Welcome to my blog! I'm Karen Belt, a fourth year teacher working at Lynmore Primary School in Rotorua, New Zealand. I'm teaching in a Year 3 class using iPads to engage and motivate learners and improve student achievement. This blog documents my teaching journey and my learning processes with iPads in the classroom. I've proud of having been a member of the inaugural Manaiakalani Digital Teaching Academy(MDTA) program and last year a Spark Manaiakalani Innovative Teacher (MIT) and Manaiakalani Google Class OnAir teacher.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

GAFE Day 1

Once again I had the opportunity to attend the GAFE North Island Summit and learn from some amazing teachers and educators.   The entire summit is a smorgasbord of workshops and of course its not possible to attend everything!



My highlights from my day one session included:

iPads and Google - Holly Clark
Even after working with 1:1 iPads for two years there is still an opportunity for learning.  Thanks to Holly for introducing me to the power of Socrative - a powerful way of capturing the ideas of learners or participants and manipulate the information.  I really liked the co-operative nature of this tool and how quick and easy it is to used.

Holly also inspired me to use Book Creator as a different way of capturing experiences of the learners and turn it into a rewindable creation.  I intend to have my learners use Explain Everything to create their images, and use writing time so each learner can write a story to contribute to the book.   I'm a huge fan of using iPads with my learners and was extremely pleased to see the apps that Holly was talking about are the ones that we use daily on iPads.

1:1 ipads with Year 1 - Michelle George
It was great to relive our journey from last year with Michelle's presentation - we learnt so much during our year together and I miss sharing and learning with her this year - instead I'm forging ahead with my own journey and making more memories and learning with my learners.

No More Worksheets - Holly Clark

The following quote from early on in Holly's presentation was powerful for me - already I hardly ever use worksheets in my classroom (except when we have a reliever) and I can totally relate with the point made here:


Throughout the session, Holly introduced several tools to ensure thinking is visible and the learner voice is captured.  I continue to be a strong advocate for our "just one app" approach, however I often use other apps and online tools to support my teaching and make it more engaging for my learners.  I'm sure I will use croak.it over the coming weeks, particularly for sound bites for my learners and already am a frequent user of padlet (even sharing its power with the MDTA team earlier this year).  

As with my GAFE experience last year, I enjoyed the Google SLAM at the end of the day - and took away a few great tips and ideas to try out - I've already made a new favicon for my class site thanks to Justine Driver's Slam!

I'm looking forward to Day 2 - and contributing to the summit with my own presentations!  







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