy and productive day.
As I reflect on the process I can identify links that I have with each of the presenters.
I felt excited with the range of talented educators sharing today and they presented from as far south as Christchurch to as far north as Orewa.

Part of my sabbatical is about personal and professional development and about furthering my own understanding and learning with ICT using SOLO taxonomy. I am passionate about ownership of learning. In particular I am passionate about teacher’s learning. 

The TeachMeetNZ project developed through a variety of events. The first was presenting at TeachMeet International. Then attending a Google Community day and hearing about google hangouts. After that was attending another TeachMeet International and the equipment failing. I was interested in seeing how teachers worked together to problem solve. Finally having a team of teachers help me test and problem solve using google hangouts for presenting.

I identified a vehicle for teachers to share their own learning and to have the opportunity to rewind their learning. From the learning I undertook as an efellow in 2011 I identified that my understanding of hyperconnnectivity  at extended abstract would include developing a virtual sharing space where teachers could have face to face interaction and this would include using hashtags to pull discussion together, using a variety of literacies when publishing and about giving and receiving feedback.

I was better prepared for todays session and had researched some information about each of the presenters so that I could make personal; links with them. In addition, I had the opportunity to preview their presentations so that I could thank them and make a positive comment at the end of each nano presentation. When I rewind my feedback, I find that I could be saying more so will use this for next times learning.


So where to next, today confirmed that I am still focussed on the tool and that I must provide an opportunity for discussion between the presenters.







TravelWise

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

Our school app

One of the strengths of SOLO taxonomy is being able to identify where I am with my learning and what my next steps are. @arti_choke. often reminds me to think about the process and not the finished product. When using ICT I often get caught up with the tools I use and focus on the finished product.  However reflecting on the process of my journey is important for abstract thinking.

So this time I choose to reflect on my process of building a school app for smart phones.
My learning journey with app building began last year when I followed up a Telstracleartweet about giving away free passes to Armageddon.
Through that tweet I managed to acquire two passes to a days event.
Before arriving at the venue, I searched for Armageddon on the app store and found their app for the event. Armageddon was magic and the app was really easy to use. The app enabled me to locate 
Ant Sang and also Zaboo and Vork from  the web series, The Guild.
That small act of kindness from Telstraclear launched me into an amazing journey that I am still on with app creating.
When I downloaded the app, I noticed that it was hosted by guidebookBeing of a curious nature, I downloaded guidebook and started playing. I was excited to play in a new area of technology. As I played I noticed the limitations.

The first limitation was that the app was free to a certain level and then if you wanted more features like having a tweet feed, you would have to pay considerable extra, and even more for unlimited downloads. At the same time the positives was being able to see what the app should look like. I liked the tidy structure that guidebook provided.
About the same time on twitter @Allanahkdrew my attention to ibuildapp Again I played and developed our school app. Yet again was hindered and this time by the registration fee. But I will come back to that later.
So where to next. By absolute accident I revisited my personal wikipage links page for different online environments that I register for. I noticed that widgetboxhad updated its tools and had a place for mobile app creation.
The positive addition with widget box was the free trial for two weeks that I was allowed. I could download and test the app over a variety of devices. Because of my previous experience with apps, I built the app in a day using the knowledge that I had already garnered.
My principalsaw the relevance of what I was doing and her excitement spurred me on when she asked some of our teachers to trial the app. I had great feedback for the app in particular from @oprubyslippers, @ginnynz01 and  @tashjaz .
So again I shuffled and fine-tuned the app and passed on the trial to other teachers in our school.
With our principal’s excitement and encouragement, I also created some useful tools for our teachers to use with their smart phones but more about that in a future post.
I then tried to have the app hosted free but the provider was not as advanced thinking in this area. Therefore I will not mention them again.
So where are we up to.
Unfortunately I can get the phone widget working on my wikispace but am unable to have it working correctly from our website. The html language is not quite correct and I am unable to rectify the problem. However using another pathway, the app link is up. It is clumsy but it is up.  So the app is live from our front page. You can download it here.
Our school app has been trialed on an android and an iPOD. The trials have been successful. The only negative with using the current builder is that this app cannot be read by an iPAD. However the developers are working on this limitation. Another limitation is that our logo cannot be seen on the androids. A further limitation is that the outline when downloaded is black only and that the social media tools are not in colour. The final limitation is the ongoing monthly cost to host the app. But the research I carried out over the three providers that I trialed all involved a monthly fee.
I will target a group of parents to give me community feedback and have started targeting our business partners to help us send the app out free to our community.
Retuning to ibuildapp. I love the idea of selling a school app and making money for the PTA but we do not charge for our school website so for this app I am reluctant to charge for information that is already out there. It also brings home to me that I am using my school laptop and iPHONE to build and trial the app and therefore what I build and trial belongs to my school.
At the same time extended abstract thinking using SOLO taxonomy enables me to understand that my next steps will be in creating code for building a learning app. The app that I have developed is an aggregation of sites. It is web based and requires the internet to drive the information. So the app is really our website in mobile form. 
Initially the app was built to give our community access to what we are doing and up to date information on happenings. But already I can see how our school app can be used to engage our community in what we are doing. One clear idea coming through is having access to real time survey.

Overall I think that building a school app was interesting and exciting because I learnt about the limitations of using a smart phone developers template. I also learnt what the school app should include but most of all I learnt about making connections and receiving feedback from my colleagues and using this feedback to develop a better product. I also found out that I already have some skills to begin developing my own app code and that I want to learn more about the process of being an app developer   so that I may support our learners as we move into this area of creating.
If you want to know more, have some suggestions for me or would like to support us in this area, please feel free to comment, twitter me @vanschaijik or our principal @newmarketschool or email me.

My Twitter History


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

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

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

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

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

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

Keeping track.


One of the changes in my thinking that has taken place over the past few weeks is about online work. I have so many learning sites that it is a challenge to keep track of them all.

One way I do this is to create a list using my wikispace. I do have a delicious account for keeping track of websites however my online spaces have a different purpose. I have two different personas. One persona is as a teacher and online school administrator and the other persona is for personal learning. Sometimes my spaces merge between the two personalities and sometimes I feel that they need to be kept separate. I also want a third online personality for keeping my digital photos and videos tidy and out of my computer. I am struggling not to create another space.

So here is one way I have chosen to show my learning self and that is using http://flavors.me/ulimasao.

I place this link onto twitter. Initially, I added my personal youtube video space and picassa photo folders. However when I was checking out information, I realized that the sites chosen did not match my twitter persona. So I adapted and merged my teacher sites with my personal blog. Even that does not feel correct as I have been channeling our teachers learning onto our school youtube account. A few of the videos are not ones I have created.

The second change in thinking is regarding online writing. Initially I wrote for an audience and was hesitant about publishing. But realize that writing for myself is a more powerful tool This came about with myportfolio work with teachers who do not want anyone reading their work or seeing what they have been doing. I teased them and said good luck getting anyone coming to read your work. Because I know that unless teachers live on social broadcasting sites like twitter or blogger how are they ever going to channel traffic to read their work.

I use blogger and myportfolio for my reflections. Personally I enjoy myportfolio as this is my teacher self shining through. At the same time I like using blogger because the site looks better.

When I reflect using SOLO Taxonomy I know that making connections is relational thinking. Therefore I think my blog writing often sits at relational thinking because I use my writing to make connections with my own learning. In order to shift my writing to extended abstract I need to shift to the next level and give feedback on other peoples writing. So in relation to what I have been doing this term with teachers my next steps include encouraging them to blog about their learning and give them written feedback on what they are doing. I also can write about my new learning.

Reflecting on practice

A while back I had downloaded a reflective survey on how we are using SOLO Taxonomy from the Hooked on Thinking website and when I punched in the title into google so that I could reference it for my wiki, I ended up on Wesley Fryer’s website.
I was blown away by his creativity and dedication to teaching and learning. One important gem I picked up was placing a disclosure policy on my blog. I read with interest his extensive work over the years using web 2 tools. I liked the way he regularly records his thinking and reflection. He had heard Pam Hook speak at a recent conference about reflective practice. Again reflective practice keeps surfacing.

I was mentoring a young teacher recently and we were discussing the importance of ongoing reflection and having the opportunity and time to do this is so important.

(Wendy, have I said thanks again for giving me this opportunity this year.) I have currently cut back my hours so that I can reflect more on my own teaching and learning. I feel energised and remotivated with children’s learning. The upside is my own learning has exploded.

So back to completing that reflective survey. The current way of completing this survey would be to create a wiki for my school in preparation for our next milestone report and link our 5th wall evidence to it. I will think more on the process of this.

I keep reading about Technorati so must find out more about what this is. I also keep reading about moodle, I want to also understand tagging and labelling my pages better and finally this week I must follow up with wall wisher as was blogged by Dorothy, Bring on Wallwisher . Hey Luke, you really did bring tears to my eyes with your blog on Teachers can be the worlds best coaches. I always enjoy reading these two educators’ blogs.