Tuesday, 22 November 2016

SAMR as I understand it

After learning about and using SAMR, I have created this screencast to share my understanding - I wanted to clearly and succinctly explain the SAMR model and to give an example of this in use.

I have found teachers appreciate this model as they can decide for themselves what part of the model they are using at any given time. Any teacher would be using different parts of the model at different times. The skill comes in recognising when is the most effective times to use redefinition to get the most gains in learning.

Here is the link to blog post I mention: 

Links to videos I recommend:
Thanks to all those who helped shape my understanding of SAMR - you know who you are.

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Te Reo at Kereru Park Campus

I have been learning some Te Reo. I enjoyed working with the learners. I found correct pronunciation challenging.  My next steps are to learn my pepeha by heart.
Thanks to Whaea Poipoi and students in Akomanga 8 at Kereru Park Campus.

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Image of me

We have been learning to use a photo editing tool to create a blog profile image.
We use BeFunky as a tool to edit the photo.
I like this image because it looks like a very old mirror. The students had a lot of fun creating their upcycled images.

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Google Summit Presenting

I presented at my first Google Summit in Auckland over the term break.  I enjoyed the Summit overall and the presenting was a learning experience as it was also my first Google Summit and I presented early in the Summit. 

I learnt a number of things that I need to remember for the next time I am presenting to colleagues I don't know yet.

  • Slow down
  • Smile
  • Make connections at the start
  • Use twitter
  • Use encouragement  and valuing -  lollies, chocolate

  • Take away, new learning - verbally or via a Gdoc (in the context of the learning)

I'm looking forward to learning more and doing better next time.


Many thanks to Kathe Tawhiwhirangi-Perry in helping me to reflect.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Infographic about sharing on blogs

Students are learning about using creative tools to share their learning. Today we were learning about using Piktochart to show what we choose to share about ourselves on our blogs.

Here is my infographic - information and graphics shared in a simple way. We learnt about colour and fonts as well as some ideas about alignment.

Friday, 22 April 2016

Brainstorm Tool

Created using Mindmup

I had a go at using a brainstorm tool that can be connected to Google Drive.

The Mindmup free version is a very easy to use tool and I have created a brainstorm as an example in a short time.  Adding one image allowed the mindmap to be under the 100Kb size for storing on the Mindmup Atlas. Adding two images took the mindmap over the allowed size.  The Mindmup Atlas will store brainstorms for six months for free accounts.

Adding to my blog took a bit more fiddling as the embed code did not include a frame size and in adjusting the HTML I couldn't make it fit the page. In the end I took a screenshot and added as an image. Sometimes simple is best.

I decided I wanted to add more value to my brainstorm and added some more images and helpful links using thinglink.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016


I have been learning some Te Reo maori as well as tikanga. As part of this I have written and memorised my pepeha. 

I am finding I am using my pepeha more and more. At first simply as a opportunity to practice in a safe environment. However I have now used in a number of marae in both a formal welcome and as a way to introduce myself when I was a latecomer to a noho marae. 

I have now recognised that parts of my pepeha are useful as I do not always need the full pepeha but perhaps just a sentence in some settings. 

I am feeling more confident in using te reo maori in a range of settings. As I am working with teachers in a rumaki or maori immersion class, my pronunciation is at times corrected.  I am really pleased about this as it helps me to learn more.  I am gathering some phrases and words. I am moving forward, I have taken the first steps...

Te tīmatanga o te matauranga ko te wahangū, te wāhanga tuarua ko te whakarongo.

The first stage of learning is silence, the second stage is listening.

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Google Level 2 exam

Level 2 Google exam completed. Yay. Set the goal, persevered and did it.
It was worthwhile to have it completed and yes I learnt a lot along the way. Good to be able to encourage teachers to have a go so as to further their learning. It is all skills-based but once the learning is done it can be applied to the classroom situation to help learner engagement and achievement. A useful stepping stone.

Monday, 18 January 2016

Feedback Reflection

I have been doing some further reading and reflecting on effective feedback.
It's too easy to say yes, I know about this... but am I actually doing it? Do I give effective feedback to other learners - peers, in classrooms, and myself?  I am refocusing as I look again at effective feedback.

John Hattie's and Helen Timperley's three questions are a useful prompt for me to use. They are in simple language so can be used with learners of all ages and are easy to remember. Learning Intentions and Success Criteria mean the learner knows what they are aiming at.  The feedback can then direct them towards the Success Criteria.

Feedback is best if it is in the zone of the desired effects or proximal development - the Goldilocks zone. Just beyond where the learner is but still attainable. When a learner gets feedback that specifically gives the next steps on a learning journey they have an opportunity to implement these - a distinct 'to do'. When they also have a growth mindset then the possibilities are limitless. Hard work is required but is exciting to see in action - both in myself and others.

growth mindset is an important part of feedback being received, understood and actioned.  A learner needs to see it for what it is - a specific guide to learning better rather than an attack on them as a person. With a growth mindset I am not challenged as a person when someone critiques my learning or thinking but rather it is an opportunity to learn and do better. I have found a growth mindset to be easy to give cognitive assent to. In some areas I have a growth mindset but in some whole areas of my life or with specific learning, it is more of a struggle. I have had to master and am still learning how to encourage and practise a growth mindset and sometimes I have needed outside help to get there.

... be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Romans 12:2

Younger learners tend to naturally have a growth mindset and will share both the fact that they do not know something and then the excitement of learning, perhaps with a "High five, Miss".  When we are unwilling to share that we 'do not know' then we are missing out. We can't celebrate the successes openly as we did not share the initial lack.

We can learn to have a fixed mindset through experiences and what we believe about ourselves because of the experiences, such as "I am dumb", I can't read", "I'm not as smart as..."etc.  These beliefs need to be challenged and overcome to allow the growth mindset to be released in a learner.  A learner often needs others to support and encourage so as to be able to do this. Remember your favourite teacher or someone you learnt a lot from - what did he or she do that meant you enjoyed learning?

Tightening the feedback cycle by +Chris Betcher was very helpful to give an overview of feedback and to show links to research. It includes some examples of feedback using google docs for both chromebooks and ipads. Effective feedback on a google doc allows the time frame to be quick as it is so simple to do and can be happening at the same time or very soon after a student is working on a doc.  This means there can be many feedback cycles that are specifically targeted where the learner needs it.

Learner self management is needed as the feedback cycles need to be throughout a learning process. Those learners wanting feedback on the day/night before an assignment is due to be handed in - often a model Secondary school learners follow when they leave things to the last minute - are doing themselves a disservice. I can do this too when I do just-in-time creation of a learning object - perhaps not even giving myself time for reflection and feedback to myself let alone from anyone else.

Learners need to be trained to seek feedback early in the process, learn and seek more feedback - I certainly need to learn more in this area. Do we give learners this agency or do we, as teachers 'do it to them'? When they are making decisions for themselves as learners, are they making the best decisions re feedback?

The expectation is that as effective feedback is given and when the soil is right - a growth mindset - then a learner grows in metacognitive skills. They know how they learn and can be learning through the process as well as doing better in a similar area next time.

Of course in any given situation I need to have a mandate and an agreement to give and receive feedback. This can and is a reciprocal situation for all learners - as a teacher or facilitator there is generally powerful learning when I give learners the mandate to give me feedback. I am a learner too.

In many situations, for myself, the agreement is there in principle. But is the practise?