Friday, 25 May 2018

DFI - Final session and Google exam

Today was the final session of our Google Digital Fluency Intensive workshop. We had 3 hours to sit the exam online and received our results a few minutes later. It was quite a nerve wracking experience and in hindsight I should have spent less time on the multi-choice questions and more time on the scenarios.

Overall I have enjoyed participating in the DFI workshop. I feel like I have improved my overall digital fluency which was the goal from the start.

DFI - Ubiquitous Learning

This morning at our final Manaiakalani DFI workshop Dorothy talked about another one of the kaupapa words: Ubiquitous. This means that in this new digital age students should be able to learn anytime, anywhere and at any pace.


In the past, learning took place between 9 - 3pm for most students. In a digital environment teachers can plan high quality learning for students who can access content/resources anytime, anywhere and at any pace.

In our community the opportunity to access learning at anytime means that students have a greater chance of success.

Friday, 18 May 2018

DFI - Keeping our learners and families empowered!

At todays workshop Dorothy talked about another one of our four Manaiakalani kaupapa words: 'Empowered'. We use the word 'empowered’ now instead of the word ‘agency’ because our community tends to associate the word 'agency' with negative experiences.

As educators we tend to take this word 'empowered' for granted. We have access to information at our fingertips. We have a variety of choices and have the resources available to us to select if needed. However many families in our decile one community do not.

Empowerment is about choice and about having the ability to choose. Unfortunately far too many of our families are disempowered because they have little choice over what they can do in many areas of their lives.

The fact that we can now help our learners to become more empowered is huge. Our students now have much greater choice over how they access and share information to improve their learning. Each child who has access to a device and is connected online, can have access to unlimited information and resources like never before. The visible nature of our class sites and blogs ensures that families know what their children are learning about too. Hopefully this shift in enabling our communities to become more 'empowered' will result in more positive outcomes for the families in our communities.


Thursday, 17 May 2018

DFI - Google Hangouts

Last week on Friday during our DFI workshop we practiced learning how to use Google Hangouts. I have used Google Hangouts before with my class but I don't use it often enough. One of our tasks for our homework this week was to book in a Google Hangout with either Dorothy, Gerhard or Fiona and take a quicktime screen recording of it. I managed to complete a hangout with Dorothy, but I filmed it using a video camera as I know that I need to fix my sound. Here is my hangout with Dorothy that has been edited to shorten it a bit.

I even had a quick hangout with my friend Fleur from the DFI workshops the following day. Unfortunately the sound didn't record so I really need to get that sorted asap.

Friday, 11 May 2018

DFI Workshop 7 - Managing Workflow

During our Deep Dive section we looked at a Google extension called: OneTab. It collects all open tabs and puts them into a list with a timestamp. Useful for when you have too many tabs open.

We also looked at managing our Email workflow.
If you go into your settings then you can click on the tabs to see where you can make changes to improve your workflow. 

In Calendar we looked at how we could use shortcut keys to access the different views (e.g. week or month) quicker. We also used Calendar to create events as reminders to ourselves or as invitations to events with others e.g. meetings. There were lots of useful tips and tricks that will help me manage my workflow.

DFI - Manaiakalani Cluster tweets

Manaiakalani Cluster tweet - every time a child posts something on their blog from our cluster of schools it appears on our Manaiakalani twitter feed. There are almost 200k tweets! Amazing!

Our schools twitter feed appears on our school website. It only shows work which has been posted by our students so it's great for our parents and community.

DFI Workshop 7 - Being Connected

Today's main focus was about improving and managing our workflow. We also looked closely at one our Manaiakalani kaupapa/sayings which is about being 'connected'.

Harnessing the power of the internet to make us more connected is powerful, but face to face contact is also important so that the digital connection is powerful.

Our Manaiakalani cluster of schools is well connected, but now that there are outreach clusters, the learn, create, share pedagogy has spread out even further across the country.

Having a shared language is important. Our Manaiakalani pedagogy is learn, create, share. Our kaupapa is the four elements: connected, ubiquitous, empowered, and visible. Each one of these elements cannot work well without the other.

Friday, 4 May 2018

DFI Workshop 6 - Visibility and Evaluating Sites

Earlier this morning Dorothy presented the idea of making teaching and learning visible.

Why is this important? Here are some key reasons why:

1. Children who have access to their learning via an effective class site are more likely to achieve better results. Children need to know what they are meant to be learning and why.

2. Sharing of teacher inquiry online helps other teachers to improve their overall teaching practice. Therefore the quality of the teaching profession overall is boosted because of the sharing of quality ideas, resources, exemplars and learning.

3. Barriers are removed so that families/whanau can access/view children's learning.

In 2013 famous rapper and musician WILL.I.AM visited our Manaiakalani community of learning because of our visibility and high profile online. He donated $100k to support learning in our Manaiakalani schools.

Goal 1: To make my site more visible. I went incognito online to double check that all my documents etc were visible as some were not.

Goal 2: To make my site more multi-modal: I am planning to include more images and movies etc with less text to make my site more appealing for my audience.

During our 'Deep Dive' session we looked at many different add on programmes that can support our teaching and learning. I think that I will explore 'Sandbox' a little more to see how it can support movie making at our school.


The next thing we looked at was evaluating sites for leading learning. We looked at each others sites and used a google form to evaluate each site. It was quite nerve wracking to be assessed by my peers but surprisingly I received quite a few positive comments. It was interesting to see what others have done with their sites. The main thing is that we need to make it appealing, visible, and easy to access.

I spent a little bit of time working on improving my class site.