Welcome to my blog! I'm Karen Belt, a teacher and leader of digital learning, working at Lynmore Primary School in Rotorua, New Zealand. I'm teaching in a Year 2 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.

Friday, 7 October 2016

ULearn 2016 Day 3

The final day and the sun comes out!  That will make walking between sessions so much easier :)

SESSION 6: iPads are HOT Tools!  Emilie O'Keefe and Casey Patuawa

Google Classroom - great to monitor who is doing their work and who isn't allowing for more accountability

Puppet Pals - ability to make their own puppet or use a photo of themselves and record voiceover as you move your puppets

Drawing pad/Draw and Tell - can draw as well as voice over
Odd one out task - which is the odd one out and why?  What can you do with these numbers?

Book Creator - create an inquiry presentation on a topic - gives learners ownership that they are an author

piZap - photography app; very similar to PicCollage but without the adverts - create a photo mosaic from photos that they have taken, add words to describe and then share to blog.  Would be great for this term when we are doing science experiments

Writing planning idea to scaffold ideas - describe a setting - use a picture and describe it with words around the outside.

Give learners "iExplore" time so they can explore the app - share back how they used it and what they found?  You can then fill in the gaps of what is necessary to use the app.

SESSION 7:  Dynamic Digital Technologies for Narrative Assessments - Diana Wilkes & Kyle Hattie

Narratives are written by the learning coaches (teacher) for the learners and shared on their blogs.  Different tools are used to craft these narratives.  The school is exploring having their learners write their own narratives using a standard format.

BreakOutEdu - a fun way of problem solving  -  a great way to check understanding on concepts and build on collaboration in the classroom.  Need multiple locks and clues.

EdPuzzle - possibly great for teachers - have questions throughout the video so that learners need to leave comments or answer questions about the videos

NearPOD - learners all use a PIN to enter the presentation - teacher drives how fast you move through, when teacher moves to the next slide, the learners device moves along with you

Comic Life - great for creating comics and creative posters/pages

Movenote - video in the side and presentation on the right

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CLOSING KEYNOTE:  Karen Spencer - Beyond the echo chamber:  The extraordinary possibilities of a networked profession (@virtuallykaren)

"Weave the aho and the ideas together to achieve success."  Praxis makes perfect  -  exploring ideas and putting them into practice.  All the professional learning of today is driven by teachers - collaboration!  Teachers make the biggest difference in the lives of our learners.  Consider your conversations in terms of immediate value, potential value and applied value.  Of even more importance, think about the realised value (this can't be determined until we have talked to our learners), and the reframing value (changing an approach based on the feedback from our learners).  No single person has a monopoly on good ideas - this just reinforces the need for collaboration.
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Methods Matter!

Karen shared three main ideas with us:

Find the Urgency - which is the area that YOUR learners need the most?
Hold our ideas lightly.  There is no solution - plan carefully before you introduce anything.  Teachers are constantly redesigning to find solutions to educational problems - it is therefore necessary that our time is spent on the most important things.  The NZ Curriculum is a great resource to help prioritise and identify ares of need.  Spend time trying to understand where the vision is already in evidence and where changes could be made so that the learners feel it more strongly.

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See the story behind the data - listen to your learners, gather the voice/stories of your learners and treat them like a piece of art.  Bring the different viewpoints in order to look for what is really going on with the learners and where we can spend our time most usefully.

Embrace discomfort - we only see things through our own interpretations (or bias) and these guide our actions.  Part of being a modern educator is being comfortable with having our own bias' exposed and discussed.  There is often a pressure to conform through a fear of looking different.    What can we achieve if we embrace discomfort or include our devils advocate voice?  It is OK to have different views.  Our role is to look at how professional learning conversations allow people to safely air their views in ways that celebrate diversity and help people check the assumptions that are driving their actions.

What does the research say?  Look for evidence that your innovation is working - is it making a difference for your learners?  After all, we are teaching to make a difference in their lives of our learners - education doesn't change the world, education changes people and its people that change the world!

As always happens, talking to other teachers can be really inspiring.  These are a few other ideas that I'd like to explore after talking to other teachers during the breaks:
Swift Playground - a coding environment that can be used on iPads as iOS10 and above
Ant Word Profiler - a freeware tool for profiling the vocabulary level and complexity of texts.
Discover first tweet  -  a tool to find your first ever tweet.

Would a great three days of Professional Development and I'm looking forward to taking some of the inspiring ideas back into my classroom - thanks to CORE Education and all the presenters, and also to Manaiakalani for the great opportunity!

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